World Tourer - Travel Information - October 2017 - February 2018

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6th February 2018

Land of Smiles

I flew into Bangkok, Thailand, last night and will catch the bus to Jomtien (about 150 kilometres south of Bangkok) this morning to visit old friends for 10 days (I lived in Jomtien for 4 years from 2009).


3rd February 2018

Saigon Street Food Tour

I spent tonight on the "Urban Adventures Saigon Street Food Tour" and it was excellent. Our guide, Thoy, was great and spoke good English - the tour was fast paced and involved 7 stops with several different foods (Chao Muc, Xa Xui, Banh Bo Banh Tieu, Ha Cao, Bo La Lot, Bo Bia) and also a local coffee and a beer. Whilst it was a walking tour it was very compact and the total distance covered was probably only a couple of kilometres.

I have a rest day tomorrow before flying to Bangkok and then bus to Jomtien for 10 days.

Chao Muc    Xa Xui    Banh Bo Banh Tieu    Ha Cao
Chao Muc                                     Xa Xui                                     Banh Bo Banh Tieu                                   Ha Cao         

Bo La Lot    Bo Bia
Bo La Lot                                  Bo Bia


26th January 2018

Final Thoughts on Bali

I have visited Bali on many occasions over many years and my final thoughts on Bali today are:

"R.I.P. Bali" I will not be back.
Tomorrow I fly to Kuala Lumpur for a 1 night stopover on way home to Nha Trang. I will only be home for 4 days before I fly to Saigon for a few days which will include a "Street Food" tour and then on to Bangkok and Jomtien in Thailand to visit friends for 10 days.


24th January 2018

Matahari Bungalow Hotel, Kuta, Bali, Indonesia

I arrived in Bali, Indonesia, last night and am staying at the Matahari Bungalow Hotel in Kuta - the hotel is bigger and better than expected and even better than the photos of it on Agoda. I have a large room with a balcony overlooking the pool and garden area. I am here for 4 nights and unlike me I plan to do very little and take a rest. I fly back to Nha Trang on the 28th having a one night stopover in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
I have been to Bali several times (although the last time was 5 years ago) and Kuta seems to be stuck in a time warp (1980's-1990's) and is in serious need of a "Makeover".

Matahari Bungalows Swimming Pool
Matahari Bungalows Swimming Pool


13th January 2018

Hanoi Street Food Tour

I have been to Hanoi several times and have always wanted to do a "Street Food Tour" - I actually booked one on one occasion but it was washed out (Flooded Out). Today I booked a trip to Hanoi in April and plan to do a "Street Food Tour" - that is the sole reason for the trip and so I hope the weather co-operates.


29th December 2017

Bali Beckons

I have just booked a trip to Bali, Indonesia, a place I have visited several times before. I am also planning to visit Laos again (probably in March) flying to Luang Prabang and then on to Vientiane.


28th December 2017

Back in Nha Trang

Home in Nha Trang after a trip to Vinh, Vietnam and Vientiane, Laos. Overall the trip was great although the 14.5 hour sleeper bus trip was rather tiring and something that I will almost certainly not do again.


25th December 2017

Merry Xmas

Merry Christmas to everyone! As I am in Laos and they are Buddhist it is just a normal day here.
I rented a motorbike today and went out and about - I visited the Buddha Park which was much smaller than I had imagined and I did not even go in. Despite the fact that I have been to Vientiane 5 times before I had a good time and in fact I enjoyed this visit more than any before probably because it reminds me of Thailand and is very different to Vietnam (where I live now). The food has been excellent and the beer is the BEST. I will almost certainly visit again.


24th December 2017

Vientiane, Laos - Day 2

 Lazy day just walking around etc. made a short drone video and took a couple of photos. Had Pad Thai for lunch and it was very good (reminded me of Thailand where I lived for 4 years). I may rent a motorbike tomorrow and do a bit of exploring (perhaps Buddha Park).

