My first encounter with Thailand was so unbelievable that I desperately needed to return. I had only been sent for twelve days in order to complete a research project on Buddhist Art. Once the taste of Asia entered my mouth, I couldn't let it go. Following graduation from a small liberal art university in New York, I spent one final summer in New England before heading off on a one-way ticket to Bangkok, in search of answers to questions that I did not yet understand.
I have since learned to speak Thai, which enables all doors to open. Living in and traveling across northern Thailand, and through The Golden Triangle, has quenched many of my thirsts for adventure, sex, drugs, danger and excitement. I have subsequently made trips into rural northern Laos along the Mae Kong River, up to the Chinese border. I have spent time in Cambodia, and come to some of my own conclusions about the horrific Khmer past. I have also lived on a remote island, far off the southern Thai coast in the Andaman Sea.
Residing in South East Asia over the last seven years has opened my mind to better understand mysteries of the Far East, both the enticing and disturbing. I lived in the fast lane, and regularly pushed myself to the limits. Black Arts in South East Asia is a Non-Fiction story that captures the 21st century and my experiences in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Laos, Udon Thani, Cambodia, as well as on the beaches. Dare I say this story is not for my own grandmother, however it sheds a truthful torch of light into the dark worlds of prostitution, pimps, transvestites, killers, thieves, human trafficking and counter culture.
Black Arts in South East Asia chronicles a true-to-life adventure that can be retraced entirely, as I have not doctored the names, places, or people I have encountered along the way. For these reasons, I am confident that my non-fiction story is as up to date, authentic, and original as anything else in its genre. I believe this book has the potential to spark a new generation of travelers looking to better understand themselves and the world they pass through.
About John Harvey
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Published October 24, 2011
Biographies & Memoirs, Travel, Action & Adventure.