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.

Brazil Best Beaches Travel Guide

May 23, 2017 by David Herd

Brazil Best Beaches Travel Guide

to my top 12 places.

Brazil Best Beaches Travel Guide

Number 12 is Belem

Brazil Best Beaches Travel Guide Brazil Best Beaches Travel Guide is a list of 12 of my favourite places in this great country. Lets start with number 12  Belem. The city is at the mouth of the Mighty Amazon river which represents more than half the planet’s remaining rain-forests and comprises the largest and most species-rich tract of tropical rain-forest in the world. Founded in 1616 by the Kingdom of PortugalBelém was the first European colony on the Amazon but did not become part of Brazil until 1775. The newer part of the city has modern buildings and skyscrapers. The colonial portion retains the charm of tree-filled squares, churches and traditional blue tiles. The city has a rich history and architecture from colonial times. Recently it witnessed a skyscraper boom.

I really enjoyed this old colonial city, I wish I had more time to sail down the river to Manaus. 


BrBrazil Best Beaches Travel Guide

Great colours on this old building.

Number 11 is Canoa Quebrada

Brazil popular coastal Travel Guide Canoa Quebrada is on the north coast of Brazil, I took a beach buggy along the beautiful long beaches. 

Canoa Quebrada

 photo 17cff60c-3606-4334-bebb-b201aa9702cb.jpg Wandering through the amazing coloured sands.  Canoa Quebrada is 164 kilometers from Fortaleza.

Fabulous sandhills in Canoa Quebrada

Brazil popular coastal Travel Guide Put this on your bucket list. 🙂

Number 10 is Balneário Camboriú

Brazil popular coastal Travel Guide Balneário Camboriú (Portuguese pronunciation: [bawneˈaɾju kɐ̃boɾiˈu] is a major beach resort in the Brazilian southern state of Santa Catarina. The town, with its steep hills dropping down to the sea.

Brazil Best Beaches Travel Guide featuring Balneário Camboriú 

Brazil popular coastal Travel Guide

What time can I start having fun?

Number 9 is Recife & Olinda

Brazil popular coastal Travel GuideRecife makes my number 9 in my guide only because of Olinda across the river. Olinda is a historic city in the Brazilian state of Pernambuco, located on the country’s northeastern Atlantic Ocean coast, just north of Recife and south of Paulista. It has a population of 397,268 people  and is one of the best-preserved colonial cities in Brazil.

Olinda is only 7 Kms from the center of Recife.

Brazil popular coastal Travel Guide During Carnival  there are  thousands of people  in the old historic town centre.

For a great hotel room rate in Brazil just book through THIS LINK.

Number 8 is Porto de Galinhas

Brazil popular coastal Travel Guide

The origin of the name is well known. Porto de Galinhas means “Port of Chickens” in Portuguese. In the second half of the 19th century, the Brazilian government imposed restrictions to the commerce of slaves, which were widely used as manpower in the sugarcane farms around Recife to circumvent the prohibition, the “black ships” (which transported slaves from Africa to Brazil) looked for other places to harbor, far from Recife.One such place was in the bays around Suape and Ipojuca, about 60 km to the South of Recife. When a ship arrived in town, as it was prohibited to mention slavery, the word spread as “there are new chickens in the port”; hence, the place gained its name Porto de Galinhas.

My friends in Porto de Galinhas

Porto de Galinhas BrazilThis is my lovely friend Simone, her Auntie & cousin Pedro. Simone & I traveled 300 kms from Natal to Recife by taxi.

Number 7 is Salvador in Bahia.

Brazil popular coastal Travel Guide

 The Lacerda Elevator is the first lift of the urban world. It was December 8 of 1873  when it opened it was the highest in the world, around 20 meters tall.  In Salvador it is public transport between Cairu Square , in Lower Town , and Thome Square de Souza , in the Upper Town .

Lacerda Elevator

Brazil popular coastal Travel Guide Opened in December 8 of 1873.

Salvador Fort de Santa Maria

Brazil popular coastal Travel Guide Forte de Santa Maria is on Salvador’s south coastline, built with stone and lime between 1627 to 1635. It served as a fortification during the Dutch invasion. It Contained lots of  bronze and iron cannons, it is certainly worth visiting this impressive Italian style fort.

Number 6 is Buzios

Brazil popular coastal Travel Guide

Búzios is a popular getaway from the city and a worldwide tourist resort  for Brazilians and Argentinians. Only 3 hours drive from Rio.

Early in the 1900s Búzios was popular with the Carioca’s high society  looking to escape from the chaotic city life of Rio de Janeiro. there are more than 23 beaches on the peninsula. However it was 1964 when the famous French actress Brigitte Bardot visited Búzios, she made it famous throughout the world as a popular tourist destination.

Here is a guide to Buzios, a great town

Brazil popular coastal Travel GuideLots of beaches, restaurants and bars, Buzios is definitely one of Brazil’s HOT destinations. Only 3 hours drive from Rio make sure you add this great town to your Brazilian bucket list. There are many good pousadas to choose from here.

Without a doubt AGODA is the best online Hotel booking site.

Number 5 is Florianopolis

Joaquina beach.

Brazil popular coastal Travel Guide

Florianopolis is a wonderful Brazilian city,  in 2009. Newsweek placed Florianópolis in the “Ten most dynamic cities of the world” list in 2006. Veja magazine, a Brazilian publication, named the city as “the best place to live in Brazil The New York Times also reported that Florianopolis was the Party Destination of the Year in 2009.”

There are 42 beaches in Florianopolis

Brazil popular coastal Travel Guide

Flori is a must for those of you who love beautiful beaches with clean white sand. If I rated it as high as number two on my list it would not be an exaggeration.

Oysters at Barra da Lagoa.

Brazil popular coastal Travel Guide Florianopolis was the “Party Destination of the Year in 2009.”

Number 4, Iguazu falls, magnificent.

Brazil popular coastal Travel GuideSadly when I was at the falls in 1999, digital cameras were in the early stages and the quality of photos was 2nd rate. Consequently I have no shots that do justice to this wonderful location. Without a doubt Iguazu falls is the most breathtaking & spectacular sight I have ever seen.

Iguazu Falls FiveStarVagabond Brazil Travel Guide

Iguazu Falls Brazil

Forgive me for using a 3rd party photo but the falls are so spectacular I thought I could break one of my rules.  😳

For a great hotel room rate in Brazil just book through THIS LINK.

Number 3 is Paraty

Brazil popular coastal Travel Guide

Paraty is only 3 hours from Rio and is known for the cobblestone paved streets throughout the Historic Center District. No cars or trucks are allowed in this part of town. Without any doubt this wonderful village is one of my favourite locations in Brazil.

David Herd on the good ship “Lolypop”.

Brazil popular coastal Travel GuideThere are lots of great boats in Paraty that you can hire to explore the waterways.

Please click on Google + to help my page ranking. 

Could this be my favourite photo?

Brazil popular coastal Travel Guide You better believe it, I’ll remember Paraty forever. 🙂

Number 2 is Praia De Pipa

Brazil popular coastal Travel Guide

Praia De Pipa is one of those rare gems you tend to talk about all your life. Pipa Beach is one of the most famous beaches of Brazil. Located 84 kms from Natal, the capital city of state of Rio Grande do Norte. Do yourself a favor and put it on you Brazilian bucket list.

Brazil Best Beaches Travel Guide Pippa beach

Brazil popular coastal Travel Guide

 I remember sitting in a bar in Rio Di Janeiro with two friends Dave Wylie & Doug Roarke, (RIP) and when I asked what was their favorite place in Brazil, Doug briefly considered the question before saying “Praia de Pipa”. Until that moment I had never heard of the place, but on Doug’s recommendation I planned my trip.

The catch of the day at Pippa

Brazil popular coastal Travel Guide

Pipa was a small fishing village until the 1970s. Then it was discovered by surfers and backpackers, attracted by a set of natural attributes rarely found even in other Brazilian beaches, crystal-clear waters, fine white sand, areas of preserved Atlantic Forest, 10-meter-high vertical cliffs, and friendly locals.

Number 1 is not hard to guess,

Rio Di Janeiro

Carnival Rio De JaneiroRio is an exciting destination, wonderful beaches great weather and colourful happy people. I normally rent an apartment near the beach rather than stay in a hotel. It usually costs me $50 per night however my last trip was 2009 and I believe the city is far more expensive now.

I mentioned earlier in my Brazil travel guide Iguazu Falls was the most spectacular natural spectacle I have seen on this planet, well the Rio Carnival is the most spectacular human event I have ever witnessed. As they say in the classics, “you gotta love Rio.” 😆

David Herd at Sugarloaf Mountain in Rio.

Brazil popular coastal Travel Guide

What a view, standing room only in Copacabana.

Copacabana, say no more….

Brazil popular coastal Travel Guide On the left is beautiful Carla with her gorgious friend, I doubt very much that I’ll ever forget her. 🙂

Also there is no doubt in my mind theirs is the most beautiful colour in the world.

Thanks for visiting my Brazil Best Beaches Travel Guide photo blog.

For a great hotel room rate in Brazil just book through THIS LINK.

I hope my Brazil Travel Guide helps you plan your trip. To receive my latest posts please follow me on Twitter 

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Popular Pattaya Steak Restaurants

May 19, 2017 by David Herd

Beefeater Steakhouse & Pub

Popular Pattaya Steak Restaurants

Popular Pattaya Steak Restaurants

Popular Pattaya Steak Restaurants I’m highlighting all offer excellent Australian export quality beef as well as some other delightfull dishes. Above is the Beefeater located on Soi Diana near 2nd Road in Pattaya. You can enter the restaurant from directly from Soi Diana Inn, or from the Central Shopping Arcade off 2nd Road (across from Mike Shopping Mall).  Phone Number: 038-720-926.

Fillet Steak – ranging from 150g to 400g

Ribeye Steak – 250g

One of the things I like about Beefeater is the fact they offer fillet steak in a multiple of sizes so you can order to suit your appetite.

