My holidays: Tristram Clayton

Tristram Clayton. Photo / Greg Bowker
Tristram Clayton. Photo / Greg Bowker

Best holiday ever?

It's a bit corny but celebrating my mum's 70th in Rajasthan in northwest India four years ago. I'll never forget her birthday lunch on the roof of our hotel looking out over Lake Pichola and the countless palaces, temples and havelis to the shimmering purple ridges of the distant mountains. Around the table, all dressed in traditional Indian garb, my mum and 20 siblings, nieces and nephews who'd arrived from everywhere, from London to Lower Hutt. Zooming off to Kerala and Goa for a week of R&R with my immediate family after was the perfect end.

Where's your next holiday?
Bali. Finally. Southeast Asia is my favourite part of the world (I've been to Thailand seven times and took my kids to Vietnam and Cambodia when they were 7 and 5) but have never made it to Bali. Can. Not. Wait.

Best anti-jetlag tip?
Bloody Marys and movies. On a recent trip to New York I watched 16 movies - and probably drank the same number of Bloody Marys. It sure made the trip go fast.

Favourite city to visit?
Bangkok. It was my first non-Australasian destination as a solo traveller and a city that still haunts my thoughts and dreams. The food and foot massages, people and prices, energy and elephants, tuk tuks and temples - I love it all.

Best get-away-from-it-all place?
I reckon central Africa is hard to beat if you really want to get away from it all. Twelve years ago my brother and I travelled around Rwanda and Kenya. We also trekked into the mountains of Northern Rwanda to spent time with the gorillas then went on a three day safari in Kenya's Masai Mara.

Describe your ideal money-no-object dream holiday?
Okay, here we go. It's a round-the-world ticket with the first stop in Bhutan in the Himalayas. It's the only country in the world where tobacco is illegal, they measure the national "happiness" index instead of GDP and have no real tourism as visas cost thousands of dollars for each day you're there. Then the Maldives - I love diving and it sounds as though it doesn't get much better than this equatorial paradise. Then two days in each of Berlin, Paris, London, all cities I've lived in that are dear to my heart. And finally Rangiroa Atoll in French Polynesia - it sounds mind-blowing.

Tristram Clayton is co-host of NZ Herald Focus, launching tomorrow on nzherald.co.nz

- Spy.co.nz

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