Peter Neville-Hadley

Peter Neville-Hadley

Former China resident Peter Neville-Hadley is the author of multiple guides and reference works on China, and writes on Chinese culture and on cultural travel in general for assorted periodicals. His work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine, The Sunday Times (UK), and numerous other newspapers and magazines around the world.

Latest from Peter Neville-Hadley

From Venice, pioneer of quarantine against disease, to Seville and Marseilles, former isolation hospitals – lazarettos – to visit and even stay in

Venice pioneered quarantine against disease in the 15th century, and other European cities copied the idea and built lazarettos – isolation hospitals. Today many are tourist attractions, and in Marseilles a place to stay.

Venice pioneered quarantine against disease in the 15th century, and other European cities copied the idea and built lazarettos – isolation hospitals. Today many are tourist attractions, and in Marseilles a place to stay.

26 Dec 2021 - 2:15PM
Self-guided walking holidays - they give you a sense of adventure but with help always just a call away, and social distancing is built in

Self-guided walking holidays give travellers a sense of adventure but the knowledge that help is a just a phone call away. Already popular in Europe, they are a rarity in Asia, apart from Japan.

Self-guided walking holidays give travellers a sense of adventure but the knowledge that help is a just a phone call away. Already popular in Europe, they are a rarity in Asia, apart from Japan.

13 Dec 2021 - 4:15PM
Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia to mark a milestone in its construction, even as Covid-19 shutdown threatens to put 2026 target for declaring basilica’s structure complete out of reach

Covid-19 delayed work on Barcelona’s famous church, La Sagrada Familia Basilica, but it will mark a construction milestone next week, even as a target for completion of its structure is slipping out of reach.

Covid-19 delayed work on Barcelona’s famous church, La Sagrada Familia Basilica, but it will mark a construction milestone next week, even as a target for completion of its structure is slipping out of reach.

6 Dec 2021 - 7:12PM
Review | When translating Chinese into English could be dangerous – Britain’s failed 1793 embassy to China seen through interpreters’ eyes

Interpreting for Britain’s Lord Macartney on his ill-fated 1793 embassy to China made Chinese priest Li Zibiao a marked man in the country for the rest of his life.

Interpreting for Britain’s Lord Macartney on his ill-fated 1793 embassy to China made Chinese priest Li Zibiao a marked man in the country for the rest of his life.

26 Nov 2021 - 7:45PM
Review | There’s Marco Polo but no Bill Bryson, Colin Thubron but no Thomas Coryat – author’s critical examination of travel writing has gaps

Tim Hannigan so wanted to be a travel writer he would ape their prose as a young man. He appears still to be at it in his supposedly critical examination of the travel writing genre and its authors.

Tim Hannigan so wanted to be a travel writer he would ape their prose as a young man. He appears still to be at it in his supposedly critical examination of the travel writing genre and its authors.

21 Nov 2021 - 9:15PM
Review | When AI goes wrong who’s to blame, Singapore law professor asks; do we legally treat algorithms and machines as we once did mercenaries and miscreant animals?

Singapore law professor Simon Chesterman tries to answer some big questions about how algorithms and AI machines can be held legally to account for their decisions when things go wrong.

Singapore law professor Simon Chesterman tries to answer some big questions about how algorithms and AI machines can be held legally to account for their decisions when things go wrong.

9 Oct 2021 - 6:15PM
How the British bungled relations with China during the Qing dynasty and the Dutch took advantage. Or did they?

A new book on a Dutch mission to the Qianlong emperor in 1795 suggests that kowtowing was rewarded with his favour, which was denied to the British ambassador when he refused.

A new book on a Dutch mission to the Qianlong emperor in 1795 suggests that kowtowing was rewarded with his favour, which was denied to the British ambassador when he refused.

11 Oct 2021 - 11:40AM
Review | Why insects matter, why they should fascinate you, and how to stop humankind wiping them out

Insects are a vital part of animal and human food chains. They are also extraordinary, and often beautiful, giving us reasons to look out for and to cherish them, a biology professor writes in Silent Earth.

Insects are a vital part of animal and human food chains. They are also extraordinary, and often beautiful, giving us reasons to look out for and to cherish them, a biology professor writes in Silent Earth.

19 Sep 2021 - 4:45PM
Pandemic brings unexpected support for Hong Kong tour company dedicated to revitalising Japan’s countryside

The coronavirus emergency may have halted Walk Japan’s tours but it has boosted interest in Japan in its project to reinvigorate farming areas and rural communities.

The coronavirus emergency may have halted Walk Japan’s tours but it has boosted interest in Japan in its project to reinvigorate farming areas and rural communities.

6 Sep 2021 - 12:50PM
The least visited countries in the world revealed, from island states in the Pacific and Caribbean to dots on the map of Europe

Are we holidaying in all the wrong places? Many of the world’s least visited countries are not so uninviting after all.

