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Things to do in Nan, Thailand


The town of Nan is situated 688 km north of Bangkok in northern Thailand. It is the administrative capital and the main town of the province that bears its name. The area is 7.60 sq. km. It is divided into thirty chumchon. The city is surrounded by natural beauty. You can also find a lot of historical attractions in the area. If you visit the town, you will be able to enjoy the local cuisine, which is known as khao nam.

Nan was fully autonomous for many centuries and was a part of the Lang Xang empire, also conquered by Burma in 1558. Nan only became a part of Thailand fully in 1931 and was a part of Laos for some of the 19th century.

The main things to do in Nan include:

  • see the distinctively different local Wats and the remains of the town’s old walls
  • go to the Nan National Museum – the palace of the last 2 feudal lords of Nan
  • visit the local night market (Kad Nan) for local food and crafts
  • see the King of Nan’s teak house built in 1866 – reconstructed 1941
  • visit Wat Phumin built in 1596
  • rent a motorbike and visit the local National Parks

Must Do

You can explore the lush forests and mountains of the city of Nan. You can see the beautiful greenery and tropical forests of the surrounding area. You can also visit the Wat Phumin, which is the site of the Pu Man Ya Man painting, which is known as the world whispering image. For an art experience, you can also check out the Nan Riverside Art Gallery, a large private gallery on the banks of the River Nan. It is the cultural hub of the province. It was founded by Winai Prabripoo in 2003 and has been the home of over 80 and 100 artworks.

The town is not known for its nightlife, but the abundance of woods makes it a perfect place for those who enjoy nature. If you are an avid hiker, you can visit the nearby mountains to climb Phu Khae, which is the province’s tallest mountain. Once you’ve conquered Phu Khae, you can spend a relaxing evening by the river. You can also visit the Weerachon pub and try out some of the local cuisine. Besides the pubs, there are also a couple of nightclubs in the area.

  • See the sunrise from a misty mountain top.
  • Watch dragon boats race their way down the Nan river
  • Brave the currents and white water raft the Wa river.
  • Shop at the morning market and see the strange looking vegetables
  • Chill out at the riverside art gallery.
  • Bike around the rice fields and foothills that surround the town.
  • Learn about the towns history at the local museum
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What do you like best about Nan

The old wooden buildings, the stunning murals in Wat Pumin temple, the colourful ‘dragon’ boats on the river, and, most of all the peaceful atmosphere in both the town and the beautiful countryside that surrounds it.

It’s a quiet place but there’s a lot to see and do, both in and around the town.

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Best Restaurants in Nan

There’s too many to mention. It’s hard to choose which ones to recommend. For western food try Hot Bread, Tony’s Place, Nan Steakhouse or the Dario Pizza restaurant.
Best local Thai food try Gormet (located right by the Nan river), Bor Nam, Poom 3 or ‘the glass house.’

You can get cheap but tasty traditional northern Thai food such as nam prik (northern Thai chilli paste), sai oowa (northern style spicy sausage) and gaeng haeng lai (northern style curry) and a nice atmosphere and friendly service try Zap II.

Desserts

For dessert lovers, the most amazing ice cream in town comes from Bar Min Ice cream restaurant.  Sweet red sticky rice, covered with traditional thai style coconut ice cream, and topped with hot chocolate sauce is just one of their specialities.

Thai teenagers love to visit milkshake bars. They’re usually stylishly designed and sell cheap shakes and snacks. There are a couple in town but the nicest by miles is ‘The Milk Club.’ Order a milkshake and toast topped with anything from chocolate and coconut, to chinese style pork. Once you’ve finished eating take a look at the coke memorobilia, the photos and paintings on the wall and the upstairs gallery.

Bakeries and Coffee Shops

The Best’ bakery sells the best western style cakes around. Their new York cheesecake and banoffee pie can’t be beat, it really lives up to its name as the best bakery in town.

In the last few years theres been an explosion of new coffee shops in town. Phu Payak and Phu Far (both selling locally grown Nan coffee) are the best. Muan Jai comes a close second.

Local Markets in Nan

If you’re on a budget or just out to try something different there are food stalls in the morning market. They sell everything and anything from pre-packed cartons of curry and rice to fresh fruit. Try ‘joke’ – a thai style congee and ‘cafee boran’ hot Laos style coffee for breakfast.

Later in the day there’s ‘to rung’ night market, a street where almost every stall sells food. Deep fried insects, curries, pat thai noodles, BBQ chicken, rice soups, japanese sushi and fresh fruit are all on sale here. Several stalls will cook food to order. Just tell the cook what you would like, or point at a dish you like the look of and, a couple of minutes later a nice steaming hot plate of it will appear in front of you.

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Best Places to Stay in Nan

Nan is a small town of about 21,000 people. Most of the places to stay in Nan are smaller guesthouses and small hotels. I have a small list of places that ypu can click on the links and that will take you to TripAdvisor for a better description and customer reviews.

