Travel & Leisure

Travel and leisure news, including tours, guides and hotels.
  1. New Zealand exports of live lobster are surging as Chinese gourmets return to restaurants.More than 300 tonnes of the crustaceans were airfreighted to China in May, up 53 per cent on the same month last year, according to data released this week by Auckland International Airport.That is welcome relief for New Zealand lobster exporters, who were forced to release thousands of the shellfish back into the sea in February after China closed restaurants and cancelled orders in response to the…
  2. School’s out for summer and the Covid-19 crisis has put paid to any hope of jetting abroad, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a memorable family holiday. If there’s one thing the pandemic has given us, it’s the chance to explore our city with fresh eyes for its scenic corners, fascinating geography and rich culture. From brilliant wellness breaks and the learning of new skills to camping and cycling, Hong Kong offers an incredible range of things to see and do – any further Covid-19 measures…
  3. The Cambodian tourist town of Siem Reap has banned the dog meat trade, a victory for animal rights campaigners who describe the area as the “linchpin” of an industry that slaughters millions of creatures each year.Dog meat, a cheap source of protein, is eaten in several Asian countries, including Cambodia, although it is much more popular in neighbouring Vietnam.But animal rights group Four Paws has identified Siem Reap province – home to the famed Angkor Wat temple complex – as a hub for the…
  4. It is hard to beat the sights, sounds and smells of a new city, but the allure of travel to densely populated areas is likely to be lower post-lockdown as travellers consider remote destinations and self-contained adventures. With this in mind, a spot of “social bubble” travel in a motorhome, camper van or recreational vehicle may just be what’s required. “It’s understandable many would-be travellers have had their confidence shaken by the lockdown,” says Dan Yates, founder of camping website…
  5. The palm-fringed Thai island of Koh Samui has been a holiday hot spot for decades. Lonely Planet goes so far as to claim that “the most dramatic event in the island’s history was the first foreign tourist foot arriving on Ko Samui’s sands”. That foot is believed to have belonged to a volunteer from the Peace Corps, who sailed in aboard a coconut-trading boat blazing a now well-worn trail, first for intrepid backpackers and later, with the opening of Samui International Airport in 1989, for…
  6. In Indonesia, locals can soon fly from Jakarta to the beaches of Bali for a domestic vacation. Tokyo residents can escape the pandemic stress with a hike up Mount Fuji, and New Yorkers can head to the Hamptons on Long Island.Residents of Singapore, a city state smaller than New York City, have few such options, presenting a massive problem for its battered tourism industry. With borders closed to foreigners, hotels and tourist attractions need to count on “staycationers” to plug the gap in an…
  7. Keen to stay fit and keep clear of infection, commuters around the world have turned to bicycles to get around during the coronavirus pandemic. The surge has lifted cycle sales sky high and given long-time biking advocates new hope.Bike shop owners in the Philippine capital of Manila say demand for bikes has been stronger than at Christmas.In India, the Union Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry has advised states to promote non-motorised transport, including cycling, to prevent transmission of…
  8. Speaking at the Taipei Water Park this spring, Mayor Ko Wen-je urged audience members to “think about where water comes from when they drink it”.Ko’s comment came at the premiere of Tracing Roots, a documentary film on the history of Taipei’s water supply – from the 19th century, when residents dug their own wells, to the city’s current management system that collects, purifies and distributes 2.4 million cubic tons of potable water every day.Most of the film’s 25-minute running time focuses on…
  9. Taking scenic photos from a variety of places, in countries far and wide, is not an option thanks to travel restrictions to limit the coronavirus outbreak. Those of us living in Hong Kong must therefore settle for taking our photographs locally. And that’s no bad thing. Even if you do something as simple as shooting images repeatedly from the same spot, it’s possible to capture highly contrasting shots. Just before he died last year, photographer Michael Wolf published a book of photographs all…
  10. At the beginning of this year – before coronavirus sent the travel industry into a tailspin – analysts were predicting a bumper year for Asian hotels. London-based Smith Travel Research (STR), which tracks eight million rooms in 67,000 hotels across 180 countries, forecast that between 140,000 and 150,000 rooms would come on stream across Asia-Pacific by December 31. But within weeks, social distancing had replaced globetrotting, fleets of aircraft were standing idle, and hotels that normally…