1. BURMESE RESTAURANT IN OTTAWA, CANADA -- writes Iwona in Ottawa -- You may not be able to travel to an exotic destination this year but if chilly Ottawa is on your itinerary this winter, you could at least taste something out of the ordinary. The Rangoon restaurant is an unassuming tiny spot tucked away in the city's downtown at 114 Gloucester Avenue. One of only a handful of Burmese restaurants around the world, this homey place offers authentic cuisine, warm welcome and low prices. The flavours will wow you! Website: rangoonrestaurant.ca
2. GREAT GROCERY STORE IN WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND -- writes Maureen in Reno, USA -- There's a great market and grocery store in Wellington called, New World. It's not far from the well-known Te Papa Museum. It's 100% New Zealand owned and I saw lots of interesting products at good prices. I got my stash of wine and local chocolate there, plus fruit and snacks. Keep it in mind.
3. BUY POSTCARDS BUT DON'T EVER SEND THEM -- writes Helen in Massachusetts, USA -- My favorite travel tip is to write myself a postcard every day. I choose one card per day with a good picture of my favorite site and then I take some time to write typical diary entry stuff. I pop into the local post office and buy the prettiest stamp for that area and stick it on the card. The denomination doesn't matter because I'm not mailing these postcards anyway. At the end of my trip I have a wonderful journal, a unique collection of photos, and an interesting mix of foreign postage stamps.
4. MY FAVORITE HOTEL IN PARIS -- writes Lorraine in Belleair, USA -- Grand Hotel De Champaigne is my favorite hotel in Paris. Just off Rue de Rivoli and near the Seine. In the first. It is just steps away from 3 metro stops. An easy walk to the Louvre, Notre Dame and the Left Bank. There is everything you would need to meet your needs within minutes. This hotel is not easily found, but it is worth seeking it out. It is hidden behind the major avenues. I prefer a balcony room where I can sit and look out on the rooftops of Paris. Their breakfast is a little pricey. Within steps are much less expensive options. Website: www.hotel-grand-dechampaigne-paris.com
EDITOR'S NOTE: Here's some more interesting Paris hotels for you to choose from. Click!
5. RESTAURANT IN SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA, SPAIN -- writes Anna in Yunnan Province, China -- My new husband and I honeymooned in Santiago de Compestela. One night we stumbled upon a restaurant where a simple meal of crusty bread, sauteed octopus, and traditional fried peppers was so perfectly done that it was a deliciously memorable meal. It was also a casually friendly atmosphere and, judging from the crowds, hugely popular with "peregrinos." Once discovering this fact, we returned at off-hours to beat the crowd. But whether with or without large numbers of people, it is definitely worth the trip! The restaurant is called, Bodegones Concheiro and it's located at Rua dos Conchieros, 2.
6. PUT BAG IN BOOBS IN BALI -- writes Bless in Bellingham, Washington -- When going to the Sacred Monkey Forest in Ubud, Bali, make sure that you don't have anything on you that a monkey could snatch such as glasses or hats. In fact, when walking on the road outside the forest, take caution since the monkeys don't stay within the walls. I was walking past the forest the next thing I knew my shopping bag was snatched out of my hand. After I finished screaming, I realized that the thief was up in a tree, biting into my plastic bag in a search for food. A local shopkeeper ran out with a stick, poked the monkey, who dropped my bag. The shopkeeper then advised me to "put bag in boobs." So down my shirt it went, far beyond any little monkey paws.
EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the intro to an interesting post about coming of age in Bali. It starts, 'Would you like to see a menstruation ceremony? The invitation was disconcerting. Intriguing, but disconcerting to one who grew up when such functions were rarely mentioned, let alone celebrated. Publicly celebrated. I'd heard that visitors are often invited to Balinese funerals, Balinese weddings, Balinese feasts. But something as personal as this? ' CLICK!
7. RESTAURANT IN JERUSALEM, ISRAEL -- writes Nina in Jerusalem -- Hayo Haya (means Once Upon A Time) is a favorite very moderately priced restaurant in Jerusalem. It is located at 42 Agripas Street (at the back of the Klal Building) near the well-known Mahane Yehuda Open Market. This is an unassuming looking small bistro with fabulous tasting French-Israeli cuisine. Everything is prepared fresh on the spot. Lunch for three women came to 170 shekels or about $US45 for all three of us. Give it a try!
EDITOR'S NOTE: Is Israel on your bucket list? Here's five free things to do in Jerusalem. Click!
8. MAKE YOUR SOAP LAST LONGER ON A TRIP -- writes Ellen in Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia -- If you like to carry your own small bar of soap travelling, you may find it melts away quickly. To prevent this, wet the bar and gently press a plastic water bottle lid into one side of it. This will keep it out of the water on the edge of the sink and it will last much longer.
9. THREE MUST DO THINGS IN WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND -- writes Irene in Napier, New Zealand -- (1) Visit Zealandia Sanctuary located just minutes from downtown Wellington, yet a world apart. Set around a picturesque reservoir, Zealandia is home to some of New Zealand's most rare and extraordinary wildlife - all thriving wild in a world-first protected sanctuary valley (2) For Lord of the Rings and Hobbit fans - take a WETA studio tour (3) Travel to Napier on the east coast of New Zealand and check out our amazing annual Art Deco festival in February.
10. MAKE YOUR OWN TRAVEL CARDS -- writes Margaret in Hamilton, Canada -- Here's my idea which others might want to use. I have designed and printed a personal business card that contains my name and country. The card also contains three blank lines that I can provide all or selective personal information (ie: full address, phone number or only e-mail). I can also use it to fill in hotel information for taxi drivers. Every trip is a new colour and logo of the country I am visiting.
11. PERFECT PRESENTS FROM HO CHI MINH CITY, VIETNAM -- writes Journeywoman Editor, Evelyn Hannon -- Of all the shopping I've done around the world, Ho Chi Minh City is probably the absolute best for buying great gifts under %5.00 and %10 (big splurge items) I've ever seen. Try Ben Thanh Market in one of the liveliest shopping areas in the city. This market is huge but I warn you it is hot and humid inside. Be prepared to sweat for your bargains (I carried my paper fan and used it -- a lot). My sweetest find was a collection of shoe bags hand embroidered with patterns of fancy very high-heeled shoes. They are great for packing (thin and flat) and a perfect sample of the lovely hand-crafted items so readily available in this country. Remember to bargain hard. Offer 75$ of the asking price and then you'll probably both agree to meet somewhere in the middle.
EDITOR'S NOTE: If you are heading to VietNam this lesson on how to cross the streets is a must. Click!
12. MY SUITCASE IS NEVER FULL TRAVELLING SOMEWHERE -- writes Lorain in Ferndale, USA - I have a great system that I'd like to let you know about. I only pack my suitcase with just 2/3 clothes etc., and 1/3 bubble wrap. As I travel and gradually fill my suitcase with souvenirs and other goodies, I wrap my breakables in the bubble wrap and discard the extra or passit along to a fellow traveler. This has worked well for me for many years of international travel. I always have enough room for my 'goodies' and my souvenirs always arrive home in one piece.
FOR OUR NEXT NEWSLETTER WE ARE LOOKING FOR TIPS ABOUT -- Ottawa, Canada and San Diego, USA. Please include your first name and the city you live in along with your tip. We're looking for advice about small hotels, bed and breakfasts, museums, things to do, coffee houses, restaurants, book stores, etc. Of course we'll share everything we receive with all of you! Send your tips to firstname.lastname@example.org. Put 'Cities' in the subject line
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