Africa – Lonely Planet #cook #travel

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Introducing Africa

Something special about Africa touches the soul; it is a continent of 54 immensely diverse countries that is both deeply troubled and profoundly uplifting.

Natural Beauty

Whether you’re a wide-eyed first-timer or a frequent visitor, Africa cannot fail to get under your skin. The canvas upon which the continent’s epic story is written is itself astonishing, and reason enough to visit. From the tropical rain forests of Central Africa to the endless rippling dunes and waterless tracts of the Sahara. from the signature savannah of the east to jagged mountains and green-tinged highlands all across the continent, Africa has few peers when it comes to natural beauty.

New Africa

Even as the past retains its hold over the lives of many Africans, just as many have embraced the future, bringing creativity and sophistication to the continent’s cities and urban centres. Sometimes this New Africa is expressed in a restless search for solutions to the continent’s problems, or in an eagerness to break free of the restrictive chains of the past. But just as often, modern Africans are taking all that is new and fusing it onto the best of the old. The continent is still prone to all the ills of humanity, but if you come with an open mind it’s easy to see how amazing Africa can be.

Wildlife Bonanza

A Noah’s Ark of wildlife brings these landscapes to life, with a tangible and sometimes profoundly mysterious presence that adds so much personality to the African wild. So many of the great beasts, including elephants, hippos and lions, call Africa home. Going on safari may be something of a travel cliché, but we’re yet to find a traveller who has watched the wildlife world in motion in the Masai Mara, stumbled upon the paradise that is the Ngorongoro Crater, or communed with gorillas in Uganda ‘s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, and has not been reduced to an ecstatic state of childlike wonder.

Ancient Africa

But there’s so much more to Africa than nature’s considerable bounty. On this continent where human beings first came into existence, customs, traditions and ancient rites tie Africans to generations past and to the collective memory of myriad people. In many rural areas, it can feel as though the modern world might never have happened, and old ways of doing things – with a certain grace and civility, hospitality and a community spirit – survive. Welcome to Old Africa.

Why I Love Africa

By Simon Richmond, Writer

Some of my most evocative travel memories of Africa – amazing live concerts in the shadow of Table Mountain, the mad circus of Marrakesh ‘s Djemaa el-Fna – are musical ones. Boy, can this continent bang out a beat! Africa’s enormously talented musicians play homage to the traditions of the past at the same time as they push the boundaries of contemporary music. The fruits of their labours provide a constantly evolving playlist to the continent’s diversity and an unforgettable soundtrack to your African journey. The results can be stunning and are always unmistakeably African.





07/01/2018

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North America – Lonely Planet #travel #package #deals

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Introducing North America

The heart of North America beats through towering forests, undulating fields, high-plain deserts, pulsating metropolises and offbeat oases.

Culture

Iconic cities that need no introduction are just the icing on this culture-laden cake. Yes, you have the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Smithsonian in Washington DC but the buzz of music, art and film finds its way down into everyday life, with citizens as often creating as much as consuming. A historical melting pot of cultures and identities, North America features some of the world’s most multicultural art. From Toronto’s film festival to Mexico City ‘s thriving music scene, North America is a veritable smorgasbord of enlightening experiences just waiting to be uncovered.

Food

On one evening across North America, thick barbecue ribs and smoked brisket come piping hot at a Texas roadhouse, while talented chefs blend organic produce with Asian accents at award-winning West Coast restaurants. Locals get their fix of simple street tacos in Mexico. and a continent away, golden fries disappear under a steaming pile of gravy and cheese curds in a plate of poutine. Fresh lobster served off a Maine pier, oysters and champagne in a Vancouver wine bar, beer and pizza at a Midwestern pub – these are just a few ways to dine à la Americana.

Landscapes

Even the most hardcore North American urban and suburbanites are forced to stop and gawp when confronted with the sheer natural beauty that is their homeland. From red-rock deserts to lush tropical rainforests, North America has the rare claim of covering every climatic zone, and its deepest gorge in Mexico’s Copper Canyon and Mt McKinley in Alaska exceed geographical extremes. Whether you’re relaxing on a virtually undiscovered beach, racing down the slopes of the Great White North or scaling the iconic crags of the Grand Canyon – North America is certain to take your breath away.

Adventure

In this land, adventure is king. Venture on a Canadian wilderness trek, buckle up for the legendary road trip along Route 66 or explore ancient rites at mysterious Maya and Aztec ruins. Whatever your travel dreams, North America offers a kaleidoscope of cultures, cuisines, landscapes, history and adventures that are bound to fulfill.





27/12/2017

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Norway – Lonely Planet #africa #travel

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Introducing Norway

Norway is a once-in-a-lifetime destination and the essence of its appeal is remarkably simple: this is one of the most beautiful countries on earth.

Stirring Landscapes

The drama of Norway’s natural world is difficult to overstate. Impossibly steep-sided fjords of extraordinary beauty cut gashes from a jagged coastline deep into the interior. The fjords’ fame is wholly merited, but this is also a land of glaciers, grand and glorious, snaking down from icefields that rank among Europe ‘s largest. Elsewhere, the mountainous terrain of Norway’s interior resembles the ramparts of so many natural fortresses, and yields to rocky coastal islands that rise improbably from the waters like apparitions. And then, of course, there’s the primeval appeal of the Arctic. Such landforms provide a backdrop for some of Europe ‘s most charismatic wildlife – polar bears (in Svalbard ), reindeer and musk oxen to name just three – and the setting for many a picturesque wooden village.

Scandinavian Sophistication

The counterpoint to so much natural beauty is found in Norway’s vibrant cultural life. Norwegian cities are cosmopolitan and brimful of architecture that showcases the famous Scandinavian flair for design through the ages. At the same time, a busy calendar of festivals, many of international renown, are worth planning your trip around.

Worth the Expense

If one topic above all others dominates conversations among travellers to Norway, it’s the formidable cost of travel here. Make no mistake: Norway is one of the most expensive countries on earth, which is yet another reason why saving up to come here is akin to planning the trip of a lifetime. But is it worth it? Absolutely: Norway will pay you back with never-to-be-forgotten experiences many times over.

Why I Love Norway

By Anthony Ham, Writer

The first time I stood on the waterfront at Aurland and contemplated the fjords, not long after having passed among the peaks of Jotunheimen National Park, I was utterly convinced that there was no more beautiful country anywhere on earth. On my many Norwegian journeys since then, in winter and in summer, I’ve never lost that feeling. Even more than the fjords and the high country, I now find myself drawn to the gravitas of Svalbard. to the perfect juxtaposition of water, rock and human habitation in the Lofoten Islands. and to the far horizons and Sami encampments of Norway’s Arctic North.

The Call of the Wild

In Norway, nature is very much an active pursuit, and Norwegians’ passion for exploring their natural world has created one of Europe ‘s most exciting and varied adventure-tourism destinations. Some activities may only be for the young, energetic and fearless, but most – such as world-class hiking, cycling and white-water rafting in summer; dog-sledding, skiing and snowmobiling in winter – can be enjoyed by anyone of reasonable fitness. On our travels we’ve encountered 93-year-old snowmobilers and whole families racing down rapids. Whether you’re here in summer when the possibilities seem endless, or in winter for the soul-stirring spectacle of the northern lights, these activities are an exhilarating means of getting close to nature.





27/12/2017

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Colombia – Lonely Planet #group #travel

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Introducing Colombia

Soaring Andean summits. unspoiled Caribbean coast, enigmatic Amazon jungle, cryptic archaeological ruins and cobbled colonial communities. Colombia boasts all of South America ‘s allure, and more.

Colonial Charm

Led by Cartagena’s extraordinarily preserved old city, Colombia offers an off-the-radar treasure trove of cinematic cobblestoned towns and villages that often feel bogged down in a different century, content to carry on as they have since the departure of the Spanish without a care in the world. Unweathered Barichara and happily sleepy Mompox feel like movie sets, impossibly unspoiled by modern progress; while whitewashed Villa de Leyva appears stuck in 16th-century quicksand – and these are just the villages that people do visit.

Outdoor Adventures

Colombia’s varied terrain is fertile ground for outdoor adventurers to dive, climb, raft, trek and soar. San Gil is the undisputed adventure capital, but Colombia boasts alfresco pleasures in all corners. Some of the continent’s most iconic trekking is here, and is dramatically varied: Ciudad Perdida is a multiday jungle walk to the ancient ruins of the Tayrona civilization, while numerous ascents inside Parque Nacional Natural El Cocuy places intrepid hikers on the highest reaches of the Andes. Providencia’s world-class reef spells aquatic heaven for scuba divers, and whale-watchers on the Pacific coast can see majestic humpbacks in the wild.

Where To Go

All the areas covered by us are generally safe from guerillas and paramilitary groups, and providing you do not wander far from what’s included in our coverage, you aren’t likely to run into any problems. If you’re curious about an area that has been omitted, it’s likely due to security issues. The Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC) and/or paramilitaries maintain a presence in the Chocó. Cauca. parts of Nariño, rural parts of Huila. Putumayo, Meta, the jungle area east of the Andes (except for the area around Leticia ) and parts of the northeast, (especially Arauca) so avoid these areas where not covered by us.

Diverse Landscapes

Colombia’s equatorial position affords it a diversity of landscapes matched by few countries. A slight tinkering in altitude takes you from sun-toasted Caribbean sands to coffee-strewn, emerald-green hilltops in the Zona Cafetera. Continue to climb and there’s Bogotá. the bustling cradle of Colombia and third-highest capital city in the world. Throw in another few thousand meters and you find snowcapped peaks, high-altitude lakes and the eerie, unique vegetation of the páramo. The bottom drops out as the Andes give way to Los Llanos. a 550,000-sq-km swath of tropical grasslands shared with Venezuela. often called the Serengeti of South America.

Extraordinary Culture

A wealth of ancient civilizations left behind a fascinating spread of archaeological and cultural sites throughout Colombia. The one-time Tayrona capital, Ciudad Perdida, built between the 11th and 14th centuries, is one of the continent’s most mysterious ancient cities, arguably second only to Machu Picchu. Even more shrouded in mystery is San Agustín, where more than 500 life-sized ancient sculpted statues of enigmatic origin dot the surrounding countryside. And then there’s Tierradentro. where elaborate underground tombs scooped out by an unknown people add even more mystique to Colombia’s past.

Why I Love Colombia

By Kevin Raub, Lonely Planet Author

It was a much different country the first time I came to Colombia in the early 2000s, but the stellar hospitality of Colombians had me at arrival. Today, the security situation has improved dramatically, helping Colombia to become South America ‘s phoenix from the flames. But that initial reception has always stuck with me: without a five-star tourism magnet – no Machu Picchu, no Iguazu Falls, no Patagonia – Colombia works harder for its money, and that begins and ends with the people, who ensure you leave with a different impression than the one you landed with.





26/12/2017

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China – Lonely Planet #travel #advisors

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Introducing China

Whether it’s your first visit or your twentieth, China is so big, so diverse and so fast-changing, it’s always an adventure.

Breathtaking Antiquity

Let’s face it: the world’s oldest continuous civilisation is bound to pull an artefact or two out of its hat. There isn’t history at every turn – three decades of perpetual development and socialist town-planning have taken their toll – but travel selectively in China and rich seams of antiquity await exploration. With tumble-down chunks of the Great Wall, mist-wreathed, temple-topped mountains, quaint villages, water towns and sublime Buddhist cave statues, China insists on a few requirements: a well-made pair of travelling shoes and a strong stomach for long-distance wayfaring.

Stupendous Scenery

Běijīng, Shànghǎi and Hong Kong are portraits of modern Chinese wherewithal and ambition, but it’s the big outdoors that should top your list. From the placid mountain lakes of Tibet. the impassive deserts of Inner Mongolia to island-hopping in Hong Kong or cycling between fairy-tale karst pinnacles around Yángshuò. China’s landscapes are beguiling. Swoon before the rice terraces of the south, size up some awesome sand dunes in Gānsù or trace the Great Wall as it meanders across mountain peaks, get lost in forests of bamboo, sail through dramatic river gorges or, when your energy fails you, flake out for a tan on a distant beach.

Cuisine

Treat yourself by trading your meagre local Chinatown menu for the lavish Middle Kingdom cookbook. Wolf down Peking duck, size up a sizzling lamb kebab in Kāifēng or gobble down a bowl of Lánzhōu noodles on the Silk Road. Spicy Húnán or Sìchuān dishes really raise the temperature but don’t forget about what’s cooking along China’s frontier lands – always an excellent excuse to get off the beaten path. Culinary exploration is possibly the most enticing aspect of Middle Kingdom travel: you’ll return with stimulated taste buds and much cherished gastronomic memories.

Diversity

China is vast. Off-the-scale massive. A riveting jumble of wildly differing dialects and climatic and topographical extremes, it’s like several different countries rolled into one. Take your pick from the tossed-salad ethnic mix of the southwest, the yak-butter illuminated temples of Xiàhé. a journey along the dusty Silk Road, spending the night at Everest Base Camp or getting into your glad rags for a night on the Shànghǎi tiles. You’re spoiled for choice: whether you’re an urban traveller, hiker, cyclist, explorer, backpacker, irrepressible museum-goer or faddish foodie, China’s diversity is second to none.

Why I Love China

By Damian Harper, Writer

A passion for Chinese martial arts saw me enrolling for a four-year degree in modern and classical Chinese at university in London back in the 1990s. They were fun days, when travelling China was testing but exciting in equal measure. Must-see hotspots like Píngyáo were unheard of and Shànghǎi ’s Pǔdōng was a cocktail-free flatland. I could say it’s the fantastic food, the awesome landscapes, the fun of train travel, the delightful people or pitching up in a small town I’ve never been to before, and I wouldn’t be lying. But it’s the Chinese language I still love most of all.





26/12/2017

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Chicago, USA – Lonely Planet #best #at #travel

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Introducing Chicago

Steely skycrapers, top chefs, rocking festivals – the Windy City will blow you away with its low-key cultured awesomeness

Art & Architecture

It’s hard to know what to gawk at first. High-flying architecture is everywhere, from the stratospheric, glass-floored Willis Tower to Frank Gehry’s swooping silver Pritzer Pavilion to Frank Lloyd Wright’s stained glass Robie House. Whimsical public art studs the streets. So you’re walking along and wham, there’s an abstract Picasso statue that’s not only cool to look at, you’re allowed to go right up and climb on it. For art museums, take your pick: impressionist masterpieces at the massive Art Institute, psychedelic paintings at the mid-sized Museum of Mexican Art or outsider drawings at the small Intuit gallery.

Chowhounds’ Delight

Loosen the belt. You’ve got a lot of eating to do. On the menu: peanut butter and banana topped waffles for breakfast (at Stephanie Izard’s Little Goat), a fig and goat cheese slathered elk sausage for lunch (at Hot Doug’s hot dog shop), and 20 courses of centrifuged, encapsulated molecular gastronomy for dinner (at Grant Achatz’s Alinea).

You can also chow a superb range of ethnic eats from Vietnamese pho to Mexican carnitas, Polish pierogi and Swedish almond tarts. Still hungry? Order a late-night deep-dish pizza.

Rollicking Festivals

Chicago knows how to rock a festival. Between March and September it throws around 200 shindigs. The specialty is music. Blues Fest brings half a million people to Grant Park to hear guitar notes slide and bass lines roll, all for free. During Lollapalooza’s three-day mega-party, rock bands thrash while the audience dances in an arm-flailing frenzy. Smaller, barbecue-scented street fests take place in the neighborhoods each weekend – though some rival downtown for star power on their stages (oh, hey, Olivia Newton-John at Northalsted Market Days).

Why I Love Chicago

By Karla Zimmerman, Writer

I’ve lived in the city for 25 years, and I never get bored. There’s something groovy going on any night of the week. Like tonight: should I see the Grant Park Orchestra playing Shostakovich’s 5th Symphony in Millennium Park. or a guitar-drum duo called Earring at Empty Bottle? I love that Tibetan dumplings, Mexican carnitas and crème brûlée donuts are all equally, easily accessible from local eateries. I love how total strangers sitting next to each other in a bar watching a Blackhawks game become high-fiving pals by evening’s end. Chicago really is my kind of town.

