The sharper edge to traveling in Asia

Archive for the 'By Subject' Category

WoWasis Book review: ‘38 Million Dollar Smile’ / ‘Bangkok Free Fall’ by Richard Stevenson

Richard Stevenson is the nom de plume of Richard Lipez, an American author best known for his series of novels involving the world of private eye Don Strachey. Here at WoWasis, we’re always looking at new twists on the Bangkok Fiction genre. The ‘bar girl meets western man’ theme has been covered in dozens of […]

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WoWasis book review: Fumitori Nakamura’s Japanese novel ‘The Thief’

Nishimura, the lifelong pickpocket in Fumitori Nakamura’s novel The Thief (2009, ISBN 978-1-47210-695-7) is the embodiment of nihilism, to such an extent that his name appears fewer than ten times in the book. He loves no one and compulsively plies his trade in return for the small amount of joy it gives him. The one […]

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WoWasis Book review: ‘Stage IV’: cancer and death in Thailand by Erich Sysak

Here at WoWasis, we’re always looking at new twists on the Bangkok Fiction literary genre. The ‘bar girl meets western man’ theme has been covered in dozens of books, so Erich R. Sysak’s Stage IV (2011, ISBN 978-981-08-5435-5) really caught our eye. It’s not often a guy dying from cancer gets to be a book’s […]

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Bachelor in Bangkok: Khun Lee on rude Western women and weak Western men

I just returned from my twice a year pilgrimage to the gates of hell (United States) and the jet lag lingers on and on.  It’s amazing that I lived my first 43 years in the USA and I still feel like an outsider when I return to visit.  Let me tell you that those poor […]

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Tourist complaints increase in Japan as Nikko’s historic sites are renovated

Japan is undergoing renovations of major historical buildings all over the country, but in the eyes of many visitors, it’s most apparent and frustrating in the city of Nikko, two hours north of Tokyo. Shrines and Temples of Nikko is a UNESCO World Heritage site consisting of two Shinto shrines and one Buddhist temple (Futarasan […]

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WoWasis visits sex fetish bar, ‘BarBar’ in Bangkok

Note: We here at WoWasis field all sorts of questions about Asia. Many of them are about entertainment options and Bangkok always heads the list. We’ve gotten several queries recently about fetish and S&M activities in Bangkok, so we thought we’d go right to the source, by interviewing Barbara, who manages BarBar, a noted fetish […]

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WoWasis book review: James Eckardt’s ‘Singapore Girl’ and ladyboys

“One thing for sure. I never want to be an old ladyboy.” -a WoWasis transgender friend (2002) Veteran Asia writer James Eckardt has written a number of fascinating books on the Southeast Asian scene, and he’s a good writer, having worked for the Bangkok Post, The Nation, and the Phnom Penh Post. His working creds […]

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WoWasis visits Sho-ren-in temple in Kyoto, Japan

Blink, and you’ll miss it. But you shouldn’t. On the famed “temple walk” through the southern Higashiyama district in Kyoto, you’ll pass by and see a lot of temples and shrines. If you’re like us here at WoWasis, you’ll yearn for a few minutes of peace and quiet away from the crowds, and Sho-ren-in Temple […]

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Jet-setting Thai monk defrocked, Thailand now in shock and denial

A multimillionaire jet-setting Thai monk has fled the country with millions of dollars, leaving the nation in Thailand in sock and awe. Shock, because holy people aren’t supposed to be building empires and impregnating 13 year old girls. Awe, because he’s been getting away with the shenanigans for so long, he seems to be the […]

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WoWasis visits Sumiya, a historical restaurant and entertainment architectural museum in Kyoto, Japan

Sumiya is a wonderful, ancient traditional restaurant and entertainment venue, originally built in 1641, that’s now a museum of sorts, primarily involved in the architectural preservation of the building and interior. It’s considered to be the finest example of Edo-period ageya (restaurant and entertainment venue) architecture in urban Japan. Here is where lavish meals were […]

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