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.

The bounty marks an escalation in the fight against wildlife crime

$1m bounty on the ‘Pablo Escobar’ of animal trafficking's head

Reward targets Vixay Keosavang in new escalation of fight against this ‘lucrative’ crime

John-Paul Conley with his partner Kate Downey who was travelling with him when he was swept away while swimming in a river in Laos.

Missing Briton John-Paul Conley found dead in Laos

Mr Conley was travelling with his partner when he was swept away while swimming, a friend had raised £30,000 to fund the search

A giant ibis searches for food in a pond in Mondulkiri province

Hope for giant ibis as new nest is found in Cambodia

There are believed to be only 345 giant ibis remaining in the wild, but there is hope for conservationists after a nest of the endangered species was discovered in a hitherto unknown habitat in north-eastern Cambodia.

Open Jaw

Ultimate European rail journeys

I agree about the Glacier Express journey – beautiful. In spring, you go past houses covered in snow; in summer, Alpine meadows and flowers; while autumn brings the different tree colours. If you can afford it, travel first class. A totally different experience!

Jeanne

Burmese drug lord Naw Kham is taken to be executed

Convicts paraded on television ahead of execution

China’s state TV captures the moments before four men who murdered 13 fishermen are put to death

Man caught smuggling 600 deadly cobras into Thailand

Thai authorities have seized a pickup truck full of deadly cobras at a checkpoint in the country's central region. They believe the snakes came from Malaysia and were destined for a third country for use in traditional medicine or human consumption.

Police in Thailand find unexpected contraband in vehicle... 16 tiger cubs

Police in north-eastern Thailand who chased a pickup truck trying to avoid a highway checkpoint found unexpected contraband in the back of the vehicle: 16 tiger cubs.

An all-woman mine-clearing team in Laos

The Laotian women clearing a legacy of war

A groundbreaking initiative aims to clear unexploded bombs from the Vietnam War – and educate women in the process. By Georgia Catt

An all-woman mine-clearing team in Laos

The women who clear bombs

A groundbreaking initiative in Laos aims to clear the land of munitions from the Vietnam War – and educate women in the process

The Weekend's Viewing: The World’s Most Dangerous Roads, Sun, BBC2
Engineering Giants: Jumbo Jet Strip-Down, Sun, BBC2

The World's Most Dangerous Roads might be the most quintessential Sunday evening programme ever made.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton makes historic visit to Laos

Hillary Clinton returned to the scene of the one of the darkest episodes of US foreign policy when she visited Laos and saw first-hand the aftermath of America’s “secret war” in which around two million tonnes of bombs were dropped on the country.

A petrol bomb explodes near riot police during demonstrationsin Athens

Running battles and rebellion in Athens over new austerity moves

Greek coalition in disarray as European creditors are accused of 'blackmail'

Chinese take a gamble on the pleasures of sin city

A playground for businessmen is thriving on land leased from the Laos government. Edward Loxton reports from Kapok City

Man held over tiger trafficking ring

Police have arrested a man suspected of being a key player in one of Thailand's largest tiger trafficking rings. Authorities had been searching for the 49-year-old Thai man since last year, when they issued a warrant for his arrest after seizing a Bengal tiger cub, police said.

The long, risky road from North to South

Frightened and disconsolate, 50 North Koreans seeking a better life in the southern part of their divided peninsula sit in an abandoned police station on the Thai side of the broad Mekong River and count the hours until they can continue on with the final stage of their journey.

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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 15 May 2015
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor
The ZX Spectrum has been crowd-funded back into play - with some 21st-century tweaks

The ZX Spectrum is back

The ZX Spectrum was the original - and for some players, still the best. David Crookes meets the fans who've kept the games' flames lit
Grace of Monaco film panned: even the screenwriter pours scorn on biopic starring Nicole Kidman

Even the screenwriter pours scorn on Grace of Monaco biopic

The critics had a field day after last year's premiere, but the savaging goes on
Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people used to believe about periods

Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people once had about periods

If one was missed, vomiting blood was seen as a viable alternative
The best work perks: From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)

The quirks of work perks

From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)
Is bridge the latest twee pastime to get hip?

Is bridge becoming hip?

The number of young players has trebled in the past year. Gillian Orr discovers if this old game has new tricks
Long author-lists on research papers are threatening the academic work system

The rise of 'hyperauthorship'

Now that academic papers are written by thousands (yes, thousands) of contributors, it's getting hard to tell workers from shirkers
The rise of Lego Clubs: How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships

The rise of Lego Clubs

How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships
5 best running glasses

On your marks: 5 best running glasses

Whether you’re pounding pavements, parks or hill passes, keep your eyes protected in all weathers
Joe Root: 'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

Joe Root says the England dressing room is a happy place again – and Stokes is the catalyst
Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

Please save my husband

As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada