Tom Vater

Tom Vater

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

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Posts tagged tourism

India’s ‘Middle Kingdom’ faces winds of change in The Nikkei Review

Tourism and climate change threaten way of life in scenic Himalayan valley. Laure Siegel and I report from Spiti in Himachal Pradesh, the Middle Kingdom, a remote valley between Tibet and the rest of India. KAZA, India — “There are more cars than potatoes now” sighs Chhering Angrup, slowly turning a prayer wheel below a […]

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 […]

Hidden India: Odisha’s secrets revealed on CNN

The eastern India state of Odisha, stretching for more than 300 miles along the Bay of Bengal, bristles with architectural and cultural gems. Tropical, remote and home to some of the subcontinent’s most striking temples, much of the state was off-limits to foreign travel for some years because of Maoist unrest but reopened in 2016. […]

The Bangkok Publishing House in The Daily Telegraph

I recently reviewed the quite unique Bangkok Publishing House in The Daily Telegraph. The Bangkok Publishing Residence is a unique property, a one-off, and a very personable hotel experience. The building started as a row of 1960s shophouses, though most of the walls and floors have been removed, creating a beautifully open ground-floor space that’s […]

Burma, a Country United by Hatred and Murder?

Burmese army soldier in the hills above Myauk-U, Rakhine State, looking for Muslim ‘terrorists’ 400000 Rohingya Muslims have fled Burma in the past couple of weeks. Overwhelming evidence suggests that the Burmese military, along with civilian militias, is engaging in ethnic cleansing, driving people from their homes, torching their villages, raping their children and murdering […]

The Death of Bangkok’s Amazing Streetfood in The Daily Telegraph

My thoughts on the imminent demise of Bangkok’s incredibly varied, often delicious and pretty cheap streetfood in today’s Daily Telegraph. “Since the May 2014 military coup, Bangkok has been gradually changing from a chaotic, bustling happy-go-lucky south-east Asian capital with a hedonistic bent into an increasingly drab and orderly bargain basement version of Singapore,” said […]

Odisha – The Land That Time Forgot in The Nikkei Asian Review

My latest story with French journalist Laure Siegel on Odisha, one of India’s least visited states, and its fledgling tourist industry, published in the Nikkei Asian Review. PURI, India — “Jay Jagannath! Jay Jagannath!” A sea of people chants the sacred mantra while pulling on thick ropes hauling three massive, 14-meter-high wooden carts decorated in […]

Is tourism in Thailand becoming unsustainable? – Interview in The Daily Telegraph

Gavin Haines at The Daily Telegraph on whether mass tourism on Thailand‘s holiday islands is sustainable as visitor numbers continue to go up. I get to put in my five cents worth. Read the full story here.

Thailand’s Island hideaways in The Sunday Times

The Sunday Times has just re-published my Thai Islands hideaway feature. If you have a subscription to the paper you can read the story here. If you don’t, you can see the same story in The Daily Telegraph. The feature also ran as a photo story.

Hell in our Time – The Rohingya of Sittwe

Here’s an account of my visit to Sittwe, home of many Rohingya, in August 2012. This is not a particularly hands-on story, nor did it involve any courage on my part. Better reportages on the same subject have surfaced in the media in recent days. But as Sittwe is now sealed off and as no […]

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