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Medium 9781742204246


Planet, Lonely Lonely Planet Publications ePub


Learn about the city’s architectural heritage and its cultural life on a walking tour of the Unesco zone.

Get a virtual crash course in feng shui at this faithfully restored mansion that once belonged to a Chinese business magnate.

Gorge on George Town’s seemingly never-ending spread of edible delights at multiple street stalls and cafes.

Hike through jungles to deserted beaches where monkeys scamper.

Enjoy the cool breezes and fantastic views from atop the island’s highest peak.

The island of Penang, ‘Pearl of the Orient’, is one of Malaysia’s most tolerant, cosmopolitan and exciting destinations. Its historic capital George Town is a dynamic and atmospheric place that requires at least two days to explore. Here you’ll find trishaws pedalling past watermarked Chinese shop­houses, blue joss smoke curling around ornate temples; gold-embroidered saris displayed in shop windows; mosques sending a call to the midday prayer; and delicious cuisine practically every other step.

There’s more, however, to this 293-sq-km island, than just George Town. Hike through lush jungle to deserted beaches at Penang National Park, take a cooking course at the Tropical Spice Garden, or stand beneath the awesome goddess of mercy at the Kek Lok Si Temple – it’s all part of the Penang experience.

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Medium 9781742202976


Planet, Lonely Lonely Planet Publications ePub


Alberta does lakes and mountains like Rome does churches and cathedrals, but without the penance. For proof head west to Jasper and Banff, two of the worlds oldest national parks which, despite their wild and rugged terrain, remain well-trammeled and easily accessible. No one should leave this mortal coil without first laying eyes on Lake Louise and the Columbia Icefield. And think twice about dying before youve traveled east to the dinosaur-encrusted badlands around Drumheller, south to the Crypt Lake trail in Waterton Lakes National Park, and north to spot bison in the vast, empty northern parklands. Albertas cities are of patchier interest. There are people still alive older than Calgary and Edmontons downtowns. But, what these metropolises lack in history they make up for with their festivals. Edmontons fringe theater festival is the worlds second largest, while Calgarys July Stampede is as unapologetically ostentatious as the city that hosts it.

Jul Prime time for festivals, with Edmontons Street Performers and the Calgary Stampede.

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Medium 9781743603604

Horsing Around France

Berendt, John Lonely Planet Publications ePub

I am very fond of France – whenever I think of going anywhere, I have to say, ‘But maybe not France this time.’ In France, all Americans are guilty until proven innocent (or perhaps guilty of perennial innocence), but I don’t mind, the landscape makes up for it. So in 2007, I signed up for a horse riding perambulation of Aquitaine, a part of France I had never been to – but of course I used L’Occitane Citrus Verbena Shampoo and L’Occitane Shea Butter Verbena Soap and I had seen Katherine Hepburn play Eleanor of Aquitaine in The Lion in Winter, so I considered myself fully prepared. It was the end of July. I took my own saddle. My husband, Jack, and I flew Virgin, passed out in Dublin, awoke in Biarritz. Already, the first day, we felt profoundly sophisticated as we strolled around the casino, thinking of Audrey Hepburn and Sean Connery (and it didn’t matter that they had made no movies in Biarritz – Monte Carlo was close enough). Jack took a dip in the ocean (colder than Atlantic City) and I took a dip in the language. We smiled.

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Medium 9781743603611

7 The Ultimate Clothes-Packing Tip

Planet, Lonely Lonely Planet Publications ePub



Learn the art of bundle wrapping


Few travel moments are more discouraging than having one’s carefully packed clothing emerge at the destination a wrinkled mess. And there’s really only one consistently effective solution. Surprisingly, not that many people have learned how to do it.

The twin goals are to eliminate folding (which creates creases), and prevent garments from sliding against one another (the source of wrinkles). All hail a technique called ‘bundle wrapping’, the careful wrapping of clothes around a central core object (perhaps a flat pouch stuffed with socks and underwear).

Position easily-rumpled clothing (jackets, shirts) further from the core, and more forgiving items (sweaters, slacks) closer to the centre. Secure the resulting bundle against shifting, using the tie-down straps in your suitcase.

You’ll need some more detail, and it’s a skill much better illustrated than described (search for ‘bundle wrapping’ on the internet), but one well worth learning. Even that dressy linen outfit can be included in your travel plans.

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Medium 9781743215814


Planet, Lonely Lonely Planet Publications ePub

Passionate, sophisticated and devoted to living the good life, Spain is at once a stereotype come to life and a country more diverse than you ever imagined.

Spanish landscapes stir the soul, from the jagged Pyrenees and wildly beautiful cliffs of the Atlantic northwest to charming Mediterranean coves, while astonishing architecture spans the ages at seemingly every turn. Spain's cities march to a beguiling beat, rushing headlong into the 21st century even as timeless villages serve as beautiful signposts to Old Spain. And then there's one of Europe's most celebrated (and varied) gastronomic scenes.

But, above all, Spain lives very much in the present. Perhaps you'll sense it along a crowded after-midnight street when all the world has come out to play. Or maybe that moment will come when a flamenco performer touches something deep in your soul. Whenever it happens, you'll find yourself nodding in recognition: this is Spain.

AMar–Apr Spring wildflowers, Semana Santa processions and mild southern temps.

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