Arts and Culture

South East Asia Backpacker Magazine

49 Amazing Facts about Asia

The continent of Asia will blow your mind in more ways than you can ever imagine! Here are some amazing facts about Asia that you can share around the campfire on your next backpacking trip…

Floating market in Thailand

Floating Markets in Thailand: The Lowdown

You’ve probably heard that Thailand’s floating markets are a tourist trap… but is that true? We deep dive into the history of floating markets, discuss which ones are the most authentic and top tips for visiting!

Escape with Travel Books

31 Travel Books to Help You Escape From the World!

Tired of the same old books populating hostel shelves and circulating ‘best backpacker reads’ lists? Yeah, so are we! Therefore, we took a poll, asking you to tell us your favourite books to read while travelling, and you delivered! Here’s the fresh list we’ve compiled – with your generous help – that’ll easily satisfy all of your travel needs, for both now and in future.

The 13 Best Travel Podcasts

The 15 Best Travel Podcasts

Feet getting itchy? For your much-needed dose of escapism, travel podcasts hold the answer! Check out our favourites here and get downloading!

Baliem Valley, Papua – The Wild Wild West of Asia?

In 1938, an American expeditioner chanced upon Baliem Valley, home of the Dani tribes. He was shocked to see how far removed from the rest of the world they were and compared their lifestyle to what a 21st century stone age would look like…

Nikki Scott Playing a Ukelele

The Best Ukulele For Travellers – Making Music Anywhere!

What makes the ukulele such a good instrument for travel? How do you decide on the perfect model for the road? This guide will help you choose the very best instrument to take with you on your travels. A musician, after all, has to keep playing, no matter where they are…

Top Tips For Travel Photos - Taking Photos on the Go

10 Tips For Budding Travel Photographers

In response to requests throughout my trip for picture-taking and gear tips, I’ve compiled a list of insights that have helped me improve my photography related experiences throughout the past two months.

Christmas-in-South-East-Asia

Christmas in Asia: What’s A Homesick Backpacker To Do?

Turkey, stuffing, Christmas crackers and a questionable present from your gran — this is what Christmas is all about, right? Wrong. Being away from home for the holidays can be tough for a backpacker on the road; some might even say it’s the hardest part about travelling. so here’s a guide to “Badaa Din” and how to sprinkle some backpacker Christmas spirit, no matter where in the world you are!

Hari Raya Festival

How (Not) to Meet the Sultan of Brunei – The Festival of Hari Raya

Brunei is slowly making its way onto travelers’ radars, as Lonely Planet and others have let out the secret of its opulent annual Hari Raya party, where any visitor can enjoy a royal banquet and shake hands with the Sultan of Brunei himself. But there is almost no practical information available on how to attend this event, or any tips on cultural faux pas to avoid in this strict Muslim country. I attended the celebration earlier this year, and I’d like to share my lessons and experiences, so travellers can enjoy a fun and worry-free visit to the sultan’s palace!

Soon To Be Lost Forever: Larung Gar, the Largest Tibetan Buddhist University

In June and July of 2016 the Chinese government demolished 50% of Larung Gar, a thriving settlement of 40,000 peaceful Tibetan Buddhists. They say that it has become overcrowded and that its population must be reduced to only 5,000 people by October 2017. These photos, taken by photographer, Jesse Rockwell, are the last that will ever be taken before the city is destroyed forever…

Is Analog Photography Valuable in a Digital World?

Have you ever thought about the way that digital cameras have changed our behaviour when we travel? Click. Click. Click. Do we ever stop to think about what we are photographing anymore? Gone are the days of waiting a week, when we return home, for our travel photos to develop so that we can drool over images and relive memories from our trip of a lifetime. From analog cameras to the days of smart phones and instant gratification, have we lot something in the process?

Loi Krathong Festival, Thailand

11 Festivals in Southeast Asia you MUST see once in your life!

From the planet’s biggest water fight in Thailand (Songkran), to the gruesome piercings and self mutilations of the Hindu festival, Thaipusam, festivals in Southeast Asia are a cultural experience like no other. Have you got your camera at the ready?

Songkran in Thailand

Songkran Survival Guide – Thailand’s Water Festival

As people gear up for the world’s biggest water fight, if you’re secretly dreading it and are wondering if it’s okay to book yourself a posh hotel, buy lots of beer and avoid the next three – five days, then read this guide on how to survive Songkran, and make up your mind…

10 Photos That Will Make You Want to Travel to Southeast Asia!

South East Asia is a photographer’s playground with so many vibrant colours, interesting cultures and people, and amazing light to capture it all! Chris König is a 22 years old self-taught photographer, specialising in outdoor- and lifestyle photography who wanted to share some of his favourite photos from the region. Be inspired to buy a camera and a one-way ticket!

A Healthy Habit: Fruit Winter in Chiang Mai

Every year, the beautiful northern capital of Thailand, Chiang Mai, plays host to a unique event called The Fruit Winter. A festival that’s the brainchild of US life coach and therapist, Conor McMillen, that inspires people to eat raw fruit and vegetables and practise healthy living. Traveller, Martin Higgins explains his own experience and why his body and mind thank him for keeping up his annual habit of wintering in Chiang Mai…

Make Your Own Silver Jewellery at a Workshop in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Forget about tacky souvenirs – beautifully jewellery crafted by your very own hands is a magnificent keepsake of your travels. Nobody else in the world will have a piece the same as yours, and when people ask about that unique pendant they’ve never seen before, you can proudly say that you made it yourself in tropical Chiang Mai!

