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From the Editor: Bodies in the sand…

…tropical drink melting in your hand (that’s from the Beach Boys): you can probably guess where I’d like to be right now, especially given the theme of the Lonely Planet Magazine India Travel Awards 2016. But, given that owning a tropical island is a little out of my reach at the moment, this was the closest I could get, so forgive me. As you read this, the team is trying to get the trophy recipients from the various tourism boards to attend the awards ceremony in beach-wear, our managing editor is perfecting her piña colada recipe, and my art director is weeping at not being allowed to wear a grass skirt. Oh well…

The awards, grass skirts notwithstanding, are a pretty big deal – you voted for these, and I cannot accept any blame. That apart, it’s a fantastic collection of experiences, and if you haven’t been to any of these places, I recommend you put them on your to-do list, tout de suite. If you already have, why not write to us and tell us what was it you liked most?

Elsewhere in the issue, we have three great articles for you. The first is on Switzerland’s most underrated city, Bern, which hides bears, great views, great food and lovely architecture behind the River Aare, and lets you hobnob with world leaders in a relaxed atmosphere. Oman’s storied, beautiful and lethal Empty Quarter is not for beginners, but, with a good guide, it’s the experience of a lifetime. And Ireland, almost too perfectly likeable, has a history of pain that you shouldn’t ignore – the two are intertwined, and it’s all the better for it.

In case you have any questions, please look me up at the awards: I’ll be the guy in the corner, saying, “No, no grass skirts. And you can’t have mine.”