People have been so complimentary about my website that I felt compelled to compile some of the more wonderful comments, just so I could say a big public 'thank you' to everyone who's sent me an email about this site, or who's signed my Guestbook. I really appreciate your kind words, and I'm just glad you enjoyed my jottings. If you'd like to comment on my site, I'd be delighted if you would take a moment to sign my Guestbook.
Mark Moxon is certainly one of the greatest travel writers of all time. He is unfailingly perceptive, witty, always engaging, never boring the reader, and above all, vulnerable - completely open to new experience, come what may, which is the hallmark of a true travel writer. I can say this as a (retired) freelance book reviewer who specialized in general nonfiction for two decades. Finding this website is a rare discovery. Some big publisher should put together all these short books - actually one magnum opus - between two covers so the whole world can enjoy. Traveling the world with Mark is an education for the mind/heart/soul.
Your observations about India are spot on. This is without doubt the best travel site on the Net. You have raised the bar for anybody else trying to put his own experiences on the Net. Absolutely amazingly written. How do you put it all so funnily?
A true traveller. Best writing on the Web. Mark's writing on India is superb. I learned more about India through his writing than through anything else. I strongly recommend one reads him before setting foot in India.
I admit it... I've read them all. And I just can't get enough. I prefer to read Marco Polo travels to the last fashionable fiction novel and I must say I love your writing. I've enjoyed every bit of it. [...] Commuting with your books is like dreaming about holidays. [...] Thank you so much for sharing it.
I have just spent a wonderful few hours wandering around this site. Technically it's really user-friendly, leads one on endless meanders. And the content is just wow. Huge, intricate explorations and excellent writing. Whets the appetite, to say the least. Your advice and anecdotes have been invaluable. Much appreciated, mate. Keep it up.
It's a rainy day today where I live and I have spent a full two hours today reading the section on India and I still am not finished yet. The stories are beautifully written and engaging. Though I travel to India quite a bit, I often overlook some of the oddities that you pointed out and reading some of the articles brings back many memories. I cannot think of a better way to spend a rainy day than sitting and reading your articles.
I came here (via IndiaMike) intending to spend five minutes reading about your time in Jaisalmer, and have now been here for a couple of hours – your writing is so evocative, witty and thought-provoking – and it's provoked several smiles and laughs as well. [...] Just wanted to let you know that I love your writing and an sure I will spend a lot more time here.
I loved the website. I just wanted to say your stories gave me confidence that I can actually get away for an open-ended trip (a plan I've been working on) and figure out what it is I'd like to do with my life. Thanks for the excellent writing, but more importantly, thanks for the inspiration.
I am a son of Cape Coast domiciled in London. I must admit your write up on Cape Coast
is superb. Not even a professional PR
could have done a better job than this, absolutely fantastic and objective.
I just stumbled across your website [...] and I found it absolutely gripping. I'm from India and reading about your Indian trips made me laugh. You are absolutely brilliant in the way you have captured the essence of the country.
Great site, great person. You know when you're sailing unaware and you spot a whale looking at you just besides your boat? Like that... You are inspiring as a professional and as a person, keep on going.
Great site. Loved your Amritsar
section... couldn't have described it better myself. Haven't read a better first hand 'review' of the Golden Temple... anywhere. You really project the feel and presence of the place. Keep up the good work.
Mr Singh :P
Mark, I was recommended to have a look at this site, and I have to say that this is arguably one of the best sites I've actually seen for recounting travelling experiences. I have just returned from a year long, round-the-world trip, and this site has brought back many great memories for me. Great site, please keep updating it!
This is one of the best sites that I have ever been to, for travel writers. It is so informative and so clear and concise.
Love the site. I have been working my way through the India pages at work this week and it has brought smiles of recognition and grins of 'you fell for that as well'. I had my six months in India about a year ago when I travelled with my partner on a roughly similar itinerary to you. It's eerie the way you echoed our feelings when talking about the lure of India having taken time out part way through in Nepal. And Varanasi
– you captured the spirit of our favourite place superbly, I was almost back there on the ghats watching an improvised cricket game and dodging the cows as, amid wild cheering, another tennis ball whistles into the Ganges.
