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This Month's Hot Deals

A Compilation of the Best Travel Advice of 2014

Siem RiepBOUTIQUE HOTEL IN ANGKOR, SIEM RIEP -- writes Dolly in Melbourne, Australia -- I happily recommend Pavillon d'orient Boutique Hotel in Angkor, road 60, Siem Riep. Positioned away from the hurly burley and more expensive hotels, this place provides comfortable, clean accommodation, friendly smiling staff, and great ambience. PLUS a dedicated tuk tuk driver for your entire stay included in the price. The tuk tuk drivers are knowledgeable and the reception staff will arrange guides for any or all of the fabulous temples and other sights. The two pools are lovely to come back to after a hard days sightseeing, or just to lounge by whenever. A half an hour Khmer massage is free, which I expanded to an hour, plus a facial. Great indulgence! My lovely daughter who lives in Pnomh Penh arranged it for me on my recent visit which made me love her even more.

StockholmAWESOME SECOND HAND CLOTHING SHOP IN STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN -- writes Shelly in Asheville, USA -- I just got back from Stockholm where I picked up four sweaters - one of them cashmere - at Emmaus second hand clothing store, behind the Hilton (Slussen) Hotel. Their address is: Peter Myndes backe 8, 118 46 Stockholm, Sweden. They also have a great selection of textiles. The first time I was there I bought a set of coffee mugs from Portugal. I love this store. You never know what you're going to find.

Ho Chi MinhHOTEL RECOMMENDATION FOR HO CHI MINH CITY -- writes Beth Marie in Kamloops, Canada -- I have travelled extensively in Vietnam. I would like to recommend the hotel, Madame Cuc 184 which is well located at 184 Cong Quynh in Ho Chi Minh City. Room rates are reasonable and value received was excellent. The owner is wonderful and her staff friendly and helpful. Be aware - there will be steps to climb. Many positive reviews on

NiceVERY SPECIAL RESTAURANT IN NICE -- writes Patricia in Oakville, Canada -- La Merenda is conveniently located on the edge of Nice's extensive Vieille Ville (old town). This shoebox of a restaurant offers a unique experience in many ways. With seating, on wooden stools, for barely twenty customers, conversation soon flows easily from table to table with everyone eager to share comments about their gustatory delights. The authentic provençal menu, using only seasonal produce, is displayed on a small blackboard and prepared in the tiny kitchen by renowned chef, Dominique LeStanc. No credit cards accepted. No cell phones invited. No reservations. You must poke your head through the beaded doorway and see when they may have a spot for you. Trust me, it is all worth it! Click here for their website.

FlorenceFABULOUS B&B IN FLORENCE -- writes Jane in Radium Hot Springs, Canada - I stayed at a fabulous B & B in Florence: Casa di Annusca B & B, Via dei Serragli, 126, Oltrarno area. The owner, Fabio Baudone, pays attention to detail and provides a truly aesthetic experience. The artwork and furniture in each room is hand picked and thoughtfully placed. Breakfast was a lovely experience with lit candles, classical piano music playing in the background, and a wide range of life-giving food. I was able to walk to all of the museums, churches, palaces, restaurants, bridges, etc. in Florence. The location of the B & B is also close to the train station. After 4 days exploring Florence and returning to this lovely B & B, I was sorry to leave. You will find Fabio to be a wonderful host. The cost then was 68 euros/night.

Fake?REAL LEATHER VERSUS FAKE IN FLORENCE, ITALY -- writes Rebecca in Florence, Italy -- Bargains abound in Florence's bustling San Lorenzo street market. But be wary of inferior quality (and pickpockets). Handbags sold in the markets may be imported (mostly from China) and made of vinyl, not leather. The way to tell vinyl from leather is to briefly heat the bag with a match or a lighter. Vinyl will melt instantly. If you have doubts, ask the vendor to do the flame test.

LostI'M NOT REALLY LOST -- writes Geri in Oaxaca, Mexico -- When I'm in a new place alone and I lose my way, I tell myself, "I'm not really lost, I just simply don't know where I am." As I set off to find my starting place I most often discover new places (restaurants, shops, bookstores, museums, parks), and I stop and chat with strangers when asking for directions. Never being too tightly scheduled helps me maintain this mantra-like attitude until I reach my destination. Try it; you might enjoy it.


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