Things To Do In Penang – Best Tourist Spots in Penang Malaysia

TOP THINGS TO DO IN PENANG

Looking for Penang things to do? Well, there are plenty of options from exploring the history of the area and exploring forts that are a reminder of the former British rule to shopping in the streets of Georgetown, there truly is something for everyone to enjoy. Let’s take a look at a few.

EXPLORE GEORGE TOWN

George Town Street Art - Penang Malaysia

George Town, which is the capital of Penang, is a quaint town that you will adore. In 2008, this town became a UNESCO Heritage Site, and it has a number of uniquely designed churches, mosques, temples, and shops that are worth visiting.

The iron street art is simply amazing, and if you can find the 52 locations across the city, they will make some amazing photo opportunities as well. There is also a five-story shopping mall and plenty of local shops that you can explore, so make sure to pick up a Penang map with tourist spots so that you can easily find all of the popular spots.

Check out this guide to George Town by Getting Stamped.

GO TO BATU FERRINGHI BEACH

Batu Ferringhi Beach in PenangSome of the most amazing water views on Penang Island is at Batu Ferringhi. The beach is only a fifteen-minute drive from Georgetown. This beach is most popular among the tourist visitors for its white sandy beaches, deep blue ocean and beautiful palm trees swaying in the wind.

Visitors usually come to Batu Ferringhi to relax laying out on the beach under the sun and enjoying the peaceful and soothing atmosphere. For the more adventurous tourists, their is also wild water sport which mainly includes a banana boat or Jet Skis.

SPEND A DAY AT PENANG NATIONAL PARK

Penang National Park

Penang National Park is a great place to visit if you are traveling with your family. It is not a large national park, but when it comes to Penang things to do, it is always at the top of the list. There are plenty of jungle hikes that you can enjoy within the park where you can see plenty of local wildlife up close. One of the most common friends of the trails are the monkeys that can often be seen looking at you from the trees.

Many of these treks take three hours or more, but on the other side, you will find some breathtaking beaches that make the journey well worth it. If you visit between April and February, you may even be able to see the Green Sea Turtles and the Olive Ridley Turtles lay their eggs on the beaches.

Check out this guide to hiking Penang National Park by Trolleypacker Experience.

EXPLORE PENANG HILL

Looking for attractions in Penang away from the tropical heat? Penang Hill is a great place to cool off, and it gives you an amazing panoramic view of the city of George Town below. You can either reach the summit by making a three-hour hike from the Penang Botanical Gardens or taking a trolley to the top. At 830 feet above sea level, you will be able to look out over the clouds as you explore the shops and the other attractions on Penang Hill. Make sure that you check out the Sri Aruloli Thirumurugan Temple; it is one of the oldest temples in Penang and the architecture is quite impressive.

Check out this guide to Penang Hill by Penang Monthly.

TOP THINGS TO SEE IN PENANG

A Penang map with tourist spots will not only help you find things to do in the area, it will also help you find wonderful sights and things that can only be seen in this area of Malaysia. Let’s take a look:

VISIT THE SNAKE TEMPLE

Snake Temple Penang

If you have the opportunity to visit this temple, you will be able to enjoy one of the most unique experiences in Penang. In this temple, you will find a number of pit vipers along the altar, vases, and other decorative architecture that you can find here. There is a heavy cloud of incense in the temple, which is said to make the snakes docile so that you can easily see them up close and possibly even get a photo with one.

Check out this great guide to the Snake Temple by Malaysia Site.

CLIMB THE TEMPLE OF SUPREME BLISS

Kek Lok Si, which is another name for the Temple of Supreme Bliss, is actually the largest temple in all of Malaysia. The climb to the temple is a lot of work, but the views alone are worth the trek. The architecture and the statues that can be found at this temple are stunning to look at as well.

Check out the guide to Temple of Supreme Bliss by Amitava Dasguptaor.

VISIT THE PENANG BUTTERFLY FARM

Penang Butterfly Farm

If you enjoy nature, then the Penang Butterfly Farm is one of the attractions in Penang that you will want to visit. It is actually the first tropical butterfly farm in the world, and it is home to over 4,000 Malaysian butterflies including rare species such as the endangered Yellow Bird Wing and the rare Indian Leafl.

Check out the Penang Butterfly website for more details.

FOOD TO TRY IN PENANG

Penang Food

While you are visiting Penang, don’t forget to try out some of the food that is unique to this area. Penang is famous for its delicious street food, and George Town is one of the best places to find vendors who know how to cook a true Penang meal. Let’s take a look at some local favorites.

Check out this guide to Penang food by Go Penang.

ASSAM LAKSA

This is a noodle soup that is both spicy and tangy. In Penang, this stew has a thin broth that is filled with mackerel, lemongrass, tamarind, and chilies.

MEE GORENG

This is a delicious fried noodle dish that combines yellow noodles with garlic, onions, eggs, cabbage, chili, and typically chicken. This dish has a sweet and sour kick to it that you are sure to enjoy.

CHAR KWAY TEOW

Char Kway Teow is delightful noodle dish that contains cockles, prawn, bean sprouts, and egg that is fried in pig lard. If you are looking for places to visit in Penang at night with good food, Kafe Khoon Hiang serves this dish with duck eggs in the evening, which gives adds a creaminess to the dish.

NASI KANDAR

Nasi Kandar is a Muslim dish that originated in Penang. It is a curry meat dish that is served over yellow rice. Be aware: the street vendors do not go easy on the spice with this dish, but if you can handle spice, you will not be able to get enough of this dish.

Looking for more good food in Penang? Check out Penang Foodie!

FACTS AND STATISTICS IN PENANG

  • The original name of Penang was Pulau Ka-satu, which means “the first island.”
  • George Town is named after Great Britain’s King James III.
  • Penang is often referred to as the “food paradise of Malaysia.”
  • The oldest mosque in George Town was built in 1801.
  • Greater Penang is the second largest city in Malaysia.
  • George Town is the only city in Malaysia that has not replaced the English street names.
  • The official religion of the area is Islam.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Whether you are looking for an exciting adventure during the day or places to visit in Penang at night, there are plenty of options on the island. The beaches have beautiful white sand, there are plenty of opportunities to explore the wildlife, and the food is amazing, so why not make Penang your next travel destination.

25 Best Foods in Malacca to Eat and Drink Like a Local

By car, Malacca or Melaka is just 3 hours away from Singapore and a very popular weekend getaway spot. You don’t get much time during such a short weekend getaway, so we are really here to make your life a tad bit easier with a comprehensive food guide.

Our team went forth to try out Malacca’s famous Jonker Street eats and beyond, curating only the best and compiling into our very own ultimate Malacca food guide. We managed to hit a couple of bars along the way too.

We stayed at Jonker Boutique Hotel during this trip, which was situated at the heart of Malacca’s Jonker’s street for the most efficient eating experience.

This Malacca food guide is split into cafes, street foods, local restaurants and even late night drinking spots. If you’re wondering where to eat in Malacca, feast on.

1. Bikini Toppings

best malacca food bikini-toppings malacca-bikini-icecream

Ice Cream (RM6.90). If you’re in need of cooling refreshment after pounding the pavements of Melacca, Bikini Toppings will provide a welcome break. Serving an array of ice creams that come served in a coconut alongside refreshing coconut shakes, this is exactly what’s in order on a hot day.

We opted for a scoop of yam, a scoop of chendol and a garnish of fresh lychee, though there are numerous other ice cream flavours and toppings to choose from.

We couldn’t resist joining in with the ‘graffiti’ on the chalkboard walls whilst we were there. Let us know if you go and spot our tag!

Bikini Toppings: 46 Lorong Hang Jebat, 75200 Melaka, Malaysia | Facebook

2. The Daily Fix

best malacca cafe - thedailyfix malacca-thedailyfix2

We loved the old fashioned vibe of The Daily Fix. It’s quirky, fun and serves a mean coffee. Old school music hums in the background of this spacious cafe, whilst a young, cool crowd make up most of the clientele.

malacca-pandanpancakes

Famed for it’s pancakes, we were not disappointed with some of the unusual flavours on offer. Whilst we were tempted by the Durian and choc chip flavours, we eventually opted for Pandan (RM 13.90). The pancakes were soft and fluffy on the inside with a nice crunch on the outside.

Pumped full with gula melaka (which we are now officially addicted to) these were a naughty but nice treat.

The Daily Fix: 55 Jalan Hang Jebat, 75200 Melaka, Malaysia | Facebook

3. Calanthe Art Cafe

best malacca cafe calanthe-exterior malacca-calanthe-fish-tank

Serving a signature coffee from each of Malaysia’s 13 states, this is a Malacca must visit. Unsurprisingly, the most popular coffee served here is that from – you guessed it – Melaka. Containing 70% coffee beans, and 30% sugar, salt and margarine, the end result is a strong, sweet cup of joe.

malacca-calathe

The cafe itself is so cool we could easily spend a few hours working our way through the rest of the 12 Malaysian state offerings. The interior is an eclectic mix of vintage meets traditional Malay meets coffee hipster.

Be sure to walk through the main cafe area at the front to check out the nooks and crannies of the spaces at the back. You’ll find a treasure trove of Instagram worthy backdrops.

Calanthe Art Cafe: 11 Jalan Hang Kasturi, 75200 Melaka, Malaysia | Website

4. Backlane Coffee

best malacca cafe backlane malacca-backlane-cakes

Salted Caramel Tart (Rm13.00), White Surprise (Rm13.00). If you’re looking for a hipster cafe hangout, this is most definitely it. Exposed brick walls, an industrial vibe, cool lighting fixtures, home brew coffee – this place has got it all.

