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Southeast Asia Travel News

The Southeast Asia Travel Specialists Since 1999

Green Lake Park Kunming; a tiny park stuck smack bang in the midst of the modern tower blocks and urban sprawl that is Yunnan’s largest city but what a wonderful spot it is and, as my fellow park-goers said, ‘this is what all parks should be like’! As we said, tiny, and you could walk all around the park in…

In this one Chinese province alone we’ve found five Yunnan UNESCO World Heritage sites; 3 natural, 2 cultural plus an additional location on the tentative list. Indeed the fact that China already has over forty inscribed sites with an equal number on the ‘Tentative’ list just emphasizes the total futility of trying to ‘do’ the vast country in a single…

One of our very favourite spots in Vietnam, the picturesque town of Sapa lies amongst the high ranges of the ‘Tonkinese Alps’ in the far northwest of the country, close to the border with China. This small, mountain-top settlement became popular during the French era as a cool retreat for colonists from the rigours of the Hanoi climate.   Now…

The term Tai describes the broad ethnic group (the Tai-Kadai linguistic family) which includes the Thai (Siamese), Lao, Shan, Northern Thai, Thai Lu, Red Tai, White Tai etc who occupy a wide band of Asia from the Assam region of India, through southern China, Burma’s Shan States, Laos, Northern Vietnam and of course Thailand itself. We touched on the migration…

Whilst Tai groups had probably been gradually infiltrating southwards into what is now northern Vietnam, Laos and Thailand for several centuries from their homeland in Southern China the migration of Tai groups into Southeast Asia was hastened during the late 12th- and 13th-centuries as the Mongol armies under Genghis Khan and Kublai Khan extended their empire southwards. Ethnic Tai clans…

Another of Yunnan’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Shilin Stone Forest lies in the Shilin Yi Autonomous County some 2 hours drive from the provincial capital, Kunming City. Formerly the bed of a shallow sea, over hundreds of millions of years the sandstone and limestone rocks have been carved by the wind and the rain to form this spectacular labyrinth…

The tiny mountain-top town of Yuanyang lies just south of the steep Red River Valley in the southern reaches of Yunnan Province, not far from the Vietnamese border. Actually been there 3 times without seeing another foreign tourist, yet it is one of the most spectacular, and certainly photogenic landscapes in that part of the world! The rice terraces have…

Since being declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 1997 the spectacular and beautifully preserved old town of Lijiang has boomed in terms of domestic tourism – weekenders from Shanghai or Beijing – though sadly foreign visitors still seem to have difficulty finding their way here. China’s a vast country with tons to offer yet unfortunately many potential visitors can’t…