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Bargaining in Southeast Asia

In Southeast Asia, bargaining (or asking for a discount) is part of everyday life. It’s commonplace to bargain at markets, hotels, souvenir shops and for transportation. The advent of modern shopping malls in Southeast Asian cities has dampened the practice of bargaining somewhat (though you can always ask for a discount or freebies if you’ve […]

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The magic of Kuching

Kuching is the charming capital of Sarawak, Malaysia’s largest state located on the island of Borneo. Literally translated, Kuching means ‘cat’ in the Malay language. There are numerous monuments to cats littered throughout the city. Kuching has a wonderfully colourful history of warring tribes and white Rajahs (Sultans), the influence of which is still evident […]

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D' Coconut Lagoon

Getting over my ‘Jaws’ complex

Getting over my ‘Jaws’ complex (a page from my Travel Journal) I’ve just spent several days on Pulau (island) Lang Tengah where I stayed at the D’Coconut Lagoon Resort. Lang Tengah is a small island in the Malaysian state of Terengganu, off peninsular Malaysia’s east coast, a 45-minute boat ride from the hamlet of Merang on […]

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A world of inspiration: His First Flight

This second edition of ‘A world of inspiration‘ is a contribution from Tammie Dooley, a Midwest-based explorer, photographer and writer. Tammie’s story is simple yet compelling, with a profound insight that applies to all of us. His First Flight Upon boarding the plane we discover our window seat taken. My son John and I are […]

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Ta Phrom

The wonders of Angkor Wat

The wonders of Angkor Wat (a page from my Travel Journal) I’ve just spent five fantastic days exploring the stunning temples at Angkor Wat together with my friends Allan and Nigel. We flew to Siem Reap on Air Asia from Kuala Lumpur (about a two hour flight) and we stayed at a beautiful hotel, Bopha Angkor. The […]

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Spotlight: East Malaysia

East Malaysia comprises the two states of Sabah and Sarawak on the island of Borneo. The region boasts some of the most diverse flora and fauna in the world, top-notch diving spots, stunning beaches, a fascinating history involving headhunters and white kings, breathtaking landscapes and atmospheric towns. A wide network of air, bus and boat […]

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Lend-a-hand holidays: Orangutan conservation

I’ve just read this article on the orangutan hospital in Malaysia. It is a must-read. You’ll surely agree with me that the cuteness factor of the baby orangutans is way off the charts here! There are various projects in Malaysia and Indonesia to save these endangered primates and you can help too. For instance, various […]

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The pool

velvet escape’s ‘Stayed There’ feature: Bopha Angkor

Bopha Angkor is a gorgeous hotel in Siem Reap, a small town in Cambodia that is the perfect base to explore the ancient ruins of Angkor Wat. The hotel is in a quiet part of town yet it is only a few minutes’ walk away from the main attractions such as the Old Market, Pub […]

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New on

I’ve created two new Southeast Asian entries on If you’re looking for a sunny, virgin tropical island that’s free of the masses and far from the hustle and bustle of the big cities, then check out Lang Tengah island on the Malaysian east coast. For a more energetic holiday that will leave you feeling […]

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Spotlight: Kuala Lumpur

The capital of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur is a delightful city that’s certainly worth a visit. KL is the location of the famous Petronas twin towers (see image) but the city has so much more to offer: historic architectural jewels such as the Old Train Station and Jamek Mosque, atmospheric street bazaars, beautiful parks, and one […]

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