Asia

Tajikistan

A Persian-speaking outpost in a predominantly Turkic region, Tajikistan is the odd man out in Central Asia. The country is a patchwork of self-contained valleys and regional contrasts, forged together by Soviet nation-building and shared pride in a Persian cultural heritage that is claimed as the oldest and most influential in the Silk Road region. […]

Pakistan

Media impressions of Pakistan are a jumble of lslamic fundament-alism and martial law, while for overland travelers the country is often seen as the last hurdle before reaching lndia. ln fact Pakistan offers some of Asia’s most mind-blowing landscapes, extraordinary trekking, the spectacular Karakoram Highway, a multitude of cultures, and a long tradition of hospitality. […]

Afghanistan

Blessed with stark natural beauty, venerable history and rich and diverse culture,Afghanistan has of late been blinghted with more than its share of troubles. This landlocked country,at the crossroads of Central Asia, has seen armies and empires,merchants and mwndicants, poets and prophets come and go over millennia. Lmages of a war-blighted landscape do not do […]

Philippines

Closer to Spain and Mexico via the fabled galleon trade, and some say to Hollywood bt way of its showbiz politics, the Philippines remains Southeast Asia’s destination of surprises along routes less traveled. There are more than 7000 shimmering islands to choose from, plus endless fiestas, but best thing is the sense that there are […]

Laos

Life in laid-back Laos is languid and leisurely: watching the morning sun light up the mighty Mekong River, wandering through aromatic markets and kicking back with a beer in hand. lt’s the simple pleasures that make a visit to this enigmatic country a delight, and what Laso lacks in in-your-face attractions is made for with […]

Japan

Whether you end up taking photos of a neon-lit skyline, surfing an indoor wave, musing in a Zen temple, shacking up in a love hotel or kipping down in a traditional inn, you’ll dobest to come to Japan with an open mind and be prepared to be surprised. Somewhere between the elegant for mality of […]

Singapore

Many people (including a fair few Singaporeans) dismiss the island-city of Singapore as the McDonald’s of Southeast Asia-blandly efficient and safe, boringly unadventurous and overwhelmingly corporate. lt’s true that Singapore has traded in its steamy rickshaw image for towers of concrete and glass, but a sultry heart still beats beneath the big-city surface. This is […]

Turkmenistan

The most curious of the Asian republics, Turkmenistan resembles an Arab Gulf state without the money. Money. Most of the country consists of an inhospitable lunar-like desert called the Karakum, which conceals unexploited oil and gas deposits. Turkmenistan is sparsely populated and its people, the Turkmen, are only a generation or two removed from being […]

Sri lanka

Marco Polo dubbed Sri Lanka the finest island in the world, and visitors continue to be seduced by the heavy warm air, the endless rich green foliage, the luxuriant swirls of the Sinhalese alphabet, the multicoloured Buddhit flags, and the variety of saris, fruit, jewellery and spices on sale in the markets. Sri Lankan festivals […]

Malaysia

Malaysia is an assault on the senses-a cultural fusion of colours, flavours and dialects combined with sticky tropical heat. lt boasts superb beaches, mountains and national parks, plus a heady mix of people-Malay, Chinese, lndian, and the diverse indigenous tribes of Sabah and Sarawak in Borneo. Historical influences loom large in the stately colonial architecture […]