8. DON'T SHOW YOUR LUGGAGE IN NEPAL -- writes Amanda in Kathmandu, Nepal -- Be savvy, ladies! If you come to Nepal, India or elsewhere in Asia never accept the first price for a room and never show up with luggage where they can see it. It's best to read their sign by the guesthouse entrance and then call them from right outside to get a good price. I've found that the price quoted is directly proportional to the effort they believe is required to carry your luggage to the next guest house. So, never show up loaded with luggage looking like a haggard tourist needing a room.
9. A FASCINATING MARKET IN SHANGHAI -- writes MarieAnne in Shanghai, China -- If you want to indulge in touristy souvenir hunting in Shanghai, a good place to start is the Dongtai lu antiques market (by Xizang lu, between Xintiandi and the Old Town). A lot of the antiques aren't actually antiques and you'll need to bargain hard, but the goods for sale there are fascinating. Need 1930s posters of Shanghai cigarette-ad poster girls? Need a ceramic statuette of Mao? Or a jade dragon? A birdcage? A life sized replica of a Xian warrior? This market is a great place to buy off-beat, funky, unique gifts for friends back home. Or just browse the stalls for pure entertainment.
10. WHAT TO WEAR IN KENYA -- writes Carol in Nairobi, Kenya -- I've been living in Kenya for a year and have a 'what to wear' tip for other JourneyWomen. The kinds of clothes you pack will depend on where in the country you're going to travel. Nairobi is a very cosmopolitan, fashionable city. If you choose the coast remember that it has deep Islamic influences. A photo safari will be hot and dusty. Many people will visit all these three areas and should pack a variety accordingly. For the coast, it's considered proper for women to have at least knee-length (or ankle-length) skirts or pants, unless you are actually on the beach. For safari, bring the type of clothes you'd go camping in: light-weight, rugged, the type you don't mind getting dirty. And, don't forget a dress or nice top for evenings out in Nairobi. A light-weight, decorative scarf is a great versatile way to cover your shoulders in modest communities, to keep warm at night, and to dress up an otherwise-plain outfit. Have fun, everybody!
11. WHAT TO WEAR IN SANTIAGO, CHILE -- writes Janet in Santiago, Chile -- I'm an American working in this city and want to pass along some 'what to wear' tips. (1) All seasons: Comfortable shoes. so you can deal with cobblestones. Your purse should be small enough to fit on your lap for security while you are eating at a restaurant as purse snatching is extremely frequent, particularly in the areas frequented by expats and tourists. (2) During the summer: Cover up with maxi skirts, linen pants, etc. and (don't forget sun block). Modesty is not a big concern here, but the ozone layer is very thin, so even a few minutes of sun exposure midday can leave you with a harsh sunburn. (3) During the winter: Lots of layers (including long underwear) since many restaurants and homes have limited or no heating. (4) Business wear: You may notice that professional women here in Chile often wear clothing that would be too casual or too revealing in the same professions in the U.S. I maintain my U.S. office dress code, but I wear suits as separate pieces and sometimes use sweaters instead of jackets. Try wearing your more colorful blouses and sweaters with your neutral suits, and accessorize with a scarf, interesting belt, or statement necklace, all of which are hugely popular here.
12. CATCHING THE CORRECT BUS IN INDIA -- writes Glynis in Manchester, England -- I recently returned to England from India, I am a single 50+ lady and I had a wonderful time travelling and meeting people along the way. I used local bus services and my tip to getting the right bus in a very chaotic and busy bus station is as follows. Find someone in your accommodation, travel provider or local person you meet to write on a piece of paper in the local language the name of the destination town or city (I needed Tamil, Malayalam and Hindi). Then when you arrive at the bus station, instead of trying to correctly pronounce an unusual name just show the card written locally, and people will quickly show you the correct bus. After struggling with my early journeys I used this easy tip and it really made a difference.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Considering India? It's an incredible country but be sure to catch up on your research and female-centered safety tips before you leave. Click!
13. COOKING TOGETHER IN CHIANG MAI, THAILAND -- writes Jennifer in Chang Mai, Thailand -- I wanted to share this tip with other Journeywoman readers heading this way. I came across this excellent cooking school worth recommending. Even if you don't like cooking, I would recommend that everyone go, just so they can have a lazy day lying in a hammock on a Thai farm, with a full belly. The owner is delightful, he proudly boasts that he has the best toilets in Thailand (which he does!) and gives you a lovely recipe book (in English) to take home. The farm is near Chiang Mai, the school is called, Sammy Organic Cooking School.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Heading to Thailand? Check out our JourneyWoman Mini Thailand Cyberguide. Click here.
14. DINING SOLO IN SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA -- writes Meena in Melbourne, Australia -- My travel tip for September is a work related travel tip. I've found that when eating out alone in a city when travelling for work, the bars of nice restaurants often have great bar menus, or the same menu as in the formal restaurant part, but the atmosphere is a little more relaxed and more friendly to dining alone. My recent experience was at Spice Temple in Sydney (Address: 10 Bligh St) where the bar staff made me feel very comfortable and looked after, and I got to eat great food but they did it for entrée size and price! P.S. I've been getting your Journeywoman Newsletters since 1999 and love my regular emails! Your work is fantastic!
EDITOR'S NOTE: Dear Meena, XOXOX
Milan is an exclusive fashionista paradise...
Milan is often known as the 'Fashion Capital' and the city offers everything a fashion victim can desire. The best area to spot the most famous brands is the so-called ‘Quadrilatero della Moda', comprising Via Montenapoleone, Via della Spiga and Via S. Andrea. Even if you don't plan any shopping (everything is hugely expensive), the streets are lovely and the shops beautiful, especially around Christmas time when the shop-windows display the best of Italian creativity. For a special treat, make a stop at Pasticceria Cova or a coffee or a drink at one of the most exclusive café's in Milan where it's not unusual to spot celebrities.
Clean, Quiet Hostel in Barcelona
From information on the Internet, I booked a room at the Hostal Olivia in Barcelona. I was buzzed into the ornate entrance on the corner of a block of up-scale shops. After taking the quirky lift to the fourth floor, I was met by the hostel owner. She unlocked the door and I knew I'd found the right place: clean, quiet, and with a palpable air of grace. The lovely owner spoke little English, and I spoke little Spanish, but we managed to get by in French as she escorted me to my little single room complete with tiny renovated bathroom. I had no view, but that didn't matter - my priorities were cleanliness, quiet, and safety. Hostal Olivia is a quick walk to the metro and a short stroll to Placa de Catalunya and a huge Apple store, where online connection is free. Highly recommended. Website: www.hostaloliva.com.