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We’re funny (usually), controversial (sometimes) and insightful (always!). Our travel experts share their experiences below in hopes of hearing back from YOU. So read, comment and enjoy!

Posts from April, 2009

Doulos cruise ship to visit Hong Kong

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People on Hong Kong tours will be treated to an impressive sight this year when the ship Doulos arrives in the city.

Doulos is the world’s oldest ocean-going passenger vessel, having been built in 1914.

After filling various official capacities around the world during its lifetime, the ship now travels around the world as a kind of floating bookshop, carrying the biggest floating library in the world.

The liner has welcomed more than 20 million visitors onboard for tours, book sales and other events, stopping in over 500 ports of call in more than 100 countries.

Doulos will arrive at Hong Kong’s Ocean Terminal on June 6th and stay until July 4th, providing plenty of opportunities for visitors to come onboard and explore the unique ship.

As well as experiencing the many temporary events that take place in the city, visitors to Hong Kong can visit permanent attractions such as Victoria Harbour and the Peak, which offers stunning views over the city, harbour and surrounding mountains.

Hong Kong – Part mystical Chinese city, part 21st Century metropolis, Hong Kong combines temples and skyscrapers.ADNFCR-1652-ID-19136908-ADNFCR

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Discover the genius of Da Vinci in Singapore

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People planning Singapore tours this summer will have the opportunity to visit an exhibition in the city exploring the genius of Leonardo da Vinci.

The Science Centre Singapore will host this travelling show, which is thought to be one of the most comprehensive touring exhibitions ever created on Da Vinci, from May 15th to August 16th.

Da Vinci can be considered the quintessential Renaissance genius, creating such iconic works of art as the Mona Lisa and The Last Supper and dabbling in everything from mathematics and engineering to music and writing.

Highlights of the exhibition, entitled Da Vinci – The Genius, include a display exploring the times in which he lived, a section dedicated to his machine inventions and a showcase of his sketches and drawings.

The Science Centre Singapore is home to many other exhibits and sights that will interest people of all ages and tastes, with more than 1,000 interactive displays exploring various fields of science.

Singapore – Enjoy the wonderful shops or explore Singapore’s colonial history, whatever you do end the day with a Singapore sling at Raffles.ADNFCR-1652-ID-19136850-ADNFCR

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Meet an emperor in Rome

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People with an interest in ancient history should fit a visit to the Fori Imperiali complex into their Rome tours this year to learn about one of the leaders of the city’s ancient empire.

An exhibition exploring the rule of the Roman emperor Vespasianus will be open throughout 2009 and up to January 10th next year.

The display was launched to mark the 2,000th anniversary of Vespasianus’ birth and pay tribute to an emperor who is often overshadowed by the likes of Nero and Augustus.

Vespasianus played an important part in the development of the Roman empire, modifying the structure of its politics and its government.

Visitors to Rome will also be able to go on a journey back into its eventful history at an exhibition dedicated to Fra Angelico at the Musei Capitolini, which will be open until July 5th.

The showcase includes many pieces that have never been exhibited before and offers a fascinating introduction to one of the most important painters of the early Renaissance period.

Rome – Visit some of the ancient landmarks such as the Colosseum or tour the opulent Vatican.ADNFCR-1652-ID-19136350-ADNFCR

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Scariest Places in London: Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum

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8106_2_madam20tussaudsOne place I never thought I’d want to go is Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum. Giant wax figures of celebrities seemed freaky to me instead of fascinating. The statues are amazingly life-like and I couldn’t believe how real they felt. This only added to my panic as I found that one little old lady sculpture was moving.

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British and Irish Lions squad announced

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An announcement has been made confirming the British and Irish Lions players that people on tours of Cape Town and other South African destinations will be able to see during the team’s visit to the country this year.

Irish second row Paul O’Connell will captain the British and Irish Lions this year, becoming the 10th Irishman to lead the team and the 27th captain overall.

O’Connell is one of 37 players picked to take part in the tour of South Africa, a squad that includes 17 backs and 20 forwards.

The captain is one of a record 14 Irish players selected for the team, joined by the likes of Brian O’Driscoll, Tommy Bowe, Ronan O’Gara and Jamie Heaslip.

Thirteen Welsh players were named by head coach Ian McGeechan in this year’s British and Irish Lions squad, including Shane Williams and Andy Powell, while Joe Worsley and Andrew Sheridan were among the eight Englishmen picked.

Only two Scots – Nathan Hines and Euan Murray – were selected for the tour.

Travellers taking tours of South Africa this year will be able to see British and Irish Lions matches in destinations including Cape Town on June 23rd and Johannesburg on July 4th.

Cape Town – From the wine route to the game parks there is so much to see and do in Cape Town.ADNFCR-1652-ID-19134165-ADNFCR

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Visit ancient Egypt at the Louvre

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People planning Paris tours over the next couple of months will be able to visit the city’s iconic Musee du Louvre to explore an exhibition dedicated to ancient Egypt.

