Articles written by: Dominick A. Merle

Dominick A. Merle

One of the original group of IFWTWA, Dominick A. Merle's articles have appeared in virtually every major newspaper in North America, as well as inflight magazines and international publications. He resides in Montreal, Canada.

Viking Idun on the Rhine
Chronological / Cruises / Destinations / Europe

Cruising—Through Sun & Snow

BUDAPEST—Cold-weather river cruising in Europe is fast becoming a hot ticket item, with many ships operating at full capacity because of the constantly changing weather patterns.. As our program director Mario Zamposteanu summed up: “You get the same boat, the same service, the same cabins, the same food, the same […]

Tennessee Moonshine “Still” Runs Deep
Chronological / Destinations / Tennessee / United States

Tennessee Moonshine “Still” Runs Deep

MOONSHINE, Tennessee. You won’t really find Moonshine on the map, but the wickedly potent brew “still” runs deep along the Smokies in East Tennessee. Legally, and otherwise. A number of licensed distilleries have sprung up in recent years, and just about everyone has either a wild uncle or curious nephew […]

Java — at 50 Bucks a Cup!
Asia / Chronological / Destinations

Java — at 50 Bucks a Cup!

Solo, Indonesia—I’ve been traveling to this country since the 1980s, have made a number of friends along the way, but—at the risk of sounding impersonal—it’s the amazing creatures I remember the most. This trip would be no exception, as I was introduced to a mongoose-like animal called the luwak, “producer” […]

Elk Soup, Anyone?
Asia / Chronological / Cruises / Destinations / Europe / Food

Eating Our Way Through the Baltics

By DOMINICK and SUSAN MERLE If that’s elk in my soup, this must be Estonia. One can get a bit disoriented on a cruise ship after charging down the gangplank each morning and entering another new port in another country. “Well, there’s an old saying that you are what you […]

Cop with Dalian skyline.
Asia / Destinations

China’s Secret Getaways

Generally speaking, New Yorkers don’t go to the Statue of Liberty, Romans avoid the Colosseum and Parisians wouldn’t be caught dead on the Eiffel Tower. Likewise, very few Beijingers  walk The Great Wall,  Shanghainese  don’t waltz all day on the Bund and Hong Kongers never shop till they drop. So […]

Author Dominick Merle giving alms.
Asia / Chronological / Destinations

Me and the Monks in Laos

LUANG PRABANG, Laos—It’s five o’clock in the morning and I’m kneeling on a street corner in northern Laos with a large bowl of sticky rice in my hands. No, I haven’t hit rock bottom or dropped out. Actually, I blend in perfectly, as there are a few thousand Laotians doing […]

Author surrounded by Chinese medics.
Asia / Chronological / Destinations

Beijing”s Medical Wonders

BEIJING. Time once again for my medical checkup, so I’m off to Beijing. On my last visit, I got the full head-to-toe package–something like a bumper-to-bumper car inspection–for about $150. But China’s been on an economic roll lately, so let’s see if I can match that terrific deal. EYES—Beginning with […]

Ols Mazatlan night scene.
Chronological / Destinations / Mexico

Melodies of Mazatlan

MAZATLAN, Mexico—There really is an upside to everything bad in travel, including a sudden run of the “terrible turistas” on a Mexican holiday. No, we’re not talking about a tourist invasion here, but plain and simply traveler’s diarrhea, aka Montezuma’s Revenge, the Gringo Gallop and the Aztec Two-Step.  (In Asia […]

Oosterdam anchored at Sitka.
Alaska / Chronological / Cruises

Cruise Tips They Don’t Talk About

By DOMINICK and SUSAN MERLE JUNEAU, Alaska—Here are a few cruise tips nobody wants to talk about: That part about the captain going down with his ship—pure hogwash. If you miss the boat and are left on pier, tough luck. Get a little too rambunctious and you’ll be thrown in […]

Jungle market--tame entrance but wild within.
Asia / Chronological / Destinations

Tsunamis & Boas

(Warning: This article contains graphic descriptions that may disturb some readers) SULAWESI, Indonesia—Shortly after dawn our snorkeling adventure in the Sulawesi Sea came to an abrupt end when a tsunami alert was sounded from the nearby Philippines. We speed-swam to shore, shed our goggles and fins on the beach, and […]