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Hoi An, Vietnam Special Photo Gallery by JONG PHOTO

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Today Deluxe Upgrades presents you with a visual offering of photos by JONG PHOTOS.

Hoi An is what I consider to be one of the most important parts of a Vietnam trip.  The way it still represents old, quaint Vietnam, cannot be found in any of the large cities like Saigon or Hanoi.  The […]

Mandarin Oriental Bangkok: Classic Luxury & Charm On The Chao Phraya River

Bangkok is a city swept up in modernization.  Shopping malls and entertainment bombard you everywhere you look.  New hotels with the latest trends are popping up almost monthly.  How does the Mandarin Oriental Bangkok stay at the top, despite being the oldest luxury hotel in the city?

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My current Japanese snack food obsession: Yuzu Kosho Kettle Chips by Calbee

If you’ve ever been to Japan, or just know about Japanese snacks, you know that the Japanese apply their obsessive nature to snack foods too.  We benefit from this by eating some of the most inventive, and sometimes tasty snacks.  Here’s my current Japanese snack food obsession, Yuzu Kosho Kettle Chips by Calbee.

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Ariyasom Villa: Stay in a traditional Thai mansion in the heart of Bangkok

A common criticism of deluxe hotels in Bangkok is the lack of traditional local Thai style.  The Ariyasom Villa is a 1940’s traditional Thai estate that has been carefully converted into a deluxe boutique resort, in the center of the city.  If you ever wanted to stay at Jim Thompson’s house, this is your […]

Is top rated ramen really better? Fu-Unji ramen restaurant review

One of the priorities during my trip to Japan was to eat at a top rated ramen shop.  There are thousands of ramen shops in Tokyo, so what makes one a top rated shop?  The Japanese who are obsessed with rankings and guides have annual guide books and TV stations frequently do stories on […]

Should you travel to Thailand now?

Since I’m in Bangkok right now, I thought it would be appropriate to report on the situation in Bangkok.  I’m not going to support a side, but I am going to tell you why it is still safe to travel to Bangkok.  I visited a “red shirt” protest site today to see what was […]

Still Lost In Translation

There’s something special about having cocktails at the NY Bar & Grill atop the Park Hyatt Tokyo.  There are numerous bars in Tokyo that also boast drinking while high up in the sky, but there is an experience that only the Park Hyatt can provide.  Is it because of the film Lost In Translation?

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1, 2, 3 . . . Pork !!!

What do you get when you pair the Japanese obsession with food and the world’s top ingredients?  You get what the Japanese do best, taking food obsessions far beyond what other peoples do.  Some well known examples of this are Kobe beef or bluefin tuna sushi.  But let’s not forget about pork.

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Cherry Blossom Season in Japan

This year was my first opportunity to be in Japan for cherry blossom viewing.  While I may have been to Japan many other times of the year, this is the first time I actually caught the cherry blossoms.  I have learned about the cherry blossom festival while studying Japanese culture in college, everything from […]

Toscana Pasta restaurant review. Yoyogi, Tokyo

The Japanese are known to take various western cuisines, and adjust them to suit their tastes.  My Cousin Mimi got me hooked on tarako spaghetti many years ago, which she claims to have eaten daily when living in Hokkaido.   So today for lunch I walked next door to Toscana, a local pasta restaurant. […]