King Anouvong                     Lao Tuk Tuk

King Anouvong Statue in Vientiane, Laos                                            Lao Tuk Tuk                 


23rd December 2017

Vientiane, Laos

Another day, another adventure - caught the sleeper bus from Vinh to Vientiane at 2 am this morning. The good part was that the bus was only about half full and I got the 5 sleeper seats across the back of the bus which was great - the not so good part was the rough roads and the fact that the trip took 14.5 hours (I was told 10-12). The border crossing from Vietnam into Laos was a complete and totally disorganised mess and took 3 hours.
I am relaxing having a couple of BeerLao's (still my favourite beer in the world) - only the 640 ml large bottles available in Vientiane are the "Real Deal".
I have changed my plans and will now stay in Vientiane until 26th December and then fly back to Nha Trang with Vietnam Airlines via Phnom Penh and Saigon (I have done the "Sleeper Bus")

Sleeper Bus Seats                         BeerLao - 640 ml
                   Sleeper Bus Seats                                       BeerLao - 640 ml


22nd December 2017

Vinh, Vietnam

Yesterday I flew from Nha Trang to Vinh, about 900 kilometres north. This is my first visit to Vinh and I am on my way to Vientiane the capital of Laos - tomorrow morning at 2 am I catch the sleeper bus from Vinh to Vientiane (a 10 hour trip) - this will be my first sleeper bus trip and I am not sure how it will go.
(It is a long way to go for a beer but I really am crazy you know.)

Ho Chi Minh Statue in Vinh, Vietnam
The Ho Chi Minh Statue in Vinh, Vietnam - His Birthplace


12th December 2017

Home in Nha Trang

I am slowly recovering from a knee injury I got during Typhoon Damrey in Nha Trang early last month - I can now walk almost "normally" but still struggle with steps. I have started my regular morning walks again but am only going 4 klm per day.
I have decided (and booked) to visit Vinh (Vietnam) and Vientiane (Capital of Laos) over Xmas. My favourite beer in the world was BeerLao but I have not had one for several years so I have decided to renew the friendship. BeerLao in 640 ml bottles in Vientiane is the best way to drink BeerLao as the export variations (330 ml bottles and cans) are NOT the same.


28th November 2017

Sunday Drive

I am now at Sydney Airport waiting for my flight back to Vietnam - my extended "Sunday Drive" took me as far north as Port Macquarie and then back to Sydney via the old Pacific Highway. The total distance covered during the 2 days was just over 900 kilometres.


20th November 2017

Cold Sydney

I am now in Sydney, Australia, where I will be until the end of December and so far it has been cold and wet. The average daily high temperature (since I arrived on 6th November) has been 23C with strong wind and some rain most days. Compared to Nha Trang that is very cold.


5th November 2017

Wild Weekend

Typhoon Damrey struck on Friday night and well into Saturday with devastating results - I have encountered many cyclones (typhoons) but these were the strongest winds I have ever seen. Both rooves of the twin apartment buildings where I live blew off early on Saturday morning and I was seriously concerned that my building might collapse as it was shaking like in an earthquake. There was no power or water and all public transport was cancelled - most roads were blocked by fallen trees and debris.
I managed to get into town late on Saturday and spent the night in a hotel.

My Rooftop  My Rooftop  My Rooftop
My Rooftop - Now Without Roof
Nha Trang Fallen Tree  Biet Thu Street Blocked  Tree on Car  Cyclo and Tree
Nha Trang Beach Tree  Fallen Sign  Fallen Sign  Fallen Sign
Nha Trang's Tourist Area


2nd November 2017

Cyclone Coming

The major tropical storm that was following the one I had to ride through has become Cyclone Damrey and is due to hit land tomorrow night with Nha Trang in the centre. I hope it is not too severe and does not hang around too long as I am flying to Ho Chi Minh City on Sunday and then on to Sydney.


1st November 2017

Home Sweet Home

I am now home in Nha Trang after another horror of a day - I thought today was going to be better than yesterday but I was oh so wrong - for the first hour of today's trip the rain was at least twice as heavy and yesterday with lots of flooding and new "rivers" flowing across the road - also the visibility was so bad I could only just see the road - I covered less than 10 kilometres in an hour.
By the time I got to Nha Trang the rain was much lighter but the forecast is for a second system to follow directly behind the current one.
I leave for Sydney this Sunday for almost 2 months so I will miss a lot of the rainy season - last year during a period of about 2 months we had more than TWICE the ANNUAL rainfall with major flooding and landslides.

