Rather more laid-back than Tokyo’s samurai citizens and boasting a cosmopolitan vibe not found in Kyoto is the criminally underrated merchant city of Osaka. Awaiting under an endless skyline pulsing with neon and blown through with cherry blossom, you’ll discover ancient temples, towering futuristic constructs and more street food than you can shake a Yakitori skewer at. The warm, quirky personalities in Osaka will have you spellbound, particularly behind the Kabuki Theatre in Namba and within the niche nightlife offerings of Doyama...
Taiwan, with its lush forest-covered mountains and steam-room level humidity starting somewhere around mid-May, a visit to a hidden cooling waterfall is the ultimate – and cheap – summer day trip! While staying in AC-filled shopping malls is the easy way out, a short sweaty trek followed by a dunk in an azure freshwater pool is guaranteed to make you feel alive!
A teeny weeny nation of down-to-earth people, dominated by lush mountains and a year-round humidity that soaks into your soul and dizzies your perspective, Taiwan is one of Asia’s most endearing and underrated travel destinations. The cosmopolitan capital of Taipei is the best jumping off point; a chaotic yet slow-moving city, modern yet deeply authentic with proximity to awesome hiking trails, natural hot springs and off-track waterfalls. The orderly roads of Taipei stream with scooters, upon which you’ll see whole families, pets and various health and safety hazards hitching a ride...
The economic, social and cultural centre of Switzerland led by a rock star lesbian mayor, Zürich has a lot going for it, including unparalleled natural surroundings and the highest quality of life found anywhere in the world. A city championing gay rights since the 40s, Zürich has a well-established LGBTQ+ nightlife, from laid back, mixed-queer shindigs to sweaty all-night danceathons.
A tranquil nation constantly on the brink of disaster, Japan is a country that breathes duality and its spiralling capital is no different. Both chaotic and calm; dizzying and grounding, in Tokyo there is space for quiet reflection and wild antics in equal share. Carefully balanced in nature and in asphalt, you’re never far from either a branch of Muji or of cherry blossom. Lush forests surrounding the city’s shrines run parallel to fashion-forward shopping streets and, behind futuristic skyscrapers packed with weary workers, Mount Fuji glimmers on the horizon.
Known for its original vibrant night-market scene and bubble tea inventions, Taipei is a veritable treasure trove of edible delights. But if you remain unimpressed by night time temperatures of 30 degrees and having to chew your tea, then maybe I need to sweeten the deal.
A sprawling hub of contrasts, Seoul is where sleek skyscrapers and 5G WIFI rise high over serene palace compounds flanked by ramshackle hanok villages. Where a riverside bike path can either lead you to a fish market or a K-pop concert, and where cosmetic surgery adverts plaster the sides of lean-tos selling boiled eggs and kimbap. While Korea is ultra-quick to pick up on trends, the country remains behind neighbouring nations when it comes to LGBTQ rights, as conservative Confucian roots die hard and politicians pander to Christian fundamentalists. Despite this, increasing international ...
A colonial city with a history of British White Rajahs befriending Sultans to fight pirates, Kuching has a bunch of epic stories to tell and a number of very friendly locals to tell them. Located as it is on the North West Malaysian state of Sarawak on the island of Borneo, at the bottom reaches of the South China Sea, the region has a long history of homing immigrants from an array of Asian countries. This means that native Malays from diverse tribes mingle with Chinese and Indian immigrants...
A YA novel about Kate, a 17-year-old college drop-out with anger issues and a severe lack of self control.
Forced into a one-month stretch at a mental health clinic for adolescents, surrounded by nothing but teen nutcases and her own thoughts, Kate tries to distract herself from feelings of emptiness with the warm bodies of James and Aiden, two people with problems as complex as her own.
It's 2017, the age of social responsibility, mindfulness and environmental awareness. Supposedly, we treat animals better than we've ever done before. At this point, over half of all households in the USA own a pet and the pet industry now nets over US$60 billion annually.
When we think about the devastating effects of climate change, current and future, it’s easy to feel so helpless as to want to forget. Am I to blame? Was that packet of Chili Heatwave Doritos I ate responsible for the fiery deaths of tens of baby orang-utans? Is my carbon footprint the only lasting impact I’ll have on this planet?
A review of AMC's The Terror. Verdict: great show.
Monkey Republic is a one-man creative web design agency that I helped with some words.
As well as his bio, I was tasked to research each of his clients and write an overview of his design methodology for each of their websites in a clear yet humorous style.
Last year, Google said “the student decision journey has moved online”, with one in ten prospective students solely using online resources to research their university options, and education-related search numbers increasing year on year. In a similar vein, QS’s Students Online: Global Trends report, released last month, showed the increasing dominance of online resources in the field, with over half of surveyed prospective students claiming to research higher education options on two or more digital devices.
Earlier this month, Danish block-building fantasy-creator Lego released its new ideas set. Entitled “Research Institute”, the set is designed by isotope geochemist Ellen Kooijman and features three female scientists. This may not seem like a big moment for anyone over the age of nine, but over on Twitter real-life female scientists are excited.