The biggest market in the city. On the weekends all the stalls are open, on Wednesdays and Thursdays there's an amazing plant market. Friday's the day for wholesale, but it's still very interesting.Wander around and buy when you see something you like, you'll never find the same spot twice.
Take the metro to Kamphaengphet station, and the market is right there.
Looking a bit like the Arndale Centre circa the mid-eighties, MBK (Mah Boon Krong) is basically a huge covered market spread over five floors also incorporating a cinema and food court. Need a new watch? Choose from fake Rolex, D&G, Guess and any number of other names. Always wanted a Thai football shirt? You’ll find one here. Run out of credit on your mobile phone? Just buy another one. If you want plenty – and I mean plenty – of choice in you fake goods/souvenir/gift shopping then this is the place. Be prepared to bargain, be prepared to spend and be prepared to buy yourself that Louis Vuitton handbag you always knew you really wanted.
Corner of Tha Phra Ram 1 and Th PhayathaiNearest Skytrain station: National StadiumOpen: 10am-10pm
The newest of Bangkok’s night markets, Suan Lum not only offers the usual fare of fake designer goods, Thai silk scarves and incense sets, but also small shops selling arts and crafts from local designers and artists. The pottery and paintings are particularly worth a look.There is also a large food court and beer garden featuring live music (the Thai equivalent of Busted when we were there) and – more bizarrely – reruns of Premiership football matches from 2002 on a big screen. In the beer garden either go to the bars or look for the waiters selling Chang or Tiger beer, which are at fairly reasonable prices (50 to 100 Baht, £0.70 to £1.40 per bottle). Otherwise you may be offered western imported beer at an exorbitant price (Erdinger and Heineken for the equivalent of about £5.00 per litre).
On the corner of Thanon Rama IV and Thanon WitthayuNearest Metro stop - Lumphini Nearest Skytrain - Silom, then walkOpen 3.00pm-midnight
A manic maze of a market. Loads of really cheap everythings. It's quite an experience but not one to be undertaken with a hangover or when feeling weak. All the crap that you don't really need but end up buying from the street stalls is here but cheaper. Handicrafts, clothes, chickens, leather goods, dogs, snakes, food, jewellery. Shop yourself out.
There's a Metro stop just by it but any taxi driver will know.
A pleasant, air-conditioned bookshop with a coffeeshop near Gulshan 2. Smaller than the chain Et Cetera, they hold a wide variety of hard and paperback books in English from India and the UK. They also carry DVDs, kids books and toys. The small cafe seems to be a hit with young locals and foreign visitors.
Very near the Gulshan 2 roundabout. 125, Gulshan Avenue, Gulshan 2, Dhaka 1212. T: 02-9890832
Thai talismanic tattoos can be got from Wat Bang Phra. A priest will do the work and bless them for a packet of fags and about 200 baht.
20km outside Bangkok, ask around some of the Khao San Road tattoo parlours to see if they can point you in the right direction.
Bologna is THE place to spend a weekend eating. It has the most amazing pasta you've ever tasted - apparently it's made from a different sort of flour, but it soaks up the sauce deliciously.
You must visit Tamburini. It’s an amazing deli but also a restaurant/cafe (self service), which has delicious food at lunchtime - packed out when we went, but well worth the queue.
It felt like a Bolognese institution to us.
Via Caprarie, 1 - 40124 Bologna; Tel: +39 (0)51 234726; Fax +39 (0)51 232226; www.tamburini.bo.it/
Siam Square is a magnificent shopping area frequented by locals and tourists alike. The multi-story halls house hundreds of local stalls selling everything from fake football shirts to cockroaches. A must see in Bangkok. And of course, it is incredibly cheap, the cheapest I found in my whole stay in Thailand. Go there!
Near the World Trade Centre
A department store but not as we know it. This being Italy, Tad is a super-slick joy of a shop with beautiful displays of home-ware, furniture, perfume and designer clothes. Makes John Lewis look like Woolies.
Via del Babuino 155Tel: 06 3269 5131
This bookshop is only a few minutes walk from the British Library in Bloomsbury, Central London. It has a great selection of books on photography and of photographers monographs. Also a good stock of books on fashion photography, photo journalism, travel, nude and portrait photography. There are quite a few signed books and rare first editions too. Unique for photography lovers.
