The deep, dark secret of Hong Kong's world famous eating culture is this: Nobody likes Chinese banquet food. That's the topic I tackle in this month's National Geographic Traveler magazine--my article is part of their terrific new all-food issue.   “Banquet food is always too salty, too rich and too greasy. And the dishes are always more or less the same.” This is...

Welcome to all Frugal Traveler fans who've landed on this page from the link in Seth Kugel's well-written and thoughtful article about women and travel. As some of you already know, I was the NYT Frugal Traveler from 1998 to 2004--an amazing, intense, and wonderful time to be frugal traveling (way back then, 1 USD =85 Euro cents. Eat your...

    Part 2 of my series on traveling in post-disaster Japan was the most difficult to write. I went to a hot springs resort in Fukushima, called Noji Onsen, and unexpectedly ran into some of the most unlucky survivors: the fishermen of Namie-machi. Namie-machi (machi means village in Japanese) is four miles from the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant. The village got hit by...

  The first installment of the three articles I wrote about traveling in earthquake-devastated Japan, for Slate.com came out today.   A little behind the scenes story. I was in the middle of writing part 2, the part about the radiation-exposed fisherman in Fukushima, when suddenly my house in Brooklyn started shaking. At first I thought somebody was doing construction somewhere in the...

  I spent most of my first three weeks in Kerala covered from head to toe in warm, sticky, earthy-smelling oil. Every day three female technicians dressed in cotton saris and aprons at the Somatheeram Ayurvedic Beach Resort would drizzle it slowly over me while I lay on a hand-carved treatment bench. Soemtimes they would apply the thick orange-brown unguent over...