In the late 1970s in Cambodia, 1.5+ million people (a quarter of the country’s population) were killed. Today, the prison in central Phnom Penh where thousands of people were tortured before being executed is a genocide museum, and the place where those prisoners were taken to be executed—now known as the killing fields—is open to visitors.  Continue reading…

I’ve spent about four months now in Bangkok, but up until last week, I hadn’t bothered visiting many of the city’s main tourist attractions. It’s felt great to more or less stick to one place for a while, make friends, and be without feeling like I need to go see another church, temple, or ruin. Over the last couple weeks, though, I’ve started to feel the itch to get out and start seeing stuff again. The first manifestation of that itch was a day spent on Bangkok’s waterways and in its temples. Here are some pics from that day.  Continue reading…

My two-month Thai visa was expiring, so I needed to go to another country to get a new one. I chose Cambodia.  Continue reading…

Cory and I headed out early to find an open car rental agency in Chiang Mai. We had a bit of a problem, though—I had my driver’s license but didn’t want to drive, while Cory didn’t have his driver’s license but did want to drive. I ended up renting a little Toyota in my name (for only 900 baht, or around $28 US), but Cory drove all day. We figured that if Cory got pulled over without a license, we’d be able to bribe our way out of it. We picked up Anna and headed southwest from Chiang Mai toward Doi Inthanon National Park. Continue reading…

One of my goals for 2014 was to keep track of everything I ate throughout the year. Here’s a list of what I ate in January.  Continue reading…

When flying from Kathmandu to Bangkok, I had a 14-hour layover in the capital of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, so I made the most of it and got out to see some of the city. I didn’t know what to expect, but I liked it a lot. In terms of actual things to see, Kuala Lumpur really doesn’t have a whole lot to offer, but it’s still a great city. I spent a while wandering around the very modern city center, and it was like being in a tropical New York. Lots of beautiful steel and glass buildings. I imagine that it’s a bit of what Singapore is like. Continue reading…

I head to Asia the day after tomorrow for the first time in nine years, ending five months of living in and traveling around nine countries in Eastern Europe. Here are my thoughts on the highlights of what I’ve seen. Continue reading…

Kaş (rhymes with “osh”) is a beautiful town on Turkey’s southern Mediterranean coastline. Continue reading…

It only took a few hours for Istanbul to become my favorite city in the world. It’s massive, vibrant, crazy, old, beautiful, smelly, historic, dirty, confusing, mysterious, exotic, crowded, and fascinating. Continue reading…

Bucharest surprised me. It was bigger, dirtier, and more chaotic than I expected, and that made it a fun and interesting place to be. The city had a unique feel to it and I wish I could have stayed longer, but here are some photos from the two days I did spend there. Continue reading…

It’s been a great few weeks here in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria. The city is nicer and more pleasant than I expected, and I’ve been very content to just work at home and explore the city when I wanted to get out. I haven’t felt the need to venture outside of the city. But as I realized that my time in the country was coming to an end, I decided I should get out of Sofia and go see something else. And then I thought to myself, “Why not climb the tallest mountain in the country?” Continue reading…

Along with Nagorno-KarabakhAbkhazia, and South Ossetia, Transnistria is one of those breakaway regions in the former Soviet Union that has de facto independence but limited international recognition. It’s officially part of Moldova but has been independent since 1992. It has its own currency, its own government, and its own passports.  Continue reading…

I spent a couple days in Brasov, Romania, after a 7-hour overnight bus ride from Chisinau, Moldova. Brasov is in the heart of Transylvania, and the old part of the city is a charming place. It definitely felt more like a central or western European town than the Soviet towns and cities I’d been used to seeing. Brasov had a heavy German presence for several centuries, and that’s reflected in the town’s architecture and overall feel. Continue reading…

I hadn’t heard many good things about Moldova before going there. It’s apparently the poorest country in Europe. I’d been told that it’s also the saddest, that it’s the hub of sex trafficking in Europe, and that it’s thoroughly and hopelessly corrupt. Continue reading…

I arrived in Chernivtsi from Kiev after a stiflingly hot 13-hour overnight train ride. Chernivtsi is a city that I lived in for 3 or 4 months back in early 2006, so I was excited to be back. Continue reading…