Photo: A morning pick-me-up in Tra Vinh, Mekong Delta, Vietnam.

The first Travelfish newsletter was sent way back when in 2010. We've been a bit hit and miss since then, but in 2012 we slipped into a weekly broadcast that we just haven't managed to shake. Enjoy.

Ao Nang + On taking pics + Renew your account made easy!

Published 14th November, 2018
Everywhere
is on the way to somewhere

Hi all,

This week we have new coverage for Ao Nang in southern Thailand—David found some great places to stay and eat, and of course, plenty to do. Do see our revised write–up for the skinny.

Some minor housekeeping, we have added a far simpler way for existing members to renew their accounts. If your account has expired and you want to renew, please just go to the site, log in and then go to the homepage—you should see an option to do it there and then. There you go, that only took us two years to set up!

Also, thanks to everyone who got in touch for the stickers—so many people got in touch we have already run out! So, if you missed out will be another week as we need to get some more printed. For everyone else, they are in the mail.

Good travels,

Stuart, Sam and the Travelfish crew

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If you'd like to chip in (if you haven’t already) for using the site, we'd love you to sign up for a year-long subscription for just A$35. See more here.



Soapbox

On taking pics ... especially of kids

I was at a local restaurant for lunch the other day with our kids and one of their friends. The restaurant has a splash pool and the kids were busy doing what ten year olds do so well, splashing.

We were the only guests at the restaurant and I was sitting within easy eyeshot of the pool. After a while I looked up to see an Indonesian guy by the pool taking pics of the kids. Not of the pool with the kids in it, clearly he was taking photos of the kids.

I got up and hobbled over (just two weeks on crutches to go!) and asked him what he was doing—what were the photos for?

He was surprised to be asked, but blurted out “They’re for Instagram”.

“No they’re not” I replied with a smile and asked him to delete the photos he had taken. Which he did, and once I was clear he had totally deleted them (phones often store deleted pics elsewhere), I suggested to him that if he had wandered over and asked me if it was ok, we could have avoided the whole situation as I would have just said “no” upfront.

We was extremely apologetic (and I think a bit mortified).

It does bring to mind though the importance, when possible, to ask for people’s permission when taking photos, and when dealing with kids, aside from obviously asking their permission, if their parents are around, ask them too. After all I’m sure my kids would have said “yes” if he had asked them rather than me.

Yes asking permission can remove that impromptu/natural look in a photo taken unawares, but it takes little effort to raise a camera and gesture to indicate “is it ok if I take your photo”, and I’d argue that is always more important than taken somebody’s photo more “naturally”.

How would you feel if a complete stranger walked into your house and started taking photos of you and your family without asking permission?

Often when you put the shoe on the other foot, the answer is obvious.

Good travels,

Stuart



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Featured

Ao Nang

This week we have (finally) got the last of David’s trio of Krabi destinations updated—Ao Nang, Krabi and the Railay Beaches are already up, and the more tourist–heavy/mainstream destination of Ao Nang creaked onto the site last night.


Beach sculpture. Photo: David Luekens


With southern Thailand it is easy to talk in degrees of mainstreamism (yes I made that word up) when it comes to destinations. There are still off the radar islands which see very few foreign travellers—say Ko Si Boya or Ko Sukorn for example, while somewhere like Ko Jum is just on the radar and somewhere like Ko Phi Phi has its own radar station and satellite station!

Ao Nang for years has been far closer to Ko Phi Phi in popularity. One of the first areas to develop for foreign tourism in the province, it is now well and truly on the mainstream package tour hit–list. As some would venture, if your travel agent tells you Ao Nang is untouched you need a new travel agent.


Plenty of scope for sundowners at Haad Noppharat Thara. Photo: David Luekens


But for some travellers, Ao Nang is just what the doctor ordered. No shortage of choice when it comes to hotels, plenty of international fare for those who struggle with Thai food (thankfully there is some3 good Thai fare too), an active nightlife (though as is sadly often the case now, watch your drink) ease of access (a simple run from the airport) and it makes for a convenient base to explore the surrounds.

It is this last point that is probably worth emphasising. Ao Nang does make for a very convenient base for exploring both the surrounding beaches, the national parks in the hinterland and the offshore islands. And, because of the volume of tourists, prices are often very affordable (klaxon warning you get what you pay for!)


