Travel

Springtime, just before the new century began. As Laos is now the new Cambodia, Vietnam was then the new Thailand, and my girlfriend and I had arrived – with our backpacks – to see what all the fuss was about. The capital Hanoi had dazzled, and we were due to take the train 420 miles down the coast to Hué. We were late, though. We were always late.

Li Keqiang, set to become China's premier

Li Keqiang urges deeper urbanization to support China's growth

Li Keqiang, set to become China's premier in March, said the nation must deepen its rural-urban population shift to support growth while avoiding the economic stagnation associated with middle-income countries.

Last night's viewing - Four Born Every Second, BBC1; Stephen Fry: Gadget Man, Channel 4

Four Born Every Second, Brian Hill's contribution to Why Poverty?, a series of documentaries on the subject, began with a question: "Is it worse to be born poor or die poor?" It rather depends on what happens in between, I found myself thinking, before realising that the question wasn't really intended to be answered. And unfortunately the vagueness of that moment turned out to be typical of a film that was full of good intentions but distinctly thin on the ground when it came to logical coherence.

Tradition or trap? Berlin’s Christmas market

Open Jaw: Where readers write back

Michael Palin’s Brazil

Crowded house: the temples of Angkor can get busy

Open Jaw: Where readers write back

Christmas in Cambodia

Barack Obama to make groundbreaking visit to Burma

President Barack Obama will make a groundbreaking visit later this month to Burma, an official said today, following through with his policy of rapprochement to encourage democracy in the Southeast Asian nation.

Welcome to my eight wonders of the world

I took my family to one of the Seven Wonders of the World yesterday. We drove to Chichen Itza (or chicken pizza as the locals call it), the ancient Mayan ruins that lie in the centre of the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico and became a "new" Wonder in 2007. We got there early to avoid the hordes of coach parties that descend upon the place after 10am. It's certainly impressive, but I couldn't help thinking that I'd been to even more amazing places that hadn't made the New Wonders list, established by a company in Switzerland which claims to have got over 100 million votes before announcing the seven winners.

Royal audience: mourners gather in Phnom Penh

Trail of the unexpected: Cambodia - for king and country

Lara Dunston watches as thousands mourn the death of their monarch in Phnom Penh

Ruthless and charming, Cambodia mourns its ‘King-Father’

Cambodia mourns its ruthless and charming 'King Father'

The body of Cambodia's former king, Norodom Sihanouk, will be displayed for up to three months before a large state funeral is held for the mercurial and widely loved monarch who died after suffering a heart attack.

How We Met: Stevie Parle and Emma Grazette

'Both of us had been bitten to death. Then the monsoon started…'

BLADE RUNNER: More than 80 layers of carbon fibre make up the blades now used by almost all amputee runners at the Paralympics. Oscar Pistorius (pictured), the Blade Runner himself, is their most famous wearer, having powered to four Paralympic golds in Beijing and Athens. The South African wears Flex-Foot Cheetah prosthetics invented by US amputee Van Phillips and now produced by the Icelandic firm, Ossur. The blade-style leg was the first to store energy like a spring, re-using it at the crucial moment the leg pushes off from the ground. Pistorius’s leg can return 90 per cent of the energy it stores, far short of the 250 per cent return achieved by a real leg. Pistorius had to prove the blade offered no special advantage before he was allowed to run at the Olympics

The race is on in the hi-tech Paralympics

Engineers more used to working with fighter jets and Formula 1 cars are giving disabled athletes a winning edge.

Our team is a model for other generations,’ say Dominique
(left) and Jean

Tutsis and Hutus unite to bury memory of Rwanda’s civil war

Dominique and Jean bear the scars of a brutal conflict. Then they were enemies. Now they find themselves in the same volleyball team – and a friendship has blossomed

Marathon speech by Cambodian PM

Asia's longest-serving ruler has set what appears to be a personal record for his longest public speech: five hours, 20 minutes.

Deadly virus forces closure of schools across South East Asia

Health officials in several countries across South East Asia are on alert over a deadly virus that has killed more 50 young children and which the authorities fear could spread further.

Cambodia: Bo Xilai witness flies to China

A Frenchman held in Cambodia because of alleged links to the Bo Xilai scandal has flown to China, where he is wanted as a witness.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions