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STA Travel Blog

Shakedown, Hanoi

This week, we’re taking a look at Vietnam’s bustling capital, Hanoi. Nestled in the north of the country, the City of the Soaring Dragon is where French-colonialism meets modern Vietnam.

It may be smaller than its southern sister, Ho Chi Minh City, but what Hanoi lacks in size, it makes up for in charm and culture. Thirsty for more? Take a deep breath, jump on board, and get ready to dodge the motorbikes – we’re goin’ to Hanoi!

Who wants to be a Millionaire?

£1 will buy you around 32,000 Vietnamese dong, so you really will be a millionaire in Hanoi. As well as dong, take some US dollars too — despite the Vietnamese government’s attempts to phase them out, they’re still widely accepted.
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High Five… Sydney!

It’s big, it’s brash, it’s beautiful… it’s Sydney! Established in 1788, this city is not only home to two of Australia’s most iconic landmarks — the Harbour Bridge and Opera House — it’s also surrounded by some beautiful National Parks, and boasts an impressive stretch of coastline. What’s not to love?

Regularly voted one of the top ten cities to live, the capital of New South Wales is as schizophrenic as Fight Club’s Tyler Durden; whatever mood you’re in, Sydney will match it.
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Ask the Experts: Best Spots for an Asia Virgin?

Welcome back to the lair of the Experts; a beehive of diverse opinions, spiced with facts, hints and tips for you and your journeys. Each week, we get together with three of our branch staff to deliberate a question from an STA Travel Blog reader.

This week, we were faced with a real eyebrow-raiser, as Sue from Romford revealed her travel ambitions and laid down the gauntlet for our Experts.

As always, if you’d like some help planning your next big trips, email our Experts a question and you could find it featured in an upcoming feature, right here on the STA Travel Blog!

Remember, this feature isn’t all about what we think; we want you to share your own ideas in the comment thread below the post!

So without further ado, please welcome Sue to the spotlight, with this week’s question…
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Inside Tips for Planning a Round the World Trip

Planning a round the world trip can be a mind-bogglingly complicated process, and that’s coming from us, the experts. The reason for this, is mostly down to the individual nature of travel, and that there are just so many glorious choices!

Whenever I’ve planned a round the world trip — or even a regional series — I’ve thought of it like a path of dominoes. Take your time to line them up; one by one; positioned precisely beside each other. You daren’t breathe until everything… is… just… so.

Then a cat leaps through an open window, blasting your masterplan into dozens of sorry pieces.

Planning a RTW trip can be a painstaking process | Photo by RKHawaii

That clumsy cat could play the part of many different elements that can uproot even the best laid plans. A knowing wink. A smoking engine. A telephone call.

With this is mind, I visited our STA Travel store in Clapham, to get the lowdown from the source, by asking the team what they believe to be the key considerations when planning a round the world trip. As always, they didn’t disappoint. Here’s an overview of the key considerations they planted down.

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Your 2011 Travel Highlights!

As 2011 retires to the realm of years gone by, we thought it was the perfect time to grab a few minutes of your time to hear what your unforgettable travel highlights were for 2011.

And you didn’t disappoint! We were spoilt with stories from around the globe, with some inspirational images to boot, which we’re sharing with you today.

If you’d like to comment on the photos you’re about to see, or add your own unforgettable travel highlight to the mix, then throw it down in the comment thread below this post!
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