Lhagang Monastery, outside Tagong

Along the Map’s Torn Edge

It is in Sichuan that China’s Han majority rubs up against the edges of the Tibetan Plateau, along a fault line straddled by National Highway 318.


A Blood Buffet in the Cambodian Jungle

Hirudo orientalis has two heads, two sets of reproductive organs and nine pairs of testes. Hiding deep in Cambodia’s jungles, it waits for unsuspecting animals [...]

Morning breaks on the Mekong

Slow Boat Home to Luang Prabang

At the foot of Lasagongma Mountain, 5224 metres above sea level, the Mekong takes its first icy breaths. Under Tibet’s cobalt skies, it tumbles toward [...]

Ban Houy Fai, with Houy Fai Peak in the background

Hike to Houy Fai Peak

A travel story about a trek in rural Laos, near Luang Prabang, and the fine line that divides tourism from voyeurism.

Fishermen float by on an green jade Nam Khan

Paying Homage to Henri Mouhot

When Henri Mouhot travelled to Luang Prabang, he was the first white man to enter Laos in 25 years. He died beside the Nam Khan, where a tomb stands as a testament to his journey and his journals, “scribbled generally by the light of a torch, and on my knees at the foot of a tree.”

Thailand's Quiet Island

Thailand’s Quiet Island

Koh Mak is Thailand’s quiet island. In the Gulf of Thailand, near Koh Chang, it isn’t visited by the hordes of tourists that fly into Phuket and Phi Phi; you can relax, and listen to the sound of the water curling its way up the sand.

Cochin's backwaters

Backwaters and Beer Teapots in Cochin

The train rattled along, inducing in me the sluggish fatigue of rock-rocking train travel and blanketing heat. I sat atop a wooden luggage rack in [...]

Rice paddies during the harvest

A Homestay in a South Indian Village

Rural India is changing: electrifying, learning English and accepting tourists into its homes.

Monkeys in Matheran

Matheran: A Hill Station Petting Zoo

Matheran is hill station outside Mumbai. It where the city comes to breathe: all mechanised vehicles are banned – even bicycles – and monkeys, ponies, cows, goats and dogs roam its streets.



Deep in the desert of Jordan we roamed, In a rose tinted city named Petra, borne from stone. Three hundred years before Christ it was [...]

Floating on the Dead Sea

Amman and the Dead Sea

Heavy water rolled gently towards my toes, over thick layers of caked salt, like rock candy, which had sunk to the seafloor. I stepped gingerly [...]



The bedroom was icy. Fresh breaths of arctic air sifted through unseen cracks, under the door, through the glass. My foot lay exposed. I snuck [...]



I sat in a poolside chair on terracotta tiles, the silver handles of the pool’s steps glinting into the pale blue water. Beyond the roof [...]


St Malo

Our bags dampening our backs, still close to St Malo’s station, Iain and I spotted three bright awnings, a red, a green and a blue, [...]



Doolin, population 200, is a village on Ireland’s West Coast. It is renowned for its traditional music, hence the busloads of tourists trafficked through its [...]

Old World Wandering

Highlands and Islands

I’m writing while on a train through the Scottish Highlands, from Mallaig to Stranraer, along a track cut close into jagged cliffs, skirting the ocean. [...]

Old World Wandering

Victoria Falls: Smoke and Thunder

Soon after I arrived in Cape Town, my mother announced that she had been remiss. I’d arrived on a short visit home, before the extended [...]