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.

Great week Surfers Paradise Australia

March 18, 2017 by David Herd

Catching up with old friends

Great week Surfers Paradise Australia Great week Surfers Paradise Australia catching up with lots of old friends, here I am at Melbas with Michael Wood & Greg (Noodles) Craig.  This was my first stop before driving south to Sydney via Kingscliff, Yamba, Port Macquarie, Forster, and Gosford.

Melbas on the Park

Great week Surfers Paradise Australia

I first visited this iconic bar on New Years Day 1982, 35 years ago. The reason I am so sure of the date is it was the day after my unforgettable NYE on Sydney harbour with my overloaded boat being showered by sky rockets.

O’Malleys on Cavil Avenue

Great week Surfers Paradise Australia After Melbas we wandered down to O’Malleys to have a couple more drinks and watch the rugby league.

The view from O’Malleys

Great week Surfers Paradise Australia Overlooking the famous Surfers Paradise Beach.

Cavill Avenue, what a great poster & a Great week Surfers Paradise Australia

Great week Surfers Paradise Australia That photo is always going to grab my attention. 🙂

The Avenue in a new location

Great week Surfers Paradise Australia The Avenue moved across the road to make way for a new property development. 

Orchard Avenue Surfers Paradise

Great week Surfers Paradise Australia Certainly on of the most famous streets in Surfers Paradise.

Costa D’oro restaurant

Great week Surfers Paradise Australia I can remember eating at this restaurant over 35 years ago.

Corner of Orchard & the Gold Coast Highway

Great week Surfers Paradise Australia You can clearly see the light rail tracks that stretch from Helensvale to Broadbeach.

 Certainly one of the highlights of my trip.

Great week Surfers Paradise Australia Caught up with Karen Greenwood an old girlfriend from 1991, 26 years ago. As you can see see still looks fantastic. 🙂 So many terrific memories came flooding back, it certainly made it a Great week Surfers Paradise Australia. We are at Franks seafood cafe on Chevron Island.

Here we are 26 years ago.

Great week Surfers Paradise Australia

I could’t resist posting this photo from 1991.

Fabulous breakfast

Great week Surfers Paradise Australia

Green Days restaurant on the corner of Bundall Rd & Ashmore Rd offer my favourite breakfast.

Green Days restaurant

Great week Surfers Paradise Australia It is difficult not to feel totally relaxed here.

 Great week Surfers Paradise Australia           photo Greendays 6.jpg          Great week Surfers Paradise Australia

Open for lunch every day & dinner Friday & Saturday.

 Two of my best friends

Great week Surfers Paradise Australia Ross Kennedy & Bryan Dart are two very old friends, we met for a few drinks at the Benowa Tavern.

Talking about old friends

 photo IMG_7141.jpg Here are two of my oldest friends, both in years I have known them & years they have been on this planet. Tony Murphy aka Murph the surf & David Robertson aka Chocolates.

 Back to Rossco and his new home.

Great week Surfers Paradise Australia Paradise waters is now home for the Kennedy’s.

Great week Surfers Paradise Australia           photo 7da78189-070f-47dd-9a38-cc47984d2fcc.jpg           photo IMG_7154.jpg

A wonderful location with beautiful water views.

Last but not least the Legendary Lloyd Ross.

Great week Surfers Paradise Australia Caught up briefly with Lloyd & hope to see him in Thailand soon.

Thanks for visiting my  Great week Surfers Paradise Australia photo blog.

 Here are some more posts on my wild wicked ways. :)

                   Life 2015                  Family history                   Life 1982

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  Adelaide 1972                 Iron Bar Freddy               Sydney 2006

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  Thailand 2008                Gold Coast Babes               World trip 2003

David Herd Thailand         David Herd Gold Coast          Copacabana beach

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

      That’s all folks

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Pattaya Hilton Buffet Edge Restaurant

February 19, 2017 by David Herd

Sunday lunch at The Edge

Pattaya Hilton Buffet Edge Restaurant Pattaya Hilton Buffet Edge Restaurant is a wonderful dining experience particularly on Sunday. It is in direct competition with the fabulous Mantra at the Amari hotel. Further on in this review I will endeavour to make comparisons between the two.

