Monthly Archives: November 2012

Contributing to Vertu Select

I have been contributing short articles to the luxury digital publication Vertu Select for more than a year now, but there has been such a backlog that it has taken a very long time to see any of them published – and even longer to get my mitts on the prints! But now, they have kindly supplied me with the few of my articles that have made it to public consumption. The first, published in May, starts like this:

“The 20th century was a trying period for Ukrainian art. After a promisingly avant-garde start to the 1900s, during which many popular contemporary movements like Futurism, Constructionism and Cubism swept through the streets of Kiev, everything came to a very sudden (and very prolonged) halt in 1922 with the foundation of the Soviet Union. However, since the parting of the Iron Curtain in 1991, Ukrainian art has enjoyed a stuttering resurgence – and it’s set for an enormous boost this summer with the opening of Kiev’s first ever Biennale…”

You can read the rest of ‘Kiev Arsenale 2012′ by clicking on the image to the left. Or you can read my latest one about Eastern European cruises. Here’s the intro:

“Medieval hilltop castles, high gold-domed churches and ancient Mediterranean ports… Eastern Europe has a wealth of treasures just waiting to be discovered. As there’s no finer way to acquaint yourself with a city than with a late night excursion on the water, here are five of the East’s favourite evening cruises…”

You can read the whole article by clicking this here link (it’s external, you know).

If you’ve noticed a theme emerging, it’s that I specialise in Central and European destinations for Vertu. Hopefully, the remaining dozen-or-so articles covering this area, plus the few elsewhere, will appear in my travel journalism portfolio shortly.

New Articles for Private Air Magazine

During October, I wrote three articles for the bi-monthly Private Air Magazine – and they have all just been published. Two are foreign investment pieces, and the other is a destination piece. You can read the openings of each below…

Shenzhen: A Better Investment than Hong Kong?
“For more than half a century, Hong Kong has been one of the world’s great economic success stories. Thanks to a mass influx of Chinese immigrants and foreign business people during the mid-20th century, the autonomous city-state boosted its economy to impressive levels, and so established itself as one of the biggest financial and investment centres not only of Asia, but of the world. However, in recent years Hong Kong has had to cope with an ever-growing threat to its established global position – and it’s a threat coming from next door.” // Click to read more

Ukraine Again: Is Real Estate Investment Back?
“On 2nd October 2012, the Ukrainian government passed an amendment to their Land Code that allows non-citizens to become land owners when they buy real estate. It’s an attempt to combat a property market crisis that has enveloped the nation since 2008, and to tempt back the scores of American, British and Middle Eastern investors who helped grow the economy so dramatically at the turn of the century. The question that really needs to be asked is whether Ukrainian property remains an attractive opportunity for foreign investors.” // Click to read more

The Call of the Cayman Islands
“The Cayman Islands may be best known as an offshore tax haven, but any regular visitor will attest that this charming corner of the Caribbean has far more to offer than pinstripe-suited bankers and fat cat financial lawyers. These Caymans are also bewitchingly beautiful holiday havens…” // Read more

You can subscribe to the excellent Private Air Magazine right here, or simply read the latest issue for free here.

Jordan’s Surprise Luxury Tourism Trend

“It was 200 years ago that explorer Johann Burckhardt rediscovered the Nabataen city of Petra. The ancient architectural masterpiece, in which stately façades are carved from pink sandstone cliffs, immediately caught the collective imagination of the Western world and was swiftly transformed into a booming tourist attraction.

However, over the last decade there’s been a concerted effort in Petra – and Jordan at large – to play down this mass tourism appeal and target the niche luxury market. From high-end hotels to haute cuisine, there’s now a trend for quality over quantity…”

This is the beginning of a new web article for Forbes Travel Guide, and you can click here to read it all. With thanks to Mövenpick, Royal Jordanian and Bacall Associates.

Heart of Seoul: Five Grand Palaces in Two Days

“It’s 10am when the drum beat starts. The heavy thud-thud-thud of anticipation. The crowd falls silent – even the breeze drops to a whisper – as the relief guards appear at the gate. Resplendent in uniforms of crimson and cornflower, holding colorful banners aloft and accompanied by a cacophony of bugles and conch shells, they slow-step in synchronicity across the palace courtyard towards the on-duty sentries.

The Changing of the Guard at Gyeongbokgung Palace is one of Seoul’s oldest traditions. This display of military might first took place in 1469 and today guards are changed six times a day, on the hour, in a festival of color where ceremonial costumes, instruments and weapons whirl past in all directions. A rare and welcome celebration of prestigious past in a city – and country – preoccupied with the future…”

This is the introduction of my latest article for Serendib, SriLankan Airways’ inflight mag. You can read the rest here.