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.

Chiang Mai Province Sacred site

October 24, 2017 by David Herd

Wat Phra That Doi Suthep

Chiang Mai Province Sacred site

Chiang Mai Province Sacred site

Chiang Mai Province Sacred site, this temple is often referred to as “Doi Suthep” although this is actually the name of the mountain where it’s located. Perched on top of the mountain 15 kms from the city. 

You have a choice

Chiang Mai Province Sacred site

Climb the 300 steps to the top or take the tram. I compromised by taking the tram up & walking down. 🙂

At peace among the trees

Chiang Mai Province Sacred site Our driver told us there were 2,200 temples in Chiang Mai province. 

Lots of gold here.

Chiang Mai Province Sacred site Featuring a photo of the new King.

Lots of Thai people paying respect.

Chiang Mai Province Sacred site As well as Thai there seemed to be a lot of Chinese tourists.

 Lots of steps

Chiang Mai Province Sacred site

Lots of steps & it was a very hot day, like most days in Thailand. 🙂

A view of Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai Province Sacred site The view from the Temple.

Posing with the bell.

Chiang Mai Province Sacred site My friend Steven Bates & I taking a photo opportunity at the Chiang Mai Province Sacred site.

Naga decoration

Chiang Mai Province Sacred site 

Background on Thailand: A unified Thai kingdom was established in the mid-14th century. Known as Siam until 1939, Thailand is the only Southeast Asian country never to have been taken over by a European power. A bloodless revolution in 1932 led to a constitutional monarchy. In alliance with Japan during World War II, Thailand became a US ally following the conflict. 

Chiang Mai Province Sacred site

Chiang Mai Province Sacred site Steve has found a new friend.

More elephants

Chiang Mai Province Sacred site

Magnificent animals, magnificent statues. 🙂

Shame about the advertising.

Chiang Mai Province Sacred site The signs do seem out of place here.

It’s a long way down.

Chiang Mai Province Sacred site As I said earlier I took the steps. 🙂

I really like this shot. 🙂

Chiang Mai Province Sacred site The children look great in their traditional clothes.

Coffee time before heading to our hotel.

Five Aussies Chiang Mai Adventure The coffee here is quite famous, sadly I prefer Starbucks. 🙂

Asia’s best coffee

Chiang Mai Province Sacred site

Is the claim, this nice lady ran the coffee shop.

   Istanbul                                 Budapest                        London

Fascinating Istanbul Asia Meets Europe     Hungarian Parliament Building (2)       The Walkie Talkie (5)    

          Mostar                           Dubrobnik                            Split

43638e36-5da5-4162-98e3-635e2c149837        IMG_7425    Split Ancient Croatian Coastal city                     

                 Saigon                            Zagreb                          Vung tau

Ho Chi Minh City South Vietnam       Main Square (3)     Vung Tau statue (6)

Pattaya live webcam
 
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That’s all folks

1g Duck

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Interesting Food Chiang Mai Thailand

October 22, 2017 by David Herd

Here are some excellent restaurants

Interesting Food Chiang Mai Thailand

Interesting Food Chiang Mai Thailand Interesting Food Chiang Mai Thailand, even though we were only here 4 days we found some very good restaurants. I hope his photo blog takes away the guesswork for you. 🙂

Aiku 

Interesting Food Chiang Mai Thailand Interesting Food Chiang Mai Thailand

Aiku was right beside our hotel above Starbucks, good Japanese food at a reasonable price.  Our hotel the Dusit Princess was a terrific hotel in the very best location in Chiang Mai, book through THIS LINK for a discounted room rate.

Out of 108 Japanese restaurants in Chiang Mai TripAdvisor rate Aiku number 5.

Whole Earth restaurant

Interesting Food Chiang Mai Thailand Nestled in a beautiful garden setting this turned out to be a nice surprise, food & service were excellent.

Mushroom soup was delicious

Interesting Food Chiang Mai Thailand Very filling & a great start to our meal. 

A large menu & you can sit inside or out.

Interesting Food Chiang Mai Thailand      Interesting Food Chiang Mai Thailand

The staff were very obliging, the chicken above was very good indeed. Rated 51 out of 1,744 restaurants by TripAdvisor.

The long & the short

Five Aussies Chiang Mai Adventure My friend Patrick is around 200 cms tall, we just had to get a photo with this tiny waitress at Whole Earth restaurant. 🙂

Rabieng Na Maerim

Interesting Food Chiang Mai Thailand This delightful restaurant is halfway between the city & Wat Ban Den which is the most spectacular Thai Buddhist Temple I have ever seen .

Fresh spring roles to die for. 🙂

Interesting Food Chiang Mai Thailand My only criticism was the serving was so big. 🙂

Chicken sate & a Thai Omelette. 

Interesting Food Chiang Mai Thailand      Interesting Food Chiang Mai Thailand

Both excellent.

Beautiful country view from the restaurant.

      Interesting Food Chiang Mai Thailand

Here comes the storm. 🙂

Rock Me Burgers & Bar

Interesting Food Chiang Mai Thailand Watch the passing parade while enjoying the burgers , hot dogs & beer. Rated 38 out of 1,744 by TripAdvisor. 