Whilst they do serve pizza – which, by the way, looked delicious – we couldn’t resist the choice of cakes and sweet treats that were on offer. We opted for a ‘white surprise’ (white chocolate mousse, raspberry coulis, hazelnut croustillant & praline string) and the ‘salted caramel tart’ (chocolate ganache, salted caramel, chocolate pastry).

Though both were delicious the bitter, salty, sweet caramel tart come out on top in this round of dessert wars.

Backlane Coffee: 129, Jalan Hang Jebat, 75200 Melaka, Malaysia | Facebook 

5. Ola Lavanderia

best malacca cafe ola-lavenderia

Ola Lavanderia is a small, minimalist cafe that is perfect for a coffee break. We’re also a fan of their white Melaka cheesecake. It’s light, a little zesty and has a delicious blueberry centre.

malacca-ola-cake

My favourite thing about this place? It doubles up as a launderette. A mere RM4.80 will get you 1kg of clothes, washed, ironed and folded. Bargain! Sit back and put your feet up whilst someone else does all the hard work for you.

Ola Lavanderia: 25 Jalan Tukang Besi, 75200 Melaka, Malaysia | Facebook

6. Mods Cafe

malacca-mods

malacca-mods-cake

Piccolo (RM9.00), Espresso (RM7.00), Cheesecake (RM10.00). Mods Cafe will definitely win your heart over with their cute and vintage interior. Hola hipsters, this is your den complete with a Volkswagen caravan as their cashier and coffee brewing site, vinyls as decor and cute little vintage trinkets.

Here’s the catch though, there is a minimum of one order per person. We had a cheesecake, espresso and piccolo. The espresso was more on the acidic side and it isn’t hot, which is puzzling since it is extracted on site.

The cake was rather gelatinous in texture and it is more milky than cheesy but the piccolo was well balanced, saving the day.

Mods Cafe: Jalan Tokong, Melaka, Malaysia | Tel: +60 12-756 4441 | Website

7. Nadeje

malacca dessert-nadeje malacca-crepe-cakes

If cake is your thing head on over to stuff your face on the mille crepes at Nadeje. Made with alternating thin layers of sponge and cream, these bad boys are dangerous. It tastes so light you may as well be eating a cloud, though we’re sure one slice alone must contain at least a million calories. Oh well, YOLO.

We opted for a slice of the rum & raisin mille crepe (RM 12.60) from their ‘alcoholic’ range. It’s a seriously indulgent slice of creamy, boozy goodness. A great place to head for a lunchtime treat or dessert after dinner.

Nadeje: G-23 & 25, Jalan PM4, Plaza Mahkota, 75000, Melaka, Melaka, 75000, Malaysia | Website

—Malacca Street Food—

8. Loi Satay – Lung Ann Refreshments

best malacca food lungahsatay

Satay (RM0.70 / stick). Along the streets of Jonker is Lung Ann Refreshments and you wouldn’t be able to miss it because the aroma of freshly barbecued satay skewers will lead you there. Much like a coffeeshop, Lung Ann Refreshments focuses on only selling satay and well, refreshments.

malacca-satay

The meat used in the satay skewers here is pork, unlike the usual mutton and chicken. Though it can get slightly salty, it is definitely something interesting and unlike the usuals. There’s a slight difference in texture and the peanut sauce pairs well. It opens from 1pm till 4pm and is closed on Thursday.

Loi Satay Lung Ann Refreshments: 93/807, Lorong Hang Jebat, 75200 Melaka, Malaysia | website

9. Kedai Kopi Chung Wah

best malacca food kedai-riceballs

Half Chicken (RM24.60), Rice Ball (RM0.40). Famed for their chicken rice balls, Kedai Kopi Chung Wah is the most popular Hainanese Chicken Rice on Jonker’s Street – Day after day, lies a snaking line right outside the stall, all in hopes of getting their famous chicken rice ball.

So if you’re looking to try it, I’d definitely suggest that you go down real early before lunch to beat the crowd because that’s what we did and we didn’t have to queue. Sleep is for the weak my friends.

malacca-kedaikopi-interior

While the Kampong chicken is pretty average, their chicken rice balls are worth the try. Glistening balls of chicken rice, packed with flavour and because of its petite size, it’s really convenient to pop them incessantly before knowing you’ve had one too many.

Do remember to have it with the chilli sauce because no chicken rice is complete without it.

Kedai Kopi: 18, Jalan Hang Jebat, 75200 Melaka, Malaysia

10. Jonker 88

best malacca food jonker88-cendol

Baba Durian Chendol (RM5.00).

Hard to miss, Jonker 88 sits amidst the busy Jonker Street that Malacca is famous for. What we first noticed is its crowd, beckoning us in as it piqued our curiosity as to what this stall entails to render such a crowd.

Casual and packed, Jonker 88 is an eatery that offers up local fare like assam laksa, chendol and many more.

Who could ever get enough of chendol really, so we ordered a serving of chendol with durian because durian is really quintessential in our lives. The durian chendol came fully adorned with red bean and peanuts. The durian tasted more like the paste sort instead of fresh durian flesh and it isn’t too sweet.

malacca-jonker88-laksa

The other dish we had was the assam laksa and we highly recommend it. The broth is sour and spicy with the addition of tamarind, making it very appetising and I couldn’t stop myself even when I was pregnant with a food baby.

The noodles used aren’t the usual laksa noodles, think glass noodles but thicker, which makes for an excellent accompaniment to the light broth with its silky texture.

Jonker 88: 88, alan Hang Jebat, 75200 Melaka, Malaysia | Tel:+60 19-397 5665 | Website

11. Pin Pin Hiong

best malacca food pinpinhiong

Do not overlook this great little restaurant serving awesome Hainanese food. With just one old Uncle doing all of the cooking, you might have a bit of a wait for your lunch to arrive but it’s totally worth it.

It was packed when we visited with a completely mixed crowd and, it would seem, young or old locals cannot get enough of this delicious home cooked food.

malacca-pinpin-meesua malacca-pinpin-omelette malacca-pinpin-hainanses

We recommend their oyster omelette, Mee Sua soup and the pork chop. The Mee Sua was seriously good, we could not get enough of the salty, savoury broth. The pork chop was soft, meaty and smothered in the most delicious gravy. Whilst our omelette was thin, crispy and packed with tiny, juicy oysters. The ultimate comfort food pit stop and one of our favourites.

Pin Pin Hiong: 786, Lorong Hang Jebat, 75200 Melaka, Malaysia

12. Cristina Ee Nyonya Cendol shop

best malacca food cristinaee

On the outside, Cristina Ee Cendol shop will probably just look like any other snack shops that you can find along the way but do not be fooled, it actually serves up quite a kickass bowl of chendol.

best malacca food cendol

The chendol is pretty to look at with its myriad of colours and of course delectable to have with its strong gula melaka flavour pairing well with the coconut milk and jelly, proving to be a worthy way to cool down from the sweltering heat.

Cristina Ee also sell square-shapped pineapple tarts that are extremely aromatic and buttery. They are also the distributor of it nationwide, so why not have a try and bring home a pack or two when you’re around the area.

Cristina Ee Nyonya Cendol Shop: 8, Jalan Hang Lekir, 75200 Melaka, Malaysia

13. Low Yong Moh restaurant

best malacca food lowmohyang-interior best malacca food dimsum

Closed on Tuesday, Low Yong Moh restaurant is a traditional casual dining place that serves up dim sum as breakfast. Very popular amongst the locals, it stocks up a variety of dim sum and you’d better be quick to get your orders before they run out. Though it isn’t the best dimsum, it does give the complete Malacca experience with throngs of locals swearing by it.

The prices start from RM1 to RM3.70 for the most expensive dim sum.

Low Yong Moh: 32, Jalan Tokong, 75200 Melaka, Malaysia | Tel:+60 6-282 1235 | Website

14. Ah Gu Wanton Mee

best malacca food ahgu malacca-ahgu-wanton

Wanton Mee (RM4.00). One of the oldest wanton mee stall in Malacca, Ah Gu Wanton Mee has a story to tell. The original owner of the stall is none other than Ah Gu, whom has sworn celibacy back in the days, Ma Jie, as we know it.

She then started selling wanton mee and made a name for her wanton noodles and herself. With a great backstory, she has now successfully passed the business on to her god daughter to continue this legacy.

So we had to try it, for obvious reasons. Ah Gu Wanton Mee could be very easily missed, so do keep a lookout. It is a fuss-free, functional and traditional looking space that is dedicated to serving noodles. Do head down early as the stall tends to close by 3pm.

On the first mouthful and we knew what was different about it. The noodles were tossed in a generous serving of pork oil, making it more fragrant than the usual ones we get. The wantons were packed with flavour and ah gu’s wanton mee is definitely comforting and hearty with all the pork lard glistening glory.

Ah Gu Wanton Mee: Medan Selera Cheng Ho, Malacca, Malaysia

—Local Restaurants & Supper—

15. Asam Pedas Claypot

malacca-asam-pedas best malacca food pedas-pari

Asam Pari (stingray RM3.80). Though it can be quite a walk from Jonker Street, it is well worth your time. Much like the supper area we have in Bedok, the Asam Pedas Claypot serves roti cenai, goreng-goreng, asam pedas, otah and many more.

malacca-otah

There is a choice of indoors and outdoors and I’d say it’s rather spacious. It is sour and spicy all at the same time, with the stingray flesh being really tender and pairing well with the rice. Also ordered a neighbouring mamak’s store otah, which is slightly sweeter than the version we get back home.

The salted egg goes very well with the stingray, providing a contrast of flavours, definitely something I’ll devour after a night of drinking. It opens from 6pm – 4am, so you get the drift. The spiciness level may vary depending on the chef cooking so you probably should determine how spicy you want it before placing order.

