Take the only train still running from Bogotá’s La Sabana station. Hugely popular with the locals, it leaves at 8am on Sunday morning to run through various villages on the altiplano and gives a flavour of the gulf between rural and urban life. Get out at Zipaquira, an important settlement in pre-colonial times. The town is built on a mountain of rock salt out of which a vast underground Cathedral has been hewn. An impressively pointless achievement.
La Sabana station, Calle 13, Carrera 19
You're always happy to arrive in Kashgar and always sad to leave. Only because you've endured a horrendous journey in getting there and leaving requires yet another. Kashgar is remote.
The bus station in Urumqui is the last slice of busy you'll see for ages. Ahead lies three days in the Taklamakan Desert on a jolting gravel road.
If you're coming from Pakistan, the bus ride is a harrowing experience through the Hindu Kush along one of the most treacherous highways on earth.
However you choose to get there, it's an experience.
Fantastic experience: 20mins or so training on a segway, then about 2hrs travelling on it, seeing parts of SF you otherwise might not (away from centre). The Segway is a unique, very interesting and very easy to use mode of transport. The staff are very helpful and nice to be with. A bit pricey - 65 dollars each, plus you are expected to slip the tour guide 5 or 10 dollars.
Beach Street, near Hyde. 30 Bus from downtown (get off at North Point and Hyde), or take Powell Street cable car to end. www.sfelectrictour.com/
Well before London introduced the Oyster card, a similar system was up and running for Shanghai's public transport network. For an initial outlay of 30RMB (about £2) you have a swipe card that you can use on the metro, buses, ferries and taxis. Even for a short trip, the amount of time it saves you from queueing/pushing/arguing/scrabbling for change it's well worth it.
Available to buy and top up from Metro stations, some convenience stores and so on - look for the 'S'-shaped lightning symbol.
Incredibly good value transport card from the Tidpunkten: 100 SEK for trains, trams, buses and ferries throughout Goteborg and Bohuslan. Buys a number of kupong (currently 18). Insert the card in the machine on board and press the required number of kupong (minimum 2). Permits onward travel in the next hour, longer for areas outside Goteborg City. Long journeys (3 hours or more) are 8-10 kupong (£4-5), even on the express coaches.
Combined prices for multi-mode journeys are a lot cheaper than paying for individual elements; generally the extra cost of local onward travel from a ferry by bus is one kupong.
Use it to wander round the coastal islands. If you are there for the weekend, one ticket can be used for several people including travel on the much cheaper bus from/to the airport if you are using Ryanair; the bus stop is at the end of the Airport road about 300 metres from the departure lounge.
Following on the comment about not going at midsummer, watch out for the Scandinavian saturday - not so much of a big deal in Stockholm, but shops close early (from midday onwards), public transport links are worse than any other day and pack up early, and concerts are often held in the afternoon not evening. All good locals obviously go off to be with the family.
Unlike London Underground most lines on the U-bahn run all night. We were out in Kreuzburg and had to get back to Rosenthaler Platz at 2.30am - think Elephant and Castle to Kings Cross. We went to the U-bahn at Mariennstrasse and found that trains were still running. We were able to get our connection OK too. Having said that, it's probably worth checking a timetable as some lines do stop at about 1am.
This maritime-themed boutique hotel is chic, has fabulously comfortable beds and is suitcase-dragging distance from the railway station. It also has its own ice bar, where you can don yeti-style fur coats and slurp back vodka from ice glasses. The restaurant serves up a mean rhubarb pie, too.
Nordic Sea Hotel Stockholm
The open top tourist buses run on three routes from Pazza Municipio. Naples is a very large city and this is a good way to get your bearings. I particularly recommend Line B, south-west along the bay, the quieter side of Naples, which provides great views of the bay and Vesuvius.
Piazza Municipio near Stazione Marittima
The journey from Sydney Central to Lithgow must be one of the most spectacular train rides in the world, with amazing views of the eucalyptus forest which gives the mountains their name. The trains run every hour and the full journey takes about two-and-a-half hours. Real train buffs might like to get off one stop short of Lithgow, at Clarence, and take a trip on one of the great engineering achievements of the world, the Zig-Zag railway. Check the web site for train times and 'steam days'.
Lithgow itself is typical small town Australia but has some nice cafes, particularly the 'Back Yard' on Main Street. Turn left as you come out of the station.
The James Craig is a reconstructed sailing ship which runs day trips on most saturdays during the summer season. It leaves Pyrmont Wharf, near the Australian Maritime Museum, at 9.30am and sails out through the Harbour and 'The Heads' into the Pacific Ocean. There is a genuine feeling of adventure but this is not for those prone to sea-sickness. The ship returns at about 4.00pm. Morning tea and lunch are included in the price.
It's a motorised bicycle. You should rent one because they're cheap, and the terrain is hellish for bicycles, especially the further afield springs and waterfalls. Be careful though as Thailand's roads are awful, although this far into the hills, you don't have much other traffic to worry about. Lessons are available. Bikes are 150 - 300 baht per day.
MS Motorcycle Rent near Thom Pai Elephant Camp Tours Office
Travel around town on the underground. It's cheap, the stations are dotted all over the place and, most importantly, many of the stations are spectacular monuments to the slave labour that built them. Marvel at the chandeliers, the enormous statues, the weird Stalinist architecture and the murals of happy workers.
If there more than 3 of you and luggage, 1 taxi is not enough. 2 costs $100 dollars each way. Limos? $111 dollars including tip and they were there even when we were 4 hours late! Outstanding
Internet trawl; book in advance, cost deducted the day you travel
I travelled to New York by car from another state. No one warned me not to park on the street. My car was broken into twice (two nights running) before someone told me that I should have parked it in one of the secure car parks. Better advice would probably be not to drive, however if you do need to take a car into New York, I recommend using one of the many lock-up garages.
many locations across the city
Instead of walking or driving around Sydney, to get the best vantage points around the harbour hire a 'Tinny', a small aluminium boat with an engine. You don't need a boat licence, and you can fit 7 or 8 people onboard. You can also organise a fishing licence to catch some fresh Sydney seafood.
Vickery Av Rose Bay 2029 telephone: 9371 7036 or 0416 123 339
Not a particularly welcoming place, but a real sign of the times. It's worth spending a few minutes here marvelling at the new Chinese diaspora as poor farmers from the countryside arrive, often clutching all their worldly possesions in white hessian bags. Who knows what riches or despair they will find?
Ask for Shanghai Houche Zhan, or take the Metro (Lines 1 and 3)
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