Chris Leadbeater

Chris Leadbeater is a full-time travel journalist who has written for The Independent since 2009. He specialises in the USA, South America and Europe, but has covered destinations as varied as Mozambique, New Zealand, Indonesia and Lebanon. Prior to becoming a travel journalist, he worked as a music writer and for men's magazines.

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Motoring along: Ho Chi Minh's luxury shops

48 hours in: Ho Chi Minh City

Vietnam's biggest city packs in fresh flavours, French relics and a futuristic skyline

Restored: Dresden’s Semperoper

Dresden: Past glory is revived in this rebuilt wonder

Almost destroyed in 1945, this German city’s Baroque core shines again

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48 hours in: Florence

Beat the summer crowds to the Tuscan capital and you'll have room to appreciate its Renaissance riches and flair for fashion

The price is right: the Great Wall of China

All exclusive, all-inclusive holidays

You pay your money, you get the trip of a lifetime ... with no nasty hidden extras. Chris Leadbeater gives his guide to the packages that offer more than buffets and beaches

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48 Hours In: Buenos Aires

As summer sun bathes Argentina's capital, the city takes on a carnival air – just in time for its annual Shakespeare festival

New hotels for 2013

Are you sleeping comfortably? Next year promises a bumper crop of exciting openings.  Chris Leadbeater selects 13 imminent arrivals

Grande dame: The Hotel Astoria today

St Petersburg's Hotel Astoria: If these grand old walls could talk...

As the Russian hotel marks its 100th birthday, Chris Leadbeater recalls its rich past

Tanzanian safari parks promise close encounters with lions

Tanzania: Game for a drive in quiet East Africa

Ditch motorcades of safari vehicles for calm and intimate wildlife encounters, says Chris Leadbeater

Enjoy the outer limits

The US territories offer a different perspective, says Chris Leadbeater

Drop anchor: a launch takes travellers ashore

Journey to the end of the Earth

Cape Horn has claimed countless lives over the centuries, but the beauty of this furthest tip of South America still captivates, says Chris Leadbeater

Day In a Page

Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Why Brazilians don't love their neighbours Argentina any more

Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

The hosts will be supporting Germany in today's World Cup final, reports Alex Bellos
The Open 2014: Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?

The Open 2014

Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?