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Pacific Travel

A plume of ash rises May 3 from the Puu Oo crater on Hawaii's Kilaueaa Volcano in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Despite the lava flow, the Island of Hawaii Visitors Bureau says that most of the island is unaffected, and they don't expect potential tourists to change their travel plans.<br>U.S. Geological Survey/AP

It’s leisure as usual for travelers to Hawaii despite lava flow

While the photos and videos of the popping, churning, spewing lava from Kilauea volcano look post-apocalyptic, officials with the Island of Hawaii Visitors Bureau say that the danger zones are isolated to private, residential areas and they don’t expect an impact on travelers. "Really, almost 90 percent of the island is unaffected," says Ross Birch, executive director of the Hawaii Island Visitors and Convention Bureau.

Alaskan illuminations

Where were they? The hour was closer to midnight than noon, and the sky above the small Alaskan town of Talkeetna was as black as a bear’s button nose. Several stars twinkled their encouragement. Before stepping out in the minus-numbing-degree air, I had checked the Aurora Forecast. The rating was a 5, which the Geophysical Institute described as meaning “Auroral activity will be high.” I had even brought along my lucky charm, Aurora Dora. So I ask again: Where were they?


Solomon Islands: A deep dive, and WWII artifacts

If a remote South Pacific destination with lots of World War II artifacts and world-class diving appeals to you, check out the Solomon Islands. This 992-island archipelago sits northeast of Australia, about 6,100 miles southeast of Los Angeles. Most of its 550,000 citizens are Melanesians and almost everyone speaks English.

Blossoming cherry trees serve as reminder of allies’ colorful history

More than 100 years ago, Japan sent more than 3,000 Japanese cherry trees to Washington. In 1982, that symbol grew even greater meaning.


Cambodia up close: River cruise on the Mekong makes for immersive experience

"Life is not staying still," Vuthy spoke softly to me, like a kind older brother. "It is moving from one place to the next." I followed his rhythmic breathing -- in, out -- inhaling the lotus air and untangling my own breath from the outside Cambodian breeze, flowing in through the open temple doors.


pacific quick trips

Bike trail near western Tokyo more about journey than destination

If you’re looking for a place to pedal or jog to your heart’s content, a place free of traffic lights and mobs of pedestrians, with more excitement than Tama River’s flat trail, a bike path near Yokota Air Base in western Tokyo might be just that place.



pacific after hours

Pinoccio’s brick-oven pies provide a slice of Italy in Sasebo

As an American living in Japan, it can sometimes be difficult to find a restaurant that reminds me of home. However, there is one dish offered nearly everywhere around the world that can almost always cure culinary homesickness: pizza.



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