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Everything posted by jsager01

  1. you may want to check out this blog - by a GP who writes this blog as a hobby. http://ieatishootipost.sg/local-food/ as previous posters have pointed out, food in Malaysia, especially hawker centers, is much better in terms of variety, quality and value for money, etc., when compared to singapore. For Malay and Indian cuisine, Malaysia wins hands down. Malaysians go to Singapore for shopping, but Singaporeans go to Malaysia for the food. as for central processing facilities, it depends on the type of food or ingredients. Char kway teow and similar hawker foods are cooked 'fresh' and on the spot, but roast meats like char siu, siu yoke, roast duck, and even the chicken in Hainanese Chicken rice is unlikely to be cooked from scratch in situ. Similarly for dim sum, the fish and other meat balls. Personally, i dont have a problem with central processing facilities. ETA: and yes CH has some knowledgeable posters on this topic.
  2. Fancy, Organic Dishes Served To Food Experts Is Actually McDonald’s Oct 22 2014 Sacha and Cedrique of Life Hunters, https://www.youtube.com/user/lifehunterstv?feature=watch visited a food convention in Houten in the Netherlands to prank some self-proclaimed food experts. Most chefs at the convention had high end restaurants and were serving organic, healthy foods. Surely people at the convention could tell if they were being fed McDonald’s, right? The viral video is in Dutch so unless you understand dutch, make sure to hit the ‘CC/subtitles’ button at the bottom right of the video player to turn on the English subtitles.
  3. I did a search on google and found this wikipedia link below. It may clear up some of the confusion over various capsicum species and cultivars. If you just want to know the differences between adjuma, madame jeanette, habanero, and scotch bonnet, then just scroll down to capsicum chinense.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Capsicum_cultivars#Capsicum_chinense Yes, in the Netherlands the label Scotch bonnet is not used, and i had just assumed, incorrectly, it is what is known here locally as adjuma. According to the wiki link, these are 2 different cultivars. They look distinctly different and the Scotch bonnet has a heat ranking of 150K-325K Scoville, while adjuma is ranked 100K-500K Scoville. From the pictures in the wiki link, the habanero looks similar to adjuma. The habanero has a rating of 100K-350k Scoville. The Indian-Surinamese stall in the farmers market that i sometimes frequent do not label their produce. They also have Madame Jeanette (which as you said are not the same as adjuma, and look distinctly different). Both of these cultivars originate from that part of S America. In any case, all of these chilli peppers are mighty hot and should satisfy most ‘scoville heads’ and/or those having a refined palate that can distinguish between the different flavor/taste profiles of these cultivars, once they get over or adjust the heat levels of their cooking. In my earlier post, when i wrote “sometimes even in the mainstream supermarkets,” i meant that it is not available, at least in my neighborhood, at Albert Heijn. It is available at Dirk van den Broek, but the turnover for these peppers is low and therefore not always fresh. There are other smaller grocery chains that i do not frequent as they are not convenient from where i live and do not know if they stock them. I do know and buy from Turkish/Morrocan grocery stores (the moms and pops) and they do stock the peppers.
  4. maybe you should consider moving to the Netherlands, or the Caribbean countries - just kidding. In NL, they are easily available in 'farmers markets', and sometimes even in the mainstream supermarkets, due to the Surinamese diaspora. However, habaneros are not that easy to find. If there are Caribbean or Suriname/Guyana grocery stores anywhere near you, you may have a better chance of finding them (you are unlikely to find them in Chinese or even indian grocery stores). How about growing them yourself? the season is over unless you have grow lights, etc. while Scotch bonnets belong to the same species as habaneros, i do not think that plant taxonomist consider the cooking properties and flavor profile in their classifications. Scotch bonnets and habaneros, IMO, definitely have distinct and different taste/flavor profiles, once you get over the heat, or adjust the heat level until you can taste the difference between these 2 'chilli peppers', or any other chillies for that matter. BTW, in my experience, scotch bonnets are definitely way hotter than habaneros.
  5. that is exactly what i do, and also for turmeric, but i suppose this works only for those who have at least a minimal interest in potted plants. it is for the same reasons and motivation to have a herb gardens, indoors in pots and/or outdoors.
  6. Perhaps i dont understand all the discussions on this topic. I just have a hand blender. but what if i use a hand blender in a squarish shape container?
