Karma for Sale - Near Bangkok is a vast structure resembling an airport terminal surrounding a giantspace age Buddhist stupa. This is Wat Dhammakaya. Often criticised for offering promises of good karma for cash donated, the temple holds Buddha casting ceremonies for the faithful. The stupa itself is covered with thousands upon thousands of small Buddha images each one paid for by donors.
Saigon Races - In 1998 the newly re-opened
race track in Saigon was housed in a crumbling old French colonial
stadium where miniature horses were ridden by child jockeys.
Alligator Catchers - In Florida
alligators are everywhere. They get on golf courses, in ponds
and near stables. They terrorise the pensioners and chase the
dogs. If a rogue alligator is sited it is time to call Lee and
Ricky Kramer. They are the licensed alligator men and they spend
their days doing what others only do in their nightmares - wrestling
Landscapes of Laos - Sparsely populated and mountainous, Laos is a country of stunning river and mountain panoramas. capes
Provence in Isaan - There is a burgeoning wine making industry in northern Thailand. The weather is similar to that of the South of France and the vines are imported from Provence.
Reconstruction in East Timor - East Timor was ravaged by Indonesian backed militias after the
vote for independence in 1999. Most buildings were burned and
destroyed and the people were driven into refugee camps in Indonesian
West Timor. Many of the returnees were faced with rebuilding
their homes and their lives, salvaging what they could from the carnage.
Spirit Doctors in Phuket - Once a year the tourist town of Phuket witnesses the 'vegetarian
Festival' when 'spirit doctors' from the area's Chinese population
perform amazing feats of self mutilation and asceticism.
Portraits of slavery - The chukri system in Bangladesh is a type of forced labour whereby a woman or child is coerced into prostitution to pay off debts. The system creates a workforce of people virtually enslaved to their creditors, and constitutes one of the primary causes for women entering the sex trade. Many of the prostitutes are initially kidnapped for profit by criminal gangs and shanghaied to vast bothel districts, lost to their friends and families.
Kumbh Mela 1998 - Kumbh Mela
happens once every three years in India and only once every twelve
years in Hardwar. It attracts millions of pilgrims and thousands
of holy men from all over India. It is the largest gathering
of people for a common purpose in recorded history. Many of the
holy men undertake tasks of religious devotion which are extreme
in their physical severity. It is an event of timeless drama.
Kumbh Mela 2001 - Three years
on Kumbh Mela comes to Allahabad.
Transvestite Cabaret - In Thailand transvestite, or 'katoey', cabaret is part of mainstream tourist entertainment. Absolute Phuket magazine takes a look behind the scenes.
Arts in Cambodia - The ancient
art of Cambodian ballet - the purist form of South East Asian
dance - was almost wiped out by the Khmer Rouge in the 1970s.
Most of the practitioners were murdered in the killing Fields.
Now, with a concerted effort by the few surviving dancers and
teachers in conjunction with scholars and the Cambodian Ministry
of Culture, this exquisite art form is being revived and taught
again to young students at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Phnom
All America Cheerleading Championships - Every year in Daytona Beach, Florida thousands of cheerleaders
gather from all over the United States to compete in what they
consider to be a genuine sport.
Transvestite kick boxing - Parinya Kiatbusaba is a Khatoi - a Thai transvestite who wears
make-up and women's clothes. He is also one of Thailand's most
celebrated and popular Kick boxers who wins fights all over the
Cock Fighting in the Philippines - Cock fighting is a massively popular gambling sport in the Philippines.
All over the country, every Sunday, thousands of pesos will be
won or lost on the outcome of a flurry of feathers.
Elephant Polo - Mad Dogs and
Englishman go out in the mid-day sun. If they are really mad
and very wealthy they are also likely to go and play polo on
elephants in the middle of a malarial jungle in Nepal. (Why?.........
because they can).
The Kansas City Gay Rodeo - The gay rodeo circuit is thriving. Camp as some of the events
are (goat dressing and steer decorating do not figure in mainstream
rodeo) a bucking bronc or a raging bull does not care whether
the rider is gay or straight, he just wants him thrown into the
Patrolling the Sulu Sea - The waters between
Mindanao in the Philippines and Saba in Malaysia are a hotbed
of smuggling and modern day piracy. Loaded magazine accompanied
the Philippine navy as it patrols these dangerous waters.
Laughter Therapy in India - Dr Madan Kataria
has Pioneered the beneficial effects of laughter. At dawn the
parks of Bombay are filled with the middle aged and retired laughing
hysterically for no apparent reason. Loaded Magazine
arrived in Bombay prepared to be cynical but left being utterly
converted. As Dr Kataria says, if we are laughing then he has
The Kicking Fields - According to Cambodians Thai kick
boxing originated in Cambodia and was stolen by the Thais when
the empire of Ayutthaya sacked the empire of Angkor. Now the
Khmer are fighting to claim back their sporting heritage.