Monthly Archives: December 2013

CHRISTMAS GLOBE: Five Places Celebrating the Season in their own Unique Way

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Kenya For a commercial respite, head to Kenya where Christmas is still largely enjoyed in the traditional sense. Carol concerts are held in the run-up to the big day, such as ‘The Christmas Festival of Lessons and Carols’ at All Saints Cathedral (www.allsaintsnairobi.org) in Nairobi on December 24th. On Christmas Day, Christians go to church before returning home for a big sociable meal with family and friends. The main dish is fish or roasted goat, served with vegetables, chapattis and yoghurt Read more

Swimming Against the UK Housing Tide

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In many developed western societies we are sort of trained to conform. I’m not saying this is necessarily sinister. It is often turns out that a lot of people I know seem to be doing things one way, and, well, it just comes naturally to follow the flock. They must have a reason. In many ways, I think I have been a bit of an unthinking conformist. However, in my slightly older age I am becoming more troublesome. I’ve discovered a very good word: ‘contrarian’. I’m beginning to think there Read more

Top Tropical Escapes

Le Vimarn Cottages and Spa
Last Minute Inspiration for a Warm Winter Holiday   Thailand For sunshine and beaches, you can’t beat Thailand at Christmas. November to February offers perfect holidaying weather here -- the monsoon rains have passed and with them any extreme humidity. All you need to decide is which beautiful tropical island to pick. For pure relaxation, avoid the party paradises such as Koh Pha Ngan and Phuket, and choose a quieter option such as Koh Samed, Koh Chang or Koh Mak. Be warned though, although Read more

Dealing with Curruption when Traveling Across Countries

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  Can You slip me a tenner?   Have you ever taken part in a corrupt deal of some kind? Don’t worry, I’m not about to report you, it is just that I’m trying to highlight how complex and interesting this thing can be. In an ideal world, perhaps, there are things that are morally right, and there are things that are morally wrong, and there is nothing in between. It is all black and white. In that world we exclusively do the right things, and none of us have therefore taken part in Read more

Travel Regrets – I’ve had a Few

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 I chose not to go into the Dead Sea. There- I said it. Sure, I drove past it. I can say that I've been to Jordan and have seen that mighty and mysterious body of water. But I haven't actually floated like a human-shaped lilo on its surface, felt the incredible saltiness of the water on my skin, nor have I benefitted from the health-giving properties of the full body mud smothering ritual.You see, my travel partner wasn't really interested in getting all wet, muddy and salty so I felt I shouldn't Read more

Over the Golden Gate Bridge

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San Francisco is one of California’s largest and most influential cities, but for many travellers it’s overshadowed by the towering span of its iconic Golden Gate Bridge. Look beyond that, though, and you’ll find a city of intrigue, a maze of districts and unique subcultures, from the traditional checked tablecloths of the ristorantes in Little Italy, to the busting quayside attractions of Fisherman’s Wharf. If you're thinking of taking a break to the States you can buy your USA Dollars here San Read more

Managing Risk: Travelling in Thailand, Egypt and Ukraine

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In the last few days the political situation in Thailand has been difficult. A long-standing conflict between the mainly rural ‘yellow shirts’ – supporters of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, and the mainly urban ‘red shirts’ – who violently oppose her, has come to a head. There have been mass demonstrations and tense stand-offs with the police in Bangkok, spreading as far as the resort town of Phuket. This is not new to the country: in 2008 a similar situation forced the closure of Read more