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The historical center of Baku reveals its tumultuous past, from its roots as a Persian capital, through its oil boom to its Soviet occupation. The old city is a maze of alleys, mosques, historic buildings and remnants of fortification, including the Palace of the Shirvanshahs and the Maiden Tower, now listed among UNESCO's World Heritage Sites. Much more than a historic site, the city hosts vibrant arts and cultural activities, as well as a bustling modern business sector.
Why settle for a beachfront hotel when you can stay right over the ocean in a cottage on stilts? And why settle for any old dive site when you can snorkel in an orchid-walled lagoon? El Nido is known as the Philippines' last frontier, and if you're looking for magnificent beaches in an unspoiled setting, it's a perfect place for you to vacation.
Surrounded by a huge fortress wall with bastions, the striking blue buildings in Jodhpur contrast sharply and beautifully with the neighboring Thar Desert. Exploring the palaces, forts and temples will keep you busy and in awe of the city’s historic grandeur. Bazaars offer a range of beautiful textiles, embroidered leather goods, lacquerware, antiques, carpets, puppets and figurines. Jodhpur is a popular tourist destination and a convenient base for travel in the region.
This former colonial resort provides a respite from Southern Vietnam's year-round swelter. The town is full of beautiful French-era buildings and surrounded by pine trees and farms growing exotic vegetables and flowers. It's worth the trip just to escape the heat for a few days.
Jeju is a hot tourist spot, booming with unique attractions. Romantic sunrises and sunsets, mild climate and beautiful sandy beaches make Jeju a popular honeymoon destination. Adventurers can hike to Baeknok Lake at the top of Mount Halla, South Korea’s highest peak. Keep an eye out for the “haenyeo,” female divers gathering fresh seafood, and the iconic “grandfather statues” displayed outside of many restaurants.
The northwest market town of Sapa is colorful and charming, providing the perfect oasis in the midst of a strenuous mountain trek or rice-paddy tour. The Gothic stone church at the center of town is a bull’s-eye in the center of shops and stalls, serving as a reminder of the town’s French missionary influence. Dine on Vietnamese or European-inspired cuisine downtown, and don’t miss the Saturday night "love market," one of the most potent—and strictest—single’s nights imaginable.
Most people come to Hualien to visit the Taroko Gorge. And with good reason—it's simply beautiful. With rope bridges over rivers, hiking trails with astounding views, and temples cut into the mountainsides, it's an unforgettable place. Feel the full power of the ocean at Shihtiping, a two-hour drive from Hualien, where the waves crash into the rocky shore.
Kuching is a fine choice for an enriching vacation that's as packed with learning as it is leisure. Its many museums and impressive planetarium will enthrall even the tiniest travelers, and a quick climb to the top of the Kuching Civic Center will reward you with jaw-dropping 360-degree views. Grab a snack from a stall on the bustling waterfront, and don't miss the absolutely massive Sunday market, which is an electric experience for shoppers, vendors, and observers.
Kota Kinabalu on the island of Borneo is the bustling gateway to acclaimed Kinabalu National Park. The park's high point is 13,400-foot Mount Kinabula, Malaysia's tallest peak, a mecca for climbers. Ninety miles away, thrilling jungle trekking and camping await in the Crocker Range National Park.
The beauty and rich history of George Town keeps tourists flocking all year round. George Town offers views of the famous Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion, Kapitan Keling Mosque and many of the capital's golden crowned Buddhist temples. With museums showcasing the country's rich-historical treasures, restaurants that offer classic Malaysian cuisine and dozens of shopping malls, there's guaranteed to be something for everyone to see.