Getting a degree in Chinese from SOAS back in the 90s was a leap of faith, but it equipped me with the skills I needed for solo explorations around China. I can put that expertise into any context - recent guidebook work has taken me from Kensington & Chelsea to Ho Chi Minh City, Ko Samui, the West coast of Ireland, London, Malaysia, and South Korea.
London-born & bred, I've worked on three editions of the Lonely Planet London city guide to date and have recently been on the road updating two editions of the Lonely Planet Ireland guide, which took me along much of the west of Ireland: Limerick, Tipperary, Clare, Galway, Mayo, Sligo, Donegal and the Midlands. Travelling along the Wild Atlantic Way up the West Coast of Ireland has to be among my most memorable trips; it's such a beautiful and sublime part of an amazing country.
I recently appeared as a TV presenter in six episodes of The Story of Tea, broadcast by ChinaHour on Sky (Channel 212). Each programme colourfully and informatively deals with an aspect of the culture of tea in China and the East. With a well-spoken, articulate, relaxed and engaging presenting style, I can turn my hand to a variety of TV presenting work. I wrote the introductions and conclusions for each episode: click on the photo above to be led to an episode.
Trees sprinkled with water at the Arnold Arboretum in Boston, USA
I recently seized the chance to work on two editions of the Lonely Planet Thailand guide, exploring Ko Samui and the Lower Gulf, including Ko Pha-Ngan and Ko Tao, as well as much of south Thailand. Thailand is a beautiful nation and the food is legendary, but it was the people and the language that made the experience so special. I put together the first edition of Pocket Ko Samui for Lonely Planet as well, on the back of research conducted in 2017.
Xinye, Zhejiang Province, China
A fluent speaker and an accomplished reader of Chinese, I have been authoring guidebooks on China since 1997, working as the managing writer on eight editions of the best-selling Lonely Planet China guide. I am the sole author of National Geographic Traveller China, now in its fourth edition. Most recently, in 2016 I travelled through six provinces of China for the current edition of the Lonely Planet China guide, as well as completing a new edition of Lonely Planet Best of China. This photo above is of a young child in Jiangxi Province.