  7. If Heinz does not represent America (you mean the US of A? And not ALL of the americas?) then which company does, in the food industry represents the US? If you google for heinz, you will find this link: Discover the World of Heinzwww.heinz.com/Heinz is the most global U.S.-based food company, with a world-class portfolio of powerful brands holding number-one and number-two market positions in ... That http://www.foxbusiness.com/ article that you referred to, is all about how Heinz is poisoning Chinese with its products in China, none of which, as far as i can tell are exported back to the US. A ‘soil survey in April’? With no references as to where this was published, or how foxbusine came to this conclusion? For a country the size of China, any kind of country wide soil survey would have been a humonguous effort, and would have been published, in some form or another. Unless, of course you prefer to believe that China suppresses all such information. In which case, how did foxbusine get hold of such information and cannot or will not make references to it? Can you quote a nationawide survey of US farmland that says how much of its farmland is contaminated? Or is it your believe that no farmland in US is contaminated in one form or another? And therefore no nationwide soil survey has ever been carried out or is even necessary? In any case, why the emotive reference to belgium and 33000 sq km? How is that size of land compared to the size of China as a country, or even to the US, or Canada or the EU? No one is denying that there are contaminated farmlands in China. Is it a China problem or a world wide problem. Check your facts, pulease. You may want to check your own backyard, and this website on the ‘ state of affairs’ in the US http://www.nrdc.org/food/default.asp
  8. My question is, why would China or any other country, want to implement EU standards? In my earlier post, i wrote : Try replacing Chinese Govt with US Gov’t as in your statement:‘For the Chinese Gov’t to impliment E.U. standards on export food products is very difficult, if not downright impossible.’ And if you do replace Chinese Govt with US Govt:, you will get ‘For the US Gov’t to impliment E.U. standards on export food products is very difficult, if not downright impossible.’ Do you think the US/CDN govt will ever adopt EU standards? If you think EU food export standards (whatever that means) are so ‘perfect’ then why not push for its implementation in the US or Canada? If you so want EU food standards in wherever you live in N America, then in the most unlikely possiblility that you or anyone will succeed, then one consequence would be a ban on hormone injected/fed beef and Mon Santo GMO porducts,etc, etc. But why pick on China? China does export a lot of food, but it imports more than it exports. Check your facts especially where it relates to China/US food imports/exports. So, who is poisoning whom, assuming there is poisoning going on every which way?
  9. Anyone that has travelled overland from singapore to malaya (or west malaysia) would have noticed that all the highway signs indicate it as the causeway and not the ' bridge". Yes, lots of produce go over that causeway from malaysia to singapore. not sure why you appended that reference about the japanese using that ' bridge' to enter and occupy singapore, but if you check your facts, you will notice that it is a classic example of how the colonial governments, and expats, are isolated and out of touch with what is happening on the ground, at that time. and in case you are not aware there is the Malaysia–Singapore Second Link (Malay: Laluan Kedua Malaysia–Singapura), is a bridge connecting Singapore and Johor, Malaysia. In Singapore, it is officially known as the Tuas Second Link, and no, it is not officially or locally called a bridge. and produce from Indonesia or China, or australia, etc, do not go over that Tuas second link or even the old causeway. check your facts pulease! Yes, if we are talking about the ' luxury' or privilege of expats who can afford to do so. but what does it say about food safety standards in singapore and what the locals have to live with who shop only in the wet markets? and how is it related to hhe OP of this thread, ie to avoid or boycott any China food products...... yes you can easily boycott or avoid the local produce that the great unwashed masses live on., check your facts, and have a look at http://www.ava.gov.sg/ Agri-food & veterinary authority of singapore.
  10. which BBC or CBC news are you referring to? First hand accounts? what is your sample size? ie how many Chinese have you spoken to to form that ' first hand accounts"? Do you even speak and understand chinese? Where do these Chinese nationals do their grocery shopping? at Loblaws? yes, there are many chinese nationals residing in Vancouver, but what does it say about food safety, or as the OP posted, avoid/boycott chinese food imports.