Sports Fanatics

Chicago is a maniacal sports town, with a pro team for every season (two teams, in baseball’s case). Watching a game is a local rite of passage, whether you slather on the blue and orange body paint for a Bears football game, join the raucous baseball crowd in Wrigley Field ‘s bleachers, or plop down on a bar stool at the neighborhood tavern for whatever match is on TV. Count on making lots of spirited new friends. Should the excitement rub off and inspire you to get active yourself, the city’s 24 beaches and 580 parks offer a huge array of play.





26/12/2017

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Cambodia – Lonely Planet #easy #travel

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Introducing Cambodia

Ascend to the realm of the gods, Angkor Wat. Descend into hell at Tuol Sleng Prison. With a history both inspiring and depressing, Cambodia delivers an intoxicating present.

An Empire of Temples

Contemporary Cambodia is the successor state to the mighty Khmer empire, which, during the Angkorian period, ruled much of what is now Laos, Thailand and Vietnam. The remains of this empire can be seen at the fabled temples of Angkor, monuments unrivalled in scale and grandeur in Southeast Asia. The traveller’s first glimpse of Angkor Wat, the ultimate expression of Khmer genius, is sublime and is matched by only a few select spots on earth, such as Machu Picchu or Petra.

The Cambodian Spirit

Despite having the eighth wonder of the world in its backyard, Cambodia’s real treasure is its people. The Khmers have been to hell and back, struggling through years of bloodshed, poverty and political instability. Thanks to an unbreakable spirit and infectious optimism, they have prevailed with their smiles intact. No visitor comes away without a measure of admiration and affection for the inhabitants of this enigmatic kingdom.

The Urban Scene

Just as Angkor is more than its wat, so too is Cambodia more than its temples, and its urban areas can surprise with their sophistication. Chaotic yet charismatic capital Phnom Penh is a revitalised city earning plaudits for its gorgeous riverside location, cultural renaissance, and world-class wining-and-dining scene. Second city Siem Reap, with cosmopolitan cafes and a diverse nightlife, is as much a destination as the nearby iconic Angkor temples. And up-and-coming Battambang, reminiscent of Siem Reap before the advent of mass tourism, charms with graceful French architecture and a thriving contemporary art scene.

Upcountry Adventures

Siem Reap and Phnom Penh may be the heavyweights, but to some extent they are a bubble, a world away from the Cambodia of the countryside. This is the place to experience the rhythm of rural life and timeless landscapes of dazzling rice paddies and swaying sugar palms. The South Coast is fringed by tropical islands, with just a handful of beach huts in sight. Inland from the coast lie the Cardamom Mountains, part of a vast tropical wilderness providing a home to elusive wildlife and a gateway to emerging ecotourism adventures. The mighty Mekong River cuts through the country and is home to some of the region’s last remaining freshwater dolphins. The northeast is a world unto itself, its wild and mountainous landscapes a home for Cambodia’s ethnic minorities and an abundance of natural attractions.

Why I Love Cambodia

By Nick Ray, Writer

Where to start? I first came through as a young backpacker in 1995 and the turbulent history captured my attention. However, the people were the most memorable part of that first trip, their smiles infectious. Angkor is spectacular and special and continues to reward no matter how many times you visit. The coastline is beautiful and blissfully undeveloped compared with some of the region. And it remains a frontier for motorbike rides from the Cardamoms in the southwest to Mondulkiri and Ratanakiri in the northeast. Even as it develops, Cambodia remains an authentic adventure.





24/12/2017

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Boston, USA – Lonely Planet #travel #itinerary #template

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Introducing Boston

Boston’s history recalls revolution and transformation, and still today it is among the country’s most forward-thinking and barrier-breaking cities.

Why I Love

By Mara Vorhees, Author

Boston is wicked smaaht. I love that Boston is motivated not by money or politics, but by learning. The academic institutions are a source of innovative art, architecture and ideas that we all benefit from. The students provide a renewable source of energy and vibrancy that permeates the city. Yet for all the fancy buildings and big ideas, Boston is still a city of neighborhoods and local people. The students may or may not be here in four years, but my neighbors are here for the long haul. They are the cogs that keep the city running, moving, growing, remembering the past and creating the future.

Art & Architecture

The arts have thrived in Boston ever since the 19th century, when this cultural capital was dubbed the Athens of America. Certainly, the intellectual elite enjoyed their fine paintings and classical music, but they were also dedicated to spreading the cultural wealth, establishing museums, libraries and symphony orchestras. Today the lucky residents of (and visitors to) Boston benefit from their largesse. These venerable institutions play an integral role on Boston’s cultural stage, which has significantly expanded to include dynamic contemporary art and music scenes.

Sports

‘Fanatic’ is no idle word here. Boston fans are passionate about sports. And with the four-time world-champion Patriots, the long-overdue World Series–winning Red Sox, the winningest basketball team in history, the Celtics, and the highly successful and historic hockey team, the Bruins, there is a lot to be passionate about. Boston’s college teams also inspire fierce loyalties and staunch rivalries. No less spirited is the country’s oldest and most celebrated running event, the world-famous Boston Marathon, and the world’s largest two-day rowing event, the Head of the Charles Regatta.

Food

A word of advice: when in Boston, eat as much seafood as possible. Local specialties include the ‘sacred cod,’ fresh steamed lobster, oysters on the half-shell and thick, creamy chowder. You can eat seafood around the city, but especially in the fish-centered Seaport District, where it’s accompanied by spectacular harbor views. The creatures of the sea are your top priority, but don’t miss the chance to devour delicious servings of pasta in the North End and to sample spicy Asian dishes in Chinatown. Trendy fusion restaurants draw on all of these eclectic influences to present contemporary cuisine that is uniquely Boston.

History

For all intents and purposes, Boston is the oldest city in America. And you can hardly walk a step over its cobblestone streets without running into some historic site. The Freedom Trail winds its way around the city, connecting 16 historically significant sites. These are the very places where history unfolded: from the first public school in America to Boston’s first church building to sites linked to America’s fight for independence from Britain – Boston is, in effect, one enormous outdoor history museum.





23/12/2017

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Laos – Lonely Planet #gullivers #travel

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Introducing Laos

Laos, long a forgotten backwater, combines some of the best elements of Southeast Asia in one bite-sized destination.

Something for Everyone

Laos deserves all the accolades it receives. Adrenaline junkies can lose themselves in underground river caves, white-water rapids or jungle ziplines. Wildlife nuts can trek through some of Southeast Asia’s most pristine forests, still home to rare creatures. Foodies can experiment with the kaleidoscope of flavours that is Lao cuisine. From thrillseeker to gourmand, every type of traveller finds what they’re looking for in Laos, one of the most authentic destinations in Asia .

Fairytale Landscapes

Away from the cities, it’s easy to make a quick detour off the beaten track and end up in a fairytale landscape with jagged limestone cliffs, brooding jungle and the snaking Mekong River as a backdrop. Community-based trekking combines these spectacular natural attractions with the chance to experience the ‘real Laos’ with a village homestay. The Lao people are wonderfully welcoming hosts and there is no better way to get to know their culture than by sharing their lives.

Land of a Million Elephants

In ancient times, Laos was poetically known as the ‘land of a million elephants’, but cynical Vietnam War correspondents renamed it the ‘land of a million irrelevants’. But four decades after the war, Laos is becoming an increasingly relevant destination for the intrepid traveller. Pockets of pristine environment, a kaleidoscope of diverse cultures and quite possibly the most chilled-out people on earth have earned Laos cult status. Imagine a country where your pulse relaxes, smiles are genuine and the locals are still curious about you.

Why I Love Laos

By Nick Ray, Writer

I first came to Laos as a backpacker in 1995, not long after it cautiously opened up to the world, and I quickly succumbed to its natural charms, not to mention ice-cold Beerlao on the banks of the Mekong. Fast forward nearly two decades and innumerable adventures, and Laos still delivers surprises. The Vieng Xai Caves had been a long time coming for this particular history buff and didn’t disappoint. Further west, the new Elephant Conservation Center near Sainyabuli is a fantastic experience for a fantastic cause. And like a vintage wine, Luang Prabang just keeps getting better. From a quiet backwater, today’s incarnation of Laos is one of the most beguiling destinations in all of Asia.

Refreshingly Simple

Laos still retains much of the tradition that has disappeared in a frenzy of bulldozers and reality TV elsewhere in the region. Village life is refreshingly simple, and even in Vientiane it’s hard to believe this sort of languid riverfront life exists in a capital city. Magical Luang Prabang bears witness to hundreds of saffron-robed monks gliding through the streets in search of alms, one of the region’s iconic images. For many visitors, Luang Prabang is Laos, but more intrepid travellers will discover a country untainted by mass tourism.





07/12/2017

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Lonely Planet Sri Lanka (Travel Guide) #srs #travels #online #booking

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Description

Lonely Planet: The world’s leading travel guide publisher

Lonely Planet Sri Lanka is your passport to the most relevant, up-to-date advice on what to see and skip, and what hidden discoveries await you. Follow in the footsteps of Buddha and modern-day pilgrims to the summit of Adam’s Peak, wander the crumbling ruins and lost cities of the cultural triangle in the heart of the island or explore undiscovered beaches on the recently reopened east coast; all with your trusted travel companion. Get to the heart of Sri Lanka and begin your journey now!

Inside Lonely Planet’s Sri Lanka Travel Guide:

  • Colour maps and images throughout
  • Highlights and itineraries help you tailor your trip to your personal needs and interests
  • Insider tips to save time and money and get around like a local, avoiding crowds and trouble spots
  • Essential info at your fingertips – hours of operation, phone numbers, websites, transit tips, prices
  • Honest reviews for all budgets – eating, sleeping, sight-seeing, going out, shopping, hidden gems that most guidebooks miss
  • Cultural insights give you a richer, more rewarding travel experience – tea, cuisine, wildlife, history
  • More than 50 maps
  • Covers Colombo, Galle, South, West and East coasts, the hill country, Jaffna, the ancient cities and more

About Lonely Planet: Since 1973, Lonely Planet has become the world’s leading travel media company with guidebooks to every destination, an award-winning website, mobile and digital travel products, and a dedicated traveller community. Lonely Planet covers must-see spots but also enables curious travellers to get off beaten paths to understand more of the culture of the places in which they find themselves.





07/12/2017

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Madagascar – Lonely Planet #airline #tickets #cheap

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Introducing Madagascar

Lemurs, baobabs, rainforest, desert, trekking and diving: Madagascar is a dream destination for outdoor lovers – and half the fun is getting to all these incredible attractions.

Wild World

Madagascar is unique: 5% of all known animal and plant species can be found here, and here alone. The island’s signature animal is the lemur of course, but there are many more weird and wonderful creatures: the eerie-looking fossa (a cat-like predator), colourful and camouflaged chameleons, oddly shaped insects, vivid frogs, graceful rays and turtles, several species of sharks, and humpback whales during the winter months. Trees and plants are just as impressive, be they the distinctively shaped baobabs, the fanning ravinala (travellers’ palm), the hundreds of orchids or the spiny forests of the desert south.

Epic Landscapes

The remarkable fauna and flora is matched by epic landscapes of an incredible diversity: you can go from rainforest to desert in just 300km. Few places on Earth offer such an intense kaleidoscope of nature. There are sandstone canyons, limestone karsts, mountains, fertile hills cascading with terraced rice paddies, forests of every kind – rain, dry, spiny – and a laterite-rich soil that gave the country its nickname of ‘Red Island’. With 5000km of coastline, the sea is never very far, turquoise and idyllic in places, dangerous in others.

Of Life & Death

Madagascar has been populated by successive waves of migrants from various corners of the Indian Ocean. This cultural melting pot has evolved into an intricate set of beliefs and rituals that revere ancestors’ spirits. For travellers, attending a famadihana (traditional exhumation and reburial when relatives can communicate with their forebears) can be the highlight of a trip. There is much history to discover, too, from Antananarivo ‘s sacred hills to the pirate history of Île Sainte Marie.

What a Wonderful World

Madagascar is unique: 5% of all known animal and plant species can be found here, and here alone. The remarkable fauna and flora is matched by epic landscapes of an incredible diversity: you can go from rainforest to desert in just 300km. Few places on earth offer such an intense kaleidoscope of nature. Making the best of it, however, can be challenging (and expensive): Madagascar is the world’s fourth-largest island and its roads are dismal. But those who relish an adventure will come into their own: the off-road driving is one of a kind, and there are national parks that only see 100 visitors a year, regions that live in autarchy during the rainy season and resorts so remote you’ll need a private plane or boat to get there.

Why I Love Madagascar

By Emilie Filou, Writer

Madagascar is unlike anywhere I have been to – fantastically beautiful, amazingly diverse for its size (similar to France ) and still so unspoiled. Vast tracts of the country are virtually uninhabited and seldom explored, and nothing comes easy. But that’s what makes it so unique and rewarding. Plus the fact that after a day of bumping around in a dusty 4WD, or fighting off leeches on muddy trails, you can be served a meal worthy of a fine European restaurant, capped with exquisite rum – that’s definitely my kind of travel!

Island Adventures

Making the best of Madagascar can be challenging (and expensive): it is the world’s fourth-largest island and its roads are dismal. For those who relish an adventure, however, this is a one-of-a-kind destination: the off-road driving is phenomenal, there are national parks that only see a few hundred visitors a year, regions that live in autarky during the rainy season and resorts so remote you’ll need a private plane or boat to get there. There are also more activities than you’ll have time for: trekking, diving, mountain biking, kitesurfing, rock-climbing, you name it. Oh, and there are plenty of natural pools, beaches and hammocks to recover, too.

Turn to the Sea

With 5000km of coastline, 450km of barrier reef and 250 islands, no stay in Madagascar would be complete without a few days on the island’s shores. Divers will revel in the choice of sites, from underwater ‘cathedrals’ to shipwrecks, and will relish the chance to see rays, whale sharks, reef sharks and many other kinds of sharks. Snorkellers will be awed by the sheer grace of turtles and marvel at the rainbow of colours displayed by corals and fish. For those keen to keep their heads above water, the idyllic beaches will prove hard to resist. And once you’ve swayed in your hammock to your heart’s content, you can join a local fisher for a pirogue (dugout canoe) trip, go sailing to explore nearby islands or board a whale-watching boat to admire humpbacks breaching – one of nature’s most majestic spectacles.





06/12/2017

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Tokyo – Lonely Planet #travel #express

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Introducing Tokyo

Yoking past and future, Tokyo dazzles with its traditional culture and passion for everything new.

Why I Love Tokyo

By Rebecca Milner, Writer

I’ve lived in Tokyo for over a decade now and am continuously surprised – sometimes on a daily basis – by something new. Such is the joy of living in a city that prides itself on constant renewal and reinvention; it seriously never gets old. Tokyo has everything you can ask of a city, and has it in spades: a rich, cosmopolitan dining scene, more cafes and bars than you could visit in a lifetime, fantastic public transportation and grassy parks – plus it’s clean and safe. Really, what’s not to love?

The Shogun’s City

Tokyo may be forever reaching into the future but you can still see traces of the shogun’s capital on the kabuki stage, at a sumo tournament or under the cherry blossoms. It’s a modern city built on old patterns, and in the shadows of skyscrapers you can find anachronistic wooden shanty bars and quiet alleys, raucous traditional festivals and lantern-lit yakitori (grilled chicken) stands. In older neighbourhoods you can shop for handicrafts made just as they have been for centuries, or wander down cobblestone lanes where geisha once tread.

Eat Your Heart Out

Yes, Tokyo has more Michelin stars than any other city. Yes, Japanese cuisine has been added to the Unesco Intangible Cultural Heritage list. But that’s not what makes dining in Tokyo such an amazing experience. What really counts is the city’s long-standing artisan culture. You can splash out on the best sushi of your life, made by one of the city’s legendary chefs using the freshest ingredients from Tsukiji Market that day. You can also spend ¥800 on a bowl of noodles made with the same care and exacting attention to detail, from a recipe honed through decades of experience.

