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With extra costs tacked on here and there and a supplement for single occupancy that's a good 30% more than the rate for doubles, it's no wonder solo travelers sometimes feel like the pariahs of the vacation industry.
If you've always considered Washington, D.C. a stuffy city that's all about politics, government and lobbying, think again. The nation's capital is a vibrant cultural destination with much to see and do -- not to mention some unusual ways to get around.
Palm trees waving in a gentle ocean breeze, warm, crystal-clear water, and pristine white sandy beaches -- sound like paradise? Sure, but you won't have to go further than the South Pacific to discover this Garden of Eden.
Three reliable tour operators are providing moderately priced trips to China this autumn, two of them visiting one or more of the biggest cities, the third taking you on a pleasant cruise along the historic Yangtze River.
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Reader's Voice
From americanjoe: "Returned from Siwa after working over May-June near Libya and thought I'd put a few thoughts down. There is now a bank in Siwa so you can get cash from Travelers Checks if needed. The bus terminal has moved closer to the Mubarek Hotel and is now just a window from someone's house you can buy tickets through. There is no public bathroom."
From Marguerite Donnelly: "My son and I recently returned from a rather frantic tour of China. It was wonderful, but we'd like to go back next year and explore at our own pace...i.e. with more time at the Great Wall (hopefully visiting more than one section) and with less time at shopping destinations. (Shopping is great, but I prefer markets to fancy stores.) It would also be nice to explore some of the more remote areas, such as Tibet. I'm a bit reluctant to go all by ourselves, as we did have some trouble checking into our hotel the one time we separated from our group for the evening. (We don't speak any Chinese.) It would be great to be able to spend our time where we want, eat what and when we want, yet still have some help with travel and hotel arrangements and sights to be seen. Does anyone have any suggestions? Thanks!"
From Mark Schweer: "I am going to be in Hong Kong for two nights, three days, and I would like some suggestions as to things to see and do while I am there. Thanks a lot!"
From arline G: "I am planning to go to Vietnam and Hong Kong at the very end of October. I just received a customized proposal from PDT. I am a fairly seasoned traveler but I have a few concerns about PDT. I checked the Better Business Bureau and they have a few 'strikes' against them. It is a Frommer recommended tour packager and I have had good experiences with other operators that Frommer's recommended, so I would like some reassurance (or not) from people that have actually used PDT. Thanks Arl"
From Tom O'keeffe: "Can anyone give me advice on what the trip from Fairbanks to Valdez is like? I want to spend six days on this trip together with a trip to the Artic Circle. I will be doing this self-guided tour by car in mid-June 2005."

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