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.

Blue Sky Red Earth Coober Pedy Opal Mine

April 14, 2017 by David Herd

Incredible landscape

Blue Sky Red Earth Coober Pedy Opal Mine Blue Sky Red Earth Coober Pedy Opal Mine, nowhere else in the world have I seen colours similar to outback Australia. Red earth, blackened trees and a beautiful blue sky.

I took three Japanese students, Yukako, Megumi & Noriko & travelled from the Gold Coast in Queensland, through Broken Hill  NSW to Cooper Pedy on the first leg of our journey on the way to Uluru aka Ayers Rock.

Excitement

Blue Sky Red Earth Coober Pedy Opal Mine The girls started clapping wildly when they saw the kangaroo sign so you can imagine how excited they were when they saw a live one.

Here we are in Coober Pedy

Blue Sky Red Earth Coober Pedy Opal Mine You know when you are near the town when you see all the mounds of dirt & gravel.

OK, what are we waiting for?

Blue Sky Red Earth Coober Pedy Opal Mine Let’s go & check out this underground village. 

My trusty Holden Commodore was our transport on our marathon journey all through the Australian Outback we traveled 7,300 kilometers  which was around 82 hours behind the wheel. 

Mini mountains everywhere

Blue Sky Red Earth Coober Pedy Opal Mine Coober Pedy is a town in northern South Australia, 846 km north of Adelaide. The 2011 census showed its population was 1,695 (953 males, 742 females, including 275 indigenous Australians). The town is sometimes referred to as the “opal capital of the world” due to the quantity of precious opals that are mined there.

 Men at work

Blue Sky Red Earth Coober Pedy Opal Mine This was our first indication of work happening around the mines.

Blue Sky Red Earth Coober Pedy Opal Mine

Blue Sky Red Earth Coober Pedy Opal Mine As you can clearly see not all the people live underground.

 Opal capital of the World

 photo 594a05c9-2ec2-49a7-b40a-dccf5dd15fa6.jpg There are quite a few opal shops, restaurants and a variety of accommodation ranging from four star to backpackers and caravan/camping areas.

Desert Cave Hotel

Blue Sky Red Earth Coober Pedy Opal Mine

The hotel has rooms above ground and in underground caves, this relaxed hotel is a 14-minute walk from the Big Winch Lookout. For an excellent discount just book through THIS LINK.

Big Winch Lookout

Blue Sky Red Earth Coober Pedy Opal Mine The famous historic Big Winch Scenic Lookout with 360 degrees view of the town.

Is this Coober Pedy art?

Blue Sky Red Earth Coober Pedy Opal Mine To be honest with you I have no idea what it is. 🙂

On the other hand….

Blue Sky Red Earth Coober Pedy Opal Mine This may well be the brother of “Tin Man” from The Wizard of Oz. 🙂

 On the subject of movies

Blue Sky Red Earth Coober Pedy Opal Mine This monster was apparently part of a movie set that has been abandoned and left here as a talking point.

 We have finished the first stage of our Journey.

Blue Sky Red Earth Coober Pedy Opal Mine

Next stop is Uluru aka Ayers Rock.

Thanks for visiting my Blue Sky Red Earth Coober Pedy Opal Mine photo blog.

           Brussels                            St Tropez                                    Verona

Manneken Pis           photo St Tropez 21.jpg          Juliet's house is in a courtyard off Via Capello. photo Verona107.jpg

          Amsterdam                         Barcelona                        Monte Carlo

    Amsterdam      Plaza de Catalu photo PlacadeCatalunastatue.jpg          Monte Carlo Casino

                     Florence                         Lisbon                              Zagreb

          The old bridge    Lisbon    Main Square Zagreb

                                  Great hotel room rates anywhere in the world if you book
                  through these links below.  Book now & pay later, with free cancellation. 🙂
                              Bangkok Hotels                    London Hotels
                         Amazing Bangkok busses               Mowbray Court hotel
 
Pattaya webcam
 

That’s all folks

David Herd Thailand

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Japanese Garden Kanazawa Castle

November 30, 2016 by David Herd

Gyokusen’inmaru Garden

Japanese Garden Kanazawa Castle Japanese Garden Kanazawa Castle is absolutely stunning as you can see from the header in this post. This is one of my favourite photos from my two week seven city Shinkansen trip in October 2016.

