Tamara Thiessen
Tamara Thiessen
Tasmania-born journalist, travel writer and photographer, Tamara Thiessen, is also a global hotel correspondent. Like an arctic tern, she migrates regularly between Australia and France, but consider hotels her true pied-à-terre. She writes for business and leisure travel publications, in-flight magazines and newspaper travel supplements worldwide, and is the author of several books including travel guides to Vienna, Barcelona, Australia, Switzerland, Borneo and Rome.

Booked, cancelled, repeat: Chinese students in the US desperate to return home suspect that airlines are withholding refunds in a bid to stay afloat; one flight attendant says he has seen tickets sold ‘for flights that will never take off’.

Australian Jan Latta switched careers to become a children’s author and wildlife photographer after seeing endangered mountain gorillas in Rwanda. A sloth is the star of her latest book, and her sloth mascot is a hit at her talks in schools.


Adventure tourism is growing in popularity among a generation of uninhibited Chinese travellers. From extreme sports to Arctic cruises to African safaris, they are chasing thrills the world over.


Partly inspired by New York’s Grand Central Terminal, the design of Hong Kong’s high-speed rail terminus, by American architect Andrew Bromberg, has been hailed as a ‘manifestation of the second golden age of rail travel’.

Nearly 600,000 Chinese tourists visited Sabah in Borneo – one of the world’s biodiversity hotspots – last year, sparking fears of overtourism. An influx of illegal Chinese tour operators is also a problem for local travel agents and guides.

French luxury cosmetics need a compelling brand story to sell in China, and innovation, to feed a demanding clientele’s desire for novelty. Sephora’s China Red, a niche line created in China for an international clientele, goes a step further.

A number of Chinese artists have fallen in love with Tasmania and moved to the Australian island to paint. Jane Qing Yang, Shanshan Ai and Chen Ping talk about Tasmania’s natural beauty and how it inspires them.

Ma Yansong’s tornado-inspired staircase will embellish the first Dutch museum of migration, in a Rotterdam neighbourhood that housed one of Europe’s oldest Chinatowns and from where three million sailed for the Americas.

We talk to architecture firms turning high-rise housing in places such as Hong Kong and Singapore into vertical neighbourhoods, creating tightly knit communities that enhance social interaction and alleviate mental ills.

From Boracay to Maya Bay, overtourism and beach closures have been making the news of late. While many governments drag their feet trying to find a solution, what can travellers do to help resolve the problem?

China is Australia’s biggest trading partner and its people flock down under for both tourism and education. But intellectuals say a racialised anti-China narrative has taken hold in the media – and it’s time to call it out.

Photojournalist and art collector Keren Su never forgot the ‘living museum’ he encountered on a 6,800km bike ride across China in 1981; he has built three traditional lodges to share with others his collections and love of the past.

Olivia Martin-McGuire became fascinated by flamboyant pre-wedding photoshoots and the Chinese concept of love after she moved to Shanghai. She published her first photo series in 2016 and her documentary China Love premiered in Sydney.

Vicky Zhao Wei shooting a gastronomic reality-TV show in Colmar, Chen Bolin shooting a romantic comedy in Bordeaux - Chinese stars are suddenly everywhere in France. A tax rebate for foreign productions is part of the draw.

The world’s first floating dairy farm will help Rotterdam produce more of its own food. The company behind it is in talks with China, seeing it as a sustainable solution to swelling populations.

The city of Dijon and the Burgundy region are pulling out all the stops to entice Chinese luxury tour operators to the wine-growing area of eastern France. Day trippers are being replaced by visitors interested in cultural activities who stay longer.

Police believe they have dismantled a gang of youths responsible for a wave of violence against Chinese in the French capital, but the community says there are assaults every two days, creating ‘a kind of psychosis’.

Only two per cent of visitors to France are from China, and to change this, tourism boards across the nation are pulling out the stops, signing deals with Chinese mobile payment platforms and inviting influencers to visit.

Having witnessed its prized Bordeaux vineyards gradually bought by Chinese investors, France is now on its guard against a similar ‘Chinese invasion’ of its farmland.

From the Musée Rodin to the celebrated Pompidou Centre, venerable French art institutions – encouraged by Chinese interest – are making China their first stop for collaborations, pop-up projects and overseas exhibitions

Wang Shu and his wife, Lu Wenyu, of China’s Amateur Architecture Studio want to protect Chinese culture and history by returning to artisanal building techniques and the use of traditional materials.

When Parisian photographer Francois Prost visited the Hangzhou neighbourhood of Tianducheng he was fascinated by the duplication of his home city. His images in an exhibition in Paris show there’s much more to the Chinese city than an Eiffel Tower replica.

It’s not cool for young Chinese travellers to queue at upscale Paris department stores like their predecessors. Instead they want to discover Parisians’ real way of life by visiting the best cafes, artisan bakeries, boutiques and concept stores.

The lush rainforests of Borneo hide a startling array of flora and fauna, as well as tribes who live life by the island’s waterways. Tamara Thiessen reports on the best river adventures available and what you’ll see along the way.

Paris museum’s lack of support for Mandarin means Chinese tourists are forced to rent audio guides from scammers on the street, who also trade in used tickets.

During the Muslim holy month, visitors to Malaysia are greeted with a smorgasbord of street food at lively sunset markets held at the end of each day of fasting.