Author Archive for Melissa Matthews

Vietnam undercover

Vietnam undercover

One of the hottest holiday destinations to hit travel wish lists in recent years is Vietnam, where natural beauty, a turbulent history and mouth-watering cuisine conspire to create an experience to suit 21st century travellers in search of holidays that go beyond the bucket and spade variety. It is forty years since the fall of […]

To the roof of the world

To the roof of the world

Luxury comes in many guises. Travel to Nepal expecting Jacuzzis, turn-down service and white gloves and you will surely be disappointed. But what Nepal holidays lacks in glitzyhotels, it makes up for tenfold with charm, natural beauty and good old fashioned adventure; after all, sometimes getting back to basics is just the ticket for a […]

Family adventures in Indonesia

Family adventures in Indonesia

As a mother of three curious children myself, I know that keeping them happy and engaged is the best recipe for a successful holiday. If you are planning to escape en famille this year, a holiday to Indonesia provides the most wonderful experience for everyone; and with the best weather between April and October, it […]

Cambodia - a journey by book

Cambodia – a journey by book

Cambodia’s history spans from the magnificence of Angkor to the tragedy of the Khmer Rouge years. There are hundreds of books worth reading before or during your travels; some provide valuable insight into the history, while others paint a vivid and exotic picture of the country and its people. Here are just five recommended reads. […]

Vietnam - a journey by book

Vietnam – a journey by book

Vietnam is at a truly fascinating stage of development, with one foot steeped in ancient traditions and the other vigorously embracing 21st century modernity. Diverse influences have shaped its character, manifested in the Confucian temples and French colonial architecture. The war of the late 20th century is also still in evidence in the cities and countryside.  […]

A new generation of luxury river cruises in Asia

A new generation of luxury river cruises in Asia

Much of southern Asia covers largely tranquil, jungle-clad regions brimming with ruined temples, exotic wildlife, peaceful village communities and winding waterways that have served traders and fishermen for centuries. Despite tourism being firmly established, large parts remain hidden and sheltered; and the life-giving waterways invariably provide the most enjoyable – and sometimes the only – […]

Vietnam - 'the big three'

Vietnam – ‘the big three’

With a stunning coastline, wild mountains, fascinating history, ancient culture, and fragrant cuisine which fuses its French heritage with the best of Southeast Asia, Vietnam is widely tipped as one of the new hot-list destinations. 2015 sees the 40th anniversary of the end of the war which ravaged its population and, indeed, its neighbours for almost […]

7 reasons to visit Cambodia during the green season

7 reasons to visit Cambodia during the green season

Interest in Cambodia is on the increase and if you go in high season, you will certainly have lots of company, especially at the iconic Angkor Wat. But venture during the country’s low season (April – October) and you’ll enjoy a different perspective. The months of June-October fall during Cambodia’s ‘green’ season; a time when […]

Southern Laos: where the Mekong blossoms

Southern Laos: where the Mekong blossoms

While many travellers head straight for the sybaritic charms of feted Luang Prabang, fewer sample the emerald rice plains of the south, with its stunning jungle karst formations, remnant Ho Chi Minh trail and some of the prettiest riverine villages in the country, the pinnacle of which is a group of tropical islands known as […]

A postcard from Inle Lake, Burma

A postcard from Inle Lake, Burma

It’s early morning and the sun is just starting to burn off the mist rising from the still, shallow waters of Inle Lake. Huge dragonflies dart about at head height, like toy helicopters, easily matching the boat for speed, and overhead a snow-white egret drifts by, searching for a new, more stable patch of water […]

A gastro guide to Vietnam

A gastro guide to Vietnam

The days of Vietnam’s war torn asceticism truly belong in the last millennium, for never has there been a better time to visit this vibrant country and indulge your taste buds in its staggering 500 traditional dishes. With the economy soaring, its crumbling old quarters are now crammed with fine restaurants and globally respected chefs. […]

Cambodia for foodies

Cambodia for foodies

Putting the dark days of the Khmer Rouge firmly behind it, Cambodia’s seductive charm, colourful cuisine and ruinous temples are tempting travellers away from its neighbours. For the foodie, the two principal centres of gastro renaissance are Siem Reap, gateway to the 8th Wonder of the World, Angkor Wat, and the intoxicating city of Phnom […]