Author: tonimarieford

Jiufen Spirited Away Feature Image

A Day in Jiufen, Taiwan, The Real World Inspiration Behind Spirited Away

A trip to a mysterious mountain town that inspired Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki to create the trippy masterpiece that is Spirited Away? Yes. Definitely.

Eva Peron | © Francisco Bolsíco/wikicommons

Five Embalmed World Leaders On Public Display

Hit enter on the google search ‘embalmed and displayed’ and I guarantee you will instantly regret it. I visited the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in Hanoi in March 2015 at the very start of a three-month trip around Vietnam and have been trying to write about the experience ever since. There was something so unnerving…
Read more

Twelve Swell Things I Did in Hong Kong

I did more than twelve things during the ten days I spent in Hong Kong, I’m sure, but these are the things I have photographic evidence of. Everything else might just have been an elaborate and feverish dream for all I know. This post is very long but don’t let that deter you, brave blog…
Read more

Traditional Japanese Hairdresser | © Okinawa Soba (Rob)/Flickr

Gorgeous Historical Photos From Around the World of People Having Their Hair Done

The way your hair is cut, washed, coloured and styled is a marker of your cultural identity and has been for thousands of years. A trip to the hairdressers is a simple but real pleasure for me and one I can’t seem to live without for very long. Yes, in hindsight, going into a hairdressers…
Read more

24 Hours in Hong Kong

11.00 Jesus, it’s so pretty. I didn’t expect it to be so pretty. No matter how many travel guides or blog posts I read that said that Hong Kong was a predominantly green and mountainous island I couldn’t reconcile it with the neon-lit, vertical glass, dirty streets I had seen, and fallen in love with,…
Read more

Taipei Night Market scene

The Most Important Phrase to Learn in Chinese (and it’s not ‘Thank You’)

I just bought a cup of coffee and it went something like this: Barista: “Next, please.” I step up and he says, “how can I help?” Me: “Hi. Can I get a regular cappuccino please.” Barista: “Are you taking out or sitting in?” Me: “Sitting in, please.” He turns away to make the coffee. As…
Read more

Mossy Forest Cameron Highlands Sunlight featured image

Up in the Clouds at the Mossy Forest, Cameron Highlands

‘Don’t step on the moss’ is Ahmed’s only advice as we slip and slide up a steep, muddy bank, away from the road that runs from the base to the summit of Gunung Brinchang Mountain and towards the 200,000 year old Mossy Forest. Avoiding stepping on the spongey, khaki-coloured floor of the mossy forest is…
Read more

boh tea plantation cameron highlands workers in field

Cameron Highlands Boh Tea Plantation

Ahmed only stops talking to take a breath and he seems to breathe considerably less than I thought was normal. Driving in the same erratic, I’m a cat, I’ve got nine lives style I had become accustomed to in South East Asia he drives us up winding mountain roads to the Boh Tea Plantation in…
Read more