THIS ISSUE IS FOCUSED ON ASIA-PACIFIC’S MANY ISLANDS, introducing a handful of our favourites, big and small, and the adventures to be found on them. The physical separation of an island is an invitation to explore in itself. I think being from a small collection of isles off the coast of mainland Europe shaped my insatiable desire to sample foreign shores, though unlike many of my countryfolk, I usually prefer to head inland to explore more, rather than vegetate on a beach. There are often mental barriers to overcome in leaving an island too. In Hong Kong, people on Hong Kong Island talk of the ‘dark side’ when referring to Kowloon, just a few hundred metres across the water. It’s tongue-in-cheek mostly, but the effect it has on people’s willingness to cross the harbour seems real enough. Paul Niel, author of our story from the city in this issue, and his wife Esther, faced barriers, physical and otherwise, just by wanting to walk around Hong Kong Island. Turn to p.48 to read his account, though it’s fair to say that some of his exploits en route have had to remain off the record for fear of official sanction. Elsewhere in the issue, we have the incredible story of the whale sharks of Cenderawasih Bay on the island of New Guinea. They have become so habituated to feeding from fishermen’s nets that they pay little heed to the all the divers and snorkellers vying for the best shot around them. We also race about the region to profile 10 more islands we think are worthy of your attention – there should be something there for everyone, from nature-lovers to kiters, surfers to divers. There’s even something for the more beach-bound Brits! Until next time,
AN ISLAND WITH ATTITUDE Sibuyan Island in the central Philippines often carries a looming thundercloud thanks to the tall peak at its centre.