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Woman Writers Worldwide Share Travel Secrets

Kosher food in Beijing, China...

Dini's is Beijing’s first kosher restaurant in modern memory and it's located within walking distance of five hotels -- the Renaissance, Hilton, Kempinski, Kunlun, and Great Wall Sheraton Hotels. Its Jewish menu items includes chicken soup with matzoh balls (Y38), hot pastrami sandwich with french fries (Y65), and a whole rotisserie chicken with potatoes and vegetables (Y85). You can also order hamburgers and a selection of salads. And if you want Chinese food that is available along with a Japanese sushi bar. Opened in March of 2007, Dini's delivers to hotels and can provide boxed meals for travelers. They are located on Super Bar Street, off the Ladies' Street, Chaoyang. Tel. 6461-6220. Fax 6461-3735. Website:

Ruth Lor Malloy is a Toronto-based journalist with an expertise in China and things Chinese. She is the author of China Guide and Beijing Guide.


A great guide in India...

Travel to India can be intimidating to plan and organize, and Virender Prakash is a fair and gentle guide who can help you navigate the subcomtinent in order to realize the trip of your dreams. He recently accompanied two friends of mine on a special anniversary trip-- sixteen days staying in high-end hotels with a private driver and car-- for less than half of the price quoted by their US-based travel agent. Virender also guides small and large groups on summer treks through the Indian Himalayas to Buddhist monasteries in holy places such as Ladakh, Zanskar, and Manali. For the trek, Virender will organize a team of cooks and porters, sometimes with ponies, to carry the tents, food, and cooking gear. You can expect to carry a day pack with drinking water, some snacks and your lunch. Winter trips can begin in Delhi, with travel across Rajasthan to fabulous cities such as Jaipur and Jaiselmeer, with a stop in Agra to see the Taj Mahal. Virender is honest and trustworthy. You can reach him at (and be patient, if he is off on a trek it may take some time for him to respond as there are places in the world that are still not wired!)

Thalia Zepatos lives in the United States and is the author of, A Journey of One's Own: Uncommon Advice for the Woman Traveler

Editor's Note: Looking for more reader recommended guides? We have thirty listed at:


Exercise before you fly...

Sleep will come easier on a plane if you manage to exercise before the flight. No time, you say? Well, you've plenty of time to take a brisk walk around the terminal instead of sitting there with everyone else waiting for the flight. Easier, of course, if you have the right kind of shoes and a companion with whom to leave your carry-on ... or consider a back-pack and imagine you're training for a long hike! Feel a blister coming on and no band-aids or medication? Bet you've got lip balm, however. Apply that to the area ... it's certainly better than nothing.

Ann Wallace lives in Toronto, Canada. She is the Editor of The Travel Society Magazine.


Rent a room in a London local's home...

If you're traveling to London, consider renting a room in a private home there for your stay. While the cheapest of hotels will run between 50 and 110 pounds ($US100-$220) a night, it's possible to get a room in a local's home, usually with private bathroom and breakfast, for as little as 20 pounds a night (which translates to $US40). There are several companies that can arrange these types of stays, listed in Pauline Frommer's London, including Happy Homes (

Pauline Frommer is an American travel journalist. She appears weekly on CNN's Pipeline and co-hosts The Travel Show, which can be heard every Sunday on 100 radio stations nationwide. Her new series of budget-conscious guidebooks, the Pauline Frommer Guides, are available wherever books are sold. Pauline Frommer's New York City was named "Best Guidebook of the Year" by the North American Travel Journalists Association.


Pack merino wool t-shirts...

Wool isn’t the itchy, stiff stuff you were forced to don on chilly winter days as a kid. Companies now make fine-spun merino wool that can be worn next to the skin, and after wearing it on several trips, I am completely sold. The biggest perks are that it helps keep you cool in warm weather and warm in cool weather with its insulating fibers and it doesn’t stink. I probably shouldn’t admit this, but I wore one merino shirt for days on a trip when I packed light and didn’t find laundry facilities. I was shocked to discover that it didn’t smell in any way. A far superior option than cotton for travelers. Companies that make fine merino are SmartWool (, Icebreaker (, Ibex (, and Patagonia (, among others.

Kater Siber is a travel journalist who lives in Durango, Colorado with a cat that (sometimes) answers to the name of Sophia Maria Lourdes Gato.


Cloistered nuns sell best sweets in Seville...

In Seville, Spain, the best homemade sweets and cakes come from convent kitchens where cloistered nuns sell each day to the public from behind a lazy susan called a 'torno.' The best or at least the largest variety of sweets — 60 types in all — come from the Monasterio de Santa Maria del Socorro, a convent housed in a 16th century building that stretches for several blocks near the Plaza San Marcos. Here, members of the Concepcionistas Franciscanas support themselves by baking, bookbinding and here's the best part...running a five-room inn. You won't this little gem listed in any guidebook, but the rooms are neat and clean and the location is perfect. There's a separate entrance so you can come and go as you please. All the rooms have private baths ($48-$59). Couples welcome. See

Carol Pucci is a travel writer for the Seattle Times.


Bonus #4! The Woman Road Warrior...

Journeywoman really likes this one! If you've just landed a job that requires a good deal of travel, do yourself a favour and pick up this book. Author Hathleen Ameche has been a woman road warrior for more than twenty-five years and she provides guidance in a friendly, concise, intelligent manner. Being an excellent teacher Hathleen also includes tips and tidbits from many other experienced travelling women so that readers receive a well-rounded travel course in one easy-to-read volume. 'The Woman Road Warrior' contains extensive website listings plus advice on everything from choosing the right luggage to parenting effectively from the road to how to make the most of upgrades and freebies. Enjoy. ISBN: 1-932841-25-3


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