Travel to North Korea, Bears in BC, and the Shanghai Express

New Departures

American Airlines recently inaugurated its first nonstop flight to China, into Shanghai, from Chicago's O'Hare airport. Not to be left stateside, Delta Air Lines will launch a flight from Atlanta to Dakar, Senegal, in December. The daily service will be the only direct flight to Africa with a U.S. carrier.

Bear Hug

After years of negotiations among loggers, environmentalists, and the provincial government, British Columbia announced the creation of the Great Bear Rainforest protected area, encompassing the largest intact temperate rain forest in the world. The 1.8 million hectare plot—41/2 times the size of Rhode Island—is home to the endangered white Kermode bear.

Northern Exposure

North Korea has invited several North American travel companies to the country for the annual Mass Games, a dance-and-gymnastics spectacular held from August to October. Tour operators such as Geographic Expeditions (800/777-8183;; 10-day tours from $5,190 in August) are offering itineraries that include P'yongyang sightseeing and a visit to the Demilitarized Zone.