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Has the tourism rose of Laos wilted and grown a few thorns!        “Breakfast is from 8 to10”, Phun says in perfect English. We climb the rickety stairs to my hotel room. He opens the door to a surprisingly large room. It is very dark with one window overlooking a temple courtyard. There […]

Island Spirits

The spirit houses of Koh Samui are testament to the strong Buddhist culture on the island. The glimmering rays of daybreak fall gently on the two ornate white and gold spirit houses. They stand majestically in the coconut palms in front of my villa at Samran Gardens. Spirit worship is on show everywhere with the […]

Hotel buffets should be illegal. Why is your plate laden with crayfish?

When you add that extra spoon to your plate, will you eat it? Why do you feel hard done by when the chef only gives you just the one slice of roast beef?   Consider for a moment the amount of food waste that holidaymakers generate. Everyone wastes food at home to some extent but […]


The most exciting districts of Hong Kong skirt the edge of Victoria Harbor from Central to Wan Chai and Causeway Bay. On the Kowloon side, Tsim Sha Tsui (TST) is one super-dupa shopping area. The Outlying Island of Lamma is also worth a visit.   It’s easy to scoot from one area to the next, […]

An Escalator Runs Through It

The island of Hong Kong is 88.3 km2 in size including Kowloon. The population of this mega-city is approximately 1,300,000, (Census 2009). If you consider 75% of the island is rural country park, then Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated cities in the world.   One of the bigger green areas, Tai […]

The Mainland Invasion

I am at Hong Kong Station to catch the Airport Express to Terminal 2. In Hong Kong you can check-in for your flight in the city centre, enjoy lunch in a top class restaurant and catch the train to the airport in time for your departure.   As I hoist my bag onto the scale, […]

Children as young as 9 are being groomed as gangsters in Cape Town

A big day out in Cape Town for scores of families.  Most of them are coloured.  They are patiently waiting for their annual carnival to dance through the streets.  It’s the “Tweede Nuwe Jaar”.  There have been rehearsals for months and seamstresses and tailors have been busy putting the finishing touches to costumes and fancy […]

Does New Orleans need a Jazz Festival?

The charm of New Orleans lives in the French Quarter and in the restored Preservation Hall, not at the racino of the Fair Grounds Race Course. Clang clang! The red tram screeched to a halt on the corner of Bourbon and Canal Street.  It was 11 o’clock in the morning. “All aboard” the uniformed conductor […]

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