Exploring Cambodia and Viet Nam on the Mekong River

Exotic destinations are becoming more and more enticing to baby boomers as they start to check off their bucket list of things to see and do, China and the Great Wall, the Nile and The Pyramids, African game preserves and Victoria Falls, the Galapagos Islands and the evolution of species… But most intriguing of all might be Viet Nam and Cambodia. Both are on Trip Advisors top 10 destinations for 2017. For many who served in the war it’s a difficult decision to go back. Many veterans are curious to see the changes that have taken place in 50 years and others can’t get over the memories of their youth.  The recent television series by Ken Burns on the The Vietnam War puts this into a vivid perspective.

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Hidden Gems of Italy

Now that summer vacation is in full swing, thoughts of Italy come to mind as a lot of travelers visit the big three: Rome, Florence and Venice – with Amalfi Coast right behind them in terms of popularity. But what some relish is the path less traveled – Umbria, Piedmont Region, and Sicily.

With a perfect geographical location, just one hour by car or train from Rome or Florence, Umbria is an ideal destination for those in search of art and culture. The region is celebrated as “the Green Heart of Italy” for all the olive groves and vineyards, which populate this area. Stay in Relais il Castello – a historic residence in a medieval village named Monte Castello di Vibio near Perugia (the capital of Umbria) where you can take a cooking class at the hotel or visit the nearby Arnaldo Caprai Winery. A very reasonable accommodation with all the comforts of home, but with a unique ambiance that will definitely remind you that you are in Italy, not Connecticut. What’s more, you can rent a car and use it as a base to explore other towns such as Assisi, Perugia, Siena, Florence or Rome.

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