Ter Times


Who is Dana Ter?

I am a seventh generation Penang Peranakan on my mom's side, while my dad's family is from Kuala Lumpur. My family has been on the move since 1990. I attended international schools across Asia and have lived in Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, Australia, the UK, and the US.

After completing my Dual Master’s degree in international and world history from Columbia University and the London School of Economics, I worked as a freelance journalist in New York City, writing about pop culture and entertainment for online publications such as Mic (formerly PolicyMic).

From 2014-2017, I was a staff reporter and editor for the Features section of the English-language daily newspaper, the Taipei Times, where I covered art, culture, food, lifestyle, and social issues. During this time, I wrote a column about the city's burgeoning craft beer scene. As the newspaper's art critic, I wrote a weekly column about art exhibitions and fairs.

Currently, I am freelancing full-time again, writing travel, food, and art stories - mostly from Asia - for in-flight magazines of airlines including EVA Air, Philippine Airlines, SilkAir, and Hong Kong Airlines. My work has also been published in Slate, Jetsetter, Marriott Traveler, Roads & Kingdoms, Time Out Hong Kong, and Travel in Taiwan, the official magazine of Taiwan's Tourism Bureau. I have filed stories from Taiwan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Japan, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Myanmar, Guam, and New York.

For some of my recent stories, I attended the launches of new luxury properties in Bangkok and Seoul, ate my way through my grandma's hometown of Air Hitam, Penang, to document its vanshing hawker scene, and snorkeled in Guam to learn more about the island's coral bleaching problem.

Some fun stories I've covered in the past include drinking millet wine with Saisiyat Aborigines during a sacred, centuries-old ritual, having coffee with a former presidential secretary who now runs an organic restaurant/activist bookstore, and surfing with some of Taiwan’s best surfers who think it’s crazy that many people on the subtropical island still don’t know how to swim. I've also written about Hello Kitty airplanes, couple t-shirts, and the ‘elitism’ of travel writing.

During my spare time, I draw doodles and surf and try to be near an ocean as much as possible. I received my PADI Open Water Diver certification in Phuket when I was 15.


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