This little bit of public art in Taipei’s Zhongshan District depicts a scene from a Chinese proverb, which tells us that though a hare may be faster than a snail, a snail will still win a race up the wall. …

Life in Taipei: a Stroll Around Zhongshan Read More »

As a former resident of Japan who moved to Taipei, it was fascinating to see the Japanese influence on this originally Chinese culture, Taiwan having been colonised by the Qing Empire in the late 1600s and then the Japanese Empire …

Life in Taipei: Remnants of the Empire of the Sun Read More »

I’m not sure why I stopped and snapped this picture at the time, but it captures a really typically Taiwanese scene – the guy doing the dishes in the gutter after the restaurant’s closed for the night, the lanterns, the …

Life in Taipei: Qilou Buildings Read More »

Xiaolongbao (小籠包, literally ‘little basket buns’) are a specialty of both Shanghai and Taipei – small dough parcels of pork and soup, they’re like bite-sized explosions of delicious joy in your mouth. Originally from Shanghai, xiaolongbao became a local staple …

Life in Taipei: Xiaolongbao at Din Tai Fung Read More »

So there I was, bottle of Singha in hand, strolling along the street through On Nut (a suburb of Bangkok) towards the Skytrain station to go meet friends, when this car brushed past me – a matter of millimetres from …

A Near Miss With One of Thailand’s Deadly Rich Kids Read More »

If you’re looking to travel overland from China to SE Asia (or vice versa) you have three main route options: Guangxi province to Vietnam, Yunnan province to Vietnam, and Yunnan to Laos (and Thailand); a fourth potential route is Yunnan …

Overland Routes from China to Southeast Asia Read More »

Bitten in Bangkok Khao San Road, circa 3am… (and this is not the first story I’ve told on these pages that picks up at that time & place!) …my Canadian buddy’s waiting for me in the street while I pop in …

Dog Bites Man: on soi dogs, getting bitten, and rabies shots in Bangkok Read More »

*If you’re looking for full details on the JR Beetle ferry between Busan & Fukuoka see my page here* So the other week I had one of those travel days where everything fucks up – and it was mostly my own …

One of Those Days: a comedy of errors when taking the JR Beetle Read More »

Last month I had the pleasure of being in Seoul during the spring cherry blossom season; it’s a sight I’ve seen many times in Japan, so this year it was cool to check out the most famous cherry blossom spots …

The Best Places to See the Cherry Blossoms in Seoul Read More »

“That little fucker just tried to take my wallet!” Not from what I’d seen… “You sure mate?” I replied, “looked to me like you just bumped into each other.” We were drinking and dancing in the middle of Khao San …

On Khao San Road, late night beatings, and sticking your neck out Read More »

The Great Buddha of Leshan in China‘s Sichuan province is one of the largest statues in the world, 71 metres tall, and the largest stone Buddha. It can easily be visited as a day-trip from the nearby city of Chengdu, …

Leshan: Big Brawl at the Big Buddha Read More »

Hokkaido’s powder is legendary, and the larger resorts like Niseko and Furano have been popular for years now with international powder hounds, especially those from Australia and New Zealand (what with the opposite hemisphere seasons and the lack of jet …

A Suggested Hokkaido Ski Tour Route Read More »

The cool air wafting across my face, combined with the train’s extended lack of motion, coaxed me out of my slumber. “Shit,” I thought, “where the hell am I?” To which the answer was: I was drunk and jet-lagged on …

Drunk Sleeping on the Train in Japan – and Getting Stranded in the Wrong Prefecture! Read More »

If you’re visiting China, the Great Wall is likely to be somewhere near the top of your list of priorities; but the Great Wall of China isn’t the only wall you’re going to come across – you’re also going to …

The Great Firewall of China, and why you need a VPN Read More »

“You know, you can see it for miles. It goes on for miles over the hills and everything; but so does the M6. D’you know what I mean? You can see that for miles… and you go, “great,” and that …

How to Visit the Great Wall of China from Beijing Read More »

It may well only be because I grew up in the 1980s and therefore have nostalgia for that time, but it seems to me that the 80s were something of a golden decade for kid’s cartoons – Transformers, Ninja Turtles, and …

Following the Path of the Setting Sun that Leads to El Dorado and… The Mysterious Cities of Gold! (Central American travel for 80s cartoon geeks) Read More »

Tetsugaku-no-michi, the Philosopher’s Path, is a pretty 2km path alongside a canal in northeast Kyoto, the former imperial capital of Japan. It’s named for the early-20th Century philosopher Kitaro Nishida, who used to stroll along it in quiet contemplation on …

Kyoto City Walk: Tetsugaku-no-michi (The Philosopher’s Path), Keage Incline, Nanzenji and the Silver Temple, and Mt Daimonji Read More »

Visiting the DMZ (De-Militarised Zone) is one of the most unusual and interesting things you can do on a visit to Korea (or indeed anywhere), giving you the opportunity to take a peak into the hermit state and even step across …

Visiting the DMZ (De-Militarised Zone) Between South and North Korea Read More »

Whoever took my camera that day, hats off to them; they were good. I never felt a thing… one minute I was snapping photos from the Chao Praya Express boat, but the next (as I was wanting to take a …

How to Get Travel Insurance When You’re Already Overseas (and how I found out the hard way) Read More »

If it’s your first time in Japan‘s capital and you want to get straight to the heart of the action, try this walking route through Shinjuku (from Tochomae Station to Shinjuku Sanchome Station) taking in skyscraper city views, atmospheric old-time alleyways, …

Shinjuku Walking Tour: skyscrapers, old-time alleyways, and Kabukicho red light district Read More »