The Great wall was extended to Dun Huang, and it has rich culture. Not to mention a very strategic position at the crossroads of the ancient southern Silk Route. China is a big place, believe me, If you ask Gansu, Dun Huang, everyone knows it, take a train journey from any major city, from Beijing, through inner mongolia, simple journey, but filled with beauty all the way...
Palazzo Versace is a super swanky hotel at Marina Mirage on the Gold Coast. While my budget won't stretch to their room rates, everyone is welcome to enjoy a drink in the hotel. We chose the Versace signature cake, which was served with tea or coffee from a vast selection. At $16 it was great value, with a whopping big piece of cake (no supermodel portions here!) and was served on beautiful china while we lounged on silk-cushioned chairs.
Ayvalik has been a great suprise! Beautiful village and surroundings Bonjour Guesthouse is amazing place to stay. The atmosphere and historic decor are superb.
It was very enjoyable to stay here because it's so close to the sea and the center of town.
The delicious Turkish traditional breakfast is really very good - I recommend it.
It sounds like insanity, standing for three hours - but you get comfy armrests to lean on, your own surtitles, and a surprisingly good view at the back of the stalls. You're first out to the bar at the interval. And it's very cheap.
Lugano is a beautiful city but it's hard to do it justice if you're not on a banker's salary.
One surprisingly cheap option is to hire one of the boats on the waterfront and explore the lake. The views are wonderful and you can make it over to restaurants on the other side.
Just walk along the main waterfront, the hire places are easy to spot.
Very friendly hostel in a former squat, with basic but clean rooms and a lovely cafe/bar and garden.
Our scruffy group of six was greeted with tea and a chat by the manager bloke, who also rents out bikes to explore the city.
Boothstraat 8, 3512 BW Utrecht
I picked DCX at random from a huge number of surf schools and was hugely impressed. Erik Lillmars (plus dog) is a patient, thorough teacher, a grizzled surfing (and music industry) veteran who spends a lot of time ashore before taking you out. I was standing up within an hour though, and had a blast. If you're not a confident swimmer that's fine, just let him know. I can't recommend Erik highly enough.
Sparse but immaculate rooms with powerful aircon and amazing views. Friendly staff and fellow travellers. A truly stunning roof terrace. Walking distance from the Long Bar at Raffles without the high prices; right next to an art gallery too. Ace.
The spiced crab is to die for. Good job, given the quantity of fat used in its preparation - the English pun on the name may be a happy accident but it's accurate all the same. It's quite cheap, too.
1, Lorong Awan 6, Kuala Ampang, Selangor
Google map: tinyurl.com/3a987pq
A bargain of a three-star hotel in the bohemian Zizkov area of Prague, just three tram stops from the centre and walking distance from many bars and clubs. Great breakfast and always a personal welcome from the extremely friendly manager. I now always stay here when I visit Prague. The most I've paid is 30 euros a night, and for a better standard than many other budget hotels at twice the price.
HOTEL RESIDENCE TÁBOR
130 00 Prague 3 Zizkov
Google map: tinyurl.com/327rfyy
Tel : +420 222 711 008
San Sebastian has fantastic beaches adjoining the city centre. It's a great city for food, not just at the Michelin starred restaurants. Cheaper restaurants offer fixed-price menus del dia, much cheaper at lunchtime than at night. Cafe Oquendo does an excellent three-course lunch, inc 1/2 bottle wine for €16pp. So fill up at a leisurely lunch, sleep it off on the beautiful Playa de Concho till 8 o'clock (Spanish style) then shower/change & hit the many excellent pintxos (tapas) bars in the adjoining old city (Parte Vieja).
This is an old Kyoto merchant’s house (Machiya) which was very recently (January 2010) restored to its original splendor, but with modern western amenities in the kitchen, bath and toilet. The house has two bedrooms, a dining room, kitchen, toilet and bath. It is a small house on a very narrow cobbled lane close to the Shirakawa canal. The location was fantastic and resonably priced. The owners showed us how to use the house and how to find the nearby markets, cafes and restaurants. It was a really great experience, alot nicer than staying in some of the hotels we experianced on our trip.
