Travel Thread


With all this beer and fried food you seem to be posting for breakfast, lunch & dinner, you are going to come home being bigger than a house @bomb_doe

I’m still very jealous though!! All looks amazing!


Has anyone been to Quy Nhon in Vietnam? I’m heading to VN for work in December and have 3 or 4 days free time while I’m there. A few peeps recommend I stay there on my way from Da Lat to Hanoi.


How late in December? It may still be storm season if you’re early.

Sign in Hoi An from last year:


I better take my waders.
Early Dec. Arrive HCMC Dec 3. Head to DaLat for 4 days work, then have to be in Hanoi for a conference/debrief Dec 17.


Hey @mrjez, @JohnRain & other Japanites, a question if you please -

Next April we fly home from Itami airport via Narita departing 8am, so time will be tight that morning. Where would be the best area to stay in Osaka to give us easy access to the airport?

Maybe stay near Osaka Station (Umeda) and catch either the train / monorail (via Hotarugaike) or the Limosine Airport Bus? Sound about right?

Edit-1: looks like the bus takes about the same amount of time whether you leave from Umeda or Namba, which is a bit counter-intuitive given Namba is further away.

Edit-2: FYI we will have spent 2 nights / 1 day in Osaka after finishing the Kumano Kodo trek. Think my daughter will want to go to Universal Studios for Harry Potter.


As I am a Tokyoite, I will leave my Osakan bruva in crime @mrjez to answer your question.


I intend to visit China next year. Minimum 2 weeks, maximum 4. It will be my first time and I am woefully ignorant of Chinese geography, history, culture and language. I’d be grateful for tips as to the best time of year to visit (I’m leaning towards April) and things to take with me (or to leave behind).


The most important thing to do is to take a boomerang and throw and catch it in Tiananmen Square.

I did that, and I really enjoyed my 4 weeks in China.

Um, it’s a big place. Care to narrow down your motivation and any must-visits?


If like me you get a bit of asthma, take appropriate puffers etc. I gather you’re aware of the conventional pollution but they literally smoke everywhere. Worse than Europe. We had to leave several cafes when we decided to preference air over food.

It is an incredible place and often visually stunning and despite warnings we found the people helpful and friendly. But noone speaks English and most signs are in Chinese only. My daughter had a translating app which regularly came in handy.


We just did this last week, so I can tell you what we did, whether it’s best, not sure. I did also look at staying close to the airport, but it didn’t save much time, and there was F All to see there.

We stayed near Umeda, because of easy access to USJ via Osaka St. I can post a link to the AirBNb if you like.

Our flights weren’t till 10.30, but it was easy enough to get from Umeda to the airport with the change at the station you listed, then monorail.

In 3 weeks in Japan we never waited more the 1-2 minutes for a train, they just keep coming constantly.

The ‘problem’ was just changing between the different company train lines, and as you get further from the city the less the machines have English on them, and we could never figure out how to buy a ticket that allowed us to transfer between companies. So we just bought a new one each time we had to transfer.

If you’re doing USJ, I strongly recommend looking up the ‘hacks’ (arrive early being the most obvious) and if you know the date you will be there and you plan to buy the Express Pass, do it well in advance.


Motivation is simply to see it and learn a bit about it. Lonely Planet has a two-week “Big Ticket” itinerary with Beijing, Shanghai, terracotta soldiers, Great Wall, etc, and I thought I would do most of that, with a bit of Yangtze cruising added on.


Thanks tinhill. Yes please for the Airbnb link.
Meanwhile I’m looking at this which seems v good, though in Shinsaibashi area. 10 mins walk to the Namba airport limo bus stop.


We stayed in the Hutong area outside central Beijing which was really nice. It was close to a subway station which is easily the best way to get around and not that hard to follow. There is also an airport train which is quicker and cheaper than any of the alternatives.

If you get lost make sure you have a “Please return me to here” card in Chinese to show a taxi driver. Mind you the taxi drivers aren’t always keen on picking up foreigners.

One more thing, a good thing, do not tip. I’m not sure if they find it offensive but I was told it is illegal to accept tips. One waitress sprinted after us to return a few coins we had left.


Your place looks a fair bit nicer, but this is where we stayed. There’s a huge construction site next door, which wasn’t noisy, but did feel a bit weird. The whole area is being developed. It borders into Nakazkicho, which has some hipster-esque shops and cafes, which are worth a look and take photos, but kind of run down.


Thanks tinhill


I imagine things have changed a fair bit since 2006 when I was there, but my first half (tour with now-dead Kumuka) roughly matched your described highlights. The second half was down south (Kunming, Dali, Shangri-la* etc) and was a very different experience: you could see the sun and breathe the air, much more tourist-friendly, etc. More “southeast Asia”, der.

A little summary and photos/videos is available at if that might help inspire/focus you. More photos at

*yes, it exists.


All I can add about China.

Beijing > Shanghai, for food and sites.

We had a driver in Beijing when we had a few huge days of siteseeing, rather than take a tour bus as it was -10 outside. He drove us around for what must’ve been 16 hours a day. Anything we wanted he just took us there. No doubt he got kick backs, but it made it incredibly easy having a ‘chauffeur / translator’ with us.

His name was Robinson Li, @ Beijing Taxi, and hes a bit of a comedian too.


I just booked that apartment in Shinsaibashi.
Hopefully @mrjez doesn’t chip in & tell me its a bad idea (though it can be cancelled without cost (hopefully)).


you may not like to know this tinny, but it was alcohol free. I was disappointed when I saw all drink options, including the wines, were alcohol free. But I really felt like a beer with the schnitz so I went for it. Taste wise it was very good. Tasted like a very good wheat beer. I made up for it with the typical stein in the beer garden later.


Well, I was going to go all high and mighty, until I remembered drinking this last week in Japan. I think the label kind of says you can drink it at breakfast, at work, and while you’re playing sport.

It was terrible.