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Patan 44700, Nepal
Of all the cities in the Kathmandu Valley, my favorite was Patan mainly because there was traditional Nepalese arts and handicrafts was on display everywhere. When I mean everywhere, I mean everywhere….on walls, stairs and steps, building facades,...
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Kathmandu 44600, Nepal
Tourists call it the “Monkey Temple,” owing to the clans of rhesus macaque wandering through the grottos and recesses of this ancient shrine. The monkeys climb where they please, siblings squabble, parents scold and protect—a parallel simian...
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Aswan, Aswan Governorate, Egypt
I think it was the Greeks who invented columns but in my opinion, it was the Egyptians who gave them beauty. I saw this stunning set at Philae which is an archeological site located on an island in Lake Nassar in Egypt. Philae is located just a...
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Damascus, Syria
Two of the most moving sites that I've ever experienced were the Mosque of Say'yeda Roqayya and the Umayyad Mosque. Both sites are main attractions in Damascus for locals and tourists. The tomb of Say'yeda Roqayya is a beautiful mosaic of gold...
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Muze Yolu Cad. No:36/1 Goreme, 50180 Göreme Belediyesi/Nevşehir Merkez/Nevşehir, Turkey
For a truly spectacular experience that will take your breath away - take a smooth ride hot air ballooning over the cave city & fairy chimneys in Cappodica, Turkey! There are many balloons that take off at the same time each morning adding to the...
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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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Sultan Ahmet Mahallesi, Atmeydanı Cd. No:7, 34122 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
Adorned with more than 20,000 blue handcrafted İznik tiles, stained-glass windows, and the golden brushstrokes of a 17th-century calligrapher, the Blue Mosque is the legacy of Sultan Ahmet I (1590–1617). The young sultan audaciously wished...
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Sultan Qaboos St, ولاية بوشر، Oman
Proportions can be deceiving in a mosque that is littered with superlatives – largest, biggest, most, prettiest are common words you hear when researching the mosque that was completed in 2001. The mosque’s total capacity is 20,000...
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Khasab Coastal Rd, Khasab 811, Oman
Oman is an amazing country, off the radar for most travelers and tourists. The Musandam Peninsula is separated from the rest of Oman by the United Arab Emirates. The peninsula lies across from Iran on the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian (Arabian)...
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RT 8, Morondava 619, Madagascar
Having driven from Morondava to this remote row of Baobabs 45 min out of town, I took this picture at sunset as the day came to an end. I thought why not come back tomorrow for sunrise so at 4 in the morning we arranged a driver to take us in the...
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2 Place Batha, Fes 30206, Morocco
Over a sultan's feast of pastilla, marinated salads, tajines, and pastries at La Maison Bleue in the Fès medina, my husband and I were spellbound by the haunting voice of this oud player. The melancholy cadence of his instrument coalesced with the...
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Rue Assouel, Marrakech 40000, Morocco
At Ben Youssef Medersa, a 16th-century Koranic boarding school turned museum, visitors can see colorful mosaic zellij tiles and intricate stucco carvings inscribed with Muslim invocations. —Jennye Garibaldi
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Tiznit 85000, Morocco
Without a doubt, I miss Moroccan mint tea. Not only do I often think back on that perfectly brewed, overly sweetened cup of gunpowder green tea brewed with fresh spearmint leaves, but I remember the ritual itself. When I traveled in Morocco, our...
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Preserving food in salt is a centuries old method that crosses cultures. In Morocco, they salt preserve all sorts of vegetables as well as lemons. Every market you go to, you see containers and jars packed with all sorts of preserved veggies....
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Tinmel, Morocco
One of only two mosques in Morocco open to non-Muslims (the other being the Hassan II mosque in Casablanca), the Tin Mal Mosque is a worthwhile and historic visit despite its distance away from the main tourist trail. Deep in the High Atlas, Tin...
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Sidi Bouloukat Djemaa el fna 53 Sidi Bouloukate، Marrakech 40000, Morocco
Described by writer Tahir Shah as the “greatest show on Earth,” no visit to Marrakech would be complete without a visit to the famous night market on the Djemaa el Fna. Arrive before sunset and park yourself at one of the...
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Aït Benhaddou, Morocco
We spent a day here exploring the ksar and climbing to the top of the village for panoramic views of the region. Words fail me in trying to describe the uniqueness of this site. The fact that people still live here in these ancient clay buildings...
