A customs official with a recent seizure of rhino horn

Ferrari factor: How Vietnam's wealthy elite have made rhino horn worth its weight in gold

Customs officials in Thailand and Singapore seized £3.5m worth of rhino horn en route to Vietnam

Vanessa-Mae

Violinist Vanessa Mae set to ski in Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics

The British musician will compete for Thailand after a last-ditch attempt to make qualifying standards this weekend

Driving up costs: tourists face taxes in Mexico

Simon Calder: Pack extra pounds if you're off to the sun

The man who pays his way

A Thai anti-government protester points a baton towards a building from where protesters suspected a bomb was thrown on an anti-government protest march in Bangkok on 17 January.

Thailand anti-government protests: 31 people injured in Bangkok blast

The explosion in the Thai capital city left the protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban unharmed 

A Thai anti-government protester during the fourth day of the 'Bangkok Shutdown' rally

Thai protesters march on more government offices

Eight have been killed and 450 injured since protests began in November

The week in radio: Christopher Jefferies' trial by media hid a picture of innocence

What's in a photograph? In the case of a snapshot of Christopher Jefferies, a 65-year-old retired teacher from Bristol, a portrait of a murderer.

Bangkok shutdown: Thai anti-government protesters continue demonstrations

Thousands are continuing to blockade major intersections for a second day in a bid to topple Thailand's government

In Thailand's latest round of political turmoil, which has lasted over two months, the PDRC have begun their campaign to occupy key locations in a city-wide shutdown of Bangkok. The PDRC and its supporters aim to derail Thailand's snap-poll scheduled for early February and demand that political reforms take place before an election

Parts of Bangkok brought to a standstill as tens of thousands of protesters attempt to force out Thai PM Yingluck Shinawatra

Tens of thousands of anti-government protesters brought parts of Bangkok to a standstill as part of an attempt to shut down the city and force the resignation of Thailand’s prime minister.

Anti-government protesters blow whistles and shout slogans as they blocking a main road during the 'Bangkok Shutdown' campaign rally at Ratchaprasong shopping district in central of Bangkok
Muangthong United's new signing Jay Bothroyd

Transfer news: Former QPR striker Jay Bothroyd signs sensational £5m tax-free deal with Thai side Muangthong United

"This is a fantastic challenge and I am looking forward to life in Thailand with my family," Bothroyd says upon signing the deal

Hey, man, I'm chillin' like Mike Tyson's tiger

We left smoggy Hong Kong bound for Koh Samui – another destination that I did my best to avoid in my gap year. Back then, every public-school hippy that I knew spent a year there, growing their hair, smoking their body weight in hash, and really learning about poverty first hand, "man".

Thai anti-government protesters gather in front of a registration venue for election candidates at the Thai-Japan Stadium in Bangkok,

Thai protesters anti-government surround Bangkok sports stadium to try to block election sign-up

Anti-government protesters determined to unseat Thailand's prime minister surrounded a Bangkok sports stadium on Monday in an unsuccessful attempt to block political parties from registering for February elections.

Thailand opposition party will boycott February elections

Thailand's main opposition Democrat Party said Saturday that it would boycott February's general election, deepening the country's weekslong political crisis.

Anti-government protesters jump over a concrete barricade as they get closer to the Government House in Bangkok today

For the sake of a better Thailand, we must put our differences aside

The country and its people have a long way to go in the democratic process

Demonstrators marching towards Government House in Bangkok; an estimated 100,000 protesters flooded the streets

Stalemate in Bangkok: protests go on despite Thai PM Yingluck Shinawatra’s surprise election offer

Analysts say call for early elections is unlikely to satisfy opponents who want to rid country of Shinawatra family's influence

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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
Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine