Thanks for wanting to learn more about us! We’re eternally curious freelance travel writers who left the UK in 2014 and haven’t looked back. Together, we’ve lived in four countries (China, Japan, Korea, and the UAE) and travelled to countless more. These days we are digital nomads, moving slowly from place to place, and doing a lot of reading and writing along the way. Always interested in learning about different cultures, we read as much as possible about a country or city before we go anywhere and encourage others to do the same! Read their authors, learn about their history, and celebrate their literature.

You’ll notice we write a lot about translated literature and that’s because we fervently believe that reading the literature that comes from a country is the best way to understand their history, politics, beliefs, ethics, and people. We then love to delve into the food, travel, and experiences that make any trip memorable. When possible we always have ethical travel at the forefront of our mind and like to partner with brands that feel the same. This website was born while we were living in South Korea and it’s taken us to places since that we never thought were possible. Let us inspire you, too.


Awards for Books and Bao

Book Blog of the Year 2019 | London Book Blog Awards – Shortlisted

Top 10 UK Literature Blogs | Chosen by Vuelio


Best Art & Culture Blog 2019 | UK Blog Awards – Finalist


Jess is the creator and editor of Books and Bao and is passionate about sharing her travel tips with others and capturing those perfect moments.

There are those who start a journey with a rigid plan, and those that wing it. Jess blends those attitudes together, understanding clearly that, to see the most of a place, you must do your research. She’s passionate about travel, photography, and writing.

Jess left her hometown of Swansea in 2011 and proceeded to live in every corner of the UK, graduating with an MA in English while working in several coffee shops and various journalism jobs before finally admitting to herself that home, no matter how big, is always too small.

She moved abroad in 2014 and hasn’t looked back. She hopes to inspire others to make the jump to get out, dig in, and explore.

Follow Jess’s adventures and latest photography on Instagram or Twitter.

View her personal website/portfolio here.

The Guardian: What are you reading this week?
The Cardiff Review: 2018 Year in Culture


Will was once asked why he doesn’t simply take vacations and visit places for a week, and this question lies at the heart of his exploring and his writing.

Never satisfied with just seeing a place, he reads the literature, learns the language, studies the history, and explores what is off the beaten track.

Will became a high school teacher in the UK in 2012, but was immediately dissatisfied and depressed. And so, after meeting Jess at a job interview, Will used his career as an opportunity to jump ship in 2014 (with Jess). Since then he has lived in Abu Dhabi, Shanghai, Tokyo, and Seoul. He now lives a nomadic life slow-traveling the whole world. East Asia is the place he calls home, but he will never be done exploring and learning.

Will predominantly writes about the books of Books and Bao, examining the literature of a place and how the authors have used the art of storytelling to reflect the world and the culture around them. Will believes that reading a culture’s literature is the fastest way to find its heart, and here he aims to pass on what he deems to be the most valuable literature, biographies, and travel stories, to you.

For Will’s latest book recommendations visit his Instagram or Twitter.