Angkor Wat : When Cambodia was Great

Angkor Wat still stands as a massive statement to Cambodia’s greatness – back in the 12th century. With news of the passing of Cambodian king Prince Norodom Sihanouk this past week it is good to recall my own enthralling visit there back in 1994. Built as...

The Infamous Hanoi Hilton

I never expected to see the “Hanoi Hilton”. But when I did it had a special significance for me. Two of my friends had wasted a couple of years of their lives incarcerated there together with countless US Air Force pilots who had been shot down over...

Saipan

Not many Brits ever get to Saipan. It is off the edge of the map for most of us – as though the world stops at Vietnam, or perhaps 1500 miles further east in the Philippines. But there is a world due east of the Philippines! I first discovered it when I used to...

Volcanic Disruptions

Little did we know that the massive eruption of Pinatubo would affect us until well into the following week. The Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila was closed under a layer of ash that was deadly for jet engines. Our BA flight to Hong Kong scheduled for the...

The Snow that Didn’t Melt

The following was written on Sunday June 16 1991 the day after the first major eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in the Philippines – a firsthand account: This has been a most unusual weekend. It seemed as though the end of the world was drawing nigh mid-afternoon...

No Mince Pies

My first Christmas in Laos has left many indelible memories. It was something completely different – perhaps opposite – from what I had ever experienced for Christmas before. Warm weather, no family around, no familiar Christmas food – but heaps of...