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Emma

Emma

Australia

Emma’s been reading, writing and dreaming about travel for over two decades. English by birth, Aussie at heart and Brazilian/Japanese by marriage, Emma needs little excuse to jump on a plane in search of adventure. When not writing about travel (or sampling it first hand!), Emma plays dress-up with her three-year-old daughter and teaches yoga in Melbourne, Australia.

Mar192013

Travel Recommendation

Nishiki Food Market

Kyoto

My Recommendation Tip

While Tokyo has Tsukiji Fish Market, famous for its tuna auctions and the sheer quantity and diversity of seafood that is traded every day, landlocked Kyoto has a very different kind food market.

Mar192013

Travel Recommendation

Things to Do at Lake Ashi

Tokyo

My Recommendation Tip

Lake Ashinoko, or Lake Ashi as it is more commonly called, is an ancient crater lake at the bottom of Mount Hakone famous for its spectacular vistas of Mt. Fuji.

Mar152013

Travel Recommendation

Kyoto's Best Parks and Gardens

Kyoto

My Recommendation Tip

Kyoto is rich with parks and landscaped gardens. Many gardens are temple gardens and reflect a Zen Buddhist philosophy and others feature an abundance of flowering cherry and plum trees, bamboo and Japanese maples.

Mar092013

Travel Recommendation

Michelin-Starred Restaurants in Tokyo

Tokyo

My Recommendation Tip

If asked to name the world’s gourmet capital, many of us would immediately shout ‘Paris!’, but alas, this is no longer the case. In fact, since 2010 Tokyo has lay claim to this title thanks to its incredible wealth of Michelin-star rated restaurants.If asked to name the world’s gourmet capital, many of us would immediately shout ‘Paris!’, but alas, this is no longer the case. In fact, since 2010 Tokyo has lay claim to this title thanks to its incredible wealth of Michelin-star rated restaurants.

Mar052013

Travel Recommendation

Playing Geisha for a Day in Kyoto

Kyoto

My Recommendation Tip

As you walk around Kyoto you are bound to pass many Maiko (apprentice geisha) dressed in elaborate and colorful kimonos and tottering around on their okobo (wooden clogs).

Mar052013

Travel Recommendation

The Castles of Kyoto

Kyoto

My Recommendation Tip

Kyoto’s Nijo Castle is a survivor from an era when shoguns ruled Japan and was built in 1603 as the Kyoto residence of Japan’s most powerful shogun of the time, Tokugawa Ieyasu.

Feb282013

Travel Recommendation

Victoria Police Museum

Melbourne

My Recommendation Tip

If, like many people, crime, criminals or the law fascinates you, you will love the exhibitions, photographs, stories and artifacts at the Victoria Police Museum.

Feb262013

Travel Recommendation

How To Get Around in Kyoto

Kyoto

My Recommendation Tip

Kyoto is laid out on a grid system, with north-south running streets crossing those running east-west.

Feb262013

Travel Recommendation

Zoshigaya Cemetery

Tokyo

My Recommendation Tip

If you need some time out from the hustle and bustle of central Tokyo, the serene Zoshigaya cemetery (Zoshigaya Reien) is a quiet, green space close to one of Tokyo’s busiest train stations.

Feb212013

Travel Recommendation

Ippan Sanga (Citizens’ New Year Greetings to the Imperial Family)

Tokyo

My Recommendation Tip

There are only two days in the year when the general public are allowed to enter the inner grounds of Tokyo’s Imperial Palace and pay their respects to the Imperial family.

Feb212013

Travel Recommendation

Gum San Chinese Heritage Centre

Melbourne

My Recommendation Tip

Not far from the magnificent Grampians area in Victoria is the township of Ararat and the excellent Gum San Chinese Heritage Centre.

Feb192013

Travel Recommendation

Important Festivals and Holidays in Kyoto

Kyoto

My Recommendation Tip

Japan’s most cultured city knows how to put on a great festival. Barely a month goes by without some historical extravaganza or other featuring on the local calendar.

Feb192013

Travel Recommendation

Top 10 Romantic Things to Do in Tokyo

Tokyo

My Recommendation Tip

1. Dinner Cruise on Tokyo Bay
Enjoy the city at night from the decks of a traditional Yakatabune boat or luxury yacht.

Feb192013

Travel Recommendation

Sovereign Hill

Melbourne

My Recommendation Tip

Melbourne’s fortunes were made in the Victorian goldfields in the 1850s, when thousands of migrants descended upon the area after the discovery of gold.

Feb192013

Travel Recommendation

Romantic Kyoto

Kyoto

My Recommendation Tip

Kyoto is romantic. It’s hard not to feel just a little bit squishy when you walk the streets of Old Kyoto or stand gazing at an ancient shrine or temple. Of course, if you are looking to ramp up the romance for that special someone then there are steps you can take to ensure your Kyoto experience hits the right notes…but be careful, you could just as easily fall for the city itself.

Feb142013

Travel Recommendation

Puppet Theatre PUK

Tokyo

My Recommendation Tip

If you are traveling in Tokyo with kids or you just want to experience a unique and charming aspect of Japanese culture, then you should see a performance by the internationally renowned Puppet Theatre PUK.

Feb122013

Travel Recommendation

Melbourne Food and Wine Festival

Melbourne

My Recommendation Tip

It’s not an exaggeration to say that the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival is one of Australia’s biggest food and wine events.

Feb122013

Travel Recommendation

Kyoto’s Best Onsen

Kyoto

My Recommendation Tip

Onsen (hot springs) can be found in Japan’s countryside, in natural surrounds ideal for outdoor bathing and with direct access to geothermally heated springs.

Feb052013

Travel Recommendation

The Art Lovers Guide to Kyoto

Kyoto

My Recommendation Tip

While Kyoto lacks some of the vibrancy of Tokyo’s contemporary arts scene, it holds all the cards when it comes to traditional art and architecture.

Feb012013

Travel Recommendation

Setsubun: Japan’s Bean Throwing Festival

Tokyo

My Recommendation Tip

Spring is coming in Tokyo, let’s throw some beans!

Feb012013

Travel Recommendation

How to Celebrate Australia Day in Melbourne

Melbourne

My Recommendation Tip

Australia Day takes place on January 26th and is a public holiday for all Australians.

Feb012013

Travel Recommendation

Visiting Osaka from Kyoto

Japan

My Recommendation Tip

Osaka is less than one hour from Kyoto by train and is well worth a day trip or, at the very least, an overnight stay.

Unlike Tokyo or Kyoto, however, Japan’s third largest city is best approached with a mind to explore and experience rather than to tick off specific sights.

Jan282013

Travel Recommendation

What To Do With One Day In Kyoto

Kyoto

My Recommendation Tip

East Kyoto is the best-preserved and most charming part of the city with a number of significant sites within walking distance of one another.

Jan272013

Travel Recommendation

Tokyo Tower

Tokyo

My Recommendation Tip

Eclipsing the Eiffel Tower in height by just 13 meters and modelling itself on Paris’s older and more famous landmark, the candy-striped Tokyo Tower has been a feature of Tokyo’s skyline since 1958.

Jan092013

Travel Recommendation

Tokyo for Art Lovers

Tokyo

My Recommendation Tip

It’s only natural that aesthetes, artists and creatives be drawn to Tokyo and Japan.

Jan072013

Travel Recommendation

Zoshigaya Cemetery

Tokyo

My Recommendation Tip

If you need some time out from the hustle and bustle of central Tokyo, the serene Zoshigaya cemetery (Zoshigaya Reien) is a quiet, green space close to one of Tokyo’s busiest train stations.

Jan072013

Travel Recommendation

Australian Open in Melbourne

Melbourne

My Recommendation Tip

January in Melbourne is all about lazy summer days, swimming at the beach and watching the Australian Open Tennis Championships.

Jan042013

Travel Recommendation

Shopping on Shijo-dori

Kyoto

My Recommendation Tip

Kyoto’s best shopping experiences can be found on and around its main street, Shijo-dori. Running east to west through Kyoto’s Gion district, Shijo-dori is a 7-kilometer-long stretch of gigantic shopping arcades, huge department stores, and speciality shops.

Jan022013

Travel Recommendation

Melbourne’s Big Day Out

Melbourne

My Recommendation Tip

The Big Day Out (BDO) is one of Australia’s longest-serving music festivals and the very first show was back in Sydney in 1992 and featured a memorable set by Nirvana.

Dec282012

Travel Recommendation

Visiting Hiroshima from Kyoto

Kyoto

My Recommendation Tip

Destroyed in the world’s first atomic bomb attack on August 6, 1945, Hiroshima’s legacy is not a happy one, but serves to remind residents and visitors to the city of the great loss and devastation caused by war.

Dec192012

Travel Recommendation

Romantic Things to Do in Melbourne

Melbourne

My Recommendation Tip

With wide avenues, large parks, sweeping vistas and fine Victorian architecture in the city; and glorious beaches, forested hills and wineries just a short drive away, Melbourne is the perfect place to cozy up with a loved one.

Dec182012

Travel Recommendation

The Kyoto International Manga Museum

Kyoto

My Recommendation Tip

Part museum, part reading room, the Kyoto International Manga Museum is devoted to Japanese manga and boasts the world’s largest collection of manga related work.

Dec142012

Travel Recommendation

Shrines in Kyoto

Kyoto

My Recommendation Tip

There are thousands of temples as well as shrines in Kyoto, so it is understandable that people may be confused as to the difference between the two. Calling a temple a shrine (or vice versa), however, is akin to calling a church a synagogue. Both buildings belong to two different religions: Buddhism lays claim to the temples whereas shrines are dedicated to the gods of the Shinto religion.

Dec132012

Travel Recommendation

Kyo-ryori: Kyoto Cuisine

Kyoto

My Recommendation Tip

Kyo-ryori (Kyoto cuisine) is a refined cuisine with a history dating back over 1,200 years. Characterized by its use of seasonal ingredients, delicately presented dishes and meals that are served over several courses, it is a uniquely Japanese style of eating that should be experienced at least once during your stay.

Dec132012

Travel Recommendation

Budget Friendly Things to Do in Tokyo

Tokyo

My Recommendation Tip

Tokyo has a reputation as being an expensive city but the reality is you can have a really great time and see the majority of the city’s major attractions without spending too much. Let us show you how:

Dec132012

Travel Recommendation

New Years Eve Events in Melbourne

Melbourne

My Recommendation Tip

Are you ready to party? Australia’s events capital, Melbourne, has a wild ride in store for you! As well as the free firework shows and entertainment at Docklands and along the Yarra River at 9pm and midnight, there are events and dance parties happening all over the city. Here’s a list of some of the hottest events around town New Year’s Eve 2012.

Dec092012

Travel Recommendation

New Year’s Eve in Tokyo

Tokyo

My Recommendation Tip

Part museum, part reading room, the Kyoto International Manga Museum is devoted to Japanese manga and boasts the world’s largest collection of manga related work.

Dec052012

Travel Recommendation

Summer in Melbourne

Melbourne

My Recommendation Tip

Melbourne is a great place to be in the Australian summer months: December, January and February. The city is renowned for having ‘four seasons in one day’ – although rainy days are few and far between and temperatures average a comfortable 26 degrees.

Nov292012

Travel Recommendation

Yebisu Beer Museum

Tokyo

My Recommendation Tip

Despite the long history and importance of sake in Japan’s drinking culture, beer is much more widely consumed throughout Japan. Thanks to its introduction by the Dutch in the 17th century and the discovery of hops growing wild on the island of Hokkaido, local beer production was in full swing by the late 1800s.

Nov282012

Travel Recommendation

Celebrating Christmas in Melbourne

Melbourne

My Recommendation Tip

Christmas in Melbourne is very much like Christmas in the northern hemisphere – a time for families, gift giving and huge Christmas dinners; the city is strewn with festive decorations, sparkling window displays and bag-laden shoppers.

Nov202012

Travel Recommendation

Christmas in Japan

Japan

My Recommendation Tip

Christmas in Japan is unlike any Christmas you might have experienced growing up in the West. Japanese people, while tolerant of all religions, are predominately Shinto or Buddhist in their beliefs and Christians make up only 1-2% of the country’s entire population.

Nov202012

Travel Recommendation

Visiting Kyoto in Winter

Kyoto

My Recommendation Tip

Kyoto is a lovely city all year round, but winter – Kyoto’s quietest season – can be the best time of year to appreciate its serene and zen-like qualities without the accompanying crowds.

Nov162012

Travel Recommendation

Federation Square

Melbourne

My Recommendation Tip

It’s hard to believe that what was once Melbourne’s most controversial public space is now one of it’s most celebrated and enjoyed. Melbourne’s Federation Square celebrates the last decade as the city’s central hub with its 10th anniversary this year.

Nov142012

Travel Recommendation

First-Time Visitor Tips for Melbourne

Melbourne

My Recommendation Tip

New in town? To save you spending a day feeling disorientated and discombobulated in Melbourne, we’ve put together a few tips to ease your way into the city and help you feel like a local in no time.

Nov132012

Travel Recommendation

The National Gallery of Victoria

Melbourne

My Recommendation Tip

The National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) in Melbourne is the oldest and largest public art museum in Australia. Operating across two sites in the city, on St Kilda Road and in Federation Square, the gallery has an enormous and important collection of Australian and international artworks.

