Tiziano Terzani (14 September 1938 – 28 July 2004) was born in Florence, Italy and was a journalist and writer who began exploring Asia during the sixties and later studied Chinese language and culture. He had an extensive knowledge of 20th century East Asia and was one of few western journalists who had a direct experience of the fall of Saigon to the Vietcong, and the fall of Phnom Penh at the hands of the Khmer Rouge in the seventies. He later became a correspondent to Der Spiegel, Germany.
Although a self-asserted ‘unbeliever’, Terzani knew much about the historical and political background of Asia, and had a deep interest in the philosophical aspects of Asian culture. During his vast travels, he was always keen on discovering the spiritual aspects of the countries he was visiting. He lived for years at a time in Beijing, Tokyo, Singapore, Hong Kong, Bangkok and New Delhi.