Author: Simon Norton

I was in Taiwan when the covid-19 pandemic started, which was pretty much the best place to be. The government there didn’t wait for Chinese authorities or the WHO to confirm human-to-human transmission, and immediately started screening inbound passengers from …

Covid-19: Light at the End of the Tunnel Read More »

When the covid-19 pandemic started, I was in Taiwan which was pretty much the best place to be. The government there didn’t wait for China or the WHO to confirm human-to-human transmission, and immediately started screening inbound passengers from China …

A few months in Seoul during covid-19 Read More »

I was woken up by the sound of a disembodied female voice speaking in heavily Korean-accented but clear English: ”This is an announcement of government support team. Your meal will be served shortly. Please do not open your door except …

Coronavirus Quarantine in Korea Read More »

The above photo is Taipei from the Earth God Temple in Nanshijiao, but I’m writing this post in Korea, where I recently did a 14-day stint in government quarantine in order to enter the country (after having to leave Taipei …

Taiwan: life (almost) as normal during the pandemic Read More »

When I visited home last year I finally had the chance to scan the rest of my old pre-digital pics, resulting in a series of photo posts of travels past. Here’s a bunch of pics from two day-trips we took …

Two Cool Oregon Road Trips Read More »

As well as Zion National Park, we also visited Bryce Canyon en route from the Grand Canyon to Las Vegas as part of our USA Road Trip. Bryce Canyon made for a fairly long detour on our drive from the …

Bryce Canyon hikes (Utah, USA) Read More »

During our road trip around the USA we visited several of that country’s incredible national parks, namely Rocky Mountains National Park, the Grand Canyon, Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon, Redwood National Park, Yellowstone, and Badlands National Park. Some of them …

Hiking in Zion National Park Read More »

I first heard about Nicaragua‘s Concepcion volcano while doing the Tongariro Crossing hike in New Zealand (after a ski season in Queenstown), about how this active volcano along with its smaller near-neighbour Volcan Maderas forms a beautiful figure-of-8 shaped island …

Volcan Concepcion Hike, Ometepe Island, Lake Nicaragua Read More »

Canada is an enormous and beautiful country with many world class hiking trails through breathtaking landscapes of jagged peaks and glacier lakes… but unfortunately I never did any of them. I went to Canada primarily to snowboard, and I did …

Hiking the Grouse Grind Read More »

Tongariro National Park is located just south of Lake Taupo in the centre of New Zealand‘s North Island, and is home to the Tongariro Northern Circuit, one of New Zealand’s Great Walks. The Northern Circuit is a 4-day circumnavigation of …

The Tongariro Crossing Read More »

After spending the ski season in Queenstown, I needed to get up to Auckland for my onward flight to Fiji. One must of course fly to Fiji (unless you’re on a cruise ship or you happen to have a yacht), …

Abel Tasman Coast Track Hiking & Sea Kayaking Read More »

Overland Track overview The Overland Track is a multi-day trek through Tasmania’s Cradle Mountain – Lake St. Clair National Park, which I walked with a couple of visiting hometown friends (my frequent travel companions Mike & Ross) towards the end …

The Overland Track, Tasmania Read More »

At 2,228m Mt Kosciuszko is the highest mountain in Australia, located in the Snowy Mountains in New South Wales. The nearest town is the small ski resort of Thredbo, where I was based for the ski season of 2004. Towards …

Hiking Mt Kosciuszko Read More »

Akihabara: ground zero for the weird & whacky otaku Japan that exists mostly in the fantasies of nerds who love manga & anime or shitty J-pop music. It’s niche rather than representative, but it’s an interesting little corner of Tokyo …

Visiting a Maid Cafe in Akihabara, Tokyo Read More »

Kaikoura’s a cute little town located on a gorgeous stretch of coastline an hour north of Christchurch on New Zealand’s South Island. It offers lovely scenery, a laid back atmosphere, and famous seafood (crayfish in particular), but the main draw …

Whale Watching in Kaikoura, New Zealand Read More »

One of the best things you can do in New Zealand is just simply drive somewhere a few hours away. This is especially true if you have your own wheels (though the bus rides are lovely too), and especially true …

A few pics of New Zealand’s stunning roads Read More »

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics will be the second summer games held in Japan’s capital, and the fourth in Asia (following Tokyo 1964, Seoul 1988, and Beijing 2008). Tokyo’s changed a lot since 1964 (and is surely a much easier city …

Tokyo 2020 Olympics guide Read More »

Getting stuck somewhere isn’t usually what you have in mind when dreaming of seeing the world, but if you do much long-distance backpacking it’s bound to happen at some point – in fact, it’s all part of the fun. You …

On Getting Stuck Read More »

…and that’s how they do New Year fireworks in Taipei. We were stood about a mile west of Taipei 101, just up the road from our friend’s bar. The crowds are like this along whichever roads have a view of …

Happy New Year & Updates from Taipei Read More »

For the last 10 weeks since getting back to Taipei I’ve been staying in Sanchong, a rough & ready district of New Taipei across the Tamsui River to the west of Taipei proper. It’s actually on a large island, with …

Life in Taipei: 10 weeks in Sanchong Read More »