Category Archives: Restaurant Review

These ‘ultra-processed’ foods are linked with a higher risk of cancer

Thanks;Maria LaMagna

Published: Feb 15, 2018 3:19 p.m. ET

A new study shows foods including desserts and chicken nuggets create higher risk

Ultra-processed foods include packaged snacks and soda.

One of the ways to reduce your risk of cancer may be simply changing your diet.

Eating “ultra-processed” foods was associated with a higher cancer risk in a study published this week in the peer-reviewed British Medical Journal. Epidemiologists studied more than 100,000 participants 18 years and older, starting in 2009. People who had a 10% higher intake of these ultra-processed foods had more than a 10% increase of risk for cancers including breast cancer, the study concluded.

The study’s subjects recorded everything they ate, amounting to more than 3,300 different food items. The researchers then classified those foods according to how processed they were. Foods considered ultra-processed often have higher fat, saturated fat and added sugar and sodium, plus lower amounts of fiber and vitamins. They also may contain contaminants with carcinogenic properties, meaning they could contribute to cancer risk.

The report is timely. World Health Organization has declared Feb. 15 International Childhood Cancer Day. And this week, McDonald’s MCD, +0.49%  announced changes to its children’s Happy Meals, in order to make them healthier. The restaurant chain will now only list hamburgers and chicken nuggets on its Happy Meal menu, and cheeseburgers will only be available by request (presumably to lower the amount of calories in the burger.)

But it’s not just what’s in the food. The latest study also looked at packaging. Ultra-processed foods might also be packaged with materials that also have carcinogenic properties, the researchers said. And they may contain food additives — including sodium nitrate, which is often used in processed meat, or titanium dioxide, which is a white food pigment — which have been found to have some carcinogenic properties.

Ultra-processed foods include:

• Mass-produced breads and buns

• Packaged snacks

• Industrially-produced desserts

• Sodas and sweetened drinks

• Packaged meatballs

• Packaged nuggets made from poultry or fish

• Meat products that contain preservatives other than salt

• Instant noodles or soups

• Frozen or shelf-stable instant meals

• Hydrogenated oils

McDonald’s, meanwhile, is also reducing the size of its French fries in Happy Meals, from a small size to a “kids” size. Kids’ fries are 1.3 ounces and have 110 calories, and small fries are 2.6 ounces and have 230 calories. And it’s working to reduce sugar in chocolate milk. Bottled water will become a drink option for kids’ meals later this year. McDonald’s has already removed artificial preservatives from its Chicken McNuggets and said it will remove artificial flavors, colors from artificial sources, and will reduce artificial preservatives “where feasible.”

It has partnered with a nonprofit called Alliance for Healthier Generation since 2013 to promote healthier eating.


This city has the most ultra-rich residents in the world

Thanks; Fang Block

Published: June 27, 2017 7:02 p.m. ET

The New York City metro area had 8,350 residents with a net worth of at least $30 million in 2016.

The New York metropolitan area remains the top magnet for the world’s ultra rich, attracting 8,350 residents with a net worth of at least $30 million in 2016, according to a Wealth-X report released Tuesday.

Compared with 2015, the ultra-high-net-worth individuals residing primarily in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania grew 9.6%, according to the World Ultra Wealth Report 2017 by Wealth-X, a global wealth information and insight business provider.

Hong Kong and Tokyo remained the second and third most popular global cities for the ultra rich; London and Paris ranked fifth and sixth.

London was the only top-10 city to register a decline in its ultra wealthy population, as wealth levels took a hit from currency weakness and Brexit-related concerns.

Worldwide, the ultra-rich population grew by 3.5% to 226,450 in 2016, representing a strong rebound from last year’s sharp fall of 7.1%.

However, there were significant regional fluctuations, with North America and Asia Pacific recording a rise in the number of the ultra rich and their overall fortunes, while the rest of the world saw a decrease in wealth creation.

Other major findings in the report include:

• The combined wealth of the ultra rich, which comprises just 0.003% of the global adult population, increased 1.5% year-over-year to $27 trillion.

• Almost half of the global ultra wealthy population (108,610) had a net worth of between $30 million and $50 million.

• The number of billionaires declined 3.1% to 2,397; their combined net wealth dropped 3.1% to $7,400 billions.

