The history of this district stretches back 700 years to the Yuan Dynasty. For 120 rmb per night, you get to stay in an old courtyard house in a lively neighbourhood full of boutiques, bars and restaurants.
Nanluogu Xiang hutong, Xicheng area; Tel: 8400-2429
Friendly place, with stylish rooms decorated by previous guests. Also right in the middle of things. Backpackers dormitory from €13. The hostel also has bike rental, laundry, and cooking facilities. The people who run it are opening a new hostel in trendy Kreuzberg in January 2006.
Chausseestrasse 102; Nearest U-Bahn: Zinnowitzerstrasse; Tel: 030 28390965
You can get some amazing deals on cheap accommodation in Berlin. The Circus is a clean, bright, arty hostel – in fact there are two of them – just north of Hackescher Markt, right in the centre of Berlin. They have an Arabian room, an underwater room, as well internet and bar. Rooms €15-€32.
Weinbergsweg 1A; Nearest U-Bahn: Rosenthaler Platz; Tel: 030 28391433 or Rosa-Luxemburg-Strasse 39; Nearest U-Bahn: Rosa-Luxemburg Platz; www.circus-berlin.de/
Apparently an exclusive club-restaurant, but they let anyone in who asks nicely (in Russian). Traditional Russian food, ice cold vodka, and bizarre caricature busts of everyone from Lady Di to Dostoyevski. £15 a head for vodka and food.
24 Myasnitskaya Ulitsa (in a courtyard away from the street); Tel: 095 923 0082; nearest metro: Christiye Prudy
Get a tailored suit for £200 or a shirt for £10 here. They can copy anything you want and it's marvellous value.
Michele Boutique, Shop No. 21, Shah House, Mandlik Road (off Colaba Causeway and opposite the Colaba police station).
Tel : +91 22 870 116
It is beautiful and easy to get to. You reach car-free islands on cheap public transport, getting a nice boat trip into the bargain. Bathing waters are very clean and often very shallow and calm due to virtually no tides, waves or currents, making them ideal for families with babies and toddlers. Water temperatures often reach 21C in July.
The northern archipelago can be reached by car ferry from Hjuvik and Hisingen. For the southern archipelago take the ferry from Saltholmen. With the Gothenburg Pass it is free, or without one it costs the same as a tram ride.
First of all, you shouldn't miss the number one popular food in Malmo, which is of course the falafel. They come in only two sizes, large and extra large (so don't ask for a small one, even if you are suspicious). The price is as low as 15 kr, which is about a pound and they are good. The best places are Falafel No 1 in the south (close to Mollan) and Varnhemsfalafel in the east.
Furthermore, did you know that Swedes and Finns are the heaviest coffee drinkers in the world? And there isn't a single Starbucks in Sweden. If you enjoy espresso and cappuccino Malmo is the place. The best places are Lilla Kafferosteriet at Baltazargatan, Dolce Sicilia at Drottningtorget (which also has the most amazing ice cream) and Solde at Regementsgatan.
Remember that Malmo is a small place and that you can walk everywhere. Especially thorugh the area of Vastra hamnen and Bo01, with grand architecture, around Davidshall and behind (i.e. west from) Lilla Torg.
If you like jazz, world music and rhythm in general, visit Club Jeriko. Furthermore, check out Inkonst, a very friendly and cool place with both groovy clubs, theatre and poetry slams.
Enjoy. I know I do.
Swedens have a reputation of being quiet, however, they really want to talk to people. The reason they are a bit difficult to get started is that they are afraid to embarrass themselves. Don't let this stop you; go on and you'll make friends for a lifetime. Remember that everyone speaks English so don't hesitate to ask people how to find things or where to go.
Falafel No 1, Bergsgatan 37, Malmo.
Jeriko,Spangatan 38, 211 53 Malmo.
Tel : (00 46) 401 030 20
Free maps etc. of the whole of Sweden (simply type in the street or place or person you want to find, or search manually by clikcing on "kartor", i.e. maps, on the left):
We stayed there a couple of years ago and it was fantastic. Small and humble and a room costs around £35 / night. It's right in the heart of Little India.