  11. what is the source of your information? surveys? newspaper articles? that makes you believe that local Singaporeans have the same negative reactions....as we do? And who is ‘we’ ? And why are dried foods, etc, viewed much more differently? Are dried foods not fresh foods that have been dried or processed? So any contaminants or undiserables would actually have been concentrated? Try this link to get a better idea of where singapore gets its produce.https://mndsingapore.wordpress.com/2012/07/16/consumer-preference-and-our-sources-of-vegetables/a bit outdated, but which states that, as far as vegetables are concerned, 43% is from Malaysia, and 29% from China. Perhaps the China vegetables are only sold at the wet markets to the great unwashed masses who do not have the same negative reactions? who is ‘we’ that is qualified and have the authority/resources to ‘have a look....’.? the milk powder scandal is much more complex than the 3 or 4 sentences above, although that is the storyline of sensationalist anti-china articles. Assuming the storyline were true and that the Chinese govt did suppress what some doctors were supposedly reporting, the question to ask is: what has it got to do with the Olympics? The athletes and fans/visitors are unlikely to bring their infant children to the event, and even if they do, it is unlikely that they will buy local milk formula (from what i have observed, a very small sample, most would bring their own formula and even diapers when travelling anywhere outside their own countries). If i had been a visitor then, i would be more concerned about H5N1, which had been reported long before the Olympics, and was endemic at that time. In this globalised economy, consider these: Danish-Swedish dairy cooperative Arla said on Tuesday its Chinese joint venture Mengniu Arla's baby formula had been implicated in a growing Chinese infant milk scandal.http://web.archive.org/web/20140214201513/http://www.reuters.com/article/2008/09/16/us-china-milk-arla-idUSLG30575720080916 New Chinese milk scandal - this time with a Western culprithttp://www.cnbc.com/id/100938448 and there are many more links if anyone cares to search for global milk scandals or any other food safety scandals., in the country of your choice. And if anyone wants to find out more about how governments, in various countries suppress food safety scandals, or how the mega agri business lobbies determines what ends up at the supermarkets, you may want to check out these links, for a start: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/04/13/salmon-confidential.aspxwarning: its a long video and the best part is towards the end, where it documents how the Canadian govt attempted to pass legislation to basically gag whistle blowers. Check it out. Industry Has Sway Over Food Safety System: U.S. Studyhttp://www.commondreams.org/news/2010/09/14/industry-has-sway-over-food-safety-system-us-studyand there are many links from other countries. The point i am trying to make, and had been made by posters on this thread and other threads in this forum is that:China has food safety issues (and is actively working on it), but which country does not have food scandals in the past or recently? With globalisation of the food production chain, food safety is a global issue, requiring a a global solution, if that is at all posssible. why would China, or any other country, want to implement EU standards? Try replacing Chinese Govt with US Gov’t as in ‘For the US Gov’t to impliment E.U. standards on export food products is very difficult, if not downright impossible.’ As far as i understand, if the US were to implement EU standards, then there will be no more hormone fed/injected beef, and Mon Santo or any other GMO foods. However with the might and far reach of the US agri business lobby, the EU standards are likely to change, if not already.
  12. whatever motivates you in your posts to boycott made in china, not that it bothers me in anyway, but please check your facts. Google is your best friend to start with. In the unlikely probability that you can read and understand Chinese, you may also want to search on Baidu. For anyone interested in the continuing saga of the latest food scandal in China the chairman and CEO of OSI (the US privately owned company) has at last publicly apologised for supplying rotten meat to Macdonalds, KFC, etc. Check it out on google/baidu. It is not my opinion, but something that you can verify on the internet or from other sources of information. Who is poisoning whom? whatever motivates you to dredge up your posting from 2013, again, please check your facts. If you were in Japan at the time that you made your post on contaminated rice from China, or even today, check your facts and you will find that Japan has very high tariffs on imports of rice that basically makes it impossible to buy imported rice, from any country, including from the USA. So, you, or any japanese, could boycott all Chinese rice for all you want, but the facts are that you could not buy Chinese rice, even if you wanted to, at that time or now in Japan, and most unlikely to be able to buy Chinese rice in the US, as the US is a net exporter of rice. While China is the world’s largest producer and consumer of rice, it is also one of the largest importers of rice, and self sufficiensy in rice has yet to be achieved. So it is most unlikely that you will find Chinese rice in the US/EU anytime soon. dont take my word for it, check out this and many other websites:http://irri.org/rice-today/game-changers-in-the-global-rice-market http://www.oryza.com/news/rice-news/australia-rice-industry-seeks-access-china%E2%80%99s-4-million-ton-rice-import-market The above links and others would show that Thailand, Vietnam, Pakistan (for its basmati rice), and the US are the major exporters of rice, although this may change with India exporting more rice. For anyone with concerns about the safety of food imports they may want to remember or consider the aftermath of the Vietnam war. Remember My Lai, agent orange, napalm, etc ?... the most extensive chemical warfare in recent memory? The effects are still visible today, if you care to google for abnormal birth defects in Vietnam that are attributable to all those chemicals dumped in Vietnam. Dont take my word for it, check out your facts. Who has poisoned whom?? as already pointed out by earlier posters, food safety is a global issue, and not limited to China. Boycotting made in China (or any other country) does not help to solve this global problem. For example, do you know where the fish in your fish fingers, fish nuggets or whatever comes from? Of course, you may not buy or eat fish fingers, fishburgers, hamburgers, etc, but if you walk into any local grocery store/supermarket, these are popular or at least well stocked items, well, at least in my neighborhood. FWIW, i dont buy Vietnamese rice because Thai Jasmine rice is for me of better quality/taste, i dont buy Vietnamese panga or tilapia fish because they are sold mostly as fish filets, in where i live. I like my fish to be whole, ie with head, fins, tail, skin on etc. i do buy quite a lot of processed foods from Vietnam, like rice noodles, especially the kind used for pho, and fish sauces, etc. why? Its dangerous to eat, it is more dangerous to live.