I settled for a hotdog

Interesting Food Chiang Mai Thailand The best I have had in years. 🙂

Fabulous green pea soup

Interesting Food Chiang Mai Thailand TripAdvisor rate David’s Kitchen the number one Chiang Mai restaurant. I’m not going to argue as the food was very good and the staff excellent.

Lamb shank

Interesting Food Chiang Mai Thailand Two of us ordered the lamb shank & were surprised when the bill showed a B200 price difference. It turned out there were 2 versions o the menu, my advice to David the very attentive owner is to ensure staff point this out rather have have an argument at the end of an excellent meal.

Talking about he owner

Interesting Food Chiang Mai Thailand      Interesting Food Chiang Mai Thailand

He makes an effort to interact with his customers & explained that his wife come in of a morning to make he deserts. Here are two fabulous old photos of them in their younger days. David looks like is stepped out of the role as the artful dodger in Charles Dickens novel Oliver Twist. 🙂

Interesting Food Chiang Mai Thailand

Interesting Food Chiang Mai Thailand The staff singing happy birthday to some happy customers.

Dusit Princess good rooms & great location

Remarkable Temple Chiang Mai Thailand 

A terrific hotel in the very best location in Chiang Mai, book through THIS LINK for a discounted room rate.

Thanks for visiting my Interesting Food Chiang Mai Thailand photo blog.

 Soi Cowboy                  Nana Plaza                    Patpong

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 That’s all folks

1g Duck

 

Pattaya live webcam
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Four Aussies Chiang Mai Adventure

October 18, 2017 by David Herd

Our Hotel was in a great location

Four Aussies Chiang Mai Adventure

Four Aussies Chiang Mai AdventureFour Aussies Chiang Mai Adventure, our hotel the Dusit Princess is the white building on the left. Without a doubt this is the very best location in Chiang Mai.

A terrific hotel in the very best location in Chiang Mai, book through THIS LINK for a discounted room rate.

 Across the road from our hotel

Five Aussies Chiang Mai Adventure Burger King & Hard Rock Cafe are there if you don’t want to eat Thai food. 🙂

Of course sometimes it rains.

Five Aussies Chiang Mai Adventure When it rains in Thailand it really rains. 🙂

 Opposite the Dusit Princess.

Five Aussies Chiang Mai Adventure Only 50 meters up the road is the famous night market.

 Entrance to the night market

Five Aussies Chiang Mai Adventure Not just a night market but lot’s of bars & restaurants, many specializing in live seafood.

Forty winks

Four Aussies Chiang Mai Adventure

Relaxing at the night market.

LadyBoys everywhere. 🙂

Four Aussies Chiang Mai Adventure It looks like Patrick has found some soul mates. 🙂

Of course if you want a massage

Five Aussies Chiang Mai Adventure There are many available not as suspect as this one. 🙂

 Three Aussies

Five Aussies Chiang Mai Adventure Here are 3 of the 4 Aussies on this trip besides Patrick, Steven & Justin Bates & yours truly David Herd.

Patrick is around 200 cm tall. 🙂

Five Aussies Chiang Mai Adventure He returned to his home in Singapore for his 51st birthday on October 8.

 Le Meridien Hotel

Five Aussies Chiang Mai Adventure Another great location, for a terrific room rate just book through THIS LINK.

Five Aussies Chiang Mai Adventure      Five Aussies Chiang Mai Adventure

The Meridien has an excellent Italian restaurant.

So many food outlets

Five Aussies Chiang Mai Adventure In fact I’m doing a separate blog on some of the great Chiang Mai restaurants we found, including David’s Kitchen & Whole Earth which were both excellent. 

Four Aussies Chiang Mai Adventure

Five Aussies Chiang Mai Adventure We flew Nok Air return from Bangkok & I must say it was an absolute pleasure, the best budget airline I have flown with.

Dusit Princess good rooms & great location

Remarkable Temple Chiang Mai Thailand 

A terrific hotel in the very best location in Chiang Mai, book through THIS LINK for a discounted room rate.

Thanks for visiting my Four Aussies Chiang Mai Adventure photo blog.

       Istanbul                                 Budapest                        London

Fascinating Istanbul Asia Meets Europe     Hungarian Parliament Building (2)       The Walkie Talkie (5)    

          Mostar                           Dubrobnik                            Split

43638e36-5da5-4162-98e3-635e2c149837        IMG_7425    Split Ancient Croatian Coastal city                     

                 Saigon                            Zagreb                          Vung tau

Ho Chi Minh City South Vietnam       Main Square (3)     Vung Tau statue (6)

Pattaya live webcam
 
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That’s all folks

1g Duck

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Remarkable Temple Chiang Mai Thailand

October 18, 2017 by David Herd

You gotta love a pink elephant. 🙂

Remarkable Temple Chiang Mai Thailand

Remarkable Temple Chiang Mai Thailand

Remarkable Temple Chiang Mai Thailand Wat Ban Den is the most impressive I have ever seen. It was totally renovated in 1998 after the new Abbott Kru Ba Tuang raised huge amounts of money from people all over the country.

