Madain Saleh is the crown jewel of a Saudi Arabia that is trying to make its first inroads in mass tourism. It’s Petra’s sister city without the crowds.
Jeddah is Arabia’s cosmopolitan capital on the sea (This is the second of a three-part series on travels through Saudi Arabia.) JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia — The plane begins to fill and I wonder if this […]
Saudi Arabia is shining a light toward a bright future while trying darken its controversial past.
Abu Dhabi: World’s richest city per capita is more than just skyscrapers, opulence, shopping and tourists
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates — I don’t believe time machines will ever exist but I came the closest to experiencing one. I just traveled from one of the oldest cities in the world to […]
(Last of a four-part series on my three-week journey through Central Asia) TASHKENT, Uzbekistan — The Silk Road stretched from eastern China to what is now western Turkey, a 4,000-mile highway of transported goods that […]
(Third of a four-part series on my three-week trip through Central Asia.) ARTUCH, Tajikistan — The Artuch Mountaineering Camp sits in a deep bowl in the middle of postcard-perfect snow-capped mountains and a forest of […]
Almaty: Kazakhstan’s former capital a beacon of post-Soviet modernization — if only the government kept step
(Second of a four-part series on a three-week trip through Central Asia) ALMATY, Kazakhstan — I was sitting in what can only be described as an Arabic gazebo. My table sat under a pointed roof […]
Kyrgyzstan: The mountainous heart of the old Silk Road beating stronger for this old backpacking nomad
(This is the first of four blogs on last month’s three-week trip through Central Asia) KARAKOL, Kyrgyzstan — I’ve had a weird fascination with former communist countries ever since I went to Hungary and Yugoslavia […]
BEIRUT — The bar manager in the white suit hovered over our table by the sea. In between making Marina and I feel welcome, he directed his minions carrying buckets of white-hot coals for the […]
To truly travel, one must truly suffer. It’s a backpacker’s creed, one I’ve preached throughout an international travel career spanning 41 years and 100 countries. Break out of your comfort zone like it’s a prison […]
“When you travel alone it’s never crowded.” I left off the source of that great quote because it didn’t come from Mark Twain or Paul Theroux or any other great travel writer. It came from […]
I’m sitting on my bungalow’s terrace staring out at the Mekong River. Birds are singing. A lone motor boat slowly buzzes by, its motor more soothing than irritating. Even the lone crowing rooster doesn’t feel so annoying here. Across the water is a long string of palm trees, standing sentry to one of the most soothing corners of Southeast Asia. I’m on Don Det, one of the islands of Si Phan Don. That’s Lao for “4,000 Islands,” a name I didn’t doubt the moment my motor boat maneuvered around dozens of them to arrive here.
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