Patong beach, on Phuket island,  Thailand, is among the 20 beaches that will be affected by the forthcoming smoking ban. Photograph: Yongyot Pruksarak/EPA

Thailand is to ban smoking on some of the country’s most popular tourist beaches, with the prospect of up to a year in prison for those caught lightin(...)

Ireland is ranked 33rd out of 100 countries in terms of the value of its brand

Ireland is one of the fastest growing national brands in the world, with its value rising 24 per cent last year to $427 billion, according to a new st(...)

The majority of the stories in Rahill’s engaging collection have this impact – bright bullets that ask readers to consider what matters in life

Readers familiar with Elske Rahill’s visceral debut novel Between Dog and Wolf will know that the Dublin author doesn’t shy away from the darker curre(...)

Mark and Michelle cleaning an elephant at Maesa Elephant Camp

With a Sawadee ka and the Wai, (a slight bow with palms pressed together) I prime my son, Mark, for his first visit to Thailand. He stands 6ft 4in tal(...)

Four-bedroom house in Taylorstown, Athlone, Co Roscommon

Joe Naughton Auctioneer is seeking €199,000 for this four-bed, two-bathroom house in Taylorstown, Athlone, Co Roscommon FRANCE POITOU CHARENTES This (...)

Arun Kapil, author of ‘Fresh Spice’ and founder of Green Saffron,  in Green Saffron, Midleton, Co Cork. Photograph: Clare Keogh

For centuries spices have been used to add flavour and colour to food – but they have also been known to have wonderful medicinal properties. And whil(...)

Chinese security personnel keep watch on pedestrian traffic during the week-long ‘Golden Week’ holidays at a zebra crossing in Shanghai. Photograph:  Chandan Khanna/AFP/Getty Images

Hundreds of millions of China’s newly flush middle class took to road, river and rail for the country’s extended National Day and Mid-Autumn Festival(...)

Danny Corrigan trains clients in communications at an event in Bangkok

Danny Corrigan stopped off in Bangkok in 2004 to buy some camera gear. He was on a year-long trip around southeast Asia at the time. Thirteen years la(...)

Spend the winter in the  Algarve, Portugal with prices from €176 for three weeks.

Three weeks winter holidays from €176pps Long-stay holidays over the winter are available with Abbey Travel for amazing prices, from November to Febru(...)

 Under the rice scheme, Thailand’s former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s government bought rice from farmers at above-market prices, costing the state up to $8bn. File photograph: Sakchai Lalit/AP Photo

Thailand’s supreme court convicted and sentenced former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra in absentia to five years in prison on Wednesday for misman(...)