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esme travels′s Wishlist
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Rua do Conde de Redondo 24, 1150-106 Lisboa, Portugal
Lisbon, Portugal is a city of colour and creativity. This artistic flair even extends to its abandoned buildings. The municipal government hired local street artists to cover three buildings (two pictured here), slated for demolition, in unique...
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Mahlerovy sady 1, 130 00 Praha 3, Czechia
The Zizkov TV tower was built in the latter half of the 1980s and there were rumors that the Soviets built the tower to block out radio transmissions from the West. Locals have hated the 700-foot high structure since day one,...
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5030 Spring Mountain Rd, Las Vegas, NV 89146, USA
$$$$
Of course there is no shortage of great food in Las Vegas, but this place is different. First of all it is not on The Strip, so it is not accessible unless you know about it. It's in a strip mall in an area with a lot of other Asian restaurants,...
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Rocky Gap Rd, Las Vegas, NV 89161, USA
I have the pleasure of hiking in the beautiful Redrock Canyon area north of Las Vegas at least twice a year, but I have always been limited to the summer months for these treks. However, last winter, I had the chance to see the Mojave in winter....
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Nevada 89005, USA
FREE
Hoover Dam is an easy drive of only 30 minutes from Las Vegas. When you approach, keep your eye out for the Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge sign and swing into the parking lot for it. Completed in 2011, at a cost of $240 million, it is the second-highest...
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Sigiriya sits in an area dominated by a massive column of rock nearly 200 meters high. According to an ancient Sri Lankan chronicle, the site was selected by King Kasyapa (477–495 C.E.) for his new capitol. He built his palace on the top of this...
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The Royal Botanical Gardens lies in the outskirts of Kandy. I walk for an hour, covering much of the grounds. The highlight of the park, in a morbidly fascinating way, is hundreds (thousands?) of fruit bats congregating above our heads. Word to...
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70, Rajapihilla Mawatha, Kandy, Sri Lanka
I have read every article and review on the Helga’s Folly website, but the reality of the place has already exceeded the vision I hold of it in my imagination, and I have not yet stepped a foot across the threshold into the funhouse. It gets...
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20, Keerthi Sri Rajasinghe Mawatha, Kandy, Kandy, Sri Lanka
The main house is a comfortable central gathering place and the grounds are lush with flowers and plants. My room at the Ellerton is darling. Two beds draped in mosquito netting, an armoire with a safe, an open bathroom, magazines, wood floors and...
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Sri Dalada Veediya, Kandy 20000, Sri Lanka
The Temple of the Tooth is sacred because it houses the relic of the tooth of Buddha. Per ancient lore, whoever holds the relic holds the governance of Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka: My Favorite Trip Yet: http://bit.ly/11i4x2x
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Hatton - Maskeliya - Dalhousie Rd, Sri Lanka
The church was built in 1878. The tombstones extend behind the chapel, the plots they guard lined with bricks. The scene is both morbid and beautiful with the sloping green fields of tea folding into the river in the background. The caretaker...
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Station Rd, Haputale, Sri Lanka
Seeing Sri Lanka by train (first-class from Haputale to Hatton: $14) is surprisingly luxurious! My car comes with tilting seats, (on-and-off-again) wi-fi (not unlike AT&T service in Chicago!), windows that open, ceiling fans and a flat-screen tv....
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Unawatuna, Sri Lanka
Sanctuary Spa is a no-frills, open-air, affordable spa in laid-back Unawatuna. Sri Lanka: My Favorite Trip Yet: http://bit.ly/11i4x2x
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Avenida Belisario Porras Diagonal a la Policia Nacional, en la cara contraria donde esta el Banco Nacional de Panama., Bajo Boquete, Panama
La Amistad Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is mostly untouched, creating a home for more than 100 mammal species, including endangered tapirs, jaguars, ocelots, pumas, and howler monkeys. There are also more than 400 species of birds...
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Sri Pada / Adam's Peak, Sri Lanka
Adam’s Peak is a mountain in Central Sri Lanka that is a holy site to Buddhists, Christians, Hindus and Muslims: the large footprint at the top was left by either Adam, Lord Shiva or Buddha, depending upon who you ask. Climbing the mountain is an...
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Clayton, Panama City, Panama
The Panama Canal, an early 20th-century industrial marvel, continues to amaze engineering, construction, history, and maritime buffs. An expansion to double its capacity is in progress and slated for completion in 2015. The upper deck of the...
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World's End Rd, Sri Lanka
Visit Horton Plains National Park’s much-heralded, spectacular vantage point — World’s End — before 10:00 a.m., at which time — more or less — clouds obstruct one’s vision. The view is incredible. Sri Lanka: My Favorite Trip Yet:...
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Haputale, Sri Lanka
The aroma of curry greets me before I fully enter the reception area. Intoxicating! The Melheim Resort manager is professional, friendly and a wealth of useful advice for seeing Tea Country. He escorts me to my room. It’s nice: not amazing, but...
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Panama City, Panama
Our driver to take us to the Bahá’í Temple. Only eight Bahá’í houses of worship exist (although more are under construction). The Panama City temple shares the same dome-like shape and nine-sided design (as do all the temples)as the others, but...
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Sri Lanka
My driver spies the animals — jackals, boar, crocodiles and peacocks so far — much more quickly than I. Speaking of elephants… We see one, not far off in the distance. He’s gorgeous, and surprisingly graceful in his movements. Yes! This safari...
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Panama
I kick-off my offending footwear, grab my book and retire to the common area on the top floor. Blissfully supine in my hammock, I read a page, gaze out at the treetops, read another page, and gaze out at the treetops again. At 6:00 the staff sets...
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I’m not a fan of buffets, but dinner on the rooftrop restaurant is perfectly enjoyable: a vast selection of food, good people-watching (many countries represented here tonight) and fresh, balmy air. I’m happy here at Chaaya Wild Yala. Sri Lanka:...
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Kudawella, Sri Lanka
Pass through real a hall of horrors full of life-sized models of demons and sinners. The punishments inflicted on these sinners include being dunked in boiling cauldrons, sawn in half and disemboweled. Finally there’s a gigantic seated figure,...
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Fort, Galle 80000, Sri Lanka
All of Galle Fort goes out to enjoy the sunsets: families walk the walls together; the little girls show-off their bright dresses and the young boys play ball. Tourists perch on roofs and balconies to watch the sun descend into the Bay of Bengal....
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1969 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60614, USA
$$$$
Chicago is a world-class city: groundbreaking architecture, Michelin-rated restaurants, 5-star shopping and The Wiener’s Circle! But, best of all, Chicago is a walking city. Here’s one of the The Windy City’s best treks: a one-hour (at 4 miles per...
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10/4, Roomassala Road, Unawatuna, Sri Lanka
Guest rooms connect to an open-ceilinged room consisting solely of a koi pond flanked by a giant, concrete foot. My room features tall ceilings, ornate wooden furniture, and a spacious bed caged in a mosquito netting strewn with flower pedals. The...
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1544 W 18th St, Chicago, IL 60608, USA
$$$$
From downtown, take a cab (one way will be less than $10) or drive west on I290, exit on Ashland and head south a few blocks to 16th. Now check-out the wall on the north side of 16th street. EEK! Now just head west along the wall (in your...
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1852 W 19th St, Chicago, IL 60608, USA
Pilsen is a neighborhood southwest of downtown Chicago that is home to a large hispanic population — and you’ll witness that reflected in the art displayed on this series of posts. The area was considered dangerous in the ’90′s, but it’s...
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Calle ceniza 147, centro historico, Calle Cenizas 147, Cusco 08000, Peru
If you’re a foodie, curious about other cultures or just harbor a healthy morbid fascination (yes, yes and yes in my case), continue in the same direction, walking an additional 10 minutes to the San Pedro Market for all sorts of weird and...
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Plazoleta Nazarenas 337, Cusco 08000, Peru
If money is no object, you could stay just a few blocks away at the very swanky Hotel Monasterio. A former monastery surrounding a grand courtyard, the vibe here is dark, sexy and mysterious (just like I like my men). The occasional piped-in...
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Esquina de la Calle Ruinas 432 y San Agustin Cusco, Qosqo 08001, Peru
If you collect Marriott Rewards points, staying at the JW Marriott is a no-brainer. The hotel is new, stylish and ideally located in the San Blas neighborhood, close to nice shops, galleries, restaurants and the city’s main square, the Plaza de...
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Cusco, Peru
I really felt the high altitude here and had to stop few feet and catch my breath but you'll get the best view of Cusco if you climb up and over the actual ruins. The ruins themselves date to the 1400's and are called "Sexy Woman Ruins" by most...
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Triunfo 393, Cusco 08000, Peru
One of the city’s top restaurants, Cicciolina offers Italian-style dishes with a Peruvian flair, such as quinoa-encrusted prawns and osso buco with pumpkin ravioli topped by local cheese and a touch of Andean mint. There’s plenty to...
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PLAZA MAYOR, CENTRO DE, Cusco 08000, Peru
Reward yourself for climing all those damn steps to Sacsayhuaman! Head to Norton Rat’s Tavern on the corner the Plaza de Armas (sorry, you’re in for a few more stairs to get to the second floor), grab a cold Cusqueña beer (it’s not bad stuff) and...
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221, Plazoleta Nazarenas, Cusco, Peru
Top off your evening in Cusco with a pisco sour at Fallen Angel, just across the street from the Hotel Monastero in the chic San Blas Neighborhood. The edgy decor is downright trippy. Incredible Trip to Peru: http://bit.ly/11IZdBX
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Avenida Ferrocarril S/N, Sacred Valley, Urubamba 08660, Peru
Set amid lush, expansive grounds on the banks of the churning Urubambo River, this spa hotel is a luxurious base for exploring the Sacred Valley—or just relaxing in nature. For those heading to Machu Picchu, Tambo del Inka offers something...
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One of the best things to do while in Cuzco is to visit the Sunday farmer's market in the nearby Andean town of Pisac, taking either a taxi or a more economical bus to get there. The villagers surrounding Pisac come from miles around to sell their...
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Ollantaytambo, Peru
Ollantaytambo, a quaint town lying on the opposite side of the Sacred Valley from Pisac is a thirty-minute drive from the Tambo del Inka in Urubamba. It offers a market, ruins and a glimpse into everyday small-town life in Peru. Enjoy...
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Peru
The Salinas are salt evaporation ponds found in Maras, a small town in Peru's Sacred Valley. The marvel is formed of hundreds of salt pans utilized for extraction since the time of the Incas. Despite the blasted, omnipresent steps and relentless...
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Avenida Ferrocarril S/N, Sacred Valley, Urubamba 08660, Peru
Book your VistaDome ride and Machu Picchu entrance in advance through the Tambo del Inka travel service, T’ikariy. Your tickets will be delivered to your room. The morning of your trip, board PeruRail’s Vistadome train from the property’s private...
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Peru
The easy way to get up to the entrance of the citadel at Machu Picchu is to take a bus. It's can be a pretty scary ride with all the hairpin turns. So instead, hike up There are cut-troughs will help. It won't take more than an hour, and it will...
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26 De Diciembre 270, Puerto Maldonado, Peru
The resort manager delivers his welcome address and explains Posada Amazonas to us: - Posada Amazonas consists of 5 wings of 6 rooms connected by raised boardwalks - Each room includes a private bathroom with hot water, and we should use the...
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Malecón de la Reserva 615, Miraflores 15074, Peru
The valet opens my door upon my arrival and greets me sincerely. The woman at the front desk is actually friendly and upgrades me to an upper-floor corner room with an ocean view. Wow…. My room is quite large, and two of the walls consist of...
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Jirón Carabaya, Cercado de Lima 15001, Peru
Starting at the Plaza de Armas, walk northwest on Conde de Superunda to Camaná. The Iglesia de Santo Domingo lies on the corner. Don’t let the pretty pastel décor fool you: this Lima church houses (and displays) the skulls of San Martín and Santa...
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Miraflores, Peru
Many visitors to Peru stay in Miraflores, and for good reason: The neighborhood is where you’ll find most of the better hotels, as well as the top restaurants. Get off main streets to stroll the pretty side streets. Down by the...
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I‘m a sucker for the kitschy and macabre and the Museum of the Inquisition sounds like it’s both. Plus, the exhibit is a quick walk from the Monasterio de San Francisco in Central Lima. Entry is free and I wait only a few minutes for an...
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I arrive in style at Pescados Capitales and although it’s 2:00 in the afternoon the place is packed (I know, it’s just us dorky Americans who eat lunch at noon). Selecting a restaurant in the foodie capital of a foodie country wasn’t easy: there...
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Jr. Madre de Dios S/N, Cercado de Lima 15046, Peru
The fountains at the Magical Circuit of Water are not up to the standards of the Bellagio fountains in Las Vegas, but the choreographed jets of water, light, and music at the multiple fountains in the giant park are captivating. There are three...
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Albrecht-Achilles-Straße 58, 10709 Berlin, Germany
f you like staying at unique properties, spend at least a night at the Propeller Island City Lodge for the thrill of it. You know it’s not your father’s hotel when there’s a sign in the display case at the front desk forbidding sex in the coffins....
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Tauentzienstraße 21-24, 10789 Berlin, Germany
Kauhaus de Westens (Department Store of the West) is Europe’s second-largest department store, boasting a food hall rivaling Harrod’s. The 6th and 7th floors are entirely devoted to gourmet, and advertisements tout the place as having two football...
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Breitscheidplatz, 10789 Berlin, Germany
The broken spire of the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church is almost as iconic a symbol of Berlin as the Brandenburg Gate. The original church that stood here was constructed in the 1890s but it was severely damaged in World War II. Rather than remove...
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Platz der Republik 1, 11011 Berlin, Germany
Built by Kaiser Wilhelm I in the late 19th century as a gesture to parliamentarians, Berlin's famed Reichstag came into its own during the Weimar era—Germany’s first attempt at democracy. The parliament building burned under...
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Pariser Platz 3, 10117 Berlin, Germany
Head to Brandenburg Gate, check it out for a minute, then walk through to the Pariser Platz square, which usually teems with people, but no one pays attention to the innocuous DZ Bank building, number 3, rectangular and staid, blending innocently...
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Museum Island, Berlin, Germany
Visiting at least one of the five museums that make up Museum Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a must for any serious culture seeker in Berlin. The pioneering concept of an ensemble of public institutions brimming with exquisite artworks...
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Gormannstraße 14, 10119 Berlin, Germany
I‘ve been fortunate to have eaten at some of the best restaurants in the world (El Bulli, Noma) but I’ve never been to a restaurant where the dining room is pitch black. And I’ve been to an entirely dark experiential museum in Hong Kong. But...
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Friedrichstraße 43-45, 10969 Berlin, Germany
Relive successful escapes from East Germany through photos, documents and the actual get-away contraptions (including welding machines, hollowed-out coupes, stereo speakers, pulley-driven chairlifts suspended from powerlines, home-made hot air...
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Cora-Berliner-Straße 1, 10117 Berlin, Germany
Occupying a prominent space between Brandenburg Gate and Potsdamer Platz, this memorial (also known as the Holocaust-Mahnmal, or Holocaust Memorial) has almost 3,000 gray oblong pillars (stelae), arranged at varying heights, that form a kind of...
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Unter den Linden 2, 10117 Berlin, Germany
I believe you need to put yourself in a certain mindset before making a trip to Berlin. It's not a beautiful city—in the traditional sense—and walking around the city can be very grim. However, the history and artwork displayed in many Berlin...
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Bodestraße 1-3, 10178 Berlin, Germany
One of the biggest stars of the five museums on Museum Island, the Pergamon was the last to open, in 1930. Built to resemble a Babylonian temple, it houses a trove of ancient treasures from the Middle East, with highlights that include the...
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Karl-Liebknecht-Str. 1, 10178 Berlin, Germany
My favorite of all the Berlin Museums! Save the oh-so-cool DDR for your last stop of the day so you end on a high note. The DDR is not for the passive; You need to dig-in and experience life in Berlin Wall-era East Berlin, firsthand. You are...
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Sony Center, Potsdamer Straße 4, 10785 Berlin, Germany
The Sony Center at the Potsdamer Platz has a "ceiling" that's a work of art. Walk inside this building on a sunny day, and you'll be greeted by a center flooded with warm sunshine—and reflections of the steel-and-textile ceiling on nearly every...
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Refshalevej 96, 1432 København K, Denmark
$$$$
Noma closed its Copenhagen location at the end of 2016.

Ranked the #1 restaurant in the world for years running, a meal at Noma is a must-have experience for anyone interested in food. Course after course (we stopped counting at about 17) of...
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Bådsmandsstræde 43, 1407 København K, Denmark
In 1971, squatters moved into the barracks on an abandoned military base and established Freetown Christiania, an autonomous district in the middle of the city. Later, many dwellers built their own homes on the 86-acre property. Although the...
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Lufthavnsboulevarden 6, 2770 Kastrup, Denmark
Illums Bolighus (not to be confused with the Copenhagen department store Illum) — the ne plus ultra of modern decor stores with four glorious stories of uber-contemporary applicances, furnishings and furniture — is The Best Home Store in the World...
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Bådsmandsstræde 43, 1407 København, Denmark
$$$$
If you seek a more affordable dinner option, go to Spiseloppen, located in the fringe of bizarre Christiania. Good food in an untraditional space. Denmark & The Danes: http://bit.ly/15aiVrj
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Unawatuna, Sri Lanka
The Japanese Peace Pagoda is a giant marshmallow of a temple buried deep in the rainforest between Unawatuna and Galle.
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Kronborg 2 C, 3000 Helsingør, Denmark
We disembark the train at its final stop, Helsingør, home of Kronborg Castle, the setting for Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Our impeccably-dressed guide regales us with tales of Denmark royalty. The queens, attempting to maintain the 16 centimeter...
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Gl Strandvej 13, 3050 Humlebæk, Denmark
The Louisana Museum of Modern Art is located 40 minutes outside of Copenhagen in beautiful seaside Humlebæk. Its setting on the shores of the Øresund Sound is stunning and the permanent collection of modern and contemporary art is among the most...
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3600 Heidelberg St, Detroit, MI 48207, USA
Detroit artist Tyree Guyton took a look around his neighborhood and was unhappy with what he saw. So he decided to do something about it. The Heidelberg Project, a public art display exploding across Heidelberg Street in eastern Detroit, is the...
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300 Town Center Dr, Dearborn, MI 48126, USA
Many hotels strive for excellence, but The Henry, an Autograph Hotel in Dearborn, MI, actually achieves what might be close to the vision of Henry Ford. Located close to both downtown Detroit and The Henry Ford Museum, The Henry is a a Marriott...
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Lantau Island, Hong Kong
I ride the Ngong Ping 360 cable car up to the Ngong Ping Plateau. The ride offers a stunning view of Lantau Island. The Big Buddha (Tian Tan Buddha) (shot here from the cable car) and the Po Lin Monastery await me at the end of my 20-minute...
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Hong Kong Skycity Marriott Hotel, 1 Sky City Rd E, Chek Lap Kok, Hong Kong
As always, the SkyCity Marriott is a surprisingly sophisticated property for being an airport hotel (read: captive audience with little choice). The decor is modern and the service impeccable (they once allowed me use the spa to shower for a late...
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Man Mo Temple, 124-126 Hollywood Rd, Tai Ping Shan, Hong Kong
Man Mo Temple was built by wealthy Chinese merchants between 1847 and 1862 as a tribute to the God of Literature (man) and the God of War (mo). Both deities were worshiped by ambitious students eager to succeed in the rigorous civil examinations...
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The Peak, Hong Kong
If by chance you still haven't yet fallen in love with Hong Kong during your trip, a visit to the Peak Lookout on a clear night will make sure that you do. The view from here is what people keep coming back for – Hong Kong's signature skyscrapers...
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Hong Kong, Wan Chai, Johnston Rd, 60號, J Residence, Shop 8, J Senses Entrance on Ship Street
$$$$
There are so many places to have dinner in Hong Kong, but one of my favorites for creative Chinese cuisine is BO Innovation in Wan Chai. The chef has a punk rock vibe to him and he isn’t afraid to take risks. His tasting menu always has pleasant...
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Wan Cham Shan, Hong Kong
I take the MTR to Shau Kei Wan Station, and exit at A3. I’m a little anxious about catching the bus from here, but the station is immediately within view and the #9 bus is not difficult to find. The entrance to Dragon’s Back Trail, a path along...
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Kowloon, Hong Kong
As a lover of all things market, as well as a diver and serious animal lover, I was beyond ecstatic to find out there was a goldfish market in Hong Kong. The market is situated in the Mong Kok area of Hong Kong's Kowloon. The market is a series of...
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18 Hanoi Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong
As the first Art Mall in the world, K11 has year-round exhibitions and special installations on display, featuring both local and international artists. K11 is also keen on supporting local talents through the K11 Artist Klub art community...
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Sha Tin, Hong Kong
It's tricky to find, tucked behind a Chinese cemetery, and a long climb (431 stairs!) to the top. But it's well worth the effort. Despite the name, the Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery, or Man Fat Tsz, isn’t actually a monastery. No monks live on...
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215, Nob Hill Square, 8 King Lai Path, Mei Foo Sun Chuen, Hong Kong
You'll have spent your days taking in the sights, tastes and sounds of Hong Kong, but have you considered exploring the city without one of your senses? Each 75-minute tour at Dialogue in the Dark, led by a visually impaired guide, takes you...
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Galärvarvsvägen 14, 115 21 Stockholm, Sweden

Located on the island of Djurgården, this purpose-built maritime museum is an extraordinary sight: It houses the massive warship Vasa, which sank just minutes after launching on its maiden voyage in 1628. Raised from the harbor in 1961,...

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1000 Brussels, Belgium
When I visited Brussels in July, 2012 the city was in the midst of Brusselicious (hilarious), an annual celebration of the city’s food culture, so I don’t know if the ginormous, punny food-related statues (chocolate bars, overflowing steins of...
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Place Loix 1, 1060 Bruxelles, Belgium
he PANTONE HOTEL in Brussels (book through Unusual Hotels of the World) has carved out a very specific, unique target customer niche — graphic designers, marketing types (such as myself) and printers — by designing a property around the Pantone...
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Square de l'Atomium, 1020 Bruxelles, Belgium
I wasn't sure what to think when I first saw a picture of the Atomium in a Belgium guidebook, but it turned out to be one of the coolest kitschy tourist attractions I've ever visited. The Atomium was built for the World's Fair hosted by Brussels...
