Stephen Travels

And he's ready to take you with him.

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A Chinese Oasis in the Midst of Portland, Oregon

Lan Su Chinese Garden, Portland, OregonMore than 50 Chinatowns can be found dotted around the United States, from the West Coast (especially in California, where at least 16 of these mini-Chinas thrive) to the East, where the Chinatown in Manhattan is getting a little too big for its britches and is encroaching on its equally well-established neighbors. I found one in Portland, Oregon, which also happens to boast a stellar Chinese garden, one of the most authentic located outside China. Read about it >

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Taking a Break on the World’s Best Benches

Bench in Idaho Falls, IdahoThey’re the perfect spot for people watching, or dog watching, if you prefer. They’re shady respites on hot afternoons. They’re ideal for your lunchtime escape from your office. Benches invite us to relax for a bit, whether it’s to catch up on some reading, admire a renowned piece of art, enjoy a beguiling view, or spend some outdoor time with your significant other. When the benches themselves become the attraction, however, they transcend a simple place to sit. Read more about the world’s top five benches >

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Finding Peace and Harmony in Half an Acre

Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese GardenTucked into the heart of the third-largest Chinatown in North America, the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden is an exceptionally inviting half-acre oasis of tranquility amid the bustle of Vancouver, British Columbia. The garden’s four major elements — rocks, plants, water, and architecture — are engaging and picturesque, and it’s a delight to stroll around the first classical Chinese scholars garden built outside of China and appreciate them all. But when a senior citizen docent from Singapore spends 90 minutes explaining the stories behind each of them, they take on an enhanced and fascinating life all of their own. Read more >