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Ul. Luje Adamovića 31, 52210, Rovinj, Croatia
A contemporary take on a classic 1970s Adriatic resort, Hotel Lone is Croatia’s first and only member of the Design Hotels network. The gleaming-white, Y-shaped building may sit amid the forests of Zlatni Rt Park (a 10-minute seafront stroll...
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Novigrad, Croatia
There’s a budding movement in Istria to serve raw fish parts traditionally eaten in fishermen’s homes. At Batelina (Cimulje 25, Banjole, 385/ (0) 52-573-767), chef David Skoko prepares mostly raw dishes from seafood caught each morning. The menu...
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52429, Grožnjan, Croatia
Every July and August, the artsy town of Groznjan swells with visitors who come for classical music concerts and the annual Jazz Is Back festival, held July 13 through August 3 this year. This appeared in the August/September 2013 issue. Image:...
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Setaliste Vladimira Gortana 7, 52420, Buzet, Croatia
Another one of Istria’s hilltop highlights, this stylish boutique hotel is perched in the medieval town of Buzet, known for being Istria’s center of truffles—and decidedly less crowded than Motovun. It features just 19 rooms,...
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Motovun, Croatia
A 13th-century campanile crowns Motovun. Time your visit with the Motovun Film Festival (July 2731, 2013), which screens international films outdoors and in historic theaters. This appeared in the August/September 2013 issue. Image: Nina Đurđević...
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52420, Buzet, Croatia
The Subotina Festival in Buzet (held September 7–8 this year) revolves around white and black truffles, but there’s also abundant local olive oil, prosciutto, and herb-infused rakija, homemade brandy popular throughout the Balkans. The weekend’s...
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Golden Temple Rd, Atta Mandi, Katra Ahluwalia, Amritsar, Punjab 143006, India
This is one of the major highlights of India. It is the holiest place of the Sikh and really unique and full of atmosphere. You can easily spend hours around the temple and explore the Sikh religion, culture and hospitality - don't miss the free...
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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...
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Lake Chūzenji, Chugushi, Nikko, Tochigi Prefecture 321-1661, Japan
The Chuzenji Temple in Oku-nikko, Tochigi Prefecture, was originally founded in 784 by a Buddhist monk known as Shodo-shonin and is located on the shore of Lake Chuzenji, which is approximately 1,300 meters above sea level. In the middle of the...
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9หมู่9 ต.สุเทพ อ.เมืองเชียงใหม่ Chang Wat Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand
On every trip, I try to ride my motorbike up to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, a beautiful temple on the top of the mountain just outside of town. The view of the Chiang Mai valley is breathtaking on a clear day. I go to the shrine in the back of the...
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Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia
Better known as the Tomb Raider Temple since its starring role in the Hollywood movie of the same name, Ta Prohm has at least as much star quality as Angelina Jolie. Cloaked in dappled shadow and locked in the embrace of the vast root systems that...
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Jalan Ayodya No.10, Mengwi, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80351, Indonesia
The temples in Bali, Indonesia are famous for their multi-tiered thatch roofs. This was taken at Pura Taman Ayun in the village of Mengwi. Visitors are not allowed to enter the temples - we could only view from outside the walls. Thankfully the...
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158 Thanon Wang Doem, Khwaeng Wat Arun, Khet Bangkok Yai, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10600, Thailand
Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn) is a Buddhist temple in Bangkok's Yai district. It is situated on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River. The temple is one of the best known Thai landmarks. The mosaics which cover the temple create a pearly sheen during...
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Bagan, Myanmar (Burma)
The secret to having a good time in Bagan has nothing to do with getting there - all that takes is faith in a Burmese pilot and his ancient aircraft, or an unwavering belief that your 13-hour bus ride from Yangon will actually deliver you to the...
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Jalan Tun H S Lee, City Centre, 50000 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
These two young gentlemen were kind enough to let me take their portrait. After our photo session the one on the right gave me quick tour of this fabulous Hindu Temple.
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Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia
Crowds may swarm upon it daily from sunrise onwards, but exposure hasn’t dulled the impact of the largest religious monument in the world. Commissioned by King Suryavarman II in the 12th century as the centerpiece of the mighty Khmer empire,...
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22/, 200 ถนนนครราชสีมา แขวง ดุสิต เขต ดุสิต กรุงเทพมหานคร 10300, Thailand
I come often to this wat, also known as the Marble Temple. It was built by King Rama V in 1899. It’s one of the loveliest in the city, but it’s less crowded with tourists than wats farther south in Bangkok. —Tanongsak “Dtong” Yordwai See all of...
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68 Fukakusa Yabunouchichō, Fushimi-ku, Kyōto-shi, Kyōto-fu 612-0882, Japan

Fushimi Inari Taisha on Inariyama mountain is dedicated to the Shinto gods of rice and sake, but Inari is also the god of merchants and that brings a lot of businesspeople to worship here. Everyone else stops by to see the thousands...

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Southern Asia
The Veerabhadra temple in Lepakshi, India (also simply known as the Lepakshi Temple), isn't the easiest place to get to. It's a 120 km journey north of Bangalore through rural villages. Your best bet for getting there is to hire a driver for the...
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Borobudur, Magelang, Central Java, Indonesia
While traveling the coutryside with it's volcanoes in the east and scattered Hindu and Buddhist temples, take time to visit this incredible site. Just outside Yogyakarta you will find the 9th century Buddhist temple known as Borobudur.. worth the...
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Bagan, Myanmar (Burma)
The ancient history preserved in the architecture of Bagan provides a unique insight into some of the country's modern political struggles. Throughout Burmese history, religion and rulers have been inextricably linked. The temples of Bagan were...
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206/2 หมู่ที่ 5 Na Kluea 12 Alley, Muang Pattaya, Amphoe Bang Lamung, Chang Wat Chon Buri 20150, Thailand
In all honesty in my opinion the only thing worth seeing and going to Pattaya for. Excerpt from Wikipedia "Sanctuary of Truth also called Wang Boran and Prasat Mai[1])....The sanctuary is an all-wood building filled with sculptures based on...
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Thimphu, Bhutan
Bhutan is a fascinating country in the Himalayas. The food is outstanding, and the people are friendly. The Buddhist temples are gorgeous. The landscapes are breathtakingly gorgeous. Few people get the opportunity to visit this county, and they...
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Banteay Srei, Cambodia
We bought the 3-day pass to visit the temples around Siem Reap, then almost didn't use the 3rd day, because we were pretty much at our max of crowds & heat, not feeling very spiritual any more. We decided to spend the last day at Banteay Srei,...
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296/1 หมู่ 7 Sukhumvit Rd, Bang Pu Mai, Amphoe Mueang Samut Prakan, Chang Wat Samut Prakan 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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Kranggan, Bokoharjo, Prambanan, Sleman Regency, Special Region of Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Yogyakarta has always been a country I wanted to visit ever since my University days. I got to know about this beautiful place through my professor, who shared about her amazing adventure in Yogya with the class one day. Visiting Prambanan that...
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Kranggan, Bokoharjo, Prambanan, Sleman Regency, Special Region of Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Go back in time with these partially ruined temples from the 9th century. Celebrating the hindu trinity (Brahma-Vishnu-Mahesh, Creator- Sustainer-Destroyer), these temples have seen their cycles of creation and destruction more than once.
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Amritsar, Punjab, India
After traveling for more than 12 hrs. by car from Varanasi to Delhi one night before and 6 more hrs. by train I got to Amritsar. This is a city different from other cities around India, the holy Golden Temple is the main site in this border city....
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Angkor Thom, Cambodia
Carved bas relief on the walls of the Elephant Terrace near Angkor Thom, Cambodia.
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Aswan Governorate, Egypt
Traveling from Alexandria to Abu Simbel gives you an astonishing sense of Egypt and it's ancient treasures. Pyramids, tombs, and heiroglyphics are set on a burning hot backdrop of smoggy cities, tour busses, and one salesman after the next...
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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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Renmin E St, Xiahe Xian, Gannan Zangzuzizhizhou, Gansu Sheng, China
Xiahe has one of the largest functioning Tibetan Buddhist temples outside of the Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR) with 1,200 monks. Running around the perimeter is a succession of prayer wheels that make up the kora. As you walk (clockwise, always...
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Madinat Habu, Al Bairat, Luxor, Luxor Governorate, Egypt
This temple was far less touristy and much more colorful than the other main temples in the area. Go in the morning or else, like much of Egypt, prepare to feel the fire of 1,000 suns. Even in the morning it's quite hot in June. This temple is...
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ตำบล ป่าอ้อดอนชัย อำเภอเ มืองเชียงราย เชียงราย 57000, Thailand
While there’s no shortage of spectacular temples in Thailand – or Asia for that matter – one of my absolute favorites is without doubt the distinctive Wat Rong Khun. Perhaps better known by the name ‘The White...
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70 หมู่ที่ 6 Chao Fah Tawan Tok Rd, Chalong, Mueang Phuket District, Phuket 83000, Thailand
Wat Chaithararam—commonly known as Wat Chalong—is a stunning temple area on Phuket. There's little known about the Wat's original building: It's at least a couple of hundred years old and was apparently relocated at one point. The temple has also...
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Bagan is chock full of Buddhist temples from the 10th and 11th centuries. It's best to view temples in the early morning or at sunset when the temperatures are low and the light is optimal for photography. Be sure to visit temples that are big,...
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Kounxoau Road, Ban Phonehueng, Luang Prabang, Lao PDR, Luang Prabang 01160, Laos
It's impossible to not fall for the colors on the exterior of the Wat Xieng Thong (Temple of the Golden City) at that golden hour before sunset in Luang Prabang, Loas. I'd been working in nearby Vietnam for a few months and decided to take a solo...
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100 Linden Ave, Wilmette, IL 60091, USA
Suburban Chicago isn’t the first place that comes to mind when you think of major religious centers. But Wilmette, a small town located less than 10 miles north of the Windy City, is home to the only Bahá’í House of Worship in North America....
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The Golden Temple is found near the India/Pakistan border and is the holiest place of worship for the Sikhs. Never before or since, have I experienced a place where true faith is proven through a feeling of calm, happiness, peace, trust, respect,...
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Al Bairat, Luxor, Luxor Governorate, Egypt
Without the crowds busling through, we have access to compose some phenomenal shots and take advantage of the perfect light. Here, at Medinet Habu, Temple of Ramses III, we captured the detailed reliefs and vibrant color remaining on the columns...
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Noida Mor, Pandav Nagar, New Delhi, Delhi 110092, India
Explore 10,000 years of India's history, culture, architecture, and spirituality on over sixty acres of manicured grounds. Akshardham is an elaborate Swaminarayan temple complex that features an IMAX theater, musical fountains, sunken gardens, and...
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Orachha, Madhya Pradesh 472246, India
Orchha, located on the Betwa River in Madhya Pradesh, is known for the 15th century temples and palaces that dot the landscape. The shape of the towers is familiar - one sees it all over India, Southeast Asia, the Silk Road and into Spain - they...
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131 Fuchengmen Inner St, Xicheng Qu, Beijing Shi, China
It's easy to get temple fatigue in China. Many tourists make the mistake of trying to see as many temples as possible, as if checking them off an invisible checklist. If you want to add this temple to your list, it is a very famous one. It is...
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Kandy - Jaffna Hwy, Dambulla, Sri Lanka
Entrance to a Buddhist museum at the foot of the hill housing the Dambulla Cave Temples in Sri Lanka. Although quite a hike up to the top, the physical exertion is worth it to see the 5 caves, which contain hundreds of statues and paintings of...
