The sharper edge to traveling in Asia

WoWasis book review: Boye De Mente’s ‘Women of the Orient’

Written By: herbrunbridge - Apr• 23•10

Many men have loved exotic women from the Orient, but few have written as passionately on the subject as adventurer Boye De Mente, in his small but encyclopedic Women of the Orient (1995, ISBN 0-8048-1880-0).  Here, he chronicles the habits, looks, and proclivities of women from six Asian countries, China (Hong Kong & Taiwan), Japan, Korea, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam.   A former resident of Japan, he waxes poetic about the tonsorial aspects of the Japanese woman, how she relates to men, and her physical characteristics as well.  De Mente classifies men who love women as alternately girl watchers, girl chasers, information gatherers, field reporters, and lotharios, but the reader quickly finds that these are all embodied in the author, who is a consummate researcher on the subject.

Perhaps his most revealing chapter is on the Vietnamese woman, and he write most passionately on the traditional ao dai garment, devoting nearly three pages to its appeal for men.  Practically everything in this subchapter is quotable, for example “Just a slightly above average Vietnamese girl in an ao dai is more provocative than a Miss World beauty queen would be accepting her crown in the nude.”  The book is out of print, but well worth seeking out in used bookstores.  It’s a classic.

Some of our favorite passages can be found on the following pages:
p. 18, the beauty of long black hair
p. 33, on clever women
p. 45, mogaku, the Japanese way of describing pubic hair
p. 49, on western women, compared with Asian women
p. 130, the world outlook of Thai women
p. 139, the beauty of Vietnamese women
p. 143-44, treatise on the Vietnamese ao dai dress… wow!
p. 147-148, sidesaddle girls, and a diminutive Filipina singer

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