Travel Do's and Don'ts: Nairobi and London

DO... Spend time in London's bookstores – one of the best, Daunt, is located in a beautiful Edwardian building, and is a bookstore for travelers (ever wondered which novels you should read before visiting Indonesia? You will find the answer here). And be sure to go to the second-hand bookstores on Charing Cross road – some of the books are expensive, but you can get some great deals, and the smell and texture of old, rare books is hard to beat.

DO... Eat some Indian food – London is famous for it, but not all of it is good, to put it mildly. For a true "desi" (Hindi slang for Indian) experience, head to Southall (a 15 minute train ride from Paddington station) – and you will be transported to Delhi, circa 1975 – gaudy, dazzling clothes, dirt-cheap pashminas, Bollywood DVDs and CDs, and the food. The best Indian street food in London is to be found here – try any of the restaurants, they may look shabby, but the food will be worth it.

DO... Spend some time in the city's parks – take your pick, there are many to choose from. Try Hyde Park if you fancy a visit to Kensington Palace, Princess Diana's former residence; Regent's Park if you are a nature-lover, the last time I was there, I saw ducks, geese, and herons; or Holland Park, which is terrific if you have kids – the play areas there are always bustling.

DO... Go to a pub and order Pimms – a delicious and refreshing drink with lemons, apples, oranges, strawberries and 25 percent alcohol – perfect for those hot summer days (the months of June and July are your best bet).

Love London on a Budget

DO NOT... Take cabs if you can help it – they are ferociously expensive, and in a city which has so much public transport, you can probably manage without taking taxis. If you must take a cab, go for a black cab – they cost more, but the drivers are more reliable and they are a safer bet.

DO NOT... Eat at the city's many chain restaurants – truth be told, many of these umpteen pizza, pasta, tapas chains are not bad, but they are not terribly good either. And they are not particularly cheap, so you are better off taking a risk and trying a few hole-in-the-wall eateries, at least you will have an experience that can't be replicated in other boroughs across London or in other English cities.

DO NOT... Stand on the left side on any escalator, anywhere in the city, unless you plan to keep walking. Stand on the right side if you want to give your feet a rest, and you'll avoid being cursed out by hurried Londoners.

DO NOT... Go to Oxford Street on a Saturday afternoon unless you fancy spending your day sweating and aggressively jostling with other tourists eager to shop until they drop. Go on a weekday instead.

DO NOT... Go to Leicester Square on a Friday or Saturday night. You'll see chain restaurants, overpriced nightclubs and drunk people vomiting all over the place – if you can avoid it, do so, seriously.

ABC News' Dana Hughes and Ammu Kannampilly contributed to this report.

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