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Shiraz, Fars Province, Iran
In a country full of gorgeous mosques, one of the most delightful is this small one in Shiraz, Nasir-al-Molk. Its size doesn’t diminish its splendor. With richly woven carpets made and donated by members of the mosque, some of whom spent years...
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Persepolis, Iran
Walking through the ancient city gate, I was already giddy with the atmosphere of the ruins, such a tangible touch of the past. The Persian empire was one of the greatest empires of antiquity and the longest lasting, with its succession of...
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Isfahan Province, Isfahan, Vank Church Alley, Iran
You might be surprised to find a Christian church in Iran. But I learned that several Christian enclaves exist peacefully inside the Islamic Republic of Iran. The Vank Cathedral in the Jolfa Armenian quarter of Isfahan is a gorgeous fusion of...
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Jerusalem, Israel
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Jerusalem, Israel
The first time I visited Jerusalem was in 1991 during the time of the Arab uprising called Intifada. I arrived in this holy city and immediately sprinted to the Old City despite being warned it was one of the more unsafe areas. Despite Jerusalem...
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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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The Mursi tribe live in the remote part of southwest Ethiopia. These people are part of what national geographic calls the "last frontier' and had no notion of the outside world until the seventies. They have extensive cultural features . The...
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Bahir Dar, Ethiopia
Lake Tana in Northern Ethiopia is a lovely place to spend a few days. In addition to being the source of the Blue Nile, it's home to a stunning array of holy places. If you make your way to the friendly town of Bahir Dar, you can hire a boat to...
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Lalibela, Ethiopia
Travel is about living with and experiencing life through the local’s eyes. A favorite moment for this was when I found myself dancing with the locals in a bar set high on a mountainside to Ethiopian music in the hills of the northern Ethiopian...
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Ethiopia
Lake Tana is the largest lake in Ethiopia. It is the source of the Blue Nile River as well as home to several island monasteries and convents. Of the monasteries, Ura Kidhane Mihret is reputed to be the most beautiful. Like most tourists, we...
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Lalibela, Ethiopia
Transport yourself to back to the 13th century. Imagine taking a hand tool and chiseling down in to a mountain to create the four exterior sides of a building and then using those same hand tools to hewn out the interior space for the building....
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Stairways, Kathmandu 44600, Nepal
Late that afternoon, we reach the confluence of the Rongshar and Menlung rivers, where a promontory of ancient glacial shelf rises several hundred feet above the two swollen rivers. On its summit, the blackened tin roof and broken adobe walls of...
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Bhaktapur, Nepal
The ancient capital of the Kathmandu Valley is an earthy composition of ornate brickwork and wood filigreed temples built by the Newar tribe. In Bhaktapur’s Durbar Square; the relief carvings on the golden Suun Dhoka Gate, and stone images of the...
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Pokhara, Nepal
If you find yourself in Pokhara, there's no doubt you'll hear about the sunrise hike to the top of Sarangkot to witness the morning glow light up the Annapurna Range of the Himalayas. With absolutely stunning views of Machapuchare, you're wise to...
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Phewa Lake, Pokhara 33700, Nepal
We weren't quite lucky to see the snowcapped covered mountains in the lovely lakeside village of Pokhara since we visited during monsoon season. But it was a perfect way to start our introduction to the area and cross over to the trail leading up...
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Kathmandu 44600, Nepal
I’m not really much of a shopper but it’s hard not to look at the stuff for sale, especially when there’s a lot of it and it’s everywhere. One of my favorite places to *window shop* was Kathmandu. There, the vendors not only display their wares on...
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Kathmandu 44600, Nepal
Nepal is one of the most attractive countries in the world. It is not just Mt. Everest which makes the country a delight to visit, but the beauty of the people and the unspoiled Chitwan National Forest which make the country a rare gem. Where else...
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Kathmandu 44600, Nepal
In a very silent temple with people praying, what better way to keep baby sis quiet than to lift her up to spin the prayer scrolls that fully line the walls of the temple.
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Bhutan
On a 2010 trip to Bhutan, I visited the Kichu Lhakhang Temple in Lamgong Gewog, of the Paro District. The Kichu Lhakhang is an important Himalayan Buddhist Temple, and is one of the oldest temples in Bhutan. I was immediately drawn to the gorgeous...
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Ura, Bhutan
Amongst the patchwork of fields a long string of maroon robed figures wended its way towards us over stiles, along rickety wooden fence lines and across streams on stone slab bridges. The aged high lama and his retinue were conveying an ancient...
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Giza, Al Omraneyah, Giza Governorate, Egypt
This was the beautiful tent that awaited us when we arrived for the closing party at Afar Experiences Cairo, along with musicians and champagne, high on the Giza plateau overlooking the Pyramids.
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El-Gamaleya, Qism El-Gamaleya, Cairo Governorate, Egypt
A beautiful teahouse at Khan El Khalili, the impressive souk in Cairo which dates to the 1300's. Could have spent a week in the bazaar!
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El-Darb El-Ahmar, Cairo Governorate, Egypt
Just because the Sultan Hasan Mosque is 600 years old doesn't mean they can't use modern technology to keep it clean.
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Teraat Al Mansoureya, Giza Governorate, Egypt
Don't be fooled by camels. Cute and adorable-looking on the outside, these guys like to snarl. And spit. And try to make it really clear that they don't actually want you to climb on their back so they can hoist you in the air and be led to and...
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Cairo, Cairo Governorate, Egypt
Mosque of Ibn Tulun is one of the largest and oldest mosques in Cairo, Egypt. Vistors are required to wear protective covers over their feet and women are required to wear head scarfs.
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Abtal Al Tahrir, Sheyakhah Oula, Qism Aswan, Aswan Governorate, Egypt
I was fortunate enough to stay at the Old Cataract Hotel by the River Nile a wonderful experience in itself. But the stay would not have been complete without a very restful trip in one of these lovely old wooden sailing craft. Just the sounds of...
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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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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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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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El-Karnak, Luxor, Luxor Governorate, Egypt
I visited countless temples on my brief visit to Egypt, but my favorite, by far, was the Karnak Temple complex, the largest ancient religious site in the world. A visit to the complex begins with a walk lined on both sides by ram statues, leading...
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Al-Hashemi St., Amman, Jordan
Amman is a cute little city that will show you what is being on an Arabic country even will make you feel like if you were on a War zone This one of the biggest roman theaters that I have ever visited, I recommend to do the hike from here to the...
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Ma'an Governorate, Jordan
At the other end of Petra, some 800 well-worn steps up, lies the valley's largest structure, the Monastery. It dates back to the 1st century and is dedicated to Obadas I, the king of the Nabataeans from 96 B.C.E. to 85 B.C.E. After the emotional...
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Jerash Governorate, Jordan
This ancient Graeco - Roman city was conquered by General Pompey in 63 BC, and was once a vibrant business center with churches, temples, shops, theaters, baths, fountains, well-planned streets and public squares. It thrived until an earthquake...
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Süleymaniye Mah., Prof. Sıddık Sami Onar cad. No:1, 34116 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
From my brother (Erdem Sengul's) camera - the tourists and worshippers in Suleymaniye Mosque in silence, a peaceful escape from the scorching heat outside.
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Atatürk Mh., Artemis Tapınağı, 35920 Selçuk/İzmir, Turkey
The historic city of Ephesus is a must if you are going to Turkey. It is amazing! You walk down worn stone paths that the ancient people once walked. The library is a definite highlight as it was one of the major buildings of the city. I wanted to...
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Kayseri, Kayseri Province, Turkey
Cappadocia. Is amazing!! If you are going to Turkey don't miss this area!! There are many cave hotels. Ours was dreamy.
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Balat Mahallesi, Mürselpaşa Cd. No:10, 34087 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
My Local Guide Istanbul provides a unique tour of Istanbul's UNESCO World Heritage listed renovated and ruined Ottoman Houses. Walking amongst the locals was an experience in itself, with local kids curious to see us in their colourful community....
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If you go to Cappadocia, Turkey, the Göreme Open Air Museum is worth a visit. The museum is a collection of cave churches carved out by Orthodox monks from about 900 AD to 1200 AD. The monks really went all out to try and make the cave churches...
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Hobyar Mahallesi, Ankara Cad Evren Çarşısı No:17 D:44, 34110 Sirkeci/Fatih/Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
One morning outside Sultanahmet I saw what I believe to be a suffi. He looked somewhat like a Turkish version of Santa Claus (which was odd because it was late December), but I don't really know what else he would be with that beard.
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Vişnezade Mahallesi, Dolmabahçe Cd., 34357 Beşiktaş/İstanbul, Turkey
This decadent palace, which overlooks the Bosphorus from the European side, holds great importance to Turkey. The late-19th-century sultans resided here and ruled the Ottoman Empire from here, and while the Turkish Republic's capital is in Ankara,...
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Jerash Governorate, Jordan
I'll be honest, the primary reason I went to Jordan was to see Petra. But rather than fly in and out, I decided to spend a week exploring the country. One day I went to the ancient city of Jerash. It was beautiful - well preserved with the avenues...
