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Southeast Asia

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Cambodia
The sprawling archaeological ruins of Koh Ker are a rewarding day trip from Siem Reap due to the number of ruins, the size of the site, and the fact that few tourists visit. I've often found myself alone at temples, or at most with just two other...
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Banteay Srei, Cambodia
The 10th century temple of Banteay Srei, known as the 'Citadel of Women', is one of the prettiest temples with intricately detailed carvings and decorative features painstakingly carved into the pink sandstone. It's also one of the most compact...
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Beng Mealea, Cambodia
Arriving at Beng Mealea fulfilled my dreams of becoming Indiana Jones. When I arrived with my Guide there was virtually no one there, and as I explored the crumbling ruins I noticed that local children were playing among the Angkor Style ruins. I...
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Beng Mealea, Cambodia
My December trip to Cambodia was memorable on many many levels because of the four day stay at Angkor Wat. While most of the visitors tend to concentrate their efforts on Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom, I set a day aside to travel to the ruins of Beng...
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Cambodia
Ancient Khmers carved phalluses into the river in hopes that the water running over them would bring fertility to the river below. This is a nice short hike to take while enjoying a picnic lunch at the top.
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Stray away from Cambodia’s tried and tested circuit with a temple safari that feels like an Indiana Jones adventure. You’ll trek into the jungles of northeast Cambodia and discover the ancient Khmer Empire beyond Angkor. Phnom Kulen National Park...
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Angkor Archaeological Park, Krong Siem Reap 17000, Cambodia
Exploring an old sandstone passageway in the Bhuddist temple of Banteay Kdei (Citadel of Monks). This temple is south of the popular Ta Prohm and not as widely visited since much of the structure has collapsed. If not on a shoe string budget, I...
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Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia
East Mebon a small but nice structure to stop at as you drive within the Angkor Wat complex. Rent a bike if you like, but tuk tuks also abound. Get up early in the morning, and rent a tuk tuk for the day. You can see the main complex in about a...
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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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Dongpaina Rd., ວຽງຈັນ, Laos
Joma is an amazing bakery/cafe with four locations in Southeast Asia: two in Laos (Luang Prabang and Vientiane); Hanoi, Vietnam and Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Both Laos cafes have central locations, fast Wi-Fi and delicious food. It’s a haven for solo...
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6 Rama 1 Rd Wang Mai, Khet Pathum Wan, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10330, Thailand

American entrepreneur Jim Thompson, who began his Thai silk business here in the 1940s, built himself a residence in 1959 by assembling six traditional teak houses brought from other parts of Thailand....

