bonnie tsui

writer

The New York Times

Writing Alone, Together

Two years ago, I felt what I imagined to be a pull toward a larger whole: a hive, if you will, busy with the convivial hum of others at work.

The Self-Reflecting Pool

Each pool, I saw, was a potential portal: a way to shed the noise, to swim to stillness.

East Side Story

A new wave of residents has inherited a fierce love for the neighborhood, with a corresponding loyalty to support local businesses.

Chinatown Revisited

When we talk about a good Chinatown, we point to certain signs: live fish for sale, dragon eyes in sidewalk produce displays, smokers, crowds.

Diving for an Elusive Delicacy

Back home, the biggest of my three-specimen haul clocked in at a healthy six pounds: dinner for four.

Forgetting Grandma

My father told me that my grandmother lived not far from me in San Francisco. This was news: I’d last seen her almost 25 years before.

Souring on Shark Fin Soup

The potential to change the consumption patterns of the Chinese middle class has powerful implications for every conceivable commodity, from beef and cars to electricity and water.

Waves and Wildlife in Costa Rica

It’s not every day that you step out from a sunset surf session and straight into a jungle habitat of howler monkeys dangling in leafy guarumo trees.

The Secret Little Sister of the Italian Lakes

Like a siren, the beautiful little island called to us. And so we swam, like crazed Olympic sprinters, from a cobblestone Italian town square to a serene island monastery in the middle of glittering Lago d’Orta.

Dim Corner of SoMa Brightens

The Mid-Market/Western SoMa neighborhood in San Francisco is on the upswing; Twitter is even moving in.

Nature Calls. You Can Call Back

Once reviled by park rangers as an unfortunate distraction, cellphones are lately being embraced by national, state and local parks as a way to educate a more connected public.

36 Hours in Aspen

As the lineup of private jets at the tiny airport will attest, summer is when the mountain town’s festival scene brings in celebrities of almost every category.

Hong Kong’s Meatpacking District

In old Hong Kong, around the intersection of Queen’s Road and Hollywood Road, the Sheung Wan neighborhood has found new life with a bumper crop of restaurants, galleries and night-life spots.

Plates Join Napa Wineglasses

Napa’s downtown stretch along the riverfront has roared to life, opening the field for some heavy-duty entrants in the world of fine dining.

An All-Japanese Mash-up

Though the Japantown area of San Francisco has remained largely static since the 1970s — stretches of concrete, blocky mini-malls and lots of sushi restaurants — a new wave of Japanese popular culture, from monster movies to Lolita dresses, has hit the area, thanks to the recent arrival of New People, a five-level, glass-walled, 20,000-square-foot shrine to all things Japanese.

Hawaiiana, Beyond the Hula Doll

What do people take home from Hawaii? Most likely, memories: a bite of fresh pineapple, a swim in the ocean, a Technicolor sunset. Typical souvenirs — T-shirts, a bouncy hula-doll figurine, a shell necklace — hardly do the natural beauty of the islands justice.

In the Wild, With Tent and Tablecloth

Unlike most adventure travel trips, during which guides don’t typically invite guests to do the cooking, the goal on these trips is to give participants access to cutting boards, knives and hot coals, and, “have them go at it.”

If You Can Stand Up, Who Cares if Surf’s Up?

What began as a matter of practicality for the beach boys started popping up in its modern form as a full-fledged sport in the past 5 to 10 years; there are now stand-up paddleboarding competitions all over the world.

In Honolulu, Chinatown’s Revival

Chinatown is livelier than ever, thanks to the street cred that has come along with the neighborhood’s latest reinvention as an arts hub and a gritty, up-and-coming place to shop and eat.

Exotic Tastes of the Big Island

Cherimoya, calamansi, rainbow papaya. Puna ricotta, poha berries, lilikoi. Lava salsa, dinosaur kale, Hamakua mushrooms. This is the exotic-food litany on the lips of pilgrims who go to the Hilo Farmers Market, held twice a week on the lush eastern side of the Big Island.

No Longer War-Torn, El Salvador Begins to Draw Tourism

On a trip to El Salvador in March, I encountered tiny, colorful inns overlooking the Pacific, friendly local surfers, fishermen trolling along mangrove-lined channels, and family-owned waterfront restaurants specializing in fresh ceviche and grilled giant shrimp.

Blazing New Trails in Native American Lands

A new generation of Indian entrepreneurs and leaders is making its influence felt in tourism, bringing a sensitive, updated sensibility to hospitality, along with a renewed emphasis on authenticity.

A Room With Unending Views, Even in the Dark

Perched at 5,970 feet, the tower peers out for miles in every direction across the pine-covered slopes and rocky peaks of the eastern Sierra Nevada in Northern California, still capped with snow in the middle of May.

