Collected by M D Mascaro
AFAR Explorer′s Wishlist
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.,...
Phaknam Bay, Phi Phi Island Tambon Ao Nang, Muang Chang Wat Krabi 81210, 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...
Tikehau, French Polynesia
This oval-shaped atoll in the Tuamotu island group strung across the South Pacific Ocean some 300 kilometers from Tahiti is covered in pink and China white sand and surrounded by a jaw-droppingly beautiful turquoise, jade, and cerulean hued lagoon...
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...
Dharmapuri, Forest Colony, Tajganj, Agra, Uttar Pradesh 282001, India
The Taj Mahal is referred to as "the jewel of Muslim art in India,” by UNESCO in its listing on the World Heritage Site registry. The Mughal ruler Shah Jahan had the truly magnificent white marble...
Subhash Chowk Station road malakhera, Alwar, Rajasthan 301406, India
Neelkanth, meaning the blue-throated reincarnation of Lord Shiva, is located inside Sariska National Park, about 45 mins from Amanbagh (http://www.amanresorts.com/amanbagh/home.aspx). It situated on a plateau high in the hills and the drive up...
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...
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...
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Chiang Mai has around 300 wats, or temples, in and around the city, some of them dating back 700 years. Each is seemingly more ornate than the last and you could spend hours exploring the details and observing the monks that reside there in their...
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...
Delphi 330 54, Greece
The belly button of the world lies eighty miles northwest of Athens, where the southern slope of Mount Parnassus, cut deeply by cascades feeding the River Pleistos, drops precipitously into the Gulf of Corinth. High above the ravine in a cleft...
Lake Chūzenji, Chugushi, Nikko, Tochigi Prefecture 321-1661, Japan
The Chuzenji Temple in Oku-nikko, Tochigi Prefecture, was originally founded in 784 by a Buddhist monk known as Shodo-shonin and is located on the shore of Lake Chuzenji, which is approximately 1,300 meters above sea level. In the middle of the...
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,...
Bagan, Myanmar (Burma)
The secret to having a good time in Bagan has nothing to do with getting there - all that takes is faith in a Burmese pilot and his ancient aircraft, or an unwavering belief that your 13-hour bus ride from Yangon will actually deliver you to the...
Carrer de la Marina, 253, 08013 Barcelona, Spain
The art nouveau buildings of Antoni Gaudí, the 19th-century architect whose works are some of Barcelona’s most iconic sights, can be seen throughout Catalonia, but Barcelona has the best examples of his genius at work. Former...
Piazza San Marco, 1, 30100 Venezia VE, Italy
77300 Fontainebleau, France
A quick 40-minute train ride from the Gare de Lyon in central Paris takes you to one of the best day trips out of the city: a forest preserve surrounding a palace that dates back nine centuries. The Forêt de Fontainebleau offers a hundred square...
226 Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris, France
Yes, Angelina on the Rue de Rivoli (around the Tuileries Garden and the Louvre) is a tourist spot, but it is still one of the best places in Paris for hot chocolate. Their menu of pastries and other small dishes is good, but don't miss out on the...
22 Rue des Martyrs, 75009 Paris, France
After glowing stints at Fauchon and Le Bon Marché, pastry chef and author Sébastien Gaudard opened his own pâtisserie on rue des Martyrs, just south of Pigalle, 9 months ago; the speed of his ascent into the annals of traditional pastry-making...
Calle de Augusto Figueroa, 24B, 28004 Madrid, Spain
Madrid's multi-level Mercado San Anton is a sight to be seen. Rows of gorgeous produce, local specialties, Italian deli favorites, briny seafood and locally-farmed meats line the perimeter of each floor, each stall more enticing than the one...
Calle Alfolí, 11, 28280 Escorial (El), Madrid, Spain
Tapas in Madrid are usually eaten before lunch, at “vermut” or “aperitivo” time. This can be done before lunch or after work. Apart from eating the Madrid tapas and drinking sangria or beer, these bars are a good place to watch football games and...
5 Avenue des Tilleuls, 14340 Cambremer, France
Beyond its rich history, Normandy is perhaps best known for its local specialties - salted caramel, creamy milk, a variety of pungent cheeses and heady cider. One of the best spots in the region for the latter is at Pierre Huet in Cambremer where...
Via Claudia, 15, 00184 Roma RM, Italy
Caffe Propaganda is just a short 3-4 minute walk from the Colosseum; but instead of being another tourist spot, it's a spot for locals and has some of the best hand-crafted cocktails in Rome. In the direction opposite from the hub-bub on the quiet...
Elandsgracht 108, 1016 VA Amsterdam, Netherlands
On a rainy summer night (thunder! lightening!), we had very low expectations of getting a table at Balthazar's Keuken—mostly because something I read said that it was hard to get in. But there was a table, right in the back by the open...
We got to Reykjavik on a rainy night, and the first thing I saw and heard was a lot of people in the street partying and Cher's "Believe" blasting from some club, loud enough to hear it everywhere. I though then that this place was crazy, but then...
Carrer del Consell de Cent, 292, 08007 Barcelona, Spain
Make sure to sample some hot drinking chocolate in Barcelona. I chose a mug from Cacao Sampaka, a gourmet chocolate shop where you'll find all sorts of delightful dessert concoctions. The rich, velvety drink is nothing like American hot chocolate....
Aswan Governorate, Egypt
The Great Pyramids of Giza are very impressive and rightfully earn their wonder of the world title. But then there's Abu Simbel. The site has, well, personality. Ramses II is present at every turn, as is his wife Nefertari. Four giant likenesses...
80045 Pompeii, Metropolitan City of Naples, Italy
We were offered the chance to visit Pompeii or Herculaneum when we docked at Sorrento. People rave about Pompeii because it's absolutely huge and gives you a great sense of just how sophisticated Roman civilisation was. Herculaneum, by contrast,...
Sevagram, Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh 471606, India
Minutes after taking this picture, I was invited to join these women in to leave offerings at the temples of Kajuraho. They spoke no English, I spoke no Hindi (except what I could manage with a phrase book) but we understood each other. I Ended up...
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