The sharper edge to traveling in Asia

Archive for the 'By Subject' Category

WoWasis toilet product review: the Bidematic, an Argentine toilet hose contraption that just doesn’t work

The Thais, Japanese, and Koreans all have magnificent ways to keep clean after using the toilet. As reported here earlier at WoWasis, Thais typically use toilet hoses, while Japanese and Koreans use electric toilet seats that are essentially high tech bidets. Here at WoWasis, we love them, because we consider toilet paper to be Barbaric, […]

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Bachelor in Bangkok: Khun Lee on tough Thai bar girl honesty

WoWasis correspondent Khun Lee on the honesty of selected Thai bar girls: I don’t know about how other guys feel, but I have always thought that sex should be fun and reduce stress instead of increasing your stress level.  Heck, it is the one activity I normally enjoy that takes me away from all the […]

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WoWasis book review: Asian Godfathers, powerful, influential, dangerous business barons in Asia

For those of us who frequently travel to and do business in Asia, it becomes increasingly important to understand who the major players in the business world are, and how they have traditionally operated. Two books we here at WoWasis have reported on before are Martin Booth’s The Dragon Syndicates: The Global Phenomenon of the […]

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WoWasis book review: Eternal Harvest, unexploded ordnance dangers in today’s Laos

The numbers are staggering. As Karen Coates, author of Eternal Harvest: The Legacy of American Bombs in Laos (2013, ISBN-13 978-1-934159-49-1) states, “To this day, Laos remains, per capita, the most heavily bombed country on earth. All told, the U.S. military and its allies dumped more than 6 billion pounds of bombs across the land—more […]

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Fall colors and sharp sun angles thrill photographers in the old city of Colonia, Uruguay

The small city of Colonia Sacramento, 170 km northwest of Montevideo on the Rio de La Plata, is deservedly known for its Colonial architecture, and is on UNESCO’s World Heritage list. We here at WoWasis found it to be laid back, easily walkable, and a hidden gem. Come autumn, especially during the week when it’s […]

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The ghost ‘La Fantasma Pechona,’ Argentina’s legendary femme-fatale that robs men of desire for their wives

Argentina’s most famous ghost  (fantasma) isn’t talked about much, but she’s feared everywhere. She is the ghost most likely to cause a marriage to fail, and mentioning her name is said to be flirting with disaster. She’s also the reason Argentine women won’t shower in the dark if there’s a mirror in the bathroom. But […]

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Thai tattoos, WoWasis book review: ‘Thai Magic Tattoos: the Art and Influence of Sak Yant’

Three books on Thai sak yant tattoos have recently been published, but Thai Magic Tattoos: the Art and Influence of Sak Yant (2013, ISBN-13: 978-616-7339-21-4) by Isabel Azevedo Drouyer is the finest among them, due in no small part through the photographs of René Drouyer. Two other books, written by veteran authors Joe Cummings and […]

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WoWasis book review: ‘Iban Dream’ Borneo Headhunting Fiction by Golda Mowe

Malaysian author Golda Mowe has written one of the more outstanding books we’ve encountered, the beautiful, at times shocking, and endlessly fascinating Iban Dream (2013, ISBN 978-981-4423-12-0). Through 288 pages, Mowe weaves an Iban fantasy that encompasses Dayak rituals, myths, and realities. First, a little background. Visitors to the Sarawak state in Malaysian Borneo will […]

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Remembering Carol Hollinger: ‘Mai Pen Rai,’ her book on Thailand, revisited

So here’s perhaps the biggest tragedy that can befall a writer. You write your first book, and later critics will opine that it’s better than any book ever written on your subject. Readers love it and it’s still talked about and read 50 years after it’s published. But you die before you ever see it […]

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WoWasis book review: ‘Once Upon a Time in Malaya’ by Chong Seck Chim

Set in Japanese-occupied Malaya during World War II, Chong Seck Chim’s Once Upon a Time in Malaya (2005, ISBN 981-4155-46-2) is the fascinating tale of the up-and-coming youth Ah Kiew and how he deftly juggles familial obligation, political realities, and romance. Chong is a master of character development, and introduces the reader to a number […]

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