Hi Mark. You've created a fantastic site, beautifully put together. I'm amazed that you've gone to such a mind-boggling number of places and still had the energy to write about it at the end of the day. Congratulations on the site, and for having the ability and wisdom to set off on your journeys, the good humour to continue with them, and the energy to tell us all about it...
It's rare to find a site as good as this. It's one thing to travel, and yet another to bring these experiences to other people (who may not be able to) via these nicely written, well thought out and above all interesting articles. Keep up the good work Mark, and keep writing – you are an inspiration to budding travel writers such as myself.
To add to all the eulogising, this really is a well set out and highly evocative site. The material on Yogya
/Bali and especially Ubud
brought back some fond memories. Yeah, you're right, life on the road is lonely sometimes, but there's always another orang putih
around the corner. Keep on churning out the good stuff Mark!
Planning on travelling in Asia myself, I found your site absolutely awesome. I have spent hours reading now, and I still have so much left to read. This is absolutely amazing, and right now I just want to go! I'm sure you're familiar with that feeling. :-) Thank you for an excellent site.
My fiancée and I are planning our honeymoon to Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand, and we stumbled upon your website while doing our research. We very much enjoyed your material on Malaysia, and look forward to reading about Thailand and Singapore. Your writing really brings these places to life, in ways the travel guides just can't match. In fact, your article about Taman Negara
probably robbed me of a trip to the rainforest – my fiancée will have nothing to do with it after reading about the leeches, bush bastards, and other hazards! Thank you for posting such quality material to the Web.
Mark, I love you. I've been fangin' to go to India and have been looking everywhere for some decent write ups, and yours just takes the cake, mate. I particularly loved the write up on Dharamsala
. Thank you so much. I laughed and laughed, and felt like I'd been there myself. Now I'm really motivated to get over there.
I'm sitting in an internet café in Bangalore
and have been for the last couple of hours, garnering some very strange looks from the other surfers as I try to remain in my chair whilst convulsed with laughter. Your travels are absolutely hysterical, and to me, completely spot on. I am in the last quarter of a year-long round-the-world trip and have visited a few countries on your site, and have had many of the same experiences, and wish I'd had more. Great reading. Thanks.
Thanks for the interesting site. A lot of really good work! The travelogues with dialogue are very entertaining (have you read William Dalyrymple?). You are honest without being patronising, unlike some travel writers I have read. I share your love of India. Thanks again and keep up the good work!
To travel vicariously through Mark Moxon is a pleasure. Thanks to Mark, I can envision myself in Melbourne
or Bali without jet lag or lost luggage!
Hello Mark. Allow me to mention: It's New Year's Day. It's now 5:15am. I've been reading about your India travels for the last four hours. I do not seem to be the slightest bit bored yet. On the contrary, I seem to have this odd grin stuck upon my face. This is causing my wife undo concern. My wife, in addition, has muttered something about divorce if the sun rises before I see the bed. Hence this hasty letter. These facts should be considered within the context that I really do have a life. No, really. Thanks, your site is wonderful. And heck, your writing ain't so bad either. ;-) Many thanks.
I've just read your article titled Indonesia: A Torajan Funeral
at your site and really enjoyed it. In fact I enjoyed your whole site – what a body of work!
My compliments on a truly brilliant personal website.
Mark – really enjoyed reading your travel stories! Very thorough, insightful and entertaining. I'm glad you enjoyed your stay in Malaysia, which is my home country.
Sen Hwei C
Spent the morning reading about the Gambier Islands
instead of working. Fantastic account – and interesting to me as my maiden name was Gambier (often spelt wrong!).
I have never written an email to anyone I don't know, but I just felt like I should give you some encouragement. I know that when someone... anyone... encourages me it makes me feel really good, so yeah... I really admire what you're doing and I'm also jealous that I'm not doing the same thing... so good job! :-)
Your stories are full of wonderful world philosophy, compassion, and appreciation of life.
Just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed your travelogue. (As much as I've managed to read in the last hour or so.) I stumbled onto your website – found that we have been to many of the same places. It was refreshing to read your realistic reviews.
Your Thailand article Thoughts on Leaving
is spot-on and the most penetrating summary of 'tourism Thailand' that I have seen committed to print.
