Southeast Asia

White Sand beach on Boracay Island, in the Philippines.

The return of Chinese tourists restores hope in the Philippines' tourism industry

When the Chinese government made the decision to relax its pandemic restrictions and allow for travel abroad again, tourism professionals in the Philippines welcomed the news, but concerns linger about the expected increase in mass tourism.

The return of Chinese tourists restores hope in the Philippines' tourism industry
President Joe Biden participates in the US-ASEAN Special Summit to commemorate 45 years of US-ASEAN relations at the State Department in Washington, Friday, May 13, 2022.

US 'walks fine line' at Southeast Asia summit to strengthen ties

US 'walks fine line' at Southeast Asia summit to strengthen ties
US Vice President Kamala Harris takes part in a roundtable at Gardens by the Bay in Singapore

Southeast Asia allies express concern over US commitment amid Afghanistan crisis

Southeast Asia allies express concern over US commitment amid Afghanistan crisis
A sole woman waits in an empty movie theater-turned vaccination hub for her vaccine at a mall

Filipinos hesitant about getting COVID jab after dengue fever vaccine debacle

Filipinos hesitant about getting COVID jab after dengue fever vaccine debacle
A sole woman waits in an empty movie theater-turned vaccination hub for her vaccine at a mall

Vaccine hesitancy: A nationwide challenge in the Philippines

Vaccine hesitancy: A nationwide challenge in the Philippines
A scaly pangolin with small, brown eyes and a pointy nose forages for food near some greenery.

Pangolin smuggling: The next coronavirus time bomb?

For years, the plight of the pangolin has been a niche concern, mostly worrying conservationists. But the COVID-19 pandemic has pulled pangolins into the spotlight.

Pangolin smuggling: The next coronavirus time bomb?
A man cast his ballot during the early voting ahead of the Nov. 8 general election, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) spread in Yangon, Myanmar, Oct. 30, 2020.

Myanmar prepares for a remarkable but messy election 

On Sunday, Nov. 8, Myanmar will hold its second major election since the end of totalitarian rule. Thant Myint-U, a Burmese author and historian, speaks to The World's Southeast Asia correspondent, Patrick Winn, about its implications.

Myanmar prepares for a remarkable but messy election 
Sihanoukville, Cambodia, has become a construction site in recent years, with dozens of Chinese projects to build business and apartment high-rises, and with roads under construction around town.

Opening the door to Chinese investment comes with risks for Southeast Asian nations

Southeast Asian countries have long managed a complex relationship with China, the region’s biggest trading partner and their most powerful neighbor. China's new Silk Road promises opportunities for economic growth, but at what cost?

Opening the door to Chinese investment comes with risks for Southeast Asian nations
Military tanks pass by a building featuring traditional Chinese architecture.

Misusing culture in international politics: Part I

Neoconservative intellectuals have long turned perceptions of East Asian culture into ammunition for a global political agenda, according to historian Jennifer Miller. Critical State takes a deep dive into Miller's new article that charts these patterns.

Misusing culture in international politics: Part I
Chemicals seized during Asia’s largest-ever drug bust in Myanmar. 

A massive Asian drug bust has stirred a fentanyl mystery

A recent bust on the Myanmar-China border was too massive to fit inside any room. The police had to spread out their haul in a pasture.

A massive Asian drug bust has stirred a fentanyl mystery
Protesters around a flower wreath

Workers' movements advocate for rights on May Day; Saudi activists allege man killed over megacity plans; Doctors wait hours as Venezuela faces fuel shortages

As May Day celebrations and rallies have been curtailed, workers around the world are pushing for their rights. Fuel shortages are making life harder for Venezuelans, especially essential workers. And even as Lebanon teeters on the edge of economic collapse, some Americans are choosing to ride out the pandemic there. Meanwhile, Sweden's gardeners have become real party poopers.

Workers' movements advocate for rights on May Day; Saudi activists allege man killed over megacity plans; Doctors wait hours as Venezuela faces fuel shortages
Wuhan outdoor market

COVID-19 brings new scrutiny to illegal wildlife trafficking

The COVID-19 pandemic is once again calling attention once to the illegal trade of endangered species and its consequences for human health.

COVID-19 brings new scrutiny to illegal wildlife trafficking
Silver-backed chevrotain caught on camera

Rare mouse-deer spotted in Vietnam for the first time in 30 years

The forests of coastal Vietnam are among the most biodiverse on Earth. But in the face of rampant poaching, many species are vanishing. Recently a species of mouse-deer was spotted for the first time in nearly 30 years, handing a much-needed bit of hope to conservationists.

Rare mouse-deer spotted in Vietnam for the first time in 30 years
Mae Salong

They were CIA-backed Chinese rebels. Now you’re invited to their once-secret hideaway.

Former CIA-backed guerrillas — rivals of Chairman Mao Zedong — are now embracing the tourism industry, years after setting up the arteries and networks that sustain the Golden Triangle drug trade to this day.

They were CIA-backed Chinese rebels. Now you’re invited to their once-secret hideaway.
A man in white lab coat holds a glass container while others watch

Thailand is betting big on cannabis. Visit its first legal lab.

Thailand once issued severe penalties for marijuana users. But the perception of cannabis is rapidly changing, with talk of churning out “world-class cannabis” from Thailand's lush farmlands. A few months ago, scientists started the first-ever cannabis laboratory — one of the few legal facilities of its kind in Asia.

Thailand is betting big on cannabis. Visit its first legal lab.