Travel & Leisure

Travel and leisure news, including tours, guides and hotels.
South China Morning Post
  1. Three hip young women from Beijing led by Li Siqi, also known by the nickname Crazy Birdy, are birdwatching around Mount Ling on the outer reaches of the Chinese capital. Twenty-something Li has been keen on the hobby since 2013.“I took a photo of a pretty bird and then started looking online to find out what it was,” she says. “That got me interested.”Li now has an environmental education company that takes families birdwatching, and she also teaches children about nature and birds both in and…
  2. Given the year we’ve all had, we’re all in need of some tender loving self care. Travel is still off limits for many of us, but here are some less common ways to lift your spirit and your health from around the world to consider adding to your bucket list – or trying yourself at home, if you can. 1. Cow cuddling – or “koeknuffelen” Many of us know that deep comfort derived from cuddling our beloved dogs or cats. Imagine making a similar connection with creatures that are many times larger…
  3. Last summer, Tokyo should have joined Athens, Paris, London and Los Angeles as one of the few cities to have hosted the Summer Olympics more than once. Of course, the pandemic put a spanner in the works and the event was postponed until July 23, 2021.It wasn’t the first time Japan’s capital had been forced to delay the Games. The Land of the Rising Sun was set to become the first non-Western country to host the Olympics in 1940, but it forfeited the right to do so when it went to war with China…
  4. Sri Lanka will reopen its borders to foreign tourists this week after a 10-month hiatus, officials said, with travellers subject to tough Covid-19 protocols.The announcement came despite a surge in Covid-19 cases and deaths, as authorities sought to revive a once-lucrative tourism sector devastated by the deadly 2019 Easter bombings and the pandemic.“Every precautionary measure has been set in place to make the island getaway as safe, secure and serene as possible for visitors,” the Sri Lanka…
  5. As much of the world tightens lockdowns to stem coronavirus, Dubai has flung its doors open, branding itself as a sunny, quarantine-free escape – despite a sharp rise in cases. While mask-wearing and social distancing are strictly enforced, life in the tourism-reliant emirate looks much like normal, with its restaurants, hotels and mega-malls open for business. Images of sports stars and television personalities enjoying life at beach clubs and cocktail bars have flooded social media –…
  6. Dubai has unveiled the signature pavilion for the upcoming Expo 2020, the world’s fair that is expected to open on October 1 even as the global pandemic that forced its postponement continues to rage.The Terra Pavilion, which features a towering 130 metre-wide (426 feet) canopy blanketed with thousands of solar panels, is part of the sheikhdom’s push to rally enthusiasm for the high-stakes expo amid the Covid-19 pandemic, which has pummelled its economy.The massive structure, devoted to…
  7. For a few days in 2002, when she was 12, Avni Sethi was forbidden from stepping out of the family home in Ahmedabad, India. From the terrace, she could see the city burning, struck by intercommunal violence that would claim at least 1,000 lives in the western Indian state of Gujarat.The burning of a train in Godhra on February 27, 2002, which caused the deaths of 59 Hindu pilgrims returning from Ayodhya, where they campaigned for a Hindu temple to be built on the site of a mosque destroyed by…
  8. An eerie peace has descended on Luang Prabang in Laos. Residents describe a tranquillity that has not been seen in the increasingly popular Southeast Asian tourist destination for decades.This should be high season for tourism in the town, which has held Unesco World Heritage Site status since 1995, although in recent years it has been busy year-round.Laos is a wild, landlocked country of jungle and mountains, and Luang Prabang is its crowning jewel. A spiritual place, the town is known for its…
  9. Although international travel remains rare in the Asia-Pacific region, domestic tourism in some countries has been booming for months. In Thailand, Phuket saw a huge uptick in visitor numbers for the Vegetarian Festival, in October, with hotels booked out for the first time since last March. Australia is enjoying its biggest holiday boom since the 1970s, with summer bookings at popular east coast holiday towns up by two or three times compared with 2019. And a recent on-site assessment by the…
  10. The coronavirus presented affluent families in China with a new challenge last year: just how were they going to spend some 350 billion yuan (US$54 billion) of disposable income on luxury items like jewellery and watches with overseas travel and shopping virtually impossible.“Before the outbreak, we would travel abroad a lot every year, or even live for a while away from the mainland. Last year I turned to shop more for watches, diamonds and gold to compensate for the regret for not being able…