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Asia Travel

ON BOARD CATHAY PACIFIC – I slept like a rock on a flat bed. I had outstanding service. And I stuffed myself silly. I had the chance to fly business class on Cathay Pacific on my recent flight home from Hong Kong to Toronto, for which I was hugely thankful. It’s not something I get to do all the time. For the most part, I’m in coach or economy like everyone else. But the upgrades occur occasionally, which is a huge perk of this job. There were the usual hot towels when we got on board, and I think they ... continue reading →

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KOH SAMUI, THAILAND – What a great day. My first full day on this lovely island was actually spent almost entirely elsewhere; snorkelling up near Koh Phangan. We got hooked up with a tour that took us on a day-long excursion with really friendly and helpful guides and plenty of pop and water on board. It was about an hour to reach the snorkelling spot, a quiet kind of bay between two rocky islets off the coast of Koh Phangan, which is just north of Koh Samui and where they have those wild “Full Moon” parties each month. It wasn’t ... continue reading →

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AT THE FOUR SEASONS TENTED CAMP GOLDEN TRIANGLE, THAILAND – The service was exquisite. My tent was awesome. The trip to the Mekong River was fascinating. The water buffalo placenta at the nearby market was memorable. And the spa and the food and the setting were spectacular. But I’d be lying if I said the highlight of my one and-a-half day stay here wasn’t riding an elephant. As part of the experience, guests at the Four Seasons (voted best hotel in Asia recently by Conde Nast readers) are invited to try a two-hour mahout training exercise; learning a few basic ... continue reading →

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CHIANG MAI – Bustling but still spiritual. As a fairly seasoned traveler I should’ve known a popular city such as Chiang Mai would be a big place. Somehow I had envisioned a big village or small city, perhaps on a hill, with a series of winding alleys and small food carts. Instead, I found a busy city of some 1.5 million people with large hotels and scattered high-rise towers and wildly coloured tuk tuks and red and white and yellow pickup trucks with covered backs for passengers to ride in and endless shops and markets. Still, there are some quiet ... continue reading →

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SINGAPORE – Funny thing about travel. Some places you build up and build up in your mind, and then when you go you feel like Norm walking into Cheers and finding the taps have run dry. Other times, you’re not quite sure what to expect and end up getting bowled over by a place. The latter was how I felt about my recent trip to Singapore. I knew it was a small state with new, tall buildings and a Formula One race and the Raffles Hotel (home of the Singapore Sling). I knew you can’t chew gum and that there ... continue reading →

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