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It’s nicknamed the Eternal City for a reason. In Rome, you can drink from a street fountain fed by an ancient aqueduct. Or see the same profile on a statue in the Capitoline Museum and the guy making your cappuccino. (Which, of course, you know never to order after 11 am.) Rome is also a city of contrasts—what other place on earth could be home to both the Vatican and La Dolce Vita?
Forested hills, romantic white-sand beaches and crystal-clear waters greet visitors to tropical Palau Langkawi, the largest of the 99 islands in Langkawi archipelago. Known mysteriously as "Legendary Island" because of myths associated with its ancient geological formations, it drifts serenely alongside Malaysia in the azure Andaman Sea. Sample local cuisine at the night markets, hike to dramatic waterfalls or dive into an underwater marine park to take a guided glimpse at life beneath the sea.
A dense urban stopover where Thailand and Malaysia meet, Hat Yai exudes the international energy of a border hub. Though short on sights and historic charm, its shopping centres and floating market provide anything a modern traveller could ask for.
The British colonial city of Ipoh had humble beginnings, but has blossomed into a beautiful cityscape that marries old-world charm with modern amenities. This is a foodie's city, offering endless street stalls and restaurants all eager to serve up a sample of mouthwatering local fare. Walk it all off on a jaunt through breathtaking limestone caves that seem carved by the capable hands of a higher power.
The stunning cliffs of Etretat are world-famous for their naturally-formed archways. Snap some photos of these geological wonders (you won’t be the first) as you ramble along the coastal path. Historic chateaus and chapels pepper the landscape, and a range of annual festivals infuse this provincial seaside town with revelry.
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.