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Medium 9781743217580

Day-Trippin' Ko Phi-Phi

Lonely Planet Lonely Planet ePub

Curvy bays, bleach-blonde beaches, bodacious jungles and long-tails puttering between craggy cliffs that rise from vivid turquoise waters. The insanely pretty islands of Ko Phi-Phi Don and Ko Phi-Phi Leh turn tropical-island clichés into a stunning reality. Boat over to Phi-Phi Leh to retrace Leo DiCaprio’s steps in The Beach, dive deep into the blue, hike up to the glorious viewpoint or just kick back for the day on any of the soft white sands sprinkled around.

Ko Phi-Phi is 47km southeast of Phuket.

f Boats leave Phuket's Tha Rassada at 9am, 11am and 3pm, returning at 9am, 2pm, 2.30pm and 3.30pm (250B to 300B, two hours).

AArrive at Tha Rassada early to snag a good lounging spot: boats get crowded.

AIf you've got time, stay overnight to experience Phi-Phi's notorious nightlife.

APhi-Phi's fragile ecosystem and infrastructure struggles to cope with its influx of tourists. Tread lightly.

For Phi-Phi's cheapest, most authentic eats, hunt down the bubbly Local Food Market ( GOOGLE MAP ; Ton Sai Village; meals 60-80B; h7am-10pm). Otherwise, feast on world-roaming treats like bagels, burgers and pastas in a cafe-chic setting at expat fave Unni's ( GOOGLE MAP ; %081 979 2865; Ton Sai Village; mains 200-350B; h8am-midnight; W).

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Medium 9781743213889

Great Ocean Road

Lonely Planet Lonely Planet ePub

The Great Ocean Road (B100) is one of Australia’s most famous road-touring routes. It takes travellers past world-class surfing breaks, through pockets of rainforest, calm seaside towns and under koala-filled tree canopies. It shows off sheer limestone cliffs, dairy farms and heathlands, and gets you up close and personal with the crashing waves of the Southern Ocean.

Hunt out the isolated beaches and lighthouses in between the towns, and the thick eucalypt forests in the Otway hinterlands to really escape the crowds. Rather than heading straight to the Great Ocean Road, a fork in the road in Geelong can take you the long, leisurely way there through the Bellarine Peninsula, which allows you to visit charming Queenscliff and wineries en route.

Day-tripping tourists from Melbourne rush in and out of the area in less than 12 hours but, in a perfect world, you’d spend at least a week here.

AMar Chill out to folk and roots tunes at the hugely popular Port Fairy Folk Festival.

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Medium 9781786573254

Wine, Glorious Wine

Lonely Planet Lonely Planet ePub

The countryside around the Bordeaux region is full of renowned vineyards and legendary châteaux, many of which can be visited. Venture a little further north and the Cognac region offers a totally different sort of tipple.

Bordeaux isn't the only wine party in town. Cognac produces a drink so heavenly that even the angels are said to partake. Learn all about it during a visit to the Musee des Arts du Cognac.

The quintessential French wine town and the oldest French wine region, St-Émilion has robust and generous wines that tickle the taste buds and any number of wine-related tours (available through the tourist office) to get the most from it.

No wine-tasting tour is complete without an exploration at the groundbreaking La Cité du Vin and a tasting workshop at the École du Vin de Bordeaux. Built on the wealth of the grape, Bordeaux lives up to its bourgeois reputation, but today an army of students gives the city a lighter edge.

The Médoc region encompasses some of the finest wine territory in France, with such grand names as Mouton Rothschild, Latour and Lafite Rothschild hailing from this area. Numerous wine-themed tours are available.

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Medium 9781742201412


Lonely Planet Lonely Planet ePub

Sailors, saints and artists made Castello home to seafood restaurants, ethereal icons and the Biennale. Venice’s shipbuilders made seafaring history at the Arsenale; Byzantine churches are gilt to the hilt, luxury hotels line the waterfront and Vivaldi echoes from the orphanage where he worked – but Castello slips into something more comfortable for the Giardini and bacari (bars).

Bar Terazza Danieli (Click here)

La Serra (Click here)

Palazzo Querini Stampalia (Click here)

Biennale Pavilions (Click here)

Vaporetto Line 1 makes stops along Riva degli Schiavoni, en route from the Lido up the Grand Canal. Line 2 also heads up the Grand Canal. Lines 41, 42, 51 and 52 circle the outer perimeter of Venice, including stops along Riva degli Schiavoni and Giudecca.

Hit heavenly sights across sprawling Castello: rosy Veronese ceilings and Lorenzetti’s seafaring Jesus in Zanipolo (Click here) , Negroponte’s floating Madonna in Palladio-designed Chiesa di San Francesco della Vigna (Click here) and Bellini’s vibrant Virgin Enthroned altarpiece in opulent Chiesa di San Zaccaria (Click here).

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Medium 9781742207315

Sacramento & Central Valley

Lonely Planet Lonely Planet ePub

The Central Valley is a vast swath of golden fields, rolling hills and scenic waterways that span 400 miles from Chico to Bakersfield. Its rich soil feeds the nation. Half the produce in the US — and nearly every carrot, almond and asparagus spear — was grown here.

In spring, the rivers swell and the orchards bloom. In summer, vast vineyards thrive under the relentless sunshine, and produce comes to market still warm from the fields. By fall and winter, the skies mellow and migratory ducks and geese fly in for a visit. The birds stay longer than most travelers, who tend to zip through on their way to more popular parts, but the shady streets and stately mansions of the region's Victorian-era towns and the uniquely scenic communities dotting the Sacramento Delta and Hwy 99, warrant more than a glimpse through the window.

AFeb–Mar Stop for pie and hot cider in the valley's technicolor Blossom Trail orchards.

ANov–Feb Catch the spectacular return of millions of migratory waterfowl in Sacramento.

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