Mementos From Around The World

In this day and age, travelling is easier and becoming increasingly cheaper too. That means you save more money to spend on experiencing the different cultures you visit. In every country there are certain quintessential things you must try such as a local delicacy or game or daring sport. When it is time to come home, one way of keeping your memories alive is to bring back a memento that evokes the atmosphere of the country you just visited. Forget the touristy trash that is sold at tourist sites like key chains and statuettes; local products infused with culture are the only things you should buy. Here is a list of the countries and the things to buy to guide on your next trip out.

Exotic Turkey

Turkey is one of those unique countries poised between the East and the West and embodying the best of both. The capital Istanbul (formerly Constantinople) is a tasteful blend of the traditional and the modern. Turkey is known for its cuisine, belly dancing, its thick, sweet coffee, and the baths and of course, Turkish carpet rugs. To find out more types of rugs this link can help you.

Authentic Turkish rugs are made of silk or wool, with the finest carpets woven by young women and children containing around 900 knots per square inch. The best carpet rugs contain floral or geometric designs of muted reds and blues on green or brown backgrounds. Avoid carpets with bright colours and animals as they are specifically produced for tourists and not considered good examples of Turkish carpets.

Stylish Paris

Paris is a city in France, but the sights alone qualify it as a country of its own. After all, most travellers find it impossible to completely explore Paris in the short time we usually spend in one place. There are so many different things to do, see and buy in Paris that a memento can be difficult to select. If possible however, head to Place du Terte, which is the village square of Montmarte, a hill located in the 18th arrondissement of Paris. There are artists set up here with their easels and they will paint or sketch your portrait in a short period of time. They will even place you in a classic work of art to take home with you. Be warned that their initial asking price is three times the actual price. Be ready bargain hard and even show an empty pocket to come down to the proper price. Also be aware that this is as much their daily livelihood as creative outlet. Pay a reasonable amount, but don’t be miserly.

Golden Thailand

Thailand is famous for its golden pagodas and elaborate dancers. As a tourist hotspot, Thailand too has mastered the art of selling to unsuspecting victims at ridiculous prices. While the food, the massages, and the sights are all wonderful, the most obvious thing you can take with you is a Thai batik lungi or a pair of Thai slippers from the Floating Market. The market itself is an experience, given that all wares are sold and bought on top of boats. The Thai lungi is a sarong- like garment usually made of cotton. Batik is a tie-dye design that is popular in South and South East Asia and looks fabulous on a lungi. When buying a lungi, inquire about the durability of the material and whether you need to wash by hand first as some lungis bleed colour the first few washes. If you opt for slippers, buy a traditional ornamental Thai pair with gold designs on the straps. Once again, check for durability.