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The southern city of Kaohsiung is Taiwan's largest port, its second-largest city and centre of the country's heavy and petrochemical industries. Despite this, today's Kaohsiung is a modern urban landscape of airy cafes, wide streets, waterside parks, public transport, bicycle lanes and cultural venues that have embraced and re-imagined the city's manufacturing past.


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Mark Twain once wrote, 'Mauritius was made first and then heaven, heaven being copied after Mauritius'. He was right. Mauritius is rightly famed for its sapphire-blue waters, powder-white beaches and, yes, luxury resorts that provide a front-row seat onto some of the most beautiful views in the Indian Ocean.


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Along the Atlantic, the Beira Litoral lures surfers and sunseekers with scores of sandy beaches. Here, the sophisticated university city of Coimbra and the brash casino-party town of Figueira da Foz arm-wrestle for visitors’ attention. Move inland to the Beira Alta highlands and the mood shifts entirely. Stoic stone villages cling to the slopes of Portugal’s highest mountains – the Serra da Estrela – and cast their gaze down at the fertile wine country of the Dão valley.


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While history reverberates all around, Seville is as much about the here and now as the past. It’s about eating tapas in a crowded bar or seeing out the end of the day over a drink on a buzzing plaza. The sevillanos have long since mastered the art of celebrating and the city’s great annual festivals, notably the Semana Santa and Feria de Abril, are among Spain’s most heartfelt.


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The Castle District encompasses Castle Hill (Várhegy) – nerve centre of Budapest’s history and packed with many of the capital’s most important museums and other attractions – as well as ground-level Víziváros (Watertown). What the latter lacks in sights it makes up for in excellent restaurants, many of them around Széll Kálmán tér, a major transport hub and the centre of urban Buda.


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Immersed in history, London's rich seams of eye-opening antiquity are everywhere. The city's buildings are striking milestones in a unique and beguiling biography, and a great many of them – the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben – are instantly recognisable landmarks. There’s more than enough innovation (the Shard, the Tate Modern extension, the planned Garden Bridge) to put a crackle in the air, but it never drowns out London’s seasoned, centuries-old narrative.