Do do a boat trip or three. Photo: David Luekens


David’s advice to beat the hordes is to roll your own trip. Charter a longtail with a few able bodied travel partners and get going at the crack of dawn—that way you’ll be wandering the pristine white sands of Ko Poda while the hordes are still cramming down their ABFs with those terrible plastic sausages. Yes it will cost you a little more, but, well, somethings are worth splurging on.

Lastly, don’t forget that much of what can be easily visited from Krabi or Railay Beach can also be visited from Ao Nang, so whichever of the three you are headed to, be sure to read over our coverage of all three—and yes, you will need longer than you planned.

Read more about Ao Nang, Krabi and Railay Beach.



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News from the region

BURMA I: Aung San Suu Kyi stripped of Amnesty’s highest honor

“Since Aung San Suu Kyi became the de facto leader of Myanmar’s civilian-led government in April 2016, her administration has been actively involved in the commission or perpetuation of multiple human rights violations.”



BURMA II: Rohingya flee refugee camps in Bangladesh

“The UNHCR called for Myanmar to allow Rohingya refugees to visit their places of origin or resettlement sites to make their own “independent assessment of whether they feel they can return there in safety and dignity”. ”



BURMA III: Stigma or separation: The painful choice facing Myanmar's single mothers

“Radiologist Myat Sandar Thant set up the foundation two years ago, appalled by the suicide of a patient who could not face the shame of pregnancy.”



CAMBODIA : Where in the world is Cambodia?

“Chief among those recurring motives in the pre-election interviews was a tendency to view the international community as partisan, biased and acting on behalf of the CNRP.”



INDONESIA I: 40,000-year-old cave art may be world’s oldest animal drawing

“Now, updated analysis of the cave walls suggests that these images stand among the earliest traces of human creativity, dating back between 52,000 and 40,000 years ago.”



INDONESIA II: Boeing withheld information on 737 model

“One Federal Aviation Administration manager familiar with the details said the new flight-control systems weren’t highlighted in any training materials or during lengthy discussions between carriers and regulators about phasing in the latest 737 derivatives.” Huge.



INDONESIA III: Indonesia stops search for victims of Lion Air crash

‘ “There is nowhere left to search and we have stopped finding victims’ bodies,” Muhammad Syaugi, the head of the national search and rescue agency (Basarnas) told media. “We will limit our operations to monitoring.” ’



INDONESIA IV: The secret to the long life of Jakarta’s minibuses

“However, the business of minibuses is not limited to state employees. Anyone who can afford to buy a vehicle can register it as public transport.”



LAOS: Details emerge of ‘confusion’ in Laos prior to dam collapse

“Sources have allegedly told Radio Free Asia (RFA) that local officials were aware on July 22 – the day before the disaster – that a crack had developed in the western auxiliary dam. But it appears no attempt was made to alert people in villages below the dam until the following afternoon, just a few hours before the dam wall gave way.”



MALAYSIA: Kristang: Anatomy of a unique Malaysian language

“Members of the community have spread across Malaysia, and into other countries like Singapore and Australia, but the cultural centre of the Kristang community is still Malacca. ”



SOUTHEAST ASIA I: This is what child marriage looks like

“The 11-year-old bride, known only as ‘Ayu’, checks all the boxes. The migrant girl lives in a wooden house with no running water and does not attend school. She tied the knot with the polygamous 41-year-old, Che Abdul Karim Che Abdul Hamid, under Islamic law.”



SOUTHEAST ASIA II: “They beat up online drivers there”

“The analysis above shows that the conflict is not a simple story of the victimhood of conventional drivers at the hands of rapacious technology firms and online drivers.”



THAILAND I: Bangkok wants canal colourised, homeowners baulk

“It was reported that the residents said if they refused to comply and use the district’s painting service, its staff would threaten to measure their estates and demolish the buildings they deem to encroach on the public waterway.”



THAILAND II: Chai Nat man’s lovely kwai friendship warms hearts

A man and his buffaloes.



THAILAND III: Child boxer dies after fight

“Children should still be allowed to practice Muay Thai, as it is a part of Thai culture, but there should be a minimum age for those fighting in the ring, he said.” How is this not child abuse?



THAILAND III: Songkhla town closes in on World Heritage status

“The first is Nong Chik Road, which was formerly known as the Kao Hong area, a community created by the first group of Chinese to migrate from Fujian and settling in there more than two centuries ago.”