Fashion & Pop Culture

From giant robots to saucer-eyed school girls to a certain, ubiquitous kitty, Japanese pop culture is a phenomenon that has reached far around the world. Tokyo is the country’s pop culture laboratory, where new trends grow legs. Come see the latest looks bubbling out of the backstreets of Harajuku. the hottest pop stars projected on the giant video screens in Shibuya. or the newest anime and manga flying off the shelves in Akihabara. Or just pop ’round to the nearest convenience store to pick up treats in wacky flavours emblazoned with cute characters.

Sci-fi Cityscapes

Tokyo’s neon-lit streetscapes still look like a sci-fi film set – and that’s a vision of the city from the 1980s. Tokyo has been building ever since, pushing the boundaries of what’s possible on densely populated, earthquake-prone land, adding ever taller, sleeker structures. Come see the utopian mega-malls, the edgy designer boutiques from Japan ‘s award-winning architects, and the world’s tallest tower – Tokyo Sky Tree – a twisting spire that draws on ancient building techniques. Stand atop one of Tokyo’s skyscrapers and look out over the city at night to see it blinking like the control panel of a starship, stretching all the way to the horizon.





05/12/2017

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Spain Travel Guide – Lonely Planet #air #ticket #booking

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01/12/2017

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USA travel guidebook – Lonely Planet Shop #times #travel

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Shop

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Need help choosing the perfect title? Whether for your armchair or your backpack, here’s how to pick your best travel companion.

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Download travel advice and expert picks to your favorite device. Choose from thousands of individual digital chapters and hundreds of eBook titles.

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Getting under a country’s skin, or exploring several? Our guides are packed with maps, listings and local knowledge.

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Want a comprehensive lowdown on one of the world’s greatest cities? Grab a City guide for highlights, listings and local knowledge.





15/11/2017

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Switzerland – Lonely Planet #travel #insuranc

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Introducing Switzerland

Look past the silk-smooth chocolate, cuckoo clocks and yodelling – contemporary Switzerland, land of four languages, is all about epic journeys and sublime experiences.

Urban Chic

The perfect antidote to rural beauty is a surprise set of cities: capital Bern with its medieval old town and world-class modern art, deeply Germanic Basel and its bold architecture, shopping-chic Geneva astraddle Europe’s largest lake, tycoon-magnet Zug and uber-cool Zürich with its rooftop bars and atypical Swiss street grit. Beard cutting or stone throwing, Paul Klee art or hip club gig: what a euphoric journey indeed.

Why I Love Switzerland

By Nicola Williams, Writer

Lake Geneva’s southern shore has been home for a decade and it still tickles me pink that journeys by train or plane begin with a soul-stirring 20-minute boat ride across the water, sometimes aboard a nippy little ‘commuter’ boat at dawn, sometimes on one of the magnificent belle époque steamers that I often see twinkling after dark from my kitchen window. Lakes. mountains, urban chic: Switzerland delivers every weekend with yet another uplifting activity and, being someone who’d rather be outside than in (call me and my kids ski fiends, paddle-board mad, hiking kings and queens), it suits me down to the ground.

Great Outdoors

Switzerland’s hallucinatory landscapes demand immediate action – grab boots, leap on board, toot bike bell and let spirits rip. Skiing and snowboarding in Graubünden. Bernese Oberland and Central Switzerland are winter choices. When pastures turn green, hiking and biking trails abound in glacier-encrusted mountain areas and lower down along lost valleys, glittering lakeshores and pea-green vineyards. View the natural grandeur from a hot-air balloon or parachute, or afloat a white-water raft. Then there’s those must-do-before-death moments like encountering Eiger’s chiselled north face up close or reaching crevassed ice on Jungfraujoch (3454m). Most extraordinary of all, you don’t need to be a mountaineer to do it.

Alpine Tradition

Variety is the spice of rural life in this rich, earthy land where Alpine tradition is rooted in the agricultural calendar and soaring mountains are as common as muck. Travels are mapped by villages with timber granaries built on stilts to keep the rats out and chalet farmsteads brightened with red geranium blossoms. Ancient markets, folkloric fairs, flag waving and alp horn concerts engrave the passing of seasons in every soul. And then there’s the food: a hearty and flavoursome, gastronomic celebration of gooey cheese desperate to be dipped in, along with velvety chocolate, autumnal game and air-dried meats.

Picture Perfect

Switzerland is a harmonious tableau of beautiful images, a slideshow of epic proportions that is easy to step into, and travellers have been seduced ever since the days of the Grand Tour and Alpinism’s Golden Age in the 19th century, and the birth of winter tourism in the Alps in the 1930s. From the intoxicating chink of Verbier glitterati hobnobbing over Champagne to the reassuring bell jangle of silky black Val d’Hérens cattle being mucked out in the Valais. Switzerland mixes rural and urban with astonishing ease, grace and precision. Ride a little red train between peak and pine, soak in mountain spa waters, snowshoe to your igloo or scamper across medieval bridges and know that this small landlocked country will be picture perfect, with not a hair out of place.





09/11/2017

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Lonely Planet Travel Guides and Travel Information #car #rental #cheap

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Warning about Peregrine tours to Mexico

Thu, 13 Mar 2008 09:17:03 +0000

A friend and I participated in a tour offered by Peregrine Adventures called “Mexico in Depth” from 19 November – 2 December 2007. It was our understanding that the Peregrine tour was more sophisticated than the less expensive “Gecko’s” tour, also offered by Peregrine Adventures (the parent company). Indeed, each member of the tour group paid more than $1000 more than they would have paid had they selected the equivalent Gecko’s tour. We assumed that this meant that we would be staying in pleasant and comfortable accommodation throughout Mexico.

We were disappointed by the vast majority of hotels selected for us by Peregrine. In particular, we were extremely dissatisfied with the hotels selected for us in Campeche and Playa del Carmen.

In Campeche, we stayed at place called “Hotel Debliz”. It was appalling – run down and dirty to the point where my friend found stains on her bedsheets! Also, it was miles away from the centre of town which was particularly inconvenient when we were only in Campeche for one night.

Playa del Carmen was the last stop on our tour. We expected to stay in the nicest hotel of all at this stage given that it was the last stop and that it and Cancun are areas containing some of the most pleasant hotels in all of Mexico. On the assumption that Peregrine would have selected a nice hotel for us, some members of our tour group had booked extra nights at Hotel Fiesta Banana (accommodation chosen for us by Peregrine) beyond the end of the tour. We arrived at this hotel at about 4:45pm on a Friday evening. As we walked into the reception area we saw the swimming pool which was no bigger than a children’s wading pond. No adult could have swum in such a ‘pool’. Then when we were shown to our rooms, we saw that none of them contained a television. They were smelly and contained curtains that were torn. In one room there was exposed wiring and repairs and in another, the toilet did not flush!

We all left our rooms at the same time after having the same reaction. When we told our local tour leader that we would not stay in such a disgusting hotel, he called Peregrine in Mexico City. When he got off the phone, he explained that they had told him that our dissatisfaction was his problem and that they would not help us to find alternative accommodation. Not wanting to spend the last two nights of our expensive holiday in Mexico in such a terrible place, we had to make alternative arrangements ourselves. This meant that one member of our tour group who had a mobile telephone spent two hours calling other hotels in Playa del Carmen to see if we could find something else.

At that time on a Friday night, most hotels in both Playa del Carmen and Cancun were booked out. Eventually, we were able to find rooms at a 5-star hotel. We all paid for this alternative accommodation ourselves ON TOP of what we had already paid for the accommodation that Peregrine had selected. We also paid for the local tour leader to stay with us at the 5-star hotel. None of us had expected to be staying in a 5-star hotel and so ended up spending more money than we had intended – all because Peregrine had not done its research before booking Hotel Fiesta Banana.

Since we have been back in Australia, we have spoken with various people at Peregrine in Melbourne. We have asked Peregrine to refund the cost of the nights we paid for at Hotel Debliz and Hotel Fiesta Banana as well as at least the difference between the cost of staying at the 5-star hotel and the cost of staying at the other sub-standard hotels. Peregrine has offered to refund us only the cost of the sub-standard hotels they chose for us at a cost of $40 per night. Our tour group wonders why only $40 per night was spent on our accommodation at Playa del Carmen when we paid more than $1000 more per person to be on the Peregrine tour than we would have paid had we chosen the Gecko’s tour. Does this mean that Peregrine would have spent even less than $40 per night on our hotel if we had been on the Gecko’s tour? We shudder to think of the level of accommodation people on the Gecko’s tour would be subjected to. We think that the reason why Peregrine charged us more than it would have had we chosen the Gecko’s tour was not so that it could ensure that we had a more comfortable holiday but so that it could make a greater profit out of us.

We are EXTREMELY disappointed in Peregrine. None of us will ever go on a Peregrine (or Gecko’s) tour again and we would not recommend these tours to any of our friends or family. We are planning to make a formal complaint about Gecko’s to Consumer Affairs Victoria and then start legal action.

I post this message to warn all fellow travellers to Mexico about travelling with Peregrine Adventures. I wouldn’t waste my money on such a tour. If you want to be part of an organised tour, chose one provided by another tour company that does a better job of researching hotels than Peregrine and that has a better manner of dealing with customers.

I hope your trip to Mexico is better than ours was!





04/10/2017

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Jordan – Lonely Planet #travel #safe

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Introducing Jordan

A safe haven in a region of conflict, Jordan has delighted visitors for centuries with its world heritage sites, friendly towns and inspiring desert landscapes.

Ancient Allure

Jordan has a tradition of welcoming visitors: camel caravans plied the legendary King’s Highway transporting frankincense in exchange for spices and Nabataean tradesmen, Roman legionnaires, Muslim armies and zealous Crusaders all passed through the land, leaving behind impressive monuments. These monuments, including Roman amphitheatres, crusader castles and Christian mosaics, have fascinated subsequent travellers in search of antiquity and the origins of faith. The tradition of hospitality to visitors remains to this day.

Desert Landscapes

Take a ride through Wadi Rum at sunset and it’s easy to see why T E Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) was so drawn to this land of weathered sandstone and reddened dunes. But Jordan’s desert landscapes are not confined to the southeast: they encompass a salt sea at the lowest point on earth, canyons flowing with seasonal water, oases of palm trees and explosions of springtime flowers scattered across arid hills. Minimal planning and only a modest budget is required for an adventure.

Why I Love Jordan

By Jenny Walker, Writer

From the first ‘ahlan wa sahlan’ said in welcome, I knew that Jordan was to become a lifelong friend. After going in search of T E Lawrence as a student, I have returned many times to the low-slung tents of the Howeitat, sipped tea with rug-makers and walked in the wake of shepherds. Beautiful though it is, and blessed with a disproportionate number of wonders, Jordan inspires this loyalty primarily because of its spirit of generous optimism – opening its arms to strangers and sharing its meagre wealth with neighbours in need.

One of the World’s Wonders

Petra, the ancient Nabataean city locked in the heart of Jordan’s sandstone escarpments, is the jewel in the crown of the country’s many antiquities. Ever since Burckhardt brought news of the pink-hued necropolis back to Europe in the 19th century, the walk through the Siq to the Treasury (Petra’s defining monument) has impressed even the most jaded of visitors. It is worth allowing at least two days to make the most of a visit, particularly as the sites are far flung, best seen in early morning and late afternoon, and require a fair amount of walking.

A Taste of the Middle East

It takes tolerance to host endless waves of incomers and Jordan has displayed that virtue amply, absorbing in recent times thousands of refugees from Palestine. Iraq and most recently Syria. Despite contending with this and with ever-growing numbers of tourists who are often insensitive to conservative Jordanian values, rural life in particular has managed to keep continuity with the traditions of the past. While Jordan faces the challenges of modernisation and growing urbanisation, it remains one of the safest countries in which to gain an impression of the Middle East.





30/09/2017

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Europe – Lonely Planet #adam #travel

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Introducing Europe

There simply is no way to tour Europe and not be awestruck by its scenic beauty, epic history and dazzling artistic and culinary diversity.

Cultural Heritage

Europe’s almost unmanageable wealth of attractions is its biggest single draw: the birthplace of democracy in Athens, the Renaissance art of Florence, the graceful canals of Venice, the Napoleonic splendour of Paris. and the multilayered historical and cultural canvas of London. Less obvious, but no less impressive attractions include Moorish palaces in Andalucía, the remains of one of the Seven Wonders of the World in Turkey. the majesty of meticulously restored Imperial palaces in Russia ‘s former capital St Petersburg and the ongoing project of Gaudí’s La Sagrada Família in Barcelona.

Magnificent Menus

Once you’ve ticked off the great museums, panoramic vistas and energetic nightlife, what’s left? A chance to indulge in a culinary adventure to beat all others, that’s what! Who wouldn’t want to snack on pizza in Naples, souvlaki in Santorini or even haggis in Scotland? But did you also know that Britain has some of the best Indian restaurants in the world; that Turkey ‘s doner kebab is a key part of contemporary German food culture; and that in the Netherlands you can gorge on an Indonesian rijsttafel (rice table)? Once again Europe’s diversity and global reach is its trump card.

Why I Love Europe

By Simon Richmond, Writer

You’re likely to feel a little overwhelmed, but once you dive into Europe, these fears will be replaced by wonder and fascination – plus something, perhaps, unexpected: a sense of connection. Very few, if any places in the world, remain untouched by European history, culture and influence. As continents go, Europe’s broad variety and excellent transport infrastructure – be it air or roads, or the old standby of the Grand Tour, rail – is hard to beat and is sure to push you on to new experiences and unexpected discoveries.

Glorious Scenery

There’s breathtaking natural scenery: rugged Scottish Highlands with glens and lochs; Norway ‘s fabulous fjords, seemingly chipped to jagged perfection by giants; the vine-raked valleys of the Loire; and Cappadocia’s fairy-tale landscape. If you’re looking for beaches, a circuit of the Mediterranean’s northern coast reveals one gem after another. Or strike out to lesser known, yet beautiful coastal regions such as the Baltic and Black Seas. Mountain lovers should head to the Alps: they march across central Europe taking in France. Switzerland. Austria. northern Italy and tiny Liechtenstein.

Raise a Glass

Europe has some of the best nightlife in the world. Globally famous DJs keep the party going in London, Berlin and Paris. all of which also offer top-class entertainment, especially theatre and live music. Other key locations for high-energy nightlife include Moscow, Belgrade. Budapest and Madrid, while those hankering for something more cosy can add Dublin ‘s pubs or Vienna’s cafes to their itinerary. Continue to party on the continent’s streets at a multiplicity of festivals and celebrations, from city parades attended by hundreds of thousands to intimate concerts in an ancient ampitheatre.





22/09/2017

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Dominican Republic – Lonely Planet #cheap #flight #prices

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Introducing Dominican Republic

The DR is one of the Caribbean ‘s most geographically diverse countries, with stunning mountain scenery, desert scrublands, evocative colonial architecture and beaches galore.

Past & Present

The country’s roller-coaster past is writ large in the physical design of its towns and cities. Santo Domingo’s Zona Colonial exudes romance with its beautifully restored monasteries and cobblestone streets where conquistadors once roamed. The crumbling gingerbread homes of Puerto Plata and Santiago remain from more prosperous eras, and scars from decades of misrule are marked by monuments where today people gather to celebrate. New communities have arisen only a few kilometers from the ruins where Christopher Columbus strode and where the indigenous Taíno people left physical traces of their presence carved onto rock walls.

Why I Love the Dominican Republic

By Michael Grosberg, Writer

Driving along the DR’s rural byways, past coconut sellers and men playing dominoes, thick jungly brush often gives way to the idyllic ocean vistas the country is known for. But for me, the country’s distinctive appeal lies in everyday village scenes, when Dominicans’ informal hospitality can be appreciated. What keeps me going back are the afternoons at beachfront seafood shacks or mountainside-hugging colmados (combined corner stores and bars), when the pace slows down and the natural beauty of the surroundings become almost secondary to the warm welcome of locals.

People & Culture

The social glue of the DR is the all-night merengue that blasts from modest corner stores – this is true everywhere from cities such as Santo Domingo, to crumbling San Pedro de Macoris or Puerto Plata where waves crash over the Malecón. Dominicans appreciate their down time and really know how to party, as can be seen at Carnival celebrations held throughout the country and each town’s own distinctive fiesta. These events are great windows into the culture, so take the chance to join the fun and elaborate feasts.