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Sint-Baafsplein, 9000 Gent, Belgium
LIFE – DEATH – LOVE – HATE – PLEASURE – PAIN flashed above my head in neon splendor, clicking loudly from one mysterious term to the next. Photographs are forbidden inside the Saint Bavo Cathedral but I risked hell to capture the...
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Jan Breydelstraat 5, 9000 Gent, Belgium
I’m fascinated by the fact that this college town of approximately the same size as Madison, Wisconsin is home to not only a cathedral of the magnitude of Saint Bavo but also a design museum, the Design museum Gent, worthy of New York City, London...
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1000 Brussels, Belgium
Face it; if you are going to visit Brussels, you're more than likely going to get wet. It rains quite a bit in the whole country, as a matter of fact. Don't let that put you off enjoying yourself though. When it rains in the main square in the...
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Pilsen, Chicago, IL 60608, USA
I reminisce of my hay-days in Chicago, exploring the depths of a little neighborhood called Pilsen. Six years ago, street vendors (picture above taken 4 months ago) would tempt me with cotton candy, sweet breads, and tamales. Today, the guys are...
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PASEO DE LA REFORMA Y GANDHI S/N, Bosque de Chapultepec I Secc, 11560 Miguel Hidalgo, CDMX, Mexico
Mexico City is a hidden gem of a destination. I tell everyone that the Condessa neighborhood combines the sophistication of Paris with the energy of Rio de Janeiro but no one believes me. And there’s culture. Mexico City is home to more museums...
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Avenida de América, 41, 28002 Madrid, Spain
The Hotel Silken Puerta America is a must-stay for architecture and design afficionados. Located near the Madrid Airport, it’s a difficult building to miss, what with 14 storeys painted in a rainbow of colors. It gets better. Inside, each floor is...
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Via Cesare Battisti, 4, 98079 Castel di Tusa ME, Italy
Many of the Atelier sul Mare rooms have been designed by a different artist and no two are alike. Most of the rooms are minimal and incorporate a water theme (which makes sense: the property overlooks the sea). Picking your room in advance is...
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Australia’s most famous beach has played many roles throughout history. In 1907, a group of local swimmers became the world’s first lifeguards; during World War II, it was fortified by barbed wire and iron stakes; and over the last few...
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Manly NSW 2095, Australia
Grab a map — trust me here — and take the ferry from Circular Quay to Manly. The walk is divided into distinct sections: Do ‘em all. Tall grass, a stunning overlook of Sydney, beaches, Aboriginal engravings, an art gallery and museum, and wooden...
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1501 Monroe St, Madison, WI 53711, USA
t’s about time the Midwest’s quirky, progessive, edgy city of Madison got the quirky, progressive, edgy hotel it deserves, HotelRED. The Midwest gets a bad rap. Sure, sometimes we folks pull-up our pleated jeans a little too high. Heck yeah, they...
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Huangphrabang Village 93, Louangphrabang (Luang Prabang) 0600, Laos
A hint of daylight. I grab my windbreaker (mornings are chilly in Luang Prabang) and walk the uneven streets to Sisavangvong Road, the main street running the length of the city. I claim a perch atop a wall respectfully recessed from the street...
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Follow Sakarine Road (which becomes Sisavangvong Road) to the Royal Palace Museum. It’s small but interesting. I would kill for the red lacquered walls in the great room and the cases displaying gifts given to Laos by world leaders fascinate me....
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Luang Prabang, Laos
I cross Settathirath Road, cross it again, and Mount Phousi towers above me. The steps lead to infinity. Or feel like it, anyway. Actually, the climb to the office is 190 steps and another 138 separate me from the top from there. Buddhas of all...
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cnr Th Sisavangvong & Th Kitsarat, Luang Prabang, Laos
Aimed primarily at tourists, the Night Market sets up each evening along a few blocks of Thanon Sisavangvong. Lining both sides of the street, with a section down the middle, stalls offer a plethora of souvenirs, from cotton shopping bags and...
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ຫຼວງພຣະບາງ, Laos
The trail to Kuang Si Falls passes by the Tat Kuang Si, a zoo-like rescue center that is home to Asiatic Black Bears that have been freed from poachers. The animals are hamming it up for us, as if they appreciate having an audience: they roll on...
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Kingkitsarath Rd, Luang Prabang, Laos
The Apsara Hotel is a small boutique property situated along the Nam Khan. I’m staying my final two nights in Luang Prabang here because when I travel solo, being surrounded by the same four walls for greater than three nights incites a touch of...
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Pak Ou, Laos
The Pak Ou Caves, as I understand/misunderstand it, are where people discard their unwanted Buddha statues. I’ve never thought about it before, but I can see how disposing of The Enlightened One could pose a problem. You can’t just toss him into...
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Bangkok, Thailand
I had already begged a woman to write down the name of her ground—what, pork?—dish that first melted my brain. She scratched a couple Thai words on my notepad. Later, I learned she’d written “lunch.” Bangkok’s street food astounded, but I’d known...
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45/1 Phra Arthit Road,Phranakorn, Bangkok 10200 Khwaeng Chana Songkhram, Khet Phra Nakhon, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10200, Thailand
I’ve booked a room at the Navalai River Resort at only $78 for a river view room. The front desk hands me the key to room 501. Yes! Room 501 is one of only two river-facing corner rooms on the top floor of the Navalai River Resort and, of the two,...
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Bamrung Muang Rd, Khwaeng Sao Chingcha, Khet Phra Nakhon, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10200, Thailand
According to the website Atlas Obscura the Giant Swing is 88 feet high and: For centuries, the Giant Swing played a central role in annual swing ceremonies that symbolically reenacted elements of Hindu origin stories. The swing ceremony had teams...
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Bangkok, Thailand
The Corrections Museum bizarrely documents the corporal punishment tools employed by Thailand in the not-so-distant past. The place is empty. The most recent visitor signed in days ago. There’s not a soul around as I step up to the outside exhibit...
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99/9 Moo 1 Bangmuangmai Amphoe Mueang Samut Prakan, Chang Wat Samut Prakan 10270, Thailand
I arrive at the Erawan Museum, a massive, three-headed elephant of a building. Wow. WOW! I can’t imagine why the guidebooks don’t promote it more. The tour begins at the base supporting the elephant, a windowless round room displaying national...
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10 ซอย สุขุมวิท 12 Khwaeng Khlong Toei, Khet Khlong Toei, กรุงเทพมหานคร 10110, Thailand
The restaurant Cabbages & Condoms serves tasty Thai food in a theme-styled restaurant. The thing is that the theme is condoms. All of the light fixtures and much of the other unlikely art has been fashioned from thousands of those little balloons....
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296/1 หมู่ 7 ถนน สุขุมวิท ตำบล บางปูใหม่ อำเภอเมืองสมุทรปราการ สมุทรปราการ 10280, Thailand
The Ancient City, or Muang Boran, is one of the world’s largest outdoor museums. It features a 200-acre city with 109 scaled down copies of Thailand’s most famous monuments and architectural attractions all in one place. Located in Samut Prakan...
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Zámecká, 284 03 Kutná Hora, Czechia
Always wanted to visit a bone ossuary. Not really sure why, except they just seem so bizarre. Finally got to Sedlec at Kutna Hora, Czech Republic. It didn't disappoint in the bizarre factor. I was so fascinated by how carefully arranged the bones...
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Am Lustgarten, 10178 Berlin, Germany
This immense—some might say immodest—neo-baroque cathedral opposite the former Royal Palace nods architecturally to St. Peter’s in Rome and served as the family church of the Hohenzollern dynasty up until 1918. The current...
