For a special whimsical evening try Chez Raymonde. It is unclassifiable - an "alternative" mix of cabaret and musical hall.
Friday and Saturday evening feature classical ballroom dancing and cabaret on a postage stamp size stage.
Reservations are essential.
Website with a good up-to-date list of local restaurants, bars, hotels, accommodation, and all matters of other types of businesses.
This site is geared towards the expat living in Saigon for the most part and focuses on the District 1.
The discussion forum doesn't seem to have much traffic.
A great soho bar in Hong Kong that is just enough off of the beaten path of the escalator and hollywood road, but not too far away that you can't get to Lan Kwai Fong in five minutes.
The staff friendly, the nights funky, the drinks cheap, and the atmosphere a little different than most of the surrounding bars/restaurants.
13 Old Bailey Street, Soho, Hong Kong.
An excellent and innovative new concept at the Copthorne Hotel Cardiff.
They have a professional theatre company in house who offer four different West End-style shows. We saw the "West End to Broadway" show which was amazing - the cast are a very talented bunch of people.
The food served was excellent and the whole evening was fantastic value. The standard price is £27.50 but we booked a special offer with dinner theatre, room, & breakfast for only £89!
We have just booked for the Swing show next week! They also have a rock n roll show and a Western-themed one. They told me that there will be brand new shows for 2008!
Tel: 02920 599100
The Copthorne is at Culverhouse Cross opposite M&S. It is just a few minutes from Cardiff Bay and the city centre.
It's a great example of an urban artists' collective, situated in an old crumbling department store from the turn of the century in the middle of the up-and-coming mitte district.
It houses many artists' galleries and workspaces where the public are free to wander and these are often turned into venues for impromptu parties.
There is a great outside space dotted with sculptures and beer served from an old VW van in the back and there's a cafe inside serving food from breakfasts to supper and coffees and hot chocolates and also a venue for live music. A wonderful space just to hang out.
Oranienburger Str. 54
The last thing I'd thought of doing in Amsterdam was visiting a brewery, but even if you don't like beer you'll love the Heineken Experience (you don't have to drink the free samples)!
There are lots of interactive activities to take part in, you can even star in a video which you can email to your friends. Go on - no one knows you in Amsterdam! Allow at least two hours to participate in everything and don't miss seeing the advertisements from years gone by - they resurrect lots of forgotten images. Tip - go first thing in the morning.
No visit to Amsterdam is complete without a canal trip, but rather than the usual tourist boats, with their pre-recorded multi-lingual commentary, try the St. Nicolaas Boat Club.
Go to the bar of the Boom Chicago comedy club in the Leidseplein as soon as you arrive and book a place. The comedy is also excellent, and buying advance tickets will save you a few euros. Time your trip to end shortly before the show starts.
Buy drinks and snacks for the journey, then enjoy an unforgettable tour of parts of the city that many tourists never see.
Just some observations - public transport is poor in Sofia. However, taxis are very cheap and plentiful. I have never had a problem, but of course there are stories of cabbies trying it on. Normal caution should suffice.
Pavements are dreadfully dilapidated, and often obstructed by parked cars. This is not a town for baby buggies, let alone wheelchairs (I have never seen anyone in a wheelchair). The elderly should also beware.
A good guide, published quarterly is Sofia in Your Pocket: www.inyourpocket.com
Also, an English-langauge newspaper Sofia Echo, published Fridays with listings: www.sofiaecho.com
In August, theatres are closed, and some restaurants. Check first.
Each year my husband and I bundle our three children, Nathan, 15, Emily 12, and Oscar, 7, out to Magalluf, Majorca to stay with his parents.
Each year we try in vain to find something that will suit all of us and fail miserably.
This year we did our research and bought tickets for Pirates Adventure show online.
It was a brilliant child-friendly night of entertainment; amazing acrobatics for the adults, dancing girls for Nathan and slapstick larks for Emily, Oscar and the grandparents!
Carretera la Porrassa
Telephone: +34 971 130 411
Fax: +34 971 130 083
Web site: www.piratesadventure.com
For something a little more “wholesome” - on 2nd road spend an hour or so at the Malibu Bar - it’s a girl and lady-man show....a low budget affair, they make their own elaborate costumes and mime to well-known western songs. Every night they tread the boards from 8 till about 12.00 midnight - sometimes poor and amateurish but always entertaining. DO NOT miss Tina Turner! This guy is actually quite professional and very good indeed. He does a couple of performances every night and the place fills just to watch his act. Unfortunately sometimes he has to take time off (twice a night, 7 days a week, year in year out - who wouldn’t?!?) and the act is performed by a less talented stand-in. All -in- all a great friendly atmosphere, lots of couples and even kids - and no smut!!!! No admission charge, and they do food.
Ok, so their desert tour is touristy, and cliche, but we thoroughly enjoyed it -- for $145 for two (including dinner), it was a value. The staff is outgoing, the dune driving somewhat scary, and the food is (suprisingly) good. Full description and photos at:
No website, but your concierge can book it for you.
In Melbourne you will find soapboxes being put to use on Sunday afternoons at the Speakers’ Forum on the forecourt outside the State library.
