If you’re ever traveling Laos via land, consider taking the sleeper bus. I’m not vouching for the ride because it was awful. Dreadfully, dreadfully awful. It’s just an experience worth complaining about afterward. Read more
The Grand Mirage Resort & Thalasso Bali on the peninsula north of Nusa Dua looked like a stunning, all-inclusive resort. It was our first stop in Bali and the lobby, with its vista of a man-made waterfall falling into an empty courtyard, seemed to capture the tranquility of the island. Marissa and I had once stayed at an all-inclusive resort in Cancun and I flashed back to that romantic weekend, albeit my friend’s wedding. I was looking forward to recreating that romance in Bali. It was when we saw our room and the beach at the Grand Mirage Resort that I realized that the image of paradise was, in fact, a mirage. Read more
After meeting with the general manager in front of the Bali Nusa Dua Theatre, I had my doubts about the Devdan performance. Though I enjoyed the prologue, when the show spoofed the audience–Asian tourists–by having the Balinese actors enter a monkey forest, take photos of everything, flash peace signs for every pose, all while touring in business casual attire, my skepticism seemed confirmed when the comedy element left the stage.
It was the end of Ramadan–August 2012–when I visited the site of the Samabe Bali Resort and Villas in Nusa Dua, Bali. The workers were off on holiday. The roads were unfinished, the hedges were overgrown, and the buildings were exposed concrete blocks crowned with Balinese thatched roofs. But photographs in the brochure’s glossy pages revealed a stunning luxury villa community set to open in February 2013. Despite the contrasts in the image before me and the one in my hands, the mundane colors of construction were decimated by the calm turquoise waters and silhouettes of reef anchored into the blues.
The other week, I attended a travel event and someone in the audience asked the panel of travelers to recommend the best airlines in Southeast Asia. Specific airlines were not recommended, so I felt a review of six airlines servicing Southeast Asia was in order. Read more