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Old City, Jerusalem
The Old City is an intimidating maze comprised of of four quarters: the Muslim, Christian, Armenian and Jewish Quarters. I wander aimlessly, in awe. I don’t believe there’s another place on earth so dense with this much historical, archeological...
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Balqa, Jordan
A corner room with a massive balcony, perfect weather, lying at the pool, drinks at dusk and a view of the Dead Sea sparkling. It's hard not to love the Jordan Valley Marriott Resort & Spa. Israel & Jordan trip report: http://bit.ly/1kH8mUI
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Leaning back, my legs pop-up and I’m floating as if supported by an underwater chaise lounge. The bobbing effect is soothing. If only I had a cocktail and a book. On shore, I grab fistfuls of Dead Sea mud and slather it onto my skin. I’d feel...
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From the Feynan Ecolodge website: Hailed as one of the top fifty ecolodges in the world by National Geographic Adventure Magazine, the solar powered Feynan Ecolodge offers the most developed eco-experience in Jordan; an experience made possible by...
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The Dana Biosphere Reserve is Jordan’s largest nature reserve and home to hundreds of species of flora and fauna, some of which can be found nowhere else in the world. Guided and self-guided excursions are available at Feynan Ecolodge in the...
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Jordan
Dark-haired, dark-eyed, dark-skinned men ride horses up and down the path that leads to Petra‘s Siq, the mile-long entrance to the ancient city. I walk the stretch of the archeological park, clambering up hills and and rocks for better views of...
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Wadi Rum, Aqaba, Jordan
Visiting Wadi Rum, a series of desert valleys punctuating red canyons that run from north to south featured in the movie Lawrence of Arabia, is a must-do when in Jordan. Activities offered at the UNESCO World Heritage Site include hiking, riding...
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3708 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109, USA
Due to its prime location and sophisticated design, one thing you're guaranteed to get when you stay at The Cosmopolitan is a stellar view. Every room has a balcony — a wonderful vantage point for viewing the city's lights. Though the views...
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5200 Woodward Ave, Detroit, MI 48202, USA
Having visited Detroit dozens of times for work, I was errant in never having explored the Detroit Institute of Arts Museum. To my own discredit, it took threats of the pieces being sold to pay the city's debts (these threats continue today) to...
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Avenida de la Asamblea Edificio El Comendador No 29A42 apto 201 A, Cartagena de Indias, Bolívar, Colombia
Getsemani, the oldest neighborhood of Cartagena, is receiving attention for its transformation from a dangerous area into a still semi-undiscovered (I spied no other tourists there) gem. I thought it was the most interesting and photogenic part of...
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Avenida de la Asamblea Edificio El Comendador No 29A42 apto 201 A, Cartagena de Indias, Bolívar, Colombia
Walking the ramparts at dusk -- when the midday heat and humidity dissipates -- is a must when visiting Cartagena. Cap off your stroll with a cocktail at Cafe del Mar, which draws a sophisticated crowd of locals and tourists and offers beautiful...
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La Candelaria, Bogotá, Colombia
Bizarrely painted buildings, the Museo Botero, fantastic churches, a grand square and a plethora of casual restaurants. Spend an afternoon wandering Bogota's La Candelaria neighborhood. But be careful where you're walking -- go too far out of...
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Monserrate Bogotá, Colombia
The peak called Monserrate towers over central Bogotá and lends its name to the church that tops it. Perched more than 10,000 feet above sea level, the sanctuary—dedicated to the Passion of Christ—has beautiful gardens...
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Parque De La Sal, Zipaquirá, Cundinamarca, Colombia
When I flew from New York to Bogotá, I didn't really have plans to visit the city's neighboring towns and villages. As I quickly found out, that's a huge part of Bogotá's charm. If time permits, definitely take a day trip to Zipaquirá to see their...
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Culiacan 6, Hipódromo, 06100 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
This wonderful bed and breakfast located in Condesa is a great place to spend your time in Mexico City. The staff, especially Victor and Ernesto, is extremely helpful and friendly and will provide you with site recommendations, safe taxis and a...
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Chapultepec, Méx., Mexico
Chapultepec is one of the largest and most significant urban parks in the world. Dedicate at least two days to exploring it: there's a indoor/outdoor bookstore, lake, zoo, castle, multiple museums and much more. Colombia & Mexico City trip report:...
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The Museo de Arte Moderno or Museum of Modern Art is located in Chapultepec Park, Mexico City. The museum is part of the Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes and prepares exhibitions of national and international contemporary artists. The museum...
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República de Argentina 15, Centro, 06020 Cuauhtemoc, CDMX, Mexico
The most charming bookstore I’ve ever encountered, the Libreria Porrua, is found in Chapultepec Park. The indoor/outdoor space offers contemporary furniture, fresh air, plenty of natural light and a snack/drink bar. Colombia & Mexico City trip...
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Blvd. Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra 303, Granada, Miguel Hidalgo, 11529 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
The Museo Soumaya, financed by Carlos Slim, the richest man in Mexico, has the ambitions of the Guggenheim Bilbao from the outside. It's a stunning building whose sweeping, soaring curves couldn't help but make it an instant landmark near Polanco,...
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C. Tacuba 1, Cuauhtémoc, Centro Histórico, Centro, 06000 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Mexico City's Palacio de Correos, the capital's main post office, dates from the days of President Porfirio Diaz, who inaugurated it in 1907. The design is an eclectic mix of styles, with Moorish, Spanish and Venetian Renaissance, Neoclassical and...
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Calle de Balderas 202, Centro, 06040 Cuauhtémoc, CDMX, Mexico
Nineteenth-century Cuban independence leader José Martí lived a short but full life, creating a considerable body of writing and traveling extensively. He spent long enough periods of time abroad that he could have been considered an expat; he...
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Plaza de la Constitución S/N, Centro, Cuauhtémoc, 06000 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Mexico City’s mammoth cathedral was built across three centuries (1573–1813)—starting soon after Cortés and his allies vanquished the Aztec Empire—using stones taken from a destroyed indigenous temple. Today’s...
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Seminario 8, Centro Histórico, Cuauhtémoc, 06060 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
With the Spanish conquest of the Aztec empire, Iberian overlords set about imposing their customs on the subdued populace, eliminating traces of pre-Hispanic religions they deemed heretical by demolishing major temples and building churches and...
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1000 Lake Cook Rd, Glencoe, IL 60022, USA
The extensive gardens and exhibits at the Chicago Botanic Gardens are a bit out of the way for visitors staying downtown in the Windy City, but it's worth the trip. The water garden will make you long for a lake(however small) to plant lily-pads...
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1155 E 58th St, Chicago, IL 60637, USA
When you're in Chicago -- and fall is the best time for doing this -- take a 15-minute field trip south from Downtown to Hyde Park to view the spectacular University of Chicago campus architecture among the co-eds, tour Frank Lloyd Wrights' Robie...
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100 Linden Ave, Wilmette, IL 60091, USA
There is only one Baha'i temple in every continent. In North America, it's in the unexpected city of Wilmette, Illinois. Just a ten minute drive from Northwestern University, the Baha'i is open to the public, complete with a visitor center and...
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11 E Walton St, Chicago, IL 60611, USA
Chicago’s obviously a big, cosmopolitan city with at least a dozen luxury hotels, but the locals regard the Waldorf Astoria Chicago as the best of the bunch. It’s the only AAA five-diamond hotel in town with a perfect Tripadvisor and rating and...