Yesterday I was surfing the net and I found your Indonesian report Unwell in Tana Toraja
. I have been travelling a lot too as the work of my husband requested us to move from one country to the next, from one continent to the other. Well, what to say, I was smiling when I read your report about the small tiny place where I come from, the names you mentioned are all very familiar to me.
After I was informed about your website by my colleague, Indu, I have been visiting your site and enjoying what you have written. I am based in Chennai
, India. Most of your asides are too good and you have hit the nail on the head in most places. Your observations also are quite in tune with what I believe myself – like about tout hassles in tourist places and racket in temples. My colleague Indu is great fan of yours and everyday at lunch, we discuss your articles threadbare.
I had a lot of fun reading about your travels (actually, I am still reading it). I found your observations on India and Indians especially funny. Maybe because I am Indian myself. Some were quite true, others generalised. But overall it was a very entertaining effort. It almost made me quit my job, on this dreary February afternoon in the US
, and jump on the first flight home!
Thanks for sharing such a versatile travelling experience with all of us. Whereas now I am a Canadian, while curiously searching links to my native and birth city Bhavnagar
in India, I came across your fabulous website. Absolutely awesome and incredible. Your unique capability to reach the bottom of a completely different society and being able to sense the nerve of it has made me a great fan of yours.
I am a Sikh veterinarian now at the Vety. Hospital, Iowa State University, USA
. I loved your article on Amritsar
. I feel indebted!
Hi Mark, I was reading your trip to India and I only finished part of it and I am planning on finishing the whole thing by the start of next week. It is so close to reality and an accurate observation. You are simply right on...
Hey Mark, I stumbled upon your website while searching for information on Malaysia and am really glad I did. I do know that you cannot possibly write about all your experiences, but your account of all the places visited truly amazes me. Thanks a lot for creating this central repository for travel info.
It must have been great to take the adventurous tour of India and see beyond glamour. Being brought up in Bhavnagar, and a Jain, I liked your articles on Bhavnagar
, and you have summed it all up very nicely by 'no pain no gain'.
Found your website two days ago and am absolutely fascinated how you manage to put all this into words. Thanks for contributing a great thing to the WWW
What an interesting site! You have been to some truly out of the way places. I can't believe someone went to the effort of writing about Cleaverville Beach
! I used to live up that way and not many people go there unless they really want to get away from civilization!
I just found your website and I am really enthusiastic. Thanks for every word, for every sentence.
There I was five hours ago searching Google for something totally unrelated and had the misfortune to stumble across your site. I've now spent the better half of my Saturday afternoon being thoroughly entertained, but alas with that guilty feeling in my guts that I should have being doing something more productive – ah bugger it, there's always next Saturday! In any case thanks for an entertaining few hours; an excellent site both in layout and content.
Mark, congratulations on the whole site (I read only the Asian parts) and especially
the article about the Beach Bums of Thailand
. I did not think there was actually a second human life form on this planet who would share my exact sentiments on that subjects.
I have to say this is one of the best, most useful, funny, informative sites out there. Your writing is wonderful!
What fantastic information to have, and everything you need to know on one internet site. Very well done. Thanks.
Thanks a lot, I read your comment and views on the home page and I think it was amusing. I read about the Indonesian parts. I am Indonesian who lives in Singapore
. It's always nice to see my own country's view from the traveller sight. I do realize the things that you wrote in your home page, but to utter and explain the situations in words it's somehow difficult to do.
I just went through your website briefly, and was impressed by your travels. I am from Southeast Asia myself – I'm from Singapore
and reading through your section on Singapore; actually I think you just about summed us up! Amazing what you achieved in 12 days; your understanding of Singapore and the way we are seems to sort of transcend the time you spent here.
Thank you for making available your interesting and most inspiring writings on your backpacking travels across the globe! I was searching for some travelling information sites on Google, when I found your site listed, and I must say it is far better to read from a person with such an intellectual, descriptive experience than other generalised sites, which lack character and vitality.
I enjoyed reading your travel writing, especially about India. Having lived in India for many years (now in the US), and having travelled extensively in India, I can relate to your travelogues. You have captured the essence of Indian cities, both their character and the utter mayhem and chaos that is common among all Indian places.
From one intrepid traveller to another, well done. I stumbled across your site whilst searching Google for the correct spelling for 'Macdonnell Ranges', and enjoyed your writing greatly.
