The Temples of Siem Reap

In the year 802 CE, Khmer ruler Jayavarman II moved his Capitol and court to the new city of Angkor and declared himself to be a god-king. A few decades later, in 889, Yasovarman I ascended to the throne and undertook one of the most massive building projects of the pre-industrial world. Over the next…

Spectacular Serbia

Editor's note: getting off the beaten path can lead to some amazing experiences, like this trip to Serbia by writer Sam Spector. When I was in Belgrade ten years ago, I remember thinking that it was going to be a hot destination, but wasn't quite there yet. I'm glad to see it made it! For…

A Day in Bethlehem

Editor's note: it is impossible to capture the magnitude of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in a huge book, let alone in an article about visiting Bethlehem. Some aspects of the conflict are necessary to explain as they affect the day-to-day experiences a traveler, like our Sam Spector, would have. We at The Royal Tour recognize that…

Armenian Culture in Glendale, CA

The line at Zankou Chicken in Glendale, California, a northern suburb of Los Angeles, is out the door, even during Covid and social distancing. Taped Xs on the ground indicate where we should stand to keep away from other customers, especially important since we are all salivating. Zankou is known for their rotisserie chicken, served…

Don’t Skip Cyprus

Editor's note: I've never been to Cyprus. When in Israel, I took a short trip to Rodos in Greece instead. This amazing look by Sam Spector makes me want to go to this island as well. For all of Sam's articles here on The Royal Tour, visit his index. For a man who wants to…

Why Luang Prabang Is My Favorite City

Editor's note: it is always a brave thing for a travel writer to use the word "favorite." So it really means something when Sam does so here. Make sure you check out all of his articles for more incredibly destinations! The most annoying question you can ask me: “So, what’s, like, your favorite country you…

The Baha’i Temple of South America

Nestled in the foothills of the Andes mountains, the Baha'i Temple of South America is one of the most unusual-looking buildings I've ever laid eyes on. It's at once organic and otherworldly; it reminds me of the papery exterior of a physalis, or an intergalactic ship from a 60s TV show that crash-lands on earth…