The Jakarta Post
The Edinburgh Castle in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Shutterstock/DiegoMariottini)
World Book Day, celebrated every April 23, is here. Online travel booking platform Agoda has listed nine places in Asia, Europe and the Americas that all bookworms who want to follow in their favorite authors’ footsteps should visit.
1. Kobe, Japan
Author Haruki Murakami´s hometown Kobe used to appear in some of his stories, including in his debut novel in 1979, Hear the Wind Sing. His works, such as Kafka on the Shore and 1Q84, are known for surrealist elements and melancholic themes.
The quiet beauty of Ikuta Shrine, Arima Onsen and Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge in Kobe is often captured in his books. A recommended place to stay in the small, seaside city is Arimakoyado Hataya Ryokan.
A row of torii at the Ikuta Shrine in Kobe City, Hyogo prefecture, Japan. (Shutterstock/Scenes from Japan)
2. Camarines Norte, the Philippines
Author Ricky Lee grew up in Camarines Norte in the central Bicol region of the Philippines.
Lee has worked with Filipino directors Lino Brocka and Ishmael Bernal, and his screenplay manual Trip to Quiapo is used in communication colleges in the Philippines.
Camarines Norte has beautiful beaches such as the Calaguas group of islands, Apuao Grande Island and Bagasbas Beach. Enjoy the Philippines at the One Platinum Hotel.
3. Belitung Island, Indonesia
Fans of Andrea Hirata´s best-selling novel Laskar Pelangi (The Rainbow Troops) should visit Belitung Island in Indonesia. His childhood was spent on the island, as was his path to fulfilling his dream.
Enjoy the picturesque white sands and clear blue waters of Tanjung Kelayang Beach, then stop by at the Traditional House Belitung as well as the literary Museum Kata Hirata, set up in 2010 to inspire people to pursue their dreams. Stay at the Arumdalu Private Resort in Tanjung Pandan, Belitung.
Tanjung Kelayang Beach in Bangka Belitung Islands. (Shutterstock/Rudi Golden)
4. New York, the United States
The Big Apple is always worth a visit. Admirers of the romantic story To All the Boys I've Loved Before can see where author Jenny Han started her career as a young adult fiction writer.
The Jun New York Midtown III apartment is the best place to explore the vibrant city and its attractions, such as the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge and Broadway.
5. Aracataca, Colombia
Renowned author Gabriel García Márquez's hometown of Aracataca, Colombia, inspired him to write the novel One Hundred Years of Solitude.
Along with Casa del Telegrafista museum, the Gabriel García Márquez Museum House is a must-see for all fans as it shows the author´s reconstructed childhood. The Agoda Home in Parque Los Novios is located in Santa Marta, close to Colombia´s famous Tayrona National Natural Park.
6. Edinburgh, Scotland
Edinburgh was where the Harry Potter series of author JK Rowling came to life, even though she is actually from Yates, England.
Feel the magic in cafés where the famous author went to write and see other attractions such as the Edinburgh Castle, the Royal Botanic Garden, Dynamic Earth, Underground Edinburgh and the Scotch Whisky Experience. Spend the night at Radisson Collection Hotel, Royal Mile Edinburgh.
7. Florence, Italy
Italy is well-known for its delicious pizza, dolce far niente (the art of doing nothing) and poet Dante Alighieri. It is highly recommended to visit the birthplace of the Renaissance and the capital of Italian culture: Florence.
It is where the poet met Beatrice, the love of his life and person who inspired his most famous works such as Vita Nuova and The Divine Comedy. Explore the romantic city and stay at Domux Home Repubblica.
8. Istanbul, Turkey
Orhan Pamuk´s most notable works are Snow and The Museum of Innocence, with the latter used as inspiration for a museum in Istanbul. The author was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2006 and holds the prestige of being the first Turkish Nobel laureate.
His works are recognized for hints of politics and Turkish culture. Visit the Hagia Sophia Museum, the Blue Mosque and book your room at Fer Hotel.
The Hagia Sophia in Istanbul. (Shutterstock/Artur Bogacki)
9. Dubai, the United Arab Emirates
Plunge into the world of Dubai where award-winning short story-writer Mohammad Al-Murr was born. He has published over 10 collections of short stories. One of them, Dubai Tales, captures life in Dubai and its contrasts of modern thinking and pride for tradition.
Visit the Palm Jumeirah and enjoy the view of the Burj Khalifa from your apartment at the Residences by Emaar. (sop/wng)