• Schlögen on the Danube

    August 2018

  • Cambodian Dawn with Buffalo

    November 2018

  • Dawn at Angkor Wat

    November 2018

  • Siem Reap Back Alley

    November 2018

WELCOME…

... to our collection of thoughts, observations and short essays from a couple of people that like to explore. There’s a few themes that will unapologetically dominate; we’re photographers, foodie tourists and people watchers. We’re also cycle tourists and many entries will definitely be two-wheel touring based.

We post our thoughts and observations here as ARTICLES once we have had time to reflect but we use our Facebook Page as a sort of daily diary for more immediate jottings. Instagram is for images. Click on the image above for contact details or just email us. Mark & Siubhan Litherland x

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Sibling Rivalry in South East Asia (Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand)

I started writing this entry with the intent that it would be a summary of Cambodia but it was difficult to expound on the experiences in Cambodia without repeated references to both Vietnam and Thailand. So, instead, I thought that it might be more informative to do a collective “Same, Same. But Different” of the similarities and differences between the three beautiful siblings of South East Asia, Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand. And they are all beautiful, the kindness and the happy vibe of the people in all three countries has been overwhelming and, to use a traveller’s cliché, humbling. Let’s start with the biggest similarity: laughter is only ever just below the surface in any of the three. In our experience, only in the campo of Spain have we experienced such a natural and generous inclination towards laughter. I believe the second common factor is deeply related and that is


Phase 1 Complete, 1400km Nha Trang (Vietnam) to Pattaya (Thailand)

That’s Phase One done! 1400km from Nha Trang back to Pattaya, more about that later, but today was a tough day. It’s our first consecutive 100km day and today was a lot tougher than yesterday; we are more than a little bit broken and our arses are in tatters. Too

Perceptions of Cambodia – Part 2

Is it really only 3 days since I wrote about our perceptions from Phnom Penh? So much has changed since then and we are also 224km away. And yet, all those observations remain valid. There’s a lot about Cambodia that we don’t understand and won’t even pretend that we’ve got

Perceptions of Cambodia

It’s day 5 in Cambodia and nearly 48h in the capital of Phnom Penh and we still haven’t settled our thoughts except to say that Cambodia is not comfortable. It’s difficult to describe how we feel because it’s so heavily prejudiced with our privileged western perspective. We’re white, middle-class with

Traffic Etiquette in Vietnam

Traffic Etiquette in Vietnam People warned us about the dangers of the traffic in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City); I’d like to offer an alternative view. It’s soooo civilised. Yes it’s busy as hell and yes it’s extremely intimidating to those of a Western culture because of the seemingly lack

Some Thoughts on Vietnam

Some Thoughts on Vietnam Forgive me friends for I have sinned, it’s been 5 days since my last confession…. I’ll talk about our feelings on Vietnam shortly but it’s been a busy 5 days. One thing that we had forgotten from last year is how much ‘management’ is required on

Riding down the Vietnamese Coast

Riding down the Vietnamese Coast For the first time on this part of the trip we set an alarm. The heat is slowing us up and 10:30 departures are taking us straight into a mid-morning inferno. So last night we got ahead of the game and prepped the bikes and

A Day in Vietnam

Leaving Phan Rang this morning was slower than it should have been but we needed the rest. The 2-star, £12 hotel was a model of cleanliness and hospitality. The staff had about the same number of English words as we have Vietnamese, but everybody got where they needed to be

Setting Out – Cycle Touring in Vietnam

Setting Out – Cycle Touring in Vietnam Leaving the hotel this morning was a buzz. It’s difficult to get your head around the fact that this is the departure on a 4000km ride to Singapore and it was going to start with some Cycle Touring in Vietnam! I think we

A Tale Without a Happy Ending

A Tale Without a Happy Ending I went for a massage today but before we get to that, it rained. It rained a lot but it has a tendency to do that around here; it’s like someone turns the tap to full and then, just as abruptly, turned it off

Cycletouring across South East Asia

Cycletouring 4,000km and 4 months across South East Asia from Vietnam to Singapore! I won’t lie to you, with the exception of a couple of weeks down the Danube with friends, it’s been pretty tedious around here since May.  Life doesn’t always work out how you want it to and

