Lee Cobaj

Freelance Writer

Location icon Hong Kong

Experienced travel writer, based in Hong Kong, contributing to The Sunday Times, CN Traveller, National Geographic Traveller, Tatler and more. Destination expert (Phuket) for Telegraph Travel and Asia correspondent for Jetsetter.com. Working predominantly, but not exclusively in travel and lifestyle, specialising in Hong Kong, Thailand, and South East Asia.

Active and enthusiastic user of social media.

Portfolio
Thesundaytimes
Total guide to Southeast Asia: 24 hours in Bangkok | The Sunday Times

Barbecue in Sukhumvit market (Lonely Planet) Read more from our Total guide to Southeast Asia in this month's issue of The Sunday Times Travel Magazine on sale now 06:00 See Bangkok in a new light with a long-tail boat tour around the Thonburi khlongs (canals) at sunrise.

Telegraph.co.uk
04/23/2015
Thanyapura Phuket hotel, Thailand: review - Telegraph

Thanyapura Phuket is a family-friendly Phuket hotel offering a wide range of sporting activities - including Muay Thai boxing, pilates, yoga and Zumba - soothing rooms and exceptional food, near Phuket International Airport.

Thesundaytimes
Phuket goes fabulous | The Sunday Times

I am lying in a cabana with white fabric billowing all around. Out front, a neat row of hot-pink umbrellas sticks up from the yellow sand. There is groove music playing, not too loud, and slender figures in traditional baggy trousers and sashes are weaving between white sofas, delivering champagne to bronzed euro billionaires.

Thesundaytimes
First time in Thailand | The Sunday Times

Take a bow: long-tail boats on a deserted Andaman beach (Alamy) They call it Teflon Thailand, because no matter what is hurled at the country - tsunamis, military coups, terrorism - the number of visitors doesn't seem to fall. It's easy to see why people are so forgiving: Thailand promises gorgeous beaches, buzzing cities, ancient culture, wonderful wildlife and superb cuisine.

Natgeotraveller
Sleep: Tokyo

This serene space in the giant chipboard that is Tokyo is home to the Imperial Palace, the Diet (national parliament building), Tokyo station and one of the oldest business districts in Asia, and makes for a gentle introduction to this frenetic city.

Thesundaytimes
Why foodie Bangkok is streets ahead | The Sunday Times

Bangkok's foodie scene has moved on. The street food in the Thai capital has always been world-class, as generations of hungry backpackers could confirm, but an influx of foreign chefs and the Thais' rediscovery of their own traditional techniques have prompted a wave of innovation.

Telegraph.co.uk
03/02/2015
Phuket travel guide - Telegraph

An insider's guide to Phuket, featuring the best hotels, restaurants, bars, shops, attractions and things to do, including how to travel there and around. By Lee Cobaj, Telegraph Travel's Phuket expert. Click on the tabs below for the best places to stay, eat, drink and shop, including what to do and the best beaches.

Thesundaytimes
Instant Escapes: sizzling Hong Kong | The Sunday Times

High ways:the bright lights of Downtown Hong Kong (Igor Demchenkov) Turn your back for a second and something will have changed: this city of dazzling architecture, fantastic food, thumping nightlife and sexy hotels never stands still. This year, indie is where it's at, secret restaurants are springing up all over, and there's a distinctly artsy vibe, too.

Telegraph.co.uk
08/01/2015
Mandarin Oriental hotel, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: review - Telegraph

The glamorous Mandarin Oriental is a luxury hotel that stands right beside the Petronas Twin Towers. The interiors have a suave Asian Mad Men feel - all dark marble and warm golds - and the service and facilities are excellent; breezy rooftop deck, outdoor swimming pool, tennis courts, golf simulators, gym, and a wonderful new spa.

Telegraph.co.uk
03/02/2015
Bambu Indah hotel, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia: review - Telegraph

Lee Cobaj was born in Glasgow, raised in Hong Kong and now lives in Phuket. She specialises in writing about South-East Asia and contributes to a long a list of magazines, websites, and publications, from National Geographic Traveller to ElleUK.com. Follow Lee on Twitter: @Lee_Cobaj.

Natgeotraveller
Malaysia: In the thick of it

The darkness closes around us like a slamming door. Thick yellow mud sucks at my feet. Menacing shards of bamboo, long fingers of rattan and gnarled vines swoop towards my face in the light of my puny torch. The air is warm and damp.

