The Five Star Vagabond

Super travel tips, all road tested by David Herd. I'm an Australian guy who moved to Thailand in 2011 & still travel the world as often as possible.

Travel tips five great countries

September 1, 2015 by David Herd


Travel tips five great countries Travel tips five great countries staring with Japan, I’ll list the 5 countries in alphabetical order rather than by personal preference. The photo above is  Shabusen at the Ginza A terrific restaurant for Kobe beef, go at lunch time for special prices. Check out my first post in this series here.

The train system is fantastic, from Tokyo it’s a 40 minute trip to Yokohama or 3  h0urs by bullet train to beautiful Kyoto.

One square meter of land in the Ginza center is worth more than ten million yen (more than 100,000 US dollars), making it one of the most expensive real estate in Japan. It is where you can find the infamous $10 cups of coffee and where virtually every leading brand name in fashion and cosmetics has a presence. To me Tokyo is all about food, food and more food, interestingly the Michelin guide has Tokyo comfortably ahead of Paris (10 three-starred restaurants), New York (7) and London (2), with a total of 350 establishments making it into the guide this time around.

 Kabukicho                        Harajuku girls                                   Tokyo

Tokyo food               Harajuku girls Tokyo               Travel tips five great countries

     Kabukicho is an entertainment and red-light district in Shinjuku, Tokyo. Kabukicho is the location of many host and hostess clubs, love hotels, shops, restaurants, and nightclubs, and is often called the “Sleepless Town.”   Make sure you check out my post called “Piss Alley”.

I don’t know any other person who has travelled more than I during the last 20 years. Perhaps I can provide you with a few ideas on where to go for your next holiday.


David Herd Thailand  I sold my home in Australia October 20th 2011 and have have been living in Thailand since then. My first trip to this great country was in 1980, however it wasn’t until 1997 when I started visiting 2 or 3 times each year. In the early days Koh Samui was a favourite destination, however in my opinion progress has not improved the island, it was far better before all the modern gold shops etc moved in. These days I prefer Koh Chang near the Cambodian border & of course Bangkok is fantastic with so many great bars, restaurants & shopping malls.

              Chiang Mai                           Pattaya                            Chao Phraya river

Travel tips five great countries              Walking St Pattaya                Travel tips five great countries

Chiang Mai tiger warning, the sign could not have been clearer. It was placed a metre from the cage which was at the rear of the zoo away from the other tiger enclosures. It simply said “danger, don’t go past this sign”. Looking back I have done many stupid things in my life and this certainly ranks highly in the “stupidity stakes.”

Naturally I ignored the warning and moved past the sign and put my camera lens through the wire to get a clear shot of the magnificent beast sitting quietly in the pond two meters from my lens. Within one second of taking the photo there seemed to be an explosion in front of me and suddenly I jumped backwards totally soaked with water.

I could barely hear my brother’s raucous laughter from several meters away due to the rapid beating of my heart. The 240 kilo beast had lept from the pond and hit the wire full force with all his four giant paws. My luck held as did the wire, which without exaggeration saved me from being torn to pieces.

Travel tips five great countries

I e-mailed the tiger zoo and inquired about this particular tiger. They told me his name was Tone, he weighed 240 kilo and was far too dangerous to allow the public to get close, he was just used for breeding.

United Kingdom part of my Travel tips five great countries photo blog.

Gold Hill ShaftesburySo many places to see & so much history. I travel there most years making London my base, then visit cities & towns all over the country either by train or car. Apart from London some of my favourite places are Brighton, Bath, Glasgow & Bradford on Avon. The photo above is Gold Hill is a steep cobbled street in the town of Shaftesbury in the English county of Dorset.

      London pubs                      Lands End                  Hyde Park

London Pubs          Lands End hotel Cornwall         Hyde Park London

Travel tips. Great Britain has an excellent rail service, save up to 80% by booking your ticket before you arrive, just click here. London Underground’s Piccadilly Line provides the most cost-effective rail route between Heathrow Airport and the capital, so look for accommodation around Earl’s CourtGloucester Rd or Knightsbridge. For more information click here.

United States of America

Travel tips five great countries Another huge country offering everything from snow capped mountains to desert, beaches & exciting cities. New York of course is everyone’s favourite however hotel costs are so expensive. I really enjoy Miami with the wonderful Cuban influence, but I must say the last time I was in San Francisco I was quite disappointed by the high numbers of beggars on the city streets.

Car hire and internal flights are reasonably inexpensive. In Los Angeles I always stay in Santa Monica where I enjoy the restaurants and Venus beach.

Miami                                San Francisco                           New York

Art Deco life-guard tower              Travel tips five great countries                Gallagher's New York


Beautiful ladies Vietnam Ho Chi Minh City is Honda heaven, it is quite a shock when you see the number of motorbikes on the streets, crossing the road seems like a game of Russian roulette. My main memories of this wonderful country are the beautiful ladies and the terrific food. My first visit was twice in 2003 then 12 years later in January 2015. Halong Bay is a magical experience, make sure you stay overnight on one of the many boats, it’s an experience you will never forget. Vung Tau and Nha Trang are two of my favourites places in this great country.

Hoi An                             Chill Sky Bar                      HCMC 2015

Travel tips five great countries          Travel tips five great countries          Travel tips five great countries

Warning, when catching a taxi in Saigon stick with Vinasun or Mai Linh for clean honest low priced taxis. Many other companies are rip off merchants who will try to rob you.

Don’t under any circumstances use the company below.

Saigon taxi

Thanks for visiting my Travel tips five great countries photo blog.

            Checkout some more of my terrific blogs on the links below.

              Lisbon                                   New York                           Airole Italy    

  Lisbon restaurant            Wall St New York            Airole                         

             Menton                          Pattaya Storms                   Shibuya Tokyo

French Riviera            Pattaya Thailand            Shibuya Tokyo              

    Hong Kong                             Florianopolos                      Dubrovnik

Kowloon Hong Kong           Joaquina Beach Florianopolis            Dubrovnik

                                         Great hotel room rates anywhere in the world if you book
                                                through these links below.  Book now & pay later. ?
                                                       Bangkok Hotels                    Pattaya Hotels
                                                  Amazing Bangkok busses               Amazing Bangkok busses


Pattaya webcam


That’s all folks

David Herd Thailand

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