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Worship the Moon at Loy Krathong
THAILANDAfter local tourism authorities get their hands on them, Asian festivals can quickly veer into twee territory. But Loy Krathong, the full-moon festival in the 12th month of the Thai calendar, remains magical. After nightfall, locals send candlelit and flower-strewn floats made of banana leaves down rivers to represent relinquishing one's negative emotions for the upcoming year. Otherworldly schools of lantern balloons are also dispatched into the sky. In big cities, firework displays complete the show. Next Loy Krathong: November 2010.
— By Hannah Beech
Find Your Own Beach in Boracay
PHILIPPINESThe outside world discovered the Philippine island of Boracay back in the 1970s, but this tiny isle less than an hour's flight south of Manila (followed by a quick ferry ride) has managed to retain an air of Crusoe-esque seclusion. To get away from the small but growing crowd, stay at one of the resorts at either end of White Beach, where rooms open right onto open stretches of luxurious white sand. And if that isn't quite isolated enough, rent a bike and cycle for 20 minutes to the amazingly quiet Pukka Beach on the north end of the island, where you'll almost certainly be the only person splashing around in the azure sea. As other Asian beach destinations reach saturation point, Boracay's popularity is rising steadily; an international airport for the nearest mainland town has already been tabled. So suit up and get to Boracay before the hordes do.
— By Chengcheng Jiang