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Khao Phang, Ban Ta Khun District, Surat Thani 84230, Thailand
Waking early to the loud morning chorus of the Thai rainforest is an amazing experience. Whooping gibbons, honking hornbills and buzzing insects compete to fill the air waves with their loud songs to the new day. The floating bungalows on Lake...
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Boek Phrai, Chom Bueng District, Ratchaburi 70150, Thailand
"NO ELECTRICITY in the heat of Thailand? Are you crazy?" Yes, this super eco friendly hotel operates without the use of electricity. It's snugged deep inside the luscious green mountain on River Kwai in Kanchanaburi province. I was scared of the...
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39171 Tassajara Rd, Carmel Valley, CA 93924, USA
In 1967, Tassajara (already a storied hot springs resort) became the first Zen monastery outside Japan. Run by the San Francisco Zen Center, the monastery is open to the public from May through September and closed the rest of the year for...
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Kilauea, HI 96754, USA
We found Anahata Sanctuary by chance while looking for an affordable bed on Kauai's North Shore. With its screened in accommodations surrounded by tropical flowers and fruit, it was perfect for my partner and I who were looking for something close...
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71895 CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
For such a remote region, Big Sur has more than its share of amazing places to stay. One of the most unique is Treebones Resort, nestled high in the foothills of South Big Sur overlooking the Pacific. The off-the-grid property offers 16 signature...
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Indochina
While this picture may appear calm and serene, the journey to reach this point was anything but that. It was truly an adventure, and once you arrive you will be grateful that you made the journey. You start off in Kuala Lumpur at about 8 a.m.,...
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Phaknam Bay, Phi Phi Island Tambon Ao Nang, Amphoe Mueang Krabi, Chang Wat Krabi 81000, Thailand
On the island of Kho Phi Phi, there is the usual town that greets you with bars, restaurant and easy-to-get lodging if you didn't plan ahead. However, if you are so inclined, on the far side of the island there is a veritable Smurf village that...
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Playa Maderas Maderas, Nicaragua
We had an unforgettable experience staying at Buena Vista Surf Club, while visiting San Juan del Sur. The eco-lodge is set into a hill overlooking the jungle and Playa Maderas with a giant sundeck where guests could enjoy the view. It was a great...
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Zurriola Ibilbidea, s/n, 20002 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain
Zurriola beach is slightly off the radar, or at least as much off the radar as one of a city's three beaches can be. The only tourists that typically venture over are of the surfing persuasion, and sitting to watch the sunset on the wall that...
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Lake Bled, 4260 Bled, Slovenia
Bled (and the lake by the same moniker) is the most Fairytale-esque town I've ever experienced. The people are almost jarringly friendly by American standards, the island church is as beautiful as it is quaint, and the castle perched on the cliffs...
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Overtoom 160-162, 1054 HP Amsterdam, Netherlands
We had been to Gollem for a drink and a snack (note: the meat platter is hearty) the evening before, but when we found ourselves on Overtoom after visiting Vondelpark, with Gollem just opening for lunch, we went for it again. After all, it was our...
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Southern Europe
Ponza is an island destination mostly frequented by Italians (especially Romans and Neapolitans, as it's just a hop, skip, and a jump away by boat) that is largely undiscovered by foreign tourists. A must-do in Ponza: rent a motorboat on your own,...
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Kadıköy/Istanbul, Turkey
While visiting Istanbul, take an afternoon trip across the Bosphorus to Kadiköy to stock up on food, sweets, and tea. The prices in this Istanbul neighborhood are at least half of those in the touristy Grand Bazaar and Spice Market. You'll also...
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Faro District, Portugal
Few people think of Portugal as a surf destination, but the tiny country has miles of coast for surfers to explore. I visited the Algarve, Portugal's southern most region, and based myself at Aldeia da Pedralva. The owner, António Ferreira, has a...
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Praia de Santa Cruz, 2560 A dos Cunhados e Maceira, Portugal
It's easy to get around Portugal via train, but there is something incredibly indulgent about renting a car and driving the gorgeous Portuguese coast. The scenery is spectacular and reminiscent of northern California and Australia's Great Ocean...
