Tag Archives: development

Elephant Nature Park, Chiang Mai – washing, feeding and making a difference

As Jokia ambles down the riverbank, the crowd of bucket-wielding tourists grows silent. Parting into two groups, we watch and wait as this huge, 55-year-old Asian elephant, wades into the shallows and eases herself onto her mud-covered side, her trunk snuffling through the water. Continue reading

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Kuala Lumpur – is this the most pedestrian-unfriendly city in the world?

Standing at the intersection beneath Bukit Bintang monorail station, I was beginning to lose patience. Traffic had been roaring past in both directions for five minutes, with nary a sign that the lights were going to change and let the growing crowd of pedestrians cross. Then, as the fast flow of cars ground to a halt, the lights phased to allow traffic to come across the crossroads and turn right, leaving us stranded on the sidewalk. Continue reading

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Vietnam’s endless development – ruin or redemption?

The road from Nha Trang is awash with litter from endless construction sites. Down to the water, rickety cranes swing huge concrete blocks into place. New golf courses and spas abound. This is wild west capitalism, where quick buildings and a fast buck have become the dominant feature of a nation in a desperate to hurry to keep pace with insatiable demand.

It’s not just on this stretch of coast either. The vast sandy beaches between Da Nang and Cua Dai are being sold off and developed at a rate of knots. Beaches that were once the R and R playgrounds of battle fatigued GIs are quickly becoming insulated playpens for those who want sun and sand without the local culture.

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