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The traffic jam on top of the world: the Chinese boom busts into Tibet

A construction boom and Chinese tourism has transformed the road to Lhasa. The way to Shangri-La is now congested with Tibetan truckies, migrant labourers and 4WDs. Journalist Michael Woodhead reports from Kangding.

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Crikey Blogs | COMPANIES|

Sabre shutdown hits Virgin Australia where it hurts

Virgin Australia’s Sabre booking system was only down for two hours yesterday, but it ground the entire network to a halt. Ben Sandilands explains why the system should be junked.

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A Lonely Planet for some, as more jobs go from publisher

Lonely Planet will make more cuts — up to 100 jobs could go — as it transitions painfully to a digital future. While more people are travelling, fewer are buying guidebooks.

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Crikey Blogs | FOOD & TRAVEL|

Post, Texas: the little town that could

Despite being hit hard by drought and the economy, Post, Texas, is still thriving in its own modest way. Bob Gosford travels there for brekkie.

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BBC’s loss may be Lonely Planet’s biggest adventure

Lonely Planet continues its global nomadism, with BBC selling up the travel giant to a reclusive US billionaire’s company. What next for the traveller’s bible?

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Crikey Blogs | FOOD & TRAVEL|

A bowl of chili with a side serving of Obama watching

This week the world’s spotlight was on Washington D.C., to watch the second inauguration of President Obama. Freelance journalist — and former local — Robert Baird dishes on the best secret spots in the Capital.

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Crikey Blogs | FOOD & TRAVEL|

Riding through rain-filled avalanches on treacherous mountains in Georgia

K Johnson rode through treacherous mountains in Georgia, with constant mini-avalanches and rain pouring down, in search of the town of Vardzia.

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Crikey Blogs | FOOD & TRAVEL|

On the border, down Pakistan way, between Iraq and a hard place

Traveller K Johnson takes a winding mountain road to the east of Piranshahr in Pakistan and attempts to cross the border into Iraq, but all does not go to plan…

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Crikey Blogs | FOOD & TRAVEL|

Wuhan, China: a sprawling city with smog and dog meat

It’s such a cliché to say a city is “sprawling”, but sometimes, it’s the only word. And when it comes to Wuhan, China, home of 10 million people and a whole lot of smog, sprawling seems appropriate, says Alexandra Patrikios.

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Crikey Blogs | FOOD & TRAVEL|

Taiwan’s most notorious dish: stinky tofu

William Jackson was determined to try a bag of Taiwan’s famous stinky tofu — but it smelt like he’d just slurped down a load from a baby’s nappy.

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Crikey Blogs | FOOD & TRAVEL|

Travelling to no man’s land: twenty-three and a half hours in Transnistria

The bridge between the city of Rezina and the city of Ribnita is eerily silent. It is no man’s land, existing between the Republic of Moldova and the breakaway republic of Transnistria, writes traveller K Johnson.

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Crikey Blogs | FOOD & TRAVEL|

Does Melbourne need a subway system?

Jeff Kennett and Peter Newman think creating a rail subway in Melbourne would be visionary, but it wouldn’t address the key factors that drive public transport demand, writes Alan Davies.

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Crikey Blogs | FOOD & TRAVEL|

Driving to the Walls of China

Lake Mungo and the Walls of China. An exotic, ineffable landscape of prehistory: here was Mungo Man, here was Mungo Lady. The endless plains of Mallee scrub. The glistening banks of the Darling. It called; we drove.

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Crikey Blogs | FOOD & TRAVEL|

Tjanpi Desert Weavers fly into the Godinymayin Yijard Rivers Arts Centre

The Tjanpi Desert Weavers have a whimsical and very often funny approach to their art. More than a bit of that rubbed off on their northern counterparts, writes Bob Gosford.

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Crikey Blogs | FOOD & TRAVEL|

Czech yourself before you wreck yourself

Bouncing through the blackness on a dodgy road in the Czech Republic, fighting off fatigue and a cold, traveller K Johnson suddenly wondered: how did I get here?

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Crikey Blogs | FOOD & TRAVEL|

From Riga with love (and deadly weapons)

K Johnson had come down into this ex-Soviet bunker, through the massive blast door. There was a constant, all pervasive smell of gun powder in this facility where you could play with deadly weapons.

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Crikey Blogs | FOOD & TRAVEL|

On the road again: life as a full-time traveller

Eugen Reimer, 28, has already travelled to 52 countries. He took the life changing decision of living full-time on the road and, writes Elliott Bakker, his story is not uncommon.

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Crikey Blogs | FOOD & TRAVEL|

Playing with nuclear bombs in Moscow’s Bunker 42

OK tour starts now” yelled a man with a thick Russian accent in a camouflage jumpsuit. Gas masks, AK-47s and nuclear blast proof doors defined K Johnson’s tour of an underground military complex in Moscow.

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Crikey Blogs | FOOD & TRAVEL|

An uncomfortable couch surfing adventure in Tomsk, Russia

Couch surfing: the path to realising a utopian future of shared living, cushion by cushion. But sometimes, as K Johnson discovered in the Russian city of Tomsk, it doesn’t quite work out that way.

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Crikey Blogs | FOOD & TRAVEL|

Red Ink Run: the last GULAG in Russia

Stung by squadrons of horseflies and scorched by the Siberian sun, K Johnson hitchhiked to Perm-36 — the last camp of its kind from the Societ GULAG system.

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Crikey Blogs | FOOD & TRAVEL|

Welcome to Ulaanbaatar, land of lumpy bedsheets and naked hillsides

With squinty eyes and a hangover, K Johnson headed to Ulaanbaatar, capital of Mongolia, which was founded as a mobile Budhist monastery in 1639.

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Crikey Blogs | FOOD & TRAVEL|

Finding mercy in a Peruvian slum

In the poor Peruvian district of San Martin de Porres, Lilani Goonesena tours a Sisters of Mercy clinic that helps locals rise above the odds.

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Crikey Blogs | FOOD & TRAVEL|

Red Ink Run: Mao money, Mao problems

Entering Nanjiecun, K Johnson encountered three things: space, order and quiet. Any of these three were hard to find in China but combined they evoked the feeling of an immense museum.

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Crikey Blogs | FOOD & TRAVEL|

How I learned to love the nanny state

Expats in Southeast Asia have a habit of moaning about “the nanny state” but living in Vietnam has taught Tabitha Carvan to appreciate it — and made her want to run back into nanna’s protective arms.

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Crikey Blogs | FOOD & TRAVEL|

Red Ink Run: Sichuan hot pot is the bomb

In Chongqing at the Dongtingxian Huogo, a restaurant located in a former bomb shelter, a hot broth bubbles, throwing up chillies and Sichuan peppers like damned souls in an eternal dance, writes K Johnson.

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