This sweltering, sprawling market spills from the streets onto the sea of sand which makes up the longest beach in the world. It's 5 hours further east of Chittagong and can only be reached by bus ... so, why do I recommend it? Simply the combination of everything.
The social chaos of Bangladesh sprawled across the sands, the crowds of worn, warm faces that follow your every move (even when you take a dip in the ocean), the sun setting over the Bay of Bengal and the rickshaw back to your hotel for fresh hot curry and clay-oven baked naan ... yum-yum!
Take a ferry from Eyüp to Uskudar at the cost of one Lira. This passes all down the Golden Horn stopping at port after port and then finally crossing over the Bosphorus to Uskudar on the Asian side. Leave just before sunset and sip tea along the way for the cheapest and most beautiful way to visit Istanbul.
Enjoy feeling part of the New York scene, especially early evening on a weekday, overlooking the beautifully elegant concourse of Grand Central Station and watching the world go by. Ideal for people watchers!
Grand Central Station - on the balcony. Not sure of the name - Metrazour??
A minibus service with a desk in the airport to and from central points in Manhattan and also right to your hotel as long as it is reasonably central. You pay a very reasonable fixed price and share your transport with others of course - also an interesting way of getting a little tour of the city as you drop off fellow passengers. As a lone female unaccustomed to independant travel in the US and worried about dealing with a yellow cab driver, this was a godsend for me! Ideal for individuals, but obviously not for anybody who is in a hurry!
JFK Airport Arrivals
It's worth noting that before you leave the customs hall there is an HSBC ATM which accepts foreign cards, and at the custom hall's exit is a rack with transport info leaflets. The easiest way into town, but probably not fastest because of town centre traffic jams, is Shuttle Bus 5 to People's Square and Shanghai (main) Railway Station. The bus departs from the ground floor ("1st Floor" or "Level 1" in China) outside exit door 8. Pay on the bus.
The quickest way into town MAY be the Maglev train (upstairs, across a long bridge) which goes to Long Yang Rd tube (on metro Line 2, the green line) but the MAGLEV ONLY RUNS 08.30-17.30!
Cheaper and reasonably fast (and closer to Arrivals!) is Shuttle Bus No.3, also to Long Yang Road tube. This bus departs from outside exit door 7. Pay on the bus. Long Yang Rd tube will normally be the FIRST stop, after about 30 minutes, so make sure you don't miss it.
The Shanghai metro is a bit of a luxury for UK visitors to China, as it's bilingual Chinese/English (well, all signs/announcements - can't vouch for the staff...) Look for a little chart by the ticket machines which graphically indicates price according to destination - likely to need 4 or 5 one-yuan coins to go into the centre. If you have no change queue for the ticket office. If in doubt as to cost I think 5 yuan is the highest fare (June 2005) and that's still only about 30p. You're issued with a plastic 'ticket'. Make sure you take the train in the direction of Zhong Shan Park.
If you want Shanghai Railway Station change at People's Square and follow the long wide curving passage to Line 1 (the red line) and take the train towards Gong Fu Xin Cun. If you want to catch an overground train that departs from Meilong station, take the tube to Jin Jiang Park on Line 1. Then it's about 150 yards walk, including a very high footbridge, but no shortage of eager 'porters'. Meilong is one stop after Shanghai South station which is closed for reconstruction, hence the schlepp (so I heard...).
Airport Shuttle Bus 3 also goes to Xu Jia Hui. If this is by the metro station, this could be an easier way to get to Meilong station via metro Line 1 as it's only 4 stops from Jin Jiang Park.
Shanghai tube maps: while displayed everywhere in the tube system, I could not find one in printed form. The one at urbanrail.net is therefore very useful. If your final destination is not Shanghai but not too far, eg Hangzhou, consider getting a bus from the airport's long distance bus station. This may be less hassle than getting a train. Go out at the ground floor and look for the little old ticket office to the very right of the numerous bus stands. Whether train or bus, having your destination clearly written in chinese characters will help greatly!
Taxis: one I took TO the airport from a southern outer suburb of Shanghai (so it was closer) cost me 100 RMB. Always only use a metered taxi, no tip expected, and never accept a touting taxi that already has a passenger in - it will cost you double, not half! Taxis for short distances in China are cheap, and normally have a fixed charge for the first 2km.
Food at the airport: if you don't want the limited and very expensive (for China) 'tourist' food on the airport mezzanine level there's a 'normal' restaurant just outside in the middle of the bus area. One of the upstairs bridges towards the Maglev train has a lift/steps down to it. I haven't used it yet. Menus likely to be only be in Chinese.
