Tom Vater

Tom Vater

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

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Posts tagged development

Tourism woes in Laos in The Nikkei Asian Review

VIENTIANE — It is Saturday afternoon in tourist high season, and Vientiane is very quiet. Most shops are closed for the weekend. A couple of Asian tour groups ascend the Patuxai, the Laotian capital’s answer to the Arc de Triomphe. On every floor, stalls are packed with five-year-old photocopies of the Lonely Planet guide to […]

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 […]

Bangkok’s ‘motorcycle mamas’ roar into men’s world – in the Nikkei Asian Review

My latest article with Laure Siegel in the Nikkei Asian Review looks at how women enter the motorcycle taxi workforce in Bangkok, a traditionally male bastion. With fewer and fewer job opportunities for unskilled Thai women, riding a motorcycle taxi remains one profession that promises a degree of independence and freedom. Read Bangkok’s ‘motorcycle mamas’ […]

Return to Bokor Mountain, Cambodia

   I’ve just been back to Bokor Hill Sation, one of Cambodia‘s most beautiful and haunted spots. Rising a thousand meter above the kingdom’s southeastern coast, Bokor has been developed three times. In the 1920s, the French cleared some of the jungle on the way up, built a road with the help of 9000 kulis […]