If you’re visiting the epicentre of the world’s fastest-growing economy, it’s only fitting that you take a ride on the world’s fastest passenger train says Michael Arnold. Photos by Raphaël Olivier / NOI Pictures

While Angkor Wat has rightfully carved out its place as one of the richest historical locations in Southeast Asia, Bagan can also lay claim to such an accolade. Natalie Krebs explores a quieter former capital and discovers Myanmar’s hidden charm. Photos by Phil Burnett

For years the country formerly known as Burma was on the receiving end of the western press. Now, statesmen, tourists and businessmen alike are taking time to visit. Words by Nick Ross

Cambodia's second largest city has largely been ignored due to the culturally rich attractions of nearby Siem Reap. Now it's starting to open up. Words by Nick Ross

When looking at a world map, Hong Kong is usually represented by a tiny dot, or sometimes nothing at all. Other, larger countries in Southeast Asia may seem like more worthy destinations to the unknowing traveller, but maps, as we all know, don’t always accurately represent reality.

If you like cities, you’ll love Manila. It’s huge and colorful, rich and poor, chaotic, modern, religious and sinful. Try to be reluctant and it will flirt with you until you give in.

Lessons from Singapore

I’ve just got back from a four-day trip to Singapore for ITB Asia, the region’s biggest travel trade show. I have mixed feelings about Singapore — living in Vietnam, it’s nice to escape to somewhere peaceful and orderly for a few days, but generally I find Singapore to be lacking in charm. Most of its old colonial buildings have been bulldozed to make way for tower blocks, it lacks the bustling street life one normally associates with big Asian cities, and beer is ruinously expensive. And yet despite this, Singapore attracts serious tourist numbers – nearly 12 million of them in 2010. How it does this contains valuable lessons for Ho Chi Minh City and Vietnam as a whole, as it struggles to develop sustainable growth in tourism.

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