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Mandir Marg, Near Gole market, Gole Market, New Delhi, Delhi 110001, India
The Laxminarayan Temple (also called the Birla Mandir) is an elaborate Hindu temple of red and white columns, artificial mountains, and waterfalls. The temple was inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi with the condition that the site would be open to all...
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Calle Ferraz, 1, 28008 Madrid, Spain
Stone by stone, second-century BC Debod Temple was reconstructed in Spain in an effort, called to action by UNESCO, to save its demise when the site was threatened by the construction of the Great Dam of Aswan. As a sign of gratitude for the help...
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JL Labuan Sait, Pantai Suluban (Blue Point Beach) Uluwatu, Pecatu, Kuta Selatan, Pecatu, Kuta Sel., Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80364, Indonesia
The monkeys that live here are very mischievious!!! Be careful...they will snatch water bottles and food right out of your hands and even sunglasses straight off your head! We even saw one with some unlucky visitors slippers !!!
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1 Tiantan E Rd, Dongcheng Qu, Beijing Shi, China
This complex of Taoist religious buildings was constructed in the early 15th century under the Yongle Emperor, who also commissioned the Forbidden City, just to the north. The temple's central building is the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests, a...
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The furthest west that the Romans reached was Volubilis, in northern Morocco. They are on the road from Meknes to Fez, and are open for touring for a small fee. A local guide is recommended.
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Kandy - Jaffna Hwy, Dambulla, Sri Lanka
Visiting rock temple in Dambulla feels like visiting a while church. It's a place where you can "touch the heaven" with your hands.
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Mỹ Tho, Tien Giang, Vietnam
Cao Dai Temple in My Tho, outside of Ho Chi Minh, is a surreal destination-especially if you arrive during the prayers of it's loyal followers. We arrived in the morning and quietly were lead to the upper balcony by our private guide to witness...
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Nyaung-U, Myanmar (Burma)
I'm sorry I'm not sure which temple this is. There are so many and I wasn't taking notes. Next time, I will! They are all clustered and visible on the flat plains. It's not hard to find them.
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You might be surprised to see so many Indians in Fiji. Many arrived as indentured servants between 1879 and 1916, brought by the British to work on sugar cane plantations. Today, people of Indian heritage make up about 40% of the population. This...
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Cno. C. Egusquiza y Paso del Barranco, 20400 Punta del Este, Uruguay
Brazilian hotelier Rogerio Fasano took a gamble when he built Fasano Punta del Este 12 miles inland from Uruguay’s popular beaches. When guests enter the gates to the 1,200-acre property, they see cattle and horses grazing on expanses of...
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Mikonos 846 00, Greece
From the outside, San Giorgio looks like one of Greece’s ubiquitous whitewashed homes. Inside, traditional Greek textiles and locally made furniture adorn the 33 unfussy rooms. Most feature rough-hewn wooden dressers, large circular jute...
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Povoa de Penafirme, 2560-046 A dos Cunhados, Portugal
Goncalo Alves and his wife, Marta Fonseca, spent eight years turning an abandoned chicken farm on Portugal’s wild Costa de Prata into their dream retreat. “We wanted a big house to share with people,” says Alves. Their hotel,...
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Oia 847 02, Greece
This little private church is probably the most photographed stop in Oia. Our rented house was right next to it but lower on the steps so we could see lots of people getting lots of photos. Married couples would take their photos next to it,...
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Calle Atarazanas, 19, 29005 Málaga, Spain
To market, to market—that’s where you should go when you feel like catching a glimpse of the true, gritty essence of a place. Market folk don’t care what you think of their city. Market folk don’t dress in their Sunday best. They don’t speak...
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Siggiewi, Malta
After braving the Blue Lagoon crowds, Ghar Lapsi is the ideal spot for swimming in Malta's pristine waters. A tiny inlet and small fishing village, this is the place to experience Maltese summer like a local. The calm waters and rocky shore are a...
