Homecoming

Bangkok, Thailand

I love coming back to Bangkok, always kick-started by a smile from the Thai immigration officers when they note where I was born. Our 2011 visit was before the flooding and just as Thailand’s first female Prime Minister was voted into office. The last time I was here was during the army coup of 2005 that set off the most recent ongoing political crisis. 2012 will no doubt be another interesting year. My favourite things include getting lost at Chatuchak (amongst its 15,000 stalls!), jumping on a klong boat, visiting old restaurants where – yes, even down to the table cloths – things are exactly the same and, of course, seeing old friends.

Buddha

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Worlds Apart

Bali and Lombok, Indonesia

Despite being divided by only a 20-minute flight, Bali and Lombok are worlds apart. It’s surprising that Lombok, with direct connections from Singapore, has managed to avoid Bali’s over-development – ‘Bali 20 years ago’ was the phrase we often heard. The differences don’t stop there, with Lombok’s culture being more akin to wider Muslim Indonesia than Hindu Bali, something particularly reflected in the food. If you ever go, I’d suggest visiting both, but spend more time exploring Lombok.

Route travelled: Singapore, Lombok, Bali

Puppets

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