Chris Taylor

No country for asylum seekers

Sebastian Strangio’s Hun Sen’s Cambodia chronicles the long ascent of the title’s eponymous strongman to the apex of power in a country that has leveraged international guilt and horror over the genocide that took place there in the 1970s, receiving billions of dollars in aid as a result.

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The Satoshi factor

A PAUL KRUGMAN QUOTE from 1998 on the future of the internet (“By 2005 or so, it will become clear that the Internet’s impact on the economy has been no greater than the fax machine’s.”) recently did the rounds of bitcoin forums. The joke was on Krugman, who had derided…

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Shangri-la in flames

Yes, a devastating fire broke out in the Tibetan quarter of Shangri-la’s Duzekong district in 2014, but little about this part of town was ancient. It is a better described as a commoditized, Chinese state-endorsed face of Tibet.

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When in Rome

ON OCCASION, you eat a meal that speaks to you in a simple language and you know you will return and return again because you’ve glimpsed a landscape you want to see more of. Appia, which comes to Bangkok courtesy of a collaboration between Jarrett Wrisley of Soul Food fame…

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Like a Cha-Am

I’VE BEEN FEELING BAD about Cha-Am (I feel bad about the headline too, but I couldn’t help myself), a seaside town two hours south of Bangkok. I say that because several friends have visited over the past year and asked me to recommend an un-touristy, beachy kind of place close to…

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Next time your bus breaks down

BLOG ABOUT IT … Really. It helps. You’ll get busy taking pictures, talking to your fellow travelers as they stand in the sun batting away flies and grimacing at the yelping neighborhood dogs, for whom a sudden invasion of foreign-smelling foreigners must be something like a canine iteration of the…

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The island, revisited

I DON’T REMEMBER exactly when I gave up on Koh Pha-ngan in Thailand but I’ll never forget the night I accidentally arrived there on a full moon and found myself sucked into the maw of a surging crowd of board-shorts and bikinis that disgorged me at Haad Rin, scene of…

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The next big thing

  Q What other works would you compare this book to within your genre? A I hate questions like this. They’re rather like, what’s your favorite color? Simon Lewis, in his latest—see above—is in similar territory. I think James Hamilton-Paterson is a sadly neglected literary exile who has written extensively about…

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The author read your rejection note with interest

 THIS IS AN automated response. Please do not reply. The author is pleased you took the time to reject his book/short story/article. He probably read your rejection note with interest and thought it showed great promise. In fact, he may have really wanted to love your rejection note. Unfortunately, he regrets…

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China’s expat ‘rankers’

THIS RATHER ODD – perhaps even slightly psychotic – list of “exemplary expats” includes a famed womanizer, a forger, a self-confessed drug addict, a possibly murdered English teacher and me at No 9. The Chinese language image at the head of the list, the headline of which translates loosely as “Rebel foreign…

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