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Joanna James

Consult with me

Through her work as a travel writer and tour guide, Joanna hopes to communicate her passion for slow and sustainable travel to a wider audience. Currently based in Hong Kong, Joanna has contributed to a series of guidebooks on Asian destinations for Rough Guide and Dorling Kindersley, as well as regularly leading tours to off-beat and unusual places across this fascinating continent.

Posts by Joanna James

You asked...we answered!

  • 1
    What's the most underrated destination in your opinion?

    China! I’ve been conducting an informal survey of fellow travellers on this for years, and I’m constantly amazed at how few people are interested in travelling in China. Although the east coast’s air pollution is (at times) ridiculous and the country’s politics have given it a bad name, China is a fantastic place to explore. The country offers huge variety, loads of history and culture, (generally) friendly people and enough great food to appeal to even the most jaded traveller.

  • 2
    What's your favorite mode of transportation? Why?

    I have a secret passion for hitch-hiking. Admittedly, it’s not always a smart/safe thing to do, but sometimes it’s the only way to get from A to B – plus some of my fondest travel memories come from rides I’ve hitched; bumping down the Karakoram Highway with two Uyghur truckers in Xinjiang, inadvertently gate-crashing a temple dedication after hitching a ride with a local dignitary in Bhutan… While public transport gives you a peek into local lives, hitch-hiking gives you front row seats.

  • 3
    Do you prefer traveling alone or with a companion? Why?

    Alone, always. I’m learning (and trying) to be a better travelling companion, but nothing beats the freedom of waking up each morning and deciding where you want to go and what you want to do. I feel more awake when I travel alone, without the insulation of a companion – I get chatting to more people, and end up trying and experiencing more too. The downside? Eating alone!

  • 4
    What do you do when you encounter an unexpected dead-end?

    Look in vain for a way around the obstacle before gnashing my teeth and retracing my steps…