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Southeast Asia

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A girl and her younger brother sell paper candle boats during the Tet New Year celebrations in Hoi An, Vietnam. After purchasing these boats, a wish is made for the new year and the boat is released into the Thu Bon River.
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Bãi Sao An Thới, Thị Trấn An Thới, Phú Quốc, An Thới, Phú Quốc, tỉnh Kiên Giang, Vietnam
The beach that will leave you speechless. Bai Sao (South Beach - in English) is located on the Vietnamese island, Phu Quoc. This place oozes relaxation. The mood on the island is very different from mainland Vietnam and if you have any inclination...
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Hàng Đào, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam
Vietnam has a coffee culture all to its own and in Hanoi, this includes a few cafes that serve it with egg. Whipped with sweetened condensed milk, the egg sits atop the slow roasted coffee, providing you with a hot afternoon treat that you'll...
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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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Thu Bồn River, Quang Nam Province, Vietnam, Cẩm Nam, Hội An, Quảng Nam, Vietnam
Let me set the scene for you. A sleepy Vietnamese town on the Thu Bon River, a place where colorful shops loom over ancient cobbled streets, lanterns illuminate the path through a grandiose covered bridge, and tiny men pilot tiny skiffs across the...
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Hội An, Quang Nam Province, Vietnam
An important destination for East Asian traders in the 16th and 17th centuries, Hoi An is famous for its traditional Chinese silk lanterns. This shop’s family has produced its own lotus-shaped versions for generations. Du Kien Thanh. 49 Le Loi...
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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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Hương Sơn, Mỹ Đức, Hà Nội, Vietnam
A three hour journey from Ha Noi (by bus, boat, gondola and foot) will bring you to Perfume Pagoda. This ancient temple attracts thousands of visitors in its peak season (February 15th- March) when many Vietnamese take a pilgrimage up the steep...
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Nguyễn Thị Minh Khai, Phường Minh An, Hội An, Quảng Nam 564010, Vietnam
The beautiful sites that put Hoi An on the UNESCO list were a highlight of my stay in this wonderful city. This picture is of the Japanese covered bridge.
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Hội An, Quang Nam Province, Vietnam
A short drive south of Da Nang, Hoi An is a spellbinding UNESCO World Heritage site, with intact 16th-century architecture that celebrates its origins as a trading port that long welcomed merchant ships from China, Japan, and Europe. The Old Town...
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42 Đường Phan Bội Châu, Cẩm Châu, Hội An, Quảng Nam, Vietnam
I used to call Hoi An "The Venice of Vietnam" as its narrow streets and colorful houses remind me of Venice. The city is well-known for its lanterns. Highly recommended to stop by for few days, here in the center of Vietnam.
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Xuyen Trung, Cam Nam, Cẩm Nam, Hội An, Quảng Nam, Vietnam
Hoi An is one of my favorite travel destinations in all of Asia. Sure, it's undeniably touristy, but it's also quite laid back and relaxed - nothing like other South East Asia tourist hotspots like Chiang Mai, for instance. Hoi An has a wonderful...
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288 Nguyễn Duy Hiệu, Cẩm Châu, Hội An, Quảng Nam, Vietnam
The Old Quarter of Hoi An is incredibly well preserved and photogenic. Head there at nightfall when the lanterns are lit and begin snapping some incredibly beautiful photos. Between the lanterns, the gorgeous architecture, the boats, and the...
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Thanh Kim, Sa Pa, Lào Cai, Vietnam
This luxurious Ecolodge located in the remote northeastern part of Vietnam is the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of Hanoi. Topas is perched on top a mountain located about 50 minutes from the town of Sapa. The lodge boasts an infinity...
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41, Mường Hoa, TT. Sa Pa, Sa Pa, Lào Cai, Vietnam
Sapa is the highest region of Vietnam, boasting the tallest mountain in South East Asia, Fansipan, at 10,312 feet it's called 'the roof of Indochina'. I hired a guide and we drove on motorbike up through the mist towards it, mountains spiking all...
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Thạch Sơn, TT. Sa Pa, Sa Pa, Lào Cai, Vietnam
My view from the Casablanca Hotel. Amazing staff that make you feel like family!
