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Digital Subscriptions > Lonely Planet Traveller (UK) > August 2015 > 50 NEW TRAVEL SECRETS

50 NEW TRAVEL SECRETS

Be careful who you tell – these unsung destinations and tips from the experts may change the way you travel forever

1 LIKE THAILAND? TRY THE PHILIPPINES

Thailand has long been regarded as Asia’s heavyweight champion of coastal landscapes. But for a scene every bit as spectacular yet with far fewer crowds (for the time being at least) venture further east: specifically to Palawan – a Filipino province dotted with countless teensy islets, remote fishing villages and colourful reefs (pictured).

These seascapes come into their own at the northernmost frontier of Palawan, so set sail for Coron Island, a sparsely inhabited chunk of jungle-draped land that fits the bill for a 21st-century Robinson Crusoe experience. Arriving is an adventure in itself – board an outrigger canoe at the nearby transport hub of Coron Town on Busuanga Island before puttering over the rolling waves to Coron Island’s lagoon harbour (peer into the depths beneath the boat on the way and you might spot Japanese shipwrecks dating from WWII). There are surprises inland too: after disembarking, visitors take a steep, ten-minute hike to find a jungle-cloaked interior dotted with blue lakes. Two of the lakes – Lake Kayangan and Lake Barracuda – are perfect for swimming, with crystal-clear waters and a surreal assortment of granite monoliths beneath the surface. Pack your snorkel, and you can swim through a subaquatic landscape almost as beautiful as the one above the surface.

• Calamianes Expeditions & Ecotours is among the companies offering tours of Coron Island (two-night tours from £65 incl accommodation and transfers; corongaleri.com.ph). Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific both fly to Coron-Busuanga from the Philippine capital Manila (from £65; cebupacificair.com).

2 MACHU PICCHU’S LONG-LOST TWIN

Choquequirao is often described as Machu Picchu’s little-known counterpart: a centuries-old Inca city perched on a ridge among misty green mountains, high above raging highland rivers. But while you can take a bus up to the latter, the former demands a challenging four-day return hike through the forest. As a consequence, Choquequirao has far fewer visitors than its famous neighbour 30 miles northeast. There are rumours of a cable car being constructed to reach Choquequirao, so go now for what might be a last chance to wander among these storied stones quite alone.

• Apus Peru arranges guided treks to Choquequirao from the city of Cusco (from £440pp in a four-person group; apus-peru.com).

3 STROLL INTO PARIS MUSEUMS FOR FREE, ON ONE DAY A MONTH

Paris is a city that encourages museum binges, be it riding the escalators at the Centre Pompidou, getting lost in the Musée d’Orsay or admiring the newly reopened Musée Picasso. Clocking off all the above will total £26, but not if you visit them all on the first Sunday of every month. On this day, all these places are free to the public – joined by the Louvre (pictured) from October to March.

• For a list of participating museums in Paris, visit parisinfo.com.

4 SEE BOSTON AND DC FOR LESS

For some US-bound Brits, Wow Air’s recently added fights to Boston and Washington DC (connecting in Kefavík) should work out to be the cheapest transatlantic option. Unlike most airlines on this route, one-way fares are not penalised. Into Boston and out of DC is one intriguing travel possibility.

• Wow Air's flights from Gatwick start at £205 for Boston and £249 for Washington DC, both one-way with no check-in bags (wowair.co.uk).

5 SKIP THE GLACIER EXPRESS – TAKE SWITZERLAND’S LOCAL TRAINS INSTEAD

Kate Morgan, Lonely Planet destination editor, Western Europe

Switzerland’s mountain railways represent public transport at its most spectacular – with little trains rattling through Alpine meadows, beside glacial lakes and beneath snow-capped summits. But if you’re keen to take photos from the passenger seat, skip the touristy Glacier Express train (windows don’t open so you’ll likely get a picture of your refection). Instead take the local regional express train – it covers the same route for much cheaper, and the windows open too!

• The stretch of railway from Disentis to Andermatt is among the most scenic – it’s covered by both the Glacier Express and regional express trains (Disentis– Andermatt from £14; sbb.ch).

Food and drink trends

6 RESTAURANTS AND EATING

PHOTOGRAPHS: MICHELE FALZONE/GETTY IMAGES, PIERO FERRAMOSCA, LUXIANGJIAN/ ISTOCK, MARK READ, ALEX ROBINSON/AWL IMAGES, MING TANG-EVANS

Lulu Grimes, deputy editor, Olive magazine

Modern fusion is 2015’s biggest food trend: not a resurgence of 1990s grim food mash-ups, it’s the use of star ingredients from anywhere in the world, in dishes they suit, and to hell with ‘authenticity’. Patty Smith’s in Leeds recently trialled a ‘kung fu’ hotdog with kimchi (from £5; facebook.com/ PattySmithsBurgerCompany), while London’s Caravan is the place to try the likes of Vietnamese slaw (small dishes from £5.50; caravanonexmouth. co.uk). Grilling over wood or coals is the cooking method of the year, from London’s Ivy Market Grill (theivymarketgrill.com) to Red’s True BBQ, with branches in Manchester, Nottingham and Leeds (truebarbecue.com). You can even try a burger with a charcoal-laced bun (burger from £8.50; bullinachinashop.london).

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