Multiple Spoke Failure and Disc Brakes

The internet is a strange, shouty place that lends itself to simplistic polarised arguments positions on many subjects and, even before we start on hydraulic vs mechanical, there’s a pair of diametrically opposed and entrenched positions on disc vs rim brakes. I would say that there’s 49% that swear that

Cycle Touring Security

Cycle Touring Bike Security

Cycle Touring Bike Security Let me be the first to admit that if there were a spectrum of sentiment about bike security then I would be near one end, the end marked “Paranoid”.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t walk around in a perpetual xenophobic haze believing that every stranger

Cycle Touring Security

Let’s Go Camping! (again)

Part 1 – Background & Our First Outing Let’s start by saying that we’re not experienced campers, we’re not even really outdoor types but we have always been seduced by the ‘call of the wild’ and the romanticism of sleeping under the stars being at one with nature in an

Around the World in 80 Months?

It’s Now or Never So, the time has come; the time of the realisation that there is no tomorrow.  We are aged 54 and 58 and, as Elvis would have said, it’s Now or Never. That’s the opening para with the necessary melodrama done, so here comes the clarity of

Cycle Touring in Australia – First Musings

Time to go Cycle Touring in Australia? We have a hitlist of places that we feel we should have been to but haven’t; in Europe there’s Vienna (it means nothing to me), Prague and Copenhagen; there’s anything North of Napa on the US West Coast that we’ve seen and the

Flags on Bikes!

The Success of the Flags on our Bikes Of the selection offered in the pack, it seemed obvious to fit the Union Jack as the flag behind the bike, but after our first small shake-down ride, it also felt a touch crass and jingoistic.  Maybe it was the influence of

I love the smell of Nam Pla in the morning

  The Thais don’t really do breakfast as we would know it and where breakfasts are available, it’s generally because there is a Falang presence in the area and it’s that market that’s being catered for.  But when you get into the areas where a white face is unusual then

The Journey Back to Pattaya – Pt 1

Well, we’re back in Surat Thani now for one night. Koh Samui was interesting to see but, as I suggested, I doubt if we’ll ever go back. It feels good to be back in “Thailand” if you catch my drift. Although I can bang on sometimes about cost, I’m only

Merging cultures – Tinto in Thailand

We’ve spoken previously about the virtues and simplicity of the Spanish Tinto de Verano as a daytime thirst quencher so when we wanted a long cool poolside drink for here in Koh Samui, it was as simple as buying a bottle of red and a handful of cans of Sprite

Day 14: The End of the Trail (41.3km/1000.1km from Pattaya)

Day 14: 41.3km It’s a strange feeling because we didn’t ever think that we would make it here. We never declared Koh Samui as an intent because it was only ever intended to be a journey with a nominal destination and we would give up when it stopped being fun.

Day 13: Penultimate Day – Nearly There (62.8km/958km from Pattaya)

Day 13: 63km The day started before 7am, when we woke, but it was after 10am before we left the hotel in Surat Thani. We picked up a couple of Thai DTAC SIM cards when we landed and have kept them topped up so that we have had continuous internet

Day 12: Fatigue & Fantastic Fire Food (62.2km/895km from Pattaya)

Day 12: (62km) Fatigue & Fantastic Fire Food We’re not sure whether it’s the cumulative effect of the 12 days of cycling or the impact of last night’s lodgings that made the first half of today such hard work. The cycling itself wasn’t too much of a graft as intermittent

Day 11: Bloody Hot!!!! (84.9km/833km from Pattaya)

On one hand, we’ve not yet had a day without a “hard work” factor of some sort or another, but I’d rather that it worked out like this than have all the adverse factors stacked into one day. Yes, today was very hot with little shade but it was predominantly

Day 10: “Character Building” (74.6km/748km from Pattaya)

Today was a day that could be best described as “Character Building” It started off fine into the sunshine of Chumphon. We were a little slow out of the blocks, party because we had a hotel breakfast and partly because we\re both feeling a little sub-par. We have a general

Day 9: Chumphon for NYE (49.5km/674km from Pattaya)

Chumphon via more beach and more jungle If ever there was a day to reflect on how lucky we are, it was today. Just a great day to be alive. The ride started by passing the beach restaurant that had been so friendly over the last couple of days and