Across the road is a big food court which offers pretty much anything that's local. Tonnes of fruit, stacks of "popiah" which are like roll-it-yourself spring rolls, gallons of fresh juices...don't let the grubby appearance of the places put you off. My girlfriend was very particular about food but even she was amazed by the loveliness of the hawker stalls. There are beautiful temples within two minutes' walk, and for nerdy techno freaks like me, Sim Lim Square is 5 minutes away if you want to buy yourself an iPod, camera or computer...enjoy!
The Changi Village is a modern, chic hotel and is one of the most affordable luxury hotels in Singapore. We managed to get a double room in August for £55 a night, booked on the hotel’s website.
Although it’s not in the centre of town, it is near a beach and ideal for early morning flights from the nearby airport.
Brunch and as much champagne as you can drink - eat 12 courses of foie gras and drink 2 bottles of champagne before 2pm on a Sunday. I think it only costs about $100sg.
Raffles Hotel (but they might have stopped the free flow champagne part -grrrr) or the Fullerton Hotel (where they definitely still do the free flow champagne part.)
I stayed in a small place (the minority cafe with a great cook but it may have changed hands by now) on Guihua road opposite a traditional medicine shop. It's cheaper and quieter than West Street (only minutes away) with a really great cake shop on the corner.
If walking up West Street towards the river turn left, over a bridge and it should be somewhere around there.
Perfect for Guardian readers, the Los Angeles Conservancy organises regular walking tours of the city's architectural delights and curiosities. Tours generally cost about $10, last for a couple of hours, and are informal affairs led by helpful and knowledgeable folk who don't press their obsessions too hard.
The downtown art deco and Broadway theater tours get you exclusive access into now privately owned and/or disused beacons of the city's gloriously ostentatious 1920s, 30s and 40s.
The Angeleno Heights tour is a relaxed stroll around the city's first middle class suburb, several streets of charming Victorian wood-framed houses perched above the freeways and steel monoliths of downtown. Other tours take in San Pedro, USC, and downtown at night. Book via the conservancy's website at www.laconservancy.org
A fabulous Mexican restaurant just off Santa Monica Boulevard. Mariachi waiters and fantastic (and reasonably priced) food. Recommended to us by a Swedish woman who ran a clog shop on La Cienega....
1113 N.Harper Ave
Tel: 213 654 1746
The best place for local specialities, and true old school service, really the most delightful staff. It's in a residential part of the city - I think we were the only tourists both times we went.
The price was very reasonable.
On Saturdays, Brazilians eat feijoada, the most delicious pork dish you will ever eat. I don't really like pork and it blew my mind. Botequim make feijoada to die for. I am salivating writing this.
Rua Visconde de Caravelas 184, Botafogo
The Minara Hotel is a well-managed and reasonably priced modern boutique hotel adjacent to the magnificent Bopath Ella Waterfall. No doubt it gets busy in the season but when we stayed in June 06 we had the place to ourselves.
I would recommend this place to any traveller (particularly those looking for a break from the grubby bed sheet circuit).
A small modern, professionally run place with air conditioned rooms, a good restaurant and unrivalled views of the falls.
Near Ratnapura, a few kilometres off the A4 at Kurawita. Ask for Bopath Ella.
A small independent hotel, restaurant and bar (open to non-residents). Wunderbar is a real gem of a place. The accommodation and food really is first rate and the bar is the best in the area. There is not much night life in Bentota but Wunderbar is my favourite bar in the whole of Sri Lanka. It can be lively when the boys play the drums but it is always friendly and is a safe environment to drink with a minimum of hassle. Like the hotel, the bar is well managed (not over-managed) drinks are cheap and it's locally owned so your cash goes into the local economy.
Walk along the beach, the bar is less than 1km to the south of the main resort, of an evening take a three wheeler from the railroad crossing.
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