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Shopping Throughout Asia: Find Hidden Treasures Among the World’s Finest Clothing and Jewelry by John Riggin

In between climbing pagodas and snapping pictures of golden goddesses, most travelers to Asia take time to visit the shopping districts. The quality and selection of designer clothing and extravagant items found in shops across Asia will not disappoint those with a penchant for luxury goods. From China to India, great buys are available for those who know what to look for.

Mainland China is a fantastic place to find extravagant jewelry at discount prices. Jewelry markets are filled with glittering gems and beautiful jade pieces abound.

Exquisite strands of high quality, lustrous pearls are easy to find in China. When purchasing jewelry in mainland China, feel free to bargain. It’s the way business is done in China, and most owners of small shops expect it.

There have been cases of shopkeepers taking advantage of tourists, and the best defense is knowledge. If buying pearls, test them against your teeth for roughness. You might want to test both a real pearl and faux pearl in advance to make sure you can recognize the difference. For gems, consider purchasing a jeweler’s loupe and learning to use it. Be especially careful when buying jade, since it can be difficult to tell true jade from false.

Silk is also a good buy in China. Stores that sell lengths of fabric and silk garments are abundant, and some shops will make a shirt or dress from the silk fabric of your choosing.

Because there is no sales tax in Hong Kong and imported goods are not taxed, designer clothing can be purchased there for excellent prices. Bargains can be found on cameras and electronics, but make sure you know the going prices for these items so you’ll be able to spot a good deal. Hong Kong is also an excellent place to buy watches and jewelry.

Thailand is another great source for jewelry. Unfortunately, dishonest jewelry dealers are plentiful. Never follow any “helpful” individual who offers to lead you to a jewelry store with incredible bargains – it’s probably a scam. To avoid being cheated it’s best to deal with a respectable jewelry firm, preferably one that is a member of the Jewel Fest Club. The Tourism Authority of Thailand founded this reputable organization, and member stores are listed in a booklet and display the Jewel Fest Club logo.

In India you can find many items made from the amazing textiles created in the country. Clothing, tablecloths, towels and other household goods are good buys here.

Jewelry is also a good buy in India, but again, beware of fakes and frauds.

About The Author

John Riggin is Executive Editor for the largest and most comprehensive US to Asia travel website. Where you’ll discover the best deals on flights, tours, hotels, cruises and more.

I found this article about cheap Asia travel. It talks about how you can buy meny things in Asia for a fractions of the price you could buy them elsewhere.

Traveling in Asia is Affordable by John Riggin

The sight of new and different items on display and the excitement of open air markets and colorful shops makes shopping in Asia a unique and fun experience. Not only will you see goods that are different and hard to come by in the west, but you’ll find prices much different than those you’re accustomed to, and different from prices seen when traveling to other regions, like Europe.

In China, clothing costs about four or five times less than in European countries. However, the sizing system is much different than in the U.S. A woman who wears a size medium in the United States will find herself browsing the extra large section of the department store. It is wise to try everything on to make sure it fits before buying, and carefully consider the size of any clothing item you plan to purchase as a gift for someone else.

In India clothing can be had for about half the price that it would cost in European stores, if you know where to shop. For example, on Mumbai’s Fashion Street, surplus from the city’s clothing factories can scooped up at bargain prices. It is best to purchase clothing made by famous European designers in Europe. Taxes and duties on imported goods in Asian countries tend to drive the prices up. An exception is Hong Kong, where goods are not taxed and the prices are often comparable to the European prices.

Naturally, Asian goods of all kinds are considerably cheaper in Asian countries than in Europe. For example, Chinese chops, which are name stamps usually used with red ink, can be found in many shops catering to tourists for about $5.

The purchaser’s name is normally carved into the chop at the store. The same item would cost around $40 outside of China.

Beautiful and unique jewelry can be purchased in Asia for bargain prices. Because of India’s strong diamond industry, diamond rings and earrings can be bought for less than half of what they would cost in Europe. For pearls, you would pay about five times more in Europe than in China for a strand of similar size and quality.

A massage in China will run about $10, where a similar massage in Europe will cost roughly $80. The Chinese have practiced massage techniques for thousands of years, and a genuine Chinese massage is extremely relaxing. Foot rubs are popular as well, especially for travelers who have spent long hours on their feet visiting temples and climbing several stories of stairs in pagodas.

A tailor made silk shirt in Hong Kong costs around $100. Beautiful silk fabric is available in Vietnam for around $3-$9 a yard, depending on the quality. Good quality silk fabric in China costs about $4.00 a yard. The fabric tends to be narrower than the standard 45 or 60 inch widths, so make sure to ask how wide it is before purchasing. The method of producing silk from the cocoons of silkworms was originally developed by the Chinese and remained a secret for hundreds of years. Eventually the technique became known and spread across Asia and Europe, but to this day China remains the leader in producing silk.

Remember that the prices listed above are guidelines. Prices will vary from shop to shop – expect to pay more at the store in the hotel lobby than the one tucked away on a side street. Also, in most Asian countries it is customary to bargain over prices and your skill at bargaining will determine the price you ultimately pay for your purchases.

About The Author

John Riggin is Executive Editor for the largest and most comprehensive US to Asia travel website. Where you’ll discover the best deals on flights, tours, hotels, cruises and more.

Here is an article I found about travel to Asia. The author writes about many of the places you might see if you travel to Asia.

Travel Asia by Reed Floren

Traveling Asia is something that everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime. When you travel to Asia, there are so many things to see and do; make sure that you plan your trip in advance. However, remember to leave some free time in you itinerary, because when you travel Asia, you want to make sure that you have the flexibility for an occasional adventure.

As the largest continent on earth, Asia offers travelers a huge variety of places to visit, things to do and, cultures to see. For first time visitors who travel Asia, we recommend the following:

Island Nations-


One of the most diverse destinations for travelers to Asia, the Indonesian archipelago can provide enough exciting destinations for a complete trip. Whether you are seeking relaxation, natural beauty, cultural diversity or all of the above, Indonesia will show you an exciting and wonderful Asian travel destination.


Comprised of over 7000 islands, the Philippines has become on of Asia’s forgotten travel destinations. Due to a recent history that includes martial law and economic corruption, the Philippines has lost much of its previous tourist activity to its more stable neighbors. Those who do visit will enjoy beautiful spots like the Boracay beaches and Lake Sebu.


For decades, the island nation of Japan has been a favorite destination for travelers to Asia. From amazing Zen temples to kitschy reproductions of western monuments like the Eiffel Tower, Japan has something for every traveler who visits. The hardest thing is fitting it all in.

Southeast Asia


The Kingdom of Thailand is the most popular tourist destination in Southeast Asia drawing more visitors than its neighbors. With both mountainous regions and a beautiful coastline dotted with amazing islands Thailand is one a must see for those who travel to Asia. The city of Bangkok, the largest in Thailand is one of the most popular in all of Asia, as well.


A quickly emerging destination among travelers to Asia, Vietnam is reshaping its image among world travel destinations. From the beaches along the coast, to its soaring inland mountains, Vietnam offers travelers to Asia with a sublime experience.

Mainland Asia-


Too vast for words alone, China is rapidly emerging as the top destination for travelers to Asia. As China continues to modernize both economically and socially, it is becoming easier for those who travel to Asia to visit one of the largest and most populous countries in the world. If you travel to China, follow a loose itinerary and try to see as much as you can.


South Korea is one of the most westernized of all Asian nations. Travelers to Korea can enjoy the modernity of the capital city, Seoul; or they can try visiting beautiful natural wonders like Songnisan National Park.


Another of Asia’s largest and most heavily populated countries, India is a complex and diverse nation unlike any other you will experience when you travel throughout Asia. Visitors to India will be enchanted by its unpredictability and surprising cultural dramas that exist among its inhabitants.

Before you Travel Asia visit for all your travel needs.

About The Author

Reed Floren is the co-founder of

Travel to Romantic Asian Locations by Rick Chapo

Asia is one the more visually stunning areas in the world. If you are looking for romance, here are some top-notch destinations.

Asia is hot and sticky, much like romance. More importantly, it tends to be fairly cheap due to a currency disaster in the late 1990s. Although luxury resorts can be very pricey, you can find a romantic location for just about any budget.

If cost is of no concern, the Banyan Tree Resorts should definitely be on the top of your list. With resorts in Thailand, Indonesia, China, Japan, Maldives and Seychelles, the Banyan Tree resorts are the lap of romantic luxury. Each resort is a bit different and prices vary wildly depending on location since the currency in Japan is much stronger than the Thai currency.

Cheju Island off of Korea is a little known, but spectacular romantic destination. Cheju is very similar in appearance to the Hawaiian Islands, complete with a dead volcano. Spring is by far the best time to visit Cheju, but keep in mind Korean honeymooners are in plentiful supply. As to budget, you can get rooms at luxury resorts or camp on the Island. Every level of comfort between these extremes is also available.

China is a huge country with a lot to see. If you’re looking for a rustic, romantic travel destination in China, the place to go is Suzhou. Imagine Venice, Italy being plopped down in China and you have Suzhou. The city is rife with canals and roughly fifty percent of it is underwater. Once considered the capital of the Silk Road out of China, the city is over 25,000 years old. Perched on the edge of a lake, it is simply spectacular and undoubtedly one of the most romantic areas in Asia.

If all else fails, you can never go wrong with Bora Bora in Tahiti. Comprised of volcanic mounts much like Hawaii, Bora Bora is known as the romantic island of Tahiti. The name is appropriate. The island is all about pristine white beaches, crystal clear water and friendly people. One can hike up the old volcano to get an incredible view in the morning and head out to the reefs for a little diving in the afternoon. Lodging can be a bit pricey on Bora Bora, but it is definitely worth it.

You can’t go wrong with any of the above destinations if your looking for romance in asia.

About The Author

Rick Chapo is with – makers of diary and writing journals for travel. Visit to read more articles about the great outdoors and travel.

Exploring Ontario in the Winter – Bed and Breakfasting at Nicholyn Farms – A Wonderful Weekend Treat by Susanne Pacher

Driving up to the Nicholyn Farms Bed and Breakfast you get welcomed by the hearty and healthy aroma of 2,200 organically raised pigs. This bed and breakfast was our destination for our quick winter getaway and as soon as we drove up the driveway we realized we had picked a great place.

Bed and breakfasts are one of my favourite ways of travelling since every B&B is unique and usually offers a very personal experience that includes a nice interaction with the B&B host and the other guests, much different from the rather anonymous character of the average motel or hotel chain. Wherever I travel, I find that every B&B owner has a unique story to tell, and Nicholyn Farms B&B was another example.

My husband and I must have travelled to more than 20 B&Bs over the last few years as a home base for an enjoyable weekend getaway. We have stayed in many family-run bed and breakfasts all throughout Ontario and almost always had a really positive experience.

Bed and breakfasting in Canada in somewhat different from the United States since Canadian B&Bs are usually smaller, have fewer guest rooms and there is more direct interaction with the owner/ host. Many Canadian bed and breakfasts have between one and three guest bedrooms with most of the owners living in the same house. As a result, bed and breakfasting in Canada is a more intimate experience, it is truly like staying in someone’s house. The United States, on the other hand, features more “bed and breakfast inns”, many of which are quite upscale and located in renovated mansions with a much larger number of guest rooms, almost along the lines of country boutique hotels.

There are a couple of really helpful websites out there for bed and breakfast travel in Ontario and Canada:

-, which provides bed and breakfast listings throughout all of Canada, and

- the Ontario Farm and Country Accommodations Association which lists active farm operations that provide accommodation to travellers.

After I had completed my research on these websites and contacted a number of B&B hosts about availability, we selected the Nicholyn Farms Bed and Breakfast, just about an hour and a bit north of Toronto, for our late January getaway.

We checked in at the Nicholyn Farms Country Market, where Nicholyn Farms sells products made from their own pigs which are raised organically in a bio-secure environment, without growth hormones or antibiotics. At this market, they also sell produce and meat products from other local farmers north of Toronto.

Lynda, the owner, explained that their country market sells a whole range of locally grown meats, such as pork, chicken, beef, lamb, turkey, rabbit, goat, cornish hens and even more exotic locally produced varieties such as elk, emu and buffalo. During the growing season they feature fresh certified organic produce from local vegetable and fruit growers, and their popular organic pork products are shipped to people as far away as Ottawa.

At just an hour’s drive from Toronto, Nicholyn Farms was the perfect getaway for us. It is located in a beautifully restored farmhouse whose original portion dates back to 1872. The Van Casteren family completely renovated the farmstead in 1996 and won the top prize for “Most Improved Farmstead in Simcoe County”.

Lynda mentioned that her B&B has hosted guests from all over the world from as far away as the Netherlands, England, the United States, Japan, Australia, Chile and Peru. Many of their European guests stay for 5 days or more since their location is halfway between two major Ontario attractions: Algonquin Park and Niagara Falls, with Toronto easily accessible for day trips.

Our room was the cozy “Forest Room” which was located on the second storey and featured 4 beds, perfect for us 3 overnight vacationers. The space under the roof overlooking the farmland was such a welcome quiet sanctuary from the hustle and bustle of the big city. Nicholyn Farms features two other guest bedrooms and all the bedrooms have their own private bathrooms.

This morning we sat down to a wonderful homemade breakfast, that started off with a beautiful assortment of fresh fruit, including strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, green and blue grapes, pineapple, and melons. The Van Casteren’s buy their fruit at a special fruit market and the flavour of the fruit is indeed much stronger and sweeter than the fruit found commonly in supermarkets. Lynda and her trusted assistant Joyce called all of us guests to come out and have a look at a flock of about 20 wild turkeys that were pecking away on the field behind the bed and breakfast.

After our wildlife encounter, we continued with a tasty breakfast of scrambled eggs, organic pork sausages, toast, homemade pancakes, country preserves and muffins. Portions are not measured and as a result we had several helpings of each dish. We had a nice relaxing and very filling breakfast before we set off on our next adventure for today: snowtubing at Horseshoe Valley.

Staying at a bed and breakfast usually makes for a beautiful getaway since you get to relax in the tranquility of a country home and most B&Bs offer a delicous, filling home-cooked meal that will keep you nourished for many hours, allowing you to take full advantage of the activities for the day. It’s a fabulous way to travel.

About The Author

Susanne Pacher is the publisher of a website called Travel and Transitions ( Travel and Transitions deals with unconventional travel and is chock full of advice, tips, real life travel experiences, interviews with travellers and travel experts, insights and reflections, cross-cultural issues, contests and many other features. You will also find stories about life and the transitions that we face as we go through our own personal life-long journeys.

Submit your own travel stories in our first travel story contest ( and have a chance to win an amazing adventure cruise on the Amazon River.

“Life is a Journey Explore New Horizons”.

The story with photos is published at Stories and Photos (

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