Camping in Qinghai © Yuan Quan

Camping in Qinghai © Yuan Quan

Hello there!

Welcome to Little Yak, and thank you for visiting. I began this blog in 2013, when I was starting out as a travel writer. At the time, I had spent the previous four years working for a tour operator as a guide and Jack-of-all-trades, which left me with plenty of great stories and an alarming predilection for marketing brochure clichés. Little Yak was, and is, somewhere for me to write those stories down and to wean myself off copywriting.

As a tour guide, I spent lots of time in the beautiful far west of China, especially in Tibet, Sichuan and Yunnan. Our convoy of Landcruisers would often speed past herds of yaks, leaving them shrouded in clouds of dust kicked up by the cars’ wheels. I developed a fondness for these shy, skittish animals and when I came to name my blog, yaks seemed an apt symbol of the themes I wanted to focus on and to celebrate – slow travel, local quirks and traditions.

Since 2013, I’ve written, updated and factchecked several guidebooks for Rough Guides and Dorling Kindersley. For a full list of titles, see my Books page. If you are looking for a writer or photographer and would like to work with me, drop me a line, and I’m sure we can work something out.

Whether you’re a seasoned backpacker, or a dedicated armchair traveller, I hope that you’ll find something here to amuse and entertain. If you’re looking for more about slow travel, try this post or this one. If you’re in the mood for pretty photographs, visit this page, and if you want to watch a video of an otter on a motorbike, click here.

Happy travels! 一路平安!


Traffic Yak

Yak on the road. © Jo James

 Apropos of nothing

  • I’m British, but have lived overseas since 2006, first in Beijing and latterly in Hong Kong, where Mr Yak and I live on a small island called Cheung Chau
  • I speak fluent Mandarin and halting Cantonese
  • I once spent a few months in Uzbekistan’s capital, Tashkent, where I worked as a secretary and developed a chronic case of Central Asian wanderlust
  • My favourite travel books from 2014 are:
    • Golden Earth by Norman Lewis
    • Full Tilt by Dervla Murphy
    • A walk in the woods by Bill Bryson
    • The Trouser People by Andrew Marshall