Watch the pups grow up, at the Cachorródromo do Ibirapuera

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The Brazilian culture of friendliness, social interaction, and festivity doesn’t stop with humans! At the Cachorródromo do Ibirapuera (Rua Curitiba 290, São Paulo), you can bring your dog/s to make other canine friends, participate in games and training exercises, improve their tail-wagging social skills, and run and play to their heart’s content, securely watched over by many other canine admirers. In a city where large, safe open spaces are at a premium, it is a welcome respite to let your dogs run free, as the area is completely enclosed. and there is also no charge for entry. Nearby, Ibirapuera park could make up part 2 of a complete day out for your dog!

Books etc. – with the emphasis on etc.!

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Sao Paulo is never short on culture of any kind, and one of their best “livrarias” (bookshop) is the “Livraria Cultural”. The name gives you a pretty good idea of what to expect, and their main branch (Av. Paulista, 2073) offers a maze of several floors stacked high with books magazines, journals and other literature (including audio/visual). The strange design contributes to a quiet and secretive atmosphere, where you can curl up on one of the giant bean-bags and thumb through a paperback or three. In addition they have a coffee shop and a small theatre for plays, talks and conferences. Recently Jean Wyllys was there for a sell-out interview with Drauzio Varella and a book-signing, complete with complimentary drinks and canapes. Just as well, as the queue was practically out the door!

Want your beer Chopp-Chopp? Pull it yourself!

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One thing you have to do in Manaus is watch the sunset over a few Chopps (Shot glasses to Europeans) of ice-cold beer, hand-pulled by you! The best place is by the waterfront, where you can jostle amongst the locals and the brightly painted wooden boats. Battuta Chopp provide giant taps of beer delivered direct to your table, perfect to share with friends and excellent practice for wannabe bartenders. It also saves a lot of time in ordering fresh Chopps!!

Unlimited grub from four corners of Asia – Tanka you very much!

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São Paulo is home to some thoroughly decent Asian food, due to it’s high population of resident Japanese, Korean, and Chinese. There are plenty of good Asian all-you-can-eat restaurants, but one of the best can be found right by Liberdade Metro station in the heart of the Japanese area. At Tanka (Praça da Liberdade 149, 1st Floor, inside the Hotel Akasaka) there is an outstanding Rodízio of Japanese, Thai, Chinese and Korean food, complemented by bottomless Iced Tea and never-ending Frozen Yoghurt. The only thing missing is a good Pho. The cost is an entirely reasonable R$50-70, depending on which day of the week you go.