  1. Nan Noble House Garden Resort is a resort with charming thatched cottages set in a seven acre landscaped garden. Situated close to Nan city. There is a large swimming pool, separate pool area for kids, one km jogging track and hundreds of trees.
  2. Nan Guest House is a long time favorite in Nan. It has clean rooms, good value and a friendly service. It’s located close to the bus station and the center of Town, in a quiet residential area.
  3. Nan Seasons Boutique Resort is a comfortable 4 star Boutique Resort with a Pool and has a spectacular view over the Countryside, Temples and Mountains. The Superior Bungalows and Villas are all from local Teak wood and are decorated with comfortable and modern contemporary Lanna-Thai design. They all have Air-conditioning, Minibars, Tea and Coffee, HD TV, Mineral rain showers and spacious Balconies.
  4. Sasidara Resort Nan is nestled in the verdant valley of northern nature and culture, Nan is a fascinating destination offering you a great experience of Thailand northern outstanding way of life. 

Best Music/Festivals

Nan’s not known for its music scene. Traditional northern Thai music and northern dances can usally be seen and heard at the monthly street market. Some pubs and restraunts also have live music, the singers and bands usually play covers version of Thai rock songs.

From July onwards, the town starts to go boat crazy. Each evening, if you go down to the river you can hear teams of rowers counting from 1-8 as they practise their strokes. By the end of September the area by the river is turned into a giant market and the 1st of the province’s famous ‘Boat Racing Festival’s’ begins. Bus loads of locals from the surrounding villages arrive, along with amplifiers, bands, cheerleaders and iceboxes full of beer. After the boats have been blessed and put onto the water, the races begin. The villages take their boat very seriously. The river becomes a sea of colour and raucous cheering accompanies every race.

Nan also celebrates most of the other major Thai festivals and events. Songkran, Thai New Year, a 7 day water war is definitely worth seeing, as is Loi Kratong (the first full moon in November) when, just after sunset people float tiny candle-lit rafts on the river.

Art Galleries in Nan

The Nan Riverside Art Gallery is a large private art gallery. It is situated on the bank of the Nan River about 20km from Nan City. It functions as a centre of Nan province’s art and culture. The gallery was founded by Winai Prabripoo, a famous Thai artist and native of Nan, who loves art. A large hall on the first floor hosts large exhibition. It can support more than 80-100 artworks.

The Sudrit Arts Gallery is in Nan City and is primarily a small hotel but look as though they sell art on the side.

Best Nightlife in Nan

Nan’s not exactly the nightlife capital of Thailand. Dining by the river (recommended restaurants are the 2 opposite Phu Far coffee shop, gourmet or ‘the glass house’) is a nice way to spend a warm summer evening.

For live music (classic Thai rocks songs and a couple English cover versions) head to Weerachon pub, or one of the few nightclubs in town, the fifth or channel X.

2 or 3 days a month there’s a ‘walking’ street, an outdoor market selling clothes, souveniers and food. There’s usually a cultural show, where people dress in traditional costume and demonstate traditional dancing too.

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Best Day Trip out of Nan

The surrounding mountains – any of them. Doi Sameur Dao or Doi Phu Kha for stunning views, Doi Phu Wae for a strenous hike or Doi Tiew for the chance to see how the Hmong people live.

In the rainy season, several tour companies organise 2-3 day white water rafting trips on the Wa river.

Something not many tourists would know about Nan

Take a trip to Haad Pa Kon village, order food, hire a rafthouse and spend a few hours drifting down the Nan river, swimming, fishing and staring at the scenery.

Things to do in Pondicherry India


fishing boats on a beach in Pondicherry

Pondichery is a city in the south east of India and dates back to the 1st Century AD when the Romans mentioned the town of Poduca as a trading settlement. In 1674 the French East India Company set up a trading post in Pondicherry and it would become the major French settlement in India.

A French colonial settlement, Pondicherry was a British colony in India until 1954, and is now a Union Territory town in southeastern Tamil Nadu state. The town has a charming French Quarter, with tree-lined streets, mustard-colored colonial villas, chic boutiques, and a promenade that stretches along the Bay of Bengal. Visit the Gandhi Memorial, as well as the museum, and you’ll have a unique experience of life in the former enclave.

The main things to see in Pondicherry include:

  • See the Sri Aurobindo Ashram – yoga centre
  • Take a walk in the Puducherry Botanical Gardens
  • Visit the many churches built in the 18th and 19th century in the French Quarter
  • check out the local food at the Goubert market

Best Places to see in Pondicherry

There are many things to do in Pondicherry, a former French colonial town in southeastern Tamil Nadu. From tree-lined streets to mustard-colored colonial villas, the town offers a unique cultural experience. There are many historical buildings to visit, as well as chic boutiques and the Bay of Bengal promenade. Gandhi Memorial and the Arulmigu Manakula Vinayagar Temple are also must-see attractions.

Paradise Beach

You may have never been to the serene, private beach known as Paradise Beach in Pondichery. This idyllic, white sand beach is separated from the main town by backwaters and offers unparalleled views. Even the boat ride there is scenic. If you’ve never been to the beach before, this is a great place to begin your experience. Listed below are some tips for visiting Paradise Beach in Pondicherry.

