Victoria Harbour, in beautiful Hong Kong, is a perfect juxtaposition of old world charm meets rampant 21st century commercialism. There aren’t that many places in the world where a 19th century style Chinese junk boat (the Duk Ling) could sail through a crowded harbour backdropped by giant skyscrapers topped with monomental brand names and yet look so perfectly in it’s element. It’s striking, yet works.
As beautiful as Victoria Harbour is during the day, at night it really shines with its dazzling A Symphony of Lights where more than 40 of Hong Kong’s skyscrapers light up the night in a music and light show. The show takes place on both sides of the harbour and is a joy to see.
From the waterfront you can take a ride up The Peak or jump on a ferry and head to…
Continue reading Travel Photo: Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong
I’m in love with shoulder season travel. I’m talking heart going pitter-patter, light-headed, happy just at the thought of it, in love.
Before I get ahead of myself, you’re saying just answer the question, woman, why don’t you: What is shoulder season?
Shoulder season is not off season or low season. Shoulder season falls between high season (Christmas and New Year in most of the world) and low or off season.
What are the best parts of traveling shoulder season?
- it’s cheaper than high season, and you have better luck negotiating prices
- crowds are thinner
- prices are lower than high season
- attractions and restaurants are still open
- weather is usually good (though you usually run a higher risk of bad weather than high season)
- lots of daylight hours
- locals can be more relaxed and friendly, as the influx of tourists has eased
Continue reading What Is Shoulder Season? Why Shoulder Season Travel Rocks My World
Koh Mook, a small island paradise in the South West of Thailand in the Andaman Sea is a place of quiet tranquility. Due to it’s small size and lack of almost anything, this is the perfect place to get away from it all. There are a few small resorts on the island however the place remains fairly low key even in the high season.
Besides for spending your days lounging in the 28°C ocean and stretching out on the glistening white sand, you’ll probably find yourself enjoying a beer or two as your days slowly blend into each other. The biggest excitement of the day is watching the few longtail boats drop off and escort away the guests of the island since that’s the only way to get there. Occasionally you’ll see a sailboat tied up off the tip of the bay and the occasional diving boat might drive by in the distance.
In the morning there are usually a few…
Continue reading Travel Photo: Farang Beach, Koh Mook, Thailand
Tamarindo is just one of those towns: You love it or hate it. Noone seems to be ambivalent about Tamarindo. Me? I loved and hated Tamarindo.
Tamarindo’s amazing beach to seems to go on forever
Great waves, perfect for surfing, boogie boarding, or just chilling by the sand. At high tide, the waves are way too big and powerful for little kids and weak swimmers. At low tide, waves are smaller, and a bit more manageable for the little ones, if you keep an eye on them.
A foodie’s dream beach town. Tamarindo has a great selection of fantastic restaurants (though a bit expensive), but there are a few budget options.
Friendly folks and a laid back vibe.
Continue reading Should I Visit Tamarindo Costa Rica?
Ayers Rock, or Uluru to the local Anangu Aborginal people, is a large sandstone rock formation in the southern part of the Northern Territory in central Australia. It’s about 3 and a half hours south west of the nearest large town, Alice Springs. The area around the rock outcropping includes a few water springs, waterholes and rock caves with some ancient paintings. Their are numerous guided tours and it’s a great way to learn about it’s Aboriginal history.
Truth be told it’s a long way to travel just to see a giant rock but the entire experience can be quite memorable. Whether you’re enjoying the sunrise or sunset views (the only time the rock truly looks red) with the traditional glass of champagne or hiking around the 9.4 km trail at it’s base, Uluru needs to be seen from different angles throughout the day to be fully appreciated. The color and texture change so much depending on the time of day you would almost believe it was alive. The nearby domed rocks of Kata Tjuta (the Olgas) is equally captivating, has a few walks of it’s own and will leave you with a feeling of wonder.
The drive there can get a little boring however the occasional kangaroo and emu sightings, the red dirt and scrub bush, the camel ranches and the beautiful Australian outback sky are all..
Continue reading Travel Photo: Ayers Rock (Uluru), Northern Territory, Australia
Not really having a plan except knowing we wanted to spend some time in the southern states, we booked a cheap flight from San Jose, Costa Rica to Miami, Florida. The weather was gorgeous and we were looking forward to North American style dining, shopping and ease of travel. It also didn’t hurt that the local language was English again. At a minimum, the kids were definitely excited to be able to watch cartoons in English now.
After a few quiet days laying low and acclimatizing ourselves to the US, our wanderlust finally kicked back in. I hadn’t been to Florida since I was in my mid teens and really didn’t remember that much about it. One thing I do remember is that we didn’t go any farther south than St. Petersburg. This trip I was adamant about seeing the Florida Keys and going for a hike in the Everglades.
We managed to rent a car and headed south for a few days of exploration. The kids and Micki were excited to see…
Continue reading Tickling The Florida Keys
The Angkor Wat Temple in the Siem Reap Province of Cambodia is a gorgeous example of Khmer architecture. It was built in the 12th century and is the only temple in the area that has seen consistent use since it was built. It is a large complex spanning over 500 acres.
It has become a major tourist destination in Southeast Asia and is the number one tourist destination in Cambodia. It’s located around 6 kilometers from the town of Siem Reap and passes are required to enter the Angkor area. They are on sale at the front gate for 1-day ($20), 3-day ($40), or 7-day ($60) intervals. The 3-day pass is valid for any 3 days within a week, while the 7-day pass is valid for any 7 days within a month.
When we were there we hired a tuk tuk driver in Siem Reap…
Continue reading Travel Photo: Angkor Wat Temple in Siem Reap, Cambodia
What’s the best way to keep your credit cards, cash and passport safe when you travel? The default is usually a money belt or fanny pack that you wear around your waist, and can tuck away under your clothes. But there are much better options out there for keeping your stuff safe, like neck wallets. This review looks at money belts, neck wallets, leg and wrist wallets, belt wallets, bras and clothes with hidden pockets.
Like the maligned fanny pack, the money belt suffers from a bit of an image problem. Money belts are usually associated with dopey Westerner tourists in plaid shorts and white socks with sandals. That said, money belts can be a practical choice.
Money belts hidden under the clothes can hide your stash from pickpockets, but they’re not much of a defence against getting held up. One of the first things a robber will look for is the classic money belt around your waist.
Money Belts for Women
Personally, I don’t like money belts. On my first overseas trip to Amsterdam, I used a waist travel pouch. I’m a smallish woman, and, even with only a passport, two cards, and a little cash inside, the money belt was just too big to hide under my clothes. I spent my whole trip looking like I was wearing a…
Continue reading Money Belt or Neck Wallet? Reviews and Alternatives to Keep Your Stuff Safe When Traveling