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Learn About Laos in Luang Prabang

By Steve Bergsman

The alarm went off at 4:45 a.m., giving my wife and me about 15 minutes to get ready. The monks would be parading the streets of Luang Prabang, Laos, and we would be joining the local citizenry in the daily ritual of feeding the dedicated.

A spot near a local temple had been made ready for us with a small carpet (...Read more

In the Footsteps of First Ladies at Angkor Wat

By Steve Bergsman

The first time I ever heard of Angkor Wat, the huge Hindu-Buddhist temple in Siem Reap, Cambodia, was when I was a young man watching the news after dinner with my father. One night in 1967 the feature story was about Jacqueline Kennedy, the widow of President John Kennedy, visiting Angkor Wat, which I assumed had just ...Read more

Remember Favorite Movies by Visiting Where They Were Filmed

By Victor Block

Bob Burrus is channeling John Travolta. He enters Lenny's Pizza in Brooklyn and orders a slice. After devouring the snack, he emerges onto 86th Street and struts down several blocks as the song "Staying Alive" plays in his head. Bob is reliving the opening scene of the 1977 motion picture "Saturday Night Fever." And he's ...Read more

They Do It Right in Branson, Missouri

By Fyllis Hockman

OK, I know not everyone believes in the Loch Ness Monster, the Easter Bunny or even Santa Claus, but everyone believes in Bigfoot, right? Right? I know this because I've actually been to his very own park in Branson, Missouri, dedicated to all things related to the big hairy guy. It's hard to argue with that much ...Read more

Explore Southeast Asia on a Mekong River Cruise

By Steve Bergsman

When considering a cruise down the Mekong River in Southeast Asia, one is tempted to think back to the patrol boat in the movie "Apocalypse Now." But let me offer a far different cinematic reference, the 1939 Hedy Lamarr and Robert Taylor romance, "Lady of the Tropics," which begins with a cruise ship landing in Saigon before ...Read more

'The Lover's House' Lures Dumas Fans to Sa Dec, Vietnam

By Steve Bergsman

"He says he's just back from Paris where he was a student, that he lives in Sa Dec too, on this same river, the big house with the big terraces with the blue-tiled balustrades." -- Marguerite Duras

Ph-ung looked about 25 and stood 5 feet tall. In the town of Sa Dec, Vietnam, she boasted a good job, the English-speaking...Read more

Chocolate and Honey Heaven in Grenada

The Spice Isle of Grenada in the Caribbean West Indies is known for its tropical lushness, azure seas lapping white, palm-tree-sprinkled beaches and jagged coves -- and just that, the fragrant array of spices this island paradise has been providing the world dating back to the 1600s. Its natural-grown nutmeg, cinnamon, turmeric, curry, cardamom,...Read more

River Cruising Offers Carefree European Travel

It was early morning as our Viking longship, Alruna, docked in the little town of Breisach, Germany. Day seven of our eight-day Rhine getaway was sunny and promised to be comfortably warm. The air was clean with sweet floral scents that tickled our nostrils. It was the perfect day for a 26-mile e-bike ride through the Black Forest.

Our guide, ...Read more

The Canal Is Just One of Panama's Treasures

By Fyllis Hockman

When I read about our upcoming visit to the Embera tribe of indigenous peoples as part of our Caravan tour to Panama and the fact that the women were naked from the waist up, I promised myself I wouldn't stare. I'm not sure whether I was disappointed or relieved to find them fully clothed - clearly dressing up for the ...Read more

Celebrate Nina Simone in Tryon, North Carolina

By Steve Bergsman

When I arrived in Tryon, North Carolina, populated by 1,700 souls and located on the South Carolina border, my GPS directed me along the hills and gullies that formed the outskirts of the hamlet. Here I encountered a work crew from the National Trust for Historic Preservation hard going on the stabilization and ...Read more

The U.S. Virgin Islands: Caribbean Sun, Sand and Savings

By Victor Block

One island resembles a U.S. city, with teeming streets and sidewalks and shops galore. Another is a tiny dot of mostly unspoiled wilderness. The third bridges the gap, with a something-for-everyone variety of ambience and activities. Adding to the appeal is that the three very different Caribbean atolls are close enough ...Read more

History, Horticulture and Hospitality in St. Croix

By Fyllis Hockman

The manor house, still in use today, was built in 1653 by the Knights of Malta. The sugar mill, constructed in 1733, now serves as a venue for weddings. Former slave quarters dating back 250 years provide lodging.

It's not often a visit to a destination hotel includes a history tour spanning several centuries. However,...Read more

Laidback Luxury in Zihuatanejo, Mexico

By Nicola Bridges

Looking out at Zihuatanejo Bay through a frame of bougainvillea from our private pool is like viewing an understated Mexican Monte Carlo. Luxury boats moored in the bay lazily languish in the moist heat of the day, protected from the Pacific Ocean just visible between two headlands. But unlike the pizzazz and bustle of ...Read more

Happening Hotels in LoDo, Denver

By Nicola Bridges

Denver's Lower Downtown district -- LoDo to locals -- has undergone a transformation in recent years as a hip and happening neighborhood attracting locals and visitors alike to sample its trendy restaurants, bars, cafes and cool stores. Stretching from Larimer Square and its elegant Victorian buildings to Union Station ...Read more

Holland America Line's Nieuw Statendam: a Cruise for Music Lovers

By Candyce H. Stapen

Our after-dinner stroll on Holland America Line's Nieuw Statendam landed us in the middle of a lively indoor street bash. Outside the Rolling Stone Rock Room several couples boogied to "A Hard Day's Night," others clapped along and more than a few junior cruisers wiggled to the familiar tune. As my husband, David, ...Read more

Have a Blast at Huntington Beach

By Richard Carroll

The mighty Pacific Ocean has left its mark on Huntington Beach with an ebb and flow that has enthralled not only surfers and spectators from throughout the world but also those who love the unspoiled treasure of 10 miles of glorious public beachfront. A free-spirited, eternally young city, Huntington Beach offers an ...Read more

There's More Than the Beach on Alabama's Gulf Coast

By Victor Block

My first thought was that I had taken a wrong turn. This couldn't be Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, perched on the Gulf Coast of Alabama. That place is known for its long stretches of magnificent sand and expanses of unspoiled nature. I was passing a line of high-rise condominium buildings that seemed to be competing for ...Read more

The World's Largest Food Fight and Feeding Frenzy

By Fyllis Hockman

I have to eat more bacon? Really? Who wouldn't want that? Okay, maybe not vegetarians, but I have it on the authority of a vegan friend that the porcine delicacy is the verboten food most missed. And here I am immersed in it, engulfed by 10 different tantalizing bacon dishes that I'm supposed to judge as part of the ...Read more

Toasting Magical Greenland

By Sharon Whitley Larsen

Coffee and "Danish" in Greenland? (More about that in a minute.)

I had no idea what to expect in this "fly-over" country, inhabited since prehistoric times, some 4,300 years. How many times flying across the Pond I've gazed from an airline window to the mass of ice below, wondering who in the world lived there. ...Read more

Rafting on Idaho's 'River of No Return'

By Nicola Bridges

Trussed up in our soggy wetsuits, splash tops, life jackets and helmets, my (mature) river mates and I are daring each other to jump off a 25-foot-high rock into the freezing-cold water at the mouth of a waterfall that gushes into the rapidly running river we've been rafting for the past five days. We're too old for ...Read more


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