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Joseph Rosendo's Travelscope

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Taiwan is an island country of 23 million people and the majority of them live in a handful of cities. When they seek to leave their hectic urban life behind they escape to their country's villages, mountains, forests, and islands. Joseph returns to Taiwan to visit the Penghu Archepeligo in the Taiwan Straits, a chain of 64 isles and islets; 20 inhabited, and 50-minutes by air from the capital of Taipei.

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Tue Feb 11th, 10:30am
Tue Feb 11th, 5:30pm
Tue Feb 11th, 10:30pm
Tue Mar 3rd, 10:30am

From grand palaces to Buddhist temples, from white sandy beaches to tropical forests, Thailand is the land of smiles. And most Thai adventures begin in Bangkok. From Chatuchak, a bustling market in the heart of the city, to encounters with holy men and visits to some of Thailand's richest of temples, Joseph's Thai adventures expand the mind and touch the heart. Thailand is rich in cultural connections and Joseph experiences them in Bangkok, but also along the River Kwai where the beauty of the river belies the horrors that occurred there during the Second World War.

On the Bonin or Ogasawara Islands Joseph is reminded that travel is a treasure hunt. Even though one is told where the riches are buried, the real gems have to be discovered on their own. On this voyage to Tokyo's most distant possessions - more than 600 miles and 25 hours by ferry from the mainland - Joseph partakes of kayaking, snorkeling, trekking and whale watching. Yet, in spite of all the activities, he discovers that interactions with the islanders and what one learns by exploring their heritage are the most cherished souvenirs.

While "paradise" is a word freely bantered about in the travel world, the Cook Islands is a traveler's paradise. With its turquoise waters, sugar white beaches, colorful history, special island lifestyle and a homegrown welcome beyond belief, it is a genuine breath of fresh air in a universe of travel-brochure hyperbole. During Joseph's visit to Rarotonga and Aitutaki, the Cook's most popular islands, he enjoys "tourist attractions" that choose to educate visitors as well as entertain them.

Los Cabos is actually two resorts: Cabo San Lucas, at the tip of the Baja California peninsula, and San Jose del Cabo, 23 miles north along the coast. Joseph covers both and the sea that binds them - the Sea of Cortez - on his Los Cabos, Mexico adventure. Activities include whale watching and seaside dining, hiking through the desert to hidden waterfalls and swimming with dolphins. Besides taking part in the fun-and-sun experiences like fishing and snorkeling, he also heads out to the Baja Peninsula's outback and meets ex-pat farmers and artists living off the grid.

There are so many beautiful islands in the bi-national Thousand Islands that its name could easily be Two Thousand and More Islands. Each has its particular charm and the Thousand Islands have long captured the heart and soul of those in search of an escape to a place of beauty and tranquility. On this Canadian adventure Joseph goes in search of the gentile pleasures that are synonymous with the islands - a place rich in natural wonders, historic sites and island traditions.

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