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Once the imperial capital of Vietnam, the small, genteel city of Hue (pronounced “Hway”) is renowned for its elaborate cuisine—a legacy of the 19th-century emperors who lived here and reportedly feasted on 50 different dishes at every meal. Hue’s...
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8 Nguyễn Bỉnh Khiêm, Phú Cát, Thành phố Huế, Thừa Thiên Huế, Vietnam
When Vietnamese go to Vietnam, they go with a food list to check off. On the top of my list was Banh Beo, like my grandmother (Ba Noi, in Vietnamese) used to make. It is a common dish of Hue, my father's hometown in central Vietnam. The steamed...
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6 Đinh Tiên Hoàng, Phú Hoà, Thành phố Huế, Thừa Thiên Huế, Vietnam
My best food tip? Ask your taxi driver for the best place to eat. You'll be pleasantly surprised. That's how I came to Lac Thien, a street cafe, for Banh Khoai--a savory crepe pan-fried to a golden crisp, stuffed with shrimp, bean sprouts and...
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Thuận Hòa, Huế, Thua Thien Hue, Vietnam
Just like everyone else on AFAR, I love travel. It’s one thing we all certainly share a love for here. I’d expect though, that despite them being an almost essential factor of travel, not everyone also loves hotels. Personally, I fall into the ‘...
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This Place is Perfection
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Tatai, Cambodia
I hadn’t been awake for longer than a minute. I peeled back the tarp door to my room, walked out onto my deck, and leapt. It was an abrupt but purifying way to start the day. The cool, brackish water instantly defogged my mind, and my eyes opened...
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Angkor, Cambodia
Visitng Ta Prohm feels like you are rediscovering a lost kingdom being reclaimed by the forest. The trick is to go to Ta Prohm first, while everyone else is at Angkor Wat, and explore the crumbling ruins alone.
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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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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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Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia
Situated among lotus ponds and palm gardens, the buildings at Angkor Village incorporate native Southeast Asian hardwoods and mimic traditional Khmer architectural styles. Ride on an elephant to Phnom Bakheng hill and watch the sunset or explore...
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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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Kaoh Tonsay, Cambodia
Kep may rank as one of the world's most laid back beach towns. For more R&R I was told to take a 30-minute boat ride to sleepy Rabbit Island with its clear blue waters and excellent seafood shacks.
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This photograph was taken in Kep, Cambodia - a small seaside getaway known for its rich pepper plantations, salt fields and extraordinary crab market where locals and tourists alike go to browse, buy and eat what is considered by many to be the...
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Beng Mealea, Cambodia
Your first minutes at Beng Mealea feel like you're stepping onto the set of an Indiana Jones movie. Vines and tree branches have taken over and transformed the temple into an adventurer's fantasy world. As I climbed through the outer wall of the...
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ផ្លូវវត្តភ្នំ, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Wat Phnom the eponym of Phnom Penh, Cambodia (in English: "Temple of the Mountains" or "Mountain Pagoda") is a Buddhist temple in the heart of the city. It was built in 1373, and stands on a mountain a whole 88.5 feet above the ground. Actually it...
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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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28 Street 184, រាជធានី​ភ្នំពេញ 12206, Cambodia
The Plantation hotel opened up in late 2011 just down the street from my house. It's great for lots of reasons: rooms and facilities are spread across several historical buildings that were slated for demolition (and saved by this project),...
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Chang Moi, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai, Thailand
I've been to Thailand half a dozen times over the last four years, but until November I had never visited during the Lantern Festival. To be honest, I didn't expect it to be quite as amazing as it actually was - Chiang Mai was transformed for a...
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Ao Nang, Mueang Krabi District, Krabi, Thailand
My travel buddy wanted desperately to visit Ao Nang and Railay Beach - but our driver had taken his sweet time in delivering us from our hotel in Koh Lanta to our place in Krabi, so we were left with a difficult decision; jump in a boat and hope...
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Pa Yup Nai, Wang Chan District, Rayong, Thailand
A new ecoresort is pioneering the farm-to-table concept in Thailand. Two hours north of Phuket, at the edge of one of the world’s oldest rain forests, Thanyamundra has just nine butler-serviced rooms and suites. Its small scale means guests can...
