Fears over safety of tourists in Phuket – Natalie Paris interviews me in The Daily Telegraph

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/travelnews/9929952/Fears-over-safety-of-tourists-in-Phuket.html Natalie Paris reports in The Daily Telegraph on the state of Phuket, Thai holiday island, long in the grip of mafias and gangsters. I add my two Baht worth. Read the full story here. Tom Vater, Telegraph Travel’s expert in Bangkok, said that while Thailand remains a safe and attractive destination overall, visitors to […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

The Pain Of Vegetables – The Phuket Vegetarian Festival

The Vegetarian Festival on the tourist island of Phuket in Southern Thailand is a truly bizarre occasion. Men and women, ostensibly possessed by gods, pierce their tongues and cheeks with sharp implements. Adepts apparently feel no pain, and show little no sign of real injury. The young man wears only shorts. He is drenched in […]

Continue Reading