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Southeast Asia

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Ideas for various trips I take from Shanghai to Southeast Asia...
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Sanur, South Denpasar, Denpasar City, Bali, Indonesia
Sanur is a beautiful and quaint part of Bali with hotels along the boardwalk that lines the beach. The boardwalk really makes Sanur special, as walking in Bali can be treacherous in most of the towns with narrow streets and tiny sidewalks, but...
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Jl. Raya Petitenget, Gang Cendrawasih No. 68, Kerobokan, Badung, Kerobokan Kelod, Kuta Utara, Kerobokan Kelod, Kuta Utara, Bali, 80361, Indonesia
Although it’s located right near a popular stretch of Seminyak beach, this inexpensive, 16-room Puri Madawi hotel, set 300-meters back into the jungle, feels hidden and secluded. The resort is filled with authentic Balinese touches such as woven...
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Sunset beach, Jungutbatu, Nusapenida, Lembongan island, Bali 80771, Indonesia
Located just off the eastern shore of Bali, Indonesia, is a small island called Nusa Lembongan. It is a great place for a day trip if you're vacation in Bali, and it's only a 30-40min boat ride from Sanur. There is a boat that will take you...
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Jl. Badrawati, Kw. Candi Borobudur, Borobudur, Magelang, Jawa Tengah, Indonesia
The sunrise at Borobudur is one of those magical experiences that makes us spend so much money on travel. The site of the smoking volcano on the horizon, combined with the brilliant hues and Buddhas on the summit of the temple mountain, make this...
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Mambal, Abiansemal, Mambal, Abiansemal, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80352, Indonesia
It took three years to realize this passion project: a spa retreat built mainly of bamboo. Book a riverfront suite, or the hotel can arrange a stay in a rural family’s home. This appeared in the January/February 2013 issue.
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Jl. Gn. Sari, Peliatan, Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia
Make sure to check everything off your to-do list before staying at Maya Ubud Resort & Spa because you'll immediately melt into the landscape and never want to leave. The tiered layout and minimal design seamlessly intertwine with the jungle...
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Jimbaran, South Kuta, Badung Regency, Bali, Indonesia
Bali sometimes gets an unfair review as being an overhyped and overly-touristed exotic destination. On the contrary, my husband and I enjoyed our three weeks there immensely. We divided our time between unassuming, coastal Jimbaran and Ubud (of...
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Jl. Goa Lempeh, Banjar Dinas Kangin, Uluwatu, Pecatu, Kuta Sel., Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia
Set on cliffs above the Indian Ocean, this posh resort is made up of 59 spacious villas that blend local stone and wood with Bulgari-made fabrics. It’s a luxurious combination of contemporary Italian design and Balinese traditional architecture. ...
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Unnamed Road, 82152, Jatiluwih, Penebel, Kabupaten Tabanan, Bali 82152, Indonesia
Bali's rice terraces are a beautiful sight, and a great place to view them is Jatiluwih in Tabanan. There are pathways cut through the fields for tourists and small stalls at which to sit and have a cold drink, but groups are few and far between,...
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Lake Maninjau, Tanjung Raya, Agam Regency, West Sumatra, Indonesia
This is what I think of when travel comes to mind. I think untrammeled territory, wide open country, bits and pieces of the world I've never seen before, people doing things I didn't know they still do or ever did, and a big, booming landscape....
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Jl. Hanoman No.8, Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia
Clear Café may specialize in raw and vegan food, but you won’t find dream catchers or hemp tablecloths here. Instead, you’ll see marble-and-stone tabletops, driftwood sculptures, and a small courtyard pool. Notable menu items include black pepper...
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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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Jl. Raya Ubud No.35, Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia
Every morning, before the day has truly begun, Balinese women come to the market shrine in the center of Ubud, Bali. They light incense and leave their offerings, origami folded banana frawns bearing crackers and cookies and flower petals for the...
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Jl. Uluwatu No.Desa, Pecatu, Kuta Sel., Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia
I'll be honest, you are going to find mixed reviews from travelers about visiting the Uluwatu Temple on the southern tip of Bali. People are going to complain about the thieving monkeys (for good reason), the lack of luster offered by the temple,...
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Walk through the old rice fields of Bali, just outside the ancient site of Gunung Kawi.
