|0||by Andreas Ambarchian||Beaches, Art + Culture, Food + Drink, Historical Travel, Islands, Literary Travel, Nature Appreciation, Pop Culture and Travel, Romance, Scuba Diving and Snorkeling, Wildlife Appreciation, Koh Rong Saloem, Philippines, Thailand, Nha Trang, Food + Drink, Girlfriend Getaways, Solo, Women's Travel|
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In every issue of Budget Travel, we feature one of the best reader photos on our back page. Now, see the stories behind them.
The University of Wisconsin students have a real sense of humor. Their Lady Liberty on the Lake prank is a classic image of Madison that has made it onto postcards all over the city. During the summer, I'm usually sailing on Lake Mendota, but when it's five below zero, you've got to take advantage of it, too. So one February, I decided to see it for myself. I took this shot from the Memorial Union Terrace, but I actually went out on the lake and took some close-ups as well. I know how deep the water is and it was completely disorienting to be walking on it. I've live here for 35 years, but sometimes you need to look at your own hometown through a tourist's eye.—Cliff Koehler, Madison, Wis.
|0||by Budget Travel Staff||Islands, Asia, Japan, Vietnam, Havana, Paris, Santorini, Rome, Portugal, London, Guatemala, Chile, Easter Island, Cuzco, Hawaii, Maui, Brooklyn, New York City, Virginia, Madison, Photography, Questions and Opinions, Travel Photography|
Some of the worst flooding in decades has gripped Southeast Asia, raising concerns about travel to the region as waters continued to surge on Wednesday, threatening Bangkok and other popular destinations.
The severe flooding caused by an abnormally heavy rainy season has already left more than 700 dead in Cambodia and Thailand, according to the United Nations. Additionally, in Laos, the Philippines and Vietnam, homes, crops and vital infrastructure have been destroyed and millions of people living in low-lying areas remain vulnerable to further destruction, Undersecretary General for Humanitarian Affairs at the UN Development Programme, Valerie Amos, said on Tuesday.
|0||by Michelle Baran||Asia, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, Emergencies|
The Mekong River meanders between some of the most scenic and notable destinations of Southeast Asia, so it's no wonder that river cruise companies are increasingly realizing the opportunity to view them from one of the best vantage points — the river itself.
Suddenly, a flood of new river cruise ships are being built to sail the Mekong, with itineraries that include Siem Reap in northeastern Cambodia, the site of the sprawling Angkor Wat temple complex, Phnom Penh, the bustling capital of Cambodia, and Vietnam's Ho Chi Minh City, complete with small fishing villages and floating markets along the way. Many also include or offer the option to tack on a visit to Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, and the picturesque Ha Long Bay on the South China Sea.
|0||by Michelle Baran||Cruises, Rivers and Lakes, Asia, Cambodia, Vietnam|
We recently named Hanoi one of the top budget travel destinations for 2010, and in the past week, it became an even more attractive spot for American travelers.
This week, the Vietnamese dong was devalued by more than 3 percent, on top of an cut of 5 percent a few months ago, and the dollar is stronger than ever against it. Compare this to Japan, where the dollar recently fell to a 14-year low against the yen, or Thailand, where the greenback hasn't fared well in 2009 against the baht.
|0||by Sean O'Neill||Vietnam, Hanoi|
Also this month, the Melbourne-based tour operator officially launched Urban Adventures, a series of day trips that makes local experts available even if you haven't joined one of the company's longer escorted tours. Perfect for people traveling alone, Intrepid doesn't charge a single supplement on its regular escorted trips and instead pairs solo travelers with someone of the same gender. So far Intrepid has 81 Urban Adventures running in 25 cities, including its most popular trips in Bangkok and Ho Chi Minh City.
|0||by Amy Chen||Adventure, India, Thailand, Bangkok, Vietnam|
We've been asking top guidebook writers to recommend alternatives to well known tourist attractions.
Today we talk with Robert Reid, U.S. travel editor and spokesperson for Lonely Planet. He's certainly the right person to ask about travel in Southeast Asia. He has authored over two dozen guidebooks, including Myanmar (Burma), Southeast Asia, Colombia, Trans-Siberian Railway, and his own online guidebook to Vietnam at reidontravel.com.
|0||by Sean O'Neill||Rivers and Lakes, Vietnam|