Archive for ‘Asia’

Bangkok: After 30-year absence, tastes remain the same in Sodom & Gomorrah East

Welcome to the land that morality forget. Bangkok is where visions are blurred, not only through the haze of too many Singha beers but the vast tolerance of a Buddhist culture and tourist industry run amok. It’s where a he is a she and a she can do things I didn’t learn on the streets of Eugene, Ore. When I started traveling in 1978, Bangkok became my gateway to the extremes of Asia travel. It guided me through an education that hardened me on my way to visit 100 countries.
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The City of Dreams Manila is helping elevate Filipino food to a new audience

… since the opening of the City of Dreams in December 2014 by the famous Melco Crown Group, authentic and contemporary Filipino food has been given a new platform whereby international travelers will be able to sample the best Filipino dishes in the five-star casino resort.
The casino and resort is a multi-purpose site, which has gained worldwide acclaim for its variety of live entertainment, huge gaming floors that even include and the aforementioned slew of popular high-end Filipino restaurants. The City of Dreams is also full of retail shops and purpose built concert halls.
But, for us foodies, it’s the restaurants that prick our ears.
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Kerala’s Backwaters a 900-kilometer labyrinth through quiet India

This was the reason I came to South Asia. They are called the Backwaters. They are a 900-kilometer maze of canals that meander through a thick forest of palm trees. Glassy-smooth lakes flow into rivers that flow into canals so narrow you can touch both sides of the shore. With the lime green palm trees against a turquoise sky, it looks like you combined French Polynesia with Venice and kept out all the tourists.

But you kept the gondolas.

I met my boat captain at 6:30 a.m. I never understood his name but he was a tall, lean man with a gray moustache and gray hair he brushed back atop a long face. He curiously wore a white dress shirt over a black print sarong the Indian men wear tied up like long, baggy shorts.
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There’s starving in India? Indian cooking class produces a feast fit for a village

I’ve taken cooking classes in Malaysia and Italy but the class put on here by my Kerala Bamboo House is a truly gluttonous affair. Ever since I filled out the menu request the day before, I almost fasted. Hey, again, when in India …
Seriously, the menu I filled out included: starter, Indian bread, vegetarian dish, non-vegetarian dish, rice dish, dessert. The guesthouse has a recipe book the size of a Denny’s menu. Many of the dishes’ names sounded like something you’d chant during meditation.
But I fearlessly dove in due to one inescapable fact: Indian food is fabulous.
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Hike through Lipton’s tea plantation a cool climb into another cool culture

Sir Thomas Lipton, the Scottish tea baron who founded the most popular tea in the English-speaking world, owned this land from about 1890-1930. It covers some 2,500 acres, stretching up to over 5,500 feet into the clouds. Today, tea contributes $700 million into the Sri Lankan economy, the fourth largest producer in the world. Tea plantations cover 727 square miles, about 4 percent of Sri Lanka’s landmass.

The landmass I’m on is an absolute mountain, a green, undulating garden of tea. It also has some of the most breathtaking views in Sri Lanka. Inspired by Haputale’s cooler temperatures, not to mention my sloth-like existence through my first week on the beach, I needed to hike. I need to sweat somewhere besides an Internet cafe.
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