Work is still in progress

Remarkable Temple Chiang Mai Thailand

 As you can see from the first 2 photos work is still in progress. 🙂

Incredible works of art

Remarkable Temple Chiang Mai Thailand The detail and the beauty really takes your breath away.

They could be twins. 🙂

Remarkable Temple Chiang Mai Thailand Patrick Taylor is an Aussie living in Singapore, he loves having his photo taken & is fully certified selfie expert. 🙂

The Tigers are here.

Remarkable Temple Chiang Mai Thailand Everywhere you look there is another fabulous statue.

Totally spectacular

Remarkable Temple Chiang Mai Thailand As I said before Wat Ban Den is the most impressive Thai Temple I have ever seen. 

Absolutely brand new.

Remarkable Temple Chiang Mai Thailand It’s a huge credit to Abbott Kru Ba Tuang & all the generous Buddhists who donated money to completely renovate the original structures as well as adding new.

Magnificent dragon

Remarkable Temple Chiang Mai Thailand This would be a great location for an Asian version of “Game of Thrones.” 🙂

Renovated in 1804 & 1998.

Remarkable Temple Chiang Mai Thailand In  1804, Kruba Thueang Natsilo, a former abbot, also had the temple renovated. It became far more exquisite with Lanna-style architecture. The abbot intended to turn it into a beautiful place of worship with religious teachings. He hoped this would attract more people to the temple so that they would have a chance to learn about the religion. 

Ring the bell folks. 🙂

Remarkable Temple Chiang Mai Thailand The temple stands prominently on top of a small hill and can be easily seen from afar.

Remarkable Temple Chiang Mai Thailand

Remarkable Temple Chiang Mai Thailand As you can clearly see this Temple is a photographer’s dream.

Attention to detail…

Remarkable Temple Chiang Mai Thailand Perfection is everywhere you look.

My favorite shot

Remarkable Temple Chiang Mai Thailand I think I captured a special moment here.

Reach for the sky

Remarkable Temple Chiang Mai Thailand Surely this has to inspire you? 🙂

Patrick & I enjoying Wat Van Den

Remarkable Temple Chiang Mai Thailand As you can see Pat is a very tall happy character.

I have found a new friend.

Remarkable Temple Chiang Mai Thailand Many thanks for visiting my Remarkable Temple Chiang Mai Thailand photo blog.

The Dusit Princess

Remarkable Temple Chiang Mai Thailand

A terrific hotel in the very best location in Chiang Mai, book through THIS LINK for a discounted room rate.

 Soi Cowboy                  Nana Plaza                    Patpong

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    Bangkok Bars                         Tokyo                      Cape Town Safari
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               Great hotel room rates anywhere in the world if you book
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 That’s all folks

1g Duck

 

Pattaya live webcam
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Temples Shrines Fukuoka Kyushu Island

November 14, 2016 by David Herd

Tocho-ji temple in Hakata

Temples Shrines Fukuoka Kyushu Island

Temples Shrines Fukuoka Kyushu Island

 Temples Shrines Fukuoka Kyushu Island, Tocho-ji was built by Kukai a Buddhist monk in the year 806. I have often said one of the great attractions of visiting Japan is the blend of old & new. 

Street entrance

Temples Shrines Fukuoka Kyushu Island

 Here we are in the middle of a modern city exploring a temple which is 1210 years old and in beautiful condition.

Quite a stunning pagoda

Temples Shrines Fukuoka Kyushu Island

It’s always difficult being an amateur & an atheist like myself when writing about religious buildings, shrines, temples & churches. One has to rely heavily on information from the internet.

The old & the new highlighted here

Temples Shrines Fukuoka Kyushu Island

In the foreground the ancient rock statues with modern Fukuoka buildings in the back ground.

Stone statue

Temples Shrines Fukuoka Kyushu Island

 

Please accept my apologies for not knowing what these statues actually mean. 

Big Buddha

  Temples Shrines Fukuoka Kyushu Island

The largest wooden statue of Buddha (sitting on a pedestal) in Japan is actually here at the Tochoji Temple in Fukuoka.

Temples Shrines Fukuoka Kyushu Island

Temples Shrines Fukuoka Kyushu Island

Another ancient building at Tochoji Temple.

A reminder of the past

Temples Shrines Fukuoka Kyushu Island

A reminder of the past in the middle of a modern city.

Kushida Shrine

Temples Shrines Fukuoka Kyushu Island

This is the entrance to Kushida Shrine, the shrine was founded in 757, an incredible 1259 years ago.

Let’s take a closer look

Temples Shrines Fukuoka Kyushu Island

 

 A closer look at the entrance to this wonderful ancient Japanese Shrine.

 Inside Kushida Shrine

Temples Shrines Fukuoka Kyushu Island

There are a number of ancient artifacts housed in the shrine including anchor stones retrieved from the harbour that belonged to the Mongolian invasion fleets.  Some 15,000 Mongols under the command of Kubla Khan landed on Tsushima Island on October 5, 1274. Mongol forces subsequently landed in Hakata Bay on November 19, a short distance from Dazaifu, which in those days was the administrative capital of Kyūshū.

