Asia

A  Table Rendezvous with Italy’s Chef Ottavio Bellesi on the Golden Princess 
Asia / Australia / California / Chefs of Distinction / Chronological / Cruises / Destinations / Food / United States

A  Table Rendezvous with Italy’s Chef Ottavio Bellesi on the Golden Princess 

Dining at a Chef’s Table should always be a titillating treat of tantalizing tastes. Traditionally, a Chef’s Table is located in the kitchen – where the guests can watch, and “ooh” and “ahh” as the Chef and his/her team work their culinary magic. That was not how it was at […]

Panda Bear Keeper for a Day in Chengdu, China
Asia / Chronological / Destinations

Panda Bear Keeper for a Day in Chengdu, China

Panda Bear keeper for a day in Chengdu China. As we were driving to the Chengdu Research Base for Giant Panda Breeding, north of the city of Chengdu, I noticed there were four lights rather than the usual three — red, yellow and green. The fourth light was a bicycle […]

In Pursuit of Grasshoppers, Spices and Malbec
Asia / Central & South America / Chronological / Destinations / Food / Mexico / Wines & Spirits

In Pursuit of Grasshoppers, Spices and Malbec

“Try tasty deep-fried grasshoppers,” calls out Niza Lopez of Oaxaca Tourism to onlookers as they walk by the Mexico Tourism Pavilion at the 8th World Culinary Travel Expo at EAT! Vancouver Festival. Tasty it is, crunchy and toasty, wings, legs, head and all – splashed with some chili-lime seasoning. The […]

The recently opened Astana Opera House in Kazakhstan
Asia / Chronological / Destinations

Astana: Whipping Up a Storm

This is the story of how Stalin lost his nose and why kyz kuu, a lovers’ kissing game, is so popular on the steppe of central Asia. But first I want to tell you about Astana, the capital city of Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan, independent since 1991, and squeezed between those other […]

Cruising on the Mekong Explorer
Asia / Cruises

Cruising on the Mekong Explorer

Like many Americans, when I hear the word “Mekong” I get an image that comes from movies dealing with the Vietnam War. For me those images are banished forever. After my 8-day cruise on the Mekong Explorer I now know the Mekong River between Vientiane, the capital of Lao, and […]

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” […]

Sri Lanka: A Gem with Many Facets
Asia / Chronological / Destinations

Sri Lanka: A Gem with Many Facets

After years of civil war, peace has arrived in Sri Lanka and so have the tourists. Why? Because, Sri Lanka is home to eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites, an array of beaches and exotic animals — plus it’s affordable and the English-speaking people are friendly. All of this is packed […]

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 […]

Visiting Myanmar’s Capital is No Longer Restricted
Asia / Chronological / Destinations

Visiting Myanmar’s Capital is No Longer Restricted

My husband and I have visited Myanmar six times. We have been to Yangon, Bagan, Mandalay, Lake Inle, Kalaw and Maurk U; each year we ended with at Amazing Resort in Ngapali Beach. I had read and heard about the new Myanmar capital of Nay Pyi Taw where construction started […]

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 […]