Author Gerrie Lim's favourite places

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Gerrie Lim has made a career of chronicling Singapore’s steamier night-time encounters. Here the journalist and author of Invisible Trade chats about his most cherished South-East Asian getaways

First published on 5 Aug 2010. Updated on 27 Aug 2010.

Ubud, Bali
‘I’ve been to Ubud several times, the last being in 2008 when I was on a panel at the Ubud Writers Festival, and I have great memories of so many places, particularly the terrific food at Indus Restaurant, the music at the Jazz Café and drunken nights at Naughty Nuri’s bar. It never fails to amaze me how a place with a thriving artistic and culinary community can retain its sensibility and uniqueness, serving as a nice counterpoint to the rowdy beach culture nearby in Kuta and Seminyak.’

Koh Samui, Thailand
‘It is the antidote to Phuket, a much more sedate version of a Thai beach town-turned-tourist trap. I remember finding a little tapas restaurant off the beaten track which provided one of the finest meals I have ever had. If Spanish tapas that good could exist in Koh Samui, I thought, the whole world really is our oyster – my epiphany on “globalisation”, before it became a buzzword!’

Boracay, Philippines
‘It has the most beautiful white-sand beach in the world – at least that’s what I thought when I went there back in 1988. It has since been destroyed by tourism, I’m told, and that’s a shame. Back then, there were no big hotels at all, and life was uncomplicated and blissful. I was living in Hong Kong at the time, and you couldn’t (and probably still can’t) find two places more different.’

Langkawi, Malaysia
‘I was living in Singapore in the late 1980s and desperately needed to get away from the sterile, repressive atmosphere. Primitive Langkawi was the very change I needed, though the only drawback was you couldn’t buy booze anywhere and there was only one “expat bar” on the beach that served alcohol – I would imagine, or rather hope, that this has changed since then.’

Gerrie Lim’s two acclaimed books on the American adult film industry In Lust We Trust and Absolute Mayhem are out in bookstores now.

This story first appeared as 'My favourite places' (Aug 2010).

By Gerrie Lim
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