Guy Trebay’s ‘Return to Sri Lanka,’ in your 35th-anniversary issue [September], was written with wisdom, sensitivity, and thoughtfulness. He visited the island twice—before the tragic tsunami, and after it—and, as a result, his perception of the country was thorough and well-informed. Too often travelers see a location just one time and are unable to uncover a deep understanding of the culture and history. Not only did his piece inspire me to revisit old favorites, it also illustrated that no destination, regardless of how remote it may be, is ever completely static. —Alex Behr, Philadelphia, PA.


The concept of "greenwashing"—adopting the appearance of environmentalism but none of its substantive measures—as described in David Propson’s "The Ultimate Green Hotel" [Strategies, August], is an enormous problem and inadvertently discredits those whose efforts are sincere. A worldwide standard, much like the Michelin stars that are used to rate restaurants, is needed to educate travelers on sustainable tourism and eco-hotels. We all must be aware of the enormous impact of every decision we make while on the road.

—Millay Kogan, ithaca, N.Y.

Clean Diamonds

I was disappointed by "Head to the Source" [September], about buying diamonds in Antwerp. Belgium has controlled the Congo for decades, stripping its mines of diamonds and leaving the people of the country ravaged. Travelers should ask all dealers for a nonconflict diamond certificate before making a purchase, or else be sure to buy from other diamond-producing countries, like Canada, which do not have such controversial histories.

—Kelleigh Kincaid, Santa Monica, CAlif.

Italy’s Wild Side

I read with great pleasure the article on my native region, Le Marche ["The Other Side of Italy," July]. As this relatively unknown destination becomes popular, I hope that it will not lose the wild spark I relished as a young adult, when I would take an annual hike on the narrow, steep trail from the seaside town of Porto Recanati to the top of Monte Conero under a full moon. At the time, Portonova was deserted except for an occasional camper, Marcelli’s attractions were a small, rope-tied dory and a rickety bridge over the Musone river, and Le Marche still had an unspoiled, hidden charm.

—Roberto Lancellotti, Burlingame, CAlif.

CORRECTIONS In T+L’s 2006 A-List of travel super-agents, Carol O’Connor’s area of expertise is Honeymoons/Weddings [September]. • The private-island resort guest room photographed for "A Distant Shore" [October] is located at Fiji’s Dolphin Island (

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