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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
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 best view of the Panama Canal is from the roof top restaurant with a bottle of Panama beer. It is truly amazing to watch the massive ships maneuver through relatively narrow canal.
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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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Illinois Medical District, Chicago, IL, USA
The Wrigley Building
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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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Calle 26A, Bellavista 07011, Peru
It kind of smells like a butcher shop, but it is a real study in life in Cusco. People sell everything from wool hats and scarves to cheese and potatoes.
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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, Calle San Agustin, Cusco 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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Sacsayhuaman is just outside of Cusco. An ancient Incan fortress, it has such history and is just beautiful and so much fun to explore.
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Triunfo 393, Cusco 08000, Peru
Cicciolina (on the second floor of an old colonial house) is The. Place. to go in Cusco for either a enjoying a formal dinner or just noshing on tapas and sipping Chilean sauvignon blanc at the bar. The restaurant is located just blocks from the...
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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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Coripata, Cusco, Peru
Cherubs hang from the ceiling and flying pigs decorate the bar. Aquarium bathtubs covered in glass are the tables and funky, modern art with Christian themes decorate the walls. Behind the bar a disco ball glitters the rows of liquor bottles and...
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Sacred Valley, Av. Ferrocarril S/N, Urubamba 08660, Peru
Living 5 years in Peru it's beautiful to chill out in this amazing five-star hotel and spa in Urubamba. Its Tambo Del Inka hotel - the only on in Urubamba - hard to miss as its on a main road. if you have extra time and want to connect with...
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Pisac, Peru
A great place to find local goods.
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Ollantaytambo, Peru
A few years ago in Peru my friend and I took a shared cab from Cuzco to Ollantaytambo. The views during the ride were so spectacular that I had to take a few photos along the way. Much to my dismay, after being dropped off I discovered that I had...
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Comprised of over 2,000 small salt wells, the "Salineras de Maras" have provided a steady source of salt for residents of Peru's Sacred Valley since potentially before the days of the Inca. Diverting water from a naturally salty spring, small...
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Urubamba, 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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Machu Pichu, Peru
We were among the first 50 or so people into Machu Picchu in the morning and the fog completely set the scene. It really made you feel like you were in a lost city and helped you understand how it could have been lost for so long.
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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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Lima, Av. Pedro de Osma 301, Barranco 15063, Peru
A few years back, when Lima's Central Restaurante was closed because of zoning issues, Peru's celebrity chef, Gastón Acurio, was one of many who petitioned for it to be reopened. I knew that meant the young chef at Central, Virgilio...
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Miraflores, Peru
I had a fabulous afternoon with my one on one cooking class at Sky Kitchen (http://www.yurac.de/), Peru in the heart of the Miraflores District of Lima. I enjoyed my time cooking with Chef Yurac learning a few things new & of course the beautiful...
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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
We got to play with water on our last day in Peru. This is a public park in Lima that from Wednesdays to Sundays put on a fountain show. There are a total of 13 different water fountains for the people to enjoy and to participate in if desired....
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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
At the top of the famous Ka De We shopping plaza in Berlin there's an amazing food section. You'll find artisan chocolates, fresh baked pastries, restaurants, wine shops, and even cleverly tanned apples! We had so much fun browsing and sampling...
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Breitscheidplatz, 10789 Berlin, Germany
See the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church for contrasting architecture (it was originally built in 1890, and rebuilt in 1963 after suffering extensive damage in a WWII bombing raid). What to do for Fun in Berlin: http://bit.ly/18OBQPT
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Platz der Republik 1, 11011 Berlin, Germany
The old and new architecture of Berlin doesn't blend so much as careen together with a crash. The Reichstag is a perfect example. Don't get me wrong, I love it. But there is nothing gentle about it. Neo-classical buildings sport jagged...
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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
An island of peace and beauty in the center of one of Europe's largest cities? Yes, I'm talking about Museum Island. Right in the middle of Berlin, surrounded by water, sits six thousand years of beautiful art. Beside this, an ultra-modern history...
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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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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
The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe also known as the Holocaust Memorial consists of a 19,000 squares meters (almost 6,000 squares feet) covered with 2,771 concrete slabs arranged in a grid pattern on a sloping field.
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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
If you've ever seen a piece of jewelry set with lapis lazuli, then you know the shade—a deep, rich blue like a Van Gogh painting or expensive silk. Now imagine an entire city entrance that color, and you've got the Ishtar Gate, one of 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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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, Denmark
Or so says the totem pole on the way in, on the way out it reads "You Are Now Entering the E.U." Visiting the ~800 person "free state" in the middle of Copenhagen is a trip back in time to the 1970's where rock n'roll, art, organic & vegetarian...
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Amagertorv 10, 1160 København, 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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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 east lawn at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art is the perfect place to have a picnic, smell the white wildflowers, or take a short nap. And the Danes, with their commitment to hygge, would likely encourage you to do so. The museum, named for...
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3600 Heidelberg St, Detroit, MI 48207, USA
I know that most people think little of Detroit, Michigan as a getaway destination, but it was during a brief visit to the city that I learned of the Heidelberg Project, an outdoor folk art installation that brings purpose and life to a few urban...
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Fairlane Plaza, 300 Town Center Drive, Fairlane Plaza, 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
After exploring Man Mo Temple we smelled of incense for days – which was actually quite nice compared to the smells wafting up from the butcher shop below our room in Fortress Hill. And like, a lot of other unidentified smells on the streets...
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The Peak, Hong Kong
My Brothers and I at The Peak.
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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號 Hanoi Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong
I transfer to the Hyatt Regency Hong Kong for exploring Kowloon. It’s not as plush a property as the Grand Hyatt Hong Kong, but with its central location in the Tsim Sha Tsui neighborhood and direct access to the MTR, it’s a convenient base for...
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Sha Tin, Hong Kong
I finally stumble upon the stairs leading up to Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery. Lots and lots of stairs. Steep ones. The climbing becomes less odious as hundreds of golden, life-size Arhat (Buddhist disciples freed from the cycle of life and...
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215, Nob Hill Square, 8 King Lai Path, Mei Foo Sun Chuen, Hong Kong
The concept of Dialogue in the Dark is simple: visitors are lead by blind guides in groups through specially constructed dark rooms in which scent, sound, wind, temperature and texture convey the characteristics of daily environments. Fabulous...
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Galärvarvsvägen 14, 115 21 Stockholm, Sweden
I don't like museums, but this one is definitely worth going to. In 1961 they pulled this ship up from underwater, where it had been lying since 1628. Really great exhibits and the restoration is beautiful.
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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
Where else can you appreciate architecture like this in a town with a population of only 100,000? Belgium trip report: http://bit.ly/Oocgt6
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Chicago, IL 60608, USA
In the heart of the Pilsen neighborhood is a little, hidden gem. Only half a block away from Honky Tonk BBQ is an old church & event space with a large outdoor grassy area. Secluded and easy to reach, it is a great place for events. Honky Tonk...
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Y GANDHI, Paseo de la Reforma S/N, Bosque de Chapultepec I Secc, 11100 Ciudad de México, 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 its 14 stories painted in a rainbow of colors. It gets better. Inside,...
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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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Every year, Bondi Beach, Australia, hosts a beautiful collaborative art event that lasts around two weeks. It is beautiful, and wonderful, and creative in every single way. Known as "Sculpture by the Sea", the annual event provides a...
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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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Luang Prabang, 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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A salesman in Luang Prabang trying to sell hammocks. In the background you can see the shimmering Royal Palace museum in all of its splendor.
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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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Luang Prabang, Laos
Chances are, if you're headed to Luany Prabang, the night market is probably on your list. If not, be sure to check out the local handicrafts and artisans that set up shop in the afternoon and go well into the night. For the best pictures, go...
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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
Buddha statues in lower Pak Ou Cave on the Mekong River north of Luang Prabang, Laos. Pak Ou is a series of limestone caves which contain hundreds of Buddha statues palced there over the centuries. It is a popular pilgrimage site for local people,...
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Bangkok, Thailand
I was on my way to dinner by cab and saw this strange street art outside the window. I speak English and math, but very little Thai.
