Born in Borneo, Peter Stanger is British. He lived
in Egypt and India as a child, but was educated
in England, graduating in music at Cambridge University (Gonville and Caius College).
Throughout his music career, he has conducted many hundreds of performances of operas, operettas and musicals, one hundred of which
were with Scottish Opera based in Glasgow,
where he lived in the 1970s and 80s.
During the past seventeen years he has travelled in 33 countries of the world, predominantly in Asia, Africa, Central and South America, as well as living in Canada and South Korea. The resultant 17,000 slide photographs contain portrayals of the Indonesian islands of Sumatra, Java, Bali, Lombok, Sumbawa, Komodo and Flores, as well as Sabah and Sarawak in Borneo, and Mindanao in the Philippines. Other Asian lands explored and photographed include most areas of South Korea, as well as throughout China.
His African travels have been in Togo, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Mali, together
with Morocco, Namibia and Kenya. At the start of the new millennium festivities,
at 00.01 hours on 1st January 2000, he was under arrest in Timbuktu, being
interrogated in the police station on a trumped-up charge.
In South America, his Brazilian escapades included being a few feet from wild
jacare (alligators) in the interiorís Mato Grosso, then on a hammock-swinging
local steamer down the Amazon from Manaus to Santarem, where in the rainforest
he swam in a placid river full of piranha, having been assured by the locals that
the fish werenít in a man-eating mood.
In the Andes, he tramped the Llanganuco-Cashapampa trail which climbs to
15,585 feet in central Peru, and descended into the devil-worshipped silver mines at PotosŪ in Bolivia. On a deserted stretch of the 4000-metre altiplano in winter,
he survived a night outside without an insulating mat, with bottles bursting beside him in the fuel-freezing cold. Perhaps because of this, he later set off into the hot Ecuadorian rainforest, and slept under fronds of palm.
In other parts of the world, he swam in the Arctic Ocean in near winter at Prudhoe
Bay (Alaska), climbed a high volcano in the centre of New Zealandís North Island,
and had stones thrown at him while being driven in a remote part of Turkey.
He has spent most of the past five years writing and preparing these books on China, which by comparison has been quite a relief.