Wash hands at the entrance

Temples Shrines Fukuoka Kyushu Island

Tradition dictates you wash when entering the shrine.

Wonderful ancient buildings

Temples Shrines Fukuoka Kyushu Island

Take note of the small yellow wall on the left, Hakata was destroyed by war about 400 years ago & this wall was built from the debris.

1000 year-old Gingko Tree

Temples Shrines Fukuoka Kyushu Island

 

People are told to improve relations between husband & wife they should both pray at the ancient tree.

Shimekake-inari Shrine

Temples Shrines Fukuoka Kyushu Island

  Located right behind Kushida Shrine the tori gate is the landmark of this shrine.

Kazariyama Float

Temples Shrines Fukuoka Kyushu Island

 

Every July for the last 770 years the Hakata Gion Yamakasa festival is held on the 15th starting at 4.59 am. Many floats participate & as you see above one is enshrined at the Kushida Shrine.

Beautiful traditional dress

Temples Shrines Fukuoka Kyushu Island

 

Maybe I’m a little biased as red & white are the colours of my Australian football team. 🙂

It has been a total pleasure creating my Temples Shrines Fukuoka Kyushu Island photo blog, I have learnt so much about the history of Fukuoka. I hope you enjoy my story about this wonderful city. Naturally there is so much more, check out my other posts including Ohori Park, the Fukuoka Tower, the wonderful Yatai or “pop up” restaurants as I call them & finally the Fukuoka city photo blog.

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

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Slide show here.

Pattaya live webcam
 
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1g Duck

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Tokyo Towers Temples Skyscrapers

October 9, 2015 by David Herd

From the Tokyo Tower

Tokyo Towers Temples Skyscrapers

Tokyo Towers Temples Skyscrapers

 Tokyo Towers Temples Skyscrapers make this one of the world’s truly great cities. When you add wonderful people, great food & restaurants you have the whole package. This September 2015 trip was my 4th visit to which has now become my favourite city.

Check out this link for great food in Tokyo.

Tokyo Tower

Tokyo Towers Temples Skyscrapers

 

The photos above were taken from the observation deck of the Tokyo Tower. Built in 1958, the tower’s main sources of revenue are tourism and antenna leasing. Over 150 million people have visited the tower since its opening. FootTown, a four-story building located directly under the tower, houses museums, restaurants and shops. Departing from there, guests can visit two observation decks. The two-story Main Observatory is located at 150 metres (490 ft), while the smaller Special Observatory reaches a height of 249.6 metres (819 ft

Ladies at the Ginza

Tokyo Towers Temples Skyscrapers

 

Today the kimono are most often worn by women, and on special occasions. Traditionally, unmarried women wore a style of kimono called furisode, with almost floor-length sleeves, on special occasions. A few older women and even fewer men still wear the kimono on a daily basis. Men wear the kimono most often at weddings, tea ceremonies, and other very special or very formal occasions. Professional sumo wrestlers are often seen in the kimono because they are required to wear traditional Japanese dress whenever appearing in public.

The Ginza

Tokyo Towers Temples Skyscrapers

One of the best known intersections in the world.  Ginza is recognized by many as one of the most luxurious shopping districts in the world, attracting visitors and regulars alike from across the globe.

Wako store in the Ginza

Tokyo Towers Temples Skyscrapers

 

Wako is a department store retailer in Japan, whose best known store (commonly known as the Ginza Wako) is at the heart of the Ginza shopping district in Tokyo. This store is famous for its watches, jewellery, chocolate, porcelain, dishware, and handbags, as well as upscale foreign goods.

 Tokyo Peninsula Hotel

Tokyo Towers Temples Skyscrapers

 

Spectacular Tokyo Hotel near the Ginza. Only around $560 usd per night if you book through this link. 🙂

Modern Tokyo buildings

Tokyo Towers Temples Skyscrapers

From the modern to the traditional Tokyo has t all.

Tokyo Towers Temples Skyscrapers

Tokyo Towers Temples Skyscrapers

 

The GAP building in Tokyo near the Ginza, this city is a shopping paradise.

The old and the new

Tokyo Towers Temples Skyscrapers

 

Tokyo is a city of contrasts, they preserve the old and build the new. 🙂

 Fujiya Building Ginza

Tokyo Towers Temples Skyscrapers

 

One of Tokyo’s iconic buildings.

Much more spectacular at night

Tokyo Towers Temples Skyscrapers

Tokyo at night lights up in all its glory, walking around the Ginza in the evening is quite exciting. Ginza is a popular destination on weekends, when the main north-south artery is closed to traffic.

Accidental video

This was taken by accident, from Shabusen restaurant in the Ginza followed by our walk to the Imperial Palace. I didn’t realize my camera was making a compilation of the photos I was taking.

Kitanomaru Park

Tokyo Towers Temples Skyscrapers

 Kitanomaru Park is located North of the Tokyo Imperial Palace.

The Imperial Palace

Tokyo Towers Temples Skyscrapers

 

One of the most popular sots in Tokyo for a photograph.