Beefeater Location

Popular Pattaya Steak Restaurants


Opposite the rear of Mike shopping mall.

Toast Skagen at beefeater

Popular Pattaya Steak Restaurants

The Beefeater owner/chef hails from Scandinavia which is a bonus for me as toast skagen is one of my favourite entres, in fact I sometimes drop in for lunch on the weekend & order two. 🙂

I rate Beefeater 4 Stars.

Patrick’s Belgium Steakhouse

Popular Pattaya Steak Restaurants

Terrific restaurant in an arcade opposite the Beefeater. Excellent Aussie steaks and the best Oxtail soup in Pattaya. I’m with Greg Clee and Hamish Elton.


Popular Pattaya Steak Restaurants

The steak is always excellent, the only downside is they overcharge for wine.  I personally think the steaks here are better than the Beefeater, however one litre of house wine is grossly overpriced at B1200, compared to B700 at Beefeater.

Desert at Patricks

Popular Pattaya Steak Restaurants

Always a delight & difficult to choose between the crepe & the Belgium waffles. 🙂

I also rate Patricks 4 stars.

Steak & Co Soi Lenkee

Popular Pattaya Steak Restaurants

Only a 10 minutes walk from Patricks & the Beefeater, straight up So Diana, across Soi Buakaow into Soi Lengkee.

Steak & Co

Popular Pattaya Steak Restaurants

I assure you you will search for a long time in Pattaya to find a better steak. Aussie prime beef cooked to perfection. They serve only the finest improted Australian Black Angus, Wagyu and USDA Prime Beef. Also a wide selection of Wines, Imported or Craft beer to accompany your meal.

Popular Pattaya Steak Restaurants

 Popular Pattaya Steak Restaurants

Soi Buakaow just turn into Soi Lengkee.

I rate Steak & Co 5 stars.

 Siamese Cuisine in Naklua Road

Popular Pattaya Steak Restaurants

Opposite Woodlands about 200 metres from the Dolphin roundabout this excellent restaurant serves a very good steak as well as many other dishes.

Farewell from Siamese Cuisine

Popular Pattaya Steak Restaurants

Dined with friends Hamish Elton & Brad Robbins, many thanks for visiting my Popular Pattaya Steak Restaurants photo blog.

I rate Siamese Cuisine 4 stars.

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Enoshima island Kanagawa Japan

October 7, 2015 by David Herd

Enoshima island Kanagawa Japan

Enoshima island Kanagawa Japan Enoshima island Kanagawa Japan is 4 km in circumference, at the mouth of the Katase River south of Tokyo and Yokohama. What took me there you may well ask, well after spending several hours in Kamakura exploring the wonderful temples we decided to take a 30 minute train ride to see where Japan will hold the sailing venue for the 2020 Summer Olympics.

600-metre-long (2,000 ft) bridge

Enoshima island Kanagawa Japan You have to walk or drive across this long bridge to get to the island. The area is home to some of the closest sandy beaches to Tokyo and Yokohama.


Enoshima island Japan

They tell me this is a very popular holiday destination. 

Fujisawa bottom left hand corner of map

  Enoshima island Kanagawa Japan  

My friends Kayo and Hamish

Enoshima island Kanagawa Japan Kayo is my friend who lives in Tokyo, she was our tour guide showing us the wonderful temples in Kamakura then on to Enoshima. I can’t believe the distance we walked today, 22,047 steps which was 16.79 kilometres. 🙂

The village

Enoshima island Kanagawa Japan There is quite a steep hill with shops on both sides, people come to this island to walk the pathways that lead to several ancient temples, botanical garden, museums, parks, scenic overlooks, and a modern lighthouse at the top of Enoshima island Japan.

Friendly shopkeepers

Enoshima island Kanagawa Japan

A big smile from the shop keeper.

I met some locals

Enoshima island Kanagawa Japan

Happy guys on Enoshima island Japan.

They were very happy guys

Enoshima island Kanagawa Japan In summer the mainland and beach areas of Enoshima city is all about sea sports, in particular surfing, sailing and jet boating. The surf  isn’t great by most standards, but during Summer it is the place to be seen for the trendy younger crowd as it is so conveniently close to Tokyo, providing an excuse for tens of thousands of funky Japanese to strut around with bleached hair and chocolate-bronze skin.  

Top of the hill

Enoshima island Kanagawa Japan

You can climb even further but I was too lazy. 🙂

View from the top

David Herd Thailand Looking down to the bridge at Enoshima.

BBQ corn

  Enoshima island Kanagawa Japan There are lots of street stalls where you can sample the delights of low price Japanese food.  

Not to mention great Asahi beer.

  Enoshima island Kanagawa Japan  

My lovely friend Kayo

Enoshima island Kanagawa Japan Kayo is the perfect guide, we met in Australia in 2005 &last year when I was in Tokyo she showed me all around Yokohama, and this year it was the wonderful temples in Kamakura.

Enoshima island Japan

Enoshima island Kanagawa Japan

Time to catch the train back to Kamakura station & change for Tokyo.

Many thanks for visiting my Enoshima island Japan photo blog.

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