Saturday, February 26, 2011

South East Asia Day 4

April 2008

Today we headed off on our full day trip to the River Kwai. It was an instrumental part of WWII history and now a prime tourist location. We visited the WWII museum, the bridge, the war cemetery, then taking the train.

We had a floating buffet lunch before visiting some local waterfalls.

In the afternoon we visited the famous Buddhist Monastery and their wildlife refuge. Even getting up close and personal with the tigers in their care.

After a long, hot bus ride back to Bangkok we enjoyed a late dinner in Chinatown.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

South East Asia Day 3

April 2008

I had visited Thailand in 2001, visiting Phuket only, so this was a new location for myself and DH. I was a bit disappointed with the traffic, obviously those who think Bangkok's traffic is hectic have never been to Beijing or Ho Chi Minh City!

When we arrived in Bangkok we made our way to the taxi rank, where we were asked where our destination was, given a slip of paper and directed to a taxi. This slip is apparently used to help reduce the chances of a rouge taxi driver ripping you off, and we had no issue with our friendly cabby.

Once we checked into our hotel The Grande Ville (which was ok, but I think we could have found better for the same price), the we headed down via Tuk Tuk to the Pat Pong Road markets, grabbing dinner along the way. Not being much into shopping, we were happy to look around and enjoy our first Thai dinner (yummo!). The Tuk Tuk ride was hairy to say the least, but all part of the Bangkok experience.

Friday, February 18, 2011

South East Asia Day 2

April 2008

We caught the MRT out to the Singapore Bird Park for the day.

In the afternoon we checked out the Asian Civilisation Museum.

That night we headed out to the famous Singapore Night Zoo, a great attraction. If you have the time I recommend getting out of the trolley and walking around, there's so much more to see. It's also easy to get to via MRT and bus.

We finished the night by eating Chicken Rice and Satay at the Hawker's Market.

Monday, February 14, 2011

South East Asia Day 1

April 2008

We caught the Singapore Airlines A380 flight from Sydney to Singapore, not quite seeing what all the fuss was about!

We arrived in a typically humid day for Singapore, DHs first introduction to Asia and one of my favourite locations.

The Excelsior Hotel. It's right near the City Hall MRT, and while older than the adjoining Peninsula, I've stayed here 4 times over the last 15 years.

We caught the bumboat from Clarke Quay. It's a great way to see the major points along the water.

You cannot come to Singapore and not try the Chili crab. I don't remember exactly which restaurant we ate in but it was down near at the Marina.

Singapore Sling's at Raffles

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Wish: Easter Island (Rapa Nui)

It's a location we're toying with visiting in the not too distant future and has always been a dream destination of mine since studying the location in primary school. I think a large part of it is the statues that can be found around the island, but as I get older it's also the possibility of another luxury accommodation site, although this is the part that is currently open for debate.

Explora Rapa Nui opened in 2007 and is an all inclusive accommodation option. With only 30 rooms overlooking the ocean, it's easy to see why they charge a premium and why it's a popular choice.

The second option, which I still would class as luxury, comes with a smaller price tag, but with obvious reasons (less inclusions). However, the Altiplanico is still nothing to turn your nose up at!

We'll have to see what we decide to go with, like always I'll keep you posted!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Rarotonga, Cook Islands 2008

November 2008

It seems like so long ago, looking back at the photos and thinking 2008! But in reality it's not that long ago and was our second trip to the beautiful Cook Islands (we've now had three trips and one planned for 2012!).

Stay: Edgewater Resort

It's a little bit old, but when you plan on spending your days snorkeling, reading by the pool and visiting family they meet all the basic requirements. The restaurant's food is quite good too, and the local bus stops inside making it easy to get to other parts of the island.

Island Night at the Edgewater - great buffet and great entertainment.

Lunch at Cafe Salsa in town

Trader Jacks - a great place by the water to watch time pass.

Tamarind House - my favourite place to eat on the Island. Gorgeous location, great food and friendly service. The Salmon sashimi I had just melted in your mouth.

Kikau Hut - near the Edgewater (walking distance) a cute little place with live music. It's apparently changed hands since we were there in 2008, but food is meant to have improved, who would have thought it could?

To do:

The Saturday markets down by the water in town. Always a great place to grab some fresh produce, eat some Ika mata (raw fish) and see what the locals are up to.

Captain Tama Muri Beach Lagoon Cruise. Great day spent on the lagoon, including lunch on a near by Motu.

Snorkel and feed the fish near the hotel - just stunning

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Walks of the World

I'm not exactly as fit our adventurous as this post may lead you to believe, but there is no better way to see certain parts of the world than by walking. So these are my top 5, based on what I've gathered from conversations with my fellow travellers.

1. Bay of Fires, Australia

Named the hottest travel destination by Lonely Planet in 2009, for photos it's easy to see why. There are two options, the four day luxury method, staying in cabins and the Bay of Fires Lodge, or the independent method, BYO tent.

It's actually on our "to do and see" list for the not too distant future, keep your eye out.

2. Milford Track, New Zealand

My parents did this a couple of years ago, having said that it's not for the faint hearted (or the unfit). It's 55 km over 4 nights, and once again can be through the independent route, or via a group. I've heard great things about it from the handful of people I know who have completed the walk, but each one has said it would have been different if it had rained, and the spot is notorious for rain.

3. Inca Trail, Peru

Depending on what you read or who you talk to, this one can be described as moderate to worse than Everest...however at the moment DH and I are seriously debating do this one. Every person we've spoken to that has done it, said that nothing beats looking out over Machu Picchu on the morning of your last day. Only time will tell if we sign on for the 4 day, 42 km walk.

4. Kokoda Track, PNG

This walk is iconiclly Australian, due to the link during WWII. This is a walk I have never seriously thought of doing. It's difficult, it's long, it's humid. Those who have done it that I know usually have a family tie or are young. It's 96 km long and can take anywhere between 4 and 12 days. It is classified as a difficult trek.

5. Appalachian Trail, USA

This is a trail that goes over 14 states, so the beauty of it is that you can choose which part to walk, or attempt the whole thing. There's apparently a 2000 mile club, and while it sounds appealing, the distance to get to the trail from Australia hinders my desire to actually walk it.