VIETNAM I: Hanoi to host Formula One street race grand prix in 2020

“The length and turns of this track will bring a lot of excitement. According to designers, it will be the most exciting track in the world.” That we do not doubt.



VIETNAM II; Living on edge: Vietnam’s “black canal” dwellers

“Under the French, they were the city's main arteries used to move goods and people around, but as roads modernized and as the population boomed with war refugees in the 1960s, they became places to illegally settle.”



VIETNAM III: China’s bear bile industry persists despite growing awareness of the cruelty involved

“That means bear farming is very clearly coming to an end in Vietnam, “once and for all,” said Jill Robinson, founder of Animals Asia. “I think they realized that both internally and internationally, bear bile farming was becoming a very unpalatable subject.” ”



Travel writing

ON TRAVEL I: Can traveling with a local really help bring travel to life?

“ In a teahouse, he explains to me that each time the glass is refilled, one should tap three fingers on the table by way of thanks. During the Qing dynasty, an Emperor had decided to pour tea for his servants, which was unheard of; forced to sit, they couldn’t perform the customary bow in his presence, and so they tapped the table as an equivalent. Ever since, this has become the polite convention.”



ON TRAVEL II: We’re reimagining our travel journalism

“People also increasingly want an “authentic” take on a place. When they travel, they want to feel as if they are slipping into the lives of the locals, not standing outside that life looking in.” Really not convinced that is the case.



Interesting site

Bangkok Podcast

“In October 2016, the show returned with one of the original hosts (that’d be Greg) and a new co-host (see below) to take another look at all of the weird, wonderful, awful, interesting, and mystifying aspects of expat life in Bangkok.”



Travel shot

Khlong Muang: As calm (and as warm!) as your bath. Photo: David Luekens

Khlong Muang: As calm (and as warm!) as your bath. Photo: David Luekens



Till next time

Sam and Stuart.

That’s it from us for now. As usual, enjoy the site’s new additions and drop us a line if there’s something in particular you’d like us to cover in Southeast Asia.

Travel light!
Stuart, Sam & the Travelfish team
https://www.travelfish.org/

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Published 14th November, 2018

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#328: Krabi + is Southeast Asia safe?

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Published 21st August, 2018

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#320: New Thailand itineraries + Surat Thani + Advice for hotels

Published 14th August, 2018

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Published 7th August, 2018

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#318: Tha Ton + Jimbaran + West coast Thai Islands + Thai Shinkansen

Published 31st July, 2018

This week on the site we have an update of our coverage of Northern Thailand's Tha Ton, the launching point for the famed Kok River trip. South of the equator, we’ve updated Jimbaran in Bali. Famous for its seafood barbecues, it is also an attractive beach and is conveniently close to Bali’s airport, which given the continuing appalling Bali traffic, earns it an extra gold star. ... read more


#317: The Bukit + Island hopping + Hello, Shadowlands

Published 24th July, 2018

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#316: Travelfish turns 14 + Instagram

Published 18th July, 2018

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#315: Java + Java + more Java!

Published 9th July, 2018

This week we are all about Indonesia's highly underrated but beautiful Java. We’ve (finally!) got the last part of our coverage of the huge island updated—fittingly, it's the capital, Jakarta, that is the icing on the cake. We’ve also got two more Java itineraries on the site: two weeks in Central Java and two weeks in East Java, which, when combined with our two weeks in West Java itinerary, give you an awful lot to do in Java! ... read more


#314: Chanthaburi + Tragedy at Lake Toba + The Great Railway Bazaar

Published 25th June, 2018

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#313: Nong Kiaow + Making a difference + A Field Guide to Getting Lost

Published 19th June, 2018

And, we’re only one day late this week! Can we blame World Cup? Okay, thanks. This week we’re all about northern Laos, with two destinations fully updated now on the site: Phongsali (it doesn’t get more remote than this) and Nong Kiaow (it doesn’t get more relaxing than this). These are both northern towns and our motto, as always, is to give Laos longer than you might initially plan to—there is a lot to explore. We have more updates coming in the next few weeks. ... read more


#312: Nusa Penida + Kids on board + A Cook's Tour

Published 13th June, 2018

New on the site we have Phrao in northern Thailand—think of it as a laidback alternative to the backpacker hub of Pai. South of the equator, we have a complete rewrite and expansion of our coverage of Nusa Penida in Indonesia. Go there today, not tomorrow, as it's changing super quickly. ... read more


