Category East Asia

The Belly of Hong Kong

As tour guides go, Joe Clark didn’t look like much at first glance. He is short and scrawny, half-Chinese and half-white, with a face suggesting an age much younger than the 25 years he claimed. He spoke fast and with a British accent, boiling down the past century of historical events marking the rise of […]

Taipei Getaway

The charmed life I lead as a full-time tourist has its drawbacks. Manila is a radical departure from Seattle and the strong social ties my wife and I built during the seven years we lived there. The process of forging new alliances with strangers in a foreign locale has taken a toll. So it was […]

The Japanese Alps: Shiga Kogen and the Snow Monkeys

In pursuit of a white Christmas, my wife and I boarded a bullet train from Tokyo to the Japanese Alps.  Japan does rail transit far more efficiently than anything I’ve experienced in Europe or North America. Bullet trains—locally known as Shinkansen—are prompt, elegant and incredibly fast. In an hour and a half, our bullet train […]

Tokyo in a Day

My wife and I woke up in Tokyo on a crisp, clear Sunday morning. We were excited for the opportunity to explore a first-class Asian city with modern infrastructure at the very forefront of technology and innovation. Leaving Manila the previous afternoon, we sat for nearly two hours in apocalyptic traffic on the six-mile drive […]