A sustainable retreat

In the southwest of Phnom Penh lies the region's largest surviving rainforest. After landing, I met other travel companions to spend three nights together at a riverside camp. We were split into two vans and headed for Sihanoukville. Downtown shophouses and heavy traffic gave way to lush scenery. No sooner had the hustle faded into the distance than rice paddies, palm trees and mountains came into sight. Here, Cambodia's nature remains undisturbed. In more or less two hours, we arrived at the ca

Tranquil beauty

A powerful earthquake that struck the northwest of Kathmandu in 2015 sent a ripple of destruction through the country. Not far from its epicentre, Bhaktapur bore the brunt of the natural disaster that damaged houses and religious structures. After years of reconstruction, despite lingering signs of ruin, this ancient town continues to preserve harmony between the old and the new.

After departing the capital city, we stopped at the heritage site for a few hours. While waiting to pay for entry, I

Snowy peaks and vibrant culture

Debris remains the lingering evidence of a massive earthquake in Nepal in 2015. With the epicentre in the northwest of Kathmandu, followed by hundreds of aftershocks, the natural disaster killed around 9,000 people, injured over 100,000 and impacted around 8 million. As Nepal began to recover, the coronavirus pandemic brought the world to a complete standstill and tourism cracked and collapsed like people's homes.

Krishna Adhikari, a teacher-turned-guide in his 50s, is one of them.

"The earthq

Artists rally to save the Chao Mae Thap Thim Shrine

Hemmed in on all sides by construction, colourful paintings are nailed to the metal sheet fences of an age-old community. Inside, there is thoughtful mixed-media artwork, performances and memorabilia left behind in the wake of displacement. Artists are campaigning all-out for the protection of the Chao Mae Thap Thim Shrine ahead of a first court ruling that could result in demolition at the end of the month.

Wasitpon Tunsatapornpan, an organiser and artist, said people in this neighbourhood, on

Move Forward won't vote for Pheu Thai PM candidate

The Move Forward Party (MFP) said it would vote against the prime ministerial candidate of the Pheu Thai Party because Pheu Thai was forming a government with military-linked parties.

MFP secretary-general Chaithawat Tulathon told reporters at the parliament on Monday that the election-winning party did not base its decision on the prime ministerial candidate of Pheu Thai but on MFP's standpoint that it would not support the parties of the "uncles".

He was apparently referring to the Palang Pr

MFP to press House on charter rewrite

The Move Forward Party (MFP) will submit an urgent motion asking the House of Representatives to pass a resolution seeking a public referendum on rewriting the constitution.

MFP list-MP Parit Wacharasindhu said on Wednesday the proposed referendum would ask people if they agree with setting up a charter-rewriting assembly, with members publicly elected to draft a new constitution.

He said two key elements must be addressed -- whether the charter should be entirely rewritten and if the writing

MFP submits 9 bills for promised law reforms

The Move Forward Party (MFP) has submitted nine more bills to parliament as the reformist party pushes for changes it promised supporters while campaigning for the May 14 general election.

The bills are in three sets, the first concerning local administration, the second corruption prevention and the rest are about diversity, according to list-MP Parit Wacharasindhu, who is behind the move.

The party on July 18 submitted two sets of bills, seven in total, to parliament relating to reforms to t

A forgotten heritage

To the layman, Paniat is unheard of. It is an ancient town that lies in the eastern province of Chanthaburi. It sits at the foot of Khao Sa Bap, a square settlement that was once guarded by walls but levelled out, buried and forgotten to make way for an orchard village. However, the site retains remnants of Khmer culture that highlight the dynamic interaction between Siam and its neighbours.

"In BE 12, Dvaravati towns in the Central Region were circular or oval in shape, but those in Khmer cult

The power of boycotts

Soon after Move Forward Party (MFP) leader Pita Limjaroenrat failed to gather enough support for the premiership, some voters launched retaliatory campaigns with the hashtag #senatorbusiness to boycott business networks of handpicked junta senators who rejected him or abstained. Senators then took legal action against those who they believe harass them and their families. Voters are not only cutting off social relations but also punishing senators for committing crimes against democracy.

Divers

A world of colours

Kamolnate Trisupatsilp hears every sound as a colour. When she wakes up, an air conditioner's noise hums a grey fog. A pastel songbird laps gently in the corner of her visual field. When she drinks water, she can't help but see purple, orange and other hues ripple. When she walks to the bathroom and begins her daily routine, she experiences a kind of visual feast that can't be put into words. It goes on and on all day.

