Dave Smith

The Togian Islands marine park was near the top of Dave Smith’s bucket list. But his tropical island fantasies soon gave way to grim reality: crocodiles, dynamited coral, and monotonous meals.

Aceh in Indonesia is known for being a strict Muslim province operating under sharia law, but it is a warm, welcoming place that secretly likes to party, as the Post discovers from spending a week there.

With many airline routes still not reopened and fuel prices through the roof, a travel writer compares similar budget airline journeys in Asia in 2023 and 2018 to highlight the current reality.

Spit-roasted pig can be found across the planet, but nowhere has it become such an art form as in Bali, where the late chef Anthony Bourdain rated it the most succulent pork he’d ever tasted.


How will Bali change over the next decade? Medical tourism will rise, and so will accommodation prices. Congestion could get worse, and is it curtains for Kuta?

Between Bali and Lombok, Indonesian resort island Gili Air saw a devastating tropical cyclone sweep through on Christmas Day, piling more misery on its tourism industry.

Medewi is a throwback to the early days of Bali tourism – shacks on a beach backed by emerald-green rice fields. But ignorant visiting surfers have ruined its mellow vibe.

Thailand recently decriminalised marijuana for medical and industrial uses. A trip to Phuket finds cannabis dispensaries everywhere, offering powerful strains of weed.

Before summer, a writer saved US$1,500 flying from Asia to Europe over 41 hours using On the return leg, he spent even less flying Scoot and had two fewer layovers.

Hopes were raised once again over Indonesia introducing a digital nomad visa this month, but whether for Bali or elsewhere, a remote work permit has failed to transpire.

Bali has nearly 40 Ibiza-style beach clubs, but there is always room for more. We look at what three newly opened clubs in Kuta, Canggu and Uluwatu have to offer, including some eye-watering drinks packages.

Hollywood movie company Paramount recently teamed up with an Indonesian firm to build the biggest theme park in Southeast Asia, but its construction is far from a sure thing.

First Canggu, then Pererenan, now Seseh: new travel hotspots on Bali’s west coast are being overrun with hotels, resorts, bars and restaurants, many built illegally, with little locals can do.

Doctors, industry insiders and eager tourists alike have criticised the current requirements – PCR tests, specified hotels and entry visa fees – for foreign travellers as being too onerous.

Official numbers suggest that only 45 foreigners have visited Bali this year, but the island is busier than at any time during the pandemic – even with Omicron.

Mandatory quarantines and restrictions will remain after Bali reopens to foreign tourists from October 14, but this could be the best time for a trip.

Foreign tourists are the key to restoring all that the pandemic has taken away, but the question of how and when they can be allowed to safely return has placed authorities in a Catch-22 situation.


American Kristen Gray and Russian Instagramer Sergei Kosenko were kicked out of Bali recently, but weak enforcement has allowed many other digital natives to get away with breaking visa rules.