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Allan Soutaris

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Jumping cat spotting in Myanmar

Jumping cat spotting in Myanmar

November 22, 2012

Allan Soutaris can't find any jumping cats at Myanmar's infamous Jumping Cats Monastery, but luckily the tranquil sunsets and delicious beer make it all OK.

Zipping through the jungles of Laos

Zipping through the jungles of Laos

February 3, 2012 3 Comments

There are worse ways to spend Christmas then zip lining in the southern jungles of Laos. We began our journey in the small dusty village of Ban Nongluang, two hours drive from Pakse. Dust covered everything; our van, foliage, food stalls, cattle, sleepy domestic pets — everything. Brushing away the dust we headed on foot […]

Mountains worth crying over: Laos by motorbike

Mountains worth crying over: Laos by motorbike

August 28, 2011

My fellow volunteer buddies and I decided the best way to see Laos would be by motorbike. I'm not talking scooters, I'm talking off road monsters -- 250cc Honda XR beasts. Ten days of dirty, filthy riding through northern Laos.

Andong, Cambodia: how Friends can help a displaced community

Andong, Cambodia: how Friends can help a displaced community

June 14, 2011 2 Comments

When I ask Sitrin if I can ride with the Wisebird team to the Andong community a wide grin explodes across his face. He grasps at my hand and shouts “Yes! Of course Allan, of course!” Sitrin talks loudly and laughs even louder. He is confident, intelligent and has gentleness in his manner that makes […]

Phnom Penh: less charming quirks, more daily annoyances

Phnom Penh: less charming quirks, more daily annoyances

April 18, 2011

Unlike the layer of sweat ever present upon my forehead, the shine and glitz of Phnom Penh has begun to wane. What Crikey readers might view as an interesting odd spot most likely serves as a mundane daily annoyance to me. Take shower heads for example. I concede I’m slightly tall, six foot or if […]

Introducing the Tuk-Tuk Sessions

March 4, 2011 6 Comments

Like all great ideas, it was conceived as on a night out. My mate Rory and I had spent the night at a rock & roll bar called Zeppelins, famous for its temperamental Taiwanese DJ who surrounds himself with vinyl behind a low brick wall. He plays 70s rock and if he really likes you […]

Bowing to the hierarchy: the challenges of working in Cambodia

Bowing to the hierarchy: the challenges of working in Cambodia

February 23, 2011 1 Comment

Moving internationally to undertake an assignment in a developing country is a fairly challenging affair. Roles can be undefined, work plans unclear, language difficulties a barrier, plus a host of other basic problems that would leave even the most positive person feeling flat. Learning about these potential challenges at pre-departure training for my AYAD role […]

A study of the Young Expat

A study of the Young Expat

January 18, 2011 3 Comments

I'd like to present a study of the sometimes misunderstood mammal that is the Young Expat.

The slums of Phnom Penh: working with child drug users

December 10, 2010 6 Comments

At one stage I counted ten young street children injecting heroin in the alley around me. Monks slowly walked by on their morning alms. For a Westerner it was an unexpected juxtaposition. We had arrived on motos some time earlier carrying small sporting bags packed with clean syringes, sterilised water, medical supplies, condoms, empty oil […]

Climb aboard my sweaty, slum-filled Cambodian ride

Climb aboard my sweaty, slum-filled Cambodian ride

November 19, 2010 6 Comments

Hello. My name is Allan and I’m an AYAD. Photo by Anthony Rae It stands for Australian Youth Ambassador for Development. Please don’t turn away when you read this. I swear it isn’t a political party or fanatic religious group. Sit down and let me explain. AYAD is an AusAid funded program that allows young […]