Saturday, October 27, 2007

Fascinating Sydney

A couple of posts back I wrote about Sydney, Australia. I've got this somewhat close interest with Australia of late probably because I'm currently working on a project of which the client is Australian. I've heard many interesting things about Sydney and what goes on in the city during the day, and especially at night. Sydney night-life is magic, they say. I asked if getting a place to stay in Sydney would burn a hole in your pocket. No, they said. As a matter of fact, there are plenty of cheap hotels in Sydney from what I found out.

Any plans to go to Sydney? When you do find you way to Sydney, among the first pit stops to make would be Circular Quay, which is an area full of festivals and shops. From there you can walk up to the world-famous Sydney Opera House which was completed in 1973. It's a building with as great architectural significance as the Eiffel Tower or the Taj Mahal. Just next to it would be the Government House, a beautiful and historical building just south of the Opera House.

Have you heard of The Rocks? In days of old, the convicts used snadstone to build up the streets, hence the name. The Rocks is a small collection of streets that originally were slums but now offer a shopper's paradise. Then there is Harbor Bridge, also known as "The Coat Hanger" by locals. It's actually a bridge with a pedestrian walkway, two railway lines and an eight-lane road. Some of the best views in Sydney can be seen as you walk along the bridge which will take you a good 30-40 minutes.

The Sydney Aquarium is one place you must visit. You are able to walk under water and explore Australia's rich and diverse aquatic life and habitats. The aquarium trip is best suited for kids, family and friends. I wouldn't miss that one for sure.

And of course, not forgetting the beaches. Two places you should make a point to got to would be Bondi and the northern beaches. Bondi is located just 15 minutes west of downtown Sydney. The norther beaches are cleaner and less crowded compared to Bondi beach. You should try out Manly Beach, Palm Beach, Whale Beach or Avalon.

At night, you can enjoy some of the musical, comedy and magic shows plus a variety of other shows to choose from, depending on what you're interested in. Go check out shows by Ben Bradshaw, Australia's most successful comedy magician to date. Or if you're into dancing and dance shows, then go check out All Flavours, the only crew that mixes capoeira martial arts and acrobatics and breakdancing.

(Photo source:

Travelling in Asia

When one speaks of Asia, one is most inclined to imagine the myriads of different people that exist in Asia since Asia is ever so huge. India, China, Japan, Indonesia, Thailand, Myanmar, Malaysia, Phillipines, the list goes on. Tourists from Europe and countries in the West love to come to Asia simply because there's just so many different cultures to experience and appreciate. Even in one country you can have so many different, shall I call it, sub-cultures that has created different languages and different foods, etc.

Asian themselves love to travel wihin Asia, and I've come across some very interesting and hilarious travel stories in Asia, thanks to this great mixture of so many different cultures. I've got friends from Denmark and Australia who have traveled quite extensively in South East Asia for the last couple of years and they say, Asia is so diverse that it gets to the point of becoming uniquely strange. I'm not quite sure what they meant by that but I'll share with you some examples. Have you ever been to Thailand? Well if you have, then I'm sure you would have heard of lady boys, i.e. men who become women. And really look like them, physically. Sometimes even much better than real women. How to recognise them, you ask? I'm not sure myself, but I found some tips on the Net on the top 5 ways to spot lady boys in Thailand. Good luck to those who are keen to find out!
Sun, sea, sandy beaches and fine hot weather is what most of the equatorial Asian countries hold a trump card for. I'm a beach freak myself and I'd go down to the beach any opportunity I can get. Some of the best beaches in Asia are found in Thailand, Indonesia, India, the Phillipines and Sri Lanka. Not forgetting of course some world-famous diving locations such as north part of Borneo Island. It's a heck of an experience to dive into the crystal clear, warm sea waters or go explore the marine flora and fauna in the reef areas of the coast.

Asian tourists are a funny bunch. Whenever you see them on a holiday somewhere and taking photographs, you are bound to see strange and hilarious actions not just while posing for the photos but also while taking the shots. I kind of figured it out - they have to do all the awkward statures because of the limitations of their camera; it's most of the time a small, light, absolutely-as-compact-as-you-can type of camera. Which is what Asian love to go for. Because it's small. If you're planning to watch Beijing Olympics next year, then you will appreciate tips on how to take photos in Beijing, China.