Telegraph.co.uk
08/21/2015
Alila Villas Uluwatu hotel, Bali, Indonesia: review - Telegraph

Poised on 100-metre high cliffs on the Bukit Peninsula, the Alila Villas Uluwatu is one of the most visually-striking hotels in the world. This architectural wonder, it wows from the moment you arrive and then continues to impress with one thoughtful touch after another.

Telegraph.co.uk
03/02/2015
Double-Six Seminyak hotel, Bali, Indonesia: review - Telegraph

Lee Cobaj was born in Glasgow, raised in Hong Kong and now lives in Phuket. She specialises in writing about South-East Asia and contributes to a long a list of magazines, websites, and publications, from National Geographic Traveller to ElleUK.com. Follow Lee on Twitter: @Lee_Cobaj.

Telegraph.co.uk
04/23/2015
Indigo Pearl hotel, Phuket, Thailand: review - Telegraph

Indigo Pearl is a cool design hotel, with spacious rooms and suites, smooth staff, super food and a fabulous spa, set on the shimmering edge of Nai Yang beach. Read more: the best hotels in Phuket

National Geographic Traveller (UK)
06/25/2014
Like a local: Kuala Lumpur

Poor little Kuala Lumpur. For quite some time it seems to have been regarded as the ugly duckling of Asian cities, overlooked by international travellers who tend to schedule their stopovers in Singapore, Hong Kong or, if they're feeling adventurous, Bangkok. But KL - as it's known to its friends - has come a long way.

National Geographic Traveller (UK)
04/12/2015
Sleep: Singapore

With its theme parks, cable cars, casinos, and day-trippers, stylish Singaporeans can be a bit shy about how much they enjoy Sentosa. True, this rainforest island, 15 minutes south of the city centre, may be a bit manufactured but there's plenty of attractions for the energetic - zip-wiring from jungle to beach, go-karting down hills, rainforest rustling, plus the only Universal Studios in Asia.

Telegraph.co.uk
08/21/2015
Rayavadee hotel, Krabi, Thailand: review - Telegraph

Click on the right of the above image for more photographs. Located just south of Krabi, on picture perfect peninsula which can only be accessed by boat, this Leading Hotels of the World property feels wonderfully exclusive.

Telegraph.co.uk
08/21/2015
Ritz-Carlton Phulay Bay hotel, Krabi, Thailand: review - Telegraph

Click on the right of the above image for more photographs. Phulay Bay, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, is an ultra-luxurious resort with a spectacular location overlooking Phang Nga Bay. The vibe is oh-so-quiet and elegant, with 54 spacious suites and villas scattered throughout deceptively-large and exceptionally beautiful tropical gardens.

Spherelife
Blooms With a View

From manicured lawns and exotic flora to sleepy lagoons and urban greenery, Lee Cobaj picks six hotel gardens that take cultivated living to new heights PHILLIPINES The Farm at San Benito THE SETTING Tropical loveliness languishing in a rainforest at the base of Mount Malarayat, a 90-minute drive south of Manila, on Luzon, the largest island in the Philippines.

Natgeotraveller
10/17/2014
City life: Shanghai

Three Ferraris - a black, a white, and a red one with go-faster stripes - purr down the street in front of me as two young ladies wearing insanely high heels clip-clop past without so much as batting a fake mink eyelash.

Telegraph
10/09/2014
Iniala Beach House hotel, Phuket, Thailand: review - Telegraph

Lee Cobaj was born in Glasgow, raised in Hong Kong and now lives in Phuket. She specialises in writing about South-East Asia and contributes to a long a list of magazines, websites, and publications, from National Geographic Traveller to ElleUK.com. Follow Lee on Twitter: @Lee_Cobaj.

Natgeotraveller
Thailand's top 5 beaches

Mae Nam, Koh Samui This beautiful stretch of creamy sand, on Koh Samui's north coast, is one of the most gorgeous beaches on the island, so you'd expect it to be packed with tourists. Happily, the crowds tend to miss the tucked-away road turning, leaving plenty of sandy square-footage for those in the know.

Telegraph
10/09/2014
Santhiya Koh Yao Yai Resort hotel, Phuket, Thailand: review - Telegraph

Lee Cobaj was born in Glasgow, raised in Hong Kong and now lives in Phuket. She specialises in writing about South-East Asia and contributes to a long a list of magazines, websites, and publications, from National Geographic Traveller to ElleUK.com. Follow Lee on Twitter: @Lee_Cobaj.

