|The world’s most polluted city? Delhi, India.
Photo: Belinda Jackson.
Hi, travel stats lovers, as an addendum to the previous story on ultimate travel experiences, ‘Boasters with the Mostest, here’s five travel downers, from worst airline to most dangerous city.
airline: Scat (Kazakhstan), Kam Air
(Afghanistan), Agni Air, Buddha Air and Tara Air (all Nepal) and Bluewing
Airlines (Suriname) (airlineratings.com)
Worst airport: Dilapidation and poor customer
service makes Manila airport the world’s worst, say travellers (sleepinginairports.net)
polluted city: New Delhi bounced Beijing down to second place as the most
polluted major city in 2013, says India’s Center for Science and Environment (cseindia.org)
expensive city: Singapore has pushed Tokyo off the throne as the priciest
town. Sydney came in fifth, and Mumbai the cheapest in the 131 cities surveyed
by the Economic Intelligence Unit (eiu.com).
Pedro Sula, Honduras, wins this award for the second year running, with 187
homicides per 100,000 capita in 2013, says Mexican thinktank the
Citizens‘ Council for
Public Security and Criminal Justice.
|Gorgeously photogenic babouches, leather slippers
from Marrakech, Morocco
Belinda Jackson lists eight favourite destinations at which to arrive
with empty bags.
Busted your luggage allowance lugging home a treasure only to find it in
your local ‘hood? The best shopping is a rejection of globalisation: it’s about
going back to the source or finding something that only that city or country
renaissance, London’s smoking-hot fashion and design is being peddled by a
James Bond (Daniel Craig), a welter of celebrated sportsmen and the new baby
hottest strip is Chiltern Street, in Marylebone, W1. “It’s a return to a
coterie of small, chic, beautifully designed and curated shops including
fabulous Tyler Brule’s the Monocle Cafe, Cire Trudon for the best candles,
uber-cool men’s boutique Trunk, and Atlas Gallery, for its photographs. If I
had to say one shop, it would be Mouki (mouki-london.com)
for its stylish, insider brands of women’s fashion and lifestyle.”
men’s shoe departments. Its new Denim Studio includes a free denim doctor to
help women find their perfect pair of jeans from 60 brands. The Conran Shop
(including the newly refurbished Marylebone store, conranshop.co.uk) and Liberty (liberty.co.uk) are design stalwarts.
Dials, north of Covent Garden, as your compass point and branch out (sevendialsco.uk). Check out Cambridge
Satchel Company (cambridgesatchel.com),
Sienna Miller’s Twenty8Twelve (twenty8twelve.com)
or, for a village vibe, Neal’s Yard.
flashing your customised trench on the catwalk or in a movie, in-between
sporadic digital thunderstorms.
ice-cool design, you can’t visit Stockholm without admiring the masters’ design
to SoFo – South of Folkungagatan Street (sofo-stockholm.se)
– with a profusion of fashion and interior designers with antique and vintage
clothing shops, trendy bars and restaurants,” says Birgitta Palmer, of the
Stockholm Visitors Board.
and gifts at DesignTorget (designtorget.se).
for the ultimate in Swedish fashion (acnestudios.com;
self-respecting Swedish child wears Polarn O. Pyret, designer of unisex,
hard-wearing children’s clothes (polarnopyret.com).
And who can say no to Bjorn Borg-designed knickers (bjornborg.com)?
market Street, in Sodermalm. A tip from Sean Naughton, concierge at Benny
Andersson’s Hotel Rival (www.rival.se): if
you can’t afford the heavyweight fashion names of Bibliotekstan, score
discounted fashion at Barkaby outlet centre (qualityoutlet.com/in-english).
design aesthetic – it’s cheeky and cute, and if you don’t leave Bangkok with a
bag full of silk, you’re just not trying.
T-shirts with unusual designs,” says Bangkok resident Mark Thomson, of
Anantara hotels. “Also Propaganda, which is home to Mr P, who appears in
anatomically correct cartoon lamps and other … products.” (propagandaonline.com).
been recently made-over with an edgy open plan; several floors are given over
to Thailand’s fashion designers. It’s also the home of Madame Tussauds Bangkok.
The massive Chatuchak market is in every guidebook, allegedly the world’s
largest weekend market. Grab a map at the entrance before you dive in (chatuchak.org).
second-hand camera gear in the beloved, budget-easy MBK mall. Unlike the rest
of MBK, prices are fixed and labelled.
Thann, whose lush products feature Asian ingredients: think jasmine blossom,
tamarind, rice-bran oil and nutmeg. Find them in all the major malls and a new
Thann cafe at level 3, Gaysorn Plaza.
special flair that makes it an interior design powerhouse and, of course, shoes
are a hot item.
three homewares stores. A11 comprises three townhouses that are a furniture and
design gallery (F.B. Harrison Street, Pasay). AC+632 stocks Gallic homewares
with a Philippines twist, including excellent tassels (Greenbelt 5, Makati),
while W17 is a celebration of Asian interiors using local materials (w17home.com).
sizes, from just a few dollars each (Greenhills market, San Juan). For upmarket
indigenous design visit revered jeweller Arnel Papa, whose materials may
include buffalo horn and ebony wood (Greenbelt 5, Makati).
the Philippines’ national flower (Glorietta 3, Makati), while the omnipresent
SM (which stands for Shoemart) fits any tastepoint, from ballet flats to
nightclub dagger heels, at great prices (sm-shoemart.com).
