It’s sad when an ancient painting or fresco becomes almost unrecognizable due to vandalism or just time. But it may be even worse when it gets fixed so badly that it goes from “ruins” to “ruined.”
That seems to be the case with a nearly 300-year-old Buddhist fresco hanging in a temple in Chaoyang, in the northeastern Chinese province of Liaoning. The original paintings had been crumbling for years, and a recent “refurbishment” gave them a serious face lift, according to this article in the Daily Telegraph.
Danielle Steel’s new book, Pure Joy: The Dogs We Love (on sale Oct. 29th), highlights her travels with dog Minnie—perfect inspiration for the next trip with your own four-legged friend. If you can plan with T+L, all the better.
Though they may not be reading, T+L does have its fair share of traveling canine fans. This shot of Daisy the Maltese was taken just before her trip out to Boothbay Harbor, Maine. According to Instagram follower @kpe319, the seaside town is this pup’s favorite vacation spot, with its number of dog-friendly inns.
That’s how Irish folk-rock star Declan O’Rourke characterizes his foray into music. How else to explain the circumstances behind the acquisition of his first guitar, gifted to him by a priest as a ten-year-old boy in Melbourne, Australia?
It’s been a faith-driven journey from there to here, another string-picker on the Dublin open-mic circuit to opener for cult-band Snow Patrol and the legendary Bob Dylan. On October 8th, O’Rourke celebrated his first U.S. release with the album “Mag Pai Zai”, which, along with records “Since Kyabram” (2004) and “Big Bad Beautiful World”(2007), has been a mainstay on the Top Ten charts across the pond. The latest ballads stay true to O’Rourke’s classic, crooning sound, yet unfurl with a newfangled sense of self-assuredness.
Yesterday may as well have been declared unofficial tablet day: Microsoft unveiled its new Surface 2 (whose main selling point is an improved kickstand for better stability on your lap), Nokia released its long-rumored tablet debut (a sleek 10-incher running Windows RT), and Apple announced a completely redesigned iPad: the iPad Air. While the other two focus on productivity, with built in Office Suite and attachable keyboards, Apple outrightly balked at its competitors for being “confused” in their attempts to merge tablet and laptop.
If you’re on the hunt for a thought-provoking dip into the Surreal, you can’t miss Magritte: The Mystery of the Ordinary exhibit at the MoMA (running through January 12, 2014). Curated by Anne Umland, the exhibit covers what the famed Belgian painter described as the most defining period of his career from 1926-1938.
The exhibit features many of his most acclaimed works including “Le Trahison Des Images” (pictured) wherein he notoriously paired his painting of a pipe with the beautifully scripted words “Ceci n’est pas une pipe” (“This is not a pipe”). After you absorb the whimsically provocative contradictions in his narrated paintings, check out “Les Amants” to peek at his popular portrait of two lovers kissing.
ShopLatitude.com has a new attitude. Starting November 1st, the armchair traveler’s favorite shopping e-tailer will sell its own collection of fashion and accessories made for global nomads. The first dispatch is Mexico where they draw inspiration from Frida Kahlo’s iconic style with embroidered caftans, tunics and blouses. These easy-breezy pieces are really all you need for a kick-back boho walk on the beaches of Tulum or any white sand, turquoise watered paradise. (From $120 to $250).
Mimi Lombardo is Travel + Leisure’s style director. Packing is rarely easy—we’re here to help. Send your questions to email@example.com.
Friendly Planet Travel in partnership with Tourism Malaysia and the Tourism Authority of Thailand are giving away an 11-day tour for two to Borneo and Bangkok when you enter to win on Facebook.
The tour introduces travelers to the lush beauty, landscapes, and diversity of Thailand and Malaysia.
“Thailand is a beautiful country that’s flush with exotic wildlife, spectacular islands, and fascinating history—it’s one of the most visited destinations we offer,” says President of Friendly Planet Travel, Peggy Goldman.
As of today, American Express is letting cardholders use their rewards to pay for NYC cab fares in real time, at the end of their ride. Not only does it open the door to use smaller point balances efficiently—it’s the first time that cardholders (with any kind of plastic) can pay with rewards currency at the point of purchase. Amex loyalists who opt to pay for a NYC cab ride with credit card will automatically see their points balance upon swiping—they’ll then be given the choice to pay with, say, 2107 points for a $21.07 taxi fare. Not in NYC? Fret not: we’re inclined to believe that instant points payment might become the name of the game as banks re-examine the often-frustrating process of cashing out rewards.
