Do you ever wonder what’s around the next corner when you’re traveling? If you don’t, you probably should. Taking that extra step, more often that not, uncovers something unexpected and worthwhile, anything from a great little coffee shop to a grand vista stretching in the opposite direction, not to mention a moment in time that you’ll remember years later. Surprise should be a key ingredient in all our travels, whether in our hometown or on the other side of the world. Throughout this month’s issue, we arm ourselves with an added dose of curiosity and revel in the unexpected.
In Hong Kong, for example, we head away from Central to Sai Ying Pun (“Go West,” page 26) for a glimpse of that chic, ever-changing neighborhood. Today, microbrews or avo on toast blend with the more traditional XO sauce makers and herbalists these streets have been known for in the past.
If Japan is part of your travel plans—and it should be—by all means visit Tokyo, Kyoto and Hokkaido, but do not miss out on the chance for a food tour of Fukuoka. We’ve got the perfect guide (“Soul Food,” page 28) to this southern city where local staples are mixing well with innovative international tastes, but you’ll also overhear some old Japanese expressions that help to make sense of it all. Though we remain a little confounded by the tale’s Zen monk, but for more on him, read on.
Initially, Tony Perrottet’s take on Bhutan (“High Spirits,” page 74) was anything but Zen. I thought he was the first person ever not to be wowed by the Himalayan nation. During the journey, his notions of the country and his own travel preferences were altered, and Perrottet came away impressed in ways he could not have imagined at first. That’s a result all our trips should have.