Expect Chanel and Gucci with serial numbers if you can bear to carry last
year’s hottest tote (Almeda Arcade Building, Makati, bagaholic.com.ph).
colour and exotic motifs Indian shopping is in a league of its own, from haute
couture to Hindi kitsch.
guides including Love Delhi, tips three hot locales: Meharchand Market, Khan
Market and ShapurJat of Hauz Khas. “Snigdha Shekhar has created one of the
best interior and lifestyle stores in Delhi at Artisan Luxe,” she says.
(Meherchand Market, Lodhi Road.)
contemporary homewares at Khan Market’s Good Earth then take a break in its
excellent rooftop cafe, Latitude 28 (goodearth.in).
textiles: hunt down your wallet-friendly Indian wardrobe of cotton kurtas (long
shirts) and salwars (trousers) in Fabindia (Khan Market) or Anokhi (www.anokhi.com). Stay ahead of the pack at
Alecca Carrano’s Drawing Room for shawls and wraps (aleccacarrano.com).
new face of craft in India. This beautifully curated collection is sourced
directly from artisans,” Caulfield says. “Superb shopping!” (craftscouncilofindia.org.)
“the Paris of the Pampas”, the city maintains its own colourful
character, and those pampas turn out some mighty fine leather to boot. Or rug.
atelier Celedonio [Uraguay 1223, Recoleta],” trend hunter Lucia Radeljak
says. “Celedonio Lohidoy’s signature pieces are baroque necklaces with
precious stones and pearls. He has collaborated with international fashion
houses Kenzo and Ungaro, and his store is worth visiting for its garden
antique fair to scour old vinyls and snap up such must-haves as cobblers’ lasts
and local jewellery (Sundays, Plaza Dorrego, San Telmo).
leather bags are found at tiny Humawaca (humawaca.com).
for the lightest cashmere or pick up a pair of hand-made tango shoes on Av
Esmerelda, which runs parallel.
yourself for a shopping extravaganza. Don’t rush at the first shop off the main
square, Djemma el-Fna. You’ll regret it.
detailed clothing are well worth it, says Marrakesh-based artist Dawn
Boys-Stone. Warda la Mouche (127 Rue Kennaria) is great for women’s and
children’s clothes in traditional Moroccan style with modern fabrics.
in classical Occidental styles (34 Rue de la Liberte, Gueliz).
Blaoui (142-4 Rue Bab Doukkala).
babouches, found on most street corners, in traditional yellow or every shade
of the rainbow.
Jakarta remains a mystery for most. Persevere: it throws up seriously desirable
oddities, and its midnight mall sales are legendary.
big malls in Jakarta,” says Susanna Perini, of Biasa.
“It stocks menswear only and presents a unique experience when you visit.
The store has great synergy … a sense of ‘quiet luxury’ with a sleek and
label devotees, though even the biggies, such as Grand Indonesia (grand-indonesia.com), have Indonesian
Fashion Avenues for local designers. Geeks on a budget make for Ambassador
serves up soft, deconstructed men’s and women’s fashion on Jalan Kemang,
Jakarta’s boutique strip, where you’ll also find local designers.
nearby antique market (Pasar Surabaya); you totally need that old map, stuffed
animal and brass betel nut-cracker.
1. Hong Kong, 69/100
2. Kuala Lumpur 65/100
3. Shanghai 63/100
4. Beijing 61/100
5. Singapore 60/100
6. Sydney 58/100
7. Bangkok 57/100
9. Seoul 55/100
10. Delhi 53/100
|TOURWATCH: Bend to pray at Kumbha Mela 2013|
Surfers flex their pecs in Port Macquarie, while saints and holy men, seers and the devout bend to pray in India.
Nature lovers can also be comfort lovers, especially when
we’re talking winter in Tasmania. Admire the glory of the Freycinet peninsula,
home to the perfect crescent of Wineglass Bay, from the tub. The eco-friendly
Freycinet Lodge has just refurbished its 10 premier suites, complete with new
bathrooms (and TV) earning them a 4.5-star rating. Snap up a winter special
until August 31, normally $300 a night, rooms start from $170 a night. 1800 420 155,
The Australian Surf Festival kicks off 11-26 August in
Port Macquarie, where up to 400 surfers are expected to flex the pecs as they
fight for 25 Aussie titles. There’ll also be movies, music and art exhibits
around a surf theme. Stay three nights in a 2-bedroom riverside spa cottage in
the Sundowner Tourist Park and get a free platter of local produce, a $50
voucher to blow at the Port City Bowling Club and midday checkout. Costs from
$441 for three nights, from August 1-31. 1300 303 155, portmacquarieinfo.com.au
The Fireside Festival runs throughout August, with
100-mile dinners, wine and degustation dinners in 25 venues across Canberra. Stay
two nights in a King Bed superior room at the Crowne Plaza Canberra and save 20
per cent, book until August 17 and stay until September 30. Costs from $336 a
room for two nights, including breakfast. 1300 888 180, zuji.com.au
|Spicers Balfour Hotel, Brisbane.|
Brisbane’s Gallery of Modern Art has pulled off yet
another major coup, currently showing masterpieces from Madrid’s Prado in its
galleries, so it’s time to head north. You’ll turn heads when you let drop
you’re staying in one of the town’s hippest little hotels, the nine-room Spicers
Balfour Hotel. Set 3km from the CBD in funky New Farm, book 14 days ahead and save
$60 a night. Includes breakfast, canapés in the rooftop bar and wi-fi. Costs
from $299 a room. 1300 597 540, spicersgroup.com.au.
