3 Best Affordable Wellness & Spa Retreats in Thailand

Psssst! … Guess what! You don’t have to pay big bucks for a wellness & spa escape any more –  if you know where to find it.  And I’m telling you here.  These  are the newest and nicest wellness retreats with the most affordable, professional spa offerings you can find in Thailand! Whenever I see the bill to…

Where Turtles Lay Eggs, and Nobody Knows – A Secret Black Sand Beach in Bali

On a secret black sand beach in Bali, turtles lay their eggs, and nobody knows… Many complain that Bali is ruined – commercialized, over-run by invading tourist hordes, group package tours, beach cowboys, and shaggy souvenir shacks blocking the view of the postcard-perfect rice terraces that the world comes to see.  That may be true, but it’s a big…

Biking Phuket’s Surprising Back Roads in Mai Khao

Oh give me a zone…where the buffalo roam…where the beer and the nightlife don’t play… I like lazing on the beach as much as the next person, especially when there’s a waiter with crisp chilled pineapple near by,  but sometimes one feels the need to get out and poke around a bit.   Biking always brings me back to my carefree childhood, and…

Praya Palazzo, Bangkok – From the Ruins, A Labour of Love

A historic Italian palazzo in Bangkok? Yes, it does exist. You can even sleep here and have breakfast on the river next morning. What you don’t know is the massive labour of love it took for a young widow to transform this former pile of rubble into the lovely hotel you see today… Bangkok is not a…

A Powerful Yoga Healing Retreat at the Dhara Dhevi, Chiang Mai

 Ask me to name the most luxurious hotels in Thailand, and the Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai is right there at the top of the list. It’s a fantasy world of northern Thai Lanna and Burmese architecture. The architecture alone is another story in itself (and the hotel has even published a lovely coffee table book…

Kidding Around in Bali – family travel play book

Eliza says she’s not good at stalking. But happily, she found me on the internet and sent me this wonderful activity book that she and her husband wrote about things for kids to do in Bali.   I’m a doting aunt and my maternal instinct goes all soft and gooey when I see adorable kiddie toys, clothes, shoes,…

Get a Glimpse: Six Cool Design Hotels in Asia

Does unique hotel design help you decide where to stay?  For many travellers, a beautiful interior is just as important as a room with a view.  A fabulous space can affect your whole mood and alter your whole travel experience from unmemorable to unforgettable. When I wrote the Contemporary Asian Home series of interior design books, showcasing contemporary Asian interior design…

Dwarika’s Hotel – Sleeping in Kathmandu’s Heritage Haven

  Historic architecture fascinates me and I love the way staying in antique hotels connects me to the culture of a place. There isn’t much in the way of historic hotels in Nepal even though you see ancient buildings in Kathmandu that have housed generations of the same family for centuries. While walking around the city…

Where holistic therapy beats shopping therapy – Peppers Seminyak Spa, Bali

 I wasn’t thinking about juice fasting or any kind of deprivation when I headed for the stylish social scene on Seminyak beach, Bali. I arrived on the island with a different idea of fun, anticipating my first stay in Seminyak, Bali’s most glamorous beach – renowned for its beach scene, luxurious designer hotels, chic boutiques,…

Pune’s Soul Sight – The Ashram Tour

I’ve been to India many times but only once to an Indian ashram.  In fact, I’m not even sure it was a real Indian ashram as I didn’t actually do anything there other than be led by the nose on a controlled guided tour, which is probably not the way one is supposed to experience an ashram. I’d never heard of…