Alpacas on Mount Chimborazo, Ecuador

From white beaches to smoking volcanoes, jungle and giant turtles, Ecuador has it all. Despite its small size (it is only about half as large as Spain and smaller than the US-state Nevada), it has a lot to offer. This country full of contrasts can keep visitors busy for weeks.

Personally, I spent a bit more than three weeks here but I didn’t get to see nearly as much as I would have liked. As I said, Ecuador has it all. And to help you choose which activities to do and which places to visit, so you can easily put together a trip around the country, here are my personal highlights that I recommend to you and that you should not miss:…

Potatoes at Mercado Rodriguez, La Paz, Bolivia

Our timing for La Paz was horrible. We arrived the day before election day. Not presidential elections. The country was electing judges, as a local explained to me. But nevertheless, this put the whole country into lockdown. With all shops and most restaurants closed, all borders closed and no public transport, there wasn’t much we could do except for taking long walks on empty streets.

Fortunately, when we arrived the previous day, we had a couple of hours to explore. It was just enough time to take in La Paz’ bustling markets and pick out three favourites that everyone should visit during their stay in the capital.…

Hoi An Old Town by night, Vietnam

The water, I noticed as I ran into the ocean, was as warm as the air. I stumbled and fell face forward, my laughing only interrupted when a wave washed over my head. The beach was a nice change to the cities we had visited and a much needed break from the chaos we had explored the past few days.

Vietnam, with its never-ending traffic and chaos on the streets, can be overwhelming for visitors. Yet, it is a great country to explore, a world of contrasts ranging from giant cities to small beach retreats.

I did not get a chance to go up to Northern Vietnam this year, but here are some of the highlights waiting for you in Southern and Central Vietnam.…

Saigon, Vietnam

Even though Saigon was renamed Ho Chi Min City in 1976, many people still call it by its old name. With a population of 10 million people, it is Vietnam’s largest city and most travellers to the country will come here sooner or later.

From colonial architecture to war reminders and bustling markets, the city has a lot to offer. Don’t rush but leave yourself enough time to take it all in.

To give you an idea of how to spend your time, here are some suggestions:…