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One of my favorite places to eat in Bangkok is the food court in the MBK building because it’s delicious and good for my solo traveler budget. It’s hidden on the sixth floor behind all the chain restaurants and vendor stalls. It’s a series of...
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89, Lebuh Armenian, George Town, 10300 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
Every street in George Town has a story, and Lebuh Armenian is no different. Once occupied by Armenian merchants, it is now a testament to George Town's startling diversity and enduring beauty. Encompassing landmark temples, artists' galleries and...
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Blk, 261 Serangoon Central Dr, #01-05/07, Singapore 550261
Shiny, slick Singapore is every solo backpacker’s air-conditioned reprieve after traveling the back roads of Southeast Asia. Highlights include world-class National Museum of Singapore, the Supertree Grove of vertical gardens at Gardens by the Bay...
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Mueang Kao, Mueang Sukhothai District, Sukhothai 64210, Thailand
My favorite place in Thailand is Sukhothai – the first capital of Thailand. It’s a photographer’s dream and a great stopover en route to Chiang Mai. After rising to power in the mid-13th century, the kingdom spanned 200 years and nine kings before...
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In Siem Reap, locals eat one of a handful of dishes for breakfast - bobor (rice porridge), pork and rice, and a few soups, including Cambodia's quintessential breakfast soup, kuy teav. Found at morning markets and roadside stalls, standards vary...
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Angkor Thom, Angkor Archeological Park, Krong Siem Reap 17000, Cambodia
Giant stone faces greet visitors as they enter the Bayon complex. This ancient Khmer center houses over 200 of these serene faces, with theories they were modeled after the bodhisattva (enlightened being) or the Bhuddist king, Jayavarman VII, who...
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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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Pub-Street Area #10, St. 2 Thou, Mondol 1, Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia
While cute souvenir shops and even haute couture boutiques exemplify the changing face of the retail scene in Siem Reap, the city’s famous Old Market remains a heady hub of traditional trade and commerce. Located right in the heart of town,...
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1 Vithei Charles de Gaulle, Khum Svay Dang Kum, Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia
Most hotels and many restaurants in Siem Reap offer cooking classes in Cambodian cuisine, beginning with a market tour and ending with lunch, and the class offered by Raffles Grand Hotel d'Angkor is one of the best. The chefs are some of the most...
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Street 11, Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia
Set in an atmospheric colonial building with mismatched furniture, whirring ceiling fans, and rotating art on the walls, retro-chic Cafe Central is one of my favorite spots to kick back with a coffee or drink and watch the world go by. The...
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812, Kampong Phluk, Cambodia
Kompong Phluk is a floating village located in the middle of Cambodia's largest lake, Tonle Sap. The term “floating” is a bit misleading: the houses are actually built on very tall stilts around 8 meters high. During the rainy season,...
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River Road West, Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia
The excellent Cambodian chefs from River Garden hotel, who offer the Cooks in Tuk Tuks cooking class, also run a fun street food tour that gives you a great insight into Cambodia's culinary culture. Partly on foot and partly on tuk tuk, the tour...
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south of the intersection with, Ring Road, Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia
I was delighted to come across the Phare Circus the last time I was lucky enough to visit Siem Reap. I've never tired of exploring the atmospheric temple complexes the region is famous for, but it’s always nice to have the option of variety. The...
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1 Vithei Charles de Gaulle, Khum Svay Dang Kum, Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia
It's thought that amok trei (fish amok) is a Royal Khmer Cuisine dish that dates back to the Khmer Empire that later travelled to Thailand where it is known as hor mok. When prepared properly, the freshwater Tonle Sap snakehead fish is marinated...
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Wat Damnak Market Street, POBox 93108, Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia
To many gastronomes, the subtle flavors and spicing of Khmer cuisine makes it one of Southeast Asia’s great food secrets. That’s certainly the view of French chef Joannes Riviera, who has taken inspiration from Cambodia’s unsung...
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Seoul, South Korea
I went to Seoul in November, and I have never seen such beautiful, vibrant fall colors. The foliage is everywhere—in the parks, by the museums, and surrounding the ancient palaces.
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Machu Pichu, Peru
This month marks the hundred-year-anniversary of the "re-discovery" of this Inca citadel by Hiram Bingham. Machu Picchu deserves its clichés--'place of a lifetime,' 'bucket-list destination'...'mystical'...'amazing'... Sometimes, it's okay...
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Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Thailand
While you're in Thailand, be sure to escape the colorful chaos of Bangkok and head toward the historic capital of Ayutthaya, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The best option to get there would be by train and they run frequently from Bangkok's...
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Situated not far from Meknes, between Fes and Rabat, the Roman ruins of Volubilis stand as a testament to a culture that changed the world forever. In the fertile area that the ruined city is located, it's difficult to remember you're in Morocco....
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Adare, Co. Limerick, V94 W8WR, Ireland
This castle was erected with an ancient ring-fort, around the early part of the 13th century. It became a strategic fortress during the following turbulent years. It was the property of the Earls of Kildare for nearly 300 years until the rebellion...
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Carretera Federal, Cancun - Chetumal Km 230, 307, 77780 Tulum, Q.R., Mexico
A visit to old Mayan Ruins is a must when you are vacationing in Tulum. It's a perfect trip to sneak in some history and activity without too much effort and without loosing sight of ocean and the beach. Being built in 13th century Tulum Ruins...
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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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1495 Villers-la-Ville, Belgium
In 1146 a dozen monks and some lay brothers, with the blessings of St Bernard (not the dog!) headed to what is now Belgium and founded the abbey. It had been neglected and then revitalized during its second golden age in the 1800s where some of...
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Easter Island is a strange, remote, and magical place. After a full day of wandering around this tiny island, we were fortunate enough to witness an absolutely breathtaking sunset over the Pacific. The "beach" here is made up of pitch black...
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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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Flavijevska ul., 52100, Pula, Croatia
The sixth largest Roman amphitheater still standing today, the Pula Arena is Croatia’s most magnificent classical monument—and reason enough to check out Pula, Istria’s main city. Built in the 1st century C.E. during the rule of...
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The Pends, St Andrews KY16 9QL, UK
Often called, "Scotland's Greatest Cathedral" the now-ruined medieval St. Andrews, overlooking the North Sea in its namesake town, is a splendid sight any time of day or night. However, in my several days of residence in the town made famous by...
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Orkney, UK
The flight into the Orkney Islands was amazing. Many of the neolithic ruins can be seen from the air, dotting the land. I visited several of the sites including Skara Brae, and Maeshowe, but the Ring of Brodgar was the highlight of the sites I...
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Macau
One of Macau's most famous landmarks. The front façade and the grand stone stairs are the only remains of the greatest church in Macau or even in East Asia.
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2710 Sintra, Portugal
We ventured to Sintra from Lisbon on a beautiful day. The Castelo do Mouros is worth a visit, perched high above the town, where you will find the ruins of a Moorish castle dating back to the 8th century. On a clear day you can see the coast and...
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Polignotou 3, Athina 105 55, Greece
Slave-traders and shoe-menders, jewelers and moneylenders haggled and gossiped at this ancient marketplace the history of which spans five millennia. The Agora was also the stomping ground of rival philosophers Plato and Socrates—the latter...
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Woodstock, NY, USA
About forty minutes after you start Overlook Mountain trail in Woodstock suddenly without any warning the ruins of Overlook Mountain House rise in their most haunted and cryptic look in front of you. Only four outer walls and main staircases of...
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Jendouba, Tunisia
I discovered a couple years ago that if you have a penchant for ancient Roman ruins, it’s far better to go to Tunisia than Italy. The quality of preservation is far superior to many Italian sites and the lack of tourists is more refreshing than...
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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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Montezuma Castle Rd, Camp Verde, AZ, USA
As Anglo settlers arrived in the 19th century, several sites throughout the Southwest desert were named, erroneously, for the Aztec emperor Montezuma (Moctezuma). The most famous one—and the one to keep this name officially—is Montezuma Castle...
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Mueang Pak, Pak Thong Chai District, Nakhon Ratchasima 30150, Thailand
Though it pains me to say this - prior to traveling to Thailand, I had never heard of Ayutthaya. How could such a historically significant and architecturally fascinating place have completely evaded me?!? In case you're in the same boat as me,...
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Tikal, Guatemala
It will give you a jolt to see these crumbling Mayan temples in the middle of the Guatemalan jungle. The limestone rocks have been scraped smooth by archeologists desperate to stave off the jungle vines and mossy dampness and the green undergrowth...
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11391 El Lentiscal, Cádiz, Spain
Baelo Claudia is the seaside site of an ancient Roman town that was settled was about 2,000 years ago. You can take a self-tour of the ruins, which include skeletons of the city's temple, forum and basilica. The modern Visitors Centre includes a...
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80045 Pompeii, Metropolitan City of Naples, Italy