• Latin America and the Caribbean suffered double-digit falls in its ultra wealthy collective wealth, with the population decreasing 3.4% to 6,850.

• Liquid assets, primarily cash, owned by the ultra wealthy stood at $9.6 trillion in 2016, accounting for the largest share (35.4%) of their holdings.

Top 100 City Destinations Ranking: WTM London 2017 Edition

Thanks;Wouter Geerts

Published;NOVEMBER 7TH, 2017

Euromonitor International is pleased to release its annual Top City Destinations Ranking, covering 100 of the world’s leading cities in terms of international tourist arrivals. For the first time, the Top 100 City Destinations Ranking 2017 Edition was unveiled at World Travel Market (WTM) London, the leading travel and tourism event worldwide. This year’s report includes forecast data up to 2025 and incorporates future travel trends to give further insight on how travel trends are borne out of the opportunities and challenges that cities face.


According to the report, Hong Kong was the most visited city in the world, benefiting from its strategic location and relationship with China, followed by Bangkok, which has overtaken London in 2015. Asian cities dominate the global destination rankings thanks to the inexorable rise of Chinese outbound tourism. In 2010, 34 cities from Asia Pacific were present in Euromonitor International’s ranking. This jumped to 41 cities in 2017 and is expected to grow to 47 cities in 2025. Asia Pacific is the standout region that has driven change in the travel landscape and is expected to continue doing so in the coming decade with Singapore overtaking London as the third most visited city in the world by 2025 making the podium fully Asian.

On the contrary, the performance of European cities has been hampered by several events in recent years, including the Eurozone and migrants crisis, as well as Brexit and terrorist attacks. Despite the uncertainty, some European destinations, in particular Greece, Italy and Spain have profited from unrest in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), as they offer a similar climate to countries affected by unrest such as Turkey, Egypt and Tunisia.


Performance in the MENA region has fluctuated greatly in recent years, however Euromonitor forecast data show a recovery for the region in 2017 and beyond. Most noteworthy, it is expected that Egypt will register growth in 2017, after a strong decline in 2016. While the Middle East and North Africa’s main challenges are wars and border disputes, Africa is looking to do the reverse: opening borders and enhancing collaboration with the African Union’s plans towards seamless border. African leaders are seeing travel and tourism as a way to boost the economic prosperity of the continent.

In stark contrast to Africa, the plans towards stronger border controls might weight heavily on America’s performance. Although seeing positive growth, US arrivals witnessed a slowdown in 2016 due to a strong dollar and political uncertainty surrounding the US elections. According to Euromonitor International’s Travel Forecast Model, if the US drops out the NAFTA and imposes a 35 percent tariff on Mexican imports, followed by Mexican retaliation, the impact on inter-regional travel would be considerable. New York, the most visited city in America and the only US city in the top ten most visited city ranking, has revised its 2017 forecast expecting a potential fall of 300,000 visitors, as a worst case scenario.


The top ten most visited cities are:











Source: Euromonitor International


Euromonitor International’s report drills down into the detail of the figures to highlight why some cities are performing better than others and how emerging trends are going to re-shape the travel industry and disrupt the ranking up to 2025.

Some of the key emerging travel trends identified by the report are:

Asia – Cashless Asia

Cities as Digital Investments

To ensure continued arrivals growth and sustainable expansion, Asia cities are streaming ahead with initiatives to become smart cities. A big step towards as “smarter” society and economy is the growth of digital payment facilities. Cryptocurrencies are here to stay. The impact on the travel industry could be immense, not only in the way people travel, but also by simplifying smart contracts.

Europe – Angels and EU-nicorns

Cities as a Start-Up

While overcrowding represents a key issue in many European cities, there is a growing drive amongst start-ups in Europe to address other pain points in travel. Some of the largest start-ups in travel originate from the US. However, the US is increasingly competing with European hubs for start-up talents and investment.

UK – Rail Revolution

Cities as connectors

Over half of the international travelers coming to the UK visit London. There is a major gap between London and the second city, Edinburgh, which has less than 10% of London’s arrivals. Making the rest of the UK more accessible is an important focus of the UK’s strategy with rail a key focus to achieve a better connectivity and movement of international visitors.

Americas – Recognize that face?

