Educated in the UK, Steven Crook was backpacking through Asia in 1991 when he decided to go to Taiwan. He was running out of money and needed a job but that wasn't the only reason. At school, his history books had contained just the briefest mention of Taiwan as the place Chiang Kai-shek and his Chinese Nationalist Party had retreated to in 1949 when they lost the Chinese Civil War to Mao Zedong's Communists. His geography teachers had never talked about the place and nobody he knew had ever been there. The prospect of visiting such an unfamiliar island was tantalising. He wasn't disappointed; he extended his stay and took up hiking. In 1996, he started writing about the country's mountains, temples and museums for newspapers and magazines – and he has no intention of stopping. In addition to writing Bradt’s guide to Taiwan, he is the author of several other titles on Taiwan, including A Culinary History of Taipei: Beyond Pork and Ponlai.