DURING WINTER, OTTAWA’S many trees are bare. The frozen Rideau Canal, Ontario’s only designated UNESCO World Heritage site, becomes the Rideau Canal Skateway, a serpentine, five-mile-long ice skating rink. Thick layers of snow, like icing on a wedding cake, cover the hills near Canada’s stately Parliament buildings.
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AS I FLOATED just above the water in a three-person sea canoe, I found myself grinning with every ripple and splash from the Andaman Sea. All around us rose clusters of towering karst islands lined with soft, sandy beaches and stacked high in dense jungle terrain. Each island was surrounded by a gently swelling sea of sapphire water that would act as the passageway for my excursion on John Gray’s Sea Canoe guided tour through Thailand’s most famous islands.