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Rat dodging and vagrancy in the City of Love

My Berlin to Paris train arrived at Paris Gare de l'Est in the early afternoon. No need to book a hostel I’d thought. Peak season in Paris was coming to a close. And when was the last time I’d turned up at a hostel and been refused a bed? It had never happened.

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Moscow to Berlin

I’d travelled six thousand miles over thirteen days, the Trans-Siberian Railway was successfully behind me, but this was the first time I’d felt nervous. Boarding the train as darkness fell for the Moscow to Berlin leg of my journey, speaking one word of a language I couldn’t escape from, about to spend twelve hours travelling overnight to Kiev with no relief.

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A Trans-Siberian termination

After 90 hours of trans-Siberian incarceration, it was the last that lasted longest. All packed up with nowhere to go, bed made, sheets gone, shoes on and waiting, as we trundled through the outskirts of Moscow towards our journey's end.

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Somewhere in Siberia

What day is this? Is this our second or our third day? What time is it? Is that Moscow time, Beijing time or local time? It’s almost eight o’clock by my watch. Outside it’s as bright as if it were four. Maybe it is four. But it can’t be.

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Hong Kong


Ten of the Best

Hong Kong Outdoors

Ten of the Best: Hong Kong Mountaintop City Views

It always surprises people when I mention the fact that the thing I love most about Hong Kong are the mountains and the hiking. "Hong Kong has mountains?" they say. To which I usually reply with something geeky like quoting the number of country parks and ...

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Japanese Tunnels on Jardine’s Lookout

There are wartime tunnels all over Hong Kong. You wouldn't know it if you weren't looking, but I guess any tunnel worth the digging should strive to make itself at least a little tough to find. The Japanese were evidently pretty busy during their three years and eight months occupation of Hong Kong ...

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Big Buddha at Sunset, Lantau

Here he is again. Fresh out of Lightroom. And I’m rather bloody pleased with this one. Taken a few months ago when I was still in Hong Kong, ticking off photos from my list of those that still needed taking, now he’s sitting pretty in my Hong Kong Portfolio. Check it out!

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The Party by Richard McGregor

When Rupert Murdoch attended a dinner in Beijing in the late 1990s, he remarked that in all his visits to China, he had yet to meet a Communist. A strange remark indeed considering he was dining in by far the largest Communist state in the world ...

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Behind The Wall by Colin Thubron

1986. Mao Zedong was ten years dead, the Tiananmen Square 'incident' was still three years away, and China was optimistic about the future. Only a few years before, the country had been all but inaccessible to foreigners. Still struggling with the trauma of the Cultural Revolution ...

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Tiananmen Moon by Philip J Cunningham

With the 25th anniversary of the events of May and June 1989 just past, , and all the talk that went with it, it seems an appropriate time to take a look at an account of those momentous few weeks from the vantage point of someone who was actually there.

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