The Paradise Beach is also known as Full Moon Beach, due to its green, lush beauty after the monsoon. The sand here projects golden reflections in the water, and it is softer than most of the beaches in Pondicherry. Once you’re there, make sure to grab a picnic lunch or enjoy a leisurely stroll in the lush landscape. If you’re traveling with small children, bring a frisbee to keep the kids entertained.

If you’re traveling by car, it’s easy to reach the beach via several transport options. The nearest railway station is Puducherry. Cleartrip’s interface makes traveling to the beach a breeze. The price range is subject to change, but the experience will be worth it. While planning your vacation, make sure to take into account the weather forecast before booking your trip. It’s possible to enjoy the scenery throughout the entire year!

Arulmigu Manakula Vinayagar Temple

The Hindu temple of Arulmigu Manakula Vineyagar in Puducherry is a popular tourist and pilgrimage site. The temple is pre-conquered and pre-dates the French occupation of Puducherry. Today, it is one of the country’s most popular destinations. In addition to being a tourist attraction, the temple is also one of India’s most important Hindu shrines.

The Arulmigu Manakula Vineyagar Temple is open daily, except for Thursdays when the complex is closed. It is open from 5:45 AM to 12:30 PM, Monday to Friday. During Dussehra, it attracts thousands of visitors from across India. The winter season in Pondicherry is pleasant and cool, making it a perfect time to visit.

The Arulmigu Manakula Vineyagar Temple is one of the oldest Hindu temples in India. It is a popular place of worship and stretches over an area of 8000 square feet. The architectural design of the temple includes a raja gopuram, a mandapam, and a prahara, where the deities’ images are kept.

Seaside Promenade

The Seaside Promenade in Pondicheryry is a popular hangout for locals and tourists alike. There are many activities you can enjoy here, from strolling along the beach to visiting a museum, where you can see fossilized tree trunks and ancient relics from the time of the gods. If you enjoy swimming and eating, there are also numerous food outlets on the Seaside Promenade.

Guests can enjoy the beach and sea views at the Seaside Promenade. It is best visited in the early morning or late evening, when you can soak in the beautiful scenery and watch the sun rise or set. The beach in this area is also best visited in winter, when temperatures tend to drop considerably. The winter season starts in October and lasts until March. For a more authentic Pondicherry experience, visit the beach during the winter months.

If you’re planning a trip to the seaside, consider taking a surfboard. There are a few small stalls with Surfboards for rent, so you can rent one and get started. You’ll also need personal medications and a camera to document the experience. Remember to pack sunscreen and sunglasses. Bringing swimwear is also a great idea. Don’t forget to take your towel!

The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Christ is an impressive church located on the south boulevard of the city of Pondicherry in Puducherry, India. It is an excellent example of Gothic Revival architecture and is home to a treasure trove of stained glass panels depicting events in the life of Christ and other saints of the Catholic Church. If you want to experience the beauty of stained glass without spending a fortune, the church is a must-see in Pondicherry.

In 1895, the Archdiocese of Pondicherry was consecrated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The new church was built following a plan drafted by the parish priest of Nellithope, Rev. Fr. Telesphore Welter. The construction of the Basilica began in 1902, and the church celebrated its centenary in the year 2008-2009.

Sri Aurobindo Ashram

You can visit the spiritual community of Sri Aurobindo Ashram in the territory of Puducherry in India. This community grew from a small group of disciples, who followed the spiritual teachings of Sri Aurobindo after his political retirement in 1910. In the 1920s, it was opened as an international center for spirituality and has been a popular tourist destination ever since.

When visiting the Ashram, make sure to consider the many rules that apply to all its members. While Sri Aurobindo didn’t enforce many rules in his early years, he wanted his followers to learn to direct their own lives by looking inward. After his death, written rules were circulated, containing rules for collective life. Some of the main rules were banned substances, alcohol, drugs, sex, and politics. The rules also contained guidelines for a smooth collective life. The rules and regulations were later compiled in a book called the Rules and Regulations of Sri Aurobindo Ashram, which are provided to all ashram members.

There are many books to read about the Ashram’s history and the teaching methods of the Mother. You can even watch a short movie about Sri Aurobindo. You can also visit the Mother’s collection gallery, which has more than 2500 works by Ashram artists. You can buy souvenirs and other items from the Ashram’s CBD. You can also visit the Ashram’s library to purchase books on Aurobindo, meditation, and other aspects of spirituality.

Eglise de Notre Dame des Anges

The Eglise de Notre Dame des Angels in Pondicherry is one of the oldest churches in the state. It is situated on the corner of Surcoof and Dumus streets and has a quaint old world charm. The interior of the church is filled with dozens of glass panels that portray scenes from Jesus’ life. It is also home to many pious relics from past centuries.

The edifice is the fourth oldest church in Pondicherry and is dedicated to Our Lady of Angels. Built in 1855 CE, it is a replica of the Basilica of Lourdes. Visitors can visit the church for mass in three languages, including French, English, and Hindi. If you’re planning a trip to Pondicherry, don’t forget to pay a visit to this historic church.

The Eglise de Notre Dame des Angels is a beautiful church, but the most important aspect is that it is the only church in the town that organizes mass every Sunday. Moreover, it is the only church in Pondicherry to offer mass in three languages: French, Spanish, and Tamil. Construction work on the edifice began on 14th May 1851 and lasted for four years. It opened to the public in 1855.