Nikki Ekstein is an Editorial Assistant at Travel + Leisure and part of the Trip Doctor news team. Find her on Twitter at @nikkiekstein.
It's more and more possible to bake your favorite desserts—from NYC or elsewhere—at home.
Jet-setters travel worldwide for regional delicacies—Japan for sushi, Cuba for sandwiches, Vermont for anything maple. Whether craving a New Orleans Cafe Du Monde beignet, a batch of brownies or cups of chocolate, there are mixes for millions of foodie fans to enjoy without mulling over airfare, packing, and passports. Just add water (or a few other pantry items).
For the sugar-loving, New York City-enthusiast—here are some specialties that originated in Manhattan venues and migrated to kitchens near and far:
Q: Can you recommend any companies that are good for solo travelers? —Carolyn Hall, Chicago, Ill.
A: A couple of months ago, after my daughter had passed through the dependent stage of infancy, I started to get the itch to take a big trip. The problem, my husband and I realized, was that one of us was going to have to stay home to take care of our kids. (With two of them under the age of four, it’s not a job that’s easily outsourced.) I would be traveling solo.
There’s a new currency in the travel industry, and it’s called the Orbuck. Today, Orbitz launches its long-in-the-works Orbitz Rewards, a loyalty program that’s smart, transparent, and a hell of a business move for the popular OTA.
Here’s how it works: Book any flight on orbitz.com, and you’ll immediately be rewarded with at least 1 percent cash back (in Orbuck form); hotel bookings will yield at least 3 percent in returns. Book on the mobile app, and you’ll get bonus Orbucks—each Orbuck translates to a dollar off any future booking. Book a special deal, and you might net even more. The Orbucks show up in your account as soon as your transaction goes through, meaning you don’t have to wait to rack up tens of thousands of points before they’re redeemable. On the contrary: the cash you get back from a flight booking can be immediately applied when you book the hotel fifteen minutes later.
Remember when you could fly round-trip to London for less than $600? Nope? Faded from memory already? Recalling the good old days, Norway’s low-cost carrier Norwegian recently announced that it is launching service between London Gatwick and New York (JFK), Los Angeles, and Fort Lauderdale airports beginning next summer. The airline’s new 787 Dreamliners will fly the transatlantic routes starting July 2014. Norwegian is introducing these routes with special fares that are as low as $240, one way, from New York, and $321, one way, from Los Angeles. The introductory fares are being snapped up quickly, but we still found round trip tickets from New York for as little as $590 in August. See you at the pub?
Have a travel dilemma? Need some tips and remedies? Send your questions to news editor Amy Farley at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @tltripdoctor on Twitter.
This just in: Visitors to Las Vegas can now rent select Harley Davidson models.
Motorcycle Rental by Enterprise launched October 16th, making it the first major rental company to bring two-wheelers to the Strip. As of now, there are 10-15 bikes available.
Why Vegas? “All this is based on customer feedback,” explains Yona Spiegelglass, Brand Publicity Director for Enterprise Holdings. “Many of our customers expressed interest in renting motorcycles there—it's a great opportunity to see the Strip and the Hoover Dam.”
Join T+L and our Senior Editor, Jacqueline Gifford, for a Holiday Travel Facebook Chat with QVC’s Lisa Roberston tonight, October 18, from 10-11pm ET on Lisa’s Facebook page.
Find out how to avoid flight delays, where the best hotels and destinations are for affordable, all-inclusive, or seasonal travel, how to pack and squeeze in that extra pair of shoes, tips on getting last-minute hotels deals, and more. Lisa will be ready to answer any holiday shopping or gifting questions that you may have as well.
Westin Hotels is catering to marathoners with its new Running Concierges.
Whether it's a 5K, half-marathon, or the full 26.2 miles, finishing a distance race is no easy feat. Make it a destination race and you'll have even more to think about: what to pack and how to adjust to different time zones and temperatures, to name a few. But the T+L editors love a challange—and any excuse to travel.