Cities as hubs of innovation

As part of his policy to tighten border control, US President Donald Trump has ordered increased speed in implementing biometric scanners at airports. The travel industry is not only looking at the face to merely identify a traveler, but also to tell travel players what it wants, through speech and emotion. Voice is widely lauded as the latest frontier, which would have big implications for travel.

MEA – Looking beyond borders

Cities as entry points

Performance in the Middle East and Africa has fluctuated greatly due to unrest in many countries. However, 2017 is expected to be a good year across the board. Dubai seems insulated from all the turmoil that is going on around it. The city’s tourism industry is booking and is adopting new technologies at rapid pace. Johannesburg is the only Sub-Saharan Africa city in the ranking. However, tourism is considered a pillar of its economic growth strategy and the city is investing heavily in technology.


Most Americans can’t kick this habit, and it’s killing them

Thanks;Ilene Raymond Rush

Published;Aug 24, 2017 1:52 pm ET

*Should you give up sugar?

This article is reprinted by permission from

With obesity on the rise and high rates of Type 2 diabetes, more people are attempting to give up sugar. It isn’t easy. Although scientific opinion is far from unanimous, there is tantalizing evidence that sugar can be as neurologically rewarding as some addictive drugs, helping to explain why it’s so hard to kick the habit.

Even figuring out how much sugar you eat is tricky. As Gary Taubes points out in his book, “The Case Against Sugar,” the sweet stuff appears in everything from breakfast cereals to tobacco. And sugar can evade even careful label-readers, masquerading as glucose, fruit juice concentrate, high fructose syrup and sucrose.

75 pounds of sugar a year

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, average consumption of added sugars amounts to about 75 pounds of sugar per person a year.

Taubes find the widespread idea of sugar as simply “empty calories” naïve. Instead, he sees sugar as having specific and possibly harmful effects in the human body.

“Different carbohydrates, like glucose and fructose, are metabolized differently,” he says, “leading to different hormonal and physiological responses. Fat accumulation and metabolism are influenced profoundly by these hormones.”

“People act as though all that matters is the dose, but when you talk about sugar like any other drug you have a paradigm shift,” says Taubes. “Why does Zoloft [an antidepressant] do something different than Lipitor [used to lower cholesterol]? No matter what dose we give a patient of Lipitor, it’s never going to be an antidepressant.

“We keep talking about what’s the right dose of sugar rather than how it works in the body,” Taubes says. “We need to look at it differently.”

Sugars for fats: a poor trade-off

“I think we’re just starting to understand the short- and long-term problems that increased sugar intake can cause to the human body,” says Dr. David Becker, associate director of the preventive and integrative heart health program at the Temple Heart and Vascular Institute in Philadelphia. “From the heart point of view, sugar raises [unhealthy] triglycerides, lowers [healthy] HDL and causes something called metabolic syndrome, a condition where the body can’t process things normally. As we get older, this is as powerful a risk factor as high cholesterol, which causes an increased risk of hypertension and hyperlipidemia and sets the body up to have [a heart attack] over time.””

The dilemma is that “we traded one problem for another,” says Becker. Over the years, in giving up cholesterol, people turned to processed foods that were low in saturated fat but high in sugar.

“But because cholesterol is bad, that doesn’t mean sugar is good. They’re both bad for you,” Becker says.

So what should people eat?

Becker suggests the Mediterranean diet — which is high in healthy fats, proteins and complex carbohydrates such as legumes or whole grains — as one option.

“Diets have been operating between polar extremes,” says Becker. “On one end, there is the Ornish plan, which cuts fats below 10%, which means people eat more junk carbs such as white breads, pasta and sugar, to make up for missing calories. Then there is the Atkins diet, which is very high in saturated fat. I believe we need some balance.”

‘Stepping down’ from sugar

“You can definitely live without sugar,” says Susan Renda, assistant professor of community and public health at Johns Hopkins Medical School. “Mainly, it’s a source of quick energy that rapidly raises blood sugar. If you’re running a marathon, you might need that burst of energy, but in most cases you don’t.”

For those who can’t go cold turkey, Renda advises a “step-down” approach.

“First, be aware of the foods you’re eating. Sugar is everywhere, even in bread, where high fructose corn syrup can be used to help the yeast grow. People aren’t aware of how much sugar they consume.”

