A Travellerspoint blog

A brief stopover in Singapore

rain 30 °C

Where do I start, the country is actually the size of a large city, and that's just what this place is, one of the first questions I asked is "where do all the people live", with the entire country being approx 45 km from East to West and 25 km from North to South and there seems to be little countryside to speak of, just lots of high rise buildings and shopping malls.

Arriving into the magnificent Changi Airport where everything is so luxurious, I jumped into a Taxi and 30 minutes later found myself at the "Sleepy Sam's Bed & Breakfast" Hostel which apparently was rated the 2nd best hostel in South East Asia several years ago.

The weather here is hot and humid with Temperatures as high in the Night as they are in the Day (approx 25 degrees), with rain every afternoon for several hours in Nov and Dec this place is certainly interesting.

Wandering through the city through the day on Saturday afternoon all the people seem to be vacant from the streets and the museums, "Where is everybody?", it turned out they are in the air conditioned underground shopping malls and buildings

During my time here I have visited the Asian Ancient Civilizations Museum, walked through the city along the Singapore river and seen the Famous Raffles Hotel.

I have met yet more interesting people at the hostel which is conveniently located close to the district on Little India.

The Singapore River which runs through the Country

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Singapore by Night

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It is certainly a great city to visit for a couple of days, most people use it as a stopping off point for flights or for getting into/out of Asia, which is a little unfair but all in all a great place to see.

Posted by lee2007 22:02 Archived in Singapore Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)

Final Days in Australia

Byron Bay and then over to the West

sunny 25 °C

Byron Bay on the Gold Coast is a pretty chilled out place with lots of people doing nothing and doing it rather slowly as well, the hostel was a friendly place with it's own swimming pool which made relaxing in the sun especially popular.

Byron bay is home to the furthest point east in the whole of Australia and also to a historical Lighthouse which sits on top of the cliffs keeping an eye on the waters below, after an hour's walk up to it I managed to get to the top and get some impressive pictures of the views.

Upon Leaving the Gold Coast I took not one but two flights to get to Perth all the way over on the West Coast.

The first thing that hits you about Perth is that for a city it is so clean and tidy, with the roads and path's being almost devoid of litter and other general untidyness.

It is a lot more fresher here instead of being humid on the east but the Sun is still very powerful but I sense the full power of the Australian summer still hasn't kicked in yet.

With my limited time I toured the city taking in as many of the sights as possible, Kings Park is a small place situated high above the main city and hosts some more impressive views over everything.

Slighty out of the city about 30 minutes from Perth is the laid back town of Freemantle, which was home to one of Western Australia's maximum security prisons until they closed it in 1991 and turned it into a Historical Museum

I had been recommended an a few occasions to visit and found the whole place very fascinating, as it only closed about 15 years ago there were some many stories and things that happend at the Prison which I could relate to and spent about 3 hours touring the facility and learning lots of interesting stuff.

With my time here in Australia almost over the next port of call is a brief stopover in Singapore for a few days before my onward flight home back to Blighty just in time for Christmas.

Posted by lee2007 14:58 Archived in Australia Tagged round_the_world Comments (1)

1770 & the Sunshine Coast

sunny 30 °C

The town of 1770 was cool and so chilled out, apparently it's the only town in the world with a number as a name but i'm not sure thats entirely acurate.

The Cool Banana's Hostel in town had a great vibe to it and spent the evenings chatting to people out under the stars with a huge fire close by.

Also one of the main reasons to visit the town is to try some of the dirt cheap activities in the area, I got together with some other from the hostel and joined as a big group for fun at the beach on a beginners surfing lesson.

After learning the basics and several hours of attempting to stand up and not fall off (wipeout) when the big waves came crashing forward I can proudly say that I'm not a great surfer yet and much more practice is needed.

Jumped on the Greyhound bus early monday morning and spent the rest of the day travelling back south along the coast to the posh and expensive resort town of Noosa Heads on the sunshine coast.

This is where all the Australian rich and famous have their holiday homes and come the retire in luxury.

It has a wonderfully small national park right next to the town and spent one day walking many km's along the coast and through the bush with Iguana's and other strange animals all in the undergrowth.

As I head further south now back to Brisbane and Byron Bay before catching a flight in a couple of days across to the west coast city of Perth, apparently the most remote city on the planet.

Posted by lee2007 14:39 Archived in Australia Tagged round_the_world Comments (1)

Beyond Sydney and further up the East coast

Woolgoolga, Brisbane, and Hervey Bay

sunny 29 °C

Hi all

It's been a fairly calm couple of weeks after leaving Sydney but getting the chance to see a lot of rural Australia, and how things are like over here.

