Travel Hosts Exposed, Week of June 8, 2011

Join new host Don Wildman as he hangs in Hawaii, as well as Zak spending some quality time in his home town, Sin City, and Bert wraps season 2.

Photos

Thailand is home to many affordable attractions, including jungle treks, ancient temples, flour-soft beaches and an entire island of ravers. While 2010 saw civil unrest in Bangkok, the effect on tourists was minimal, if not advantageous, as businesses tried to woo tourists with discounts. New direct flights into the Trat Islands near Cambodia, and several new resort developments, opened up this once inaccessible area. 960 1280

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In the last few years, Marrakech has seen an explosion of small Riads or boutique hotels around the ancient city, catering to niche markets, including luxe, gay and family travelers. In November La Mamounia, the grand dame of Marrakech hotels, reopened after a five-year, $176-million redesign by Parisian designer Jacques Garcia. 960 1280

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South Africa took advantage of the 2010 World Cup to build new stadiums, hotels and safari lodges. Cape Town, already famous for spectacular beaches, upscale nightlife and food, added several new hotels, including the Taj Cape Town. Luxe travelers can splurge on a safari trip to Richard Branson's Cliff Lodge, a new luxury hotel at Ulusaba, the billionaire's private game reserve. 960 1280

  

Vancouver was host to many winter-sports enthusiasts during February's Olympic festivities. The city and surrounding areas had a ton to offer fans of the Winter Games as well as regular travelers. There's world-class skiing at Whistler-Blackcomb, one of the best destination ski resorts in the world. At nearby Ucluetet on Nanaimo Island, the new Wild Pacific Trail follows a rugged shoreline. Kayakers love the area for beauty and a chance to spot gray whales during their annual migration. 960 1280

  

Los Angeles is a hot spot for art and museum hounds. The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) celebrated its 30th birthday in 2010 with special exhibitions. The Los Angeles County Museum of Art unveiled a Renzo Piano-designed addition to its campus. Several prominent galleries have opened outposts in LA. 960 1280

  

The dramatic collapse of Iceland's economy over the last couple of years has been a boon for budget travelers in 2010. The value of the kroner plunged against numerous currencies, and the once expensive destination became much more affordable. 960 1280

  

Once a shunned country for travelers, Colombia is Latin America's affordable, new hot spot. The capital of Bogota has been slowly transforming since the late 1990s, adding bike paths, a new bus system and sidewalk cafes. The coastal city of Caragena experienced a renaissance, sprouting stylish new boutique hotels and spas. JetBlue's new nonstop daily service to Bogota from Orlando made a trip here even more affordable. 960 1280

  

Bike paths line Copenhagen's streets where locals and tourists ride the free bikes available around the city center. The Danish capital also boasts new cultural buildings ' an opera house, library and concert hall ' as well as a booming arts district. A public bath is the newest addition to the harbor district, the city's burgeoning summertime center. 960 1280

  

Las Vegas was hit hard by US economic woes as business travel and group bookings evaporated, so hotels went into overdrive to attract budget-conscious travelers with discounts and deals galore. On the other end of the spectrum, several developers amped up the luxury despite the downturn, including MGM's massive resort complex, CityCenter. 960 1280

  

Savvy travelers knew that 2010 was the year to see the town's once-every-decade performance of the Passion Play. More than 2,000 actors, singers, instrumentalists and technicians, all residents of the village, brought the story of Jesus of Nazareth to life in an extraordinary community event. The Oberammergau Passion Play was first performed in 1634. 960 1280

  

A robot from Android FC, a 3-robot soccer team from the School of Infomatics at the University of Edinburgh, shows off its skills during a photocall for their upcoming show in the Edinburgh International Science Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland. 960 1280

Reuters  

The Apple iPad, a new tablet computing device, sits on display after its launch event in San Francisco, CA. 960 1280

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A snowboarder soars through the center ring of the Olympic Rings during the opening ceremony of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics. 960 1280

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Peruvian surfer Domingo Pianezzi rides a wave with his alpaca Pisco at San Bartolo beach in Lima. 960 1280

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A local stretches himself amid a sandstorm during a morning exercise session at the Temple of Heaven park in Beijing. 960 1280

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Farmer Thorarinn Olafsson tries to lure his horse back to the stable as a cloud of black ash looms overhead in Drangshlid 2 at Eyjafjoll. 960 1280

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Spain's Marc Duran serves against Germany's Bastian Steger during their match in Group C First Division at the 2010 World Table Tennis Championships in Moscow. 960 1280

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People watch fireworks on a beach during the traditional San Juan's (Saint John) night, the shortest night of the year, in the southern Spanish town of Malaga. 960 1280

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Spain's Andres Iniesta lifts the World Cup trophy after their final match victory over Netherlands at Soccer City stadium in Johannesburg. 960 1280

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Young gymnasts, in a class consisting of 4 to 7-year-olds, stretch themselves on wooden bars at the gymnastics hall of a sports school in Jiaxing, Zhejiang province. 960 1280

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People wearing traditional Bavarian clothes toast with beer during the opening of the 177th Oktoberfest in Munich. 960 1280

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Khagendra Thapa is expected to be the world's shortest man when he turns 18. He stands with Miss Nepal in Kathmandu. 960 1280

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People picnic on the main deck of the Sydney Harbor Bridge during the Breakfast on the Bridge event in Sydney, Australia. 960 1280

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Kittens are presented during the opening of the new cattery at the Battersea Dogs & Cats Home in London. 960 1280

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Triplets take part in the annual Halloween Ragamuffin Parade in Hoboken, NJ. 960 1280

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Blame beats Zenyatta (L) during the 2010 Breeders' Cup World Championship at Churchill Downs in Louisville, KY. 960 1280

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Britain's Prince William and long-term girlfriend Kate Middleton announced their engagement to the world on November 16, 2010. The wedding will take place in the Spring/Summer of 2011. 960 1280

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Donald Boyce, dressed as Santa Claus, does a "shaka" as he shares a wave with a surfer while riding in an outrigger canoe off Waikiki beach in Honolulu, HI. 960 1280

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Traveler of the Week: "Bhutan :-)" - Denisa K. 960 1280

  

"Giants Causway, Northern Ireland" - Miguel C. 960 1280

  

"Taj Mahal, Agra, India" - Kristin R. 960 1280

  

"Astarte Suites Hotel | infinity pool | Santorini Greece" - George M. 960 1280

  

"Jama Masjid Mosque, Delhi, India" - Kristin R. 960 1280

  

"Camels - Sahara Desert - Morocco" - Beata M. 960 1280

  

"while on photo safari in Namibia I got out of our vehicle to shoot a series of photos of a family of elephants. it seemed the mother was telling the naughty child NOT to squirt himself with mud, but of course he did. so of course being naughty myself I had to film it." - PurrplePam C. 960 1280

  

"My sister Karen and I in a guest room at the Hotel de Glace (Ice Hotel) in Quebec Canada during Quebec's Winter carnival" - Linda K. 960 1280

  

"heureux sur la Seine" - Hilary H.
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