Travel

An Irrawaddy dolphin swims in the Mekong river in Cambodia’s Kratie province on March 24, 2012. A proposed Cambodian commune’s festival aims to reflect the value of the animals while promoting conservation efforts – but its last one died two years ago.

Destinations known | Any point to new Cambodian dolphin festival? They’re dead already

A proposed Cambodian commune’s Irrawaddy dolphin festival aims to reflect the value of the animals while promoting conservation efforts – but its last one died two years ago.

11 Apr 2024 - 11:45AM
Mozambique is an unsung gem of African tourism. The Bazaruto Archipelago offers a chance to get up close to a wide range of marine life – including the elusive dugong (above) – without being too invasive. Photo: Getty Images

‘Best dive ever’: looking for dugongs in Mozambique’s pristine waters

Mozambique is an unsung gem of African tourism. The Bazaruto Archipelago offers a chance to get up close to spectacular marine life – including the elusive dugong – without being too invasive.

11 Apr 2024 - 10:59AM
A vendor at Phnom Penh’s Central Market. Built on a filled-in lake bed, the market opened to the public in 1937. Photo: Oliver Raw

Phnom Penh: the pros and cons of a visit to former Pearl of Asia

The Cambodian capital, Phnom Penh, has attractive old buildings, and some unfinished new ones, eye-catching snacks, but also a crime problem and harrowing reminders of Khmer Rouge genocide.

5 Apr 2024 - 12:45PM
The Marco Polo Bridge in west Beijing. Photo: Wang Zhao/AFP via Getty Images

Reflections | How Beijing’s Marco Polo Bridge shaped modern Chinese history

The collapse of Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge showed how vulnerable modern bridges can be. China’s Marco Polo Bridge has stood the test of time, and has been the scene of historically important events.

8 Apr 2024 - 3:06PM
Asif (21) and Arif (25) from Achoora village, Gurez Valley, harness the power of the internet to showcase and celebrate its untamed beauty. Photo: Umar Altaf

Internet, air links reach Kashmiri former Silk Road outpost. Tourists next?

In a far corner of Indian Kashmir bordering China and Central Asia, Gurez, once a stop on the Silk Road, has been reinventing itself since going online and gaining an air transport service, and is wooing tourists.

3 Apr 2024 - 7:10AM
Geeling Ching at Auckland’s Soul Bar & Bistro, where she is now operations manager. The actress, tour adviser and former flame of David Bowie gives travel tips for her native New Zealand. Photo: Deborah Cassrels

David Bowie China Girl video star’s New Zealand travel tip: go with the flow

Geeling Ching had a brief fling with David Bowie after shooting his ‘China Girl’ music video, but her advice for visitors to New Zealand is to take their time and adjust to its laid-back vibe.

31 Mar 2024 - 11:15AM
That there is still no standardised power socket is one of the mysteries of the modern world. China’s First Emperor was all about standardisation – he introduced the universal Chinese writing system that is still in use today. To resolve the issue, a multipronged approach is needed. Photo: Shutterstock

Reflections | Standard Chinese script unified China, yet we can’t make a universal plug?

Why power plugs and sockets are not standardised worldwide is anyone’s guess. China’s First Emperor was all about standardisation – he introduced the universal Chinese writing system used to this day.

31 Mar 2024 - 8:15AM
A railway line in Hanoi’s Old Quarter is a notoriously dangerous place for tourists, which is why authorities are taking measures to restrict their access. Elsewhere, cities and countries tax tourists or charge entry fees to manage visitor flows and encourage more environment-friendly travel. Photo: Shutterstock

How travel hotspots from Hanoi to Barcelona are curbing crowds

To curb overtourism and foster more environmentally friendly travel, destinations from Venice to Kyoto are taxing visitors or restricting access. We look at tourism control measures around the world.

30 Mar 2024 - 4:15PM
Sydney Harbour seen from a flight newly taken off from Sydney for Los Angeles. Rising airfares, the carbon cost of long-haul travel and the prospect of fewer flights and even higher fares are headwinds for the travel industry in Australia and New Zealand. Photo: Shutterstock

Destinations known | Australasia loses appeal as a business travel destination. And for tourists?

Companies wary of blowing carbon targets if they send delegates down under, passengers paying for sustainable airline fuel, a lack of which could further reduce capacity – Antipodeans should be worried.

28 Mar 2024 - 7:47PM
Some of the finest art in the world is above our heads, so next time you are in the lavish Apollo Gallery at The Louvre in Paris (above), do look up. The same goes for other dazzling examples of ceiling art around the world we’ve picked out. Photo: Ronan O’Connell

From The Louvre to New York, 10 places to see dazzling ceiling art

Yes, there’s the Sistine Chapel at The Vatican, but there’s more dazzling ceiling art to admire elsewhere, from Edinburgh to Kathmandu, in churches, a temple, a monastery, a mosque, a mansion and a museum.

