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.


David Herd unforgettable year 2003

David Herd unforgettable year 2003, not sure how I survived, it was one of the busiest & best years for travel, & at home on the Gold Coast, that I have ever experienced. I went to Vietnam twice in January & April, Thailand in April & July, then around the world in November starting in Chile, then on to Rio De Janeiro in Brazil, Barcelona & Bangkok on the way home to Australia.

In August I took 3 lovely Japanese girls on a 7,000 kilometer road trip through the Outback to Uluru, stopping at Broken Hill & Coober Pedy then on the way home we went to Airlie Beach & Hervey Bay to see the whales.

This is not a travel blog just a personal photo collection from 2003.

Lovely Japanese girls + Vannessa

David Herd unforgettable year

Most of these lovely girls were students, I took 3 of them on a 7,000 kilometre road trip through the Outback and to Uluru. My friend Vannessa Teo is the lovely lady on the right.

The girls loved my Mercedes.

David Herd unforgettable year I had a couple of Japanese girls staying in my home, they loved my yellow Mercedes & here they are after I had taken them & their friends for a Yum Cha.

A very happy group Friends family students

David Herd unforgettable yearHarley is looking like a stunned mullet, the other guy is Jack, an Aussie who I met in Vietnam in January.

My beautiful home

David Herd unforgettable year

David Herd unforgettable year

David Herd unforgettable yearI enjoyed these beautiful sunsets for 21 wonderful years living in my beautiful home on the Gold Coast in Australia.

My beautiful Mercedes

David Herd unforgettable yearI owned this lovely car for 17 years, I reluctantly sold it in 2007 when I was starting to downsize with a view of moving to Thailand.

 Duranbah Beach Tweed Heads

Flagstaff beachDuranbah Beach (NSW, also called Flagstaff Beach) is the most northern beach in NSW. The 500 m long beach faces east and is located between the northern 400 m long entrance wall of the Tweed River mouth  and the 30 m high black basalt slopes of Point Danger, which marks the Queensland-NSW border. 

Lunch with friends Ross & Mariana Kennedy

Omeros restaurantLunch at Omeros Brothers restaurant with good friends Ross & Mariana at the Marina Mirage.

Chevron Renaissance in Surfers Paradise

David Herd unforgettable year

One of my favourite people watching locations.

Getting ready for out road trip.

David Herd unforgettable yearMy 3 Japanese friends Yukako, Noriko & Megumi who came on the Outback road trip. Did I mention life 2003 was frantic? Well our 7000 km journey in 2 weeks certainly was. 🙂

life 2003 celebrating my birthday

David Herd 60th birthdayMy 60th birthday with John Sinclair, Bruce Donachie, Ross Kennedy & Phil Thomson.

Owned by multi millionaire Bob Ell.

David Herd unforgettable yearIt would cost me a years wages (if I had a job) to fill it up with diesel.

Tony Murphy’s houseboat

David Herd unforgettable yearMy friend Tony Murphy lived on his houseboat here in Surfers Paradise and previously in Townsville.

Coffee on Chevron Island with Ross Kennedy.

David Herd unforgettable yearI rarely miss a day going to Chevron Island for coffee, breakfast, lunch or dinner. 🙂

Sweet Japanese girls

David Herd unforgettable yearOn the left is Sayuri with her friend and Ziggy in the background. Sayuri stayed at my home for several months while studying English.

Sonia from Beijing.

David Herd unforgettable year

 Sonia & I went out together for a while, we met in Toowoomba where she was going to university, then hooked up last year in Beijing. She moved to Sydney and found a husband. 🙂

Sydney Cricket Ground

Sydney Cricket Ground I was at the Sydney Cricket Ground to watch my beloved Sydney Swan play Australian Football. Luckily my friend Peter Hesky had a private box which makes the game more enjoyable.

Pothole, Apple and Sue

David Herd unforgettable yearJohn Martin aka Pothole, Apple and Sue in Sydney for the weekend.

Sue, Apple Pothole & his sister Anne.

David Herd unforgettable year

Strange how things turn out, it is 2016 and Pothole live in the same building in Pattaya Thailand.

Apple was the best Thai cook I have ever seen.