French War Memorial

The French War Memorial in Puducherry is located in the Indian state of Puducherry. The French are an important part of Indian history, and the city of Pondicherry is a very beautiful place. There are many attractions that you can visit in Puducherry, including the French War Memorial. You should take a few days to visit the memorial and learn about the history of the French-occupied Indian territory.

The French War Memorial in Pondicherry was built in 1937, and the inauguration ceremony was held on 3rd April 1938. The French Governor of the time, Crocicchia, was the one to inaugurate the monument. The bronze bas-relief on the memorial is a reminder of the arrival of Dupleix in 1742. A major reconstruction was carried out on the monument in the 1970s, and many new sections were constructed.

The museum is home to a bronze statue of Duplex, who was one of the first French colonists to settle in India. The museum displays items from the French Revolution. It also features art and sculptures, including a painting of a French soldier named Paulin. The museum is a must for any Pondicherry traveller. There are many other things to see and do in the city, and you will be surprised at how much there is to do.

Pondicherry Museum

Visit the Pondicherry Museum to learn more about the history of the area. There are numerous exhibits of antiques from different eras on display in the museum. Visitors can see lost wax bronze sculptures, which are copies of metal artefacts made from the original. The museum is home to a variety of historical artifacts, including fossils, coins, and pieces of French furniture and handicrafts. Other exhibits include ancient churches and relics from the region.

The Pondicherry Museum was established in 1983. While the building itself is more than a century old, it is the most recent museum in India. Located on the site of an ancient trading port, the museum focuses on the area’s history. Its collections feature artwork from the Pallava and Chola dynasties, as well as French furniture and terracotta figures. In addition to the ancient artifacts, the museum displays colonial and contemporary prints, as well as furniture from French rule.

Besides ancient artifacts, the museum also showcases paintings and other forms of artwork. The museum houses a huge collection of pre-Christian and Roman relics and offers information about the French colonial period. Visitors can view beautiful handicrafts, temple lamps, and other interesting articles. There are also exhibits from the Chola, Vijaynagar, and Pallava eras. Once inside the museum, visitors can enjoy an ice cream, tea, and snack at a stall outside.

Must do

The Sri Aurobindo Ashram is the heart of the city. It is the Samadhi that houses the mortal remains of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother of Pondicherry. It is indeed the most famous pilgrim spot.

Discipline and leniency intermingle to maintain the quiet sanctity of the Samadhi and its surroundings, and the prayers and meditative silences of the devout are an almost palpable presence.

A way to enjoy the beautiful beach is on a vintage bicycle tour. There are countless bicycle rentals available in the town, as well as guided tours of the mustard streets and colonial villas. This is a great way to see the town’s history and enjoy the scenic beauty. During the day, you can ride a bike and take in the sights and sounds of the area. Be sure to catch a sunrise in the region. You can make stops at cafes or restaurants if you get hungry. If you enjoy sightseeing and meeting local people, you can visit the Arikamedu museum, which features 120 colorful dolls dressed in traditional costumes. The city also has a Roman relic from the time of the Roman Empire.

The town’s beautiful beaches are a great place to enjoy the low tides. The town’s park is an ideal spot for picnicking or a romantic dinner. If you’d like to take a tour of the beautiful gardens, visit the nearby Hotel Anamalai. The hotel offers cooking classes, and the Sita Cultural Centre even has a YouTube channel for cooking classes. There’s plenty to do in Pondicherry, and there’s no shortage of music. The city hosts many concerts, and there’s something for everyone to do.

For those who are religious, a trip to the Ganesha Temple is a must. The golden vimana and gold-plated kodikambam are some of the most sacred religious places in the city. This is a must-see for nature lovers, as it is a beautiful, historic site. If you have a chance, you should also check out the other historical buildings in the city.

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What do you like best about Pondicherry

Pondicheriens and visitors take the air on the sea side Beach road, especially in the evening and most particularly on weekends and holidays, when most of the kilometre stretch is closed to non-pedestrian traffic.

I prefer this as the perfect place to stroll, chat and snack, The chunambar,7 kms away, has charming backwaters with beach huts and boating facilities. A visit to this Aurobeach is highly recommended.

Here are a few things more things to do in Pondicherry thanks to Tanya.

Best Walk in Pondicherry

The Botanical Garden, Me and my friends usually go to this park, this place is really very calm and it is the greenery spread all around you, it is the best place to be explored on foot.

As the trees here are not just ancient and venerable, there are varieties that are not usually seen elsewhere in the country. In this garden, Huge rocks are carved into benches, here I have seen many saints meditating and hence a very it’s a very peaceful place to keep your mind and thoughts fresh.

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Best Places to eat in Pondicherry

Pondicherry has all kinds of restaurants: big and small, on terraces and off carts. I love having French food, so I would recommend Promenade, it’s a beach hotel on the sea shore; especially this hotel looks great at night.

The best places to eat in Pondichery will give you a chance to sample different food styles from the local cuisine. You can find an abundance of dishes at these restaurants, from burgers to Indian curries. If you want to splurge on food, you can head to Auroville Bakery. The cafe offers croissants, baguettes, pizzas, quiches, tarts, and pies. Cakes are baked in the afternoon.

