8 things to discover in Myanmar

Sitting inbetween the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea coast lies the vast ancient beauty of Myanmar. This Asian treasure is more historically known as Burma, and in recent years, has seen a great amount of change. Areas of ancient charm that were  previously closed off to the outside world  are now being opened up to discovery, and in turn, are becoming more freely available to explore. Whether you’re planning a trip to Myanmar in the near future, or fancy learning more about its breathtaking culture, below are 8 things you can discover in this area of Asia.

1. Learn the skill behind Kalaga tapestries

These beautifully handcrafted keepsakes are created by the local people of Myanmar, and will often depict from the Buddha’s journey towards enlightenment – the Jataka. Luxurious materials such as silk or velvet are used as a base, and are then embellished with beads or glass stones and intricate metallic thread.

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5 great language apps

Do you struggle to speak the local language on your holidays? You’re not the only one. Of course, with Trafalgar, your Travel Director is always around to assist, but if you’re feeling brave, one of the most effective ways of understanding the locals is to download a language app. Here are some of our top suggestions:

  1. Google Translate (free, Android and iPhone)

The ‘Old Faithful’ of travel apps, Google Translate converts 90 different languages into English from voice, text or photos, with no internet required. You can even save your translations to refer back to at a later date.

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The Latest Travel Accessories

Travel writer Susan Heller said: “When preparing to travel, lay out all your clothes and all your money. Then take half the clothes and twice the money.” But there are some things our team here at Trafalgar just wouldn’t leave out of their suitcase.

For Photographers

The XShot Pro launched last December for sports enthusiasts and action heroes wanting photos of their antics. But if you’re a more sedate traveller, try their Pocket XShot Camera Extends instead. This nifty and compact gadget lets you effortlessly take photos of yourself in front of all those iconic sights.

Photo by Miguel Garcia under Creative Commons Licence

Photo by Miguel Garcia under Creative Commons Licence

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Stylish Souvenirs

Holiday season has come again – your tickets are at the ready, you’ve got the local currency sorted and you’ve packed – leaving just enough room in your suitcase for precious mementos, those little things that remind you of the wonderful time you had on your trip.

But so often, those knick knacks get put on a shelf when you get home, maybe with all the other things you’ve brought back from past holidays, just gathering dust. What about bringing home a souvenir that you can wear, carry or even take with you on your next trip?

Here are some of our suggestions:

Panama Hats. Photo by flowcomm under Creative Commons Licence

Panama Hats. Photo by flowcomm under Creative Commons Licence

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Five Alternative Places to Visit in the USA

New York, Boston and Los Angeles are probably the cities that pop into your head when you think of the United States. But urban USA stretches far beyond the Venice Beach and Manhattan. Here are some of our favourite alternative places to visit in the USA.

 

Nashville

Also known as Music City, Memphis is the country music capital of the world, which is hard to ignore here.  This city’s history is steeped in music and there are lots of museums, music halls and other sights to remind you of this. Head to the Country Music Hall of Fame to see memorabilia of country icons on display or take a tour through the Ryman Auditorium where some of the biggest stars played and still perform today. Your stay in Nashville wouldn’t be complete with a night out on Broadway which is famous for its live music venues.

Downtown Nashville

Photo by Michael Hicks under Creative Commons Licence

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Travel by the Book

Our Travel Directors are avid readers.  They know one of the best ways to soak up the essence of a region or city is through a powerful novel or fascinating account set there.  So we’ve asked for their recommendations of engrossing reads that get you under the skin of the destinations they know so well.

Ireland

Eve Hand recommends Round Ireland with a Fridge by Tony Hawks

Destinations : Ireland

“…captures the small town feel of a country of almost 6 million inhabitants…encounters reveal the charm and warmth of the Irish.”

After a drunken bet, Tony Hawks literally travelled around Ireland with a fridge. Needless to say, a month spent on the road with his frosty companion provided the perfect set-up for amusing, touching and even surreal encounters with the locals.  Ideal travel reading for those who like a lot of humour – from belly laughs to wry smiles – to go with their insights into regional sensibilities.

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Our Travel Directors’ Favourite Foodie Hotspots

Our Travel Directors are experts in their destination. So they’re always able to point you in the direction of excellent local dining. To put our money where our mouth is, we’ve asked Travel Directors working in very different regions to recommend some of their favourites.

RED FISH BLUE FISH IN VICTORIA

Peter Ray recommends Red Fish Blue Fish which is not your run of the mill fish and chip shop. Located in the beautiful Victoria inner harbour in an old shipping container, this place has taken fish and chips to a new level.  Modern flourishes blended with traditional methods. The halibut and chips is a favourite as are the tempura cod tacones. The spotted shrimp mayo is to die for. Loved by locals and a tourist fave, there is always a queue but it is worth the wait.

tempura cod tacones

Photo by Alyson Hurt under Creative Commons Licence

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