Laos: a land where green mountains rise to the sky, valleys hidden by mist, and rivers and lakes twinkle in the distance. In 1353, Fa Ngum established his kingdom Lan Xang Hom Khao—The Kingdom of a Million Elephants and the White Parasol. The kingdom is gone, but Luang Prabang remains its heart.
Hoi An remains one of my favourite places in Vietnam. There is always something new to find in this UNESCO-listed town and the surrounding countryside. It is the perfect place to sip a coffee (Vietnamese-style, of course) and watch the world pass by.
Hong Kong is a place of variety and contrasts, with something to see and do (and eat and buy!) for everyone who visits. The problem can be in finding what appeals to you without becoming overwhelmed. Here are 10 suggestions in 10 photographs for Hong Kong Island.
There is so much to see and do (and eat!) in Florence that is good to find some free sights. Here are five suggestions, from simply wandering the streets to visiting some of the cities free art galleries. There are many more. Florence is a city to wander and discover. Enjoy!
Travelling is often expensive, but there are quite a few free things to do in the city, from wandering laneways to visiting free art galleries. Here are four of my favourite free things on offer in Melbourne.
Whether you're arriving, leaving or simply in transit, Singapore's Changi Airport is designed to help while away the time. From butterflies to giant slides and food courts to doctor fish, you'll find something to keep you busy while waiting for your flight.
Arriving in Venice can be both magical and overwhelming. If flying into Marco Polo Airport, there are various options for reaching Venice, including by train or—more romantically—by water.
Prague is simply a beautiful city, and it is a city for walking. Among her more famous sights are others just as wonderful, but too often missed among the crowds of tourists who fill her ancient streets. Simply wander to find your own personal delights and memories.
A few hours by train from Florence, this 'City of Artists' is a Tuscan gem seemingly known to only a few tourists. Although Tuscany boasts many famous places, it also abounds with villages and towns worth a detour to discover, especially in the heat of summer when the rest of Italy is over-crowded.
Monaco—long associated with glamour and riches, there is much more to this tiny principality. A cruise stop gives the perfect chance to explore the old town, along with the palace and cathedral.
What to read when in Florence? Fiction or non-fiction? So many books capture the heart and history of this city. Here a few suggestions, ranging from medieval works to modern ones.
What to read in Florence? There are many novels set here, and more than a few films. Here a few works to take the reader into Medieval and Renaissance Florence, with further suggestions.
Rome, the Eternal City—forever reinventing herself. Whether you're walking her streets for the first time or a return visitor, why not be a traveller and not a tourist, and see a few unusual things?
Angkor Wat draws tourists from around the world, yet in the surrounding jungle some 70 temples - or wats - have been discovered. Some have been restored, others left the way they were when discovered.
Bruges, Brugge, Venice of the North - whatever you call her, Belgium's medieval town Bruges is a delight. Wander the cobblestone streets, visit the art museums, cruise the canals - and eat chocolate!
Île des Pins (the Isle of Pines) is justly called l'île la plus proche du paradis - the island closest to paradise. She embraces you with charm as soon as you sight the pristine beaches and waters.
Paris is a city for walking, for discovering unexpected sights, whether in a crowd or a little-known back street. It's a place for sitting, and watching the world go by, and for discovering oneself.
Port Vila, Vanuatu, South Pacific. These romantic words conjure images of mysterious islands and an idyllic paradise bathed by the sun and lost in an emerald sea—an image not too far from the truth.
Ah, Venice. Every tourist will have their list of things to do, in far too short a time. Here are a few different suggestions for an itinerary, to help discover unseen delights in the heart of Venice.
Whereever you may visit in Japan, there is always something different, something unusual, something unique to find. Embrace the spirit of wanderlust and you'll be amazed at what you will find.
Amédée lighthouse is a jewel in the South Pacific and a perfect day trip from Nouméa. Soft sand stretches down to a warm ocean, fishes and coral abound, and sea turtles swim in the marine reserve.
