Harriet has written 8 posts for Harriet Williams

Steppe by Steppe

In November 2008, me and two friends travelled the trans-Siberian railway, from Moscow to Beijing in a hectic, 4 week stint.  This is a bit of a travelogue of some of the story (published in Interact Magazine, Jan 2012) I’m on a train coasting over the Siberian steppe in the middle of the night, surrounded … Continue reading

Chase Farm Hospital closes amid widespread criticism

Photo by Adambowie The saga of Chase Farm Hospital is a long running one.  I’ve lived in the area for years, rarely has a weekend passed without volunteers shouting about saving it in Enfield town.  Under Labour, Chase Farm’s A&E and maternity departments were threatened with closure, and the hospital trust itself was merged with … Continue reading

Farewell to the Lonely Planet bus

Me and my guidebook don’t get on.  I’ve met some people who say they use the guidebook just to get to a place, then would have you believe they just leave it behind at the hostel for the rest of the trip.  Not so for me, I’m an unashamed guidebook devotee.  During days of ascetic … Continue reading

Confessions of a glutton

When asked for inspiration for my next blog post, my dear boyfriend replied incredulously ‘your next blog should obv be about food, can’t believe you’ve not done one yet…’  He has a point.  This trip was more than slightly prompted by the lure of gastro-tourism, and a quick flick through my photos on my camera … Continue reading

32000 dong

The world is divided into two sorts of people, those who come into a dorm room at 12 o’clock at night, with people clearly sleeping, and turn on the light, and those who don’t. This is why wars start, the light-leavers become so irritated by the endless switching on of the light by the light-switchers that … Continue reading

Slow boats to Laos

In keeping with the transport theme, two days ago I made the risky and rash decision to take the slow boat to Luang Prabang, in Laos, a journey of two days with an overnight stop. A bad idea, I thought, having an ingrained distrust of boats from too many viewings of Titanic at an impressionable … Continue reading

On trains and time

Backpackers in South East Asia insists on getting buses everywhere. People look at me in surprise and confusion when they have assumed I’m getting a bus, and I tell them I’m getting a train. It’s inexplicable, trains are clearly the better mode of transport, and in most of the countries fully available, ridiculously cheap and … Continue reading


Two weeks in Japan obviously gives me no right to comment on national character, psyche, traditions or anything of that sort.  So I won’t try.  But from my limited observations, the Japan that I’ve experienced has two sides, one an overdeveloped, mental, difficult country that, if a vision of our future, is a nightmarish one.  … Continue reading