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New Bagan, Myanmar (Burma)
What Silver House in New Bagan may lack in atmosphere, it more than compensates with quality of food, personalized service, value and sincerity. Myanmar trip report: http://bit.ly/1aTq3vK
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New Bagan, Myanmar (Burma)
On the plus side, the Blue Bird Hotel has nicely decorated rooms, an e-bike rental shop only a block away, plush landscaping, and an onsite restaurant and nice staff. On the minus side, the Blue Bird Hotel is a little pricey, and come December...
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Old Bagan, Myanmar (Burma)
The Bagan Archeological Zone: New Bagan: Quieter than Nyaung U, but closer to the temples. Laid-back and home to Bagan’s best midrange accommodation and riverside restaurants Old Bagan: Between New Bagan and Nyaung U, Old Bagan contains several of...
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If you don't mind walking barefoot on monkey crap, fearless monkeys, and hauling yourself up hundreds of steps, climbing Mount Popa might be for you. Actually, the monkeys only bother if you have food, the monkey crap is dried and the steps are...
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Nyaungshwe, Myanmar (Burma)
The Inle Lake area has some fine hotels but Viewpoint Lodge is the only luxury property in the town of Nyaung Shwe. The hotel is conveniently located on the outskirts of the town, on the river for easy access to boats, and on the rode that...
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Inle Lake, Myanmar (Burma)
Rent a bike from the Viewpoint Lodge in Nyaung Shwe, which will cost $6. Peddle west (away from town) along the unpaved, bumpy road. Take a left at the T-junction and head south, the mountains on your right. You'll reach the hot springs in...
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Inle Lake, Myanmar (Burma)
I arrive at Nyaung Shwe, Inle Lake’s main development, in the dead of night and immediately book myself into a boat tour of the lake, wondering aloud if the notorious Nayar, a mythical dragon with four legs, still patrols the waters. An old man...
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Shwedagon Pagoda, Yangon, Myanmar (Burma)
11 tons of gold cover this towering pagoda, the most sacred in Burma. "Shwe" means "gold" in Burmese. No wonder!
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Yangon, Myanmar (Burma)
Tiled in green, mirrored scales reflecting the sunlight on this beautiful day, the building's a stunner. The glass motif extends to the interior, where big, medium and thousands of small Buddhas maintain watchful eyes. I share the space with few...
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Kun Chan Rd, Yangon, Myanmar (Burma)
Bring a passport (supposedly -- no one asked for mine) and a $1 bill to the station master's office on platform 7 of the Yangon Central Train Station. The ticket-taker will show you and a few other tourist-travelers onto the Circular Railway....
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85-87 Thein Phyu Rd, Yangon, Myanmar (Burma)
Near the Strand hotel, Monsoon Restaurant offers a wide menu that includes Myanmar, Thai, Chinese, Laotian, and Vietnamese cuisine. Maybe "less authentic" than most restaurants in Yangon, but I saw that as a good thing. Good people watching, nice...
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85-87 Thein Phyu Rd, Yangon, Myanmar (Burma)
Down the street from The Strand hotel and upstairs from Monsoon Restaurant. Pomelo sells unique jewelry and colorful home furnishings and decor made from local materials and produced by local artisans. Their stock is fun and contemporary. Open...
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Lambeth, London SE1 7PB, UK
London is an incredibly crowded city and when it comes to tourist attractions, it may seem difficult to snag a good view of Big Ben and Parliament. Rise above the crowds and grab a slow and quiet ride on the London Eye, London's famous Ferris...
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103 Borough Rd, London SE1 0AA, UK
South Bank has both the best river walk in London and the city's liveliest cultural centers, so a walk along it is a must. The path takes you from the Globe and the Tate Modern along the Thames—passing Gabriel's Wharf with its...
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Bankside, London SE1 9TG, UK
FREE
It’s impossible to ignore the hulking 1950s architecture of the Tate Modern, slap-bang in the middle of the most-walked part of the South Bank. A visionary refurb of this former power station has resulted in an artistic behemoth with multiple...
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W Smithfield, London EC1A 9DY, UK
Facing St. Bart's Hospital from Smithfield Market, you will see an innocuous looking arched doorway on your left. It's the entrance to the courtyard for St. Bartholomew the Great church, founded in 1123, making it the oldest church in London (they...
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13 Lincoln's Inn Fields, London WC2A 3BP, UK
Sir John Soane was an 18th-century architect who died nearly 200 years ago. He was also an undiagnosed hoarder. The man's townhouse, which has been left untouched since his death and which free to the public, is an extraordinary jumble of his...
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35-43 Lincoln's Inn Fields, London WC2A 3PE, UK
If you have a morbid fascination, natural curiosity or interest in medicine block out plenty of time to visit The Hunterian Museum in the Royal College of Surgeons. The Hunterian Museum collections have been brought together over four centuries by...
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Swain's Ln, Highgate, London N6 6PJ, UK
Dating back to the 1800's, Highgate was a fashionable place for burials and was much admired and visited. The Victorian attitude to death and its presentation led to the creation of a wealth of Gothic tombs and buildings. It occupies a spectacular...
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66 Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7LA, UK
$$$$
No trip to Heston Blumenthal’s Michelin-starred London restaurant is complete without sampling the meat fruit, a starter of chicken liver mousse artfully crafted to look like a mandarin orange. It’s a marvel, but then so is the rest of...
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Palace of Westminster, Westminster, London SW1A 2PW, UK
The Palace of Westminster is the meeting place of the House of Commons and the House of Lords, the two houses of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Commonly known as the Houses of Parliament after its tenants, the Palace lies on the Middlesex...
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9748 Abingdon St, Westminster, London SW1P 3JY, UK
Big Ben is located at the north end of the Palace of Westminster. Only, I learned this trip, Beg Ben is not Big Ben. The clock tower that most of us Americans think of as Big Ben is actually the Elizabeth Tower (unimaginatively named "Clock Tower"...
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Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DN, UK
Trafalgar Square dominates the landscape at Charring Cross. It was made to commemorate the Battle of Trafalgar. At the centre is Nelson's column, which includes a statue of Horatio Nelson, the vice admiral who commanded the British Fleet at...
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Strand, London, UK
Also known as the Law Courts, the Royal Courts of Justice building is open to the public (depending upon the cases being heard) and is worth visiting for its gothic architecture. Unfortunately interior photos are not permitted. London trip report:...
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2 Caxton St, Westminster, London SW1H 0QW, UK
What I love about St. Ermin's Hotel in London: - Dramatic, recessed entrance - Easy to book with points - Convenient location is fabulous (next to St. James Park, an easy walk to Westminster Abbey, London Eye, Houses of Parliament) - Multiple...
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Esbelli Sokak No.36, Esbelli Mahallesi, URGUP, 50400 Ürgüp/Nevşehir, Turkey
On our second day in Cappadocia, we rented a car and drove to some of the less frequented sites. It was late afternoon by the time we returned to Serinn House (a great boutique hotel). Since the car wasn't being returned until the morning, the...
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Göreme, 50180 Göreme Belediyesi/Nevşehir Merkez/Nevşehir, Turkey
The Butterfly Balloons van picks me up at 4:15 at my hotel and takes me to its office in Goreme where I pay my balance, am assigned to Pilot Mike, and eat a continental breakfast. I board my new assigned van with the others assigned to my balloon...
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Yeni Cami Mahallesi, İstiklal Cd. No:18, 50350 Ürgüp/Nevşehir, Turkey
Inside the Urgup City Hamam I'm instructed to undress (I've brought my swimsuit) in one of the changing rooms. My clothes are locked in a locker. Wrapped in a towel, I'm escorted to the bath area, a large common space surrounded by smaller shower...