Nov012012

Travel Recommendation

Puffing Billy Steam Railway

Melbourne

My Recommendation Tip

Puffing Billy is an old restored steam engine that runs on its original mountain track in Melbourne’s Dandenong Ranges. Built to transport the area’s first settlers around the mountains, Puffing Billy now transports visitors through the forest in its open carriages just for fun.

Oct252012

Travel Recommendation

The Waseda Shochiku Cinema in Takadanobaba

Tokyo

My Recommendation Tip

The Waseda Shochiku Cinema is one of Tokyo’s oldest movie theaters and is quite an institution in the popular student area of Takadanobaba. Showing movies for over 50 years, Waseda Shochiku is one of the few nods to Tokyo’s not so distant past and offers the unique chance to see two movies back to back in 35mm film.

Oct242012

Travel Recommendation

One Day in Melbourne

Melbourne

My Recommendation Tip

While Melbourne is a sprawling city, its central business district and main attractions are compact and easily navigable.

Oct192012

Travel Recommendation

The Immigration Museum

Melbourne

My Recommendation Tip

Melbourne’s history has been shaped by immigration and the Immigration Museum celebrates the city’s rich multicultural past and its present.

Oct192012

Travel Recommendation

Tokyo's Best Views

Tokyo

My Recommendation Tip

With so many skyscrapers in Tokyo, you’re not short on options to get a great view—either of the city and its skyline or from one of its many gardens and temple complexes. We’ve listed some of the best views Tokyo has to offer:

Oct102012

Travel Recommendation

Melbourne’s Best Picnic Spots

Melbourne

My Recommendation Tip

Foresighted Victorian town planners made sure that Melburnians had plenty of green space when they laid out the city in the mid-1800s. Thanks to them, city workers, families and foot-weary travelers can lay down a rug or picnic blanket in one of several gardens in each corner of the Melbourne.

Oct042012

Travel Recommendation

Top 10 Souvenirs to Buy in Tokyo

Tokyo

My Recommendation Tip

Japanese culture is so ancient and unique that you’ll have no trouble finding plenty of beautiful gifts and keepsakes to spoil yourself, your family and your friends. From the cheap and quirky to the practical and exquisite, there’s a gift to suit everyone if you know what to look for. Here’s our top 10 souvenirs to buy in Tokyo:

Photo courtesy of ShardsOfBlue via Flickr.

Oct032012

Travel Recommendation

Melbourne’s Best Street Festivals

Melbourne

My Recommendation Tip

Each year Melbourne celebrates the return of the warmer weather with a number of local street festivals. Here’s a list of some of our favourites:

Photo courtesy of designfederation.net via Flickr.

Sep272012

Travel Recommendation

Meiji Jingu Shrine Grand Fall Festival

Tokyo

My Recommendation Tip

Meiji Jingu is a Shinto shrine in the heart of Yoyogi Park, Shinjuku, posthumously dedicated to the Emperor Meiji (1852-1912) and the Empress Shoken. Founded in 1920, the shrine is contained within a forest of 170,000 trees, planted by locals to honor the royal couple.

Photo courtesy of Bermi Ferrer via Flickr.

Sep262012

Travel Recommendation

Eating On a Budget in Melbourne

Melbourne

My Recommendation Tip

Eating on a budget in Melbourne doesn’t mean you have to survive on takeaway burgers and fries. If you know where to look, you can eat a healthy and varied diet from numerous food outlets, cafes and restaurants.

Photo courtesy of avlxyz via Flickr.

Sep252012

Travel Recommendation

Tokyo International Film Festival

Tokyo

My Recommendation Tip

Film buffs the world over are getting excited about the up coming Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF). Now in its 25th year, TIFF runs for 9 days starting October 20, 2012 at a number of cinemas and venues throughout Tokyo.

Photo courtesy of Syohei Arai via Wikimedia Commons.

Sep132012

Travel Recommendation

Shibuya Station

Tokyo

My Recommendation Tip

Shibuya Station is at the epicenter of one of Tokyo’s most vibrant and exciting areas. Famous for its huge, neon-lit intersection in front of Shibuya Station’s Hachiko Exit, Shibuya is a popular shopping and entertainment district full of department stores, cafes and nightclubs.

Photo courtesy of Guwashi999 via Flickr.

Sep052012

Travel Recommendation

Stepping Back in Time at Werribee Mansion

Melbourne

My Recommendation Tip

To walk through the doors of Werribee Mansion is to step back in time to the late 1800s and the beginning of European settlement in Australia. A huge Italianate-styled mansion built for wealthy pastoralists in 1877, Werribee Mansion’s grand architecture, formal gardens and carefully restored furniture and furnishings are a fine example of life as it was lived by wealthy settlers in the 19th century.

Aug302012

Travel Recommendation

Grand Sumo Tournament at Ryogoku Kokugikan

Tokyo

My Recommendation Tip

Sumo is a Japanese style of wrestling that can trace its roots back to ancient Japan and the Shinto religion. Although you are unlikely to see a sumo wrestler outside of his training school – known as sumo-beya (stables) – if you did see one he would be instantly recognisable for his large size and physique, which plays an important role for success in the sumo ring.

Aug232012

Travel Recommendation

Maid Cafes in Tokyo

Tokyo

My Recommendation Tip

Maid cafes are not a new concept but they are certainly a quirky one. Since the first Maid café opened in 2001 in Akihabara in Tokyo, the cafes have proved to be so popular that there are now over 2,000 Maid cafes in Tokyo alone and the idea has been adopted throughout Europe, Asia and the US.

Aug222012

Travel Recommendation

What to Do at the Crown Entertainment Complex

Melbourne

My Recommendation Tip

The Crown Entertainment Complex offers a whole variety of experiences under one roof. Overlooking the city on the Yarra River at Southbank, the complex means different things to different people and includes places to stay, eat, drink, shop and gamble.

Aug172012

Travel Recommendation

The Melbourne Cricket Ground

Melbourne

My Recommendation Tip

Don’t be fooled by the name, there’s more to the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) than just cricket. In fact, the MCG (or the ‘G as it is colloquially known) is Australia’s most famous sporting stadium.

Aug152012

Travel Recommendation

Spiritual Shanghai

Shanghai

My Recommendation Tip

Shanghai is well known for its shopping, eating, sightseeing and general all-round craziness. So where can you go for a bit of quiet reflection in this busy and exciting city?

Yuyuan Garden
The garden of ‘peace and comfort’ is a green oasis right in the center of the Old Town. Considered one of China’s finest and best-preserved gardens, Yuyuan features Ming-era pavilions, rockeries, ponds and quaint, zig-zag bridges.

Aug022012

Travel Recommendation

Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography

Tokyo

My Recommendation Tip

The Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography is Tokyo’s only large museum devoted solely to photography. Its twenty thousand strong collection is of course never on display in its entirety but with four floors of still and moving images and an ever-changing collection, there is always something new to see.

Aug012012

Travel Recommendation

Celebrating Melbourne Day

Melbourne

My Recommendation Tip

Each year Melbourne celebrates its beginnings on Melbourne Day, an annual celebration that marks the founding of the city on August 30, 1835.

Jul302012

Travel Recommendation

Sydney Neighborhood Guide

Sydney

My Recommendation Tip

Here’s our ‘at-a-glance’ neighborhood guide for the best things to see, do and eat in Sydney.

Jul252012

Travel Recommendation

5 Tips for Driving the Great Ocean Road

Melbourne

My Recommendation Tip

If you want to do a spot of touring you can’t find a drive much better than Victoria’s Great Ocean Road. Famous for its steep inclines, spectacular views, Bells Beach and the Twelve Apostles, the Great Ocean Road hugs the southern coast of Victoria for 263km (163m).

Jul232012

Travel Recommendation

Sydney Harbour Cruises

Sydney

My Recommendation Tip

There are many ways to cruise on Sydney Harbour, from a simple ferry trip across the water to wining and dining in style on a luxury super yacht.

Jul192012

Travel Recommendation

8 Tips for Dining on a Budget in Tokyo

Tokyo

My Recommendation Tip

Eating out in Tokyo is affordable if you follow a few basic budget tips and if you know where to look for your next meal. The great thing about Japanese cuisine is that cheap does not necessarily mean unhealthy. For just a few yen you can feast on delicious ramen, udon soup, fresh sushi, noodles, curry and donbori.

Jul182012

Travel Recommendation

Melbourne’s Sea Baths: St Kilda and Brighton

Melbourne

My Recommendation Tip

Melbourne’s bay side suburbs of St Kilda and Brighton have been a playground for Melburnians since the late 1800s.

Jul162012

Travel Recommendation

Things to Do on Phillip Island

Melbourne

My Recommendation Tip

Phillip Island has more to offer visitors than cute, little fairy penguins! Read on for a themed list of things to see and do around the island.

Jul162012

Travel Recommendation

Biking in Sydney

Sydney

My Recommendation Tip

Getting around Sydney on two wheels has never been easier. Cycling is becoming an increasingly popular way to get around and to see the city for both locals and tourists alike.

Jul122012

Travel Recommendation

Cocktails at the Park Hyatt – the Lost in Translation Bar

Tokyo

My Recommendation Tip

All movie lovers will be familiar with Sofia Coppola’s movie ‘Lost in Translation.’ Set in Tokyo, the film’s main characters, played by Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson, strike up a relationship when they meet in a cocktail bar in Tokyo.

Jul092012

Travel Recommendation

Top 10 Budget-Friendly Asian Restaurants in Sydney

Sydney

My Recommendation Tip

Just because you’re on a budget doesn’t mean you can’t eat well in Sydney. If you love Asian food then there are plenty of great value Japanese, Chinese, Thai and Malaysian restaurants dotted around the city.

Jul052012

Travel Recommendation

Wildlife Encounters in Melbourne

Melbourne

My Recommendation Tip

There are many opportunities for visitors to Melbourne to enjoy the native Australian wildlife. Below we’ve listed several areas where you can encounter some of these critters in Melbourne.

Jul052012

Travel Recommendation

Where to Find the Best Sushi in Tokyo

Tokyo

My Recommendation Tip

From the best value for money (without compromising on taste) to the most expensive and melt in your mouth sushi experiences, we list Tokyo’s very best places to enjoy sushi.

Jul022012

Travel Recommendation

The Hunter Valley Chocolate Festival

Sydney

My Recommendation Tip

If you’ve always wanted to walk through a Willy Wonka-esque landscape then the Hunter Valley Chocolate Festival is as close as it gets!

Jun292012

Travel Recommendation

Things to Do in Tokyo in Summer

Tokyo

My Recommendation Tip

Summer in Tokyo is usually hot, humid and occasionally wet with temperatures ranging from 17°C to 30 °C (62°F to 86°F) between June and August (the hottest months). Slow down and stay cool with some of these refreshing ideas.

Jun262012

Travel Recommendation

Great Barrier Feast on Hamilton Island

Cairns & the Tropical North

My Recommendation Tip

If you’re planning a trip to Queensland’s Hamilton Island in July, you’ll be able to take part in one of Queensland’s premier gourmet events.

Jun252012

Travel Recommendation

The Sydney Winter Festival at Bondi Beach

Sydney

My Recommendation Tip

Sydney’s iconic Bondi Beach is commonly associated with bronzed Aussie lifesavers, shaggy-haired surfers and overcooked backpackers soaking up the rays of Australia’s seemingly endless sunshine. For three weeks in July, however, that very same beach will be transformed from a summer playground into an icy winter wonderland.

Jun212012

Travel Recommendation

The Best Bullet Train Day Trips from Tokyo

Tokyo

My Recommendation Tip

Tokyo is an amazing city with an incredible array of attractions and things to do. That said, getting out of Tokyo can provide for some amazing day trips to see the spectacular sights just outside of the city. Below we’ve compiled a list of the best day trips from Tokyo by Bullet train.

Jun202012

Travel Recommendation

Top 8 Spots to Shop in Melbourne

Melbourne

My Recommendation Tip

The only limit to shopping in Melbourne is the one on your credit card! Read on for our list of the best places in the city and the inner suburbs to shop.

Jun192012

Travel Recommendation

The Gion Matsuri Summer Festival in Japan

Japan

My Recommendation Tip

The Gion Matsuri is a famous festival that is said to mark the beginning of summer in Japan. Held in Kyoto, the country’s ancient capital since 869 AD, the Gion Matsuri is steeped in ritual and tradition and offers a glimpse of old Japan.

Jun182012

Travel Recommendation

The Beautiful Blue Mountains of Sydney

Sydney

My Recommendation Tip

The World Heritage listed Blue Mountains National Park, which lies west of Sydney, offers a unique opportunity to see the natural landscape and eucalypt vegetation of the New South Wales region.

Jun142012

Travel Recommendation

Biking in Tokyo: Dangerous Quest or Great Idea?

Tokyo

My Recommendation Tip

If you think the idea of riding a bike in Tokyo is a little, well, insane, then we have to tell you that you couldn’t be more wrong. Biking is in fact an ideal way to get around Tokyo!