  13. Liuzhou pointed out the relevant facts of the latest food scandal in China. What may not have been emphasized is, which country does not have a food safety scandals , now or in recent years? The facts of this latest scandal in China are: 1. it is about processed meat supplied by a US owned subsidiary (in China) of the largest or one of the largest meat processing companies in the US of A. If you want to know more, google for OSI group to realise the extent of their international reach. 2.the US owned company’s meat products are supplied to US owned fast food chains, etc, in China and to a lesser extent in Japan. Who is responsible for food safety control in this food production chain? 3. it was a Chinese employee, whistleblower, who exposed the practice at the OSI owned meat processing plant. 4. the ‘victims’ are the local Chinese and Japanese, and expats/tourists that must have their US owned fast food fix in China. If you are living in the good ole US of A, you do not have to worry about this scandal, or add it on to your list of why not to buy Chinese. Those products are not supplied to the MacDonalds, and other fast food chains in the US, presumably? a quick google search reveals what the OSI website claims: “ OSI a world of food solutions. OSI around the world. The OSI global network includes 3 zone offices and over 50 manufacturing facilities that meet demanding OSI standards. So whether you are located in the Americas, Europe or Asia/Pacific, there's a zone office ready to assist you. You'll find experts in sales and marketing, engineering, research, production, finance, and international and local law that speak your language.” Since there had not been any whistleblower scandals of the OSI operation in the US, one conclusion is that there are double standards, in their ‘ demanding OSI standards’: ie one for the US and one for ROW (rest of the world), or at least for China. Oh wait, if you search enough, you may find that all is not that well with OSI operations in the US. http://www.ibtimes.com/amid-china-food-scandal-osi-workers-allege-widespread-violations-companys-us-plant-1637482 and the latest news, as i can gather is that macdonalds will continue to source their supplies from OSI.
  14. sorry, i was just using the url on my invoice for several other stuff that i bought from them ... i am in EU.
  15. sorry if i did not make myself clear enough. If you follow the recipe in the 2 links you found, the soaked beans are drained and then put into wok over low heat and 'dry fried' until the skin breaks or looks like the pics in the links. i would suggest you try this method first, just dont burn the beans. You can do a taste/chewyness test as you go along. It is a very simple recipe, you cant go much wrong with it. there are many variants, just like recipes for beer nuts, or the boiled peanuts that some chinese restaurants serve as a free appetizer. Using oil is one of them..but gives different texture. start off by keeping it simple and experiment, the ingredients are cheap enough that you can throw them out,or feed it to the ducks? if it does not turn out the way you want. have fun
  16. try one of these http://www.lekue.es/es/exprimidor-de-limones-1-unidad-3401100
  17. if you mean a more meaty texture, and if starting from fresh tofu, try freezing them first. Or use tempeh which is soy based. For umami, MSG is vegan? or add in konbu, and yes lots of mushrooms, especially dried shitaki. Chinese grocery stores now sell (depending on where you live) ' vegetarian meats' like beef balls, duck, etc, ready to eat or cook.