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On day seven of our Bike Beyond Boundaries tour of Albania's World Heritage Sites, we cycled from Gjirokastra, birthplace of feared dictator Enver Hoxha as well as renowned writer Ismail Kadare, over the steep Gjerë mountains to the straits of...
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Kos 853 00, Greece
Upon landing on Pserimos, you might think any of the beachfront tavernas would make a great destination for some lunchtime fun. Don't make that mistake! All the eateries right on the beach host the hoards of pleasure cruisers that stop off for...
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Southern Europe
by Fabrizia Lanza People line up at seven or eight in the morning to order a big dish of soup made with tripe and intestines. You can getpanelle(pancakes made from chickpeas) hot from the vendor. They also sell the most famouspanino—spleen stuffed...
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Palmotićeva ul. 4a, 20000, Dubrovnik, Croatia
Wine is an integral part of life on the Dalmatian Coast, a region with many indigenous varietals; a visit to Dubrovnik shouldn’t go by without a glass of local wine. Tucked away on Palmotićeva Street off the main Stradun, D’Vino offers...
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2 Sq. San. Spiridon, Nafplio 211 00, Greece
Aetoma Hotel is a tastefully renovated 18th-century mansion, complete with high ceilings, old-world details, and jewel-colored fabrics. Located in the center of Nafplio, a charming seaside resort in Greece, the intimate hotel is a wonderful base...
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Cape Sounio, Sounio 195 00, Greece
The Temple of Poseidon, perched on the edge of Cape Sounion, has long been a welcoming sign of "home" for sailors returning to Athens. The 5th-century BC structure is dedicated to the god of the sea, and it's just a quick drive from downtown...
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Kalorrouma 731 00, Greece
Crystal clear waters, remote access, and cliff diving. Seitan Limania is a spot known only to locals and the few U.S. military that transit the nearby naval flight line. The view is absolutely gorgeous. This is a once-in-a-lifetime beach. Access...
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26 G. Averof st. Kos, Kos 853 00, Greece
If you're on the island of Kos, do yourself a favor and stop in a Barbouni for a sunset dinner. No, the sun doesn't set into the seas that border this modern Dodecanese restaurant, but Turkey will be the backdrop to your dining experience with...
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18038 Sanremo, Province of Imperia, Italy
Cinque Terre may get all the glory when the topic of the Riviera is brought up but I think the lesser-known Sanremo is delightful in its own way. Because it's a town that stretches for such a great distance along the Mediterranean and has...
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Koumbara Ios Island, Ios Chora Koumbaras 840 01, Greece
This is a wonderful beach to watch the sunset over the sea, take a swim in the clear blue waters, or enjoy a drink or local bite at the sea side restaurant. I loved and devoured this delicious Greek yogurt topped with local island honey. The...
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Chania, Greece
Chania is one of the most beautiful cities of the island of Crete. One of the most beautiful corners of the city is the harbour. It was built on the Venetian era. Visitors will find there monuments of both the Venetian and the Ottoman history. The...
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853 01, Greece
You could pick much worse ways to spend a day in Kos. Paradise Beach is sandy, crystal clear, picturesque and sports a fun little bar overlooking its far right shores serving a variety of foods and drinks to sunworshipers daily. To the far left...
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SP94, 07021 Arzachena OT, Italy
There are few places that blend dramatic scenery, old-world history, and stellar food culture as beautifully as Sardinia. In early summer, wildflowers color the island, cherries are at their juiciest, and many regions are surprisingly tourist...
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Piazza San Marco, 1, 30100 Venezia VE, Italy
The Ponte dei Sospiri was given its English name by part-time Venice resident Lord Byron, who wrote in Childe Harold's Pilgrimage: "I stood in Venice on a Bridge of Sighs, a palace and a prison on each hand." Byron's travelogue nails it: When you...
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84017 Positano, Province of Salerno, Italy
A friend and I were walking down the road, lugging our suitcases and looking for our hotel when I glanced up and saw this view. It was one of those moments when I realized how insanely beautiful the Amalfi Coast is, especially in peak summer. The...
