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Travel tips from Condé Nast Traveler magazine's Wendy Perrin.
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January 23, 2009

If You Had Only 10 Days For a Trip to Asia, Where Would You Go?

Wendy_at_the_great_wall_2 Yup, that's me at the Great Wall of China, Oct. 2007.

by Wendy Perrin

Okay, I'm hoping Asia aficionados will help me out here. We need to answer this question from reader Megan Carpenter of Washington, D.C.:

"For the young adventurous couple with no constraints except time, what is the best Asia itinerary? We are trying to plan a trip in May, but we have only 10 days for it. (Our busy and growing careers don't allow for a lot of time off.) I lived in Hong Kong in 2002 and my husband has never been, so we definitely want to start our trip there. I've also done Thailand a few times. What else can we do in a 10-day time frame that will allow us to see great new places and have some relaxing time as well?"

Ideas, anyone? (Just click on "Comments" below.)

When I think of my personal favorite spots in Asia outside of Hong Kong and Thailand -- including Luang Prabang, Laos; Phnom Penh, Cambodia; Hanoi and Hoi An in Vietnam; Shangri-La and Hangzhou in China -- there is no way to combine them into one 10-day trip that also includes Hong Kong. You'd be spending all your time in airports.

Still, I've got two possible solutions to this quandary, after the jump:

Continue reading "If You Had Only 10 Days For a Trip to Asia, Where Would You Go?" »

November 24, 2008

Shore Excursions for Cruises in Asia

by Wendy Perrin

"I am taking a 28-day cruise from Singapore to Beijing," writes reader Reneemia37. "Can you suggest a company for shore excursions, particularly in Bangkok, Hanoi, Saigon, Kyoto, Shanghai, and Beijing?   Also do you have a list of private guides for any of those cities?   Any help would be most appreciated."

The best person I know for this is Paul Niskanen of Cruise Masters in Portland, Oregon. He's the Asia cruise specialist on my list of the world's top travel specialists.  I assume you didn't book your cruise through him, which is unfortunate because it means you may need to pay a fee to book the unique private excursions he offers in these ports. Paul's a very nice guy, is very value-conscious, and is expecting your call ... and now's a good time to catch him 'cause he's just back from a cruise from Singapore to Sydney. Bon voyage!

September 04, 2008

Seeking Maldives Travel Agent

Specialistslogo_perrin_2 by Wendy Perrin

This question came in from lb8001:

"I want to take a trip-of-a-lifetime dive trip to the Maldives. I emailed and called Lindsey Wallace of Linara Travel, based on your description of him on your 2008 Top Travel Specialists List. Got two emails saying he was very busy but would call, left a phone message after no call 3 days later and still no response. Is there another agent you know of I can contact regarding an extra special Maldives trip?  Thanks!"

Yes, but I don't trust anyone with the Maldives the way I trust Lindsey and, based on the feedback I've gotten from readers, he's worth the wait. Normally he gets back to people within minutes, so I emailed him last night to inquire about the delay. Turns out he's been out of the office because of an unexpected death in the family. He's going to call you this morning, okay? Thanks for your patience!

To read the latest feedback I've gotten about Lindsey, click to the Top Travel Specialists User Reviews that Conde Nast Traveler readers have been posting and scroll down to #27, posted on July 18.

September 24, 2006

Travel To Japan

060924_skijapan
Photo: Kusatsu Onsen Resort

By Wendy Perrin

Question from a reader:

"Do you know a travel agent who specializes in Japan?  I've been trying to find a list of accommodations near a ski resort that we want to go to."

Have you tried the Japan National Tourist Organization?  It has tons of great info about accommodations.  If all you need is a hotel room, there's no reason to use a travel agent.  But if you want a start-to-finish itinerary, the best person for the job is Nancy Craft of Esprit Travel & Tours.  I've heard nothing but raves about her from every Conde Nast Traveler reader I've sent her way. Bon voyage!