• Best diving spots in Croatia and Montenegro

    Formerly little known parts of eastern Europe are becoming increasingly popular as countries like Croatia and Montenegro open up to tourism. Budget flights and low prices at the destination, with food, drink, and accommodation all easily affordable, make these countries an economical option as well as something that’s still a little out of the ordinary. And where better to dive, than somewhere that is still a relatively undiscovered? Croatia and Montenegro are becoming popular holiday options with divers too, thanks to the warm climate, with lots of sunshine combined with miles and miles of coastline. All inclusive dive holidays to Croatia or Montenegro let you explore the underwater worlds without…

  • 5 Awesome sights to see when you retire

    There are some very special places in the world, many of which need to be seen to be believed. Far from the everyday life most of us experience, there are some awesome sights, humbling encounters and fascinating experiences to be had. If you’re planning your retirement, read on for some inspiration. I recently told someone about my mother’s 70th birthday trip to meet my brother and me in Vietnam, and was told how inspirational it was that Mum wanted to go ‘somewhere exciting’ to celebrate her birthday. My response? “Why not?” I love the idea of my family inspiring others, so, having helped Mum plan that trip, have thought of…

  • Exploring Zanzibar’s Spice Island capital, Stonetown

    Few places in this world are truly exotic, but Zanzibar Island, 25 kilometres off the coast of Tanzania, is one of them. Stonetown, the capital of the ‘Spice Island’ as it is also known, is a blend of cultures, ethnicities, flavours, and history. Everything from the food to the architecture seems to feature elements from countries miles away The historic trading centre is fascinating and has to be seen to be believed. Here are my favourite things to do in Stonetown. Former capital of the Zanzibar Sultanate, Stonetown is the main settlement of Zanzibar’s main island Unguja. The town has a long history as a spice and slave trading centre,…

  • Australian Big Things 2

    So, perhaps it was obvious, but it turns out one post about Australia’s big things is simply not enough. Australia is a huge country, and shows off about how big it is by scattering large objects across the place, in a fashion I’m certain more densely populated nations envy. Australia is a land that embraces the fun and the quirky, especially when it can be made enormous. The big things celebrate and promote features of local life and landscape. From prawns and guitars to bananas and wombats, and all sorts of things in between, Australia’s big things have developed a bit of a cult following. They are certainly a feature…

  • Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion, the most beautiful building in Penang?

    While researching accommodation options in Penang, I quickly realised there was only one place I wanted to stay while there. Historic Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion, also known as the Blue Mansion, is a 19th century mansion that has been restored to such a high standard that it received a UNESCO heritage conservation award. The rich blue walls and the intricate and colourful details make this heritage building absolutely beautiful, and a real treat for romantic souls and dreamers. The history of Cheong Fatt Tze Cheong Fatt Tze was a Chinese merchant that arrived in Penang as a penniless teenager but established himself as a successful businessman and built the mansion…

  • Malaysia’s Batu Caves are a must-see

    Slightly north of Kuala Lumpur, the Batu Caves house an almost hidden complex of Hindu temples, mostly set inside a large limestone cave system. The large, cool caves are a world away from the bustle of Malaysia’s capital city, and a must-see if you’re in the area. How to get to the Batu Caves While several tours are available, it is so easy and inexpensive to get to the Batu Caves on public transport that it is hardly worth taking a tour. The city train departs Kuala Lumpur’s Sentral Station, takes around half an hour and costs about US $3 per person. There is even a ‘women’s coach’ for women…

  • Embrace your inner bohemian – Things to do in Montmartre, Paris

    While other Paris neighbourhoods drift in and out of fashion, bohemian Montmartre, scattered across a large hill to the city’s north, has long been my favourite area of the city. With its unique streetscapes and reputation for liberalism, revolutionary politics, extravagant entertainment, and as the birthplace of modern art, there are lots of things to do in Montmartre, and it  certainly has character. Moulin Rouge Neighbouring districts Montmartre and Pigalle are the notorious entertainment centres of Paris, and some of the liveliest bistros and restaurants are found in these areas. One of the city’s icons, the Moulin Rouge (red windmill) is where the can-can dance was created. While nowadays the…

  • Be scam-wise in Vietnam: How to avoid common scams

    Vietnam is a beautiful country full of kind and generous people, but it also has a reputation for its many hustles and travellers often report feeling like they were treated as a walking ATM during their time there. However, if you go with a good understanding of the many tricks you might encounter, you will be well prepared to play the game – you may even enjoy it! Here’s a list of the most common tricks in Vietnam. Higher prices for foreigners While it is hard to feel good about yourself when bargaining hard with someone for whom your dollars would undoubtably mean significantly more, it is also far from…

  • Discover Twitter travel chats – here are the best!

    Do you want to connect with other travellers? Do you have a Twitter account but feel you might not be making the best use of it? One of the best things about Twitter, in my opinion, is the ease with which a group of people can get together to discuss topics and share information. This is how the Twitter travel chats work. Twitter’s travel community As the saying goes, it is the people that make the place. For all but dedicated egomaniacs, simply tweeting about yourself won’t feel fulfilling. Joining a community on Twitter however, is both fun and informative. As a travel blogger, I’m an active member of Twitter’s…

  • Cyclone Marcia: My first cyclone in Australia

    It’s not every day that a Category 5 cyclone hits Australia. It’s even more unusual that two cyclones hit Australia on the same day, but that’s exactly what happened during my first week back in Queensland. Wow, I timed that well, didn’t I? Cyclones Lam and Marcia Cyclone Lam didn’t cause Brisbane much trouble. While it was a Category 4 cyclone, and was very destructive in some areas of the Northern Territory, its effects were not felt in South East Queensland. Cyclone Marcia had been downgraded to a Category 1 storm by the time she reached Brisbane, but the weather surrounding the system, hung around for days. That’s several consecutive…