WE'RE IN: Brazil
Sprawling across half of South America, Brazil has captivated travelers for at least 500 years. Powdery white-sand beaches, lined with palm trees and fronting a deep blue Atlantic, stretch for more than 7000km. Dotting this coastline are tropical islands, music-filled metropolisesand enchanting[...]}
Istanbul is hot. And we’re not talking about the weather. These days, there are more happening restaurants, bars, galleries and clubs around town than there are exquisite Ottoman mosques (and that’s a lot). The international fashion and design press have been talking up İstanbul ad nauseam, but the most significant thing about the[...]
Those troglodytes sure knew what they were doing when they decided to lay down their hats and call Cappadocia home. Deep in the heart of the country, they settled within the lunar-like landscape and burrowed their houses and churches into stone cliffs and their cities underground. In so doing, they provided a still-cogent example of the[...]
While Damascus was always the ‘holy’ city, the seat of rulers and wary of foreigners, Aleppo (or Halab as it is known), Syria’s second city, has been one of commerce since Roman times. While both cities claim the title of ‘oldest continually inhabited city in the world’, it’s in Aleppo that the legacy of history feels more[...]
Legend has it that on a journey from Mecca, the Prophet Mohammed cast his gaze from the mountainside onto Damascus but refused to enter the city because he wanted to enter paradise only once – when he died. In a place that vies for the title of the world’s oldest continually inhabited city, this is but one of thousands of stories.
The village that has sprung up around Petra is Wadi Musa (Valley of Moses), formerly known as Elji but now named after the valley it follows. It's a patchy mass of hotels, restaurants and shops stretching about 5km down from 'Ain Musa to the main entrance of Petra and a real tourist trap . The beauty is in the canyons so unless you are[...]
The village that has sprung up around Petra is Wadi Musa (Valley of Moses), formerly known as Elji but now named after the valley it follows. It's a patchy mass of hotels, restaurants and shops stretching about 5km down from 'Ain Musa to the main entrance of Petra.
Palmyra is Syria’s star tourist attraction and one of the world’s most splendid historical sites. Known to the locals as Tadmor (its ancient Semitic name), Palmyra’s intriguing history, along with the profusion of colonnades, temple remains and funerary towers, in a mesmerising desert oasis setting, renders visitors speechless.
What Beirut is depends entirely on where you are. If you’re gazing at the beautifully reconstructed colonial relics and mosques of central Beirut’s Downtown, the city is a triumph of rejuvenation over disaster. If you're in the young, vibrant neighbourhoods of Gemmayzeh or Achrafiye, Beirut is about living for the moment: partying,[...]
Amman is a modern Arab city rather than one of the great cultural centres of the Middle East; it has never rivalled Damascus or Cairo as a grand Islamic city of antiquity. For those arriving from Syria or Egypt it can, depending on your perspective, feel either refreshingly or disappointingly modern and Westernised.
From the cackle of its colour-charged cities to the luminous splendour of its sun-kissed desert, Rajasthan is romantic India wrapped in gaudy royal robes. Here the fearsome Rajput warrior clans ruled with gilt-edged swords, plundered wealth and blood-thick chivalrous codes.
Swaying palms, white sands and sparkling waters: the three essential elements that attract 2 million visitors annually to Goa’s balmy shores are plentiful in this tiny, glorious slice of India hugging the country’s western coastline and bounded by the Arabian Sea.
Delhi – with its tenacious touts and crush of mechanical and human traffic – can be downright confronting and confounding for the first-time visitor. But don’t let petulant first impressions muddy the plus points of this truly multidimensional metropolis. Scratch beyond the gritty surface and you’ll swiftly discover that[...]
Rebranded Bengaluru in November 2006, the city more commonly known as Bangalore is not an obvious charmer. The crazy traffic, associated pollution and creaking infrastructure of this IT boom town will fast drive you demented.
When the noted writer Sir Arthur C Clarke made his home in Sri Lanka in 1956, he claimed the island jewel of the Indian Ocean was the best place in the world from which to view the universe. Concealed in the sky-high imagery of this teardrop-shaped nation, he recognised an amazing diversity for somewhere so compact.
