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Eat Your Way through Bangkok

Adventurous foodies unite, and allow me to introduce you to the best dining destination in the world: Bangkok. If you first read my overview of the capital, you’ll know that the city doesn’t sleep. In fact, I’m pretty convinced it also never stops eating. The food options are endless, and we only had two full days to taste the city. This is torturous to foodies, but we accepted the challenge with rigor. Here are our eating recommendations, beginning with the most worthwhile contributor to the scene, quintessential to your Bangkok experience: street food. STREET FOOD If you’ve caught wind of the “street food is being banned” buzz this past spring, fear not: The Tourism Authority of Thailand quickly released a clarifying statement, assuring us that street food will prevail. With that, street food is just about everywhere in Bangkok, at every hour. The one exception is Monday, during the day, as official street cleaning takes place and street stalls resultantly take a quick hiatus. Plan accordingly to avoid disappointment. And hanger. The (unofficial) street food mecca of Bangkok is the

Taylor Hagood: Key West Dreaming

When I received my Ph.D. in a year I shall not name, a friend of mine gave me a book written by Joy Williams entitled The Florida Keys: A History and Guide. I was about to move to Florida to start a job as a professor, and I had little concept of the Keys. The only thing I knew about the place was that there was a store in Key West named Fast Buck Freddie’s because my family then had a refrigerator magnet manufacturing business, and Fast Buck Freddie’s carried the products. Fast Buck Freddie’s: I love writing that. It seems to me that if South Florida should ever become a nation of its own it could be called Fast Buck Freddie’s. But back to Williams’s book, as I looked at the cover, with its blue sky and palm fronds with a beach peeking through, I had no idea how deeply my life would take root in Florida. I remember moving down, my father driving a U-Haul while I drove my red Nissan pickup truck (that as I now write has over

Taylor Hagood: Bourbon Street Blues

I imagine myself to be one of a minority of people who prefer New Orleans in the morning. Give me bright sunshine, with palm fronds glistening, the heat and humidity already both menacing and languid, the streets webbed with runnels of fresh water dripping from hanging ferns and washing away the vomit of the night before. Few places blend garbage and beauty so well as New Orleans—no place does better, except maybe Naples, Italy. The garbage makes quite a few visitors nervous, especially folks I have known from the Midwest. But garbage is an important part of the city, and really it is hardly fair to separate it from the city’s haunting European-style beauty. For there is a lovely aesthetic in the gleaming black of 40-gallon garbage bags filled to bursting with the left-overs of some of the finest restaurants in the world. Piled in mute excess, even in the Vieux Carré, bulged like old-time friars dozing into accomplishing daylight, they emblematize the genuine love of pleasure over work and efficiency the city has always been better at than the

When in Bucharest Experience It Like the Locals

It’s historic, charming, varied, and lively — take a personalized tour and don’t miss a thing this city offers. Known as the “Paris of the East” in the early 20th century, Bucharest is a city filled with French-inspired Art Nouveau architecture mingled with stark utilitarian communist era edifices and contemporary structures. The city teems with activity day and night as the eighth largest city in Europe. While there, take a leisurely walk back in time through Old Town with its charming narrow cobblestone streets lined with cafes and boutiques. Enjoy peaceful greenery by strolling through a city park, a great little break from the city bustle. Take a Personally Guided Tour You’re in for a real treat if you book a personal tour with When in Bucharest. Its team of local guides are passionate about their great city. Calling themselves “super-guides,” they know Bucharest inside and out tailoring each tour to best fit the interests of their guests. Their specialty is giving private guided tours of the city in English, French, and Italian. When in Bucharest was founded by Alina Brasoveanu,

Italian Days: Experience Amazing Food & Wine Tours

Fine food adventures await you in little gems across Italy. When you think of Italy, what comes to mind?  There are many answers to this question, ranging from Julius Caesar to Nero to the Coliseum to Vatican City, and we still haven’t left the magical city of Rome. We could go south to Naples and Pompeii and Sicily, or north to Pisa, Florence, and Venice.  We may think about Lamborghinis and Ferraris, or the stunning Amalfi Coast.  And way up north, we can visit Milan or Lake Como. There’s just so much to explore. Food, Glorious Food Italy has always been about one highlight after another.  But, when I think of Italy, the first thing that pops into my mind is FOOD! And there’s a little secret that isn’t so secret any more, not since earning 1,590 5-star reviews out of the 1,613 that have been posted on Trip Advisor since debuting several years ago, a stunning 98.5%! A couple years ago, I made plans to visit a variety of cities in Italy, including Bologna, which would be a base for our

The Great Ugandan Gorilla Safari

I recently had the good fortune of traveling to a destination less frequented by international travelers. Once described by Sir Winston Churchill as the “Pearl of Africa,” Uganda is in my opinion one of Africa’s best kept secrets.  This is a country of spectacular mountains, lush rainforests, sparkling rivers and lakes, not to mention a multitude of ancient cultures. In addition to a host of mammal species including endemic species such as Uganda kob and the giant forest hog, Uganda is blessed with an abundance of primates ranging from the small black and white colobus monkey to the highly endangered mountain gorilla. With a little over 1000 mountain gorillas remaining in the wild, it was naturally a great privilege to be afforded the opportunity to trek into their domain and spend precious time at close quarters observing these magnificent creatures as they went about their daily lives, foraging for food and socially interacting with each other, all the while being quite oblivious to our presence. The Bwindi Impenetrable Forest stretches some 210 square miles across rugged mountainous terrain, and being

TAYLOR HAGOOD – BEALE STREET & BEYOND

Memphis, for me, first and foremost emerges as neon signs either created in the 1950s or made to look so. Certain ones stand out as iconic: the Peabody Hotel spelled out in big red letters on its roof; Poplar Tunes with its arrow-head-tipped musical staff of notes; Leonard’s Pit Barbeque’s top-hatted, cane-twirling pig. But mostly all those twisted glass tubes of glowing light, with their colors balanced on a razor edge of cool and warm, emerge like a grand Dale Chihuly sculpture, redolent of Memphis’s heyist of heydays, when Elvis Presley was living and breathing and at any moment walking down Beale Street decked out in pink, cream, and black, his sleeves rolled up. Meanwhile, only blocks away Johnny Cash was moaning his halting way through a new record, Wanda Jackson was shimmying in her oh-so-tight fringed dress while nitroglycerin-growling her cute voice, Carl Perkins was hacking his way around a new run on his home-rigged electric guitar, or the brilliant and maybe deranged genius Jerry Lee Lewis was banging away on the piano after arguing religion with Sam Phillips in

The Top 5 Myths Of Luxury Travel

Most believe luxury travel is simply Cristal Champagne, 1000 thread count Egyptian Cotton sheets and Gulfstream private jets. Luxury travel is exorbitant prices, contrived experiences, and only for the celebrities and billionaires of the world. Right?……well whilst this perfectly fits the definition of luxury travel for many people, it is also much more personal and varied than this. With almost 21 years of developing unforgettable Australian travel experiences, The Tailor has been a pioneer in the landscape of Australian luxury travel, and the travellers who walk this landscape are not to be stereotyped. MYTH 1 – LUXURY IS SIMPLY CRISP WHITE SHEETS IN AN UBER-LUX CITY HOTEL One of the biggest myths of luxury travel is how we actually define it. Luxury travel is no longer solely defined by expensive furnishings of a hotel room situated on the top floor of a city-based hotel. In reality, luxury travel is about enriching these refinements with meaningful experiences and personalised interactions. Increasingly we are seeing more and more luxury travellers who are as much, if not more motivated by the experiences of