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Luwus, Baturiti, Tabanan Regency, Bali, Indonesia
Walking into our guide's house we were treated to a scrumptious spread of the best food we had had in Bali. Lightly sauteed spinach with chicken satay, noodles, Balinese spices and pickles along with tofu dipped in a delicious sauce made for a...
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Here is the gateway to Komodo National Park home of the largest lizard in the world. The national park is comprised of Komodo Island, Rinca Island also many smaller islands as well as the surrounding ocean. This combined with the remoteness makes...
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phường 7, Quận 10, Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam

We spent our last day in Ho Chi Minh City with Geoffrey Deetz, a restaurateur and foodie from Oakland, California, who has lived in Vietnam for the past decade and operates the wonderful Black Cat Cafe. He and his Vietnamese girlfriend took us on...

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Chợ, Lê Lợi, Phường Bến Thành, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh 700000, Vietnam
Jackfruit and dragonfruit on display at a fruit stand in Banh Thanh Market in Ho Chi Minh.
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I first discovered Vietnamese food as a kid in Montreal, but I always thought it was just about the pho. Of course, like many countries in the region, the food differs depending on the province and one of the many dishes I learned to love were...
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Pho Ga (chicken pho) is traditional to northern Vietnam and is served all day. The best time to get it from a local vendor is early in the morning because it's SO fresh and makes for a perfect breakfast. As a side note about this photo, I love...
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Hồ B52, Ngọc Hà, Ba Đình, Hà Nội, Vietnam
It took ages to find the (much acclaimed at AFAR) sunken B-52 bomber in Ha Noi. The twisted pile of metal hardly resembles a plane anymore, but it was interesting nonetheless. Even more fascinating to me was the 'lake' it had fallen into. This...
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341 Cao Đạt, Phường 1, Quận 5, Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam
Whenever I get the urge to complain about my lack of space in the US, I remember the efficiently packed tight way that almost everyone else in the world lives. For instance, SE Asians are the masters of balancing their wares on bicycles. They also...
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Praya, Semayan, Praya, Kabupaten Lombok Tengah, Nusa Tenggara Bar., Indonesia
My wife and I are the only people relaxing on this white sand beach on the island of Lombok, when we her the buzz of a motor. We look up and see a Muslim girl learning to drive a scooter on the beach. The girl on the scooter seemed a little out of...
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Jl. Pariwisata Pantai Kuta, Kuta, Pujut, Kabupaten Lombok Tengah, Nusa Tenggara Bar., Indonesia
Kuta Lombok is called the "other Kuta"... and it is the absolute polar opposite of Kuta Bali. Kuta Lombok is a small, rural town surrounding a stunning beach. In high season, we were able to find countless abandoned patches of beach to sit on, and...
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South East Asia
On Sunday mornings, there's no livelier spot in Kuta, a surf and fishing village in Southern Lombok, Indonesia, than the loud, crowded marketplace at the entrance to the beach. Hawkers shout, roosters crow, and donkeys pull carts groaning under...
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Pemenang, North Lombok Regency, West Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia
A Beautiful sunset from the Jeeva Klui resort on Lombok. A view over the infiniti pool out to the Lombok Straight towards Bali.
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Jl. Pantai Gili Trawangan, Gili Indah, Pemenang, Kabupaten Lombok Utara, Nusa Tenggara Bar. 83355, Indonesia
Gili T is the largest of the three Gili islands near Lombok. It has all the restaurant and nightlife offerings of Boracay in the Philippines but with the relaxed, friendly, tout-free vibe of the Perhentian islands in Malaysia. There are no cars or...
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Mount Rinjani, Sembalun Lawang, Sembalun, East Lombok Regency, West Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia
Taking a 3 day/2 night Rinjani trek at the end of wet season is not the most brilliant idea I’ve ever had, but it is one of my most memorable experiences. After climbing up what felt more like a riverbed than a trekking path, we shed our wet shoes...
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Gili Trawangan, Gili Indah, Pemenang, North Lombok Regency, West Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia
From azure to aquamarine, the landscape presented an alluring shade of blue that I still couldn't quite believe. The tranquility of the Island is intoxicating; I became transfixed at first contact.
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A dozen paying guests and half a dozen crew members set off from Lombok Indonesia to Komodo NP on a 8-day dive trip. The collective sights and travel experience of the group was staggering, but somewhere north of Sumbawa island on our second day...
