After a few years spent in the English-teaching game in Vietnam, Danny Armstrong decided to take his talents to Sudan — where he found a hard-scrabble people and a land he would grow to love.

Heading off the tourist track from Yosemite National Park, Matt Bender takes a 340km detour into paradise. Photos by Louis Esparbès, Anna Friedland and Chelsea Rose North

On a spontaneous day trip with her sister in tow, Karen Hewell arrives in Thung Nai Valley to find a stretching lake surrounded by mountains that the tourist trail seems to have forgotten

Once at odds with Vietnam, Katie Jacobs heads to the American capital to savour some of this country’s best-known cuisine

You can usually judge a place on the quality of its bathrobes. Your average city hotel trafficks in waffle-weaved cotton, not particularly luxurious but good for the moderate climate of your temperature-controlled room.

Julie Vola voyaged to The Land of Smiles with her Holga, a Hong Kong-built plastic camera that looks like a toy

An Lam’s private residences may only be a few short kilometres from the non-stop rough and tumble of central Ho Chi Minh City, but when pulling up by boat to its tranquil docks perched along the riverbank, few places feel further away from the urban jungle than does this peaceful corner of the Saigon River.

One of the few destinations in the region that has a little something for everyone, Sri Lanka is more than tropical beaches, ancient ruins and jungle. Brandon Ingram looks at another, more artistic side to The Pearl of the Indian Ocean

The cable car up Nui Ba Den / photo by Glen Riley

Matt Bender sets out to climb the tallest mountain in southern Vietnam, and finds just as much wonder on the way. Photos by Glen Riley

Duhwee Pham boldly went where not so many travellers have gone before — Mongolia. From searing landscapes and local hospitality to the pollution of the fast-developing big city, here is what he saw

The devil they say is in the detail, and when it comes to details, the InterContinental in Danang is quite truly in a world of its own.

The Liberation Day/Labour Day holiday is just around the corner, and while all of your friends are packing up their bags with flight tickets in hand, you're stuck wondering how many sitcom re-runs you'll manage to get through before you suffer a cabin fever psychotic break. With the help of our writers — who have explored both inside the cities as well as on the destinations on the outskirts — we have you covered. Thankfully, some of Vietnam's best destinations are a bus, motorbike, or taxi ride away from the city centres, with no plane ticket — and just a little prior planning — required.

Set on the border amidst dramatic limestone karsts, Lang Son is often relegated to the status of border town. It’s anything but. Julie Vola retraces some well-worn train tracks to the outer reaches of northern Vietnam

With careful planning, a random pre-Tet weekend ended up in a trip to the Laneway Festival in Singapore. Ed Weinberg found himself lucky enough to be part of it

If you’re travelling to Melbourne, then there’s one excursion not to be missed — Phillip Island. Just two hours south of the capital of Victoria, here you will find abundant wildlife in its natural environment. And don’t forget the penguins. Words by Katie Jacobs

Ed Weinberg — aka ‘Miami Twice’ — hits Thailand’s highest mountain range alongside his six fellow ‘Ratpackers’, in custom-tailored suits, with a Dean Martinesque glint in their eyes

Villa Song Saigon

Take the Saigon River, put a villa on its edge and then transform it into a boutique hotel. It’s a concept that’s worked elsewhere, but only now has it come to Vietnam.

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