1. BEST TOUR GUIDE IN SIEM REAP, CAMBODIA - writes Michelle in West Vancouver, Canada -- I've recently returned from a trip to Cambodia on my own. A co-worker of mine recommended the same private tour guide in Siem Reap that she and her family had used. Because I was a woman travelling alone I was a bit apprehensive about meeting up with a tour guide in a strange country all by myself. However, my fears were unfounded because my guide, Kimthet Lay, was fantastic. He met me in my hotel lobby as planned. He had arranged a Tuk-Tuk which was driven by his nephew to take us to the various temples. He even thought to bring a cooler filled with cold bottled water and a delicious snack of fresh dragon fruit. He also arranged for me to ride an elephant. Kimthet Lay was very courteous and was extremely knowledgeable about the history of the temples, etc. His contact info is: Kimthet Lay, email: email@example.com tel: 855 97 878889 6.
2. ARE YOU HEADING TO FLORENCE OR ROME? - writes Elianor in London, England - I think the most enjoyable way of learning about Michelangelo, the uber famous Italian sculptor and artist is to read the biographical, historical novel, 'The Agony and the Ecstasy.' Written by Irving Stone in 1961, this book was wonderful and painted a perfect backdrop for me when I visited Michelangelo's work as I traveled. I bought my copy at a second hand store. I'm sure you will be able to do that, too.
3. A DELICIOUS SQUARE IN BRUSSELS, BELGIUM - writes Marilyn in Montreal, Canada -- I have been to Brussels many times and one of my favorite stops is Place du Grand Sablon. This charming city square is beautiful and houses many cafés , chocolate and pastry shops and antique stores. Café Vieux Saint Martin is a must whenever I go to Brussels. This is where I get my Dover sole fix! This café/ bistro is expensive but worth the treat. There are three wonderful chocolate shops in the square - Wittamer, is both a outstanding pastry and chocolate shop where you can have a cappuccino and a most delicious sweet, Pierre Marcolini, and of course Godiva. On Saturday and Sunday, there is an antique market and the square is busy with local people who enjoy eating, walking and shopping in Place du Grand Sablon.
4. CUPCAKE ATM IN NEW YORK CITY, USA - writes Gail in Sydney, Australia -This tip is a sweet bit of fun. When in New York City check out Sprinkles Cupcakes, 780 Lexington Avenue between 60th and 61st Streets near Bloomingdale's and choose a delicious cupcake from a 24-hour dispensing ATM. Yes, this pink cupcake ATM sits right next door to the actual Nelson's Sprinkles Cupcake bakery. Their yummy cakes and the experience made me smile all day long!
5. TRY THE MEN'S VERSION FOR POCKETS - writes Margaret in Sydney, Australia -- Have you thought of this but never acted on it? Since women's jackets rarely have useful pockets, get a man/boy equivalent and you'll be able to store your daily essentials safely - especially good for flights and all the stuff you need to have handy (passport, boarding pass) and then there is money-changing/currency storage, tissues, and the hard candies you're always searching for at the bottom of your purse.
6. BIRDWATCHING IN ISRAEL - writes Laya in Ramat Hasharon, Israel -- I recently spent a weekend birdwatching on and near Mount Hermon, in the very north of Israel. My group always stays at a small hotel called, Legacy Village Luxury Suites in the Druze town of Majdel Shams. The owner, Shamir Abu Salah, spent 10 years in the USA then came back and built the hotel. He is so friendly and helpful. We also eat at a wonderful restaurant nearby that serves the most delicious Druze food. It's called Ya Hala and their telephone number is: (972) (0) 4 687 0701 I hope you get the chance to try it.
7. ONE PAIR AND ONE SPARE PAIR OF PANTIES - writes Yolanta in Ottawa, Canada -- I read about Evelyn Hannon's lost bag on her way to the Arctic when she was left with only the underwear she was wearing. That brought to mind my own personal rule for when I travel. Always carry two pair of panties in your carry-on or handbag (pop them into a baggie). They really don't take any space and certainly are not heavy. At least this way, you have three days change with one on and two to spare. I also carry a wrinkle free blouse that goes with the outfit that I wear on the plane.
