Every year, for some ten years now, I migrate to the shores of Borneo in late June or early July, to the base of a mystical mountain called Gunung Santubong, to my favourite spot for world beats -- the Rainforest World Music Festival.
Penangites love to eat, drink and talk, and Penang is regarded as the street food capital of Malaysia. Unsurprisingly, many new ventures have revolved around increasingly sophisticated venues for chatting and snacking.
Malaysia's rapid economic growth may well be coming to an end, as natural resources are being depleted and the workforce has reached a limit of productivity.
WWF's statement surprised many long-time palm oil watchers, but the organization deserves enormous credit for sticking to its principles and making clear that companies cannot claim sustainability just by sticking an RSPO label on their product while continuing to destroy the Earth's forests.
Over the past decade the Philippines' sovereign credit rating oscillated between "negative" and "stable," reflecting concern about the ability of the government to collect sufficient tax revenue, manage its budget, and sustain a high rate of GDP growth.
Malaysians cast their ballots in the most important election in the nation's history on Sunday. On Election Day, as had been predicted by opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, reports of electoral fraud were widespread.
If history is any guide, Malaysians have every reason to doubt that the Bumiputra system will be dismantled under BN rule. But the BN is swimming against the long-term tide. Our hope is that it does not view this win as a fresh mandate for more of the same, but rather, as a wake-up call.
In the four decades since I took a driver's ed class, I have become such a proficient motorist that I could teach a class myself except that I have two speeding tickets on my record and my name isn't Ed.
Malaysia has in reality been a one party state for over 55 years with the ruling UMNO party winning a string of elections without much opposition. However, with the stellar rise of Anwar Ibrahim, the ruling party is facing its most tightly contested election in its history.
Thailand is not the only country in southeast Asia with stunning beaches. Malaysia has dozens of tiny islands on both the east and west coasts that rival the beauty of southern Thailand, and the beaches are relatively unknown (read: cheaper, less crowded, more unspoilt).
With an election in the near future, scheduled for May 5th, Malaysia's economy is under scrutiny. Is it really as good as the present government says it is in its campaign propaganda?
In 2013 however, the country has once again taken a decisive role in the continents' democratic journey that is worth recommending.
During a blizzard in Kiev, Ukraine last month, director Ben Moses attended a screening of his film A Whisper To A Roar. As he made his way to the theater, he wondered if this wasn't a little crazy and if anyone would fight through the cold and snow to come see the film.
A 10-day Vipassana meditation retreat with Noble Silence, 4 a.m. starts and 10 hours of meditation daily was never going to be easy, but combining it with communal living and random explosions probably made it even harder.
Japan is the ultimate travel destination for cat enthusiasts and Hello Kitty just the beginning.
A Vipassana course is travel of a very personal kind, as it is above all a journey with the self, which may or may not involve conventional travel. If you love travel of all types, you can, as I did, combine both.