Last week academics from around the world descended on Lombok, the Indonesian island known for palm-fringed and coral-ringed beaches and world-class surf, for the International Geographical Union conference on sustainable tourism.
"Come before the tourists visit” is the old Bangladesh tourist board slogan that had caught my eye and partially inspired my trip. Two days after arriving in the country, I unexpectedly meet the woman who came up with it. I’m at Wilderness, a resort in the north-eastern region of Sylhet, where the majority of British-Bangladeshis hail. It’s owned by Nazim Choudhury, whose glamorous wife, Geeteara, now runs her own advertising company.
Iran , host to many unique cultural treasures largely unseen by Western eyes, is expecting a significant rise in the number of tourists visiting the country in the wake of last week’s historic nuclear deal.
Aside from being often described as Cambodia’s “premier beach destination”, it is fair to say that Sihanoukville has something of a reputation. Most guides will at least mention tourist-focused police corruption, prostitution and drug dealing fuelled by both local and imported mafias.
"More secret than Mecca and harder to access than Lhasa, there is, in the heart of the Burmese jungle, a small unknown city, whose fabulous resources have yet ruled over people for centuries: It is Mogok, the citadel of ruby.”
Singapore has come a long way. As the city-state prepares to celebrate its first half-century of independence next month, it’s hard for the casual visitor to appreciate that within living memory it was little more than an obscure port.
It is generally advisable not to trust touts, but the boy who approached me as I was waiting for my bag at the airport made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. I’d arrived in Sittwe on the afternoon flight from Yangon, fearing I was far too late to find onward transport. Resigned to spending the night in Sittwe, I decided to throw caution to the winds when the boy at the airport offered me transport on a private boat leaving very soon for a reasonable price. Within 10 minutes I was on the back of a motorcycle heading towards the port, and at 4pm I was aboard a converted green wooden fishing boat headed for my destination: Mrauk Oo.