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84010 Scala, Province of Salerno, Italy
Picture a historic village perched high above the sparkling Mediterranean, surrounded by lush mountains and stony cliffs. A charming, three hundred year old country home is nestled among the trees and warm breezes carry the tantalizing aromas of...
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HaYarkon St 205, Tel Aviv-Yafo, 6340506, Israel
While Jerusalem is the official capital of Israel, Tel Aviv is considered to be the capital of style and culture. Enjoy starting your day with a stroll along the beach or a great, rich breakfast in one of many outdoor cafes along some of the...
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Carrer de la Marina, 253, 08013 Barcelona, Spain
The art nouveau buildings of Antoni Gaudí, the 19th-century architect whose works are some of Barcelona’s most iconic sights, can be seen throughout Catalonia, but Barcelona has the best examples of his genius at work. Former...
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Sir Herbert Miles Rd, Gibraltar GX11 1AA, Gibraltar
The Mediterranean lies below the sheer faces of the rock, where cargo ships look like bathtub toys and streets and buildings that hug the base of the rock look like scale models of seaside resorts.
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Guermassa, Tunisia
“Old Guermessa is up there,” the locals advised us when we asked, pointing to a rocky hilltop. Needing the 4wd capability of our rented pickup truck, we climbed the steep path. The afternoon was sliding into evening, turning the abandoned...
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Piazza Venezia, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
The Monument of Victor Emmanuel II in Rome, nicknamed the Wedding Cake (and, alternately, the Typewriter) for its distinctive boxy shape, offers some of the most stunning panoramic views to be had of the Eternal City, in every direction. There is...
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Traversa Punta Capo, 80067 Sorrento NA, Italy
About 2 km outside of the town center of Sorrento, Italy is a natural pool set behind the bluffs that characterize the Amalfi coast. You can only reach it on foot (or Vespa) by turning right off of Via Capo at the sign on a red building that...
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Hamzalısüleymaniye Mahallesi, Akropol Cd. No:6, 35700 Bergama/İzmir, Turkey
“The ruins of himself! now worn away, with age, yet still majestic in decay.” —Homer. The best way to see the Acropolis of Pergamon is to take the cable car up (they will try to sell you a return ticket, but insist on one-way) and then walk down...
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19016 Monterosso al Mare, SP, Italy
We spent the day exploring the 5 villages of the Cinque Terre. Since there are no cars in any of the villages, choose to travel by train, ferry or foot to connect you from one village to the next. We opted to hike in and ferry out to take...
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Athens, Greece
Rooftop bars abound in Athens. From the top of Bar 360 on a late spring evening you can watch the trajectory of the sunset from the walls of surrounding ruins.
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144 Calle Flamboyan, Vieques, 00765, Puerto Rico
Hands-down our favorite epicurean experience in Vieques, this place has a great wine list, delicious tapas, and classy, real table cloths (you'll pick up on this when you visit Esperanza). We had such great food while we were on the island, we...
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Black Rock City, NV, USA
Burning Man conjures up all kinds of images for those who’ve never been. Naked new agers dancing till dawn. Polyamorous pursuers fueled by ecstasy. Yes, the Playa (the desert stage where the Man, the temple, and much of the art is located) is a...
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Gloucester, UK
Why do we still go to movie theaters when we can watch the same film at home? Why do we go to the Cheese Roll when YouTube captures the highlights for us without requiring us to make the trek? Sitting in front of our screens is just no substitute...
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09109 Castrillo de Murcia, Burgos, Spain
Do the Spanish have the weirdest festivals in the world? I asked myself this as I made the 43-kilometer trek by taxi from the charming city of Burgos in northern Spain (no public transportation to this remote village). Since 1621, the...
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Like Hemingway…I like to drink, I like to write, and, on occasion, I like to be a contrarian. I also like to understand the culture of the “other,” especially when it has such a deep history. So, that’s why I came to Pamplona. Still, my conscience...
