Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Cambodia’s capital is not pretty. This is not where you look for temples and traditional architecture. It is instead a place filled with recent history and tragic stories, a city in which you can learn about traditions and the hope that keeps the country going after it was almost completely destroyed by the Khmer Rouge.

Some of the city’s highlights are not easy to digest, but they will hopefully leave a life-long impact. Below, you will find eight sights not to be missed while in Phnom Penh.…

Citadel, Hue, Vietnam

Hue was my first Vietnamnese city during this trip. Even though I had already been here in 2011, I was looking forward to coming back. Last time, I’d only had half a day to explore everything. It had been too short to see the city properly and at the same time long enough to realise there was a lot out there that I was missing out on.

And indeed, as I realised during my most recent stay, Hue is a city in which you can easily keep yourself occupied for a couple of days. These are some of the highlights you should not miss:…

Pha That Luang, Vientiane, Laos

I first visited Vientiane in 2011. Back then, we only stayed for one night. “It’s a very sleepy city,” other travelers explained to me. “Nothing to do there, so you better move on quickly.”

When I came back this year, in 2017, I could not recognise Laos‘ capital anymore. What had happened to those empty streets? Where did all the bars, restaurants and hotels come from? Was the Scandinavian bakery, that I had loved so much on my previous visit, still there?

While Vientiane isn’t Laos’ most attractive city, it has come a long way and is well worth a visit. And yes, the Scandinavian bakery is still there, ready to supply you with original Swedish pastries.

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Luang Prabang, Laos

It’s hard to choose favourites, but Luang Prabang might be my favourite city in Laos. With a city centre that is easily walkable, a temple at every corner, monks walking through the streets and a huge night market, what is not to love about Luang Prabang?

Prepare to spend at least a couple of days here so you have time to take in the city and its surroundings.…

Rice field, Laos

Laos often surprises travellers. Less known than the other countries in Southeast Asia, it has more to offer than people would guess. From golden temples to caves and waterfalls, all lacking the hordes of tourists that you encounter elsewhete in the region, the country does not disappoint. Come quickly before the world discovers this hidden gem.…

Terracotta Warriors, Xian, Chengdu

Xian, China’s former capital in the west, is often considered the end of the Silk Road. It is one of the most interesting Chinese cities we traveled to, with its mix of Chinese and Muslin traditions, old buildings sprinkled throughout the city centre and the famous Terracotta Warriors nearby. It is easy to spend two or three days here, maybe even more, without running out of things to do.…

Panda, Chengdu, China

As we got closer to Chengdu, I got more and more excited. Over the past few days, we had talked about what to do in this city and the prospect of what lay ahead of us made me want to get there as quickly as possible. Pandas, the Chinese Opera, how could I not be excited about this city?

Chengdu did not disappoint. But see for yourself why you should visit the Sichuan capital.…

Crescent Lake, Dunhuang, China

Dunhuang was our first stop in China outside the province of Xinjiang. While it was still remote, we saw a sudden increase in tourists – and rightfully so. It is a city that can easily keep you occupied for two or three days. Once a large outpost on the Silk Road, it is famous for its Buddha caves and its sand dunes. But see for yourself:…