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editor’s note

Peter Grunert, group editor

Over the past decade of editing Lonely Planet magazine, I’ve occasionally been asked what binds our community of readers together. Our readership has a weird breadth to it, so its unity doesn’t especially come from age, gender, income or ethnicity. The common ground is an attitude: a happiness to try something new and to view the world from diferent perspectives. We aim to track down contributors who can deliver on just that. In the pages of this latest issue, you’ll learn what it’s like for a blind traveller to encounter the Mona Lisa for the irst time (p45); a New York Times writer from San Francisco summits volcanoes and downs mai tais, in a bid to explore the language of Hawaii (p46); and a photographer from Madagascar, resident in Senegal, captures the diverse soundtrack of the country she has settled in (p86). Our 10th-anniversary celebrations hit their peak in the next issue, for which I’m excited to announce we’ve recruited a special guest editor: Bear Grylls! Whether he’s paragliding over Everest, strolling through Alaskan wilderness with President Obama, or inspiring a new generation in his role as Chief Scout, no one better embodies an optimistic, open-minded spirit of adventure.

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Other Articles in this Issue

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Adjust your pace with a two-wheeled tour of Romania or beyond
When the world’s biggest carnival fills Rio’s streets, bars and Sambódromo venue, it’s a celebration that’s central to Brazilian life. Book hotel rooms or apartments at least nine months ahead, and start practising your samba moves now for carnival in 2020
New National Museum of Scotland galleries will showcase artefacts from Asia and Ancient Egypt
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Central Asia has an embarrassment of riches when it comes
We reveal the winning images from our Instagram competiton, this month on the theme of ‘red’
Lonely Planet staf spill the beans on their most memorable food and drink encounters, from deep-fried bugs and sautéed brains to death-defying sundowners
David Behar seeks shelters on the vivid white sands of South Beach, Miami
Illustrator Polly Crossman recalls tuk-tuks, trunks and wobbly two-wheelers
Amar Latif is director of Traveleyes, a company that arranges small-group tours for blind and sighted travellers
Hawaii is a long way from anywhere else, yet many words in the ancient language of the islands have meanings that reach across oceans. Discover them on a journey to both ends of the archipelago: Hawai‘i (aka the Big Island), and deep-green Kaua‘i
See in the return of spring in Malta: we look to its capital and to excursions across this island nation, for a variety of short break ideas that you can tailor to your taste
Cast ashore on tropical sands, count the bunnies in Japan or follow Jedi knights, jerk practitioners or Moomins to ind your own wonderfully diferent island paradise
Our editors’ favourite images by finalists in this year’s competition, transporting us from the intense heat of Namibia to the deep chill of northern Russia. See more at, including details of an exhibition of the winners that starts in London on 28 March
Discover a uniquely Italian form of nostalgia on the Coppa Franco Mazzotti – a classic car rally from Brescia to Lake Garda
Welcome to diverse Dakar, capital of Senegal, where reggae resounds around former slave quarters, downtown nightclubs throb with world beats and homegrown pop, and the sounds of the djembe drum and kora are as vital as ever
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From virtual conducting in Mozart’s Vienna to fleeting moments of duende in Seville, and all-singing, all-dancing Havana nights, tune into soulful experiences in the world’s most musical cities
As the Grand Canyon celebrates 100 years as a national park, we take an epic of-season walk to the bottom of the mighty crevasse
There’s still something groovy in the air on the Isle of Wight. There’s all the classic fun of the Great British seaside to be had, and the island is ideal for making the most of bicycle hire and relaxed seafood dining
Beyond its backdrop of magniicent monuments, Paris’s magic lies in the unexpected: hidden parks, small bistros and cafés where you can watch local life unfold. Here are our top tips for a romantic break
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Vilnius, the Baroque beauty of the Baltic, is a city of immense allure. The Lithuanian capital might feel like an overgrown village in parts, but it has a cutting-edge side, too. Read on for our picks on a weekend break
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1 Five-spice is a flavouring mainly used in which country’s