Jun112012

Travel Recommendation

Ways to See the Sydney Opera House

Sydney

My Recommendation Tip

You don’t have to be an opera fan to get inside and enjoy all that the Sydney Opera House has to offer. There are numerous ways to make the most of your visit to this world famous icon.

Jun072012

Travel Recommendation

Karaoke Bars in Tokyo: Tips for First Timers

Tokyo

My Recommendation Tip

If you’ve always wanted to try karaoke but are too shy to stand up in front of a crowd then Tokyo is the place to kick start your karaoke habit. I say habit because karaoke is highly addictive. It’s also downright hilarious when you go with a group of friends. That’s not to say that solo travelers can’t enjoy a night out in a karaoke bar – in Tokyo everyone is welcome to hire their own booth and smash out a few tunes!

Jun042012

Travel Recommendation

Best Views in Sydney

Sydney

My Recommendation Tip

Sydney is good looking – and knows it. Its natural harbour, golden beaches, iconic Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge are sights that never loose their charm. But in a city this size you need to know where to go to get the very best views.

May312012

Travel Recommendation

What Not To Do in Tokyo

Tokyo

My Recommendation Tip

To save you from embarrassment and to avoid offending the locals it is helpful to understand a country’s culture before visiting. When that country is as unique as Japan, a little understanding goes a long way! That’s why we’ve put together this list of what not to do in Tokyo.

May302012

Travel Recommendation

Hop-On Hop-Off Tours in Melbourne

Melbourne

My Recommendation Tip

Melbourne is one of Australia’s most visitor-friendly cities and it boasts two ‘hop-on hop-off’ shuttle services for tourists to enjoy: the City Tourist Shuttle Bus and the City Circle Tram.

May292012

Travel Recommendation

7 Reasons to Visit Sydney in Winter

Sydney

My Recommendation Tip

There are plenty of reasons to visit Sydney in winter. Along with the two most obvious reasons: less crowds and cheaper accommodations, we’ve put together a whole list of reasons to head out to Sydney in the winter!

May242012

Travel Recommendation

Kabuki Theater in Tokyo

Tokyo

My Recommendation Tip

Kabuki is a traditional form of theater that originated in the Edo Period (1603–1867) – a relatively peaceful time in which popular culture flourished. Unlike the older and more refined Japanese Noh theater, Kabuki was popularised by the lower classes who loved it for its universal themes of love, tragedy and conflict and its outrageously flamboyant costumes.

May232012

Travel Recommendation

Budget Friendly Things To Do In Melbourne

Melbourne

My Recommendation Tip

A trip to Melbourne needn’t make a dent in your budget. In fact, many of the city’s top attractions are free! On top of that we’ve got a whole list of wallet-friendly activities to enjoy:

May212012

Travel Recommendation

Shopping in Sydney’s The Rocks

Sydney

My Recommendation Tip

Wandering the cobbled streets and laneways of The Rocks in Sydney and poking your head into specialty stores, boutiques and galleries is a relaxing way to enjoy a day’s shopping.

May182012

Travel Recommendation

Wellington’s Cable Car Museum

New Zealand

My Recommendation Tip

Wellington’s Cable Car Museum tells the story of the city’s old cable cars that used to transport locals from the early 1900s to 1970.

May182012

Travel Recommendation

Blue Water Country Music Festival in Port Stephens, Australia

Australia

My Recommendation Tip

Popular vacation destination and dolphin watching center Port Stephens is hosting the Blue Water Country Music Festival the weekend of June 10-13.

May162012

Travel Recommendation

Visit the National Museum of Nature and Science in Tokyo

Tokyo

My Recommendation Tip

The National Museum of Nature and Science in Tokyo is a large, rambling museum in Ueno Park that explores (in the main) the evolution of life on Earth. Its large themed displays, dinosaurs, and hands-on exhibits are a real hit with kids and its science and nature based exhibits are comprehensive and informative enough for adults to enjoy as well.

May162012

Travel Recommendation

Explore Auckland’s Art Scene in Parnell Village

Auckland

My Recommendation Tip

Almost every city in the world has a creative quarter and, in Auckland, that title goes to the suburb of Parnell. It is here that you will find Auckland’s biggest collection of galleries, boutiques, craft shops, and jewellers, as well as over 40 cafes, bars and restaurants.

May162012

Travel Recommendation

Melbourne by Bike

Melbourne

My Recommendation Tip

Melbourne’s many bike paths and relatively flat topography make it an easy city to travel around by bike.

May142012

Travel Recommendation

Wine Tasting Trips Near Sydney

Sydney

My Recommendation Tip

Beautiful Hunter Valley is Australia’s oldest wine growing region and lies just two hours north of Sydney.

May112012

Travel Recommendation

Transcontinental Adventures on Australia’s The Ghan Railway

Australia

My Recommendation Tip

A trip on The Ghan through central Australia is considered one of the world’s great train journeys. Traveling between Adelaide in South Australia to Alice Springs in Central Australia and then onto Darwin in the Northern Territory, The Ghan travels almost 3,000 kilometers (1,850 miles) from one edge of the vast Australian continent to the other.

May102012

Travel Recommendation

Tips for Visiting Mt Fuji

Tokyo

My Recommendation Tip

The snow-capped, cone-shaped image of Japan’s highest mountain, Mt Fuji is one of Japan’s most enduring symbols. Visible from Tokyo on a clear day, the mountain is surrounded by the lakes of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park and stands at 3,776 meters (12,388 feet) above sea level.

May092012

Travel Recommendation

Famous Foods to Try in New Zealand

New Zealand

My Recommendation Tip

Today’s most common New Zealand cuisine owes much to its British heritage. We’re talking stodgy staples such as fish and chips, meat pies, hamburgers and meals containing meat with two veg. There are, however, a few foods that are uniquely Kiwi, many of which have been around since New Zealand’s first settlers, the Maori, arrived. Here’s a list of some New Zealand’s best bites:

May092012

Travel Recommendation

Free Museums in Melbourne

Melbourne

My Recommendation Tip

Like most cities in the world, Melbourne has its share of museums covering art, history, culture and more; and many of the best ones won’t cost you a single dollar to enjoy. Here are just a few ideas for budget travelers who want to see the best fee museums in Melbourne.

May082012

Travel Recommendation

Top 10 Romantic Things to Do in Sydney

Sydney

My Recommendation Tip

In Sydney there is plenty to do and see; with excitement all around, beautiful views and a never ending list of attractions, events and activities. With everything that Sydney has to offer, it may be overwhelming to try and find the best things to do with that special someone. To help, we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 romantic things to do in Sydney!

May082012

Travel Recommendation

Top 10 Things to Do in Brisbane in the Fall

Brisbane

My Recommendation Tip

With daytime temperatures averaging around 23 degrees Celsius (73.4 degrees Farenheit), sub tropical Brisbane is at its most comfortable during the fall. While there are still many excellent museums and art galleries to visit, life in the city at this time is mostly happening outdoors.

May042012

Travel Recommendation

Mother’s Day in Australia

Australia

My Recommendation Tip

Mother’s Day in Australia falls on the same day as Mother’s Day in the US – the second Sunday in May. As we all know, many people mark this day as a chance to spoil their Mums, who typically receive cards, gifts or breakfast in bed as a token of love and appreciation of all the hard work that goes into being a mother!

May032012

Travel Recommendation

Tokyo’s Oktoberfest in Hibiya

Tokyo

My Recommendation Tip

Every year in May Tokyo hosts its own ‘Oktoberfest’ in Hibiya Park. Exactly why it’s held in May we’re not quite sure but the date anomaly does not stop thousands of Japanese and tourists heading down to Hibiya Park for ten days of drinking and merriment.

May032012

Travel Recommendation

New Zealand’s Bluff Oyster Festival

New Zealand

My Recommendation Tip

The rustic, seaside, fishing town of Bluff at the bottom of New Zealand’s South Island is gearing up for this year’s biggest event: the Bluff Oyster and Food Festival, held every year in May.

May022012

Travel Recommendation

Wine Tasting in the Mornington Peninsula from Melbourne

Melbourne

My Recommendation Tip

Melbourne’s Mornington Peninsula is a just an hour’s drive from Melbourne and a popular getaway for weekenders, wine lovers, surfers and anyone looking to get out of the city for some downtime.

May012012

Travel Recommendation

Whale Watching From Sydney

Sydney

My Recommendation Tip

From May to December, whales are commonly sighted on their annual migration along the New South Wales coast and it is possible to see them up close from Sydney. Seeing whales up close is a bucket list activity for many people and those who have done it have described it as a deeply moving and a humbling experience.

Apr262012

Travel Recommendation

Tai O Fishing Village – the Venice of Hong Kong

Hong Kong

My Recommendation Tip

To visit the Tai O fishing village on Lantau Island is to see a way of life that has continued virtually unchanged for centuries. As a contrast to the steel and mirrored high rises of Hong Kong Island and Kowloon, the modest buildings in Tai O stand on stilts in the water.

Apr262012

Travel Recommendation

How to Get Around Tokyo

Tokyo

My Recommendation Tip

The best way to get around Tokyo is via the very efficient train and subway system. The train station signage is bewildering at first but can actually be quite simply understood when armed with a few fundamental pieces of information.

Apr252012

Travel Recommendation

Melbourne’s Queen Victoria Market

Melbourne

My Recommendation Tip

Queen Victoria Market, or Vic Market as the locals call it, is a much-loved Melbourne institution. Known for its huge variety of fresh produce and specialty goods, this open-air market is always bustling with people, tourists and families looking to stock up on fresh produce or score a bargain at one of the many stalls and shops.

Apr242012

Travel Recommendation

May in Japan: Traditional Annual Events

Japan

My Recommendation Tip

Japan is full of festivals, activities and events in during the month of May. If you plan on venturing to Japan, here are some traditional events that you won’t want to miss!

Apr202012

Travel Recommendation

Should You Visit Uluru (Ayers Rock)?

Australia

My Recommendation Tip

To visit Australia and not visit Uluru (Ayers Rock) would be like bypassing London on a visit to England (excepting the fact that Uluru is Australia’s most recognisable natural icon, and about as far away from a big city as any great tourist attraction can get). So should you visit Uluru: yes!

Apr202012

Travel Recommendation

Riding New Zealand’s Taieri Gorge Railway

New Zealand

My Recommendation Tip

Take an old-fashioned train journey through some of the South Island’s most spectacular scenery.

Based in the heritage town of Dunedin on the Otago Peninsula, the Taieri Gorge Railway is one of the main attractions in the region and gives visitors unparalleled access to the rugged and beautiful Taieri River Gorge.

Apr192012

Travel Recommendation

Fashion and Fun in Tokyo’s Harajuku District

Tokyo

My Recommendation Tip

It’s Sunday in Japan and Harajuku (in central Tokyo) is the place to be. In a small area just outside Harajuku station and Yoyogi Park a crowd of eccentrically dressed young Japanese is gathering for the weekly freaky fashion show.

Apr182012

Travel Recommendation

Your Guide to the Islands of the Hauraki Gulf

Auckland

My Recommendation Tip

Auckland’s Hauraki Gulf Islands harbor more than a few surprises. Make sure you arrange a day trip to at least one of these incredibly diverse and fascinating islands. Just don’t forget your ‘togs’ – your swimming gear, that is.

Apr182012

Travel Recommendation

Viewing Melbourne from the Eureka Skydeck

Melbourne

My Recommendation Tip

For the best views of Melbourne head to the city’s tallest building – the Eureka Tower. Look skyward day or night from almost any vantage point in Melbourne and you won’t be able to miss its distinctive gold and red top towering impressively above all the other buildings.

Apr162012

Travel Recommendation

Lights, Music and Ideas at Vivid Sydney

Sydney

My Recommendation Tip

Sydney’s Vivid Festival will once again flood the city with a multicolored canvas of light, music and ideas in late May 2012.

Ranked one of the Top Ten global ideas festivals by the UK’s Guardian newspaper, Vivid Sydney celebrates the world’s creative industries and is the biggest festival of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere.

Apr132012

Travel Recommendation

Wine Tasting in Australia

Australia

My Recommendation Tip

Australian wine may not have an Old World reputation to call upon when spruiking its wines (all grapes were introduced from Europe and South Africa originally in the late 18th and early 19th centuries) but it is recognised the world over as a formidable player in the world’s wine market.

Apr112012

Travel Recommendation

Melbourne’s Best Museums

Melbourne

My Recommendation Tip

With all of Melbourne’s natural beauty many visitors pack their itineraries with outdoor activities and adventures. One should keep in mind, however, that there is much to do and see indoors as well! That’s why we compiled this list of Melbourne’s best museums.

Apr112012

Travel Recommendation

Skiing in New Zealand

New Zealand

My Recommendation Tip

Want to go skiing in New Zealand but not sure where to start? Here’s our guide to some of the best powder, scenery and slopes in the country.

Apr102012

Travel Recommendation

Caxton Street Seafood and Wine Festival

Brisbane

My Recommendation Tip

It’s party time on Brisbane’s historic Caxton Street. Foodies, wine lovers, music fans and anyone looking for a fun day out heads to the Caxton Street Seafood and Wine Festival on May 6. Billed as Brisbane’s biggest street party, the festival is all about eating fresh seafood, listening to great music and hanging out with the locals.

