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PHOTO OF THE MONTH
Tashkent Bazaar, Uzbekistan

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Food, Glorious Food!

With big international food festivals taking place in Sydney and New York this month and the mother of all beer festivals, Oktoberfest, coming to a close a couple of weeks ago, it seems October is as good a time as any to focus on everyone’s favourite subject: food!

This month, join us on an exciting culinary world tour! Our ever-resourceful whl.travel and Urban Adventures partners have pulled out all the stops to share fascinating tidbits about their local cuisines, whether it be popular snacks and street food, appetisers, soups and stews, main dishes, vegetarian dishes, desserts or drinks. We hope our compilation of delicious local specialities from around the world stirs your appetite, or better still, inspires you to broaden your palate and get creative in the kitchen!

In our regular features, the Top Five list this month delves into the eclectic world of street food, the Inside Word — our local guide to dining, shopping and sightseeing — comes from Senegal's colourful capital, Dakar, and we check in with Dayvy, our local whl.travel connection in Siem Reap, Cambodia, to learn more about her most memorable travel experiences. Our exotic cuisine feature gives you the lowdown on wacky delicacies from around the world, and reader caution is also advised with our Traveller Story — a stomach-churning tale of a traditional pig-killing feast in Czech Republic.

And lastly, this month's promotion is brought to you by Urban Adventures, who are again offering their spectacular 2-for-1 deal on tours, this time from the culinary capitals of the world in Asia. Don't miss out!

Bon appétit!

Natasha Robinson, Editor

Africa, Asia, North America, Europe, Oceania, South America, festivals & events, food & drink, local knowledge, markets, personal experience, human interest

Local Food: A Culinary World Tour

WHL Group 18 October 2010

When it comes to life’s simple pleasures, food definitely ranks near (if not at) the top of the list for most people. It’s probably fair to say that the way to a whole nation’s heart is through its stomach, so finding out what makes a country tick is often as simple as checking out what dishes regularly make it onto the dinner table. Thanks to the efforts of our local partners around the globe, we’ve assembled an extensive selection of typical local appetisers, soups and stews, main dishes, vegetarian dishes, desserts, drinks and snacks and street foods.

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Africa, Asia, Chile, Europe, Indonesia, Lebanon, Malta, Namibia, South America, WHL Group newsletter, food & drink, human interest, top five

Top Five Picks For Mouth-Watering Street Food

WHL Group 6 October 2010

Forget ritzy restaurants and fine gourmet dining. If you want to taste the real essence of a place, you need to hit the streets and see what’s cooking. These eats are more than just for locals and budget travellers, they’re also a sure-fire way to get straight to the heart of a country and its people. Just look for the busiest pushcart, stall or street hawker you can find (Michelin stars are not the only yardstick to measure good food by!) and say hello to the tastiest and cheapest, although not necessarily healthiest, grub of your trip. The Southeast Asian destinations of Thailand and Vietnam have long been held up as the crème de la crème of street dining, but just read on to find what other destinations’ snacks we think are worthy of a mention.

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Belize, Botswana, Cambodia, Greece, Peru, South Africa, Thailand, food & drink, local knowledge, cities, markets, personal experience

Feature: Care for a Fried Tarantula with Your Guinea Pig?

LAUREL ANGRIST 14 October 2010

For many people, travel is about experiencing something out of the ordinary; sampling local cuisine is often a good place to start. Before jetting off on an exotic culinary adventure, however, it pays to read up on a country’s favourite regional fare. After all, when it comes to food, every culture has its own version of what constitutes a tasty snack. We’ve rounded up a collection of some of the world’s most uncanny edibles, from fried spiders to local lizards and great big mouthwatering worms! Adventurous eaters beware: not everything tastes like chicken and one man’s pet may be another man’s delicacy.

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Czech Republic, Eastern Europe, Europe, WHL Group newsletter, food & drink, human interests, local knowledge, personal experience, poverty, traveller tale

Traveller Story: Zabíjačka! Braving a Pig-Killing Feast in Rural Czech Republic

Nick Young 9 October 2010

I peered into the dark, foul-smelling room. Down on all fours, pacing back and forth in anxiety, the victim awaited his death sentence. About 15 paces away, standing in front of a dirty wooden shed, holding a sharpened knife and dressed in a bloody apron was the stoic old executioner flanked by his young wild-eyed henchmen. I hadn’t realised what I was getting myself into months earlier when I accepted my friend’s invitation to a “very special family event in the countryside.” Her devilish grin should have tipped me off, but the dea of a traditional Czech pig-killing feast, or zabíjačka, really intrigued me.

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Asia, Cambodia, South-Eastern Asia, WHL Group newsletter, children, cities, food & drink, personal experience, interview

Interview: Thoughts from the Heart of an Ancient Cambodian Empire

WHL Group 11 October 2010

Every month, we delve into the travel experiences of people in the extended WHL Group network. This month we talk to Ny Sandayvy, office manager at angkorhotels.org, the whl.travel local connection based Siem Reap, Cambodia. Born and bred in Cambodia, Sandayvy, affectionately known as Dayvy, is one of the longest-serving members of the whl.travel network. Once often to be seen on her bicycle headed down the road to confirm a booking at a local guesthouse without Internet access, Dayvy put a smiling face to early whl.travel’s ‘digital-to-bicycle interface.’

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Asia, Nepal, South-Central Asia, festivals & events, food & drink, human interests, local knowledge, personal experience

Feature: Local Food Favourites from the Newars of the Valley of Kathmandu, Nepal

NAVIN M. SHRESTHA 13 October 2010

Takha and Sanya Khuna are two of the wintertime favourite foods of the Newars of Nepal, especially in Kathmandu. Takha (originally Ta Khwa, meaning ‘frozen stuff’) is a frozen dish made from buffalo meat (only male buffalo meat is acceptable in a typical Newari kitchen). Sanya Khuna (sanya is ‘dried fish’; khuna means ‘boiled or cooked’) is a frozen fish soup. Both Takha and Sanya Khuna are often prepared and served together, due to the similar preparation methods.

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Australia, Belize, India, Malta, Mexico,Peru, Portugal, South Africa, festivals & events, food & drink, human interests, local knowledge

Feature: Epicureans Rejoice! A Celebration of Food and Drink Festivals from Around the World

Natasha Robinson 16 October 2010

Great sources of national pride, a country’s culinary talents and homegrown produce are as much a cause for celebration as its culture and history. Not a month goes by without an homage to food and drink somewhere in the world, so check out our selection of events encouraging you to kick up your heels, eat, drink and be merry, all recommended by our local experts from whl.travel and Urban Adventures.

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  ...on Dakar, Senegal