Tom Vater

Tom Vater

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

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Posts tagged culture

Bangkok’s Chinatown at heart of heritage battle in The Nikkei Asian Review

Activists take on government over plans to transform culturally-rich area. My latest on the continued cultural impoverishment of Bangkok with Laure Siegel in The Nikkei Asian Review this week. BANGKOK — It is Friday night and Soi Nana is ablaze with lights. Most of the shop houses that line this 400-meter-long road in Bangkok’s Chinatown […]

Rise Tattoo goes to India

                                                    The brand new edition(#46) of Rise Tattoo, available at all good newsagents in France at present, features 16 pages on India by Laure Siegel and myself. We look at […]

British Library launches campaign to save the sounds of history

My writing career started right here, at the British Library’s National Sound Archive. I went to see them in 1993 after my first return from India. I was interested in the music of indigenous communities in the region and approached the National Sound Archive’s International Music Collection with an offer of recording and documenting the […]

Thai Hardcore Bands Are Risking Prison Just To Thrash – Interview in Noisey/Vice

I was recently interviewed for an article on Thailand’s punk rock scene for Noisey/Vice. Read the full story Thai Hardcore Bands Are Risking Prison Just To Thrash by April Welsh here.

Sacred Tattoos and Secret Lifestyles

Last month, we had a visit from veteran tattooist Bruce Bart and his wife Jennifer. They were on an Asian road trip and were looking for a tattoo master in Thailand. Their search, quite an adventure, eventually led them to Sacred Skin and to the house I share with my wife, photographer Aroon Thaewchatturat. This […]

Moken: Sea Gypsies of the Andaman Sea CD Still Available!!!

In 1999, I first visited the Moken sea nomads/sea gypsies in Ko Surin Marine National Park in Thailand. I had been  recording indigenous music around Asia for the British Library for some years. Thailand had not been on my usual routes, I spent most of my time in India, Pakistan and Nepal in the 90s. […]

From the Archives: The real Phuket – Tom Vater reports on the Vegetarian Festival for Fortean Times

Another golden oldie, that old chestnut, the Phuket Vegetarian Festival, which I covered in 2005 for Fortean Times and several other publications. Never mind the flash resorts, sleazy bars, high rise condos and MacHolidays on offer on Thailand’s largest and most overdeveloped tourist island.  Phuket also has culture. Every year, men and women have their […]

Cat and Nat Blog covers the Sacred Skin event at The Space on June 28th

Cat and Nat(Living the Thai Lifestyle), a popular Bangkok blog, covered last month’s dinner event the city’s art venue The Space, to help launch Sacred Skin, my new book on Thailand’s sacred tattoos.

On the Road to RocknRoll – With the Cambodian Space Project

The Cambodian Space Project, a rock band cum music-collective based in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, are preparing their multicultural act for export. The band, founded a year ago by Australian guitar player and musical director Julian Poulson and Khmer chanteuse Srey Thy, have played a couple of hundred shows around Cambodia, recorded an album, toured Hong […]

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