Apr102012

Travel Recommendation

Guilin’s Top Five Attractions

China

My Recommendation Tip

Guilin is full of great places to visit and beautiful sights to see. If you make it to Guilin, here are 5 attractions that should definitely be on your itinerary!

Apr102012

Travel Recommendation

ANZAC Day Events in Sydney

Sydney

My Recommendation Tip

ANZAC Day is a national day of remembrance held on April 25 to honor the Australians and New Zealanders who served and died in World War One. It is also a national holiday for all Australians. A number of events take place around the Sydney on this day.

Apr062012

Travel Recommendation

Top 10 Crazy Adventure Sports in Australia

Australia

My Recommendation Tip

Even the sky isn’t the limit when it comes to adrenaline pumping activities in Australia. All over the country you can throw yourself out of planes, fall off of cliffs, and be tossed around by the rivers and ocean. Crazy adventurers read on…

Apr052012

Travel Recommendation

Day Trip from Tokyo: Seeing the Cherry Blossoms in Kyoto

Tokyo

My Recommendation Tip

Late March and early April are the best times to view cherry blossoms (Sakura) in Japan. While cherry blossoms can be seen all over Japan (including in Tokyo), Kyoto, with its ancient temples, is one of the prettiest spots to see Sakura. Kyoto is an easy day trip from Tokyo on the bullet train.

Apr052012

Travel Recommendation

Lord of the Rings Fans: Tour the Landscapes of Middle-Earth in New Zealand

New Zealand

My Recommendation Tip

Fans of The Lord of Rings trilogy are eagerly anticipating filmmaker Peter Jackson’s next movie: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Adapted from the classic cult novel The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien, it is set in Middle-earth (New Zealand) 60 years before The Lord of the Rings.

Apr042012

Travel Recommendation

Yarra Valley Day Trips from Melbourne

Melbourne

My Recommendation Tip

The rolling hills and vineyards of Melbourne’s Yarra Valley are just a one-hour drive from the city center. As Victoria’s largest wine growing region most visitors come here to taste the many wines on offer and enjoy a gourmet meal, but there’s plenty more to see and do here.

Apr022012

Travel Recommendation

Sydney’s Art and Culture: Top Attractions

Sydney

My Recommendation Tip

Despite popular belief that there is no culture in Sydney (rumors reportedly spread by Sydney’s rival city, Melbourne), the city has a vibrant arts and culture scene that can be experienced in its many museums, galleries and theatres.

Mar302012

Travel Recommendation

Top 5 Budget-Friendly Activities in Australia

Australia

My Recommendation Tip

You can see much that Australia has to offer without burning too large a hole in your budget. In fact, many of the best activities – such as exploring Australia’s gorgeous coastline and beaches – are free! Here are our picks of the best valued activities in and around Australia’s major cities.

Mar302012

Travel Recommendation

Balloons Over Waikato Hot Air Balloon Festival

New Zealand

My Recommendation Tip

For five days every autumn the Hamilton and Waikato region gears up for its annual Balloons over Waikato festival. Attracting balloonists from all over the world, the festival features dozens of hot air balloons in all shapes and sizes and is a great day out for families and anyone who wants to see these colorful balloons take flight.

Mar292012

Travel Recommendation

A Traditional Tea Ceremony in Tokyo

Tokyo

My Recommendation Tip

A traditional tea ceremony is a relaxing, meditative and uniquely Japanese experience. If you are thinking of attending a tea ceremony in Tokyo, it is helpful to understand some of the history and protocol associated with this ancient ritual.

Mar282012

Travel Recommendation

Breweries and Brewery Tours in Melbourne

Melbourne

My Recommendation Tip

Melbourne has so much to offer visitors that one may never tire of visiting this beautiful place! So if you feel like you’ve seen it all, then these unique tours and activities may be just right for you. You’ll get a taste of Melbourne’s beer culture, learn about the breweries, and of course, drink some beer!

Mar272012

Travel Recommendation

Central Sydney Highlights: From Top Attractions to Hidden Gems

Sydney

My Recommendation Tip

It’s hard to miss Sydney’s biggest attractions – just head to the harbour and there they are! But once you’ve seen the Opera House, Sydney Harbour and the Sydney Harbour Bridge, what’s next? We’ve broken down the city into points of interest in each area to help you navigate your way around Sydney’s best sights.

Mar222012

Travel Recommendation

Top 10 Things To Do in Hong Kong

Hong Kong

My Recommendation Tip

In Hong Kong there is so much to see and do that you may not know where to start! To help you out, below is a list of the top 10 things to do in Hong Kong.

Mar222012

Travel Recommendation

Springtime in Tokyo: Top 10 Things to Do

Tokyo

My Recommendation Tip

If you’re going to be in Tokyo in the spring then you are in for some treats – 10 treats, to be exact! Below is a list of the top 10 things to do in spring in Tokyo:

Mar162012

Travel Recommendation

Follow Your Nose: New Zealand’s Food and Wine Trail

New Zealand

My Recommendation Tip

From Hawke’s Bay in the North Island to Marlborough in the South Island, you can taste your way through three of New Zealand’s most significant wine regions and take in some of the country’s best scenery on the way.

Mar142012

Travel Recommendation

Spring Events in Hong Kong

Hong Kong

My Recommendation Tip

Hong Kong is bursting with big events in March and April. See the blooms at the Flower Show in Victoria Park, take in a premiere at the Film Festival, buy a work of art at the International Art Fair or watch the world’s rugby nations fight for supremacy in the Hong Kong Sevens rugby nations series.

Mar092012

Travel Recommendation

One Year After the Tsunami: Why You Should Visit Japan Now

Tokyo

My Recommendation Tip

It hardly seems possible that it was a year ago that Japan experienced a major natural disaster: an earthquake and tsunami that wiped out entire communities along its eastern seaboard and triggered the meltdown of its Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.

Mar082012

Travel Recommendation

Feel the Rush: 4 Exhilarating Activities in Queenstown

Queenstown

My Recommendation Tip

Nestled snugly around the edges of Lake Wakatipu and surrounded by snow-covered mountains, Queenstown attracts nearly two million visitors per year. Many come to relax and rejuvenate and enjoy Queenstown’s gorgeous natural setting, but the great majority of visitors come for seeking thrills and adventure.

Mar022012

Travel Recommendation

Fraser Island: The Largest Sand Island in the World

Australia

My Recommendation Tip

World Heritage-listed Fraser Island is one of Australia’s most incredible places and stands alongside natural icons such as Uluru, Kakadu National Park and the Great Barrier Reef as a unique and precious part of Australia’s heritage and ecology.

Mar012012

Travel Recommendation

Marlborough Sounds and the Queen Charlotte Track

New Zealand

My Recommendation Tip

Marlborough, in New Zealand’s South Island, is a region blessed with a temperate climate and plenty of sunshine – the perfect combination to produce some of the world’s best sauvignon blanc. But wine is not the only reason to come here; in fact, Marlborough’s natural attractions are an even bigger draw for most visitors.

Feb272012

Travel Recommendation

Kangaroo Valley

Sydney

My Recommendation Tip

Just a two-hour scenic drive south of Sydney will bring you to a historic little township nestled between rainforest-strewn mountains. A National Trust-listed village, Kangaroo Valley takes its name from the native wildlife that is a feature of this area.

Feb222012

Travel Recommendation

Top Festivals in Melbourne: March 2012

Melbourne

My Recommendation Tip

Melbourne is the place to be in March as music, food and wine, sport, comedy and gardening are all represented in a range of fantastic festivals throughout the city.

Feb212012

Travel Recommendation

Best Times for Cherry Blossoms in Tokyo, Kyoto and Nara

Tokyo

My Recommendation Tip

Timing is everything if you want to experience Japanese cherry trees in full-bloom.

Feb212012

Travel Recommendation

Taste of Sydney 2012

Sydney

My Recommendation Tip

It’s Sydney’s turn to host the scrumptious Taste Festival in March 2012. Catch all the action over four days at the beautiful Centennial Parklands near Oxford Street, Paddington.

Feb212012

Travel Recommendation

Top Festivals and Customs in Guilin

China

My Recommendation Tip

Home to many different ethnic minorities, Guilin plays host to a number of colorful festivals and traditions which highlight their unique cultures.

Feb172012

Travel Recommendation

The Best of Broome

Broome

My Recommendation Tip

Broome is a charming tropical town in the remote Kimberley region of Australia. Nestled on a peninsula and surrounded by the warm waters of the Indian Ocean, the town is a popular holiday destination for Aussies and visitors alike who come to enjoy balmy nights, beaches, hiking, art galleries, and fresh seafood.

Feb172012

Travel Recommendation

Second Rare White Kiwi Born at Pukaha

North Island

My Recommendation Tip

The world’s first white kiwi was born at the Pukaha Mount Bruce National Wildlife Centre last May and, just before Christmas, she was joined by a sibling! Kiwis are nearly always brown in color, so the arrival of a pure white chick in May and another in December is an extremely rare occurrence.

Endemic to New Zealand, kiwis are flightless birds that have roamed the country for 70 million years. About the size of a chicken and looking rather like a small mammal, kiwis’ long beaks are the only beaks in the world to have nostrils at the end to help it sniff out its food in the undergrowth.

Feb152012

Travel Recommendation

Explore Fukagawa

Tokyo

My Recommendation Tip

It may seem strange that al fresco drinking spaces were once a rare find in Melbourne’s CBD (Central Business District), since the Australian city is so blessed with good weather. Thankfully those days are consigned to the warm chardonnay drinking times of old and the new cosmopolitan (with just a twist of lime) Melbourne can now hold its own when it comes to cool al fresco hang outs.

Feb132012

Travel Recommendation

Sydney's Best Kept Secret

Sydney

My Recommendation Tip

One of Australia’s most pristine islands is also the closest island getaway to Sydney. What is surprising is that only a few Australian’s are aware of its existence and even fewer have visited.

Feb102012

Travel Recommendation

Top 3 Sites: Aboriginal Australia

Ayers Rock

My Recommendation Tip

Are you looking to connect with and discover more about Australia’s original inhabitants? There are a number of ancient sites around the country with particular historical and spiritual significance to Australian Aborigines. Here’s our top three.

Feb082012

Travel Recommendation

Melbourne's Top Coastal Spots

Melbourne

My Recommendation Tip

For many Melburnians, the New Year means only one thing: summer holidays. From late December onwards you can expect to see a steady stream of cars, many with surfboards, kayaks, bikes or caravans attached, hightailing it out of the city to one of Victoria’s divine coastal spots.

Feb082012

Travel Recommendation

The Marlborough Wine and Food Festival

South Island

My Recommendation Tip

The region that brought you one of the world’s best-loved Sauvignon Blancs is celebrating its wine and local produce at The Marlborough Wine and Food Festival on February 11, 2012.

Feb062012

Travel Recommendation

Brisbane's Best Urban Green Spaces

Brisbane

My Recommendation Tip

February marks the last four weeks of the Australian summer and Sydneysiders are determined to make the most of it! Check out some of the events happening in Sydney, Australia this month.

Feb062012

Travel Recommendation

Sapporo Snow Festival

Japan

My Recommendation Tip

Sapporo, in Japan’s northern Hokkaido prefecture is one of the country’s leading tourist destinations. One of Japan’s youngest cities, upon arrival you may notice that Sapporo’s grid system and layout is more familiar and less typically Japanese in style than Japan’s other cities. And that’s because it is.

Feb032012

Travel Recommendation

Roadtrip in The Kimberley

Western Australia

My Recommendation Tip

If you’re hankering for a slice of the ‘real’ Australia then the Kimberley region in the country’s remote northwest is a great place to start. Deep gorges, waterfalls, rivers, unique plants and animals and deserted roads that stretch for miles - the Kimberley is a place to truly feel at one with nature.

Feb022012

Travel Recommendation

International Anime Fair in Tokyo

Tokyo

My Recommendation Tip

For fans of Japanese animation, March means only one thing –The Tokyo International Anime Fair (TAF). Held annually at Odaiba’s Big Sight convention center in Tokyo Bay, it is one of the largest animation related events in the world.

Feb022012

Travel Recommendation

International Art Festival at the Museum of New Zealand

Wellington

My Recommendation Tip

It’s worth timing your trip to New Zealand’s capital to coincide with the NZ International Arts Festival. Taking place in Wellington from February 24 to March 18, 2012, the festival attracts artists and performers from all over the world and promises a three-week program chock full of the best in international arts and culture.

Wellington’s waterfront is this year being transformed into a new Festival hub. A giant multimedia artwork, First Contact 2012, will turn Te Papa into a huge moving canvas each night at dusk while on the foreshore you’ll find a vintage Big Top, a Spiegeltent and a Festival Club.

Feb012012

Travel Recommendation

Top 3 Cycling Trails in Melbourne

Melbourne

My Recommendation Tip

Melbourne is mostly flat and perfect for cycling. It’s a sprawling city with several bustling inner suburbs that are ideal for exploring by bike. Several bike tracks and trails run through the city and its surrounds, which provide a much safer and often more scenic alternative to jostling for position on the roads.