Telegraph.co.uk
03/02/2015
Kata Rocks hotel, Phuket, Thailand: review - Telegraph

Lee Cobaj was born in Glasgow, raised in Hong Kong and now lives in Phuket. She specialises in writing about South-East Asia and contributes to a long a list of magazines, websites, and publications, from National Geographic Traveller to ElleUK.com. Follow Lee on Twitter: @Lee_Cobaj.

National Geographic Traveller (UK)
03/24/2014
City Life: Singapore

Singapore is immaculate. On the journey from the airport - generally the least inspiring part of any trip - it feels as if someone has run ahead of me, straightening every blade of grass, trimming every tree and sweeping every path.

Thesundaytimes
Total guide to Southeast Asia: 24 hours in Bangkok | The Sunday Times

Barbecue in Sukhumvit market (Lonely Planet) Read more from our Total guide to Southeast Asia in this month's issue of The Sunday Times Travel Magazine on sale now 06:00 See Bangkok in a new light with a long-tail boat tour around the Thonburi khlongs (canals) at sunrise.

Thesundaytimes
Total guide to Southeast Asia: 24 hours in Bangkok | The Sunday Times

Barbecue in Sukhumvit market (Lonely Planet) Read more from our Total guide to Southeast Asia in this month's issue of The Sunday Times Travel Magazine on sale now 06:00 See Bangkok in a new light with a long-tail boat tour around the Thonburi khlongs (canals) at sunrise.

Natgeotraveller
08/09/2014
City Life: Bangkok

Bangkok is what our US cousins might call a 'hot mess'. The city sprawls all over the place with no discernible centre; it's stifling hot even in the so-called cool season; the traffic is deplorable - "the worst in the world except for Jakarta," my cab driver tells me cheerfully before advancing two metres and falling asleep.

Jetsetter
72 Hours in Glasgow

Step off the train at Central Station and you're right in the heart of Glasgow's majestic city center. From here, a 10-minute uphill stroll (in the shadow of Victorian red sandstone buildings) will take you to the doorstep of the citizenM Glasgow , a funky crash pad that couldn't be better placed for exploring the city's cultural and entertainment offerings.

Natgeotraveller
06/25/2014
Like a local: Kuala Lumpur

Poor little Kuala Lumpur. For quite some time it seems to have been regarded as the ugly duckling of Asian cities, overlooked by international travellers who tend to schedule their stopovers in Singapore, Hong Kong or, if they're feeling adventurous, Bangkok. But KL - as it's known to its friends - has come a long way.

Redonline
Aleenta Hua Hin Review

The locals have long-known about Hua Hin; a three-hour drive south of Bangkok, it's the first stretch of beach outside the capital and a favourite holiday spot for the Thai Royal Family.

Redonline
8 of the best hotels in Thailand | Thailand holidays

From the skyscrapers of Bangkok to the azure waters of Khao Lak and Pranburi, the sandy shores of Koh Phi Phi to the sparkling spa resorts of Phuket, we've travelled to the very best hotels in Thailand, all so we can recommend a few fabulous places to stay...

Redonline
Six Senses Yao Noi | Thailand holidays

It's hard not to gush about Six Senses Yao Noi. An incredible island location, fabulous design, impeccable service, fine organic food and a destination spa, it's absolutely everything you'd imagined Thailand holidays to be - and then some.

Jetsetter
Pullman Phuket Arcadia

Stylish hillside hideaway above Naithon Beach with a huge infinity pool and a full roster of family-friendly activities On the pretty northwest coast of Phuket, the Pullman Arcadia is a hillside hideaway at the corner of Naithon Beach, one of the island's prettiest stretches of sand.

Redonline
The Surin review | Thailand holidays

Phuket may have newer, flashier and grander hotels, but The Surin is a perennial standout for comfort and service. Cascading down a tropical hillside onto one of the island's most secluded beaches, the hotel's near-perfect location on Phuket's west coast and a tip-top team of highly-experienced staff are the main reasons why guests choose to return to this old-timer year after year.

Jetsetter
Know Your Kohs

From footprint-free sands to hedonistic hot spots, the Thai islands are the stuff of far-flung fantasies. But with hundreds to choose from, selecting the right koh can be a tricky task. We asked Phuket-based correspondent, Lee Cobaj , for the inside track on where to channel your inner castaway

Telegraph
04/09/2014
Siam Kempinski hotel, Bangkok: review

Siam Kempinski is a five-star Bangkok hotel offering comfy beds, a good choice of restaurant and easy access to the Siam Paragon Mall, close to Central World, MBK and the markets of Pathuwan. Review by Lee Cobaj.