Are we holidaying in all the wrong places? Many of the world’s least visited countries are not so uninviting after all.

7 Sep 2021 - 11:40AM
‘Coolies’ then, still ‘coolies’ now: professor seeking to rehabilitate 19th century migrants from China notes how little some white views of Chinese have changed

In The Chinese Question, Mae Ngai describes how migrant labourers fought for their rights. It’s an issue made newly relevant by the re-emergence of some repugnant attitudes towards Chinese people, she says.

In The Chinese Question, Mae Ngai describes how migrant labourers fought for their rights. It’s an issue made newly relevant by the re-emergence of some repugnant attitudes towards Chinese people, she says.

28 Aug 2021 - 8:45PM
Why Unesco can do little to prevent World Heritage sites being destroyed – nowhere is that shown better than in China

Once a site is put on the World Heritage list there seems to be little that Unesco can do to ensure good conservation practice – just look at the Great Wall and Potala Palace in China.

Once a site is put on the World Heritage list there seems to be little that Unesco can do to ensure good conservation practice – just look at the Great Wall and Potala Palace in China.

22 Aug 2021 - 2:45PM
WeWork’s rise and fall captured brilliantly in The Cult of We, a tale of how dumb ‘smart money’ can be

The Cult of We, by The Wall Street Journal’s Eliot Brown and Maureen Farrell, brings to life the story of the co-working space start-up and the hubris of its co-founder Adam Neumann and the investors he sweet-talked.

The Cult of We, by The Wall Street Journal’s Eliot Brown and Maureen Farrell, brings to life the story of the co-working space start-up and the hubris of its co-founder Adam Neumann and the investors he sweet-talked.

19 Aug 2021 - 8:15PM
Chinese Buddhist statues, a German Indiana Jones and his big lie exposed in art history whodunnit by a retired Hong Kong civil servant

Unique Buddhist statues in some of the world’s leading museums were found in 1913 in a cave near Beijing – or were they? The received wisdom about their provenance is a big lie, a new book suggests.

Unique Buddhist statues in some of the world’s leading museums were found in 1913 in a cave near Beijing – or were they? The received wisdom about their provenance is a big lie, a new book suggests.

30 Jul 2021 - 7:15PM
Can golf courses be good for ecology when they use so much water and pesticide to maintain an artificial environment? Hong Kong Golf Club vies for eco-friendly prize

Hong Kong Golf Club hopes to be named world’s best eco-friendly golf facility – but that’s surely a relative term when golf courses need so much water, pesticide and fertiliser to maintain them.

Hong Kong Golf Club hopes to be named world’s best eco-friendly golf facility – but that’s surely a relative term when golf courses need so much water, pesticide and fertiliser to maintain them.

25 Jul 2021 - 5:15AM
Review | Are trees like people? The Heartbeat of Trees by Peter Wohlleben lays out the arguments rooted in science

The Heartbeat of Trees by Peter Wohlleben suggests that trees have assorted senses that parallel our own, and that communication of a kind may be possible between them and us.

The Heartbeat of Trees by Peter Wohlleben suggests that trees have assorted senses that parallel our own, and that communication of a kind may be possible between them and us.

5 Jul 2021 - 11:01PM
Leonardo DiCaprio’s US$43 million donation for rewilding Galapagos islands – money well spent?

The Hollywood actor’s donation will be used to reintroduce native animals to islands in the Galapagos from which they were displaced by introduced animals such as rats and goats.

The Hollywood actor’s donation will be used to reintroduce native animals to islands in the Galapagos from which they were displaced by introduced animals such as rats and goats.

28 Jun 2021 - 9:30PM
China adventures of world’s ‘wickedest man’: Aleister Crowley’s brushes with death, spirits and ‘appendix on toast’ in Yunnan

Occultist Aleister Crowley’s exploits in Yunnan in the early 20th century bristled with a sense of the supernatural, but were things really as the Great Beast led his readers to believe?

Occultist Aleister Crowley’s exploits in Yunnan in the early 20th century bristled with a sense of the supernatural, but were things really as the Great Beast led his readers to believe?

14 Jun 2021 - 10:19AM
Review | How did mahjong become so popular in the US? The game’s Chinese origins and American adaptations examined in historian Annelise Heinz’s book

Historian Annelise Heinz looks beyond the myths and marketing to find the origins of a game that proved wildly popular in China and Jazz Age America, although in very different ways.

Historian Annelise Heinz looks beyond the myths and marketing to find the origins of a game that proved wildly popular in China and Jazz Age America, although in very different ways.

14 Jun 2021 - 10:11AM
Review | ‘Wolf warrior’ diplomacy’s long pedigree in China, and the man who gave birth to it: Zhou Enlai

Bloomberg’s Peter Martin traces the roots of China’s aggressive diplomacy and explains why its envoys abroad have always struggled to distinguish truth from propaganda.

