Tom Vater studied publishing, journalism and English literature in Oxford, before traveling around Europe, including the newly opened former communist states of Eastern Europe, as a punk rock guitar player.
He now works predominantly in South and South East Asia, where he writes in both in English and German. His work has appeared in a wide variety of publications, including The Times, The Guardian, The Far Eastern Economic Review, Discovery, The Asia Wall Street Journal, Marie Claire and Penthouse. He is The Daily Telegraph‘s Bangkok expert.
Tom spends most of his time on the road, researching stories and fulfilling assignments. His travels have led him (on foot) across the Himalayas, given him the opportunity to dive with hundreds of sharks in the Philippines, to criss-cross the US in search of former CIA agents and to witness the Maha Kumbh Mela, the largest gathering of people in the world. His countless journeys have left him stranded in dozens of train stations, airports and bus terminals around South Asia, Europe and the US.
On assignments, he’s joined sea gypsies and nomads, pilgrims, sex workers, serial killers, rebels and soldiers, politicians and secret agents, artists, pirates, hippies, gangsters, police men and prophets. Some of them have become close friends.
His most recent non-fiction book, Sacred Skin, is the first English language title on Thailand’s Spirit Tattoos, co-authored with Aroon Thaewchatturat, and published world wide to huge critical acclaim in 2011. Sacred Skin has been the subject of two TV documentaries and has been reviewed in more than thirty publications, including El Mundo, CNN, Die Zeit, The Wall Street Journal and Time Magazine.