International Media & Television

Vietnam’s Ghosts Are Hungry for iPhones

It’s 8pm in Hanoi’s labyrinthine Old Quarter and shop-owner Tran Thu Hien places her last $100 bill on the crackling street-side fire. I’ve watched her burn through thousands of dollars, but it’s still not enough. Hien, crouched over the blaze and dripping with sweat, has exhausted the cash. So she unpacks a box of personal items, pre-prepared for incineration: a gold Rolex, a pair of designer sunglasses, a pack of Cuban cigars and an iPhone X. Finally, Hien turns to a black Toyota Camry. The ca

Travel Better: Responsible Travel in the Philippines

The travel industry has helped bring countless individuals out of poverty, but it’s also been an important force in preserving the country’s diverse and rich cultures. Tourism has provided valuable employment opportunities to people with disabilities and encouraged others to launch programs with lasting community impact. With sustainable tourism and environmental preservation being key focuses over the last decade, you’ll find that it’s possible to have even more fun in the Philippines than ever. Here’s a taste of the outstanding destinations and colorful characters you’ll encounter during your visit.

Vietnam’s New Biophilic Architecture Is Going Wild

Picture architecture in Vietnam and you might imagine ancient temples buried down countryside lanes or faded colonial buildings lining the city streets. But spurred by unprecedented economic growth, this Southeast Asian country of almost 100 million is revamping its traditional image – and architecture is part of the overhaul. After decades spent trying to keep Vietnam’s unrelenting jungles out of the cities, visionary architects now harness th

Hanoi Cafes: The City’s Most Important Cultural Spaces

Hanoi, the enigmatic 1000-year-old capital of Vietnam, is a city steeped in legend and layered with intrigue. At the city’s geographical and spiritual heart is the semi-mythical Lake of the Returned Sword, which divides central Hanoi into the chaotic tangle of lanes and alleyways that constitute the Old Quarter to the north, and the grand, tree-lined boulevards that form the French Quarter to the south.

A Paradise Escape: Electric Bangkok

Bangkok boggles the mind like no place else. When you fly through the sky on the city’s thundering sky train, it feels like you’ve stepped into the future – until you look down and spot traditional houses that have stood for decades. Take in the views from a riverside skyscraper and you’ll be on top of the world – but then the neighboring ancient stupa will bring you back to earth. For breakfast you can tuck into mouthwatering street eats, for lunch you’ll snack in boutique bistros and in the e

9 of the Best Hotels in Hanoi

Hanoi’s chequered history has created a beautiful mess of contrasting neighbourhoods. There's the labyrinthine Old Quarter; tree-studded French Quarter; lake-filled Tay Ho District; and the glistening modernity of the rapidly developing Westside precincts. Fortunately, accommodation options are spread throughout the city so you can pair your personality with the neighbourhood. From boutique charm squeezed into the Old City, to spacious modern creations from award-winning architects, there’s an

A Paradise Escape: Southern Thailand's Beaches

Beyond the beaches, Phuket offers urban delights that might take you by surprise. Phuket Old Town overflows with stories told through picturesque heritage buildings. Rows of colorful shophouses lie in small alleyways and reflect a spirited trading history. Handsome Sino-Portuguese mansions are proud reminders of Phuket’s tin-mining industry, which shaped the island in the 19th and 20th centuries. Now, these buildings are captivating places of interest, with many converted into trendy cafes, bou

All The Rage: What the Vietnamese Are Burning

Some Vietnamese people believe that life after death isn’t that different from life before it. Like the rest of us, the dead need cash, shelter and creature comforts. Families have long burned paper replicas of money and other necessities, partly to wish their ancestors good fortune in the afterlife. But houses and bicycles are now passé: these days the dead want modern tech. A replica iPhone will set devout relatives back about 20,000 Vietnamese dong, or $1. A paper-thin iPad is double that. Who would have guessed that pricey gadgets were so much more affordable on the other side?