Everyone knows about the Vietcong complex at Cu Chi near Ho Chi Minh City, but less celebrated are these equally fascinating tunnels that lead on to the beach.
Moreover, they are a little taller and wider than Cu Chi, so somewhat less claustrophobic. A particular highlight is the 'hospital', little more than a cubby hole where women came to give birth.
Best bet is via the many tourist offices in Hue - wherever you go, you'll probably end up with a Sinh Cafe tour anyway so might as well book direct.
Ok, this is actually in Vina del Mar, Valpo's more modern sister city a ten-minute drive up the road. However, Cerro Castillo is a must visit for anyone interested in the history of this part of Chile.
The area is known as Cerro Castillo because:
-it's a hill
-there are numerous old houses built like castles
It's a quiet residential area - no cafes, no restaurants, no toilets - but is Vina's poshest address. Some of the houses are spectacular -tudor houses nestle next to gothic mansions and there are the eponymous castles dotted around the place, the most notable being the local police HQ. The Presidential Palace is also to be found on Cerro Castillo.
It was on Cerro Castillo that Chile's wealthiest families from Santiago and Valparaiso had their seaside residences in the country's most elite Balneario. It shows in the architecture.
At the foot of the hill is the Club Arabe-Siria and opposite is the Castillo Wulf, now the town council. Also just around the corner is the Cap Ducal, a restaurant and hotel right on the water and shaped like a cruise liner.
The new Sheraton is also at the foot of the hill.
From the new Sheraton or Castillo Wulf and Cap Ducal there are steps or a road leading up to the hill. From the other side, there's access from the beginning of Calle Valparaiso.
When visiting Paris make sure you take a look at Les Catacombes. A maze-like path through walls of bones and skulls of the commoners who had their graves excavated for new buildings. It offers a very different view of the city!
Rethymno has a gorgeous harbour and great Italian-looking architecture. It's situated on Crete so loads to do - looking around Knossos (the Minotaur etc) is a good day out. Try getting a cheap local rental cottage rather than stay at the big touristy resorts.
Doors Open Day, organised by the Cockburn Association (The Edinburgh Civic Trust) in partnership with Edinburgh World Heritage, has become one of the capital’s most popular days out.
It is your opportunity to see inside some of Edinburgh’s most architecturally, culturally and socially significant buildings. This year’s programme gives free access to over 70 buildings, ranging from historic landmarks to the most contemporary of designs – including many hidden gems.
Each venue has organised a range of free activities, designed to bring the history, design and the everyday use of the building to life – including behind the scenes tours, talks, exhibitions, musical recitals, demonstrations and re-enactments. There are also many activities for children.
Venues are throughout Edinburgh. Further details, including how to obtain this year's brochure, can be found from www.cockburnassociation.org.uk
You can also see pictures of some of the buildings taking part in this years event on: www.flickr.com/photos/doorsopenday/
A must for every visitor is the Palais des Papes - truly spectacular. But also check out the great restaurants and wine bars in the square, the quality is generally very high - a cheap favourite is La Grande Brasserie.
The nuclear bunker tour in Latvia is funny, weird and a really good day out. My friends and I combined it with a trip to the shooting range in Latvia.
I first heard about the tour in a story I read in easyJet's in-flight magazine about a crazy underground nuclear bunker in Latvia's countryside.
The bunker is in the middle of nowhere and is absolutely the most strange place I've ever been to. Plan to go back and do it again in the winter for the full-on Soviet winter vibe.
Find ‘De Erste Klasse’ on platform 2b of Amsterdam Central Station and be infused with years of rail travel atmosphere. This huge late 19th century wood paneled brassiere is the epitome of European railway romanticism: think ‘Brief Encounter’ without the tea urn.
Situated about 40 kms NW of Aleppo, this ruined basilica and associated buildings is famous for being the place where St Simeon sat on his pillar for 36 years. But its real attraction is the stunning site and spectacular architecture, the church when completed in 490 AD was the largest in the world. Visiting St Simeon combines well with many of the nearby Dead Cities and other sites in the region.
A few kms beyond Deir Semaan. Entrance 150 Syrian pounds.
Rated three-star, and accessed rather unattractively by lift from a dingy corridor near the clock tower in the centre of Hama, this well located hotel is distinguished by exceptionally helpful staff. When asking where I might buy a replacement camera case, they arranged for one of the staff who is a tailor by day to stitch my broken strap.
