Editor's Note

PUBLISHED : Friday, 12 May, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 12 May, 2006, 12:00am

Depending who you ask, the world is getting either bigger or smaller. Years ago, anyone who had trekked in the Himalayas or chased big cats in a four-wheel drive on safari in Kenya would have had people marvelling at their derring-do. Nowadays, not only do we venture often to these exotic locales, we are demanding white-gloved service when we get there. Thanks to an ever-growing band of travel experts who strive to break the homogeneity of mass consumerism, there is always something new on the horizon.This is the inspiration behind our first travel issue - it's for people who like to travel, but on their own terms. And what's even better, most of the destinations we feature are accessible by direct flight from Hong Kong.

Shanghai is still the hottest city in China - the eternal allure of the Bund and the surrounding entertainment hotspots are captured by photographer Samson Mak, whose pictures feature actress Zhao Wei, appropriately dressed in red. We also ask Terry Jones, the publisher of i-D magazine, fashion designer Derek Lam, hotelier Goodwin Gaw and contemporary-art expert Gregoire Billault to give the lowdown on how to spend the perfect day in London, New York, Los Angeles and Paris, respectively.

Photojournalist Adam Parker goes beyond the historical facade of Moscow to find a city thriving on entertainment and shopping, while Ed Peters recommends six exciting places for the perfect weekend getaway in Asia. London-based contributor Francesca Fearon discovers why designers such as Christian Lacroix, Giorgio Armani and John Rocha are rushing to put their stamp on boutique hotels, and David Watkins, our New York correspondent, goes behind the scenes to find out what makes a five-star cruise

a home away from home. And for those with a taste for fine wine and adventure, we take you to the perfect summer destination: Sonoma County, California.

If this has whetted your travel appetite, you may also want to find out what to pack with our Hit List travel special. All that's missing is your airline ticket.