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ITE LAKE, Mongolia — My first-ever experience staying in a yurt was in this far-flung Mongolian outpost.

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TUKTUK, Samosir Island, Sumatra — Here’s a travel riddle: What’s the world’s largest island in a lake — that’s also on an island in the ocean?

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KOTA KINABALU, MALAYSIA — The only thing hotter than the suffocating air hanging over this city’s bustling night market are the flames I see spewing from the mouth of a man standing just a few metres from me.

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HONG KONG — Artists in Asia’s most colourful city have taken to the streets and are painting the town red — and blue and purple and every colour of the rainbow. And by doing so, they’ve unwittingly created the world’s largest and most interesting outdoor art museum.

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TAIPEI — A wall of iPhone photographers crowd around a glass case in the National Palace Museum snapping pictures of one of Taiwan’s greatest treasures — a cabbage.

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HUNAN, CHINA — The heat was starting to get to me. Not the heat of the day, but rather the heat of the food served in this southern Chinese province noted for its spicy cuisine.

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PHNOM PENH — When I spent a few years in Cambodia, I lived for a year in a Phnom Penh neighbourhood called Russian Market. My apartment was a stone’s throw from the eponymous market itself.

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TAI O, HONG KONG — As the ferry to Lantau Island glides across Hong Kong Harbour’s choppy surf, I look out from my seat at the city’s congested vertical skyline and try to imagine what this Goliath of modern cities would have looked like back when it was just a humble fishing village.

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ALMATY, KAZAKHSTAN — The land where apples and garlic originated is abundant in wildlife — red bears, snow leopards and antelopes all call this home. It is a wealthy oil state, safe and tourist friendly, with the highest ice skating rink on the planet. Its shiny, ultra-modern capital brims with futuristic buildings.

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KASAMA, JAPAN - Jolted awake in the dead of night, my first thought was that my hotel room in this town in Japan’s Kantō region had been hit by a runaway freight train. Or an 18-wheeler. Or an airplane.