Asia, simply marvellous!

(Photo source: Katathani Phuket Beach Resort, Thailand Beach Resort)

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Where to go for your next Holiday?

Year end is coming up and most of us busy working people would now be looking forward to week-long holidays with family and loved ones. Being on an island with an equatorial climate allows me to enjoy hot, sunny weather almost all year round. Unless of course if it pours. Now where would you be thinking to go for a holiday this year? Locally or abroad? If you're thinking abroad, you should try checking out packages with the best all-in-one offers that is affordable to you. It's always about affordability for most of us young family people.

For those of you wanting to go to fun, exotic places in the east such as India, then try to find holiday packages that will bring you to Goa. It's got one of the best beaches in the western coast of India. Panaji is the capital city of Goa and it offers a wide range of luxury hotels, cafes and bars, its streets are cobbledstoned with pastel-painted old buildings.

If your holidays are somehow limited to just a day or two during Christmas and the New Year, then you might perhaps prefer a short, eventful but relaxing holiday excursion to some of the major cities in the world. Convenience and affordability would be the key thing I look for when it comes to travelling for shorter periods of time.

This year I will most probably spend a week in the capital city, Kuala Lumpur, to take my wife and particularly my 4-year old son to the city's well-known amusement park enjoyments and a nice stroll in town, all of which my boy has not been to. In the not too distant future, I will be making my way to visit places of interest through travelling packages which are good, has little fuss on arrangements and worth the money you're paying it for.

(Goa tourist map: Copyright 2006 Compare Infobase Limited)

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Sydney, Australia

I have a colleague, Sam Curtis, who's Australian and he was describing his hometown to a group of us yesterday in one of our short in-house seminars. Sydney is where he comes from and he said it is a terrific city for tourists. I've never been there myself (have only been to Brisbane about 9 years ago) but would definitely like to make my way there. First question that pops up in my head would be, what's the best way to fly there? Well that's easy. Wherever you are, I'm pretty sure you can get a flight to reach Sydney.

Next big question would be, where to stay? Now that gets kind of tricky because you have to book from wherever you are in the world and hope that the place you secured is as you expect it to be. For a start, you can look through the list of hotels in Sydney which offer reasonable rates for avid travellers. I found out - thanks to the technology we refer to as the Net - that Sydney has a range of hotels you can consider, 3 to 5 star hotels all over the city. If you are travelling on a much tighter budget (like myself most of the time), then this is where you should visit to confirm a place that would not burst your wallet.

The third question would be, where do I go in Sydney? That of course is most important, since the whole purpose of travelling is to visit places of interest, historically or aesthetically or other. I found some sites where you could get such info, one of them is this. A very comprehensive information list on the city of Sydney can be found here.

Sydney is now in my wish-list of Places to Visit in the Near Future.

A Home in Paradise

Most of us dream of having a house on an island with beautiful, sunny weather all year round, sandy beaches just outside your doorstep, the relentless sound of waves breaking the shores. That would be paradise, wouldn't it? Added to that, you'll be waking up every morning to the mesmerising view of the sea and the beach, the sun rise greeting you with its hazy shade of orange glow far in the horizon. There are many places in the world like such that you can consider if you are seriously looking for a home in paradise.

Among the first place that comes to mind would be, naturally, the islands of Hawaii. Paradise in the Pacific that's what I'd say. Hawaii has plenty of islands which each have their own attraction and beauty. Before you decide on anything, it's best to find out more about the place you're interested in, what kind of price you are willing to pay, the kind of beach or sea views you'll get and the facilities that come with the property offered. Hawaii comprises six islands, with the mainland, also the largest island, located to the east. The other five islands are Maui, Lanai, Molokai, Oahu and Kauai.

Check out the islands of Maui and Kauai for even more beautiful places to consider for you home in Paradise.

(Photo: Corry Seibert)