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Musaefendi Mahallesi, Ahmet Refik Cd., 50400 Ürgüp/Nevşehir, Turkey
Ziggy Cafe, a restaurant and store located a restored stone house, came highly recommended by my sister, other bloggers and travel guides. I like the relaxed vibe, stylish decor and terrace view of the rocky Cappadocia landscape, so I've returned...
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Tilkicik Mevkii, Bakan Caddesi, Yalıkavak Mahallesi, No:2 Yalikavak, 48430 Bodrum/Muğla, Turkey
4Reasons bills itself as a hip, small, luxury boutique hotel. It is. My room (one of only 20) is a stylish, contemporary space with fresh flowers and a terrace view of the pool and bay beyond it. I fritter away the afternoon reading at the pool,...
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Atatürk Mh., Ephesus Archaeological Museum, Uğur Mumcu Sevgi Yolu, 35920 Selçuk/İzmir, Turkey
The grand Library of Celsus in the ancient Greek city of Ephesus.
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The sight of the Grand Castle of Selcuk on Ayasoluk hill draws me from Ephesus, through Selcuk, to the Basilica of St. John. The Basilica of St. John is equally as interesting as Ephesus for wandering, with 1/1000th of the madding crowd: I...
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Teşvikiye, Bronz Sk. D:no: 4, 34367 Şişli/İstanbul, Turkey
My windows open up to a view of the blue Bosphorus. My oversized suite oozes old-world charm while offering the modern conveniences of halogen lights, a television in the bathroom mirror, filtered tap water, and an iPod dock. The fixtures,...
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Alemdar Mh., Yerebatan Cd. 1/3, 34410 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
This cistern is thought to have been built after the Nika revolt in 532 AD. It was known as the Basilica Cistern during the Roman period. After the conquest of the city by the Ottoman Turks, it was forgotten and nobody knew that it existed. It was...
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Beyazıt Mh., 34126 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
Soon after conquering Constantinople and defeating the Byzantines in 1453, Ottoman Sultan Mehmet II commissioned the beginnings of the Grand Bazaar to reinvigorate trade with the city. More than 550 years later, the bazaar is one of the oldest...
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Vişnezade Mahallesi, Dolmabahçe Cd., 34357 Beşiktaş/İstanbul, Turkey
This decadent palace, which overlooks the Bosphorus from the European side, holds great importance to Turkey. The late-19th-century sultans resided here and ruled the Ottoman Empire from here, and while the Turkish Republic's capital is in Ankara,...
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Hobyar Mahallesi, Ankara Cad Evren Çarşısı No:17 D:44, 34110 Sirkeci/Fatih/Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
One morning outside Sultanahmet I saw what I believe to be a suffi. He looked somewhat like a Turkish version of Santa Claus (which was odd because it was late December), but I don't really know what else he would be with that beard.
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Yıldız Mh., 34349 Beşiktaş/Istanbul, Turkey
A nice location in Istanbul is Otakoy-stroll the local neighborhood and enjoy a mint tea and sheesha on the waterfront. Local fisherman bring in their catch and even toss the cats hanging around a few treats. In the evening, young couples walking...
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745 N Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, CA 92262, USA
The first retail store dedicated to selling the works of Shag (artist Josh Agle). The quirky, kitschy works will draw you back to the day of Don Draper. Fun store, friendly staff. The Perfect Palm Springs Weekend: http://bit.ly/1eBYnRl
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891 N Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, CA 92262, USA
Spend your Saturday morning walking and shopping on Palm Canyon Drive, home to the largest, most condensed assortment of modern, mid-century and antique furniture and furnishing stores I've yet to encounter. Great taste prevails here;...
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1800 E Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, CA 92264, USA
The bold color palette of this reimagined motel reflects the hues of 14 different desert wildflowers. Nearly every room has a balcony or patio and art installations and photography from local artists can be found throughout the hotel. The young...
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California, USA
Jump into your Thunderbird convertible and drive a pleasant hour either north or south to one of the entrances of the Joshua Tree National Park. Drive through this beautiful preserve, stopping occasionally to climb a rock or hike one of the 12...
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37977 Bob Hope Dr, Rancho Mirage, CA 92270, USA
Retreat from the oppressive mid-day heat at Sunnylands, the former Annenberg Estate in Rancho Mirage that includes a 25,000 square foot midcentury modern estate housing several major works of art, guest cottages, a private 9-hole golf course, and...
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Japan, 〒100-0006 Tōkyō-to, Chiyoda-ku, Yūrakuchō, 2 Chome−10−1
Koji, a volunteer for Tokyo Free Guide, knew only that I wanted to experience something in the city related to food. Instead of taking me to the Tsukiji fish market, he led me to a shopping mall in the Ginza neighborhood. We descended into the...
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2-1 Yoyogikamizonochō, Shibuya-ku, Tōkyō-to 151-0052, Japan
Last November my wife and I had an 11-hour layover at Narita Airport, and so we took the Narita Express and then the Yamanote line into Shibuya. After Shibuya, we walked to Yoyogi Park. It was a Sunday morning, and the dry cold air made us feel...
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Japan, 〒100-0005 Tōkyō-to, Chiyoda-ku, Marunouchi, 3 Chome−5−1
The Tokyo International Forum is a stunning architectural masterpiece of glass and steel truss designed as a multipurpose convention and event space by Uruguayan architect Rafael Viñoly. It was completed in 1996 on the site of the former Tokyo...
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Whistler, BC V0N, Canada
I am not doing this - hurling myself off a bridge while attached to a giant rubber band - for the fun of it. I'm doing it because I'll hate myself if I don't I thought. I arrive at Whistler Bungee early and plod my way to the ticket office. I...
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Jumeirah Beach Road, Jumeirah 2 - Dubai - United Arab Emirates
When it opened in December 1999, the Burj al Arab—a sail-shaped, all-suite skyscraper hotel built on an artificial island—put Dubai on the map as an over-the-top travel destination and became a landmark. Even today, the Burj al Arab...
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Alcalde J. Elosegi Hiribidea, 273, 20015 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain
$$$$
Arzak is an annual favorite on the World's 50 Best Restaurants list, sometimes reaching a rank of second on it. The courses commence: Caldito de Pochas con Guindilla, Platano Macho con Arraitxikis, Lamina de Queso con Datilesy Papaya, Arroz con...
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La Orotava, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain
Hotel Alhambra in La Orotava (Northern Tenerife in the Canary Islands) is a Moorish former gentleman's residence that has been converted into an intimate hotel. My host takes me on a brief tour of the magnificent 18th century residence, dutifully...
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Tenerife, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain
Southern Tenerife , I've read, is rife with drunken, sunburnt, topless, fowl-mouthed Eurotrash. However, I heard that Northern Tenerife is blessed with charming Spanish colonial towns (La Orotava, Puerto de la Cruz, Garachico), genteel watering...
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Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain
Vast lava fields surround Spain’s tallest mountain at Teide National Park. The 3,719-meter Teide Peak is a tempestuous volcano crowned by a deep caldera, surrounded by a national park with UNESCO World Heritage Site status. Hiking to the peak...
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Junín 1760, 1113 CABA, Argentina
La Recoleta Cemetery is one of the most visited cemeteries in Latin America, mainly because Evita Peron is buried there, among other notable figures. The cemetery is built around a convent and a church, Our Lady of Pilar (Iglesia de Nuestra Señora...
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RIAD MALIKA, 29 Arset Aouzal، Quartier Dar el Bacha، Marrakech 40000, Morocco
Breakfasts are served outside by an attentive staff who help us with recommendations, directions or bookings for the day. The eclectic decor reflects impeccable taste of its French owner who has lived here for 35 years. The muted lighting,...
