The tree-lined canals and rivers of the Marais Poitevin are renowed for their idyllic beauty, and as they were only an hour or so's drive from Parthenay, we were keen to see this fabled part of France for ourselves. The Marais Poitevin is a huge area of marshland stretching over some 970 sq km and... Continue Reading →

Mekong Delta

Deep in the south of Vietnam, you'll find the laid-back Mekong Delta, an expansive network of water famous for its floating markets and traditional way of life. I'd arranged to spend a night in a home stay in the Delta to experience a slice of traditional Vietnamese hospitality and having spent almost two weeks touring the... Continue Reading →

Hoi An

The ancient trading port of Hoi An is utterly charming and its old town embodies traditional Vietnamese culture, as for the most part, it's remained unchanged for centuries. In 1999, it was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the pretty port is the perfect place to spend a few days mooching around – which is exactly what I did. Sights... Continue Reading →

Halong Bay

Halong Bay is possibly the most iconic, most picturesque sight in Vietnam, and in person, it doesn't disappoint. The 1,500 km2 bay, dotted with some 2,000 oddly shaped limestone rocks, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and legend has it, it was created by a dragon's tail when the creature dove into the Gulf of... Continue Reading →


The pretty, coastal town of Matsushima is one of the nihon sankei, aka the three most scenic places in Japan. The others are the island of Miyajima, near Hiroshima, and Amanohashidate, a pine-tree topped sandbank in Miyazu Bay. Nestled on the coast in the centre of Miyagi prefecture, the town's beautiful bay is dotted with more than... Continue Reading →

Forth Bridges

I love a good boat trip, I like to think it gives me a different perspective of a place. On my trip to Edinburgh, I was looking to take a boat to Inchcolm Island and hadn't realised that South Queensferry, from which they depart, is beside both Forth Bridges. This was a welcome surprise and... Continue Reading →

Inchcolm Island

In the middle of the Firth of Forth is Inchcolm Island, a small, pretty, idyllic island home to a medieval abbey, tunnels dating back to the First World War, and lots and lots of seagulls. It's also a very relaxing place to spend a sunny afternoon. I caught the ferry to the island from South... Continue Reading →

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