Jan302012

Travel Recommendation

Sydney's best sights by neighborhood

Sydney

My Recommendation Tip

It’s hard to miss Sydney’s biggest attractions – just head to the harbour and there they are! But once you’ve seen the Opera House, the harbour and the Sydney Harbour Bridge, what’s next? We’ve broken down the city into points of interest in each area to help you navigate your way around Sydney’s best sights.

Jan262012

Travel Recommendation

Daruma Doll Fairs in Tokyo

Tokyo

My Recommendation Tip

If you are in Tokyo in January you may be wondering about the proliferation of rather funny looking eyeless dolls. Known as the Daruma doll, these dolls are believed to bring good luck and are typically bought in the New Year as people set their goals and aspirations for the year ahead.

Jan262012

Travel Recommendation

Day Trip to Macau

Hong Kong

My Recommendation Tip

Famous for its casinos and Portuguese architecture, Macau is only 65km (40mi) west of Hong Kong and can easily be visited on a day trip.
A former Portuguese colony, the city is an historic treasure trove full of fortresses, baroque churches, Art Deco buildings and cobbled alleyways. In fact, 22 of Macau’s historic buildings have been awarded World Heritage status. Most of Macau’s sights are clustered around the inner harbor, which makes exploration easy.

Jan242012

Travel Recommendation

January in Japan

Japan

My Recommendation Tip

We like the sound of January in Japan. Known as mutsuki – the ‘month of harmony’, it’s a month and a new years resolution rolled into one! Here’s a list of the festivals and events happening around this time.

Jan232012

Travel Recommendation

Public Transportation in Sydney

Sydney

My Recommendation Tip

As you might expect from any large city, there are numerous ways to get around Sydney. Here’s a few tips to help you navigate the public transport maze so you can spend more time sightseeing and less time waiting for a bus!

Jan202012

Travel Recommendation

Special Summertime Events in Australia

Queensland

My Recommendation Tip

To Queenslanders, summer means the beginning of the ‘wet’. Starting in December and finishing at the end of February, the wet season brings increased heat, humidity, rainfall and the occasional thunderstorm.

While Australia’s long stretches of golden coastline are still popular for tourists at this time (especially on the drier southern beaches), it is Queensland’s marine life that is really thriving. making this the best time to witness some incredible natural phenomena that takes place both in the water and on the beach.

Jan202012

Travel Recommendation

Christchurch and Other Top South Island Destinations

Christchurch

My Recommendation Tip

A series of earthquakes hit Christchurch, New Zealand in 2010 and 2011 causing widespread damage. While recovery is underway there are still parts of the center that are out of bounds to the general public while rebuilding takes place.
In order stay informed of the changes happening in the city, Christchurch and Canterbury Tourism have set up a new blog to chart the city’s recovery

Jan182012

Travel Recommendation

Public Art to See in Melbourne

Melbourne

My Recommendation Tip

Melbourne’s public art displays are part of what makes the city such an exciting and vibrant place. Take a turn down an alleyway and discover a mural worthy of the best art gallery, walk among life-size sculptures and suddenly find yourself in the center of an art installation – all this and more is an essential part of this creative city’s heart.

Jan182012

Travel Recommendation

Britomart, Auckland's New Darling

Auckland

My Recommendation Tip

The Britomart heritage area in downtown Auckland has had fresh life breathed into it in recent years and now features some of Auckland’s coolest retail outlets, cafes and urban spaces.

Jan132012

Travel Recommendation

Top 10 Attractions in Australia

Australia

My Recommendation Tip

It may be predictable but when you fly as far as Australia you want to experience the country’s big hitters, right? Here are our pick of the bunch with a small tip – if you want to see the top attractions in each state, you’re either going to have to spend several weeks behind the wheel of a car or speed things up by flying.

Jan112012

Travel Recommendation

Melbourne’s Best Shopping: CBD

Melbourne

My Recommendation Tip

Shopping in the city used to consist of a few Australian novelty shops, a handful of surf shops and an excellent hatter. These days Melbourne’s shopping scene has a reputation for being international, unique and exciting. The central business district alone has enough shops to keep you busy for days. Here’s a few tips from a local to help you narrow your search in the city center.

Jan112012

Travel Recommendation

Celebrate Summer in Wellington

New Zealand

My Recommendation Tip

It comes as no surprise to see that the biggest events on Wellington’s calendar are those with an artistic flavour. Having said that, however, you can’t be a true New Zealander if you don’t love rugby and the ‘International Sevens’ tournament is always an early sell-out with locals and tourists alike.

Jan102012

Travel Recommendation

Brisbane’s Urban Villages (Part 2)

Brisbane

My Recommendation Tip

Not sure where to go in Brisbane? Read part two of our exploration of the city’s urban centers.

Jan092012

Travel Recommendation

Tour Sydney’s Heritage Buildings and Architecture

Sydney

My Recommendation Tip

Sydney’s heritage buildings continue to stand the test of time. A wander around the historic ‘Rocks’ area to the west of Circular Quay will give you a small taste of the city’s history in brick and stone, but there is much more to see. Why not dig deeper and follow your own self-guided city heritage tour? Here are a few not-to-be-missed historic homes and buildings.

Jan092012

Travel Recommendation

Surf Events in Australia

Australia

My Recommendation Tip

Surfing has been synonymous with Australian culture since the late 60s and no matter what the weather or season you’ll see surfers bobbing on the water all around Australia’s coast. But late summer is when the country’s surfing action really heats up and everyone, from first-timers and grommets (young surfers) to old-timers and professionals, grabs a board and hits the waves.

Jan052012

Travel Recommendation

Trekking to Milford Sound

New Zealand

My Recommendation Tip

New Zealand’s most celebrated walk, the Milford Track, is located in the southwest of the South Island in Fiordland.

Jan052012

Travel Recommendation

Japanese Castles

Japan

My Recommendation Tip

The curlicue rooves of Japan’s castles is just one of the architectural features that makes theses buildings so impressive and admired. And yet beneath their beguiling wedding cake exteriors lies a world of history, intrigue, war, death and life that would surprise, delight and horrify you.

Jan042012

Travel Recommendation

A Taste of Spain in Melbourne

Melbourne

My Recommendation Tip

Multicultural Melbourne is truly a global city when it comes to food. A few short years ago, Spanish food and culture could only be found in a small pocket in Fitzroy, one of Melbourne’s fashionable inner suburbs. These days, the city’s best restaurants are smack bang in the middle of the Central Business District (CBD). Here are our pick of the best.

Jan032012

Travel Recommendation

Best Waterside Dining in Sydney

Sydney

My Recommendation Tip

Thanks to its natural good looks, harbour location and reputation for quality ingredients, Sydney is the city to enjoy a memorable meal with a view. From world class dining to Sydney’s best fish and chips, there are dozens of options to choose from. Here is our guide to waterside dining in Sydney.

Dec282011

Travel Recommendation

Melbourne’s Best Shopping: Inner Suburbs

Melbourne

My Recommendation Tip

If you can’t quite handle Melbourne‘s city center, but are still on the search for that perfect gift or pair of shoes, then you should jump on a tram and explore the nearby shopping strips of Fitzroy, Carlton, Richmond, St. Kilda and Prahran.

Dec272011

Travel Recommendation

Things To Do in New Zealand During Summer 2012

New Zealand

My Recommendation Tip

Key events in New Zealand this summer that you won’t want to miss!

Dec212011

Travel Recommendation

Melbourne Markets

Melbourne

My Recommendation Tip

Melbourne’s markets have come into their own in recent years with a resurgence of farmers’ markets and many inner suburbs operating their own markets that reflect their area’s unique character. Here’s our quick guide to markets in Melbourne.

Dec192011

Travel Recommendation

Sydney Festival 2012

Sydney

My Recommendation Tip

Every January, Sydney celebrates summer in the city with three weeks packed full of performances, exhibitions and events. Attracting over 200,000 people to its first night alone, Sydney Festival is the top event on every Sydneysider’s calendar.

Dec152011

Travel Recommendation

Kamakura: Top Picks in Temple Town

Tokyo

My Recommendation Tip

Just an hour south of Tokyo on the coast lies the ancient city of Kamakura. Once an important political and religious center, Kamakura is now known for its proliferation of Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines and the famous Amida Buddha statue at Kotoku-in. Here are our top five picks.

Dec142011

Travel Recommendation

What’s on in Melbourne: December 2011 to January 2012

Melbourne

My Recommendation Tip

Melbourne’s gearing up for some major sporting events over the coming months, including the Australia Open Tennis tournament that takes place in the last two weeks of January 2012. Non-sporty types won’t miss out, however, with two new exhibitions at Melbourne’s premier arts venues.

Dec132011

Travel Recommendation

Nara’s Top Ten Sights

Japan

My Recommendation Tip

Less than an hour from Kyoto and Osaka lies Japan’s first permanent capital Nara. Home to the country’s oldest and largest temples, Nara is bursting with ancient monasteries, Zen gardens and shrines. Here is our guide to the sights you won’t want to miss.

Dec122011

Travel Recommendation

Eat and Drink In The Rocks

Sydney

My Recommendation Tip

Sydney is renowned for its superb restaurants, fresh local produce and fine dining, and The Rocks is the place to enjoy good food with a view! Here’s a small taste of some of the best restaurants, pubs and bars in The Rocks.

Dec092011

Travel Recommendation

Top Things To Do in Wellington

New Zealand

My Recommendation Tip

New Zealand’s picturesque capital has plenty to keep you entertained. Pick a theme and dig deep into Wellington’s food, art and culture or adventure scene. Alternatively get a taste of the best with our top 7 things to do.

Dec092011

Travel Recommendation

The Great Outdoors: Top Perth Picks

Australia

My Recommendation Tip

Sunny Perth is the capital of Western Australia. It’s a small and relaxed city that lays claim to some of Australia’s best beaches. And with almost year round glorious sunshine, there’s plenty of outdoor fun to be had. Here are our pick of the best places to spend your time outdoors.

Dec082011

Travel Recommendation

Guide to Tokyo's Imperial Palace

Tokyo

My Recommendation Tip

Built on the grounds of a former Edo Castle in central Tokyo, the Imperial Palace is the official residence of Japan’s Imperial Family.

Dec072011

Travel Recommendation

Top 10 Things To Do in Auckland

Auckland

My Recommendation Tip

New Zealand’s biggest city has plenty to keep you entertained. Once you’ve explored the city center and gaped in disbelief at the super yachts in the harbour, here are a few more ideas to give you a well-rounded Auckland experience.

Dec072011

Travel Recommendation

Japanese Cuisine in Melbourne

Melbourne

My Recommendation Tip

Looking for good Japanese in the city? Check out our list of Melbourne’s best Japanese eateries, from the terrifyingly expensive but worth it, Nobu, to the soul nourishing ‘fast food’ of Ramen Ya, there’s something to suit every kind of traveler.

Dec052011

Travel Recommendation

Experience the Magic: Harry Potter comes to Sydney

Sydney

My Recommendation Tip

Australian fans of witchcraft and wizardry are thrilled about the recent opening of Harry Potter: The Exhibition at Sydney’s Powerhouse Museum that debuted on November 19, 2011. The exhibition offers fans a first-hand look inside the wizard’s magical world and the opportunity to experience the sets, props and costumes from the much-loved Harry Potter movies.

Dec012011

Travel Recommendation

Get Your Motor Running: The 42nd Tokyo Motor Show

Tokyo

My Recommendation Tip

One of the world’s top motor shows takes place for the first time in Odaiba in December 2011. Previously held at Makuhari Messe, a commercial district just outside central Tokyo, this will be the first time the event has been held in Tokyo and on Odaiba, the city’s entertainment district and man-made island in Tokyo Bay.

Nov302011

Travel Recommendation

Hike the Length of New Zealand Through the Te Araroa

New Zealand

My Recommendation Tip

The walking world is abuzz with the news that an amazing new trail will soon be open.

Nearly 40 years in the making, the idea for a New Zealand-long scenic trail was first dreamed up in the mid 70s by the NZ Walkways Commission and now that dream is about to come true. By the end of 2011, it will be possible to walk the entire length of New Zealand; from Cape Reinga in the North to Bluff in the South.

Nov302011

Travel Recommendation

Bring in the New Year in Melbourne!

Melbourne

My Recommendation Tip

If you’re in Melbourne this New Year’s Eve you’ll be swept up in a sea of people (half a million to be exact!) who all flock to the city each year to see the incredible firework displays and enjoy the festive atmosphere.

Nov292011

Travel Recommendation

Brisbane's Urban Villages (Part 1)

Brisbane

My Recommendation Tip

Brisbane is so much more than its city-center. Described as a city of urban villages, Brisbane’s suburbs have taken on their own unique feel that reflects the personalities of the people who live, work and play there.

Nov282011

Travel Recommendation

Essential Sydney: The Rocks

Sydney

My Recommendation Tip

The Rocks is a buzzing area in central Sydney, just a short walk from Sydney Harbour Bridge and across from the Sydney Opera House.

Nov232011

Travel Recommendation

Celebrate Melbourne Music Week

Melbourne

My Recommendation Tip

Melbourne Music Week returns for the second year running from November 18 to 26, and has a redefined artistic direction and an inventive program that takes place right across the city.

