Eight Great Stories of Beaches, Islands, Travel and the Tropics

Lists: To mark our eighth anniversary, we've collected eight favorite stories from our archives that celebrate and explore travel at land's end

04.30.09 | 10:31 AM ET

Photo by Oscalito via Flickr, (Creative Commons).

We’re suckers for beaches and tropical climes. Over the years, we’ve explored a paradise lost in Thailand and how an old surfing documentary celebrates wanderlust. Pico Iyer listened in on conversations in Honolulu. And Liz Sinclair declared that a deadly terrorist attack could not keep her away from her beloved Bali. From our archives, eight great stories.

The Full Moon Party’s Over
Peter Delevett visited Thailand’s Koh Phangan with his girlfriend in 1994, discovering a boho backpacker Eden. He recently returned—older, married and with a mortgage—just in time for the island’s signature bash.

Moments of Normal
Jenni Kolsky struggles to make sense of the photographs she took at a peaceful beach in war-torn Israel

On the Occasional Importance of a Ceiling Fan
Emily Stone knew well the kind of moment she was experiencing in Puerto Rico: the guy, the Cuba libres, the accelerated intimacy. It was perfectly safe, she told herself, as long as she knew when to get out.

The Enduring Appeal of ‘The Endless Summer’
The classic surf film celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. Its popularity lives on, Jim Benning writes, because it’s one of the greatest wanderlust-inducing documentaries ever made—and a potent antidote to winter.

Sandbags in the Archipelago
On a remote South Pacific island, Heather Eliot meets a man and explores the fine line between fantasy and reality.

Honolulu Overheard
Pico Iyer takes in the Hawaiian city through its sounds

The Songlines of Key West
In a three-part series, Bill Belleville burrows deep into the spirit of the mythic island.

Why I Am Still Going to Bali
Bombers have killed hundreds and decimated the island’s tourist-based economy. But Liz Sinclair refuses to cower.

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