The sharper edge to traveling in Asia

Archive for the 'By Subject' Category

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 […]

Read the rest of this entry »

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 […]

Read the rest of this entry »

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 […]

Read the rest of this entry »

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 […]

Read the rest of this entry »

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 […]

Read the rest of this entry »

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 […]

Read the rest of this entry »

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 […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Foul Play Suspected in disappearance of journalist Dave Walker in Cambodia

As was reported in the Phnom Penh Post this week, noted Canadian journalist and filmmmaker Dave Walker has been reported missing from his Siem Reap guest house for five days. His passport, telephone, computer, and possessions were all left behind, and foul play is suspected. Walker reportedly left the Green Village Angkor guesthouse on February […]

Read the rest of this entry »

WoWasis book review: ‘Bangkok Express’ by James A. Newman

Admittedly, it’s a challenge coming up with new twists when writing Bangkok Fiction. Bar girls, bad girls, corruption, and “influential” bad guys are all staples. It’s a brave writer that newly dips is foot in this muddy stream, and James A. Newman is one of the latest, in his detective novel Bangkok Express (2012, ISBN […]

Read the rest of this entry »

WoWasis book review: Dean Barrett’s ‘A Love Story: China Memoirs of Thomas Rowley’ historical erotica

Leave it to veteran expat western author Dean Barrett to put a new twist on Asia-based fiction. His latest novel. A Love Story: The China Memoirs of Thomas Rowley (2013, ISBN-13: 978-0-9788888-3-1) will make readers want to hold on to their hats (and scrotums) as protagonist Thomas Rowley, a western soldier in China, is captured […]

Read the rest of this entry »