Then, she recommends substitutions.

“Pick a processed or refined carbohydrate and substitute a food of the earth, something closer to its natural state,” says Renda. “If you eat ice cream every night, consider substituting a handful of grapes or a few nuts three nights a week.”

Her third step is to work hard to enjoy whatever food you select.

“We tend to eat things we like very quickly. Choose a corner of a bar of dark chocolate — which is healthier than milk chocolate — and eat it very, very slowly,” says Renda.

Skip the soda

Becker finds that the simplest tip for many people is to watch what you drink.

“Sugary sodas are the most harmful — you can have 10 teaspoons of sugar in a single can. And fruit juices aren’t much better,” he says. “Get back to water, and if you must, put a tiny bit of fruit juice in it. It’s something that cuts down the calories and makes a huge difference.”

Despite Becker’s best advice, he admits that not many of his patients abandon sugar completely.

Don’t miss: Still not losing weight? These may be the reasons why

“We need a lot of educating,” he says. “People like things that taste good. But this is a condition that can be cured. Try a sugar purge for a couple of weeks — people say that within two or three weeks they lose the taste for sugar really quickly.”

Ilene Raymond Rush is a health and science writer whose work appears in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Diabetic Lifestyle, Diabetic Living, Good Housekeeping, Weight Watchers Magazine, Philadelphia Magazine and many other publications. She lives in Elkins Park, a suburb of Philadelphia, with her husband and overweight schnauzer, Noodle.

Event Preview: InnoPack F&B Confex 2017

PUBLISHED; March 18th, 2017


The Packaging industry continues to post strong growth in India. Packaging for Foods is the largest industry in the overall industry. India has continued to be the third largest market globally for Food Packaging in terms of Retail/off-trade Unit Volume. The region also is the eight largest in beverage packaging in terms of total volume.

Given the opportunities it presents we have partnered with UBM India for the 2017 edition of InnoPack F&B Confex organised by UBM India. This is scheduled on the 11th – 12th April, 2017 in Gurgaon, India. This event strives to present a platform for F&B professionals to network, exchange ideas and knowledge, form future alliances and forecast new opportunities for the F&B packaging industry, in the dynamic economic environment.


In addition to demographic changes, the packaging industry in India is also having to respond to changes in the way consumers shop. Strategies have to be adapted to suit urban and rural areas, and also vary across regions in India. Many lower-income demographics are paid on a daily basis and can only afford to shop daily preferring local convenience stores as opposed to shopping on a weekly basis in city centre supermarkets.

Several more consumer specific trends will be addressed by the industry with discussions on – Understanding the F&B packaging based on consumer purchase decisions and Recent updates on the regulations in food and beverage packaging.


As the world consumes more resources than it can produce, there is an impetus to push away from a linear economy based on a make/use/dispose model and towards a circular economy based on a reduce/reuse/recycle model that focuses on minimizing waste and recycling or reusing all end products.

A focused conversation – Evaluating different ways to implement sustainable packaging and sustainable printing for food and beverage Industry will also be part of the two day event.


The health and wellness trend also encouraged the use of packaging innovation by brand owners in flavoured milk drinks, cheese, processed meat, and fruit and vegetables in developing a snacking product. Strengthening of the snacking trend, led to biscuits, snack bars, confectionery and baked goods overall providing the biggest incremental growth for packaging in foods. Flexible plastic, as a widely used snack pack solution for products such as toffees, caramels, nougat and sweet biscuits, will benefit the most to 2020.

Some of the conversations which would deliberate further on trends include – Exploring the new ways of packaging designs used for food and beverage packaging to attract the customers and Maximizing brand image through packaging.

What Bangkok’s public transport network will look like in 2020

Thanks;BK;The insider’s guide to Bangkok

With the new MRT purple line between Khlong Bang Phai-Tao Poon set to open this year, we look at what developments we can realistically expect from public transport by 2020 (fingers crossed).

See also: As Bangkok gears up for a single ticket transport system, here’s everything we know so far

1. The MRT purple line

Set to officially launch on Mother’s Day, Aug 12, the first section of the much-delayed MRT purple line will run between Khlong Bang Phai-Tao Poon. A trial period will commence in May, when you can ride for free, before the full fare kicks in (B14-42). This line is a much-welcomed development for residents of Nonthaburi. Of note for those living in central Bangkok, the line will take you straight to the massive Central Westgate Bangyai (see below), one of the city’s more significant recent mega-mall openings. The purple line will connect with the existing Bang Sue station and eventually also run from Tao Pun-Rat Burana.

