Travelfish Travel Guides - your Southeast Asia Resource

Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture

One of our newest travel guides partners is Travelfish. An incredibly detailed set of travel guide books to Southeast Asia, Travelfish has over 18 travel guides, as well as free information on their site. Just perusing the website has me making plans to head to Thailand.  I was lucky enough to sit down with Travelfish creator Stuart McDonald (who is also our new Southeast Asia Editor), to get the backstory to Travelfish. Here's what he had to say...


WE: Please tell us about Travelfish...

SM: Travelfish is an online travel guide to Cambodia, Laos, Singapore,
Thailand and Vietnam. The site is a research tool both for those
planning or on a holiday in Southeast Asia.

The core of the site is our 100% original reviews of over 3,500
guesthouses, hostels, hotels and resorts in the region -- by far the
biggest repository of original reviews online.

The site also has a travel forum, itinerary advice, feature stories and
other helpful resources.

Site members are able to purchase PDF-formatted travel guides for
specific destinations -- these have proved to be very popular and we
currently offer a selection of 18 titles to choose from.


WE: What led you to start Travelfish?

SM: The concept behind Travelfish was put together on a slow day on a beach
on Ko Maak some years ago. I'd written traditional guidebooks in the
past (to Vietnam in 1994 and Thailand in 1996) but saw the internet as
the future for this type of travel intelligence. We started off small
just covering a handful of destinations in Thailand, but today we cover
five countries and in excess of 350 destinations in those countries.
Travel publisher Lonely Planet, who you could argue is a direct
competitor, has described Travelfish as being "The most consistently
updated website for independent travellers in Southeast Asia" -- so we
figure we're doing soemthing right!


WE: What areas of Southeast Asia do you cover?

SM: At this stage we cover Cambodia, Laos, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.


WE: Who contributes to the guidebooks? Are they all locals?

SM: 100% of our content is written by our freelance travel researchers. They
all live in the region, though not necessarily always in the country
they're researching for us. Researchers have come from a broad range of
nationalities -- Australians, Brits, Israeli, American and Canadian and
Thais have all done work for us in the past. Their nationality
isn't so important, rather that they've all been keen travellers with an
eye for what backpackers and flashpackers are looking for in a destination.


WE: I see you have a plethora of categories on your blogs - diving,
hotels, transportation, health, etc. What else can readers find on

SM: They can find everything they'd ever need! But seriously, they'll find
detailed and unbiased travel advice. Our forum is regarded as a
particularly friendly one, with little of the bluster you'll find on
some of the other popular forums. While the site is in part
advertising-supported, it's important to point out that our researchers
work on a strict no-freebie basis -- so our readers are comfortable in
knowing there's no hidden agendas at work when they're reading our advice.

The scope of information ranges from advice to those who've never been
out of their hometown through to detailed information on crossing
challenging and remote borders. This is one of the many advantages of
publishing online -- there's no restriction regarding how much you
write about something.


WE: Is there anything else you'd like to share with us?

SM: We've been travelling through Southeast Asia since 1993 and have lived
in the region since 1997. I'd like to think that those years have
helped us to not only see how travelling in the region has changed, but
also to see how it hasn't changed. In many ways people are asking the
same questions today that I was asking in 1993 -- and probably that
Mark Twain was asking in 1897. People want to know how to have a good
time, an interesting time and a safe time -- we like to think that the
combination of our experience in the region along with our ethical and
transparent approach to researching can help travellers ascertain the
best possible answers to these questions.


WE: Thanks so much, Stuart! Your travel guide books to Southeast Asia are an extraordinary resource.  And, Wandering Educators, look for a monthly column on Southeast Asia from Stuart at Travelfish!


Please Click Here for more info on the Travelfish Guides