Asam Pedas Claypot: 86, Jalan Laksamana 5, 75200 Melaka, Malaysia | Tel: +60 12-680 0790 

16. Restoran Res Porridge Shop

best malacca food porridge house

If you’re in need of a late night supper, this busy Porridge Shop is worth a visit. It’s located outside of the historical centre but it’s a bustling spot that was still going strong when many others were closing.

malacca-porridge

Their classic seafood porridge was comforting, salty and satisfying. We loved the relaxed atmosphere, mixed clientele and speedy service. If you’re craving porridge this is definitely the spot for you, though with plenty of other standard Chinese dishes on the menu you’ll probably end up ordering more than you intended.

Restoran Res Porridge Shop: Jalan Merdeka, Taman Melaka Raya, 75000, Malaysia

17. Indah Sayang

best malacca food indah-sayang

Another dinner or supper destination, Indah Sayang serves up authentic Nyonya food praised by many locals. On the outside, it has this almost stained glass-like entrance while the interior is a down-to-earth casual dining area. We ordered ourselves a Nyonya Chap Chai and Nyonya Assam Fish.

malacca-fish

Nyonya Chap Chai (RM7.50), Asam Fish (seasonal).

The chap chai (preserved vegetables) is sour and appetising with a variety of vegetables that gives a crunchy texture altogether. The assam fish was a little fishy on its own but when paired with the fragrant chilli, it becomes absolutely delectable. I’d buy back a pot of the chilli if I could, it is not overly spicy but one that is enjoyable and with a subtle hint of zest that offsets the fishiness.

Indah Sayang: 138, Jalan Melaka Raya, Taman Melaka Raya, 75000, Melaka, Malaysia | Tel: +60 6-282 0285 | Website

18. Baboon House

best malacca food baboon-house

In our view, Baboon House serves the very best western style food in Malacca. Before we talk about that, it’s worth noting just how darn cool this place is to look at. As well as being a restaurant it’s also an art gallery/restoration project/home, it’s unsurprising then that photography is not permitted inside.

You’ll just have to take our word for it that Baboon House is filled with interesting art hanging, murals and greenery. It’s an awesome setting.

Famed for it’s burgers, we were not disappointed with our selection. We tried the classic beef burger (RM17.80) and the Teriyaki pork burger (RM16.80). Of the two, the winner hands down was the classic beef burger. It was big, bold and juicy, one of the best burgers we’d tried in a long time.

It was served with a side of deliciously crunchy on the outside, fluffy on the inside chips.

A few things to note, you have to ring a doorbell to get in. It took 5 minutes for someone to answer the door when we rocked up so be patient. There is a maximum of  six people per table so it’s not suitable for large groups.

Finally, be sure to keep your voices down, this is a tranquil spot so it’s not suitable for large, rowdy get togethers. Service can be unstable or even rude at times, nonetheless, it’s an absolute must visit in Malacca.

Baboon House: Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock, 75200 China Town, Melaka, Malaysia 

19. Nancy’s Kitchen

best malacca food nancy's kitchen

Nancy’s Kitchen is very popular for their authentic Peranakan food and do note that it has moved from its previous location. The interior is a casual and clean style, where you can kick back and have a heartwarming meal. We recommend you call in for reservations.

malacca-nancy2

We ordered the fried egg cincalok, salted vegetable duck soup and the rendang chicken. While the omelette can get a little greasy, the salted vegetable duck soup is extremely appetising while the curry is rich and fragrant. It can be quite a walk from Jonker Street (about 15 mins) but hey, work off some calories before eating.

Nancy’s Kitchen: 13, 13-1, 13-2, Jalan KL 3/8, Taman Kota Laksamana, Seksyen 3, 75200 Melaka, Malaysia | Tel: +60 606-2836099 / +6013-6183608 | Website

20. Teo Soon Loong

malacca-teo-loong

Having moved from Jonker street, Teo Soon Loong started out as just a place selling alcohol in a corner of Jonker. The owner then started cooking and slowly expanded it till it became a restaurant. They made the decision to move to their current location as the previous kitchen is too open and that isn’t allowed in Malacca.

best malacca food oyster-noodles

Helming the reins now is the third generation, with the founder having cooked for over 50 years in operation. Do try their balanchan that is infused with belachan, which is amazing because I couldn’t help myself and possibly consumed the whole container. Order their oysters noodles if you’re a fan of ee fu mian.

Teo Soon Loong: No. 42 & 44,Jalan KPKS 1,Kompleks Perniagaan Kota Syahbandar,75200 Melaka., 75200 Malacca, Malaysia | Tel:+60 6-288 0209 | Website

21. Pak Putra Tandoori & Naan

Pak Putra Tandoori & Naan has the best tandoori and naan, hands down. Just a few steps away from the Asam Pedas Claypot, Pak Putra will wow you away with their juicy and tender tandoori chicken.

Forget all the dry tandoori you get at most places, Pak Putra serves them succulent with a fluffy naan that is oh-so-fragrant. Pair it with their decadent lassi and you’re never going to think of Indian fare the same way again.

Pak Putra Tandoori & Naan: Jalan Laksamana 4, 75200 Melaka, Malaysia | Tel: +60 12601 5876

22. Restoran Laksamana Hakka Zhan

malacca-hakkazhan malacca-hakka

Hakka Zhan serves up authentic Hakka cuisine and is a stone’s throw from Nancy’s Kitchen. The interior boasts of a quaint and very traditional-like decor, complete with a wall mural that describes the nomad origins of the Hakka group. The restaurant opened in 2007 and there are two outlets in Malacca.

best malacca food hakka-food

Hakka Local Traditional Mutton (RM25.00), Hakka Muy Choi Pork (RM15.00), Hakka Yong Tau Fu (RM12.00), Hakka Wine Chicken (RM20.00), Hakka Fried Eggplant with Basil Leaf (RM8.00).

Hakka Zhan’s secret recipes are handed down from the owner’s father-in-law and we really loved the mutton soup. The broth is light yet rich in flavour and thoroughly comforting. The mutton has been boiled for two to three hours and they are imported from Australia. I’d definitely drop by for a meal and you should too, if you want a taste of Hakka food.

Laksamana Hakka Zhan: 76, Taman Kota Laksamana, 75000, Melaka, Melaka, Malaysia | Tel:+60 16-666 8938 | Website

—Late Night Drinks—

23. Geographer Cafe

malacca-geographer

Although the name states cafe, Geographer is clearly more pub than cafe.

You’ll never miss this place with its striking yellow walls and green panels, and that’s a good thing because you really wanna have a pitstop in this casual and laid back ‘cafe’, al fresco or not. With weekly live music shows and other events, there’s always something going on in there that’s worth your time.

best malacca bars geographer beers

Stop by to freshen up or refuel with a plate of nasi lemak or pesto pasta, or if you’re only looking to have a drink, order an organic coconut to beat the heat. End it off with a cocktail or just a pint of ice cold beer.

Geographer Cafe: 83, Jalan Hang Jebat, 75200 Malacca, Malaysia | Tel: +60 6 281 6813 | Website

24. Kafe Bonjor

best malacca bars bonjor-exterior malacca-bonjor-riverside

Dotted along the river side, Kafe Bonjor boasts of a large interior with a private karoake room and al fresco terrace where you can enjoy your drink with a view of the river. Opt for outdoors if you’re for more casual drinks with the breeze streaming in. If you’re looking for a good cathartic screaming session, gather a bunch and book out the private room where you can run wild, young and free.

Kafe Bonjor: 68 Jalan Kampung Hulu, 75200 Melaka, Malaysia | Tel: + 60 0163446678 | Website 

25. Skydeck

malacca-skydeck best malacca rooftop bars skydeck-indoors

Swanky is what Skydeck is. Atopped EcoTree Hotel, Skydeck is a roof top bar complete with a swimming pool, ample dart machines and performance stage for live music. Think neon lights and loud music and we’re good to go. The only rule is that everyone has to order a drink before entering.

Skydeck: 1, Jalan Melaka Raya 9, 75000 Malacca, Malaysia | Tel: +60 6-292 1888 | Website

Read more: https://sethlui.com/malacca-best-food-guide/#ixzz56JG0FSqj

The Perfect 2-Day Itinerary For Singapore

Singapore is one of Asia’s most popular destinations. As a small country, most just make it a pitstop to elsewhere in the region, dismissing it as boring and sterile compared to neighboring countries. That being said, Singapore is also a breath of fresh air (literally!) with its convenient transport network, clean and pleasant environment and well thought out infrastructure which makes it attractive to travelers.


Look beyond the stereotypes and there are actually quite a number of things to do around Singapore – from the quintessential experiences to the more far-out attractions. Whether you’re a first-timer, a shopaholic or someone seeking for something more unique, here are some of my Singapore itinerary suggestions on a 2-day trip to this city. I’ve made the duration 2 days to make it easy to execute during weekends.

SINGAPORE FOR FIRST-TIMERS

This itinerary takes you through a rundown on the must-sees in Singapore

 

Friday night or Saturday morning

  • Fly in to Singapore

Saturday

Morning

  • Singapore is hot and humid all year round so the best place to get your bearings is at the UNESCO-listed Singapore Botanic Gardens. The place is no ordinary walk in the park as it contains an orchid garden, a rainforest, ginger garden and a small concert venue. If you’re lucky, you might catch a free outdoor concert by the Singapore Symphony Orchestra
  • Time for brunch at one of the cafes inside the botanic gardens or continue on to Orchard Road. Even those not into shopping will be mesmerized by the gargantuan shopping malls sitting side by side in this part of town

Afternoon

  • The closest thing that Singapore has to a resort island is Sentosa. It’s very easy to spend an entire day here especially when coming with kids. Universal Studios, the S.E.A. Aquarium and the Adventure Cove Waterpark are all here as well as a gigantic version of the Merlion. You can choose to enter the island by monorail, taxi or by cable car

Evening

  • The city has seen a boom in rooftop bars in recent years so a visit to one of them will allow you to take in some atmospheric evening views of the Singapore skyline. Lantern in Fullerton Bay Hotel, Kudeta in Marina Bay Sands and Level 33 in Marina Bay Financial Center are just some that you can consider. The views are breathtaking and are quite worth the relatively high prices you’ll have to pay for a cocktail or two.

Tip: If you’re planning to take the bus, do note that drivers do not provide change. You’re better off getting a prepaid ez-link card if you are visiting for a few days. Otherwise, bring coins!

Sunday

Morning to Afternoon

  • The city has plenty of ethnic neighborhoods but the most buzzing is undoubtedly Little India which is located within the city center. To see how the neighborhood is at its busiest, come on a Sunday when you’ll get to witness the local ethnic Indian community doing their weekend shopping. Not to be missed in this area are the Sri Veeramakaliamman and Sri Vadapathira Kaliamman temples, especially the latter with its impressive facade.
  • Surprisingly, Little India is also home to a very well-known Buddhist temple, and that’s the Sakyamuni Buddha Gaya Temple with its larger than life statue of a smiling Buddha. There’s also a reclining Buddha housed in a small room just behind the large Buddha statue. If you do go there, don’t miss it!

Afternoon to Evening

  • Take an evening tour of the civic area of Singapore, covering the historic Raffles and Fullerton hotels, the iconic Merlion and the architectural marvel, the Esplanade. You can find here the details for the Singapore evening walking tour
  • Singapore has a host of interesting museums. I personally recommend the National Gallery or the Asian Civilisations Museum (tip: you can get cheaper tickets for these museums online or at the airport)

 

SINGAPORE FOR SHOPAHOLICS

Many people flock to Singapore just to shop. Here’s a shopping itinerary that helps you go through some of the best shopping places in Singapore

 

Friday night or Saturday morning

  • Fly in to Singapore

Saturday

Morning

  • The closest thing that Singapore has to a regular street market is Bugis Street which is made up of a few storeys of small shops selling mostly street/night market types of goods

Afternoon to Evening

  • Malls around the Orchard Road stretch
    • Ion Orchard – probably the quintessential mall in Orchard Road. Big name luxury brands from the ground floor and up and more accessible brands in the basement floors
    • Paragon – another high end mall with the same types of shops at Ion Orchard
    • Tang Plaza – houses a huge department store. Check out the higher floors for its lifestyle zone, a collection of carefully curated items for millennials
    • Ngee Ann City – another highly popular shopping mall. Houses the Takashimaya department store as well as several luxury brands. The basement is especially popular for its imported Japanese food items and food court.
    • 313Somerset – highly accessible shopping mall just above Somerset MRT station filled with mostly mid-range brands
    • Plaza Singapura – located at the other end of Orchard Road close to the Istana or the Presidential Palace. One of Singapore’s oldest malls, it carries mostly mid-range brands and is highly popular among locals
    • The Cathay – a quieter mall just a short walk from Plaza Singapura. Has an attractive art deco facade. Carries a lot of independent brands. Most come for the cineplex or the eponymous Chinese restaurant
    • Cathay Cineleisure – popular with young people. Carries mostly high street and independent labels

Sunday

Morning

  • If you’re coming to Singapore to shop for electronics, your best bets are Sim Lim Square and Funan Centre. While Sim Lim Square was put in the limelight recently for shabby customer treatment, it’s still the cheapest place to buy computers and accessories. Funan comes at a close second and is a good place to buy cameras

Afternoon to Evening

  • Some areas outside of Orchard Road have recently upped the ante in terms of exclusivity where shopping is concerned. The most prominent is Marina Bay Sands which has plenty of international brands not found elsewhere in Singapore
  • Vivocity is Singapore’s largest mall. While it has many of the same stores as the malls in Orchard Road, mall-goers benefit with wonderful views of the coast and Sentosa Island

 

UNUSUAL SINGAPORE

Check out these offbeat ideas for your next Singapore trip!


Friday night or Saturday morning

  • Fly in to Singapore


Saturday

Day trip

  • Take a trip from Marina South Pier to Singapore’s outlying islands. Kusu and St. John’s islands are rarely visited by non-local tourists. There are interesting temples, beaches which are better than Sentosa’s, picnic spots and places filled with myths and folklore. Allow for at least an entire day trip to visit these islands

Sunday

Morning

  •  Visit one of Singapore’s weirdest attractions – Haw Par Villa. Admission’s free of charge and one can expect to see some highly visual representations of the “Ten Courts of Hell.” Outside of that, the park in itself is pretty bizarre with random animal statues, sculptures from Chinese folklore and garish adornments that create a sort of Alice in Wonderland kind of environment

Afternoon

  • Venture into Pulau Ubin and cycle along the many dirt (or well-marked) paths while witnessing village life in Singapore
  • Alternatively, be a farmer for a day and head out to Kranji. There are no less than a dozen farms around here growing vegetables and other farm produce. It’s also possible to stay overnight in a farmstay type of accommodation

Evening

  • For dinner, head out to Geylang to check out a local specialty (if you dare). Aside from being a red light district, locals come here to try the exotic frog porridge

TRANSPORT OPTIONS IN SINGAPORE

Uber – Can be quite useful especially if you’re coming from the airport. Uber has a flat SGD 10 fare for Uber pool rides from Changi Airport to any part of the city. For rides within the city, Uber, for the most part can be cheaper than taking a taxi.

MRT/Buses – The public transport system in Singapore is generally efficient and inexpensive though it can get very crowded at times. Most areas within the city centre are well-covered by trains.

Taxi – Cab drivers in Singapore are generally honest and sometimes (overly) chatty. However, it’s not always easy to get one. Drivers are known to be extremely choosy and they’re often seen scouting taxi stands for destinations that are up to their liking. Taxis are also more expensive during peak periods (i.e. during morning and evening rush hour and weekends) in which case, it may be cheaper to take Uber.

Backpacking Vietnam: 10 Best Places to Visit

It is difficult to narrow it down to just 10 best places to visit in Vietnam but by Jove we have done it! Vietnam is a wonderfully diverse country with tribal communities dotted around the countryside and busy business men in cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Min.

Vietnam is a key country along the Southeast Asia backpacking route. Often branded as the same (culturally) as Thailand, Vietnam has a wealth of culture and history and very much stands alone when it comes to its recent history. As it shares borders with Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and even China the little nation of Vietnam offers a myriad of travelling opportunities.

Travelling within Vietnam is easy and as it has been on the south east Asia backpacking route for such a long time it is well verse in the needs of travellers and there are many tourists buses that run the length of the well trodden path. So no need to add a map to your packing list!

Learning to say hello in different languages is part of the joy of travelling, don’t you think? To say hello in Vietnamese you say ‘xin chào’.

So, let’s get to business! Here are our 10 Best Places to Visit in Vietnam

1. Hanoi

Hanoi is the busy and hectic capital city of Vietnam. There is nothing quite like rush hour in Hanoi. Brace yourself before stepping out into the road, don’t slow down, don’t look back and certainly don’t stop moving! Believe it or not the drivers will move out your way and you’ll get across the road unscathed!

  • Hanoi – the capital of Vietnam

hanoi

Hanoi has a great nightlife scene and loads of super hipster hostels to hang out in. The city is famous for its ancient architecture that has taken influence from China and from other Asian nations too. Be sure to visit the Old Quarter of Hanoi to feel like you’ve stepped back in time and to experience Vietnamese city life at its finest.

2. Ho Chi Minh

Located in the heart of Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh is named after the fearless communist leader Ho Chi Minh. The city is more commonly known, however, as Saigon. Ho Chi Minh city played a crucial role in the Vietnam War against the United States and hosts many different memorials and museum for those who fought and died.

  • Ho Chi Minh city

ho chi minh

Many people choose to travel Vietnam by motorbike and Ho Chi Minh city is a great place to buy a second hand bike, get it serviced and hit the road. There are many people who choose to sell their bike when they get to Hanoi but look out on the road for villagers who may want to buy your bike off you when you finish.

3. Sapa

Sapa is the epitome of South Easy Asian countryside. This small town is now very much a tourist destination but nonetheless worth a visit. Home to the tribal community Hmong the town is now very well set up for tourists and backpackers.

  • Sapa – Where heaven meets earth

sapa

Hire a guide and go trekking through the villages and spot at the wonderful view points to look at the valley below. Head to Sapa market and stock up on local handicrafts; remember not to haggle too hard, not only does this cause offence but also makes you look ungrateful as to the skill involved in its creation.

4. Ha Long Bay

If Sapa is the epitome of Vietnamese countryside then Ha Long Bay is the epitome of Vietnamese coastline. The aerial view of Ha Long Bay is one of the most iconic photos of Asia of all time. The rocky outcrops tower high above the crystal clear waters.

  • Ha Long Bay – wonder of the world

halong bay

Ha Long Bay is best explored by canoe or kayak depending on your reference. If you’re not in for an active holiday then there are ample boat cruises that tour the mini islands daily. On a sunny day the waters of Ha Long Bay genuinely glisten and gleam all different shade of blue and green.

5. Hue

If Sapa is the epitome of Vietnamese countryside and Ha Long Bay is the epitome of Vietnamese coastline then Hue is the epitome of classic Vietnamese heritage and culture with amazing architecture to match. Built during the Nguyen Dynasty Hue has a great deal of temples, shrines and buildings to explore.

  • Hue

hue

If you want to get yourself a new wardrobe then Hue is the place to do it! Hue is famous for its tailors and seamstresses who offer not only great skill but very reasonable prices for their work too. If you’re ordering 3-5 items be sure to leave a couple of days leeway before you leave Hue to make sure the work is done in time!

