Below the Surface

Below the Surface

Stumbling Upon an Off-the-Beaten-Path Fish Market in Aberdeen, Hong Kong

Hong Kong’s Aberdeen Wholesale Fish Market may be the area’s claim to fame, however, local haunts hidden off-the-beaten path offer a more intimate look at local life. Wandering away from the busy water’s edge and sprawling wholesale market, I come across a large white building framed by a red awning. A stream of people enters and exits through a large open door. No signs mark the otherwise inconspicuous façade. Stepping into the building and down a flight of stairs, I find myself emerging into a dark, windowless interior. Within, a cramped space lit by fluorescent bulbs hosts a bustling fish market.

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Caramel and Gold

Caramel and Gold

Soaking up Luang Prabang’s rich mix of traditional and colonial architecture.

When I close my eyes and think of Luang Prabang, Laos, I am filled with an overwhelming sense of peace. The small, quiet city is located on a peninsula that is nestled between the Mekong and Nam Khan Rivers and cradled between lush mountain ranges — with the sacred Mount Phou Si rising up from the city’s centre.

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Ethical Travel: Should You Visit the Kayan Hill Tribe in Northern Thailand?

Ethical Travel: Should You Visit the Kayan Hill Tribe in Northern Thailand?

Thailand’s “long neck villages” are more than a contentious tourist trap, but also a home and means of income for Kayan refugees.

Visiting the Kayan Hill Tribe in the Mae Hong Son province, Thailand, is perhaps the most popular tourist attraction in the area. It is also one of the most controversial.

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Domestic Workers in Hong Kong Make the City’s Streets Their Own

Domestic Workers in Hong Kong Make the City’s Streets Their Own

On Sundays, thousands of women flock together in Hong Kong’s Central district to create a community during their day of rest.

What strikes me most about Hong Kong is its population. Life in this city is like a layered cake, with shops, restaurants and living spaces crammed on top of each other in towering skyscrapers. Space is a rare commodity, with the average apartment being large enough to hold a sleeping space, hot plate and a bathroom that marries the square footage reserved for a toilet and shower.

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Saving Bali’s Sea Turtles

Saving Bali’s Sea Turtles

A local organization is fighting for one of the ocean’s very precious creatures.

Bali’s beaches are, in a word, beautiful. Stretches of white sand hug gently rolling waves where children splash playfully. Colourful boats bob amicably as the tide gently rolls in and out. Closely bordering the beach are restaurants and hotels packed shoulder-to-shoulder as far as the eye can see. Every so often, the sands peppered with beach towels and recliners are broken up by a circle of posts surrounded with blue plastic cordoning off a portion of the beach.

These informal blockades are protecting a very important part of Bali’s ecosystem — its sea turtles.

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Waking Up in Sa Pa, Part II

Waking Up in Sa Pa, Part II

A trek through the mountains leads to learning about local life.

By the time my husband, Alejandro, and I woke up from our early morning nap — after taking the overnight train from Hanoi to Sa Pa — it was late afternoon and we didn’t have enough time to experience any of the local tours that would take us through the valley.

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Waking Up in Sa Pa, Part I

Waking Up in Sa Pa, Part I

An overnight train’s last stop is the first look at Lào Cai Province’s glorious mountain range.

I woke up to the sound of knocking. Fumbling for my glasses, I struggle to sit-up in the already too low bed. It is still dark, but a small woman has slid open the train’s cabin door and seems to be asking a question.

My mind is lingering in the space between dreams and reality and I am not fully grasping the situation. It dawns on me slowly. We must be almost there. The woman is looking around the cabin expectantly, repeating question. What was it?

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Get Lost in Hanoi

Get Lost in Hanoi

Not all who wander are lost; but losing your way in this city may just be one of the best experiences.

Music pounded through the streets, shaking the restaurants stockpiled in Hanoi’s Old Quarter. It was dark when my fiancé and I arrived to the city, and the night was already alive. Revellers drank in nearby bars, spilling out onto the streets and restaurant employees smiled with beguiling faces while enthusiastically waving menus in our direction.

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