Friendly Planet Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Conde Nast Traveler’

If you’re reading ‘Radio Shangri-La’ for our first book club meeting …

… you’ll want to read this! Adam Platt, a writer for Condé Nast Traveler, detailed his experiences in Bhutan in “Bhutan or Bust!” Bhutan is the setting of “Radio Shangri-La,” so I thought this article would be the perfect introduction for readers to get to know Bhutan before diving into the book.

A self-described “neurotic lowlander,” Adam Platt is like most of us, consumed by technology, work, and a recessive economy.

But most people of Bhutan have no knowledge of these things. In fact, when Adam asks Tobgay, a young monk from Bhutan, if he has any words of advice about the recession, the monk responds, “Please explain the meaning of this word recession.

A quick overview for anyone not familiar with Bhutan: The country, while around the size of Switzerland, doesn’t have a single stoplight. It has only three movie theaters; no tall buildings; and hardly any unemployment, pollution, or crime.

The people are spiritual, pragmatic, and environmentally green. They measure progress not by GDP, but by Gross National Happiness. In fact, the country can boast that its people are among the happiest and most content in the world.

So if you want to hear more, check out Adam’s full article over on Condé Nast Traveler. And start by reading this excerpt of “Radio Shangri-La,” and then pick up the full copy and join us at our book club meeting on Nov. 29 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Patricia Schultz shows us ’1,000 Places to See Before You Die’ in 8 minutes

You might have read “1,000 Places to See Before You Die” by Patricia Schultz. If you haven’t or if you’re not familiar with the book, it was a milestone in travel journalism when it was released in 2003 and it established Patricia as one of the foremost travel writers.

Patricia has also written for Frommer’s, Condé Nast Traveler, and Harper’s Bazaar, just to name a few. She was also the executive producer of the Travel Channel’s reality show, “1,000 Places to See Before You Die.”

When I learned that Patricia was speaking at The Philadelphia Inquirer Travel Show, I enlisted Melissa, a Friendly Planet Travel blogger, to do everything in her power to get an interview with her.

Fortunately we were able to get a few minutes with Patricia after she finished signing copies of her book, including one for Melissa and one we’ll be giving away on the blog. But I’ll save the details of the giveaway for another post.

Melissa found out why Patricia decided to document 1,000 places instead of 500, who the one person was who disliked the title of her book (hint: his last name rhymes with hommer), what her most terrible trip was, why Bhutan is one of her favorite places to visit, her advice on how to turn an ordinary trip into an extraordinary one, and much more.

Thank you so much for your time Patricia! You can watch the interview below. But stay tuned to the blog. I’ll be telling you in another post how you can win copies of Patricia’s “1,000 Places to See Before You Die.”

The best cities in the world to shop

Travel and shopping. They’re like two peas in a pod. Most people want a great souvenir to bring home from a trip abroad. Not only is it a great conversation starter, but it brings back memories of your adventure.

I came across a few helpful articles about shopping when traveling that I thought I would share with you today.

For the bargain hunter in all of us, Frommer’s lists the “World’s Best Cities for Bargain Shopping.” It’s complete with the names of places to shop and gives you an idea about how much items should cost. Some of the cities are part of Friendly Planet tours, including Buenos Aires, Argentina; Hoi An, VietnamShanghai, China; and Bangkok, Thailand.

In addition to Frommer’s list, Conde Nast Traveler highlights the wonderful shopping in Marrakech, Morocco and Jaipur, India this month, two other cities Friendly Planet can bring you to. It reminds readers that Marrakech offers fashion in the form of art. Through a beautiful profile of a city that is in the midst of a renaissance, you’ll discover why a mosaic of colors and intricate designs are found on almost everything sold in the souk.

And in Jaipur, brightly colored saris and lavish gems are the Indians’ definition of casual. In stark contrast to the terrain around the city, hot colors are worn on everything — including the camels. The article takes you on a shopping journey through the “pink city” that will leave you lusting for your own jewels from Jaipur.

Where have you found incredible bargain shopping on your travels?

Friendly Planet Travel giving travelers what they want, according to Conde Nast Traveler’s 2009 Readers Choice Awards

As I was home catching up on some work-related e-mail this weekend, I spent some time browsing the latest Condé Nast Traveler: 2009 Readers’ Choice Awards. I couldn’t help smiling to myself as I read that once again, Friendly Planet has it pretty well covered in terms of what travelers want.

Take the Top Cities category. We offer trips to eight out of the top 10 Asian cities: Bangkok, Hong Kong, Chiang Mai, Kyuoto, Shanghai, Jaipur, Tokyo, and Hanoi. Singapore, also on the top 10 list, is coming in 2010, and that’s just Asia. We also cover four out of five of the best Africa and Middle East cities: Cape Town, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and Dubai.

FP_Plane.jpgThe No. 1 and No. 2 airlines on the list of Ten Best Global Carriers – Singapore Airlines and Emirates – are prominently featured on some of our tours. And even some of the world’s best hotels, such as the Fairmont Hotel Dubai, are found on our programs.

So, you could be thinking, "big deal." A lot of companies feature these places, these airlines, and these hotels. And that’s the point. A lot do feature all of this and more, but at what price? That’s where we differ from almost everyone out there. The best for the least means something in my mind. It translates into a lot of work in creating the tours that result in great vacations in great destinations at great prices.
 

That’s the thought  I had after reading these lists, anyway. But more importantly, how do YOU think Friendly Planet Travel stacks up? Are there cities we don’t offer that you wish we did? Where do you want to go with us? Let me know in the comments section below! I would really love to hear from you.

About Peggy

Peggy Goldman is a specialty tour operator and travel expert, who owns and operates Friendly Planet Travel, a full-service company that specializes in tour packages to exotic worldwide destinations at affordable prices.   More about Peggy

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