Reader Comments

From: Pam Betteridge
To: Author Harold Stephens

Dear Mr. Stephens:

I was given your book Who Needs a Road? by my son who had just returned from his own exploration of the world road. He knew how much his father and I would enjoy reading of your experiences since he grew up listening to our stories of travels around the world. My husband and I met while on our travels..

We have been married for 32 years and still enjoy traveling together. We often said we should write a book but since we didn't it was a pleasure to enjoy yours.

Thanks for the adventures...
Pam Betteridge



From: Clem Shemanski
To: Wolfenden Publishers

Dear Editor,

All three Harold Stephens books you shipped arrived. Read Asian Adventures in one day and now into "Last Voyage". Great stuff!

I located and purchased a copy of his book Who Needs a Road?". First edition, good condition for $59.50.

I am a fan of Harold Stephens and try to read everything he writes.

Clem Shemanski



To: Wolfenden Publishers

Dear Sir:

I read The Last Voyage - the impact of the book was incredible. This is the life I dreamed of, and perhaps may yet achieve.

BTW - I still count Asian Portraits as one of the most treasured books in my library. Picked it up in Singapore many years ago..

Jeremy Hawn



Subject: Re: Harold Stephens
To: Wolfenden Publishers

Dear Publisher:

I received and read THE LAST VOYAGE. There is a feeling in my heart that seems to pull me steadily towards a life aboard and I'm getting closer everyday. Your story has added fuel to that fire! I really enjoyed the history you included. I had no idea that I would be interested in history of any kind. Thank you for making it interesting and sharing it with those of us who haven't been there yet!

Vernon Fine



Subject: Article on Japanese bombing the US mainland

Dear Mr. Stephens,

I just wanted to write to tell you I really enjoyed your Bangkok Post article on JN Warrant Officer Fujita. I want to commend you on the first-rate job you did on researching the subject; I am sorry that you did not get a chance to interview him a second time. It was a very interesting article and one that helped show there were/are real people on both sides of a conflict.

I thought your by-line was familiar, and realized that you are (likely) the author of the book "Your Guide to The Chao Phraya River of Kings", which I enjoyed as well.

Best regards,
Jeffrey Gigler



From: Bob Steber

Dear Mr. Stephens,

I was very interested in your recent article in the Bangkok Post about the Japanese bombing of the US mainland. I am originally from Oregon and was raised only a few miles from where the incendiary bomb exploded.

Very good story.

Best regards,
Bob Steber



Mr. Harold Stephens,

I read with great interest your article on the bombing of the west coast of the US early in WWII by the Japanese. I am 73 and remember well the rumors of this and also spies on the East Coast.

I do hope you pursue some of the other items of this kind of category and report them to assure people of the truth.

Robert Legrand



Subject: Harold Stephens
From: Paula Jonson
To: Wolfenden Publishers

Dear Editor:

i really enjoy the articles by Harold Stephens. i was fortunate to be in bangkok last april and really enjoyed the people and the city. i am interested in the articles on jim thompson, what a mystery, will there be articles in the future. my name is paula jonson and i live in kansas city,missouri a long way from thailand.

Please give us more of the same.



To: Bangkok Post
Subject: Re: Harold Stephens


I read Harold Stephens online and enjoyed his style of mixing personal experience with the commercial promo aspect. He writes in English-style English as far as some spelling goes, which might make a reader think he is a Brit!

Steve doubtless knows the risks of being an expatriate and he has good reasons for being one, like his writing.




Subject: Where is Harold
To: horizons@bangkokpost.

Dear Editor,

As a former resident of Bangkok, I look forward to reading Harold Stephen's columns. They are like old familiar friends, I like his perspective and he really appreciates the same subtle travel wonders that enchant me. I

I have passed his columns to friends all over the world. They mean something to us and we are the well heeled baby boomers who will spend, stay and treasure our time in Thailand.

Funny, like a good friend who you might not remember his eye color, yet. I have been reading him for almost thirty years and expect to keep doing the same.