Constructed in 1634 if flourished for between 200 & 300 years before being abandoned. However a full reconstruction began in 2013 to produce the wonderful result we see today.

Japanese Garden Kanazawa Castle

Japanese Garden Kanazawa Castle After a five minute uphill walk you arrive at the castle entrance.

Adjacent to the castle

Japanese Garden Kanazawa Castle These are a few shops just before you reach the castle.

Kanazawa Castle

Japanese Garden Kanazawa Castle A huge fire in 1759 destroyed the whole castle then it was re-built in 1788. That year is also when 11 ships with 1,530 people onboard, 736 of them convicts, arrived in Botany Bay a few miles south of Sydney Harbour in Australia. This event is known to all us Aussies as “the first fleet”.

My hotel was great value in a perfect location, book through THIS LINK for an excellent discount. Make sure you are in the downtown one at Korinbo, it’s more convenient than the one near the station.

The Imori moat

Japanese Garden Kanazawa Castle

If you are going to build a castle then you gotta have a moat.

Spectacular

Japanese Garden Kanazawa Castle Once again I was very lucky to have the beautiful blue sky to highlight my photos of Kanazawa Castle.

 The buildings look new

 Japanese Garden Kanazawa Castle Even though it was rebuilt 228 years ago it still looks brand new. 🙂

As usual built on a hill

Japanese Garden Kanazawa Castle The castles always take the high ground, all the better to resist their enemies.

Through the gate we go

 Japanese Garden Kanazawa Castle The Ni-no Mon is what they call the second gate. 

Picture perfect

Japanese Garden Kanazawa Castle As you can see the buildings and grounds are in perfect condition. 

Not a cloud in the sky

Japanese Garden Kanazawa Castle A perfect day for wandering around Japanese Garden Kanazawa Castle and the beautiful Kenrokuen garden right next door to the castle.

I was so fortunate to have perfect weather

Kenrokuen Garden Kanazawa Japan

Photos look so much better when there is a beautiful blue sky. There seems to be a lot of rain between November & February.

Japanese Garden Kanazawa Castle

Japanese Garden Kanazawa Castle A final look at this beautiful garden within the castle walls.

Toyoko Inn

Omicho Fresh Food Market Kanazawa 

My hotel was great value in a perfect location with free WiFi, book through THIS LINK for an excellent discount.

Thank you for visiting my Japanese Garden Kanazawa Castle photo blog.

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              Great hotel room rates anywhere in the world if you book
                                                through these links below.  Book now & pay later.
                                                                 Plus free cancellation .🙂
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That’s all folks

Beckington Trowbridge

 

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Kagoshima Japanese seaside city

November 5, 2016 by David Herd

On the shores on Kinko Bay

Kagoshima Japanese seaside city

Kagoshima Japanese seaside city on Kyushu Island, is the capital of Kagoshima Prefecture. It’s well known for Sakurajima, an active volcano that faces Kinko Bay. Once set on an isolated island, the volcano became connected to the Osumi Peninsula after an eruption in 1914.

A very interesting city

Kagoshima Japanese seaside city Lots to see & do, sadly the weather was not kind to me so I didn’t get to see as much as I would have liked.

Some very cute cars

Kagoshima Japanese seaside city Japan is a great country for producing interesting vehicles, here is a very cute example. It reminded me of the great little “drive yourself” cars I saw in Yokohama last year. 

Helpful Docomo staff

Kagoshima Japanese seaside city I had some trouble with my sim card that I purchased in Tokyo, these lovely people at Docomo shop in Tenmonkan really went to a lot of trouble to help me out. 

Did I mention the wonderful food?

Kagoshima Japanese seaside city I was so impressed by the great food in Kagoshima, this restaurant was called Unagi no Sueyoshi & specialised in eel.

Covered arcades

Kagoshima Japanese seaside city Hundreds of shops & restaurants in the Tenmonkan shopping arcade which has a roof to provide shade from the sun and also protection from the volcanic ash from Mount Sakurajima. There are retail stores, boutiques, & restaurants selling traditional Kagoshima food.

 Ferry to Mount Sakurajima

Kagoshima Japanese seaside city Just a short inexpensive boat across Kinko Bay.

Hotel Sunflex

Kagoshima Japanese seaside city My hotel was only 10 minutes walk to lots of restaurants & the ferry terminal, a great location and a great room rate if you book through THIS LINK.