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45, 1 Phra Sumen Rd, 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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Dinso 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 หมู่ที่ 1 Tambon Bang Muang Mai, 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 Sukhumvit 12 Alley, Khwaeng Khlong Toei, Khet Khlong Toei, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 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
The Berliner Dom is a Baroque Cathedral located on an island in the River Spree, also known as the Museum Island. It was severely damaged during World War II, but reconstruction began only in 1975. One of the most interesting items in the richly...
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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, العقبة، 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
Hallway of LCD screens
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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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Baluarte de Santo Domingo., Cartagena, Bolívar, Colombia
For a great place to start the evening in Cartagena, head to Café del Mar, located directly on the wall in the Old City. It's a favorite for lounging and watching the sunset.
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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
Cerro de Monserrate is an enormous hill that rises from close to the city center of Bogota. There's a church and some tourist shops and restaurants but the reason to make the trip is the spectactular views of the city. The top is...
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Parque De La Sal, Zipaquirá, Cundinamarca, Colombia
This is an absolute must if travelling to Bogota, Colombia. Built 200 meters down one of the worlds largest salt mines, this cathedral is dedicated to the safety of the miners. The lighting below is incredible with 14 small chapels representing...
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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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Av. República de Argentina 15, Centro Histórico, Centro, 06020 Ciudad de México, 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, 11529 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
When you are in Mexico City, one of the must visit sites, is the Museo Somaya. Carlos Slim, Mexico's wealthiest man, named this incredible museum after his wife, and showcases his incredible collection of paintings, sculptures, coins, textiles and...
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C. Tacuba 1, Cuauhtémoc, Centro Histórico, Centro, 06000 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Mexico's City "Main Post Office" is located in the historic center, on the Eje Central (Lazaro Cardenas) near the Palacio de Bellas Artes. The building was constructed at the very beginning of the 20th century. Its architectural style is highly...
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Balderas 202, Colonia Centro, Centro, 06000 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
The Museo Mural Diego Rivera in Mexico City's historic center was built in 1986 in order to house Diego River's mural Dream of a Sunday Afternoon in Alameda. The painting features many of Mexico's historic figures, Diego, his soulmate Frida, Diego...
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Plaza de la Constitución S/N, Centro, Cuauhtémoc, 06000 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Set atop an ancient Aztec site, the spires of the Metropolitan Cathedral can be seen from miles around. Construction began in the 1500's and it took around two centuries to build. While the building is impressive from any vantage point, it is the...
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Seminario 8, Centro Histórico, Cuauhtémoc, 06060 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
When you have fantastic ancient Aztec ruins located smack-dab in the middle of the city, you have no excuse but to go see them. So, if you’re visiting Mexico City, you have to go to Templo Mayor. Templo Mayor was one of the main temples of...
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1000 Lake Cook Rd, Glencoe, IL 60022, USA
Once a year -- preferably in the fall -- I try to visit the Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe, an upscale suburb approximately 30 minutes north of downtown Chicago (the drive up Sheridan Road, along Lake Michigan is especially scenic). The space...
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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.
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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)
the fishermen row with their legs while dropping a conical net over the fish to trap it in shallow crystal clear waters and then spear the fish thru the small hole at the top of the cone.
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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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South Bank, London SE1 7PB, UK
This picture was taken aboard the London Eye of the House of Parliament and "Big Ben". It perfectly captured what London was for me, with all of its old world charm standing out in a very modern city. Along with the persistent fog and gloomy...
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103 Borough Rd, London SE1 0AA, UK
It's on again this Spring-- the Cheese and Wine Festival. Spend an afternoon sampling cheese, enjoying delicious food and sipping wine by the Thames. There's loads of food to explore and demonstrations from which to learn, but whatever you do,...
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Bankside, London SE1 9TG, UK
For a memorable afternoon tea, head across the River Thames to the Tate Modern. The modern art gallery, housed in a former power station, stands tall in Bankside and is accessible by the Millennium Bridge. After all that walking and seeing a few...
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W Smithfield, London, 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
Why would anyone spend a day in London walking through a cemetery? Morbid fascination? Possibly. Voyeuristic peek into past lives? Probably. Highgate Cemetery is a peaceful and leafy resting place for over 170,00 souls, although rumor has it not...
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66 Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7LA, UK
If you can't make it to Heston Blumenthal's Fat Duck in Bray, you can probably get a reservation (if you book far in advance or dine early/late) at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal in Hyde Park. You'll pay less (but pay plenty) for a good enough...
