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Gallery: Bangkok

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In Beijing encounters, a wayward soul stumbles toward self-discovery

In Beijing encounters, a wayward soul stumbles toward self-discovery

I like to watch the beautiful women of Beijing spit on the street. My journey to get to the capital of China was arduous. I got an hour of sleep on the plane. My first 24 hours here came without closing my eyes. That first evening, a friend insisted on giving me a long walking tour of the city. Over the next few days, I visited the Forbidden City and Summer Palace, and they were awe-inspiring, like...

Disney: Pandora Utility Suit coming to Animal Kingdom

Disney’s Animal Kingdom is introducing a 10-foot-tall way to get into the details of its World of Avatar. The Pandora Utility Suit, a mechanical apparatus guided by a human pilot, will debut at the theme park on April 22.  The new brand of street entertainment will inform guests about Pandora’s flora — bioluminescent and otherwise. A video released by Disney shows a man carefully...
Retiring travel editor names his top 10 trips

Retiring travel editor names his top 10 trips

Over my 20-year career writing travel stories for The Seattle Times, a question I’ve fielded (happily, I should say) when meeting someone for the first time was almost as predictable as the number of pretzels I got flying Coach: What’s been my favorite trip? I usually fudged. Prettiest place? Nicest people? Most fun? Educational? How does one judge? What I’ve learned through travel...

In Bangkok, an intimate hotel with an inky past

1 Lan Luang Road; bpresidence.com   Double rooms from 4,800 baht (about $154).  Stop the presses. The fading glories of books and printing receive a retro-chic resurrection at Bangkok Publishing Residence, an intimate eight-room hotel that opened last year in the former offices of Bangkok Weekly magazine. The atriumlike four-story structure features throwback factory architecture &mdash...
Three people killed by Brightline trains had drugs in system

Three people killed by Brightline trains had drugs in system

All three of the pedestrians who were accidentally struck and killed by Brightline trains in Palm Beach County had drugs in their system at the time they were hit, toxicology reports filed with the medical examiner’s office show. Since Brightline began testing along the Florida East Coast Railway tracks last year, five people have been killed by the company’s trains in Palm Beach...

Beautiful, complicated Bogotá: A traveler’s starter kit

“So, where are you going in Colombia?” someone, usually Colombian, would ask me with anticipation. “Medellín? Cartagena?”  “No, Bogotá.”   “Just Bogotá?”   “Just Bogotá.”   “Are you sure? Can you change that?”   One Bogotá resident even used an expression...

Wyndham Hotel Group unites brands under one name

Wyndham Hotel Group is bringing its economy and midscale brands together with one of the largest name changes in the history of the hospitality industry, the company announced this week.  At least a dozen brands will add the "by Wyndham" suffix to their names in a move aimed at uniting hoteliers under a common mission and improving brand awareness.   The 12 brands receiving...

Alaska Airlines shrinks its permitted carry-on bag size

Passengers traveling with Alaska Airlines should make the most of the carrier's generous carry-on luggage size. Throw in that extra Scandinavian crime novel while you can, because soon travelers will have to edit their packing list and might even need to purchase new luggage.  Starting on June 4, the airline will reduce the carry-on size limit to 22-by-14-by-9 inches - a 2-by-3-by-1-inch trim...
Finding the aloha spirit in three Hawaiian Islands

Finding the aloha spirit in three Hawaiian Islands

The Hawaiian Islands hold a special, almost mystical, appeal for many mainland Americans and Asian visitors, myself included. Recently I traveled to Oahu, the Big Island and Kauai to see which island I liked best, and to discover new places to stay and activities not to be missed. I began my odyssey in Oahu, the most well-known and populous island. Using the centrally located Laylow Waikiki hotel...

Doing good, deliciously: Sustainable dining in Amsterdam

The Dutch, packed into a small country that lies mostly below sea level, are known for their experimentation and ingenuity. For a long time, that was not necessarily reflected in the traditional culinary offerings, which have relied on comfort foods such as bitterballen bar snacks, sweet or savory pancakes, and raw herring. For sure, you should indulge in those specialties, as well as try an Indonesian...
Norwegian Cruise Line approved to build new terminal at Miami port

Norwegian Cruise Line approved to build new terminal at Miami port

MIAMI — A sleek new terminal proposed by Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings at PortMiami has officially gotten the green light to begin construction. The Miami-based cruise company and Miami-Dade County reached an agreement for the terminal, settling on a location east of the existing Terminals B and C. That puts the new Norwegian terminal just west of Terminal A, where Royal Caribbean Cruises is...

