+ The Best Places to Shop in the World...

Here are some of the best places to shop in the world... according to me and my explorations of the globe!


Luang Prabang Night Market, Laos


As the sun sets over the Mekong river, Luang Prabang's main road transforms. Pedestrianised and lined with small tentlike structures, the nightmarket overtakes the city. By browsing the stalls you can pick up anything from handpainted bookmarks, snake wine, paper parasols, silk scarves to sculptures. You will need to bring a bargaining frame of mind with you, as prices charged can drop dramatically within seconds! I managed to buy a handmade skirt for the equivalent of £3, and a beautiful silk scarf for about the same price. What is more magical and exotic than answering the question "Where did you buy that?" than Luang Prabang?


Chatachak Weekend Market, Bangkok

ginger massey

Get relief from the tiresome heat in Bangkok by seeking refuge under the roof of Chatachak weekend market. With over 9,000 individual stalls to browse, you will see everything from pedrigree-bred puppies, pencils, flip-flops (see pic above!), clothes and silk cushions. There are smoothie vendors awaiting you on your much-needed break, and you can also taste some satisfying Pad Thai while there. All in all, a great pit-stop before your flight home!


San Telmo Market, Buenos Aires

San Telmo, Buenos Aires

Overpriced but not overhyped, San Telmo market is the Argentinian hub of all that's stylish, hip and must-have. Expect immaculately designed boutiques with expertly-composed window displays.

The market itself is a melting pot of vintage accessories, fruit, jewellery, fur coats, and old bric-a-brac. Prices might be high but the goods on offer are hard to find, so make sure you have enough space in your backpack!


Vintage shopping, Santiago

Santiago Vintage Map

I didn't do much else in Santiago apart from looking around this little ghetto of vintage stores built up along calle Bandera. Get excited just at the thought of buying some generously discounted retro dresses, jumpers and platform shoes? Then take the metro to Puente Cal y Canto. You will see a large highway, avoid that and go back on yourself, walking along Bandera towards Agustina. Basically, if you wander around Rosas, Bandera or Agustinas, you WILL find plenty of dirt-cheap stores filled to the brim with some really cool items. I unfortunately didn't take any photos of the area, but above is a map for reference!


Dongtai Lu Antiques Market, Shanghai

Ever wanted to pick up your own authentic Chinese bird cage or mini Buddha ornament?! Hell, why not go one step further and spend your hard-earned yuan on red crochet lanterns, or perhaps military-wear fresh from China's past? Whether you buy anything or not, you'll find some great photo opportunities and enjoy the stroll.


Hoi An, Vietnam


The odds are that at least one item in your wardrobe was made in Vietnam, so why not come to Hoi An yourself and get your clothes tailored and made to fit you perfectly? Not content with providing designer-style dresses, silk gowns and other evening wear, you can even get a fake pair of Nike's made for you! If you are travelling in the area it makes sense to ship a large batch back to your home country, and most local guesthouses offer great shipping rates. Expect to pay around £15 for an expertly made outfit. I paid about $25 for a pair of specially designed 'Nike' trainers, although the only problem was the woman used a shade of fabric completely unlike what I asked for... Most places will create your item without 24 hours. Have fun!
*TOP TIP - Bring your favourite dress or item of clothing, and they will recreate it for you in the colour and fabric you desire.*

If you're planning on travelling anytime soon, leave as much space in your backpack as physically possible to fill up on all those exoticly eccentric items!

+ My brand new Blackberry Curve 8310

(Screen pic of KoL member Jared Followill)

After losing my last contract phone only a fortnight into the contract around two years ago, I have finally got my hands on a brand new UPGRADE - and it's about time!

Orange are offering pretty good deals for the latest Blackberry models, and so I initially phoned O2 to tell them I was planning to switch. As a result they offered me a Blackberry 8310 in emerald black (apparently a newer version than the silver one) with 1000 free texts, 600 minutes and unlimited e-mail and internet for just £25 a month. It was too good a deal to turn down so I decided to stick with O2.

How good is that?! Although I have been warned that 'unlimited internet' isn't always unlimited. Apparently they have a fair usage policy capped at just 200mb a month. We shall have to wait and see at the end of the month whether this applies to my deal or not.

The 8310 model is actually relatively old, but it still has e-mail, internet and all the like on it so suits me fine.

What I love
+ Having access to my hotmail account and an application for Facebook gurantees I will never have to twiddle my thumbs out of boredom, well, unless it is while using my Blackberry!
+ O2 have given me (hopefully) free internet so when I'm bored on the train or out I can still keep up to date with my fave blogs and the latest news.
+ The screen is surprisingly massive!

What I love not so much
+ The trackerball is a bit temperamental and not always easy to control.
+ No wi-fi on this model, meaning no free internet access for me from coffee shops, libraries and the like.
+ Spelling mistakes aplenty due to the teeny tiny buttons on the Qwerty keyboard.

It only arrived yesterday evening and I have already dropped it about five times, so I'm glad I ordered a bright yellow silicone skin for it on ebay, for just 62p!!

Here's a pick of my favourite Blackberry Applications:

It's not like I go on twitter that much (@_JeniWren) but even so I decided on UberTwitter as opposed to Twitterberry because of better reviews, and it can even publish your location via GPS when you tweet!

Bones In Motion Active
Speaking of GPS, if you like to jog every now and then like me, then make BiM Active your 'portable life recorder'. While you're on the move this application uses your Blackberry's built-in satellite tracking to monitor your jogging and other outdoor activities. This app is actually making me look forward to getting those dreaded pair of trainers on to sweat it up!

For more ideas take a look at Technorotic, and the ever-useful AppWorld.