Travel

Visitors get messy on a tour of the Shinan county tidal mudflat, one of several “getbol” in South Korea that have been inscribed on Unesco’s World Hertiage List. Photo: Trazy
Destinations known | Mud, sweat and gears; how South Korea is promoting its newest World Heritage ‘site’

Unesco inscribed several of South Korea’s tidal mudflats as a combined ‘property’ on its World Heritage list in July 2021. Sounds dull? A Mad Max-style YouTube video says otherwise.

19 Jan 2022 - 11:15AM
A humpback whale dives near Quadra Island, northern Salish Sea, Canada, September 15, 2021. 

CREDIT: Daniel Allen
Making a splash: humpback whales return to Canada’s Salish Sea

Humpback whales are making a comeback to the Salish Sea off Vancouver in western Canada, helping the region’s wider natural and cultural revitalisation.

16 Jan 2022 - 7:15AM
The plastic rubbish accumulated by one hotel guest who attempted to limit his plastic waste as much as possible during a recent 21-day stay at Ovolo Southside in Wong Chuk Hang, Hong Kong. The amount does not include the 231 pieces of “biodegradable” food containers he accumulated. Photo: Stephen McCarty
What to do about masses of plastic waste from Hong Kong’s hotel quarantine?

Food containers, water bottles, shower caps, toothbrushes – hotel guests can get through heaps of plastic in 21 days. We find out if anything can be done to cut it down.

15 Jan 2022 - 10:49AM
A man feeds an elephant at Phuket Zoo, in Thailand, which has now closed down. Photo: Shutterstock
Destinations known | ‘Hell on earth’: Phuket Zoo finally closes, but what about the animals?

The tigers, bears and elephants of the zoo, which has long been accused of animal abuse, have all found new homes in Thailand, but the fate of the other ‘inmates’ remains unknown.

12 Jan 2022 - 11:26AM
Zhangjiajie National Park. Photo: Getty Images
Best places to see on world’s longest train journey: Singapore to Portugal

The 18,755km odyssey, made possible with the new US$6 billion Vientiane to Boten line, passes by Unesco World Heritage Sites galore and many other worthy sightseeing spots.

8 Jan 2022 - 2:08PM
Building arches in Papan, Malaysia. Photo: Philippe Durant
Ghosts of the past haunt Malaysian town some see as a future tourist draw

A Malaysian ‘ghost town’ wrestles with the pros and cons of becoming a tourist attraction, as some elderly residents continue to cling to the past.

7 Jan 2022 - 4:02PM
Tourists on Central Pattaya Beach, Thailand, in December. Other than for  arrivals in Phuket, the country suspended its experiment in allowing quarantine-free entry to vaccinated visitors when the Omicron Covid-19 variant became a threat. Photo: Lauren DeCicca/Getty Images
Destinations known | Will Hongkongers – and the rest of Asia – ever holiday abroad again?

Tourism is vital to Asian economies both emerging and developed, as well as satisfying our urge to travel. The Omicron Covid-19 variant threatens to set back Asia’s reopening to leisure travellers.

29 Dec 2021 - 8:45AM
15th century personal protective equipment (PPE) on display in the Marseille History Museum. Photo: Peter Neville-Hadley
Renaissance lockdown: the quarantine centres of 15th century Europe

Venice pioneered quarantine against disease in the 15th century, and other European cities copied the idea and built lazarettos – isolation hospitals. Today many are tourist attractions, and in Marseilles a place to stay.

26 Dec 2021 - 2:15PM
Children play at the Expo 2020 Water Feature during the Expo 2020 Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. Photo: Palani Mohan/Expo 2020 Dubai
Incredible water feature at the 2020 World Expo in Dubai spreads joy

The seemingly gravity-defying star attraction with its 13-metre-high vertical walls combines the elements of water, earth and fire in a way that delights the senses.

25 Dec 2021 - 12:48PM
A foreign tourist collects rubbish among piles of debris on Batu Belig beach in Bali after it washed up following an offshore storm. Photo: AFP
Destinations known | Few foreign arrivals in Bali in 2021, but beaches still drown in rubbish

Thirty tons of trash were removed from just one Bali beach on December 7 as domestic tourists – 13,000 a weekend, reportedly – are making up for the lack of foreign visitors.