Witness the destruction wrought by Mt. Vesuvius nearly 2,000 year ago at the archaeological site of Pompeii. The ancient village was frozen in time beneath a blanket of hot ash during an eruption in 79 C.E. Among the ruins that have been uncovered...

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Ürgüp/Göreme/Nevşehir, Turkey
On any tour of Cappadocia in central Turkey, you'll find ruins of cave homes, churches carved inside the cliffs, and outdoor museums like the famous one near Goreme. However, just a short bus ride away is another open air museum with far fewer...
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Cambodia
Vestiges of European colonial settlement remain throughout much of Southeast Asia, often contrasted against more traditional hill tribe villages and always set in (cooler) rolling mountain ranges. These former frontier towns were once the summer...
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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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Finding 'old' in Qatar can be a challenge. Someone mentioned in passing that there are ruins of a pearl fishing village up north, but none of the Qataris I asked had heard of it–nor could they possibly comprehend anyone's fascination with a...
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During a recent destination wedding shoot in the Caribbean, our boat tour guide took us to a shipwreck off the coast of Providenciales, Turks & Caicos Islands. La Famille Express, a general cargo ship, ran aground during Hurricane Frances in 2004...
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Ollantaytambo, Peru
Ollantaytambo’s namesake archaeological site is one of the best examples of Incan architecture in the region. It’s easy to spend a half day exploring the temples and other structures there, especially if you factor in time to hike...
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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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Pisiga, Bolivia
Contact Guinness Book of World Records. This must be the shortest vacation to Bolivia on record. As near as I can tell with my less-than-fluent Spanish skills, I was turned back after 30 minutes at the Bolivian border because: - it was snowing and...