Tarts, Touts & Temples

Southeast Asia oozes exoticism, and has done for centuries. This attraction might explain why Britain, France, the United States, and others spent so much energy attempting to turn the region into a tropical version of their own backyard.

The rustic world of the mendicant meets the modern age of electronic images. These monks were fiddling with a satellite dish and TV set in the grounds of a temple in Luang Prabang in Laos.

Nowadays, it attracts travellers from everywhere, all keen on testing their capacity to withstand stomach bugs, olfactory odours of a pungency not known since the last time they changed a babies nappies, and visual sights that have them thinking they really shouldn’t have experimented quite so liberally with illegal substances in their youth.

I am an Australian journalist and writer. I’ve lived in Thailand since the end of 1999. Now with a Thai wife and two gorgeous (most of the time anyway) children, I guess I’m stuck here.

So, I thought, ‘why not start putting up some stories about life here and in the region’, and this is what I shall do over the coming days, weeks, months…maybe even years.

For many, Southeast Asia can be summed up in three words: tarts, touts, and temples. Naturally, there’s a lot more to the region and its surrounds than that, but it’s not a bad place to start.

I have been fortunate to gain a readership with some of the books about the region I have published. The best was easily Pattaya, Patpong on Steroids. Now out of print, it’s available as an e-book. The title of this post, Tarts, Touts & Temples has also been published in e-book format. A word to the wise for any reader who might like to sample either of these books as an e-book, a number of the chapters from Pattaya, Patpong on Steroids have been re-written and updated for inclusion in Tarts, Touts & Temples.

Feel free to send me your comments or questions.


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