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Year Around the world 1/1/2016

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Boating Through the Jungle
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Ninh Kiều, Cần Thơ, Vietnam
Farmers in southern Vietnam grow fruit and charge pickers to harvest their fruit to sell.
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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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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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Số 12, tỉnh lộ 8 khu phố 2, thị trấn Củ Chi, TT. Củ Chi, Củ Chi, Hồ Chí Minh 070000, Vietnam
After crawling through a few of the tunnels that have been somewhat expanded for tourists and seeing the displays of recovered bombs, people who were not involved in the Vietnam War (called the American War there) can get a feeling of the horror...
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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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390 Moo 2, Ao Nang Beach, Muang, Krabi 81000 Tambon Ao Nang, Amphoe Mueang Krabi, Chang Wat Krabi 81180, Thailand
This is where to go. You will need to get yourself to Krabi, Au Naug or Phuket on the south western coast and then take a boat. There is no other way to get here.
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Koh Phi Phi Le, Ko Phi Phi, อำเภอเมืองกระบี่ กระบี่ 81000, Thailand
Maya Bay is no real secret - Leonardo DiCarprio's The Beach took care of that - but it is still one of the most naturally stunning places on earth. The old Thai longboats that settle in on the beach help add to the atmosphere too. As far as pure...
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Chiang Mai, Thailand
One of my most favourite travel experiences so far was the Loi Krathong festival in Thailand - and Chiang Mai is one of the best places to visit for this as they really go all out! It is held every year at full moon in the 12th month of the Thai...
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Ko Phi Phi Don, Ao Nang, Mueang Krabi District, Krabi, Thailand
This is where they shot the movie "The Beach." Gorgeous white sand beach and turquoise water, exactly as advertised. I read "The Beach" while I traveled around Thailand, which I would recommend to anyone who likes travel narratives and dreams of...
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Ko Phi Phi Don, Ao Nang, Mueang Krabi District, Krabi, Thailand
For about $13 you can jump on a long-tail boat leaving from the main beach of Phi Phi Don and spend the afternoon island hopping. There are multiple tour companies, most offering a visit to Monkey Island, Viking Caves, Pileh Bay, and Maya Island...
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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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One of Thailand's iconic images is the longtail boat. Used for fishing, diving, transportation and more, these boats are beautifully spotted along beaches all over Thailand.
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51/1 หมู่ที่ 7 ถนน แม่ริม - สะเมิง Rim Tai, Amphoe Mae Rim, Chang Wat Chiang Mai 50180, Thailand
Located 11 miles outside of Chiang Mai, Tiger Kingdom is a great day trip where you can play, pet and take photos of tigers. There is no fee to enter the park, but if you wish to enter the enclosure with a trainer for 15 minutes at a time, you pay...
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James Bond Island, 82130, Thailand
This a breath-taking place, the James Bond Island in Phuket, Thailand. The island got its name from featuring in the James Bond movie "The Man with the Golden Gun". This is a must-go place part of the island-hopping activity in Phuket.
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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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Nong Han, San Sai District, Chiang Mai, Thailand
One of my favorite festivals in the world is the Loi Krathong / Yi Peng ‘festival of light’ in Thailand. Both occur at the same time and although differing slightly, both represent the cleansing of sins. Yi Peng takes place mainly in Chiang Mai in...
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60/1 Ratchadaphisek Rd, Khwaeng Huai Khwang, Khet Huai Khwang, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10310, Thailand
Or Tor Kor market, on Kamphaengphet Road, has the most beguiling array of fruit: custard apples, jackfruit, mangoes, and lychees. Thais believe desserts are the pinnacle of their cuisine, and the stalls here are a testament to this faith. Durian...
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Ko Lanta Yai, Ko Lanta District, Krabi, Thailand
For my money, this is the closest thing to a postcard-perfect paradise as there is in this world. Happy little clouds (-Bob Ross), blue-green ocean, mammoth limestone peaks, longtail boats swaying in the breeze, and an unending tropical sandscape....
