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About me

About Reisvormen

Reisvormen is a Dutch travel guide with well over 50,000 unique monthly visitors (see current statistics here). It was launched by me, Ilya Houben, back in 2007 and was developed into a popular travel website with the help of a number of travel enthusiasts, including my own travel-loving mother . Here you will find articles about sights and destinations within numerous countries, as we (mostly I, but I often have people writing about their experiences too) have visited in the past. Previously, both my wife and I traveled around the world together, nowadays we often bring our two children along. My beautiful pictures and videos will ensure that readers fully get into the holiday mood.

Penang National Park

Reisvormen is not a travel blog per se, a general travel guide would be a better fitting description. Separate country sections contain dozens of pages with useful tips based on our own experiences. My main goal with Reisvormen is to give you a good idea of what one can expect in a certain destination, accompanied by descriptions and photographs that you will not find in travel books or on other sites.

Reisvormen has an English-language sister website called Incredible Sights ( Fun destinations and travel experiences I publish in English on this website, to cater an international audience.

About me

Ilya Houben, auteur van Reisvormen

I am Ilya Houben from The Netherlands. The last 20 years I have traveled to many places and even lived abroad for several years; between 2009 and 2013 my wife and I lived in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. From there we could easily visit the whole of Southeast Asia, and as a result Reisvormen has increased significantly in terms of content. Countries we visited are described in great detail, with lots of pages about sights, food, accommodation and specific travel tips. I add my own photos and videos to it, what you see on this website are all my own photographs (and videos). is my personal view of the various destinations I have visited throughout the years.

My travel style

Our first trips were booked at travel agencies. These trips were fully organized. Later we started to do more and more by ourselves. Nowadays we always travel on our own, sometimes with the help and expertise of a local travel agency at the destination or with the help of some of our Dutch partners. Our travel style depends on the trip ahead. For example, we traveled by backpack through Sulawesi and stayed in basic accommodation during our trip. On other occasions we stayed in ultra-luxury resorts such as Ubud Hanging Gardens in Bali (famous for its magnificent pool) and at several other luxurious resorts at islands in Southeast Asia. Even within the same trip it often goes from fairly basic to quite luxurious (Flashpacker would be a fitting term to describe this). Because of our typical travel style we can provide useful information to all types of travelers. This is also the reason that I get positive feedback from our readers on an almost daily basis.

Often, my travel expenses are paid out my own pocket. Occasionally I join on a press trip, organized by tourism bodies, travel pr companies or travel agencies. Although press trips are usually great fun, self-organizing a trip has a lot of advantages (most importantly I can do my own planning).

Photos and videos

Taking pictures has become more than a hobby. I always try to make unique photographs. I wouldn't hesitate to I climb a mountain in front of another mountain just to get that perfect picture. Sometimes I walk a complete staircase of a building to the roof from which to shoot that picture that captures it all. I like waking up early for the ultimate conditions, no matter the weather. Videos I make often give a simple but effective impression of a destination or attraction. Check my Instagram account to see my best pictures.

A few years back I sold my DSLR camera and I bought a lightweight m4/3 (mirrorless / system camera) in its place. I shoot my pictures with an Olympus OM-D E-M5 mkII, often called the ultimate travel camera. I make the most use of my 12mm 2.0 and my 75mm 1.8 lens. Besides that I carry along a PJI Phantom drone for aerial video and photography.


Reisvormen was voted by School voor Reisjournalistiek as 16th most popular Dutch travel websites/blogs of 2016 in the Netherlands. My other website Veelzijdig Maleisie was listed at place 25 in the same list.

Countries at Reisvormen

Currently includes 10 detailed destinations with a total of more than 500 pages. Some destinations have recently been visited and are now fully developed. I work hard to put more and more 'travel experiences' online. Descriptions of destinations are all based on our own experiences. The website is visited by more than 50,000 travelers (unique visitors) monthly, together seeing over 80,000 pages.

Among the countries that we have visited in recent years: China, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Austria, Czech Republic, Belgium, Cambodia, Singapore, Iceland, the United States, Canada, Venezuela, Canary Islands, Egypt and several other countries, including many sights within the Netherlands.

If you have any comments on the website, or if you want to discuss something in particular, please send an email directly to, or visit the contact page.

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