Bali is a world away from the rest of Indonesia, and it's a longstanding favorite with independent travelers. Itinerant surfers started coming as early as the 1930s, but it wasn't until the 1960s that surfing holidays in Bali became fashionable. Today, the island legacy continues, and Bali sees as many bohemian surfers as it does affluent resort tourists. With miles of luxurious coastline and a range of accommodation in Bali, this small island has room enough for everyone.
Indonesia may have the world's largest Muslim population, but Bali fosters its own distinct culture. Hinduism has flourished here for nearly 2,000 years. Away from the beaches are fascinating Hindu temples, cultural exhibitions, terraced rice fields and colorful festivals all worthy of a visit ? any many photos.
Thailand's bustling capital serves as the premier gateway not only for Thailand, but for all of Southeast Asia. A sprawling city, Bangkok doesn't have a dedicated central district. Instead, the major activity follows Sukhumvit Road through the length of the metropolis. This avenue provides access to most of the accommodation in Bangkok and boasts world-class shopping complexes like Siam Square and Siam Paragon. It also cuts directly through prominent restaurant districts and a few sizzling after-hours neighborhoods.
Bangkok's financial district is bound to Silom and Sathorn roads and many five-star business hotels are located here. By day, Thailand's most successful businesspeople converge on these gleaming skyscrapers, but this part of the city assumes a new identity at dusk. Financial institutions close up and are replaced by neon rows of bars, restaurants and market stalls, culminating in the famous bar and club strip of Patpong.
It's hard to imagine how this once humble fishing village at the mouth of the Yangzte River grew into China's biggest city and the eighth largest in the world. And yet it has become the pride of China in more ways than one ? a sprawling, progressive city with a proud, resplendent past. An epicenter for art and culture as much as it is for commerce. Yes, this cosmopolitan city has plenty to offer the curious tourist and has become a popular option for those traversing Eastern lands.
There are numerous accommodation options in Shanghai the only thing to take note of is that hotels in Pudong cater more to business travelers. Similarly, an endless range of dining choices is available throughout Shanghai, from delicious street foods in Wujiang Road to upscale, expensive eateries in Xintiandi.
In many ways, this is a perfect cross-section of the entire country.
In colonial days, the British typically built their Indian strongholds from the ground up. New Delhi was unique because it was already the seat of a dynamic empire. While the British architecture in Delhi is impressive, it struggles to compete with massive Mughal feats like the Red Fort or Jama Masjid, sister structure to the Taj Mahal.
Stylish and successful, with a smattering of historic relics, Mumbai fits the profile of an ideal travel destination. Add beaches, a raucous nightlife and a long succession of Bollywood films, and it's easy to see why the world can't stop talking about India's budding starlet.
The most visited city on Earth, Paris is a city that lives up to the hype. Home to some of the world’s most famous attractions, the City of Light is more than just historic monuments and high fashion, it's a place that fully engages the senses with romance, beauty and nostalgia.
Divided by the river Seine and split into 20 arrondissements, Paris's architectural beauty is its most obvious appeal - Haussmann-era urban planning implemented building restrictions that have frozen the landscape of the inner city firmly in the late 19th century. Combine Haussman's renovation of Paris with the Arc de Triomphe, the Louvre, the Notre Dame and the Eiffel Tower and already Paris is almost overwhelmingly endowed with architectural marvels.
Rome is one of the world's greatest destinations. Fully deserving of its moniker as the Eternal City, people have been enchanted by Rome for millennia. Former seat of the Roman Empire, Rome may not be the political force it once was, but as a tourist destination and an all-round cultural capital it's tough to outclass and millions of travelers visit every year to enjoy its food, arts and an overwhelming sense of history.
Divided into several zones, Rome's most famous landmarks are either in the city center or within walking distance of it. The Colosseum, the 8th-century BC Palatine ruins and the Roman Forum are all located close to Colosseo metro station, a short walk from the shopping of Via del Corso. In the city center, the Pantheon, the Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Stairs are all within a ten-minute stroll of each other; the Piazza Navona, nestled by the Tiber, is also close - just south of Vatican City.
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