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Michael Buckley

On two wheels

orn in England and raised in Australia, Michael Buckley now calls Canada home. A self-taught writer and photographer, he spends part of each year on the road. He has traveled extensively throughout Asia and trekked and mountain-biked in the Himalayan and Karakoram ranges.

In addition to authoring Vietnam, Cambodia & Laos Handbook for Moon, Buckley is author of Tibet Travel Adventure Guide, (a guide to the Tibetan Plateau, published by ITMB) and Cycling to Xian (a travelogue about bicycling across China and Tibet, published by Crazyhorse Press ). He also co-authored a guide to China and has contributed stories to Travelers' Tales Thailand and Travelers' Tales India.

Buckley gains his knowledge from direct experience—he puts his big feet in everywhere. To cover the ground for Vietnam, Cambodia & Laos Handbook, he visited Indochina three times, logging thousands of kilometers by train, bus, jeep, boat, moto, bicycle, and on foot. The hardest part of researching the book was the cartography. Buckley had to assemble some maps from scratch, reconnoitering from the back of a moto or from the saddle of a bicycle. The greatest thrill was exploring the remote regions of Indochina and meeting the people, who are disarmingly friendly after what they've been through.

Buckley believes that travel is transformation. "Travel cuts across barriers of time and space. It gives you a special sense of being wide awake—everything is new and different and magical, and there's so much to be discovered, so much to learn. Real travel means encountering people whose way of life is very different from your own and learning from them. And there is so much to learn in Indochina—it's been closed for so long that a whole different world awaits discovery. "

dventurer, prolific writer, and accomplished photographer, Michael Buckley has seen and documented a lot of out of the way places — often on two wheels or less.

Cycling to Xian is a humorous account of one of his many off the beaten path trips: a rough cycling trip through China. Typical of his writings, Buckley reveals the underlying irony in the most trying circumstances such as when, due to lack of edible food, he and his companion stock up and eat canned lychee nuts for a long period of their cycling trip.

The stories included here are drawn from his Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos Handbook published by Moon Guides — highly recommended if you are planning travel to these places with or without us.

Good Morning, Apocalypse: Wartime Souvenirs in Vietnam
Kayaking Halong Bay
The Alluring Ao Dai
The Churning of the Ocean of Milk
The Splendors of Angkor Thom
Tet: The Vietnamese lunar new year
The Symphony of Highway One
Cycling Sumatra

Photo galleries:

Miscellaneous Images
Angkor Thom Images

Michael Buckley is author of the newly-published Heartlands.

He has also written the Tibet Travel Adventure Guide, Moon's Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos Travel Handbook, Cycling to Xian , Tibet, and has guided VeloAsia tours in Sumatra and Vietnam. For our cycling trips in Sumatra, Vietnam, Myanmar, please go to

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