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Saturday night in Bangkok. I stop to watch the moon's reflection in the Klong Rupkrung, the little canal that separates Samsen Road from the old Phra Arthit neighborhood on the Chao Phaya riverside. At 10pm the night is hot enough to cause a few beads of sweat to trickle down the back of my knees. Still and sleepy, the neighborhood moves to a languid, sticky and slow beat. About two miles away, I know, protesting Thais--the "Red Shirts" are camped out and occupying the city's main intersection. The situation is grave,...

I've been writing essays lately for Silverkris, the magazine of Singapore Airlines. They don't have an online site, so the only way to read my magazine articles is to take a flight on Singapore (highly recommended!). But that's not always possible, so I'm going to share them with you here, after they've flown around the world in the seat pocket for a few months. This one is my meditation on comfort food in three of my favorite cities: New York, Hong Kong and Bangkok: I thought I knew everything about som tum--the yummy shredded papaya salad that's one of the...

Every year I try to give myself the gift of a few weeks to go off the grid, and travel alone without a plan or itinerary. Southeast Asia is a great place to be a meandering traveller. The logistics here are so easy. Guesthouses and hotels are cheap and plentiful, you never need to worry about finding a place to sleep even if you don't have a reservation. Transport is no sweat--there are good connections by air, rail, bus and boat. And best of all, you will never, ever find yourself far from delicious food.  Last month I bought...