Hotels are even picking up on the trend. Westin brand hotels recently teamed up with the Rock 'n' Roll half marathon series (which hosts races year-round across North America and Europe) to offer RunWESTIN participants access to its dedicated running conceirge, Chris Heuisler. Perks include a race course tour (Chris meets with local running associations in each city for insider tips), fitness and recovery advice, and a pasta dinner and breakfast to fuel up for the big day.
This week, Google announced the next generation of Chromebook—a glossy white beauty with top-of-the-line hardware—and we’re impressed. It’s slim (under 18 mm), lightweight (at 2.3 pounds), and travel-proof, with a magnesium alloy frame that’ll withstand bumps and dings, a slick widescreen that’s great for movie watching, and speakers that port up through the keyboard for ultra-clear, fuzz-free sound.
Welcome to the latest installment of T+L's promotional partnership with luxury adventure operator Cox & Kings, where booking a trip to a destination featured in T+L is easier than ever. Here's how it works:
• Every month, T+L editors work with Cox & Kings to develop two trips inspired by destinations we love. • Each itinerary is designed to offer insider access and unique experiences—whether it's a stay at an exclusive hotel, a behind-the-scenes tour, or dinner in a private residence. • For a limited time, T+L readers can take advantage of exclusive savings on this month's featured trips.
Finland The Highlights: Tour Helsinki's historic sites, from the Senate Square and Parliament House to Uspenski Cathedral and the Finnish National Opera House; browse the city's retro-inspired boutiques and design stores; take a full-day excursion to Fiskars, a late-1600's village on the banks of the Fiskars River; base yourself at the opulent Hotel Kämp. The Details: 7 days and 6 nights, from $4,650 per person**
Optional Extension: Tallinn, Estonia The Highlights: Walk along the winding, cobbled streets of Tallinn's Old Town; visit Saint Catherine's Passageway and its collection of artisan workshops; view works of socialist realism and pop art at the Kumu Art Museum. The Details: 3 days and 2 nights, from $1,150 per person**
A new book about the global fascination with bargain hunting by frequent T+L contributor Mark Ellwood hits shelves today, giving valuable and often hilarious insights into the changing landscape of secret sales, online shopping, and good old haggling.
Bargain Fever: How to Shop in a Discounted World focuses mostly on the recent surge in U.S. discounting—sales of sales have more than doubled in under a decade here—but it also takes readers to the bazaars in Istanbul and the megamalls in Tokyo.
Ellwood's inspiration for the book occurred when he saw shoes on sale for 50 percent off just days after he had purchased them for 10 percent off. “I got the sense that no matter what I was paying, there was always a way to pay less,” he explains. “The more I looked into it, I realized I was falling down a half-price rabbit hole.” Bargain Fever is the result of his deeply researched quest to find out why and how that “rabbit hole” came to be.
This week, the culturati makes its annual pilgrimage to Regent’s Park for the 11th Frieze London (Oct. 17-20), with pieces from 152 contemporary galleries from around the globe plus specially commissioned performances, pop-up restaurants, and let’s not forget the party scene. In an unprecedented partnership, British fashion house Alexander McQueen is a sponsor this time around; artworks curated by local gallerist Sadie Coles will be displayed at the brand’s London stores throughout the fair.
Of course, there’s also the second edition of Frieze Masters, the historically minded spin-off, and a full schedule of satellites. Among this year’s standouts, in collaboration with Tanzanian architect David Adjaye, Somerset House has unveiled 1:54 (through Oct. 20), the world's very first contemporary African art fair. Founded by Touria El Glaoui, daughter of Moroccan painter Hassan El Glaoui, it’s a platform for more than 70 artists—from DRC painter Chéri Samba (see La Vraie Carte du Monde, above) to Benin’s Romuald Hazoumé, with his colorful tribal-inspired “masks” made from discarded jerricans, and Gonçalo Mabunda, who turns AK47s and rocket launchers deactivated after Mozambique’s civil war into whimsical, Modernist thrones.
Road trips are a blast with friends, furry or not. But there inevitably comes a point when you have to whine, “Are we there yet??” Teddy, the ecstatic dog above of pet parent and T+L Instagram follower, @lundec, journeyed several days from Duluth, MN to San Francisco—stopping midway at the pet-friendly Mountain Sky Guest Ranch for a well-deserved run-around. We asked for @lundec’s trick to keeping Teddy happy while driving the distance:
“Set up a cozy spot in the car. Give them occasional snacks during the trip such as a couple raw almonds, etc.”
