Pioneering a tea renaissance, focused on tradition, culture and spiritual nourishment...
It is common knowledge that China is a land of tea. It's deeply rooted in Chinese culture and it's clearly an important part of the country's heritage, but when it comes to tea tasting, the story is slightly different. Nowadays, many people drink commercial brands of tea, with little knowledge or appreciation of traditional tea culture. Until a few years ago, the pace of growth in China was so rapid that it didn't leave any space for the development of a tea tasting culture that would (or could) embrace the richness of this old and important tradition.
Baoputang—a teahouse and private kitchen located inside a park of North Beijing—is
November, 2010 saw the lift of longstanding sanctions and boycotts of Myanmar with the release of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi after 15 years of house arrest, effectively opening a largely unseen and significant portion of southeast Asia to Westerners for the first time in decades. Both historically significant and stunningly beautiful are the 3,000+ 11th century temples found in the ancient city of Bagan that draw in visitors from across the world.
There are several ways to see the spectacular surviving ruins; from
As the last lights of Sri Lanka's capital of Columbo fade into the night, the vast darkness of the Indian Ocean sets in. For 600 kilometers, it's nothing but the velvety black of the sea and a canopy of stars. Then, like a brilliant shower of sparks, the coral island nation of the Maldives appears. Arriving in the Maldives—made up of around 1,200 islands (the number is constantly changing with the season) spread out over 26 atolls—is the oceanic equivalent of reaching an oasis in the desert. While fisherman and traders have long used the port of Malé as a checkpoint, today most accommodations are of the luxury variety—in our case the Four Seasons at Kuda Huraa.
Arriving in the pitch black night, there are no lines of cabs
Known by many surfers as the "French California," Biarritz is just a 20 minute drive from Spain along France's Basque coast. The city boasts truly world-class surfing, is home to the European headquarters of major surf labels including Quicksilver and Billabong, and plays host to the Quiksilver/Roxy Jam surf tournament each year—so it's not surprising that surfers flock there in search of the perfect wave. Local Marty Dupont was born and raised in Biarritz and has been involved in surfing culture since childhood. The 28-year-old now owns two businesses that revolve around the sport and its enviable lifestyle: a DIY surfboard-shaping shop called Blank Surf Shack and his rental service, Marty Surf Delivery which hires out boards to travelers and rookies who aren't quite ready to commit to their own surfboard.
At Blank Surf Shack—co-founded and owned with two
A Kenyan sanctuary that protects the endangered Rothschild subspecies, who aren't shy to nab a treat from your hands (or lips). Set on 12 acres of private land within a 140-acre indigenous forest, Giraffe Manor is an ivy-covered 1930s colonial mansion-turned-hotel, with stunning art deco interiors to match.