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Top 10 beaches in Maine

For beautiful sandy beaches, great lobster and amazing seascapes, the Maine coastline is hard to beat – especially for families

Just 20 minutes south-east of Portland, this 1.6km crescent-shaped, dune-backed beach is a favourite with young families, who appreciate the gentle surf, lifeguards, restrooms, snack bar and shady picnic area. It’s also popular among beach walkers and kite flyers, thanks to its length. The serene views extend from lobster boats bobbing in the waters of Kettle Cove to Richmond Island, a 200-acre private preserve just offshore. Elevate the views and escape mundane snack-bar fare by putting on shirts and sandals and walking up the boardwalk to the Inn by the Sea for lunch, perhaps lobster rolls, on the deck.
• Route 77, Cape Elizabeth, +1 207 767 3625, parksandlands.com

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Vietnam: a boat trip on the Mekong

An overnight trip into the Mekong delta presents the opportunity get off Vietnam’s tourist trail and meet the locals

Visitors to Ho Chi Minh City can choose from a wide range of boat trips into the Mekong delta, but one of the first to take tourists beyond the towns and well-known Cai Be floating market to smaller farms and settlements is Bassac, run by a French former oil exec and his Vietnamese wife.

The market town of Can Tho was all noise and shouts and busy people, but once the refurbished rice barge with its cosy en suite cabins cast off from a town pier, all was peaceful. My thoughts turned to Willie Wonka’s factory as we cruised along a chocolate-coloured channel.

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