Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Padar Island


We didn’t think the kids would be able to make it, but we all made it to the summit of Padar Island, even Ayla. Padar is an island in Komodo National Park that is famous for hiking. It was beautiful.

Saturday, July 23, 2022

Flying Fox Migration

 In Komodo national park, every night, there is a migration of thousands of flying foxes. It is quite the spectacle.

South Bali


The cliffs of Ulu Watu

Tanah Lot


Tanah Lot is one of the holiest temples in Bali. A sea temple allegedly surrounded by ancient snakes, it is steeped in lore. On our visit, the rains came down and it gave the complex a foreboding feel that seemed most appropriate. The surf pounded the temple with loud splashes shooting 10’s of feet in the air. It was amazing.

Thursday, July 21, 2022

Kecak Dance


The Kecak dance is a Balinese dance that was originally a trance ritual and in the 1930’s became a sort of musical play about the Ramanya. It is a rhythmic dance and watching it on the cliffs of Ulu Watu is not to be missed.

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Singapore Slang


We started in Bangkok, made our way to Cambodia, and had two days to rest in Singapore at the Marina Bay Sands before heading to Bali, Flores, and Komodo to see the dragons. Singapore is a great place to recharge and provision. It has everything you need. The economic miracle of Singapore is one of my favorite stories, and what LKY achieved on these muddy banks of the malacca straight is my favorite exercise in country building - we may never see something as profound from an economic dev standpoint again. That’s why I love Singapore. 

You can taste the melting pot in its dishes - Chinese, South Asian, Malay, Cantonese, Indonesian - and the list goes on. It is my third favorite place to eat behind Hong Kong and Tokyo. Singapore is becoming almost intolerably nice - most of its grit has been sheared by economic progress and scarcity of land in the defacto capital of Southeast Asia.

Singapore used to be a collection of villages, and only one remains - Kampong Lorong Buangkok.

I love what Singapore represents a sort of cultural compromise and the most precise and nimble form of government - the city state. 

It was a great place for us to provision and rest up for Indonesia. Marina Bay Sands has a great pool and shopping, but it was one of the most disappointing hotels I have ever stayed at - stick with the MO or Raffles. It is not bad per se, but it deserves to be much better and felt cheap and impersonal.

Friday, July 15, 2022

Angkor Wat


Angkor Wat is one of the best places on the planet. I have visited around 120 countries and seen a lot of beauty, but Angkor is just the right blend of magic and reality and vibes. It is the perfect temple complex, and I love it so much. 

Exploring Cambodia


As recently as 1980, Cambodia had no monetary system. The reign of Pol Pot removed a generation and created a fractured society filled with people who have big hearts and smiles. Many live exceptionally simple lives in the countryside, and it is fascinating to travel and view life from this perspective.

Night Market


12 years ago we visited the Siem Reap night market for the first time. It was a place where you could buy weird animals, get your ear’s cleaned, have fish gnaw at your feet, change Kyat to Riel, buy t shirts, and get a Khmer massage. It felt like the center of the evening universe before the crowds dispersed and hit pub street.

We were thankful to see the night market alive and well, though gone were some of the weirder offerings. In 2022, it has a more wholesome, less Mos Eisley Cantina, vibe. The kids bought necklaces and elephant dolls, and we rode home in the rain.

Monday, July 11, 2022

Kompong Phluk


We visited one of the lake communities on Tonle Sap and it really blew the kids away to see how people live interesting lives on the water.

Sunday, July 10, 2022

A return to Cambodia


How long has it been old friend? Over 10 years? When Kristin and I first set foot in Cambodia we were in love. The temples, night markets, red dirt, adventurous countryside romps - it pulled us in. We visited twice in two years, and it is a delight to return 12 years later to see our old friend. 

Most importantly, it has been incredible sharing it with our children. Exploring temple ruins with Harper and Ronan was an absolute delight and a perfect adventure.