A beautiful immigrant girl, me, and some answers to why …

Boats in dock at Sandakan Market in Sabah, Malaysia

An incredible few hours with some illegal immigrants at Sandakan Market In my last few days in Sandakan I planned a short trip back to the modern market building to see the fishing port outside. It’s a small area, and the three-story beige buildings third floor gives a great view of both the Mosque in …

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Sandakan market: Inspiring people to look beyond a guidebook

The new Sandakan Market in Malaysia

Getting told off by a backpacker … After seeing my article Sandakan the next big tourist destination, I got a mouthful from a backpacker in Sandakan. Again, apparently “there is nothing to do here” As readers here know, my journey looks beyond popular tourist attractions. Yes, a visit to Speilok or Labuk bay I will take, they’re …

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Back to Borneo: Street Art tells the tale of two capitals

Street Art in Kota Kinabalu

Street Art in Malaysia is helping me see something new I’ve never been a huge fan of street art in Malaysia or graffiti anywhere else in the world for that matter. Don’t get me wrong, I think that freedom of expression is of paramount importance today. It simply never visually appealed to me. Then, the more I traveled, …

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Japanese British history in Penang: a chilling torturous past brought back to life

Grave of British solider Sgt John Wolf in Penang

When Penang fell: the guns went silent and the screaming started The impressive War fort built into Bikit Maung by the British in Penang, during WW2, was designed to prevent invasion by sea, and included anti-aircraft artillery for defense. It was to become a place of little known facts and secrets. Manned by British, Malay and Sikh soldiers, …

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The slums of Kota Kinabalu – Part 2 – bad boys, old men & a caring mother

Young girl in the slums

Problems in the slums of Kota Kinabalu The ax man cometh (part 1 of the slums of Kota Kinabalu) Faced with an ax wielding teenager, three of his friends and an excitable drunk behind me; I stood my ground.  Getting excited or angry does not work in situations like this. I still wasn’t sure whether …

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Nepal in 2011: abused, raped, plundered & forgotten

Old monk leaning out a window in Kathmandu, Nepal

Nepal is one of the few countries I have hope for It’s a country like no other I’ve visited. A cross between old and new. Centuries old cities mixed with new society and a blend of otherworldly qualities. On the outside it’s a great place to travel, hike, find solace, enjoy, experience. Stay a little longer, see beyond …

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Sitting with homeless people in Kota Kinabalu

Violin Player on the streets of Kota Kinabalu Malaysia

Tourism vs reality in Kota Kinabalu Malaysia It took me a while to figure something out I walked the streets of Kota Kinabalu. The tourist office denied the existence of the homeless anywhere in the city. It’s not in their training to deal with some asking about this. They only point out touristy thing they …

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