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296/1 หมู่ 7 Sukhumvit Rd, Bang Pu Mai, Amphoe Mueang Samut Prakan, Chang Wat Samut Prakan 10280, Thailand
The Ancient City, or Muang Boran, is one of the world’s largest outdoor museums. It features a 200-acre city with 109 scaled down copies of Thailand’s most famous monuments and architectural attractions all in one place. Located in Samut Prakan...
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Tungsung Basti, Darjeeling, West Bengal 734101, India
The views from your suite—of the Kanchenjunga Mountains, the hills of Sikkim, or the Rung Dung River—might make it hard to leave, but it’s worth it to learn about every stage of tea-making on a tour of the fields and factory. A tasting reveals the...
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94 Wausan-ro, Sangsu-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul, South Korea
If the name of Seoul’s favorite new ice cream shop sounds familiar, maybe it’s because the moniker is gleaned from an intersection in San Francisco where the owner used to live. This small-batch parlor serves up imaginative flavors of ice cream,...
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21 Cheonho-daero 4-gil, Sinseol-dong, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Seoul's Folk Flea Market is a place where you can buy anything, I mean anything! This scary contraption looks like an invention of a comic book super-villain, but for the small price of 5 dollars you could be tightening those crow's feet and...
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60-16 Itaewon-ro 55-gil, Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea
A great way to spend an afternoon in Seoul: a good book and the genius of sculptor Louise Bourgeois at the Leeum Museum. A gentleman relaxes on ‘Eye Benches,’ while 'Maman' stands guard. It’s in Itaewon that Samsung planted the Leeum Contemporary...
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Seoksu-dong, Manan-gu, Anyang, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea
Anyang, located just outside Seoul, is an incredible place for a day trip. The Anyang Art Park has numerous sites to see—including this maze-like staircase. The park, situated in a valley, is a perfect place to spend an afternoon in any season.
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South Korea, Seoul, Jongno-gu, Gahoe-dong, 계동길 49-23
Travelers looking for a rich cultural experience should book a room at a hanok, or traditional Korean home. One of the best, Rak Ko Jae, has fancy touches such as jade floors and a mud sauna. Guests can perform a tea ceremony and make their own...
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Namdaemun Market, the most bustling place in Seoul. Food vendors fly through unnavigable aisles with food stacked on their heads, touts selling their wares and a constant stream of shoppers looking to spot the best bargain. Three things you should...
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South Korea
In the peaceful Korean countryside side the Hwaeom Temple prepares for Buddhas birthday by hanging bright and colorful lanterns. Buddhists from across the region to write personal messages and attach them to the bottoms of the ornate lanterns.
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Mt Bromo, Area Gn. Bromo, Podokoyo, Tosari, Pasuruan, East Java, Indonesia
Bright and early, just before the sun comes up over Mount Bromo, Mount Semeru and Mount Batok, with ample rolling fog and an epic eruption for good measure. We climbed Mount Penanjakan in our Toyota 4x4 pre-dawn in the headlights of some 1,200...
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Jl. Monkey Forest, Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia
Spending an early morning with our family in the monkey forest was a nice way to avoid the crowds, and have fun observing the monkeys. We enjoyed exploring this amazing nature reserve and shoot some family pictures given the lovely morning light.
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Climbing Mount Batur, one of the sacred volcanos of Bali, is a mind-warping experience if done before dawn. The volcanic sand runs away beneath your feet like an hourglass and the tassels of pine trees flow by you in the dark. My friends and I...
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Terraced like the surrounding rice paddies, Soori Bali occupies an undeveloped stretch of fertile coastline roughly 25 minutes from Tabanan, a town northwest of Denpasar known for traditional farming and artisan crafts. The resort’s modern...
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Jalan Raya Sibang Kaja, Banjar Saren, Abiansemal, Sibang Kaja, Abiansemal, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80352, Indonesia
When he sold his jewelry company in 2007, Canadian expat John Hardy and his wife reinvested much of the money into the Green School, an innovative K-12 school in Sibang Kaja, Bali. The curriculum is very experiential—the international and...
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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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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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While traveling in Bali, I had the opportunity to go surfing at Uluwatu. It is an amazing spot, but there is no beach. To reach the break, you have to hike down a steep flight of steps behind a cliff, then paddle out through a sea cave full of...