#311: Muang Ngoi + Breaking the cycle + Overbooked

Published 5th June, 2018

This week we have new coverage for Muang Ngoi and Udomxai in northern Laos on the site. We’ve also a review of Elizabeth Beckers’ Overbooked and the soap box is about breaking the cycle of overtourism—yes, we’re all about too many people this week, though that is unlikely to be a problem in Muang Ngoi. ... read more


#310: Bandung + Reader privacy

Published 29th May, 2018

This week we have new coverage for Bandung in Indonesia's West Java on the site. I know we’ve been promising a raft of Laos and Thailand updates, and they will indeed be coming this week—we’ve just been snowed under with fun stuff like tax returns and GDPR. Happy days! ... read more


#309: Surabaya + AirBnb + Liveaboard

Published 22nd May, 2018

Where did that week go? It went quickly as we added our new coverage for Surabaya to the site. Given the tragic attacks that hit Surabaya last week, we received a couple of queries asking about our judgement promoting it as a destination. ... read more


#308: Travelfish #308: Chiang Dao + Eco friendly + Cookly

Published 15th May, 2018

This week kicked off sadly, with three tragic and barbaric suicide attacks in Surabaya in East Java. Sunday worshippers at church and officers at a police station were the targets, with the bombings involving three families who in some cases had strapped bombs to their kids. Staggering stuff. More details on what happened in the news links below. ... read more


#307: Rocket Festival + Help us help you

Published 8th May, 2018

This weekend coming is Yasothon’s Rocket Festival—one of our all-time favourite festivals in Thailand. Just in time, we’ve got full updated coverage on the northeastern town including how to get there and where to stay. If you are in Thailand with a few loose days, we’d say the festival is a must see, and the town is a lot of fun too. ... read more


#306: Malang + Airport mayhem + 15% off Intrepid Asia trips

Published 2nd May, 2018

It is great to be back in Bali after a week wandering around in downtown Bangkok—a city we once lived in remains a great destination for a few days and we’ll have a couple of new places to stay profiled this coming week. Meanwhile, new on the site we have Malang in East Java. ... read more


#303: Ko Kut + Solo + Getting offline

Published 21st March, 2018

New on Travelfish this week is an update of Indonesia's fascinating Solo and in Thailand, we have full fresh coverage of spectacular Ko Kut—our favourite island in the country. ... read more


#302: Dieng Plateau + robotics and travel

Published 13th March, 2018

New on Travelfish this week is an update of Indonesia's delightful Dieng Plateau, tucked away in Central Java. Expect Solo in the next few days as we continue fleshing out our Java coverage. ... read more


#301: Probolinggo + the cost of going local + Kratie

Published 6th March, 2018

New on Travelfish this week are two low-key spots: frequently loathed (though we liked it!) Probolinggo in Indonesia's East Java and remote Hat Sa in a fast-changing far northern Laos. ... read more


#300: Bromo! + Waste in Thailand

Published 27th February, 2018

New on Travelfish this week is the spectacular Indonesian volcano of Gunung Bromo—a highlight for many first-time visitors to the country. ... read more


#299: Kawah Ijen + Travel writing is an inexact science + You are what you pack

Published 19th February, 2018

New on Travelfish this week is Banyuwangi, Kawah Ijen and Kalibaru in Indonesia's East Java. This includes updated coverage of the amazing Kawah Ijen volcano. David is now on Ko Maak in eastern Thailand for an update, while Cindy is finishing off her loop through remote northern Laos. ... read more


#298: Ko Chang + Booking in advance (don’t be us) + Nong Khai

Published 14th February, 2018

New on Travelfish with week is David’s massive Ko Chang update. All his new information is online, including his great photos and an almost 200-page PDF guide. Phew! ... read more


#297: Indonesia & selfies + Our fave Thai beach bungalows for under 1,000 baht

Published 6th February, 2018

New on Travelfish with week we have all the text from David’s massive Ko Chang rewrite. The pics are coming this week, but we wanted to get the text up soonest. For a quick primer, our top choices for places to stay are here (again, pics coming this week). ... read more


#296: How hard are hotels? + Champasak

Published 30th January, 2018

New on Travelfish with week we have the remainder of Sally’s West Java update online including Batu Karas, Pangandaran and Cipanas...which we mixed up with Cimaja in last week’s newsletter—sorry! David’s massive Ko Chang rewrite landing yesterday and we’ll be working to get that online asap. ... read more


