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Underestimating San Francisco (and what lies beyond)

Underestimating San Francisco (and what lies beyond)

San Francisco is much more than a travel destination for someone who grew up in the 1960s as I did. Unfortunately I only realized that when I was on board the plane that was taking me there and reading one of those “Top Ten” city guides that I’d picked up at the airport. San Francisco was once the “City of Love” and thousands of young people (aka hippies) descended on the city quite determined to change … Read entire article »

Filed under: Great cities, Memorable moments, Travel itinerary, United States

May I introduce Tom Harrisson, the barefoot anthropologist of Borneo

May I introduce Tom Harrisson, the barefoot anthropologist of Borneo

Tom Harrisson (1911-1976) had many labels and amateur anthropologist was one of them. He was bigger than life, so it was said, and one who never failed at anything. He wrote a best-selling book about living among cannibals in the South Pacific at the age of 26. When the British were looking for someone to drop behind enemy lines in the remote jungles of Borneo where the ‘wild men’ lived, they chose Harrisson to lead … Read entire article »

Filed under: Cultural travel, Malaysia, May I introduce, Travel itinerary

Photo gallery of Sarawak, Borneo

Filed under: Photo galleries of great trips

Getting to know Sarawak, Borneo

Getting to know Sarawak, Borneo

Borneo, the third largest island in the world, belongs to three countries, Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei. It is a fascinating destination and home to one of the oldest rainforests with some of the most diverse flora in the world. It is one of only two remaining natural habitats for the orangutan. The island has a large indigenous population and each tribe has its own distinct language and culture. The Penan, for instance, are nomadic people who … Read entire article »

Filed under: Cultural travel, Malaysia, Travel itinerary

Photo gallery of Chelsea Flower Show

Filed under: Photo galleries of great trips

RHS Chelsea Flower Show, London, England

RHS Chelsea Flower Show, London, England

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Chelsea Flower Show has been held on the grounds of the Chelsea Hospital in London, England every year since 1913. It is a prestigious affair, attended by the British Royal family, and considered to be the most influential flower show on earth. The Show turns 100 in 2013 and organizers say the centenary celebration will be a ‘spectacle’. The Show historically includes international as well as British nursery exhibits and model gardens. … Read entire article »

Filed under: England, Gardens of the world, Travel itinerary

Road trip south along US Route 66

Road trip south along US Route 66

Route 66 is sometimes called The Mother Road. It was the trail that migrants from the eastern United States used when they left their homes to start a new life in the west. Lyrics, movies and books have made the highway famous. The Route starts in Chicago and ends in Los Angeles. Although it has been replaced by Interstate Highways, portions of it have been designated “Historic Route 66”. We’re snowbirds, which is what we call … Read entire article »

Filed under: Road trips, Travel itinerary, United States

Photo gallery of Guanajuato and San Miguel, Mexico

Filed under: Photo galleries of great trips

Guanajuato: In the shadow of San Miguel?

Guanajuato: In the shadow of San Miguel?

If visitors to Mexico were asked to name the best known colonial silver city, it is likely they would choose San Miguel de Allende.  If asked to describe San Miguel, they probably would use words such as picturesque, appealing and friendly.  They also may mention that the town attracts ‘artistic’ tourists, many of whom attend classes in painting, ceramics or language studies and who sometimes are so smitten by its charms that they decide to … Read entire article »

Filed under: Cultural travel, Mexico, Places you can stay a while, Travel itinerary

The orangutans of Borneo

The orangutans of Borneo

When I visited the Semenggoh Wildlife Centre in Borneo earlier this year I was lucky to see several orangutans for there is no guarantee that they will show up, even if their feeding platforms are overflowing with food. There are only two places in the world where orangutans are found, one is Borneo and the other Sumatra, Indonesia. It is estimated that there are between 12,500 and 20,000 orangutans in Borneo . The word orangutan comes from the Malay … Read entire article »

Filed under: Malaysia, Memorable moments, Travel itinerary, Wildlife

Should tourism be more real?

Should tourism be more real?

Editorial: Does tourism ignore a destination’s history, particularly if that history is disturbing? Yes, says Jan Morris, the highly acclaimed travel writer. “Tourism,” she says in an interview with The Paris Review, “encourages unreality. It’s easier in the tourist context to be unreal than real. Tourism encourages and abets this sham-ness wherever it touches. I detest it.” Forcefully expressed perhaps, but when thousands of people took to the streets across China to protest Japan’s claim over disputed … Read entire article »

Filed under: Editorials