Nov212011

Travel Recommendation

Aboriginal Sydney

Sydney

My Recommendation Tip

Sydney’s Aboriginal culture and heritage is not immediately visible upon arrival in the city, having been almost completely wiped out during early European occupation. It has, however, found a new form of expression through Aboriginal art and cultural events throughout the city.

Nov172011

Travel Recommendation

Sento 101 – Visiting a Japanese Bath House

Tokyo

My Recommendation Tip

For the Japanese, there is nothing more natural than sitting butt-naked with total strangers and having a good old scrub down before relaxing in a steaming hot bath. For Westerners, the whole concept may seem bizarre, confronting or just plain hilarious, but it really is worthwhile trying to put these perceptions to one side and allowing yourself to unabashedly take the plunge.

Nov152011

Travel Recommendation

The Culinary Adventurer’s Guide to Japanese Food

Japan

My Recommendation Tip

Bony, squidgy, slimy and poisonous; anything goes in the weird and wonderful world of Japanese cuisine!

Nov142011

Travel Recommendation

10 Free Things To Do in Sydney

Sydney

My Recommendation Tip

Experience this beautiful city without blowing your budget. Here’s our Top 10 free Sydney experiences:

1. Enjoy two gorgeous coastal walks from Bondi to Coogee, and Manly to Spit.

2. Stroll over Sydney Harbour Bridge from the Rocks to Milsons Point.

Nov112011

Travel Recommendation

Hit the Road: The Great Ocean Road

Australia

My Recommendation Tip

If you are looking to get out of the city and breathe some sea air into your lungs, you can’t go wrong with a trip down the Great Ocean Road.

Nov112011

Travel Recommendation

South Island’s Top 10 (part 2)

New Zealand

My Recommendation Tip

The further south you travel in New Zealand, the more wild and wonderful it becomes.

1. Queenstown
Sitting pretty on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown’s cool climate and mountainous landscape make it the country’s premier adventure tourism destination. If you’ve ever wanted to try bungy-jumping, zorbing, canyon swinging or white water rafting, this is the place to do it.

Nov102011

Travel Recommendation

Top Ten Ways to Experience Traditional Tokyo

Tokyo

My Recommendation Tip

1. Food
Traditional Japanese food is still very much on the menu in Tokyo. We’re talking miso soup, plain rice, tofu, fish and tempura to name just a few. If you are happy to splurge, try kaiseki, a seasonal banquet or shojin cuisine, which arrived in Japan at the same time as Buddhism, 1,500 years ago.

Nov092011

Travel Recommendation

Inner Suburbs of Melbourne

Melbourne

My Recommendation Tip

Melbourne is a sprawling city and its inner suburbs add their own unique flavor to the Melbourne mix. From the creative hipster suburbs of Fitzroy and Brunswick in the north to the flashier, well-groomed suburbs of the south and east, each neighborhood is an essential part of the city’s character. For a few gold coins you can jump on a tram or hire a bike and explore these areas for little to no cost.

Nov072011

Travel Recommendation

Moreton Bay and Islands

Brisbane

My Recommendation Tip

The tropical islands of Moreton Bay lay just 25 kilometers from Brisbane’s city center. Sheltered from the Pacific Ocean by four sand islands, the bay is home to a wide variety of marine life, including the endangered and intriguing dugong.

Nov042011

Travel Recommendation

Top Seven Convict Heritage Sites in Tasmania

Tasmania

My Recommendation Tip

Tasmania’s shores saw the beginning of Australia’s white settlement. Originally known as Van Diemen’s Land, the colony was established in 1803 as a solution to overcrowding in British prisons. Out of the POMs’ (Prisoners of Her Majesty) hard labour came many great buildings and sites that can still be visited today.

Nov032011

Travel Recommendation

The Best Museums in Tokyo

Tokyo

My Recommendation Tip

Exploring everything from Japan’s history and culture to anime, photography and the just plain bizarre is easy. There’s a museum in Tokyo that will inform, entertain and inspire you.

Ueno Park is a good place to start. There’s a wealth of museums here just a stone’s throw from each other, including the impressive Tokyo National Museum. We’ve listed our favourite museums according to interest:

Nov022011

Travel Recommendation

North Island's Top 10 (part 2)

North Island

My Recommendation Tip

Here’s the rest of our list of some the must-sees on New Zealand’s North Island.

Oct282011

Travel Recommendation

South Island’s Top 10 (part 1)

South Island

My Recommendation Tip

The South Island is all about getting back to nature, breathing fresh air into your lungs and celebrating the good things in life. Here’s our pick of the best experiences.

Oct262011

Travel Recommendation

Letting it all hang out: Your Guide to Tokyo Onsen

Tokyo

My Recommendation Tip

Bathhouses play an essential role in Japanese culture and are used extensively to wash, relax and socialize. No mere bathhouse can call itself an onsen (hot spring), however. Only baths containing water from a natural spring that gushes or is pumped at more than 25°C can lay claim to this title.

Oct262011

Travel Recommendation

The 7 Best Diving Spots in Australia

Australia

My Recommendation Tip

Australia offers unique opportunities to explore the incredible diversity of life that lives in its surrounding ocean. In no other single country in the world can you dive with whale sharks and sea dragons and swim and snorkel along the world’s largest reef system.

So in a country as big as Australia, where do you start? Here’s our guide to the standout dive spots in each state.

Oct262011

Travel Recommendation

Top 5 Kid-Friendly Activities in Melbourne

Melbourne

My Recommendation Tip

Kids in Melbourne, well, they’re a little bit spoilt really. Spoilt for choice that is. With museums, parks, theatres, gardens and specially designed kids’ spaces and workshops, there’s plenty to keep the rug rats busy all year round! (And if all else fails, there’s always the beach…)

Oct212011

Tour/Activity

Spirit of Melbourne Dinner Cruise

Melbourne, Australia

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review
I chose to go on the dinner cruise on a cold, winter evening. Probably not the season of choice for most diners, but the main deck of the boat was still almost full and the atmosphere was warm and welcoming.... While I enjoyed the cruise, I think the experience would be enhanced during the warmer months of the year, particularly summer, when it doesn’t get dark until 9pm. That way, you can loll around on the boat’s upper deck between courses while enjoying the city sights in daylight and then see its twinkling lights on the way back.

Note from Viator
This review was written by Emma McMahon, who wrote a complete summary of the Spirit of Melbourne Dinner Cruise (with video!) on the Viator Travel Blog.

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Oct212011

Tour/Activity

Melbourne Lanes and Arcades Walking Tour

Melbourne, Australia

My Photos

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Oct202011

Travel Recommendation

Hong Kong Islands: Lantau

Hong Kong

My Recommendation Tip

Hong Kong is a territory of islands: 230 of them to be precise, and Lantau is the biggest of them all. With Hong Kong’s highest mountain, a rugged coastline and several pretty beaches, Lantau is a popular getaway for people looking to escape the gleaming high rises of Hong Kong and Kowloon.

Oct202011

Travel Recommendation

Tokyo’s Best Tatami Sleeping Spots

Tokyo

My Recommendation Tip

If, like me, you’re fascinated with Japanese culture and enjoy the Japanese aesthetic, you can really make your visit special by staying in a ryokan, or traditionally styled accommodation.

Oct192011

Travel Recommendation

The Best Places for High Tea in Melbourne

Melbourne

My Recommendation Tip

Since the 1800s, ladies and gentlemen have been enjoying high tea in the afternoons. Until recently, sipping on earl grey and nibbling cucumber sandwiches was an activity reserved almost exclusively for the blue rinse set, but these days it may as well be known as iTea due to its rapidly growing popularity with a younger, trendier crowd.

Oct182011

Travel Recommendation

Best Places in Central and Southern Japan to Experience Koyo

Japan

My Recommendation Tip

As the last of the summer heat begin to wane, Japan’s foliage undergoes its dramatic seasonal transformation. Through late November, a carpet of color spreads from the northern island of Hokkaido to the lower elevations of central and southern Japan.

Oct172011

Travel Recommendation

Our Guide to Guilin Cuisine

China

My Recommendation Tip

Guilin cuisine has been strongly influenced over the centuries by the food of its neighbouring provinces. Out of Canton, Sichuan, Hunan, Zhejiang, Jiangxi, and Fujian cuisines, Cantonese and Sichuan dishes have proved the most enduring.

Oct172011

Travel Recommendation

Sydney Harbour’s Top 5 Islands

Sydney

My Recommendation Tip

Fort Denison, Shark, Clark, Rodd, Goat and Cockatoo are all islands in Sydney Harbour. Easily accessed by ferry from the city center, these islands have great cultural and historical significance.

Oct142011

Travel Recommendation

Top 10 Things to See and Do in Tasmania

Tasmania

My Recommendation Tip

No trip to Australia would be complete without exploring ‘Tassie’. Being cut off from the Australian mainland has ensured that Tasmania has retained much of its old world charm. Here’s our Tasmanian Top 10.

Oct122011

Travel Recommendation

The Top 6 Places to Indulge Your Passion for Fashion in Auckland

Auckland

My Recommendation Tip

New Zealand’s fashion capital caters to shoppers of every budget. The key is knowing where to look! Here’s our quick guide to shopping in Auckland.

Oct122011

Travel Recommendation

The Dandenong Ranges

Melbourne

My Recommendation Tip

Less than an hour east of Melbourne‘s city centre lie lush mountain ranges known locally as the Dandenongs. Popular with day-trippers since the 1870s, these gently rolling hills and prettily named villages still have a touch of the Victorian about them, and are bursting with quaint cafes, tearooms, sweet shops and cozy pubs.

Oct112011

Travel Recommendation

Fast Facts: Cairns and Tropical North Queensland

Cairns & the Tropical North

My Recommendation Tip

When to visit:
Australia is popular over summer, which in the southern hemisphere starts in December and ends in late February. This is the best time to enjoy the famous Australian beaches along the south, east and west coasts and experience Aussie culture at its best.

Oct102011

Travel Recommendation

The Best Family-Friendly Attractions of North Sydney

Sydney

My Recommendation Tip

Just across Sydney Harbour among the leafy green suburbs of Manly, Mosman and Milsons Point lie a few of the city’s best family-friendly attractions. Here’s our pick of the bunch.

Oct102011

Travel Recommendation

Brisbane for Kids

Brisbane

My Recommendation Tip

Here are our picks for Brisbane‘s best attractions for families and kids.

Oct072011

Travel Recommendation

The Best of Byron Bay

Australia

My Recommendation Tip

Byron Bay, just south of the Gold Coast on the east coast of Australia, has long attracted artists, surfers and hippies seeking a simpler, more laid-back lifestyle. They couldn’t keep Byron’s golden beaches, perfect surf and temperate weather all to themselves, however, and before long, the wealthy and sometimes famous caught on to the area’s divine natural beauty and richly forested hinterland.

Oct062011

Travel Recommendation

Accommodation in Tokyo

Tokyo

My Recommendation Tip

Are you tempted by the idea of staying in a ryokan but are unsure of what to expect? Tokyo offers an array of accommodation options, from capsule hotels to temple lodgings. Here’s our guide to Japanese-style accommodation in Tokyo.

Oct052011

Travel Recommendation

North Island’s Top 10 (part 1)

New Zealand

My Recommendation Tip

From North to South, here’s our list of some the must-sees on New Zealand’s North Island.

Oct052011

Travel Recommendation

The Top 6 Free Things to Do in Melbourne

Melbourne

My Recommendation Tip

While Melbourne may have recently been voted the world’s most livable city, the surging Australian dollar means that travel here is no longer the bargain it used to be. Thankfully, many of the city’s most iconic attractions cost nothing. Here’s six of the best.

Oct032011

Travel Recommendation

Chinese Tea Culture

China

My Recommendation Tip

Teahouses can be found all over China, reflecting the importance of tea in Chinese culture. Tea drinking gained popularity in the Song Dynasty and before long, teahouses outnumbered restaurants in China. Often decorated with exquisite calligraphy, paintings and rare plants in order to attract clientele, teahouses prospered during the Ming and Qing dynasties and became an essential daily ritual for many Chinese people.

Oct032011

Travel Recommendation

Top 5 Free Things to Do in Tokyo

Tokyo

My Recommendation Tip

Some of the best experiences in Tokyo don’t cost a dime. Here are our Top 5 free experiences in the neon city.

Oct032011

Travel Recommendation

Beijing: The 4 Best Sights from China’s Imperial Past

Beijing

My Recommendation Tip

Beijing is home to some of the finest treasures of China’s imperial past. The UNESCO World Heritage sites of the Forbidden City; the Temple of Heaven; the Summer Palace and the Great Wall are absolute must-sees for any visitor to China.

Sep282011

Travel Recommendation

Melbourne Coffee Culture: Top Spots for Bean Lovers

Melbourne

My Recommendation Tip

Make no mistake about it, Melbournians are mad about coffee. Consuming, on average, a whopping 2.4kgs of coffee per person per year, it’s no surprise that coffee has become a serious business here.

With cafes and coffee carts on every corner and discerning caffeine addicts seeking out the city’s very best latte, competition is high and skilled baristas are in big demand.