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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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Pulau Perhentian Kecil, Besut, Terengganu, Malaysia
A visit to the Perhentian Islands is a must if you find yourself in Malaysia and want some beach time! If you want a nice quaint island stay on Perhentian Besar. If you are looking for more action then stay on Perhentian Kecil, but even Kecil is...
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Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia
Severely dehydrated, severely under-dressed, severely cold (the sum of these parts means, of course, that I am severely stupid) my travel partner and I dragged our sorry carcasses through the woods and over rocks in the dead of night in search of...
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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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Jalan Kampung Hulu, Kampung Dua, 75200 Melaka, Malaysia
My travel companion wasn’t incredibly excited about our hike out to the island’s floating mosque. I’m not sure why; there’s nothing quite as enjoyable as a 12km hike when you’re weighed down by a couple hundred pounds of camera gear. Interesting...
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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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The Durian is fondly known as the king of fruits in Southeast Asia. It's a fruit that the locals love, but that many outsiders find to be an acquired taste. In fact, Andrew Zimmern, the presenter of the Travel Channel's Bizarre Foods, (the guy who...
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Penang Island, Penang, Malaysia
Penang Island is incredible. When your not stuffing your face full of Penang cuisine make time for a visit to the island's national park. Several miles worth of trails that zig-zag through the jungle and beach make this place perfect for a day...
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I love the sea. One of my favorite things to do on the road is take my camera and my tripod and wade out into the ocean where I can be on my own in total peace. Malaysia's Perhentian Islands offer some of the most incredible beach vistas in the...
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Traders Hotel, Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, Stall 7, Jalan Pinang, Kuala Lumpur City Centre, 50088 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
I don't think it is any big secret that one of the best views of Kuala Lumpur's Petronas Towers can be seen at the Sky Bar. The Sky Bar is located on the 33rd floor of the Traders Hotel. It is über hip, with an amazing interior, but its coolness...
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Desa Pandan, Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
This stall was selling moist chocolate cake. When we ordered some, the lady doused our cake with a thick chocolate sauce. Needless to say, it was sinfully scrumptious!
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18 Marina Gardens Dr, Singapore 018953
With its domed greenhouses of epic proportions dotted across some 100 hectares (250 acres), the sustainable Gardens by the Bay are educational and fun. The Cloud Forest is a misty, 42-meter-high (138-foot-high) “mountain” that...
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3 Temasek Blvd, Singapore 038983
The Fountain of Wealth, located in Suntec City Mall in Singapore's central business district, is the largest fountain in the world. Based on a Hindu mandala representing the universe, the fountain is lovely in the afternoon, when you can enjoy its...
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80 Mandai Lake Rd, Singapore 729826
Singapore Zoo has been recognized as a leader in creating naturalistic habitats since its opening in 1973, using concealed moats to separate animals from visitors and incorporating a local reservoir into the landscaping. There are dozens of themed...
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Yangon, Myanmar (Burma)
While visiting Burma’s most sacred temple, Shwedagon Pagoda in the center of the capital Yangon we came upon this broom brigade – a line of over twenty women all sweeping away the dust from the marble floor circling the glittering temple.
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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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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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Wat Sam Phraya, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok 10200, Thailand
Thewet is known for its bustling vegetable market, however few tourists ever venture deep within the wet market buttressing the river. This is a great place to sample local foods and stock up on hard-to-find ingredients. Plan on doing a bit of...
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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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36-38 ซอย ประตูนกยูง ถนน มหาราช Khwaeng Phra Borom Maha Ratchawang, Khet Phra Nakhon, กรุงเทพมหานคร 10200, Thailand
A view of Wat Arun (Arun Temple) taken from our hotel, Arun Residence, across the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok, Thailand. This is the only lodging in Bangkok along the Chao Phraya River that will afford a direct view of Wat Arun. Arun Residence is...
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69 Thanon Si Ayutthaya, Khwaeng Dusit, Khet Dusit, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10300, Thailand
We spent our first day in Bangkok walking through the older part of the city and visiting its popular temples. When at the end of the long day we arrived at Wat Benchamabophit, a magnificent temple constructed with Italian Carrara marble in 1899,...