#295: Ghosts of Probolinggo + Munduk

Published 23rd January, 2018

This week we’re all about Java, with the garden city of Bogor updated, along with two little visited south coast surf town—Cipanas and Ujung Gentang also fully revised. ... read more


#294: Staying alive + Mae Hong Son

Published 15th January, 2018

This week we’ve got new coverage on Thailand's Mae Hong Son on the site, with West Java in the editing queue and Thailand’s Ko Chang due in shortly. ... read more


#293: Hostel ageism + Kuala Lumpur

Published 9th January, 2018

We’ve taken a bit of a New Year spring cleaning broom to the newsletter—we hope you like it. We’ve kept the book review and the soapbox but we’ll now just be talking about a single destination each week. The news and travel writing wraps will remain as always. Feedback, as always, is appreciated. ... read more


#292: Intelligent travel

Published 19th December, 2017

This is our final newsletter of 2017—where did that year go? We’ll be returning to your inbox on Monday January 8, 2018 after we've put our feet up for a short break. To wrap up this year and look ahead to the next, Stuart has written a few words on what 2018 could bring. Thank you all for reading. ... read more


#290: How about a bit of respect? + Salt!

Published 12th December, 2017

This week’s theme is “salt”, in part because Stuart has been eating so much of it in delicious Kuala Lumpur the last week. We’ve got a new review of the beautiful Sugarbread, by Balli Kaur Jaswal. More below the fold. ... read more


#289: Bangkok’s great hostels + Volcanoes + Where to rest your head!

Published 28th November, 2017

This week’s theme is "Where to rest your head" because, after so much volcano stuff in the last few days, we’d really like to lay down. We’ve also got an old review of Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded, which, while a slightly old review, kind of seemed, we dunno, topical. We round out matters with a video from Thailand—which has no (active) volcanoes—do let us know if you can name an extinct one there—there are at least three. More below the fold. ... read more


#288: Larger than life + Sihanoukville updated + Membership drive!

Published 21st November, 2017

This week’s theme is "Larger than life" and we’re showcasing Travelfish as part of a membership drive. We’ve also got a review of The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye and a highlighted video from Malaysia’s Perhentian Islands. More below the fold. ... read more


#287: A day in the life + Out and about + Membership drive!

Published 14th November, 2017

This week’s theme is "Out and about" and we’re showcasing Travelfish as a part of a membership drive. We’ve also got a review of The Penguin History of Modern Vietnam and a quite fancy video from Bali—we wish we had their travel budget! More below the fold. ... read more


#286: New planning section + Showcase + Membership drive!

Published 7th November, 2017

This week’s theme is “Showcase” and we’re showcasing Travelfish as a part of a membership drive. We’ve also got a review of A Great Place to Have a War and a moody video from Northwest Vietnam. More below the fold. ... read more


#285: Penang + Unexpected

Published 31st October, 2017

This week we’re all about the unexpected and sticking to the unexpected, no book review this week—sorry! The soapbox is here though and it’s unexpected. No really, that’s the title. More below the fold. ... read more


#284: Delta + More Delta + media madness

Published 24th October, 2017

This week we’re all about deltas. We’ve got a review of (decidedly unriverine) Krakatoa: The Day The World Exploded, and a soapbox on media perhaps being a bit more responsible. More below the fold. ... read more


#283: Village living + Swimming lightly + Agoda discount

Published 17th October, 2017

This week we’re all about village living. We’ve got a review of Simon Winchester's 2015 book on the Pacific Ocean, and a soapbox on coral reefs and idiots. More below the fold. ... read more


#282: More Georgetown + An ode to the phone + Getting local!

Published 10th October, 2017

This week we’re all about "getting local". We’ve got a review of Maryvelma O’Neil’s Bangkok: A Cultural and Literary History, and a soapbox on "An ode to the phone". More below the fold. ... read more


#281: More Georgetown + Feeding the beast + yellow!

Published 2nd October, 2017

This week we’re all about "yellow". We’ve got a review of Steve Sheinkin’s Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War, and a soapbox on "Feeding the beast". More below the fold. ... read more


#280: Khao San & Georgetown + When the weather turns + volcanic!

Published 26th September, 2017

This week we’re all about "volcanic". We’ve got a review of David Thompson's classic Thai Street Food, and a soapbox on "When the weather turns". More below the fold. ... read more


#279: Nusa Ceningan + What were you thinking? + leafy

Published 11th September, 2017

This week we’re all about "leafy". We’ve got a review of The Last Lesson of Mrs de Souza and a soapbox on "What were you thinking?". More below the fold. ... read more


#278: Nusa Lembongan + Considered travel + running

Published 5th September, 2017

This week we’re all about "running". We’ve got a review of Strangers on a Pier by Tash Aw, and a soapbox on considered travel. More below the fold. ... read more


#277: Pai + managing expectations + around

Published 30th August, 2017

This week we’re all about "around". We’ve got a review of Jasmine Nights by S.P. Somtow and a soapbox on telling the truth. More below the fold. ... read more


#276: Lembongan + backpackers + motion

Published 22nd August, 2017

This week we’re all about motion. We’ve got a review of a 1904 guidebook, a film from Vietnam and a soapbox on giving backpackers a break. More below the fold. ... read more


#274: Saigon, Pai & Hanoi updates + Walking distance + Taxi!

Published 8th August, 2017

This week we’re all about walking distance. Online we’ve got updates to the accommodation scene in Ho Chi Minh City and Pai, a review of Leila S. Chudori's beautiful Home, and a soapbox on catching a taxi. More below the fold. ... read more


#273: Where to eat in Saigon + ATM skimming + Lucky

Published 1st August, 2017

This week we’re all about lucky. We’ve also got a complete rewrite of our food guide for Ho Chi Minh City, a review of The Ideal Man: The Tragedy of Jim Thompson and the American Way of War by Joshua Kurlantzick, and a soapbox on skimming at ATMS. More below the fold. ... read more


#272: Bangkok & Saigon updates + Hotels we remember

Published 25th July, 2017

This week we’re all about hotels. We’ve more updates in Hanoi, Chiang Mai, Bangkok and Saigon online, a review of The River of Lost Footsteps by Thant Myint-U and a soapbox on hotels. More below the fold. ... read more


#271: Chiang Mai & Bangkok updates + Tourist slogans + Warts & all

Published 18th July, 2017

We're all about tourism slogans this week. Also online are some more Bangkok and Chiang Mai updates, a review of new Southeast Asian-focused book Blood and Silk and a soapbox on warts and all. More below the fold. ... read more


#270: Travelfish turns 14 + Seminyak & Lembata + traditional

Published 11th July, 2017

This week we have a Seminyak accommodation update online plus completely new coverage from us on the Indonesian island of Lembata, a book review on an excellent Indonesian potted history wrap and a soapbox on traditional cultural practices. More below the fold. ... read more


#269: Kuta & Legian + secret places + get active

Published 3rd July, 2017

This week we’ve climbed a volcano and whined about how sore we are, written a review on a Singapore-focused short story collection and put together a soapbox on secret places. More below the fold. ... read more


#268: Phetchaburi & Cha-am + quality tourists + fall in the ocean

Published 26th June, 2017

We’ve been busy practising the art of hammock swinging this week thanks to school hols, but who says you can't work from a hammock? Below two Thailand updates, a book review featuring some travel through the region and a soapbox on "quality tourists". More below the fold. ... read more


#267: Chiang Mai + traveller tech + wooden

Published 19th June, 2017

Thanks to school holidays, this week (and next) we’re on holiday in eastern Indonesia, but we've got some partial updates online, along with a book review from Laos and a soapbox on the freedom tech may bring. More below the fold. ... read more


#266: Semarang & Kaeng Krachan + Silent Killer + Colonial

Published 5th June, 2017

This week we have Semarang and Jepara (both in Indonesia) and Kaeng Krachan (in Thailand) all new and sparkling for you, on the bookshelf we look at Tales of Old Bangkok, and we highlight a short film based around Koh Trong near Kratie in Cambodia. More below the fold. ... read more


#265: Karimunjawa + Fish, bags and bottles + Take a stroll

Published 30th May, 2017

This week we have Karimunjawa all new and sparkling for you, on the bookshelf we look at Eaves of Heaven, and we highlight a short film popping through some of Southeast Asia. More below the fold. ... read more


#264: Looping itineraries + Drop off the map + By the numbers

Published 23rd May, 2017

A selection of itineraries to fire up your imagination, on the bookshelf we look at Bangkok-set biopunk novel The Windup Girl, and we highlight a short film traversing Southeast Asia. More below the fold. ... read more


#263: Melaka + Booking, Bourdain and Bozos

Published 15th May, 2017

Melaka—finally! On the bookshelf we look at The Sorrow of War by Bao Ninh, and we highlight a short film covering Java and Bali. More below the fold. ... read more


#262: Southern Thai updates + Getting provincial

Published 9th May, 2017

We've two more southern Thai towns online this week. On the bookshelf we look at Tash Aw's The Harmony Silk Factory, and we highlight a lovely wet season video in Khao Sok National Park. More below the fold. ... read more


#261: Southern Thai updates + Falling through the cracks + Back in the day

Published 1st May, 2017

We've two southern Thai towns online this week. On the bookshelf we look at Afterland, a wonderful poetry collection and a snappy video traversing Asia. More below the fold. ... read more


#260: Thai island + Indonesia updates + The travel fantasist + Blue

Published 24th April, 2017

We've some southern Thai islands online this week plus some remote Indonesian getaways. On the bookshelf we look at Asian Godfathers, and a video of northwest Southeast Asia. More below the fold. ... read more


#259: Ills and injuries

Published 17th April, 2017

New on the site we have an update of Ko Bulon Lae in far southern Thailand, Tuy Hoa in south-central Vietnam and Johor Bahru in Malaysia, along with a book review of The Signature of All Things and a video taken around Ko Lipe and Ko Tarutao in southern Thailand. More below the fold. ... read more


#258: Difficult

Published 10th April, 2017

New on the site we have an update of glistening Ko Lipe in far southern Thailand, along with a book review of modern classic, The Glass Palace. More below the fold. ... read more


#257: Silence

Published 4th April, 2017

We have laidback Savannakhet online, two new PDFs for premium members, more Hanoi, a Thai book review to go into our fancy new book reviews section, and a flick from Angkor. See more below the fold. ... read more


#256: Ko Muk, Pakse & Hanoi updates + Getting to know a place + Iconic

Published 20th March, 2017

This week we’ve got another Thai island, Ko Muk, online, Pakse in southern Laos and the first of our updated Hanoi material has started sliding online. The theme? Iconic. ... read more


#255: Indonesia, Laos & Thailand updates + Stupid tourists + Weave

Published 14th March, 2017

The rest of our Canggu digs, glistening Ko Ngai and another backwater Lao town added. A book on a land on fire and a video covering some of Malaysia's top-shelf destinations. The theme is Weave. ... read more


#254: Laos & Thailand updates + popular reads of 2016

Published 7th March, 2017

More Laos backwater updates, the first of our new Canggu content and a revisited Thai island slide online this week, plus a book review and travel film, both from Vietnam. ... read more


#252: Farewell to Suk 11 + Laos shooting + Circles

Published 20th February, 2017

Last of 4,000 Islands, Laos is up plus a smattering of Ubud sights, and finally our Sanur food update, too. Also concerning news of another shooting in Laos. ... read more


#251: Kanchanaburi & Laos updates + By the river

Published 14th February, 2017

We're all about Laos and Thailand this week, with more Kanchanaburi material online along with some Lao island research. A book set in Malaysia and a highlighted film in Thailand, plus a few new techie things on the site round out our offerings. ... read more


#250: Only one letter separates hotel and hovel

Published 7th February, 2017

Online this week we have new material from Cambodia and Thailand, a review of a Singapore-set book, a great flick from Laos and a soapbox about the region. How's that for a wrap? ... read more


#249: Spend more not less + Mask

Published 31st January, 2017

We're a bit late this week due to prolonged outages of our Balinese internet access hamsters. Sorry. Online we have some more southern Laos and Bali content, a film on ogoh-ogoh's and a soapbox on spending more not less. ... read more


#247: Where to go in 2017

Published 16th January, 2017

A January fad for travel publications is to list places you simply must go in the year to come, led by the New York Times ... who this year thinks the only place you must go to in the entirety of Southeast Asia is Chiang Mai. Ummmm, interesting. We thought we'd counter with our own take, naturally, which takes care of this week's theme: Where to visit in 2017. ... read more


#246: A year in review

Published 11th December, 2016

While we're yet quite ready to put a cork in what has been a bitter vintage of a year for many, the end of 2016 is on the horizon and this will be our last newsletter of the year. We're taking a bit of a different approach for this issue, looking back at the year that was. Thank you all for reading and see you in 2017. ... read more


#245: Yogyakarta + slow

Published 6th December, 2016

Our theme this week is: Slow. Because sometimes you just need to slow down. ... read more


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