22 Dec 2021 - 8:45AM
Pieces of the wreckage of an Ethiopia Airlines Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft near Bishoftu, Ethiopia, March 13, 2019. Journalist Peter Robison marks the fall of Boeing in his book, Flying Blind. Photo: EPA
Review | How decades of deskilling at Boeing doomed two 737 MAX flights

Decades before two Boeing 737 MAX airliners crashed in 2018 and 2019 the fall of the US plane maker had been set in train, and with it an increasingly wilful blindness to safety, writes aviation journalist Peter Robison.

18 Dec 2021 - 7:45PM
Arrivals at Sydney Airport on November 1 as Australia’s border reopened almost 600 days after it was closed due to the pandemic. Chinese tourists were notably absent. Picture: AFP
Destinations known | Australia doesn’t need Chinese tourists, apparently… or does it?

Australia’s tourism minister seems confident that domestic travellers can keep the market afloat, but new data shows a large drop in spending, affected by Covid-19 and recent bush fires.

15 Dec 2021 - 10:18AM
Famous skylines on either side of Victoria Harbour show off Hong Kong’s architecture and landscape. Photo: EPA-EFE
Destinations known | Is Hong Kong a ‘good’ tourist destination? 2022 travellers’ checklist

The city’s food, culture, architecture, infrastructure and landscape all get a tick, but shopping has lost some of its sheen. As for events? Hmm.

10 Dec 2021 - 10:56AM
Ascension Cathedral in Almaty has just undergone a two-year restoration
[FEATURES] Photo / Megan Eaves
Don’t mention Borat: a visit to Kazakhstan, country few tourists see

There’s a lot to see in Kazakhstan, rich in history, culture and incredible landscapes, and its people are welcoming – in other words, nothing like the fictional Borat’s unflattering portrayal of the country.

4 Dec 2021 - 1:15PM
A board shows cancelled international flights at Haneda International Airport in Tokyo, Japan, on November 29, 2021. Japan is among a number of Asian countries that have enforced more stringent travel restrictions in response to the Omicron threat. Photo: EPA-EFE
Destinations known | Does Omicron justify Hong Kong’s extreme 21-day quarantine?

A patient who tested positive for Omicron while in mandatory quarantine is a win for Hong Kong’s unpopular regulation as countries step up measures to prevent its spread.

1 Dec 2021 - 1:37PM
An Emirates Airbus A380 aircraft flies over the Netherlands. Photo: Getty Images
Why international travel will cost more after the pandemic

Foreign holidays will be more expensive than before the pandemic, with airfares, car rental and accommodation all costing more. The era of cheap travel could be over.

27 Nov 2021 - 5:15AM
Plains bison at Elk Island National Park, Canada. Photo: Daniel Allen
Canada’s bison, back from the brink and sparking a cultural revival

Bison once roamed in their millions across the Canadian prairies. Beginning at a national park in the province of Alberta, their return is reviving both nature and cultural traditions.

26 Nov 2021 - 5:15AM
Jean-Emmanuel Bonnaire in the cellar of Domaine Bonnaire & Clouet in the Champagne region of France. He and his brother, Jean-Etienne, are among a growing number of independent champagne producers, some with a long history. Photo: John Brunton
Bubbly personalities: five champagne producers with big dreams

Meet five vignerons in Champagne, France, who are ready to sell their bubbly to the curious Hong Kong champagne lover. You may even wish to visit them when travel is possible again.

30 Dec 2021 - 11:58PM
The Tamora Group’s Avia Blue Lagoon in Nusa Ceningan, Bali. Photo: Tamora Group
Bali luxury property: telling the real from the spiel

Developers on the Indonesian holiday island are selling investors on a post-pandemic boom in long-term rental demand, but buyers shouldn’t expect to make a quick buck, experts say.

20 Nov 2021 - 10:25AM
Mainland tourists are making a comeback in Macau, with over 30,000 visiting on a single day in October, but Hong Kong visitors are noticeably absent. Photo: Getty Images
Destinations known | One big winner from Hong Kong’s border with China reopening? Macau

An estimated 15 to 20 per cent of Macau’s gaming revenue came from or via Hong Kong pre-pandemic, so any travel easing could give the gambling mecca a welcome boost.

26 Nov 2021 - 3:45PM