Hong Kong & Thailand

National Post - Sept 2014

National Post - Sept 2014

I was feeling apprehensive en route to the Four Seasons Tented Camp situated in northern Thailand’s Golden Triangle region. Certainly I was thrilled about sleeping in one of the luxurious 600 square-foot tents the camp is famous for, but it’s also a well-known mahout-training destination wherein guests learn the tricks of the mahout’s trade, that is, elephant caregiving and “driving.” Having fallen off a horse and been bitten by a dog the size of a small horse in my lifetime, I’m not a large animal person. But then, as the long-tail boat whisked me along the Ruak River I spotted one of the magnificent beasts lurking along the shore and it struck me. 

Riding an elephant through a jungle in Asia? How could I miss out? 

Besides, it would be educational, in keeping with the theme of this trip — a tour of Four Seasons properties in the region. 

It started in Hong Kong where I arrived via Cathay Pacific’s business class feeling pampered and well rested despite a 16-hour flight from Toronto. Before leaving the hotel to explore the city, I signed up for a Tai Chi class thinking it would be a lovely start to the following day. But, after spending hours wandering through the maze of mayhem that is HK, the next morning my exhilaration had turned to exhaustion. Why drag myself out of bed when I could try a martial arts class back home? I asked myself burrowing my head into the pillow. Because you’re in China, I answered. The class was held on the pool terrace where small bodies of water — a whirlpool, lap pool and plunge pool — share outdoor space with an infinity-edge pool that seems to spill into Victoria Harbour. Against the stunning backdrop of his native city, Master William Ng, the 78-year-old instructor, spoke about the importance of Tai Chi. “One must stop to breathe and meditate in order to become calm and peaceful.” Read more...

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