6. Nha Trang

If you’re looking for a really holiday resort then head to Nha Trang. This beach side resort is reminiscent of Phuket in Thailand or the Costa del Sol in Spain. Big hotels line the beach fronts with umbrellas and sun loungers available to hire on the sandy beach.

  • Nha Trang – beach city

nhatrang

Nha Trang is a very popular tourist destination for Russian tourists. Nah Trang is a great place to visit if you want an easily all-inclusive visit to Vietnam and is easily accessible from the main transport hubs of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

If you’re travelling with friends be sure to visit the Nha Trang Water Park; brilliant water slides and pools to splash around in and enjoy!

7. Mekong Delta

A trip down the Mekong Delta is something everyone must do when they visit Vietnam, the memories of a trip like that will last a life time. The Mekong Delta is a key geographical feature of the Mekong River which still provides water, sustenance and life to many rural Vietnamese communities.

  • Mekong delta- float market

mekong-river

Located in the south of Vietnam the Mekong Delta is famous for its floating markets which are arguably more authentic than those you find in Thailand. Be sure to look out for the Khmer pagodas too.

8. Hoi An

Hoi An has a really diverse history and is a true cultural melting point. With influences from China, France and Japan through a visit to Hoi An you can visit the world in a day! Hotel rooms in Hoi An are very reasonably priced, with 3-star rooms starting at just $30.

  • Hoi An – ancient town

hoi-an

Hoi An is in the Quang Nam Province on the central coast of Vietnam. Not really famed for its beaches the city is intersected with lots of canals that path the way to the old town.

9. Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park

Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park is the biggest and most beautiful national park in Vietnam. The Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park shares a border with the Hin Namno Reserve in Laos. The park is very varied with mountains as well as underground rivers and tropical jungle forest areas too.

  • Phong Nha – Ke Bang National park

Phong-Nha-Ke-Bang-National-Park

(c) www.teflsearch.com/creative-commons

The Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park is home to the country’s last wild populations of black bears, elephants and tigers.

10. My Son

My Son is a ruined temple city that is surrounded by green and plentiful jungle-covered hills and mountains. My Son is intact a Hindu site despite Vietnam being largely Buddhist. There are 20 or so temples here to explore with many more that are in parts or in ruins. My Son can be most easily accessed from Hoi An.

  • My Son Temple

my son temple

(c) www.flickr.com/photos/bobvietnam

So what are you waiting for? Start checking out the things you want to do in Vietnam today!

I hope you enjoyed the article! If you still have any more questions or tips about the best Vietnam places to visit, then do comment down below. I’d love to hear what you have to think.

The 5 Best Places in Bali for Kids and Families

Bali has good weather year round so the climate shouldn’t be a huge factor in deciding when to go. The dry season runs from April to September and is generally the best time to visit but anytime is a good time for Bali.

During the wet season there tends to be one big downpour a day (often early afternoon) that quickly disappears leaving only large puddles on the ground and a fresh rain scent in the air.

Of greater importance for planning a trip is the high season months when vacationers arrive from Europe, Australia and Japan. July, August, December, and January are the busiest times for the island and hotels can often be booked solid in the popular beach resorts — especially during the week of Christmas and New Years.

Kuta

Kuta-Beach-Turis-nexttriptourism.com

Most people start their vacation in Kuta — before setting out for the rest of island — or at least pass through Kuta on there way somewhere else. On the plus side there’s lots to do here and people rarely say they were bored in Kuta. The negatives include a lot of traffic, loads of touts and it’s packed with tourists.

No one goes to Kuta to see the “real Bali”, they go to Kuta to have some decent Italian food, buy some cheap t-shirts and maybe hit a few of the touristy attractions.

Things To Do in Kuta

The beach is the center of activity for Kuta and there’s lots to do there — especially for older kids. Flying kites, surfing or body boarding, or just playing in the sand. Waterbom park is a very attractive option for families — water slides, swimming, games and lots of fun.

Shopping is also a very popular activity for tourists and Kuta is loaded with shops selling everything from clothes to cameras, and backpacks to beach towels.

Jimbaran

jimbaran-resto

A very relaxing place to stay if you’re looking to skip the crowds of Kuta but still would like to venture into town for some restaurants and shopping. Jimbaran is very close to the airport making it a good introduction to Bali if you’d like to spend your first day or two relaxing by the pool.

Things To Do in Jimbaran

The highlight of staying in Jimbaran is eating a fresh seafood dinner on the beach while the kids play in the sand around your table. Flying kites, digging for clams, and visiting the early morning fish market are all fun.

If you’re expecting a lot in Jimbaran you may be disappointed. Pack some toys and some beach gear and be prepared for a few days of lazing at the beach — or beside the pool — and eating some great food.

Ubud is the arts and cultural hub of the island and makes a nice getaway from the busier beach resorts. It’s also cooler than the coast and provides a good base for exploring the central and northern parts of the island.

Many different venues have nightly showings of different Balinese songs, dances and traditional performances. Most of these venues are outdoors, kid-friendly and realizing. The shows feature theatrical performances, colorful faces and emphatic dancing so don’t be surprised if your kids are more engaged than the adults.

Ubud

ubud_bali_photo_imagePhoto: travelnix.com

Things To Do in Ubud

Ubud is loaded with great restaurants with kid-friendly food and great desserts. Hanging out in cafes (Casa Luna is highly recommended) was one of our favorite ways of spending an afternoon or evening. Hanging by the pool is also fun, and most Ubud hotels have pools so no need to worry about whether the kids will be able to swim.

Monkey Forest Sanctuary is a 10 minute walk from the town center. Buy bananas at the gate and feed the monkeys as you walk through the park. Many other great walks can be found all over the Ubud area — and mountain bikes are easy to rent as well.

The Elephant Safari Park is one of 2 places to ride an elephant in Bali. Trails lead out into the jungle and take about 30 minutes to wander around on an elephant. The park itself is about a 1 hour drive north of Ubud and has a decent restaurant.

Sanur

sanur-beachhttpbaliwithkids.infoPhoto: baliwithkids.info

Sanur has the most kid-friendly beach on Bali. The water is protected by a reef and the gently sloping shore is lapped by calm waters (most of the time). A nice string of restaurants and shops sits a few hundred yards back from the beach and makes a nice destination for an evening walk.

Things To Do in Sanur

The beach — while not Bali’s absolute best — is calm and very kid-friendly.

The Bali Safari & Marine Park is great for families and less than an hour from Sanur. Ride an elephant or watch the animal feeding times. The park also has tigers, komodo dragons, monkeys, giraffes, and more.

Peek A Boo is an indoor playground in Sanur for kids up to 10 years old. Nice, new, and refreshingly cool.

Lovina

dolphins-lovinaPhoto: asiaworldindonesia.com

Lovina is a place to go to relax and unwind. It doesn’t have the attractions of the beach resorts in the south, so come prepared with your own entertainment — books, kites, games, whatever you need.

The beach here — like Sanur — is protected by a reef and makes for a good swimming spot for small kids. But don’t be expecting the huge swaths of golden sand you saw in Kuta. The sand here is volcanic (dark black) and quite thin in spots.

Things To Do in Lovina

Besides the usual beach activities like swimming and snorkelling the big thing to do in Lovina is a dolphin tour. The tours go early in the morning and take tourists out into the ocean to catch a few brief glimpses of the area’s dolphins.

10 PLACES YOU NEED TO VISIT IN THAILAND

If you’re a fan of The Hangover movies, then you’ll recognise this bar from the second film. Whilst in Bangkok we knew we wanted to visit a rooftop bar and decided on the Sky Bar which is situated on the 64th floor of the Lebua State Tower. You are treated like royalty as soon as you step foot into the building and the views are literally breathtaking. We got stuck in traffic and ended up missing the sunset, however I would 100% suggest visiting in the evening as Bangkok is pretty spectacular at night.

KHAO SAN ROAD

Many travellers argue that Khao San Road is too touristy to stay on nowadays, but I loved it. I had been warned by so many people that I wouldn’t be a fan of Bangkok and assumed that the famous road would be way too overwhelming for me- how wrong I was! On our very first night we were probably completely jetlagged but still joined in with the huge street parties taking place between all the market stalls. Regrettably, I wasn’t brave enough to try one of the deep fried scorpions, so we stuck with street pad thai instead (the best pad thai I had during our trip). Staying on Khao San Road is an experience in itself. There’s great food, music, people and you can also pick up some extremely cheap souvenirs.

ARK BAR, CHAWENG BEACH, KOH SAMUI

We made our first proper ‘travelling friends’ (said in the style of the Inbetweeners) at Ark Bar when we first got to Koh Samui. Ark Bar is situated on Chaweng Beach in Samui and is just so laid back and cool. Just like in Bangkok, we had literally got off the plane, dumped our bags in the hotel and made our way down to the beach for a drink. As well as Thailand’s infamous ‘bucket’ drinks, Ark Bar also does amazing Thai food and then have different party nights throughout the week. Think Thai guys breathing fire and all sorts of crazy stuff like that. Ark Bar is just the perfect place to chill in the day and in the evening- plus they do the best tuna and cheese toasties.

SCUBA DIVING IN KOH TAO

After Samui, we ferried to Koh Tao and basically stayed in the jungle. We got bitten to death but it was defo worth it. Koh Tao is one of the best places in the world to scuba dive, and although I was mad nervous I knew I couldn’t pass on such an opportunity. All the instructors are super nice and help you through if you’re a beginner. Koh Tao is such a beautiful, undisturbed island unlike Koh Samui which is a lot more touristy (but nonetheless, still v v pretty). Whilst in Koh Tao, we also saw a ladyboy cabaret and it was insane. Mind blowing that they are all in fact men. If you’re ever there, youmustgo.
Thailand-girls-boat

KOH NANG YUAN

Off the coast of Koh Tao is a famous island named Koh Nang Yuan. We took a 10 minute long tail boat to the island and climbed to the top just to witness the view. There is only one resort and restaurant on the entire island, there’s also no roads so the only way to get about is by your legs. Parts of the island are joined up purely by a strip of beach which makes for an amazing view from the top. It’s a hell of a climb and I thought I was ready to die, but it’s so so worth it once you get there.

