Chris Taylor

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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Bluster or PR

THE BBC RECENTLY ran a short TV news report that featured an elderly man at a Beijing wet market complaining matter-of-factly about pesticide-laced vegetables, about the fake meat, about the particulate-filled air and the poisoned soil. “It’s like nobody’s in control,” he said. You hear complaints of this sort often in China. They’re…

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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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Changes lakeside

I’D PUT OFF returning to Shuanglang – just under 40km northeast of Dali, on the far side of the Erhai Lake – because it meant so much to me before and during the writing of Harvest Season. In fact, it was an inspiration for the town of Longdong, and I…

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Bad Monkey, good brew

LAST WEEK I took a trip up into the foothills of the Cangshan mountains in Dali with Carl and Scott of Bad Monkey fame to visit their brew house. For anyone who remembers the Bad Monkey of old – the bar’s been running some seven years now, with a massive…

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