WWOOFING in Southeast Asia: Top 5 Countries for Your WWOOF Adventure

organic farm in southeast asia

Farming has never been my strongest suit, having been a city boy most of my life. But developing a green thumb or any other farming skill can take you places. It also paves the way for a unique and authentic experience with a place and culture. WWOOFing is one of the best ways to live and learn in organic farms anywhere in the world. The name is taken from WWOOF, or the World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms, an international movement that links volunteers with organic farms and growers. The premise is that you’ll help out on the farm in …

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Exploring Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam’s Storied, Pulsating Capital

Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

Vietnam conjures up harrowing images of war and demonstrations. At a young age, I already had a rough sketch not only of the brutal conflict in Indochina, but also the one waged at home. Naturally, as the big history buff that I am, I find myself booking a flight to Ho Chi Minh, with the intent to uncover treasures of the past. Formerly known as Saigon, and still fondly referred to by most locals as Saigon, Ho Chi Minh is like any other bustling metropolis at first glance. On my first day, the roar of cyclos greeted me along with …

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Meeting Borneo’s Enigmatic Orangutans

borneo orangutan

On a solo trip to Kota Kinabalu, I met Sarah, a middle-aged woman who dedicated her entire life to the conservation of orangutans. She’s no primatologist, nor does she see herself as an eco-warrior of some sort. Deeply fascinated, I asked, “What made you decide this is what you want to do?” I expected to hear something political or a heated discussion about poaching and the destructive palm oil industry. Instead, she answered, “One day, I took a tour to a wildlife conservancy in Kubah National Park, and happened upon a motherless baby orangutan nibbling on a leaf. I felt …

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Eco-touring West Malaysia: 5 Forest Reserves to Visit

Penang National Park

The vast majority of West Malaysia is a tranquil tropical rainforest, far removed from the frenzy and anxieties that beset city life. Picture a cozy cabin suspended by wooden stilts, intertwined into an understory of saplings, palms, and mangrove. Native groundcovers fringe the damp trail, inching to reclaim lost ground. A hanging bridge weaves through brackish water and a canopy of hardwood. Birdsong, the dawn chorus of siamangs (giant gibbons), an invisible waterfall nearby, inviting you to a dreamlike state of sensory bliss. This is Peninsular Malaysia – home to the Rafflesia, ancient kempas hardwood, and the elusive Malayan tiger. …

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Chasing Waterfalls in North Bali

falls in bali

Imagine golden sunrises, misty unpaved roads, and lushly forested trails that lead to a mystical waterfall. Even for a top tourist destination, Bali still offers plenty of surprises. If you’re not one for crowds and seek a quiet but adventure-packed, off-the-beaten-path experience, head up to North Bali’s central, highland region. A Step Back in Time North Bali is the perfect place to soak in the local and colonial history. Its main cities Lovina, Seririt, and Singaraja are far removed from the bustle of the island’s central, eastern, and southern townships. Nevertheless, the friendliness of the locals is ever-present, as with …

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