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Tokyo  ? A wealth of 'Hello Kitty' merchandise not offered in the U.S. is on sale in Tokyo's duty-free shops. World famous Japanese brands of makeup are another draw, and you can find products (like some skin whiteners) that are not sold in the United States or Europe.

London  ? The British Museum Shop, at Heathrow Airport, offers beautiful reproductions of some of the museum's most popular art and artifacts. Buy here, rather than in the museum shop in town, and avoid V.A.T. taxes, which can be steep. Stanstead's Glorious Britain shop will warm the cockles of any royalist's heart. Visitors can purchase mugs, T-shirts and other paraphernalia all emblazoned with various images of royalty on them.

Venice  ? Marco Polo Airport has recently been renovated, with lots more room for last-minute shopping. Glass, of course, is everywhere. However, the small shop Venetia Studium is worth a look for reproductions of Venetian velvet scarves and clothes copied from the famous Italian turn-of-the-century designer, Mario Fortuny.

Bangkok  ? Here travelers to Thailand will have their last chance to shop at Jim Thompson Thai Silk Company. The ubiquitous shops are famous for their traditionally made fabrics. Available in hues the full range of the rainbow, Jim Thompson silk is popular with fashion designers and interior decorators the world over.

Montreal ? The duty-free shops at this airport sell maple syrup ? and lots of it.  Not only does the sappy stuff come in the form of syrup, you can get it in candles, soaps and sweets, too. In the U.S., real maple syrup (not the kind you get in the supermarket) is hard-to-find and expensive.  Next time you’re north of the border, stock up.

Mexico  ? White Mexican wedding skirts, skeleton dioramas for the Day of the Dead, canned moles and sealed jars of spicy sauces are all great buys at Mexico's airport duty-free shops. And just in case you forgot to pick one up during your trip to Cancun, you can get 'Apocalypto'-style Mayan pyramids in the form of pencil sharpeners, paperweights and other less-than-useful but very decorative guises.


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