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One of the new wonders of the modern world, the Three Gorges Dam on China's mighty Yangtze River, will soon reach another marker in its slow progress from inception to completion, and tourism in the region will inevitably change. Here's a roundup of travel opportunities throughout 2003.
Education theorists agree that when a student is immersed in an experience (rather than simply being told about something) the lessons learned become that much richer and more deeply ingrained. Just imagine the results when your classroom is Yellowstone Park! Each year, the Yellowstone Association Institute offers a variety of course work for individuals and families taught by experienced park guides, college professors, expert scientists and other individuals more than qulaified in their fields.
You can save a pile o' green if you can get a group of eight people together to celebrate St. Patrick's Day in Ireland this March. Country Cottages has worked out a price of $699 per person, with eight in a group, for seven nights on the Emerald Island, including a four-bedroom cottage, a rental car with unlimited mileage and roundtrip British Airways flights from the U.S. The package runs from March 14 to 22, 2003.
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Reader's Voice
From Julie Steinberger: "I've studied French for years at several reputable French cultural organizations. I've gone from the beginning to the advanced classes and did well. According to the instructors I was an excellent student and responded well in class and on tests. I've also used tapes by Pimsleur, Berlitz and several others to the point of memorizing the whole program. Yet when I'm in a French speaking country, I'm not satisfied with my French. The minute I say two words, I'm asked where I'm from and usually the person will immediately switch to English."
From Laszlo Mate: "I have to add LAN Chile to the ever growing list of airlines to avoid at all costs. Two years ago I flew them and found them quite good, apart from problems with the seat assignement, which I attributed to the travel agent who made the reservations. This time I made the reservation directly with them, several months ago, when I got the seat assignements, whereby all six members of our family were sitting together, both on the outbound and the return flights. Three days before our departure of 12/20 I called to confirm, when the agent tells me that we are not seated together on the outbound flights and we have no seat assignements for the return flight and neither she nor her supervisor was able to give us seats as they were already all assigned"
From Laura Trevino: "I am traveling with a group of friends to Isla Mujeres later this winter and we are planning to stay at Posada del Mar based on a friend's recommendation. I found a website called Mornings in Mexico that takes bookings for Posada del Mar along with other Isla properties and made the arrangements through them. The reason I am writing is because I am highly uncomfortable with Mornings in Mexico's proposed method of payment. They have asked that I deposit a check or money order for the full amount of my stay to a bank account in Texas. Once my check clears, they would then hand a check over to Posada del Mar. Then and only then, would I get my confirmation number."
From Karen Fritts: "On a recent two-hour flight from Detroit to Kansas City, Northwest Airlines--usually the friendliest and most helpful of airlines--displayed no concern or remorse for destroying my toddler's stroller. Now, I understand that there is some risk in checking a stroller, but it wasn't just bumped a little; it was crushed and is completely distroyed."
From Coral: "Just back from another wonderful trip in the islands of Tahiti and must say the new pearl of the islands is the Taha'a Pearl Beach Resort. Opened in July 2002 and is one of the most luxurious hotels I have seen in my 17 years of traveling to the islands. It is located on the coral reef of motu Tautau, facing the island of Taha'a on the lagoon side and views of the island of Bora Bora on the ocean side."
 
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