Piss Alley Shinjunku

Tokyo Towers Temples Skyscrapers

 

Piss Alley Tokyo was named many years ago, when it was a shady destination for criminals to get drunk together. The place wasn’t very built up back in those days, so instead of using a toilet, people just relieved themselves wherever they could.

 Grambell Hotel Shibuya

Tokyo Towers Temples Skyscrapers

A nice budget hotel in a fantastic location. Use this link for a great rate.

Lancia Stratos

Tokyo Towers Temples Skyscrapers

 The Lancia Stratos isn’t just one of the world’s rarest cars, but one with an iconic cult following like no other. In total, 492 Stratos are believed to have been built, with the majority of them being competition or Rally race cars. We saw this rare beast in the Ginza.

Sushizanmai

Tokyo Towers Temples Skyscrapers

 

Open 24 hours a day adjacent to the Tsujiki fish market is my favourite restaurant in Tokyo. It is an experience to enjoy and remember. If you want a quiet romantic setting cross this place off your list. It is a happy frenetic chaotic dining experience, and the food is wonderful.  There is always a queue waiting to get in, make sure you sit at the sushi counter on the ground floor.

Shibuya crossing

Tokyo Towers Temples Skyscrapers

 Shibuya Scramble Tokyo takes place at the famous intersection outside Shibuya Station. the traffic is stopped in all directions, which allows pedestrians to walk & scramble in every direction across the intersection.

 Live webcam at Shibuya

Kubuchiko

Tokyo Towers Temples Skyscrapers

Only in Japan, Hamish & I were enjoying some cold beers in Kubuchiko when these nice Japanese ladies approached us to asked if they could take our photo. Of course we agreed as any cool rock star would. 🙂

Street performer at Tokyo Tower

Tokyo Towers Temples Skyscrapers

 

I’m not really a fan of performing animals, training methods are often cruel.

Metro Cafe at Omotosando station.

Tokyo Towers Temples Skyscrapers

The whole gang gather at one of my favourite haunts in Tokyo. Bob, David, Clai, Dan & Hamish.  We usually enjoy numerous bottles of Italian wine for only $25 aud or 650 Baht a bottle.

Chatting to the locals.

Tokyo Towers Temples Skyscrapers

Japanese girl are just so nice. 🙂

Thanks for visiting my Tokyo Towers Temples Skyscrapers post

Tokyo Towers Temples Skyscrapers

 

As well as Tokyo Towers Temples Skyscrapers check out my Tokyo food blog.

                   Please check out these fabulous posts 

      Istanbul                                 Budapest                        London

Fascinating Istanbul Asia Meets Europe     Hungarian Parliament Building (2)       The Walkie Talkie (5)    

          Mostar                           Dubrobnik                            Split

43638e36-5da5-4162-98e3-635e2c149837        IMG_7425    Split Ancient Croatian Coastal city                     

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Ho Chi Minh City South Vietnam       Main Square (3)     Vung Tau statue (6)

Pattaya live webcam
 
9a1fec74-4461-46cd-8663-97f5893c8f6e (1)

That’s all folks

1g Duck

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Travel Tokyo Bangkok HCMC New York

September 1, 2015 by David Herd

Japan

Travel Tokyo Bangkok HCMC New York

Travel tips five great countries

Travel Tokyo Bangkok HCMC New York starting 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

7194b4aa-7231-44d0-989f-b49b8bfdb299

     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.

Thailand

Travel tips five great countries

  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

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.

Travel tips five great countries

So 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

 Travel tips five great countries  

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.

Miami                                San Francisco                           New York

Travel tips five great countries

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.

Vietnam

Travel tips five great countries

 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 Tokyo Bangkok HCMC New York

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.

Travel Tokyo Bangkok HCMC New York

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

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

Pattaya Hilton

Pattaya hotels, Hilton & Holiday Inn

This is the view from Horizons the amazing rooftop bar. A great five star hotel located opposte the beach & above the Central Festival shopping mall. Just book through THIS LINK for an excellent room rate. 

 Soi Cowboy                  Nana Plaza                    Patpong

 Soi Cowboy (5)           e1274c0c-cf4d-4406-b5dc-d9e8071e382e            8993ef02-ccf3-46a7-8b6d-fc11af9d93ad

 
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Rio de Janeiro                  Singapore                    Eastern Europe
f044491e-69aa-4082-b49b-1ff33557d7d4          60e7d26d-1039-4dde-863d-62b66656ccbf          1bea4a99-cb07-4161-83ba-75c0ef2b63cc
    Bangkok Bars                         Tokyo                      Cape Town Safari
d0c59ff5-7f2b-41b5-9312-4556d4a62037          f5e9441a-4154-44e0-a362-18b662d40b48          2a2b79ea-bc5f-46e3-8448-2e71658eff14 
               Great hotel room rates anywhere in the world if you book
                  through these links below.  Book now & pay later.
Free Cancellation. 
Bangkok Hotels                    Pattaya Hotels
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 That’s all folks

1g Duck

 

Pattaya live webcam
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This gallery contains 2 photos

Bangkok Grand Palace

November 28, 2013 by David Herd

Iconic Bangkok Temple

Bangkok Grand Palace 

Bangkok Grand Palace

 

Bangkok Grand Palace is quite remarkable, put it at the top of your list of places to see. The palace has been the official residence of the Kings of Siam since 1782.