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Gili Trawangan, Gili Indah, Pemenang, North Lombok Regency, West Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia
The Gili Islands lie off the coast of Lombok and are only accessible by boat. There are three laws on the islands: no dogs, no motorised vehicles of any kind, and no police. Because there are no motorised vehicles, horses and their carts (cidomos)...
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Gili Trawangan, Gili Indah, Pemenang, North Lombok Regency, West Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia
I almost don't want to post a highlight about Gili Trawangan (known as Gili T) as it was a slice of paradise and I don't want it to change. One of the three Gili islands, Gili is the most touristy. Stay near the docks on the strip of hotels and...
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Words can do little justice to the scenery that awaits travelers to Ha Long Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Hundreds of forested limestone karst formations rise from emerald-green waters, looking like slumbering creatures ready to stir. The...
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I come from a city with a decent reputation for Vietnamese food, and though I knew the food would be better still in Vietnam, I couldn't fully understand how much better it would be. This is cross-an-ocean-just-to-eat-it good. This is...
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65 Huế, Bùi Thị Xuân, Hai Bà Trưng, Hà Nội, Vietnam
This was one of my favorite restaurants to visit for lunch. My partner and I liked it so much that we visited again and again. This restaurant offers rough and ready local dishes, all brilliantly done and super tasty. Flavors abound in each dish,...
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15 Phố Ngô Quyền, Tràng Tiền, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội 010000, Vietnam
A landmark in Hanoi’s French Quarter since opening in 1901, this colonial building with distinctive green shutters and gleaming vintage Citroën Traction cars out front has welcomed presidents, ambassadors, and literary and cinematic...
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1 Lê Thánh Tông, Phan Chu Trinh, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam
Built in an architectural style that mimics the Opera House directly opposite, the crescent-shaped, beaux arts Hilton Hanoi Opera opened in 1999. Its location in Hanoi’s business district, just two blocks from Tran Quang Khai highway (from...
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Hanoi, Hoàn Kiếm, Hanoi, Vietnam
Delicious local treat of fresh rice noodles with minced beef, crispy fried garlic and basil.
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12 Lý Đạo Thành, Tràng Tiền, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam
I enjoyed visiting this club-like restaurant (even though it is not a club, and totally open to the public). Vietnamese food is solid, and they have some Western dishes for those in need of a burger-and-fries treatment. Wine list here is one of...
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Số 4 Lê Phụng Hiểu, 4 Lê Phụng Hiểu, Tràng Tiền, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam
In many ways, the total number of fine Vietnamese dining options in Hanoi surpasses what's found in Ho Chi Minh City. This is yet another example of a solid restaurant in Hanoi. Excellent cuisine, wine list, service, and pinkly décor.
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335 Nguyễn Duy Hiệu, Cẩm Châu, Hội An, Quảng Nam 563830, Vietnam
The restaurant is not on 40 Le Loi, but, nearby: "Down the alley next to 60 Le Loi, Hoi An". Great food, service, and nice inside/outside restaurant, with good vibe. [Pictured: Beautifully grilled and garnished eggplant and bell pepper.]
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Chợ Đồng Xuân, Đồng Xuân, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam
One of the best parts about visiting Hanoi as a traveler is the food—so fresh, so delicious, and so abundant that you can literally trip over it when trying to navigate the city's notoriously crowded sidewalks. This vegetable vendor outside Dong...
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Tanjung, Jl. Pratama, Benoa, Kuta Sel., Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia
Give a man some pisang goreng (fried bananas) and you feed him for a day; teach a man to make pisang goreng and he comes home from Bali with skills for a lifetime! At Bumbu Bali Cooking School, classes introduce eager students to the island's...
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Jl. RSI Markandya 2, Gang Mawar, Banjar Sebali, Desa Keliki, Kecamatan Tegallalang, Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia
The Balinese have been using herbs and roots to treat most ailments for centuries. Unfortunately, as in many other places in the world, the knowledge of these treatments is being lost as the younger generation turns towards "western" medicine....
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Jl. Pantai Bingin, Pecatu, Kuta Sel., Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia
One of the best rewards after our daily surf sessions was enjoying a post-surf smoothie at Kelly's Warung in Bingin Beach. Many kinds and flavors, from berry smoothies to coffee milkshakes to detoxifying nutritious juices, all are ice-cold and...