After five years working at IBM, Mark headed off to Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and Malaysia. Destined for a year-long adventure in Australia Mark cut it short after three months realising that Southeast Asia had everything he was looking for. He returned to Asia and relocated to southern Thailand for 12 months where he taught English. On his return to the UK Mark's love of reportage photography turned to photo-journalism and then coupled with his passion for Southeast Asia and first hand knowledge of the region Audley became the logical way forward. Since joining Audley, Mark has travelled back to Thailand, Burma, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Sri Lanka and more recently Papua New Guinea, topping up his specialist knowledge of the region and giving him the chance to enable others to see the culture, architecture and diversity that captivates him.
My Most Memorable Experience
"I was fortunate enough to be in the ancient city of Bagan with Audley the night before my birthday.
I had been sat on the terrace of my bungalow overlooking a lily pond and the many surrounding Buddhist temples when the sun slowly sank behind the mountain range in front of me, casting a beautiful reflection of the silhouetted temples through the warm orange sky."
My Favourite Destination
"Driving two hours south-east of Bagan the picturesque journey takes you past farmers working the arid fields then onto the lush landscape that surrounds Mount Popa. For many years Burmese spirit worshippers have journeyed from all corners of Myanmar on a pilgrimage paying respect to the Nats, or spirits, while stupas, monasteries and shrines adorn the crest of the rock pinnacle to keep a watchful eye over the surrounding area.
Mount Popa itself, a volcanic core, is steeped in history and tradition but what really attracts me to this fairy tale setting is that it could quite easily have been created in the mind of Hans Christian Andersen or J.R.R Tolkien with golden spires, rich vegetation, cotton wool clouds and welcoming locals add to the appeal.
After exploring the mount itself the best way to witness the magic is from the hillside view point where you see Mount Popa, the temples, and the plains of Bagan in the distance."
My Favourite Accommodation
"Possibly my favourite hotel in Southeast Asia and in the quiet embassy district of Yangon is the Governor's Residence. A grand teak mansion, and as the name suggests the former home of the Governor of Yangon, with a beautiful garden where outside dining is a must amid the traditional Asian-lit umbrellas that scatter throughout the grounds.
Each of the rooms are finished to the best of standards with great use of Burmese teak that transports you immediately back to the 1920's and days gone by.
I find there is no better luxury property in the country that allows you to soak up the Burmese and British colonial history than here."