Seoul Searching for Gangnam Sytle
Asia / Chronological / Destinations / Food

Seoul Searching for Gangnam Sytle

So here I am in the middle of Gangnam. The Seoul centre of the global rap phenomenon, Gangnam Style. Everybody’s doing it, this crazy horse-riding dance that went viral after being posted on YouTube. Open a newspaper and the chances are you’ll see photographs of sports stars, British royalty, robots […]

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 […]

A rinse by Ayasofya Hamami
Asia / Destinations / Europe / Hotels & Resorts

On Being Pampered at the Bath of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent in Istanbul, Turkey

In the year 1556, the wife of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent ordered a royal bath to be constructed over the ruins of an earlier public bath that had been destroyed in 532 AD. The new bath came to be called the Ayasofya Hurrem Sultan Hamam because of its close proximity […]

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 […]

7 Hot Culinary Travel Destinations for 2013
Asia / Central & South America / Chronological / Destinations / Europe

7 Hot Culinary Travel Destinations for 2013

Culinary travel is the next big thing, from cooking classes in Tuscany to street-food tours in Istanbul. So where will you plan your next foodie adventure? Whether you prefer chasing Michelin stars or channeling your inner Andrew Zimmern, these global destinations will wow your taste buds. Here are the top […]

Toda-ji Temple, Nara, Japan
Asia / Chronological / Destinations / Island Nation

Kyoto’s Temples: Japan’s Cultural Icons

Perhaps one of the best ways to experience Japan’s tradition-rich culture is by visiting some of its numerous historic religious temples and shrines.  The old imperial capital of Kyoto has some of the nation’s oldest and best-preserved examples of this unique Asian architecture. Located in the south-central area of  Honshu […]

Self-Applied Mud Treatment at the Dead Sea
Asia / Chronological / Destinations / Middle East

Alive in the Dead Sea

No splashing. That’s the first rule when you immerse yourself in Dead Sea. Even a tiny drop in your eyes or mouth burns fiercely. I wasn’t worried; it was January and I’m a Floridian. Call me wimpy, but I don’t swim outside when the temperature hovers around 40 degrees. Nonetheless, […]

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 […]

Just imagine soaking away your troubles with a view like that
Asia / Destinations

Hot Springing Remedies: Japanese Style

In some cultures floating around naked with strangers would land you in hot water. In Japan it quite literally does, but this is not a story about exploits in a far- flung destination. Even if your visit is fleeting, a layover from Narita Airport (approximately 1 hour from Tokyo) ensures […]

Author (front right) on sampon.
Asia / Chronological / Destinations

Inside The Heart Of China

HUBEI, China—What’s this! Brand-spanking-new escalators running up and down a mountain—with floor stops, no less! And on the other side—buck naked men pulling boats by ropes through shallow streams. There’s nothing wrong with that picture. This is simply China today, where the future and the past often meet in the […]