Eagerly assuming its place among the world’s top travel destinations, even more so since Beijing took centre stage at the 2008 Olympics, China is an epic adventure. From the wide open and empty panoramas of Tibet to the push and shove of Shànghǎi, from the volcanic dishes of Sìchuān to beer by the bag in seaside Qīngdǎo, a[...]
When you hear the word 'Japan', what do you think of? Does your mind fill with images of ancient temples or futuristic cities? Do you see visions of mist-shrouded hills or lightning-fast bullet trains? Do you think of suit-clad businessmen or kimono-clad geisha?
The second-largest archipelago in the world, with over 7000 tropical islands, the Philippines is one of the great treasures of Southeast Asia. Often overlooked by travellers because of its location on the ‘wrong’ side of the South China Sea, the Philippines rewards those who go the extra distance to reach it.
First introductions are made in Bangkok, a modern behemoth of screaming traffic, gleaming shopping centres and international sensibilities interwoven with devout Buddhism. Chiang Mai, the country's bohemian centre, is where the unique and precise elements of Thai culture become a classroom, for cooking courses and language lessons; while[...]
Malaysia is a beauty of a country, cleaved in half by the South China Sea. The peninsula is a multicultural buffet of Malay, Chinese and Indian flavours while Borneo hosts a wild jungle smorgasbord of orang-utans, granite peaks and remote tribes. Within and throughout these two very different regions are an impressive variety of[...]
A strange brew of Chinese, Malay, Indian and Western cultures, a rich social stew that’s anything but boring. Sure, the graffiti-free trains run on time, traffic jams are nonexistent and everyone looks clean-cut and wholesome, but who needs pollution, poverty and chaos?
From city slickers to country bumpkins, from terraced padi fields to white rimmed beaches, this vast archipelago is waiting to be explored. Heady scents, vivid colours, dramatic vistas and diverse cultures mix and spin to the point of exhaustion, their potent brew leaving your senses reeling and craving more .
Sure it's got deadly spiders, snakes and sharks, but they don't stop people from coming here. Australia is a big , big country , as big your imagination will allow so kick back and grab a six pack while you map your journey . From the prehistoric gorges of Kakadu National Park, to the white sails of the Sydney Opera House, lose yourself[...]
Just as well Tasmania has so many great hiking trails, wild surfing opportunities and mountains to climb, because with all the delicious gourmet produce you'll be scoffing there, you'll need the exercise! Just be sure to make time for exploring its rich history and hanging out with the local wombats too...
There’s a reason the sun shines on New Zealand before anywhere else – every new day in Aotearoa is something to cherish! Small, remote and thinly populated, yes, but NZ punches well above its weight with its outlandish scenery, fabulous festivals, superb food and wine, and magical outdoor experiences.
Spindly Chile stretches 4300km – over half the continent – from the driest desert in the world (near San Pedro de Atacama) to massive glacial fields in the Patagonian south . Filling up the in-between are volcanoes, geysers, beaches, lakes, rivers, valleys , dusty towns and countless islands. Slenderness gives Chile the intimacy of a[...]
The secret is out: with its gorgeous landscapes, cosmopolitan cities and lively culture, Argentina is a traveler’s paradise. It stretches almost 3500km from Bolivia to the tip of South America, encompasses a wide array of geography and climates, and is almost the size of India. Nature-lovers can traverse the Patagonian steppe, climb[...]
Well, somebody let the cat out of the bag. Uruguay used to be South America’s best-kept secret, with a handful of Argentines, Brazilians, Chileans and non–South Americans in the know popping in to enjoy the pristine beaches, the atmospheric cities, the huge steaks and the happening nightlife. Then the peso crashed, the place became a[...]
Sprawling across half of South America, Brazil has captivated travelers for at least 500 years. Powdery white-sand beaches, lined with palm trees and fronting a deep blue Atlantic, stretch for more than 7000km. Dotting this coastline are tropical islands, music-filled metropolisesand enchanting colonial towns. Inland, Brazil offers[...]