Best in Print

The Quiet American (Graham Greene; 1955) Classic portrayal of Saigon as the US slowly descends into war in Vietnam.

The Beach (Alex Garland; 1998) Now-legendary tale about a backpacker utopia in southern Thailand.

Smaller and Smaller Circles (F H Bataclan; 2016) Nuanced crime novel set in the gritty slums of Manila.

Married to the Demon King (Sri Daoruang; 2005) The ancient Hindu epic, the Ramayana, set in modern Bangkok.

Burmese Days (George Orwell; 1934) Risque (for the time) account of close-minded colonials living in Myanmar.

Best on Film

Ilo Ilo (2013) Moving meditation on middle-class family life in Singapore, with an international cast.

First They Killed My Father (2017) Haunting adaption of Loung Ung's personal account of life under the Khmer Rouge.

Cemetery of Splendour (2015) The living world and the spirit world collide in northern Thailand when soldiers succumb to a weird sleeping illness.

Apocalypse Now (1979) Set in Vietnam, filmed in the Philippines, this psychological thriller is the ultimate anti-war film.

The Act of Killing (2012) Controversial Oscar-nominated documentary about anti-communist purges in 1960s Indonesia.

Best Blogs

SEA Backpackers (https://southeastasiabackpacker.com) Trove of articles and tips on travelling around Southeast Asia on the cheap.

Rusty Compass (www.rustycompass.com) Deep dive into the people, places and experiences worth seeking out in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos.

Lady Iron Chef (www.ladyironchef.com) Food (and more) in Singapore (and beyond).

The Poor Traveler (www.thepoortraveler.net) Local tips for where to go and how to travel on the cheap in the Philippines.

New Mandala (www.newmandala.org) Insight into contemporary social and political issues in the region.

Best in Music

21st Century Molam (The Paradise Bangkok Molam International Band; 2014) Molam, rural folk music from Thailand's northeast, given a rousing contemporary update.

Malaya (Kalayo; 2011) Eleven-piece Filipino roots band serving up tribal beats and guitar jams.

Dengue Fever (Dengue Fever; 2003) L.A. band with a Cambodian-born singer channelling the 1960s.

Kuta Rock City (Superman Is Dead; 2003) Punk anthems from Bali's most famous band.

Assalamualaikum (Faizal Tahir; 2014) Malaysian pop hit with a positive message about looking past differences.