“The man made scenery of the Yangtze is spectacularly grim.” – Michael Palin, Full Circle, 1997 “Marco Polo must’ve been pissed off by this point. It’s ‘orrible; it’s horrible. It’s a place to visit in a submarine this, this river. …

Down the Yangtze by hydrofoil through the Three Gorges Read More »

We got off the bus at some shithole bus station in a grim city that felt about two decades behind Beijing, under a smothering blanket of dirty brown smog so thick we couldn’t even see the tops of the faceless …

Hotpot Carnage in Chongqing Read More »

I’d been to Hong Kong & Macau the year before, but when we arrived in Beijing at the end of our Trans-Siberian journey, it was my first time in mainland China (and for my two companions too). Mike and Ross …

An action-packed first overland run through China Read More »

Beijing’s a city I’ve been to a whole bunch of times, including a spell living there for a few months in autumn/winter of 2013, so I’ve come to know the place pretty well and have plenty of memories there. But …

A Beijing Bender Read More »

Introducing the Beijing Teahouse Scam: “So, how about going for tea?” she suggested. “Sounds good,” I replied, “but actually, I think I’d prefer a coffee right now.” “Oh… but, coffee is too strong for us Chinese, we can’t drink it,” …

The Beijing Teahouse Scam (trolling the trolls) Read More »

Part One: A Bizarre Encounter at Tomakomai Station “Hey. Fuck you!” …what the? I heard this woman before I ever saw her; she’d sneaked up behind me while I was on the phone and suddenly started screaming in my free …

Sapporo to Kyoto by local train; a bizarre encounter in Tomakomai, the dog-eat-dog-politely world of busy Japanese trains, and a heroic last stand in Hiraizumi Read More »

As the three of us rattled along through the dark in back of the songthaew, a brief pinprick of light caught my eye out over the rice paddies. As I peered out into the night, another tiny light popped into …

Phonsavan to Hanoi overland; 2 days, 2 landslides, a scam, a crash, and 2 stolen passports Read More »

People often ask each other about which countries were their favourites to travel to. It’s a hard question to answer, and not a question which I can answer with one single country; I’ll usually answer with a shortlist! However, sometimes …

Theft, robbery, scams; three intense weeks in Vietnam (Hanoi to Saigon overland) Read More »

国境の長いトンネルを抜けると、雪国であったKokkyō no nagai tonneru wo nukeru to, yukiguni de atta “The train emerged from the long tunnel, into the snow country.” – the opening line of Yasunari Kawabata’s Snow Country Granted, Kawabata’s protagonist Shimamura wasn’t riding the Joetsu Shinkansen as …

Visiting the Yuzawa ‘Snow Country’ Read More »

Interrailing around Europe is one of the classic overland trips, and it was my first taste of independent backpacker travel. Growing up in the UK, I’d already visited mainland Europe a whole bunch of times on family holidays and school …

The joys of Interrailing (and the benefits of having your passport stolen) Read More »

America is a huge country, a place of remote and vast wildernesses where you can truly be in the middle of nowhere. And that remote mountain road that we took out of Yellowstone, heading east through the Rocky Mountains, really …

Road trip USA! (and the psycho hillbilly) Read More »