31st October 2017

Monsoon Season

The first large storm of the monsoon season arrived last night with torrential rain and thunderstorms which are forecast to last 3 or more days. The storm system is coming from the south and heading north. This means that today and tomorrow I will be riding through it on my way from Danang to Nha Trang. I spent 7 hours riding in very heavy rain and flooding today travelling from Danang to Qui Nhon - despite wearing 2 rain ponchos I got completely soaked. The worst part for me was not the rain but the very strong wind and low visibility.
Tomorrow will be more of the same but at least it should only be for about 4 hours.


27th October 2017


I have been in Danang for the past 4 days just generally looking around etc. Yesterday I spent several hours on the new Coco Bus Tour - an open top double decker "hop on hop off" bus that does a circuit around Danang including the beaches and the airport. The advertised cost is 250,000 vnd (about $11 USD) but it is half price until the end of November because it is an unknown attraction. Overall the bus trip was nothing special and for most of the time I was the only person on board.
I have already decided that I will not be moving to Danang to live even though the area where I am staying on My Khe beach is nice and there are plenty of restaurants etc. in the area. The entire beach area seems to be a construction zone (even much worse than Nha Trang) and will become a "Concrete Jungle" over the next few years. I will probably stay in Nha Trang or may even move to Dalat for six months for a complete change of scenery.


23rd October 2017

Qui Nhon

I am in Qui Nhon for the night after riding up from Nha Trang today - tomorrow I continue on to Danang where I have booked a studio apartment for a week near My Khe Beach to test it for a possible future living location.

After my week in Danang I return to Nha Trang (again an overnight stop in Qui Nhon) arriving on 1st November - I will only be home for a few days before flying to Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) and then on to Sydney for almost 2 months - returning to Nha Trang on 1st January 2018.


5th October 2017

Hwaseong Palace, Suwon, South Korea

I went to Hwaseong Palace today to continue my tourist activities. I must admit that I am becoming quite jaded visiting "Tourist Locations" etc. as I have seen so many. The ancient buildings/palaces of South Korea look very similar as others I have seen in both Japan and China. Anyway I have now visited South Korea and all is well. Tomorrow I head back to Vietnam and home in Nha Trang.

Hwaseong Palace Entrance King's Throne King's Portrait
Hwaseong Palace                                      King's Throne                                      Hwaseong Palace


4th October 2017

Seoul, Day 4

Today I caught the train to Ansan, an outer suburb of Seoul, as I came across information that said it was the most multi cultural area of Seoul and had a great variety of street food. It seemed pretty much the same as central Seoul to me with nothing obviously different so it was a waste of most of the day. This afternoon I went for a walk along the Seoullo 7017 Terrace Walkway down to Seoul train station and back..

Seoul Station From Seoullo 7017
Seoul Station From Seoullo 7017


3rd October 2017

Seoul, Day 3

I was wondering why it was so quiet in central Seoul so I did a search on the Net and discovered that this whole week is a national holiday. I did more walking and training (metro) today and played tourist a little. I first visited Namdaemun Gate (National Treasure No. 1) which is in central Seoul and was built in the 14th century - I then went to Deoksugung Palace, which is next to the current Seoul City Hall, and was also built in the 14th century.

Namdaemun Gate Namdaemun Gate Deoksugung Palace Deoksugung Palace
Namdaemun Gate                                                                                             Deoksugung Palace
Deoksugung Palace Deoksugung Palace Deoksugung Palace
Deoksugung Palace


2nd October 2017

Seoul, Day 2

Today I did some walking around the area of my hotel (Central Seoul) and a couple of metro train trips. One of the first things I noticed was that Korea, and Koreans are (as expected) very much like Japan and Japanese - tidy, organised, polite and regimented. This is very much "Unlike" Vietnam where everything is chaotic. The area of central Seoul has the highest concentration of restaurants, coffee shops and mini marts I have ever encountered - plus there are 24 hour a day street markets.

Seoul, South Korea Seoul, South Korea Seoul, South Korea Seoul, South Korea
Seoul, South Korea                                                                                             Seoul, South Korea


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