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With its 11th-century Hindu temples, active volcanoes, holy forest teeming with wild monkeys, bat caves, and black beaches, Bali is a mystical stew of unfamiliar sensations for the uninitiated Western traveler. Few places on earth pack the same visceral punch if you're looking for a world apart, especially if you're departing the U.S. in winter weather.
Canadians suffer their winters by braving them defiantly and in public -- taking to the outdoors on skates and skis, in furs and downs, with the friendliest, most accepting of attitudes. Winterfests, carnivals, community ice skating rinks, and snow sports are staples of Canadian winters, in temperatures more deeply and persistently frigid than in the continental U.S. Intrepid travelers can bundle up and join in the fun, through a number of package deals to Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, and Banff.
You may have noticed lately that many of the world's active volcanoes are getting a little too active. Eruptions make spectacular television viewing, but you may be surprised to know that there are thousands of people throughout the world who thrive on visiting live volcanoes.
Kenya, with its huge game reserves and rustic lodges, has a thriving safari business that offers both short- and long-term options, some surprisingly affordable.
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Bali
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Reader's Voice
From Laura Cairoli: "What is the best thing to do if you arrive at your hotel with your confirmed reservation, and you are told that no room is available during a time when the whole city is practically sold out?"
From Yvonne Koslowsky: "We recently went swimming with the dolphins in the British Virgin Islands -- what a treat! The group was small only 10 people and it was upclose and personal. The fee was $149 (US) and well worth every penny of it. We spent a full hour in the water with the dolphins. Now, I even know the commands!"
From Larry Jassen: "We visited Venezuela a few years ago and did not even venture into Caracas. From friends who lived there: 'Crime is rampant, tourists are targets and the division between wealthy and slum is appalling. Furthermore, today's political unrest makes Caracas a dubious destination for foreigners.' On the other hand, direct or quick connect (airport transfer) flights to Maragarita enable you to enjoy some of the most beautiful sights in the Carribean world just a few hours from the USA. The beaches are numerous, the white sand glorious and the people friendly."
From Getgoing: "You made a comment about getting to know your small airport gate agents and that they along with flight attendents and reservations agents have the ability to give away upgrades. This is not true and the airlines do not give away anything anymore, espically to the pax that pay the least amount for their ticket. Get a clue Frommer's! Yur mag, books and website are for the masses and not for real budget travelers, like those of us that work for airlines and know how to really travel on a budget"
From Trina Johnson-Brady: "I will be 4 months pregnant when flying to London in February for a 5 day vacation. Will my jetlag be worse than normal? Any precautions I should take during the flight? Any tips women with experience can offer? I would appreciate any help."
 
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