Thursday, April 28, 2011

Wish List: Kangaroo Island

Kangaroo Island, south of Adelaide in South Australia is deemed as the Galapagos of Australia. But the particular part of this wish location is the Southern Ocean Lodge.

One of the locations visited by Oprah's guests on her Australian shows, and you can see why. The price tag that comes with the location is pretty inclusive, including tours of the seal colony, drinks and meals, but the price is still pretty steep.

You probably also would be surprised that their sister lodge on Lord Howe Island has also made my wish list.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

South East Asia Day 15

April 2008

Today was our last day on the trip, so after a late start we took a walk down to the Saigon River, before visiting the Reunification Palace.

We had lunch at Pho 2000 again and then spent some time looking for gifts.

One thing I haven't mentioned is the crazy traffic in Ho Chi Minh City, most visitors struggle to cross the road, when all that you need to do is steadily cross, not stopping or speeding up, but going at the same pace so the traffic can go around you.

That evening we caught a cab to the airport (which has changed significantly since 2002) and flew home.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

South East Asia Day 14

April 2008

Today we took a bus tour to see the Cao Dai Temple and the Cui Chi tunnels. It had been a regret of mine after visiting in 2002, that I hadn't left enough time to see the tunnels so this was great opportunity for me.

We arrived at the Cao Dai Temple just in time to watch the mid-day ceremony.

We then stopped for lunch - Pho again, before heading off to the Cu Chi Tunnels. It made you appreciate what the people living in the area and using the tunnels had to endure while fighting the Americans and their Allies, DH was the only one small enough to fit in a certain section of the tunnels.

That night we enjoyed BBQ dinner at Luong San Zuan, followed by ice cream at Kem Bach Dang.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

South East Asia Day 13

April 2008

We enjoyed our Vietnamese Ice Tea and rolls from a street stall before heading off on a cyclo ride to War Remnants Museum. I had visited HCM City in 2002, but this was DHs first visit and the war Museum was one of the places I had told him was a must visit. Unfortunately for our cyclo riders it pored with rain. So from the cycalo we saw Reunification Palace, Notre Dame Cathedral, Post Office, City Hall and the Opera House.

Once we were dropped off at our hotel we visited the Bein Thanh market before enjoying Pho at Pho 2000 across the road.

That night we went to dinner at Quan An Ngan on Pasteur Street, which is a beautiful restaurant next to Reunification Palace in an old French Mansion.

We finished off the night enjoying cool drinks on the roof bar of the Rex Hotel.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

South East Asia Day 12

April 2008

That morning we took a long bus trip to Ho Chi Minh City (9 hours), which also included 2 ferry crossings.

At one point DH plant rice with some Vietnamese women in a field, a priceless travel experience.

We enjoyed lunch at a roadside restaurant of whole fried elephant ear fish, which was fantastic.

That night after checking into our hotel, we enjoyed dinner at Sao Dong which is outside the Binh Than markets. We enjoyed our meat and salad roll your own rice paper rolls.

We enjoyed an evening stroll around the city, where we saw the Olympic torch relay, the Rex Hotel, Opera House and City Hall.

Friday, April 8, 2011

South East Asia Day 11

April 2008

In the morning we visited Wat Phnom, which is a Buddhist temple in Phnom Phen.

We then took off on our 5 hour boat trip down the Mekong, crossing the Cambodian boarder into Vietnam.

We arrived in Chau Doc late afternoon, in what is apparently a popular resort town. After checking into our hotel we took off on a bike tour to  Mt.Sam, which was interesting to say the least. DHs bike got a flat tyre and my bike had water in the fuel.

That night we had dinner on a floating restaurant before enjoying beer at a street bar for about 50c.

Monday, April 4, 2011

South East Asia Day 10

April 2008

For those of you who don't know much about Cambodian history (or world history), Cambodia has a very sad past, in particular the genocide that occurred under Pol Pot. The Cambodian people are very open with their experiences during this period in history and at this stage in our trip we visited some of the sites prominent in that period.

That morning we visited the Killing Fields and S-21 a torture prison. I don't know how anyone can go to these places and live life in the same way you did before. It's a life changing experience and one that made me question some of my approaches to life in general. When we visited pictures were encouraged and you walked over pieces of clothing and bone. I have made a conscious decision not to post these pictures, but if you don't know much about this time in history please check out some of the online resources, such as that of Yale University.

After our sobering morning we visited Friends for lunch, which trains street children in the Hospitality industry.

After lunch we visited the Grand Palace and the Silver Pagoda (with the spectacular emerald Buddha). Followed by a trip to the Russian Markets. The street 178 to check out the local artists. Finally stopping at the outdoor market near the harbour, to try some tasty critters.

That night we ended up at The Foreign Correspondents Club, this time for dinner.