Moving out

New lines mean more affordable accommodation for commuters. Here are the top upcoming developments along the Purple Line.



MRT Bang Rak Yai Sammakorn S9. Starts from B1.49 million.
Soi Yothathikarn, Rattanathibet Rd., 002-142-9922.




MRT Tao Pun IDEO Mobi Bangsue Grand Interchange. Starts from B2.61 million.
Pracharat Sai 2 Rd., 02-316-2222.
MRT Bang Son IDEO Mobi Wongsawang Interchange. Starts from B2.29 million.
Bangkok-Nonthaburi Rd., 02-316-2222.



MRT Ministry of Public Health The Tree Elegance Tiwanon. Starts from B1.49 million
Pracharat Sai 1 Rd., 1739. 






MRT Wong-sawang AspireRatchada Wongsawang. Starts from B1.59 million
Bangkok-Nonthaburi Rd., 1623.
MRT Sriponsawan Aspire Rattanathibet 2. Starts from B1.69 million.
Rattanathibet Rd., 1623.



MRT Sriponsawan LPNLumpiniPark Rattanathibet-Ngamwongwan. Starts from B1.35 million
Rattanathibet Rd., 02-527-6777.



MRT Phra Nang Klao Bridge Supalai City Resort . Starts from B1.65 million.
Rattanathibet Rd., 1720 Ext. 83. www.
MRT Nonthaburi City Hall Supalai Park Khaerai-Ngamwongwan. Starts from B1.5million.
Rattanathibet Rd., 1720 Ext. 83. www.
MRT Bang Son Supalai Veranda. Starts from B1.85 million.
Prachacheun Rd., 1720 Ext. 87.

2. BTS Sukhumvit line

Since its conception in 1999, Bangkok’s BTS skytrain has been operating on two lines—Sukhumvit and Silom—which presently service a total of 34 stations.

The Sukhumvit line is set to extend from Bearing through Samutprakarn and all the way to Bang Pu. Said to be operational by early 2020, the extension will cover seven stations and is supposedly 57.06-percent complete already. That will easily get you to the picturesque Ancient City (Muang Boran, below), the seaside Samutprakarn City Hall and Samutprakarn Crocodile Farm.

From Mo Chit, meanwhile, there is also a plan to extend to Saphan Mai through to Khu Khot, which is also expected to be completed in 2020, too. Highlights on this line include Kasetsart University, 11th Infantry Regiment (where the last Maya Music Festival was held) and the Royal Air Force Museum.


3. The MRT blue line

The MRT has been operating since 2004, with just the one line covering 18 stations. Construction to expand the current blue line from Hua Lamphong-Bang Kae (14km) will commence next year, and has been scheduled for completion within four years. That means your trips to explore the Old Town will be much more convenient as the line passes through Charoenkrung, Chinatown, Sanam Chai Road (Museum Siam and Wat Pho) and Pak Khlong Talad over to the Thonburi side of the city. The first 4km of the line from Hua Lamphong to Tha Phra will be underground, before it converts into an overground train for the rest of the journey to Bang Kae (9km).


4. The SRT dark red line

Finally, the Bangsue-Rangsit dark red line, covering some 24.6km of Bangkok (and planned to connect to the North/Northeastern region of the country in the future) as part of the planned SRT Red Line suburban railway system, is scheduled to be complete by 2019 after some delays in the bidding process. Why we’re excited? No more ungodly traffic time on the way to Don Muang Airport, improved access to MOCA (see below).