I arranged to meet up with Alan, a friend I met on the Mexican Tour who lives in a small town called Woolgoolga which is located between Sydney and Brisbane.

Managed to meet up and he kindly offered to let me stay as long as I wanted.

I got the chance to drive his 4x4 Jeep for a couple of days as we saw all the sights and met up with a lot of locals which was great for me to meet such nice Australian people - I even had a go in helping to fix a computer or two which was the least I could do.

5 days later I caught an early bus and made my way into Brisbane for a couple of nights stay in the outskirts of the city which although is nice was not as interesting as Sydney.

My next move was a visit to Hervey Bay which is again further north and home to the famous Frazer Island just offshore which is the worlds biggest Sand Island!

A day tour got me a Ferry ride to and from the Island, a tour around in a 4x4 with a guide to some of the main spots on the island (the Maheno shipwreck anyone...) a plane ride over the island to witness the beauty and just how huge it actually is, and many a dip into the natural pools and spa's that are dotted all over the place - Excellent!!!

Now planning my next moves as I write this, off to a town called 1770 tomorrow which is apparently a hidden gem of a village that is rapidly gaining popularity and my not be so hidden for much longer, before moving southwards back to Brisbane with a stop or two along to way.

Posted by lee2007 16:55 Archived in Australia Tagged round_the_world Comments (1)

The start of Australia

Melbourne to Sydney

sunny 25 °C

Hi All

Flew from Christchurch into Melbourne and arrived just before the extremely popular Melbourne Cup Horse Race, the whole city takes the day off and watches the different races throughout the day.

Melbourne was a great city to stay in and get used to the Australian summer, visited several sights in the city and together with others in the hostel visited a couple of local bars in the evenings.

To my next destination and as the long distance between the cities is managed to book myself a cheap flight to Sydney, once here I checked myself into the friendly Blue Parrot hostel located close to the quirky and fun filled district of Kings Cross.

The summer is beginning to kick in and the temperature is already hot and sunny, so far have visited and walked along the huge Sydney Harbour bridge which towers across the skyline, the Famous Opera house which is surprisingly smaller than I thought it would be but still very impressive, the well known and popular Bondi Beach with it's blue sea and white sand and the metropolitan and busy city centre reminds me alot of London.

There are a few more places still to see here so I will be staying here in Sydney for a couple more days before travelling up the east coast to the popular town of Coffs Harbour which is a place built off the back of it's important Banana growing industry and is home to Australia's Big Banana - A Building in the shape of (you guessed it) a Banana!!!.

Posted by lee2007 21:43 Archived in Australia Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)

Moving onwards from New Zealand

semi-overcast 18 °C

Unfortunately my time in New Zealand is almost up, and in only a few short hours I will be flying to Melbourne to begin the tour around Australia.

The last few weeks here in the South Island have been mixed with some action packed days and some days spent lazing around, some time has been spent in several cities (Dunedin - World steepest Street, Christchurch - Antarctic Centre), whilst the rest has been in small villages and towns which are dotted around (Queenstown, Lake Tekapo, Kaikoura).

On the last leg of the journey we stopped of in Lake Tekapo which is located next to Mount Cook National Park, managed to see yet more awesome scenery and ventured out on some stunning hikes with other people from the hostel.

Also something that I wanted to checkout was the Space observatories located on top of Mount John which looks over miles and miles of NZ wilderness, due to the weather being so fantastic at the time I signed up for a night of star gazing, and together with several other people managed to look at various planets, stars and other interesting heavenly bodies in space huge distances away, all through powerful telescopes only normally accessible to scientific study - Fascinating!!!

My final stops have been to the popular Fishing village of Kaikoura, and to the largest city on the South Island Christchurch which is supposedly the most European City in New Zealand.

The Magic Bus turned out to be an excellent way of getting around the country, we stopped off in many isolated places to take photo's, lunch in small villages and seaside settings and drinks out in some excellent pubs and bars in New Zealand, I was fortunate to meet lots of people along the way and will stay friends with many of them.

During my time here I was on the lookout for native Kiwi's to find out more about living on this side of the world and cultural differences, luckily I met these great group of people who were touring around their home country, it was interesting to learn about the differences in the way of life here and it was great to swap stories from places closer to home.

My 36 days here has moved by very quickly, I have managed to see all that I wanted and more in between, looking forward to visiting Melbourne and have a few ideas to mix it up and make things as interesting as possible?

Posted by lee2007 13:14 Archived in New Zealand Tagged round_the_world Comments (3)

Photo's from New Zealand

sunny 18 °C

It's been an exciting couple of weeks, moving slowly southwards and now in New Zealand's South Island.

