Ask Chris: A reader asks for advice on planning a Thailand honeymoon, including info on things to do in Bangkok, luxury hotels in Bangkok and other places to visit in the country.
Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand

Got a travel question? I answer it in this ongoing “travel expert” series. Question: I absolutely love your blog! I noticed you spent your honeymoon in Thailand. My fiancee and I are looking to plan our honeymoon to Thailand in April (it will be a 2-3 week trip). I was wondering if you had any […]


Photo of small village life near Tonle Sap Lake, outside of Siem Reap, Cambodia.
Village near Tonle Sap Lake, outside of Siem Reap, Cambodia

This week’s Photo Friday (#FriFotos) theme is VILLAGES.  Pictured is a small (and very wet) village near Tonle Sap Lake, not far from Siem Reap Cambodia.


February 2012 Desktop Calendar Wallpaper

by Chris on January 31, 2012

February 2012 Desktop Calendar Wallpaper of snow monkeys at Jigokudani monkey park in the Japanese Alps.
February 2012 Desktop Calendar Wallpaper

This is the latest in our 2012 Desktop Calendar Wallpaper series. Get your free February 2012 Desktop Calendar Wallpaper!  Pictured are snow monkeys soaking in the baths at Jigokudani monkey park in the Japanese Alps.  Choose the size that best fits your screen resolution. 1024×768 | 1280×800 | 1280×1024 | 1440×900 | 1600×1200 1680×1050 | 1920×1200 | iPad | iPhone 4 Next wallpaper coming February 29! Like this photo?  Friend […]


Japan in Jan: Maneki Neko, the Lucky Cat

by Chris on January 30, 2012

Why do Japanese love cats so much? A look at Maneki Neko, the official name for the lucky cat statues that you see throughout the country.
Hello Kitty, Japan

I knew that Hello Kitty came from Japan, but I never realized how cat-mad the Japanese were until I saw images of Maneki Neko – the lucky Beckoning Cat – all over the country. Once you notice one Maneki Neko, the white or gold cat statues that you’ll find in store fronts and restaurants, you’ll […]


Japan in Jan: Eating Tokyo, Sushi & Wagyu

by Chris on January 23, 2012

Sampling two specialties of Tokyo: sushi and Wagyu beef.
Sushi for breakfast in Tokyo

In Japan, I was told that there are three things that you must eat in Tokyo: Sushi, Wagyu beef and tempura. In less than 24 hours there, I managed to consume two out of three. First, beef. We had spent our first few days in the country being served gorgeous, but often inedible, kaiseki meals […]


Photo Friday: Tsukiji Fish Market

by Chris on January 20, 2012

This week’s Photo Friday takes us to the Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo, which sells more than 400 species of seafood.
Eels, Tsukiji Fish Market, Tokyo

This week’s Photo Friday topic (#FriFotos on Twitter) is EXOTIC. I immediately started thinking of all the exotic fish species I saw at the Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo, the biggest wholesale fish and seafood market in the world. I went through the market with Shinji Nohara, the Tokyo food fixer. He’s guided some illustrious […]


Japan in Jan: The Art of Paper Cutting

by Chris on January 18, 2012

The gorgeous art of paper cutting in Japan, as revealed by a young female artist in Shuzenji.
Example of paper cutting, Japan

I’m bad at crafts. As in famously bad. And it turns out I’m particularly bad at traditional Japanese arts that require full attention to detail, such as paper cutting. On my 12-day trip to Japan, our group made several attempts at traditional craftwork. At Hoshinoya Kyoto, we put together small incense bowls. Our teacher was […]


Japan in Jan: Post-3/11 Tourism

by Chris on January 17, 2012

A look at tourism in Japan, which has been affected by radiation fears from the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
Japanese lanterns, Kyoto

Just as 9/11 changed many aspects of American life, so, too, has 3/11 – also called March 11, the date that the tsunami decimated the Sendai coast, affected Japan.   In Tokyo, more locals, particularly young women and couples, have been seeking out places with “healing powers,” such as the Calico cat café, where people […]


Japan in Jan: Snow Monkeys

by Chris on January 12, 2012

All my life, I’ve wanted to see a snow monkey. The saga of how we found them, in the mountains near Nagano, Japan.
snow monkey in a pool, Japan

Every once in a while, you come upon something in your travels that goes beyond the ordinary, something that makes you grab your camera and thank whatever deity you believe in for the life that you get to live. For me, that moment came in Jigokudani monkey park in the Japanese Alps, when I stood […]


The subject of this week’s Photo Friday is Erawan Shrine in downtown Bangkok, draped in yellow marigolds.
Erawan Shrine, Bangkok

  The theme for this week’s Photo Friday (#FriFotos on Twitter) is YELLOW.  Yellow garlands of marigolds are  among the offerings left at the Erawan Shrine in downtown Bangkok. Although 95 percent of the Thai population are Buddhist, the Erawan Shrine is Hindi and the main statue at the shrine is Phra Phrom, the Thai representation […]