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5 Derb Zerbtana, Fès 30110, Morocco
When I told people I was traveling to Fes for north Africa’s most celebrated music festival, I heard, “Will you feel safe there?” or “You’re traveling halfway around the world to listen to church music?” Ironically, at the primary concerts,...
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Prinsengracht 323, 1016 GZ Amsterdam, Netherlands
Grachtenfestival is a week-long outdoor classical music festival held every August in Amsterdam. World-famous musicians, ensembles and new talent perform in locations around the city. The festival's grand finale, the free Prinsengracht Concert, is...
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Kırkpınar, Kemertaş Mahallesi, 69000 Kırkpınar Köyü/Bayburt Merkez/Bayburt, Turkey
“Enjoy watching groups of grown men dressed in leather and doused in olive oil grappling with each other?” asked my guidebook. As is true of many cultural traditions, it’s easy to mistake what this festival is all about. Kirkpinar is about honor....
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Kampung Selayang Permai, 68100 Batu Caves, Selangor, Malaysia
Landing in heat-soaked Kuala Lumpur after being on the road for 24 hours can be disorienting. Incessant chanting (“vei vel shakti vel”), monkeys screeching, wafting incense, a glorious moon, and a million people. Thaipusam falls on a full moon and...
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53100 Siena, Province of Siena, Italy
Each spring as a child, I looked forward to the annual Derby Day party in our family backyard when my parents’ friends donned odd hats and downed mint julips. Somehow, I thought Il Palio was going to bring back childhood memories, but the Kentucky...
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Newada Samogar, Uttar Pradesh 211009, India
Kumbh Mela is a perfect habitat for exploring "cultural curiosity." It forms a place for the salvation of mankind who wish to be free of the cycle of life and death. No small theme for the world’s biggest gathering. The crowd on the main days is...
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Pingxi District, New Taipei City, Taiwan 226
If you’re logical, you might not make the trek to the Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival. Depending upon where you live, this is a long way to go for just a few hours of visual splendor in the sky. The fact is that the highlight lasts no more than about...
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Harbin, Heilongjiang, China
My ideal habitat is a warm day on a tropical beach. I'm also a sucker for beauty in all its most unusual forms (part of the reason I'm on the Board of Burning Man). So, when I heard about the Harbin International Ice & Snow Festival in northeast...
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Konya, Turkey
Spiritual and sensual, ascetic and ecstatic, Rumi’s poetry has provided me an island of tranquility since my college years. Two of his quatrains, in particular, had a profound influence on my development as a young adult: For years, copying other...
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Jl. Surapati, Tua, Marga, Kabupaten Tabanan, Bali 80116, Indonesia
The sun's gift to the island of Bali (Island of the God's and Devotion) for Valentine's Day...my eyes will never forget.
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One of the most important celebrations in Bali is Galungan. Beginning in or around late March, the festival symbolizes the victory of virtue (dharma) over evil (adharma). Hear the mysterious clangs of gamelan music; see women and girls in...
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Magic Island, Honolulu, HI 96814, USA
Even before I moved to Hawaii, I knew I wanted to be a part of the Lantern Floating Festival. It takes place on Memorial Day weekend in May at Ala Moana Park in Honolulu. An estimated 40,000 people turned out for the 2012 celebration where...
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Sycamore Building, Sycamore Street, Temple Bar, Dublin 2, Co. Dublin, Ireland
A fanciful three-week celebration of the arts, Fringe has been an annual asylum for artistic oddballs since 1994. Nearly 650 productions— theater, dance, poetry, magic, outdoor installations—enliven venues all over Dublin. 353/(0) 1-670-6106....
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Nong Han, San Sai District, Chiang Mai, Thailand
One of my favorite festivals in the world is the Loi Krathong / Yi Peng ‘festival of light’ in Thailand. Both occur at the same time and although differing slightly, both represent the cleansing of sins. Yi Peng takes place mainly in Chiang Mai in...
