In The Worst Motorcycle in Laos: Rough Travels in Asia, author Chris Tharp recounts his misadventures in countries across the region he’s called home for the last ten years. He takes us to the back-alley restaurants of Vietnam on a quest to eat cobra; to the neon streets of Japan, where he goes on tour with a jazz band, gets lost in the depraved depths of a comic book shop, and nearly causes a riot at a punk rock bar; to far Western China, where he narrowly misses a terrorist attack and endures a harrowing drive on the world’s highest highway. Whether he’s losing his lunch on the boat ride to the disputed Dokdo islets, surviving a bus wreck on a Korean highway, eating chicken embryos in the Philippines, or riding a dilapidated motorbike through the dirt tracks of Laos, Tharp delivers his tales with a mixture of honesty, wit, and humor that will inspire readers to strap on a backpack and hit the road.


Publication date: December 2, 2014

Print edition: 5″ x 8″ perfect bound trade paperback

Page count: 384

ISBN: 978-988-12196-3-3

Price (paper): US$18.95

E-book formats: ePub, Kindle, PDF

Word count: 94,000

eISBN: 978-988-12196-7-1

Price (e-book): US$8.99






In The Worst Motorcycle in Laos, Tharp takes us on a wild ride from the neon streets of Tokyo to the dirt tracks of Indochina. The essays are insightful, humorous, and unflinching. A great read for the active and armchair traveler alike.

– Michael Breen, author of The Koreans

Tharp’s done it again. He’s got a knack for finding himself in, shall we say, interesting places and situations: from fake flowers and monks to persistent touts, these are the stories few can experience for themselves. Make no mistake, Tharp makes life happen on his own terms.

– Chris Backe, travel blogger at

The Worst Motorcycle in Laos is a thoughtful rampage through the backwaters of Asia. Tharp writes about his travels with a refreshing, humble honesty, unafraid of exploring the gritty and the grimy, the seedy and the sublime. Witty, poignant and at times even disturbing, this is a great read for both the seasoned journeyer and those content to enjoy from the comfort of home.

– Brandon W. Jones, author of All Woman and Springtime

Author bio:

Originally hailing from Washington state, Chris Tharp has called Busan, South Korea home for over a decade. He is the author of the travel memoir Dispatches from the Peninsula: Six Years in South Korea, and his award-winning writing has appeared both online and in print. He lives with his wife, a dog, and an indeterminate number of cats. You can follow him on Twitter @ChrisTharpExpat


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.