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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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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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Tegalalang, Tegallalang, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali, Indonesia
Bali is the perfect place to learn a new way of traveling. Rather than racing from temple to batik factory, and the 4:15 shadow puppet show, my traveling companion opted for the 45 minute pacing of stopping for beers along the back roads. The rice...
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waringin, Tlk. Pulai, Kabupaten Kotawaringin Barat, Kalimantan Tengah, Indonesia
This orangutan mother and her infant greeted us on our walk through the forest to a feeding station at Camp Leakey. The feeding station is about a 20 minute stroll from the main buildings at Camp Leakey, which was established by Dr. Birute Mary...
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Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan
Shibuya is a center of Japanese fashion, culture, color, noise, and light. Harajuku girls? They're in Shibuya. Manga? Find it in Shibuya. Biggest scramble crossing in the world? Sit at the Starbucks in Shibuya and marvel at the madness below. You...
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Arashiyama Genrokuzancho, Ukyō-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 616-0007, Japan
In western Kyoto, there is a very large forest of bamboo. As you can see in the photo, the shoots grow very tall, making those who stroll by look quite small. I'm sure there are times when this road is crowded, but when we were there, people were...
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2 Chome-3-1 Asakusa, Taitō, Tokyo 111-0032, Japan
Touring Tokyo via Rickshaw is something I never thought I would do. For whatever reason it always seemed wrong to have a man standing where a horse would be in other cultures. But then again, every country is different and I soon learned that this...
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2 Chome-11 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku, Tokyo 160-0023, Japan
From Shinjuku’s bar scene to Roppongi’s polished cigar bars and Shibuya’s all night karaoke, Tokyo nightlife offers something for everyone. Dogenzaka’s Love Hotel Hill is sprinkled with small Love Hotels, Japan’s kitschy themed rent by the hour...
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4 Chome-6 Shirokanedai, Minato, Tokyo 108-0071, Japan
For the best yakitori I go to Toritama in Ebisu. They specialize in rarely served, unique parts of the chicken. There’s one dish in particular, a premature egg that’s still connected to ovaries, which they grill. —David Myers This appeared in the...
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2 Chome-8-1 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tōkyō-to 163-8001, Japan
View of Tokyo at dusk as seen from the 54th floor observation deck of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building in Nishi-shinjuku. Admission to the observatory is free and well worth it for a fantastic, sweeping view of the Tokyo skyline.
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6 Chome-10-1 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tōkyō-to 106-0032, Japan
Kapital is a really cool clothing chain known for its denim. They have two shops in Roppongi Hills—Kapital Duffle and Kapital Legs. I always pick up tabi, these handmade split-toe socks. They are split between the big toe and other toes and are...
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6 Chome-5-1 Minamiaoyama, Minato-ku, Tōkyō-to 107-0062, Japan
Just down the street from fashionable Omotesando is the Nezu Museum, with an exquisite Japanese garden. Architect Kengo Kuma's touches include a warm welcome with a bamboo wall at the entrance and rooms with picturesque views of the garden. The...
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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...
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1 Chome-1-83 Shimorenjaku, Mitaka-shi, Tōkyō-to 181-0013, Japan
A great trip with the kids or adult fans of Miyazaki's films. We bought tickets at our local JTB office in NYC as it's necessary to reserve in advance. Only a 40 minute train ride from Shinjuku, the museum is located in Inokashira Park which is...
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Yanaka, Taitō, Tokyo 110-0001, Japan
On the east side of Tokyo, travelers can experience the city’s frenetic spirit. In the Ameyayokocho neighborhood, you’ll find seedy-looking love hotels, pachinko parlors, and chatty street vendors. When the chaos becomes too intense, escapeto...
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Beyazıt Mh., 34126 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
Soon after conquering Constantinople and defeating the Byzantines in 1453, Ottoman Sultan Mehmet II commissioned the beginnings of the Grand Bazaar to reinvigorate trade with the city. More than 550 years later, the bazaar is one of the oldest...
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55 Luftballoons took off before the sun came up over the stunning landscape of Cappadocia Turkey. The landscape was beautiful to see from above, however I think I was more in awe of a sky full of balloons which felt like such a unique experience.
