Gavin Thomas

Read articles written by Gavin Thomas for Rough Guides. See all blogs by this author on the Rough Guides travel blog.

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  • Middle East and North Africa: 10 spectacular sights off the beaten track

    Middle East and North Africa: 10 spectacular sights off the beaten track

    March 27th, 2018Gavin Thomas
    insert_drive_file Article8 min read

    The Middle East and North Africa have plenty of world-famous attractions – Petra and the Pyramids, the Valley of the Kings and the souks of Marrakesh, the minarets of Istanbul and the skyscrapers of Dubai – but there are so many other spectacular sights, a little further off the beaten track, which still receive only a…

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  • A postcard from Sri Lanka: Colombo from the ashes

    A postcard from Sri Lanka: Colombo from the ashes

    January 16th, 2018Gavin Thomas
    insert_drive_file Article3 min read

    Battered by decades of civil war, Colombo’s historic Fort district has transformed spectacularly over the past few years from a war-torn shell into one of Asia’s most enjoyable city neighbourhoods. Gavin Thomas reports from a capital city on the up. London has a Ministry of Sound, Singapore has a Ministry of Design, but only Colombo…

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  • The best of Sri Lanka: why the time to go is now

    The best of Sri Lanka: why the time to go is now

    January 15th, 2018Gavin Thomas
    insert_drive_file Article7 min read

    Sri Lanka is booming. It’s now almost ten years since the end of the devastating civil war which traumatized the country for a generation – a decade of peace which has seen Sri Lanka transform into one of Asia’s most vibrant and diverse destinations. Few countries pack so much variation into such a compact space:…

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  • Myanmar: is it time for tourists to return?

    Myanmar: is it time for tourists to return?

    November 6th, 2017Gavin Thomas
    insert_drive_file Article6 min read

    The largest, most diverse and least-known country in Southeast Asia, Myanmar is now firmly back on the tourist map after decades of isolation. It lures visitors with its stunning temples, sublime landscapes and time-warped traditional culture – but the considerable ethnic unrest still affecting parts of the country cannot be ignored. So, is it ethical…

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  • The world’s most beautiful mosques

    The world’s most beautiful mosques

    February 27th, 2017Gavin Thomas
    insert_drive_file Article8 min read

    “He who builds a mosque in the way of Allah, God will build a house for him in paradise.” So said Abu Bakr, the first Islamic caliph, and his words have been followed ever since. Throughout the history of Islam mosques have provided the faith with its religious, cultural and communal focus. They act not…

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  • The truth about elephant tourism in Asia

    The truth about elephant tourism in Asia

    November 28th, 2016Gavin Thomas
    insert_drive_file Article7 min read

    Elephants are born free, but are everywhere in chains – and it’s tourism which is increasingly to blame. Riding an elephant used to be on every visitor’s list of must-do activities during a visit to Asia, although growing awareness of elephant rights – and, increasingly, wrongs – means that over the past five years almost…

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  • 12 of the most beautiful places in the Middle East

    12 of the most beautiful places in the Middle East

    November 16th, 2016Gavin Thomas
    insert_drive_file Article8 min read

    The Middle East is a paradox. Located at the cultural crossroads between east and west, the region nowadays tends to make headlines for all the wrong reasons, but also served as one of the major cradles of human civilization and birthplace of the world’s three great monotheisms. Myriad stunning mementoes of the region’s cosmopolitan and…

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