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Chao Phraya River, Thailand
In my opinion the heart of Bangkok is the mighty Chao Phraya River. The first time I visited I stayed at a hotel on the banks of the river and I got to know the area well through daily riverboat rides. Even though Bangkok can be chaotic, there’s a...
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Kamphaeng Phet 3 Rd, Khwaeng Lat Yao, Khet Chatuchak, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10900, Thailand
The mother of unique Bangkok retail experiences is undoubtedly Chatuchak Weekend Market, Thailand’s largest outdoor bazaar. Known as Jatujak or simply JJ, it has 15,000 stalls spread over 35 acres and sells almost everything under...
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2 Sanam Chai Rd, Khwaeng Phra Borom Maha Ratchawang, Khet Phra Nakhon, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10200, Thailand
Wat Pho, the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, is in a suburb of Bangkok, right beside the Grand Palace. There are always lines, apparently, and why shouldn't there be. This huge golden statue of a smiling golden Buddha is something to see. He lies,...
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13 Ratsada Rd, Talat Yai, Amphoe Mueang Phuket, Chang Wat Phuket 83000, Thailand
This quaint café has an almost high-tea English ambience, but the menu is totally Thai. Located at the intersection of Yaowarat and Ratsada roads in Phuket Town, Anna’s menu mainly features recipes popular in Thailand’s middle region. Beautiful...
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149/24, 149/27-28 Tha Phae Rd, ตำบล ช้างม่อย Amphoe Mueang Chiang Mai, Chang Wat Chiang Mai 50100, Thailand
We had great fun at the night bazaar in Chiang Mai! There were so many things for sale, one of which was handmade soap like the ones here.
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Chang Moi, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50100, Thailand
There I was, minding my own business, wandering the ferret warrens of Chiang Mai, when boom - I find myself smack dab in the middle of Northern Thailand's largest tourist market. It wasn't all bad, though, despite the fact I had told myself I...
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24/2 Moo 5, Tambon Koh Yao, ตำบล เกาะยาวน้อย อำเภอ เกาะยาว พังงา 82160, Thailand
So many islands and too little time is your only dilemma while traveling in Phang Nga Bay, Thailand.
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Chiang Mai, Thailand
The depth of things to explore in Chiang Mai were beyond what I was able to do within 6 weeks. Hardly venturing out of the 4 walls of the inner city, I road via motor bike just one hour on the outskirts to the most beautiful hidden cove where a...
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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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196 หมู่ที่ 4 Khlong Tho Rd, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya 13000, Thailand
Ayutthaya was the capital of Siam before it was sacked by the Burmese. The Burmese were merciless, hacking off the heads and hands of the thousands of Buddha statues that lined the many temples in Ayutthaya. My Thai friend whispered under her...
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Ko Wua Ta Lap, Ang Thong, Ko Samui District, Surat Thani 84140, Thailand
Climbing to the top of Mue Koh for a bird's eye view of Angthong Marine National Park near Ko Samui, Thailand really makes you feel "on top of the world". There are several tour operators on Ko Samui that offer day tours to the park that include...
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Ang Thong, Ko Samui District, Surat Thani, Thailand
It's quite a trek to the viewpoint at Ko Wua Talab, but the views out over Mu Ko Angthong National Marine park are worth the climb. It certainly doesn't feel worth it while you're scrambling over razor-sharp rocks that threaten to snap your ankles...
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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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Na Phra Lan Rd, Khwaeng Phra Borom Maha Ratchawang, Khet Phra Nakhon, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10200, Thailand

Bangkok’s most iconic site is a massive palace complex that served as the royal residence until 1925. Of its many buildings, the one with the most architectural interest is Chakri Mahaprasat. It was designed in 1882 by British...

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Na Phra Lan Rd, Khwaeng Phra Borom Maha Ratchawang, Khet Phra Nakhon, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10200, Thailand
I had been wandering around the Grand Palace in Bangkok for quite some time in the sweltering heat. I had passed various tour groups and fellow travelers, a few unruly children, and a handful of vendors. Just as the heat was starting to get to me,...