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2750 Cascais, Portugal
If you visit Lisbon, set aside time for a day at the beach. Cascais is just a 40-minute train ride from the city. In the late 1800s and early 1900s Portugal's royal family made this once sleepy fishing village their summer home. Spend the morning...
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Rua de Baixo – Casa da Pedralva, 8650-401 Vila do Bpo., Portugal
Aldeia da Pedralva is more than just a hotel. It's an actual village hidden away among the wildflowers and beaches of Portugal's Vicentina Coast. The owner Antonio Ferreira was looking for a career change and when he stumbled upon Pedralva village...
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R. Barbosa do Bocage 5, 2710-567 Sintra, Portugal
It wouldn't be hard to spend an entire day wandering Quinta da Regaleira, a fairytale-like estate in Sintra. Built in the early 1900s, the property belonged to the Viscondessa da Regaleira and was later acquired by Antonio Augusto Carvalho...
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Douro, 3260 Figueiró dos Vinhos, Portugal
I have visited Napa and Sonoma, and have been to Tuscany, and Bordeaux, but no wine region of the world has surprised me with its beauty as much as the Douro. If your find yourself in Porto, it is well worth renting a car (or better yet, hiring a...
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26 Lê Thị Riêng, Phường Phạm Ngũ Lão, Quận 1, Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh 700000, Vietnam
You want to find the best banh mi in Saigon - then go where the lines is. There was a huge line at Huynh Hoa on Le Thi Rieng street. It was a little hole in the wall shop, but the stand was packed with locals pulling up on their bike and getting...
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13 Phó Cơ Điều, Phường 12, Quận 5, Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam
The greatest seafood experience in Vietnam may just be found on the outskirts of the city. Often when guests are visiting or just because we haven't been there in a while, a trip to Tamarind Crabs is in order. Exactly who discovered this gem and...
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While traveling in Vietnam in 2010, I had heard mentions of a legendary "lunch lady" who served the most delicious soups out of a small cart in Ho Chi Minh City's city center. Each weekday she features a different soup, each hand made with fresh...
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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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For 35,000 dong, you can get a giant bowl of rice vermicelli noodles, grilled pork and a crab and pork spring roll, topped with spicy and sweet chili fish sauce. There's really nothing more you need in the morning, is there? This lady sets up her...
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169 Đường Ngô Tất Tố, Khu đô thị Phú Mỹ Hưng, Bình Thạnh, Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam
To know pho is to know Vietnam. Vietnamese love it, savor it and depend on it from the time they wake up until the last meal of the day. It’s simple yet complex and includes unexpected treasures. Each local connoisseur of pho has a favorite...
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It's hard not to make sweeping statements like "Best of" when you go to Hai's great local restaurant in Binh Thanh district. Having eaten my face off in HCMC, I can attest to the fact that his catfish is truly the best. Don't miss the fatty pork...
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Make sure you look inside that coconut as you may find one of the best desserts in Vietnam - Rau Câu dừa. This refreshing dessert is simply coconut jelly and custard made with agar agar. It is typically served in a coconut shell and often you see...
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Pak Ou, Laos
Buddha statues in lower Pak Ou Cave on the Mekong River north of Luang Prabang, Laos. Pak Ou is a series of limestone caves which contain hundreds of Buddha statues palced there over the centuries. It is a popular pilgrimage site for local people,...
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Khlong Toei, Bangkok, จังหวัด กรุงเทพมหานคร 10110, Thailand
The old Chinese market, its shop houses painted in bright colors, is one of Bangkok’s most beautiful and fun. As you wander, let your eyes search for crowded noodle stalls, try the famous sweets, or browse stands selling fresh vegetables and...
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503 Thanon Samsen, Dusit, Khet Dusit, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10300, Thailand
The place to go for curries—with lotus shoots or with crabmeat—Krua Apsorn is a favorite restaurant for me and for some members of the royal family. The decor is not very exciting, but the food is. Thanon Samsen, near the corner of Soi Samsen 9...
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664 Samsen Rd, Khwaeng Thanon Nakhon Chai Si, Khet Dusit, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10300, Thailand
To find the best pad thai stall, go out the back door of the Sri Yan market, continue past the motorbike queue, and look for an open-air restaurant painted bright pink. Or ask the locals,‘Raan pad thai yuu tii nai?’(Where is the place that sells...