What Joy Bryant can’t travel without

Actor Joy Bryant, originally from New York, now lives in Los Angeles, where she filmed the television series “Parenthood” for six years. Her next role is a public defender in the fourth season of “Ballers,” which will have its premiere on HBO in August.  Bryant’s favorite vacation spots are Jamaica and Kauai. “I love island life, man!” she said. &ldquo...

Fly now, pay later: Are travel loans a good deal?

Dreaming of a spring getaway with white-sand beaches and a cool drink in your hand?  A search for airline tickets can bring your dream down to earth, if the steep fares charged by many airlines outstrip your savings.   What if you could book your trip today and pay for it later — without maxing out your credit cards?   Major airlines including American Airlines, JetBlue...

Priceline discontinues Name Your Own Price for rental-car bookings

For many budget travel shoppers, Priceline's Name Your Own Price tool held the same promise - and heartbreak - as gambling. Choosing the right number for a rental car triggered an adrenaline rush equal to watching the roulette wheel land on your bet. Of course, learning that no company accepted your bid hurt. Adding to the insult: Having to incrementally increase the price for, say, a Ford Focus. ...

A Nashville spot serving bar food that is anything but standard

Wood-roasted rabbit sliders. Chesapeake Bay oysters. Osetra caviar. This is not your typical bar food.  Black Rabbit, which opened in November in downtown Nashville, Tennessee, is the latest brainchild of the local chef Trey Cioccia. He and his business partner Robert Compton fell in love with an 1890s brick building near Printers Alley, the hub that buzzed with night life many decades ago. They...

Souvenirs 101

“Nobody sits us down and tells us to collect objects when we’re young,” Rolf Potts writes, “it’s just something we do, as a way of familiarizing ourselves with the world, its possibilities, and our place in it.”  Few of us would call ourselves collectors, but most travelers have, at some point or other, bought a key chain, pocketed a seashell, or saved a ticket...

In Windsor, England, a look at Harry and Meghan's (relatively) low-key wedding site

St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle is about the most down-home place for a British royal wedding that American Meghan Markle could have hoped for. Compared with the spectacular public wedding of Prince Harry's parents at St. Paul's Cathedral, and big brother Prince William's to Catherine Middleton at Westminster Abbey, the May 19 wedding there promises to be intimate - well, intimate for royalty...

Forget spritzes, shopping and fancy hotels. The best part of Lake Como is being on it.

'Mom! Do you have the permit?? WHERE IS THE PERMIT???" I yelled above the engine of our custom Cantiere Ernesto Riva motorboat while zooming along Italy's Lake Como.  My heart was beating fast and my hands were shaking on the steering wheel. I had just gotten comfortable in my captain's perch, and was trying to adjust to the throttle and watch where I was going despite the wind whipping...

Learn how to take better photos, ‘time travel’ in Europe and more

Visionary Wild is a company that offers travel experiences to photographers looking to move their work to a higher level. It holds workshops led by professional photographers in picturesque locations around the world. A workshop set for Nov. 5-9 offers a chance to blend photography and wine with the Autumn Color in Wine Country workshop, based in California’s Napa Valley. This workshop combines...

Travel deals: Southwest nonstop airfare sale and $500 off Cuba packages

This week's best travel bargains around the globe.  - More than 40 Hilton hotels in New York City and New Jersey are offering half-off rates for Sunday stays, plus other perks. For example, at the Millennium Hilton New York Downtown, pay $564 for a Friday and Saturday night stay in May and $144 for Sunday. Add $115 in taxes per night. The deal also includes a$15 taxi credit through Curb, a taxi...

If the Boston Marathon is too easy for you, try these crazy runs

For runners, one of the most storied-and feared-stretches is Heartbreak Hill, 20 miles into the Boston Marathon. The 90-foot elevation gain over one-third of a mile would be a painful climb in any marathon, but here it's compounded because it occurs at the distance where many runners hit the proverbial wall.  Last April, Erik Rasmussen, a 42-year old trail seeker, runner, and triathlete, finished...

