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Showing posts from 2013

The traveller's time

There comes a time late in the day when, nearing dusk, the land and sky are suffused with hues of red and gold and the clouds are sharply defined by shadowed edges. This is the traveller's time, when the yearning to explore manifests and journeys should begin. On the journey itself it is the time that the weariness of the long road is forgotten and the scenery is seen again with fresh eyes and a renewed heart. And when you are in those unknown lands it is the time that they are the most exotic, when the scents and flavours are strongest, when the stories emerge from the shadows to add new dimensions to the Universe you walk in. It is the traveller's time.

Travel highlights from 2013

I've been trying to think of my travel highlights for 2013. It's a difficult task as there are so many to choose from. This has been a massive year for travel, with three overseas trips for me and a few domestic travels scattered in between. March A 25 day journey through Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan and Japan . There were so many highlights, orangutans outside of languid colonial Kuching, amazing Taiwan, early cherry blossoms and onsens in Japan, but what sticks in my mind is the simple ryokan at the quiet but beautifully isolated town of Gujo Hachiman. April My first ever black tie event as I was invited to the Qantas-Emirates Gala Dinner . It's so saddening to hear of Qantas' recent woes. June In June we said goodbye to that unloved icon, the Sydney Monorail and a premature farewell to the service of the Boeing 737-400 at Qantas with return flights to Canberra  on a tumultuous day in the capital. July I flew by myself to Japan to re

Low Cost Asia Trip Reports

I'm not over my last holiday. Still haven't got my old sleeping patterns back. I think it's because I've still been busy writing up trip reports, this time focussing on the aviation aspect for . Low Cost Asia 2.1: AirAsiaX SYD-KUL-SIN Low Cost Asia 2.2: Jetstar SIN-KIX J in a Typhoon Low Cost Asia 2.3: Jetstar Asia KIX-TPE-SIN-SGN Low Cost Asia 2.4: Vietnam SGN-HUI, Train Hoi An Low Cost Asia 2.5: BL Cancels, VietJet Rescues . Low Cost Asia 2.6: Hospitality? MH SGN-KUL Low Cost Asia 2.7: Home With AirAsiaX KUL-SYD That's over 15,500 words. When I pasted the content and images into Word it came out to be over 350 pages long. And if that's not enough for you, the series is considered as a continuation of this year's trip in March, constituting Low Cost Asia 1.x. Low Cost Asia: I've Got Scooties! SYD-SIN Low Cost Asia: AirAsia SIN-PEN, PEN-KCH Low Cost Asia 3: MASWings And MH KCH-BTU-BKI-TPE Low Cost Asia 4: Scootie

Red flight home

The tenth flight in eleven days. Yet another very early morning and another long taxi ride to the airport. We watched four Australian tourists from cram into a little red and yellow taxi, their big cases poking out of a boot held down with an ocky strap and we glad again that we had packed light. KLIA is a long way out of the city centre. A storm flickered in the distance in the grey morning light. I just wanted to sleep. The replacement for the Low Cost Carrier Terminal is long overdue. The current terminal building is just an ugly big shed. We checked in, then B ordered nasi lemak for breakfast. I was still feeling overfed from the day before. We had to go through two sets of security to reach the gate. A warning that the few available toilets are not really fit for human use. Boarding was done via stairs and we were welcomed by the cheerful crew. There is not so much to say about the aircraft, as it was much the same as on the flight up. I fell asleep during the t

The three little piggies in KL

Once upon a time there were three little pigs. Even though they were little pigs they still ate halal food because they were such little piggies that they couldn't stop eating. And eating. And eating. Honestly, what else is there to do in Malaysia except eat? Sure, you can probably throw a few activities up that might seem fun, but really, why would you waste time with them when you could be eating. And it seems that we are located in one of the best spots to partake in our favourite Malaysian activity. We began the day by walking down towards the old Imbi Markets. The hawker centre outside the markets is apparently now closed, but no matter, we came across the crowded Restoran Win Heng Seng on Jalan Imbi. I ordered a nasi lemak from a Malay's cart outside the restaurant/kopitiam and now Alex loves nasi lemak. It was the best I've ever tasted - the coconut rice, the sambal, the ikan bilis, the chicken curry. Just so good! B had some chee chong fun and noodles that

Cancelled, confused and Kuala Lumpur

Another early flight, another crazy connection. It's time to say goodbye to beautiful Hoi An, fly back to Ho Chi Minh City and then onwards to Malaysia. A hotel car drives us to Da Nang Airport as the orange sun peeks above the tropical clouds. Da Nang shows signs of recent development. There are golf resorts springing up on the outskirts, one of the bridges has metal supports in the shape of a dragon and there are King's, Queen's and numerous other "Palaces" for functions, despite this being a socialist country without a monarch. Oh, and there's a Mr Bean massage parlour with a huge photo of his face on their banner. Once we arrived at Da Nang's International Airport we hurried over to the Jetstar check in. The ladies seemed in no hurry to process the two or so passengers in front of us. When our turn finally arrived she told us that our 8 am flight had been delayed - to 4 pm. No way we'd make our connection to Malaysia with that flight.