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This former British colonial stronghold boasts evidence of over two millennia of habitation, with ornate, architecturally diverse buildings, ranging from crumbing ruins to Victorian treasures. Home to lively festivals and a vibrant artistic community, clamorous markets and packed temples, this city is crowded and polluted, but ultimately invigorating.
With its rich natural resources, Taoyuan has unique mountain and coastal sceneries! Visit the North Cross-Island Highway region, Shimen and Hutou Mountain, and refresh your mind and body by strolling; you can enjoy the phytoncide and admire the scenery that changes with the season. Other must-see locations include the treasure of the sea – the millennium-old algae reef, the one-hundred-year-old stacked stones, Xucuogang Wetland, and the reflective pond.
Taoyuan has a colorful fusion of ethnic cultures from Hakka, Southern Fujian, aborigines and new immigrants. There are also several well-renowned tourism factories, showcasing the unique tourism charm of the City.
Popularly referred to as Ooty, this gem among southern hill resorts is covered in eucalyptus and pine trees and coffee and tea plantations. On a clear day, it's possible to see as far as the Mysore plateau from Dodabetta Peak, the district's most prominent viewpoint. The Stone House, a landmark 1822 bungalow, and St. Stephen's Church are remnants of the area's first British settlement. Also noteworthy: formal botanical gardens, a children's mini-garden and a contemporary art collection.
With a wide sandy beach, big hotels, and handy proximity to Colombo, Negombo is one of Sri Lanka’s most popular resorts. Beyond its sands lies an interesting mix: a colonial-built canal and crumbled fort; a lively fish market, traditional fishing communities, and a wildlife-rich lagoon.
Sprawling tea plantations surround the serene hills of Munnar, which attract adventure travelers hungry for paragliding, treks to Anaimudi (South India's highest peak) and hikes originating at the confluence of three mountain streams. The stone Christ Church, built by the British in 1910, is adorned with renowned works of stained glass, and Eravikulam National Park, about 10 miles away, is home to equally colorful wildlife, including the endangered Nilgiri Tahr (ibex), ruddy mongoose and 120 bird species.
Dubai is a destination that mixes modern culture with history, adventure with world-class shopping and entertainment. Catch a show at the Dubai Opera, see downtown from atop the Burj Khalifa and spend an afternoon along Dubai Creek exploring the gold, textile and spice souks. If you’re looking for thrills, you can float above the desert dunes in a hot air balloon, climb aboard a high-speed ride at IMG Worlds of Adventure or skydive over the Palm Jumeirah.
Diverse marine life and hundreds of Red Sea coral reef sites make Sharm El Sheikh a magnet for divers and eco-tourists. The tourist economy of this Sinai Peninsula city has grown quite rapidly over the last few decades, resulting in an upcrop of first-class resorts and posh nightlife. The waters of Ras Mohamed National Park are abundant with schools of fish and, oddly, toilets – thanks to the bathroom fixtures being transported by a cargo ship that sank during a 1981 storm.
Tallinn's atmospheric Old Town is an enthralling hodgepodge of medieval streets and spires. It's a small city, and the tourist areas are safe and easily explored on foot. Buy a Tallinn Card if intending to use buses, trolleys or trams. For a look into Tallinn's past, visit Rocca-al-Mare Open Air Museum's typical rural Estonian taverns, windmills and watermills, see the onion-domed 1900 cathedral or join the bustle in historic Town Hall Square. St. Olav's spire was once the tallest in the world.