Upcoming Travel: Latin America and Asia


(Photo of Southern Chile)

I will be in Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay in July, Beijing for two weeks in August, and probably Mongolia afterward.

I would appreciate hearing your thoughts on what I should do in my free time, who I should meet with, and how I should think about what I am doing. Remember it will be winter in South America.

Also, it has been a pleasure staying with blog readers in my travels, from Dublin to Mumbai, Shanghai to Rome. I find it the best way to understand another culture. If you live in one of these places and want to host me, let me know.

As always, thanks.


Here are various related posts:

14 comments on “Upcoming Travel: Latin America and Asia
  • I’ll be in Beijing the first week of September (en route to North Korea); I’d love to hear if you do or see anything in particular that I should check out.

  • You should ask Jess Lampe, a college friend of mine. He spent two years in Mongolia in the Peace Corps, went to Thunderbird, and is now somewhere on the far side of the world. I’m sure he’d have great advice.

  • If you will be in Santiago, check out this free-market-oriented think-tank. It is one of the most influential think-tanks in Chile in terms of public and economic policy.


    While an exchange student in Chile a few years ago, I read an extremely interesting history book on Chile’s recent economic history written by Hernan Buchi, a former Chilean presidential candidate and finance minister and currently one of the heads of the think-tank. I also read an extremely interesting book about Cuba (and the contrasts between Chile and Cuba) by another economist at the think-tank, Luis Larrain. While visiting Santiago, I was lucky enough to get to talk to the people at LyD a few times. Very interesting and well-informed.

    For a different perspective on Chilean economic development/public policy, another highly-respected think-tank is the Centro de Estudios Publicos.


  • Highly recommend “Iron and Silk” by Mark Salzman – very insightful and well-written account of his (2?) years living in China and teaching English in the 80s.

    If you want to spend a day seeing the Great Wall, it is worth the extra travel time to drive out and hike from Jinshanling to Simatai – it is more dramatic and less crowded than Badaling.

  • Where in Chile are you going to be? I guess you will spend some time in Santiago, which is not a very nice city. From Santiago you can go to Valparaiso (it is a 2 hours trip). If you are wine oriented, you can make a tour to a vineyards. (There are a few in the way between Santiago and Valparaiso).

    People-wise, try to meet Fernando Flores (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fernando_Flores) or someone related to him. He is one of the smartest guy in the country.

    I am from Chile, so let me know if you want some more details.

  • The Forgotten Continent seems like a must-read for me. I couldn’t leave my comments on that post so I will here:

    I have a theory that leftist leaders thrive in Latin America due to cultural preferences as opposed to problems with democracy. I think democracy, and particularly free speech, are strong enough in LA that they’ll never go away. While some of what Chavez has been doing lately concerning speech and democracy is questionable, he was legitimately chosen by his citizenry as was Correa and Morales (Ortega and Castro not so much).

    What other region in the world has so many socialists in power? I think socialism is an easier sell to Latinos because theirs is a more romantic culture, a culture more oriented towards others. Compassion. It’s been an easy sell since Che and will continue to be until Latin America is the last frontier where the idea of a state-planned economy dies.

  • Frantically searching for Business Plan help, I read that you are traveling to Uruguay in July. I have been living in Montevideo for the last year as a Rotary Scholar and love it. Depending on your interests, I’d be more than happy to suggest some things to do and see.


  • Hey Ben,

    a friend of mine is a Chile-expert (but living in Hamburg at the moment).

    He told me about the Atacama-desert in the north. There are geysers with hot water boiling up and freezing on the floor 2 minutes later.. Must be impressive to watch!

    Have fun!


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