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.
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.
Not only are single women emerging as a growing and critical aspect of the economy in cities around the world, they are also driving increasingly unaffordable real estate markets. But women at the other end of the income spectrum, particularly single mothers, bear the brunt of gentrification.
When the group debuted in the mid-2000s, AKB48 was more easily dismissed as a novelty act. But in recent years, the group has expanded into a bona fide musical empire — one that has spread across Asia.
It’s difficult to overstate how silly the Western dislike for durian looks from East and Southeast Asia. Across Asia, durian is actually selling like never before. Long a coveted fruit, the durian has, in recent years, become the focus of a full-on food craze.
Bangkok-based OmiseGO envisions a world where cash is digital and free-flowing, stored on blockchains, accessible by smartphones and effortlessly zapped across borders. It's a human right, they say. And they're starting with Asia's farmers, merchants, migrants and factory hands, who are now quite likely to own smartphones but may not have bank accounts.
In Southeast Asia, Muslim nations like Indonesia and Malaysia have relatively successful democracies. What makes democracy in those populous Muslim countries work? We talk with Anwar Ibrahim, Malaysia's former deputy prime minister.
Indonesia planted millions of trees to absorb the greenhouse gases caused by the December 2007 Bali climate conference, but the nation's record on tree conservation has been dismal. Java used to be home to one of the world's oldest teak forests, but illegal logging, fires, and government mis-management have destroyed the trees.
The Laos government has set a goal to reforest their nation. Now, scientists are working with farmers to produce profitable harvests by finding higher yielding varieties of the rice that Laotians prefer - sticky rice. On Living on Earth.
Indonesia's former dictator Suharto is still in critical condition after coming close to dying recently; the 85-year-old Suharto ruled the country for more than three decades and was responsible for many human rights abuses
Reporter Michael Switow tells us how young Malaysian singers on the island of Borneo are reviving musical traditions that were on the verge of dying out. Borneo is the island shared by Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei.
Anchor Lisa Mullins speaks with Ja So, a member of the Overseas Burmese Patriots Group in Singapore about the group's recent screening of the latest Rambo movie in which John Rambo is pitted against the repressive Burmese military