Dave took his first intrepid steps in Asia in 2006 as the final installment of a year spent travelling around the world. Whilst his time in the Americas and Australasia had left behind incredible moments and memories, it was in Asia that he found a new home.
“I arrived in Thailand in 2006 new to Asian culture, but it took just a few moments in Bangkok to realise that I’d found somewhere I’d fallen in love with. The ultimate east meets west city. Its gritty and rough around the edges but at the same time modern and sophisticated. It feels like there’s something new around every corner whether it’s a temple you’ve never seen before, a local market or soaring modern skyscraper. its where Street food sits side by side with fine dining and all at once you want to explore every nook and cranny of this incredible City.”
His travels would take him on through Cambodia and Vietnam before returning to the UK where he began his career in travel. Now with over 10 years of industry experience (and a further 10+ trips back to Asia), Dave wants to make sure your trips to Asia are as memorable as his own. “Asia is such an incredible continent to explore. I just want to go back again and again and I know each time I do there’s something new to experience.”
Dave’s love affair for Asia was capped in 2015 when he married in Ko Pha Ngan. A setting he says that was just perfect. “We both fell in love with the country independently and continued to return there together. It feels very much like a second home now and everything about getting married there just felt right. I couldn’t imagine a better place!
Dave continues to be inspired by his trips to Asia. His most recent trip to Myanmar he says, was also one of his most memorable.“I was blown away by my time in Myanmar. The country has so much to offer and I feel like I’ve only scratched the surface! The temples of Bagan just have to be seen. The complex is just mind boggling. Over 3000 temples dotted throughout the plains. You only have to get a little off the beaten track to feel like you have the whole place to yourselves. There’s something truly magical about that!”
Although he’s spent considerable time in Asia there’s always another trip in the planning. “There’s still so much to see and do. I’d love to spend some time in Japan and head back to Myanmar to explore further. That’s just for starters!”.
Sales Team Leader
Countries of expertise: India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Japan
Other Asian destinations visited:
China, Hong Kong, Singapore
Strapping on my Les Paul or a Tele and rocking out some modern country music! Nothing quite like the sound of humbuckers sailing out across Brighton!
Asia is awash with incredible mouth-watering food from a divine Keralan Fish Curry to a beautiful bowl of Tom Yum but for me it’s a very traditional bowl of Nam Tok, a Thai salad dish made with such simple ingredients (and traditionally beef), its literal translation is “Waterfall” and each mouthful brings you a quintessential flavour of Asia (and a whole lot of heat!).
It’s hard to beat island hopping around Thailand, taking in those beautiful barely inhabited beaches and stunning karst peaks as turquoise waters turn to pristine white sand. I also have particularly fond memories of taking a boat out in Myanmar from Nyaung Shwe through the canals into Inle Lake. The beautiful expanse of water, framed by hills, shimmering in the dawn light as the sun rose was incredibly special!
So many amazing places to choose from. I am particularly fond of Myanmar and India but it’s hard to say no to Thailand. The Land of Smiles just has it all; An incredible history, incredible temples (new and old!), stunning scenery, beautiful beaches, abundant wildlife, incredible food and, of course, it wouldn’t be the Land of Smiles without the super friendly, warm and welcoming locals.
60 second interview
Most likely to say
Embrace the unexpected. It’s often the quirky places or unexpected events that make the most memorable moments of a trip.
Who is the person you'd most like to sit next to on a flight?
Gregory David Roberts. As author of the incredible Shantaram, I could sit and listen to his tales of life in India for days! Failing that, I’d love to spend some time chatting to baseball legend Mark McGwire!
What is your favourite aspect of travel?
As much as I enjoy seeing new places, I always relish the opportunity to spend a few extra days somewhere and get under the skin of it and really get to know it. Whether its meandering around local backstreets (Bangkok’s Chinatown is great for this) or unearthing those little visited hidden gems, it’s amazing what an extra night or 2 in a destination can do to change your travel experience!
Take the time to enjoy a destination. It’s always so tempting to want to cram as much into a trip as possible but those hours spent getting between places can be draining. Make sure you have enough time to enjoy and truly experience somewhere before moving on and you’ll reap the rewards!