"Before I fall asleep, I still hear some distant sounds. Hence, the backs of

A vanishing heritage

In Sam Yan district, the fate of the Chao Mae Thap Thim Shrine highlights the fine balance between conservation and development

If it were not for a handful of visitors, the Chao Mae Thap Thim Shrine would completely vanish. Flanked by metal sheet fences, a narrow alley leads to the remnants of age-old communities. An entrance is adorned with red lanterns. A facade is painted with mythological figures. A roof is embellished with tile dolls. The smell of burning incense wafts through the open ga

Accepting all forms of family

Her family is made up of two mothers and a daughter. Matcha Phorn-In believes that homophobia fuelled a villager to set a fire near her home in San Kamphaeng in 2016. It occurred several times and although she reported these incidents to the police, they did not take any action because damage did not result in loss of life or property. Hence, they decided to move out and live downtown for safety.

"A family is not necessarily defined by biology, but by how we feel. Anyone can be a part of it," s

Immerse yourself in queer bathhouse art

A bathhouse. A place for a romantic encounter. A community space. A gay sauna can also be a gallery that consolidates sexual and artistic experiences. Located in the heart of Phra Khanong, Krubb Bangkok is showcasing a photographer's collection of erotic artwork that explores the taboo subject of sexual expression and healing.

"BoyxTherapy" is a solo exhibition by Shotbyly, or Patthakarn "Mel" Sadubtham, who spent a year producing retro artwork by using digital photography and film editing tech

Tales of queer migration

There is a border that defines the contour of his identity. Only by crossing it can Jaokhun Promchana be the man he wants to be. After moving to the US, he studied a new language and toiled in the kitchen. Holding a dream close to his heart, he went the extra mile to join the US Navy and police. Currently, he is running a restaurant with his wife. From the outside, he looks no different from other men, but in his expired documents, a name and its title are a reminder of the former self that he a

The right to clean air

In 2009, Smog In The City envisioned a not-too-distant future for Chiang Mai. Set in 2019, Fah returns home to find her family and villagers suffering from air pollution. Following a critical level of toxic haze, the government orders a state of emergency and immediate evacuation. After her mother dies of smog-induced acute coronary syndrome, she rushes to take her family to an airport like other evacuees. While her father and brother deteriorate, a couple approaches her

Giving a face to the forgotten

Inside, everything seems to be in order. Time goes according to schedule. You eat, work, play and sleep. Nothing strays from the course. There is no disorder, or if there is, it is kept under control. Here, you go by the book, not at anybody's whim. But you are not alone. There are thousands around you who stick together through thick and thin. What more could you ask for? While basic needs are met, you are not allowed to go outside until completion of your term.

That is what life behind bars i

Struggling to survive

You are what you eat, but some do not have the privilege to choose. Nai, who is skinny and short for his age, lacks more than just a proper diet. He has been abandoned by his mother, and his father is serving a jail term. As a result, his uncle has kindly taken him into his own family. But like others, he is living from hand-to-mouth, so providing his nephew with a balanced diet from the five food groups is difficult. Due to a lack of variety in their diet, slum children, though not starving, ar

A bitter farewell

As Bangkok's Robot Building gets a makeover, a change in attitudes and laws is in order to preserve cultural landmarks

The Robot Building on Sathon Road is a childhood superhero that comes to life. Standing on staggered floors, the chunky android is studded with nuts and bolts. Its head boasts metallic-lidded eyes and two communication antennae and its frontal body is outfitted with black glass and blue stripes like armour. It is ready to fight a monster in the urban jungle.

Unlike other highr

Temperatures soar, headaches rise

As a heatwave grips the nation, people of low-income backgrounds are feeling the pinch

Like other early birds, Dao Dul, 35, goes on duty at first light. For her, time is literally money. Her office is not a well-built weather-proof skyscraper. It is a makeshift cart that provides affordable dishes to hundreds of community residents from dawn to dusk.

It is not a long day, but the scorching summer is making her life unbearable. A couple of weeks ago, the city's mercury peaked at 40°C.

"It is t

Overcoming the odds

That is how Marco Pierre White -- British chef, restaurateur and television personality studded with three Michelin stars -- describes Thai cuisine.

White frequently visits Asia, but never forms any preconception to avoid the taste of disappointment. When he came to Thailand this month for the first time, his eyes became wide open to "a visual feast", whether it be canals, gardens or grand buildings that have aged with grace.

"It is a city which plucks emotions. It is a city of extremes. Becau

Pin-up stars

In the erotic novel Hom Dok Praduan (1968), Rong Wongsawan hints that a teenager fondled his flesh in front of her. “On the door is a cover photo of a socialite in Bangkok. Clad in her swimsuit, she allows waves to break on her thighs. But someone with restless hands drew overgrown grass so that he can rub it gently until it is torn. (In Mathayom 4, he often fantasised about her. The first syllable of her name begins with the mor letter. He feels thankful whenever she comes into his mind [...]).

Songs for life as it's no longer lived

Ad Carabao's new song Prachathipatung revives the myth of vote-buying and ignorance in rural society. The title is a coinage blending prachathipatai (democracy) and tung (money). On the track, parents ask children to return to their home village to vote for local politicians who give them money. It puts into song from the political discourse of an urban middle class that expresses disdain for villagers along with antipathy for one type of money politics as
Load More