KOH PHANGAN

Don’t really know where to start with Phangan. We travelled with a tour (more about that in a second) and stayed in a resort called Shiralea, which was run by a group of English guys. As much as I was loving this new culture, it was nice to eat a full English, watch sky sports and hear British accents. We had the best time at Shiralea, I’m literally laughing thinking about it all now. When we first visited Phangan with our tour, we went to the half moon party and then we came back a week later on our own to do the full moon party. Again- everyone warned us that these were a bit too touristy to enjoy but they were the best nights ever. I pictured some unorganised rave in the middle of no where, but there were hundreds of bars open that backed onto the beach playing good tunes. Also the food stalls were to die for. Picture any food you’ve ever craved after a night out- it was there. I loved every moment in Phangan and I pray I get to go back one day.

7/11 & ROAST

For those who don’t know- 7/11 is a convenience store in Thailand and they are everywhere. I fell in love with them so much because you can literally get anything and everything there. 7/11’s best asset is their ham and cheese toasties. They have a toastie machine there that you use yourself and I’ve never tasted anything quite so good. If you don’t have one, then you didn’t really go to Thailand.
Roast is a restaurant in The Helix Quartier of Bangkok. We went there for breakfast on our final day and I’ve literally ran out of adjectives to describe just how good it was. If you don’t believe me please have a look at their brunch menu, and if you still don’t believe me then you’ll just have to make a quick trip to BKK. I’ll admit hardly any of the food was Thai but I’m sure it was the best breakfast I’d ever had.

CENTARA GRAND BEACH RESORT, AO NANG, KRABI

We decided to up our game and stay in a dead posh resort for a couple of nights when we were in Krabi. You could only reach Centara by a shuttle boat and it was like a mini village when you got there. There were different swimming pools that all looked onto the beach and several different restaurants. Unfortunately, I was ill whilst we were there and spent the majority of the day in bed. I couldn’t even eat breakfast which was sooo disappointing as it was the biggest breakfast buffet I’d ever seen. We were treated like queens at Centara and I wish I could go back and make the most of it.

LONG BEACH, PHI PHI

Phi Phiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii. Defo one of my favourite islands. We were staying on Long Beach and had to get a taxi boat over there from the main island. Our hotel was so cute and overlooked the beach which was great. As we checked in we were warned to keep our doors shut as the monkeys know how to open the mini bar. Long Beach is the most beautiful beach I’ve ever been to, the sea was amazingly clear and the fish were so tame you could literally touch them. At night we would taxi boat over to the main island of Phi Phi and go to a funky restaurant/bar that had a big screen for movies and served wicked Mexican food. I don’t think you can go to Thailand without visiting Phi Phi. All the locals are so lovely and you get a crazy good tan.

CONTIKI TOUR

For the Samui/Tao/Phangan portion of our trip we travelled on a Contiki tour and I am so glad we did. We met some fab people that we’re still in contact with now and I have too many memories to even recall. If you’ve ever wanted to travel to somewhere like Thailand, I urge you to do so with Contiki as I had so much fun and our tour guide Matt was the best. It was such a laidback tour, you could literally do as much or as little as you wanted and everyone got along.

Bucket List of 17 Things to do in Hong Kong

While traveling to Hong Kong, in Asia, I knocked quite a few items off my Bucket List. And found quite a few more to add to your bucket list itinerary. Here are 17 Bucket List worthy things to do in Hong Kong

1. Ride the Longest Escalator in the World

Rest your weary feet from Hong Kong’s hilly streets and get a lift on the longest outdoor escalator in the world. The Central Mid-Levels is a 2624 foot bucket list worthy ride that links the Central and Western districts on Hong Kong Island, with many shops and dining stops along the way. Not only a touristy must-do, but very practical too.

Longest Escalator in the World Mid-Level

2. Eat Dessert First

Hong Kong is known for its cutting edge food concepts and The Dessert Kitchen is amongst one of the most creative. It is a trendy little cafe that sells nothing but unique Asian style treats, at just about any time of the day. That’s right. A kitchen dedicated solely to desserts. With masterpiece desserts, like the Blueberry Kiss, it is perfectly acceptable (& recommended) to skip the traditional dinner and replace it with a purely sweet one at a place where dessert always comes first.

The Dessert Kitchen | G/F, 12 Hau Fook Street, Hong Kong | Website | Map

Things to do in Hong Kong: eat the the Dessert Kitchen

3. Ride on a Traditional Chinese Junk Boat

Taking a Hong Kong junk boat ride will give you the second best skyline view (see #6 for the first), but this view is just an after thought compared to the junk boat ride itself. Aqua Luna features a traditional junk boat ride through Victoria Harbour that also coincides with the cities famous light show, the Symphony of Lights.

Book a Ride > Enjoy Stunning Views of HK’s Skyline on Aqua Luna
Book > Hong Kong Harbor Night Cruise and Dinner at Victoria Peak

Things to do in Hong Kong: Ride on a Junk Boat

4. See the Hong Kong Stars

If you take a junk boat ride, arrive at the port an hour early to see the Hong Kong stars. The Avenue of the Stars is on almost every “Things to do in Hong Kong” list and is a tribute to the famous in Hong Kong’s film industry. It is a stroll along the water that would be reminiscent to the Hollywood Walk of Fame, except I would recognize ninety percent of the stars in Hollywood and only two in Hong Kong; Bruce Lee and Jackie Chen. Good enough.

Avenue of Stars | Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong | Website | Map

Annette White at Avenue of Stars

5. Eat Snake Soup

In the Causeway Bay section of Hong Kong you will find Se Wong Yee, the tiniest eatery, with the menu out front completely written in Chinese, except for the significant bold lettering stating the sale of Snake Soup, an Asian delicacy. There were two options on the menu; just the plain old Snake Soup for 50 HKD ($6.50 USD) or the Snake Meal which includes the of duck’s liver-sausage.

Se Wong Yee | 24 Percival Street, Causeway BayHong KongChina | Map

Hong Kong Bucket List: Eat Snake Soup

6. Witness Hong Kong’s Bucket List Worthy View

Though the view of the city skyline from the junk boat on Victoria Harbour (see #3) was pretty spectacular, there is nothing like the one from the Sky Terrace at The Peak. It is the highest 360 degree viewing terrace in town and requires a steep tram ride along with several floors of escalators to get to the top.

The Peak |1 Lugard RdHong KongChina (Formerly Tai Ping Shan) | Website | Map

Hong Kong's The Peak View

Book a Tour > Walk from the Peak to HK’s South Side for Spectacular Viewshttp://- https://www.govoyagin.com/activities/hong_kong-hk_island-walk-victoria-peak-to-hks-south-side-for-spectacular-views/1534?acode=bucketlistjourney…

7. Climb to the Top of Big Buddha

Even though there are 268 stairs to reach Hong Kong’s Tian Tan, it is one of the top Things to do in Hong Kong. Tian Tan is one of the largest sitting Buddha’s in the world and even though at 34 metres (112 Ft) feet tall, Big Buddha was perfectly visible from the ground level, it is hard to tell its true massiveness without getting up close and personal.
Tian Tan Buddha Hong Kong

Book a Tour > Escape to Lantau Island: Big Buddha & Tai O Fishing Village

8. Ride in a Cable Car

Before actually climbing the stairs to Big Buddha you have to get to its location on Lantau Island and there aren’t many options. You can take a bus, make a strenuous hike uphill or ride the 3.5 mile Npong Ping Cable Car that suspends you high above the ground. Not like the typical street cable cars in San Francisco. At all.

Book to Skip the Line > Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car Lantau Instant E-Tickets

Npong Ping Cable Car

9. Eat Street Food at a Fishing Village

On the Western side of Lantau Island lies the quaint fishing village of Tai O where the homes are built on stilts and the markets sell a plethora of dried fish street food. Though there are dozens of fishy dishes to choose from I  tried a meal of BBQ squid jerky, for just 10 HKD ($1.29 usd).

Fish at Hong Kongs Tai O

Book a Tour > Lantau Island and Giant Buddha Day Trip from Hong Kong
Book a Tour > Explore Tai O Fishing Village, its Temples & Streetlife
Book a Tour > Escape to Lantau Island: Big Buddha & Tai O Fishing Village

10. Make an Incense Wish at a Temple

In Hong Kong, as well as much of Asia, burning incense is done by worshippers as an offering with the belief that it attracts attention from the Gods or, in some cases, is food for the spirits that have passed prior. When we visited the Man Mo Temple a layer of smoke filled the room and coiled incense hung from the ceiling. Though you can make incense wishes here, we followed a different cloud of smoke to Po Lin Monastery where worshippers were waving their enormous joss sticks. We purchased a bundle of incense at a nearby booth for 20 HKD ($2.50 USD) and made wishes of our own.

incense in Hong Kong

11. Get Your Fortune Told

After you have done your shopping at the Temple Street Market, pay a visit to the late night fortune tellers near Tin Hau Temple. There are about a dozen, some English speaking, that will enlighten you about the future.

Hong Kong Itinerary Fortune Teller
photo credit | f8Bthere

12. Eat at the Cheapest Michelin Starred Restaurant in the World

Tim Ho Wan is a hole-in-the-wall dim sum restaurant in Hong Kong that gained recognition after receiving a coveted Michelin star and therefore being known as one of the cheapest Michelin starred restaurants in the world. And it is cheap. Really cheap. Though they are well known for their pork buns, all their food is quite tasty.