Coastal Country

Hundreds of miles of coastline define the Dominican Republic (DR) – some of it white-sand beaches shaded by rows of palm trees, other parts lined dramatically with rocky cliffs, wind-swept dunes or serene mangrove lagoons. Whether it’s fishing villages where the shoreline is used for mooring boats or indulgent tourist playgrounds with aquamarine waters, the sea is the common denominator. Some of the bays and coves where pirates once roamed are the temporary home of thousands of migrating humpback whales, and part of an extensive network of parks and preserves safeguarding the country’s natural patrimony.

Peaks & Valleys

Beyond the capital, much of the DR is distinctly rural: driving through the vast fertile interior, you’ll see cows and horses grazing alongside the roads and trucks and burros loaded down with produce. Further inland you’ll encounter vistas reminiscent of the European Alps, rivers carving their way through lush jungle and stunning waterfalls. Four of the five highest peaks in the Caribbean rise above the fertile lowlands surrounding Santiago and remote deserts extend through the southwest, giving the DR a physical and cultural complexity not found on other islands.





21/09/2017

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Asia – Lonely Planet #ntuc #travel #insurance

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Introducing Asia

Take a deep breath and let your senses explode. From ancient farming villages in India to the futuristic cityscape of Tokyo. Asia provides such variety and contrast it would take many lifetimes to even start scratch the surface.

Above all, Asia is a spiritual place – infused with the gods of past and present: the ancient spirits of the land and the family, the teachings of Buddhism, the deities of Christianity and Hinduism and the rules of Islam. Across the region, scented smoke swirls from millions of joss sticks placed in offering at the many shrines and temples the faithful use to meditate and pray.

But, Asia is far more than its past. A frenetic buzz surrounds the cities: the fashion, culture and business in Hong Kong. Singapore and many others easily challenges the biggest European and American cities for their status as global hubs.

From sublime coastlines to snow capped mountains, the majestic Mekong River to wildlife infested jungle; Asian landscapes hold an immediacy and vibrancy that captivates and enchants. In a land where tigers still roam free (though far from noisy tourists) nature is still the driving force in many peoples’ lives.

And that’s without mentioning the food. The freshness and flavour of Asian cuisine is famous the world over; now imagine actually tasting the real deal. With so many cuisines to choose from the only answer is to dive straight in and be prepared for a taste-tingling joy that will take your breath away.

These tours activities make it easy:





09/09/2017

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Lonely Planet Hiking In Japan Guide #travel #agent #jobs

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Need help choosing the perfect title? Whether for your armchair or your backpack, here’s how to pick your best travel companion.

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Download travel advice and expert picks to your favorite device. Choose from thousands of individual digital chapters and hundreds of eBook titles.

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Travel more for less. We’ve crammed our wallet-friendly guides with tips on budget eating, sleeping and transport.

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Getting under a country’s skin, or exploring several? Our guides are packed with maps, listings and local knowledge.

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Want to get straight to a country’s highlights? Make the most of limited time with these full-colour guides.

Want a comprehensive lowdown on one of the world’s greatest cities? Grab a City guide for highlights, listings and local knowledge.





09/09/2017

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Maldives – Lonely Planet #travel #list

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Introducing Maldives

Unrivalled luxury, stunning white-sand beaches and an amazing underwater world make the Maldives an obvious choice for a true holiday of a lifetime.

Unbelievable Beaches

The Maldives is home to perhaps the best beaches in the world; they’re on almost every one of the country’s nearly 1200 islands and are so consistently perfect that it’s hard not to become blasé about them. While some beaches may boast softer granules than others, the basic fact remains: you’ll find consistently whiter-than-white powder sand and luminous cyan-blue water like this almost nowhere else on earth. This fact alone is enough to bring over a million people a year to this tiny, remote and otherwise little-known Indian Ocean paradise.

Resorts for Everyone

Every resort in the Maldives is its own private island, and with over 100 to choose from the only problem is selecting where you want to stay. At the top end, the world’s most exclusive hotel brands compete with each other to attain ever-greater heights of luxury, from personal butlers and private lap pools to in-room massages and pillow menus. It’s not surprising that honeymooners and those seeking a glamorous tropical getaway have long had the country at the top of their wish lists. But there’s choice beyond the five- and six-star resorts. Other islands cater for families, for divers, for those on a (relative) budget, and anyone wanting a tranquil back-to-nature experience.

Why I Love the Maldives

By Tom Masters, Writer

I first came to the Maldives with no idea how different it was to the rest of the world, how fragile or challenging life seems here at the mercy of the sea, with so few resources locally available. I instantly formed a bond of respect and friendship with the people who make these inhospitable coral islands home. It’s such a contradiction that this is also where to find some of the world’s most luxurious hotel properties, and this is a paradox – among many – that I continue to enjoy every time I return to this astonishing, beautiful country.

Independent Travel

In the last few years, these incredible islands have finally started to open to independent travellers, meaning you no longer have to stay in resorts and remain separate from the local population, something that has kept backpackers away for decades. Intrepid individuals can now make their own itineraries and travel from island to island by public ferry, staying among the devout but friendly local population. With a fast-growing number of privately run guesthouses on inhabited islands, the Maldives and its people are now more accessible than ever.

Underwater World

With some of the best diving and snorkelling in the world, the clear waters of the Maldives are a magnet for anyone with an interest in marine life. The richness and variety is astonishing; dazzling coral walls, magnificent caves and schools of brightly coloured tropical fish await you when you get down to the reef. In deeper waters lurk manta rays, turtles, sharks and even the world’s largest fish, the whale shark. The best bit? The water is so warm many people don’t even wear a wetsuit.





08/09/2017

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Argentina – Lonely Planet #discovery #travel

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Introducing Argentina

It’s apparent why Argentina has long held travelers in awe: tango, beef, gauchos, fútbol, Patagonia, the Andes. The classics alone make a formidable wanderlust cocktail.

Why I Love Argentina

By Sandra Bao, Writer

Argentina is my country – this is where I was born and raised, where I lived until my family emigrated to the USA. It’s changed drastically since I was a little girl, but what I love most about Argentina is its people. They’ve nurtured their creativity, adaptability and perseverance, through good and very bad times, all while maintaining their traditions, humor and pride. I’m always happy to go back to this amazing place and its inhabitants – it’s been a real privilege.

Natural Wonders

From mighty Iguazú Falls in the subtropical north to the thunderous, crackling advance of the Glaciar Perito Moreno in the south, Argentina is a vast natural wonderland. The country boasts some of the Andes’ highest peaks. It’s home to rich wetlands that rival Brazil’s famous Pantanal, mountains painted in rustic colors, deserts dotted with cacti, massive ice fields and arid steppes in Patagonia. cool lichen-clad Valdivian forests, Andean salt flats, a spectacular Lake District, penguins, flamingos, capybaras and more. All are stunning sights and adventures just waiting to be experienced.

The Cuisine

Satisfying that carnal craving for juicy steaks isn’t hard to do in the land that has perfected grilling wonderfully flavorful sides of beef. Parrillas (steak restaurants) are everywhere and will offer up any cut you can imagine. And if you’re a fan of pizza and pasta, these Italian staples are ubiquitous as well. But there’s more – in Buenos Aires you can experience a huge variety of ethnic cuisine, from Southeast Asian to Middle Eastern to Scandinavian. Down it all with that famous Argentine wine, and you’ll be struggling to maintain your waistline.

Argentine Culture

Tango is possibly Argentina’s greatest contribution to the outside world, a steamy dance that’s been described as ‘making love in the vertical position.’ And what about fútbol (soccer)? Argentines are passionately devoted to this sport and, if you’re a fan, experiencing a live match should definitely be on your itinerary. Add a distinctive Argentine take on literature, cinema, music and arts, and you have a rich edgy culture – part Latin American and part European – that you can’t help but fall in love with.

City Life

Arriving in Buenos Aires is like jumping aboard a moving train. Outside the taxi window, a blurred mosaic of a modern metropolis whizzes by, and then the street life appears – the cafes, the purple jacaranda flowers draped over the sidewalks (in spring!) and porteños (residents of Buenos Aires ) in stylish clothing purposefully walking past handsome early-20th-century stone facades. And it’s not just Buenos Aires that’s a stunner – Córdoba, Salta. Mendoza and Bariloche each have their unique personalities and unforgettable attractions, so don’t miss them.





06/09/2017

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Nicaragua – Lonely Planet #travel #vouchers

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Introducing Nicaragua

Affable Nicaragua embraces travelers with offerings of volcanic landscapes, colonial architecture, sensational beaches and pristine forests that range from breathtaking to downright incredible.

Outdoor Adventures

Looking for the ultimate rush? Nicaragua’s diverse geography, intense energy and anything-goes attitude is perfect for exhilarating outdoor adventures. Get ready to check a whole gamut of new experiences off your list including: surfing down an active volcano, diving through underwater caves, canoeing through alligator-infested wetlands, swimming across sea channels between tiny white sand islands and landing a 90-plus-kg tarpon beneath a Spanish fortress in the middle of the jungle. There’s no signs, no crowds and no holding back.

Why I Love Nicaragua

By Alex Egerton, Writer

Upon arriving in Nicaragua, like so many others I was captivated by the youthful energy and crumbling colonial charm of León, a city quite unlike others I had known. But after settling down there I soon identified the unparalleled adventure opportunities that were waiting on my doorstep and up and left to the wild Caribbean Coast.

Now I live on the placid shores of Pearl Lagoon where I spend most of my spare time paddling my sea kayaks around the bays, up the jungle creeks and around the stunning pearl keys. Every trip’s a new experience.

Beaches

Whether it’s dipping your toes into the crystalline Caribbean or paddling out to the crashing waves of the pounding Pacific, Nicaragua’s beaches always deliver the goods. The big barrels of Rivas are revered in surfing circles while the clear waters of the Corn Islands are superb for snorkeling. More sedentary beach bums can choose between accessible slices of sand lined with fine restaurants and happening bars or natural affairs backed by a wall of rainforest. Even the best beaches in the country are refreshingly free of development, so you can experience them just as nature intended.

Colonial Splendour

Nicaragua’s colonial splendor comes in two distinct, but equally appealing, flavors.The elegant streetscapes of Granada have been entrancing travelers for centuries with their architectural grace. It’s Nicaragua’s best-preserved colonial town and boasts a meticulously restored cathedral, well-groomed plaza and perfectly maintained mansions that shelter lush internal courtyards. Far less polished, working-class León offers a different colonial experience where your crumbling 300-year-old houses come interspersed with revolutionary murals and architectural masterpieces house corner stores. It’s a vibrant city that, while proud of its heritage, is too busy to feel like a museum.

Getting Off the Beaten Track

There are few destinations with such beauty that are as undeveloped as Nicaragua. Before you know it, you’ve dropped off the tourist trail and into a world of majestic mountains, cooperative farms, wetlands thronged with wildlife and empty jungle-clad beaches. Forge on and discover remote indigenous communities, overgrown pre-Columbian ruins and untouched rainforests. No matter how far you go, you’ll always find friendly locals who are more than willing to share their culture with strangers.





06/09/2017

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North America Travel guides – Lonely Planet Shop #cheap #rental #car

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North America destination guides

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Getting under a country’s skin, or exploring several? Our guides are packed with maps, listings and local knowledge.

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Want to get straight to a country’s highlights? Make the most of limited time with these full-colour guides.

Want a comprehensive lowdown on one of the world’s greatest cities? Grab a City guide for highlights, listings and local knowledge.





05/09/2017

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Cuba – Lonely Planet #magellan #travel

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Introducing Cuba

Timeworn but magnificent, dilapidated but dignified, fun yet maddeningly frustrating; Cuba is a country of indefinable magic.

Mildewed Magnificence

Cuba is like a prince in a poor man’s coat; behind the sometimes shabby facades, gold dust lingers. It’s these rich dichotomies that make travel here the exciting, exhilarating roller-coaster ride it is. Trapped in a time warp and reeling from an economic embargo that has grated for more than half a century, this is a country where you can wave goodbye to Western certainties and expect the unexpected. If Cuba were a book, it would be James Joyce’s Ulysses; layered, hard to grasp, serially misunderstood, but – above all – a classic.

Historical Heritage

Meticulously preserved, Cuba’s colonial cities haven’t changed much since musket-toting pirates stalked the Caribbean. The atmosphere and architecture is particularly stirring in the Unesco-listed cities – Havana, Trinidad, Cienfuegos and Camagüey – where grandiose squares and cobbled streets tell erstwhile tales of opulence and intrigue. Elsewhere many buildings lie ruined and tattered like aging dowagers waiting for a facelift. With more funds, these heirlooms may yet emulate the colonial treasures in Havana and Trinidad, further proof that the safeguarding of Cuba’s historical legacy has been one of the revolution’s greatest achievements.

Innate Musicality

Cuba hemorrhages music; a dynamic mix of styles described by aficionados as a love affair between the African drum and the Spanish guitar. Allowed to marinate for over 500 years, these diverse sounds have given birth to an intricate culture, coloring it with echoes of Africa, flickers of colonial Spain, ghosts of Taíno tribes, and cultural idiosyncrasies imported from Haiti. Jamaica. France and even China. The beauty lies in its layers and nuances. It’s an eclecticism that’s mirrored in its dance, architecture, language, religion, and – most emphatically – its rainbow of people.

Meet the People

Although the attractive arcs of white sand that pepper its north coast are sublime, explore beyond Cuba’s beaches and you’re in a different domain, a land of fecund forests and crocodile-infested swamps, suburbia-free countryside and rugged mountains as famous for their revolutionary folklore as for their endemic species. Cuba, once observed German scientist Alexander von Humboldt, is a kind of Caribbean Galapagos where contradictory curiosities coexist.

Why I Love Cuba

By Brendan Sainsbury, Writer

When I think of Cuba, I always think of my first night back in Havana after a break; the busy atmospheric streets, the snapshots of lives lived out in the open, and the unmistakable aromas: tropical papaya mixed with tobacco leaf, petrol and musty carpets. Cuba is a forbidden fruit, a complex country of head-scratching contradictions, which, however many times you visit, will never adequately answer all your questions. Most of all I love Cuba’s musicality, robust culture, wonderfully preserved history, and the fact that it can frustrate you one minute and unexpectedly inspire you the next.





05/09/2017

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Colombia – Lonely Planet #travel #super #market

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Introducing Colombia

Soaring Andean summits. unspoiled Caribbean coast, enigmatic Amazon jungle, cryptic archaeological ruins and cobbled colonial communities. Colombia boasts all of South America ‘s allure, and more.

Colonial Charm

Led by Cartagena’s extraordinarily preserved old city, Colombia offers an off-the-radar treasure trove of cinematic cobblestoned towns and villages that often feel bogged down in a different century, content to carry on as they have since the departure of the Spanish without a care in the world. Unweathered Barichara and happily sleepy Mompox feel like movie sets, impossibly unspoiled by modern progress; while whitewashed Villa de Leyva appears stuck in 16th-century quicksand – and these are just the villages that people do visit.

Outdoor Adventures

Colombia’s varied terrain is fertile ground for outdoor adventurers to dive, climb, raft, trek and soar. San Gil is the undisputed adventure capital, but Colombia boasts alfresco pleasures in all corners. Some of the continent’s most iconic trekking is here, and is dramatically varied: Ciudad Perdida is a multiday jungle walk to the ancient ruins of the Tayrona civilization, while numerous ascents inside Parque Nacional Natural El Cocuy places intrepid hikers on the highest reaches of the Andes. Providencia’s world-class reef spells aquatic heaven for scuba divers, and whale-watchers on the Pacific coast can see majestic humpbacks in the wild.

Where To Go

All the areas covered by us are generally safe from guerillas and paramilitary groups, and providing you do not wander far from what’s included in our coverage, you aren’t likely to run into any problems. If you’re curious about an area that has been omitted, it’s likely due to security issues. The Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC) and/or paramilitaries maintain a presence in the Chocó. Cauca. parts of Nariño, rural parts of Huila. Putumayo, Meta, the jungle area east of the Andes (except for the area around Leticia ) and parts of the northeast, (especially Arauca) so avoid these areas where not covered by us.