The photo above is Wat Phra Kaew or the Temple of the Emerald Buddha as seen from the Outer Court.

Big crowds arrive every day.

Bangkok Grand Palace 

The late monarch, King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX), used to reside at Chitralada Palace, but the Grand Palace is still used for official events. Several royal ceremonies and state functions are held within the walls of the palace every year. The palace is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Thailand.

Phra Si Ratana Chedi

Bangkok Grand Palace

 

Phra Si Ratana Chedi, a 19th-century stupa built in Sri Lankan style enshrining ashes of the Buddha.

Entrance to Wat Phra Kaew.

Bangkok Grand Palace

 

As regards the historical legend of Wat Phra Kaew, it was originally known as the “Wat Pa Yia”, (Bamboo Forest Monastery) in the Chiang Rai province of Northern Thailand. The wat was struck by a lightning storm in 1434, when the octagonal Chedi broke up and revealed the Emerald Buddha (made of Jade), locally known as Phra Kaew Morakot. From there it was moved, initially to Vientianne and finally to Bangkok where it was deified in the temple by the original name, Wat Phra Kaew.

Another legend mentions that attempts made by the King of Chiang Mai to possess the statue after it was found in 1434; these failed thrice because the elephants transporting the statue refused to proceed beyond a crossroad in Lampang. The King of Chiang Mai considered the incident to be a strong divine directive and allowed the Buddha statue to remain in Lampang, where it remained for the next 32 years in an exclusively built temple.


Lots of photo opportunities at the Bangkok Grand Palace

Bangkok Grand Palace

 

The Palace is a photographers paradise.

Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Royal Pantheon)

Bangkok Grand Palace

 

The Royal Pantheon was constructed during the reign of King Rama IV in 1855. He intended to place the Emerald Buddha here but the building was not completed until after his death. His successor, King Rama V, considered the building too small to accommodate the congregation at royal ceremonies so the Emerald Buddha was not placed in this building. A small gilt stupa belonging to King Rama IV was placed there instead.

Phra Thinang Chakri Maha Prasat

Bangkok Grand Palace

The throne hall forms the front or the facade of the entire building group. In front of the throne hall is the Rathakit Field; on either side of the throne hall are the Phrom Sopha Gates. The throne hall is constructed in an eclectic style, a blend of Thai and European (more specifically Renaissance or Italianate) styles. The lower part of the structure is European, while the upper part is in Thai-styled green and orange tiled roofs and golden spires or prasats.

Photographing the Monks at the Throne Hall.

Bangkok Grand Palace

 

Their orange robes are a great contrast to the trees in the background.

Sightseeing Monks at Bangkok Grand Palace

Bangkok Grand Palace

 

The Bangkok Grand Palace is probably Thailand’s number one attraction.

Phra Thinang Chakri Maha Prasat.

Bangkok Grand Palace 

Two elephants and one lonely guard on duty.

There are lots on nice hotels along the river with fabulous views.

Fantastic monuments.

Bangkok Grand Palace 

Absolutely spectacular.

Gold, gold, lots of gold.

Bangkok Grand Palace

 

Give yourself plenty of time as the Palace is huge.

Smile

Bangkok Grand Palace

  Mother & daughter having fun at the Bangkok Grand Palace.  

The students wanted to interview us for a project.

Bangkok Grand Palace

 

I guess they had a project from school to interview a foreigner. 

We could be twins.

Bangkok Grand Palace

 

Thanks for visiting Bangkok Grand Palace photo blog, put it on your bucket list.

Please click on Google + to help my page ranking.    

When I’m in Bangkok I like to stay in Sukhumvit Soi 11, here is an excellent budget hotel, if you USE THIS LINK you will get a great rate of around B1100 per night, or $30 USD.

Bangkok Budget Sukhumvit Hotels

 

The best Bangkok budget hotel I have ever stayed in.

                             Here are some more posts to check out     
Pattaya Hilton

Pattaya hotels, Hilton & Holiday Inn

This is the view from Horizons the amazing rooftop bar. A great five star hotel located opposte the beach & above the Central Festival shopping mall. Just book through THIS LINK for an excellent room rate. 

 Soi Cowboy                  Nana Plaza                    Patpong

 Soi Cowboy (5)           e1274c0c-cf4d-4406-b5dc-d9e8071e382e            8993ef02-ccf3-46a7-8b6d-fc11af9d93ad

 
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Rio de Janeiro                  Singapore                    Eastern Europe
f044491e-69aa-4082-b49b-1ff33557d7d4          60e7d26d-1039-4dde-863d-62b66656ccbf          1bea4a99-cb07-4161-83ba-75c0ef2b63cc
    Bangkok Bars                         Tokyo                      Cape Town Safari
d0c59ff5-7f2b-41b5-9312-4556d4a62037          f5e9441a-4154-44e0-a362-18b662d40b48          2a2b79ea-bc5f-46e3-8448-2e71658eff14 
               Great hotel room rates anywhere in the world if you book
                  through these links below.  Book now & pay later.
Free Cancellation. 
Bangkok Hotels                    Pattaya Hotels
d0c59ff5-7f2b-41b5-9312-4556d4a62037          b1c99886-3940-4dda-b350-44c5e5c77e41
 
 That’s all folks

1g Duck

 

Pattaya live webcam
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Click here to see my post on Krabi.