I have just read your site – well bits of it – and thoroughly enjoyed your anecdotes. Your tales are funny and truthful; let me know when the book comes out.
Loved your description of the London Loop. You are spot on with the bits I know!
I walked from Land's End to John o'Groats last year, so I found your site very interesting. Since I got back I have found 12 websites altogether (apart from my own) describing the end to end walk. Yours is definitely the best of the bunch.
We have done the Gunung Rinjani trek, and it is wonderful, as you described. Thanks a lot for your introduction. We have enjoyed your site very much.
Came across your site and found it very interesting. Congratulations on your achievement. Thanks for the interesting site.
I am planning to do LEJOG
next year starting in April. Your comments and tips have been very useful for my planning and preparation. Hope I can complete it too.
I just found out this website, and whoa, it's very interesting. Keep on walking, man!
You stand and deliver a touch of class – picture perfect, 5 stars and rising. Shine on!
Great site. Particularly interested in Land's End to John o'Groats. Trying to do some planning for it now.
The Other Side of the Coin
Just so you don't think that every message on my Guestbook is full of glowing praise, here are some messages that aren't quite so complimentary. Not everyone finds my site enjoyable, particularly those whose home towns get a bit of a bashing (a big hi to everyone from Townsville!), but I still value this kind of feedback, especially if it helps me improve things. My thanks to people like Arvind, who criticised my writing politely and pleasantly; that's the kind of criticism I welcome.
You guys always amuse us, the culture explorers like you. In India we look through the lens at such travellers like you, and amuse ourselves, or pity the western culture based on stereotypes like you. Mark Moxon, do you see the irony of it all? We were a culture of the Aryans (literal translation, 'civilized'), when you guys were still the barbarians. You borrowed from us (I have to admit that your people were ingenious at it), then you came around by sea, destroyed the fabric of our age old culture, and then you come back as tourists, and then deride us and our condition.
I think you are a good writer and have good mastery over English language. But your style of looking down at some cultures reminds me of Britishers, when they ruled India. Even after so many travels you still are writing as if British still rule those parts that you have visited. You need to be a little more sensitive.
I must ask where the hell are you from? I've lived all over the world and Adelaide
may not be a huge filthy melting pot of commercial angst, but it isn't as bad as you've made it out to be, you obviously just grab a guidebook and go, if you'd taken the time to properly explore Adelaide, you'd know there is a more nightlife than just one street, and the city has a pulse all of its own. The beaches kick the arse of many other 'great cities of the world' including others you name in Australia, so perhaps you should just stick to your guidebooks from now on, anyone with a brain won't bother putting any stock in what you say. Wanker.
I tell you what. I am Moroccan who is not biased because not everybody will nor should like our food. However, your writing is so rude (assuming it reflects your true face). Your main complaint
was that our menu is limited, or that couscous takes a while to make, well guess what, you don't have to make it nor eat it. As a responsible writer whose stupid writings people read, you should be a little more responsible and objective in what you write. The sad part is knowing my country people, they must have been so generous with you especially those in the south as you so badly attacked
. You're a bloody stupid person.
Mr Mark MoRon, I happened to read your article about the city of Chennai
. It is sad for someone who has travelled so much you failed to see the beauty of this city. You have of course given a very good, even close to accurate description of the city, however Mr Mark Moxon (or should it have been Moron) can I ask you what do you know of the tradition and culture of this city or for that matter of this country. It was a disgusting article by someone who knows little and seems to have never seen anything good. Suggest u just travel and shut up.
is a disgusting piece of writing. The author is a self-styled 'travel writer'. He is not a travel writer: real travellers move via a mule or horse, they go by canoe or bicycle or on their feet, not by automobile. This author is a second rate tourist. Mr. Moxon is very rude and uninformed; he has a propensity to exaggerate. [...] The article is useless as a tourist guide, the writer's emotional self takes predominance over other, far more important details. [...] Mr. Moxon needs to realize that he should pay a lot of attention to those who criticize his efforts. Although he may get 100 people who praise his work, usually with not much thought, it is the 5 dissenters who will show him the path to growth. Clearly, this writer has a long and difficult path before maturity.
Thanks, everyone, for your comments, nice or otherwise. I really appreciate them; it makes all the effort worthwhile.