Sophie Lam

Sophie Lam is Head of Travel at The Independent. She joined the travel desk in 2004, after spending several months in Central America and when not in the office is happiest on the beach.

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Been there: Souvenirs can be a competitive sport among travellers

Sophie Lam: Which is more powerful, a tourist trinket or a memory?

Souvenir: "a memory", in French; or a thing that is kept as a reminder of a person, place or event. It comes from the Latin, subvenire: "occur to the mind".

Wilde at heart in the capital: Café Royal, London

Room Service

The Big Six: Panama retreats

Tropical forest, beach-facing suites and luxury tents

Gene Salomon in his taxi

Manhattan transfer: New York by cabbie

A new book by one of the Big Apple's legion of yellow-cab drivers reveals a close-up view of life on the city's streets. Sophie Lam goes along for the ride

‘We worship big things – most importantly, the mountain’

Back to the source: Bali’s design for life

Its architecture has been copied all over the world, but there’s a vital element in this Indonesian island that’s missing from its imitators, says Sophie Lam

Christmas gifts for globetrotters

Frequent business traveller, swanky city-breaker or intrepid explorer? Whoever you are buying for, Sophie Lam has the perfect present all wrapped up

Christmas gifts for globetrotters

Frequent business traveller, swanky city-breaker or intrepid explorer? Whoever you are buying for, Sophie Lam has the perfect present all wrapped up

The flavour of the streets: fruit vendors in Hanoi

Morning, noon and night in Vietnam

From Hanoi and Halong Bay to Ho Chi Minh City and the mighty Mekong, this south-east Asian destination packs plenty into its slender shape

Under the skin of the city: street art in Berlin’s Kreuzberg neighbourhood

Go in search of fresh perspectives in Berlin

With a friendly local in tow, Sophie Lam gets the lowdown on life in the German capital

Room Service: Soho House, Torstrasse 1, Berlin, Germany

Soho. It's a measure of a city, a means of quantifying its cool quotient. London? It's got the original, home to any number of new and fashionable bars and restaurants. New York? Head South of Houston. And when in Los Angeles or Hong Kong, look no further than South of Hollywood.

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Day In a Page

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Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
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Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
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Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all