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Quick Tour of Hong Kong’s Sheung Wan Neighborhood

Sheung Wan Hong Kong Tour

Hong Kong is a busy, busy place. I’m pretty sure I’m not the first person to say that. There’s been this massive rush to modernize all over the city, but here in the Sheung Wan district, things seem to slow down. Walking around, you’ll come across loads of graffiti by local street artists and contemporary art galleries like Cat Street (222 Hollywood Rd.; 852/2291-0006). And then nearby on Upper Lascar Row, you’ll see these old Chinese dudes selling antique jade carvings and Buddha heads. There are still high-rise buildings, but they’re generally older, with Man Mo Temple (124-126 Hollywood Rd.; 852/2540-0350) in the middle of them all. It’s a cool mix.” —Thomas Mauritsen, marketing manager

Interviewed by Christine Ajudua

Photo by Philipp Engelhorn

Jamaican Blackwell Rum Now Sold in the U.S.

Jamaican Blackwell Rum

Raise a glass to Blackwell Rum ($30): formerly available only in Jamaica, black gold, as it’s called, is now sold stateside. Reggae-music mogul turned hotelier Chris Blackwell crafted the liquor using a centuries-old family recipe, infusing it with tropical fruits such as banana and mango. Try it neat, or in the signature cocktail at Oracabessa Bay’s GoldenEye Hotel & Resort: on ice with two shots of simple syrup and a shot each of lime, orange, and pineapple juices—shaken, not stirred.

Photo by Lars Klove

No Reservations? Tune in to "The Layover", Premiering Tonight

Here at T+L, beating jetlag is something of a sport. So we’re all pretty pumped for The Layover—the new show from globetrotting chef-author Anthony Bourdain, he of No Reservations notoriety—premiering at 9pm ET/PT tonight on the Travel Channel. In ten hour-long episodes, Tony travels everywhere from London to Hong Kong to Los Angeles in search of the best that each city has to offer.

Here’s the catch: the entire series was shot in 30 days, and he has only 24-48 hours in each place. The result? A whirlwind world tour that’s peppered with all the biting Bourdain commentary we’ve come to love and expect, even if it’s tempered with a dash of jetlag. I got a sneak peek at the first episode (spoiler alert!), in which Tony spends a day in Singapore.

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4 Sea-Inspired Beauty Products

Giorgio Armani mother-of-pearl eye palette

Four new products inspired by the sea.

This Giorgio Armani mother-of-pearl eye palette ($98)—created by the brand’s couture jewelry designers—doubles as an allover illuminator.

An Isla Das Rocas scrub ($36) by Red Flower will soften your skin with botanical oils and sea salts from the islands off Brazil’s southern coast.

La Prairie produces nutrient-rich sea plants for its antiaging Advanced Marine Biology line, including a moisturizer ($135) for the face, eyes, and neck.

Meant to evoke the essence of a Maldivian beach, this Linnea’s Lights soy-wax candle ($30) has hints of cardamom, mandarin, and salty air.

Photo by Lars Klove

Travel-inspired Candles by Astier de Villatte

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How’s this for a flame of the month? Paris-based ceramics company Astier de Villatte recently unveiled a range of scented candles inspired by some of the world’s loveliest locales. With hints of, say, the wisteria-covered trellises of the Grand Hôtel in Cabourg, France—where Marcel Proust penned part of his classic Remembrance of Things Past—and a patina to match, they’ll surely transport you to another time or place.

Candles from $75, astierdevillatte.com

Christine Ajudua is an Assistant Editor at Travel + Leisure.

Photo credit: Lars Klove.

Helsinki: So Hot Right Now

201110-b-design-helsinki-1jpg
It may be getting chilly in the Baltics, but Helsinki is heating up. Finland’s biggest city—perhaps best known for its colorful Marimekko prints and Modernist works by the late, great Alvar Aalto, not to mention its abundant saunas—has been named the 2012 World Design Capital.

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Editor’s Pick: Globe-Trotter’s New Leather Luggage Collection

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If you like Globe-Trotter luggage as much as some of us, you’ll love this: for the first time in its 114-year history, the British brand, known for creating vulcanized fiberboard cases (Sirs Winston Churchill and Edmund Hilary would attest to their durability), has launched a collection of discreetly stylish carry-ons, totes, and accessories all handcrafted using—wait for it!—super-soft leather.

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Five New Travel-Inspired Fragrances

Patchouli Imperial fragrance

A spicy addition to Dior’s La Collection Privée, Patchouli Imperial (from $150) sources its namesake ingredient in Indonesia. Also in the mix: Sicilian mandarin and Russian coriander.

Lubin Paris—one of the world’s oldest perfumeries—has re-created Marie Antoinette’s personal scent using a formula from the late 1700’s. Black Jade (from $130) captures the essence of her rose gardens at Versailles, with hints of vanilla and sweet-smelling tonka beans from the Caribbean.

For Baiser Volé (from $75), Cartier’s in-house perfumer Mathilde Laurent explored the fleur-de-lis—a symbol of royalty throughout Europe—incorporating extracts from the lily’s pistil, petals, and leaves.

Creed donates up to 5 percent of the proceeds from Royal-Oud ($300)—with an opulent keynote derived from Indian agar wood—to children’s health clinics in the subcontinent.

Lunu (from $120)—part of Molton Brown’s Navigations Through Scent collection, which focuses on a single country in each of its five fragrances—has a heart of white jasmine, handpicked in Egypt.

Photo by Lars Klove

Online Shopping Made Easy

online shopping

The cluttered realm of online shopping is becoming a little more refined thanks to a new breed of websites that deliver the goods with a highly selective approach. By asking tastemakers to step in as guest curators, they give you insider, and often exclusive, access to items from around the world. Ahalife.com allows you to buy one unique item daily from international designers. Whether it’s a cotton pestemal (hammam towel) made by local artisans in Buldan, Turkey, or a hand-beaded, tribal-chic necklace from London-based jeweler Fiona Paxton, everything is chosen by notable travelers such as Daniel Boulud or Petra Nemcova.

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Photographing Oahu's Surfing Scene

Oahu's North Shore

Photographer Brown W. Cannon III talks to T+L's Christine Ajudua:

“Most days when you’re riding around Waimea Bay, it’s open and calm and really beautiful. It’s right in the middle of Oahu’s North Shore, this five-mile stretch that’s known to be one of the world’s greatest surfing destinations. Waimea doesn’t break often—not until the waves are twenty feet or bigger—but when it does, it is a monumental experience. The day I took this photo, the swells were reaching fifty feet—the kind that roll in only every few years. I’ve been going to the islands since I was born, and have seen this maybe two or three times. There are plenty of guys who will hop planes from all over the globe to surf sets like these, but what amazes me most is that so many people will travel there just to witness them. In Hawaii, there’s a real sense of respect for the ocean—the locals talk about having a spiritual connection to it—so there’s something poignant about seeing all these tan bodies converge on the sand, captivated by the Pacific.”

Photo by Brown W. Cannon III / Intersection Photos

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