Whether you’re jumping out of a plane, hiking Machu Picchu, or searching for the big five on a Zambian safari, the best part about adventure travel is the journey and endeavor itself.
Join our live Twitter chat on Adventure Travel sponsored by Victorinox this Wednesday, October 16th from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. EDT. Our panel of experts will share up-and-coming adventure travel destinations, the best adventure tour operators and guides, the most useful gadgets for travelers, and more.
Being health-focused isn’t always easy—especially when you’re on the road. I asked Dr. Nicola Finley, of Canyon Ranch Tuscon Resort, for her top tips for wellness while traveling (unfortunately, supersizing a fried food order isn’t one of them). Three of Dr. Finley’s tips that are sticking with me:
You don’t have to go to the gym. “There are a multitude of workout videos on YouTube you can access in your room from a computer, iPad, or phone. This is a chance to try a new kind of workout—in privacy! Also keep in mind that little bursts of exercise—running for a flight, or walking to the hotel from a few blocks away—counts.”
We asked a couple of London tastemakers what they would buy with £20, £50, and £100. Here’s what they said.
Patrick Grant, creative director of historic Savile Row tailors Norton & Sons and men’s ready-to-wear label E. Tautz:
£20: “I’d go to Berry Bros. & Rudd(pictured) and buy a bottle—can I have two?—of Good Ordinary Claret (£9). The shop in St James’s is a veritable Dickensian time capsule complete with ancient bottles of Tokai, a wonky wooden floor, and coffee scales on which customers are weighted (a tradition that dates back to the 18th-century health boom).”
Ever heard of schnecken? How about pawpaws? Me either. If the new book Taste of America(Phaidon, $29.95) does one thing, it will make you realize that you know a lot less about American food than you thought. (Answers: a raisin-studded cinnamon roll found in Cincinnati, and mango-like fruit native to the East Coast’s temperate forests.)
Written by Colman Andrews, the co-founder of Saveur and a former editor at Gourmet, this illustrated anthology includes 250 write-ups of foods that define eating in the U.S., broken down by category (baked goods, poultry, and condiments, to name a few). It’s a mix of specific products from specific brands (e.g. Butter Mints from Katharine Beecher) and more general entries, such as cherries and rainbow trout.
Every year, I make it a point to ditch the loves of my life—and husband—to escape for a long-weekend with my college friends. Last year, it was Tulum. “How much was your flight here?” l remember asking them. “Oh we used points.” Again??? I never seem to have enough to get me anywhere—but with JetBlue’s new Family Pooling plan, I could do some serious damage this year. Under the new program, families and small groups can share their True Blue points in a group account. The definition of family here is pretty loose, which is why this is actually REAL news. It can consist of up to two adults and up to five children under the age of 21. That can include family members, same sex partners or a couple of friends. No doubt, I’ll be flying gratis to Vieques this spring.
Clara Sedlak is a mother of two and Special Projects Editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter at @csedlak1.
We’ve heard countless horror stories about the process of getting an Indian visa (lost passports! slow service!), so imagine the relief when we heard that the country will soon be rolling out Visa on Arrival service for citizens of 40 countries—the United States included. As part of the new legislation, travelers will now be able to access an online application system for visas or simply secure their documents the moment their plane touches ground on Indian soil. And the service won’t just be available in Mumbai—airports such as Delhi, Chennai, and Hyderabad also have the program in the works.
Nikki Ekstein is an Editorial Assistant at Travel + Leisure and part of the Trip Doctor news team. Find her on Twitter at @nikkiekstein.
Just last week, we wrote about saving big on ski passes by purchasing them early from Liftopia and Epic Pass. Now, Epic Pass has announced a new competition—fittingly dubbed the Epic Race.
The first ten people to ski all 26 resorts included in the Epic Pass will win a pass for life. That means free lift-tickets to some of the world's top ski destinations: U.S. mountains include Vail, Beaver Creek, and Breckenridge. In the French, Swiss, and Austrian Alps, passholders can enjoy the slopes at mountains such as Courchevel, Verbier, and Stuben.
Registration for the Epic Race starts November 1. Learn more here.
Peter Schlesinger is a research assistant at Travel + Leisure, and a member of the Trip Doctor news team. You can follow him on Twitter at @pschles08.