Bloomberg’s Peter Martin traces the roots of China’s aggressive diplomacy and explains why its envoys abroad have always struggled to distinguish truth from propaganda.

5 Jun 2021 - 9:16AM
What makes chocolates at bedtime so enticing and why some hotels are going a step further

Pillow chocolates can be one of hotel guests’ favourite things, but with even lowly guest houses leaving them out, the world’s leading hotels are switching up their turndown amenities.

Pillow chocolates can be one of hotel guests’ favourite things, but with even lowly guest houses leaving them out, the world’s leading hotels are switching up their turndown amenities.

4 Jun 2021 - 6:45PM
Review | Doom: The Politics of Catastrophe – Niall Ferguson explores Covid-19 and other disasters of the past, as well as those yet to come

Niall Ferguson’s latest book is a study of horrible circumstances, from famines to the Covid-19 pandemic, and our total failure to learn from past mistakes.

Niall Ferguson’s latest book is a study of horrible circumstances, from famines to the Covid-19 pandemic, and our total failure to learn from past mistakes.

1 Jun 2021 - 2:48AM
Review | Talk Art: Russell Tovey and Robert Diament attempt to make contemporary art more accessible

Russell Tovey and Robert Diament attempt to make contemporary art more accessible and are unashamed to address any question, however naive.

Russell Tovey and Robert Diament attempt to make contemporary art more accessible and are unashamed to address any question, however naive.

18 May 2021 - 10:12AM
Watch-and-sniff video walk-through of Dutch art exhibition comes with the pungent aromas of 17th century living

The smells of the 17th century are vividly brought to life in Fleeting – Scents in Colour, an exhibition of paintings by Dutch masters. Samples of four odours accompany a video walk-through for home viewing.

The smells of the 17th century are vividly brought to life in Fleeting – Scents in Colour, an exhibition of paintings by Dutch masters. Samples of four odours accompany a video walk-through for home viewing.

17 May 2021 - 8:42PM
Review | We are Bellingcat: Eliot Higgins shows that the truth is out there, if you are prepared to look for it

Eliot Higgins founded Bellingcat, the fiercely independent information-gathering organisation, to find answers, and his book exemplifies that same openness.

Eliot Higgins founded Bellingcat, the fiercely independent information-gathering organisation, to find answers, and his book exemplifies that same openness.

2 May 2021 - 4:15PM
Review | In A Thousand Brains, Jeff Hawkins presents his theory of intelligence and what it could mean for AI

In his new book, technologist and neuroscientist Jeff Hawkins presents his theory of intelligent and the implications it could have on AI without engaging with philosophical ideas.

In his new book, technologist and neuroscientist Jeff Hawkins presents his theory of intelligent and the implications it could have on AI without engaging with philosophical ideas.

12 Apr 2021 - 8:15PM
Covid-19 has grounded travel influencers – after being called ‘freeloaders’ by some in the travel industry, is that such a bad thing?

Luxury travel influencers were experiencing a backlash even before the pandemic. With little to offer beyond sumptuous photography and vicarious thrills, it’s unclear what the future holds for these Insta celebrities.

Luxury travel influencers were experiencing a backlash even before the pandemic. With little to offer beyond sumptuous photography and vicarious thrills, it’s unclear what the future holds for these Insta celebrities.

30 Mar 2021 - 11:00AM
Australian app uses video stories by residents to draw visitors to places off the beaten track

The Yesterday Stories app reveals the history and character of places off the beaten track in Australia through videos of residents recounting events. Some include re-enactments.

The Yesterday Stories app reveals the history and character of places off the beaten track in Australia through videos of residents recounting events. Some include re-enactments.

23 Mar 2021 - 2:13PM
Museums in the West are full of stolen treasures – by visiting them are we perpetuating colonial-era violence?

Among the artefacts on display in the West’s best-known museums are pieces that were stolen during the colonial era. Curator Dan Hicks lays out the arguments for restitution, and the questions visitors should be asking of museums.

Among the artefacts on display in the West’s best-known museums are pieces that were stolen during the colonial era. Curator Dan Hicks lays out the arguments for restitution, and the questions visitors should be asking of museums.

21 Mar 2021 - 1:54PM
Review | Liars: Falsehoods and Free Speech in an Age of Deception by Cass R. Sunstein on how to live with lies

In new book Liars: Falsehoods and Free Speech in an Age of Deception, Harvard Law School professor Cass R. Sunstein asks: if we are committed to freedom of speech, must we tolerate lies?

In new book Liars: Falsehoods and Free Speech in an Age of Deception, Harvard Law School professor Cass R. Sunstein asks: if we are committed to freedom of speech, must we tolerate lies?

19 Mar 2021 - 5:12PM