Fresh seafood

Pattaya Hilton Buffet Edge Restaurant Fresh seafood is of course the star of the show, however there are many more special offerings guaranteed to delight you.

An impressive choice of Oysters

Pattaya Hilton Buffet Edge Restaurant There are 4 or 5 variety to choose, mainly from France.

 My first course

Pattaya Hilton Buffet Edge Restaurant Oysters, crab, prawns, caviar & fresh white bread, I always find it difficult to get past the seafood counter. 🙂

Did I mention caviar?

Pattaya Hilton Buffet Edge Restaurant Certainly one of my favourite delicacies, salmon Roe.

 Lots of sushi & sashimi

 photo Hilton Sunday buffet B1500 6.jpg As I said before, it’s hard to get past the fresh seafood. 🙂

Sushi

Pattaya Hilton Buffet Edge Restaurant Too much sushi is never enough. 🙂

I travel to Japan every year and the Hilton sushi is certainly high quality.

Outside seating

Pattaya Hilton Buffet Edge Restaurant

Catering for smokers & those who want to get closer to the view.

Pattaya Hilton Buffet Edge Restaurant

Pattaya Hilton Buffet Edge Restaurant A beautifully designed kitchen & restaurant.

Check out my review of the Hilton Sky Bar. 

BBQ duck & ribs.

Pattaya Hilton Buffet Edge Restaurant Funnily enough the six baskets contain 6 different variety of Chinese buns, a little bit of overkill I feel. I would much prefer to see some Shumei & prawn dumplings similar to what’s on the menu at the Mantra.

BBQ seafood station

Pattaya Hilton Buffet Edge Restaurant You really need a big appetite to cope with this fabulous buffet.

 Hardworking chefs

Pattaya Hilton Buffet Edge Restaurant This is one of my favourite photos from Pattaya Hilton Buffet Edge Restaurant.

 Pizza

Pattaya Hilton Buffet Edge Restaurant No matter what you fancy it is all here. 🙂

The Bakery

Pattaya Hilton Buffet Edge Restaurant

The bread here is excellent.

An excellent cheese selection

Pattaya Hilton Buffet Edge Restaurant

Pattaya Hilton Buffet Edge Restaurant I was at Pattaya Hilton Buffet Edge Restaurant on Sunday February 19, & sadly I overindulged & could not fit in any cheese. 🙂

An amazing choice of deserts to finish.

Pattaya Hilton Buffet Edge Restaurant Put this great buffet on your list, & many thanks for visiting my Pattaya Hilton Buffet Edge Restaurant photo blog.

I have given a lot of thought to which is the best buffet, the Hilton (with the salmon caviar) or the Mantra (with the Alaskan crab), & the verdict is Mantra by a short 1/2 crab claw. 🙂 

However I have noticed they now serve the clawless variety of Alaskan crab, please Mantra bring back the claws. 🙂

                            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        Copacabana        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.
                                    Plus free cancellation .🙂
                                                       Bangkok Hotels                    Pattaya Hotels
                                                  Amazing Bangkok busses               Amazing Bangkok busses
 
Pattaya webcam

That’s all folks

Beckington Trowbridge

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Mantra Restaurant Amari Hotel Pattaya

November 23, 2015 by David Herd

Mantra Sunday lunch

Mantra Restaurant Amari Hotel Pattaya Mantra Restaurant Amari Hotel Pattaya has been my favourite restaurant since it opened about 10 years ago. Sunday brunch is amazing allowing you to sample food from seven different kitchens. My number one dish is Alaskan crab and oysters from France.

