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May 03

If there is just one chance to travel these are five destinations not to miss.

 

A magical experience awaits in the Four Seasons Golden Triangle, Thailand

There are many beautiful destinations in the world, and of course that it is impossible to visit all of them, the good news is that there will be always new amazing places to see. The question is where to go? Well the answer is actually not too hard. Just go. Finally it does not matter so much where. All destinations, all countries offer extraordinary possibilities, it is just a matter of opening our minds to enjoy all those opportunities. Obviously there are special places as well. Those whose destinations are unique because of their beauty, their location or their history. Even the assiduous traveler from time to time asks which places should not to be missed at all.

We present here today some of those fantastic destinations. After having traveled the world if I only had one more chance to travel, I would certainly choose one of these places.

 

Thailand

The peaceful retreat at the Westin Siray Beach, Phuket

There has been a tremendous boom in the numbers of tourists arriving to this Southeastern Asian nation in the last years. The numbers have had a direct impact on the economy and the infrastructure of Thailand. There is almost every imaginable hotel brand present in Bangkok, a city that every year opens three or four new luxury properties. The truth is that Thailand is an amazing country. It offers many diverse possibilities for the visitor. Bangkok is a city that can keep any visitor busy for days. It has an excellent international airport that is connected with the city through a very efficient system of transportation.  It is a big city, with many shopping opportunities, excellent restaurants and very friendly people.

A gorgeous view of the JW Marriott resort, Phuket.

Most of the locals have some knowledge of English which makes it very easy for tourists to make their way in the city. Many people hold to wrong ideas about Bangkok and rumors about Thailand in general have become widespread especially in United States. Among certain groups (especially college kids) Thailand is known as a party destination. We cannot deny that there is an excellent nightlife in the country, Patong Beach for example is known as the party capital of the world, on the other hand not everybody comes here to party. Thailand offers many cultural and historical opportunities. The palaces and temples of Bangkok are some of the most fantastic buildings that anyone can visit in the world.

The Westin Siray Beach, Phuket.

Even when Bangkok is a great city there is a lot of more to see in the country. Phuket is one of the most popular destinations. Visitors feel attracted to the amazing beaches and to the paradisiacal islands that are home to some great beach resorts. There are places that cater to youth where the party never stops and there are other places that focus on relaxation, wellbeing and an encounter with nature. Two of these fantastic hotels are the Westin Siray Beach, a hotel a little isolated from the bustling crowds, with remarkable views, one of the best places to find peace and relaxation in a unique destination. The JW Marriott delivers one of the most luxurious experiences on the island, surrounded by exotic nature and incredibly good services it is one of the best beach resorts in Southeast Asia. There are many other destinations in Thailand as well, for those who prefer the mountains or to see the country as it is, maybe they will be captivated by the four Seasons Tented camp in the Golden Triangle, this is a unique hotel in a distinctive setting, a place to enjoy, but overall a place to have time for oneself and enjoy the beauties of an amazing country.

Besides all the incredible destinations that this country offers another good piece of news is that it is still a very affordable destination. This is a place to enjoy a full vacation, in a place with good taste and eating in excellent restaurants without sacrificing the girth of our wallets. Many other countries in this region offer some of the good things you will find in Thailand, the main advantage of Thailand, as a destination is that you will find all these very good things that any tourist loves all in one place.

 

French Polynesia

Fascinating view from the Intercontinental Resort and Thalasso Bora Bora.

It seems far away from any other place on earth. But that geographic position actually is not a problem but maybe even a gift. Who does not want from time to time to escape from the stresses and problems of daily life? Who does not want to find a place where one can recharge their energies to face the old routines again? French Polynesia is one of the most beautiful spots on earth. It is actually a group of islands blessed with beautiful nature and an incredible blue sea with colorful fish and impressive coral reefs. Papeete is the capital and is a laid back town. It is the perfect place to start a wonderful vacation in the South Pacific. There are some good resorts in Papeete and many people decide to stay in the capital. The international airport is served by different airlines. Air Tahiti Nui is the national flag carrier, a very good airline, with excellent in flight service. It is the best choice to fly to French Polynesia and to start by enjoying from the air the excellent hospitality for which these people are known. Air Tahiti flies to Paris and from there to Papeete with a stop in Los Angeles.

Another of the splendid properties of Intercontinental in Tahiti.

Most people come to French Polynesia to enjoy the different islands, there are several boats in which it is possible to travel to the different points around and it is certainly a great experience. Air Tahiti offers domestic flights and from time to time they make available an unlimited pass to fly all around the islands which is actually a great deal. It is not possible to come all this way and miss Bora Bora. It is a truly magical place, with Mount Otemanu as the guardian of the island. If the pictures of Bora Bora are already amazing and every year those images make the first pages of magazines and calendars, there is nothing like being in the place. The hotels are really out of this world, some of the best resorts in the world are actually located in Bora Bora. Amazing examples are the Intercontinental, St. Regis, Four Seasons and the Hilton.

Once anyone arrives to Bora Bora all their worries are forgotten, here is a place to enjoy, to find inner peace, to relax and never forget it as long as you live.

 

Maldives

There are no words to describe the magnificent experience in the Waldorf Astoria, Maldives.