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Sultan Ahmet Mahallesi, Atmeydanı Cd. No:7, 34122 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
Adorned with more than 20,000 blue handcrafted İznik tiles, stained-glass windows, and the golden brushstrokes of a 17th-century calligrapher, the Blue Mosque is the legacy of Sultan Ahmet I (1590–1617). The young sultan audaciously wished...
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Esbelli Sokak No.36, Esbelli Mahallesi, URGUP, 50400 Ürgüp/Nevşehir, Turkey
On our second day in Cappadocia, we rented a car and drove to some of the less frequented sites. It was late afternoon by the time we returned to Serinn House (a great boutique hotel). Since the car wasn't being returned until the morning, the...
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When people find out you are an avid traveler they will often ask, "what is your favorite place?" or "what is the best place you have ever been?". This is a tough question for those that travel from continent to continent and it is also quite...
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Southbank VIC 3006, Australia
It would be hard to run out of things to do in Melbourne, Australia even if you called the city home year-round. It is a vibrant city and lending itself to this energy is the Arts Centre Melbourne. There are events and shows at the center...
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Cape Otway VIC 3233, Australia
Maits Rest Rainforest Walk – well, that was my first acquaintance with a rainforest ever! The experience was not something that you undergo every day. I don’t think I ever felt so close to nature – fresh, green and pure. There’s nothing more...
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Lavers Hill VIC 3238, Australia
No trip to Victoria is complete without taking a drive down the Great Ocean Road. The small surf town of Torquay marks the start of the Great Ocean Road. One of the quieter towns along the road there are plenty of outlet stores selling surf brands...
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St Kilda West VIC 3182, Australia
St Kilda is a beautiful pier near Melbourne CBD. A most delightful place to go during summer evenings
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Bicheno TAS 7215, Australia
More than 700 people live in the town, and water’s its lifeblood. Crayfish, abalone and Australian salmon are often brought ashore with the daily fishing catch.
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Taranna TAS 7180, Australia
We kayaked halfway around Australia’s heart-shaped island state in four weeks and almost every night dined off what we caught or pried from the sea. When the tide was low, we would pull over and knife oysters and clams from the coral and bake them...
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Tasmania, Australia
A hike down to Wine Glass Bay in Tasmania's Freycinet National Park is hardly the afternoon stroll that rangers make it out to be. But the effort is more than compensated by the gorgeous views and the wallabies waiting on the sand. Signs tell you...
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19018 Vernazza, SP, Italy
If you find yourself on the Mediterranean Sea or in Italy then be sure you make your way to Cinque Terre. Cinque Terre, or "The Five Lands" (in Italian), is composed of five villages: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and...
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Greece
Thanks to doing research on AFAR.com, I learned that one could sea kayak around the island of Milos. I signed up with Rod from Sea Kayak Milos and had a fantastic time. My fellow kayakers and I paddled through bright blue water, in and out of...
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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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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...
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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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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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Sidi Bouloukat Djemaa el fna 53 Sidi Bouloukate، Marrakech 40000, Morocco
Described by writer Tahir Shah as the “greatest show on Earth,” no visit to Marrakech would be complete without a visit to the famous night market on the Djemaa el Fna. Arrive before sunset and park yourself at one of the...
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I visited Wadi Rum on the way to Petra–a perfect detour. The landscape feels like that of another planet. Petroglyphs can be found all over, proof of human travel through this area for thousands of years.
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Japan, 〒160-0004 Tōkyō-to, Shinjuku-ku, 新宿区Yotsuya, 1 Chome−1−11 陽臨堂ビル 1F
When I took my beautiful wife to Tokyo to celebrate her birthday in March, because we only had three days in town we had to very carefully curate our dining choices. While we did visit an old favourite, most of the restaurants we visited were new...
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2961 Kinderdijk, Netherlands
When waterways in the Netherlands freeze into glittering paths, overjoyed residents take to the ice. Visitors can buy or rent a pair of noren (traditional long-blade skates) to glide across town or take part in one of the country’s dozens of...
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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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2520 Peniche, Portugal
Hire a boat out of Peniche, Portugal, when available, and travel six miles offshore to the pristine Berlenga Islands. Then hike, kayak, snorkel, and swim the day away. Pack a picnic lunch and feast on the beach. The perfect day in paradise.