 

Here is a great Bangkok shopping Mall

 

Check out my Pattaya webcam

 


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Hua Hin popular Thai resort

September 25, 2013 by David Herd

Nice town south of Bangkok

Hua Hin popular Thai resort

Hua Hin popular Thai resort

 

Hua Hin popular Thai resort combines the attractions of a modern holiday destination with the charm and fascination of a still active fishing port. While most other Thai holiday destinations cater mainly to foreign tourists, Hua Hin Thai resort is a holiday destination for foreigners and Thais.

Besides it’s great 5 mile long beach Hua Hin provides the highest density of world class golf courses anywhere in Thailand while it’s yet virtually undiscovered as an international Golf destination. Green-fees and other costs are currently among the lowest in the world while course maintenance and services are superb.

Fishing boats

Hua Hin popular Thai resort

 

Besides it’s great 5 mile long beach Hua Hin provides the highest density of world class golf courses anywhere in Thailand while it’s yet virtually undiscovered as an international Golf destination. Green-fees and other costs are currently among the lowest in the world while course maintenance and services are superb.

Hilton Hua Hin Thai resort

Hua Hin popular Thai resort

 

In 1928, the late King Rama VII built Klai Kangwon Palace which remains until this today an official royal residence. It is still frequently used by members of the royal family and is open to the public for visits.

Hua Hin Thai resort continued to develop in its own leisurely way, with the added attraction of an 18-hole golf course, and as a fishing port. The Railway Hotel, today’s Sofitel Central Hua Hin, was built by the State Railways of Thailand in 1923 in the architectural style of old Siam.

Many of Bangkok’s rich and famous built their own beachfront summer homes to the north and south along the curving sandy bay, enjoying leisurely family weekends in a resort which has maintained its unique identity.

Packing up the tiny shrimps.

Hua Hin popular Thai resort 

The guys here are preparing the tiny shrimps for the market.

David Herd shovelling shrimps.

Hua Hin popular Thai resort 

Well known for my generosity, here I am pitching in and shovelling shrimps.  😆

Master & apprentice.

Hua Hin popular Thai resort

Father & son prepare the nets.

The quintessential night market.

Hua Hin popular Thai resort 

As in 100,000 other Thai villages here is your quintessential night market, the goods on sales rarely vary too much. However everything is cheap and the food is fresh and authentic Thai.

Fresh seafood at the market.

Hua Hin popular Thai resort 

Fresh seafood is always a good choice.

My brother Warren with a monster shrimp.

Hua Hin popular Thai resort 

Barbecue shrimp does not get much better than this in Thailand.

Waiting for the feast.

Hua Hin popular Thai resort 

My brother Warren & I waiting patiently for the seafood feast to arrive.

Once again we ordered too much. 😳

Hua Hin popular Thai resort

As usual we ordered way too much, I’m a big eater however Warren has the appetite of an ant so we could only get through about half of the food on the table.

Hilton Hotel Hua Hin Thai resort.

Hua Hin popular Thai resort

Hua Hin Thai resort is located 190 km south west of Bangkok on the gulf of Thailand, about a two hour 15 minute drive.

Hilton Hotel

Hua Hin popular Thai resort

A great location but above my pay grade.

Seafood restaurant on the beach

Hua Hin popular Thai resort

Where are all the people? It si now 2016 and many of these buildings have encroached on public land and may be removed.

Here comes the sheriff

Hua Hin popular Thai resort

On patrol. 🙂

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Thanks for visiting my Hua Hin Thai resort photo blog.


                        Please check out these fabulous posts  
Pattaya Hilton

Pattaya hotels, Hilton & Holiday Inn

This is the view from Horizons the amazing rooftop bar. A great five star hotel located opposte the beach & above the Central Festival shopping mall. Just book through THIS LINK for an excellent room rate. 

 Soi Cowboy                  Nana Plaza                    Patpong

 Soi Cowboy (5)           e1274c0c-cf4d-4406-b5dc-d9e8071e382e            8993ef02-ccf3-46a7-8b6d-fc11af9d93ad

 
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Rio de Janeiro                  Singapore                    Eastern Europe
f044491e-69aa-4082-b49b-1ff33557d7d4          60e7d26d-1039-4dde-863d-62b66656ccbf          1bea4a99-cb07-4161-83ba-75c0ef2b63cc
    Bangkok Bars                         Tokyo                      Cape Town Safari
d0c59ff5-7f2b-41b5-9312-4556d4a62037          f5e9441a-4154-44e0-a362-18b662d40b48          2a2b79ea-bc5f-46e3-8448-2e71658eff14 
               Great hotel room rates anywhere in the world if you book
                  through these links below.  Book now & pay later.
Free Cancellation. 
Bangkok Hotels                    Pattaya Hotels
d0c59ff5-7f2b-41b5-9312-4556d4a62037          b1c99886-3940-4dda-b350-44c5e5c77e41
 
