All posts by

John Clamp

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Global travel blog that features travel stories on living, traveling and growing up in cities, villages and towns around the world!

Angkor, Cambodia: Chapter 3, Petrology

The actual stones at Angkor Wat and the surrounding temple and city complex tell their own, spellbinding story. It’s a tale that can only be read if you’re prepared to do a little digging (both literal and metaphorical). If you do (and I did), the process of learning about the chemical and geological properties of […]

khmer empire marathon

Angkor, Cambodia: Chapter 2, The Andu Project

Lars Lars the perennially drunken Norseman had a preposterous idea. Yet some ideas, as this one most certainly did, open like a door onto a world of wholly unexpected adventure and, well, just goodness. Plain goodness. ‘Why not get him to run in a race?’ The ‘race’ turned out to be the 10K event at […]


Angkor, Cambodia: Chapter 1, The Stone Seductress

1. Desire I desire you more than food and drink   My body my senses my mind hunger for your taste   I can sense your presence in my heart although you belong to all the world   I wait with silent passion for one gesture one glance from you   That’s Jalaluddin Rumi’s poem […]

golden triangle

Golden Triangle, Thailand: A Shan Drug Lord and a Motorcycle Sensei

It all started with a….Yes, indeedy. As any of my half-dozen or so readers will now guess, our trip into the Golden Triangle did indeed start with a request. And the adventure that resulted? Let’s just say Kawasaki ER-6 street bikes and a whole bunch of beautiful bendy roads. And a drug lord’s hideout, and […]


Foshan, China: Living on Sixteen Kwai a Day

Okay, it was a pretty insane, self-abnegating thing to do. But it turned into a most entertaining exercise. I was working in Foshan, in China’s Guangdong Province, about 30km from Guangzhou itself. I wanted to save the highest proportion possible of my monthly wage. And I conceived the idea of trying to live in this […]

Shan State/Thailand Border: Exploding Monk

Little Minx had just got off the phone. “Bai leo. Sanook mac.” [Let’s go, it’ll be fun]. “What?” “The funeral.” It didn’t sound all that promising. But what did I know? I’d never been to a top monk’s funeral, and Little Minx seemed certain that it would be a great day out. We crammed ourselves […]


Mabul, Malaysia: It All Started with a Request

Bring a bottle of Martini Bianco. A big one, one and a half liter if you can. That was how the adventure started. Rubes, the Spanish Diver, was messaging me. We’d dived Richelieu Rock and the Similans in the Andaman Sea together and now he was in Mabul, off Malaysia’s Sabah province in Borneo. And […]

otres 1

Otres 1, Cambodia: Goa Redux

Forget the town. Pass straight through it like diarrhea. Iffy beaches, sleaze, some good restaurants, lots of Chinese-funded money-laundering casinos. Yuck. The town itself is not the thing (though there’s a jetty where you can get speedboats to Koh Rong). Head straight for Otres 1 beach, about five clicks east on a clean stretch of beach. […]

inle lake

Inle Lake, Myanmar: A Life Aviatic

Check out the prequel on Inle Lake here. I count myself lucky. Having lived in nearby Taunggyi for six months, Inle Lake was my weekend getaway (50 minutes of white-knuckle action by local bus down the scarp of the Shan Plateau). I always felt a frisson on arriving at Nyaung Shwe, the biggest town on the […]

phnom penh

Phnom Penh, Cambodia: The Demimondaine

I’ve been itching to write about Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s capital and one of my favorite cities. I could write about the whole place, Tuol Sleng and all (I have been coming here for a decade and know it well), but I wanted to rhapsodize about the city as an exemplar of urban Indochine (the area […]