Diverse Landscapes

Colombia’s equatorial position affords it a diversity of landscapes matched by few countries. A slight tinkering in altitude takes you from sun-toasted Caribbean sands to coffee-strewn, emerald-green hilltops in the Zona Cafetera. Continue to climb and there’s Bogotá. the bustling cradle of Colombia and third-highest capital city in the world. Throw in another few thousand meters and you find snowcapped peaks, high-altitude lakes and the eerie, unique vegetation of the páramo. The bottom drops out as the Andes give way to Los Llanos. a 550,000-sq-km swath of tropical grasslands shared with Venezuela. often called the Serengeti of South America.

Extraordinary Culture

A wealth of ancient civilizations left behind a fascinating spread of archaeological and cultural sites throughout Colombia. The one-time Tayrona capital, Ciudad Perdida, built between the 11th and 14th centuries, is one of the continent’s most mysterious ancient cities, arguably second only to Machu Picchu. Even more shrouded in mystery is San Agustín, where more than 500 life-sized ancient sculpted statues of enigmatic origin dot the surrounding countryside. And then there’s Tierradentro. where elaborate underground tombs scooped out by an unknown people add even more mystique to Colombia’s past.

Why I Love Colombia

By Kevin Raub, Lonely Planet Author

It was a much different country the first time I came to Colombia in the early 2000s, but the stellar hospitality of Colombians had me at arrival. Today, the security situation has improved dramatically, helping Colombia to become South America ‘s phoenix from the flames. But that initial reception has always stuck with me: without a five-star tourism magnet – no Machu Picchu, no Iguazu Falls, no Patagonia – Colombia works harder for its money, and that begins and ends with the people, who ensure you leave with a different impression than the one you landed with.





04/09/2017

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Car Rental – Car Hire – Cheap Car Rental Deals –

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Advanced tips for US road trips

Car rental tips from Lonely Planet’s travel experts

Dreaming of the open road? Car rental is all you need to hit the highway. Here’s how to lock down the right car hire deal.

Desert road trip, winding mountain passes or zooming around national parks? Wherever you’re headed, the only thing between you and freedom is nailing down your car rental. So how do you find the car hire gems among the clapped-out rustbuckets, and navigate the fog of fine print? Grab the best car rental deals with our tips.

How to snap up the perfect car rental

Lonely Planet’s expert road trip tips

Got wheels? Here’s how to ensure a smooth journey.

  • Safety first. Don’t start assembling your perfect road trip soundtrack before you’ve checked the weather forecast and road conditions. This is especially important if you’re exploring a new destination. Make sure you have the local emergency phone number, your insurance details, and a charged mobile phone – just in case.
  • Pack emergency supplies. A steady supply of sugary treats to stave off road boredom? Worth packing. A few bottles of water, extra food and a blanket in case you end up stranded wildly off course? Essential.
  • Bring a back-up map. Malfunctioning sat-nav, tablet with a flat battery… when it comes to navigation, don’t put all your faith in technology. Make sure you have at least one hard copy of a road map in case disaster strikes your gadgetry.
  • Plan your pit-stops. Road trip pit-stops aren’t just to prevent the chorus of ‘are we there yet’ from the back seat. Plan some stops along your way to keep you feeling refreshed on your journey – and swap drivers if you can. Don’t try to drive for more than 2-3 hours without taking a short break.
  • Check in with friends or family. We know, you really don’t want to text your mother. But if you’re planning a road trip somewhere remote, let a friend or family member know your route and expected arrival time.




01/09/2017

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Boston, USA – Lonely Planet #travel #life #insurance

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Introducing Boston

Boston’s history recalls revolution and transformation, and still today it is among the country’s most forward-thinking and barrier-breaking cities.

Why I Love

By Mara Vorhees, Author

Boston is wicked smaaht. I love that Boston is motivated not by money or politics, but by learning. The academic institutions are a source of innovative art, architecture and ideas that we all benefit from. The students provide a renewable source of energy and vibrancy that permeates the city. Yet for all the fancy buildings and big ideas, Boston is still a city of neighborhoods and local people. The students may or may not be here in four years, but my neighbors are here for the long haul. They are the cogs that keep the city running, moving, growing, remembering the past and creating the future.

Art & Architecture

The arts have thrived in Boston ever since the 19th century, when this cultural capital was dubbed the Athens of America. Certainly, the intellectual elite enjoyed their fine paintings and classical music, but they were also dedicated to spreading the cultural wealth, establishing museums, libraries and symphony orchestras. Today the lucky residents of (and visitors to) Boston benefit from their largesse. These venerable institutions play an integral role on Boston’s cultural stage, which has significantly expanded to include dynamic contemporary art and music scenes.

Sports

‘Fanatic’ is no idle word here. Boston fans are passionate about sports. And with the four-time world-champion Patriots, the long-overdue World Series–winning Red Sox, the winningest basketball team in history, the Celtics, and the highly successful and historic hockey team, the Bruins, there is a lot to be passionate about. Boston’s college teams also inspire fierce loyalties and staunch rivalries. No less spirited is the country’s oldest and most celebrated running event, the world-famous Boston Marathon, and the world’s largest two-day rowing event, the Head of the Charles Regatta.

Food

A word of advice: when in Boston, eat as much seafood as possible. Local specialties include the ‘sacred cod,’ fresh steamed lobster, oysters on the half-shell and thick, creamy chowder. You can eat seafood around the city, but especially in the fish-centered Seaport District, where it’s accompanied by spectacular harbor views. The creatures of the sea are your top priority, but don’t miss the chance to devour delicious servings of pasta in the North End and to sample spicy Asian dishes in Chinatown. Trendy fusion restaurants draw on all of these eclectic influences to present contemporary cuisine that is uniquely Boston.

History

For all intents and purposes, Boston is the oldest city in America. And you can hardly walk a step over its cobblestone streets without running into some historic site. The Freedom Trail winds its way around the city, connecting 16 historically significant sites. These are the very places where history unfolded: from the first public school in America to Boston’s first church building to sites linked to America’s fight for independence from Britain – Boston is, in effect, one enormous outdoor history museum.





31/08/2017

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Brazil – Lonely Planet #travel #repulic

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Introducing Brazil

One of the world’s most captivating places, Brazil is a country of powdery white-sand beaches, verdant rainforests and wild, rhythm-filled metropolises. Brazil’s attractions extend from frozen-in-time colonial towns to otherworldly landscapes of red-rock canyons, thundering waterfalls and coral-fringed tropical islands. Then there’s Brazil’s biodiversity: legendary in scope, its diverse ecosystems boast the greatest collection of plant and animal species found anywhere on earth. There are countless places where you can spot iconic species in Brazil, including toucans, scarlet macaws, howler monkeys, capybara, pink dolphins, sea turtles and thousands of other living species.

Days of Adventure

Brazil offers big adventures for travelers with budgets large and small. There’s horseback riding and wildlife-watching in the Pantanal, kayaking flooded forests in the Amazon. ascending rocky cliff tops to panoramic views, whale-watching off the coast, surfing stellar breaks off palm-fringed beaches and snorkeling crystal-clear rivers or coastal reefs – all are part of the great Brazilian experience. No less entrancing is the prospect of doing nothing, aside from sinking toes into warm sands and soaking up a glorious stretch of beach, with a caipirinha – Brazil’s national cocktail – in hand.

Joie de Vivre

Brazil’s most famous celebration, Carnaval, storms through the country’s cities and towns with hip-shaking samba and frevo, dazzling costumes and parties that last until sun up, but Brazilians hardly limit their revelry to a few weeks of the year. Festas (festivals) happen throughout the year, and provide a window into Brazil’s incredible diversity. The streets are carpeted with flowers during Ouro Preto’s Semana Santa (Holy Week), while in the north, Bumba Meu Boi blends indigenous, African and Portuguese folklore. For a taste of the old world, hit Blumenau’s beer- and schnitzel-loving Oktoberfest, the largest outside of Germany. Several cities, such as Recife, Fortaleza and Natal even host Carnaval at other times of year.

The Rhythms of Brazil

Wherever there’s music, that carefree lust for life tends to appear – whether dancing with cariocas at Rio’s atmospheric samba clubs or following powerful drumbeats through the streets of Salvador. There’s the dancehall forró of the Northeast, twirling carimbó of the Amazon. scratch-skilled DJs of São Paulo and an endless variety of regional sounds that extends from the twangy country music of the sunbaked sertanejo to the hard-edged reggae of Maranhão .

introduction

Tropical islands, lush rainforests, marvelous cities and picture-perfect beaches set the scene for the great Brazilian adventure.

Days of Adventure

Brazil offers big adventures for travelers with budgets large and small. There’s horseback riding and wildlife watching in the Pantanal, kayaking flooded forests in the Amazon. ascending rocky cliff tops to panoramic views, whale watching off the coast, surfing stellar breaks off palm-fringed beaches and snorkeling crystal-clear rivers or coastal reefs – all are part of the great Brazilian experience.

Joie de Vivre

Brazil’s most famous celebration, Carnaval, storms through the country’s cities and towns with hip-shaking samba and frevo (music and dance style), dazzling costumes and parties that last until sun up, but Brazilians hardly limit their revelry to a few weeks of the year. Festas (festivals) happen throughout the year, and provide a window into Brazil’s incredible diversity. The streets are carpeted with flowers during Ouro Preto’s Semana Santa (Holy Week), while in the north, Bumba Meu Boi blends indigenous, African and Portuguese folklore. For a taste of the old world, hit Blumenau’s beer- and schnitzel-loving Oktoberfest, the largest outside of Germany. Several cities, such as Recife, Fortaleza and Natal even host Carnaval at other times of year.

Why I Love Brazil

By Regis St Louis, Writer

The music, the beaches, the wildlife, and most importantly the people: it’s hard not to fall for Brazil. Rio de Janeiro is one of my favorite cities: I never tire of watching the sunset from Arpoador, chasing the samba scene in Lapa or wandering the village-like streets of Santa Teresa. But Rio is just the beginning, and in Brazil there really is no end. I have fond memories spotting wildlife (especially in the Pantanal and the Amazon ), making friends in small towns and finding incredible musicians in unlikely places. There’s really no other country that offers so much.

The Rhythms of Brazil

Wherever there’s music, that carefree Brazilian lust for life tends to appear – whether dancing with Cariocas (residents of Rio) at Rio’s atmospheric samba clubs or following powerful drumbeats through the streets of Salvador. There’s the dance hall forró music of the Northeast, twirling carimbó music of the Amazon. scratch-skilled DJs of São Paulo and an endless variety of regional sounds that extend from the twangy country music of the sunbaked Sertanejo to the hard-edged reggae of Maranhão .

Landscapes & Biodiversity

One of the world’s most captivating places, Brazil is a country of powdery white-sand beaches, verdant rainforests and wild, rhythm-filled metropolises. Brazil’s attractions extend from frozen-in-time colonial towns to otherworldly landscapes of red-rock canyons, thundering waterfalls and coral-fringed tropical islands. Add to that, Brazil’s biodiversity: legendary in scope, its diverse ecosystems boast the greatest collection of plant and animal species found anywhere on earth. There are countless places where you can spot iconic species in Brazil, including toucans, scarlet macaws, howler monkeys, capybaras, pink dolphins, sea turtles and thousands of other living species.





31/08/2017

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France – Lonely Planet #book #flight #tickets

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Introducing France

France seduces travellers with its unfalteringly familiar culture, woven around cafe terraces, village-square markets and lace-curtained bistros with their plat du jour chalked on the board.

Gastronomy

Food is of enormous importance to the French, and each region has its own specialities alongside French classics. The daily culinary agenda takes no prisoners: breakfasting on warm croissants from the boulangerie. stopping off at Parisian bistros, and shopping at the market are all second nature to the French – and it really would rude to refuse. But French gastronomy goes far deeper than just eating exceedingly well. Its experiential nature means there is always something tasty to observe, learn and try, wherever you are – be it flipping crepes in Brittany or chinking Champagne flutes in ancient Reims cellars, the culinary opportunities are endless.

Cultural Savoir Faire

France is about world-class art and architecture, outstanding museums, Roman temples and Renaissance châteaux. It seduces with both iconic landmarks known the world over and rising stars yet to be discovered. This country’s cultural repertoire is staggering – in volume and diversity. And this is where the beauty of la belle France lies: when super stars like Mademoiselle Eiffel, royal Versailles and the celebrity-ridden French Riviera have been ticked off, there’s still plenty more to thrill. (France is, after all, the world’s top tourist destination, with more than 80 million visitors a year.)

Art de Vivre

The rhythm of daily life – dictated by the seasons in the depths of la France profonde (rural France) – exudes an intimacy that gets under your skin. Don’t resist. Rather, live the French lifestyle. Embrace the luxury of simple, everyday rituals being transformed into unforgettable moments, be it a coffee and croissant in the Parisian cafe where Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir met to philosophise, a stroll through the lily-clad gardens Monet painted, or a walk on a beach in Brittany scented with the subtle infusion of language, music and mythology brought by 5th-century Celtic invaders.

Outdoor Action

And then there is the terroir (land) and the varied journey it weaves from northern France’s cliffs and sand dunes to the piercing blue sea of the French Riviera and Corsica ‘s green oak forests. Outdoor action is what France’s lyrical landscape demands – and there’s something for everybody. Whether you end up walking barefoot across wave-rippled sand to Mont St-Michel, riding a cable car to glacial panoramas above Chamonix. or cartwheeling down Europe ‘s highest sand dune, France does not disappoint. Its great outdoors is thrilling, with endless opportunities and the next adventure begging to be had. Allez!

Why I Love France

By Nicola Williams

France has been home for two decades yet I can’t shake off that uncanny feeling I’m on holiday – French art de vivre (art of living) is just too good and I’m mad about it. From my Haute-Savoie house on Lake Geneva’s southern shore, the dark green hills of the Jura and un café in the wisteria-draped village bar are my wake-up call. Weekends of endless possibilities punctuate the gentle rhythm of village life: ravishing art museums in Lyon and Paris. hiking and skiing in the Alps, paddle boarding on the glittering lake, road trips to Beaujolais and Burgundy and other regions so different they could be another country. France’s sheer variety never ceases to amaze me.





29/08/2017

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Ireland – Lonely Planet #travel #videos

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Introducing Ireland

A small country with a big reputation, helped along by an breathtaking ancient landscape and fascinating, friendly people, whose lyrical nature is expressed in the warmth of their welcome.

Ireland of the Postcard

Don’t think the Ireland of postcards is just a two-dimensional fiction: it very much exists. You’ll find it along the peninsulas of the southwest, in the brooding loneliness of Connemara and the dramatic wildness of County Donegal. It can be uncovered in the lakelands of Counties Leitrim and Roscommon and the undulating hills of the sunny southeast (‘sunny’ of course being a relative term). Ireland has modernised dramatically, but some things endure. Brave the raging Atlantic on a crossing to Skellig Michael or spend a summer’s evening in the yard of a thatched-cottage pub and you’ll experience an Ireland that has changed little in generations.

Tá Fáilte Romhat

On the plane and along your travels you might hear it said: tá Fáilte romhat (taw fall-cha row-at) – ‘You’re very welcome’. Or, more famously, céad míle fáilte – a hundred thousand welcomes. Irish friendliness is a tired cliché, an over-simplification of a character that is infinitely complex, but the Irish are nonetheless warm and welcoming. Wherever you meet them there’s a good chance a conversation will begin, pleasantries will be exchanged and, should you be a stranger in town, the offer of a helping hand extended. But, lest you think this is merely an act of unfettered altruism, rest assured that the comfort they seek is actually their own, for the Irish cannot be at ease in the company of those who aren’t. A hundred thousand welcomes. It seems excessive, but in Ireland, excess is encouraged, so long as it’s practised in moderation.

Why I Love Ireland

By Fionn Davenport, Writer

There’s an unvarnished informality about Ireland that I cherish, based on an implied assumption that life is a tangled, confusing struggle that all of us – irrespective of who we are and how we worship – have to negotiate to the best of our abilities. We’re all in this together, come hell or high water, so we may as well be civil and share a moment when we can.