The Link Bus provides a cheap way of getting around Auckland. It runs at least every 15 minutes on a circuit around the outskirts of the city and through the centre. It stops at most of the main central attractions (Sky Tower, Viaduct Harbour, Victoria Park Market, K Road, Auckland Museum, Newmarket Shopping, Parnell, Ponsonby and the Cathedral). If you're going to be hopping on and off, it's probably best to ask the driver for an AucklandPass ($9 - unlimited bus and North Shore ferries) or the flat fare is $1.30. All stops have real-time information to tell you when the next bus is due and there are automatic displays and announcements in the bus which list attractions at each stop. The bus operates in clockwise and anticlockwise directions and the driver will tell you if it's quicker to get to your destination using the bus in the other direction
Stops are clearly marked and the buses are painted silver. The website is www.stagecoach.co.nz/thelink/index.html
Devonport is on Auckland's North Shore and is well worth a visit if you don't have time to go to Rangitoto or Waiheke. As well as having a very pleasant main street with cafes (and a good fish and chip shop), there's a good beach and children's playground and there are walks up to the two extinct volcanoes behind the town which offer great views of Auckland and have historical interest provided by 19th century military defences. The ferry ticket also provides free use of the buses for the day.
Ferries to Devonport leave from the main ferry terminal on the waterfront near the Viaduct Harbour (Americas Cup Village area) and Britomart Transport Interchange. Ask for an AucklandPass, which is the same cost as a return but allows free use of Stagecoach buses too.
I agree with the other tip to take taxis but, especially for non-Spanish speakers, it is probably better to use radio taxis (booked over the phone). Most bars and restaruantes would call one for you. Look out for the company Premium Taxis: they have AC and drivers speak (some) English.
www.taxipremium.com/ 5238-0000 or 4374-6666
Helicopter trips. We took The Big Apple Tour a 10-12 minute one which was fantastic. It is essential to book as they were very busy and they also check ID carefully. We went down to the Statue of Liberty and back. Fantastic views. Well worth doing.
Liberty Helicopters, Downtown Manhatten Heliport, Pier 6 and the East River, New York, NY 10004 www.libertyhelicopters.com
You can buy travel cards for various numbers of days in the major Metro stations (such as Mustek, at the bottom of Wenceslas Square.) These entitle you to unlimited travel on any bus, tram or metro line in the city and represent an economic and convenient way to get about. At the time of writing, a 24-hour pass costs KCs80 (less than £2), a 3-day pass costs KCs220 (£5) and a 7-day pass costs KCs280 (£6.50)
Major Metro stations. Prague Transport Authority website: www.dp-praha.cz/en/
About as weird as it gets in Shanghai, and that's saying something. It’s basically a ghost train that passes under the Huangpu river and transports you from Puxi to Pudong. The walls of the tunnel blink with psychedelic neon lights and the air fills with strange noises; there’s even a bit that’s meant to be a volcano. It might not be quite worth the cover charge but it’s five minutes of utter silliness in an otherwise business-obsessed city.
Enter across the road from The Bund (Waitan) - nearest station Henan Zhong Lu (Metro Line 2)
Old-school public transport - and mainly a cheap and enjoyable way to get a handle on the city, a circuit that takes in a lot of the main sights such as the art gallery and central squares.
Stops all round the centre - outside Kiasma gallery or Kauppatori (Market Square)
Rikkys is a nice, cheap and for the most part safe way to get around town. Taxis are quite expensive and slow in Cape Town, and the minivans, well ... A Rikkys will pick you up from where you are and drop you off at your destination, but it will also pick up other people. So its a cross between a taxi and a bus basically. The service covers central Cape Town as well as Camps Bay and Clifton.
The Barajas Metro Line (number 8) takes only fifteen minutes to deposit passengers in the centre of Madrid's financial district (Nuevos Ministerios). Taxis are available from the airport, but be sure not to accept offers made inside the terminals.
Pre-paid taxi vouchers can be purchased from the booth located in the baggage reclaim department. Authorised cabs can be identified by their white-and-yellow colour scheme, and any other cars should not be considered. Outside of rush hour the metro is a cheap and relatively quick alternative, but reaching the city centre does involves a change of line and may not appeal to those with heavier luggage.
Rio's State Tourism Authority has a desk at the airport where prepaid taxi vouchers can be purchased. Travelling in metered or unofficial cabs is not recommended. An hourly shuttle bus is also available which stops at key hotels on its route into the city.
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