Jetsetter
Hong Kong's Hippest Hood

Forget SoHo and NoHo, Hong Kong's creative crowd is heading east to the edgy enclave of Wan Chai, one of the island's oldest neighborhoods, and the former red light district. The historic streets are now lined with a growing number of haute restaurants hidden in heritage buildings, pulsing rooftop bars and blow-the-baggage-allowance boutiques.

Tatler
Iniala Beach House

Iniala is a sci-fi fantasy, a Dalí-esque dream scene where curvaceous villas rest like giant armadillos on the sand, where £120,000 cocoon beds seem to float in mid-air, where the womb-like private spas appear cast from solid gold.

Jetsetter
Fairmont Peace Hotel Shanghai

Art Deco icon with glamorous interiors, a swinging jazz bar and an unbeatable location smack bang on the Bund Built in 1929 by the charismatic banking magnate Victor Sassoon, the former Cathay Hotel is one of Shanghai's most striking landmark buildings.

Telegraph
11/08/2013
Phuket travel guide

Phuket, the Pearl of the Andaman, is Thailand's largest island, with a curvaceous coastline of wide sugary beaches strung between jutting peninsulas and craggy rock formations. Though it has long been one of Thailand's most popular destinations, it is easy to avoid the tourist traps.

Jetsetter
InterContinental Hong Kong

Stylish Hong Kong stalwart with a waterfront location and a clutch of Michelin stars The ground-floor lobby and lounge harness feng shui principles, with light and water merging through a huge wall of glass overlooking Victoria Harbour.

Jetsetter
The Ritz-Carlton Shanghai, Pudong

Glamorous Pudong hotel with a central location, rousing rooftop bar and destination spa Shanghai is turning into something of a hotel lover's dream, with new properties popping up at an astounding rate, from chic design hotels to Art Deco grande dames. The Ritz-Carlton Shanghai Pudong falls between the two, balancing the allure of Old Shanghai with stylish Chinese swagger.

Jetsetter
09/13/2013
Your Perfect Week in Thailand

Day 1: Temples and Thai Food, Bangkok Bangkok is the kind of town where it's best to hit the ground running, so check in, unpack and slip on some comfy shoes. Combine two of Bangkok's main attractions, food and history, with a culinary walking tour of the 100-year-old Bangrak neighborhood.

Jetsetter
Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit

French flair and Thai hospitality meet at this sleek skyscraper with a rooftop pool and a L'Occitane spa This shiny new skyscraper opened in April 2013 and sits smack in the center of Bangkok's Sukhumvit tourist vortex.

Thesundaytimes
10/13/2013
Phuket goes fabulous | The Sunday Times

Phuket goes fabulous I am lying in a cabana with white fabric billowing all around. Out front, a neat row of hot-pink umbrellas sticks up from the yellow sand. There is groove music playing, not too loud, and slender figures in traditional baggy trousers and sashes are weaving between white sofas, delivering champagne to bronzed euro billionaires.

Thesundaytimes
08/04/2013
The 50 best swims in the world | The Sunday Times

The 50 best swims in the world Sparkling seas, rooftop pools, secret shores... Whatever floats your boat, we have a divine dip to suit. Come on in... Dive in for a proper swim: the Lesser Cyclades, Greek Islands (Paule Seux) Romance Scarlet Hotel Cornwall, UK Dive in: Get back to nature with a swim at this unique hotel pool.

Natgeotraveller
10/17/2013
Like a local: Hong Kong

Fly into Hong Kong on business and you'll find a frenetic commercial hub, a blitz of dizzying skyscrapers swollen with sure-footed financiers; a place where Manolo Blahniks clack across colossal hotel lobbies while multi-million dollar deals are brokered over dim sum nearby.

Thesundaytimes
07/07/2013
Air-travel rules decoded | The Sunday Times

Air-travel rules decoded Flying can be such a faff - but often with good reason. We have the lowdown to get through the airport unscathed The security shuffle: why the long queues? (Picture Alliance) Why the 100ml carry-on rule?

Thesundaytimes
07/21/2013
How to: villa rentals | The Sunday Times

How to: villa rentals Before booking your 'home from home', make sure you're getting what you asked for. These are our top tips Make sure your villa has everything, including the kitchen sink (Martin Barraud) Don't assume you have to travel in a group of 10 or more Petite properties aren't as hard to come by as you might think, and often cost a lot less than a hotel.

Brides magazine
09/01/2012
Naka Island

http://www.bridesmagazine.co.uk/honeymoons/spring-honeymoons/the-naka-island-phuket-thailand

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