Destination: Hong Kong

Happily Adrift in Airworld

On his love for the places so many hate, from Amsterdam's Schiphol to Doha International

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World Travel Watch: Major Earthquake in Haiti, Road Blocks in Greece and More

Larry Habegger rounds up global travel news

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World Travel Watch: Smog in Hong Kong, Heavy UK Snowfall and More

Larry Habegger rounds up global travel news

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Eight Great Travel Stories About Food

Eight Great Travel Stories About Food iStockphoto

To mark World Hum's eighth anniversary, we've collected eight favorite stories from our archives that explore the sweet spot where taste meets travel

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A Vertical Tour of Hong Kong

A Vertical Tour of Hong Kong Photo by travlinman43 via Flickr (Creative Commons)
Photo by travlinman43 via Flickr (Creative Commons)

I read the current New Yorker profile of urban climber Alain Robert—aka “Spiderman”—expecting to learn the whys and wherefores of the Frenchman’s quirky obsession with scaling the world’s skyscrapers. There was plenty of that, but what surprised me was the extensive description of Hong Kong’s built environment, a kind of vertical canvas for Robert’s peculiar talent.

Writer Lauren Collins does a wonderful job describing how Hong Kong’s residents interact with their surroundings:

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Interview With James Wallace: Reflections From an Aerospace Reporter

Interview With James Wallace: Reflections From an Aerospace Reporter Photo courtesy of James Wallace.
Photo courtesy of James Wallace.

Award-winning reporter James Wallace covered aerospace for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer for more than 12 years. He worked for a total of 27 years at the paper, which recently stopped printing and transitioned to an online-only version with a comparatively tiny reporting staff. When that happened, Wallace’s job disappeared.

Wallace, who wrote a goodbye blog entry, is the author of two books, “Hard Drive” and “Overdrive,” both about Microsoft. 

I caught up with him over the phone to hear about his years on the aviation beat.

World Hum: You covered aerospace for 12 years. How have you seen commercial air travel change during that time?

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In Hong Kong, Taking the Rugby Cure

Recessionary times didn’t keep the Hong Kong Sevens rugby tournament from continuing its storied tradition of “off-the-hook drinking and off-the-record debauchery” this weekend, reports the New York Times. Expat lawyers, diplomats and bankers from across Asia turned up in Hong Kong Stadium dressed—in keeping with tradition—as gladiators, ballerinas, cowboys and lifeguards. “Nothing can touch the Sevens,” declared one banker, fending off queries about corporate cutbacks. Good to know someone’s partying, even if it’s on the other side of the world.

Six Great Women Travelers in Asia


March is Women’s History Month, so this seems a good moment to call out a few of history’s great women travelers. Because so many 19th- and early 20th-century adventurers found themselves drawn to Asia, I’ve narrowed this list to women who made their mark on that continent, fording the Indus River or crossing the Tibetan Plateau, in defiance of social norms and often at great risk. These are the women I wish I’d been in another life. Herewith, my top-six list of the most intrepid Western female travelers to take Asia by foot, camel or donkey.

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For Hong Kong’s ‘Airport Auntie,’ Apology and Upgrade

Remember the hysterical Chinese woman who missed her flight out of Hong Kong? Cathay Pacific has apologized for causing her public embarrassment to the tune of 5 million YouTube viewers (and many unbidden late-night talk-show appearances) worldwide. Because a Cathay Pacific staff member taped the tirade, apparently the airline felt it needed to exercise damage control. “Airport Auntie,” as she’s known, also got an upgrade on her next flight to San Francisco. (via WSJ China Journal)

Hong Kong, China

Hong Kong, China REUTERS/Garrige Ho

Devotees offer their prayers at the Wong Tai Sin temple in Hong Kong shortly after midnight today to celebrate the Chinese New Year. REUTERS/Garrige Ho

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How to Ring In an Ox Year

chinese new year of the ox Photo by bfishadow via Flickr (Creative Commons).
Photo by bfishadow via Flickr (Creative Commons).

Today, millions of Chinese usher in the Year of the Ox by lighting firecrackers, handing out cash-filled red envelopes, feasting on whole fish and texting friends, “Happy Niu Year,” a play on the Mandarin word for “ox,” pronounced “niu.” Me? I’m feeling nostalgic for my old flat in Taipei’s Muzha district, the sound of motor scooters buzzing until midnight, and the raucous atmosphere of Taiwan’s temples, where thousands will pray this week for an auspicious year ahead.

In mainland China, it’s a different story. The holiday period sees the world’s largest annual human migration, making travel a nightmare for those trying to negotiate packed trains and sold-out flights (in fact, most China-based expats leave the country this week). But there are plenty of parties to be had elsewhere, in Chinatowns across the world. So if you’re jonesing for a Chinese culture fix, check out CNN’s round-up of celebrations here.

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Morning Links: Skycar, Disney Shanghai and More

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Michelin Goes to Hong Kong and Macau

Michelin Goes to Hong Kong and Macau Photo by Hamron via Flickr (Creative Commons)
Photo by Hamron via Flickr (Creative Commons)

The first-ever Michelin guide to Hong Kong and Macau was released yesterday, and a few restaurants—one in each city—landed the coveted three-star rating. Another 21 Hong Kong eateries received one or two stars, as did five in Macau. The renowned foodie guide publisher made waves earlier this year by granting Tokyo top honors among all Michelin-ranked cities. Given Hong Kong’s strong start this year, and the fact that locals swear the foreign reviewers missed many of the city’s best spots, there may soon be another Asian culinary powerhouse on the Michelin-star horizon. (Via Gadling)

Hong Kong International Named World’s Best Airport

Pico Iyer once wrote that “Setting foot in Hong Kong’s new airport was the first time I felt I was stepping into the 21st century.” Others clearly agree: Hong Kong International has just been named the world’s best airport—for the seventh time—based on a passenger survey conducted by a U.K. consulting firm that collected a whopping 8 million responses. Coming in second and third: Singapore’s Changi Airport and Seoul’s Incheon Airport.

Related on World Hum:
* Travel Writers Pick Their Favorite Airports

Photo of Hong Kong International Airport by ztij0 via Flickr, (Creative Commons).

Photo: Preparing for the Year of the Rat

A photographer caught children in Hong Kong making radish dim sum—well, at least one of them was working on it—in preparation for Chinese New Year celebrations. Meanwhile, elsewhere in the city, Disneyland officials are boldly re-branding the year of the rat, which begins next month. In an effort to appeal to local traditions, the Wall Street Journal reports, “Disney is suiting up Mickey and Minnie in special red Chinese New Year outfits, and declaring 2008 the Year of the Mouse.” The Main Street parade features a dragon dance and an appearance by none other than the god of wealth. (No, not Robert Iger.)