Pull on your walking boots for a spring trek along
Victoria’s south-west coast and save $110 when you book the Great South West
Walk (22-25 Sept) and Great Ocean Walk (27-30 Sept). Carrying just your day pack, the guided walk
follows well-maintained trails and includes a night in Cape Otway lighthouse
and lunch with the 12 Apostles as a backdrop. Both trips depart from Melbourne
and groups are limited to 14 people. Costs $2190 a person. (03) 9877 9540,
See the best of the west, from Perth to Darwin, over 18
days, visiting some of the world’s greatest beauty spots: Ningaloo Reef, the
windswept limestone formations of the Pinnacles and the gorgeous gorges of the
Territory. There’s a touch of luxe, too, at Cable Beach Club Resort in Broome,
and El Questro Wilderness Park. Save $650 on coach tours departing September 6
and 29 and October 18. Costs $6345 a person. 1300 805 493, travelmarvel.com.au.
Zipping in from the remote islands and need a pad to hole
up for the night? Or want to get to grips with the street markets of Nadi, the
Novotel Nadi and Mercure Nadi are knocking 20 percent off their room rates for
two-night stays. Includes free airport transfers, on stays until January 31.
Costs from $87 a night (Novotel) and $70 a night (Mercure). 1300 656565, accorhotels.com
Wander the medieval cobbled streets of the rue du
Faubourg St-Antoine on the Right Bank, for a slice of Parisian life. Stay four
nights, pay three at the three-star Le Patio St Antoine when you book and
travel before August 31. Includes breakfast daily, costs $321 a person, twin
share. 1300 747 400, creativeholidays.com.
Cuba, you’re hip to the eyeballs. This tour covers the length of the country,
from Havana in the west to the old pirate haven of Baracoa in the far east,
with stops for the Che Guevara museum, Trinidad’s beaches and some sultry salsa
in Santiago de Cuba. Book by August 27 to for September 1 departure and
save $456 a person. Costs $1369 a person, 15 days. 1300 018 8701, intrepidtravel.com.
|South Luangwa game drive, Zambia|
There are just seven safari tents at Sanctuary Puku
Ridge, which treat lightly on the earth of the South Luangwa National Park.
Watch the sun rise from your bed, and animals gathering at the waterhole near
your tent. Stay three nights and save more than $1700 a couple, including all
meals, drinks, game viewing and flights from Lusaka. Costs $2120 a person, twin
share, until October 31. 1300 195 873, benchinternational.com.au
ALASKA & CANADA
The fish are
seriously big on Alaska’s Kenai peninsula, as are the bears. It’s Alaska’s wild
playground. Discover it in 5-star style, o a 28-day journey from Canada up to
the Arctic Circle, including seven nights cruising the Alaskan coastline,
slipping between the icebergs of Glacier Bay National Park. Couples booking before
October 19 will get one free return flight to Canada. Costs from $16,010 a
person, twin share, which includes flights for the second person travelling. 1300 723 642, scenictours.com.au.
Saints and holy men, seers and the devout: watch the
swirl of humanity as India bends to pray at Kumbha Mela, one of the world’s
largest pilgrimages. In January and February 2013, up to 60 million people will
gather in Allahabad, in the Uttar Pradesh, at the confluence of point
Hinduism’s three holiest rivers – the Ganges, the Yamuna and the ethereal Saraswati.
Devotees stretch 15km along the riverbanks on auspicious bathing days to
cleanse themselves of sin. This eight-day tour starts in Delhi and warms to the
religious theme with a visit to the holy city of Varanasi, south of Delhi,
before continuing to Allahabad, where you’ll stay in a tented camp in the heart
of the action. Costs from US$809 (A$780) a person. Unique Tourism, (02) 921
Source: Belinda Jackson, Sun Herald newspaper
Just in case you are going to Delhi this week for the Commonwealth Games and oh, don’t have accommodation, or even a singular clue about the city, here’s a quick guide for the completely clueless. If you’ve been too busy to think about it because you’ve been practising your lawn bowls technique, we salute you, and good luck!
Where to stay, shop, eat and play.
Pic credit: Reuters & Sun-Herald