Terra Harris



Subject: Re: STEPHENS
From: Peter Rukavina
To: Harold Stephens

Dear Harold,

I really do miss out when I don’t read your column in the Bangkok Post. I like the archives which I use as a reference. My website has a lot of links to your columns over the years, and it is perhaps the most valuable real world collection of Thai travel intelligence online.




Subject: Harold Stephens
From: Dean Barrett
To: Editor, Bangkok Post

I love this column. Harold Stephens is about all that is left of the links to the wonderful Somerset Maugham past of Conrad's Asia while still setting out on new adventures, fascinating journeys.

Dean Barrett



Subject: Re: Your article on
From: Otto Farago

Dear Mr. Stephens,

I must admit your article on sailing touched The One deepest, most privately held secret of my soul. It's been the most cherished secret wish of mine since early childhood that sometime I would sail the seas of the South Pacific and go island hopping on my boat. Of course coming from an European country with no sea at all, and from a simple family who have as much to do with boating as for instance with interplanetary space travel, plus looking at ocean-worthy boat prices at boat shows and marinas of the world ensured that this secret wish to this date remained just that. Until, I read your article that it is indeed possible.

Could you please possibly give me titles of some your books you may have used? Did you actually learn sailing on your fairly large size boat Third Sea? I sincerely thank you. I thank you for all the advice you gave me in your book The Last Voyage, as otherwise for a guy like myself who can hardly afford a house on a thirty year mortgage, this may very well be just the only chance at realizing this childhood dream.

Sincerely yours,
Otto Farago



From: Sean Bunzick
Subject: A Few Things I Thought I'd Mention

Dear Mr. Stephens!

I finally got done reading all your stories from the Bangkok Post and there's only one thing I can honestly say, sir--I absolutely loved them all!!! You picked so many wonderful topics and made them all interesting to read. Thank you for telling me about this area; it's something I love to check out every week. Please keep 'em coming!

Sean Bunzick



Subject: China Marines
From: Richard Horton

Dear Mr. Stephens,

I just finished reading your book, "The Last China Marines". I was lead to your book by a circuitous route. I had just finished reading David Halberstams, "The Best and The Brightest.” In that book there was a reference to our history in Asia including China. I then read a new book by Iris Chang, "The Rape of Nanking" My curiosity raised I then searched on google and found your book. I had previously read your "At Home in Asia.“ However, the writing style is so different in, "The Last China Marines" I didn't realize it was the same Harold Stephens as, "At Home in Asia."

At any rate I am just writing to tell you that "The Last China Marines" was one of the best books I've read all summer. I really enjoyed it. I couldn't put the book down. The characters came alive as did your descriptions of the smells and sounds of China.

More importantly, I enjoyed how you developed the main characters political transformation from a young Marine who didn't question why we were there to one who had misgivings.

I wish you the best and look forward to reading your next book.

Richard L. Horton



Subject: Greetings from New Zealand
From: Daube Family
To: Wolfenden Publishers

Good afternoon! I am really enjoying Harold Stephen's tales of Asia, fantastic! I have a few of his books. My favourites are “Three Decades of Asian Adventure” and “At home in Asia,” the yarn about the Aussie Photographer is a beauty.

Steve Daube



From: Rhonda Sage

Mr. Stephens,

I must say, I have really enjoyed reading the postings on your website and see your links to books about your great area of the world.

Rhonda Sage
Invermere BC



Subject: Harold, my man
From: Peter Myers


Just finished Take China and I have to say that i thoroughly enjoyed it, more than i can remember enjoying any non-fiction book.

I think the time is right for people to want to get into the heads of military men, and the ethical paradoxes that entail.

Lets get a BBC docu crew and get the hell over to China, retrace your steps, find the treasure, locate Ming Lee and the intriguing White Russian....




Subject: Jim Thompson
From: ken yamada

Dear Mr. Stephens,

Your books are quite a hit of nostalgia for me. Walked into the Asia book store between soi 15 and 17 as i have countless times over the years and saw your book on Jim Thompson. I believe that's where i purchased your original Asian Portraits when it first came out so many years ago. I wanted to write you then but hey, that was before computers, before the ease of finding someone on the Internet. Of course I could have probably posted a letter to the Bangkok Post but those were lazy days back then and there was always "tomorrow".