The expansive display was launched in the museum’s Napoleon Hall on March 6th and will be open until June 29th.

Entitled The Gates of Heaven: Visions of the World in Ancient Egypt, the exhibition takes its name from a phrase that the people of the ancient culture used to describe a passageway that led to the afterlife.

The Louvre has amassed a collection of some 350 artefacts from various collections across France and Europe for the showcase, offering a representation of ancient Egypt from the culture’s earliest times right up to the Roman period.

As well as displaying a variety of objects that had various uses and meanings in the culture, the exhibition places the items in their social, religious and artistic context to provide an additional insight into life in ancient times.

The Louvre is the world’s most visited museum, boasting a collection that encompasses artworks including the Mona Lisa.

Paris – Enjoy the view from the Eiffel Tower or see the Mona Lisa in the "city of light".ADNFCR-1652-ID-19134042-ADNFCR

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Families urged to see Lake Balaton

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People looking for an affordable destination for family tours and getaways this summer have been urged to pay a visit to Lake Balaton in Hungary.

Balaton is central Europe’s largest freshwater lake, so large that it has reportedly been named the ‘Hungarian Sea’ by locals.

The location boasts an enjoyable resort atmosphere during the summer as many Hungarian people head there for their annual holiday, according to the country’s national tourist office.

Family groups will find plenty of activities to suit people of all ages, including sailing and kite-surfing on the lake and horse riding, hiking and golf on land.

Lake Balaton is surrounded by a number of resorts and towns that offer plenty of accommodation options, restaurants and amenities, the biggest of which are Balatonfured, Keszthely and Siofok.

The lake is also a couple of hours away from Budapest by car, meaning holidaymakers can set off on a day-trip to the capital city to see sights such as the Royal Palace and Matthias Church.

Family – Theme Parks – Treat the family to a day at one of the Disney resorts or to a splashing day out at a Spanish waterpark.ADNFCR-1652-ID-19133397-ADNFCR

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Scariest Places in London: London Dungeon

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ld1In London’s long history there have been many gruesome events. Some are real, some are imagined and some are so well-known the line between fiction and reality has disappeared. As a fan of game-induced panic myself, I set out to find the scariest places in London. With only one week left it will be difficult to finish them all, but the London Dungeons makes such a good playground for a fright I can’t miss it.

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Camden Town: Food, Friends, and (Great!) Finds

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Well, I may not have been able to check out all of the cuisines I listed in my last article about food (yet!), but I did make it to the cobblestone streets of Camden Market’s food vendor area yesterday…close enough, right? Davis, California might have the most adorable Saturday morning farmer’s market, but I’m starting to see why shopping in London is so famous, it’s pretty impossible to compete with the size and variety of London’s famous sites.

Food in Camden Market - Yandle

Food in Camden Market - Yandle

The Camden Market’s stalls were tiny, the streets were narrow, and the food was AMAZING! (Suck on that, American food courts). I swear this tiny corner of Camden houses any and everything you could possibly want to eat. Cuban? Check. Spanish? Italian? Thai? Moroccan? Chinese? Indian? Mexican? Check, check, check, check, check, check, check! Everything looked and smelled so delicious that I worked up an appetite just trying to decide which one to choose. And, one of the best things about strolling around Camden is the mix of locals and tourists, sure, there are a ton of souvenirs and knick-knacks lining the streets, but do and a little digging and the market is actually packed with great (and often cheap!) clothing, crafts, and music as well. From CDs to corsets, there’s something for everyone in Camden, just make sure you’ve got plenty of time to spend exploring!

I can’t wait to check out some of the city’s other famous markets and foods soon…Maybe all of this exploring will help burn off the huge helping of paella I wolfed down last night! continue reading

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The King and I to be staged at Royal Albert Hall

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Musical fans will be booking their London tours to coincide with a new staging of a classic show later this year.

The Royal Albert Hall will host a production of The King and I from June 12th to 28th.

Originally staged on Broadway in 1951 and turned into a popular film starring Deborah Kerr and Yul Brynner five years later, The King and I is a tale of two people from different worlds learning about each other’s cultures.

Anna, a British governess, is brought into the court of Siam to tutor the king’s many children and slowly begins to develop a relationship with the monarch that introduces her to a world very different from her own.

The tale is told by musical pieces including Getting to Know You, Shall We Dance and I Whistle a Happy Tune, which will be performed by the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra in the show.

After the run of The King and I has come to an end, the Royal Albert Hall will host a gig by rock and roll star Neil Sedaka on June 30th.

London – Ride the London Eye, visit the Tower of London or take a day out of the city to see Stonehenge.ADNFCR-1652-ID-19131848-ADNFCR

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