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Caribbean low budget: Grand Case, St Martin
In comparison to many of its Caribbean neighbours, the quality of cuisine is superb on St Martin, an island where the connection to France can literally be tasted. Traditional bistros abound, and while the pricing at many of them is surprisingly uncompetitive, you can compromise by spending less on your lodging.  The Grand Case Beach Club has a full kitchen in every room, where, if you fancy yourself a chef, you can save even more money by trying a few of the local recipes. For those travelling from North America, St Martin is one of the most northernmost Caribbean islands, and the flight from the US mainland is short – a consolation if you can only stay for a long weekend.

Asia-Pacific high budget: Tokyo, Japan
This sprawling metropolis is consistently ranked among the most expensive cities worldwide, but since the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, Tokyo needs your tourism dollars now more than ever. Despite the high price tag, the city’s culinary scene is top notch -- Tokyo offers more Michelin-star-rated restaurants than Paris! For starters, sushi snobs will be hard pressed to find fresher fish than at Kyubey. And for a taste of Japan’s signature Kobe beef, try Seryna -- you may even find a menu in English. Stay for at least 10 days at the over-the-top Peninsula Hotel, and aim for May when the rainfall and heat are not at their peak — but average sunshine is.

Asia Pacific low budget: Agra, India
Many Indians do not eat out, so do not be surprised to find mostly fellow tourists at Agra restaurants such as the Mughal Room in the Hotel Clarks Shiraz, where you can dine on Mughlai and Chinese dishes while listening to live music. Fittingly, the restaurant has views of the Taj Mahal, which was built by Shah Jahan in adoring memory of his wife, Mumtaz Mahal. Stay at the Oberoi Amarvilas, and fight the urge to sleep in if you want to beat the bevy of fellow lovey-dovey tourists. You will only need a few days before moving on to other areas of India, and steer clear of Agra in May through September when it is likely to be sweltering, pouring rain or both.


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