Japanese hotels have everything you need

Kagoshima Japanese seaside city The only thing to keep in mind is most of the budget hotels won’t let you check in until 3 or 4pm. So best to time your arrival around then.

Of course you can buy cold beer 24/7

Kagoshima Japanese seaside city

Unlike the nanny states in Australia you can buy alcohol from vending machines in your hotel. 🙂

 Shinkansen

Kagoshima Japanese seaside city Or Bullet train as it is called in the west transports you from city to city at speeds up to 320 km per hour.

Here is a short video of the Bullet train.

The train is arriving at Hiroshima. 

Looks like Sydney Opera House

Kagoshima City Aquarium Kinko Bay

Kagoshima City Aquarium Kinko Bay has a similar look to the Sydney Opera House. Not nearly as spectacular of course but certainly well worth a visit.

This guy is giving me the stare.

Kagoshima Japanese seaside city They are so sleek and sinister.

Mount Sakurajima

Kagoshima Japanese seaside cityThe active volcano dominates the skyline just a 4 kilometres across Kinko Bay.

Plumes of smoke, cracks of lighting and a flow of lava came bellowing out of Japan’s Mount Sakruajima in July 2016. Located in a scenic bay on the southern island of Kyushu, this 1,117 meter high volcano has been a sleeping giant for the past three years prior to this fiery spectacle. The incident took place at 12:02 am on Tuesday at the mountain’s Showa crater, which resulted in a 5,000 meter high column of ash – but officials say no fatalities have been reported. Credit to STACY LIBERATORE FOR DAILYMAIL.COM  Read about it here.

Experts have voiced concerns about the volcanic activity on the Pacific Island, primarily that it could be completely wiped by one massive eruption in the next century – killing all of its some 127 million inhabitants.

Dolphin Port

Kagoshima Japanese seaside city Only 5 minutes walk from my hotel Kagoshima’s newest spot “Dolphin Port” opened along the Kinko Bay in April, 2005. Dolphin Port consists of restaurants and shops.

Mekkemon, Dolphin Port

Kagoshima Japanese seaside city Rated number 5 by TripAdvisor from 2921 restaurants in Kagoshima, this really was the best sushi train restaurant I have ever been to.

Kagomma Furusato Yataimura

Kagoshima Japanese seaside city There are 25 restaurants in this little village near the station, each one offers a variety of delicious dishes with ingredients from different areas of Kagoshima.

Overcast & raining

Kagoshima Japanese seaside city

Except for my first day it was overcast & raining for the rest of my stay.

Umbrellas everywhere

 photo IMG_5702.jpg In the 3 weeks I was away there was only 3 or 4 days of rain.

Kagoshima Japanese seaside city

Kagoshima Japanese seaside city

Plenty of lights at night.

That’s all for now

Kagoshima Japanese seaside city Thanks for visiting my Kagoshima Japanese seaside city photo blog.

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Great hotel room rates anywhere in the world if you book
                                                through these links below.  Book now & pay later.
                                                                 Plus free cancelation .🙂
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That’s all folks

Beckington Trowbridge

 
 

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Best Pattaya Japanese restaurants

July 24, 2013 by David Herd

Best Pattaya Japanese restaurants

Best Pattaya Japanese restaurants

Best Pattaya Japanese restaurants, there are many  to choose from, however you can never go wrong at Fuji, excellent Japanese food at reasonable prices. Spotlessly clean with well trained staff. The Caterpillar roll above is my favorite dish, however their menu offers so many good choices of beautiful fresh Japanese food. There are almost 100 restaurants in this chain throughout Thailand, to see their locations please click here.

Salmon at Fuji

Best Pattaya Japanese restaurants

One of the many mouth watering dishes at Fuji in Big C shopping mall on 2nd rd.

Fuji chefs at Big C in 2nd rd.

Best Pattaya Japanese restaurants

Agoda is a great place to book your Pattaya hotel.

Oishi Ramen low cost Japanese.

Oishi Big C

Oishi Ramen is another chain of very low cost Japanese & Thai food, I have lunch at least twice a week at the Big C mall on 2nd road north Pattaya. The Salmon and salad shown above with bottomless Green Tea costs 220 Baht or $7 usd, great value. More information about Oishi click here.