David Herd unforgettable yearFinally after the love affair finished with Pothole Apple wound up married to an ex cop in London. She was with him at Buckingham Palace when he received an award from the Queen, not bad for a girl from Nana Plaza. 🙂

Visiting my brother Bryan

David Herd unforgettable year Bryan built a lovely home at Cobbity which is near Camden west of Sydney.

Sue and I at Manly

David Herd unforgettable year

Fish & chips is compulsory for lunch at Manly.


David Herd unforgettable year

One of the nicest Sydney seaside suburbs,

Magnificent Sydney skyline

David Herd unforgettable year

Sydney from the Manly ferry.

 Andrea & Gavin Kernot

David Herd unforgettable year My friend Gavin with his gorgeous girlfriend Andrea. Have a look at my 2005 Paris post where I spent some time with Gavin and and Cheryl Kernot who was a well known Australian politician.

Melbas Xmas lunch with Graham (Biff) LaRoche.

David Herd unforgettable year

Each year a group of ex Melbourne guys would get together for a Xmas lunch at Melbas in Surfers Paradise.

The whole crew

Melbas Xmas lunchSadly time waits for no man, a couple of guys from this group have now passed away, Noel Smith & Ron Collier, RIP.

Dave Allen & Kerry Townsend.

David Herd unforgettable year Dave was the manager at Melbas and Kerry was the receptionist. Dave was the son of the owner Paul Allen who sadly passed away in July or August 2011. Melbas was the premier restaurant & nightclub on the Gold Coast since 1981. It was also my local drinking hole, the memories I have from there are unforgettable.

Xmas day lunch at home for David Herd unforgettable year.

Xmas day lunchDavid Herd unforgettable year 2003 was frantic with Friends family students I was happy to spend Xmas day alone with my best friend Ziggy (my Doberman) enjoying my beautiful home that I built in 1990. I ate magnificent seafood and washed it down with my favourite white wine from Margaret River in W.A. a Salitage unwooded Chardonay, life does not get much better than this. It was great having a quiet day to reflect on my wild & frantic year.

Thanks for visiting my David Herd unforgettable year photo blog.

I’ll leave it to Glenn Frey to tell you how I feel right now.

                  Here are some more posts to check out

            Sydney                               Paris                                   Bangkok
Sydney Opera house        Paris hotel        Grand Palace Bangkok
            Tokyo                        Rio De Janeiro                        Budapest
Tokyo        Carla, what a girl. photo CopacabanabeachNov2003-128.jpg        Buda Castle
           London                            Beijing                            Capetown
Kings road Chelsea        David & the General photo DHandthegeneral.jpg        David Herd Thailand
                                           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

Beckington Trowbridge

Click here to check out my Miami adventure.

Author: David Herd

My history, particularly over the last 30 years is dominated by overseas travel. I sold my home in Australia October 20th 2011 and have have been living in Thailand since then. I don’t know where the time has gone? It seems like you go to sleep one night, wake up the next morning, and 20 years have flashed by. Not sure how many years I have left, however I have enjoyed a wonderful charmed life, and if it all ended today I would leave this world with no regrets.

I was born in Sydney halfway through the last century, started my travels in the 60s with the usual U.K. Europe adventure at the age of 20, back to Australia and worked in Sydney, Melbourne & Adelaide in Sales & Marketing with multinational companies including Sanyo, Canon & Remington.

Engaged to be married 3 times and never quite made it to the alter, finally realized by the mid 90s I was not cut out for “long term relationships” so I moved to the Gold Coast in Queensland in January 1987, worked for a couple of banks as a Financial Planner, I took a year off work in 1998 to travel and never went back to full time work again, after 25 fun filled years on the Coast I packed up and moved to Thailand.

What is the purpose of this blog? Well I really want to use it to record my travel experiences & to display my photographs, give and receive travel tips, comment on places I visit, restaurants I eat in and use it to replace the autobiography I intended to write, apart from all that it helps me fill in my day. :)

I moved to Thailand mainly because I wanted to keep travelling while my health allowed me to, there are huge advantages being closer to all the places I want to visit.

Cost of living in Thailand is around 35% of the cost in Australia, plus flights are 50% cheaper because you are much closer to everywhere. ????

Consequently I am able to travel to many more places compared to living in Australia.

Having said all that, it is & has always been my intention to return to Australia when my travelling is finished, I predict this will happen around 2021.

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