WORTH A TRIP: "Even if overshadowed in the news by the explosions of bombs, Pakistan's other explosions -- of music, media and mass culture -- are powerful and growing sources of hope," Moshin Hamid writes in the July Smithsonian. His savvy insider's take on Lahore visits intellectuals and doormen, nightclubs and a Mogul palace "with a mirrored ceiling that reflects candlelight like the flickering of stars." With Pakistan under a U.S. State Department travel warning, we can dream . . .

WORTH A FLIP: Travel + Leisure claims that the site where the First National Congress of China's Communist Party met is now "the epicenter of Shanghai's consumer culture" and points out capitalist pleasures, from designer fakes to celeb chef Jean-Georges Vongerichen's chic eatery . . . Most mags just gab about the Lewis and Clark bicentennial; Canoe & Kayak sends you in on "your own corps of discovery" . . . Conde Nast Traveler spins a seductive story of Sri Lanka, "an odd little island, where elephants are as common as cats," dreams are "scented by yellow and white champac flowers left floating in bowls all around the room" and gunshots ring out at dawn "to chase away the monkeys" . . . Vermont Life champions the charms of a croquet tournament in Barnet. But beware, "Some of us play with skill. Some of us with deception,'" a competitor notes.

WORTH A GAWK: Y'all ("The Magazine of Southern People") explains the rules of "GRITS," Girls Raised in the South ( No. 4: Never be out-blonded) . . . Out & About gives the Jailhouse restaurant in Copenhagen an Editor's Choice Award, thanks to "handcuff-wearing servers, great food and fun crowd."

-- Gayle Keck