Night Train to Mandalay

A night train from Yangon to Mandalay provides a snapshot into how it feels to travel in Burma / Myanmar in 2016 as the country prepares for a tourist boom. Interested but don’t feel like reading? I’ve recorded an audio version of this post for you to download or listen online. It’s identical to the text […]

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Notes From the Back Seat – in Taxis Across China

It’s almost impossible to remain dry in Hong Kong. You either get caught in a tropical monsoon, or the humidity makes you drench yourself with sweat. It helps if you catch a cab. The air conditioning keeps you in a cozy daze as you somehow dodge your way around trams, buses and tourists. But across […]

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4000 Kilometers. 9 Months of Walking. 8 Countries. 1 Pair of Boots: Interview with Nick Hunt

If you wanted to fly from Holland to Istanbul, it would take you about 4 hours. Over the past century however, at least two men have decided to walk the journey. The first, in 1933, was the 18 year old Patrick Leigh Fermor. Kicked out of school, Patrick decided to try his hand as a wandering […]

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Wish Lanterns – Young Lives in New China, Interview With Alec Ash

Alec Ash at Glam, Shanghai. Original Photo by Elyse Ribbons GeiliGiving.com There are over 320 million people in China aged between 15 and 30. This generation is often derided by their elders as well as the media. Depending on who you ask they’re shallow and materialistic, apathetic or overly patriotic. Beijing based journalist Alec Ash […]

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Why I Don’t Drive in Shanghai

Stern, unsmiling, green vested traffic cops have appeared at intersections across the city, from the concrete apartment blocks and asphalt overpasses of Putuo to the leafy lanes of the former French Concession. Like most Asian cities, the streets of Shanghai are a mad free for all. Motorbikes whip by, lights out no matter the hour or […]

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Seven Years On the Road – Interview with Colin Wright

Seven years ago, Colin Wright was working 100 hours a week running a branding studio in LA. He was on track to reach his goal of becoming a millionaire before the age of 25, when he had a change of heart. This lifestyle wasn’t so exciting anymore, and he wanted see the world. He started […]

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Singapore – Another Kind of Asia

A four year old kid sits in the back of a taxi in Singapore. He is blonde, blue eyed, and it’s his first time in Asia. The streets are packed, crowded, alive. The flashing neon signs scream out strange symbols. Everything is different and exciting. 20 years later, I again find myself cruising through Singapore. It is […]

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From Sichuan to Cairo – Interview With Peter Hessler

Earlier this week I had the privilege of interviewing one of my favorite authors, Peter Hessler. As a staff writer for The New Yorker and author of three acclaimed books on China, Hessler’s writing offers fascinating and deeply felt insights into the changing landscapes, cultures and characters he has encountered in his travels.  After teaching in […]

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Chaos and Quiet in Suzhou

  Boats lazily cruise up and down the canal which runs beside Suzhou’s famous Shan Tang street. White, low roofed houses line the banks, and orange lanterns hang suspended above the still water. The tranquility is in perfect contrast to the roaring carnage of the street itself. Like an ocean storm, it sweeps you up, […]

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Notes on a French City

In 1849, the French government decided it would rather like a slice of Shanghai to call its own. This was standard practice for European governments in China at the time, so the local authorities were not surprised. China complied, and so the French Concession came to be. Scarcely 100 years later, France itself was at […]

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