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Ondine Cohane

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Top Ten Asia Finds

Posted: 07/21/11 07:56 AM ET

I'm back home in Tuscany following my family's three month, around the world trip and I am just now fully digesting the highlights from the Asia leg of our journeys. Of course it is impossible to summarize months worth of travel in a few quick slides, but won't keep me from trying. Below you can read about my absolute top ten finds.

Ondine Cohane is a prolific travel writer and a Contributing Editor to Conde Nast Traveler

#1: Hangzhou's West Lake
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Hangzhou's West Lake. Southwest of Shanghai, this area of one of China's most evocative cities was just designated a UNESCO heritage site and it truly has a Venice meets Asia feel, with gorgeous pagodas and islands with little temples that peek through the mist. We rented a little wood boat and made our way through secluded canals under romantic bridges until we reached the main part of the lake with a ring of mountains as the backdrop. The Four Seasons has just opened a new property there and it is gorgeous with acres of gardens and spacious beautiful rooms and an incredible destination spa--don't miss the indoor pool with its tucked away alcoves. We got to Hangzhou by the new high speed train that's taken the journey from three hours to 40 minutes and that in itself was an eye-popping glimpse into the future of China's transportation system. After multiple trips to China I have a lot of concerns about the environmental pressure and pace of development but I hope that recent designations to the UNESCO Heritage Site program will help preservation efforts in unique places like West Lake .You can read more about my trip in the New York Times.
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