The most popular food is the mushroom bonda, which is a South Indian specialty. It is made from chickpea flour batter with green peas, sauteed mushrooms, and potatoes. If you’re craving fish or beef, you can stop by the nearby Blueline restaurant for some irresistible seafood. Mission Street is known as a pocket-sized paradise for bonda lovers.

The food at Sicilys is delicious Italian cuisine, and you can find it on the streets of the town. You can sample Mediterranean Pizza, Basil Pesto Pasta, and Chicken Lasagne here. And you’ll want to wash it all down with a refreshing cocktail, like a Sangria. If you’re in the mood for a great brunch, Sicilys is the place to go.

Regardless of your taste, there are many places to eat in Pondicherry. French food is always a good choice. Whether you prefer European or local dishes, you’ll be sure to find something to satisfy your palate. From freshly baked goods to soft idli, you’ll be able to enjoy a variety of cuisines while you’re here. And the city is also home to some of the most famous European dishes, such as fondant au chocolat.

Despite its name, the food markets in Pondicherry are not just for selling food. You can find everything from spices to vegetables. Goubert Street Market is the supplier of fresh produce for many of the local restaurants. Its name derives from the French poet and satirist Edouard Goubert. The market branches out from M.G. Road and is characterised by quaint alleyways. It is worth a stop by, even if you’re in town for a day or two.

Cooking Classes in Pondicherry

The Sita Cultural Centre have both Indian and French cooking classes.

Akshaya’s Kitchen conducts South Indian cooking classes and also has her own You Tube Channel.

Shyama’s Kitchen operates off of her Facebook Page and conducts Tamil cooking classes from her home at 32 Rue Francois Martin St

Best Music/Festival

Almost every weekend there will some sort of a Music concert produced by famous singers and musicians, who are sponsored from various other cities. It includes Multilanguage tunes, and not only are the local language, Tamil. These music concerts are usually held, right besides-a statue of Gandhi surrounded by ancient columns, along the Beach side.

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Best Nightlife in Pondicherry

I always come back feeling like a fresh person after a visit to the Matrimandir. It takes time for a first timer to understand that this is not a temple. Here in the white marbled lined hall, where the pillars reach, but not quiet, up to domed ceiling. The man-made crystal lit by natural light seems almost surreal.

The silence is almost audible, fifteen minutes into the meditation and I can hear the blood pulsing in my body. In my throat, in my ears. This is a must-see place.

Best Day Trip Out of Pondicherry

There are many places on the outskirts of Pondicherry, but these are some, which one must-see. Chidambaram is synonymous with Lord Nataraja, the awe-inspiring and wonderful dancing form of Shiva.

Its approximately 70 km from Pondicherry. And you can even visit Karaikal, also a former French enclave about 135 km and enjoy its quiet river promenade and charming backstreets. Mallapuram is worth visiting, it is located 98 km north of Pondicherry on the splendid East cost road. On the way don’t miss a visit to the ruins of Alamparey Fort on the shore.

Something that not many tourists would know about Pondicherry

There are many places which most tourists would not know, actually there is an under water tunnel, in the old harbor of Pondicherry. I have been there many times with my mates.  The place is fully surrounded by coconut trees and has a beautiful view of the Beach.

The other one is what we Pondicheriens call it the Sunday market. It’s the best place to shop leather goods and antique furniture and even handloom products.

The most important thing which I wanted to say is that most shops are closed during the heat of the day. In the afternoon, and open quite late into the evening.

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Walking tour of London’s best bookshops


Daunt Books

This is a walking tour you can try yourself if you’re interested in bookshops. You might need to divide the tour into a couple days if you’re like me and end up walking around for 2-3 hours in one shop.

However, a lot of the shops have certain specialisations so you can miss a few shops if you’re not really interested in that subject and spend longer in other stores.

I recommend going into half the shops and spend about 30 minutes at the most to complete the tour. As you can imagine a lot of the time is spent near Charing Cross Rd but you will need a Zone 1 Tube Pass as you will need to take the underground a few times.

We start the tour at Leicester Square Tube Station on Charing Cross Rd and walk south cross the road and turn left into Cecil Court where you will find the following book shops.

The Tour

Part 1

Marchpane 16 Cecil Court: This is a Children’s Book Store with Children’s and illustrated books from the 18th Century onwards.

Watkins Books 19-21 Cecil Court: specialises in mysticm, occultism and metaphysics, complementary medicine and healing. Which is a pass for me, but whatever floats your boat.

David Drummond Pleasures of past times: 11 Cecil Court : Specialises in books about the performing arts but also has a range of illustrated and children’s books.

Travis & Emery Music Bookshop 17 Cecil Court: Specialises in out-of-print, secondhand and antiquarian music and on books about music. Travis & Emery also publishes their own books on music. This is a dangerous bookshop for me to enter if I want to see anything else.

Tenderbooks 6 Cecil Court : For independent press and artists publications, original print editions, late night launches and events.

Tindley & Everett 4 Cecil Court: Specialises in First Edition literature from the 20th Century.

We walk to the end of the street and turn left onto St Martin’s Lane and walk to Long Acre  where we turn right on this street we find:

Stanfords: 12-14 Long Acre:The flagship Covent Garden store is still a must-visit for lovers of travel books and has been since it opened in 1853. The shop stocks the world’s largest selection of maps and travel books under one roof. Famous customers include Captain Scott, Florence Nightingale and Sir Ranulph Fiennes: you’ll be in good company shopping here! This is where I would be lost forever in this shop never to be seen again.

Now we walk back whence we came and continue down Great Newport Street where we find our next stop

Orbital Comics and Gallery 8 Great Newport Street: “London’s most colourful comic-book shop, stocking everything any comic enthusiast could desire, from weekly imports to vintage collectables and a huge selection of graphic novels and merchandise.” Also home to the UK’s only comic-art gallery.

We now continue down the street and turn right onto Charing Cross Rd and walk until we find the next bookstore

Any Amount of Books 56 Charing Cross Rd Over 15 thousand books for sale with more on their website. Some books as cheap as £1, some costing many thousands of pounds and many in between. Interested in buying large quantities of books and rare items. Still got a fair bit of walking so perhaps might need to pick up your purchases later. Scary Bookshop

Quinto & Francis Edwards 72 Charing Cross Rd : Quinto Bookshop stocks a wide range of second hand books. Francis Edwards stocks rare and antiquarian books on a range of subjects including travel, military, history, art and literature.

Henry Pordes Books 58-60 Charing Cross Rd : Specialises in art, literature, history, science and medicine with shelves full of books on performing arts, photography, architecture and cookery.

Foyles 107 Charing Cross Rd: Browse your way around 6.5km of book shelves, housing 200,000 titles at the world-famous London bookshop, Foyles. This vast bookshop has four floors crammed with every kind of book imaginable. As well as stocking the UK’s largest range of books, this flagship store has a café, auditorium and gallery, and hosts literary and music events.

Claire de Rouen Books 1st Floor 125 Charing Cross Rd: One of the last vestiges of old Soho, Claire de Rouen Books specialises in photography fashion and art with stock covering photo books, fashion monographs, micropublishing, rare, signed and limited edition books, international magazines, look books and artist publications. Unique prints and limited editions are also for sale.

You now walk to Denmark Street and continue until to Bloomsbury where you find

Bookmarks 1 Bloomsbury St: Specialises in Socialist literature and books

You now walk down Bloomsbury St and take a left on Great Russell Street where you find

Jarndyce Antiquarian Booksellers 46 Great Russell Street: 19th century booksellers in an 18th century building opposite the British Museum, specialising in English books published before the 20th century.

Walk along Great Russell St and turn right to Museum Street where you find

The Atantis Bookshop: 49a Museum Street : Europe’s oldest independent Occult bookshop. Aleister Crowley, Austin Spare, Dion Fortune and W B Yeats shopped here. New and secondhand books on all aspects of the esoteric sciences, Tarot cards, crystal balls, and regular  events.

Keep walking south and turn left on Bloomsbury Way then turn left onto Bury Place where you find

Enitharmon Books 10 Bury Place: A Gallery, bookshop and publishing house for Enitharmon Press & Editions, an independent poetry and arts press that specialises in fine quality literary editions, artists’ books and limited edition prints. Knowledgeable staff introduce you to an exceptional range of contemporary poetry books.

London Review Bookshop 14 Bury Place: The bookshop of the London Review of Books offers a wide and intelligent selection of books, from fiction, politics, poetry, history, philosophy and a range of literary events, as well as teas, coffees and lunches in the Cake Shop. The London Review Cake shop is closed on Sundays.

Part  2

We now walk back to Bloomsbury way a left on Southampton Place then to Holborn Tube station change at Oxford Circus station then one stop to Regents Park Tube on the Bakerloo Line. Walk onto Portland Place then right on Devonshire Street then a left on

Daunt Books an Edwardian bookshop on Marylebone High Street that is nothing short of glorious, with long oak galleries and soaring windows. Books are arranged by country, rather than alphabetically, so guides, maps, non-fiction and fiction all sit alongside one another, for a unique browsing experience.

We walk back to Regent Park Station and then go 2 stops South to Piccadilly Station then walk down Piccadilly to Hatchards.

Hatchards 187 Piccadilly, :On Piccadilly, in a prestigious spot next to Fortnum & Mason, is the UK’s oldest surviving bookshop. First opening its doors in 1797, Hatchards covers four floors and is home to 100,000 books.

Maison Assouline: 196A Piccadilly: Bookstore specialising in Fashion.

We now walk back to Piccadilly Tube station and get back on the Bakerloo line heading south to Waterloo Station and then walk to Waterloo Bridge and under the bridge you will find the

Southbank Book Market Waterloo Bridge :Tucked under Waterloo Bridge, you’ll find the Southbank Centre Book Market. Stocked with second-hand books, including classics, contemporary titles, maps and prints, it’s a lovely spot to browse. Open every day until 7pm – whatever the weather.  After a long day this is where the day ends browsing second hand books on the Thames.

Historic Pub Crawl in London


The Star Tavern Belgravia London

In this post I’m going to give you some details about how to do a fantastic pub crawl through London. You’ll need to do this London pub crawl in the day because some of the pubs in the city will close early.

Also you’ll need a Zone 1 tube pass as you’ll need to travel by tube between some of the pubs.

And a word of warning its probably a good idea to not have a pint at every pub because you probably won’t finish the tour.

Go To Blackfriars Tube Station

Pub 1 The Blackfriars 74 Queen Victoria St

This pub is a grade 2 listed building built in the Art Nouveau (Arts & Crafts movement) in a religious style by Herbert Fuller-Clark and sculptor Henry Poole in 1875 and was remodelled in 1905.

Architecturally its one of the most interesting pubs in London. It was saved from demolition by Sir John Betjeman.

We walk away from the River and turn left on Fleet St to the next pub

Pub 2 Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese 145 Fleet Street (turn down the lane to find the entrance)

Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese was built just after the Great Fire of London in 1666 however there was a pub on the site since 1538, while the vaulted cellars may date back to the 13th Century when there was a monastery on the site.

In the bar there are plaques celebrating past regulars of the pub that include Mark Twain, Charles Dickens Alfred Tennyson and Arthur Conan-Doyle.

We now cross the road to the next pub

Pub 3 The Tipperary 66 Fleet Street

The Tipperary was built in 1605 and was originally called The Boar’s Head and the building survived The Great Fire of London due to it being made of stone.

The Tipperary claims to be the first Irish Pub outside of Ireland and the first to sell Guinness in England.

This is an historic site, first occupied by a 13th century White Friars monastery, then a 16th century tavern at the sign of the ‘Bolt-in-Tun’, later to be a busy coaching inn. The ‘Boar’s Head’ name was adopted in 1883 or 1605 depending on what you read.
Either way the original pub was demolished and rebuilt in the late 19th century by Mooney’s.

We keep walking west and turn right at Fetter Lane and turn left at High Holborn and cross the road to our next pub

Pub 4 Cittie of Yorke 22 High Holborn

The Cittie of Yorke pub is a Grade 2 listed building that was built in the 1920’s but there has been a pub on this site since 1430.

The Welsh poet Dylan Thomas penned an impromptu ode to the pub when it was called Henneky’s Long Bar.

Several features catch the eye, including the cosy booths along the east wall (usually taken by lawyers from the adjoining Gray’s Inn), wooden beam ceiling, and the great iron fireplace in the centre of the room — noted as a bit of a mystery as far back as 1962 in Geoffery Fletcher’s The London Nobody Knows. Many people know this place today, and it’s often standing room only in the main bar.

We now go to the Chancery Lane Tube Station because after a few beers we don’t feel like too much more walking and go one station to Holborn then change to the Piccadilly line to Leicester Square. We walk through Chinatown until we find Dean Street

Pub 5 The French House 24 Dean Street Soho

The French House is a grade 2 listed building and was opened in 1891 by a German named Herr Schmidt.

After the fall of France in World War II, General Charles de Gaulle escaped to London where he formed the Free French Forces. His speech rallying the French people, “À tous les Français” is said to have been written in the pub.

The French House was and is popular with artists and writers. Brendan Behan wrote large portions of The Quare Fellow there, and Dylan Thomas once left the manuscript of Under Milk Wood under his chair. Other regulars over the years include Francis Bacon, Tom Baker, Daniel Farson, Lucian Freud, Augustus John, Malcolm Lowry, Calum, Rosie and John Mortimer.

We now continue to walk north turn right at Batemen Street and the next pub is on the left

Pub 6 The Dog and Duck 18 Bateman Street Soho

Another well-known Soho watering hole with great literary associations, the Dog and Duck was where George Orwell used to drink. It has an ornate Victorian interior – the pub is Grade-II listed and noted for its lavish tiling and grand mirrors. In its previous incarnation on the same site (the current pub was built in 1897), John Constable and Dante Gabriel Rossetti were also apparently regulars – and the owners boast of a visit from Madonna.

We now walk back through Chinatown (a perfect opportunity for some food to break up the drinking) and then to Leicester Square Tube where we take the Piccadilly line to Hyde Park Corner walk down Knightsbridge a left on Old Barrack Yard and walk through to Wilton Row to the next pub.

Pub 7 The Grenadier 18 Wilton Row Belgravia

Originally built in 1720 as the Officers Mess for The First Royal Regiment of Foot Guards, the Grenadier became a licensed premise in 1818 to serve as The Guardsman Public House; it was latter renamed The Grenadier.

Being secluded in a wealthy district of London, it was frequented in the past by the Duke of Wellington and King George IV, and continues to attract an elite clientele such as Madonna and Prince William, and LSE Global Politics students. It is also said to be haunted by the Being secluded in a wealthy district of London, it was frequented in the past by the Duke of Wellington and King George IV, and continues to attract an elite clientele such as Madonna and Prince William, and LSE Global Politics students. It is also said to be haunted by the ghost of a former soldier who was beaten to death for cheating at cards.