 Sashimi and Sushi

Mantra Restaurant Amari Hotel Pattaya As I said there are seven kitchens to choose from, however I rarely get past the seafood, sashimi and dim sum. 🙂

Mantra Restaurant Amari Hotel Pattaya October 2012

Mantra Restaurant Amari Hotel Pattaya I’m even stuck on the seafood in this photo blog. 🙂

 Dim Sum station

Mantra Restaurant Amari Hotel Pattaya Dim Sum has always been one of my favourite cuisines, the Peking Duck rolls at the mantra are to die for.

Bring on the duck

Mantra Peking Duck

Not everyone is happy with the duck

Mantra Restaurant Amari Hotel Pattaya

Dim Sum washed down with cold sake.

Mantra Restaurant Amari Hotel Pattaya The Mantra is part of the fabulous Amari hotel and the food, service and décor is world class.

Benjamina Sitthi

Mantra Restaurant Amari Hotel Pattaya This gorgeous lady is the public relations manager at the Mantra, she always makes sure we all have a wonderful dining experience. We always seem to spend Xmas and birthdays at this great restaurant.

Mantra Restaurant Amari Hotel Pattaya          Mantra Restaurant Pattaya          Mantra Restaurant Pattaya

From the Chinese kitchen

Mantra Restaurant Amari Hotel Pattaya Beef fillet steak with Cantonese onion sauce just melts in your mouth.

Mantra Restaurant Amari Hotel Pattaya Xmas day 2013

Mantra Restaurant Amari Hotel Pattaya All the usual suspects celebrate Xmas at the Mantra.

Mantra Restaurant Amari Hotel Pattaya Xmas Day 2014

Mantra Restaurant Amari Hotel Pattaya Here we are again celebrating Xmas. I’m with Brendan Daley who is GM at the Mantra, and a Sydney boy as well. Brendan has left the Amari & I have not met the new manager.

Mantra Restaurant Amari Hotel Pattaya          Mantra Restaurant Pattaya          Mantra Restaurant Amari Hotel Pattaya

 Looking towards the sushi & seafood

Mantra Restaurant Amari Hotel Pattaya The décor is simply stunning, is it any wonder so many of my friends think this is the number one restaurant in Pattaya?

Beautiful presentation

Mantra Restaurant Amari Hotel Pattaya The food at the Mantra is presented beautiful, we often take over three hours to enjoy the Sunday brunch.

Mantra Restaurant Amari Hotel Pattaya          Mantra Restaurant Amari Hotel Pattaya         Mantra Restaurant Pattaya

Wood fired Pizza

Mantra Restaurant Amari Hotel Pattaya They even have a pizza oven. The à la carte servings are smaller at Sunday lunch, the idea is to encourage customers to sample many dishes on the menu. As you can see casual dress is acceptable on Sundays compared to dinner 7 nights per week when you are expected to dress a little more formally.


Mantra Restaurant Pattaya July 7 2015

Mantra Restaurant Amari Hotel Pattaya Another birthday, another Mantra celebration.

Le cake

Mantra Restaurant Amari Hotel Pattaya A cake and a hat, both birthday gifts from the Mantra.

Lets not forget the beautiful welcoming smile from Anusara songkarin

Mantra Restaurant Amari Hotel Pattaya Like most Thai ladies she has a nickname we can pronounce, Beer.

January 2011

Mantra Restaurant Amari Hotel Pattaya We have had some big groups at Sunday brunch over the years.

Mantra Restaurant Amari Hotel Pattaya         Mantra Restaurant Pattaya         Mantra Restaurant Amari Hotel Pattaya

pièce de résistance

Mantra Restaurant Amari Hotel Pattaya It has to be the wonderful seafood which I usually wash down with cold sake. The brunch (B.1,690) opens at 11 a.m. and operates until 3 p.m every Sunday, so take your time, wander through the stations, enjoy a glass of wine (the free flow wine buffet is B.1,490)

Of course those prices were in 2013, now in 2017 brunch is B1,990 & free flow wine is B1750.

