Which is the best SIM card?

“Which is the best SIM card to use for ….?” It’s a question I get asked all the time wearing my Tripologist hat and while I answer the question as best I can, I also add a footnote to the effect that I’ve given up replacing my SIM card when I head overseas. Free Wi-Fi  is just about everywhere these days, in cafes, hotels, airports – and that does me just fine. There’s a whole lot of angst that goes with trying to figure out which SIM card to use when you’re on the road but if you’re out of reach for a day, if you don’t have smartphone connectivity 24/7, is your life going to unravel? Ok if you’re on a business trip you might need that but on a holiday? Relax, unless you’re in North Korea a free Wi-Fi hookup is never far away.

Fascinating fact: which airline carries the most international travellers? Budget airline Ryanair, the one travellers love to hate. But those cheap, cheap fares, seems we just can’t resist.

Sri Lanka

Just back from Sri Lanka, where I stayed at some new and not-so-new hotels along the south and west coasts. The beaches are great – although why anyone would leave Australia for a beach is beyond me – it’s clean, friendly, prices are pretty good, the roads are brilliant and drivers stop for pedestrians at crossings. Well, more or less anyway. Sri Lanka feels like India lite. If the full-throttle madness, chaos and general untidiness of India is a little too overwhelming, Sri Lanka is a fine alternative. Standout was the new Anantara Peace Haven Tangalle Resort, a brand new property on the south coast. If you were to do the standard clockwise tour from Colombo through the ancient Buddhist cities and south through the tea country, the Anantara would be your dessert, a place to rest up for a few days, kick back and relax. One of the best breakfast buffets I’ve ever seen, a real cracker. Another hotel I liked a lot was the Avani Kaluatara, just a couple of hours drive from the airport at Colombo. Great rooms, great value. 

Paris

Word is that high end restaurants in Paris are doing it tough. At many of the city’s Michelin-star restaurants such as Les Bouquinistes, Alléno Paris and Alain Ducasse’s restaurant in the Plaza Athénée hotel you can get a booking for tonight – last year you needed to book weeks ahead. The terrorist attacks of late last year are being blamed, but also changing tastes. Some of the top-notch brigade have dropped their prices but personally I don’t find a single main lunch course with a price tag of 72 euros all that compelling – Yannick Alléno’s response to the crisis at his Alléno Paris restaurant. Eating well in great surroundings is no longer the exclusive preserve of high end restaurants. Maybe it’s time they woke up to that fact.




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