Further down the tracks

Upcoming lines for the more distant future


Looking at the complete map of all the future lines, here’s a brief summary of transport coverage you can expect…eventually:

Dark red line — Hua Mak-Bang Sue-Thammasat Rangsit Campus

Light red line — Taling Chan-Bang Sue-Hua Mak

Pink line — Khae Rai-Minburi

Orange line–Taling Chan-Thailand Cultural Center- Minburi

Yellow line — Lad Phrao-Pattanakarn-Samrong

Sukhumvit line — Mochit-Saphan Mai-Khu Khot, and Bearing-Samut Prakarn-Bang Pu

Silom line — Yotse-National Stadium-Saphan Taksin-Bang Wa

Purple line — Bang Yai-Bang Sue-Ratburana

Blue line — Hua Lamphong-Bangkhae and Bangsue-Tha Phra-Phutthamonthon Sai 4

Extended Airport Rail Link– Phayathai-Bang Sue-Don Muang


The other side of the MRT purple line 

Tao Pun-Ratburana 

Phase two of the MRT purple line is intended to serve the southern part of the city. The underground train will cover areas in the Phra Nakhon and Dusit district—that means Samsen Road, the national library, Thewet Market, Banglamphu (one of the world’s fastest growing Airbnb areas), the Golden Mount—before crossing to the other side of the river into Thonburi through Wongwian Yai and terminating at Rat Burana. Phra Pradaeng (home to the trending cycling destination Bang Krachao) will also be easier to access. So far, this phase has not yet received cabinet approval.
The new orange line

Taling Chan-Thailand Cultural Center-Minburi 

After much rerouting due to resident protests, the Thai cabinet has finally approved the construction of the orange line. This will also pass a lot of the city’s major sights serving people who live around Minburi. Other highlights include: Siriraj Hospital, Sanam Luang (Grand Palace and Tha Maharaj), Democracy Monument (RCAC and Rattanakosin Exhibition Hall), Lan Luang (Seven Spoons, Mad Moa, Talad Nang Loeng), Pratunam (Platinum Shopping Mall), Thailand Cultural Center and Hua Mak Stadium. Estimated completion in 2023.

How Panama Is Becoming The Next Luxury Hot Spot

Panama’s Cityscape (Credit: Panama Tourism Authority and Copa Airlines)Forbes-Panama-CityView-PanamaTourismAuthorityCopaAirlines

Panama’s Cityscape (Credit: Panama Tourism Authority and Copa Airlines)

THANKS;Jennifer Kester, Contributor

Panama may be best known for its canal, but the country isn’t merely a convenient passageway between east and west—it’s a destination made up of a unique mix of city, rainforest and beaches. One of the fastest-growing economies in Latin America, Panama is on the cusp of becoming a hot luxury travel spot.

April 2015 saw the unveiling of Soho Panama mall, a new luxury epicenter in downtown Panama City. Not only did it bring shops from the likes of Chanel, Versace, Burberry and macaron masters Ladurée, but the mall also will house The Ritz-Carlton, Panama when the 220-room hotel (with two swimming pools, a spa and four dining venues) opens in late 2016. The Ritz-Carlton company will follow up its Panama debut with a second hotel in the country; its Reserve boutique brand will open an outpost on Pearl Island, a pristine private island about 45 miles south of Panama City, in 2018.

The country also is making it easier to travel to and within Panama. It launched Central America’s first subway in 2014 and plans to add a second line that will connect Panama City to Tocumen International Airport in the future. Speaking of which, the airport is building a state-of-the-art second terminal to nearly double its capacity in 2017 (Tocumen is still in transition, but you can peruse several luxury shops, like Carolina Herrera and Valentino). Even the canal is seeing improvements—a $5.25 billion expansion, the largest canal project since it was constructed, will double its capacity when it wraps up in 2016. While many changes await for Panama, here’s why our Forbes Travel Guide editors think you should beat the crowds and go now.


InterContinental Miramar (Credit: InterContinental Hotels and Resorts)

Where to Stay

Opened in 1997, InterContinental Miramar Panama is one of the city’s stalwart hotels. As part of an ongoing renovation, the cream marble lobby recently was refreshed and the modern, neutral rooms were upgraded with new flooring, beds and more. For the best views, book accommodations facing the water and gain access to the fifth-floor Club Lounge (which is slated for a makeover in 2016), where you can glimpse the city though big-picture windows at sunrise with breakfast and coffee and at sunset with appetizers and wine. The Bella Vista hotel sits along Cinta Costera, a 2.5-mile stretch lining Panama Bay where you can walk, jog or bike along a palm-framed path while taking in skyline panoramas. Follow the path south and you’ll hit the Mercado de Mariscos, or seafood market, where you can see fish mongers displaying local catch like corvina and locals popping by the no-frills outdoor booths for a helping of fresh ceviche.

