Michael Sullivan

Michael Sullivan is NPR's Senior Asia Correspondent. He moved to Hanoi to open NPR's Southeast Asia Bureau in 2003. Before that, he spent six years as NPR's South Asia correspondent based in but seldom seen in New Delhi.

Michael was in Pakistan on 9-11 and spent much of the next two years there and in Afghanistan covering the run up to and the aftermath of the U.S. military campaign to oust the Taliban and al Qaeda. Michael has also reported extensively on terrorism in Southeast Asia, including both Bali bombings. He also covered the attacks on the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998. Michael was the first NPR reporter on the ground in both Thailand and the Indonesian province of Aceh following the devastating December 2004 tsunami. He has returned to Aceh more than half a dozen times since to document the recovery and reconstruction effort. As a reporter in NPR's London bureau in the early 1990s he covered the fall of the Soviet Union, the troubles in Northern Ireland, and the aftermath of the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Before moving to New Delhi, Michael was senior producer on NPR's foreign desk. He has worked in more than 60 countries on five continents, covering conflicts in Somalia, the Balkans, Haiti, Chechnya, and the Middle East. Prior to joining the foreign desk, Michael spent several years as producer and acting executive producer of NPR's All Things Considered.

As a reporter, Michael is the recipient of several Overseas Press Club Awards and Citations for Excellence for stories from Haiti, Afghanistan, and Vietnam. He was also part of the NPR team that won an Alfred I DuPont-Columbia University Award for coverage of 9-11 and the war in Afghanistan. In 2004 he was honored by the South Asia Journalists Association (SAJA) with a Special Recognition Award for his 'outstanding work' from 1998-2003 as NPR's South Asia correspondent.

As a producer and editor, Michael has been honored by the Overseas Press Club for work from Bosnia and Haiti; a Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award for a story about life in Sarajevo during wartime; and a World Hunger Award for stories from Eritrea.

Michael's wife, Martha Ann Overland, is Southeast Asia correspondent for The Chronicle of Higher Education and also writes commentaries on living abroad for NPR. They have two children.

Michael is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He's been at NPR since 1985.

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In the Cambodian capital, Phnom Penh, where the Tonle Sap and Mekong rivers meet, workers are putting the final touches on the grandstand for Bon Om Touk, the annual water festival which begins this weekend. It's a huge party—the country pretty much shuts down for the three-day holiday, with dragon boat races and plenty of drink and dance.

It's a celebration of the water's bounty. This year, though, there will be less to celebrate.

There's food that's old. There's food that has gone bad. And then there's soup that has been simmering for 45 years.

In Bangkok, customers can't get enough of the latter at Wattana Panich, a noodle soup joint in the trendy Ekkamai neighborhood, where third-generation owner Nattapong Kaweeantawong wants to clear up what he thinks is a popular misconception about his beef soup.

Pinyo Pukpinyo, 50, remembers the first time he was sent to remove a snake from someone's house. It was a 14 1/2-ft. python, high up in the rafters waiting for its prey 16 years ago.

"There were four of us, and I was really scared," he says. "We didn't have any experience, but we wrestled him down and got the hoop around his neck" — a kind of snare — "but he was very strong. And after we put him in the sack, we had to remove the hoop from his head, and that's the dangerous part, because at any time he's ready to bite you."

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South Korea is one of the most wired countries in the world. But that level of connectivity is a double-edged sword in a society that some experts say is becoming increasingly addicted to the Internet and where 95% of adults own a smartphone.

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It's early Friday evening, at a small municipal stadium in Bangkok. The sun is going fast, but the rally for the pro-military Palang Pracharath party is just getting started.

Candidate Watchara Kannika is on the stage, warning would-be voters to keep out the "liars" and vote for "the truth." That truth, he says, is the country's coup-leader-turned prime minister, Prayuth Chan-ocha, who toppled an elected government five years ago.

How's this for adventure tourism? A close encounter with a 10-foot long lizard with razor-sharp teeth and a venomous bite from a mouth swimming in noxious bacteria.

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