The Australian-born George Ernest Morrison, sometimes known as “Chinese” Morrison or “Morrison of Peking,” established an international reputation for himself as the first permanent correspondent of The Times of London in China’s capital. It was the younger, adventurous Morrison who wrote the 1895 book An Australian in China, based on his travels in China in the previous year. Morrison’s book warrants a closer reading not only because of its popularity and influence, but because it explores issues such as the heterogeneity of imperial borderlands, the nature of hierarchies of empire, and how forms of cultural appropriation manifested themselves in the Chinese context in late nineteenth century. The travels on which An Australian in China is based took place in the period of 100 days from February 1894; they took him from Shanghai to Rangoon, a distance of some 4800 kilometres. The peripheries of empires – both Chinese and British – were marked by diversity, untidiness and an array of challenges.