Plenty of budget options in this jungle area in southern Nepal - we didn't even have to walk far from the village to come across rhino. Relatively cheap elephant safaris also available.
An ox cart from the bus station to a hostel - if you have absolutely all the time in the world to kill - was a once in a lifetime experience (you don't want to do it twice).
These flat bottomed, dug out canoes are a different way to see the Okavango Delta. You can pass through the lily beds so smoothly that you barely disturb the flowers, let alone the wildlife.
Great if you want to see something like the elusive sitatunga - a small deer-like mammal light enough to live on the waterways' foliage; potentially terrifying when you run into the crocs or hippos that lurk around.
Memorable either way.
It takes a while to work out quite what's going on around this amazing lake in Kenya - the water is stained pink, like some kind of weird oil slick. But when you get close you realise it's just an astonishing, dense mass of flamingoes. A really unusual sight. The surrounding national park has plenty of lions, rhino and buffalo too, and you can post fly camps in some relatively secluded spots.
This is a small chambre d'hote - French B&B - in a lovely quiet street near the centre of town. Nice rooms (only five so book ahead), really central and close to the cathedral, bars, restaurants, everything.
35 rue bouffard;
tel: (00 33) 556 813 453;
Never really made it into the museum bit but there's a cafe attached that does fabulous chocolate drinks and truffles and chocolates made on the premises. Not much of an atmosphere but a little cool, calm oasis and a bit of a treat.
Calle Amargura, Habana Vieja
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)
A few minutes walk from the old town, this is a really nice, chic hotel - not massive rooms but great decor and beds and not that expensive for what you get (about 150 euros a night for a double).
Navarro Reverter, 14
Newly renovated hotel in the middle of the old town - beautiful old courtyard and rooms. Not cheap, but costs less and is much nicer than something like the Nacional - and a good option if you need to book a hotel for the first few nights for visa reasons. Staff are a bit Fawlty Towers but it's quite atmospheric and comfortable. Big cigar shop, and peacocks, for some reason.
Calle Mercaderes, Habana Vieja.
This was the house of Jean Sibelius, the composer. Of most interest to music lovers, but a change from the city and a look at rural Finland if you're on a short break.
A short drive out of Helsinki; www.ainola.fi/english/lassoindex.lasso
Send your feedback or queries to firstname.lastname@example.org