Ultimate Frisbee Takes Off

In the last 10 years, Ultimate Frisbee has become one of the world’s fastest-growing sports.

In New Mexico, Balm in a Volcanic Landscape

Perched at 6,300 feet and sandwiched between two striking red-rock mesas, the New Mexico town of Jemez Springs has long been a place of uncommon natural beauty and a refuge for all manner of pilgrims.

Basking in the Sunshine Coast

Though just a short ferry hop from Vancouver across Howe Sound, the 50-mile stretch of craggy forest and marine parks that makes up the Sunshine Coast feels far away from the city’s action.

Don’t Bother With the Hotel Pool

Swimming-oriented tours and vacations have been around for a while, but lately there are new trips of a single day up to a whole week for the recreational swimmer.

Peace Dividend: Unspoiled Hiking in the Balkans

Last summer, an exploratory group of five hikers walked among the majestic, jagged limestone peaks of Sutjeska National Park, eventually ascending to the top of 7,828-foot Maglic, the highest mountain in the country of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Adventure Guide to Mexico

Beyond the sunbathers, cervezas and spring break debauchery so conspicuously on display in Cancún and Cozumel, Mexico offers a lesser-known adventure experience.

A Personal Look at Chinatown

In Chinatowns across the country, unusually authentic walking tours reveal a bit of real life off the beaten tourist path.

Traveling the World to Help Save It

As exotic destinations become more commonplace and travelers seek out more unusual and broadening experiences, nonprofit groups are responding.

The Okanagan, a Napa of the North

This is the British Columbia of popular imagination, all steep-walled mountain valleys and spectacular snow-fed lakes, but with a bonus: a wine region aspiring to hold its own with the famous California valleys to the south

South Pacific High Life

Once a far-flung hideaway for honeymooners and reclusive figures like Marlon Brando, Bora Bora is now surprisingly accessible, thanks to new airline routes from the United States and a wave of luxury resorts opening this year.

Going to Bath

Britain’s only natural thermal springs finally reopened to the public on Aug. 7 after a nearly 30-year hiatus in the form of the Thermae Bath Spa.

Trophies in a Barrel: Examining ‘Canned Hunting’

“Canned hunting”””the sport killing of animals bred in captivity and released into enclosed surroundings with no chance of escape””seems to generate controversy wherever it is practiced.

Big Sur’s Eloquent Silence

Treebones Resort embodies the natural beauty and off-the-grid living that have long characterized Big Sur.

Riding the Ski Train to Backcountry Alaska

Alaska in winter is an intimidating prospect: one characterized by frigid temperatures, long nights and forbidding landscapes blanketed in snow and ice.

The Rural Hawaiian

Quiet and rugged, Lanai is a small town that is an island.

Reading the Body to Ease Aches And Prevent Injury

Since the National Academy of Sports Medicine, a nonprofit association of sports trainers and therapists, began Body Map last year, hundreds of professional athletes have used it to help identify muscular weaknesses in an effort to ease their aches and pains and to prevent season-ending injuries.

Diving Into the Fishbowl

A relatively new phenomenon at aquariums in the United States allows the public into the underwater world behind the glass on a pay-to-dive basis.

In Providence, Faded Area Finds Fresh Appeal

Despite having two national historic districts within its borders, the West Side of Providence has long been a run-down area, its crumbling 18th- and 19th-century Victorians and magnificent mill buildings cut off from the rest of downtown by a noisy swath of Interstate 95. But artists from elsewhere in the city have flocked to the neighborhood in recent years.

A Storied City Recaptures Its Former Glory

With Chinese from all over the country flocking to this city to fuel its booming economy, Guangzhou is pushing to reclaim its roots as the major trade and manufacturing center of China.

Renting a Green Car: French Fries, Anyone?

In several places across the nation, it is possible to rent hybrid gasoline-electric cars or cars that run on electricity, natural gas or even vegetable oil.

Endless Winter

To mainstream surfers, the logic of New England winter surfing is akin to that of opening a lemonade stand in Siberia in the middle of January.

Turks and Caicos, Undiscovered No More

The 40-island archipelago of Turks and Caicos in the British West Indies possesses a physical beauty that, until the past decade or so, had gone largely unnoticed.

Outrigger Canoeing

On a balmy Saturday morning, it’s practice as usual for the New York Outrigger Club.

When Real Life Collides with Weekend Warriors

It is Monday morning at the neighborhood bagel shop, and I catch someone’s eye. Why does he look familiar? As our orders make their way through the assembly line, we finally figure it out: afternoon pick-up soccer the weekend before.

In Crossing a Lake, a Watershed Moment

When I first started going along with my boyfriend to his family’s cottage on Lake George, I noticed that everyone in the family had a particular way of crossing the lake.