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…


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!

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…

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…

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…

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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