Oishi Japanese Buffet Restaurant

Oishi Japanese Buffet

The buffet is excellent value at around 500 Baht or $15, eat as much as you want. I don’t rate the food as highly as Fuji however you can’t beat the value.

Tuna Ichiban

 photo Tuna Ichiban Harbor 2.jpg There is a new shopping mall in Pattaya Klang with many good Japanese restaurants to choose from, my salmon sashimi was absolutely fabulous.

Tuna Ichiban at Harbor shopping mall

 photo Tuna Ichiban Harbor 14.jpg High quality food at a reasonable price, what more could you ask for?

                           photo Tuna Ichiban Harbor 6.jpg           photo Tuna Ichiban Harbor 1.jpg          photo Tuna Ichiban Harbor 9.jpg

I was a little disappointed in the Tempura, too much batter so I scraped 1/2 off.

Tokyo Teppanyaki

Harbor new Pattaya mall

I was surprised at the number of Japanese restaurants here.

                               Harbor new Pattaya mall          Harbor new Pattaya mall          Harbor new Pattaya mall

I had an excellent prawn teppanyaki and miso soup for lunch.

Anego

Best Pattaya Japanese restaurants

 Excellent food here at Anego however I still think 200 Baht for a glass of wine is too high.

Anego Gioza

pattaya japanese restaurants

Anego was at 226/11 (soi 5 BeachRd.) Pattaya. Now in 2nd Rd behind Lisa bar in North Pattaya.

Chamiko in Soi 3 North Pattaya.

                        Best Pattaya Japanese restaurants        Best Pattaya Japanese restaurants

Finally hidden away in Soi 3 North Pattaya is Chamiko, it is kind of like eating in a private home. Good food, low cost and friendly staff. I walked past this strange little restaurant for 3 years without entering, now I eat there at least once a week. Open for lunch and dinner and closed on Mondays. Good food at a very low price, the best chicken Yakatori in Pattaya for about $3.  😀 Another example is you can order the two plates shown above + two glasses of South African wine for a total cost of $20 including tip, priceless.

Chamiko is a very casual atmosphere.

Best Pattaya Japanese restaurants

Here are some crazy friends of mine enjoying dinner at Chamiko. From left to right is Juergen (German), Larry (Austrian RIP), Dah (Thai) & John a.k.a Pothole (Australian).

Sushi at Chamiko

Best Pattaya Japanese restaurants

Only about B300 or $12 aud.

Genki in Soi 4.

Genki sushi Pattaya

A little gem hidden away in Soi 4 next to a row of shops which include Saithorn massage, is Genki. A very authentic Japanese restaurant with a nice outdoor area. Last night there were 50 Japanese male diners and one Caucasian, me.

That is always a testament to the quality of the cuisine, just count the number of Japanese diners.

                        pattaya japanese restaurants        Best Pattaya Japanese restaurants         Best Pattaya Japanese restaurants

One disappointing dish at Genki.

Best Pattaya Japanese restaurants

Here is one dish that was not to my liking, normally I love Sukiyaki but this version did not use thin beef, instead it was chicken and even some chicken mince. I won’t be ordering this one again at Genki.  😳

Sukishi at Central Festival.

Best Pattaya Japanese restaurantsSukishi is an excellent Japanese BBQ restaurant in Central Festival shopping mall.

Best Pattaya Japanese restaurants

        Sukishi Japanese BBQ Central        Sukishi Japanese BBQ

Another favourite at Big C

Best Pattaya Japanese restaurantsIt is right opposite Fuji is Hachiban Ramen, the Gyoza & Teriyaki chicken is to die for, only 153 Baht for the two, priceless. There is another branch on the ground floor of Tukcom at the rear.

Sabai Wing Soi 1 North Pattaya

Pattaya low cost budget hotels

Sabai Wing Soi 1, 3 swimming pools and nice rooms, 100 meters from BigC, great value at only $30 usd per night as of August 15. I live in the high-rise in the background, Markland. For a great room rate book here.

Thanks for visiting my Best Pattaya Japanese restaurants photo blog.                         

Please check out some of the most popular below, and thank you for visiting.

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              Great hotel room rates anywhere in the world if you book
                                                through these links below.  Book now & pay later.
                                                                       Plus free cancellation .🙂
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Pattaya webcam

That’s all folks

Beckington Trowbridge

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Check out one of the most famous streets in Pattaya

 

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Here is my post on a tiger in Thailand

 

 

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