Tag Archives: China

The future smells of pork noodles.

Five hours in the world’s largest city. Twenty-four million inhabitants, three times and change the size of Luxembourg, and all I’ve got is five hours to dip my toe in this behemoth of a pool. I walk out of Pudong … Continue reading

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Shanghai stopover.

Five hours to kill before boarding for Singapore, one trip into town and the discovery that, out of all my music on the iPad, only one has survived an iOS update, many thanks Tim Cook. Still, it’s from Les Sages … Continue reading

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The “Frontier School of Character”: Travels along the Pamir Highway Part V.

To Dušanbe. “In my opinion, eight officers out of ten are corrupted in Dušanbe” Tajik police officer, interviewed by I. Khamonov, 2005 My memories of Khorog are fleeting, for such was the nature of my permanence there. We took possession … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Central Asia, Tajikistan | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

The “Frontier School of Character”: Travels along the Pamir Highway Part III

Murghab. “’Tis said to be the highest place in the world” Marco Polo Looking back, the handful of hours we spent on the road between Karakul and the Tajik town of Murghab were my favourite of the entire journey. It … Continue reading

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And then came the rain: wandering through Hanoi’s Old Quarter.

The noise from outside woke me. I sat down on the corner of the bed, rubbing my face and scanning the unfamiliar room as if it was the first time I’d seen it; the bedside table, my paraphernalia dumped on … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Vietnam | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

“Shadow of the Silk Road”, by Colin Thubron

The first time I took this book in my hands I almost regretted buying it. Mind you, it was a cheap bargain at Turnham Green’s Oxfam branch, so at least I was sure that those £2.90 had not been wasted, … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Books review, Middle East, Overlooked locations, Turkey | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Occupy Central vs Beijing: it’s turning nasty.

I don’t want to turn this into a politics blog but I cannot avoid writing about Occupy Central and their protests. Ever since I saw them picketing a skyscraper downtown, belonging to a wealthy billionaire with connections with Beijing’s elite, … Continue reading

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A faith stronger than communism or mainland tourists: Man Mo Temple, Hong Kong

On our last day in Hong Kong, disappointed by the antiques sellers in Cat streets – everyone had the same bundle of Maoist posters, pictures of Kai Tag and fake Communist paraphernalia – we stumbled upon a true gem. Founded … Continue reading

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A bowl of duck noodles and dumplings: how Hong Kong redeemed itself.

Hong Kong had, up that moment, disappointed us. True, the sci-fi looks we had expected were as shiny as we wanted them to be, but everything else was too sanitised, too franchised and too blatantly volgar for us to like … Continue reading

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The city that turned itself into a theme park.

A few hours from Hong Kong, I found myself looking around in the cavernous tranquility of the main deck of the British Airways’ A380, glancing at the faces of my fellow passengers. Many were asleep, relaxed expressions painted blue by … Continue reading

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