There are hundred of islands in the Maldives, most of these islands are inhabited. As a curious note all the territory of this country is located at the elevation of sea level. The highest point around is only two meters high. The capital is Male, it is actually a big city. It is a small territory with around one hundred thousand people living on the main island. It is really a colorful place, most of the buildings have been painted with vivid colors. There is an international airport that receives flights from all over the world. It is interesting to made a stop in Male, but there is not a lot to see. Everything is out in the islands. Maldives is famous for its alluring beach resorts. One can find here some of the most luxurious hotels on isolated islands with turquoise waters and coral reefs. Maldives is one of most desirable destinations among travelers today. Those that do not know the place by name at least have seen some pictures of the famous overwater bungalows. It is true that this is a very expensive destination, but if we are talking of places we should go at least once in our lives this is definitely one of those.

As I said there are many, but many fantastic resorts. A great place for example is the Waldorf Astoria, a place that seems to have been born directly from the creative imagination of a genius mind. The hotel boasts fantastic service and beautiful rooms that will take your breath away.

Wonderful moments at the Conrad hotel, Maldives.

Almost every resort is located on its own whole island. The amazing thing is that these islands have to be almost completely self sufficient, besides the food that is brought by plane or boat, everything else is produced here from electricity to drinking water. Many of the resorts are far away from Male so it is only possible to arrive there via a speedy boat transfer or taking a flight in a sea plane. All this can help one to understand why this place is so expensive, on the other hand this is not a destination for massive crowds, people go there to enjoy a once in a lifetime vacation. So why not to save a little and stop looking at pictures in the calendar and go and enjoy the place for ourselves?

 

United Arabic Emirates

 

How a country like this was able to go from being a deserted nation, whose economy was based entirely on the trade of pearls, to become one of the richest countries in the world? Of course oil is largely responsible for the unquestionable success of this transformation but it is not the only one. The UAE is an incredible country, with fantastic cities such as Dubai and Abu Dhabi, dazzling beach destinations like Fujairah and Ajman and spectacular towns known as Sharjah and Al Ain. Today the economy of the Emirates is based on many other things besides oil. Banking, business and real state are big players in this country now. The economic crisis hit this country’s wealth too, but new events have pushed an influx of tourism bringing a lot of money into the Emirates.

The Beach in the Kempinski Ajman.

The reality is that the Emirates offer all the things necessary to become one of the most fantastic trips that anyone can take. Almost everybody starts in Dubai, which is a very modern city with many skyscrapers (even the tallest building of the world is there), it has huge shopping centers, world class hotels and delectable restaurants. Almost anything that one can imagine has been built in Dubai. A great example is the spectacular ski resort in the middle of the desert. Abu Dhabi (the capital) is another city that has taken off in the last years with amazing new projects, some of the most fantastic entertainment in the city is at Saadiyat Island with the newest and most luxurious hotels, and Yas Island with the biggest indoor theme park of the world: Ferrari world. Very close by is the F1 circuit and there are enough restaurants and hotels to keep any visitor on site without abandoning the island for days. But there is much more in the country to see.

The beauty of the desert in Al Ain.

Al Ain is one of the most cultural cities, if offers the possibility to see a different face of the country. One can visit the mountains in the middle of the desert, the beautiful fortresses that are the best testaments to the proud history of the country and the unique flower gardens and parks (it is not a coincidence that this is called the city of flowers). Fujairah, Ajman and Sharjah are other Emirates worthy of a visit, each one offers different attractions, from the beach focused vacation to the cosmopolitan experience of the high rise buildings of Sharjah.

Being such an incredible place many people believe that it is a very expensive one. Well, if one wants to go expensive here it is possible to find some of the most luxurious and expensive hotels, but the good news is that it is not hard to find excellent affordable lodging options, plus the price of food it is actually not bad at all.

The Emirates is a unique country with unique traditions and history, really a destination not to miss in the Middle East.

 

Paris, France

Paris: A city like no other.

People frequently ask me that if there is just one city to visit which one would it be? I know many will disagree, others will agree, but I think that if there is just one city to go to this should be Paris. I do not want to fall in the cliché of the romanticism that surrounds the place. The truth is that Paris is a fantastic city. Certainly it is overpriced, many times it is overcrowded and even when there are many nice people, sometimes it may lack the friendliness of other destinations. Still Paris is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Nothing can substitute an evening in the Ille de France or a dinner at one of the incredible restaurants in the city.

Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris.

Paris has two big airports, Charles de Gaulle is the main one. Orly is smaller, but with not so many people, it is actually closer to the city and it receives many international flights. Paris has an excellent public transportation system, and finally in such a beautiful city there is nothing like walking around and enjoying the beauty of a place with such history and meaning in the life of so many persons.

Paris is as well a city of culture with some of the most famous museums, no one should miss the Louvre and the Museum D’Orsay. It is a city with an impressive religious history some of the better places to enjoy such ties with faith are Notre Dame Cathedral and Sacre Coeur Basilica. It is impossible to be in Paris and not to go up to the Eifel tower, there is not a better panorama of the city that the one that can be seen from there.  Paris has many lodging options, some of these are expensive and not so good, others are expensive and amazingly good. For example the Hyatt le Vendome and the Four Seasons are magical places, beautiful hotels in fantastic locations.

There is entertainment for the whole family, Disney is one of the places nearby that attracts many families, it is actually a great place to go even if you are not travelling with kids. The excellent hotels in the area are more affordable than the big ones in the center of the city, especially good are the Marriott and the Radisson, both located next to a beautiful golf course and with easy access to the theme parks. Even when the parks of Disney are located like forty minutes away many choose that area as the base from which to explore Paris, actually the parks are connected with the city trough a fast train. So I think there are enough reasons why Paris should be always on the top wish list of any traveler.

This is the Editorial Board of The Joys of Traveling. We are passionate travel writers who seek to provide objective and accurate accounts of travel experiences by means of written articles, photos and videos.

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