24 Mar 2024 - 6:15PM
Detail from Fernando Botero’s sculpture Woman With Fruit (1996) at The Dolder Grand hotel in Zurich, Switzerland.

Destinations known | 5-star hotels with the best art collections – think Dali, Botero, Murakami

Luxury hotels vie to stand out from the pack through their art collections and programmes. Experts rate properties in Beijing, Hong Kong and Japan, but seem to agree two hotels are a cut above the rest.

21 Mar 2024 - 3:10PM
A statue on display in the Galleria dell’Accademia, Florence, Italy, home to Michelangelo’s David. Photo: Getty Images

Things to see in Florence: Uffizi Gallery, Michelangelo, Ferragamo’s shoes

Come for the fashion, stay for the art: a visit to Florence to attend the Pitti Uomo menswear shows is an opportunity to see the best of the Italian Renaissance city, including Michelangelo’s David.

17 Mar 2024 - 5:15PM
A woman poolside at Ku De Ta, Bali. Photo: Instagram/@kudetabali

Beach clubs in Bali: from ‘a little slice of heaven’ to big business

Bali has taken from Ibiza, Spain, the title of beach-club capital of the world. However, the Indonesian holiday island is not the only place in Southeast Asia with a thriving beach-club scene.

11 Mar 2024 - 3:43PM
A section of the Karakoram Highway in the Passu Valley with views of the Hunza River and Karakoram mountain range. A trip along the 1,300km-long road is a feast for the eyes, but there are some downsides. Photo: Getty Images

Pakistan’s Karakoram Highway: an unforgettable road trip with downsides

A road trip along Pakistan’s 1,300km-long Karakoram Highway promises mind-bending mountain scenery and warm hospitality. But there’s instability here, and not just of the kind that leads to falling rocks.

16 Mar 2024 - 9:02AM
Viana do Castelo in Portugal, one of the world’s 10 most welcoming cities, according to Booking.com. Photo: Shutterstock

Destinations known | World’s 10 most welcoming cities? How does Booking.com know?

The 10 most welcoming cities on Earth, according to Booking.com, include places from India to France, most of which you, like Destinations Known, have probably never been to.

8 Mar 2024 - 3:17PM
Ty Cake shop owner Shuying Gao feeds a lai see envelope to a lion heralding the Year of the Dragon in Belleville, Paris, France, in February 2024. The bustling Belleville Chinatown has long been a multilingual, cosmopolitan melting pot  Photo: John Brunton

How Paris’ ‘Chinese Chinatown’, Belleville, has much to offer tourists

Paris has one Chinatown, but another is fast rising in bustling Belleville. As the city gears up to host the 2024 Olympics, visitors should consider including the neighbourhood in their itineraries.

5 Mar 2024 - 11:33AM
A drawing in a coffee shop inside a hotel on Kuta’s Legian Street reminds tourists to respect Nyepi, Bali’s Hindu Day of Silence. Photo: Getty Images

The sound of silence: Nyepi Day, when Bali comes to a standstill for 24 hours

Nyepi Day, the Balinese New Year – falling on March 11 in 2024 – will see 24 hours of silence, restaurants and public transport shut down, and nobody leaving their homes. It’s Bali at its most peaceful.

6 Mar 2024 - 6:26PM
The bungalows at SAii Phi Phi Island Village Resort are designed after the traditional houses of fishermen in Southern Thailand. The resort places strong emphasis on marine conservation and played a part in the revival of Maya Bay. Photo: SAii Phi Phi Island Village Resort

Marine conservation at secluded Thai resort on Phi Phi island sets it apart

Guests who stay at SAii Phi Phi Island Village, on Thailand’s Phi Phi Don island, can be reassured bamboo sharks and clownfish are among the species benefiting from their custom.

1 Mar 2024 - 7:57PM
A holiday spot for celebrities from Taylor Swift to Tom Cruise to Britain’s Prince William and Kate Middleton, the Maldives has plenty to love about it - though Indians might presently disagree. Photo: Shutterstock

The good, the bad and the ugly of the Maldives, famed celebrity holiday spot

A holiday spot for celebrities from Taylor Swift to Tom Cruise to Britain’s Prince William and Kate Middleton, the Maldives has plenty to love about it – though Indians might presently disagree.

25 Feb 2024 - 3:15PM
The Kilometer O Indonesia monument on Pulau Weh marks the beginning of the archipelago, Banda Aceh, Indonesia, 2023. Photo:  Chan Kit Yeng)

Aceh, Indonesia’s strict Muslim province, 20 years after Boxing Day tsunami

Aceh offers visitors encounters with orangutans without the crowds, great coffee and now even ATMs to draw cash from, two decades after devastation visited Indonesia’s strict Islamic province.

23 Feb 2024 - 7:44PM