Koh Phangan – Thailand’s Tropical Refuge Then & Now – out with Travelfish on October 1st

My long read, a lively history of Koh Phangan in Thailand, home of the infamous Full Moon Party and so much more, is out with Travelfish on October 1st. I interviewed numerous residents, both Thai and foreigners, providing eye witness accounts dating back to the 1940s, with great anecdotes and intriguing insights on island life.

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Interviewed on Travel Safety in Cambodia in The Daily Telegraph

My thoughts on travel safety in Cambodia in his Telegraph piece. Behind the paywall, unfortunately. Tom Vater, one of Telegraph’s south-east Asian experts who travels frequently in Cambodia, says the recent boom in investment in Sihanoukville from China has led to the arrival of violent gangs and a rising crime rate. “Since 2018, the Cambodian […]

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Going ‘wild’ in Cambodia’s Cardamom Mountains in The Nikkei Asian Review

“Camera traps have been smashed and stolen. We have caught hunting dogs. A logging gang started to build a road through the national park so our team watched them for three days, then stormed the camp and arrested 20 people. The following day, everyone was freed, but at least the road was not built.” Laure […]

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Belt and Road reaches Nepal’s wild north in the Nikkei Asian Review

My latest story with Laure Siegel in the Nikkei Asian Review on how highways, bridges and dams flow from Chinese infrastructure bonanza in Nepal. A hard truck ride to the Nepal/China/Tibet border, the proverbial end of the world. Some 140 km to the north of Nepal’s capital Kathmandu, China’s “Belt and Road” infrastructure plan is in […]

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Hard choices in the Andaman Islands in The Nikkei Asian Review

My latest for The Nikkei Asian Review on the plight of the indigenous people of the Andaman Islands in India – The world should reconsider forced assimilation of isolated communities. In late November, an American missionary attempted to bring Christianity to the Sentinelese people, a remote community in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, an Indian […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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’ […]

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