You now walk to Wilton Place then walk back towards Knightsbridge and turn left onto Kinnerton Street and walk to the next pub

Pub 8 The Nags Head 53 Kinnerton Street Belgravia

This wonderful, poky little pub is just a short distance from the shopping district of Harrods and Knightsbridge, but is a completely different world. Just reaching it feels like a discovery, with its location down a quiet little mews. Once you stoop inside, you’ll find a cluttered assembly of portraits, bric-a-brac, pewter mugs, and curiosities, and Adnams on tap. This is where you come to get a sense of the public house as it was like centuries ago. Mobiles are banned; the walls are cluttered with everything from cartoons to baseball reports, garden tools to vintage penny-slots.

You now walk through the labyrinth that is Belgravia to the last pub of the pub crawl.

Pub 9 The Star Tavern 6 Belgrave Mews W, Belgravia

The Star Tavern in Belgravia has seen its share of well-heeled visitors – including Peter O’Toole, Diana Dors and Alexander Korda – since it was built in the early 19th century. However, it is most noted for its role in one of the most colourful – and notorious – episodes in 20th century England. The grand upstairs room was supposedly where the Great Train Robbers hatched their plan to attack the Mail service in 1963. Bruce Reynolds, the ringleader, would reportedly drive up from south-west London in an Aston Martin to flesh out the details of the £2.3m heist.

It’s believed that this was a favoured haunt of John Profumo for his discreet liaisons with Christine Keeler and that assorted luminaries from Bing Crosby to (perhaps less surprisingly) Peter O’Toole and Princess Margaret would occasionally pop in for a quick sharpener.

Buy vs. Rent: What’s The Best Way To Drive Australia?


motorhome parked near a hill

If you’re heading down to Australia, you might have a road trip already planned…..if you don’t you definitely should! There’s over 817,000 kilometers of roads in the country.

If you planned a trip from Sydney (in the south-east) to Perth (Western Australia), it would take you nearly two whole days to drive there.

In other words, Australia is huge, but the best way to see it is by road. Nothing compares to the freedom you experience seeing this gorgeous country from behind a steering wheel. But that begs the question – is it better to buy a used car or rent one?

Here’s a look at the pros and cons of both options:

Renting a car in Australia

In most countries, renting a car is straightforward. You can even do it at the airport. You probably know all the big rental brands anyway – Hertz, Avis, Europcar, Thrifty, and Redspot. There’s also a ton of local players that offer cars.

The issue is the complex paperwork involved in getting a car hired. There could be issues with security deposits, insurance cover and the amount of distance you can cover.

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Damage excess for rentals varies greatly. Image: bayswatercarrental.com.au

You may fail to notice car damage as minor as bumps or scratches, before you leave the car rental lot. Then end up paying for damage you weren’t responsible for. The terms and conditions also apply many restrictions – not letting you take the car on a ferry, for example.

Our overall thoughts on renting a car in Australia

Overall, renting a car provides less freedom to do what you want. For a lot of travellers, renting is the least enjoyable part of travelling.

But if you’re only going to be visiting for a few days, renting a car rather than buying one might make sense.

Buying a second hand car in Australia

Prefer having more freedom to do what you want? Whilst saving money over the long term, buying a used car might be a better option in Australia.

You can easily buy a used car online and complete the paperwork in a few days. Australians love the open roads and there’s a lot of variety in the cars on offer.

Buying a second hand car can work out cheaper if you’re in Australia for longer than a few weeks. The one caveat is the need to inspect the car before you buy.

You can even sell the car for a reasonable price once your trip is done and you have to leave.  Just make sure you sell the car in the same state as you bought it to avoid extra paperwork.

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2006 Ford Focus with 6 months registration. Image: Gumtree Cars

At the end of the day, whether you buy or rent a car, depends on your budget and time in Australia.

It’s the perfect country for a road trip, so make sure you do your research and get the car you want before you land.

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Having a great stag party in Prague


There are a number of reasons why having a stag party in Prague is a great idea and they are not all you think.

Firstly, everyone will tell you that Eastern Europe generally has a lot of things going for it rather than going to London for a legs up big night on the town.  You only get married once so do something special not the usual pinting on at a strip club getting you feet covered in spew when you go to toilet.

Do something special, something a bit better than the norm and Prague offers a stag party friendly city.

Reasons why to go to Prague

There are a lot of things going for this idea.

1. Pretty Girls – the single men among you will thank you for this divine idea.

2. Fantastic Beer – Czech Republic is the home of beer and in Prague you can go from bar to bar drinking different types of beer quite often brewed in the bar itself.

3. Cost the weekend – A weekend in Prague will cost you less even when you include your flights.

4. Liberal laws and regulations – you are much less likely to get into trouble and there is little street crime in Czech Republic.

5. There are lots of bucks party activities you can shoot guns, go paintballing also go karting and there are many places where you can find strippers all the things a bunch of guys on a stag party would want.

6. There is a fantastic club scene in Prague so you can party the night away if you’re looking for music and a cool scene.

So while you’re there you can hire a vehicle and driver and you can create your own pub crawl you can also get great food in Prague too.

To have a great stag party Prague is the place to go, so many things to do, so many beers to drink, so many women to meet.

Do It. You know you want it.