If you’re looking to explore a less touristy part of the city, try Trump Ocean Club International Hotel & Tower Panama in Punta Pacifica, a tony residential neighborhood. The 70-story sailboat-shaped building stands out on the city skyline. But what’s more impressive are the views from the floor-to-ceiling windows in the waterfront hotel’s chic guest rooms, the sexy deck where you can choose among five pools or simply sprawl out on a chaise lounge in front of an infinity pool that seems to drop off into the ocean, and the casino, whose 66th high-roller floor affords stunning vistas.


Our Panamanian obsession: Riesen’s vegetable root crisps topped with national cheese, dried cherry tomatoes and avocado (Credit: Jennifer Kester)

Where to Eat

As Panama modernizes, segments of the capital city remain charmingly stuck in the past. Casco Viejo (aka Casco Antiguo), the city’s historic district that was established after 1671, landed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List for this reason. It recalls Puerto Rico’s Old San Juan with brick streets and colorful Spanish colonial buildings with upper-floor balconies running the length of the structures. Even buildings with peeling rosy paint or a chipped-away straw-colored façade bearing “Me encanta tu piel” (“I love your skin”) in cursive graffiti look romantic rather than rundown.

Casco is the spot to visit for cuisine. One of the hottest restaurants is Manolo Caracol, where chef Andrés Morataya leads the charge in using hyper-local ingredients by any means necessary. About 70 percent of the menu (such as rice and cacao) comes from the restaurant’s own farm. Lobster and octopus are sourced from free divers. A team drives through villages scouring for chicken to buy them piecemeal. Morataya then turns these fresh items to modern dishes (order the tasting menu for a feast). Of course, the selection varies depending on what seafood, produce and such he can secure that week. But expect to savor dishes like a flavorful seafood soup with achiote and coconut, silky bone marrow covered with caramelized onions, or crispy patacónes (fried plantain slices) topped with prawns.

Venture outside of Casco to the bawdier El Cangrejo neighborhood for a meal at Riesen. After winning the annual Panama Gastronomica competition, chef Hernan Correa Riesen used the prize money to convert part of his family home into a small restaurant. Don’t let the modest dining room fool you—Riesen’s creative cuisine deserves your attention anyway. The chef incorporates Panamanian ingredients and modernist techniques to craft dishes like the addictive housemade vegetable root crisps topped with dabs of national cheese (soft and creamy, it has the consistency of ricotta), dried cherry tomatoes and avocado slices. Entrées include a filling grilled octopus with peach palm and coconut, and a tender 48-hour braised beef tongue.

While Morataya and Riesen represent a new, younger generation of chefs in the city, you’ll still find traditional Panamanian favorites. At lunch, follow the locals to an oversized seafoam-green window on Avenue B that looks nondescript, save for a blackboard that says “Menu” with a few dishes listed underneath it. The namesake chef at La Cocina de Rosita serves to-go plates out of that window. For a mere $3.50, enjoy authentic dishes like guacho, a Panamanian version of risotto, or almojábanos, fried cornmeal with cheese that’s pure comfort food.

A visit to Panama wouldn’t be complete without a raspao, a snowcone made with condensed milk and fruit. You’ll run into vendors throughout Casco hawking raspao, but seek out the shiny silver cart of El Viejo Talentoso (typically parked in the Plaza de Francia). The raspao whiz puts on a show, scraping shards off of a large ice block. We opted for the coconut, so our refreshing treat came with coconut milk, condensed milk, a honey drizzle and a sprinkle of shredded coconut.

For something a bit stronger, head to the hip lobby of American Trade Hotel (Ace’s first foray into the high-end hotel market) for a mojito or seco, the country’s potent national liquor made of fermented sugar cane. Order seco like a Panamanian—with milk and on the rocks. American Trade also serves as a jazz hot spot; Wednesday to Thursday nights, it hosts Danilo’s Jazz Club with Grammy-winning jazz pianist-composer Danilo Pérez, featuring local and international musicians.


