I am a well travelled fellow with an eye for beauty and a questioning mind. I want to see the whole world before I die - now 59 countries and counting!
  • Day3

    Kuta, Taman Ayun & Tanah Lot

    January 26 in Indonesia ⋅ ⛅ 30 °C

    Took a trip out to Taman Ayun Temple today then on to Tanah Lot. Thunder and lightning at Taman Ayun and needed my umbrella but it cleared enough for some nice atmospheric shots. Also drove the tourists under cover and allowed me to get some without people in. Same could not be said for Tanah Lot, it's a popular spot and was heaving with tourists. I know I'm one too... but I hate tourists, especially the selfie stick weilding ones :-)

    Then it was back to the hotel a nice shower then out to dinner for some Beef Rendang. Not as good as my friend Terry's Rendang but pretty good none the less.
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  • Day2

    Ulawatu, Padang Beach and GWK - Bali

    January 25 in Indonesia ⋅ ⛅ 29 °C

    Up early and a car to Ulawatu Temple. Stunning! and no one there just lots of monkeys. A monkey stole my glasses and I thought I might have to go through the rest of the holiday unable to see much but luckily I was rescued by one of the temple officers who tempted the monkey back out of the trees with some food. Just a few scratches as a reminder...

    Then it was on to peaceful Padang Beach to watch the surfers and folks just hanging out enjoying the beach, surf and sea. Chill!

    Last stop of the morning was the massive and impressive Garuda Wishnu Kencana, a park with massive statues, limestone cliffs, regular cultural shows like Balinese dance and lots of tourist shops. Made it just before the crowds and by the time I left the bus loads were pouring in and it was really heating up. A hot sticky 35c.

    So back to the hotel, an air-conditioned lunch stop for a nice Thai salad and a massage followed by lounging in the pool. I don't know how people do the pool thing all day, I would much rather be out and about exploring. An hour by the pool is about my max :-)

    Out exploring Kuta in the evening; sunset on the beach watching the fishing boats bob in the surf and then the malls, restaurants and buzzing evening life of Kuta.
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  • Day1

    Back to Bali!

    January 24 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 29 °C

    It's a long weekend here (Australia Day) so I'm off back to Bali for three days because... well why not?

    Besides it's cheaper than going anywhere in WA or wider Australia for the weekend, bar staying at home that is.. . and why would I want to do that when there's a whole wide world out there?Read more

  • Day14

    Maokong, Longshan & Taipei Zoo

    January 6 in Taiwan ⋅ ☁️ 25 °C

    Taipei Zoo is situated on the south east edge of the city as it climbs into the mountains. A large zoo with a wide selection of animals, reptiles, birds and insects it was definitely worth the visit.

    After the Zoo I took the nearby Maokong Gondola way up into the mountains. It's a really long cable car ride and it climbs up over several forested peaks and valleys. Stunning views can be had of Taipei and the mountains.

    It ends in Maokong where there are a number of tea gardens, tea houses and other sights such as temples. The trip back is just as spectacular. If you only visit one thing in Taipei I recommend the Gondola ride :-)

    Then it was back to the city on the MRT and off to Longshan Temple, probably ly the most famous temple in the city. There are also several other temples in the area that are well worth the visit and the street markets and sights and sounds of this old part of Taipei mean you can wander for ages.

    Well this was my last day in the remarkable city of Taipei and I have definitely enjoyed myself.
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  • Day13

    Yeliu Geopark & CKS Memorial Hall

    January 5 in Taiwan ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

    Up early for the journey out to the northern coast and Yeliu Geopark. Figured it wouldn't be too crowded as it was so far from the city - 2hrs by bus - but couldn't have been more wrong. It was heaving with so many tourists a good shot of the wondrrful natural rock formations was just impossible. I guess that's the one big problem with traveling in Asia ; all the tourist spots are heaving with people.

    Then it was another bus back to the city and a visit to the impressive Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall with its stunning blue and white central building in the midst of a very large complex with two other buildings in more traditional multi colors.

    I also visited the Taiwan National Museum nearby and to my surprise the Old Masters exhibition of Aboriginal bark art from Australia.