Tread Carefully…

History presents itself everywhere: from the breathtaking monuments of prehistoric Ireland at Brú na Bóinne, Slea Head in Kerry and Carrowmore in Sligo. to the fabulous ruins of Ireland’s rich monastic past at Glendalough and Clonmacnoise. More recent history is visible in the Titanic museum in Cobh and the forbidding Kilmainham Gaol in Dublin. And there’s history so young that it’s still considered the present, best experienced on a black-taxi tour of West Belfast or an examination of Derry’s colourful political murals.

A Cultural Well

Throughout your travels you will be overwhelmed by the cultural choices on offer – see a play by one of the theatrical greats in Dublin. experience a traditional music ‘session’ in a west-Ireland pub or attend a rock gig in a Limerick saloon. The Irish summer is awash with festivals celebrating everything from flowers in bloom to high literature.





26/08/2017

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Lonely Planet Thailand (Travel Guide) #travel #map

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Description

Product Description

#1 bestselling guide to Thailand*

Lonely Planet Thailand is your passport to the most relevant, up-to-date advice on what to see and skip, and what hidden discoveries await you. Listen to monks chant in a Bangkok temple, indulge in a beachfront Thai massage on a coral-fringed island, or trek through the jungle to see elephants and gibbons; all with your trusted travel companion. Get to the heart of Thailand and begin your journey now!

Inside Lonely Planet Thailand Travel Guide:

eBook Features: (Best viewed on tablet devices and smartphones)

The Perfect Choice: Lonely Planet Thailand, our most comprehensive guide to Thailand, is perfect for both exploring the top sights and taking roads less travelled.

Authors: Written and researched by Lonely Planet, China Williams, Mark Beales, Tim Bewer, Celeste Brash, Austin Bush, Alan Murphy, and Brandon Presser.

About Lonely Planet: Since 1973, Lonely Planet has become the world’s leading travel content company with guidebooks to every destination, an award-winning website, mobile and digital travel products, and a dedicated traveller community. Lonely Planet enables curious travellers to experience the world and get to the heart of the places they find themselves in.

*Bestselling guide to Thailand Source: Nielsen Bookscan. Australia, UK and USA, January 2011 to October 2011.

About the Author

For many years China hopped across the Pacific Ocean to work on Lonely Planet’s guidebooks to Bangkok. But a baby in 2007 segued her career from dusty backpack to dirty nappies. After a year’s ‘retirement’, China has resumed the twice annual pilgrimage with her son in tow. With each visit she falls in love with a different region of Thailand and for now her heart is pledged to Chiang Mai, a city that suits her post-flower child temperament. She first came to Thailand to teach English in Surin more than a decade ago. In between trips, China lives in Baltimore, Maryland, with her husband, Matt, and son, Felix.





25/08/2017

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Lonely Planet Discover China (Travel Guide) #cheap #hotels #and #flights

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Description

Lonely Planet: The world’s leading travel guide publisher

Lonely Planet Discover China is your passport to all the most relevant and up-to-date advice on what to see, what to skip, and what hidden discoveries await you. Pass through the Gate of Supreme Harmony in Beijing’s Forbidden City, hike along the Great Wall, or slurp up wonton soup amid Shanghai’s neon lights; all with your trusted travel companion. Discover the best of China and begin your journey now!

Inside Lonely Planet Discover China :

The Perfect Choice: Lonely Planet Discover China , our easy-to-use guide, is perfect for travellers who seek the most popular attractions a destination has to offer. Filled with inspiring and colourful photos, this guide focuses on the best of the best.

Authors: Written and researched by Lonely Planet, Damian Harper, Piera Chen, Chung Wah Chow, Megan Eaves, David Eimer, Tienlon Ho, Robert Kelly, Shawn Low, Emily Matchar, Bradley Mayhew,

Daniel McCrohan, Dai Min, Phillip Tang.

About Lonely Planet: Started in 1973, Lonely Planet has become the world’s leading travel guide publisher with guidebooks to every destination on the planet, as well as an award-winning website, a suite of mobile and digital travel products, and a dedicated traveller community. Lonely Planet’s mission is to enable curious travellers to experience the world and to truly get to the heart of the places they find themselves in.





25/08/2017

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Lonely Planet Germany Travel Guide #travel #sites

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25/08/2017

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Lonely Planet Sri Lanka (Travel Guide) #travel #advisors

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Lonely Planet: The world’s leading travel guide publisher

Lonely Planet Sri Lanka is your passport to the most relevant, up-to-date advice on what to see and skip, and what hidden discoveries await you. Follow in the footsteps of Buddha and modern-day pilgrims to the summit of Adam’s Peak, wander the crumbling ruins and lost cities of the cultural triangle in the heart of the island or explore undiscovered beaches on the recently reopened east coast; all with your trusted travel companion. Get to the heart of Sri Lanka and begin your journey now!

Inside Lonely Planet’s Sri Lanka Travel Guide:

About Lonely Planet: Since 1973, Lonely Planet has become the world’s leading travel media company with guidebooks to every destination, an award-winning website, mobile and digital travel products, and a dedicated traveller community. Lonely Planet covers must-see spots but also enables curious travellers to get off beaten paths to understand more of the culture of the places in which they find themselves.





25/08/2017

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Nepal – Lonely Planet #travel #pro

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Introducing Nepal

Wedged between the high Himalaya and the steamy Indian plains, Nepal is a land of snow peaks and Sherpas, yaks and yetis, monasteries and mantras.

Mountain Adventures

The Nepal Himalaya is the ultimate goal for most mountain lovers. Some of the Himalaya’s most iconic and accessible hiking is on offer here, with rugged trails to Everest, the Annapurnas and beyond, and most trekking areas escaped with only minor damage in the 2015 earthquake. Nowhere else can you trek for days in incredible mountain scenery, secure in the knowledge that a hot meal, cosy lodge and warm slice of apple pie await you at the end of the day.

Then there’s the adrenaline kick of rafting a roaring Nepali river or bungee jumping into a bottomless Himalayan gorge. Canyoning, climbing, kayaking, paragliding and mountain biking all offer a rush against the backdrop of some of the world’s most dramatic landscapes.

Temples & Tigers

Other travellers prefer to see Nepal at a more refined pace, admiring the peaks over a gin and tonic from a Himalayan viewpoint, strolling through the medieval city squares of Kathmandu. Patan and Bhaktapur. and joining Tibetan Buddhist pilgrims on a spiritual stroll around centuries-old stupas and monasteries. Even after the 2015 earthquake, Nepal remains the cultural powerhouse of the Himalaya; the Kathmandu Valley offers an unrivalled collection of world-class palaces, hidden backstreet shrines and sublime temple art.

Why I Love Nepal

By Bradley Mayhew, Writer

If, like me, you get your highs from pristine mountain views and the sense of perspective that a Himalayan journey offers, then you are going to like Nepal. But if, also like me, you’ve always secretly wished that your mountain wilderness came with a warm slice of apple pie instead of a soggy tent, then you will simply love this place. My favourite thing about Nepal. There’s always another adventure. Done Annapurna? Try the Gokyo Valley. Done Gokyo? Try a 6000m trekking peak. It’s adventure heaven, with an espresso on the side.

Jungle Adventures

Further south lie Nepal’s wild and woolly national parks, where nature buffs scan the treetops for exotic bird species and comb the jungles for rhinos and tigers from the backs of lumbering Indian elephants. Choose from a luxury safari lodge in central Chitwan or go exploring on a wilder trip to remote Bardia or Koshi Tappu. Whether you cross the country by mountain bike, motorbike, raft or tourist bus, Nepal offers an astonishingly diverse array of attractions and landscapes.

Travel Heaven

There are few countries in the world that are as well set up for independent travel as Nepal. Wandering the trekking shops, bakeries and pizzerias of Thamel and Pokhara. it’s easy to feel that you have somehow landed in a kind of backpacker Disneyland. Out in the countryside lies a quite different Nepal, where traditional mountain life continues at a slower pace, and a million potential adventures glimmer on the mountain horizons.

Many people have spent a lifetime exploring the mountain trails of the Himalaya and the atmospheric temple towns of the Middle Hills, and they still keep coming back for more. The biggest problem you might face in Nepal is just how to fit everything in.





24/08/2017

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New Zealand – Lonely Planet #travel #o #city

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Introducing New Zealand

There aren’t many places on this lonely planet where travellers are so well catered for – in terms of both man-made enticements and splendours of the natural realm.

Why I Love New Zealand

By Charles Rawlings-Way, Writer

As an English-born Australian, every trip to New Zealand presents a mix of landscapes and cultures that’s at once familiar and quirkily different. The rolling hills and hedgerows of Devonshire collude with the irreverent, easy-going locals to disarm, distract and delight. Māori culture is potent, the surf is world class, and the beer is awesome! NZ presents the best of old and new worlds with social and environmental sensibility: a template for a new world order? I love NZ!

Food, Wine & Beer

Kiwi food was once a bland echo of a British Sunday dinner, but these days NZ chefs find inspiration in new-world culinary oceans, especially the Pacific with its abundant seafood and encircling cuisines. And don’t go home without trying some Māori faves: paua (abalone), kina (sea urchin) and kumara (sweet potato) make regular menu appearances. Thirsty? NZ’s cool-climate wineries have been collecting wine-award trophies for decades now, and the country’s craft-beer scene is booming. Contemporary coffee culture is also firmly entrenched.

The New ‘Big Easy’

Forget New Orleans… NZ can rightly claim the ‘Big Easy’ crown for the sheer ease of travel here. This isn’t a place where you encounter many on-the-road frustrations: buses and trains run on time; roads are in good nick; ATMs proliferate; pickpockets, scam merchants and bedbug-ridden hostels are few and far between; and the food is unlikely to send you running for the nearest public toilets (usually clean and stocked with the requisite paper). And there are no snakes, and only one poisonous spider – the rare katipo – sightings of which are considered lucky. This decent nation is a place where you can relax and enjoy (rather than endure) your holiday.

Maori Culture

If you’re even remotely interested in rugby, you’ll have heard of NZ’s all-conquering All Blacks, who would never have become world-beaters without their formidable Māori players. But this is just one example of how Māori culture impresses itself on contemporary Kiwi life: across NZ you can hear Māori language, watch Māori TV, see main-street marae (meeting houses), join in a hangi (Māori feast) or catch a cultural performance with traditional Māori song, dance and usually a blood-curdling haka (war dance). You might draw the line at contemplating ta moko, traditional Māori tattooing (often applied to the face).

Walk on the Wild Side

There are just 4.5 million New Zealanders, scattered across 270,534 sq km: bigger than the UK with one-fourteenth the population. Filling in the gaps are the sublime forests, mountains, lakes, beaches and fiords that have made NZ one of the best hiking (locals call it ‘tramping’) destinations on Earth. Tackle one of nine epic ‘Great Walks’ – you’ve probably heard of the Heaphy and Milford Tracks – or just spend a few dreamy hours wandering through some easily accessible wilderness.





24/08/2017

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Tokyo – Lonely Planet #travel #cheap

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Introducing Tokyo

Yoking past and future, Tokyo dazzles with its traditional culture and passion for everything new.

Why I Love Tokyo

By Rebecca Milner, Writer

I’ve lived in Tokyo for over a decade now and am continuously surprised – sometimes on a daily basis – by something new. Such is the joy of living in a city that prides itself on constant renewal and reinvention; it seriously never gets old. Tokyo has everything you can ask of a city, and has it in spades: a rich, cosmopolitan dining scene, more cafes and bars than you could visit in a lifetime, fantastic public transportation and grassy parks – plus it’s clean and safe. Really, what’s not to love?

The Shogun’s City

Tokyo may be forever reaching into the future but you can still see traces of the shogun’s capital on the kabuki stage, at a sumo tournament or under the cherry blossoms. It’s a modern city built on old patterns, and in the shadows of skyscrapers you can find anachronistic wooden shanty bars and quiet alleys, raucous traditional festivals and lantern-lit yakitori (grilled chicken) stands. In older neighbourhoods you can shop for handicrafts made just as they have been for centuries, or wander down cobblestone lanes where geisha once tread.

Eat Your Heart Out

Yes, Tokyo has more Michelin stars than any other city. Yes, Japanese cuisine has been added to the Unesco Intangible Cultural Heritage list. But that’s not what makes dining in Tokyo such an amazing experience. What really counts is the city’s long-standing artisan culture. You can splash out on the best sushi of your life, made by one of the city’s legendary chefs using the freshest ingredients from Tsukiji Market that day. You can also spend ¥800 on a bowl of noodles made with the same care and exacting attention to detail, from a recipe honed through decades of experience.

Fashion & Pop Culture

From giant robots to saucer-eyed school girls to a certain, ubiquitous kitty, Japanese pop culture is a phenomenon that has reached far around the world. Tokyo is the country’s pop culture laboratory, where new trends grow legs. Come see the latest looks bubbling out of the backstreets of Harajuku. the hottest pop stars projected on the giant video screens in Shibuya. or the newest anime and manga flying off the shelves in Akihabara. Or just pop ’round to the nearest convenience store to pick up treats in wacky flavours emblazoned with cute characters.

Sci-fi Cityscapes

Tokyo’s neon-lit streetscapes still look like a sci-fi film set – and that’s a vision of the city from the 1980s. Tokyo has been building ever since, pushing the boundaries of what’s possible on densely populated, earthquake-prone land, adding ever taller, sleeker structures. Come see the utopian mega-malls, the edgy designer boutiques from Japan ‘s award-winning architects, and the world’s tallest tower – Tokyo Sky Tree – a twisting spire that draws on ancient building techniques. Stand atop one of Tokyo’s skyscrapers and look out over the city at night to see it blinking like the control panel of a starship, stretching all the way to the horizon.





23/08/2017

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Rome Highlights – Lonely Planet #cheapest #airfare #tickets

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Introducing Rome

A heady mix of haunting sights, awe-inspiring art and vibrant street life, Italy ‘s Eternal City is one of the world’s most beautiful and inspiring capitals.

Artistic Riches

Few cities can rival Rome’s astonishing artistic heritage. Throughout history, the city has starred in the great upheavals of Western art, drawing the top artists of the day and inspiring them to push the boundaries of creative achievement. The result is a city awash with priceless treasures. Ancient statues adorn world-class museums, Byzantine mosaics and Renaissance frescoes dazzle in the city’s art-rich churches, baroque facades flank medieval piazzas. Walk around the centre and without even trying you’ll come across masterpieces by the giants of the artistic pantheon – sculptures by Michelangelo, canvases by Caravaggio, Raphael frescoes and fountains by Bernini.

Historical Legacies

The result of 3000 years of ad hoc urban development, Rome’s cityscape is an exhilarating spectacle. Ancient icons such as the Colosseum. Roman Forum and Pantheon recall Rome’s time as the fearsome hub of the Roman Empire, the caput mundi (capital of the world), while catacombs and clandestine churches hark back to the early days of Christianity. Lording it over the Vatican. St Peter’s Basilica is the greatest of the city’s monumental basilicas, a towering masterpiece of Renaissance architecture. Elsewhere, ornate piazzas and elaborate churches add a baroque flourish to the city’s historic streets.

Living the Life

A trip to Rome is as much about lapping up the dolce vita lifestyle as gorging on art and culture. It’s about relaxing into the city’s Mediterranean rhythms and idling around the picturesque streets. Whiling away hours at streetside cafes and people-watching on pretty piazzas are an integral part of the Roman experience. The tempo rises as the heat of the day fades into the evening cool and the fashionably dressed aperitivo (aperitif) crowd descends on the city’s bars and cafes. Restaurants and trattorias hum with activity and cheerful hordes mill around popular haunts before heading off to cocktail bars and late-night clubs.

Roman Feasting

Eating out is one of Rome’s great pleasures and the combination of romantic al fresco settings and superlative food is a guarantee of good times. For contemporary fine dining and five-star wine there are any number of refined restaurants, but for a truly Roman meal search out the city’s boisterous pizzerias and convivial neighbourhood trattorias. These are where the locals go to dine with friends and indulge their passion for thin, crispy pizzas, humble but delicious pastas, and cool white wine from the nearby Castelli Romani hills.