Panama Viejo (Credit: Panama Tourism Authority and Copa Airlines)

What to See

To see the city’s origins, head to Panama Viejo, where you can wander through grassy grounds, exotic trees and the 16th-century ruins of the first European settlement on the Pacific Coast of the Americas. The cathedral is the best preserved among the stone remains. Climb up 72 feet in its bell tower for expansive views of Panama in all directions. It once served as a lookout post for pirates.

Discover another side to Panama at Gamboa Rainforest Resort, which is a half hour from Panama City. Skip the resort and go straight for the forest, which is relatively young due to deforestation from the building of the canal. An aerial tram will raise you 280 feet above the rainforest floor for prime photo ops of the lush flora, including trumpet trees, mountain figs and balsa trees, along with wildlife. With the help of our tram guide, we spotted baby sloths, a chestnut-mandibled toucan and a flurry of butterflies (Panama has more than 16,000 species) during the 20-minute ride. As you glide through the treetops, you may hear drumming in the distance—there’s an indigenous Embera village nearby that performs for visitors.

Upon landing, you’re left to make your way up a 10-story observation tower (it’s all inclines, no steps, which makes it a breeze to walk to the top) to take in more rainforest vistas, and then you can catch the open-air tram back in the other direction.

Gain a deeper understanding of the importance of Panama’s biodiversity at the Biomuseo, which opened in 2014. The building’s misshapen roof panels in saturated hues like yellow, blue and red are enough to draw you to the museum, renowned architect Frank Gehry’s only work in Latin America, as is the lovely park surrounding it along the water. But step inside to learn how there are more tree species in 2.5 acres of Panamanian forest than all of North America combined. And if being in the rainforest wasn’t enough for you, the “Panamarama” audiovisual exhibit puts you in an immersive space plastered with 10 screens that offer an extreme close-up of the unique local ecosystem. The south wing hosts traveling exhibitions, but the goal is to fill it with permanent exhibits, including two aquariums, one representing the Pacific Ocean and the other the Caribbean Sea. Like the rest of this up-and-coming country, the museum has big plans for the future.


Thanks;Experimental Study of Princeton University /My Darling@Pennsylvania 


Decorative magnets outside the refrigerator door panels must be quickly removed! ‘Experimental Study of Princeton University proved that just a small piece of refrigerator magnet will attract radioactive materials and actually cause cancer!

 Refrigerator magnets affixed to the outer fridge door will absorb radiation and will make you and your family absorb more radiated food, causing high carcinogenic risk!

So please immediately remove the magnets from the fridge door to protect food from radiation contamination! @ interesting discovery!

 A researcher at Princeton University has made a horrible discovery for months. He fed two groups of mice: The first group ate food stored in a refrigerator with no decorative magnet at the door. The second group ate food stored in a refrigerator with some decorative magnets on the refrigerator door. The purpose of this experiment was to see electromagnetic radiation’s effect (i.e. decorative magnets on a refrigerator door) on the food. Surprisingly, the rigorous clinical studies showed that as high as 87% of the second group of mice which consumed “radiation” food contracted cancer i.e. the probability of cancer is higher than the other group of mice! 

Please remove any decorative magnets on your fridge, and put it away from any food!
Decorative magnets outside the refrigerator door panels must be quickly removed! ‘Experimental Study of Princeton University proved that just a small piece of refrigerator magnet will attract radioactive materials and actually cause cancer 

Tesco Homeplus Virtual Subway Store in South Korea


Tesco Homeplus Virtual Subway Store in South Korea

China Bans Shark Fin, Bird’s Nest Soups From Official Events

Thanks;Courtney Subramanian

President Xi Jinping has pledged to crack down on fiscal waste, political corruption

In the latest crackdown on political extravagance, China is banning shark fin and bird’s nest soups from official receptions, and prohibiting lower-level officials from staying in suites on business trips.

A document from the Communist Party of China (CPC) explicitly states that the two dishes, considered delicacies in China as well as wild animal products, are not allowed at official reception dinners, state news agency Xinhau reports. The rules are meant to regulate public funding of reception dinners, and also bans cigarettes and alcohol from official meetings.

Cash, negotiable securities and souvenirs are also ruled out as gifts to politicians, according to the document.

The document is aimed to “promote frugality, oppose extravagance and enhance the anti-corruption efforts among Party and governmental authorities,” according to Xinhua. Chinese President Xi Jinping has pledged to address public outcry over political corruption and fiscal waste.