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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 Near corner...
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Via Teatro Greco, 98039 Taormina ME, Italy
The Island of Sicily has many wonders. Taormina is a popular resort town on Monte Tauro and has an old Greek Theatre that is still used for performances. The sitting has awesome views of the coast and Mount Etna. I would like to go back and actual...
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98050 Lipari, Province of Messina, Italy
Pure heaven! Go to the Aeolian Islands off the Northern coast of Sicily.
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Southern Europe
Yes the island of Vulcano is always erupting! If you go to Sicily - you must go to the islands Vulcano, Lipari, & Panaera. These little islands will take your breath away! I stayed in Lipari and is the best place to stay within these little...
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93100 Caltanissetta, Province of Caltanissetta, Italy
by Fabrizia Lanza A restaurant built within Palermo’s ancient walls, where chariots were once housed. Under these enormous vaults there is a library, a garden, and a bar—it’s a fantastic place for drinks. Foro Umberto I This story appeared in the...
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Via Addolorata, 5, 98050 Valdichiesa ME, Italy
Just returned from four weeks in Sicily. The time we spent on the Aeolian Islands was incredible. Italy with no crowds, unbelievably fresh seafood, and days spent boating around the small islands (Salina was our favourite), stopping to swim...
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Viale Regina Elena, 90151 Palermo PA, Italy
Entering the bustling city of Palermo, you would never imagine that just a short local bus trip away is the beautiful Mondello Beach. Known as the spot for the 'in' crowd or potentially the 'out' crowd - if you include Burlesconi who apparently...
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98055 Vulcano Porto ME, Italy
Just off the coast of Sicily you'll find the archipelago of the Aeolian Islands noted for its volcanoes and rugged beauty. The islands can be reached by hydrofoil or ferry boat from Milazzo. Lipari is the largest of the islands, but is still only...
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Piazza S. Rocco, 89058 Scilla RC, Italy
We finally got a chance to visit Calabria in 2011, on our way back up from Sicily. Scilla was our destination and paradise awaited us. This old fisherman's town has more charm than you could hope for with a postcard setting to boot. If you're...
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Route des Sanguinaires, 20000 Ajaccio, France
Young and poor, but frequent-flier-mile rich, my wife and I were able to go to Corsica for our first anniversary...Staying with friends always helps...They lived in Ajaccio, (birthplace of Napoléon Bonaparte), and at sunset one evening, they took...
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07021 Porto Cervo, Province of Olbia-Tempio, Italy
This island lies in the Strait of Bonifacio, between Corsica and the top end of Sardinia. The Strait of Bonifacio is famous among sailors for its notorious weather and fantastic wind. It’s quite an art to navigate around the rocks along the coast....
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20224 Casamaccioli, France
From a very comfortable base in Casamaccioli (population 100, this is the view from my room) chez Jean-François et Pascale, I followed a breathtakingly beautiful trail up to the top of this peak, the third highest in Corsica. Stunning vistas at...
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Carrer de la Balanguera, 37, 07011 Palma, Illes Balears, Spain
When we decided to visit Palma we were looking for a nice boutique hotel with personality. We were lucky because we found a little gem. Hotel Balanguera is a heaven of peace with an impressive design. Our room was beautiful. Simple, rustic,...
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Jelsa874a, 21465, Jelsa, Croatia
On the pretty island of Hvar, beneath the Bastijana Winery of Andro Tomic, lies a jewel of a wine tasting hall. The dramatic cellar is called Triclinium and has been strikingly constructed out of various types of limestone in a similar manner to...
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Megalochori 847 00, Greece
If you want to get away from the crowds in Santorini, try Megalochori - one of the prettiest, quietest little villages on the island. The town's location further inland, away from the caldera cliffs, removes it from the typical tourist itinerary....
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Büyükada, 34970 Prince Islands/Istanbul, Turkey
As soon as the ferry pushes away from Kabataş ferry terminal on Istanbul's European side, you can feel the frenetic pace of the city slipping away. Sipping a coffee on the ship's bow, the beautiful scenery and azure Bosphorus waters enchant as the...