English Speaker Software
At least it appears that many visitors buy into this statement. Some travelers seem to believe that a native Spanish speaker will somehow get over his or her inability to understand English if the English-speaking individual talks even louder. Many Mexicans understand at least some English, especially those in popular tourist areas. Try this tip and I guarantee it will work Instead of panicking and starting to yell in order to get your point across, ask nicely for help, and an English-speaking local will come to assist you. (Better yet, try a few of the handy Spanish phrases listed in Chapter 2 to start a conversation.)
This fascinating garden (Guangxi YaoyongZhiwuyuan admission Y10 S dawn to dusk) is the largest of its kind in China, with more than 2400 species of medicinal plants (Guangxi alone has 5000 species). The botanical gardens will be especially impressive if you are lucky enough to tag along with one of the centre's few English speakers. Stuck in an industrial wasteland northeast of the city, it takes about 30 minutes to get there on bus 101 or 102 from Chaoyang Garden. A taxi from town costs about Y25.
One of the best ways to feel less like a tourist and more like a world traveler is to interact with the locals in a meaningful way (ie, more than just ordering dinner). Native English speakers living in Paris (a.k.a. expatriates, or expats) provide a strong and permanent link between their visiting compatriots and the French, bringing them together for modern literary salons, French-English conversation sessions, or simply for casual socializing in a friendly environment. By making an effort to meet and converse with Parisians, you'll get a real inside look at the city and its people - and maybe even make some new friends
City tourist office ( 942-0000 ext 80119 Ca lie 62 on Plaza Grande S 8am-8pm Mon-Sat, 8am-2pm Sun) Just south of the main entrance to the Palacio Municipal, it is staffed with helpful English speakers. It offers free walking tours of the city at 9.30am (see p157). State tourist office ( 930-3101 Calle 61 on Plaza Grande S 8am-9pm) In the entrance to the Palacio de Gobierno. It usually has an English speaker on hand. Tourist Information Center ( 924-9290 cnr Calles 60 &57A S 8am-9pm) Less than two blocks north of the state tourist office, on the southwest edge of the Teatro Pe n Contreras, this office is used for training tourism students. There's always an English speaker on hand, and sometimes a speaker of Italian or French.
Founded in 1900 the society is still very active with over 1000 local members, and organises tours to all parts of South Korea, usually at weekends. Log onto their website for the busy schedule. Nonmembers can always join in and all tours are led by English speakers who are experts in their field. The tours are reasonably priced, costing from W6000 to W50,000 to nonmembers, who pay a bit more than members. Membership costs W40,000 for a calendar year or W20,000 after 1 July. Free lectures are organised twice a month.
Most Americans cannot use any language other than English. While they may admire a person who speaks more than one language, most of them do not place a high value on learning another language themselves. They expect other people to learn or to already know their language, which is, of course, English. Foreign visitors who can speak and understand English will have a far better opportunity than non-English speakers to learn about the American people.
Trains arrive in the center of the city at the Central Helsinki Railway Station, Kai-vokatu (& 03 072-0900). Designed by Eliel Saarinen (1873-1950) in the early 20th century, the station itself is a national monument and a classic example of the Art Nouveau style. And it's an especially good station for English speakers All information in the station is posted in both Finnish and English.
Switchboard (tel 020 623-6565 www.switchboard.nl 10am-10pm daily) offers English-language info and advice. Tune into MNS Radio (106.8 FM, 6-9pm daily) for up-to-the-minute info on gay events and issues. For advice and info from the government-subsidized COC (the Dutch Gay and Lesbian Organization), call or visit the local branch at Rozenstraat 14 (tel 020 626-3087 open Wed-Sat 1-5pm English-speaking meetings cafe). The COC's national branch is at Rozenstraat 8 (tel 020 6234596 open Mon-Fri 9am-4pm). Call AIDS Infolijn, tel 0900 204-2040, for info on AIDS. Gay News, a monthly news and listings tabloid, is published in Dutch and English and is sold in bookstores, cafes, and clubs (www.gaynews.nl). Gay & Night Magazine, a monthly gay-events listings guide, is sold in many bookstores and at clubs and cafes. Shark, a twice-monthly giveaway, lists clubs, squats, music, film, and gay events. Language Natives speak Dutch, but will not respond if you try to speak to them in Dutch they speak...
Beach lies at the end of Tung Wan Rd, due east of the ferry pier. The best part of Tung Wan is the far southern end, which is a great area for windsurfing. Just south of Tung Wan Beach, Kwun Yam Wan Beach is known to English speakers as Afternoon Beach and is a great spot for windsurfing.
Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei, all former British colonies, are all fantastic countries to visit for English speakers, but linguists will be pleased to tackle the region's multitude of other languages. Malaysia's national language is Bahasa Malaysia. This is often a cause of confusion for travellers, who logically give a literal translation to the two words and call it the Malaysian language'. In fact you cannot speak 'Malaysian' the language is Malay. Other languages commonly spoken in the region, apart from English and Malay, include Tamil, Hokkien, Cantonese and Mandarin, but there are also more Chinese dialects, various other Indian and Orang Asli languages, and even a form of 16th-century Portuguese known as Kristang (see p235). Although all Malaysians speak Malay, many are fluent in at least two other languages - a humbling thought for those of us who only speak English
The main tourist information office is the MUFA Warsaw Tourist Information Center, situated just at the entrance to the Old Town, near to the Royal Castle (Zamkovy 1 3 & 022 635 18 81 www.wcit.waw.pl). The Warsaw city authorities (& 022 94 31 www.warsawtour.pl) also maintain a helpful network of tourist information agencies at entry points to the city, including the airport, central train station, and Old Town. You'll almost always find an English speaker on hand to help with general directions and hotel advice, and provide maps and brochures.
Any foreign consulate can provide a list of area doctors who speak English. If you get sick, consider asking your hotel concierge to recommend a local doctor even his or her own. You can also try the emergency room at a local hospital. Many hospitals also have walk-in clinics for emergency cases that are not life-threatening you may not get immediate attention, but you won't pay the high price of an emergency-room visit. We list hospital and emergency contact numbers under Fast Facts, later in this chapter and in chapters 4, 7, and 11.
Do you speak English Govorite anglesko go-vo-ree-te an-glesh-ko Does anyone here speak English Ali kdo tukaj go i on anglesko 1 ij-lee gdo foo-kay go-vo-ree an-glesh-kol I understand. Razumem. ra-zoo-mem I (don't) understand. (Ne) razumem. (ne) ra-zoo-mem Could you repeat that, please Lahko ponovite lah-ko po-no-i ee-te Could you write it down, please Lahko to napisete lah-ko to na-pee-she-te Can you show me (on the map) Milahkopokazete (namapi) mee lah-to po-to-zhe-te (na ma-pee) How do you say (in Slovene) Kako se rece (naslovenskem) ka-ko se ra-che (na slo-ven-skem)
Two of Paris's major department stores, Au Printemps and Galeries Lafayette, offer visitors a 10 percent discount coupon, good in most departments. If your hotel or travel agent doesn't give you one of these coupons (they're sometimes attached to a city map), you can ask for them at the stores' welcome desks the clerks speak English.
Walking the historic quarter with a guide who knows the secrets and legends surrounding the sights can make the city come alive, and gives you a chance to have questions answered on the spot. All of the tours suggested below feature bilingual guides who speak English as well as any estadounidense (American) or Brit. Some of the best guides for historic tours are Gonzalo De Le n, s 787-253-2571, or with Mar a Pla at Colonial Adventures Old San Juan, s 787-793-2992. Book with them at least a day or two in advance.
This activity centre ( 04 66 61 66 66 www.maisonde larandonnee.com in French admission free S 10am-6pm Jul & Aug, 10am-1pm & 3-6pm Mon-Fri, 10am-6pm Sat & Sun May, Jun, Sep & Oct, 10am-1pm Tue-Fri Nov-Apr), right beside the D907, puts on a host of outdoor activities such as themed walks (several guides speak English), canoeing, kayaking and caving. It also rents out mountain bikes (per half-day full day three days 12 20 54).
Seoul has a handful of small, friendly guesthouses backpackers that cater specifically for budget-conscious foreigners. Dorms are around W 15,000 a night, single rooms around W27,000 and double rooms around W37,000. Rooms tend to be small, but the staff speak English and facilities usually include a TV and video lounge, a kitchen, a free washing machine, a free breakfast and free Internet access. Toilets and showers are usually shared. The two youth hostels, Olympic Parktel and Dreamtel, are far from the city centre.
There are no immunization requirements for getting into Greece, though it's always a good idea to have polio, tetanus, and typhoid covered when traveling anywhere. In Greece itself, modern hospitals, clinics, and pharmacies are to be found everywhere, and personnel, equipment, and supplies ensure excellent treatment. Virtually all doctors in Greece can speak English or some other European language. You should bring along a sufficient quantity of any prescription medication you are taking and keep it in your carry-on luggage. Just in case, ask your doctor to write you new prescriptions, using the generic not the brand name. Dental care is also widely available. For serious medical problems that arise while in Greece, your embassy or consulate or hotel can recommend an English-speaking doctor. In an emergency, call a first-aid center (& 166), the nearest hospital (& 106), or the tourist police (& 171).
Ibusz (& 1 485-2700 www.ibusz.hu), with decades of experience, offers 11 different boat and bus tours, ranging from basic city tours to special folklore-oriented tours. Unfortunately, the tours are pretty sterile and boring, and we actually think you're better off taking a walking tour or a different boat tour (see below). Ibusz operates year-round, with an abbreviated schedule in the off season. All buses are air-conditioned, and all guides speak English. Some sample offerings are a 3-hour Budapest City Tour for 5,000 Ft to 10,000 Ft ( 25- 50 13- 26) free for children under 12, and a 2hour Parliament Tour (you'll be inside the building for 2 hr.) for 7,500 Ft ( 38 19). There's a free hotel pickup service that will pick you up 30 minutes before departure time. For a full list of tours, pick up the Ibusz Budapest Sightseeing catalog, available at all Ibusz offices, Tourinform, and most hotels. Tours can be booked at any Ibusz office and at most major hotels, or by calling Ibusz...
A couple of blocks northeast of the Jade Market, this temple is dedicated to Tin Hau, the goddess of seafarers. The temple complex also houses an altar dedicated to Shing Wong, the god of the city, and to To Tei, the earth god. You'll find a row of fortune-tellers through the last doorway on the right from the main entrance facing Public Square St signs indicate which ones speak English. An incense spiral that lasts 10 days will set you back a mere 130.
Medical care in Prague, Brno and Bratislava is generally quite good and the chances of finding an English-speaking doctor are high. Embassies, consulates and four- and five-star hotels can usually recommend doctors or clinics. (Note few doctors outside major cities speak English.) Every sizable town has a polyklinika (medical centre), though few have seen many foreigners. Medical training, equipment and standards of hygiene (and funds for training doctors) are adequate for routine, walk-in problems.
You can negotiate with one of the eager men in the waterfront kiosks near the entrance to town it's nearly impossible to get through town without being approached by someone. They speak English and will connect you with a captain (who usually doesn't). The best guides are to be found at Restaurante-Bar Isla Contoy ( 862-0000) driving into town, turn left on Calle 19 at the sign for the restaurant-bar. From the bus terminal, head to the water and turn left (west).
Canada, 416 652-0137 www.iamat. org) for tips on travel and health concerns in the countries you're visiting, and lists of local, English-speaking doctors. The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (& 800 311-3435 www.cdc.gov) provides up-to-date information on necessary vaccines and health hazards by region or country. Any foreign consulate can provide a list of area doctors who speak English. If you get sick, consider asking your hotel concierge to recommend a local doctor even his or her own. You can also try the emergency room at a local hospital many have walk-in clinics for emergency cases that are not life-threatening. You may not get immediate attention, but you won't pay the high price of an emergency room visit.
Spanish is spoken throughout mainland Honduras, though it is a second language for some indigenous communities in La Moskitia and in Garifuna areas on the north coast. Miskito (see p333), Garifuna (see p333) and English (in the Bay Islands and along the Caribbean Coast) are also used. While Bay Islanders traditionally speak English, an influx of mainlanders in search of construction jobs has begun to tip the balance toward Spanish, especially on Roatan.
Sadly, though, the current visitor experience on offer is rather ho-hum - individual access is not allowed to the (perfectly safe) pathway, so visitors have to indulge the guides who lead each group (departures each hour on the hour) stopping off to point out various funny shapes (Santa Claus, a kneeling child, a gorilla) in the rock. Speleologists prepare to be appalled, and non-Spanish speakers might just be bemused, as the guides do not generally speak English. Thankfully, after the one-hour tour, you can wander back to the entrance at your own pace, although you're often virtually in the dark.
It's famous for its blackbucks, beautiful, fast creatures, with around 3500 in and around the park, which sport elegant spiralling horns - as long as 65cm in mature males. It's also good for spotting birds such as wintering harriers, and the strange nilgai, which look half-horse, half-cow. You can explore by car or by walking. Local guides don't tend to speak English.
In Brussels, tourists can get by with English most of the time. In Flanders you'll have few problems using English - many Flemish speak English fluendy and are very accommodating when it comes to speaking to foreigners. In Wallonia far fewer people speak English and once you get away from major cities or tourist centres you'll need French to get by. The people in the Eastern Cantons tend to be fluent in both German and French and also have a smattering of English.
And always bring a copy of a prescription. The telephone numbers for pharmacies (including those open at night) in Amman and Irbid, and for hospitals in Amman, Zarqa, Irbid and Aqaba, are listed in the two English-language newspapers. All doctors (and most pharmacists) who have studied in Jordan speak English because medicine is taught in English at Jordanian universities, and many have studied abroad. Dental surgeries are also fairly modern and well equipped.
On the bright side, places are almost always impeccably clean (certainly so if listed here) and incredibly cheap (hoteliers are incidentally no longer allowed to charge foreigners a higher price discrepancies can be reported to www.ktzp.bg). Websites worth investigating are www.hotelsbulgaria.com and www.hotels-in-bulgaria.com, though neither features opinionated reviews. If you're more interested in B&B guesthouses family hotels, BAAT offers a fabulous booklet with a single photograph and brief description of each entry, along with useful advice on how to plan your trip. To find out where to get a booklet, check www.alternative-tourism.org. Tip In small towns you may have problems making a booking, particularly if you want a particular room, as so few people speak English use Surprise Tours booking service send your entire Bulgaria itinerary to svelte mail.bg and all your bookings will be made for a one-time fee of 20 ( 26).
Note Figuring out timetables, if there are any at the station, is a challenge. Departures are usually listed on a yellow chalkboard titled Odhad or Odhodi Vlakov. Arrivals are listed on a white chalkboard titled Prihod or Prihodi Vlako. Be forewarned that there is a good chance that the times listed will be wrong. Helpful Slovene words include peron (platform), sedez (seat), and smer (direction). If you're having trouble, many people speak English in Slovenia, so try asking for help. Getting off a train at the right spot has also proved tricky for travelers in Slovenia because no announcements are made over a speaker system to announce a coming stop and smaller stations usually have only one sign. Ticket checkers will be happy to help you find the right stop, or you could go by the estimated travel time, though we don't recommend that.
Guided tours are mandatory and are conducted by guides from the office at 9am and 1pm. They take in three to four caves, and last for about two hours. Two of the guides speak English, and one was a resident of the caves for a short while during the war. If you want to see the caves outside of these official tour times you will need to pay an additional fee of US 5 per tour to cover staff costs.
It's also one of the nicest places for travellers at the moment. Chengdu is pushing hard for the tide of 'Best Tourism City in China' and the mayor is campaigning to get the entire city behind him in welcoming travellers and getting tourist infrastructure and service up to scratch. Billboards and advertisements are everywhere rallying people to the cause and urging them to learn English. Regular visitors to the city will notice a huge increase in people's helpfulness and effort to speak English, from street sweepers to even taxi drivers.
There are six buildings in all, plus a games centre and a shelter of the type used by the nomadic Penan in the jungle. The dwellings are staffed by tribespeople who demonstrate local arts and crafts, including basketry and weaving, blowpipe shooting, sago processing and bird's nest-goods production. Even travellers who have ventured to the Borneo interior are generally impressed by this unique opportunity to see the original styles of the now modernised longhouses. Many of the participants speak English well and can offer a wealth of information about Sarawak.
Every city and major town has a government hospital of an acceptable - albeit not excellent - standard, as well as more up-to-date private clinics. Smaller towns and villages may have a clinic, but for serious complaints you should travel to a larger town or ask your embassy consulate to recommend a hospital, clinic, doctor or dentist. Dental clinics are easy to find in big cities and apteka (pharmacies) are common. Doctors at bolnitsa (government hospitals) are well trained and most speak English and or German. However, equipment can be lacking and outdated. Staff at the more expensive poliklinika (private clinics), such as in Sofia (p85), are more likely to be fluent in English and German, and equipment is normally of a higher standard.
From their conversation, Park learned that Young's wife was also a Korean American, as were most of the people with whom Young and his wife socialized. Despite all of America's ethnic diversity, it seemed to Park that the amount of interaction among members of different groups was limited. Young described incidents in which he and his wife had encountered racial prejudice and stereotypes and reported that white Americans often asked him and his wife if they were Chinese. Many appeared to have one image of people from East Asia, labeled Chinese or Orientals, Young said, and they seemed not to know that Koreans, Japanese, Malays, Thais, and Chinese represent different ethnic groups, languages, religions, and cultures. Some even spoke to Young and his wife in a sort of baby talk, perhaps assuming that they could not speak English (their native language) very well.
DIVING & SNORKELING Cenote Dive Center ( 871-2232 www.cenotedive .com Av Tulum) is a recommended outfit specializing in guided cavern dives and also offering cave dives, and cenote and cavern snorkeling trips. The staff speak English, Spanish, German and Scandinavian languages.
The pink municipal building is on the square here English-speaking tourism official Hristina Dimitrova ( 2030 obkotel vip.bg) can provide information and brochures on local attractions. The official information centre ( 2334 ul Izvorska 14 S 9am-7pm) is further west on the long ul Izvorska, which passes through the small Galata old town.
You should be leery of any English-speaking youngsters who claim to be art students and offer to take you to see a special exhibit of their work. This is a scam. The art, which you will be compelled to buy, almost always consists of assembly-line reproductions of famous (or not so famous) paintings offered at prices several dozen times higher than their actual value. You are almost sure to encounter this nonsense in the Wangfujing and Liulichdng areas.
Canada, 416 652-0137 www.iamat. org) for tips on travel and health concerns in the countries you're visiting, and for lists of local, English-speaking doctors. The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (& 800 311-3435 www.cdc.gov) provides up-to-date information on health hazards by region or country and offers tips on food safety. The website www.tripprep.com, sponsored by a consortium of travel
Several hotels, including Barco de Oro (which has an English-speaking guide), set up guided boat tours of the reserve, but it's generally cheaper to go through the reserve itself. You can get here by boat from less-developed Las Salinas, where you'll need to ask around for park rangers Ram n Hernandez and Vilal Espinosa, who organize three-hour guided boat tours (for 15 people US 50-60). Make reservations, if possible, or just show up at the ranger station ( 861 9099, in Le n 311 3776 infocomap apcomanejo.com admission US 2). It's actually much easier to go through Las Pe itas, which has a ranger station and is closer to the turtle nesting sites.
Housed in the 17th-century Ex-Convento de Santa Rosa, this museum (Map p219 g 232-77-92 enter at Calle 3 Norte 1203 adult child MS15 10, free Tue S 10am-5pm Tue-Sun) is home to an extensive collection of Puebla state handicrafts. You must join one of the hourly guided tours (last one at 4pm) to see the fine displays of traditional indigenous costumes, pottery, onyx, glass and metal work. Tours are in Spanish, but there are occasionally English-speaking guides available. Mole poblano is said to have originated in the nunnery's kitchen.
FAST FACTS The Commercial Bank (Emboriki Trapeza) and Ergo Bank, both at the north end of the harbor near the corner of Kanari, have ATMs both are open Monday through Thursday from 8am to 2pm, Friday from 8am to 1 30pm. The English-speaking dentist Dr. Freeke (& 22710 27-266) is highly recommended. The hospital is 7km (4 4 miles) from the center of Hios town (& 22710 44-301). Internet access is available at Enter Internet Caf (& 22710 41-058), on the south end of the paralia next to the Metropolis Caf . It's open daily from 9am to midnight 1 hour online costs 4 . There's a full-service laundry just around the corner from the post office on Psichari (& 22710 44-801) one load costs 12 , and the turnaround time is about 24 hours. The post office is at the corner of Omirou and Rodokanaki (& 22710 44-350). The telephone office (OTE) is across the street from the tourist office on Kanari (& 131). The tourist police are headquartered at the northernmost tip of the harbor, at Neorion 35 (&...
Talk to your doctor before leaving on a trip if you have a serious and or chronic illness. For conditions such as epilepsy, diabetes, or heart problems, wear a MedicAlert identification tag ( 888-633-4298 www. medicalert.org), which immediately alerts doctors to your condition and gives them access to your records through Medic Alert's 24-hour hotline. Contact the International Association for Medical Assistance to Travelers (IAMAT) ( 716-754-4883 or, in Canada, 416-652-0137 www. iamat.org) for tips on travel and health concerns in the countries you're visiting, and lists of local, English-speaking doctors. The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( 800-311-3435 www.cdc.gov) provides up-to-date information on health hazards by region or country and offers tips on food safety.
See Fast Facts Beijing in chapter 3 for a list of reliable (and very expensive) clinics with up-to-date equipment and English-speaking foreign-trained doctors. Should you begin to feel unwell in China, your first contact should be your hotel reception. Many major hotels have doctors on staff who will give a first diagnosis and treatment for minor problems, and who will be aware of the best places to send foreigners for further treatment.
The next time you meet people who've recently been to Scotland, ask them what the place is like, and they may well give you a wistful, faraway look. That's because the region has the potential for magic. With the vitality and culture of Edinburgh and Glasgow, the Highlands' sometimes breathtakingly raw scenery, and some of the friendliest English-speaking people in the world, Scotland is bound to leave fond memories. From urban chic to ancient castles, from misty glens to craggy coastlines, Scotland is a dream (as well as dreamy) destination.
If you should have a severe medical problem, most hotels will arrange a visit to the clinic or will have an English-speaking doctor make a house call. Costa Rica's doctors are well trained, so if you're sick don't wait until you get home to have someone look at you. Malaria and cholera are ex-
To get train information or to make reservations after you get to Paris, call SNCF (Societe Nationale des Chemins de Fer, the French National Railroad) at 08-36-35-35-39 for English-speaking operators and 0836-35-35-35 for French-speaking operators (some of whom may speak a little English). You're charged 0.30 (40i) per minute to use this service. You can also go to any local travel agency, of course, and book tickets. A simpler way to reserve tickets is to take advantage of the billetterie (ticket machines) in every train station. If you know your PIN, you can use American Express, MasterCard, or Visa to purchase your ticket. You can also find out schedule information on the Web at www.sncf.com.
This fairly laid-back town, 18km south of the Mexico-Belize border, is an appropriate introduction to English-speaking Belize. It has several hotels and restaurants catering to a full range of budgets, and makes a fun visit, though it's markedly different than cosmopolitan Chetumal. There's a simple plaza in the center, a waterfront, and a lot of chickens running around. A Belize Bank with an ATM is at the plaza. Several radio stations offer a more cross-cultural selection of tunes than is available north of the border.
These community-based treks (see p70) have had plenty of positive feedback and the combination of English-speaking guide and village guide proves a great source of information about how the local people live. However, prices are relatively high compared with trekking elsewhere in Laos. Arrange trips at least a day ahead.
Despite the popularity of Western music in cities and tourist areas, Turkish pop still reigns supreme here artists generally make no effort to break into English-speaking markets, and the national MTV counterpart, Krai TV, only shows Turkish videos. Turkey did, however, host the Eurovision Song Contest in 2004 after winning it for the first time in 2003 with Sertab Erener's song in English, 'Every Way That I Can'. Big names in the music scene to look out for include Sezen Aksu (Queen of pop), Tarkan (King of Pop), Burhan O al (one of the country's finest percussionists), and Orient Expressions (Alevi and folk with jazzed-up Turkish melodies).
The largest wooden palace complex in Asia, it was once the seat of the rulers of Travan-core, a princely state taking in parts of Tamil Nadu as well as Kerala. Fetchingly constructed of teak and granite, the exquisite interiors include rosewood ceilings carved in floral patterns, Chinese-influenced screens, and floors finished to a high-black polish. Getting one of the English-speaking guides that hang around inside the gate is worthwhile (around Rs 50 to 100).
Announcements are kept to a minimum, but are repeated in five or six languages, with English always one of the languages. In the high season, there's a courier aboard to handle shore excursions and passenger information, and he or she will likely speak many languages. On shore excursions, English-speaking passengers get an English-speaking guide but may be assigned to a bus with another group, meaning you may have to hear the tour in English and French, or English and Italian.
If your condition requires further medical attention, you can visit any European hospital. (Don't worry Most hospitals have English-speaking doctors.) Many European countries practice semi- or fully socialized medicine, so they may send you on your way with a generous prescription and a small medical bill (sometimes the visit is free or costs no more than 35 to 40).
The winding lanes, soaring guildhalls and atmospheric teahouses of this Hakka village make for a fantastic day trip from Chengdu. This place has been prettied up for tourists, but by and large it's been done right and is very foreigner-friendly. Many food stands have English menus and listed prices, and there's a fantastic tourism centre (Five Phoenix Bldg Visitor's Centre Wufeng Lou Youke Fuwu Zhongxin Sffit IS - 'ts 0 84893693 S 8am-6pm, later in high season) with English-speaking staff. They can help you with accommodation and also give out free bilingual Chinese-English maps marked up with all the sights. The centre's right by the southernmost parking lot.
The surreal space-age domed structures on a lunar-like landscape you will spot to the east is the Skinakas Observatory, the country's most significant star-gazing vantage point, at height of 1750m. It is possible to drive up to the site for spectacular views, but the nocturnal astronomers don't appreciate daytime visitors. The observatory does, however, open to the public once a month during the full moon from May to September, between 5pm and 11pm (English-speaking guides in July and August only). Check the website (www. skinakas. org. gr).
The smaller shrine, Yeongnyeongjeon (Hall of Eternal Peace), originally built in 1421, has 34 spirit tablets of lesser kings in six rooms. These include four ancestors of King Taejo (who founded the Joseon dynasty in 1392) who were made kings posthumously. An English-speaking guide may be available at 10am and 3.30pm (free, one hour). From Jongmyo walk over the footbridge to Changgyeonggung (Palace of Flourishing Gladness). An English-speaking tour guide should be available at 11,30am and 4pm at the main gate. This palace was originally built in the early 15th century by revered King Sejong for his parents. Like all the palaces it was destroyed twice by the Japanese - first in the 1590s and then during the colonial period from 1910 until
For your money you get four nights at a top Moscow hotel (including breakfast), transfers between airport, hotel and Zhukovsky Air Base, an English-speaking guide, a flight suit, a DVD with photo and ground video coverage of the flight, preflight instructions, training and a medical check. If you can't quite afford the MiG-25 experience, Space Adventures offers a range of flight programmes (including one to experience zero gravity) in other military aircraft. The cheapest is US 6995 to experience weightlessness. This package also includes three nights in Moscow, transfers, an English-speaking guide, a flight suit, tour of historic Star City where Yury Gagarin trained, a DVD with photo and video coverage of the flight, and lunch with a Russian cosmonaut. For full details contact Space Adventures ( 888-85-SPACE in USA, 703-524-7172 outside USA www.spaceadventures.com 4350 Fairfax Dr, Arlington, Virginia 22203).
If you are a victim of theft, make a police report (go to the same addresses given for visa extensions earlier in this chapter you are most likely to find an English-speaking policeman there). But don't necessarily expect sympathy, cooperation, or action. The purpose is to get a theft report to give to your insurers for compensation.
If you're short on time, an option is to hire a taxi for the day (see section 2, Getting Around in chapter 3). An entertaining (if slightly rushed) choice is to join a Chinese bus tour. Air-conditioned buses for these tours leave when full early in the morning from various metro stations, and make stops at two or three sites. Your last resort should be hiring a car through your hotel or a tour agency for a ludicrous fee. There is no need to hire an English-speaking guide.
Medical Needs Doctors and dentists take turns handling emergency calls (the names of those currently available are published in the Saturday and Sunday newspapers). Your hotel will put you in touch with an English-speaking doctor or dentist. Phone & 144 for an ambulance. Telephone Until recently, calls to Liechtenstein were considered the same as calls to a region of Switzerland, and were accessible via Switzerland's country code (41). A recent electronic change-over altered the rules and now treats calls to Liechtenstein as calls to an independent country that's separate from Switzerland. To call Liechtenstein from the U.S., dial whatever international prefix your long-distance carrier requires (usually 011), followed by Liechtenstein's country code 00423, followed by the seven-digit local number. To call Liechtenstein from anywhere in Switzerland or anywhere else in the world, dial whatever international prefix is required at the phone you happen to be using, followed by the country...
After exiting the mausoleum, check out the following nearby sights. Ho Chi Minh Museum (Bao Tang Ho Chi Minh Map pp352-3 admission 5000d S 8-11am & 1.30-4.30pm Sat-Thu) Displays each have a message, such as 'peace', 'happiness'or'freedom'. Find an English-speaking guide, as some of the symbolism is hard to interpret on your own. Ho Chi Minh's Stilt House (Nha San Bac Ho Map pp352-3 admission 5000d S 8-11am & 2-4pm) Supposedly Ho's official residence, on and off, between 1958 and 1969, its simplicity reinforces his reputation as a man of the people. One Pillar Pagoda (Chua Mot Cot Map pp352-3) Built by Emperor Ly Thai Tong (r 1028-54) and designed to represent a lotus blossom, a symbol of purity, rising out of a sea of sorrow.
For a list of doctors and dentists, visit the U.S. consulate (see the following listing) or call the national English-speaking tourist hotline 157-5014 (2.13SF 1.70 per minute). Central-Apotheke Volz & Co., Zeitglockenlaub 2 ( 031-311-1094 www.central-apotheke-volz.ch), staffs English-speaking attendants. Located near the Clock Tower, it's open Monday from 9 a.m. to 6 30 p.m., Tuesday through Friday from 7 45 a.m. to 6 30 p.m., and Saturday from 7 45 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Top-end hotels, starting at a minimum of 1600, are in spiffy locations they also have smart, comfortable rooms with excellent air-con, in-house movies and a good variety of room-service options. Amenities include business facilities, bars and restaurants, and fluent English-speaking staff.
The 1930s were quiet on the political front for Churchill - apart from his criticism of Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain's 'appeasement' of Hitler and his call for British rearmament to face a growing German threat - so he concentrated on writing. His multivolume History of the English-Speaking Peoples was drafted during this period although biased and flawed by modern standards, it remains his best-known work.
Following are the best caves of the lot, starting at the entrance and running south. Displays have rudimentary English captions, but even for the most independent traveler, this is one of those times when a guided tour is highly recommended. English-speaking guides are available for hire just inside the main entrance for 100 ( 13).
Guides can be hired for trekking outside the park boundaries, which also provides some rich wildlife habitat. Talk to the guys who hang around the park entry station, or ask at your resort all have their own knowledgeable, English-speaking guides. Expect to pay around Rs 150 per person for a couple of hours of guided walking, or around Rs 350 per person for a four-hour combined jeep and walking tour negotiate prices and group size in low season.
The consolidation of a common religion helped to ease the merging of tribes. In 843 the Picts and Scots united during the king's reign away from the under Kenneth MacAlpin. Curiously, the Gaelic-speaking culture of most of Scot-once-mighty Picts were the ones to lose land to the English-speaking
'The next Provence' is the buzz on the street, much to the glee of the region's battalion of English-speaking estate agents, armed with a drop-dead-gorgeous portfolio of old stone mas (farmhouse) cradled between vines, terraced maisons de village - shutters bleached by the fierce Mediterranean sun - and bijou beach apartments, all on the market for a snip of the St-Tropez, Chianti or Brighton price tag.
Visitors increasingly report being stopped by English-speaking Chinese Christians around China some are zealously evangelical, an activity that is forbidden. As with the Taiping, whose leader Hong Xiuquan claimed he was the Son of God, the lack of trained priests creates ample room for Christian heresies to appear.
Culturally, Keith's importation of English-speaking workers of African descent also had a lasting impact on Costa Rica. Isolated from the Central Valley Spanish-speaking government, black residents kept English as a first language, although it can be somewhat hard to understand if spoken in dialect. And governing the province from the highlands has sometimes presented problems for both cultures. Over the years, Ticos have had to face up to their own institutional racism, despite their reputation for tolerance and inclusion. However, these days, blacks have integrated successfully into Costa Rica's Spanish-centric society, while most white Costa Ricans have done the same in the Afro-Caribbean culture of the Atlantic side. As bilingual speakers in San Jos , Lim n residents sometimes even have a workplace advantage over their Spanish-speaking countrymen. Economically, however, the standard of living in Lim n and along the Caribbean side in general, where most of the country's black...
If want to get your Irish up, you might pop in to see a couple of sights in East Durham. The Our Lady of Knock Shrine, Route 145, features stained-glass and mahogany carvings from County Mayo, Ireland. The Irish American Heritage Museum, 2267 Rte. 145 (& 518 634-7497 www.irishamericanheritage museum.org), has exhibits and educational programs about the Irish experience in America. On the agenda in East Durham is a future Irish Village. More interesting for most is the Five State Lookout, an overlook on Route 23 (The Mohican Trail) in East Windham. On Route 23A in Jewett is another ethnic contribution to the area, one of interest to architects. St. John the Baptist Ukrainian Catholic Church and Grazhda (& 518 734-5330 www.brama.com stjohn) is a small, wonderfully crafted, rustic wooden basilica, built without nails or cement. You may have to get the non-English-speaking priest to open it up so you can see the wooden chandelier, but it's worth a look.
In the historic district of Bid Abad, the recently restored Hammam-e Ali Gholi Agha (Ali Gholi Agha Bathhouse Map p234 Ali Gholi Agha Alley, off Masjed-e Sayyed St admission IR10,000 S 8.30am-5pm Sat-Thu, 9am-3pm Fri) is now a well-maintained (but poorly signed) museum to bathhouses. Fortunately there is information at the entrance, explaining the Qajar-era history and uses of the hammam. English-speaking guides are also available. It's worth a look, especially if you didn't see Hammam-e Sultan Mir Ahmad in Kashan.
Giorgi's Homestay ( 43720,895591511 giorgihome stay mail.ru, giorglhomestay14(3yahoo.com Chanchlbadze 14 per person 15 GEL, half board 30 GEL 0) Hospitable, English-speaking Giorgi Giorgadze and his family provide clean, plain rooms in their ample house on Ukimerioni Hill, a short walk from the Bagrati Cathedral. They'll make you feel at home, and Giorgi is full of helpful travel and sightseeing tips. The shared bathrooms are sparkling clean and have hot water. The food is very good.
Officially there are two ways of travelling from Rakhiv to Sighetu Marmatiei in Romania. On Monday, Wednesday and Friday, there are two train services (one morning, one afternoon) from nearby Teresva across the border to Sighet. Any bus from Rakhiv to Uzhhorod, Khust or Mukacheve will get you to Teresva (one to two hours). Additionally, in 2007 a car-pedestrian bridge was opened across the Tysa River between Solotvyno and Sighetu Marmatiei. But the train has been stopped in the past to thwart cigarette smugglers and the bridge has already had a chequered career. So you might want to check whether either route is open before venturing to Solotvyno. The English-speaking folks at Cobwobs hostel in Sighet (hostel cobwobs.com) keep abreast of the latest. See p257 for details on getting from Chernivtsi to Suceava.
Few guides for hire in Tanjung Lokan speak English. Your chances are better in Putussibau ask at hotels about independent guides. Kompakh (or in Pontianak, its partner Berjaya Tours p238) can also provide guides or complete tours. Packages start from 12,000,000Rp to 15,000,000Rp per person for two.
Coastal Mangrove And Wetland Preserves Montane Cloud Forests And Other Wild Places Are Strewn Across Jamaica. Most
At 11,425 sq km (about equal to the US state of Connecticut, or 5 of the size of Great Britain) Jamaica is the third-largest island in the Caribbean and the largest of the English-speaking islands. It is one of the Greater Antilles, which make up the westernmost of the Caribbean islands.
Retired English-speaking bank manager Mr Park will take care of you in his clean and tidy budget guesthouse that is tucked away on a quiet road. The 19 rooms in this converted motel vary and, though small, have all the usual facilities plus free Internet and laundry. It can fill up with young Asian tourists who love the nearby Myeong-dong shopping.
Cially the beach route, have a reputation for muggings, so it's best to walk in a group with a guide and not carry valuables. If you want an English-speaking guide, arrange it in advance at either the tourist information office or with your hotel the going rate is a steep Tsh30,000 per group, though you can probably bargain this way down.
Here you will find the official park office, Ente Parco Nazionale del Pollino ( 0973 66 93 11 Via delle Frecce Tricolori 6 S 8am-2pm Mon-Fri, 3-5.30pm Mon & Wed). For an English-speaking guide, contact Giuseppe Cosenza at Askle-pios (see below), who arranges trekking trips (from personalised programmes to family treks), mountain biking and rafting (one hour four hours 15 50). For more information see the Asklepios website. Pollino Info Point (www.ferulaviaggi.it) is run by Ferula Viaggi (opposite) based in Matera, and provides information, including nature and culture, on the area. Ferula Viaggo also runs trips, mountain-bike excursions and treks into the Pollino. Asklepios ( 0973 66 92 90 www.asklepios.it Contrada Barone 9 s d 25 50) This modern place with simple rooms has a rural setting a few kilometres outside Rotonda. It's the place to stay for walkers as it's run by Giuseppe Cosenza, one of the few English-speaking guides in the Pollino. Advance booking is advisable....
France's women's movement flourished as in other countries in the late 1960s and early 1970s, but by the mid-80s had become moribund. For reasons that have more to do with French society than anything else, few women's groups function as the kind of supportive social institutions that exist in English-speaking countries.
Acceptable health care is available in most major cities throughout the Caribbean, but may be hard to locate in rural areas. In general, the quality of health care will not be comparable to that in your home country. To find a good local doctor, your best bet is to ask the management of the hotel where you are staying or contact your local embassy. In many countries, the US embassy posts a list of English-speaking physicians on its website.
Day Six is another day trip, this time to Canterbury, about one and a half hours east of London, in Kent. In terms of England's religious history, you can call only a few places more important. More than 700 years ago, pilgrims began flocking to the shrine of St. Thomas a Becket, who had been murdered by King Henry II's henchmen in Canterbury Cathedral. Becket's shrine was destroyed during the reign of Henry VIII, but the site is marked near the high altar. The poet Geoffrey Chaucer wrote about a group of those Old English-speaking pilgrims in The
To the top of the falls and affords fine views, though this is perilously slippery in the wet season and is often impossible. An easier viewing point is Tad Fane Resort (below), a bungalow and ecotourism operation that looks down onto the falls from the top of a cliff opposite. The resort has a couple of professional English-speaking guides who can arrange fairly easy half- and full-day treks around the edge of the NPA. These might take in Laven and Katu villages, coffee plantations, and almost always at least one other waterfall.
One of the most disconcerting aspects of contemporary Cuba is the government's creation of exclusive foreigner-only tourism zones where Cuban nationals aren't welcome. Effectively, there are two Cubas, a reality that reeks of something akin to tourism apartheid, as many observers have noted. One Cuba is the gritty and sometimes grim country where things don't always work and consumer goods are hard to come by. The other Cuba is tailor-made for tourists at beach resorts and tourist-friendly draws like Habana Vieja. There, in ultra-modern hotels and restaurants that feature imported products and English-speaking waiters, ordinary Cubans aren't allowed to set foot. At all-inclusive beach resorts like Varadero and Cayo Coco, the line drawn between the foreigners and nationals is a literal one a guarded border checkpoint beyond which unauthorized Cubans cannot pass. Foreigners need nothing more than a passport for access to the finest beaches, the best coastal resort hotels, and a...
For many travellers, magical Baikal, the world's deepest lake, is the highlight of a Trans-Siberian odyssey. The tracks actually pass right along the southern shore, offering great views, especially between Slyudyanka and Baikalsk. With a little spoken Russian and a sense of adventure, lakeside Slyudyanka actually makes a feasible hop-off point, as it's the starting point for visiting the enticing mountain spa of Arshan and for taking the beautiful Circumbaikal Railway. However, the vast majority of foreign visitors get off instead at Irkutsk, a much bigger and more attractive city, where you can find English-speaking assistance. As Irkutsk is actually 70km from the lake, use buses or tours to see the glorious waters whether at convenient, tourist-orientated Listvyanka or meditational Olkhon Island, which is increasingly Baikal's favoured getaway. To visit eastern Baikal (p218), continue to Ulan-Ude (p213).
Park permits cost Ar25,000 for one day and Ar40,000 for three, and are available from An gap (pi 19) in Ranohira staff speak English. Built into the park tariff, 50 of admission fees go to local independent projects promoting sustainability and conservation. Official guides are required in the park, and can also be arranged at Angap - their names and competence levels are on display. Many speak English, and some speak German and Italian. Guide fees vary depending on the length and routing of your hike, but range from about Ar25,000 to Arl00,000 per group (up to four people) per day.
American Express The main local office is in the Grand Hotel Europe (1 Mikhailovskaya Ulitsa & 812 326-4500), open daily from 9am to 6pm. Currency Exchange Every St. Petersburg hotel, many restaurants, and all major streets have exchange booths (obmen valyuty), many open 24 hours. They have signs out front with the buy-and-sell rate for dollars and euros. For other currencies, try the booths in the underground walkway at Gostiny Dvor. Doctor American Medical Center St. Petersburg, 10 Serpukhovskaya Ulitsa (& 812 326-1730) has Western-standard medical care and English-speaking staff. Embassies The following addresses are for consulates based in St. Petersburg (embassies are in Moscow, see Fast Facts Moscow in section 3). United States 15 Furshtadskaya Ulitsa (& 812 275-1701) Britain 5 Ploshchad Proletarskoi Diktatury (& 812 320-3200) Canada 32 Malodetskoselsky Prospekt (& 812 325-8448).
Written Albanian is phonetically consistent and pronunciation shouldn't pose too many problems for English speakers. Each vowel in a diphthong is pronounced and the rr is trilled. However, Albanian possesses certain letters that are present in English but rendered differently. These include
Several of the sherry wineries are in the breezy area between the Plaza de Toros and the riverfront. They boast extensive gardens and tall palm trees. Tours are in Spanish with English translations if necessary (or all in English if only English-speakers are present). Phone ahead to visit Bodegas Osborne ( 956 86 91 00 Calle los Moros 7 5 S tours 10.30am&1pm Mon-Fri). You can visit three other sherry houses without booking Bodegas 501 ( 956 85 55 11 Calle Vald s 9 admission 4 S tours noon Mon-Fri) Bodegas Guti rrez Colosia ( s 956 85 28 52 Avenida de la Bajamar admission 3 S tours 1.30pm Sat) Bodegas Terry ( 956 85 77 00 Calle Toneleros s n tour 6.50 S 10am & noon Mon-Fri). Hosts shows in the summer, including horse spectaculars and more (see p188).
Most language courses on offer are for English. There are only a few places where English speakers can study Arabic. This is because of the great demand by UAE national students and expats from the Subcontinent who want to improve their employment opportunities in the world of business, which is dominated by the English language. The following centres offer Arabic courses
The best-known Turkish-language courses for native English speakers are run by Taksim Dilmer ( 212-292 9696 www.dilmer.com Tank Zafer Tunaya Sokak 18, Taksim). On offer are eight-week courses (96 hours total) costing YTL670 four-week courses (80 hours total) costing YTL560 and eight-week evening courses (72 hours total) costing YTL500. Classes have a maximum of 14 students. Other language schools include EF Language School (www.turkishlesson.com), Spoken Turkish (ww.spokenenglish.com) and Tomer (www.tomer.com.tr).
This region includes Friesland, which, once upon a time, incorporated regions of the Netherlands, northern Germany and Denmark until it became part of the united Netherlands. Frisians are determined to preserve their fiercely independent heritage -their anthem cheekily proclaims Friesland to be 'the best land on earth'. And though the Frisian language is similar to Dutch, pronunciation is entirely different. Ap-parendy Frisian is the closest language to English, although English speakers will not understand it. As the Frisians themselves say 'As milk is to cheese, are English and Frise.'
If you're already familiar with the Hash House Harriers (www.parishash.net) you'll be happy to know there are four groups in the region, two in Paris, one in the western suburbs, and one in Fontainebleau. Known worldwide as the drinking club with a running problem, these local chapters are run by a mixed group of native English-speakers and French converts who welcome visitors of all fitness levels on their runs. Most groups have a few walkers, and some also have cyclists ( bashers ).
For help or tickets, skip the lines and head to the private EurAide agency (www.euraide.de), staffed by English-speakers and geared toward helping rail-pass holders by selling tickets and supplements and helping you plan rail journeys from Munich (Room 3 next to Track 11). The office is open June to October 3, daily from 7 45 a.m. to noon and 1 to 6 p.m. in winter, hours vary.
A small coterie of hostels and private B & Bs has recendy sprung up and, while they're of varying quality, the best of them work hard to fill the gap left by the scarcity of tourist information offices and English speakers throughout Ukraine. Elsewhere travellers will rarely find their needs direcdy catered for and will need to be resourceful.
Placements for volunteer teachers at schools in Sikkim - including the Denjong Pedma Choling Academy near Pelling - can be arranged through the British-based charity Himalayan Education Lifeline Programme (HELP 012-2726 3055 www.help-education.org Mansard House, 30 Kingsdown Park, Whitstable, Kent CT5 2DF, UK). Placements last a minimum of two months (exactly two months in Sikkim), and volunteers cover all their expenses and make a contribution to the programme. English speakers over 20 years old are preferred.
Dutch is rich in vowels - it's important to distinguish between the long and short versions of each vowel sound. There are also a few combined vowels or 'diphthongs' that can be a bit tricky for English speakers to pronounce (eg the oy sound, which has no equivalent in English). If you listen carefully to native speakers and follow our coloured pronunciation guides, you shouldn't have any problems being understood.
Economy Book and Video Center Value Catering to the expatriate English-speaking communities of Rome and staffed by native English speakers, this bookstore sells only English-language books (new and used, paperback and hardcover), greeting cards, and videos. Via Torino 136. & 06-4746877. Metro Repubblica.
The good news for rail travelers is that Sweden's trains are among the most efficient and high tech in Europe, with easy rail access to all the top sites, along mostly scenic routes in a country that is relatively underpopulated compared to the rest of Europe. English speakers will have no trouble finding someone to help them out nearly the whole country speaks English making this a trouble-free destination in the language department.
Some pocket money in exchange for taking care of the kids, babysitting, doing light housework and perhaps teaching English to the children. Most families prefer young women, but some positions are also available for men. Many families want au pairs who are native English-speakers knowing at least some French may be a prerequisite. For practical information, pick up the recendy updated All Pair and Nanny's Guide to Working Abroad by Susan Griffith and Sharon Legg and visit the website of the International Au Pair Association (www.iapa.org).
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