The porter sitting at the entrance to New Lucky House didn’t even bother to look up as we trundled past, dragging our sturdy Samsonites over rain-sodden cardboard. And why should he?
A serious-looking Chinese man handed me a fat wad of thousand-baht notes to pass on to a snaggle-toothed character in front of me.
Now updated, on the day that same-sex marriage was made legal in all fifty states of the USA. Scroll down for the aftermath!
I enjoy a good spar from time to time, but I dislike direct confrontations. I find them wasteful. If I'd wanted the adrenaline boost I'd get a cup of coffee.
Sometimes the People's Republic of China makes teaching an old play easier than it might be in the West.
A postgraduate student of tourism at Mandalay University complains that her professor is ‘never there.’ Lest her thesis be under-evaluated by the absentee professor, she doesn’t dare write anything
They already know, and they are ready. They are obediently disobedient. They have ingested the manual in their smartphones and iPads. It says not to respond to provocation with hatred.
The events of Sunday June 4 1989 brought several hundred thousand citizens onto the streets of Hong Kong the next day.
There is a Grinch in Hong Kong and he’s been there for decades.
The young Chinese PLA soldier, dressed in camouflage uniform and spiky haircut, stepped out from the ramshackle shop into the harshly bright sunlight.
I was brought up to always follow the rules. It’s the curse of the only child. Rules made the world clear.
This summer I, along with my clothes, guitar, and books, moved from Beijing to Guangzhou. Actually, my “stuff”, as George Carlin called it, went straight to Guang
They go there to forget and remember. Tomorrow is far away. They have a few hours before turning off the light and waking up to frustrations again.
If the world has a gulf that swallows travellers, it's probably close to Doha, according to Michael Vatikiotis
High above Jakarta, Melody Kemp watches a cricket match between Australian visitors and a team of passionate young Indonesians
My few weeks back in Milan have been long enough to give me a rough idea of what is happening in my country (and the West, in general), after about two years absence in China and eastern Asia.
Tammy Ho reveals all on the Oxford Dictionary's Word of the Year - 'selfie'
Indonesia elects a new President on 9 July. In Jogyakarta, the support of the Goddess of the Southern Seas is vital.
Asia risks extinction for the animals of Africa and Asia in exchange for ivory and the imaginary powers of penis and horn.
1989 was a year of change: the Soviet army pulled out of Kabul; Solidarity was allowed to contest elections in Soviet Poland; Yugoslavia won the Eurovision Song Contest; and I turned eighteen.
Michael Vatikiotis and Cod Satrusayang consider the implications of this week's coup in Thailand.
Which will dominate - Chinese or English? Or can they live together?
The dead receive two bows, whereas the living receive only one.
ko ko thett celebrates the life and mourns the death of U Win Tin, co-founder with Aung San Suu Kyi of Burma's National League for Democracy.
Recently I heard some bad news.
Identity: renewal, preservation and decay
MH370 and what it says about Malaysia
‘Were we always like this?’ my friend asked. ‘Or have we just forgotten?’
Iranian New Year has just taken place and Iranians the world over are celebrating.
Climate change devastates fishing fleets, forces fishermen to become people-traffickers, and disorientates the mango trees.
Sree Iyer takes us for a walk through Malaysia, Australia and Hong Kong.
Fan Dai reflects on the changing face of Chinese New Year.
For an Italian writer and publisher unable to speak Chinese, meeting writers in China is sometimes an interesting experience.
FROM SEOUL TO SHANGHAI AND SINGAPORE, these are nervous days for many an Asian household with student-aged children.
THE BEAUTY OF LITERARY FESTIVALS is in the possibility of listening to people who will talk about themselves but aren't trying to sell you anything.
IN THE EVENING of a cold autumn day last year, I was picking the seeds out of a pomegranate and putting each one in a bowl for our house guest.
In Mandalay, Michael Vatikiotis brings together Myanmar's royal past, its colonial rulers, the current regime and the woman who embodies, for many of its people, an ideal of leadership.
Forget Delhi-belly. Try Last Gastro in Paris as Phillip Kim eats his way around the world.
Chinese President, Xi Jinping, has spoken of his nation pursuing the 'Chinese Dream.' ALR Blogger Fan Dai reflects on dreams and whether they can come true.
Why has Indonesia adopted Chinese New Year with such enthusiasm?
Tomorrow brings another day of protest. A phalanx of colour-coded citizens wends its way along avenues named after Kings and congeals around a marble monument to democracy.
Chinese smog is more than an eyesore - it's a deadly blight.
“Mom, are you sure you know what you’re doing?” My son, who came from New York City to help me settle in Iowa City, asked as we drove out of the airport.
The white-haired man cruised along the emptying thoroughfare as the falling sun swam in red over the neighbouring nation.
Sensational and superficial reports on North Korea drown out far more important voices.
Does the realism of literature become debatable in exotic settings? Do unfamiliar locales and characters notionally give writers license to invent and dissemble?
For several reasons, one involving a past Australian Prime Minister, I am very deaf. I organise my life around the ear that can hear, directing seating at the table as Fellini did his actors.
When mobs take to the streets and violence looms, the world pays attention.
The Vientiane traffic clotted and crawled as it does in when there has been a crash. I felt a creeping sense of dread as I sat sweating at the wheel of my own collision- and sun-scarred car.
As I boarded the small plane in Chicago in December 2012, I looked around suspecting that everyone was a writer. It was my second time to go to Iowa City.
Last Friday I had to go to a “Western” restaurant and bar, part of a chain, across from campus to tell Miko good-bye.
The news of Yolanda triggered in me a delayed reaction to Sandy, another super storm a year earlier, which hit Long Beach, Long Island directly and devastated the small barrier island where my gran
A day, a night, a weekend: your life is turned upside-down, your routines scrambled. School is closed by government order.
‘Unsavory Elements’ editor Tom Carter talks to aspiring novelist Susie Gordon in her debut public interview on Shanghai’s expatriate scene, writing fiction versus no
The writer is something of a contortionist these days.
I went to Asia the first time in 1973. I was 20 years old. I had wanted to go since I saw that photograph of my father getting a shave from a very dark man on deck in Bombay harbour.
I live in an artificial community. There is an artificial beach, an artificial promenade, and an infinite horizon swimming