Had a brief stop over in Wellington and learned some new skills of indoor rock climbing (excellent), visited the brilliant national museum, flew across to Picton on the South Island and carried on the adventure to the sunny town of Nelson, Greymouth, the magnificent town of Franz Joseph with the huge Frozen Glaciers close by, and now in the popular town of Wanaka for the New Zealand Bank Holiday.

Here are some photo's of what I have been up to recently

The city of Wellington from on top of Mount Victoria

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Waiting for our ride up the Glacier in Franz Joseph

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Meeting the party at the top

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Wandering around on the Ice

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Looking cool Amongst the blue Ice

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Our Transport has arrived

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Lots still to see and do so more later

Posted by lee2007 15:19 Archived in New Zealand Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)

New Zealand

Māori translation - The Long White cloud

sunny 18 °C

So begins the next portion of the journey, after a brief stop over in LA, managed to spend a day sightseeing in Hollywood and Sunset Boulevard before heading back to the airport for a flight onwards to Auckland.

Everything went a bit weird as we crossed the international date line mid flight and it jumped from being 8 hours behind GMT on the 28th to being 12 hours in front on the 30th September.

It's still in spring here in New Zealand and with temperatures only just about 20 degrees it made for a big shock jumping from hot sunshine for the last 3 months into the cold - (I even had to put my coat on!!!)

The country is a similar size to the UK, but with a very important difference, there are only about 4 million people, I didn't think little villages of a dozen houses and a shop still existed but they do and are everywhere here, (not just in rural out of the way area's).

That's ok though as us tourists are out in force everywhere, 11 million of us each year swamp the country sampling the best of what's on offer!

And exactly what is on offer, to date currently been on a day tour around Auckland seeing a lot of the 63 volcano's that make up the city, walking under the Auckland harbor bridge to watch bungy jumping in high gales, driving along 90 mile Beach which is a magnificent place which runs up to Cape Reinga right at the top of the country, visited the countries historic treaty grounds from 1840's, Headed to the North East and walked through brush to get to the hidden Cathedral Cove, been underground in the Waitomo caves to see thousands of glow worms in their natural habitat, seen fluffy bunny rabbits shorn for their Angora fur (all escaped unharmed) and finally rolled downhill in a giant plastic ball called a Zorb which has all made for a very interesting couple of weeks.

Photo's!!!

Cathedral Cove - It's really me!

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90 Mile Beach - It's only about 57km but it is a public highway and you can drive on it like any other road

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London - over 9000 Miles away at Cape Reinga

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Zorbing downhill - Great fun

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Onwards!!!

Posted by lee2007 12:55 Archived in New Zealand Tagged round_the_world Comments (2)

Final Days in Mexico

sunny 30 °C

The Mexican Ancient Civilizations tour is now over and the majority of the group have travelled onwards or back home.

Had a great time visiting archelogical ruins, learning a bit of spanish, meeting lots of new people, and sampling some of the best that Mexico has to offer.

Currently in the seaside town of Playa Del Carmen which is about an hour away from Cancun, as its the rainy season some days have are humid and wet and others are glorious sunshine.

Have about 2 days to go before flying out back to LA for a brief stop over and then onwards to Auckland which is located near the top of the North Island of New Zealand.

Meanwhile here are a few last photos of Mexico

Ruins at the Jungle City of Palenque

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Alan and Me at the Ruins at Chichen Itza

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The Ruins on the beach at Tulum

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Next update from the other side of the world in Auckland

Posted by lee2007 08:30 Archived in Mexico Tagged round_the_world Comments (2)

The Mexico Adventure Continues

San Christobel, Palenque, Merida and beyond

sunny 30 °C

After a overnight bus ride finally arrived in the small town of San Christobel, here we stayed for 2 nights and enjoyed the Markets during the day and the Mexican Independence day festival in the evening on Saturday 15th.

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After this moving further east we arrived in the Jungle Village of Palenque and we happend upon some ruins where only 2% have been uncovered and the other 98% are still remain buried in the Mexican Jungle.

Uncovered Ruins surrounded by the Jungle

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The group in the jungle in search of the other 98%

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Here we can see why it take around 15 years to carefully restore a temple one piece at a time

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Now on the last days of the tour and currently in the sunny town of Merida which is located close to the gulf of Mexico here we will visit the Ruins at Chichen Itza before heading to Playa Del Carmen for some time by the coast.

Posted by lee2007 10:20 Archived in Mexico Tagged round_the_world Comments (2)

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