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Medium 9781743603611

38 Avoid Offence, Always

Planet, Lonely Lonely Planet Publications ePub

 38 

AVOID OFFENCE, ALWAYS

How to stay on everyone’s right side as you travel

AVOIDING PITFALLS

It’s fairly difficult to cause so much offence as to get you into trouble. Generally people you meet will be tolerant and understanding. The exceptions are offending local religious sensibilities, especially in stricter Islamic countries, and voicing unpopular views about the government or royal family of the country you’re in.

Do:

» Learn some local phrases, including ‘excuse me’ and ‘I’m sorry’ and air them when you need to.

» Follow the lead of those around you: if others are removing shoes or donning headscarves, do the same.

» Smile! You’ll find far more people ready to forgive the foibles of a visitor than those who take permanent offence.

Don’t:

» Emulate your fellow tourists’ bad habits – scribbling your name on ancient monuments is not cool.

» Take what might appear to be a local litter problem as an excuse to drop your own trash.

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Medium 9781743215524

Rotterdam & South Holland

Planet, Lonely Lonely Planet Publications ePub

In the iconic region southwest of Amsterdam, tulips, windmills, cheese, Dutch Masters and blue-and-white Delftware china abound, but it's the cities here that are the biggest draws.

The country's second-largest, Rotterdam, is riding a wave of urban development, redevelopment and regeneration with striking additions to its dramatic skyline, and electrifying art, food and bar scenes that are fuelling an international buzz. Leiden has a centuries-old university culture, historic canal-laced core and exceptional museums. Den Haag, the seat of government and the Dutch royals, as well as the capital of Zuid-Holland (South Holland), also has a trove of magnificent museums, along with a stately air, luxe shopping and resort beach, while Vermeer's beautiful hometown Delft is an exquisite medieval time capsule.

Zeeland (Sea Land), the country's southernmost, dyke-protected province, is anchored by the mast-filled port of Middelburg. Cycling throughout this gentle, mostly sub-sea-level region is unparalleled.

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Medium 9781742200552

West of the Strip

Planet, Lonely Lonely Planet Publications ePub

Between the Strip and the mountains, a few key attractions beckon. There are two major resorts, the Palms and the Rio, plus the eco-minded Springs Preserve – also the new home of the revamped Nevada State Museum. Ethnic dining options around Chinatown Plaza provide some of the best-value food options in Vegas.

MHave brunch at one of Vegas' best buffets, Carnival World & Village Seafood Buffets at the Rio. Spend the rest of the morning exploring Nevada's natural history at the family-friendly Springs Preserve, featuring interactive exhibits, the eco-friendly Desert Living Center, a stalactite cave and the massive state fossil, part of the newly relocated Nevada State Museum. Take a late morning break in the preserve's lovely desert gardens.

RFor a break from the inflated prices and flashy restaurants on the Strip, head to Sin City’s Chinatown Plaza for lunch. Hong Kong barbecue houses, Vietnamese pho shops, Japanese sushi bars and pan-Asian bubble-tea dispensaries cluster around the telltale Chinese gate.

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Medium 9781742205793

Hobart & Around

Planet, Lonely Lonely Planet Publications ePub

Australia’s second-oldest city and southernmost capital, Hobart dapples the foothills of Mt Wellington, angling down to the slate-grey Derwent River. The town’s rich cache of colonial architecture and natural charms are complemented by hip festivals, happening markets and top-notch food and drink.

It’s a gorgeous place, but until quite recently Hobart was far from cosmopolitan or self-assured – it’s taken a while for Hobartians to feel comfortable in their own skins. Paralleling this shift (or perhaps driving it), the mainland Australian attitude to Hobart has changed from derision to delight: investors now recognise that Tasmania’s abundant water, stress-free pace and cool climate are precious commodities.

Not far past the outskirts of town are some great beaches, alpine areas and historic villages. And don't miss MONA, Hobart's dizzyingly good Museum of Old and New Art, which has vehemently stamped Tasmania onto the global cultural map.

AFor a week either side of New Year's Eve, Hobart heaves with sailors, travellers, food festivals and concerts. This is prime-time Hobart, when the old town treads the boards of the world stage.

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Medium 9781742208954

Changi & Pulau Ubin

Planet, Lonely Lonely Planet Publications ePub

Singapore's 'Far East' serves up a slower, nostalgic style of local life. Vests, Bermuda shorts and flip-flops are the look in chilled-out Changi Village, a place where out-of-towners are a less common sight. A short bumboat (motorised sampan) ride away, the rustic island of Pulau Ubin is the Singapore that development mercifully left behind.

g No 2 from Tanah Merah MRT reaches Changi Village. Bumboats (one way $2.50, bicycle surcharge $2; 6am to 9pm) connect Changi Village to Pulau Ubin.

Although no longer at the original Changi prison site, the Changi Museum & Chapel ( GOOGLE MAP ; %6214 2451; www.changimuseum.com; 1000 Upper Changi Rd N; admission free, audio guide adult/child $8/4, guided tour $12/8; h9.30am-5pm, last entry 4.30pm) remains a moving tribute to the Allied POWs captured, imprisoned and subjected to horrific treatment by the invading Japanese forces during WWII. Its centrepiece is a replica of the original Changi Chapel built by inmates.

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