South Bank, Sunday Morning

South Bank, Sunday Morning thumbnail
Dusty rays illuminate the narrow trail that runs from Borough Market to the South Bank. Outside The Clink, a council worker sweeps last night’s party debris and drunken memories along the cobblestone surface, past a filthy doorway where two young men lie unconscious. The tide is low, so the river ambles narrow and coy between […]

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Kolkata: Anger management in the urban jungle

Kolkata: Anger management in the urban jungle thumbnail
He bit me. The fucker bit me! My lower arm is itchy, red and seriously swollen. Surely this can’t be normal? I knew there was going to be a disaster in this godforsaken jungle. Why did I agree to come? This is not how I expected it to end. What an utterly unglamorous way to […]

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It was all Yellow: Saigon Welcomes the Year of the Snake thumbnail
In London, New Year’s Eve is all about a single night of overpriced and overcrowded bars, drunken idiots and – if you’re lucky – some half-decent fireworks. With the exception of one fantastic night to celebrate the new millennium, I’ve generally avoided New Year’s Eve parties like the plague. So when I realised that my […]

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Inside Ho Chi Minh City’s Reunification Palace thumbnail
I’ve never been an efficient sightseer, mostly because I don’t like being on a schedule when I’m traveling. Bar some essential Tripadvisor tips and basic Google Maps searches, I generally let a place unfold as organically as I can, and I definitely don’t care whether I manage to fit in the top twenty, ten or […]

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Ho Chi Minh: City of Beautiful Madness

Ho Chi Minh: City of Beautiful Madness thumbnail
45,000 Dong – that’s just under a couple of British pounds – will buy you entry to the South Saigon Pools: a secluded oasis in hot suburban district 7. Kids play in the sand-filled shallow water, and in the adult pool a middle-aged Australian is teaching his Vietnamese companion to swim. She paddles with her […]

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Street Photos and Portraits: Valletta, Malta

Street Photos and Portraits: Valletta, Malta thumbnail
Maltese travel guides are full of references to a chequered history made up of Greek, Roman, Arab, Norman, French and British influences. They talk at length about the legacy of the Knights of St. John, the interesting architecture and the great food that characterise this Mediterranean island with its temperate December days. It’s all there […]

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Snapshots of Kolkata from a taxi

Snapshots of Kolkata from a taxi thumbnail
The last time I visited Kolkata I was filled with fear and wonder, shock and poetry, confusion and excitement – eager to dig beneath the dusty outer layer of this faded, vibrant, mad, laid-back, modern, ancient, rich slum of a contradiction. I wrote hasty ..... [Read more]

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Street view: Ibiza

Street view: Ibiza thumbnail
I resisted visiting Ibiza for a long time, simply because I did not imagine it to be the kind of place to have a relaxing holiday, due to its reputation as binge party destination. Finally succumbing based on friends’ recommendations, I was genuinely surprised ..... [Read more]

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Street View: Breil-sur-Roya

Street View: Breil-sur-Roya thumbnail
Breil is perched in a quiet valley about an hour’s drive north of Nice. It is popular for trout fishing, historic walks and visits to the surrounding olive groves, so unsurprisingly it is not exactly a hotspot for international tourists.... [Read more]

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Street View: Barcelona & Madrid

Street View: Barcelona & Madrid thumbnail
I have always suffered some subconsciously-held prejudices about Spain, based on rather clichéd images of package holidays, an overdeveloped coastline, British people insisting on being served real ale and full English breakfasts in their mother tongue, stag weekends and general loutishness.... [Read more]

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