There is an urgency to make things happen in Thailand -- a sense that some of the past political disruptions may be a thing of the past. They have moved far beyond the "domino that refused to fall" during the Cold War.
I embarked on a little project in 2010, though I didn't know it yet. When I climbed into an open air boxing ring in sultry Bangkok to take a Muay Thai lesson (battering, more like), so began a series of adventures I'm retroactively dubbing Around the World in 80 Sports.
These spas are some of the city's best. Sightsee and shop in the morning, lunch lightly, and in the afternoon retreat to a spa for a perfect Bangkok day.
I love Bangkok. Food, traffic, sex, pollution: this town has it all. All pinks and neons, there is nothing half-baked about Bangkok. And Bangkok is hands down the world's greatest city for street food. What's more, the excellence on the street has urged even greater excellence indoors.
I just lay on the ground writhing around not in pain, but in consciousness. In my first day of meditation I had awakened a part of me I never knew existed.
Two years ago, I started bringing a sketchbook and watercolor pencils with me on the road -- now I can't imagine traveling without them (though I've since upgraded to a travel-sized set of watercolor paints).
One of the most affordable destinations in the Caribbean, the Bahamas offer plenty of Spring Break deals.
Now, shrunk from perhaps 90 percent of their former range by sprawling human populations and suffering relentless killing, elephant numbers are down to well under half a million -- a drop of 98 percent since just 1800.
Last week, that rare moment happened with 1.5 million voices from 227 countries and territories coming together in a call to end the ivory trade in Thailand, home to one of the biggest unregulated ivory markets in the world. Their shared vision: to save the world's elephants.
A Vipassana course is travel of a very personal kind, as it is above all a journey with the self, which may or may not involve conventional travel. If you love travel of all types, you can, as I did, combine both.
Officially, Yingluck Shinawatra is the prime minister. But it is her brother, exiled former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who calls the shots via Skype from his homes in Dubai and London. Part of the reason the power-sharing works is that the same brilliant advisor is close to both.
When I met up with Mechai Viravaidya at his restaurant Cabbages and Condoms in Bangkok, he walked the grounds with an ease of familiarity, showing me elaborate sculptures, figurines and lamps all made out of colored condoms.
Sometimes it's hard to imagine this thing we used to call "shame." In the era of reality TV and YouTube, where almost anything goes, shame seems like a social anachronism.
Poaching has been intermittently addressed by the UN Security Council as part of the conflicts and broad human rights abuses cited. However, is poaching and the illegal trade the motivation rather than just the means?
Vietnam is losing its children. The numbers tell only part of the story of human trafficking, and those numbers vary depending on who you ask.