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Top 7 places to visit in Taiwan

Taiwan is often overshadowed by other East Asian destinations, like South Korea and Japan, but the Ilha Formosa (or beautiful island, a name given by Portuguese sailors when they first spotted the destination) delivers stunning nature, dynamic cities and delicious street food that will make you wonder why it's still flying under the radar. The ruggedly beautiful mountains, river gorges, rice fields and hot springs make it a nature lover's paradise, while Taiwan's urban centers host a range of unique festivals and cultural attractions, creating a well-rounded destination for all types of travelers. Read on to find out where you should travel in Taiwan.

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His musical movements jazz up the thrill ride

Michael Giacchino has won Oscar, Emmy and Grammy statuettes throughout his career, but there's one brag-worthy feat that likely won't be found on his resume: The composer has the ability to ride roller coasters nearly a dozen times back to back without getting motion sickness.

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A wild look at Indonesia, a lauded hotel at a winning price and more

Orangutans and Komodo dragons are among the stars of a 14-day/13-night women-only tour called Untamed Indonesia. Wild Women Expeditions is offering the expedition in April, May, June, October and November of 2019, with some dates already sold out. The trip begins in the Indonesian part of Borneo, home to one of the world's oldest rainforests. There, guests have the opportunity to experience native culture and observe wildlife such as proboscis monkeys and hornbills while spending nights aboard the Rahai'i Pangun Houseboat. On Palas Island, there will be a visit to a site where the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation makes it possible for orangutans that were born in captivity, rescued or domesticated to be re-socialized into the wild. Moving on, there will be a three-night cruise that includes Rinca Island, home to Komodo dragons as well as wild pigs and buffalo, and Komodo Island. It has about 2,000 of the dragons, which can grow to 10 feet in length. On another day, guests can snorkel and possibly swim among manta rays. The final days of the tour are spent on the magical island of Bali, noted for its terraced, bright green rice paddies. There'll be a visit to a traditional Balinese healer and a trek up an active volcano where a guide will cook a meal using steam vents from the volcano. A temple tour, bike outing and time to just kick back and relax are on the itinerary. The trip is priced at $4,995 per person, double occupancy, which includes all meals, lodging and transportation among the various locations. International air is extra. Info: 888-993-1222, http://tinyurl.com/y9ehlzt7

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Taking a new, ‘non-lazy’ way to old Machu Picchu

On a ceaselessly scenic rail line that flowed like a vein toward the heart of the Inca mountain empire, Kilometer Marker 104 did not look like anything special. There wasn't even an actual station there; just a ditch, where we stood all of 30 seconds before the train pulled away from us.

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Getting the royal treatment at Los Cabos spa resort

With what limited time we have for vacationing, when we run off, we want our romantic voyages to exceed our wildest imaginations. We want the best of the best, with everything as soothing and simple as can be. Le Blanc Spa Resort, Los Cabos, Mexico, has already been awarded the AAA 5-star status. That's the pinnacle of luxury destinations, with many strict requirements to qualify for your best vacation ever, assuring your pleasure and enjoyment.

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2018's 11 most budget-friendly beach destinations in the US

Now that summer is in full swing, soaring temps have us craving a refreshing beach with cooling breezes to beat the heat. Unfortunately, with so many Americans thinking the same thing, finding an affordable beach getaway can be difficult. So, we did a ton of research to create this list of the 11 most budget-friendly beach destinations in the U.S. Staying stateside saves you money on travel, and these locales go a step further with several value-packed hotels, inexpensive activities, and cheap dining options. Some are primed and ready for your summer vacation, while others are best suited for a winter escape. Regardless, all are great picks for a sandy getaway that won't wipe out your bank account – so you can lie out on the beach worry-free.

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Travel goods for today: Pack these hot picks to the beach

Ah. Sunscreen-scented days and nights spent cuddling over a good book, a soundtrack of ocean waves and kids' laughter playing in the background. Nothing beats a summer road trip to the beach – a much-anticipated outing for so many families that can only be enhanced by tossing a few choice travel goods into the back of the car.

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Scaling the Swiss Alps on trains and trams, ranking road-trip friendly states and more

The Swiss Alps are one of Mother Nature's most impressive shows, even viewed from afar. Getting in among these craggy peaks – some of which soar more than 13,000 feet into the sky – is even more special. Alpenwild offers a 10-day/nine-night tour that scales those peaks compliments of Switzerland's amazing network of trains, trams, and funiculars. Among the classic lines ridden are the Gotthard Express, Bernina Express and Glacier Express whose cars allow panoramic views of the scenery. On the first day of the itinerary, riders are apt to be gasping aboard the Mount Pilatus Railway, the steepest cogwheel railway in the world, with a gradient of up to 48 percent. As the tour progresses, there will be exposure to the varied cultures of Switzerland reflecting their German, French and Italian neighbors. On a day's layover in Zermatt, you can ride the Gornergrat cogwheel train to 10,000 feet where you're at eye level with the famous Matterhorn. On the Glacier Express, a route that dates to the 1930s, the train crosses 291 bridges and passes through 91 tunnels. Another day the Jungfraujoch Cogwheel train claws its way to the top of 13,371-foot Jungfraujoch, which is the highest railway station in Europe. Cost of this adventure is $4,995 per person double, occupancy. Though it's totally sold out for this year, reservations are already being taken for 2019. Info: 801-226-9026, http://tinyurl.com/y8btmdww

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In these parts of France, the Great War will never be forgotten

The last time I saw the Picardie region of France was in 1978. I was visiting an old family friend, who suggested we take a road trip to see the chateaux and cathedrals that dot the landscape there and nearby in Champagne-Ardenne and Lorraine, all of which are an easy drive from Paris. Off we went in her Peugeot 504 and at some point I became lost (this was in the days before GPS obviously) and decided to make an illegal U-turn through a break in the median. "Georgie don't!" Nan cried. "The gendarmes are very strict! It could be a big fine." (She still calls me Georgie, but she's known me since I was 4 so she gets a pass).

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Florida towns' claims to fame: We're No. 1

Florida is known for making headlines – alligators end up in swimming pools, iguanas come out of toilets and people are always in the news for outrageous crimes. And with all the funny stories come interesting titles and nicknames for the cities within.

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Pixar Pier tells a whole new story

The early days of Disney's California Adventure theme park next door to Disneyland boasted a number of peculiar design choices: a paparazzi-themed family ride, a coaster alluding to reckless drivers on Mulholland Drive and an extreme sports story line to its rafting ride.

Take a look at the Slinky Dog Dash family roller coaster at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Slinky Dog Dash is a family roller coaster at Toy Story Land at Disney's Hollywood Studios. It's one of two new rides opening June 30, 2018.