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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
I love standing on the steps of the National Gallery and looking out over Trafalgar Square-- pubs, fountains, double-decker buses and a view of Big Ben. The National Gallery is wonderful, but when looking at the building, walk around to the right...
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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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Musa efendi Mahallesi, 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. 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., Kalpakçılar Cd. No:22, 34126 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
We found shops throughout Istanbul selling these colorful candle holders, but this shop in the Grand Bazaar had the best display.
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Vişnezade Mahallesi, Dolmabahçe Cd., 34357 Beşiktaş/İstanbul, Turkey

The Grand Ballroom in Dolmabahce Palace is the most amazing single room I've ever been in. There is the largest chandelier in the world (weighing 4 tons), and grandeur everywhere. To top in off, there are wonderful gardens and fountains, and it's...

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Istanbul, Turkey
My roommates and I got really sick of people trying to constantly trying to convince us to go on overpriced tours while living and traveling in Turkiye. At the time we were students, and like most students, we didn't have a lot of money to spend,...
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Yıldız Mh., 34349 Beşiktaş/Istanbul, Turkey
You know that you are at Ortakoy when you see rows and rows of stalls selling all sorts of flavours of waffles you can ever imagine.
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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
Absolutely LOVED this boutique hotel by Joie de Vivre. (And it doesn't hurt that we got a killer deal on Hotel Tonight!) It's a brilliantly converted old motel with one of the best pools ever. Stay here!
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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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2 Chome-10-1 Yūrakuchō, Chiyoda-ku, Tōkyō-to 100-0006, Japan
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

Yoyogi park is this great park in Harajuku where everyone congregates to practice their hobbies. There were people playing sports, games, dancing, everything! This is where you'll find many of the fancifully dressed folks that Harajuku is famous...

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3 Chome-5-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tōkyō-to 100-0005, Japan
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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2 Jumeirah St - Dubai - United Arab Emirates
On the 27th floor of the soaring Burj Al Arab, sample an array of eclectic drinks and tapas like foie gras terrine, Arabic hot and cold mezzeh, as well as a comprehensive afternoon tea (that might just include champagne). Live jazz or piano music...
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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
I rode the bus from La Orotava to Teide National Park (Spain's largest national park). Hairpin curve by narrow hairpin cure -- through a coniferous forest, weaving between the clouds, and emerging beyond in the crater encircling the volcano Teide....
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Junín 1760, C1113 CABA, Argentina
Sometimes travel is about having faith. I was in Buenos Aires waiting. The month before I had quit my job and bought a ticket to Argentina with frequent flyer miles in hopes to do research for a book I was writing. None of my plans had...
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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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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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17 E Monroe St, Chicago, IL 60603, USA
One of my favorite discoveries in Chicago is the Empire Ballroom inside The Palmer House. It's just up the stairs from the hotel's magnificent lobby and has a rich history most anyone working at the hotel will be willing to tell you more about....
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3 Chome-13-1 Takanawa, Minato-ku, Tōkyō-to 108-8612, Japan
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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In a little cafe in Sevilla, Spain, I sat with my mother as numerous brides came strolling down the square to the main cathedral for their big wedding day. This bride captivated me however, with her simple yet elegant headpiece, so I ran down 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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5 Chome-2-1 Tsukiji, Chūō-ku, Tōkyō-to 104-0045, Japan
Fresh, frozen, and living, Tsukiji fish market pushes around 4,500 lbs of seafood a day. At 3:00am, while you’re out clubbing, 400 different types of seafood from tiny sardines to 600-lb tuna arrive by ship, truck, and plane from all over...
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104-0061, Japan
This is the best sushi place I've ever been to in my life. Sushi Chef Jiro Ono (featured in the 2011 film Jiro Dreams of Sushi), now 85 years of age, is a master still working hard every day to refine his technique. His specialty is Nigiri Sushi,...
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1 Chome-9-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tōkyō-to 100-6701, Japan
Everyone knows about Japan's watermelons shaped like hearts, cubes, the Great Pyramid of Giza and all sorts of other things. That doesn't make them any less impressive in person. Go ahead and gawk. There are always a few at two spots in Tokyo...
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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...