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Nan Madol: the lost city of the Pacific

Approaching Nan Madol by boat there is little sense of the scale of the ruins that are about to surround us. The choppy waves of the Pacific subside as we make our way through narrowing mangrove channels until finally we see the first basalt columns above the clear water. A moment later there is no […]

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From Palau to Rotherhithe: the story of Prince Lee Boo

  Less than two months after discovering this picture in the blissful air-conditioned cool of the Etpison Museum in Palau’s main town of Koror, I stood by a south London graveside, teeth chattering in the bitter cold despite my hat, scarf, gloves and multiple layers. The two settings couldn’t be further apart, geographically or in […]

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Micronesia and the murky world of chequebook diplomacy

Drive up the eastern side of Palau’s main island and at a certain point you’ll see something that looks completely absurd. Having passed through several miles of lush jungle and seen a handful of modest wooden houses, from a crest in the road you’ll first spot what could easily be mistaken for the mythical land […]

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Marshall Islands: a broken paradise

Taking in the surroundings of Eneko Island it’s easy to conclude you’ve walked into a photograph on a postcard. Part of the Majuro atoll in the Marshall Islands, the private island ticks all the boxes for a popular view of paradise. White sandy beach, clear turquoise water, palm trees leaning gently over the ocean; all […]

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Notes from the road 3: Micronesia

After 18 days we’ll be leaving Micronesia tomorrow. It’s been a fascinating time and an exposure to a part of the world I previously knew nothing about. We have encountered perfect beaches and dirty squalor, broad smiles and resigned hopelessness, inspiring collaboration and systemic indifference. I’ll be writing much about the many contrasting faces of […]

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