If you’re serious about your coffee too, check out my top coffee spots in Melbourne.

Sep262011

Travel Recommendation

Crave Sydney International Food Festival

Sydney

My Recommendation Tip

Crave Sydney is a highlight on any food lovers calendar. Attracting famous foodies from around the world, Crave hijacks October with an entire month of food events across Sydney and regional NSW.

Like any grand feast, there’s a packed menu with feature events stealing the show. Here’s a taste of a few of them.

Sep222011

Travel Recommendation

The Best Places in Tokyo for Kids

Tokyo

My Recommendation Tip

Tokyo is not a city that immediately springs to mind when thinking of child-friendly places to take the kids. While parks and playgrounds may be thin on the ground in Tokyo, there’s plenty to keep the little people entertained.

Sep222011

Travel Recommendation

Traditional Festivals in Hong Kong

Hong Kong

My Recommendation Tip

Hong Kong‘s traditional festivals are colorful and noisy affairs. Fireworks, lion and dragon dancers, Chinese opera, mah jong, fortune-telling, carnivals and parades are all part of the unique festive atmosphere.

Two such festivals have recently been lauded in China’s national list of intangible cultural heritage.

Sep212011

Travel Recommendation

Shanghai Food Specialities

Shanghai

My Recommendation Tip

Shanghai cuisine, also known as Hu Cai, includes two styles – Benbang cuisine and Haipai cuisine.

Sep212011

Travel Recommendation

Top 10 Melbourne Experiences

Melbourne

My Recommendation Tip

City-bound and not sure what to see? Here are our top 10 Melbourne experiences.

Sep202011

Travel Recommendation

Kyoto’s Top 5 Sights

Japan

My Recommendation Tip

Kyoto has so many fabulous sights that deciding what to see can be quite overwhelming! While there are many wonderful temples, you’ll quickly become ‘templed-out’ if you try to see too many of them in too short a time. Here’s a hit list of my favorite sights.

Sep192011

Travel Recommendation

Guilin by Season

China

My Recommendation Tip

Famous for being one of the most picturesque areas in China, Guilin’s spectacular karst scenery is every travel photographer’s dream, and floating along the serene Li River as you gaze at the breathtaking vistas is a not-to-be missed experience.

Sep192011

Travel Recommendation

Sydney’s 5 Best Day Trips

Sydney

My Recommendation Tip

1. Blue Mountains
This World Heritage listed forest is only two hours west of Sydney. Its sandstone gorges and peaks are dense with eucalypts whose oil reacts with the air to create the distinct blue haze that gives these mountains their name. Standout attractions here include the Three Sisters rock formation, Leura village and the township of Katoomba.

Sep162011

Travel Recommendation

New Zealand’s National Parks

New Zealand

My Recommendation Tip

New Zealand is a natural beauty in a world that is rapidly losing its looks. Its forests, mountains and beaches were here long before the islands indigenous inhabitants, the Maori, set foot on its soil and even longer before the arrival of Europeans.

With over 14 national parks throughout the country – three in the North Island and 10 in the South Island (the 14th is in tiny Stewart Island), each offers the visitor a unique experience of New Zealand’s flora and fauna.

Sep162011

Travel Recommendation

Australia’s Best Natural Wonders

Australia

My Recommendation Tip

We’ve all heard of Australia’s most famous natural icons such as Uluru (Ayers Rock) and the Great Barrier Reef. Take a journey around Australia as we list some of the country’s not quite so well known natural wonders.

Sep152011

Travel Recommendation

What’s on in Brisbane?

Brisbane

My Recommendation Tip

Brisbane Festival – until September 24

Brisbane Festival is in full swing this month with a packed program of international and Australian artists and productions. Celebrating and promoting the city’s artistic culture, there are free outdoor events, home grown productions and fringe theatre at every kind of venue across the city.

Sep152011

Travel Recommendation

Get your game on at the Tokyo Game Show!

Tokyo

My Recommendation Tip

The Tokyo Game Show is one of the world’s biggest video game exhibitions. A highlight on every avid gamer and developers calendar, the show offers the chance for technology giants such as Sony, Microsoft and Sega to launch new products and shout about their latest innovations.

The show is open to the general public for two days only on September 17-18, 2011 at Makuhari Messe in the Chiba Prefecture (just outside central Tokyo). The exhibition is split into several different areas so you can focus your attention on the various sections without getting too lost. They are as follows.

Sep142011

Travel Recommendation

What’s going on in Auckland

Auckland

My Recommendation Tip

Auckland is at the center of the action during the Rugby World Cup 2011, and to celebrate the city is hosting a series of events as part of the REAL NZ festival. Here’s just a taste of some of the happenings around the city in September and October 2011.

Sep142011

Travel Recommendation

Melbourne’s Main Events

Melbourne

My Recommendation Tip

Melbournians love to party and thousands flock to the city every year to join in the fun. In mid-summer tennis fans descend on the city for the Australian Open. Fall, between March and May, is the busiest season for festivals with foodies, car racing nuts and gardeners well catered for. As the cooler weather breezes in, winter festivals encourage writers and film buffs to come out of the cold. Spring begins in earnest at the Spring Racing Carnival, where one sporting event (the Melbourne Cup) grabs the attention of the entire nation.

Sep122011

Travel Recommendation

Sydney’s Top 4 Hidden Natural Attractions

Sydney

My Recommendation Tip

If you’re a Sydney local, free time is rarely spent indoors. And living in a city so blessed with natural attractions and year-round sunshine, why wouldn’t you want to spend your time outdoors?

So when it’s too cool for the beach, where do Sydneysiders go? Here are a few not so well known natural attractions less than an hour from Sydney.

Sep092011

Tour/Activity

Yarra Valley Wine and Winery Tour from Melbourne

Melbourne, Australia

My Photos

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  • Yarra Valley Wine and Winery Tour from Melbourne
  • Yarra Valley Wine and Winery Tour from Melbourne
  • Yarra Valley Wine and Winery Tour from Melbourne
  • Yarra Valley Wine and Winery Tour from Melbourne
  • Yarra Valley Wine and Winery Tour from Melbourne
  • Yarra Valley Wine and Winery Tour from Melbourne
  • Yarra Valley Wine and Winery Tour from Melbourne
  • Yarra Valley Wine and Winery Tour from Melbourne
  • Yarra Valley Wine and Winery Tour from Melbourne
  • Yarra Valley Wine and Winery Tour from Melbourne
  • Yarra Valley Wine and Winery Tour from Melbourne
  • Yarra Valley Wine and Winery Tour from Melbourne
  • Yarra Valley Wine and Winery Tour from Melbourne
  • Yarra Valley Wine and Winery Tour from Melbourne
  • Yarra Valley Wine and Winery Tour from Melbourne
  • Yarra Valley Wine and Winery Tour from Melbourne
  • Yarra Valley Wine and Winery Tour from Melbourne
  • Yarra Valley Wine and Winery Tour from Melbourne
  • Yarra Valley Wine and Winery Tour from Melbourne
  • Yarra Valley Wine and Winery Tour from Melbourne
  • Yarra Valley Wine and Winery Tour from Melbourne
  • Yarra Valley Wine and Winery Tour from Melbourne
  • Yarra Valley Wine and Winery Tour from Melbourne
  • Yarra Valley Wine and Winery Tour from Melbourne
  • Yarra Valley Wine and Winery Tour from Melbourne
  • Yarra Valley Wine and Winery Tour from Melbourne
  • Yarra Valley Wine and Winery Tour from Melbourne
  • Yarra Valley Wine and Winery Tour from Melbourne
  • Yarra Valley Wine and Winery Tour from Melbourne
  • Yarra Valley Wine and Winery Tour from Melbourne
  • Yarra Valley Wine and Winery Tour from Melbourne
  • Yarra Valley Wine and Winery Tour from Melbourne
  • Yarra Valley Wine and Winery Tour from Melbourne
  • Yarra Valley Wine and Winery Tour from Melbourne
  • Yarra Valley Wine and Winery Tour from Melbourne
  • Yarra Valley Wine and Winery Tour from Melbourne
  • Yarra Valley Wine and Winery Tour from Melbourne
  • Yarra Valley Wine and Winery Tour from Melbourne
  • Yarra Valley Wine and Winery Tour from Melbourne
  • Yarra Valley Wine and Winery Tour from Melbourne
  • Yarra Valley Wine and Winery Tour from Melbourne
  • Yarra Valley Wine and Winery Tour from Melbourne
  • Yarra Valley Wine and Winery Tour from Melbourne
  • Yarra Valley Wine and Winery Tour from Melbourne
  • Yarra Valley Wine and Winery Tour from Melbourne
  • Yarra Valley Wine and Winery Tour from Melbourne
  • Yarra Valley Wine and Winery Tour from Melbourne
  • Yarra Valley Wine and Winery Tour from Melbourne
  • Yarra Valley Wine and Winery Tour from Melbourne
  • Yarra Valley Wine and Winery Tour from Melbourne
  • Yarra Valley Wine and Winery Tour from Melbourne
  • Yarra Valley Wine and Winery Tour from Melbourne

Sep092011

Tour/Activity

Colonial Tramcar Restaurant Tour of Melbourne

Melbourne, Australia

My Photos

  • Colonial Tramcar Restaurant Tour of Melbourne
  • Colonial Tramcar Restaurant Tour of Melbourne
  • Colonial Tramcar Restaurant Tour of Melbourne
  • Colonial Tramcar Restaurant Tour of Melbourne
  • Colonial Tramcar Restaurant Tour of Melbourne
  • Colonial Tramcar Restaurant Tour of Melbourne
  • Colonial Tramcar Restaurant Tour of Melbourne
  • Colonial Tramcar Restaurant Tour of Melbourne
  • Colonial Tramcar Restaurant Tour of Melbourne
  • Colonial Tramcar Restaurant Tour of Melbourne
  • Colonial Tramcar Restaurant Tour of Melbourne
  • Colonial Tramcar Restaurant Tour of Melbourne
  • Colonial Tramcar Restaurant Tour of Melbourne
  • Colonial Tramcar Restaurant Tour of Melbourne
  • Colonial Tramcar Restaurant Tour of Melbourne
  • Colonial Tramcar Restaurant Tour of Melbourne
  • Colonial Tramcar Restaurant Tour of Melbourne
  • Colonial Tramcar Restaurant Tour of Melbourne
  • Colonial Tramcar Restaurant Tour of Melbourne
  • Colonial Tramcar Restaurant Tour of Melbourne
  • Colonial Tramcar Restaurant Tour of Melbourne
  • Colonial Tramcar Restaurant Tour of Melbourne
  • Colonial Tramcar Restaurant Tour of Melbourne
  • Colonial Tramcar Restaurant Tour of Melbourne
  • Colonial Tramcar Restaurant Tour of Melbourne
  • Colonial Tramcar Restaurant Tour of Melbourne
  • Colonial Tramcar Restaurant Tour of Melbourne
  • Colonial Tramcar Restaurant Tour of Melbourne
  • Colonial Tramcar Restaurant Tour of Melbourne
  • Colonial Tramcar Restaurant Tour of Melbourne
  • Colonial Tramcar Restaurant Tour of Melbourne
  • Colonial Tramcar Restaurant Tour of Melbourne
  • Colonial Tramcar Restaurant Tour of Melbourne
  • Colonial Tramcar Restaurant Tour of Melbourne
  • Colonial Tramcar Restaurant Tour of Melbourne
  • Colonial Tramcar Restaurant Tour of Melbourne
  • Colonial Tramcar Restaurant Tour of Melbourne
  • Colonial Tramcar Restaurant Tour of Melbourne
  • Colonial Tramcar Restaurant Tour of Melbourne

Sep082011

Travel Recommendation

Koyo - Autumn Colors in Tokyo

Tokyo

My Recommendation Tip

Spring and autumn are the most popular seasons to visit Japan and to see the country’s natural beauty at its best. Spring is of course cherry blossom season while autumn brings Kōyō (red leaves). Locals celebrate this event with viewing parties across Japan as the palette of the surrounding foliage changes from green to deep reds, rich gold and fiery orange.

The foliage begins to change from mid-September and remains colorful through to early December. Here’s a list of places in Tokyo to see the best displays.

Sep072011

Travel Recommendation

Rugby World Cup brings excitement to New Zealand

New Zealand

My Recommendation Tip

After the shock of February’s earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealanders could do with something to celebrate. It has come in the form of the Rugby World Cup, which is due to kick off in early September.

Many New Zealanders live and breathe rugby, so the chance to host this international event has gripped the country with excitement ever since the announcement back in 2005.

Sep072011

Travel Recommendation

Melbourne’s Top 4 Hidden Treasures

Melbourne

My Recommendation Tip

Melbourne’s arcades and laneways speak as much of the city’s past as they do of its future. From original Victorian arcades and specialty shops to fashion boutiques showcasing upcoming local designers, Melbourne’s most unique shopping experiences are not on the main drag. Let us take you on a walk through the city’s most popular laneways...