Tim ho Wan

13. Stroll Through the Goldfish Market

Hong Kong’s Goldfish Market is a quirky line of shops that cater to the locals and their Feng Shui lifestyle. Aquariums equal good luck in the Asian culture, fish symbolize good fortune and water attracts energy of wealth and abundance. This market is devoted to selling an array of interesting fish and their accessories. Even if you won’t be shoving an aquarium in your carry-on luggage, it is worthy of a spont on the “Things to do in Hong Kong” list.

Hong Kong Goldfish Market

14. Dine at a Floating Restaurant

The Jumbo Kingdom Floating Restaurant is an ornamental restaurant that floats. Duh. The eatery was built in the style of of an exquisite Chinese imperial palace. While you are there you may as well order the signature dish, the Flamed Drunken Shrimp which is prepared right in front of you.
Things to do in Hong Kong - jumbo floating restaurant
photo credit | Arthur Chapman

15. Go to the Horse Races on Wednesday

Head to the Happy Valley Racecourse for the uber trendy Happy Wednesdays. On this weekday evening the racecourse has great food, drinks and entertainment, all while being able to bet on the ponies. Each Wednesday is a different theme, such as Wines of the Valley. Could that be any more perfect?

16. Eat Dinner in the Dark

At Hong Kong’s Dialogue in the Dark you have the opportunity to take a culinary journey where blind waiters serve a meal in complete darkness. A perfect way to challenge your taste buds!

17. Drink Trendy Cocktails

As previously mentioned, Hong Kong has some killer food concepts, and the same goes for drinks. Quinary is a swanky place for pre-dinner cocktails where they concoct creative beverages like an Earl Grey Caviar Martini. I had their refreshing Oolong Tea Collins.

quinary hong kong quinary hong kong

18. Take the Stairs

You have not fully experienced the “Things to do in Hong Kong” list unless you have walked up a set of some of the steepest stairs you have ever seen. It is a hilly city. Though there are many inclines around, Ladder Street from Queen’s Road Central to Cain Road is amongst the most impressive…and painful.

hong Kong Stairs

19. Take a Tai Chi Class

Tai Chi is a gentle form of martial arts known to be a big part of Chines culture. All over Hong Kong you can take a Tai Chi Class to get acquainted with this craft. Check here for classes.

tai chi
photo credit | Hong Kong Tourism

Which of these adventures will be on your Things to do in Hong Kong bucket list?

15 things you should experience in Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur is not only the capital of Malaysia or a nice city for a stopover. It’s so much more than that! A melting pot of many nations and a varied mixture of Malay, Chinese, Indian, Tamil, Thai and many more people living in this amazing city.

Kuala Lumpur – sights and attractions

In our guide I’d like to show you 15 things and sights which you should visit if you stay a couple of days in the city. Take your time and explore KL, it’s definitely worth it!


Merdeka Square & Kuala Lumpur City Gallery

Kuala Lumpur’s independence square. Here you can see the former highest flagpole of the world, where the Malaysian national flag was hoisted for the first time on 31.08.1957. Right next to the square you can find the Sultan Abdul Samad Building, where the Malaysian legal authorities are located.

Furthermore, the KL City Gallery is also situated at the Merdeka Square. A museum of the past and the future of the city. If you have some time you should definitely visit the museum as there is only an admission of RM 5.

The Merdeka Square with the Sultan Abdul Samad Building, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

The KLCC Park

Behind the famous Petronas Twin Towers and the Suria KLCC shopping complex is a beautiful and green park among all the skyscrapers, the KLCC Park. Everything is well-kept and there is even a public swimming pool for the kids.

Fountain in the KLCC Park, Kuala Lumpur

Many tourists and locals are coming to the park to relax under the shadow of the trees and enjoy the view of the surrounding buildings, as well as the Twin Towers. If you want to escape from the big city for a while, I can only recommend a visit to the KLCC Park.

KLCC Park, Kuala Lumpur

The Petronas Twin Towers

The Petronas Towers are THE famous landmark of Kuala Lumpur. Almost everyone knows them and everyone who is visiting KL wants to see them!

It was just 2004 when the towers were replaced as the highest building of the world, but they are still the second highest twin towers of the world.

I’ve never been on top, because I think they would be missing in the skyline of the city, but it’s possible to go up there. If you like, you can walk on the skybridge which connects the two towers or visit the observation deck on the 86th floor.

The Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur
THE landmark of KL – the Petronas Twin Towers

The price for a ticket is RM 85 (about € 18,50 in October 2016) and if you want to have a ticket you got to queue up at the entrance in the early morning, starting at 8.30 A.M. The tickets are limited to a number of pieces per day. Otherwise you can buy them online. I would recommend to go up the Menara Kuala Lumpur, also known as KL Tower, instead.

Menara Kuala Lumpur aka KL Tower

The TV tower of Kuala Lumpur is currently the 7th highest of the world and offers an amazing 360-degrees view over the city. From the entrance you can catch a free shuttle bus to the tower, so you don’t have to walk up the last part of the way.

You will now have 2 choices to visit the tower:

  • 1. Observation Deck: The price is RM 52 and you will get a 360-degrees view of KL at a height of 276 meters, but unfortunately behind windows.
  • 2. Open Deck: The price is RM 105, but here you will get an open-air 360-degrees view of the city at a height of 350 meters.
View at the Petronas Towers from the observation deck of the Menara KL
View at the Petronas Towers from the Menara KL observation deck

 

View from the KL Tower towards KL Sentral
The view from the KL Tower towards KL Sentral

Bukit Bintang

One of the most popular entertainment and shopping districts of Kuala Lumpur. Here you can find from Hawker Centers, shopping malls to night markets and bars almost everything you can wish for. Especially popular is this district amongst the younger generation.

Not only tourists, but rather many local people are bustling here through the nightlife. Also there is a so-called Arabic district with many delicious dishes that are ideal for a nice dinner.

You can get there best with the KL Monorail. The name of the station is “Bukit Bintang” as well.

Masjid Negara – the national mosque

The Masjid Negara, which actually means state mosque when you translate it, offers room for almost 13,000 worshipers. The 73 meters high minaret and the star-shaped roof are the main features of the modernly designed national mosque.

Masjid Negara - the national mosque of Malaysia
Masjid Negara – the national mosque of Malaysia

You can visit the mosque daily, but you should pay attention that your knees and shoulders are covered. Head and body cover is also provided for the women (called “Jubah”). Everything is free of charge and you get a great insight into the national mosque of Malaysia.

Orchid Garden

If you follow the street “Jalan Perdana” (right next to the national mosque) up the hill, you’ll arrive at the Orchid Garden which is a part of the Perdana Botanical Garden. In addition to the beautiful orchids and the quite nice atmosphere – far away from the busy streets of Kuala Lumpur – the gardens offer two more highlights.

View at the KL skyline from the Orchid Garden
Amazing view from the Orchid Garden at KL’s skyline!

From here you will have an absolutely wonderful view at the skyline of KL and when you explore the garden a little bit further, then you will likely spot some wild monkeys to make some trouble. 😉

Monkey at the Orchid Garden, Kuala Lumpur
One of the many monkeys in the Orchid Garden

The opening times are daily from 8.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. and there is no entrance fee.

Chinatown – Petaling Street

During the day there is not much going on at the Petaling Street, but as soon as the late afternoon begins, everything comes to life here and there will be stalls with almost everything you can imagine. You can buy all sorts of items – from T-shirts, shorts, souvenirs, handbags, watches up to shoes, football jerseys and of course much delicious Chinese food.

The road is paved with stalls and food courts. Just take a walk in the evening through the alleys between all the stalls and go with the flow.

The Petaling Street - Kuala Lumpur's Chinatown
The Petaling Street – Kuala Lumpur’s Chinatown

You want to buy something? Get yourself ready to haggle. Often the first price is set very high from the vendors and you can start bargaining by setting your price to about half of theirs.

Kuala Lumpur's Chinatown at night, Petaling Street, Malaysia

Kasturi Walk

Not far from the Petaling Street is another market, the Kasturi Walk. Also popular with locals and tourists and you can walk through the alleys as well and buy some souvenirs for your home.

But not only will you find souvenirs over here, but rather the so called Hawker Centers, where you can try a variety of the Malaysian cuisine.

On the contrary to Chinatown with its Petaling Street, everything in the Kasturi Walk looks a bit more classy and modern. Nevertheless, you should pay the market a visit since it’s only a 3-minute walk away from Chinatown. The openings hours are from 10.30 A.M. to 10.30 P.M.

Brickfields – Little India

A couple minutes south of the KL Sentral main railway station is the district Brickfields located – also known as Little India!

Brickfields - the little India of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Brickfields – the Little India of Kuala Lumpur

In addition to several stores with Indian goods and food, the street arouses in the nighttime. The pavement will be full of chairs and tables and everywhere you can smell the scent of Indian dishes.

If you love the Indian cuisine or would like to try it, then that’s the place to be. You shouldn’t miss a little bit India right in the middle of Kuala Lumpur during your visit!

Little India/Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur

KL Sentral

There is almost no way around the main railway station of Kuala Lumpur. The building is not only a train station, it is also a really big shopping mall called “Nu Sentral”.

If you take the shuttle bus from the KLIA/KLIA2 or the KLIA Ekspres train, you will arrive at KL Sentral. From here you can take all the regional trains (e.g. to the Batu Caves) and every subway or suburban train. It is the main hub of KL.

In the area around the KL Sentral is currently some construction work going on, so that you will see some more skyscrapers here in the future and the whole neighborhood will become quite modern.

Also you won’t be starving over here, because you have lots of restaurants outside the train station. Indian, Chinese, Korean, Thai, Malay – almost everything you could wish for. A visit to KL Sentral and its surroundings is definitely worth it.

