NY Times: 53 places to go in 2008

Yesterday’s NY Times travel section depicted the 53 “it” destinations of 2008.

Laos made number 1, as the new Vietnam and Cambodia of Indochina. The photo, by Tanja Geis for the NY Times, is of stupas on the grounds of Pha That Luang in Vientiane, Laos.

My home town, Prague, made number 14, apparently because Prague is still the new Prague. Other than that, I have only been to about one third of these. So many places, so little time!

Here is the top 10:

  1. Laos
  2. Lisbon
  3. Tunisia
  4. Mauritius
  5. Mid-Beach Miami
  6. South Beach, Miami
  7. Maldives
  8. Death Valley
  9. Courchevel, France
  10. Libya

The complete list is here.


On the Road, Cold Coffee Is a Good Thing

Struggling to find a good cup of coffee while traveling to remote areas? There is hope for us!

I am a huge iced-coffee fan in the summer time. A friend recently introduced me to a great new thing: cold-pressed coffee. Instead of using hot water and adding ice cubes (often impossible when traveling), you simply mix ground coffee with cold water (and let sit overnight). Guess what – it tastes great and it is noticeably less bitter than regular brewed coffee. Next time I travel, I am packing ground coffee.

NY Times recipe: Cold-Brewed ICED COFFEE

Time: 5 minutes, plus 12 hours’ resting

1/3 cup ground coffee (medium-coarse grind is best) Milk (optional).

  1. In a jar, stir together coffee and 1 1/2 cups cold water. Cover and let rest at room temperature overnight or 12 hours.

  2. Strain twice through a coffee filter, a fine-mesh sieve or a sieve lined with cheesecloth. In a tall glass filled with ice (opt.), mix equal parts coffee concentrate and water, or to taste. If desired, add milk.

Yield: Two drinks.

(NOTE: To make hot coffee, dilute concentrate one-to-one with water and heat in the microwave.)

NY Times on Vanuatu

Remember Vanuatu? I’m sure you couldn’t have forgotten the happiest country on Earth? Well the NY Times features a fine write-up by Jeffery Gettleman who shares his experiences on just a few of the 83 islands that comprise Vanuatu, an area in the South Pacific between Australia and Fiji. When in Tanna, somewhere deep in the jungle our author explores the taste of Kava and the three rules of drinking the beverage. (Don’t sniff, don’t stare, don’t sip.) Aside from Kava, Jeffery finds the biggest lure to Tanna is Mount Yasur – one of the most active, accessible volcanoes in the world.

The most interesting part of the journey is (hands-down) the island Malakula. On this particular end-of-the-road isle villagers practice the ancient art of head elongation, but in the event you can’t make it to that side of the island you can always opt for a cannibal hike. Sounds spooky doesn’t it? I’ll admit after I read the piece on Vanuatu being the happiest place on Earth I wanted to rush there myself and still do! Judging from this NY Times story it seems as though there is a lot more diversity in Vanuatu’s wild side than I imagined and let’s not forget the beautiful beaches.

Want to plan your own escape to the country/islands? Ready to be happy all over again? Go read Jeffery’s story and then go book your flight.