Tossing out the Stereotypes: With Boots-on-the-Ground Revelations from Penang to Bilbao

Old beliefs die hard—but we’re doing our best here at International Living to speed them on their way. From Penang, Malaysia to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico… Dublin, Ireland to the Pacific coast of Nicaragua… from Bilbao, Spain to Bangkok, Thailand, … this month’s issue is packed with boots-on-the-ground revelations about destinations you may think you know…

Look Now to Costa Rica’s Caribbean

Not even the Costa Ricans know it’s here. The forgotten province. But they’ll hear about it soon enough—especially with the massive investment slated for the region. The biggest of its type in Costa Rica’s history. So far, there’s been little development of the real estate and tourism markets on this nation’s Caribbean coast (yes, Costa Rica has one). It’s hard to understand why it’s been overlooked. Yet it has… and that means that this stretch of coast holds some of the Caribbean’s most undervalued real estate.

Island Life in Colonial Malaysia for only $1,719 a Month

On the terrace of the grand, British-colonial E & O Hotel, evening light flickers through the coconut grove as a warm breeze drifts in from the Straits of Malacca. I’m sipping a gin and tonic, watching the sun go down. This has become one of my regular habits since moving to the island of Penang, off the west coast of mainland Malaysia, over a year ago.

Turn Your Passions into Free Trips

Imagine sipping hot apple tea with shopkeepers in the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, Turkey… bargaining for beautiful handicrafts and textiles… exploring a 11,000-year-old temple—one of the world’s first—at Gobekli Tepe in the country’s southeast… then hitting the Aegean coast to check out ancient cities of the Roman Empire… That’s what Celeste Nossiter is doing in May 2012… and she isn’t paying a dime.