Travel + Leisure Southeast Asia - - EDITOR’S NOTE -

AS WE STROLLED down a one-lane road, the beach came into sharp fo­cus through a clus­ter of palm trees. En­shrouded by trop­i­cal for­est, the horse­shoe-shaped Hiriketiya Bay ap­peared al­most as a dream; a se­cluded cor­ner of Sri Lanka where you could—scrap that—should eas­ily spend a week. This was my fourth visit to serendip­ity, but my first ven­ture along the south coast of this na­tion that of­fers so much. As with other jour­neys in this month’s is­sue, yes, mine was a dream trip. There’s an elec­tric vibe in the south of Sri Lanka these days (“Trop­i­cal Chill,” page 80), where the sur­prises come in small pock­ets and pop like nowhere else in Asia.

That urge to visit places more than once strikes us all, the sav­ing grace be­ing that ev­ery des­ti­na­tion is in con­stant flux, so there is al­ways some­thing to un­cover. Luang Pra­bang, writes our fea­tures ed­i­tor, Eloise Ba­suki, in “A New Tem­ple in Town” (page 29), has been just as no­table for the over­flow of vis­i­tors the past few years as for tran­quil­ity. En­ter the new Rose­wood Luang Pra­bang, where guests are en­cour­aged to en­gage with the lo­cal cul­ture rather than just ob­serve it.

Also, don’t over­look Brazil (“Into Ama­zo­nia,” page 98) where kayak­ing around that fa­mous river elic­its a sense of awe in reach­ing an un­ex­pected place. The Ama­zon of dreams.


Back on fa­mil­iar ground in Bri­tish Columbia, we went kayak­ing on the Sun­shine Coast where the wa­ters were clearer than the sky, thanks to sea­sonal wild­fires, in the process re­unit­ing two friends who hadn’t seen each other for al­most 50 years. In what might be typ­i­cally Cana­dian, the in­ter­lock­ing sto­ries re­volved around bee­keep­ing in Van­cou­ver more than a gen­er­a­tion ago and not-so se­cret log cab­ins on that city’s north shore. More to the point, it was a con­ver­sa­tion about friend­ship, on the deck of a cot­tage in the woods of a re­mote is­land, a cold can of beer in hand, well be­fore noon. Now, that is Cana­dian.

Clear wa­ters and ar­bu­tus trees In Bri­tish Columbia.

@CKucway chrisk@me­di­a­transa­sia.com

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