Birthday for Hamish

Mantra Restaurant Amari Hotel Pattaya July 21st 2014 and we celebrate Hamish turning 46.

A great photo

Mantra Restaurant Amari Hotel Pattaya

A fabulous of Benjamina on December 27 2015.

Farewell from David & Benjamina

Mantra Restaurant Amari Hotel Pattaya Thank you for visiting my Mantra Restaurant Amari Hotel Pattaya photo blog, there is no better Sunday brunch on the planet.

For a discounted room rate at the Amari Ocean View just book through THIS LINK.

For the Amari Garden please use THIS LINK.

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 $23 usd per night as of August 15. I live in the high-rise in the background, Markland. For a great room rate book here.

For a more upmarket hotel on Beach Rd

Hello welcome Pattaya Beach Rd Thailand

Just use THIS LINK for a terrific rate at the Wave Hotel.

5,300 people have seen this video, take a look

                         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.
Plus free cancelation .🙂
                                                       Bangkok Hotels                    Pattaya Hotels
                                                  Amazing Bangkok busses               Amazing Bangkok busses

That’s all folks

Eastern European Odyssey

Pattaya webcam

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Beautiful Chaweng Beach Koh Samui

September 13, 2013 by David Herd

Beautiful Chaweng Beach Koh Samui

Beautiful Chaweng Beach Koh Samui

Beautiful Chaweng Beach Koh Samui, my first visit was in 1998 and I thought I had found Paradise. Over the next 6 years I returned about 10 times and watched the many changes take place. I must admit I preferred the old Koh Samui before the turn of the century, but as they say in the classics, you can’t stop progress. My last visit was 5 years ago so my information may be a little dated. Yesterday I returned from a few days in Koh Chang which in many ways reminds me of Koh Samui in the 90’s.

This is Chaweng in 1999

Beautiful Chaweng Beach Koh Samui

There are many beaches on the island of beautiful Koh Samui, my post focuses on Chaweng beach as this is where most of the action is. Walk out the front of your bungalow on to the sand, walk out the back of your hotel to the shops, restaurants & bars.

The Ark Bar on Chaweng beach

Ark bar Chaweng beach Koh Samui

You won’t get much peace staying here, they party all night.

Beach dining at beautiful Koh Samui.

Beautiful Chaweng Beach Koh Samui

For me the greatest buzz on Koh Samui was dining on the beach at night and watching the moon rise over the water. I have forgotten how many times I enjoyed this wonderful experience, including New Years Eve 1999.  For years prior to the millennium I always planned to be somewhere very special for this special event, and Koh Samui was my choice.


New Years Eve 1999

Beautiful Thai Island Koh Samui

Well I made it to the new century and still have a long way to go.

Seafood on the beach.

Beautiful Chaweng Beach Koh Samui Bar-B-Q seafood on the beach in the moonlight, does life get any better than this?

Two Aussie friends Tammy & Kate.

Beautiful Chaweng Beach Koh Samui  Did I just ask if life could get any better than this? Well I think you can guess what my answer is. 😆

Lanterns on Chaweng beach.

Beautiful Chaweng Beach Koh Samui At night on the beach hundreds of lanterns are lit then they lift off into the night sky, it is quite a magical sight. Here are my two Aussie friends Tammy & Kate joining in the fun.

Now they are relaxing in the sun.

Beautiful Chaweng Beach Koh Samui

Aussie babes love the sun.

Breakfast by the beach

 

Beautiful Thai Island Koh SamuiBreakfast by the beach with Ken Shelly & Richard Blair.

 

Chaweng Beach in beautiful Koh Samui

Beautiful Chaweng Beach Koh Samui

 One of the best places in Thailand to chill out.

A favourite photo of mine.

Beautiful Chaweng Beach Koh Samui

Sunset on Beautiful Koh Samui. 

Here are some magic sunsets from my condo in Pattaya.

Island resort Chaweng.