Higashiyama area of Kyoto near Heian Jingu.
We stayed here for a week,the owner was very helpful, met us from the bus, made sure we knew how everything worked in the apartment and where the most convenient shops, restaurants, etc, were located (very close).He also allowed us to leave our cases in the apartment on our final day, when we left Venice in the evening. We liked the view of the canal bridge from the windows, with all its comings and goings. Cheap,in quiet zone and three minutes' walk from Piazzale Roma or train station, all the main tourist attractions were near and could be reached by foot or waterbus stop (very close).
It is almost that time of year again for barge loads of sand to float down the Seine and transform the riverbanks of Paris into an urban beach. Beginning on the 20 July and lasting for one month, the Paris Plage offers the complete beach experience ... almost. The creators put together what could be best described as a caricature of a beach, complete with palm trees, deck chairs, ice-cream sellers and beach volleyball. There are three separate sections to the beach, the latest addition being at Bassin de la Villette. Set on the canal where Amélie once skimmed her stones, this beach offers free pedalos and rowing boats to complement the array of activities available on the other beaches, including swimming pools and free concerts. It may be a somewhat bizarre sight to see bikini-clad Parisians basking in sunshine as small children build sand castles in the foreground of Notre Dame, but its peculiarity is one of the attractions. After all this isn’t the seaside, this is Seine-side!
Port de la Gare, Louvre to Pont de Sully, and Bassin de la Villette.
The Dinosaur Farm Museum near Brighstone on the Isle of Wight makes a welcome stop for all. Housed in a former cattle shed, it has a huge selection of bones and fossils, including some that were first discovered in that area. Children can spend hours digging in sand to find and identify dinosaur parts and guided tours are led by locals who really know their stuff. A great place to visit that costs less than a tenner for a family pass.
Military Road, Brighstone, Isle of Wight
This family-run museum is magical. It seems tiny, but after paying your £2 entrance and a brief friendly chat you are pointed at a door leading to a corridor lined with dolls houses, Pelham puppets and strange Beatles memorabilia. I was transfixed by a Sherlock Holmes house and thrilled by the discovery of a long lost frog puppet from my own childhood. The wonders continue as you realise there is a whole house to explore. Room after room is filled with the most detailed and wonderful exhibits from model soldiers, circuses, railways, dolls, puppets and a very exciting science fiction room. The stairwell which is lined with miniatures from doll's houses. When you emerge back into the little shop at the entrance you feel you have returned from a Mr Benn-like adventure.
111 Main Street, Callander, Perthshire
The 'in your pocket' series of guidebooks are well worth recommending. The list of places is limited, but they are written by locals and are updated every two months. Even better, they are free and can be downloaded from the website.
The Belfast edition in booklet form is also free in the airport and other tourist locations.
In the light of the possible flight disruptions due to ash, it's worth knowing about the 'rail & sail' offer between Belfast and Scotland. You can book a train & ferry between Belfast and Glasgow/Edinburgh for £25 each way. Separate train and ferry tickets will almost cost double.
Train to other parts of the UKwill cost a little more but again far cheaper than if you get the tickets separately.
This is the perfect museum for kids. There is a lot there, an aquarium, a natural history museum and a music gallery, but all on a fairly small scale. Most importantly they understand that children need to do more than look, they need to touch, play and get involved, and here they can. There are magnifying glasses in the aquarium, quirky instruments to play in the music gallery, and fabulous and free creative activities and story-telling sessions. When you have exhausted all on offer inside you can stroll through the pretty gardens and visit the small menagerie.
Kaissara is a hostel in the fishing village of Trindade, near Paraty in Rio state. You only have to see a photo of the place to understand why you need to go. The hostel is located in the Mata Atlantic rainforest and is a short walk from seven of the finest beaches you'll find in Brazil, as well as waterfalls, rock jumps and basically one of the finest tropical environments you'll ever find yourself in.
Send your feedback or queries to firstname.lastname@example.org