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Southeast Asia Travel News

The Southeast Asia Travel Specialists Since 1999

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…

Ah – those fried Cambodian spiders again – coming in at number 1 on the Daily Telegraph’s weird food list!  (See earlier fried tarantulas in Tunbridge Wells blog). What is it with these spiders!?! Anyway we’re glad, (proud even), to see that plenty of other mouth watering S. E. Asian nibbles appear on the list, so here’s a brief run down…

Nyonya – Baba Nyonya, ‘Straights Chinese’ – i.e. the people/culture derived from descendants of Chinese – principally Hokkien – settlers in the ports on Malaya’s Malacca Straights coast.  They established themselves as traders in British colonial outposts such as Singapore, Malacca, (Melaka), and Penang as well as Sabah, Sarawak and Dutch settlements in Indonesia, during the 16th and 17th centuries…

A ‘truly spectacular combination of rocks and water’, the awesome Halong Bay is one of S. E. Asia’s most dramatic and iconic landscapes.  An inlet of the South China Sea situated just off the coast of far North-Eastern Vietnam -nearly 2,000 islands and rocky outcrops fill the bay’s waters with a range of dramatic karst scenery; – sheer limestone cliffs, stalactites, caves, jungle-topped…

Rajendravarman II c. 944 to 968 Even King Rajendravarman’s title itself is still a matter of debate, with historians opting for either Rajendravarman I or Rajendravarman II depending on their acceptance, or otherwise, of a Rajendravarman the 1st from Sambapura, purported to have been ruling in the Angkor area during the latter half of the 8th c. Since this does…

The excellent Saray Water Hyacinth project is a community project in Prek Toal, Cambodia’s, organized and funded by the NGO Osmose and the Australian Govt. Prek Toal, a large village – or small town – situated at the point where the Sangker River meets the Tonle Sap Lake is entirely constructed on rafts, floating on the water. Schools, shops, karaoke…

Unspoilt tropical paradises are great! ‘Aren’t unspoilt tropical islands fantastic!?’ Well is it true or, are they, like ‘cheesy peas’, better than they sound? Well, being really pedantic if it was really unspoilt you wouldn’t be there or it wouldn’t be unspoilt anymore. You’d throw your cigarette butts on the beach, piss on the plants, damage the coral with sun…

Maybe that was true in the past but things are changing now with Thailand’s new professional premier league. Money’s coming in, foreign players are being signed up, crowd numbers are on the rise and top TPL teams regularly progress in the Asian Champion’s League. (Bangkok based BEC Tero were losing finalists to UAR’s Al Ain in 2003 whilst in the…

An English headmaster created something of a controversy recently when he ate a tarantula during school assembly in Orpington, Kent! See article… (They never did that sort of thing in my day) The tarantula was already dead (!?), having actually been imported from Cambodia where it’s considered something of a delicacy, and was crunched in order to raise cash for a…

Koh Tonsai or Rabbit Island lies just off the coast from Kep in the province of the same name – a 3hr drive or so from Phnom Penh. Formerly known as Kep-sur-mer, the popular and fashionable pre-Khmer Rouge seaside resort is currently experiencing something of a renaissance. (Firstly, there aren’t really any rabbits whatsoever on the island but supposedly the…

The Perhentians comprise of 2 main islands and a few rocky islets located in the Gulf of Thailand off Malaysia’s North East coast in Terengganu State. The imaginatively named ‘Small Island’ is the backpacker’s choice and due to it being small and popular is the least pristine of the 2, however the ‘Big Island’ is remarkably well preserved. Also very…

Oh my god – they’ve put ice in my drink, I’m going to die a horrible death! Southeast Asian ice cubes are a short cut to a stomach pump in the nearest hospital! A commonly believed myth maintained by certain guide books, but these days, in much of the region, simply false. Firstly it’s well known that drinking very cold…