Speaking of the Bangkok Post, I'd like to thank you for all those articles so long ago. I'm not sure of the years but it was pre CNN, pre cable... i think it was even before the years of Thai TV with the English soundtrack on FM radio, whenever that was. Anyway the Bangkok Post was THE media entertainment and I can remember finding a travel article by you on what seemed like every Sunday.

I remember starting every day with the Bangkok Post when I found myself in town. So yeah thanks for all the articles. It must have been around 1972. In your book Asian Portraits, I met Jeff and Robin whom you wrote about. I said goodbye to them on Java and wished them well but truly believed they'd never get off the "island" so you can imagine my surprise and joy, when years later I picked up your original Asian Portraits and got to their chapter and I swear to you as I read the lines about you coming up river and your description of the boat you saw, I knew before you mentioned their names that it was them.

So once again I thank you for all the pleasure your stories have given me.

ken yamada



Subject: RE: BANGKOK
Subject: at home in asia
From: luke cassady-dorion

Harold ... i'm about 3/4 of the way through _at home in asia_ and am really enjoying the stories, thanks much for writing them.

Thnx. Luke



From: Lamsal, Vinita
To: Harold Stephens

Hello Harold,

I just finished your book 'At Home in Asia' (great book for a restless soul like myself) and it opened up a floodgate of memories of my teens in Nepal (having been born there and raised thru my teens - how I ended up in the States is another story). The chapters relating to Inger and Barbara were especially nostalgic.




Subject: Bravo Zulu on "Take China"
From: Jeff Gigler
To: Harold Stephens

Dear Steve,

I just finished your new book, "Take China". What a great story. There were so many good parts to it I don't know where to start....suffice to say I bought two extra copies to give as gifts.

I read quite a bit of the book while staying in Siem Reap (I first found it at the Asia Books store at Don Muang Airport in Bangkok), and many parts made me laugh out loud -much to the consternation of my fellow hotel diners. Too bad; they can get their own copy.

On the way back I was also lucky enough to find "The Last Voyage", which I have been looking for for a long time. Another great book, although more "disturbing" - in that it really stokes up the fires to go to sea. You managed to salvage a "happy" ending by describing all of the people you touched with your schooner, which is something I didn't think you would be able to carry off, after reading the first chapter. Again, bravo zulu (Navy flag code for "well done").

In "The Last Voyage" you describe your efforts to find JFK's PT109. . . do you think you were looking anywhere close to where Ballard finally found it?

Again, congratulations on your book "Take China". I enjoyed it very much.

Jeffrey Gigler



From: Ruben Mera
Subject: Elephants and other suff

Dear Mr. Stephens,

In your article about Southern Thailand you mentioned the existence of elephants still in the wild in Phan-Nga. I'm planning a trip to Phan-Nga this May and hope to find elephants as you did.

Always enjoying your writings,

Ruben Mera
Washington, D.C.



From: Arf Erickson
Subject: Japan bomb

I have just read you story about "When Japan bombed America" in this morning's BKK Post. I really enjoyed it.

Alf Erickson



To: Harold Stephens
Subject: bangkok post online


I just want to say thank you for sharing so much of the post online. I am a US resident and college student. I was lucky enough to spend eight months in Thailand at Rangsit University just outside of Bangkok. I miss so much of Thailand terribly and your being online keeps me connected to the world I left. I have not enjoyed newspaper stories so much except some with the New York Times, which I never believed anyone could hold a candle to. Thank you once again.

Sincerely, Diantha Garry



To: Wolfenden Publisher
From: Herman Mann

Dear Editor,

Please tell Harold Stephens I enjoyed reading his stories in Return to Adventure Southeast Asia. Some I found hard to believe, like the search for Big Foot. But others, like his Negrito guide, it bought tear to my eyes when I learned about what happened to him. In general, the book made me realise we go to the moon but we hardly know our own planet.