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Matthias-Pschorr-Straße 4, 80339 München, Germany
Each fall, crowds of partygoers at Munich’s Oktoberfest lift steins of golden beer skyward and bellow “Prosit!” The German holiday began more than 200 years ago at the marriage celebration of Bavarian Crown Prince Louis and Princess Therese. Many...
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Camí de Binissaida, 108, 07720 Es Castell, Illes Balears, Spain
To really get to know the Spanish island of Minorca, be prepared to sit atop a saddle. The island has a love affair with a breed of horse: the graceful, strong, coal-black Minorcan. While donkeys traditionally worked the fields, the Minorcan was...
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122 Charoenrat Rd., T.Watket Chaingmai Amphoe Mueang Chiang Mai, Chang Wat Chiang Mai 50000, Thailand
Armed with all manner of water delivery devices travelers have been streaming into Thailand over the weekend for Songkran water festival Songkran is the country's most popular festival which celebrates the Thai New Year and refreshingly, the...
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French Quarter Fest is billed as the largest free concert in the South and features local musicians of varied genres. Over the course of four days in April, you can experience all kinds of music, by over 100 performers scattered throughout the...
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From the Highlands to the Sepik River... this is where I had the fortunate experience of seeing a country & culture that rarely is seen by Western eyes. It took about 2 years in the planning to ensure my safety as this is not one of the most...
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Seongji-ro 153beon-gil, Choeup-dong, Busanjin-gu, Busan, South Korea
The temples of South Korea are always one of my favorite things to check out while traveling there. For one, the temples in South Korea are usually accessible by hike and are often perched on the top of a mountain so just getting to the temple can...
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Shiwar, Rajasthan 322704, India
The Holi Festival is also known as the festival of colors and is celebrated on a full moon at the end of February or beginning of March, which marks the end of winter. On the morning of the full moon people take to the streets ‘throwing paint’,...
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La Paz, Bolivia, Genaro Sanjines, La Paz, Bolivia
Carnaval will be here soon, and Bolivian Carnaval has a slightly different flavor than what you'll find in Rio, Venice, or New Orleans. Each year schools of dancers take to the streets wearing the traditional costumes of the different departments...
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Sawad, Bapunagar, Vadodara, Gujarat 390022, India
Ganesh Utsav, is a 10 day festival celebrating the birth of Ganesha (Elephant headed Indian God). It starts with bringing in the idol with full fervor at a community 'Pandal' (stall) or at homes. People thong various pandals to worship and at the...
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Ohara, Isumi, Chiba Prefecture 298-0004, Japan
Ohara is a small town known for its fishing port (in fact, roughly 60 percent of all of the ise-ebi, or Japanese spiny lobster, caught in Japan comes from Ohara Port). It is about a 1 1/2 hour train ride from Tokyo Station on the Wakashio express....
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Ai Guo Lu, Luohu Qu, Shenzhen Shi, Guangdong Sheng, China
Before the Spring Festival in Shenzhen, the city blocks off streets for several huge Flower Fairs. The one in Luohu on Aiguo Rd is the biggest, and it was packed the day I went with people celebrating the year of the dragon. You could buy some...
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Lotificacion San Jose, Nejapa, El Salvador
Once a year on August 31st, the little town of Nejapa, just outside of San Salvador hosts the Fireball Festival (Bolas de Fuego). Started 90 years ago to commemerate the eruption of a nearby volcano, balls of cloth wrapped with wire are soaked in...
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Av. Domínguez Ruiz 300, San Jacinto, 29160 Chiapa de Corzo, Chis., Mexico
Chiapa de Corzo’s Fiesta de Los Parachicos is held every January, and is part of a month-long celebration known as Fiesta Grande. The Parachicos celebration has been named by UNESCO as an item of intangible cultural heritage and is often described...
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Bennelong Point, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
Designed by Danish architect Jørn Utzon, the Sydney Opera House was inspired by its dramatic setting on Bennelong Point in Sydney Harbour, a location that’s long been sacred to the native Gadigal people. While construction took...