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This Month's Hot Deals


Readers Choose 10 Outstanding Tour Guides Around The World

Edited by Evelyn Hannon

1. GREAT GUIDE IN ISTANBUL, TURKEY -- writes Katlin in Vancouver (WA), USA -- After reading her excellent reviews in Journeywoman, my husband and I hired Sermin Utku for two full days of touring in Istanbul. She was amazing. We visited mosques, museums, the Grand Bazaar and much, much more. We enjoyed lunches with her and learned about Turkish culture and how to navigate the city on our own. She also helped us avoid all the people trying to sell us rugs and tours that weren't of interest. Our visit was incredibly enriched by her knowledge and skills as a guide. She is a wonderful person, too! Her email address is bilgenfe17@yahoo.com Gold Star

ADDED INFO: 20 Things for a woman to know about Istanbul. Click!

2. EXCELLENT FEMALE GUIDE IN PRAGUE -- writes Carolyn in Twin Falls, USA -- If you are planning a trip to Prague, I highly recommend Katerina Svobodova. She led our group and did a fantastic job. You can reach her via email katerina@praguewalker.com or (+420) 603 181 300 on her cell phone. Website: www.praguewalker.com P.S. Conde Naste recently listed Prague as one the most 10 desired places to visit this year. Gold Star

ADDED INFO: Six interesting meals in Prague. Click!

3. 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: artisanangkor@yahoo.com tel: 855 97 878889 6. Gold Star

4. 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 aroundmorocco@gmail.com 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. Gold Star

ADDED INFO: Her tips for travelling solo in Morocco. Click!

5. MY GUIDE IN CUBA -- writes Cheryl in Toronto, Canada -- Yulier, a very friendly and knowledgeable person was my guide in Havana on two occasions. The first time I was introduced to him through my driver/guide who brought me to Havana for the day. The second time I was there he personally showed me all the tourist spots and the non-touristy areas and anything else I asked about. Yulier's English is perfect and his price is very reasonable. You can reach him at 011 53 5 8296691 Gold Star

ADDED INFO: From our archives, Cuba, Beautiful Cuba. Click!

6. BEST PRIVATE DRIVER IN KENYA -- writes Julie in Calgary, Canada -- I want to recommend Martin Maina (Nairobi Specialists - www.nairobispecialists.com, +254 721203694). My sister and I went to Nairobi in June '14 and utilized Martin's services after a recommendation from a film documentary company here in Canada. I was a little leery doing everything over the internet, but Martin was just so helpful he quickly put my mind at ease. He even did our grocery shopping the day before we arrived as we were heading out to Tsavo Park only hours after we arrived in Nairobi. Incredibly honest - you do not have to worry in any way that you are being scammed or taken for money. His knowledge of Kenya, it's people and animals was beyond compare - he could speak knowledgeably about any topic that we asked. A very safe driver and, trust me, you'll need one in Nairobi - we never once felt anxious. He managed to maximize our time by suggesting the best itinerary for the places we wanted to see, yet still rolled with any of our changes or additions. He took us to both Tsavo Park and through Nairobi National Park and he was a terrific animal spotter and always manoeuvred us to the best vantage point for photos. A great, reasonable price for a delightful tour guide and an amazing and safe time in Nairobi. My sister has travelled to many countries and always hires private guides and she thought he was second to none. I'd recommend for anyone to use Martin. Gold Star

7. GREAT GUIDE IN BERLIN -- writes Kate in Wilmington, USA -- I am a single Journey Woman in her mid 50's and I often travel on my own. In the past I have hired Journeywoman reader-recommended guides and have always had positive experiences. Now, I highly recommend Bettina Asmus as a guide in Berlin. She was informative, and provided excellent insights and knowledge about Berlin. Her contact information is mail@monbijou.de, Website: www.monbijou.de Gold Star

ADDED INFO: What's a girl to do in Berlin? Click!

8. GREAT GUIDE IN ISRAEL -- writes Elane in Melbourne, Australia -- I recently returned from a short visit to Israel where I hired a wonderful guide, Zel Lederman from Israel Travel Company. Everything was sorted out by email before we arrived, and since he is originally from Australia, there are no issues with English (other than the Aussie accent!), and he is fluent in Hebrew. His knowledge of Israel, its history, geography, flora and fauna, is excellent. And he was able to accommodate changes along the way. He was fantastic in so many ways that I just have to recommend him to other Journeywomen, whether travelling alone, with friends or family. He can be contacted by email, zeltours@gmail.com, and website: www.israeltravelcompany.com. Gold Star

ADDED INFO: Shopping and Noshing in Tel Aviv. Click!

9. EXCELLENT FEMALE GUIDE IN CAMBODIA -- writes Jane in New Berlin, USA -- I'd like to recommend a female guide in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Her name is Kong Vitheany (she goes by Theany-pronounced "tee-ah-nee"). She's a very personable young woman with a good knowledge of the history and culture of Cambodia and works very hard to make sure that her visitors have their every question answered. In Cambodia, guides are located by city and Theany is one of few female guides. We experienced her guidance through an organized tour but she is available on an individual basis as well. She can be contacted by telephone (855) 17 56 81 81 or (855) 15 56 81 81 or by email Theany792@yahoo.com. We enjoyed her immensely! Gold Star

10. I RECOMMEND A SPECIAL GUIDE IN ITALY -- writes Jackie in Toronto, Canada -- I had the most wonderful experience touring Pompeii with our guide, Lucia. She was informative, personable and very knowledgeable. We made arrangements to meet at Pompeii train station after a 1/2 hour easy train ride from Sorrento. Lucia was able to work us through and around crowds and tell us very intimate details about the daily lives of Pompeii inhabitants. I recommend her services to other JourneyWoman travelling to this part of the world. Tel: +39 3384202154. Email: info@luciapompeiiguide.com Gold Star

ADDED INFO: Packing Tips for a Woman's Trip to Italy. Click!

After you travel with any of these guides please send your feedback to editor@journeywoman.com. Based on your ratings we will add or subtract gold stars to any tour guides. Poor experience? We never hesitate to delete the undeserving from our lists.

Journeywoman is not associated in any way with any of these recommendations. We have not experienced or tested any of these guides. All tips are reader generated.


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