8. GREAT GUIDE IN MOROCCO - writes Barb in Paolo Alto, USA -- I'd like to recommend an excellent guide I've had twice in Morocco, named Muha Aita. A female friend and I traveled to Morocco in 2013 with Muha, and we had such a great time that I went back by myself in early 2014 and traveled with him again. He's part of a family-owned company of guides called Around Morocco, based in Marrakech. You can email firstname.lastname@example.org and ask to have Muha as your guide, and his uncle Lahcen will arrange things for you. Muha took me all over Morocco, on both sides of the Atlas Mts, and I felt completely comfortable with him - and had a lot of fun! Morocco is one of those places where I think it helps to have a connection with a local, as it opens doors and you get an insider's view of a fascinating and multi-layered culture. He took my friend and me to a family wedding, and I've shared tea with his family members on several other occasions. Muha is fluent in English (has a BA in English from the U of Meknes), and he's very knowledgeable about the history and culture of his country and enjoys sharing it.
9. I ADORE NEW ZEALAND - writes Jane in Brooklyn, New York -- I'd like to recommend a B&B in Dunedin on the South Island - The Albatross Inn is homey and quiet and I have stayed there twice. The rooms are comfortable and welcoming and the breakfasts wonderful. The location is an easy walk to the Tourist Information office with an incredible assortment of things to keep you busy both within Dunedin and the surrounding area. At the Albatross Inn, you are in a perfect location to take in Katherine Mansfield's home (up a bit of a hill - but lovely and well worth the climb). You are also only a 5-minute walk away from the Museum at the University of Otago, and you are not far from the Cadbury Chocolate factory. Take the factory tour and visit the gift shop at the end for a wonderful selection of all their candies at very reduced prices.
10. YOU ARE NEVER TOO OLD TO GO ZIPLINING IN CROATIA - writes Helen in Montreal, Canada -- When in the Split, Croatia, region take a side trip to Omis, 25 km SE of Split, and go ziplining. It's a thrilling experience in a magnificent setting. And, no, it's not just for adrenalin junkie twenty-somethings. I could easily have passed for the other zippers' grandmother, but I'm sure none of the young'uns enjoyed it more than I did. The guides are very professional and I felt 100% secure. No athletic ability required, just a sense of fun and adventure! Check this website, ladies!
11. ANOTHER USE FOR THE BIDET IN YOUR HOTEL ROOM - writes Christine in Baltimore, USA -- When traveling abroad, I find the showers are often so small you can barely turn around in them, not to mention navigating the shower head that can often fall out of the slot. So how does a lady shave her legs (for those of us who do) without turning into a contortionist and risking a spill? Use the bidet! When in Florence recently, my hotel had a bidet, which I tried out for this purpose. Except for the need for a couple of towels to handle a bit of splashing, this worked beautifully.
12. GREAT LITTLE WINE BAR IN PARIS - writes Mary in Paris, France - Le Garde ŕ Robe literally translates to walk-in closet and once you walk into this tiny wine bar you will see what a befitting name it is. This hybrid wine shop wine bar is located on a quiet street two blocks from the Louvre, just far enough off the beaten track to discourage every touristy Tom, Dick and Harry from going there but mercifully close for those blurry eyed art lovers who have just spent the afternoon in the Louvre. Given the limited space inside you might think the owners would dedicate all available space to seating, not so, wine bottles and wooden wine crates dominate the small floor plan. A wine centric menu is offered including cheese plates, meat platters, and little sandwiches. They have a wide selection of wines by the glass and should you taste something you really fancy, you can pick up a bottle for later from their to-go selection. Address: 41 rue de l'Arbre Sec, 75001 Paris.
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