Why I Love Rome

By Duncan Garwood, Writer

I’m a walker and I love exploring Rome on foot, losing myself in the tangled lanes of the historic centre and neighbourhoods like Trastevere and Monti. I love the aroma of freshly ground coffee that comes out of the cafes and sharing a carafe of local wine over lunch in a trattoria. I enjoy the gruff humour of the locals and the way they have an opinion on everything. I’m also a history buff, and after 15 years in the city, I still get a kick every time I see the Colosseum or spy St Peter’s dome looming over the skyline.





22/08/2017

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Top 10 reasons to visit Portland, Oregon – Lonely Planet #cheap

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Top 10 reasons to visit Portland, Oregon

One of the world’s great towns for beer, weirdness, cheap food, funky neighbourhoods, forest hikes and much more, Portland is the kind of city you visit for two days and then move to. Endlessly entertaining and intriguing, it’s easily walked and explored by bike and most locals will tell you the famous rain is merely a bonus. We’ve picked 10 reasons why you should already be planning your trip to Portland.

Beer, beautiful beer

At least 30 breweries dot Portland and they’re not turning out bland lagers. Rather the vast and funky range of brews is matched by the vast and funky range of breweries. You can quaff a Copacetic IPA in the minimalist surrounds of the fittingly named Amnesia Brewery (832 N Beech St) or a Rise Up Red Ale at Hopworks Urban Brewery. which nails two local priorities by serving organic beer and having a bar cyclists can ride up to. Better yet are purely neighbourhood bars, like LaurelThirst where you can try any of the many local brews.

Pedal power

Drivers in Portland often think the city puts bikes first and they’re right. Streets with wide bike lanes network across the city and a lack of major hills makes it easy for people of all ages to pedal their way around. You can join the thriving cycling scene by renting a bike at Portland Bicycle Tours .

Food carts

In a city renowned for its food, you can find some of Portland’s most inventive chefs clustered in pods, preparing meal magic in food carts that range from old vacation trailers to sheds where you’d store your lawnmower. A few faves: the amazing Mexican fare at La Jarochita (SW 5th Ave and SW Oak St, downtown), the garlicky porchetta sandwiches at Lardo and the perfect post-music-club Belgian fries at Potato Champion.

Related articles:

Pin this image Refuelling at a Portland food cart. Photo by Anthony Pidgeon (Lonely Planet Images).

Saw it on Portlandia

An outlandish yet humorously insightful look at all things Portland, this hit comedy series has defined the city with its iconic line about Portland being ‘where young people go to retire’. The Peabody Award-winning Portlandia skewers local pretensions and is a great introduction for those planning to visit.

Weird on show

‘Keep Portland Weird’ is more than an overly used, clichéd bumper-sticker – it’s an ethos that ensures that a fully tattooed guy dressed as a transvestite clown riding a 10-foot-tall unicycle barely gets a second glance. Some places milk it, like the over-hyped Voodoo Donuts, which features weird names for weird doughnut combos, but the normalcy of the strange is endlessly fascinating.

Funky hoods

Downtown Portland is compact, historic, walkable and has a great riverfront park but the real fun is out in the compass-spanning neighbourhoods. Three winners: southeast’s Hawthorn Street, with its cool blend of shops, cafes and bars; the north’s Mississippi Avenue, which has an edgier, grittier mix plus a fab food cart pod; and northeast’s Alberta Street, featuring galleries, shops, great little cafes and bars plus a monthly street party called Last Thursday that’s pure Weird Portland.

Pin this image Glass blower at Alberta Arts Last Thursday street festival. Photo by Anthony Pidgeon (Lonely Planet Images).

Rain? Big deal!

Okay, it often rains every day in January and it rains a lot nine months a year (summer is sunny and warm), but it rarely rains very hard and all that water keeps things really green – including the luxuriant moss that grows on everything. It also keeps people inside the bars listening to bands hoping to follow local greats The Decemberists, Modest Mouse et al.

Experiencing nature

Round a corner in Portland and you’ll likely be startled by the perfectly conical profile of Mt Hood, the 11,249-foot (3429m) volcano some 50 miles (80km) east of the city. On clear days its snow-capped summit looks startlingly close. Just west of downtown, Forest Park sprawls over 5100 acres in the hills; more than 70 miles (113km) of trails wander through dense forests of evergreens. Finally, see and smell the true meaning of Portland’s moniker ‘The city of roses’ at the spectacular International Rose Test Garden.

Farmers markets

In an episode of Portlandia, the solution to the city’s excessive produce bounty is ‘We can pickle that!’ But skip the screwtops and head to the farmers markets for famous berries, mushrooms from the rain-saturated forests, artisan-baked goods, ubiquitous food carts, prepared foods and a community vibe where love is celebrated amidst the tomatoes. Try the main Portland Farmers Market downtown or the buzzing neighbourhood version in Hollywood.

Bang for your buck

Pints of local beer are often under $4, Happy Hour food specials for under $5 are legion, food carts are bargains and all those underworked hipsters ensure that prices for almost everything else remain low (plenty of weekend hotel rooms are under $100, trams in the centre are free and cover charges are uncommon). Plus weirdness is always free.

This article was originally published in April 2012. This article was refreshed in July 2012.





20/08/2017

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Mars, Mars Information, Red Planet Facts, News, Photos – National Geographic


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The Red Planet

Mars is a small rocky body once thought to be very Earthlike. Like the other terrestrial planets —Mercury, Venus, and Earth—its surface has been changed by volcanism, impacts from other bodies, movements of its crust, and atmospheric effects such as dust storms. It has polar ice caps that grow and recede with the change of seasons; areas of layered soils near the Martian poles suggest that the planet’s climate has changed more than once, perhaps caused by a regular change in the planet’s orbit.

Martian tectonism, the formation and change of a planet’s crust, differs from Earth’s. Where Earth tectonics involve sliding plates that grind against each other or spread apart in the seafloors, Martian tectonics seem to be vertical, with hot lava pushing upwards through the crust to the surface.

Periodically, great dust storms engulf the entire planet. The effects of these storms are dramatic, including giant dunes, wind streaks, and wind-carved features.

Recent NASA exploratory expeditions revealed some of the red planet’s biggest mysteries. This video explains what makes it so different from Earth and what would happen if humans lived there.

Water on Mars?

Scientists believe that 3.5 billion years ago, Mars experienced the largest known floods in the solar system. This water may even have pooled into lakes or shallow oceans. But where did the ancient floodwater come from, how long did it last, and where did it go?

At present, Mars is too cold and its atmosphere is too thin to allow liquid water to exist at the surface for long. There’s water ice close to the surface and more water frozen in the polar ice caps, but the quantity of water required to carve Mars’s great channels and flood plains is not evident on—or near—the surface today. Images from NASA’s Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft suggest that underground reserves of water may break through the surface as springs. The answers may lie deep beneath Mars’s red soil.

Unraveling the story of water on Mars is important to unlocking its past climate history, which will help us understand the evolution of all planets, including our own. Water is also believed to be a central ingredient for the initiation of life; the evidence of past or present water on Mars is expected to hold clues about past or present life on Mars, as well as the potential for life elsewhere in the universe. And, before humans can safely go to Mars, we need to know much more about the planet’s environment, including the availability of resources such as water.

Mountains, Moons, and More

Mars has some remarkable geological characteristics, including the largest volcanic mountain in the solar system, Olympus Mons ; volcanoes in the northern Tharsis region that are so huge they deform the planet’s roundness; and a gigantic equatorial rift valley, the Valles Marineris. This canyon system stretches a distance equivalent to the distance from New York to Los Angeles; Arizona’s Grand Canyon could easily fit into one of the side canyons of this great chasm.

Mars also has two small moons, Phobos and Deimos. Although no one knows how they formed, they may be asteroids snared by Mars’s gravity.

This text courtesy NASA/JPL

1996-2017 National Geographic Society.


14/08/2017

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5 tips for India first-timers – Lonely Planet #jamaica #travel

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5 tips for India first-timers

Chaotic, bamboozling, intoxicating, crazy, exasperating, squalid, daunting, overwhelming. India is all these things, and more. How can you possibly prepare yourself?

Start with our tips for taking the ultimate travel plunge: going to India for the first time.

1. Choose your route wisely

Think about what interests you, what you like doing, and tailor your trip accordingly. The itineraries section at the front of Lonely Planet India can be a great help here.

The most popular India tour is the all-time classic Golden Triangle. Clichéd, yes, but if time is short this is a fantastic introduction to three of India’s very best destinations. Start in Delhi (Hamayun’s Tomb, Old Fort) before hitting Agra (Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, Fatehpur Sikri) then Jaipur (Pink City, fort at Amber). Head back to Delhi’s wonderful bazaars for a final shopping spree before you fly home.

And if you have more specific interests:

Related articles:

Tigers – Madhya Pradesh

Thrill-seekers – Manali

Religious fervour – Varanasi

2. Slow down

Too many people try to cram too much into a visit to India. Don’t be one of them. Seeing one place slowly is so much more rewarding than seeing many places in a flash. You’ll be less stressed, gain a deeper understanding of where you are and have more time to build relationships with the people you meet.

3. Avoid the crowds

One billion locals gets a bit too much for some travellers, but India also has plenty of quiet retreats. If you need to escape the crowds in the sprawling cities, consider heading south to the backwaters of Kerala. north to Tibetan-influenced mountainous regions such as Ladakh or paying a visit to one of India’s many hill stations.

4. Stay healthy

Avoid tap water, and any food that may have been washed in it, at all times. No ice, no salads and no fruit you haven’t just peeled yourself.

Many travellers go veggie whilst in India. It’s not a bad idea. A dodgy bit of meat will do you a lot more harm than slightly undercooked vegetables. Plus, many Indians are vegetarian, so there’s a fabulous choice of vegetarian food. If you do eat meat, make sure it’s well cooked. If in doubt, eat at a place that’s packed with locals.

Toilets are notoriously bad in India, but they don’t have to be health hazards. Consider using the left-hand-and-water-jug method preferred by many locals (it is, after all, so much more hygienic than using dry paper), but don’t forget to carry soap with you so you can wash your hands properly afterwards.

5. Keep cool

India is renowned for its touts and scams, for its in-yer-face hassles and for being generally bloody hectic. There are various ways you can reduce the chances of being overcharged or just plain cheated (see scams in India ), but there’s no way you can avoid them altogether, so the single most important piece of advice for any India first-timer is to try to remain calm, no matter what. Frustrations boil over easily in India, and being able to control them, take a deep breath and move on, is key to enjoying your overall experience.





12/08/2017

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Travel games for kids: fun for long waits and quiet places

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Travel games for kids: fun for long waits and quiet places

by Lonely Planet Sep 04 2012

Kids don’t believe everything comes to those who wait, so it helps to have some travel games at the ready to make waits pass more smoothly. Longer travel games come in handy in restaurants, queues and at public transport lines, because they distract kids from the time it’s taking for something to happen.

Sometimes you might just want your little treasures to keep quiet. Quiet games can teach children that loud behaviour is not always okay, as well as buy a few moments of peace in a hectic day. Although many museums are becoming more interactive there are still many old-style museums that will have a ‘look, don’t touch’ feel that frustrates kids. With a bit of preparation, these games can get children to appreciate looking in a museum as much as you will.

Here are some great games to keep the kids engaged and entertained when they have to put up with long waits or quiet places:

Games for waiting

  • Storylines

A good game for the whole family that is limited only by imagination. Start a story with a sentence (‘Once upon a time…’ might be a good place to start) with the next family member adding the next sentence. Add one that doesn’t make sense or finish your sentence with a cliff-hanger to keep it interesting.

  • Alphabet games
    Alphabet games can run for hours if need be, so they’re perfect for undetermined waits. Name a category, then run through the alphabet naming something from each category. Animals (‘Aardvark, bumble bee, cat’) are easier, but harder topics can be famous people or song titles. Double points for double letters, like bumble bee. In other alphabet games, you can choose a category and all the players have to name something beginning with that letter before moving on to the next letter (eg ‘Apple’, ‘Asparagus’, ‘Artichoke’). For older kids make up a structure, such as ‘My name is blank from blank where they make the best blank’ filling in each of the blanks with a name, a location and an object starting with each letter of the alphabet.
  • Guessing games

    Guessing games can be good for shorter waits, as kids can get frustrated or bored. Most guessing games are based on simple yes or no questions, using general questions (‘Is it alive?) to narrow it down to specific guesses (‘Is it a rabbit?’). In ‘guess the food’, one player will nominate a describing word (‘crunchy’, ‘sweet’ or ‘red’) with other players asking questions to guess the food. Use other categories like animals or famous people. You can prepare some cards with categories or names on them. Keep the games located in your travels, using famous people or animals from the country you’re visiting.

  • Games for quiet places

    • Guess the letter

    Another one for readers. Draw a letter on the palm of another player with their eyes closed. Try whole words if guessing a letter is too easy.

  • Whispers
    Pass a whispered message from one player to the next saying the message only once. As players pass it on from one to the next the message will become garbled. In a reasonably sized group (usually more than five people), the message should end up as nonsense when the last player says it out loud to the group.
  • Did you see?
    A game that might involve a bit of preparation. Make a list of things to see in a gallery or museum by asking the kids what they think they’ll see or prepare a list beforehand based on an LP guidebook. Kids can check off their list with a prize or treat for the most complete list. Remember to have a range of items that are both common (so kids achieve something easily) and rare (to challenge them). You can debrief and talk about items on the list. More complex versions of the game might involve getting more than one of each item (eg seven paintings with a blonde man in them).
  • How many…
    Guess how many of an object you’ll see on your museum visit and get the littlies to count them up as they go. Good objects include sculptures, gold frames or security guards.
  • What was it?

    A simple game that will get kids looking at exhibits or paintings. Give the kids a minute or two to look at an exhibit, then ask them ‘What was it?’, ‘Who used it?’, ‘When did they use it?’ or if it’s a portrait ask ‘Who was it?’, ‘What did they do?’. Ask any other questions to stimulate the imagination. Be prepared to answer some tricky questions yourself.

  • This article was published in December 2011. This article was refreshed in September 2012.

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    10/08/2017

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    Lonely Planet’s best value travel destinations for 2014 – Lonely Planet

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    Lonely Planet’s best value travel destinations for 2014

    by Tom Hall Oct 28 2013

    When times are tight we suggest you travel more, not less – but pick carefully. This is where your wallet will smile at the memories for years to come.

    Greek Islands

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    View of Navagio Beach, also known as Shipwreck Cove, on Zakynthos Island. Image by Dave Porter Peterborough Uk / Photolibrary / Getty Images.

    Greece has had a tough few years, with harsh austerity measures, soaring unemployment and demonstrations hitting the world’s headlines. For a place that thrives on tourists – whether the kind that parties on sunburnt islands or hoovers up ancient culture – this is bad news. But Greece still does what it’s done brilliantly for generations. What’s missing are visitor numbers from previous years, and prices have come down in an attempt to woo them back. Combined with the chance to explore Greece’s more popular sights with fewer visitors, this means that in 2014 it offers remarkable value.

    Italy’s heel

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    Old fortified farmhouse in Puglia, Italy. Image by Michele Galli / E+ / Getty Images.

    If you’ve ever rubbed shoulders with billionaires on the Amalfi Coast or spent the weekend in Venice. you’ll know that Italy can drain travel budgets. This year, look south. Italy’s heel has arguably the best beaches in the country, hilltop towns and ancient sights. But what makes Puglia. Basilicata and Calabria such good value is not just the financial side of being in this part of the country. It’s the fabulous food – cucina povera (poor man’s food), simple, tasty and cheap – and the relaxed pace of life even in peak season, coupled with good-value accommodation for all budgets.

    Nicaragua

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    Howler monkeys are among Nicaragua’s wildlife highlights. Image by Richie Diesterheft. CC BY 2.0.

    Costa Rica is a delight, but it’s neither a secret nor really cheap. Nicaragua. though in the latter category, is fast making its name for more than simply saving a few dollars on the road. The country is an A-grade Central American attraction in itself, from brooding Volcán Concepción to the dreamlike experience of floating down the Río San Juan. True budget travellers trying to make it on US$20 a day (still possible here) may think twice about visiting the Corn Islands due to the cost of flying from the mainland, but Nicaragua does offer some of the cheapest beach living (and diving) in the Caribbean.

