'It was like going back a million years'

A decade ago Thailand's Phang Nga Bay was unchartered territory ÿ then explorers stumbled upon a hidden beach within its island caves.

The centre of the universe

According to Hindu mythology, the uppermost temple of three at Angkor Wat in Cambodia is the hub of everything that exists. Perhaps that explains why this magnificent complex has survived the depredations of war, the Khmer Rouge and creeping jungle

The Independent Traveller: 007 Steps to Heaven

JAMES BOND'S world-saving jaunts have taken him to a host of exotic locations. Next Friday (26 November), the latest Bond extravaganza, `The World Is Not Enough', is released in the UK. Until then, step into the gleaming shoes of Connery, Moore and Brosnan, and set off on a trail of 007 destinations.

The Beach: Fantasy islands

Alex Garland's novel `The Beach' articulated every traveller's dream of discovering an unspoilt paradise. Photographer Simon Norfolk visited the locations for the upcoming film version and found the reality of life there is rather different. Words by Matthew Sweet

Letter: Wrong foot

Sir: Whoever is making Doc Martens (letter, 5 November), be they Thai or Brit, can they take a bit more care? I've had a pair for a fortnight and they're crippling me.

Rugby league: Walters is given leave of absence

Rugby league: Walters is given leave of absence

Boots in Holland

Boots in Holland

NP's Thai deal

NP's Thai deal

Six of the Best: warm winter blankets

`Fern' lambswool throw, in mid- hyacinth, pounds 256, Asta Barrington (0181 874 3001) or from Designers' Guild (0171-351 5775)

Today's Number: 50

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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform
Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

Take a good look while you can

How climate change could wipe out this seal
Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?

Farewell, my lovely

Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier?
Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
Will The Minerva Project - the first 'elite' American university to be launched in a century - change the face of higher learning?

Will The Minerva Project change the face of higher learning?

The university has no lecture halls, no debating societies, no sports teams and no fraternities. Instead, the 33 students who have made the cut at Minerva, will travel the world and change the face of higher learning
The 10 best pedicure products

Feet treat: 10 best pedicure products

Bags packed and all prepped for holidays, but feet in a state? Get them flip-flop-ready with our pick of the items for a DIY treatment
Commonwealth Games 2014: Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games

Commonwealth Games 2014

Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games
Jack Pitt-Brooke: Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism

Jack Pitt-Brooke

Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism
How Terry Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

How Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

Over a hundred rugby league players have contacted clinic to deal with mental challenges of game