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Southeast Asia Travel News

The Southeast Asia Travel Specialists Since 1999

We’re lucky today to be able to offer you an excerpt from Hamish’s forthcoming autobiography ‘Memoirs of a Tour-leader’. Hamish got fed up of living out of backpack a few years back now and gave up tour-leading for the more stable existence of school teacher in Bangkok, but I reckon plenty of past customers will still remember him!

Slight hangover this morning after a lengthy ‘business meeting’ with Andy of Motorbike Thailand last night so a consequently rather late daily post!  However anyone not having abused the Leo Beer last night and waking up early this morning on our current Northern Laos and the Golden Triangle tour would have got a view similar to the above.

Well both! There’s no denying it’s a very unspectacular ruin and whichever way you look at it it doesn’t really amount to much more than a pile of old bricks with a couple of sandstone slabs scattered around for contrast. It’ll be a snowy day in Siem Reap before it’ll rival Angkor Wat or Ta Prom – “Ak Yum postcards…

Today’s stunning shot of an old Khmer lady offering a prayer at one of the Angkor temples, (not sure which one – Nathan?), comes from Nathan Horton‘s files! Nathan’s got a busy month coming up, combining an Images of Indochina tour and a Cambodia photo trip with a truly international group comprising of US, Canadian, South African, British and Australian…

Morning – afternoon or good night, depending upon where you’re reading this! Having just sent in our 2010 application for the Responsible Travel and TAT, (Tourism Authority of Thailand), Green Travel Awards it seemed like a good excuse to include this photo of, (a rather nervous looking),  Lesley at the 2008 awards ceremony which we  are very proud to say,…

Well apologies to Wi who is actually leading a Northern Laos and Vietnam tour – ‘Unexplored – the Far North‘ rather than the North Thai, ‘Hills of Mae Salong‘, as I stated yesterday, but since she’s the tour-leader and she knows where she’s going that’s the important thing!  (I’ll just get back to de-worming Charlie, (the dog), and watching Spongebob…

The Danum Valley, Sabah State, Borneo, Malaysia. Awesome photographic contribution by All Points East, Malaysia manager and tour-leader Marc Modin. During a night trek in Sabah’s fabulous Danum Valley Marc came across this brilliantly coloured, sleeping kingfisher – probably a Brown-winged Kingfisher but impossible to say for sure from this angle! The remote Danum Valley Forest Reserve is one of…

Rafflesia – a spectacular, flowering parasitic plant found in  jungles across Southeast Asia. The above looks like Rafflesia, parasites the same species of vine as Rafflesia but is actually the closely related species called Sapria.  The former have 5 petals whilst the latter have 10. True Rafflesia is found in the more tropical areas of South Thailand and the Malay…

Pai – no idea when this former sleepy little northern town first had the idea to knock up bamboo huts, start fabricating banana pancakes, (and we mean pancakes not the authentic rotis that north Thai Muslims have been making for donkey’s years), dis-intoxicate some local guides enough to lead treks and thrust itself on the backpacker trail? Presumably some time…

Quite why this magnificent region of vast, pristine rain-forest is almost unknown to foreign visitors is both a great mystery and a great pity! The Belum Forest Reserve, abutting Thailand’s Hala Bala National Park, is one of the largest areas of near virgin tropical rain-forest in S. E. Asia, let alone in Malaysia. (Actually it’s either virgin or not isn’t…

Lizard catching it’s lunch in Chantaburi Province’s Khao Soi Dao Wildlife Sanctuary. Looks like a Horned Tree Lizard, (Acanthosaura Armata), though my Reptiles of Thailand book says it should only be found in the Peninsula? No idea what the spider is, other than large black and hairy! Soi Dao Mountain, at nearly 5,000 feet, is the centrepiece of this great,…

Very commonly purported myth amongst regular visitors to Thailand and expats to show how well they know the country and how silly you are for not having been on Samui 20 years ago. But is it true or false? Now firstly you can replace 20 with 25, 15 or even 10, years ago, depending upon what you think you can…

Excellent article on Thai street food here! Spot on and really captures the oddities and delights of eating on Bangkok city pavements! For the majority of the food loving Thai people the grub itself, (that’s grub not grubs which are in an earlier blog!), is the number one criteria in choosing a restaurant. Forget the decor, location, floor show or…

Here’s a list of crackers and having been in the tour trade for over 10 years I can believe most of them! (Well except number 2 which is a classic old tour company joke along with the one about the woman who books a cruise on the QE2. After boarding the ship at Southampton docks and checking in she calls the purser to…