1000 Places to See Before You Die: A Travel Cheat-Sheet

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The Grand Canyon, one of the places explored in the book

Patricia Schultz Presents A New, Special Edition of the Popular Book

When 1,000 Places to See Before You Die was first published in 2003, it pioneered the concept of the travel book as both wish list and practical guide, inventing what we now know as bucket list travel and becoming the world’s bestselling travel book of all time with more than 3.5 million copies in print.

1000 Places to See Before You Die:  A Travel Cheat-Sheet 2Now, in 1,000 Places to See Before You Die (Deluxe Edition): The World as You’ve Never Seen It Before, author Patricia Schultz has transformed her bestselling franchise into an illustrated masterpiece. Iconic and oversize, weighing in at over six pounds with over 1,000 color photographs and 544 pages, the book is designed to be a mesmerizing showcase of the best the world has to offer, inspiring joy, curiosity, and awe in every traveler and in any dreamer whose Instagram feed is filled with pictures of places near and far.

While retaining the scope of Schultz’s vision and journalistic authority, this deluxe edition has been totally reconceived for the photographic format and features 100% new material. Whereas the original book included practical information such as where to stay and dine, this new book focuses on immersing the reader in gorgeous scenery—Patricia personally chose more than 1,000 color photos to express what it’s like to visit each location—and shares the must-do activities and must-visit sites for every destination.

From the Metéora of Greece to the Mergui Archipelago of Myanmar and 998 other places across the planet, the deluxe edition of 1,000 PLACES TO SEE BEFORE YOU DIE is a transporting read for travelers and armchair travelers of all ages.

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A gorgeous beach on a Thai island.

Excerpt: Thailand’s Idyllic Islands

Floating Gems:

Thailand is blessed with a bevy of beach-fringed islands—each distinct from the next. Phuket(right) and Samui were some of the original Thai sensations to arrive on the scene in the 1970s, followed by Koh Phi Phi Leh (and the larger Koh Phi Phi Don; Koh means “island”) when it was used as the setting for The Beach, starring Leonardo DiCaprio.

Those islands originally known for inexpensive digs and full-moon parties have grown up and now boast beaches lined with exclusive resorts and first-class spas, although others have retained something of their early kick-back vibe. Those with airports (Phuket, Samui) facilitate travel time, while many can be reached via ferry from Krabi or Samui. However you arrive, you most likely won’t want to leave.

Koh Samui

The backpacker brigade first stumbled upon Koh Samui in the 1970s and the island changed considerably once word got out. An airport was built in 1989, and Western tourists, drawn by talk of dazzling beaches, started to frequent a growing number of upscale hotels. Now Koh Samui continues to develop as one of Thailand’s most cosmopolitan island getaways. But it’s an exceedingly versatile slice of holiday heaven, with luxury villas, hip yoga and meditation retreats, and laid-back beach bars that still exclude Samui’s original counterculture vibe.

Nestled on the west coast is the Inter-Continental Samui Baan Tailing Ngam Resort, which opened during Koh Samui’s pre-airport days on some of the island’s best real estate and is still the island’s ritziest property (its privileged with great sunsets). From its terraced guest rooms and seven pools, the resort offers uncommonly lovely views of some of the small islands and jungle-clad outcroppings scattered across the Gulf of Thailand.

They are part of the Ang Thong Nationa Marine Park, a popular destination for world-class diving and snorkeling that encompasses 42 islands. The largest uninhabited key, Koh Pha Ngan (7 miles north and accessible by daily boat runs), continues to draw budget travelers and scuba lovers the way Samui once did, though it’s also showing signs of a more upmarket future. Farther north, tiny Koh Tan offers the best approximation of Koh Samui’s former gays as a shoestring travelers haven.

Long sweeps of white beaches encircle Koh Samui, while the middle of the island remains dense with coconut plantations. Coconuts were once a mainstay of the local economy when 2 million fruits were shipped to Bangkok every month. The trade is now greatly reduced, but the coconut is still used widely in Koh Samui’s increasingly sophisticated restaurants.

The elegant Zazen on Bo Phut beach combines ocean views, a romantic ambiance, and European-Thai fusion food. Try the crispy sea bass in a green curry cream or silky smooth lemongrass creme brulee. The restaurant’s accompanying Zazen Boutique Resort & Spa features Asian minimalist decor and a beachfront location.

Where: 300 Miles/480 km southwest of Bankok

Samui Baan Taling Ngam Resort: Tel 66/77-420-9100; www.samuizazen.com. Cost: from from $245; dinner $75

Best Time: Dec.-Apr. to avoid monsoon rains

Phuket is the country’s biggest and busiest with the ultimate list of options

Koh Tao attracts those who come to dive—newbies can get certified—and won’t break the bank

Koh Pha Ngan is still the place for partygoers, but a low-key vibe can still be found on the other side of the island

Koh Yao Yai and its little sister, Koh Yao Noi, promise a more quiet and idyllic setting with stunning views.

About the Author

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Patricia Schultz is the author of the #1 New York Times bestsellers 1,000 Places to See Before You Die and 1,000 Places to See in the United States and Canada Before You Die. A veteran travel journalist with over 30 years of experience, she’s written for Frommer’s, Berlitz, and Access travel guides, as well as the Wall Street Journal, Condé Nast Traveler, and Travel Weekly, where she is a contributing editor. Her new book, 1,000 Places to See Before You Die (Deluxe Edition): The World as You’ve Never Seen It Before, was be published by Artisan Books on October 29, 2019. Her home base is in New York City, but good luck finding her there!

Follow along on Patricia’s travels by following her on Facebook and Instagram at @1000placestoseebeforeyoudie.

For more information, visit 1000places.com.