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September 2013

HONG KONG – I never cease to feel a sense of wonder when I get to this city. The airport gleams upon arrival, and it always seems to be a seamless, quick trip through customs, with nary a question to be asked. North American flights often arrive early in the morning, and you’ll probably see the mountains or hills of Lantau Island rising in the mist as you make your way into town by car or on the cheap (about $12) Metro express train. You then pass thousands upon thousands of red, green and blue shipping containers that line the ... continue reading →

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I was travel editor for five years at the Star. I’ve been travelling the world (on and off) for 25 years or so. But I still can’t figure out why Asian airlines are able to do things North American airlines can’t. Or won’t. There’s just something about the service you get when you fly an airline like Cathay Pacific that you won’t find on American or Delta, and probably not WestJet or Air Canada. It’s little things, I think, such as nicer bathrooms and hand lotion even in economy washrooms. Not to mention a TV screen that showed passengers what ... continue reading →

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FLAGLER BEACH, FLORIDA – The weather didn’t cooperate so much, but I found a great spot in Florida this past weekend. Flagler Beach is only a half hour or so north of Daytona, home to roaring race cars and motorcycles. But it’s honestly a world away. Where Daytona and other Florida cities have high-rises lining the beach, Flagler has a law that forbids buildings on the beach. Instead, almost all the buildings (one or two stragglers got in but that’s it) are across the small, two-lane highway, A1A. It makes for a marvellous drive up from Daytona, with nothing between ... continue reading →

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DAYTONA BEACH – I hadn’t heard a lot about this part of Florida prior to my trip. I knew the usual clichés, of course; the driving on the beach, the bikers, the Daytona (duh) 500 car race. None of it got me all jazzed up, to be honest. But prior to this trip for Star Travel I read about some cool spots to enjoy nature. And I knew I’d love the beach and the small amusement park. Some folks turn up their noses but I’ve always taken delight in downscale, casual places that sell cotton candy and corn dogs and ... continue reading →

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We don’t hear a lot about Como Hotels hear in North America. But that could change. Soon. There are nine hotels currently in the portfolio and three more are planned, including on at 24th and Collins in Miami Beach; close to the South Beach insanity but far enough away at the same time. The group was started by a woman from Singapore who had stayed in many hotels in London but didn’t find one to her liking. The emphasis is on stylish design and service, but they don’t aim to be a youthful, exuberant place. “It’s for people who have ... continue reading →

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