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Hostelbookers March 2007 Newsletter

Top 20 Destinations

Last month's most popular destinations as chosen by backpackers:

Prices from (p/n):

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Spring Break!


As for many us, the chill of winter subsides and we stumble hesitantly into spring, our thoughts inevitably turn to warmer climes. In recognition of this, HostelBookers has a double-bill of some traditional (and not so traditional) events to celebrate the coming of spring and Easter.

Spring Equinox, Chichén Itzá, Mexico

Mexico, a truly fascinating and varied country, boasts both many outstanding monuments and areas of natural beauty. But in the majesty of the Mayan pyramid of Chichén Itzá, in the Yucatan peninsular, they can lay claim to a sight with which few others anywhere in the world can compare. An awe-inspiring spot from which to watch spring come to South America.
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Phanom Rung Fair, Ko Rat, Thailand

Thousands of miles away in Thailand, at the Temple of Phanom Rung, you can witness the same cause for celebration - the spring equinox. Perched on top of a dormant volcano, 1320 ft up, there can be few more dramatic settings from which to herald the coming of spring. With an incredible, mystical atmosphere, as the trajectory of the sun crosses all fifteen doorways of the twelfth-century Hindu temple, this is an absolute must-do if you are in Thailand.
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Semana Santa, Sevilla, Spain

The sheer splendour and majesty of Holy Week or Semana Santa in Sevilla has to be seen to be believed. The whole spectacle is quite overwhelming. A sensual treat with the sickly smell of incense wafting in the air, the brilliant candle-lit floats (pasos) borne solemnly through the streets all day and night by the hooded figures of the cofradias (or brotherhoods), the eerie, funereal moan of the bands floats over the hushed crowds. But as soon as the solemnity of the procession ends, the partying begins, and the city has a great deal to offer in that department.
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Jar Smashing, Corfu, Greece

From the sublime to the (faintly) ridiculous: Traditionally, in the Christian calendar, after all the fasting and seriousness of Easter comes a release, and whilst it may not be the most relaxing of affairs, the climax of Corfu's Easter celebrations is a riot of noise and smashing, as anything than can be broken, is. When the city's bells ring out for the end of the Easter Saturday service, the entire population charges out on to their balconies and rains crockery down into the street below.
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Choco-Laté Festival, Bruges, Belgium

And finally, from the ridiculous to the ridiculously chocolaty: Featuring a whole variety of (surprise, surprise) chocolate-related activities including competitions in sculpturing chocolate and chocolate body-painting, Bruges lets its hair down in an orgy of gluttonous extravagance and pure, sticky, gooey decadence! And, if the chocolate starts to cloy a little, then there're plenty of other things to keep you busy in this delightfully elegant city.
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