Asia

Bangkok: Avoiding the Burn

Posted on by Noah Lederman in Asia | 2 Comments

Floating Market Near Bangkok Thailand

Bangkok gets a bad rap. Whenever I speak with other travelers they warn: Avoid Bangkok. It’s dirty, chaotic, and full of scammers and scum. But on my three-day visit to the city, I had a rather peaceful time. In part, in was because of my stay at the five-star, boutique hotel, Maduzi. But also because I didn’t run into any of the hassles that I have encountered in many other cities like Hanoi, San Jose, Athens, to name a few. Read more

Tuk Tuk Drivers of Cambodia

Posted on by Noah Lederman in Asia, Somewhere | 29 Comments

Tuk Tuk in Phnom Penh

In Cambodia, due to crippling unemployment, countless people are forced into becoming entrepreneurs, a difficult task even for the small percentage of business savvy individuals in first-world countries that plunge into the task. Therefore, tourists are constantly being solicited for their business.

“Tuk tuk, sir? Tuk tuk?” you’re asked ten times on each block of a major city like Phnom Penh, and maybe five times on each block in the quieter beach towns, like Sihanoukville. Read more

Just a Hop from Kep to Rabbit Island

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Rabbit Island

Our captain wore blue tight briefs and an Angry Birds hat as he accelerated and decelerated over the two foot swells that passed in between Kep, a town on mainland Cambodia, and Rabbit Island. The small waves moved parallel to the boat, running perpendicular to both shores, and subsequently rocking us violently. A little girl onboard was crying. We were all soaked. Read more

Bumpers, Butts, and Bamboo Trains

Posted on by Noah Lederman in Asia, Somewhere | 1 Comment

Bamboo Train Battambang Cambodia

We were barreling down the twisted railway tracks on a Cambodian bamboo train when up ahead, a blue truck came into view. Its big steel bumper hung over the rail line. I tried to shout something to prevent my wife from being decapitated, but fumbled the words and never got the chance to warn her. The driver of our bamboo train refused to slow down and the truck’s bumper grew bigger. Luckily, seconds before reaching the blunt guillotine, the truck driver went in reverse.
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Video: Monkey Like Banana

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Angkor Wat Monkey

The last time we visited with the kids of Angkor Wat, I taught one little girl a killer strategy to improve her sales–the favored knock knock joke. The problem is that not all of the kids took my advice. In the first video of a young lady trying to sell me bananas for the monkeys near Angkor Wat, her approach was to whine until I bought her produce. There was one kid, however, willing to take his salesmanship to the next level–see video two. He sang me a song about monkeys and bananas in order to secure me as a customer. (If you’re having trouble viewing any of these videos, just click on the link here.)
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