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Kasbah du Toubkal، إمليل 42152, Morocco
We stop at the village of Imlil and check into the office for the Kasbah du Toubkal. Our bags are loaded onto the back of a mule and we walk ten minutes uphill to the property. A group of young, polite Berber men (the Kasbah du Toubkal employs...
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1524 N Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60610, USA
Those who appreciate both architecture and medicine (or just have a taste for the bizarre) will love the International Museum of Surgical Science. Housed in a nearly 100-year-old mansion near Lake Michigan, the exhibits, based on historic themes...
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435 W Menomonee St, Chicago, IL 60614, USA
fter walking by the Midwest Buddhist Temple and its pretty grounds in Old Town (a neighborhood just north of downtown Chicago) for years I finally worked-up the nerve to attend the Sunday service in English. I felt welcome, enjoyed the sermon (if...
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Gold Coast, Chicago, IL, USA
Astor Street (named after John Jacob Astor), along Chicago's Gold Coast, is home to the city's most expensive, elaborate and stunning 19th-century homes. Take this walk right around dusk for glimpses of the decor inside them. Start at North Avenue...
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Blue Door Farm Stand is leading the way as Armitage Avenue in Chicago's Lincoln Park finally seems to be finding its identity -- as a foodie destination. Yay! This unpretentious (it could have turned-out pretentious) newcomer features fresh,...
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939 W Armitage Ave, Chicago, IL 60614, USA
$$$$
If you're ruled by your sweet tooth, go to Glazed and Infused Doughnuts, the area carbo rage for awhile now in Chicago (doughnuts are the new cupcake in Lincoln Park). Behold, above: the Red Velvet (cocoa buttermilk cake with vanilla bean glaze,...
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1655 N Sedgwick St, Chicago, IL 60614, USA
$$$$
This Old Town neighborhood joint looks like a hundred other Chicago neighborhood joints but don't let that fool you: it oozes charm. The ribs are great, but I come for the supper club atmosphere. Great photos of Sinatra and other famous guests...
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2300 N Lincoln Park W, Chicago, IL 60614, USA
$$$$
I am very fond of Mon Ami Gabi. … for the frisée (with warm bacon and a poached egg) salad … for the hand-cut fries … because I can sit outside with a view of the park in the summer … because I can perch at the intimate bar with the other regulars...
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55 Boulevard Mohamed Zerktouni, Marrakech 40000, Morocco
Al Fassia Gueliz -- woman owned and run (a pretty advanced concept in Morocco) -- earns high marks in every review I've consulted. It's pretty, and not especially romantic, despite the white tablecloths and candles. We start with the mixed salad...
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RUE SOUK EL FASSI N°55 - KAT BENNAHÏD -، Marrakech 40000, Morocco
Our driver turns down a dozen dizzying backstreets and grinds to a halt deep within the bowels of the Marrakech medina. A gang of street urchins promise to deliver us to Le Foundouk from here. We exit the security of our cab with some hesitation....
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2750 N Lakeview Ave, Chicago, IL 60614, USA
The Lincoln Park and Lakeview locals don't have a clue that this memorial is open to the public most days of the week, much of the year. Chances are you'll have the friezes, statues, murals and grand rooms all to yourself. And don't skip the...
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2230 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60614, USA
Villa D'Citta is the quiet, romantic choice in Lincoln Park. I have seen it only from the outside (the place looks stately) but online reviewers have ranked it #1 of 25 B&Bs in Chicago. The former guests rave over the hospitality extended,...
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720 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60605, USA
I primarily chose the Hilton Chicago for it's South Michigan Avenue location which renders the hotel the best situated in the Windy City for delving into its wealth of cultural offerings. The Daley suite is spacious with tasteful decor, floor-to...
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Japan, 〒108-8612 JP-13Minato-ku, Takanawa, 3 Chome−13, 3-13-1, Takanawa, Minato-ku Tokyo
LOBBY The Prince Sakura Tower smells like a luxury spa! I wait maybe 20 seconds at the front desk for a clerk. I hand her my credit card she grasps it respectfully in two hands and thanks me. . GUEST ROOM My circular room overlooks a pond and...
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Calle Aire, 15, 41004 Sevilla, Spain
It was a sweltering Seville afternoon (you know, about 100 degrees Fahrenheit), and our "bathing time" was booked for 4 pm. The sounds of fountains and birds greeted us as we entered the courtyard, and we were given freshly brewed, chilled...
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Calle Muñoz Olive Bloque 1 Planta 2 Modulo 4, 41001 Sevilla, Spain
The Triana market may be my favorite market anywhere. There has been a market in this spot for 200 years, and that history can be felt. I loved the tile signs above each stand, the friendly and engaging vendors, the fishmongers that move like...
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Seville, Spain
While on a historic river boat cruise along Seville's Guadalquivir river, I couldn't help but focus more on the miles and miles of incredible graffiti art that line the river walkway. While the historic sites include the Torre del Oro, the...
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Alta Gracia, Cordoba, Argentina
The town of Alta Gracia is a short 45-minute bus ride from Córdoba capital and feels like a world away. Eerily quiet, decayed and ramshackle, but with a stellar view of the Sierras Chicas mountains, Alta Gracia is a perfect day trip. The two...
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Tokyo, Japan
You must venture into one of Tokyo's many pachinko parlors to experience the awfulness firsthand. Inside the boxy, fluorescent-lit space the bad music, cigarette smoke, metallic din of the machines, full-blast air-conditioning and endless flashing...
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4 Chome-1-1 Shimomeguro, Meguro-ku, Tōkyō-to 153-0064, Japan
If you're a fan of morbidly fascinating museums, don't miss the Parasitological Museum. Squeem-inducing items such as a several-yards-long tape worms and a worm-infested (pictured) are on display. The explanations are in Japanese, but with visuals...
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21-6 Udagawachō, Shibuya-ku, Tōkyō-to 150-0042, Japan
Take the train to Shibuya Station and exit at Hachiko. Look up to find that old familiar Starbuck's sign. Grab another cup of green tea and head to the second floor to observe the organized chaos of pedestrians crossing from all directions from...
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Japan, 〒104-0045 Tōkyō-to, Chūō-ku, Tsukiji, 5 Chome−2−1
The Tsukiji Market is the world's largest seafood market, with more than 2,000 tons of seafood moving through it daily. There are two parts to the operation: the inner market, or jonai, accessible after 10 a.m., and the outer market, or jogai,...
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104-0061, Japan
The Ginza district is home to Tokyo's oldest and most prestigious shopping department stores and high-high end luxury retailers. Chuo-Dori, the main artery in the tony shopping district of Ginza, is worth a walk-down if you're drawn to streets...
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Japan, 〒100-6701 Tōkyō-to, Chiyoda-ku, Marunouchi, 1 Chome−9, 千代田区丸の内1丁目9−1
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Sooner or later if you're visiting Tokyo you'll find yourself in the kinda-confusing Tokyo Station. Navigate your way through the complex to the Daimaru department store and head all downstairs to a mammoth food hall as upscale as Harrod's first...
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Ueno, Taitō, Tokyo 110-0005, Japan
Ueno is a great spot for a walkabout in Tokyo. It has almost everything that someone looking for an urban getaway could want—good food from countless cafes, restaurants, and food kiosks; a park (Ueno Park) to walk around; and even a children's...
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Campanero 4 Puente, Del Campanero, Zona Centro, 36000 Guanajuato, Gto., Mexico
Near the old entrance to the city, I discovered my favorite cafe in Guanajuato. Santo Cafe is perched on a bridge that mirrors those that top the underground roads. The restaurant has a huge menu of breakfasts (eggs every style including...