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Beyazıt Mh., 34126 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
Soon after conquering Constantinople and defeating the Byzantines in 1453, Ottoman Sultan Mehmet II commissioned the beginnings of the Grand Bazaar to reinvigorate trade with the city. More than 550 years later, the bazaar is one of the oldest...
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Emniyetevleri Mah. Eski Büyükdere Cad., Emniyetevleri Mahallesi, Yamaç Sk. No: 7, 34415 Kağıthane/İstanbul, Turkey
The allure of smoking nargile, also known as hookah and shisha, is insurmountable in the Middle East. In Istanbul, the most authentic place to try it is Corlulu Ali Pasa Medresesi. The 300-year-old Medrese has evolved from a religious school and...
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Sultan Ahmet Mahallesi, Ayasofya Meydanı, 34122 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
Walk into Hagia Sophia (Aya Sofya) and look up to the heavens to see why so many conquerors and their respective religions claimed this basilica turned mosque turned museum as their own. Visitors will swoon over the Byzantine gilded mosaics,...
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Hoca Paşa Mahallesi, 34110 Fatih/Istanbul, Turkey
This was my official welcome to Turkey. After taking the train from the airport to our new home in Istanbul - the area Gulhane - we ducked into a tiny cafe on a quiet corner for a coffee. Not only was the cup and saucer bright and beautiful, the...
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Tarn Taran Sahib, Punjab 143401, India
Sikhs and non-Sikhs go to Amritsar for one reason – to see the Golden Temple (Hamandir Sahib) so, that is what I did on my most recent trip to India. Except, I went on Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday which is a national holiday in India and because of...
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Meena Bazaar, Jama Masjid, Chandni Chowk, New Delhi, Delhi 110006, India
With over 200 million Muslims in India, the country has no shortage of mosques. Jama Masjid, India's largest mosque, was commissioned by Shah Jahan, the same emperor who built the iconic Taj Mahal for his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal....
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Singapore
Known for being a bit boisterous and rowdy, Little India has a distinct personality from the rest of Singapore. It can start to feel a few degrees hotter than the rest of the city as you dodge shoppers, temple goers, and trinket sellers on...
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Tanzania
Waking up at dawn is a must. Head out for an early morning safari before the midday sun mandates a nap,
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Old Havana, Havana, Cuba
While visiting Old Havana, I couldn't resist a photograph of this elderly cigar smoker. She added some local color to a wonderful day in the historic and colonial heart of Havana. Old Havana is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is a beautifully...
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Old Havana, Havana, Cuba
This beautiful baroque facade belongs to the Cathedral of Saint Christopher in Old Havana, Cuba. This classic cathedral occupies a prime position on a beautiful square in Old Havana. If you visit Cuba, be sure to visit this treasure with its...
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Old Havana, Havana, Cuba
Wandering the streets of Habana Vieja, you'll see many things - bike carts selling vegetables, markets, pigs being delivered to butchers, lovers kissing, and gorgeous old cars just to name a few. What really brought a smile to my face was watching...
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Havana, Cuba
No visit to Havana is complete without attending the so called "Paradise Under the Stars." The spectacular show opened in 1939 and continues with colorful performances of music, dance and song. The club also has a colorful history, including prior...
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Playa Varadero, Cuba
“We only have coffee at breakfast,” they said in Spanish. Now, I had no idea that I was surrounded by hotels and could have had coffee, fresh lobster and a massage on the beach at any hour of the day. I was thinking more like prison in the middle...
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Havana, Cuba
Everywhere you go in Cuba "Che" is present. Going to Cuba as an American means your days are spent listening to lectures, attending performances, and visiting art galleries on official tours. As wonderful as all those things are, the best thing...
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Latin America
I didn't expect after spending the day hiking around Machu Picchu to experience another moment of breathtaking beauty. The town of Aquas Calientes exists among a raging river that demands your attention. While waiting for the train I looked over a...
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Praça General Osório - Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro - RJ, 20410-020, Brazil
Rio is one massive outdoor market: coconuts are sold everywhere along the beach, hand-macheted, cold and refreshing for just $5 RS, and tanned bums and muscly pecs are always on display. But there is another market that comes to Ipanema beach...
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Ile Moyenne, Seychelles
This tiny island in the St. Anne National Marine Park is home to more species per square foot than any other part of the world, including giant land tortoises that roam the island freely. Take a boat taxi from nearby Mahe and spend the day...
