Cienne Olaes

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Spoilt for choice: Vietnam's best beaches

Vietnam might have been late to Southeast Asia’s beach party, but it was well worth the wait. The country boasts more than 3400km of coastline, with infinite stretches of powdery sand, coves, lagoons, impossible boulder formations and tropical islands ringed with yet more beaches. We can help you …

The ultimate guide to shopping in Hong Kong

Everyone knows Hong Kong as a place of neon-lit retail pilgrimage – all international brands worth their logo have outlets here, and they are supplemented by the city’s own retail trailblazers. That said, Hong Kong's reputation as a bargain hunter’s paradise is pretty much a thing of the past.<p>So …

Top 20 free things to do in Paris

City of love, fashion capital, literary paradise… Paris has many different guises. And while museum entry can be steep and fine dining comes at a premium, the French capital can also be a cheap date.<p>Whether you go weak at the knees for soaring church spires or want to rub elbows at an authentic …

Top experiences in Bali: making the most of paradise

Immerse yourself in the colour and sound of a traditional festival, dine on local specialities, snorkel beautiful reefs, watch craftspeople at work, wander through lush rice fields, or just relax and be pampered at a Balinese spa. There's an awful lot to do in paradise and it's not all about the …

Budget airlines: getting your money's worth

Budget airlines. Low-cost carriers. Whatever you want to call them, these no-frills airlines are appealing for the most basic of reasons: wallet-friendly prices and an incredibly extensive and diverse set of flight routes. But really, do you get what you pay for?<p>The bad bits: things we love to …

When is the best time to visit US and Canada's National Parks?

When is the best time to visit the National Parks of the US and Canada? You might think the answer would be one of the summer months. But when we looked at the 'best time to go' picks by Lonely Planet guidebook authors for the most visited and best-known parks in the US and Canada and stacked them …

A thrillseeker’s guide to Vietnam

Dense jungles, brooding mountains, endless waterways, towering cliffs, hairpin bends: the potential for adrenalin-fuelled adventure is limitless in Vietnam. Whether you prefer to scale the heights of jagged peaks or plumb the depths of coral reefs, Vietnam will deliver something special. Heck, just …

Vietnam

A guide to the eateries of Spain

Restaurants have been a part of Spanish culture for centuries. Indeed Spain is home to the oldest surviving restaurant in the world. According to the Guinness book that would be Sobrino de Botín (established 1725) just off Plaza Mayor in Madrid. Botín is merely the oldest and you’ll find many other …

Guide Books

How to plan a round-the-world trip

Itʼs the ultimate trip: circumnavigating the planet, and stopping off wherever takes your fancy. Great for travellers who want to see it all, or who are just plain indecisive. But booking a round-the-world (RTW) trip can be a complex business. Hereʼs our guide to getting started.<p>How to do it<p>The …

Everest Base Camp

The 10 best treks in the world

These 10 classic treks are for serious walkers. All of them require a sturdy pair of lungs, fit legs and a good amount of preparation. However, if you choose to go on any of these trails then you will be rewarded with experiences that last a lifetime. In no particular order:<p>1. GR20, France<p><i>Image by</i> …

Our top 45 free things to do in New York City

Seeing New York City's biggest attractions can mean spending a hefty chunk of your trip budget on tickets. Empire State Building? $36. The Guggenheim and the Whitney both go for $25. Even the Frick is $22. But there's a lifetime of fun to be had without ever handing over a cent, and not just by …

Beyond Halong Bay: lesser-known highlights of northeast Vietnam

Stunning<p>Halong Bay continues to dominate the itineraries of most travellers in Vietnam, but it’s not the be-all and end-all of the country's northeast.<p>If you’ve got some time up your sleeve and want to delve a little deeper, you’ll find there is more to this region than cruising around Halong’s …

Splash out: the world's most amazing waterfalls

The bigger they are, the harder they fall – feel the power of the planet's mightiest and most beautiful waterfalls.<p>1. Victoria Falls, Zambia/Zimbabwe<p><i>Image by MAZZALIARMADI.IT</i><p>Explorer David Livingstone could be accused of dampening expectations by naming these falls after England's doughy queen: …

Awe-inspiring ancient sites

Taken from Lonely Planet's <i>1000 Ultimate Experiences</i>, may we present a bevy of BC (or thereabouts) beauties that have stood the test of time without losing any of their ability to drop your jaw.<p>Pyramids of Giza, Egypt<p>Egypt’s a country rich in both World Heritage sites and tourist clichés, and at the …

Archaeology

The ultimate in space-saving travel tech

Trying to keep it to carry-on? This list of essential and compact travel gadgets and tips will make your trip easier – and your luggage lighter – without skimping on fun and convenience.<p>'Travel Gear' by Eric Ritchey. Creative Commons Sharealike Attribution licence<p><b>Ebook reader</b><p>Books are beautiful, …

Five travel photography essentials that won't weigh you down

Some of your best travel pictures will be off the cuff, spontaneous affairs, but taking a few basic pieces of kit – like a tripod, zoom lens, polariser and GorillaPod grip – can ensure you’re ready to make the most of a golden opportunity. Here’s a round-up of the best photography kit to sling in …

Watching Australia's wildlife

Wildlife is one of Australia’s top selling points, and justifiably so. A network of national parks, state forests and reserves is home to unique and fascinating native fauna, and although many of the furry mammals are nocturnal, during the daylight the birdlife is vibrant, noisy and colourful.<p>If …

Neighbourhood watch: five Singapore micro-'burbs on the rise

Already know your way around central Singapore? Just a stone's throw beyond, a clutch of bustling neighbourhoods home to quirky shops, trendy eateries and cool bars are just waiting to be explored. So head out and experience the up-and-coming areas of Singapore that won't stay a secret for …

Asia

The latest travel scams – and how to avoid them

Have you ever arrived at a hotel to discover that the 'sea view' room you fell head over heels for online doesn't actually exist? Or examined a restaurant bill only to find it includes items that you never ordered?<p>It's easy to become too paranoid while travelling and turn everyone you meet into an …

Creative Commons Attribution

One day in Brooklyn: the perfect itinerary

For many first-time visitors to New York, New York equals Manhattan. But just a couple of subway stops across the river lies a whole other delicious world that deserves your exploration. So set aside a day to take a tour of Brooklyn, with these hand-picked highlights from Brooklyn local, Brian …

Ten hidden gems of Europe

There’s no place like Paris, Barcelona or Rome - but Europe has untouched corners that match the big hitters on beauty and charm, and with far fewer tourists. Take the road less travelled with these ten hidden gems of Europe.<p>1. Burg Satzvey, Germany<p>Whisper it: this fairytale castle is a short ride …

European Travel

How to beat Bangkok's scams

Bangkok can be a baptism of fire for rookie travellers who have never experienced how far some people will go to part you from your precious travel budget. While it is very unlikely that you will end up in serious danger, without some rapidly acquired street smarts you may end up leaving town with …

Sri Lanka: nirvana for beach lovers

Sri Lanka overwhelms the senses. The air is heavy with the scent of jasmine, the food richly spiced and the landscape one of utter beauty; the radiant green rice paddies, forests of swaying palm trees and mountains puckered in tea plantations are utterly bewitching. But for many people Sri Lanka …