Photo Travelogues
 
 
 
Adventure
 
Gunung Mulu-10
Gunung Mulu-10
Gunung Mulu-10

Photo Travelogue: The Biggest Darkness (An Expedition to the Largest Cave Chamber on Earth)

When I was a little fat kid and my favorite computer game was Microsoft Encarta, I promised myself that one day I would visit the Sarawak Chamber in Borneo. I wanted to see the biggest darkness. I wanted to stand before the lar...
 
Burma
 
Colors Covertemp-9
Colors Covertemp-9
Colors Covertemp-9

Photo Series: “Asia in Color”

Angkor Wat, Cambodia. The monsoon arrives over the Punjab, India. Bamboo grove, Japan. Rice hats, Vietnam. Golden domes of a mosque, Pakistan. Apsara dancers, Cambodia. Violet mist and Buddhist monks. Mandalay, Burma. Sichuan O...
 
Culture
 
siam banner
siam banner
siam banner

I am Siam, Siam I am: A History of Ladyboys, Pagan Drug Dealers, and Competitive Eyeball-Removal

Thailand had infrastructure, and it was designed to place me on a beach with a drink menu in my hand as quickly and efficiently as possible. The buses were convenient, the streets were sterile, and the tropical breeze was as ge...

 
Backpackology 101
 
Thai Food-2
Thai Food-2
Thai Food-2

A Wok to Remember: A Foodie’s Guide to Thailand on a Budget

One of the most impressive works of fiction in the English language is your local Thai take-out menu. It’s as prickly and deceptive as a durian—much of it is Orientalist fantasy, much of the rest is culinary plagiarism. F...
 
China
 
Chinglish Side Photos-1
Chinglish Side Photos-1
Chinglish Side Photos-1

Chinglish 101: Five Secrets to Understanding Demon Bird Moth-Balls

If Americans love one thing more than looking at silly things on the Internet, it’s getting really, super offended at silly things on the Internet. So before I start this week’s Photo Travelogue, I’d like to preface by saying t...
 
Bizarre
 
Kazakh Eagle Festival-2
Kazakh Eagle Festival-2
Kazakh Eagle Festival-2

A Steppe Too Far?: Eagle Hunters, Cultural Darwinism, and Getting Banned in Kazakhstan

At 4:27PM, on the afternoon of October 29th, I received an e-mail from an acquaintance in Almaty, informing me that Backpackology has been banned in Kazakhstan. When my initial laughter subsided, my amusement faded into confusi...

 
China
 
Silk Road-11
Silk Road-11
Silk Road-11

Silk Road Ramblings: Lost Empires, Gobi Fugitives, and The Secret Meth Habit of Marco Polo

I have conquered the Silk Road. I’ve hid from Chinese guards in the starlit dunes of the Gobi. I’ve visited mud-thatched villages and seen old Uighur men as hairy as camels shriek in wonder and delight as they passed around a p...
 
China
 
Uighur Food-1
Uighur Food-1
Uighur Food-1

Wednesday Wanderings: Uighur Food of the Kashgar Night Market

If you’ve never woken up in the middle of the night to the sound of your own screams after suffering traumatic, reoccurring dreams the revolve around mutton fat, then you haven’t spent too much time in the Xinjiang province of ...
 
Culture
 
Karakoram Highway-15a
Karakoram Highway-15a
Karakoram Highway-15a

The Karakoram Highway

When I tell people that my favorite country thus far has been Pakistan, I often receive horrified stares, as if I’ve just admitted that I enjoy licking squirrels or pooping in jam jars.  But what people don’t realize is that Pa...

 
China
 
Kashgar Livestock-1
Kashgar Livestock-1
Kashgar Livestock-1

Wednesday Wanderings: The Former Nation of East Turkestan

It’s hard to stabilize a video camera when you’re being stampeded by a crowd of bedraggled Uighur shepherds, when you’re tripping over barnyard critters and women with gold-plated teeth and painted unibrows are screaming foreig...