Sep072011

Travel Recommendation

Shop 'til you drop: Top 4 Shopping Spots in Sydney

Sydney

My Recommendation Tip

Forget shopping for souvenirs! Sydney’s the place for a splurge. From designer wares in hip boutiques to vintage clothing, historic arcades and local handicrafts at community markets, there’s a world of temptation beckoning you from every street corner. Find your way through the maze of consumer delights with our guide to the absolute best of Sydney shopping.

Sep022011

Travel Recommendation

The Beijing-Shanghai High-Speed Railway

Beijing

My Recommendation Tip

Tickets for the new Beijing-Shanghai high-speed railway have been selling like hot cakes. The 1,318-kilometer railway officially started operating on July 1 this year with promises to whisk passengers between the two cities in a little under five hours.

The new high-speed train route significantly eases the transportation strain and improves business communications between Beijing and Shanghai. Previously a journey between the two metropolises always involved air travel.

Aug312011

Travel Recommendation

Hong Kong Mid-Autumn Festival

Hong Kong

My Recommendation Tip

If you are visiting Hong Kong in the next couple of weeks, this colorful festival could be the highlight of your visit. For 11 days in early September the city comes alive with lantern displays, feasting and fire dragon dances in a celebration of harvest time and the brightest moon of the year.

Moon cakes are the ubiquitous festival snack. Made of ground lotus and sesame seed paste, egg-yolk and other ingredients, many locals can be found munching on them at The Peak come nightfall, as they light their lanterns at Hong Kong city’s highest point.

Aug302011

Travel Recommendation

Best Places in Northern Japan to Experience Koyo

Japan

My Recommendation Tip

Koyo (red leaves) spread like a colorful blanket from north to south Japan as the cooler fall weather sets in. Here’s our selection of the best places to experience the full beauty of Koyo in northern Japan.

Aug252011

Travel Recommendation

What’s on in Melbourne?

Melbourne

My Recommendation Tip

Spring is already in the air in Melbourne and the city is celebrating with several festivals and events.


Melbourne Writers Festival –25 Aug to 04 Sep 2011
Now in its 26th year, the Melbourne Writers Festival continues to celebrate the world of words with a packed festival program that takes place over 10 days in late August/early September. This year’s festival explores the future of media in a digital world by looking at the growing popularity of graphic novels. Keynote events include a chat and digital video performance by acclaimed local author and illustrator Shaun Tan and a discussion on autobiographical fiction by famous US novelist Jonathan Franzen.

Aug252011

Travel Recommendation

Darwin Attractions

Darwin

My Recommendation Tip

It’s easy to fall into a state tropical languor on a visit to Darwin but you must resist! So put down that cold drink and peel your butt out of that hammock, a whole swathe of attractions await.


Kakadu National Park
This incredible natural beauty is the reason why most people visit Australia’s Top End. Covering a staggering 4.2 million acres, Kakadu is of great significance to Australian Aborigines and supports a huge variety of plant and animal life. Its sandstone escarpments, life-giving waterholes and lily-strewn waterways can be explored on a day trip from Darwin but camping overnight is perhaps the best way to experience its true beauty.

Aug222011

Travel Recommendation

Discover Sydney’s Inner Precincts

Sydney

My Recommendation Tip

Sydney is so much more than its stunning harbour, beaches, bridge and Opera House. To get to the real heart of the city you’ll need to explore its inner precincts. Like recalcitrant children, they all have distinct personalities and a flavor that is very much their own.

Manly: Hop on a ferry across the harbour to this laid-back seaside suburb. It buzzes with life on the weekend when locals hit the beaches or roller-blade along the promenade. Go surfing, hire a bike or visit Manly Ocean World.

Mosman: Also a short hop across the harbour, Mosman has pocket-sized beaches with Sydney’s best harbour views. Most visitors come to see one of Sydney’s biggest attractions: the award-winning Taronga Zoo.

Aug182011

Travel Recommendation

The City of Hobart

Hobart

My Recommendation Tip

Tasmania’s charming waterfront capital, Hobart, is close to many nearby attractions but also ‘harbors’ a few treasures of its own.

Make Salamanca Place the first stop on your Hobart itinerary. The honey-colored historic warehouses here date back to the whaling days of the 1830s but today preside over an altogether different scene. Salamanca Place is now the city’s cultural and artistic hub and it’s the place to find unique arts and crafts made by local artisans. Wander the galleries and enjoy a meal at one of the many restaurants. If you’re there on a Saturday you’ll be able to browse for bargains at the lively Salamanca market.

Aug172011

Travel Recommendation

10 Things to do on a rainy day in Sydney

Sydney

My Recommendation Tip

Yes, it does occasionally rain in Sydney. Particularly in the winter months of June, July and August. My favorite ways to spend a rainy day in Sydney are as follows:

1. Art Gallery of New South Wales
Take in the largest permanent collection of Aboriginal art in the world – for free! You can even take the kids if you like.

2. Museum of Sydney
Learn about Sydney’s Aboriginal and European history and get a taste of the city’s contemporary culture through a series of changing exhibitions.

3. Opera House
A guided tour of the Opera House will take you behind the scenes of this iconic building (and out of the rain!).

Aug122011

Travel Recommendation

The Northern Territory’s Top 10

Northern Territory

My Recommendation Tip

From Darwin, Arnhem Land and Kakadu to Australia’s biggest natural icon, Ayers Rock, here’s a taster of the Northern territory’s top ten attractions.

1. Ayers Rock (Uluru)
Ayers Rock is a World Heritage Area and iconic Australian destination. A site of great spiritual significance for the local Anangu people, Ayers Rock wows visitors with its fabulous color changes during sunset and sunrise.

Aug092011

Travel Recommendation

Cairns for Kids

Cairns & the Tropical North

My Recommendation Tip

Central Cairns:

Cairns Lagoon
Cairns Lagoon on the Esplanade in central Cairns is a real drawcard for kids. This huge manmade pool is a safe saltwater swimming spot for kids (and their parents!) all year round.

Aug082011

Travel Recommendation

What's on in Brisbane for July and August

Brisbane

My Recommendation Tip

Top 3 things to do in Brisbane this season:

1. Surrealism Exhibition
Where: Queensland Art Gallery/Gallery of Modern Art (QAG/GoMA), South Bank.
When: 11 Jun 2011 - 2 Oct 2011

GoMA is the only Australian venue to exhibit 'Surrealism: The Poetry of Dreams', a selection of surrealist works from the Musée national d'art moderne, Centre Pompidou, Paris.

This exhibition features more than 180 works by 56 artists, including paintings, sculptures, films, photographs, drawings and collages. Representing an opportunity to see important art works that rarely leave Paris, this exhibition provides a comprehensive overview of the Surrealist movement and includes paintings and sculptures by surrealists Salvador Dali, Rene Magritte, Victor Brauner, Joan Miró, Alberto Giacometti, Max Ernst and Paul Delvaux.

Aug082011

Travel Recommendation

Sydney's Top 5 Attractions

Sydney

My Recommendation Tip

1. Sydney Harbor
This should be the first stop on any Sydney itinerary. A visit to the harbor will take in several of Sydney’s preeminent sights including the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbor Bridge. Take a Sunset Dinner tour on the harbour to appreciate the city from the water.

2. The Sydney Opera House
Explore this iconic building from every possible angle! Take a guided tour for a greater insight into the day-to-day workings of the Opera House and then take in a performance (it’s not all Opera you know!).

Aug052011

Travel Recommendation

Queensland

Queensland

My Recommendation Tip

Now is the time to go!

In February 2011 a massive cyclone hit Queensland’s shores causing widespread damage across the state, including many popular tourism areas along the sunshine coast. After a fast and furious clean up campaign, Queensland has proudly announced that it’s back in business although a few things have changed… there are hardly any other travelers!

Aug012011

Travel Recommendation

Shopping in Beijing

Beijing

My Recommendation Tip

You can still find many traditional handicrafts in China’s bustling modern capital. Perhaps the best know are Cloisonné (a popular ancient metalworking technique), Ivory Carving, Lacquer and Jade. Other items that make good souvenirs include snuff bottles, artificial flowers, pearls and silk.

Jul292011

Travel Recommendation

Beijing Festivals – July to September

Beijing

My Recommendation Tip

Tanzhesi Temple Zen Tea Culture Festival – Jul. 7 to Sep. 10 2011
One of Beijing’s oldest and best-known temples, the Tanzhesi (or Tanzhe) Temple is holding a Zen Tea Culture Festival from July until early September. Aimed at promoting China’s traditional tea culture, visitors will be able to try the temple’s very own “Tanzhesi Zen Tea” and “Tanzhesi prime cake.”

Jul282011

Travel Recommendation

Margaret River

Western Australia

My Recommendation Tip

No trip to Western Australia (WA) is complete without visiting one of Australia’s most magical places. Margaret River, with its incredible coastline and year-round sunshine is WA’s prime surfing and wine growing region.

Jul252011

Travel Recommendation

Messing About on the Water

Sydney

My Recommendation Tip

Messing about on the water is positively encouraged in Sydney and there’s no end of activities on offer to help you do just that. We dipped our toe in to bring you the best of the wet.

Jul202011

Travel Recommendation

Buildings of the Bund

Shanghai

My Recommendation Tip

A stroll along The Bund in Shanghai will reveal a rich mix of architectural styles that demonstrate the wealth and power of the foreign companies in China at the time.

Jul192011

Travel Recommendation

Osaka: A Short History

Osaka

My Recommendation Tip

Early beginnings: Osaka is centrally placed between busy river and sea routes and has therefore always been Japan’s gateway to the rest of the world.

Naniwazu Port, the predecessor to the modern port of Osaka, was where foreigners first touched the soil of ancient Japan in the 5th century bringing with them a whole swathe of knowledge and artifacts, including a new religion, Buddhism.

Jul182011

Travel Recommendation

Traditional Festivals in China

China

My Recommendation Tip

There are a number of traditional festivals in China, which fall at different times of the year depending on the lunar calendar. Each festival has its own unique origins and customs. The biggest and most popular events include the following:

Jul182011

Travel Recommendation

Top 10 Things to Do in Sydney in the Winter

Sydney

My Recommendation Tip

The northern hemispheres hottest months are of course the southern hemispheres coldest. While winters are generally mild and sunny in Sydney (the daily temperature rarely drops below 14 degrees) it’s certainly not bikini weather! So what is there to do in Australia’s beach-loving city from June to August? Plenty… We list the Top 10 Sydney winter experiences both in and out of the city.

Jul182011

Travel Recommendation

Museum of Old and New Art (MONA)

Hobart

My Recommendation Tip

The latest buzz to come out of Tasmania is the opening of a new museum in Hobart called MONA. The brain child of Australian multi-millionaire, David Walsh, who calls it his “subversive adult Disneyland”, MONA’s $75 million, three-level building showcases Walsh’s own eclectic collection.

Jul122011

Travel Recommendation

Top 5 Attractions in Cairns and the Tropical North

Cairns & the Tropical North

My Recommendation Tip

From Mission Beach just south of Cairns all the way up to Cape York and the Torres Strait, the tropical north offers a swathe of attractions ranging from beach bumming and spa pampering to diving and adrenaline-fueled white water rafting. With so much to choose from it can be tough making a decision about what to see and do. Here’s a Top 5 list of our favourite not-to-be-missed experiences.

Jul112011

Travel Recommendation

Top 5 Best Beaches in Sydney

Sydney

My Recommendation Tip

Set on a picturesque natural harbor, Sydney is blessed with over 37 beaches, most of them just a hop, skip and a jump away from the center of the busy city action. While it may seem all work in Sydney’s central business district, come five o’clock those office workers peel off their starched collars to reveal bikinis and board shorts and head straight for the beach.

Jul112011

Travel Recommendation

Brisbane’s Top 5 City Lunch Spots

Brisbane

My Recommendation Tip

Not content to lap at the heels of Sydney and Melbourne, Brisbane is fast becoming a sophisticated city known for its arts, festivals and food. As with most cities, it can be tricky finding that perfect lunch spot without some local knowledge. Luckily we have the knowledge… Here’s our list of some of the best value and most delicious places around town.

Jul082011

Travel Recommendation

Top 5 Things to do in Sydney with Kids

Sydney

My Recommendation Tip

Sydney is a great family destination so if you’re traveling with kids you won’t struggle to find things to keep you all entertained. Here’s my pick of the best!

Jul072011

Travel Recommendation

Top 5 Picnic Spots in Sydney

Sydney

My Recommendation Tip

Blessed with warm weather and sunshine most of the year round, Sydney’s parks, gardens and beaches are perfect for picnicking. Here’s our pick of the bunch:

Jun302011

Travel Recommendation

Chinese Eating Etiquette

China

My Recommendation Tip

Many of us know that sticking chopsticks upright in a bowl of rice is considered inauspicious, right? Well, when it comes to Chinese table manners that’s just the beginning. Here are a few things worth considering when eating in China.

Jun062011

Travel Recommendation

Shopping in Shanghai

Shanghai

My Recommendation Tip

Shanghai takes shopping seriously. Retail areas are divided into “Four Streets” and “Four Cities” so you can be sure that you have covered all possibilities. Store-lined Nanjing Road includes East Nanjing and West Nanjing Road and is famous for being one of China’s best shopping streets. Here you’ll find a mix of the old and the new, from centuries old shops to gleaming shopping centres.

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