Island resort Chaweng beach This is the pool at the Island Resort on Chaweng beach. It’s at the quieter northern end of Chaweng beach. However I prefer to stay at the Baan Chaweng resort about midway along the beach.

Island Resort

Beautiful Chaweng Beach Koh Samui

Another favourite photo.

Sunrise at Koh Samui

Beautiful Chaweng Beach Koh Samui My friend Tammy took this great sunrise, I am never awake at that time of the day.  😳

Island Resort Chaweng Beach.

Beautiful Thai Island Koh Samui

The bungalows are private and peaceful.

 Please click on Google + to help my page ranking.

 

The reasonably priced bungalows here offer quite nice 2 star accommodation, with more upmarket rooms around the pool. However my preference is the Baan Chaweng resort which is in the centre of Chaweng beach.

 

Beautiful Koh Samui

Koh Samui Elephants.

Beautiful Chaweng Beach Koh Samui

That’s my friend Paul McNeil from San Diego.

August 1999 with Jane

Beautiful Chaweng Beach Koh Samui

Here I am with gorgeous Jane who I brought from from Nana Plaza.

At the waterfall

Beautiful Chaweng Beach Koh Samui Jane from Bangkok and Evelyn from the Philippines cooling off at the waterfall.

 Gorgeous dancer.

Beautiful Chaweng Beach Koh Samui

 Tell the truth, did you realise the blond is one of the famous Thai Lady-Boys? Or did you think it was a girl? Many of the most attractive girls in Thailand turn out to be boys. :oops:E

Wonderful Koh Tao.

Koh Tao beach

In the 1980’s overseas travellers began to visit Ko Tao and quickly became a popular destination. As a consequence, bigger, faster and safer boats were used to allow easier access to Ko Tao. In the 1990’s the island became known as a diving site.

Historically, Ko Tao was once a detention place for political prisoners similar to Ko Tarutao of Satun Province, but today it is a great place for divers or anybody who wants to get away from the hustle and bustle of Ko Samui and want more than the Full Moon Party on Ko Pha Ngan. The island is geared towards diving tourists more than backpackers on a budget. Ko Tao is a great place to learn how to dive. There are hardly any currents and a wide selection of dive sites and dive shops, schools and resorts. Activity options are growing outside of diving and the food and nightlife options are some of the best in the Gulf of Thailand.

Ko Tao is a small island of approximately 21² km and receives over a 100,000 visitors per year. To minimise your impact on the eco-system, notice that there are no garbage disposal facilities, so everything that can’t be burned has to be taken away. Book your hotel before you go.

Memories of my island romance.

Beautiful Chaweng Beach Koh Samui

For a very brief moment in time this beautiful Italian princess was my island romance. Her name was Barbara Manelli and she came from Florence, however I preferred to call her Gypsy. Our brief affair took place on Koh Samui in December 1999 and sadly ended there at the end of our holiday, c’est la vie. 😥


Zirco’s Brazilian restaurant.

Beautiful Chaweng Beach Koh Samui There are hundreds of restaurants to choose from at Chaweng, if you like Brazilian food put Zirco’s on your list.

Bananas or bazookas?

Beautiful Chaweng Beach Koh Samui Here I was minding my business on the beach, taking a photo of a guy peeling a banana, and as luck would have it a gorgeous girl in half a bikini wandered into my background. It is just a matter of being in the right place at the right time.  😆

Here is Kok Samui in June 2016.

David Herd relaxing in Paradise.

Beautiful Chaweng Beach Koh Samui

Sing it for me Glenn.

Many thanks for visiting my Beautiful Chaweng Beach Koh Samui photo blog, I hope you enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed being here.
Please send the link to your friends http://fivestarvagabond.com/

 

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Thailand Europe Vietnam Japan        Main Square Zagreb       Vung Tau

                                            

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

Beach Club Pattaya Bay

Pattaya webcam

Krabi, it is close to Koh Samui

 

Check out my Pattaya webcam

 

Every April Thailand goes mad for Songkran

 

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