  18. i do not know how much of the Chinese language you do understand or how good you are at using the online translators. On the link that you posted above, if you scroll down to the bottom half of the link, you will find that it gives specific quantities in the recipe, and i believe the instructions are explicit enough. (There are many variations on this recipe, some including fresh bamboo shoots, etc) Here is my translation of what the webpage you linked to says (disclaimer: i am not a professional translator) the comments in brackets/parenthesis are my own, as an indication of how i would do it. 材料 ingredients 黃豆 600克 Soybeans 600 g 水 600克 Water 600 g 醬油 50cc soya sauce 50cc ( i would use less) 甘草 15克 15 grams of licorice 八角 3-4顆 3-4 pieces of (whole) star anise 糖 1T Sugar 1T (1 tablespoonful, or to ta 鹽及胡椒粉 適量Salt and pepper to taste Method: 把黃豆以清水洗淨, 將所有調味料 Wash soybeans and all ingredients. 1.及600的水, 倒入黃豆中浸泡3-4個小時,平均每一個小時翻動一次 Wash the soybeans, (pick out those that dont seem too happy), put all other ingredients into 600 gm water (it becomes the marinade); pour soy beans in and soak for 3-4 hours, turning once every hour on average (i would soak overnite, and if i remember to do so, change the water once or twice). 2.把黃豆瀝乾水分,倒入炒鍋中以中小火炒約半個小時,炒至黃豆顏色變深且表皮出現裂痕即可起鍋 Drain the beans, Pour into wok, fry over medium/low heat for about half an hour, or Saute until beans become darker in color and skin breaks. (stir fry, as often as you have the patience, (until it looks like the pic of the final product on the webpage). 3待黃豆涼後即可裝入罐子內保存,趁新鮮儘快吃完 can be cooled, put into jars for later use, or serve fresh asap. (the flavors seem best if cooled kept in fridge overnite for flavors to blend). (there are many variations, some use oil in the stir fry, some add fresh bamboo shoots , etc).
  19. i would not use the shredded young coconut in this application, it does not have the oil content/etc of a mature coconut . As in earlier posts the reason you cannot crack canned coconut milk is because it contains stabilisers/emulsifier, etc or had been homogenised. All the canned coconut milk i can find nowadays invariably contain those additives, including the chaokoh brand. Some years back, i could buy canned coconut milk without those pesky additives or maybe they just did not include them in their labels. once you get the cream part from processing the frozen coconut, fry the cream over medium heat , and if it starts to burn then turn down the heat and/or add more cream until it cracks (see pic by patrick.. in first page of this thread,). . Once it cracks then add your curry paste, stir it until it cracks again, the oil would then have taken on the color of your curry paste, then continue with your recipe. An alternative to cracking coconut cream is to fry the curry paste in coconut oil, which will enhance the coconutty flavor (other oils will not and may even impart undesirable flavors of their own).
  20. can you get canned coconut milk without emulsifiers/stabilisers? It used to be commonly available, but not so easily nowadays, in fact impossible the last time i checked at the asian grocery stores around me. With emulsifiers/stabilisers, and as the names of these additives imply, it will be very difficult to separate the cream from the milk. This may be desirable for some other applications like in baking/pastry. In Thai or any other coconut based curries, both the cream and milk are used separately and at different stages in the cooking and for different purposes. The cream is first fried/sauteed, over medium heat until it 'breaks' or 'separates', then the curry paste is added and fried or sauteed, adding more cream to prevent burning and at this stage, you may find your kitchen filled with an aroma that is much more intense than if using coconut milk that had been emulsified/stabilised. YMMV. I remember there was at least one thread about canned coconut milk on this forum, in the context of thai curry.
  21. have you tried making coconut milk/cream from fresh coconuts? Just so you can have a benchmark. It is not that daunting if you have a coconut scraper, as in http://store.gourmetsleuth.com/coconut-grater-wood-stool-P40.aspx You can even make the wooden 'stool' yourself and into as intricate/simple form as you wish... mine is just a 4 by 4 with the metal piece nailed on one end, but first buy the metal piece, best bet is on the internet, make sure its stainless steel for easy maintenance, As i understand, you prefer DIY, and this will also likely cost less than half the price in the link above. Once you have the scraper, all you need to do is to split the coconut along its equator, you dont need to separate the meat from the shell, and just place each half at atime against the scraper and scrape away, and voilà, you get fresh shredded coconut. As to whether canned, desiccated, frozen or fresh is best, it is all very subjective and also depends on the application. If you are drinking it straight up or in cereals, etc, then the coconut is the dominant or only flavor, and any difference becomes very evident. If you are using it as an ingredient in baked goods, then the difference is unlikely to be obvious, except for those that have always used fresh in all their baking. For SE Asian curry, especially Thai/Malaysian curry, i always use fresh or frozen, as it complements the other flavors much better than any canned or desiccated derivatives.. Guar gum or other thickeners/stabilizers screw up my curry. How is canned coconut milk produced without preservatives? Cook the cans at very high temps?
