Steve was a relative late-comer to the many and varied charms of South East Asia but having stepped off the plane into the hot, humid air of Bangkok at the not so tender age of 30, Steve was hooked and wasted no further time.
Over the next 10 years he has re-visited Asia a dozen times. His latest foray into Southeast Asia was a 3 month ‘sabbatical’ in which he planned to visit the Philippines, Thailand, Nepal and Laos. This trip was dramatically cut short before reaching Laos as he was caught up in the middle of the Nepal earthquake of May 2015. Luckily he emerged unscathed from this experience with his enthusiasm and hunger for travel in Asia undiminished. Laos will have to wait for another time and he already has plans to return to the region to visit Myanmar in the near future!
Steve has a wealth of knowledge and experience in the travel industry built up over the last 15 years and his particular passion is in adventure travel. A very keen walker, Steve has climbed a number of different peaks in Africa, Asia and South America. He is a self-confessed ‘mountain addict’ and loves nothing better than trekking in the beautifully clean air of the high mountains. This being said he is no stranger to the more luxurious side of things also, so whether it be camping on the side of a volcano, walking across a frozen glacier or lounging around at a 5 star villa on a beautiful beach, Steve is at home!
In his spare time he likes to indulge his other passion which is cycling and having pulled on an “unhealthy” amount of lycra, he enjoys cycling the quiet country lanes of Sussex and Surrey. If time allows between his trips further afield, he will try and make an annual summer pilgrimage to France or Italy to test himself on the long demanding climbs of the Alps or Pyrenees.
Countries of expertise: Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Borneo, Sri Lanka & Nepal.
Other Asian destinations visited: Indonesia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Maldives & Philippines.
Whichever city I’m visiting in Asia, I will always try and find the highest and coolest open air rooftop bar in the evening and enjoy a cool beer or cocktail whilst watching the sun go down and the city below change gear from its daytime to evening goings-on.
For me it has to be Thai food as it is just so delicious. Wherever I am, whether it be a cheap street stall or a 5 star restaurant, I always love to sample a Massaman curry, a Red Curry (the hotter the better) or the ubiquitous Pad Thai found on every street corner.
South East Asia is packed full of amazing journeys. If I was to select one, then the train journey down from Hanoi to Danang would be a particular highlight. Setting off in the evening from Hanoi, the train winds it’s way slowly down south. You will be rewarded with some beautiful views of the South China Sea and coastline with many secluded beaches and coves whilst passing through local villages and towns that border the tracks.
I would probably have to say however that Hoi An in Vietnam would be high among them. It is just such an evocative place to be especially in the evening when lit so beautifully by many hundreds of coloured lanterns.
In contrast I have to say that Bangkok has to be my favourite city in the world. It isn’t to everyone’s taste, however having visited half a dozen times it never fails to excite and enthral.
60 second interview
Most likely to say
‘Try and build some extra time for relaxation and your own exploration into your trip if possible. A holiday is supposed to be exactly that, not an endurance test!'
Who is the person you'd most like to sit next to on a flight?
'As a big cycling enthusiast, I would love to sit next to Sir Dave Brailsford. He is a very shrewd and inspiring character and has revolutionised the popularity of cycling in the UK. I’d love to hear how he has managed this and also how he has brought professional cycling from relative obscurity in Britain to a multiple gold medal winning sport at the recent Olympic games and achieved such success at the Tour De France!'
What is your favourite aspect of travel?
‘The excitement of often not knowing what is round the next corner, expect the unexpected’
Any useful advice?
"Don’t over-do the packing’. As a seasoned trekker I always believe that ‘less is more!’. Also remember that you are going to countries that are invariably hot and humid and offer excellent value (and quality) laundry services if required."