Batu Caves

The Batu Caves are located only a short ride of 20-30 minutes away from Kuala Lumpur with the KTM Komuter. The caves are inside of limestone cliffs and filled up with Hindu shrines and temples.

The huge, golden statue at the entrance probably comes to most people’s mind when they think about the Batu Caves. When you walk up the stairs you will see loads of wild monkeys and you should take care a little bit of your belongings.

The Batu Caves in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

The area around the Batu Caves has been properly cleaned since my first visit in February 2013 until my last visit in September 2014 and it also provides some new attractions. A great tip for a half-day excursion.

Menara KH – Helipad Lounge

After the half-day excursion to the Batu Caves you still have some time in the evening to explore Kuala Lumpur a little bit more. I can recommend the Helipad Lounge of the Menara KH. A still active Heliport above the roofs of KL, which is converted to a bar in the nighttime.

The entrance is free, but if you want to go to the landing spot, you have to buy a drink at the bar. Its definitely worth it for this amazing view. The bar opens at 6 p.m. and if you want to enjoy a nice sunset, then you should come on time and safe yourself a spot at the helipad!

The helipad of the Menara KH in the evening. Superb bar with an amazing view
The helipad of the Menara KH in the evening. Superb bar with an amazing view!

 

The Petronas Towers. Seen from the Menara KH at the blue hour
The Petronas Towers. Seen from the Menara KH during the blue hour

Masjid Jamek

The Jamek Mosque is one of the oldest in Kuala Lumpur and was built in 1909. Until the opening of the national mosque it was for a long time the biggest mosque and a venue for the Muslim population of the city.

You can also visit this mosque, but it’s closed during prayer times. You should pay attention to cover your knees and shoulders as well.

The mosque is not located far away from the Merdeka Square, more precisely where the rivers Gombak and Klang converge. The surrounding area is currently being constructed and many things will change here in the future, so that the rivers and the surroundings will become really beautiful. The mosque itself is already an attractive sight now.

Masjid Jamek mosque in Kuala Lumpur
Masjid Jamek – one of the oldest mosques of Kuala Lumpur

Kampung Baru

The district Kampung Baru is located in the heart of Kuala Lumpur and was already supposed to be developed many times. However, the residents resist against it because they want to preserve the original Malaysian lifestyle over here.

In the nighttime in Kampung Baru you will find many restaurants or rather Hawker Centers/cookshops where you can get delicious food. But it’s a little bit difficult to get along here with English since there are almost no tourists in this neighborhood. Definitely a small food adventure and with hands, feet and pointing on menu cards you can arrange almost everything.

One of the many foods talls at Kampung Baru in Kuala Lumpur
One of the many food stalls at Kampung Baru

Furthermore, you will have a nice view from here at the Petronas Twin Towers, which is not to be sneezed at and absolutely beautiful at night.

Nighttime view from Kampung Baru at the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur
Nighttime view from Kampung Baru at the Twin Towers

Top 10 Things to Do in Australia

1) Uluru/Ayers Rock

The huge, solitary sandstone rock formation known as Uluru is so iconic it is instantly recognisable to people from all over the world. Seemingly placed in the middle of nowhere, this UNESCO World Heritage listed site – which includes the surrounding area as well as the rock itself – is home to an exciting world of waterholes, caves and ancient art.

Ayers Rock

Sunrise and sunset are widely considered to offer the most magical viewing times – this is when the rock glows in reflected shades of vermilion and tangerine.

Climbing the rock is possible but it’s your call whether your conscience allows it; Uluru is sacred to the local Aboriginal people who ask that visitors enjoy the area without scaling the rock’s heights.

2) Aboriginal Experiences

Whether you are looking for total immersion or merely a glimpse into this rich culture you will have opportunities by the bucket load here. With a history stretching back 50,000 years or more, the Aboriginal culture of Australia is a jewel-spangled tapestry of myth, dance, music, art and an intimate relationship with the land.

Ancient rock art – of both the easily accessed and the hidden treasure variety – is peppered liberally around the country as are opportunities for indigenous-led tours. Here anything is possible – learn to fish using age-old methods, try your hand at some Aboriginal style painting, go foraging for food which you will then learn how to prepare, craft your very own spear or sit around a camp-fire listening to ‘Dreamtime’ stories.

3) The Great Barrier Reef

Dive, snorkel, ride in a glass bottom boat, take an overnight cruise – it doesn’t matter how you do it – just make sure you do it. The world’s largest reef – which just happens to be the earth’s only living organism viewable from space – stretches for a whopping 2500 km (1,500 miles) along and beyond  the Queensland coast.

The beaches and waters of this area – especially the Outer Reef – are heart-achingly beautiful but if you duck your head below the surface you are going to find yourself in an aquatic wonderland bursting at the seams with colour and biodiversity. Stare into the eyes of a turtle, swim alongside elegant manta rays and be bedazzled by hordes of rainbow coloured fish, starfish, sea urchins and corals. The reef is also home to more than 30 species of whale and dolphin so keep your flippers crossed and you might get lucky there too.

4) Swim with Whale Sharks

Although the word shark may strike terror in the hearts of many you have nothing to fear here – these docile plankton filtering creatures, which can measure up to 12 metres (41 feet) plus, are one of the ocean’s gentle giants. All the same, knowing you’re not on the menu is unlikely to prevent a heart-stopping moment or two as you catch a snorkel-masked eyeful of this behemoth heading towards you with its mouth open – a mouth that can measure up to 1.5 m (4 ft, 11 in) across.

girl swimming with whale sharks

Snorkelling with the planet’s biggest fish is not something you will forget in a hurry and it’s all possible at Western Australia’s Ningaloo Reef – the biggest fringing reef in the world.

5) Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb

If you’re into scaring yourself silly from a great height the opportunity to scale one of Australia’s most iconic landmarks is a must. The Bridge Climb offers a few ways to get yourself high above the hustle and bustle of the metropolis which range from fast-as-you-can challenges to more leisurely paced ascents and climbs suited to the nervous. There are even special event climbs such as the Mardi Gras Disco Climb where you can celebrate your achievement by shaking your thing under a flashing disco ball perched 134 m above Sydney.

However you do it the 360° panoramic views of Sydney, the Blue Mountains and the Pacific Ocean are guaranteed to leave you breathless. What’s more – you also get to choose your time of day with dusk and dawn climbs being especially popular.

And in case you’re thinking this is an adventure only for the super-fit you may like to know that the bridge’s oldest climber was Mrs. Chris Muller aged 100.

6) Get an Adrenalin Fix

There’s any number of ways to get your pulse racing in adventure loving Australia and no visit to this country is quite complete without at least one sampling of the extreme. On the menu are bungee jumping, skydiving, great white shark cage diving, white water rafting, scuba diving, hard core bush camping, zorbing, jet-boating, camel-rides and a few more adrenalin-junkie-friendly choices.

Just think of the posts you’ll be able to make on FaceBook.

7) Take a Food Tour

If your idea of a food tour conjures up images of silver-haired stuffy tourists you’ve never been to Australia. The Aussies love their food and wine and they live in a land which produces some of the finest versions of both, found anywhere on the planet – from straight-from-the-ocean seafood to artisan crafted beers – this is nothing short of the gourmets’ and the gourmands’ dreamland.

Food tours come in a mind-bogglingly wonderful range – from tours completely geared to serious choc-o-holics to experiences which will see you tossing another shrimp on the barbie as you watch the sunset on the majestic Uluru.

For something truly different you can opt into one of the food foraging tours. Along with discovering you own free dinner, you may encounter all sorts of native flora and fauna while learning heaps about the history, culture, myths and geology of the world around you.

8) Kangaroo Island

Just 15 km south of Adelaide lies what is often heralded as South Australia’s jewel in the crown – Kangaroo Island. Yes, there are kangaroos here – no prizes for guessing that one – but this pristine island is also home to many more of the iconic and must-see categories of Australian wildlife. This includes platypus, wallabies, echidnas, koalas, goannas, possums, fairy penguins…….and that’s just the tip of the ice-berg.

Kangaroo

Deserts, beaches and forests make up this 150 km long natural idyll where more than 33% of its land is given over to national park or conservation areas.

Whether you’re intent on watching the world’s smallest penguin – the fairy or little blue penguin – waddle ashore or swimming with dolphins – it is all possible here. Also on the menu are caves to explore, snorkelling with rare-as-rocking-horse-teeth leafy sea-dragons, sand surfing giant dunes or simply soaking up the sun on one of the beautiful beaches.

9) Explore Kakadu National Park

You can’t go far in Australia without stubbing your toe up against a national park and all of them have their own special something. However, World Heritage listed Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory has all sorts of special treats within one – albeit vast – area.

With its Aboriginal history stretching back 50,000 years, this park is set amidst a landscape of weather-carved towering escarpments, vast savannah plains, lushly forested woodlands and verdant wetlands. Here you can visit rock-art galleries, swim beneath cascading waterfalls, watch sunbathing crocodiles, cool yourself in idyllic waterholes and otherwise immerse yourself in this region’s stunning natural beauty.

10) Take a Surf Lesson

In a country where surfing is so much a part of the culture it is on the curriculum of all coastal-based schools, taking a surf lesson is almost a compulsory part of any Australian trip. Should you decide to try your hand at board-riding there are uncountable numbers of surf schools and coaches ready and willing to get you up and having a ball. Although not all of Australia’s 50,000 km of coastline is surfable there are great swathes of beach and reef which offer plenty of choice for all comers – from the total beginner to the kamikaze pro.

If you want to be sure you’re getting the best instruction rather than trusting your safety in the hands of some chancing beach-bum, check out which Australian surf schools or instructors have been properly accredited/approved at www.sasurfschools.com.au