Ko Pha Ngan: Thailand’s tropical refuge, then and now – My long read at Travelfish

My latest reportage is a long read on the island of Koh Phangan in Thailand, with eye witness accounts going back to the 1940s. I arrived on Koh Phangan on March 17th 2020 to update a German language guidebook on the Gulf islands. A few days after my arrival, the update was canceled, thanks to […]

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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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Conservation activists urge post-pandemic tourism reset in Thailand in The Nikkei Asian Review

My latest article with Laure Siegel on conservation initiatives in the Gulf of Thailand is out in The Nikkei Asian Review. “There are kids in Thailand who cannot identify a coconut. And if people don’t learn to appreciate what their country has, they will only think about how to make money out of our natural […]

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Thailand’s holiday hotspots have become dystopian ghost towns in The Daily Telegraph

The white sands of Bo Phut Beach on Koh Samui, a popular tourist island in the Gulf of Thailand that usually sees more than two million visitors a year, lie deserted. A couple of jet skis and kayaks bake in the sun, looking more like beached whales than sports equipment waiting for sunbathers. Following the […]

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Thai tropical paradise finds opportunity in adversity – in The Nikkei Asian Review

My latest story with Laure Siegel in the Nikkei Asian Review from our temporary lockdown sanctuary, Koh Phangan in Thailand. KOH PHANGAN, Thailand — In the late afternoon sun, a long line of sandals snakes down the beachfront road in Thong Sala, the main town on Koh Phangan, a tourist island in the Gulf of […]

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We were somewhere around Barstow – my Hunter S Thompson tribute from 2005

Tom Vater’s favorite opening line in literature is Hunter S Thompson’s awesome first words in ‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas’. We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold. On a recent trip to California I drove from LA to Fresno. With Hunter in mind, […]

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The Monsoon Ghost Image reviewed at Categorically Well Read

Fantastic and exhaustive review of the third Detective Maier novel, The Monsoon Ghost Image at Categorically Well Read, published by Crime Wave Press: I was curious as I read my way through this trilogy of thrillers why Vater decided to set them in 2001-2, the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. With TMGI his […]

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Brand new 18th edition of Reise Know How Thailand Handbuch out now!

The 18th edition of my bestselling Thailand Handbuch is out now with Reise Know How, more than a 1000 pages packed with information on travel in Thailand. Co-authored, researched and updated with Rainer Krack. Content: Thailand ist seit Jahrzehnten eines der beliebtesten Reiseziele Asiens. Trotz Naturkatastrophen und politisch unruhigen Zeiten konnte das Land fast ständig […]

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Interviewed on Bangkok’s red light museum for CNN

I am interviewed by veteran correspondent Richard Ehrlich in his thorough exhumation of all things Patpong and the the opening of the Patpong Museum, which recounts the history of what is perhaps the world’ most notorious red light district in downtown Bangkok and its historical connection to the Vietnam War, in this thorough exhumation of […]

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