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.

For a flavour of South-east Asia, eat local

Look for the long queues and order seasonal dishes. Andrew Spooner offers some tips for budget diners

A taste of austerity: Can chef Valentine Warner conjure a feast from wartime food rations?

Seventy years ago this month – on 8 January 1940, to be precise – food rationing was introduced to Great Britain, and it wouldn't finally be shown the door for another 14 years. That means that anyone who was a toddler at the start of the Second World War would have been of school-leaving age when meat and bacon were finally taken "off the coupon" in the summer of 1954. Understandably, childhood obesity wasn't seen as a problem.

Thailand sends 4,000 Hmong asylum-seekers back to Laos

Thai troops packed more than 4,000 ethnic Hmong into military trucks yesterday for a one-way journey to Laos, all but ending the Hmong's three-decade search for asylum following their alliance with the US during the Vietnam War.

The Merry Misogynist, By Colin Cotterill

Magical mystic is a cut above

Album: David McAlmont & Michael Nyman, The Glare (MN)

In this intriguing alliance of soul and classical forms, David McAlmont uses selections from Nyman's back catalogue as the backdrops to song-stories drawn from recent news reports, all concerning people on the cusp of crisis.

How to keep it comfy on the flashpacker trail

South-east Asia specialises in cheap yet chic lodgings. Andrew Spooner picks his favourites

Daniel Howden: Victory demonstrates that Greek politics is stagnant

When a party leader with every possible advantage staggers to victory at the third time of asking, trailing two election defeats in his wake, it's clear that politics have stagnated in Greece. George Papandreou has finally succeeded in following his father and grandfather in becoming prime minister but it's an empty victory that will be met with little enthusiasm.

Typhoon slams into northern Philippines

A powerful typhoon slammed into the northeastern tip of the Philippines today, tearing roofs off houses and uprooting trees, but there were no immediate reports of casualties.

Honeymoon couple in river 'tubing' tragedy

Woman finds husband's body after three-day search

Origami champion, 12, captures Thai hearts

Prime Minister tells boy with refugee parents that he can travel to Japan

Legal challenge over 'unsafe' Laos drugs conviction

A woman jailed in Laos on drugs charges who returned to the United Kingdom to serve her sentence launched a legal challenge today against her conviction.

Pregnant prisoner flown home from Laos – but child's father left in jail

Woman convicted of drug trafficking allowed to return because she is pregnant

Pregnant Briton jailed in Laos flown home

A pregnant Briton sentenced to life imprisonment in Laos for trafficking heroin flew home Thursday to serve the remainder of her sentence, just weeks before she was due to give birth.

Pregnant Brit jailed on drug charges to leave Laos

A pregnant British woman jailed in Laos for trafficking heroin will be sent home tomorrow to serve her sentence in Britain, a Lao government official said today.

Anne Keothavong: 'I didn't want to lose my handbag. It wasn't like he had a knife to me'

The Brian Viner Interview: She has seen off muggers and slept in an attic full off cockroaches, but the British No 1 knows she will face one of her greatest battles at the All England Championships
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 30 January 2015
Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee