Is it legal to buy alcohol at the airport (after security) and to drink it on an international flight?

As a practical matter, it's pretty easy to smuggle in booze that you buy at the duty free and then drink on the flight. If the stewardess catches you, she'll just ask you to stop. Presumably, if you continue to disobey (and are caught), you could be arrested on landing or something like that.

Where should I go for vacation in Bolivia?

I am just back, and I have an absolutely perfect 10-day route described here: The perfect 10 days in Bolivia. In short, some highlights:

  1. Start with Sucre. Go to see dinosaurs and embark on the motorcycle adventure. Visit local markets – they are awesome! Walk around the town and stay in one of the amazing colonial hotels.

  1. Continue with Uyuni. Go on a three-day tour to see the largest salt flat in the world, train cemetery, colourful lagoons, geysers, Salvador Dali desert, sleep in the salt hotel etc.

  1. Travel to La Paz. Here – cholita (women's) wrestling, largest outdoor market in the world, cycling down the Death Road, rappeling the tallest Bolivian hotel, San Pedro prison and much more.

If you have an extra day – head to see Titicaca, the place is truly awesome; or consider a tour to the Amazon jungles. Bolivia is full of amazing things to do 🙂

Would Airbnb be an effective way to travel with infants?

I have three kids who were pretty much born with a suitcase in one hand.  We've travelled all over with them at different ages, done home exchanges, and are big supporters of staying in apartments when you have kids. 

That said, I have have friends, and have heard of others, who have had their reservations cancelled by hosts at the last minute.  Under certain circumstances this could be not such a big deal, but depending on where you're going, and when, it could be a huge catastrophe.  Landing anywhere in Europe on Labor Day without a place to stay and a 13 month old – with EVERYTHING closed – you'd be pretty f&*(#ed. 

Personally, I think a big flaw of Airbnb is that the owners can cancel at all.  Whether there's repercussions or not for the host, that's the stuff that ruined vacations are made of.  The number one thing that I expect in a reservation anywhere is that it's not undoable, or that if for some reason it can't be honored, that someone sorts it out for me at no additional expense.

What should I make sure to see/do in Hong Kong?

Foodwise: (I always seem to focus on food in travel posts, hmm …) Try some of the dim sum places in Times Square. There's also some Michelin star rated restaurants there (for more on Michelin rated HK restaurants check this site:…) For breakfast, I've always loved jook, the Cantonese word for rice porridge. There are all sorts of toppings for jook, including preserved meat, thousand year old eggs, Chinese donuts, and, my personal favorite — pickled vegetables.

It's pricey, but, for dinner, try Felix at the Penninsula — especially if you're a guy. And drink a lot there; trust me.

High tea at the Penninsula, like someone else mentioned, is a good experience.

For desserts, Honeymoon Desserts! They're starting to pop up all over — there's even one in Times Square's basement now.

For transportation, make sure you get an octopus card. You have to put a deposit on it but as long as you don't return it too soon, you can get this refunded. And you can go negative on your card, up to a certain amount, but I believe this is only in one swoop. For example, if you have a few dollars on it and are charged more than you had, you will go negative. However, since you paid a deposit, you are not actually saving any money. Also, you'll have to fill up before you re-enter/re-use the card.

Other than that, there's the major sightseeing. Besides those afore mentioned, there's the Jumbo Floating Restaurant. It's tacky, it's huge, but it's fun.

And from there you can get a relatively cheap ride on a junk ship too. That was actually one of my favorite things to do as a tourist.

The beach at the outskirts of Stanley Market is also beautiful.

For an interesting experience, walk through the goldfish, flower, and bird markets.

You can also ride the longest outdoor escalators in the world in Hong Kong.

I am a big fan of bridges as well and so made the trek to see Tsing Ma Bridge, which is the 6th longest suspension bridge in the world.

Ocean Park isn't really worth it unless you have small children or extra days to kill.

If you have time, try to make it to some of the other islands. I really like going to Cheung Chau where there are almost no cars, only bikes.

Lantau has a huuuge Buddha (and the most Indian tourists I've ever seen at one time) as well as the original Honeymoon dessert place.

oh hai.

What should I do if I'm visiting Taipei for a week?

I spent a number of summers in Taiwan throughout high school and college, mostly in Taipei, roaming around and looking for fun things to do. Here are some highlights from those summers:

Hanging out / shopping.

  • East District 東區. Most famous for Taipei 101, but the surrounding area also has the Shinkong Mitsukoshi 新光三越 mall, the Eslite 誠品書店 flagship store, and Warner Village (for movies), which are all fun to check out. It's a popular hangout area for young people.
  • SOGO 太平洋百貨 at Zhongxiao East Road Section 4 忠孝東路 4段. The leading department store in Taiwan (originally from Japan). Before you go in, check out the fun musical clock that "performs" on the hour. The shopping is fairly high end but worth browsing — very chic, modern, and often Japanese-inspired. If you get hungry, the food court in the basement is great (and for the record, food courts in Taiwan are far, far superior to food courts in the U.S.); they also sell gift-worthy foodstuffs that you can sample abundantly.
  • Ximending 西門町. This is a "pedestrian shopping mall" with lots of stores and vendors lining the streets, selling a lot of accessories and clothing; you can also find many arcades and photo booth / "sticker picture" 大頭貼 shops. On weekends, it's popular for singers to do CD signings and mini-performances in the area — I've personally been to events by Jay Chou 周杰倫, Leehom 王力宏, S.H.E, Jolin 蔡依林, Cyndi 王心凌, Fanfan 范瑋琪, among others, all at Ximending.
  • Taipei Main Station 臺北車站. Inside and around the Taipei Main Station there is a lot of shopping. It's a pretty bustling area.

Museums, landmarks, and other tourist attractions.

  • National Palace Museum 故宮博物館. This museum boasts the world's best collection of Chinese historical artifacts, mostly carried over from China during the Nationalist flight. They have many more items in their collection than can be displayed at any time, so the exhibits rotate frequently.
  • Chiang Kai Shek Memorial 中正紀念堂. Big and sunny space, good for photos and being touristy.
  • National Taiwan University 臺灣大學. The top university in Taiwan. (It has a main road leading into the school that is rather reminiscent of Stanford's Palm Drive, with palm trees lining it, and I'm quite partial to the effect.)
  • Taipei Zoo, also called Muzha Zoo 木柵動物園. They have pandas! And butterflies (Taiwan is famous for butterflies).

Nighttime in the city.

  • Shilin Night Market 士林夜市. There's good shopping but mainly you need to eat the small eats 小吃. See more details on my answer here: What should I see and do as a tourist in Taiwan?
  • Nightclubs like Luxy, Room 18, Spark, Strike, Primo. I'm not too familiar with the scene but clubbing is pretty fun in Taiwan.
  • Karaoke. The KTV bars in Taiwan are unparalleled, and NewCBParty 星聚點 and Partyworld / Cashbox 錢櫃 are the best. Great facilities, superb song collection with real music videos, good food and drinks.


  • Danshui 淡水. It's an old port a bit to the north of the city (the end of the MRT line) and recently notable as the setting of Jay Chou's movie Secret 不能說的秘密. There is a good amount of trinkets shopping, arcade games, and street food along the Old Street 老街 area. You can take a ferry across the water to Bali 八里 and rent a bike to ride along the water, or to Fishermen's Wharf 漁人碼頭 to check out the seafood restaurants, the boardwalk, and Lover's Bridge 情人橋.
  • Jiufen 九份. A former goldmining town that's up in the hills; it has quaint streets, stores, and views. Accessible via bus.
  • Maokong 貓空. A tea-growing area in the mountains on the edge of the Taipei Basin, very easily accessible by gondolas that commenced operation in 2007. Lots of tea houses and restaurants, some temples, plus trails to hike.


  • Small eats 小吃 at night markets like Shilin 士林 or Tonghua 通化街. See the above description of Shilin and the linked question.
  • Din Tai Fung 鼎泰豐 is famous for its steamed dumplings 小籠包. The restaurant originated in Taiwan but now has branches all over the world.
  • Traditional breakfast foods. Be sure to try soy milk and Chinese donut 豆漿油條. There are a lot of breakfast shops but one in particular that's pretty famous is Yong He Dou Jiang 永和豆漿.
  • For more restaurant and food recommendations, is a great blog.


  • Use the MRT / bus system to get around! Get an EasyCard (…) and your life will be happy.

How does one choose between the different hotel options in Las Vegas?

  • Decide what you are going to do in Las Vegas. If you are there to concentrate of gambling, or for a big poker tournament like the WSOP, then staying at or near the casino you’ll be gambling at is the easiest option. If you are taking a lot of day trips and sight seeing, then you’ll have more choices.
  • Include your location and your transportation needs. If you are renting a car, then staying at an off Strip resort may be a less expensive option. If not, remember to include cab or bus fare in your costs. If you want to wander the Strip a lot, consider staying on the East side and buying a multi-day Monorail pass for ease of movement. It’s much cheaper than cab rides up & down the Strip.
  • Think about any insider perks you have have coming. If you are a high tier player’s club member at one specific casino brand, you may qualify for free meals or rooms, or at least an upgrade.
  • Consider how much you’ll be in your room, and what type of rooms fit your group, your preferences, and your lifestyle. If you are only using your room to sleep, shower, and change clothes, then cheaper, more basic rooms are fine. If you have more than one person/couple sharing a room, obviously you need multiple beds and possibly a 2 or 3 bedroom suite. If you are wealthy and used to nice bedding, flooring, and decor, then you should be looking at the more upscale resorts instead of El Cortez or the 4 Queens. If you like a more quiet, serene setting, then don’t book a room at a ‘party’ resort.
  • Check reviews online and find prices for the dates of your visit. If two resorts are comparable in your mind and one costs $50/night less, you just saved enough to pay for a couple meals. Always call the resort directly after getting the internet price, to see if you can save more money. You often can.