Thai food travel

OK – let’s talk about dinner

The restaurant that was told to be 200m away was actually 1km away. TiT (This is Thailand) So we walked down the very noisy unlit jungle road to the seafront restaurant using a bike light as a torch. If we’d known how far it was, we’d have cycled but maybe

Day 8: Today we rode the jungle…(93.7km/624km from Pattaya)

WHAT A FANTASTIC DAY IT WAS TODAY   We’re broken now, at 30C and 83% rel. humidity with nil wind the jungle was oppressive in a way that we haven’t experienced before. It was a lot hillier than any of the previous legs and those hills were like mountains to

Day 7: Down to Ban Krut and an odd encounter

Day 7 – 70km (again)   A bit of a something and nothing day really, but with a bit of a twist. The cloud base didn’t shift from moustache height all day and rain was intermittent. Once again frustrated by rain at the end of the day, but lucky enough

Cryptic Cryptos

There’s some places in the world that just seem to attract certain types of people; it’s the kind of person that you usually don’t see in mainstream society in Europe and they’re reminiscent of characters you would identify with in one of those gritty western movies of TV series. There’s

Keeping the money clean in Thailand

I changed my fourth batch of £300 today for Thai Baht. What makes this unusual is that, in all four of the batches, none of the notes were rejected. That’s unusual. But not unexpected. The best way to change money in Thailand is at one of the street booths, their

Possibly the best Shoulder of Lamb you’ll ever make

Our Recipe for a Shoulder of Lamb Wow!  That’s quite a headline, I suppose I’d better back it up now. But I stand by it; it’s certainly the best Shoulder of Lamb we’ve ever had and it’s surprisingly easy. This should serve 4 people. Ingredients: 1 kg Lamb Shoulder 2

Tinto de Verano, a surprisingly good drink

Most people think of Sangria when they consider a lighter alcoholic drink in Spain but in the south, primarily Andalucia, Tinto de Verano is more prevalent amongst the locals. It’s a bit of a generalisation, but Sangria is for the tourists when Tinto de Verano is for the locals.  We

Facebook Feed (Diary)

We use Facebook as a "Diary in the Moment" and below are our last 10 updates.

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1 day ago
Timeline Photos

I love that period in the morning that’s a moment of anticipation and optimism 💕

An hour later we were 200’ higher, sweaty, disheveled and gasping for oxygen 😩😩😩

Gotta love cycle ... See more

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1 day ago
Photos from Wondering About's post

One of the upsides of staying somewhere ‘authentic’ in a rural situation is that you get to try stuff that you wouldn’t pick from a menu.

It’s also the downside.

I’m fairly sure this is ... See more

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1 day ago
Photos from Wondering About's post

No tales of derring-do in the jungle, no punch-ups with simian assailants and no 50 degree furnace rides today.

Instead the day started in Ban Krut with a visit to the pharmacy for a chat with the ... See more

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1 day ago

Waiting for the seafood market to open - we’re starving!

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2 days ago
Timeline Photos

It’s a great day to be alive. Seeing the world at 20kph brings many delights, the opportunity to interact with people is top of the list but the ability to appreciate your surroundings is a very ... See more

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2 days ago
Photos from Wondering About's post

We hit the hard-day trilogy today of Blood, Sweat & Tears.

If yesterday’s 93km was a breeze then today’s 78km was just hard slog. My route planning had tried to avoid a chunk of the Route 4 ... See more

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3 days ago

Cracking start to the morning to be allowed to ride through the Royal Thai Air Force base and cross the runway.

Unfortunately, but understandably, photography within the confines of the base was ... See more

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3 days ago
Photos from Wondering About's post

I’ve had Willie Nelson’s “On the Road Again” as an ear worm all day as we rode 93km down the coastline on the eastern side of the Gulf of Thailand.

Our route was pretty much the same as ... See more

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3 days ago
Timeline Photos

Gotta love a hotel with a sea-view and a balcony for the bikes 💕
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#cycling #cycletouring #biketouring #hotel #seaview #seaside #beach #thailand #colourphotography #colorphotography #hdr ... See more

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