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Vagabond Journey Travel Stories and World Culture


china-air-pollution-gas-masks_DCE What Will Become of China’s New Air Pollution Consciousness?
zhengzhou-zhengdong-cbd-9 5 Chinese Ghost Cities that Came Alive
Water protest 4 (1 of 1)_DCE What the Irish Water Protests Are All About, or How I Got Beat Up While Reporting on #Right2Water



I just completed my second round of research travels for my upcoming book on the New Silk Road.

This is an article that I wrote for the South China Morning Post about how Shenzhen has become the global epicenter of grassroots hardware innovation.

This is an article that I wrote a while back for the South China Morning Post. It's about how many expat business owners in China have adapted to changes in the economic climate by moving away from export based industries and focusing on the budding domestic consumer market.

No-Staff Hostels: the Future of Travel?

staffless hotel_DCE

Hostels without receptionists? Without security? Without anyone but some lady who comes in once in a while to scrub the floors and change the sheets? Tristan Hicks discovers that flashpacking has been taken to an entirely new level.

Why China’s Maker Movement is Booming | SCMP thumbnail

This is an article that I wrote for the SCMP about how the Chinese government is backing the country's vibrant maker movement.

Podcast: Uyghur World Congress


Lawrence Hamilton recently sat down with Dolkun Isa of the Uyghur World Congress to discuss the current relationship between the people of Xinjiang and the Chinese Government, whether the New Silk Road will have a positive impact on the Uyghur's lives, and what the future of the region might hold.

Blackberry Passport

A decade long search for the ultimate blogging device may have come to an end.


This is an article that I wrote for the China Daily to complement a cover story on ghost cities that I was included in.

Map of Northeast India

An overview of the under reported menagerie of conflicts in India's restive northeast.

Ghost Cities of China book

Media coverage of Ghost Cities of China for June. Featuring the Nanjinger, TimeOut Beijing and Shanghai, the Guardian, Channel NewsAsia, and the China Daily.


This is my latest article in CityMetric, the urbanism blog of the New Statesman. It's about the reasons why many of China's new cities appear so empty for so long.

Changes in Kashgar


Empty malls replacing ancient neighborhoods, the police patrolling the streets, and a place where Uighurs and Chinese come together were all part of what Lawrence Hamilton found when he returned to Kashgar.

View From My Window: Horgos, Xinjiang


Looking out at Horgos, a backwater town on the Kazakh border that's being super changed into becoming a big city by all out fiat.

flat bread oven Xinjiang

How Uighur flat bread ovens are made in Urumqi.

Uighur Ice Cream

uighur ice cream

A little about the ice cream that is virtually everywhere in the Uighur parts of Xinjiang.

A Great Life in Kashgar

Uigher Men In Kashgar

The harsh reality and subtle beauty of everyday life in Kashgar.

After “Under the Dome”: Can China solve its air pollution crisis? | CityMetric thumbnail

This is an article that I wrote for CityMetric, the urbanism blog of the New Statesman.

A Trip to Xinjiang’s Asbestos City

Xinjiang buses

The long road through the far west of China shows the reality of the Chinese dream in one shocking catastrophe.

traditional ice cream Urumqi

Every traveler knows this rule or learns it the hard way.


How to navigate the excessive amounts of purchases you will be making when traveling.