My article for The Independent on the first cruise of Vietnam’s Red River Delta with Pandaw Cruises http://www.independent.co.uk/travel/cruise/vietnam-cruise-from-the-highlands-to-hanoi-and-halong-bay-a6813911.html
Banyan Tree Hotels Under the Banyan Tree publishes my feature on Cuba in its 2016 magazine ahead of its hotel launch on Cayo Las Brujas in July: http://www.banyantree.com/de/magazine/reflect/havana-dream
Full pdf of magazine: http://www.joomag.com/magazine/mag/0439672001451967730?feature=archive
There are more private holiday apartments and villas to rent in Havana, Cuba:
La Casita de Yuyú, next to the Tropicana Cabaret, comes with three bedrooms, a fully equipped kitchen and living room, and is lined with the works of avant-garde artist Esterio Segura (Calle 49 no.7414 between Calles 74 and 76, +53 5 293 6946, http://www.lacasitadeyuyu.com; CUC$105).
Apartment Casa Lilly is a light, two-bedroomed third-floor balconied apartment in a duck egg blue and lime green art deco building in the heart of the arty Vedado district (Calle Línea no.501 between Calle D and Calle E, Vedado, +53 5 268 9737, http://www.casalilly.com; from CUC$50).
Villa Balari, an enormous 7-bedroomed house with an octagonal garden Jacuzzi in the garden is in the heart of smart Miramar (Avenida 3ra no.205 between Calles 2 and 4, Miramar, + 53 7 202 7059, http://www.paraisohabana.com; from US$700).
Casa Inesita, a compact one-bedroomed apartment, which offers a fully equipped kitchen, has been handsomely decorated with Spanish colonial furniture (Avenida Carlos Tercera no.702, Apartment 5, between Calle Soledad and Castillejo, Centro Habana, +53 5 296 4073; CUC$35).
Casa Emily, a 1957 home with original mid-century furniture, a swimming pool and its own garden ranch is run by the kind Bertila (Calle 204 no.1903 between 19 and 21, Siboney, +53 7 271 3725, email@example.com); CUC$300.
My piece and pictures for the Guardian on Cuba’s Treasure Island, the Isle of Youth:
The world’s largest cave found in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park in central Vietnam opens for pilot tours this month.
Son Doong Cave was explored in 2009 by the British Cave Research Association with the expedition detailed in National Geographic: http://news.nationalgeographic.co.uk/news/2009/07/090724-biggest-cave-vietnam/
Now, Howard Limbert, who led the 2009 expedition has teamed up with Oxalis to offer tours this month, and in February and March 2014. He will lead the two pilot tours this month and will be joined by other caving experts in 2014.
Limbert told me that the pilot tours have been permitted by Quang Binh province and future public tours of the cave will depend on the success of the upcoming pilot tours.
“These pilot tours will be safe and environmentally sustainable. We proposed this tour to the Quang Binh authorities as an alternative to major investment and construction in order to make the cave a mass tourism site. This would have damaged the core zone of the National Park and World Heritage site. This would undoubtedly have lost the World Heritage status for the park.
“We shall be taking in groups of six people who all have to complete a medical/fitness questionnaire to ensure that they can manage what is quite a strenuous tour.”
Just released: the pdf of my pictures and articles on learning street photography with a local in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Trinidad, Cuba:
Miguel Michiro Shimazu, 105, is the last surviving member of the Japanese community of Júcaro, Isle of Youth, Cuba. The community was founded in the early 20th century on the island off Cuba’s southern coast. Miguel, whose real name is Sanrichiro Shimazu Kumazukura, was born on December 24th 1907. He spent six years in the island’s infamous Presidio Modelo jail as a prisoner of war during the Second World War, the same prison where Fidel Castro was incarcerated in 1953.
After I photographed him, he sucked on a cigarette and said: “This means death but I am alive!”