State of change
Myanmar is a country in constant motion, and this is perhaps what makes it so beguiling. Even as it inches towards democracy and the accompanying progress, these is quiet charm squirreled away in corners of Myanmar that modernisation has not touched.
The dust caked roads of ancient capital Bagan lead to temples where you can lose yourself in a bygone era, and the villages surrounding Inle Lake set in a simpler time. Myanmar, wrote Rudyard Kipling, is unlike any place you know about. Keep your heart and mind open, and you'll often find yourself on the recieving end of a warm welcome and a betel nut-stained smile. Read more...
River of life:
A byword in African safari, the Okavango Delta is one of the world’s largest inland water systems that supports an extraordinary diversity of wildlife. This labyrinth of lagoons, lakes and hidden channels is trapped in parched Kalahari desert, making it a magnet for the wildlife that depend on its permanent supply of water.
When the delta floods from the rains, the area can expand to over 17,000sq.km., and large numbers of wildlife start to congregate on the edge of the newly flooded areas. Read more...
Calm within the chaos:
Temples of Bagan
The skyline of Myanmar looks set for change. After the country opened its door to reform with democratic elections this year, modernization looks set to descend upon this up-and-coming Southeast Asian nation. Read more...
Angkor Wat on wheels
As modernization ripples through the crowded urban sprawl of developing South East Asia, pockets of tranquility have become increasingly scarce.
Scooters and motorbikes may dominate the dusty roads of Siem Reap, but if you’re looking to slip out of the city and into a more halcyon vacation, a bicycle tour of the historical Angkor Wat might be the way to go. Read more...
The Austrain state of Tirol is a destination for the adventurer, any time of the year. In winter, descend one of the many world-class ski runs, or trek up one of the peaks in summer amidst animals and flora native to such altitudes.
Discover the quirks of rugged St Anton, idyllic Otztal and medieval Innsbruck. And when you’re sated by the great outdoors, Tirol will also delight the culture vultures with its historical and architecture and traditional dance. Stay long enough, and you might find Tirol schuhplattering its merry way into your heart. Read more...
The island edition
Singapore may be an island nation, but life in the city is no beach getaway. If you’re looking for an idyllic vacation, hightail it to Penghu or Kinmen – two island archipelagos off Taiwan that offer a whole new world to explore. Read more...
Back to nature
Whether you’re looking to hit the waves on one of Taiwan’s coastal islands, or to frolic through lush green fields a la The Sound of Music, a trip through Taiwan’s countryside is likely to unleash your inner hippie. Break out those picnic baskets and stick a flower in your hair, because even the most hardened city slickers should get ready to be charmed. Read more...
Taiwan’s capital may be a bustling city not unlike our Singapore, but if you thought Taiwan was all skyscrapers and traffic, you’re wrong. Just travel a little out of town, and you’ll find pockets of natural beauty nested in simpler times. Throw caution (and connectivity) to the wind, leave you Whatsapp conversations behind, and discover Taiwan’s laid-back alter ego. Read more...
Alone in Yogyakarta, and only slightly afraid
I disembarked from the plane, alone and disoriented, and shuffled my way out of Yogyakarta’s small airport, following the throngs of people streaming out into a sleepy Indonesian afternoon.
Straight ahead were the taxi touts, men who were fast approaching, my bewildered expression a dead giveaway. Tourist, I was sure my eyes said, and I knew they had already found me easy pickings for a marked-up fare.
Streets of Pyongyang
At the Pyongyang circus, an acrobat readies himself for a stunt.
Perched atop a metal scaffold, he glances at the see-saw below, where he will jump and land briefly before somersaulting onto a human tower, three men already stacked on one another’s shoulders.
It is a difficult stunt, but I am confident he will execute it perfectly. After all, we are in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), known for performers, even children, delivering technically perfect, if eerily robotic, performances. Every feat, up to this point, has been executed flawlessly.
Dust swirls, clouding the labyrinthine streets in Amritsar's Old City. It rises from the juddering wheels of an auto-rickshaw and from beneath my slippers as I walk through sandy ochre paths in this corner of Punjab northen India.
Small wonders: Wroclaw, Poland
Walking around Wroclaw (pronounced as vrots-waff) is like living in a life-sized game of Where's Wally, except instead of hunting for a man in a red striped shirt, I'm looking for dwarves.
They are tucked in various corners around the pastel-hued market square of Wroclaw's old town, hidden in plain sight. Read more...
Life’s a beach: Perth, Australia
Western Australia's laidback vibe and natural, coastal and aquatic attractions make it an easy choice for a family holiday. Kids will be well entertained by the beaches, snorkelling and furry animals, while Mum and Dad can indulge in the artisan food and wine that the region is known for.