Monday
May032010

hawaii: coffee in the backcountry

hawaii's coffee tours

A coffee plantation tour is one of the best ways to enjoy Hawaiian backcountry. There are hundreds of small-scale plantations sprinkled across the archipelago, many sporting the kind of quirky names you’d expect from an English pub, and most are happy to give tours. Try a few samples and pick up gifts that your friends back home will actually appreciate. Trust me, they could do without that ready-to-ship pineapple you were eying in Oahu.

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Friday
Apr302010

kuala lumpur: top shopping in KL 

shopping guide in kl

I never thought I would find myself saying these words, but I think that there is too much shopping in Kuala Lumpur. It’s not only the volume of shopping centres and markets that boggles my mind – it’s also the super-size of everything. The 13 floors of retail space in Berjaya Times Square are dizzying, and it becomes hard to tell the difference between the rows and rows of handbag merchants in the Chinatown markets.

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Thursday
Apr292010

bangkok: best eats

recommended restaurants in bangkok

Bangkok is massive.  Around 12 million people crammed into a big soup bowl of a city means you’re constantly finding great new food places.  From street corner stalls to luxurious hotel rooftops, Bangkok is synonymous with good eats.

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Tuesday
Apr272010

perth: the whale sharks of ningaloo reef

australian's whale sharks

Despite its size and conspicuous spots, the whale shark is shrouded in mystery. We know that whale sharks roam the oceans, potentially covering vast distances, feeding on plankton, small fish and fish eggs; but questions like how long they live or where they reproduce remain a riddle.

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Wednesday
Apr212010

indonesia: lombok is the new bali

lombok's breathtaking sunsets

Lombok island is Bali’s overlooked little brother. While Bali may be far more popular and more easily accessible, Lombok’s unspoiled riches are worth the extra effort it takes to get there.  Though it is right next door to Bali, the waterway between the two islands divides two entirely different ecosystems. Thus, Lombok’s topography and wildlife are not simply a repeat of what visitors have already seen on Bali. Indeed, those who find Bali overly touristy (and many do) will find their haven in Lombok, with its breathtaking sunsets, kind people, and pristine, seemingly untouched beaches.

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Monday
Apr192010

malaysia: best of borneo

borneo guide: sipadan

Once the embodiment of primal wilderness, Borneo has changed. The world's third largest island now has its fair share of megamalls, coffee chains and upmarket hotels.

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Thursday
Apr152010

singapore: the best high tea 

With its colonial influences and history as a bit of a tea trading post, the popularity of high tea and tea rooms – especially among visitors and expats – has deeply cemented roots. And, of course, with good teas come some highly-praised baked goods: delicious macaroons, scones and even old-fashioned cookies. Here’s a selection of tearooms and high teas in Singapore to get your journey brewing.

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Wednesday
Apr072010

hawaii: best movie beaches

hamakua coast, hawaii

Normally, I wouldn’t recommend visiting a location just because a movie was shot there, but in Hawaii there’s a different dynamic at work. It’s expensive to haul the cast, crew and building materials halfway across the Pacific, and the only reason it happens is because backdrops like these are hard to come by on the mainland. 

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Friday
Apr022010

tokyo: best german pub in the world

best german pub in the world

I just spent eight days in Berlin and I thought I’d share with you the best German pub I’ve ever been to.  It’s got great draught beer, good greasy pub food, the typical stale beer pub smell, a kitschy tile mural of a Bavarian family straight out of the 1930’s and it’s packed full of Japanese locals.

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Wednesday
Mar312010

china: hiking tiger leaping gorge

tiger leaping gorge, yunnan

Frame it just right, and Tiger Leaping Gorge is the deepest river canyon in the world, but don’t go bragging to the Grand Canyon defenders back in the US – bar fights have broken out over less.

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