Travelers have plenty of reservations about hotels

Of all the hotel annoyances, the one that bothers Louise Sattler the most is the smells.  "Scents," she says, "and smoking in hotel rooms."   Sattler, a psychologist from Los Angeles, is one in a billion. That's about the number of annual guest nights in the American hotel industry. And for every guest, there is at least one pet peeve - and often many.  ...
Chill out or be chilled in St. Augustine after dark

Chill out or be chilled in St. Augustine after dark

Hair standing up on the back of the neck? Check. Chill running down spine? Check. No one standing behind you? Double check. St. Augustine visitors traditionally pack the pedestrian-friendly streets of downtown during the day, soaking up historic landmarks amid art galleries, restaurants and shops galore. But while there’s plenty to do in the daylight, the nation’s oldest city has a sleepy...

Five ways to get some culture on your next cruise

Culture lovers don’t always think of cruising when planning a vacation, according to Doug Prothero, the managing director of the Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection.  “Cruises are stereotyped as getaways with lots of eating and drinking and little culture in sight,” he said.   While that may be true for some cruises, Prothero said it’s not the case all-around, and...
Paradise takes many forms on this Indonesian archipelago

Paradise takes many forms on this Indonesian archipelago

WAIGEO ISLAND, Indonesia — When I enter the rainforest of Indonesia’s Waigeo Island, the first thing I notice is the equatorial air. It’s so thick, I feel as if I’m walking through a cloud. The next thing that hits me is the deafening hum of cicadas. They drown out the noise of my feet crunching leaves as I step ever closer to my destination: a tiny thatched-roof hut in a muddy...

Affordable, Springtime New England Getaways

If peak summer prices at hotels along the coast of New England are cost prohibitive, travelers may want to explore shoulder season deals in April and May. From Nantucket and Cape Cod in Massachusetts to Newport, Rhode Island, substantial savings are available alongside cooler temperatures and peaceful beaches.  At the Nantucket Hotel and Resort, rooms are available in April and May starting at...

Will U.S. Withdrawal from UNESCO Affect Heritage Sites?

Last fall the Trump administration announced it would withdraw from UNESCO, the cultural organization of the United Nations that is known to travelers for its list of World Heritage sites.  The withdrawal is scheduled to go into effect at the end of 2018. There are 23 World Heritage sites in the United States, including Grand Canyon National Park, Independence Hall, Yellowstone National Park...
In Jerusalem's crush, is there room for peace?

In Jerusalem's crush, is there room for peace?

I'm in Christendom's epicenter, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem's Old City, and I'm waiting to feel the holiness.  The last five stations on Jesus' final journey surround me - including the crucifixion hill at Calvary, the anointing stone and his empty tomb, all encased in the giant domed church originally conceived by Saint Helena in the 4th century - but I'm crushed by people...
New Bahamas cruise ship sets sail today from Port of Palm Beach

New Bahamas cruise ship sets sail today from Port of Palm Beach

A second cruise ship will begin sailing from the Port of Palm Beach today, an addition Palm Beach County tourism officials estimate could bring more than 250,000 passengers a year to the area. The 1,680-passenger Grand Classica joins its sister ship Grand Celebration at the port in Riviera Beach, with the pair offering daily cruises to Freeport, Bahamas. The ships are operated by Bahamas Paradise...

Alaskan illuminations: I went in winter to see northern lights. In the daytime, I saw much more.

Where were they?  The hour was closer to midnight than noon, and the sky above the small Alaskan town of Talkeetna was as black as a bear's button nose. Several stars twinkled their encouragement. Before stepping out in the minus-numbing-degree air, I had checked the Aurora Forecast. The rating was a 5, which the Geophysical Institute described as meaning "Auroral activity will be high."...
How to catch the lowest possible airfares

How to catch the lowest possible airfares

Let’s get one thing clear from the start: airfares are volatile. While it’s true that flying on a Tuesday or Wednesday is cheaper than on a Friday or Sunday, there is no magic time of day, day of week or month of year to book a low airfare. Airfares can change in a heartbeat, high one minute and low the next, and the trick is to buy when a fare on your route becomes a bargain. Fare drop...

Talk Travel: Is Turo - the 'Airbnb for rental cars' - a good bet?

The Washington Post's Travel section writers and editors recently discussed stories, questions, gripes and more. Here are edited excerpts:  Q: What's your take on Turo, the so-called Airbnb for rental cars? What happens if the car breaks down?   A: I have used Turo a few times and texted the owners with all of my questions. They responded pretty quickly, though my needs weren't very...

