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Southeast Asia Travel News

The Southeast Asia Travel Specialists Since 1999

Entire books have been written on the subject of languages of Southeast Asia so we’re limiting our post to the above countries and only including languages that are still spoken by at least significant-sized minorities in each country. With a few well-known exceptions – Basque, Sami and Hungarian spring to mind – all modern European languages belong to the Indo-European…

Although official Tourism Malaysia statistics claim more visitors to Sarawak than Sabah, we suspect this is inflated by domestic tourists as well as visitors from neighbouring Kalimantan since, in our experience of running Borneo tours, Sabah clearly proves the more popular of the two among Western travellers. Sabah has well-known Kinabatangan, Danum Valley, World Heritage Mount Kinabalu and a clutch…

Where possible, rail travel is our preferred means of transport on our various Southeast Asia tours – especially for longer journeys. It’s certainly more environmentally friendly than hiring private buses, it avoids traffic, passengers can walk around – visit the buffet car, chat to other voyagers etc – views are often better than roadside ones and, these days, most Southeast…

As with Malaysia as a whole, its capital Kuala Lumpur – more commonly abbreviated to simply KL – does manage to live up to Tourism Malaysia’s marketing slogan ‘Malaysia Truly Asia’ with its rich ethnic mix including many of the myriad various Indian and Chinese cultures along with indigenous Malay, while Indonesian and Thai influences also abound. Their blurb goes…

When construction of Kellie’s Castle began in 1910 it would certainly have been rather remote – lost among the jungle and plantations of central Malaya – although today it’s rather conveniently placed aside Highway 8, just outside Perak’s booming state capital Ipoh. Nonetheless, the site is now well-preserved, set among gardens and lawns and the ruins still ooze plenty of…

Current Sites With just 2 cultural and 2 natural sites inscribed on UNESCO’s Malaysia World Heritage list this section is going to be brief. Now, at first glance on a map, the little blob tagged onto the bottom of the Thai-Malay Peninsula does appear quite small, however, once you’ve added Borneo’s states of Sabah and Sarawak to the little ‘blob’…

Spend a day on a tropical island in the South China Sea and do some good for the environment at the same time with a visit to Borneo’s Pulau Dinawan and the Ara Dinawan Research Conservation Centre. Lying a short distance off the coast of Malaysia’s Sabah State – just south of the capital Kota Kinabalu – this tiny island…

In the light of a few recent incidents we’ve encountered, we’d like to reiterate some essential passport requirements to check prior to any travel in Southeast Asia. They may seem minor and are easily overlooked but aren’t necessarily so in the eyes of immigration officials or airline staff. We do already mention such requirements on our site but it is…

So – wretched mosquitos and how to avoid them! First the good news: they are nowhere near as prevalent in Southeast Asia as many first time visitors imagine them to be. Especially in urban areas, particularly during the daytime and certainly outside of rainy season. In fact, we’ve been to many European tourist destinations with far higher population densities of…

Malaysia UNESCO sites include 2 cultural sites in the Peninsular and a national park each in Borneo’s Sabah and Sarawak States. A further 2 candidates in the tentative section add a second national park in Sarawak plus the famous Taman Negara in West Malaysia. Considering the country’s rich cultural heritage and stunning landscapes that’s a relatively poor return though the…

Sunbathing in the tropics – to do or not to do? Sure, a dose of vitamin D is good for you, even essential, but this whole sunbathing thing – lying in the sun on a beach or pool-side reclining chair for hours covered in oil – we thought was a late 20th-century phenomenon. Apart from the obvious risks of skin…

Following on from our recent aerial pix of Penang’s George Town post here’s a few shots of some of the lovingly restored buildings of UNESCO-listed Chinatown Penang (Pinang) at street level. First up – the 19th-century Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion in Leith Street is probably the most iconic of George Town’s Chinese heritage buildings and certainly one of the most…

Situated in eastern Sabah State, inland from the Malaysian coastal town of Lahad Datu, the magnificent Danum Valley is one of Borneo’s best-preserved stands of primary rainforest. It comprises of nearly 450 sq kilometres of lush, lowland tropical forest – sadly increasingly rare with the predominance of oil palms in the local economy. Danum is particularly rich in flora and…