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Rural Mahe, Seychelles
I had a chance to explore the ramshackle streets of Seychelles, and was caught up in the beautiful mix of local culture, people and modern convenience. colorful fish markets and street vendors amid the adventure tour outfitters and small seafood...
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Anse Source d'Argent, Seychelles
Home to an abundance of wildlife, La Digue is the third largest inhabited island in the archipelago. Towering granite rocks surround the sparkling blue ocean, and green foliage and sprawling palm trees add to this unspoiled natural environment....
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Chamarel, Mauritius
Nowhere in the world can one find sand of the sort that appears as if by magic, seeping out of the earth and turning the topography into rainbow waves, like at Chamarel in Mauritius. It's reported to be truly one-of-a-kind in the most explicit...
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Chamarel, Mauritius
A waterfall, the seven colored earth, a fantastic viewpoint of valleys, peaks and islets, a restored Ebony Forest Nature Park, miles of pine-apples, sugar, banana trees, tea and hardly mentioned - coffee. The funny thing is that no-one in...
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Avenue Dolphins 6, Pointe aux Sables 11102, Mauritius
There's something different about Mauritian rum. It's not made from molasses, like so many of the Caribbean varieties. Instead, it's distilled from pure sugarcane juice. It has a singular taste, specific to the island. And it's a taste you don't...
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Chamarel, Mauritius
Many will tell you not to bother going to Chamarel's "seven-colored earth"—that it's not worth the hype. But they probably haven't bothered to check out this geological anomaly when day breaks. Prepare to be astounded when first light hits the...
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Cascavelle, Mauritius
Have you ever wondered what a lion's fur feels like? Is it soft and silky like your average house cat? Or is it made of rougher stuff? You can sate that particular curiosity at the Casela Nature and Leisure Park. The park's trained staff host...
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Route Royale, Grand Baie, Mauritius
You've planned your evening. You want to warm up with a quiet drink around a friendly bar, maybe with a little live acoustic music. Then, once you've got your bearings, you want to dance all those extra calories off. You can do both at Mauritius'...
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Rue du Bazaar, Mahebourg, Mauritius
You wandered the stalls at Port Louis Grand Bazaar and found yourself a little disappointed by the touristy vibe. For a more traditional Mauritian marketing experience, head to the weekly Mahebourg Market on Mondays. Spices, textiles, crafts and...
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Airport Main Rd, Malé 22000, Maldives
Sunset behind Medhufushi Resort, Maldives.
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Rangali Island, Rangali 20077, Maldives
Located on two private islands, the resort is just the right size. You can be alone in your villa or mingle with other guests. There’s excellent food and wine at seven restaurants, one of which is undersea—enclosed in glass. Naturally, the seafood...
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Kurangi Goalhi, Malé, Maldives
The diving is amazing.
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The Buddhist temple complex of Dambulla consists of five cave temples carved under a very large overhanging rock. The temples were carved out over several centuries, but the oldest dates back to the 1st century B.C.E. The temples include numerous...
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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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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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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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The mirror wall in the background. It is so well polished that it feels like porcelain.
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They are the daughters of King Kashyapa, and they are part of the paintings in the Sigiriya cave.
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Sri Dalada Veediya, Kandy 20000, Sri Lanka
You are lucky if you visit the Temple of Tooth during the Fullmoon festival because you will get the chance to see the tooth. It was crowded when I was there with a friend but we finally found it worthy as what we watched was that buddhist...
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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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Kandy - Jaffna Hwy, Dambulla, Sri Lanka
For my first taste of Sri Lanka the small town of Dambulla welcomed me well, showing off its large golden Buddha as I arrived around 4pm, a bit jetlagged and anxious to see something outside of a taxi (we drove directly from the Colombo airport to...
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Sri Lanka
If you are a keen 'birder' and plan to head towards Sri Lanka anytime between December and January, I suggest you visit the Northern city of Mannar. At this time of year, the land of the Palmyrah trees becomes lush after rains and home to hundreds...
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Sri Dalada Veediya, Kandy 20000, Sri Lanka
One of the most famous temples in all of Sri Lanka is located in Kandy, the Temple of the Tooth (Sri Dalada Maligawa). It was built in the 17th century and proudly boasts it is the home of Buddha’s tooth. The tooth is kept in a two-story inner...
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Thatta, Sindh, Pakistan
This mosque was built in 1600s by same Shahjehan who was responsible for Taj Mahal. The architecture is unique with its 100 domes which helped spread the call for prayer without speakers, and blue tiles. Love the play of light and shadow in the...