Photo Books International99 Judd StreetLondonWC1H 9NEURL: www.pbi-books.comTel: 020 7813 7363Nearest Stations: Kings Cross, Russell Square or Euston Station
Singapore may be a modern business hub, but elements of its original melting-pot culture remain if you take time to search them out. When bored of the malls of Orchard Road, head to the free museum in Raffles Hotel (third floor) to see photographs and memrobilia of a bygone age: Charlie Chaplain, Elizabeth Taylor, Lord Mountabtten and more including images of streets with rickshaw drivers, coolies and colonials. Chinatown has some charm, but has sadly been made "more Chinese" over the last decade. The nearby Telok Ayer area (where you will find Singapore's oldest Taoist temple next to a tiny park) has some good cafes and restaurants including the budget Lotus Cafe. Porta Porta Restaurant on Stanley Street and Aoili on Boon Tat Street offer inventive and authentic Italian and French food (the set lunches are modestly priced at around S$20 to $30). If you want organic vegetarian food, two doors from Aioli is Yogi Hub.More authentic than Chinatown is Little India, but ignore the infamous Komala Villas Restaurant (now serving poor quality Indian vegetarian food in a bad atmosphere) and head for Sri Saktivillas Restaurant on Cuff Road for fantastic food at cheap prices. On the next street - Upper Dickson Road - is Kulfi Bar where you will find some of the creamiest Indian ice-cream in an amazing variety of flavours (the colours and tastes of the beetroot and pistachio are unforgettable.)Fort Canning Park (not far from Orchard Road) and the Botanical Gardens offer green and pleasant distractions. See the Spice Garden at Fort Canning and the Orchid Gardens at the Botanical Gardens.On Hill Street is the charming Armenian Church of St Gregory the Illuminator. It has a circular design, a marvellous atmosphere and is a national treasure. And for a taste of a more authentic Singapore life, head to the heartlands of Toa Payoh, Tampines or Clementi. Among the Housing Development Boad apartment blocks you will find shops, food centres and coffee shops with economy prices and a genuine local flavour.
Every Sunday there is a street market in Tastevere which is great fun. It covers four or five blocks and you can get everything from clothes and books to DVDs and statues. Everyone in our family could find something different and exciting and we have two nice oil paintings in our living room which we bought for less that £4 each.
Trastevere area - take the tram
Riding along Kiev’s main street in a bus or coach is the best way to get an initial impression of the Soviet architecture that dominates it. Unfortunately, the original street was booby trapped by retreating Soviet troops as a gift to the advancing Nazis in WW2. The replacement buildings are impressive, but a little too grand for some tastes. The focal point is Independence Square, which now looks more like a shrine to capitalism with its large neon signs and shopping centres. This was where we saw the politicians making their speeches on TV during the recent ‘Orange Revolution’ in front of the protesting crowds.
This part of Rome is much quieter and on a smaller scale than much of the main part of the city. It's on the west side of the Tiber and south of the Vatican and has many small restaurants and boutiques - a few too many perhaps. It's a little reminiscent of Florence and the narrow cobbled streets still contain many picturesque old houses.
It's in an old warehouse building just off Brick Lane (Hanbury street) running on Sunday mornings. It's far less crowded than the nearby Spitalfields Market which was cut in half by a redevelopment and is now too crowded with too many identikit stalls. It's got craft/jewellery, clothes and food stalls (excellent Ethopian food as well as all the usual suspects). Lots of beautiful stuff from new designers and a few quirky and fashionista clothes stalls. Good world music CD stall. And the Big Chill bar/historic Shoreditch is just round the corner.Get there around 11-12am and it's not crowded. Lock up bikes securely.....
Truman Brewery, Hanbury Street off Brick Lane.Nearest Station/Underground Liverpool Street
The only chance you'll ever get to see all of India in a day, every November the Pragati Maidan exhibition centre hosts this enormous trade fair. Sounds dull, but there's stands representing every state of India and it's a great chance to see a little slice of each. The 'SARAS' hall of rural handicrafts is a particular must, with wares from Kashmir to Orissa all in one place at very decent prices.
Check to see when it opens its doors to the public, and try to get a ticket from outside retailers rather than queuing. It gets busy and traffic is awful, but drivers should know the location Pragati Maidan.
The most incredible chocolate shop (try the superlative dark chocolate ganache filled and gold-leaf sprinkled speciality) and next-door salon de thé serving exquisite patisseries and petits fours. A great place for a restorative cup of tea/hot chocolate, sadly in the company of the Lyonnais Sloany set when we went.
42 cours Franklin Roosevelt,
69006 Lyon; Tel: +33 (0)4 78 24 37 98
fax: +33 (0)4 78 52 67 77;
Desperately trying to pick up a life size, anime-styled model of Yoda signed by a Russian animator? Can't get enough of the latest hard core manga epic? Then pop into the flagship Forbidden Planet, the temple to all things geek. Even if you're not remotely interested in any of this, it's still worth visiting once, just to see the terrifyingly random collection of licenced tat that people are willing to buy so long as it's endorsed by George Lucas or signed by Terry Pratchett.
179 Shaftesbury Avenue, WC2H 8JR; Tel: 020 7420 3666; www.forbiddenplanet.com
Not just a London institution, but Fopp offers a credible, intelligent, independent-minded challenge to the hideous megastores on Oxford Street. CDs, DVDs and books are available at excellent prices and the range is hugely impressive.
1 Earlham Street, WC2H 9LL; www.fopp.co.uk
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