Dave Noakes

Dave joined the backpacker scene later than most. After living the first 13 years of his adult life in Barcelona, he set off for Asia for the first time at age 34. At this ripe old age, you're more likely to find him in a half-moon pose than at a full-moon party. Dave is a musician (Chopper Dave) and has a keen interest in urban exploration.

Komodo Island Shut-Down: Fake News?

Komodo dragons are one of Southeast Asia’s most alluring creatures. Komodo National Park attracts more visitors by the day. What does this mean for the dragons themselves. Samantha Lego tells us what she learnt on a recent trip.

Nikki Scott Playing a Ukelele

The Best Ukulele For Travellers – Making Music Anywhere!

What makes the ukulele such a good instrument for travel? How do you decide on the perfect model for the road? This guide will help you choose the very best instrument to take with you on your travels. A musician, after all, has to keep playing, no matter where they are…

Window with floor map writtten on at Chiang Mai's derelict women's prison

Doing Time – Inside an Abandoned Prison, Chiang Mai, Thailand

In the heart of Chiang Mai’s Old Quarter, I stumbled upon an intriguing hole in a wall which led me to the derelict shell of an Abandoned Women’s Prison… Cell blocks with paint peeling off the walls, an old dining hall where a solitary bowl sits reminding us of the hundreds of prisoners that used to eat here and a dusty visitors room are all that’s left of this penitentiary of the past.


The Joy of Urbex: Why Exploring Abandonded Places Beats Full Moon Parties

Urban exploration (“urbex” for short) had already been popular long before the term came into use. Children over the years have dared each other to go into the spooky abandoned house down the road, often spurred on by claims that it is haunted. Teenagers often use such places as the setting for their early experimentation with cigarettes and other forbidden substances. The interest for adults, however, has grown exponentially over recent years, heavily fuelled by the growing trend in social media, especially Instagram.

The dining area at Siamaze Hostel, Bangkok

Review: Siamaze Hostel, Bangkok, Thailand – From $8 USD / Bed

Clean, spacious and well-designed hostel located in an authentic Thai neighbourhood with delicious street food and a buzzing night-scene. The fun and free social events and fantastic facilities will leave you wanting for nothing at this hostel that clearly understands the needs of travellers. 

Best Airline Sites – Which is the cheapest?

Skyscanner​ or Expedia​? KAYAK or Momondo? TripAdvisor or Hipmunk? Or does lastminute.com still have the cheapest deals? Aaaaahhhh! Too many travel comparison sites to choose between, all of them telling you that they’ll get you the best price! But who is telling the truth?

Spiritual Extremism: The Enemy Within

Dave Noakes takes a tongue in cheek look at the path to spiritual enlightenment. A search for the self in India will present you with a number of Western seekers that’ll do away with any desire you ever had to discover that “we are all one”.

How to Ride a Motorbike (Like a Tw*t)

Having spent more time than intended in North Goa I have seen my fair share of motorcycle twatiness. Apparently, this behaviour isn’t unique to Goa. In fact, all over Asia you will find people being knobs on bikes. If you want to be a “somebody” whilst travelling, it’s essential you learn how to fit in. So here it is, a simple guide…

Wild Elephants & Bad Driving! The Highs And Lows Of Sri Lanka…

At 34, I’m older than most to be making my first trip to Asia. Where better to start for a relatively easy way in than Sri Lanka? The country has been a highly popular destination for several years now and was recommended to me by several of my friends. Here are my impressions after a month’s visit with my girlfriend, conveniently simplified into a list of “highs” and “lows”…

Falling in Love on the Road… Reflections of Relationships on the Go

Love, love, love! Or, more to the point for us generally unencumbered nomads…Love On The Road. And let’s cut to the chase here, shall we? – it’s a tad different to the traditional ‘holiday romance’ (yeah – remember those?!) Writer Karen Farini muses over the complexity of love on the road, it’s unique intricacies, and where that leaves us ready to connect backpackers!

Typhoon Haiyan

The Aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan, The Philippines – How Can You Help?

Relief work and international aid is pouring into the Philippines as the country continues with its recovery from the strongest typhoon ever recorded on the planet. With wind gusts that hit up to 270 km per hour at its peak, parts of the low-lying islands were completely flattened, and thousands of people were rendered homeless. No strangers to natural disasters, the Filipino people continue to build and rebuild their lives with admiration. We discover worthwhile organisations to volunteer with and how you can help!

The Kelabit Highlands, Borneo: Where Tradition and Globalization Meet

As a traveller, it’s always so easy to want things to stay as they are. In the Kelabit Highlands, you can feel the old traditions fade, as slowly and methodically as the sun sinks behind the mountain ranges, leaving the sky a vast painting of pastel pinks and reds, and turning the entire landscape into a vision so captivatingly beautiful that it barely seems real. This is a land touched by missionaries, globalization, and a growing technological influence. Karen Farini talks to local residences in order to better understand their perspectives on the cultural changes taking place.

Interview: Swami Vivekananda Saraswati, Founder of Agama Yoga

The island of Koh Phangan in southern Thailand is notorious for the Full Moon Party and a hedonistic destination for young backpackers! However, there’s so much more to the island than meets the eye. In recent years, it has become a hub for yoga and spirituality and draws thousands of ‘soul-searching’ travellers who are looking for more than just buckets and beaches. After the New Year’s Eve celebrations died down this year, we made our way to Agama Yoga on the beautiful West coast of the island to meet the founder of Agama Yoga School, Swami Vivekananda Saraswati. We discuss yin and yang, the laws of karma, tantric sex, God and reincarnation!

The "olden days" of Tubing in Vang Vieng.

The Party’s Over! The end of Tubing in Vang Vieng

You’ve heard the rumours filtering from the Banana Pancake Trail and you don’t quite want to believe it. What’s that? Noooo! Frame and mount that ‘In the Tubing’ vest of yours… ‘Tubing’ is really over.

SE Asia Faces & Places: Interview with an Ayurvedic Practitioner

As conversations between backpackers begin to include Ayurvedic buzzwords such as “dosha”, “five elements” and – heaven forbid – “fasting”, we catch up with an Ayurvedic practitioner, to unscramble the mystery of this ancient Eastern tradition of medicine…

Interview with Vang Vieng Entrepreneurs, Greg & Owen

Undoubtedly the star attraction of Vang Vieng, a town on highway 13 between Vientiane and Luang Prabang in Laos, is the Nam Song River lined with rope swings, zip wires and a multitude of cool bars – a veritable playground for backpackers! Karen Farini catches up with Greg and Owen, 27 year old UK twins, who own the coolest and quirkiest entertainment space in town to get the low down on running a business on a river bank prone to annual flooding, the locals’ view of the abrupt change in culture and of course the crazy and controversial phenomenon known as tubing…

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