The Far Flung Places Guide to Vanuatu is out now!

A mammoth project, and a result of spending two years living and travelling around the islands, and involving help from the Vanuatu Tourist Office, many locals living on the main and more remote islands, and Air Vanuatu (working there gave us access to cheap airfares which were a huge help in getting to the more remote islands!). 

324 pages with maps, photos and detailed listings on accommodation, food and drink, and things to see, not just for the main islands of Efate, Santo and Tanna, but also for the more remote islands including Ambrym, Malekula, Pentecost, Epi, the Banks and Torres, and much more.

Me wantem gud kaikai. Food and Drink In Vanuatu

From the moment you set foot on the Air Vanuatu plane to Port Vila you start to taste the great kaikai (Bislama for food) that Vanuatu offers. Unless you are in Business Class that is (the upmarket menu is full of expensive Scallops, Barramundi and other delights, usually sourced from New Zealand).

Baalbek. The best 'Do Not Travel To' Roman ruins in the world.

I had seen the ancient Roman temples of Baalbek in an old BBC documentary and have had it on my travel list for many years. Now seemed a good time to visit, I was in the region and the recent fighting close by in Syria, which had sent rockets crashing into the town, and incursions over the border, had quietened down considerably. 

Anjar. A city of Beauty and Violence

The distant crackling woke me up. I was having a nap in the car to overcome the effects of the lack of sleep on the overnight flight on Middle Eastern Airlines to Beirut from Heathrow.

I got out to stretch my legs, and then I heard it again, but this time it was louder and more concentrated. Distant, but unmistakable, there was a fairly major gun battle raging beyond the Syrian hills behind me.

Iran Uncensored

When I first said I was going to Iran some friends were horrified. Not only was it seen as being extremely dangerous (being situated next to both Iraq AND Afghanistan), surely you would have no freedom, and you could not drink alcohol and would have to dress modestly. Why would I want to go there?

Top 10 things to do in Yazd

Yazd, a city right in the middle of two Iran's harshest deserts, the Dasht-e Kavir and the Kavir-e Lut. This isolation has led to it avoiding many of the wars and battles which destroyed many of Iran's other cities and has left a beautifully preserved ancient city. Genghis Khan never made it here, but Marco Polo did and he wrote extensively about it. I found it a great place to visit, ideal for walking and exploring, and it is the home of the best Baklava in Iran.

Isfahan. So much more to see than Nuclear enrichment facilities.

Evening prayer at the Jameh Mosque
Isfahan, also spelt Esfahan, is one of the great cities of the world. Once the capital of Persia, it was compared to Rome and Athens by the writer Robert Byron in the classic Silk Road travelogue 'The Road to Oxiana'. Today it is in the news for having the site of Iran's nuclear research facility nearby, and causing the resulting global sanctions against the country (which are now being lifted), but is really should be known for its stunning treasures.