Penang to Kuantan, Malaysia. You haven't really seen the Malay Peninsula unless you tour its east coast, it is said. The 8 1/2-hour bus trip from Penang, on the west coast, to the eastern port of Kuantan shows the country to wonderful advantage. The route winds east across the country to Kota Baharu, a center for culture and crafts, in the far northeast; then runs south along the coast, through the Terengganu region with its charming seaside towns, to Kuantan, the capital of the Pahang region -- an area noted for beautiful beaches, turtle watching, scuba diving and fishing.

Istanbul to Izmir, Turkey. There is excellent bus service throughout Turkey, with frequent service in every direction; many buses are staffed with attendants offering bottled water and hot face cloths. The 11-hour trip along the west coast from Istanbul to Izmir is a scenic one, especially the seaside portion from Gallipoli, across the Dardanelles strait to Canakkale, through the beautiful resort town of Ayvalik to the ancient ruins of Bergama.

Sao Paulo to Salvador, Brazil. This 1,216-mile trip up the eastern coast of Brazil is a 24-hour tour of some of the most beautiful beaches in the world -- such famed resorts as Cabo Frio, Macae', Campos, Porto Seguro and Itaparica, as well as small fishing villages and coastal towns.

Fauske to Kirkenes, Norway. From Fauske, near the town of Bodo on Norway's northeastern coast, the Polar Express bus departs for an 800-mile trip up the Arctic Highway, through Norway's magnificent fiord country. Nine months of the year the route ends at the port town of Hammerfest, on the northern tip of the country. But from June to September the bus continues on to Lakselv (famous for salmon and deep-sea fishing), south to the Lap community of Karasjok, and northeast to Kirkenes on the Soviet border.