Do Backpackers Smell? 5 Low Maintenance Tips to Keeping up Appearances on the Road…

While travelling, it’s pretty easy to fall into a downwards spiral of laziness when it comes to looking after our appearance. It get’s to the point where clean, nice clothes are a thing of the past and we only wash our hair for a special occasion! But folks – it doesn’t have to be that difficult! Must we conform to that smelly, scruffy backpacker stereotype?

Just Another Flag for the Backpack… Or a Lasting Memory?

Why do you think as backpackers that we like to tick places off a list? Get stamps in our passports? Declare things completed? A trend amongst some backpackers in South East Asia is sewing flags of the countries you have visited to your backpack. Would you ever sew a flag onto your backpack?

A Group of Children in Cambodia

Pot Holes and Rice Fields: A Journey Through Cambodia’s Centre

We travel to realize the basic power of connection, through chance encounters we are able to loose our carefully crafted identities and simply relate to each other as human beings. Photographer Dylan Goldby takes us on a journey away from Cambodia’s capitol Phnom Penh, into the heart of the country, and introduces us to a part of South East Asia not typically travelled.

Metalic Street Art in Penang

Scope Out the Street Sculptures in Penang, Malaysia

Penang, Malaysia has a rich culinary scene, but how else can you get to know this culturally rich UNESO World Heritage Site? By taking to the streets and reading the stories told through wire in a massive street art installation project.

A fisherman in a boat on Lake Toba, photo by Flash Parker

The Truth about Life as a Travel Photographer: Interview with Flash Parker

It’s THE dream job right? Traveling from continent to continent with your camera capturing the beauty of our incredible planet as a travel photographer. But what is it really like? What are some tips for getting started in the industry and what are the perks!? Following the success of our Photography Tour in Chiang Mai at the end of last year, we interviewed Flash Parker, professional photo-journalist and all round nice guy to find out the secrets of life as a travel photographer…

How to Dress Like a Backpacker in 5 Easy Steps

Worried about your fashion wardrobe in South East Asia? Will you fit in with the flashpackers and stylish travellers? And how will you make sure your money belt doesn’t bulge out of your hot pants? Let fashion guru, Alexandra Jimenez of blog ‘Travel Fashion Girl’ fill you in on the catwalk of South East Asia…

Stitched up in Hoi An! Welcome to Vietnam’s Fashion Capital…

London, Paris, New York, Milan… Hoi An! There’s quaint little town on the central coast of Vietnam, home to a unique and extremely addictive shopping experience… Here you can have any item of clothing or footwear tailor made for a tiny fraction of what you’d pay in the West – is it even possible to resist at least a couple of small purchases (even if it means lugging them around the whole of South East Asia in your already overstuffed backpack)? S.E.A Backpacker Magazine Editor, Nikki Scott was up for the challenge!

Rainforest World Music Festival.

The Rainforest World Music Festival, Sarawak, Borneo

Next weekend the only place to be is deep in the heart of the Borneo jungles. A place of exotic mystery, the thrill of adventure; the land of ancient virgin rainforests, hornbills, orangutans and the fabled white Rajahs. As well as being home to 27 ethnic groups, between 13th – 15th July it houses the mother of all global music festivals…

Bali Arts Festival

The Bali Arts Festival, Bali, Indonesia

Taking place over an entire month from mid June to mid July, the Bali Arts Festival is a unique extravaganza of arts, music, dance and history celebrating passion and pride in Balinese culture. Amongst other performances, famous masked dances originating from tribal villages are showcased and ancient classic stories retold. There’s a vibrant atmosphere all across the island as celebrations are enjoyed by locals and travellers alike. For first time travellers to Bali, it’s a fantastic introduction to the rich heritage of the spirited destination…

The Black House, Chiang Rai, Thailand

The White Temple & The Black House: Chiang Rai, Thailand

Just five hours north from Chiang Mai, is the smaller, less touristy city of Chiang Rai. Many travellers arrive here on a northward journey from Chiang Mai to Laos and are already feeling ‘templed out’ by the 300+ temples that make up the ancient walled city of Thailand’s cultural capital. However, there is just one more experience that awaits the culture vultures amongst you! And we promise this one is worth a look! Dubbed the ‘heaven’ and ‘hell’ of architecture, the White Temple and the Black House will conjure a clashing of emotions. One dark, mysterious and almost sadistic, the other white, ethereal and other-worldly, these two opposing buildings couldn’t be more different…

Our 2-Year Anniversary and a Thai Buddhist Blessing

This month, we celebrate the 2nd Birthday of S.E.A Backpacker Magazine. Boy oh boy, do they grow up fast! It only seems like yesterday that the very small and very nervous S.E.A Backpacker team set off on a preliminary trip to Koh Tao and Koh Phangan to tell people about our vision and look for sponsors to help us get off the ground. Pressed T-shirts and sweaty hands, we knocked on doors of bars, restaurants, dive schools and hostels with a basic mock-up that two years later has grown into the magazine you are reading now!

Lanterns for Tet Festival in Vietnam.

Happy Chinese New Year! The Year of the Rabbit

On 3rd February 2011 Chinese communities all over Southeast Asia will welcome in the New Year of the Rabbit. As dragon dances parade the streets and firecrackers fill the air, people hang red lanterns, give lucky red envelopes and pray for good fortune in the coming twelve months. But what does the Year of the Rabbit have in store? And why do people wear red at Chinese New Year?

Thousands of people congregate outside the gold statue of Lord Murugan at the Batu Caves, Kuala Lumpur.

Thaipusam Festival in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

The Thaipusam Festival is one of the largest and most extravagant Hindu festivals in Asia celebrated by followers worldwide. Each year, millions of devotees flock to the sacred site of The Batu Caves in Malaysia’s capital, Kuala Lumpur to offer extravagant gestures of penance to Hindu Deity, Lord Murugan, son of Shiva. See incredible phtotos and watch amazing footage from January’s festival…

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