Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Best of Phnom Penh

BOOM Magazine, March 5, 2014

Phnom Penh is a city on the rise, and so its nightlife. Lina Goldberg tells you where to party in the Kingdom of Wonder’s Capital.

Read more: Best of Phnom Penh | BOOM Magazine

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

From heroin addict to nirvana: A eulogy to the British monk I met months before he died

VICE, July 30, 2013

"I nearly died before I became a monk," 61-year-old Bhante told me. "Too much heroin."

Something killed Bhante, but in the end it probably wasn't smack. He was found dead in a Cambodian pagoda earlier this year, and the immediate cause remains mysterious. But his efforts to lead a monastic existence in Southeast Asia – a decision that once rescued him from a life of crime – appear to be at least partially to blame for his death.

For the last 14 years he lived in Thailand, Myanmar, Malaysia, Laos and Cambodia as a Buddhist monk, under the name Bhante Pannavudho. But he soon learned that being one of the few white bhikkhu living in an entirely foreign culture was no easy path to serenity. Despite being there to conduct charitable work among orphans and the poor, country after country in Asia tried to kick him out, driving him to despair and the brink of suicide.

Read more: From heroin addict to nirvana: A eulogy to the British monk I met months before he died |

Thursday, July 18, 2013

A gourmand pilgrimage to Scottish shores

BBC Travel, July 18, 2013

Home to more sheep than people, the remote Inner Hebrides island of Iona is developing a flourishing slow-food scene, where gardens are only fertilised using seaweed.

Read more: A gourmand pilgrimage to Scottish shores |

If you are in the UK and cannot access this photo essay, you can view it here.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Wat's Cooking in Siem Reap

Going Places, Malaysia Airlines, July 2013

Although more renowned for its temples, Siem Reap is also carving a reputation as a destination for foodies.
For centuries Siem Reap was a small Cambodian village that garnered little attention from the outside world. Then, in the early 1900s, the French "rediscovered" the majestic temples of Angkor and helped reclaim them from the encroaching jungle, and international tourism to the area began. These days the town is the heart of Cambodia's tourism industry. Last year more than two million people traveled to Siem Reap to see Angkor Wat and the other ancient Khmer temples. 

Until recently, however, Siem Reap offered little in the way of dining options beyond greasy fried noodles. But now visitors have more than the temples be impressed by: the town boasts a plethora of outstanding restaurants and international cuisines.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Foodie paradise in Sri Lanka's hill country

BBC Travel, Apr 23, 2013

The charming village of Ella may be nestled in the middle of world-famous tea plantations, but it is locally renowned for something else: delicious home cooking. The town, located in the foothills of Sri Lanka's lush hill country 200km west of Colombo, offers foodies the chance to dig deep into the country’s culinary traditions and learn to eat – and cook – like a local.

Read more: Foodie paradise in Sri Lanka's hill country |

Friday, April 12, 2013

Cooking classes in Sri Lanka

South China Morning Post, Apr 12, 2013

Sri Lankan cuisine features scorching chillies, spicy curries, crisp breakfast hoppers (a bowl-shaped pancake made from rice flour and coconut milk) and tangy pickles, and although you can taste influences from neighbouring India and the Dutch and Portuguese colonists, Sri Lanka's food is uniquely its own. And Ella, a sleepy village nestled in the hill country, is one of the best places to sample it.

Read more: Cooking classes in Sri Lanka |

Monday, April 1, 2013

Three Great Places: Phnom Penh

Oryx Magazine, Qatar Airlines, April 1, 2013

Cambodia's busy capital has a truly international food scene where visitors can enjoy excellent Asian and European fare as well as the much-loved local Khmer cuisine.

Read more: Three Great Places: Phnom Penh |

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Puppets Take Over Cambodia’s Siem Reap

Wall Street Journal, Feb 20, 2013

A clouded leopard at the 2012 Giant Puppet Project parade in Siem Reap, Cambodia.

Pub Street, in the middle of Siem Reap’s Old Market area, is always busy during January and February, Cambodia’s high season for tourism. But it becomes a boisterous, night-time carnival when it’s taken over by the Giant Puppet Project, a parade of huge glowing figures up to 30 meters long, held aloft by the local children who’ve helped make them.

Read more: Puppets Take Over Cambodia’s Siem Reap |

Friday, January 11, 2013

Cuisine Wat Damnak: The proof is in the produce

South China Morning Post, Jan 10, 2013

Calamari salad with coconut tree hearts and prawns at Cuisine Wat Damnak
Calamari salad with coconut tree hearts and prawns. Photo: Lina Goldberg

I'm careering around the dusty roads of Siem Reap in the back of a tuk-tuk. At the wheel is Joannes Riviere, the chef from Cuisine Wat Damnak. As we slow down to make a turn, I notice a group of Cambodians standing around a street-side food stall, watching us and giggling.
It's not clear whether they're laughing because they've never seen a foreigner - or as Khmers call us, barang - at the wheel of a tuk-tuk, or because they know that Riviere is a famous chef who probably shouldn't be driving one at all.
The Frenchman, who moved to Cambodia in 2003 and who speaks almost fluent Khmer, is credited with being one of the few chefs in the country who is cooking "real" Cambodian food.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Is Walkabout Cambodia's Sleaziest Bar?

VICE, Dec 1, 2012

I'm in one of the most disgusting freelancer bars in Cambodia. "It's like low tide," my Eton-educated companion snidely observes. Gazing out at the flotsam and jetsam of Phnom Penh's expat scene, I'm forced to agree. 
Smack in the middle of Phnom Penh's busy nightclub area, Walkabout is a bar and hotel that really doesn't have much going for it. Other than the fact it's open 24 hours and is the preferred hangout for dozens of the city's methamphetamine-ravaged prostitutes – or, as Cambodians euphemistically call them, taxi girls – and the sex pests who love them.

Read more: The Walkabout is Cambodia's Sleaziest Bar |