  22. my suggestion was in response to what i understand of your quest, , ie better tasting coconut milk with minimal or no added chemicals, and my suggestion could be the alternatives that you may have overlooked. fresh frozen coconut milk is convenient, just thaw and use, the ones i buy do not state any added chemicals on their labels. ditto for fresh frozen shredded coconut, and although i am not a food technologist, and YMMV, frozen has better flavor than dried/dessicated coconut. btw, after the hot water and blending treatment, you may want to try putting the shredded coconut into a cheesecloth bag, or equivalent, then put into a strong enough colander or strainer, over which i lay on my granite mortar, and let gravity take its course ....with a final wring out of the cheesecloth bag and its contents.
  23. try fresh frozen coconut milk, or start with fresh frozen shredded coconut. You may be able to get them at chinese/asian grocery stores.
  24. Thanks for these suggestions. J Sheekey is a place I found while researching some other places. Seems part of a large restaurant group. May be a little spend for a post theater meal, but we'll still keep it in mind. Thanks for the other suggestions too, especially on Indian. I DO have plans for an Oyster card. Actually, a friend of mine is mailing me two of them from when he and his wife took a trip to London earlier this summer. They are setup as PAYG and have a few pounds on them. My understanding is that the PAYG cards cap at a max per day that is the same as you would pay on a travel card. From the theatre to Sheekey or any of the many restaurants in that area, you will pass thru many interesting, albeit touristic, areas that you can do before or after dinner. In zones 1 and 2, the PAYG costs 2.80 GBP per single trip, caps at 8.40 GBP per day for anytime travel.For the same zones, the travelcard costs 30.40 GBP for 7 days unlimited travel, ie 4.35 GBP per day. PLUS, you get the free 2for1 vouchers, ie if you get your travel card at a national railway ticket office (and not tube/underground), and have to explicitly ask for those vouchers. However, ou can also print those 2for1 vouchers online. If you must see the tower of london, where they chop off heads of royalty in days gone by, there is a 2for1 voucher which will further offset the cost of the travel card. It all depends on how much you will be using public transport and for how long, eg, if you are only there for 2 or 3 days, then PAYG may be the best option. With a travelcard, and there is a similar system in Paris, i have been known to get into a bus just to get rested and still see parts of the city that i had not planned for, and in winter to get warmed up, and if you can get on a double Decker and a front seat at the top deck, well, that is a bonus. BTW, use the tube/underground only if you want to just get from point A to B in the shortest possible time. Otherwise, i always use the bus. check out this link: http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tickets/14416.aspx
  25. If you are interested in seafood then check out. http://www.j-sheekey.co.uk/menu/main-courses/ Was there 2 months ago. Their Plateau de Fruits de Mer is better than what i have had in France. It is also less than 5 minutes walk from Prince of Wales theatre, but a reservation is highly recommended, a must if you dont wish to be disappointed. For chinese food, avoid eating in chinatown (soho, off Piccadilly circus), unless you want to experience what tourist traps can be. Bayswater is a better bet. For middle eastern, check out edgware road. Although i have not been for sometime, Indian restaurants are great value and authenticity along Brick lane, E1. Out of topic, but maybe useful for a first timer in london, If you are using public transport, then buy an oyster card (the electronic purse/wallet), and if you are in london for more than 4 days, it will usually be cheaper to also load it with a 7-day travelcard (valid for zones 1 and 2 for central london, but not for trips to/from airports), and for which you can also get vouchers for 2for1 deals. However, due to some convoluted bureaucracy, you must get the travelcard at a national railway station, as different from a tube (underground/metro) station, although they may coexist at the same location. And you do NOT have to travel by train into London to get the 2for1 deals. Confused? But it works. Tripadvisor has lots of info about travelcards, check this out and their other links: http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Travel-g186338-c195600/London:United-Kingdom:2.4.1.Travelcards.Step.By.Step.html I bought my travelcard at a national railway station, but this website seems to offer travelcard vouchers online, check it out: http://www.london-travelcards.com/ what you can get with the 2for1 deals: http://www.daysoutguide.co.uk/ The travelcard is different from the londonpass, which costs a lot more because it includes prepaid entrances to several tourist sites. If you search the tripadvisor website you will find lots of opinionated discussions about travelcard vs londonpass. For me, its the travelcard. General info about public transport in london http://www.tfl.gov.uk/
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