Fifty things we love about travel right now
Break your long-haul flight with a visit to Hong Kong Disneyland, coffee in Singapore's Kampong Glam, a Chinese shopover or a spot of Arabian dune bashing. Transit stopovers don't have to follow the old sluice-and-snooze formula.
The new stopover cities of Guanghzhou and Dubai are going gung-ho with relaxed transit visas and budget hotel offers, while the old hands of Singapore, Bangkok and Hong Kong are offering easy transit visas and tours to show off their towns. Expect cheap hotels and hop-on, hop-off buses in Singapore, free rail cards and kick-boxing shows in Bangkok, or Emirates' and Qantas' Dubai hotel packages. Most offers are limited to travellers flying on the country's national airline. BJ
Yes, it's cold, yes, it's pricey, but the Norwegian capital is a sleeper hit for its food, architecture and design. Fly in with thrifty Norwegian Air, ogle starchitect Renzo Piano's new Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art or squeal with your hands over your ears alongside Edvard Munch's The Scream.
If Michelin-starred Maaemo is out of your league, try organic Kolonihagen Grunerlokka for new Nordic tapas: think mini elkburgers and dainty seafood, or go budget on gritty Storgata, aka Kebab Street. Hipsters bunker down at The Thief Hotel, then go old-school to sip coffee and shop Nordic design at Fuglen.
Grab a window seat in the Grand Hotel's cafe to channel Ibsen and world peace (the Nobel Peace Prize laureate snoozes here each year). visitoslo.com. BJ
THE CANTON ROUTE
Guangzhou, in southern China, is the heartland of the Canton Route, a wallet-friendly rival to the traditional Kangaroo Route from Sydney to London via Hong Kong or Singapore. China Southern Airlines also now flies Guangzhou to Moscow, Frankfurt and New York (from August 6).
Aussies are already snapping up free 72-hour transit visas to scoff Cantonese nosh and explore the surrounding Guangdong Province. BJ
CHEAP MICHELIN EATS
Even Michelin-star-restaurant hunters can't resist a deal, and we love the rise of little cheapies creating expert food on a salaryman's budget.
The cheapest is said to be Hong Kong's celebrated Tim Ho Wan, hot property for its pork buns (three for under $3), otherwise, check out the one-star Arbutus, the bellwether of London's so-called recession restaurants, with the plat de jour and wine for 10 quid, or New York's first gastropub, The Spotted Pig, a one-star constant since it opened a decade ago.
The Michelin Guide's Bib Gourmand listing spots restaurants that are dishing up non-starred all-stars serving two courses and wine for less than $40, fertile hunting ground for eaters with dieting wallets. BJ