Travel stories on Southeast Asia

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  • Great river trips in Southeast Asia

    Great river trips in Southeast Asia

    If it's true that the journey is more important than the destination, it's even truer when it comes to river-boat travel. Often slow, uncomfortable and unreliable, boat trips can nevertheless deliver on magnificent scenery and insights into local customs and ways of life. Thanks to rapidly improving road networks and also due to the proliferation of dams in Laos, options for boat travel in Southeast Asia are slowly fading away, but some fabulous trips worth trying do remain. Below we cover some of our favourites, along with a handful no longer really possible to do easily.

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  • The changing face of Ko Lipe

    The changing face of Ko Lipe

    It couldn't have stayed obscure forever. Ko Lipe has officially joined the ranks of Thailand's most popular islands thanks to brilliant beaches and seascapes to rival the Maldives. Once tricky to reach due to a far-flung location, the tiny yet increasingly busy island is now served by a fleet of speedboats from multiple directions. It's a tried-and-true recipe for hordes of high-season travellers.

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  • Where is the best place in Southeast Asia for ...

    Where is the best place in Southeast Asia for ...

    A simple question, with rarely a simple answer. Where is the best beach/party/temple/breakfast in Southeast Asia? Below we tackle ten typical queries and take a (highly personalised) stab at why I reckon somewhere in particular is the best in Southeast Asia. One proviso -- the Philippines and Brunei are not included in the mix as we're yet to head to either -- maybe this year...

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  • Best places to stay on Ko Phi Phi 2015

    Best places to stay on Ko Phi Phi 2015

    Ko Phi Phi has a large and growing variety of places to stay. Since it was struck by the Asian tsunami of December 2004, Ko Phi Phi has been redeveloped at a relentless pace, which is showing no sign of slowing 10 years on.

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  • Khlong Toey Music Program

    Khlong Toey Music Program

    Music has the power to launch you far and wide, create a sense of community, replace hopelessness with creativity and soothe the deepest roots of your soul. In Bangkok's poorest area, underprivileged kids are exposed to all of this and more thanks to Khlong Toey Music Program (KTMP).

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  • Which Ha Long Bay tour is right for you?

    Which Ha Long Bay tour is right for you?

    If you ask a travel agent or your hotel tour desk what the differences are between the various cruises to Ha Long Bay, they will all tell you the same: the more expensive it is, the better the boat and the better the food. But how different are they and what's going to suit you and your budget?

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  • DIY Ha Long Bay

    DIY Ha Long Bay

    While all the talk is of visiting Ha Long Bay on an organised tour, it is sort of possible to visit it independently. Sure you'll still end up on a tourist boat, but you won't be a part of the group onboard. Is that close enough? We thought it was and here is how we did it.

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  • Mid-range Ha Long Bay

    Mid-range Ha Long Bay

    If you're travelling independently through Vietnam but you've a bit more cash to flash than the norm, you still want to know when it's worth spending that bit extra or not. When it comes to Ha Long Bay, tours are priced from very cheap through to reasonable, then there's the splurge take.

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  • Ha Long Bay for flashpackers

    Ha Long Bay for flashpackers

    For those who are put off by the tales of woe from the cheapest of the Ha Long Bay cruises, but don't want to pay top dollar for a luxurious boat, there is a selection of mid-range vessels to choose from. For our flashpacker tour of Ha Long Bay we went with Dugong Sails, the most commonly recommended boat offering tours in the price range of around US$75 to $85 -- we paid $75 for our two-day, one-night trip.

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  • Budget Ha Long Bay for backpackers

    Budget Ha Long Bay for backpackers

    Vietnam Tourism have outdone themselves in making sure that Ha Long Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is regularly cited by travellers as their "must visit" destination whilst visiting Hanoi. And it is, but for most backpackers on a budget, the most relevant question is "How cheaply can I do it and what do I get for my hard earned (and more easily spent on booze) money". Well, read on.

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  • Loy Krathong in Thailand

    Loy Krathong in Thailand

    Loy Krathong is a time to forgive, forget and literally launch fresh hopes into the universe. Along with the related Yi Peng events up north, the festival is celebrated across Thailand with no shortage of booze and fireworks to accompany candlelit lanterns floating on water and in the sky. Observed on the full moon of the 12th lunar month, 2014's "Festival of Light" falls on and around November 6.

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  • Blue Dragon Children's Foundation

    Blue Dragon Children's Foundation

    Blue Dragon's Street Outreach team recently took in three homeless boys, one of whom was living in a precarious position under a bridge in an attempt to stay safe. The other two had previously been sexually assaulted. Fortunately the harrowing stories are usually balanced by positive and uplifting news: Blue Dragon kids have done well at school, a child who was living on the street has been re-united with his family. The list goes on.

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