Dispatches and excerpts of my writing, including features which have appeared in my books and in publications such as the Smithsonian and TIME magazine.

Journey to North Korea, Part I

Journey to North Korea, Part 1: The Majesty and the Mustache By Tomas van Houtryve (Originally published on TIME.com on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2009) In 2007 and 2008, Tomas van Houtryve visited North Korea by infiltrating a communist solidarity delegation. In the first of a three-part series, he reports on the elaborate ruse required to enter the isolated country. One…  read more.

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Uncovering the CIA’s Legacy in Laos

© Tomas van Houtryve

VIENTIANE PROVINCE, LAOS – We set out at nightfall. Four thin Hmong men dressed in faded khaki uniforms and clutching AK-47’s, those ubiquitous hallmarks of the world’s most troubled regions. There was no moon when we crawled out of our hiding spot between thickets of bamboo and onto the lightly graveled road through the jungle. After sizing us up, the…  read more.

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The Fall of a God King

KATHMANDU, NEPAL – My first experience with King Gyanendra Shah was in February 2004. He was scheduled for an official visit to the city in Nepalgunj, which is quite possibly the least charming place on earth. Nepal is a stunningly beautiful country — green hills terraced with rice patties, and a backdrop of the jagged Himalayas. But Nepalgunj is the…  read more.

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