What Syria was like for tourists before the war tore it apart.
I am not big on resorts, preferring to stay in small boutique hotels and avoiding anything tropical.
Japanese trucker Toshifumi Fujimoto puts his life on the line during his holidays.
A land of time, of myth, of warmth, of callousness and of the power hungry – Syria is a land of spirit. As Maya Irvine, a Syrian friend now living in Abu Dhabi, told Daisy Dumas, "it will survive". I spoke to her about her memories of a childhood in Syria.
In a corner of the old city of Damascus, along the street called Straight and beyond the Bab Sharki's backgammon set hawkers, lies a convent.
Lonely Planet has drawn on the knowledge, passion and kilometres travelled by its staff, authors and online community to present the Top 10 Countries to visit in 2011.
The well-preserved remains of Byzantine-era villages and monastic settlements contain a wealth of artefacts from long-dead cultures.