shopping Tag

flower market, bangkok, thailand, yodpiman market, pak khlong talat (7)
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Flowers in the air

Yodpiman Flower Market, Bangkok In Bangkok, the markets provide some of the most interesting sights. There's a vibrancy to the bustle of the locals rushing through, past the small crowded stalls. Through the whole city, none is more vibrant than the flower markets. By the very nature of the wares, it's all about colour. Throw all of those hues under the same roof and it looks like a child's crayon box has exploded and the result has been captured for sale. The flower markets are open 24 hours a day and are busiest in the very early hours of the morning (about 3 or 4 o'clock) when the professionals swoop in to get the best of the pick. But they can be enjoyed anytime. It was quiet the afternoon I popped in, with a natural lull between flowerful trading. Still, the blooms were out and there was a fair amount of business taking place....

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16 January
barcelona, shopping, La Boqueria, market in barcelona, spain, food markets, stalls (6)
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Shopping at La Boqueria

La Boqueria markets, Barcelona When it comes to Spain, there seems to be nothing more important than food. Every meal becomes a feast - a long rambling expedition down a path of courses, helped along with many a glass of wine. But it's not just the quantity which is important...

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28 November
zurich shopping, most expensive shopping, shopping in switzerland, bahnhoffstrasse (1)
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The most expensive shopping street

Zurich's Bahnhoffstrasse, Switzerland Have you got a bit of spare change to buy something with? Then don’t come to Zurich’s Bahnhoffstrasse shopping street. Around these parts, you may need a bank loan if you’re hoping to make a purchase. Bahnhoffstrasse has the reputation for being the most expensive shopping strip in the world. Some of the most famous fashion houses have outlets here – Armani, Gucci, Prada. Amongst them you’ll find stores for companies like Rolex, Cartier, Tiffany. Window shopping is free but step through any of those doors and you’ll want a pretty healthy limit on your credit cards. This street is either for the super rich or for us ordinary folk who are making a one-off special (and extravagant) purchase. Let's take a look at a couple of examples, so you can get a sense of what it is like. Fancy buying this outfit for a night out? Well I hope you...

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21 June
paragauy, ciudad del este, travelling in paraguay, cheap markets in south america
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Entering Paraguay: The border town

Ciudad del Este Paraguay Entering Paraguay for the first time feels like taking the wrong turn at a shopping centre and ending up in the alley with all the discount stores. Except these ones are guarded with shotguns. Coming from Iguazu, the gateway to Paraguay is the city of Ciudad del Este. It was a bad sign that when I’d asked a woman at the tourist office in Argentina how to get there she had screwed up her face and replied with “why would you want to go there?!” Well, as it turns out, the reason most people want to go there is for the cheap shopping. The really ridiculously cheap shopping! It’s only later, after more travel through the country, that I was to realise how unrepresentative of Paraguay Ciudad del Este is. It’s unfortunate that it’s the first thing many tourists see – and for those doing visa runs, the only...

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23 January
San Telmo, markets, street fair, Buenos Aires, Argentina, antiques, shopping
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The bohemian sanctuary from modernity

As the road turns into cobblestones, uneven underfoot, the first signs you’re going back in time become clearer. The colonial buildings lining the street look sturdy but weary from the struggle of existing for centuries. For San Telmo, the oldest neighbourhood of Buenos Aires, has seen many changes over the past 300 years as the dockworkers, the vagrants, the bourgeois, and the artists each took turns to call the area their own. These days, like many old neighbourhoods of large cities, there’s been a level of gentrification but San Telmo has not relinquished its spirit of bohemia. The artists still call it home and within the cafes, bars and tango parlours is a sanctuary from the modernity outside. On the weekends, the area is popular with tourists, drawn in by the street fair and market each Sunday. The antique stalls seem so natural in the locale it’s as if they have grown...

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21 November
Best things to do in Austin Texas
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The best things to do in Austin

The best things to do in Austin, Texas Austin is a city with its own identity. It’s part-Texan but also part-funky. There’s plenty to do if you like music, the arts, sport or just relaxing. Make sure you give yourself enough time to chill out and enjoy the atmosphere of one of the coolest cities in the south of the USA. Here are a few of the best things to do in Austin. Music on Sixth Street Sixth Street is the heart of Austin. Dozens of bars feature live music with small-time musicians giving a taste of their style, fun cover bands that get the crowd dancing and big international acts that make an effort to put Austin on their touring schedule. You’ll pay a cover charge for the better-known bands but it’s generally free to walk into the other bars and check out a few songs from the up-and-comers. There’s always something...

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06 November
Austin, Texas, Austin music scene, lifestyle, South Congress, Sixth Street
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Austin City has no limits

All about Austin Texas Austin is a city that likes to remind everyone that it’s a little bit different from the rest of Texas. At the same time, the rest of state treats the city like the artistic nephew that it’s openly proud to have but secretly wishes would just keep to itself. For years, it has fostered the art and music communities and is now one of the hippest places in the USA. When it comes to Austin, ‘Deep South’ refers only to the philosophers who have taken up residence here. It’s a university city and the streets downtown are lined with bars to satiate the thirst of the students. In a somewhat symbiotic way, the musicians use the bars to peddle their latest tunes while the students support the gigs, hoping one day they’ll have bragging rights to discovering ‘the next big thing’. That’s not to say the big name musicians...

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18 October