Kowloon has more to offer than crowds and touts. Kowloon Park and the Chi Lin Nunnery offer an oasis of peace, and the Bird, Goldfish, Flower, and Fa Yuen St Markets are well worth a visit.
The history of coffee dates back over 1000 years, and taste for the bean has permeated around the globe. In the style of Proust, each country and city offers a unique taste and blend—and memories.
Mentioned in The Tale of the Genji, Ohara is an ancient town only a short bus ride from Kyoto. In the cool of a mountainside lies a cluster of fascinating temples, gardens, and restaurants.
The drive from Sydney to Melbourne: the inland highway, or the longer coast road? Both are great drives, but the coastal road begs a meandering holiday, with empty roads and forgotten beaches.
When in Florence it's all too easy to succumb to cultural overload. Here are a few practical tips for surviving a visit to Florence that can make a trip so much easier—and so much more enjoyable.
Alle Veneziana: In the style of Venice. Venetian markets overflow with seafood, yet the Veneto boasts lush farmland, and her history of seafaring and trading can be tasted in every meal.
Saigon or Ho Chi Minh? Although racing to the future, this vibrant city is full of ghosts from the past, including the touch of Indochina, the words of Graeme Greene, and the influence of the French.
Reading an Italian menu can be both daunting and confusing, yet the specialties of Florence are not to be missed. The memory of their flavours will remain long after the city has been left behind.
Walking through Nara Deer Park is walking back in time. Temples and shrines are hundreds of years old, the chant of monks fills the air, and tame deer, regarded as messengers of the gods, roam freely.
For all their diversity, Hong Kong and China have the same historical and cultural roots. Many works set in Hong Kong reflect the dichotomy of its classical past, while others cover both places.
Nestled on the slopes of Mt Subasio, Assisi—the birthplace of St Francis—remains the spiritual home of the Franciscan order. It is impossible to walk the medieval streets without feeling his presence.
A Seine bateau tour is a perfect introduction to Paris, for nearly every major monument and building is on display. Sit and relax like a Parisian as some 2000 years of history drift past.
Hidden amongst the skyscrapers, Singapore's Chinatown retains the air of the past while creating a true tourist attraction with cultural integrity, sightseeing, great shopping, and excellent food.
Just to drink the coffee in Italy is reason enough to visit. With the type of coffee drunk often determined by the hour of the day, ordering coffee in an Italian cafe is a ritual in it itself.
Florence is where Michelangelo was raised, and where he learnt his craft. The Casa Buonarroti is a delightful museum dedicated to the works and legacy of the great Renaissance artist.
An ancient town in Central Vietnam, Hoi An is a tourist's delight. The Old Town is small enough to wander without getting too lost; and there is always an historic house, temple or cafe nearby.
In the tropical heat of Ayutthaya, we relaxed atop our elephant as she wandered the ruins of Thailand's ancient capital.
Memories from the War to End All Wars still linger, nearly one hundred years after it began. Travelling through France and Belgium it is impossible not to be touched by the horrors which are still visible in the landscape.
Agatha Christie remains one of the most popular and famous of mystery writers. She often used poison to dispatch her victims. This article covers some of the common, and readily available, poisons she used, plus also the not-so common poisons.
Revered as Japan's Grand Master of Buddhism, Kobo Daishi brought Shingon Buddhism to the country in the 800s. His mausoleum, the Oko-in, is at Koya-san, one of Japan's most sacred mountains.
We only had one night to explore Rome, yet walking her streets by moonlight threw a new air over the Eternal City. Even as darkness fell, there was much to be discovered, including Rome's best coffee.
Take a walk through medieval Florence, to places easily missed. Florence boasts a range of forgotten gems, some literary and others scientific, and places simply to sit and watch the world go by.
Once an essential stop on The Grand Tour, there is always something to discover in Venice. A convent or monastery stay gives a unique experience when visiting this treasure of a city.