The Coconut Palace. For something a little more lighthearted, check out this tacky monument to Ferdinand Marcos’s regime. His wife, Imelda, apparently had a bit of a shoe fetish, which can be uniquely shared here. Once intended as a guesthouse for Pope John Paul II, this nutty building was deemed too obnoxious for such a guest. You can tour what is now the office of the vice-president but need to book at least one week in advance.
Have you ever created a list of your most memorable life experiences? I woke this morning and felt the urge to do just that. This is what I came up with… Taking a shower in a small wooden closet down a tiny alley in Kabul every morning during my stay. Eating the largest schnitzel I’ve ever seen with two good friends. Being kidnapped in Dhaka, Bangladesh by the most useless, inexperienced kidnappers on the planet (thankfully)…
“We usually eat them whole, with our hands.” She mimed chomping across the bony flesh, then gestured to the knife and fork on the table… Piranhas have a fearsome reputation but most of the time they’re harmless. Just don’t get into the water with them during mating season. The Bolivian Pantanal, an immense wetland swimming with towering jabiru storks, caiman and capybara, receives only a tiny fraction of tourists.
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Published in the Jan/Feb 2016 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)