 That’s all folks

1g Duck

 

Pattaya live webcam
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Bali Indonesia Surfers Paradise

August 25, 2013 by David Herd

Magnificent rice terraces

Bali Indonesia Surfers Paradise

 

Bali Indonesia Surfers Paradise, but personally I prefer Thailand as the best Asian destination for a number of reasons. For me there are too many Australians holidaying in Bali and being an Australian myself I really don’t want to mix with my countrymen when I am on vacation. I first visited this lovely island 40 years ago when it was calm and peaceful, now it is so busy all year round with tourists from all over the world. However as I said initially it is a great location for surfers as opposed to Thailand and many other Asian countries which don’t have large waves crashing on the shore.

Gathering for the sunset

Bali Indonesia Surfers Paradise

 

On the beach in front of Ku Da Ta the crowd eagerly awaits the sunset.

Beautiful Balinese sunset

Bali Indonesia Surfers Paradise

 

One of the best places in the world to watch the sunset.

Ku De Ta

Bali Indonesia Surfers Paradise

 

A famous restaurant where people gather for the sunset.

Here I am with little Ben from London

Bali Indonesia Surfers Paradise

 

This was July 2008.

Ben & Michelle

Bali Indonesia Surfers Paradise

We met online while discussing a house swap. I invited them to join me in Bali before coming to Australia to stay in my guest wing.

Traditional dancers

Bali Indonesia Surfers Paradise

 

Gorgeous girls in traditional Balinese dress.

Bali has a fascinating culture.

Bali Indonesia Surfers Paradise

 

Total concentration here.

Pura Tanah Lot Bali Indonesia

Bali Indonesia Surfers Paradise

 

 Tanah Lot means “Land Sea” in the Balinese language. Located in Tabanan, about 20 kilometres (12 mi) from Denpasar, the temple sits on a large offshore rock which has been shaped continuously over the years by the ocean tide. Tanah Lot is claimed to be the work of the 15th-century priest Nirartha. During his travels along the south coast he saw the rock-island’s beautiful setting and rested there. Some fishermen saw him, and bought him gifts. Nirartha then spent the night on the little island. Later he spoke to the fishermen and told them to build a shrine on the rock for he felt it to be a holy place to worship the Balinese sea gods.

Beautiful Balinese Villa.

Bali Indonesia Surfers Paradise

 

A beautiful Balinese villa.

Balinese boat on Sanur beach.

Bali Indonesia Surfers Paradise

 

A great boat on Sanur beach.

The age old question

Bali Indonesia Surfers Paradise

 

DOES MY BUM LOOK BIG IN THIS? Definitely not. 🙂

 Dining at Ku De Ta in Seminyak.

Bali Indonesia Surfers Paradise

 

One of the best places to dine and watch the fabulous sunsets is Ku De Ta on the beach at Seminyak. The photo above shows me David Herd & my friend Ken Grant, an American who now lives and works in Bali.

Ken’s Villa

Bali Indonesia Surfers Paradise

 

Here is where I stayed, Ken and his family came to my home in Australia for Xmas.

Beautifully decorated

Bali Indonesia Surfers Paradise

 

The whole villa was just beautifully decorated.

Jimbaram Bay

Bali Indonesia Surfers Paradise

 

The most popular beach dining location in Bali.

Samaya Hotel at Seminyak.

Bali Indonesia Surfers Paradise

 

There are many 5 star hotels in Bali Indonesia, the Samaya hotel is in a great location right on the beach.    

Beautiful grounds

Bali Indonesia Surfers Paradise

A great place to relax & watch the sunsets.

Bali Indonesia Surfers Paradise

Bali Indonesia Surfers Paradise

 

A kite surfer at Sanur beach.

Farewell from Kuta Beach

Bali Indonesia Surfers Paradise

 Thanks for visiting my Bali Indonesia Surfers Paradise photo blog.

 Zagreb Croatia                      Rio de Janeiro                  Brisbane River 

Zagreb Croatia bars restaurants        a7ff7566-9628-434d-a2b1-8c6e8b9a9021       IMG_0100

       

     Koh Samui                                   Korea                                  London

32780a6c-baf6-428a-bd71-68b1bed30b4c         Changdeokgung Palace (2)        IMG_7042

         Bangkok                                   Osaka                                     Pattaya

Soi Cowboy (25)          Osaka 1st night (17)       Walking St Pattaya is wild & sexy 

                                     

             Chiang Mai                      Pattaya                      Chao Phraya river

Chiang Mai with Tone        9a1fec74-4461-46cd-8663-97f5893c8f6e (1)   191de3bb-38fc-45cd-bce7-ef24081c554b

Pattaya live webcam
 
9a1fec74-4461-46cd-8663-97f5893c8f6e (1)

That’s all folks

1g Duck

 


Click on Here is my last trip to Bali Indonesia in 1997.

 

Please check out my post on Angkor Wat

 

Here are some cheap restaurants in Pattaya Thailand

 

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