A family adventure in the wild heart of Tanzania

Few wildlife parks in Africa allow you to drift lazily along a calm stretch of water like something out of “The African Queen” and take in an incredible amount of wildlife from a boat. The Selous Game Reserve, a remote and spectacular wildlife refuge in central Tanzania, is one of them.  Last year, I took a wonderful safari here with my family, and on one of our first afternoons,...
Disney’s California Adventure expansion will feature Marvel superheroes

Disney’s California Adventure expansion will feature Marvel superheroes

LOS ANGELES — Several aging toddler attractions at Disney California Adventure Park could be bulldozed in the next year or so to make way for an expansion based on some of the world’s most popular fictional characters. The new land in Anaheim will feature superheroes made famous in Marvel comic books, movies and video games, including Spider-Man, the Hulk and Iron man, among others. But...

Loving Las Vegas, from its glittering Strip to its alluring desert

If you tell people you're going to Las Vegas for a week, the reaction tends to be either a raised eyebrow, implying that's a long time to spend there, or an overly excited and equally presumptuous "Vegas baby!" Sometimes it's easier to just tell people you're headed "out West" to avoid the backstory.  Here's mine. Las Vegas is one of my home towns, a place where, in my 20s...

Cuernavaca: A side trip into opulence, only an hour away from Mexico's capital

In the 1950s and '60s - nearly five centuries after Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés built himself a palace in Mexico's lush Cuernavaca - Rita Hayworth, Gary Cooper and Woolworth heiress Barbara Hutton followed suit with their own lavish hideaways. Other notables attracted to the city have included Habsburg Emperor Maximilian I and his wife, as well as Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the former...

Travelers can protect themselves from hidden fees

Travel fees are getting more creative than ever - and so should you.  When it comes to new travel fees, the sky's the limit. Or, in Liz Pollock's case, the fourth floor of her hotel. Pollock recently checked out of the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Golf Resort Palm Springs Area in Cathedral City, California, and discovered a mysterious fee on her hotel bill: a "top-floor" surcharge of...
Trump slump? International arrivals data may be wrong

Trump slump? International arrivals data may be wrong

That "Trump slump" we've been hearing about in travel may not be as bad it seems.  The U.S. Department of Commerce says government statistics showing a decrease in international arrivals to the United States may be wrong. Publication of the data has been suspended until it can be revised.   The most recent government statistics showed a nearly 4 percent drop in international...

Travel dilemmas: On that mad rush to board

Question: Don't you think it is strange that airplanes are still designed to be boarded from the front? And that airlines board the passengers starting with those sitting in the front rows?  — Gary Kazanjian   Hermosa Beach, Calif.   Answer: Don’t I think it’s strange? That’s such a wonderful straight line I can hardly contain myself.   But...

What’s it like to visit Wakanda? You had some (great) ideas

When “Black Panther” was released in theaters in February, it became a cultural phenomenon. Millions of moviegoers around the world became acquainted with Wakanda, the mythical African nation whose advanced society is hidden from the outside world behind a holographic camouflage. In the film, technology plays a big role, from the prevalence of vibranium to the use of kimoyo beads to remote...

A hotel for you and your little dog, too

1600 Wewatta St., Denver; hotelborndenver.com   From $329.  Hotels that pretend to be dog friendly yet charge extortionate fees are my literal pet peeve. Not so Kimpton, which is perhaps the paw-friendliest chain. Downtown Denver’s 200-room Kimpton Hotel Born opened in August 2017, with a Wild West-goes-modern aesthetic, and when we checked in with our papillon, Huckleberry, we...
Cruise ship MSC Armonia crashes into Honduran port, destroys part of pier

Cruise ship MSC Armonia crashes into Honduran port, destroys part of pier

What happens when the person steering a massive ship into port misjudges the space between the vessel and the dock? Now we know, because the whole thing was caught on video. The MSC Armonia was coming into port on the island of Roatan in Honduras, but the ship was bearing down on the pier, NPR reported. >> Read more trending news  The ship crashed into the dock and tore out a chunk...
Quiet zone to stop Brightline horns delayed in 5 PBC cities

Quiet zone to stop Brightline horns delayed in 5 PBC cities

Residents of five Palm Beach County cities along Brightline’s route will continue hearing horn blasts from the passenger trains until at least June, after work to complete a railroad quiet zone was put on hold while the company focuses on the launch of its Miami service. In a letter sent to county transportation planners Tuesday, Brightline officials said the contractor responsible for completing...

