One of those reporter guys.
At first glance, Seit Tine Kya feels like any other teahouse in Yangon, Myanmar’s largest city: boisterous with animated chatter, the sipping of milky tea, the slurping of greasy noodles, the shuffling of sandals on concrete, and the kiss-kiss of old patrons calling out to young waiters.
Life moves slowly at Myanmar’s largest lake but in the mountains just beyond its shores buzzes a flurry of both destructive and illegal activity. Along with dozens of unregulated gold mining operations south of the lake, there churns an illegal logging industry in the northeast which local conservationists say is ravaging forests inside Indawgyi’s wildlife sanctuary.
It is just after 11am when Thurein Win orders his third tea of the morning, a laiphet yeh type, as the Burmese call it, black tea with condensed milk. The order arrives as it always does in Yangon tea houses, rapidly, in a white cup on a white saucer with the milky brown brew spilling over the top. Win, in a black t-shirt, khakis and with a hairdo like the head of an upturned mop, takes a slow sip before he looks over. “By the way, have you read A Nice Cup of Tea by George Orwell?” he asks.
Deep within the Dangrek Mountains of northern Cambodia, on a cliff at the end of a rugged jungle path barely wide enough for a motorbike, stands Pol Pot’s house. Blanketed in moss and moldering in the tropical swelter, the two-story ruin is a monument to two decades of neglect. The air, heavy and humid, buzzes with cicadas.
Six years ago, Ry Mam boarded an international flight from LAX with three other Cambodians and two US marshals. “If any of you try to run, we’ll shoot you,” one of the marshals told the Cambodians. Mam thought that was strange—they were on an airplane and, anyway, he could have run a long time ago.
At 10 a.m. in Prek Lvea, a village across the Mekong River from Cambodia’s capital, among pecking chickens, dirt roads, and palm-shaded hovels, a heavy-metal concert is under way. The show, put on in an open-air kindergarten classroom, is performed by an assortment of local children and teens, and it seems as if the whole village has come out to gape. Watching from the crowd of chirping children and visibly confused adults is Timon Seibel, a bearded, blond Swiss-German – and the mastermind of this rural metal madness.
In the close-knit world of Maldivian bodyboarding, everybody has a nickname. Ahmed Arish, the country’s fourth-ranked bodyboarder, is Teddie. Ali Javed, the country’s second best, is Jaatte. Abdulla
Areef, the president of the Maldives Bodyboarding
Association, goes by Fuku.
At the Pyongyang Cold Noodle Restaurant in Phnom Penh, one of a dozen plus eateries around the world owned by the North Korean regime, beer flows as freely as the blessed waters of the Kuryong Falls. An experience there is a grand show and, like any fiction, it is enhanced by alcohol, which is brought to you by spotless women in puffy joseon-ot dresses.
An in-depth look into the burgeoning custom motorcycle scene in Phnom Penh for Fah Thai, Bangkok Airline's in-flight magazine.
Habitat loss from human development is taking a toll on migratory shorebirds around the world, with nearly half of the known populations in decline. While many of these birds have been finding refuge in man-made salt pans—long, muddy depressions of shallow seawater used in salt farming—this habitat is also disappearing.
Over a dozen motorbike riders have pulled over on the side of Boduthakurufaanu Magu, Malé’s main road, to stare out on the Varunulaa Raalhugandu surf points. In the high wind, strong waves are breaking against the shore, misting their faces with spray. The waves are heavy with memory: local surfers have ridden them for generations. In recent years, foreigners too have flocked here, to the southeast coast of Malé, the uber-congested capital of the Maldives, to share in the waves’ tubular splendor.
Paul Ferber and his deckhand Puppet stand wide-legged at the bow of their charging vessel. A lopsided half-moon brightens the night, reflected in a shimmering pyramid of light upon the bay. The pair are silhouettes until Puppet flashes on a search lamp and points it ahead. Revealed in the beam, like an apparition, a cracked and peeling fishing boat appears out of the darkness. Its smoky engine pops and bangs, a deep, desperate rattle, the sounds like quick-burst gunshots, as it begins fleeing. Puppet struggles to keep the search lamp steady as they chase after it, illuminating leaping silvery fish in its quivering beam.
Starfish suffer mysterious and gruesome demise alon...
My journey began with a layover of seven hours and 55 minutes in Kuala Lumpur. As the plane emptied out at the airport gate, I found myself with hunger pangs and plenty of time to kill. I thought, Why not check out Restoran Sek Yuen? A blog called Foodiehub recently had the gall to deem it the world’s greatest Chinese restaurant. Was such a place even possible? Sek Yuen was only a few miles away. It seemed like a worthwhile investigation.
Writers and thinkers have long felt the creative benefits of international travel. Ernest Hemingway, for example, drew inspiration for much of his work from his time in Spain and France. Aldous Huxley, the author of Brave New World, moved from the U.K. to the U.S. in his 40s to branch out into screenwriting. Mark Twain, who sailed around the coast of the Mediterranean in 1869, wrote in his travelogue Innocents Abroad that travel is “fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.”