Ed­i­tor’s Note

World Travel Magazine - - Contents - Vishal Jain Ed­i­tor-in-chief ed­i­tor@wtrav­el­magazine.com

De­vel­op­ing an edi­tion that re­volves around Asia is no easy task. The chal­lenge is not in search­ing for sto­ries and ex­pe­ri­ences that ex­cite and are be­yond the realm of rou­tine. Far from it. Ap­par­ently, all that is new, hip and fills the four edges of lux­ury travel are to be found in Asia. The chal­lenge is – Asia be­ing vast and di­verse – where, and how, does one draw a line? Our pur­suit takes us from the Mediter­ranean to the Pa­cific, from the Arc­tic to the edges of In­dian Ocean. That’s a list of cities where new wealth over the last fifty years has ush­ered in an age of lux­ury that per­haps finds some par­al­lel to the days of Ma­hara­jas and Em­per­ors.

Get­ting ac­cess to the bling is easy; money and all things ma­te­rial are no longer that scarce. Com­par­a­tively, it is in fact the gift of time – and the plea­sure of spend­ing it with ease and in­dul­gence – that is the lux­ury that needs to be ex­plored. And it is here, in the con­cept of time, where we find our de­mar­ca­tion.

Sail­ing along a river that seems to have carved its path through rock and jun­gle vines and wit­nessed a re­gion’s epi­cally slow trans­for­ma­tion from an­cient tribal king­doms to colo­nial out­post to the nascent days of cap­i­tal­ism – that’s lux­ury. We sail through time on the beau­ti­ful Ir­rawaddy River run­ning through Burma, sam­pling fresh fish, gen­uine smiles and not a care in the world.

A short way along the pond finds us in a bazaar in Sri Lanka’s Galle. An­other colo­nial out­post, an­other trans­for­ma­tion in process. The re­gion has vin­tage fever set on high. This is an en­counter with re­lax­ation and res­o­nance. Here is an in­ter­pre­ta­tion of lux­ury that be­lieves in hold­ing back, rather than show­ing off.

Heard of the Turk­ish Riviera? Fewer crowds as com­pared to the Span­ish, French and Ital­ian ones. I sus­pect, it was this coast­line and not the beau­ti­ful He­len, that at­tracted the Greeks to Troy. Think about it. Nes­tled amidst nat­u­ral beauty, sur­rounded by olive trees, cy­presses and un­du­lat­ing hills – this is the place to re­lax and be re­born.

When it comes to cities to love, it is ev­ery­one’s favourite – Bangkok that wins hearts. Just get past the weather’s three modes – hot, hot­ter and hottest – and we are good to go. The ab­so­lute first thing to do here is take a pri­vate boat tour along the wa­ter­ways of this Venice of the East. The area around Chao Phraya River is a hot­bed of cul­tural re­nais­sance. Just as the Sun burns off an­other day, find your­self in one of the few roof-top bars set well above the 50th-floor marker. Con­grat­u­la­tions – you have just em­braced Asia’s lux­ury.

Sea Villa, Azu­lik in Tu­lum

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