Harriet O'Brien

Harriet O’Brien is a travel writer and award-winning author. Her first book Forgotten Land, a rediscovery of Burma was published just before she joined The Independent, her second Queen Emma and Vikings, a few years after she left. She was on staff at The Independent during the 1990s and subsequently worked in Canada and then as managing editor at Conde Nast Traveller before going freelance in order to travel more. She mainly covers the UK, Europe and Asia, where she grew up.

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Short straw: baby pandas at Chengdu's breeding centre

Trail of the Unexpected: Gentle giants of Chengdu

Pandas and a soaring Buddha statue greet Harriet O'Brien on a visit to this Sichuan city

Wide screen: a Bollywood mural in Mumbai

100 years of Bollywood: Movie magic in Mumbai

India's film industry is booming, says Harriet O'Brien as she goes on a studio tour

Water world: The Yangtze cuts through the Qutang Gorge

The Yangtze: River of mists and sunken cities

A three-day cruise brings Harriet O'Brien face to face with China – ancient and modern

Marble marvel: the Taj Mahal in Agra

Monsoon magic in the north of India

The icons of the Golden Triangle are refreshingly accessible during the rainy season, discovers Harriet O'Brien on an off-peak adventure

Vegetable vendors on Dal Lake

In search of lasting tranquility in Kashmir

After years of trauma, the region is once again on the travel map. Harriet O'Brien returns

High points: Tournai cathedral dates to the 12th century and is a Unesco World Heritage site

Tournai: A return to past glories

Harriet O'Brien visits the scene of a dramatic liberation at the end of the First World War

Fount of power: Place Charles II in the centre of Charleroi dates to 1666 and was used for military parades

Charleroi: Phoenix from the flames

This former industrial base is on the rise again, says Harriet O'Brien

Labyrinth: how historic Carcassonne inspired a bestseller

Carcassonne has great dramatic potential, says Harriet O'Brien as she explores the French fortress

Trail of the unexpected: Where to dally in Delhi

A tour led by the capital's street children shows Harriet O'Brien a different side of the city

Modica: A sweet spot for an ancient remedy

Harriet O'Brien finds a surprising history among the lemon trees and chocolate shops of the Sicilian city
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