Tom Vater

Tom Vater

Irreverent, informed and downright eclectic crime fiction and reportage from Southeast Asia and beyond

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Archive for Thailand

Will cleaning up Thailand’s most famous party street improve it, or kill its soul? – in The Daily Telegraph

Leonardo Di Caprio has been here. As have countless young backpackers from the West. Over the past forty years, Khao San Road, once a quiet residential street on the fringes of Bangkok’s historic centre, has morphed into the world’s best-known backpacker hub. Loud, inexpensive, garish and in your face, the 400 meter long strip has […]

48 hours in . . . Bangkok, an insider guide to Thailand’s colourful capital in The Daily Telegraph

My latest look at Bangkok in The Daily Telegraph. Welcome to Bangkok – a sprawling, humid metropolis of more than 10 million souls that rose along the eastern banks of the Chao Phraya river a little more than 200 years ago. Today, the Thai capital brims with interesting historic sites, stylish hotels, incredible culinary adventures, and […]

Bangkok’s Heritage Hotels – in Roadbook!

Bangkok is better known for modern skyscrapers than historical hotels but exclusivity can be as much the province of throwback boutiques as luxury big names. Tom Vater visits some heritage properties that hit the spot. Photo by Laure Siegel. Read the full story here….

MERIAN Thailand

I contributed eight pages on Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Thai history and my favorite place in Thailand (can you guess where? See above pic) to MERIAN Magazine. The current issue of Germany’s classic travel publication focuses exclusively on Thailand.

What if Graham Greene had written extreme horror? The Monsoon Ghost Image reviewed at Zisi Emporium for B Movies

A great review of The Monsoon Ghost Image by a retired FBI agent. What if Graham Greene had written extreme horror? Interesting thought. True, the carnage of cold war detente may have produced some hideous and bloody results, but instead of The Third Man, we could have ended up with something akin to a Tom […]

Boutique hotels gain new ground in Bangkok in the Nikkei Asian Review

After lagging regional competitors, Thai capital invests in heritage accommodations. My latest with Laure Siegel in the Nikkei Asian Review. In downtown Bangkok, hardly a week goes by without a soft opening for a high-rise hotel offering a plush but hardly unique experience. With around 35 million visitors a year the Thai capital is a […]

The 103 Bed and Brews – The Daily Telegraph

I’ve been reviewing hotels for the Daily Telegraph for the past four years, mostly in Thailand, but also in Cambodia, Laos and India. To date I’ve visited more than a 100 hotels for the paper. More often than not I manage to combine this job with other assignments in the same locations  (it’s not uncommon […]

Laura Snook, high priestess of Cambodian punk rock and ace magazine editor – RIP

Laura Snook, Cambodia’s high priestess of punk, ace magazine editor, and a fantastic, sensitive and kind woman and all round Rocknroll lady. What a huge loss. I wrote the following text for her remembrance concert in Phnom Penh in March. Laura, I’d like to quote from a novel by John D MacDonald: I get the […]

Politics and crime fiction

A short essay on politics and crime fiction, published at b for bookreview. A while ago, I had a conversation with an American book reviewer about politics in crime fiction. He felt that overt political messages do not belong in the genre. I felt that covert or subconscious political leanings are part and parcel of […]

The Monsoon Ghost Image is 99cents!

The Monsoon Ghost Image, the third installment of the Detective Maier series, published by Crime Wave Press, is on a virtual book tour this week. And an ebook copy is yours for just 99cents. The third Detective Maier mystery is a taut and crazy spy thriller for our disturbing times. When award-winning German conflict photographer […]

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