    Bulgaria

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    The dazzling domes of Bulgaria’s Rila Monastery. Image by Anita Isalska / Lonely Planet.

    Especially in famous cities, costs in Eastern Europe have gone up with the crowds. This is one of the reasons to go to Bulgaria, still so puzzlingly underrated that few but travel geeks can name a city beyond the capital, Sofia – try Plovdiv or Varna. The latter is part of the Black Sea riviera that brings crowds and high prices in the summer. Elsewhere (including Sofia), transport, museums and the ubiquitous private rooms (look for ‘Zimmer frei ’ signs) are quite reasonably priced. The most famous site, Rila Monastery. is free and offers simple rooms for pilgrims.

    Portugal

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    Making a splash on one of Portugal’s surf-friendly shores. Image by SayLuiiiis. CC BY-SA 2.0.

    Each year the British Post Office surveys the prices in European holiday resorts. The most recent edition names Albufeira in the Algarve as the cheapest option for a summer family holiday. The Algarve in high summer may not be to everyone’s taste, but it shows that Portugal is great for the budget-conscious. There are excellent deals elsewhere too. Lisbon has wonderful coffee and sweet treats for a few euros, and you can ride cheap trams around to your heart’s content. Portugal is also, for Europeans, a superb place to surf without having to fork out the airfare to the sport’s traditional heartlands.

    Fiji

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    Swimming in crystal-clear waters in Fiji. Image by Island Effects / E+ / Getty Images.

    A South Pacific island destination on a value travel list? Yes, Fiji may just be the most affordable slice of paradise. The Yasawas and the Mamanucas are home to the unusual phenomenon of island resorts aimed at backpackers. While it’s not as cheap as Southeast Asia, the value here is in bringing the South Pacific within reach of mid-range travellers. Combine some island-hopping by daily catamaran with public buses around Viti Levu. Fiji’s ‘mainland’, and get almost as much Polynesia as possible for not all of your money.

    Mexico

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    Ignore the headlines about budget-busting resorts and savour the value of a visit to Mexico. Grab a good-value flight and try to avoid periods such as US school holidays. Travellers who explore off the established trail will find Mexico hugely rewarding. North of Puerto Vallarta. laid-back beach towns such as Chacala offer guesthouse rooms for US$40, and the relaxed ambience is its own reward. Good value can be had even in the tourist heartland of the Yucatán Peninsula. Cheap bus trips to Mérida and Tulum provide all the Mayan wonders you can muster at a fraction of the cost of Cancún-based tours. Look for cabañas. huts with a palm-thatched roof, most often found at beach destinations.

    Karnataka, India

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    The intricate archways of the Maharaja Palace of Mysore. Image by Tuul / Robert Harding World Imagery / Getty Images.

    India still has lots to offer the budget traveller, though if you’ve been to Goa in high season you might doubt this. Over the European winter bargains can feel in short supply. While Goa devotees manage by travelling off-season or with package deals, it’s worth considering other options. Neighbouring Karnataka ’s coast has serene beaches, fishing harbours and peaceful resorts, plus inland temple towns such as Hampi. one of South India’s most laid-back traveller hangouts. Best of all, lodgings are cheap and most temples and ruins are free. More upmarket places to stay are opening all the time, but you’ll find some rewarding budget travel here.

    Palawan, the Philippines

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    A boat ride around dramatic limestone cliffs in Palawan. Image by Jerick Parrone. CC BY-SA 2.0.

    Jungle rivers, limestone cliffs and awesome beaches – Palawan ’s no secret, but it certainly rewards those who visit. This mix, combined with stand-out attractions such as Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park and the Bacuit Archipelago (all available at a competitive price), makes it a great-value pick for old Asia hands and novices alike. A journey on from Palawan leads to the Calamian Islands where apparently Alex Garland saw the strip of sand that inspired The Beach. Watch out for the May to October monsoon: it brings heavy rain, usually in the afternoon.

    Ethiopia

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    Man emerging from a rock-hewn church in Lalibela. Image by Stuart Butler / Lonely Planet.

    While you can’t get everywhere in Ethiopia on US$30 a day, you can see a huge amount of its highlights by taking great-value and time-saving flights along the country’s Historic Route. This astonishing journey includes the Lake Tana monasteries and the Blue Nile Falls, the rock-hewn wonders of Lalibela and much more. True, the budget goes out the window if you hire a vehicle and driver or join an organised tour – which you need in order to get the most out of the country’s wild west – but you can always save that for another visit. This is one slice of Africa that rewards the curious as well as the deep-pocketed. Budget hotels abound, but the best are newer properties – use this filter to find a bargain.





    06/08/2017

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    Japan – Lonely Planet #hotel #and #flight #deals

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    Introducing Japan

    Japan is a world apart – a cultural Galápagos where a unique civilisation blossomed, and today thrives in delicious contrasts of traditional and modern. The Japanese spirit is strong, warm and incredibly welcoming.

    Culture

    Standing at the far-eastern end of the Silk Road and drawing influences from the entire continent, Japan has spent millennia taking in and refining the cultural bounties of Asia to produce something distinctly Japanese. From the splendour of a Kyoto geisha dance to the spare beauty of a Zen rock garden, Japan has the power to enthral even the most jaded traveller. Traditional culture is only half the story: an evolving contemporary-art scene, dynamic design, and a veracious appetite for pop-culture trends all help shape the fascinating old-meets-new cultural landscape.

    Food

    Savouring the delights of Japanese cuisine on its home turf is half the reason to come to Japan and you can easily build an itinerary around regional specialities and sublime restaurants. Eat just one meal in a top-flight Tokyo sushi restaurant – or gulp down fresh noodles at a station counter – and you’ll see why. The Japanese attention to detail, genius for presentation and insistence on the finest ingredients results in food that can change your idea of what is possible in the culinary arena.

    Outdoors

    The wonders of Japan’s natural world are a well-kept secret. The hiking in the Japan Alps and Hokkaidō is world class, and with an extensive hut system you can do multiday hikes with nothing more than a knapsack on your back. Down south, the coral reefs of Okinawa will have you wondering if you’ve somehow been transported to Thailand. And you never have to travel far in Japan to get out into nature: in major hubs like Kyoto, just a short trip from the city will get you into forested mountains.

    Why I Love Japan

    By Chris Rowthorn

    I’ve spent most of my adult life in Japan and now it feels like home to me. I love the food: it’s incredibly varied and nourishing and there seems to be no end to the culinary discoveries one can make. I love the combination of a hike in the mountains followed by a long soak in an onsen. But, most of all, I love the meticulous and careful nature of the Japanese people, reflected in every aspect of Japanese life, from trains that run right on time to sublime works of art. Put it all together and you come away with a country that still intrigues me even after two decades of living there.

    Accessible Exoticism

    Travellers to Japan have always found themselves entranced by a culture that is by turns beautiful, unfathomable and downright odd. Staying in a ryokan (traditional Japanese inn) is utterly different from staying in a hotel. Sitting in a robe on tatami (woven floor matting) eating raw fish and mountain vegetables is probably not how you dine back home. Getting naked with a bunch of strangers to soak in an onsen (hot spring) might seem strange at first, but try it and you’ll find it’s relaxing. And with helpful locals, spotless facilities and excellent public transport, you can experience this exoticism with ease.





    06/08/2017

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    Dominican Republic Travel guides – Lonely Planet Shop #independent #travel #agents

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    Dominican Republic destination guides

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    Need help choosing the perfect title? Whether for your armchair or your backpack, here’s how to pick your best travel companion.

    eBooks & Digital Chapters

    Download travel advice and expert picks to your favorite device. Choose from thousands of individual digital chapters and hundreds of eBook titles.

    Shoestring guides

    Travel more for less. We’ve crammed our wallet-friendly guides with tips on budget eating, sleeping and transport.

    Country / Multi-Country

    Getting under a country’s skin, or exploring several? Our guides are packed with maps, listings and local knowledge.

    Discover

    Want to get straight to a country’s highlights? Make the most of limited time with these full-colour guides.

    Want a comprehensive lowdown on one of the world’s greatest cities? Grab a City guide for highlights, listings and local knowledge.





    04/08/2017

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    Chile – Lonely Planet #sachin #travels

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    Introducing Chile

    Chile is nature on a colossal scale, but travel here is surprisingly easy if you don’t rush it.

    Slow Adventure

    In Chile, adventure is what happens on the way to having an adventure. Pedal the chunky gravel of the Carretera Austral and end up sharing ferries with SUVs and oxcarts, taking a wrong turn and finding heaven in an anonymous orchard. Serendipity takes over. Plans may be made, but try being just as open to experience. Locals never rush, so maybe you shouldn’t either. ‘Those who hurry waste their time,’ is the Patagonian saying that would serve well as a traveler’s mantra.

    Wine Culture

    Before wine became an export commodity for the luxury set, humble casks had their place on every Chilean table. Grandparents tended backyard orchards. Now, Chile has become a worldwide producer catering to ever more sophisticated palates. Rich reds, crisp whites and floral rosés, there is a varietal that speaks to every mood and occasion. But at home, it’s something different. Chileans embrace the concept of la buena mesa. It’s not about fancy. Beyond a good meal, it’s great company, the leisure of overlapping conversations with uncorkings, and the gaze that’s met at the clink of two glasses. Salud!

    Meet A Land of Extremes

    Preposterously thin and unreasonably long, Chile stretches from the belly of South America to its foot, reaching from the driest desert on earth to vast southern glacial fields. Diverse landscapes unfurl over a 4300km stretch: parched dunes, fertile valleys, volcanoes, ancient forests, massive glaciers and fjords. There’s wonder in every detail and nature on a symphonic scale. For the traveler, it’s boggling how so much has stayed intact for so long. The very human quest for development could imperil these treasures sooner than we think. Yet for now, Chile guards some of the most pristine parts of our planet, and they shouldn’t be missed.

    La Buena Onda

    In Chile, close borders foster backyard intimacy. Bookended by the Andes and the Pacific. the country averages just 175km wide. No wonder you start greeting the same faces. Pause and it starts to feel like home. Perhaps it’s because you’ve landed at the end of the continent, but one thing that stands out is hospitality. Buena onda (good vibes) means putting forth a welcoming attitude. Patagonians share round upon round of maté tea. The ritual of relating and relaxing is so integral to the fabric of local life, it’s hardly even noticed. But they do say one thing: stay and let your guard down.

    Why I Love Chile

    By Carolyn McCarthy, Writer

    I’ve worked in Chile as a hiking guide and returned to spend part of each year in the Lakes District. For me, Chile has always meant nature as it should be, in so many places a tangled and vast wilderness not yet marred by human intervention. The more I travel, the more I realize that precious few of these places remain on the planet and yet we need them desperately. It’s a practical matter, beyond the dollar value of guarding our resources, about seeking out the wild places that feed the soul.





    02/08/2017

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    Canada – Lonely Planet #britax #travel #system

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    Introducing Canada

    Canada is more than its hulking-mountain, craggy-coast good looks: it also cooks extraordinary meals, rocks cool culture, and unfurls wild, moose-spotting road trips.

    The Great Outdoors

    The globe’s second-biggest country has an endless variety of landscapes. Sky-high mountains, glinting glaciers, spectral rainforests and remote beaches are all here, spread across six times zones. It’s the backdrop for plenty of ah -inspiring moments – and for a big provincial menagerie. That’s big as in polar bears, grizzly bears, whales and, everyone’s favorite, moose.

    The terrain also makes for a fantastic playground. Whether it’s snowboarding Whistler’s mountains, surfing Nova Scotia’s swells or kayaking the white-frothed South Nahanni River in the Northwest Territories, adventures abound. There are gentler options, too, like strolling Vancouver’s Stanley Park or swimming off Prince Edward Island’s pink-sand beaches.

    Captivating Cultures

    Sip a café au lait and tear into a flaky croissant at a sidewalk bistro in Montréal ; head to an Asian night market and slurp noodles in Vancouver; join a wild-fiddling Celtic party on Cape Breton Island; kayak between rainforest-cloaked Aboriginal villages on Haida Gwaii: Canada is incredibly diverse across its breadth and within its cities. You’ll hear it in the music, see it in the arts and taste it in the cuisine.

    Artistic Flair

    The arts are an integral part of Canada’s cultural landscape, from the International Fringe Theater Festival (the world’s second-largest) in Edmonton to mega museums like Ottawa’s National Gallery. Montreal’s Jazz Festival and Toronto’s star-studded Film Festival draw global crowds. And did you know Ontario’s Stratford Festival is the continent’s largest classical repertory theater? Even places you might not automatically think of – say St John’s or Woody Point – put on renowned shindigs (an avant-garde ‘sound symposium’ and a big-name writers festival respectively).

    Why I Love Canada

    By Karla Zimmerman, Writer

    I’m always blown away by Canada’s vastness, its enormous open landscapes. You can drive for hours in many areas and see almost no one. I love that Canada’s wildlife spotting is for real – moose, bears, whales – you will see them if you go looking. I love that the nation’s most popular restaurant – Tim Hortons – is a doughnut shop named after a hockey player. And I’m just going to come out and admit it: the more I’m in Canada, the more I appreciate rock band Rush.

    Foodie Fare

    Canada is a local food smorgasbord. If you grazed from west to east across the country, you’d fill your plate like this: wild salmon and velvety scallops in British Columbia. poutine (golden fries topped with gravy and cheese curds) in Québec. and lobster with a dab of melted butter in the Maritime provinces. Tastemakers may not tout Canadian food the way they do, say, Italian or French fare, so let’s just call the distinctive seafood, piquant cheeses, and fresh, seasonal fruits and veggies our little secret. Ditto for the bold reds and crisp whites produced from the country’s vine-striped valleys.





    02/08/2017

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    About Us and Responsible Travel – Lonely Planet #travel #replublic

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    About Lonely Planet

    Responsible travel

    Loved to death

    By Tony and Maureen Wheeler

    Loved to death. These days it’s a phrase that more and more travel possibilities get tarnished with.

    We scratch our heads and wonder just when Bali’s Kuta or India’s Goa morphed from quiet surfer escapes or laid back hippy hangouts into international resorts of wall to wall shops, restaurants and package hotels. Cities the world over worry about how they’re going to cope with ever increasing flows of tourists.

    At Lonely Planet sustainable and responsible have always been parts of our vocabulary. In our early days, those key words had yet to be irrevocably linked with tourism. But looking back at our earlier books it’s pretty clear that we realised from the start that making a connection to the places we visited was a vital part of the sage message we wanted our guidebooks to carry, right down to how they are produced.

    Today, more than ever, we’re utterly convinced of the incredible importance of travel. It’s only through travelling, through meeting people that we begin to understand that we’re all sharing this world. We are all coming along for the ride, despite the barriers which governments, religions and economic and political beliefs often seem to build up between us.

    With information on this website and in our books, we hope to inspire you to try a new, far more rewarding, way of travelling.

    So how do we make that ride not just a quick fairground twirl, but something that we can enjoy for our travelling lives and pass on to our children and future generations? By changing our travel habits and thinking differently about how, where and why we travel. ‘Responsible travel’ means assessing our impact on the environment and local cultures and economies – and acting to make that impact as positive as possible. We’re including more information in our guidebooks and on this website on how you can personally travel more responsibly.

    Responsible tourism has incredible potential to have a positive impact on some of our most pressing global issues: peace and poverty, not to mention the influence it can have on biodiversity conservation. As a company, we have committed to ensuring all our staff travel is ‘carbon neutral’ by paying to offset the carbon emissions of our airline flights through the pro-environment projects of ClimateCare.

    By 2020 it’s estimated that 1.5 billion people will be travelling each year. It’s not hard to understand how each one of us needs to consider our personal contribution (as Lonely Planet does) to sustaining the natural and cultural wonders of our planet so that future generations can enjoy the same life-changing adventures we have shared.

    Today there’s no way of avoiding the importance of travelling responsibly. With the information on this website and in our books, we hope to inspire you to try a new, far more rewarding, way of travelling.

    Tony and Maureen Wheeler

    Founders, Lonely Planet Publications.





    31/07/2017

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