    I got a Knife Therapy massage in the undeeground mall. Essentially being beaten with two large blunt chopping knives... an experience to be sure :-)

    Rest of the day and evening was spent wandering the bustling streets and eating street food :-)
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  • Day12

    Nǐ hǎo Taipei

    January 4 in Taiwan ⋅ ☀️ 24 °C

    Flew into Taipei this morning; a bustling Asian megopolis that feels like a cross between Siagon and Tokyo. Has all the crazy traffic, scooters and street vendors of a Saigon but also is very modern and glitzy like Tokyo.

    Took in the street markets (day and night) and Art Museum, a Temple at night and visited Taipei 101 for the 360 degree views of the city at sunset.

    I like the buzz of Taipei and I'm staying a place called Bee House which is totally Bee themed and very cool. Peace and tranquility in the heart of the bustling streets.

    Everything mingles and merges here. Street vendors outside a hardware store and next door to an up market gift store and all around the garish red and gold of the Chinese New Year themed stores... the smells of food... and neon and noise!

    Looking forward to my three days here, the life the sights and the food. Speaking if which I found an amazing Burger joint and enjoyed a brilliant burger and fries, which was really yummy after the last 10 days of Asian food.
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  • Day11

    Lazy Day in Okinawa

    January 3 in Japan ⋅ ☀️ 19 °C

    Had a lazy day today, slept in late then checked out of the hotel and drove an hour south back to Naha.

    Visited the Shikinaen Royal Garden and enjoyed its typical Japanese garden beauty with that added Okinawan twist of more tropical foliage.

    Then it was on into Naha to the Okinawa Prefectural Museum which was well worth the visit. After that got some lunch and did some shopping at the big Aeon Mall near the Museum, then a trip down the very touristy Kokusai Dori street in the center of Naha.

    All in all a lazy last day in this tropical part of Japan.
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  • Day10

    Garden, Castle, Waterfall, Cave & Beach

    January 2 in Japan ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

    Started the day early at the Southeast Botanic Gardens near Okinawa city. Always good to get to these places early before most of the tourists arrive; had the place almost to myself.

    Driving north in heavy traffic I saw a sign for Todoroki Waterfall so took a detour to check it out. It was really nice and peaceful with very few other visitors.

    Next stop was Nakijin Castle ruins, a stunning castle set amidst jungle close to the coast. Very photogenic on this lovely sunny and warm winters day.

    After Nakijin I drove around the western coast for a while and stopped at Manza Beach before heading inland and visiting Cave Okinawa, a 200m long limestone cave with a walkway that I noticed a sign for as I was driving. Always something to discover when getting off the beaten track and taking back roads; again I had the place all to myself :-)

    After the Gardens, Castle, Waterfall, Beach and a Cave the day was almost over so I took a slow drive back to the Hotel on the eastern coast stopping at a local Aeon Mall to get some food for supper... some yummy fresh fish Sushi.
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  • Day9

    Two Castles & a Sacred Place

    January 1 in Japan ⋅ ☁️ 17 °C

    First full day in Okinawa saw me head of early in my hire car to Sefa-Utaki in the south east of the main island. A Sacred place down through the ages and specifically to the Okinawa native religion which is similar to but not the same as Shinto in the rest of Japan.

    Beautiful, powerful and peaceful I got there early before most of the tourists so it was very pleasant. Then it was off to the ruins of Nakagusuku Castle (中城) which is one of several castles, which were built across Okinawa during the era of the Ryukyu Kingdom, which had been in existence for several centuries before Okinawa became a Japanese prefecture in 1879.

    Okinawa is definitely different from the rest of Japan... but also the same.

    After Nakagusuku I traveled on to the ruins of Katsuren Castle. Another one with stunning views and magnificent stonework.

    Finally I just drove around the coast and out to two islands off the east coast - Miyagi and Ikie - connected by road bridges. Wonderful coastline.

    Ended the day back at the hotel/resort enjoying the swimming pool and relaxing after a few very full on days in Bali, Vietnam and here in Okinawa. More exploring tomorrow :-)
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