Very good at arranging day trips to sites such as Apamea and Krak des Chavaliers, and working out how you might share with other visitors or those staying at the Cairo hotel which the management also owns. Taxi from the bus station should be 50 Syrian pounds.
tel (33) 512414
The full name is Monasterio de Santa Catalina de Sena. A vast (20,000 square metres) complex, built in 1580.
It's beautiful - see Dilwyn Jenkins' 'Rough Guide to Peru.'
In the White City. Open 9am-4pm. Admission 25 sol.
... For the adventurous, I advise taking a small bus (weekly departures) from Cajamarca to Celendin, then Celendin to Leymebamba and Leymebamba to Chachapoyas.
It's soooo worth it for the scenery. You travel in a small bus on unsurfaced single track roads, hugging close to impossibly steep mountainsides, passing over mountain peaks, through jungles and over rivers.
Not advisable in the wet season due to landslides.
Stay in Leymebamba for a few days and take in the museum with hundreds of mummies from the nearby Laguna del Condor.
For the even more adventurous take a horse trek up to the laguna. It's an Indiana Jones style adventure. Nearly impossible in rainy season.
There are many other fascinating archaeological remains in the area.
Most are easier to access on tours from Chachapoyas than directly from Leymebamba.
Hostal "Laguna de los Condores" in Leymebmba arranges day trips, tours and horse hire and the staff (family run) have excellent local knowledge.
Go and find peace and tranquility by visiting Begijnhof, a delightful group of houses once inhabited by women who belonged to the sisterhood. The houses are grouped around a central courtyard, just a step away from the busy shopping street Kalverstraat.
All the places listed so far for Atlanta are pretty touristy. If you are a younger traveller, or enjoy hanging out with the locals, I recommend any of the following awesome places.
Java Monkey: cafe, wine bar, poetry readings.
Brickstore Pub: a bajillion beers, good food and great atmosphere.
Bluebird Cafe: great, great great food, very veggie-friendly.
Little Five Points is a nice area to walk around in.
Also, the most moving tourist sight in my opinion is a trip to Ebenezer Baptist Church downtown, where Martin Luther King Jr used to preach. His grave is right next door.
Java Monkey: 205 E Ponce De Leon Ave # 5, 30030.
Brickstore Pub: 125 E Court sq, 30030.
Bluebird Cafe: 421 Memorial Drive SE 30312.
Take the train to the university town of Leiden (30 minutes). It has wonderful streets and canals, a historic university, great museums and it's just the right size to walk around.
You'll also find lots of great cafes and bars (traditional or trendy) to rest in for Dutch gin (jenever) with a beer chaser. Go in winter - it's very atmospheric and the houses are all lit up, so you can see how the Dutch really live.
Take a taxi up to Tambo Machay and then walk down back to Cuzco through all the ruins to end up by the big statue.
You don't need a guide - it'll take you all day - and there's food stalls on the way. We sheltered from the midday sun in one and drank beer and watched football.
Kuelap is the remains of a fortified town built over the course of 600 years at an altitude of 3,000m. A lot of the original brickwork remains and it is fascinating to wander gently through these remains, especially after the massed hordes who visit Machu Picchu.
From Chiclayo, travel to Chacapoyas region and then you'll need to catch a tour going to the ruins. Well worth it.
Fascinating tombs have been found, belonging to lords of important pre-Inca cultures. The royal tomb of the Lord of Sipan was only discovered in 1987. The lord was buried with his companions, dog and treasure. The finds of gold, turquoise and lapis lazuli from the Moche culture rival those of Tutankhamum in Egypt.
Two excellent museums have been built to house these beautiful artifacts. The best at Lambayeque - 10 minutes drive from Chiclayo - holds the Lord Sipan collection and the nearby town of Ferrenafe has a smaller museum with finds from the Sican Culture.
Internal flights from Lima to Chiclayo take about an hour.
At the end of the 3rd day of the Inca Trail, you may find yourself sipping a beer at the only bar on the trail. Should your guide appear and offer to take you to see Winaywayna, a nearby Inca site, make sure you go.
Just 5 minutes from the bar, a tree lined path opens out on a magnificent crescent shaped terrace, with Inca buildings clinging to its steps.
Complex channels, guide water through and around the building. These channels combined practical functionality with religious and spiritual requirements.
The terrace faces Mount Veronica and the view is stunning on a good day.
Few people go to this site, but it is a real shame to miss it.
If you would like to see some pictures, go to webplaza.pt.lu/denniss/globetrotters/entry36-tg.html
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