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Gilly Smith

Lost in Paris

There’s a point when going back gets dull, where revisiting the places that made you you become places for other people to find. Paris in the springtime is no longer the Paris of our honeymoon twenty years ago or my first stab at total independence as a 17 year old au pair or the countless weekends in between where we showed the kids the places that had made the city…

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Dining Blind

I’ve been meaning to take my husband to Dans le Noir, the London restaurant where everyone is on a blind date.. The idea of relying on taste, smell and feel alone as I find my way through a new menu, thrills me. But perhaps more importantly, it would give me an opportunity to prod at the unconscious mind of my man. For Jed, dining in the dark could possibly be…

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The law of the jungle

I thought I knew what Eco tourism meant. I thought it was about low impact on the environment, refilling water bottles and feeding the community, both with western money and English language. Choosing companies or individual hoteliers with the same values is a no-brainer these days; why not help a country develop its tourist economy with the kind of philosophy that ticks everyone’s boxes? Long haul travel once a year…

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Cutting the ties that bind

Crossing the new 13km bridge across the straits from Pulau Penang to the Malaysian mainland, we headed south to Ipoh. Unlike Kuala Lumpur and Batu Ferringhi and many other towns in Malaysia, Ipoh has quietly slipped under the radar of high rise development, becoming a millionaire’s paradise while keeping its own character. We forget that with the rise and rise of the Asian economy, tin mining brought riches to Malaya…

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On the trail of the lonesome pine

I wasn’t quite sure what I was looking for when I promised my father that I would take the family to Penang for my 50th birthday. The last thing we did before he died in November was to put together the family photo album of our posting in Malaysia from 1963 to 1966, and it was his last chance to tell me – again – stories of snake temples and…

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