Over the years, speakers (including Prime Ministers) have gathered on the banks of the Yarra river to discuss politics (brave!). In 1995, the tradition was relocated to the forecourt. If you have something you think needs to be heard, the stage is yours between 2.30pm and 5.30pm every Sunday. The audience gets to heckle and boo for free.
the State Library of Victoria
328 Swanston St City
If you travel to Minsk with a child, or if there is still a child in you, go to the circus! The circus in Minsk operates almost year round, it is a lot of fun and great entertainment even if you do not understand Russian. You can see highlights of a recent circus performance on video at the website below:
Near the Victory Square metro
I travel in central London a lot at weekends, buying games, clothes and various other things. I have always generally enjoyed London, for all its opportunities and tucked-away secrets. But I then found a place which doesn’t have clothes or games. There was a children’s show on there (and this was many years ago) and we decided to sit down and watch. The show itself wasn’t really that good, and I soon tottered off. I wandered around, looking for anything interesting, but just found dull concrete buildings. But in the midst of this wall of grey I found a most peculiar sculpture. It was very hard to describe, as it seemed to be a partly squashed bug. A large sphere of metal with wiggly antennae, with two large flat metal discs behind it and I found it very amusing to hop from one disc to another, as they weren’t very high, and made a loud clang, much to the annoyance of my parents. As I got older I would always visit that metal sculpture. There were several large buildings nearby the metal toy. We ventured inside one once, and found it very family friendly. It often had exhibitions, and had a constant feed of entertainment, such as live music and dance, as well as a cafe, and a well-stocked book shop. This was of course, the Royal Festival Hall, which is now under refurbishment.
As I grew older still we would move around London more, and me and my little sister would beg our parents to let us go to the South Bank instead of boring clothes shops. We soon discovered the far-off ends of the South Bank, which seemed to never have an end to the various forms of entertainment. There were several good restaurants, along the bank, including a Wagamamas we still often visit, a Strada (best Italian food in the world) and a pizza place at the end. In the summer, we regularly visit the South Bank, as it provides a way to take up a day, and make it a fun one. We often meet friends there, or go and watch a show, as well as having dinner.
The great thing about the South Bank is that there is always a place you haven’t been, some unturned leaf, which is always ready and waiting, and bursting full of energy and imagination. And these leaves are always falling, so regular visiting is always needed. Still things remain undiscovered to my family, so we shall keep on visiting, and so should you.
Angus Hegarty, Age 13, East Barnet
Embankment or Waterloo Tube Station
Just the maddest restaurant in Thailand. It's an enormous German beer hall that brews its own (very good) beer and seats about 1,500.
They serve German and Thai food and have cabaret every night - a mixture of traditional Thai and pop music. It's mostly Thais who go, and they all seem to be there to celebrate something and the whole place ends up dancing - at least in part because the staff insist on making you dance. Good if you're in a crowd, it's a truly Thai, if unexpected, experience. You'd need to book - it keeps going until about 2am.
Rama III- you'll probably need a cab. See www.tawandang1999.com/en/eng/detail.asp
It is a fab bar run by an English couple who each week on a Thursday host a quiz night. All of the proceeds go to five charities in Siem Reap.
They also serve great English food for those who have been away from home a while and crave sunday lunch, bangers and mash etc.
On the river in Siem Reap
Go to the zoo and see the animals ..and get up close with the animals. After closing time, "Roar 'n' Snore' starts with dinner followed by a nightime guided tour of the zoo. You get to explore the zoo as night falls and see the zoo's nightlife...animals whose activities start at dusk. Supper follows..before you bed down for the night...in your tent in the middle of the zoo.
I might add, nightime at the zoo is NOISY!
Breakfast is served next morning before more walks around the zoo.
This is simply a wonderful activity that has to be experienced.
For adults and families with children 7+
Elliot Ave, Parkville
Melbourne Zoo is located only minutes north from the city centre, within Royal Park. Car parking is available or visitors can take the tram or train to reach the Zoo. Trains run from Flinders Street Station stopping at Melbourne Zoo's own Royal Park Station
The kids loved the pizza here, and the fact they could wander round unhindered. The statue of the naked lady in the corner caused great amusement as well. On the very top floor there is a theatre. It's worth finding out if there is a performance on when you're there. We watched an entrancing xmas story monologue, which kept even the jaded Playstationer glued to his seat. Free soup with a ticket was also a bonus on a cold winter's day.
78/9 Grafton Street
+353 1 6727720
To call La Rambla a street somehow appears a little demeaning, thoroughfare or boulevard seem much more fitting words, however neither really adequately describe the 'slice of life' that is La Rambla.
Running from Placa de Catalunya down to the port area, La Rambla is a place for people to stroll, meet, pass through, trade, eat, drink, people watch and be entertained. And if you think it's busy wandering down its length at midday return at midnight when it's even livelier.
Entertainment comes in the form of buskers and street performers of the 'living statue' type - give them some coins and they'll perform for you or just admire them as they stand immobile. One favourite was the headless torso with the 'detached' head alive and chatting on a plate of vegetables next to him. There are also stalls selling flowers, sketch artists offering to draw your likeness and booths selling a variety of birds and small animals. Indeed it was quite incongruous seeing pigeons hoping around the ground in front of a booth where others were on sale.
Inevitably in such a busy place there will be pickpockets so be careful with your purse, camera and other valuables. However don't let that put you off, whether it's a morning, afternoon or evening stroll - La Rambla is the place.
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