Category Archives: travel tips

Unreal Ueno

Tokyo is a massive city made up of many districts with their own feel and history. From Akihabara with its electronics and Maid Cafes, to Harajuku and its alternative culture,  to Roppongi with its bars, karaoke joints and slightly more dubious affects, there is so much in Tokyo that really you need a day per district to really get to

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Little Places – Hill of Crosses, Lithuania

The Hill of Crosses is a pretty stirring sight in the mid-north of Lithuania. According to the occasionally accurate Wikipedia today there are over 100,000 crosses on this hill, and it has become quite the tourist attraction. I went and visited it in 2007, so it’s been ten years and it’s grown. At the time I visited they had just

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Sunday Spotlight – Mopti, Mali

Today I’m stretching my memory back to the time I went to Mali, 2007, one country in West Africa which really has a lot to see and do. From the Dogon country, to the incredible mosque at Djenne, Mali is a real surprise packet in West Africa, but sadly is not really safe for travel right at the moment. Mopti

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Gateway Countries – Ecuador

When I arrived in South America last year I flew into Quito Airport, Ecuador. This would (besides the insides of a couple of other airports) be my first taste of the continent. Ecuador was my ‘gateway’ country to South America. Would this prove a good choice? For example, a country like Chile might often be people’s first experience of the

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A Visit to Terelj, Mongolia

Mongolia. Before going I had visions of well, steppe steppe and more steppe. Basically a flat, featureless country that was wild and yet exciting and fascinating at the same time. But that’s not the total sum of Mongolia – of course it was never going to be. From deserts to villages, the amazing Ulaan Baatar and its monuments to Genghis

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Sunday Spotlight – Arequipa (Peru)

You might say that Arequipa is the perfect subject for ‘Sunday Spotlight’. It’s a pretty little town, not a big city, and it’s not the most well-known destination in South America, but it’s a rewarding place to stop. I thought it was a very worthwhile stop in Peru, much more pleasant than Lima, and although Cusco is probably more interesting,

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A Day on the Mornington Peninsula

Melbourne is regarded as a pretty big city when it comes to terms of physical size, from west to east. The truth is that parts of what are considered ‘Melbourne’ could easily be considered separate towns in their own rights. In fact, it’s really not clear what is technically ‘Melbourne’ and what isn’t! At some point down the Mornington Peninsula,

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Sunday Spotlight – Irkutsk

Today’s Sunday Spotlight is shone at the adorable city of Irkutsk, in Siberia, Russia, not too far from the beautiful Lake Baikal – the world’s biggest inland lake. On the train heading to Irkutsk from Ulaan Baatar I was chatting with several people, including one guy who reckoned that Irkutsk was one of the least impressive cities he’d visited. So

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