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David Luekens

Travel journalist and creator of Thai Island Times

Location icon Thailand

Based in Thailand since 2011, I first waded into Southeast Asia in the early 2000s via friendships forged in the Thai, Vietnamese and Karen communities of Burlington, Vermont (US). I now do a mix of travel articles, travel guides, reported stories, blog posts and copywriting, often featuring original photography. I'm on a long-term quest to visit every Thai island, and in April 2020 I launched Thai Island Times to share that journey. Additionally I'm a keen Thailand watcher in the arenas of tourism, food, transport, politics, human rights, cannabis, religion and environmental issues. Currently I'm based in Bangkok.
[email protected]

Portfolio
Substack
Thai Island Times

Your window to coastal Thailand. Relax. When here, you're on island time.

Travelfish
Thailand's islands: The definitive guide

Covering 109 islands in Thailand clustered into six zones, this is the definitive guide for the traveller looking to find the right Thai island for them

CNN
Thailand hopes to have bullet trains running by 2023

After years of discussion, it's finally happening. Bullet trains are coming to Thailand. But with one project under construction, another approved and others being considered, many in the country are debating whether high-speed rail (HSR) will be the right fit.

Leafly
09/19/2019
In Thailand, opinion on cannabis is changing. How far will it go?

David Luekens September 18, 2019 Modern Asia's first medical cannabis clinic blends into a concrete hospital complex in Prachinburi, a languid town 100 km east of Bangkok. Dotted with fish farms and shaded by tamarind trees, the muddy Bang Pakong River flows by out front. Somewhere out back, cannabis is growing.

Horizonguides
How to choose a family beach holiday in Thailand

A family beach holiday in Thailand is ideal for decompressing at the end of your trip. Some families return to the same beach often, having fallen for a particular slice of paradise among Thailand's hundreds of islands and beaches. Don't overcomplicate things when choosing one or two of them.

CNN Travel
09/11/2019
10 alternative Thai islands for those who hate crowds

With tourist arrivals expected to reach 40 million this year in (CNN) - Thailand, the country's most popular islands are buckling under the pressure of mass tourism. Yet the kingdom has hundreds of quieter islands, some lined by beaches with a wow factor to match any of the popularity contest winners.

Travelfish
Where to do a Buddhist meditation retreat in Thailand

Stop by practically any Buddhist temple in Thailand and you'll notice people burning incense, dropping cash into donation boxes, being blessed by monks and offering food for the community. Yet one activity that travellers are often surprised not to see, is meditation.

Travelfish
A sample itinerary for spending four weeks in Eastern Thailand

Stellar beaches extend to jungle and reefs. Terrific food bursts from heritage architecture. Waterfalls cascade down dramatic mountain slopes. If you think of Eastern Thailand as nothing but a way to kill a few days out of Bangkok, read on to find out how much more there is to this region than sleazy Pattaya and the touristy parts of Ko Samet and Ko Chang.

Culture Trip
05/06/2020
Chinatown: Bangkok's Yaowarat Enshrines 700 Years of Chinese Heritage

Every morning, before dawn, members of the Worapong family rise to make the dumplings. The scent of ground pork sizzling with white taro and undisclosed spices fills their shophouse kitchen and steams into the alley out front, signalling to neighbours that a new day has begun.

Travelfish
Khao Sok National Park travel guide (Updated 2019) Travelfish.org

Khao Sok National Park encapsulates much of what makes Southern Thailand's landscape so special: ancient jungle filled with wildlife, water that appears to glow bright emerald and vertical limestone cliffs towering above it all. Convenient for a stop between the Gulf and Andaman coasts, Khao Sok is one of the kingdom's premier natural wonders.

Trunk Lines
11/13/2019
A week in Trang: waterfalls, dugongs and sponge cake

Finding a strong cup of southern Thai Robusta coffee was our first priority after stepping off the train in Trang, an easily overlooked province abutting the Andaman Sea. Most travellers choose nearby Krabi or Phuket when visiting this region of Thailand, unaware that Trang delivers similarly staggering natural beauty.

Travelfish
Railay Beach travel guide. Travelfish.org

Independent travel guide to Railay Beach, includes up to date information on guesthouses and hotels, attractions and advice on travel, timetables and more.

Travelfish
Visa & border crossing information for Thailand

What would you like to know about Thailand's visas and border crossings? Thailand has a multitude of visa options and requirements -- many of which change with alarming frequency. You can go to the horse's mouth at the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the full (though not always up-to-date) spiel.

Travelfish
Thonburi: Exploring the west side

Few travellers check out the more modest but equally intriguing slice of Bangkok on the west side of the river in the oldest part of town.

Travelfish
Trang travel guide (Updated 2018) Travelfish.org

Bastion of curry, kopi and cake, Trang is one of Southern Thailand's most pleasant provincial capitals. In addition to the fantastic food scene, natural attractions in the surrounding province provide something to do between sips of the local Robusta brew. Most come for the islands, but food and culture enthusiasts would be wise to hang around town.

Travelfish
Helping the Karen of Burma

A look at Drum Publications, a Kanchanaburi-based charity working hard to keep Karen culture alive.

Travelfish
Pedestrian safety in Bangkok

Bangkok reveals itself in the details: the intricacy of flower garlands sold along footpaths; overpowering scents from a flaming wok; an old man peering out from his medicine shop. The only way to fully appreciate it is on foot, but walking in Bangkok can be dangerous if you're not prepared.

Travelfish
Baan Luang Rajamaitri Historic Inn review, 252 Sukhapiban Rd, Chanthaburi

Set in a beautifully restored 150-year-old house in the Chanthaboon old town, Baan Luang Rajamaitri stands as an inn, a museum and an award-winning example of community-driven historical preservation. ... An original review of Baan Luang Rajamaitri Historic Inn, Chanthaburi by Travelfish.org.

Travelfish
Ayutthaya travel guide. Travelfish.org

Independent travel guide to Ayutthaya, includes up to date information on guesthouses and hotels, attractions and advice on travel, timetables and more.

Travelfish
Prasat Hin Phimai

A tour of fascinating thousand-year-old Khmer ruins at Phimai, northeast Thailand.

Travelfish
Hellfire Pass

A day at Hellfire Pass Memorial and Museum, commemorating those lost during the Thai-Burma Railway construction of World War II.

Foodtoursbangkok
Bangkok Food & Culture Tours - Chili Paste Tour | Countryside Cooking Class

Rural Thai food and canal-side life Tiny Samut Songkhram province churns out salt and seafood from the Gulf along with a breathtaking array of fruits and veggies that thrive beside the inland canals. We invite you to explore these ingredients at an incredible market before learning to prepare several locally ...

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