DestinAsian - - PUBLISHER’S NOTE - e-mail: pub­lisher@des­ti­ @des­ti­nasian­magazine @DestinAsian_Mag Des­ti­nAsian.Mag DestinAsianMag

One of the great­est joys of travel, I think, is to set­tle into the com­fort of a beau­ti­fully de­signed prop­erty, where you have the time and space to ap­pre­ci­ate small de­tails that you might oth­er­wise miss back home. For that rea­son, I’ve al­ways looked for­ward to Des­ti­nAsian’s an­nual Luxe List, our roundup of ex­cep­tional new ho­tels that have opened across the AsiaPacific re­gion in the past year. From a Mal­di­vian pri­vate-is­land re­sort with vil­las de­signed to evoke the crea­tures of the deep, to a “sto­ry­telling ho­tel” in Tas­ma­nia, to a col­lec­tion of red-brick shiku­men row­houses in Shang­hai’s for­mer French Con­ces­sion, up­scale lodg­ings these days are get­ting ever more di­verse and cre­ative. It all makes for a fas­ci­nat­ing snap­shot of the var­ied travel ex­pe­ri­ences found right here in our own back­yard.

Our fea­ture sto­ries this is­sue are also a tes­ta­ment to the kind of va­ca­tions we can have with­out tak­ing a long-haul flight. In China, Shang­hai-based cor­re­spon­dent Amy Fabris-Shi hops aboard a bul­let train to Hangzhou, to see how its con­tem­po­rary charms are in­ex­tri­ca­bly linked to the city’s past. Ad­ven­ture-seek­ers will de­light in Deb­bie Pap­pyn’s ac­count from the Nepalese Hi­malayas, where she ven­tures into the iso­lated realm of Up­per Mus­tang.

Back down at sea level, Christo­pher Hill, our long­stand­ing ed­i­tor-in-chief, em­barks on a culi­nary ex­plo­ration of Mauritius with the help of the is­land’s Shangri-La re­sort. In the same vein, Si­mon Os­theimer takes us through a se­ries of Phuket restau­rants that are un­doubt­edly at the fore­front of the lo­cal din­ing scene. I wouldn’t call my­self much of a foodie, but look­ing at Ja­son Michael Lang’s mouth-wa­ter­ing pho­tog­ra­phy and read­ing about Thai-Euro­pean fu­sion fare has cer­tainly whet­ted my ap­petite for my next break in Phuket. I hope all these sto­ries—not to men­tion this year’s Luxe List— will bring out a sim­i­lar re­sponse and in­spire you to see even more of our re­gion.

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