Tom Vater

Tom Vater

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

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Posts tagged South East Globe

Let’s Visit Burma – Tom Vater on the pros and cons of tourism in Burma

As the Burmese generals celebrate another well-deserved victory today – no, not the election results which are a foregone conclusion, but the staunch support the regime receives from China, India and Thailand, while European and American businesses are doing their best to get around sanctions so that, they say, Myanmar does not become a province […]

Tom Vater reports for the Southeast Asia Globe: Postcard from a War Zone

The conflict between the Thai government and the Red Shirts – the former backed by a lose interest group that includes the military, royalists, part of the capital’s business community and right-wing fringe elements, commonly known as the Yellow Shirts, the latter a growing and motley collection of often paid supporters of fugitive former Prime […]

Sousath Phetrasy – Child of a Secret War

I was saddened to hear that Sousath Phetrasy, the owner of the Mali Guest House in Phonsavan in Northern Laos, died, in his late 50s, on 25. September 2009. A brilliant and troubled man, Phetrasy was an unlikely veteran of the CIA’s secret war in Laos in the 1960s and 70s, the agency’s largest campaign, […]

LONELY AT THE TOP – Tom Vater commemorates the death of David Carradine in Bangkok

In The Great Railway Bazaar, published in 1975, best-selling travel writer Paul Theroux described Bangkok as “a hugely preposterous city of temples and brothels”. More than thirty years later, first time visitors to the City of Angels could be forgiven for thinking that Theroux‘s analysis is as valid today as it might have been then, in […]

From the Archives: Tom Vater on the Wat Bang Phra Tattoo Festival in Thailand

Every year in March, thousands of Buddhist devotees gather at a temple an hour west of Bangkok to worship and celebrate one of Thailand’s strangest cults: At Wat Bang Phra, Buddhist monks use long needles to tattoo magic images and prayers on the believers’ skin. The tattoos are believed to give the wearer protection, especially […]

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