I Made it Through the Thai-Cambodia Border Without Being Scammed

The border crossings into Cambodia are notorious for their corruption. Tacking on a few dollars to a standard entry visa – which is equivalent to a days’ earnings in most parts of the country – is commonplace. Things get even shadier with visas outside the standard tourist issue. Officials at the Thai-Cambodia border crossing in Koh Kong once tried extorting an acquaintance of mine for $100 to validate her NGO visa. These are supposed to be free.

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Asia’s Declining Floating Markets Still Strong in Can Tho, Vietnam

There’s something quintessentially Asian about the image of a floating market. The rustic boats, fresh fruit and old ladies in conical hats appeal to outsiders who have never seen anything like it. As many tourists find out, that romanticized vision of tranquil river life doesn’t usually live up to reality. Some of the floating markets – particularly around Bangkok, Thailand – cater strictly to tourists by selling tacky souvenirs and overpriced snacks. With the advent of highways and mass transportation, floating markets aren’t the economic necessity they once were and are on the decline.

In Photos: A Day at Taroko Gorge National Park

Taroko Gorge was just a road before it became a national park. And a hell of road it still is. It seems almost sadistic to build such a narrow, treacherous road in a place so beautiful. This landmark on the east coast of Taiwan is home to sheer marble cliffs, green mountains, a raging river, and plenty of attractive spots to take a selfie.

The selfie is what really matters, right?

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Ten Days in Taiwan: Things to Do, Places to See

Taipei, Taiwan is the perfect “starter city” for newbie tourists totally unfamiliar with Asia. The public infrastructure is incredible, the amenities are cutting edge, the people are friendly and there’s just the right amount of foreignness (shrimp fishing, hot springs!) to entertain but not overwhelm fresh-faced visitors. After all, there’s always a Starbucks or McDonald’s nearby. My friend and I came to this conclusion after spending a few days in Taipei. It was a fun trip, but I wanted to get out of the Taipei bubble and see the rest of the island of Taiwan.

Olympic Stadium in Phnom Penh: Too Good to Last?

There seems to be a persistent rumor that the popular Olympic Stadium in Phnom Penh will be razed for new high-end development. Those rumors are flatly denied, but you can’t blame people for worrying. Some land has already been claimed by developers building secretive high-rise condos and expensive shopping centers. If recent history is any indication, the future is ominous for one of Phnom Penh’s only open spaces.

Shopping at TK Avenue Mall in Phnom Penh

It’s weird how normal TK Avenue Mall is. The outdoor mall, located in the Toul Kork section of Phnom Penh, is so Western that it feels like another country entirely. Phnon Penh has a number of shopping malls, and while some are quite nice, there’s always something a little “off” about them for an American like me. That’s not the case at TK Avenue.