Trump's China tariffs stoke travel industry concerns of decline

President Donald Trump's move to impose tariffs on China and restrict travel from certain countries are helping fuel a sharp decline in international tourism and business visits to the U.S., the head of the travel industry's umbrella group said.  Roger Dow, president of the U.S. Travel Association, said Trump's policies and rhetoric are steepening a drop in the $2.1 trillion industry that began...

Into the ancient land of the cloud warriors

I was standing in a cloud forest in northern Peru, 10,000 feet above sea level. Quiet cloaked the more than 400 cylindrical homes and ceremonial buildings that make up the most important settlement of the Chachapoyas, the Cloud Warrior culture. Farther out were limestone walls up to 65 feet high. Tropical greenery sprang through cracks in the stone, while red bromeliads clung to moss-covered trees...

New products debut at International Travel Goods Show

Luggage items of all shapes, sizes, shades and styles made their debut at the 2018 International Travel Goods Show, presented earlier this year in Las Vegas by the Travel Goods Association (TGA). Among the hundreds of new cases seen on the showroom floor, here are several that will upgrade your luggage wardrobe to fashion-forward, style-savvy status.  The Lancer Series by JS Calkins features...

New luxury hotel will cost $792,000 a night - and be 200 miles up

Aboard the International Space Station, an astronaut's life is typically work, exercise, rest, repeat. But what if your chance of having the right stuff for NASA's astronaut corps is, to say the least, minimal?  Aurora Station, billed as the "first luxury hotel in space," may be for you. Houston-based Orion Span hopes to launch the modular station in late 2021 and welcome its first...
In Verona, pizza that is all about the crust

In Verona, pizza that is all about the crust

On a raw, rainy afternoon in Verona, Italy, last November, a polyglot gaggle of photo-snapping tourists unfazed by the weather jammed the courtyard of the 14th-century Casa di Giuletta, supposedly the home of the real-life inspiration for Shakespeare’s Juliet.  Down a side street just three blocks away was a far superior attraction that most of them presumably missed: Saporè DownTown...

How you can get paid to travel and create a new yogurt flavor

Noosa is no stranger to interesting flavors.  With Mexican chocolate, pear cardamom and raspberry habanero, the Colorado-based yogurt company isn’t afraid to go beyond the basic tastes for its products.   Now Noosa is seeking help in coming up with more flavors.   The company is seeking five “flavor finders” to come up with new varieties. Applicants can go...

Tired of the Smithsonian? These small, quirky DC museums are worth a visit

WASHINGTON - Washington is known for its museums. But venture beyond the Mall, which is home to four of the 20 most-visited museums in the world, and you'll find plenty of smaller, quirkier institutions. Want to learn about great inventions, the history of horse racing in America or how drugs are smuggled across the border? You can, and it's free.  These nine museums are, for the most part, targeted...
Six simple tips for smooth travel with a disability

Six simple tips for smooth travel with a disability

Times have changed for travelers who use wheelchairs, are visually or hearing-impaired or have another disability, said Jayne Bliss, a travel adviser with Tzell, who has more than 30 years of experience in planning trips for those with special needs.  Following are some of her tips.   — Seek Help: Asking your airline for assistance, either at the time of booking or a few days...
America's robber-baron getaways are being reborn as top hotels

America's robber-baron getaways are being reborn as top hotels

You'd think the Vanderbilts and Rockefellers of the world would have been happy to entertain in their lavish mansions. But in the second half of the 19th century, as trains and cars replaced horses and buggies, American society extended the radius of how far it was willing to go for a good party.  Enter the grand hotels of the Gilded Age. They had dark bars for trysts and business deals; accommodations...

Choose your gas pump wisely and other tips to keep your finances safe when traveling

These days, with all of our card options, not to mention Venmo and PayPal and Zelle, you do not need to carry huge amounts of cash - or any - when traveling. That does not necessarily mean your finances are safer. "Skimmers" can grab your financial data when you swipe your card, and you may not know anything about it until you literally pay the price.  And skimming is on the rise. Last...
The healthier skies

The healthier skies

Wellness isn’t a concept that seems synonymous with the ever-growing hassles of flying, but that could finally be changing. Some airlines are embracing the idea of healthier flying, offering calorie-conscious menus and new exercise videos.  According to Beth McGroarty, research director for The Global Wellness Institute, a nonprofit organization for the wellness industry, even as seats...
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