All At Sea: Another Side of Paradise

All at Sea by Julian Sayarer

All At Sea: Another Side of Paradise

On the small island of Surin, near the naval border of Thailand and Myanmar, an indigenous people known as Moken 'sea gypsies' struggle to maintain the same timeless existence as their ancestors.

As real estate developers, oil exploration and industrial tourism reshape the waters they call home, Sayarer receives a mysterious offer from an idealistic Luxembourger determined to tell a tale of the Moken on film, and in search of a writer to detail the efforts of his motley crew. 

Events unfold in a reality strangely different to that version captured by the lens. In the quest for indigenous wisdom, cameras and tripods clutter bamboo huts, while fishing trips and dives are staged beneath the waves. With the quest for paradise seeming ever more artificial, Sayarer instead begins listening to the stories of Laurie, an old sailor, with a life on the water behind him, and in whose ship the crew sail out into the Andaman Sea.

'On The Road for the Occupy generation' Open Democracy

'A brilliantly thoughtful writer with no shortage of passion and anger.' Sara Wheeler

'Perhaps not since Alex Garland’s The Beach has backpacker culture been so aptly captured, put on display and ruthlessly critiqued.' Geographical Magazine

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02 Nov 2017
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About the author

  • Julian Sayarer

    Julian Sayarer

    Julian Sayarer is an author, journalist, and is often called an adventurer, although normally by other people. He has cycled six times across Europe, and in 2009 broke the 18,000-mile world record for a circumnavigation by bicycle.

    He has spent three years working as a cycle courier on the streets of London, hitchhiked from New York to San Francisco, and worked on books and documentary projects along the way.

    A politics graduate, Julian's writing has appeared in the London Review of Books, New Statesman, Aeon Magazine, and many others, including a host of cycling publications. He writes slow travel, his writing from the roadside a 12mph view of the world in passing.

    'On the Road for the Occupy generation' - Open Democracy

    Titles by Julian Sayarer

    All at Sea by Julian Sayarer
    Fifty Miles Wide
    Interstate by Julian Sayarer
    Messengers by Julian Sayarer