Travel Thread


#1641

I’m getting out and going to Melbourne at the same time, haha.

I do like the possibility of a white Christmas though, the markets and lights in big cities are pretty good. Snow and hot springs are perfect, there’s something surreal and mystical about sitting outside in a hot bath while snowflakes fall on your head. Snow covered shrine visits in the new year while people come for Hatsumode are nice too, provided the shrine isn’t too crowded. Find the hot sake sample stand and you’re set.


#1642

Cheers Albert - it was great to finally catch up. And under such interesting circumstances.


#1643

Countdown is on, last day of work tomorrow for 3 weeks. Off to the Philippines on Monday


#1644

We’ve done Japan in Jan without skiing. Went to Tokyo, Osaka and Hiroshima. Heaps to do, but it’s freezing! Only snowed in Hiroshima though.


#1645

Just arrived in Brunei, 1 hour in the Royal Brunei lounge before our flight to Manila. Must say it was the best service and most comfortable business class flight I’ve been on. Food was amazing aswell. No alcohol served but were allowed to purchase a small amount to drink onboard


#1646

Virgin Beach, about 1hr from Roxas. Awesome place, food and people have been amazing. Gorgeous beach with luke warm water and only 45 cents for 1L beers from the little shop there.


#1647

So true.

My first experience on the Paris metro at Pigalle was a hobo getting on the train holding a plastic bag full to the brim of human faeces, no joke


#1648

Anyone been to Brazil?
Thinking of heading there for 3 weeks with family next Sept / Oct - maybe Sao Paulo, Pantanal, Iguassu, Rio.


#1649

Cost of a tourist Visa is $216 AUD, and you have to provide all documents both online and in paper to their Canberra embassy when making your Visa application.

We’re going next March to Argentina, but visiting the Brazillian side of Iguassu falls for the day, so are getting ripped off in having to get a Visa for Brazil. Even have to supply a bank statement evidencing that we have sufficient funds for our stay (1/2 day!) in Brazil.

Brazil doesn’t seem to want Aussie visitors.


#1650

We were in Rio last year, and I have been to São Paulo previously on business. There is lots to see but I am not sure it is worth the time it takes, the cost and the need for constant security.

The falls are fabulous but it takes two or three days out of the holiday to see it all properly as travel and flights are so difficult and disjointed.


#1651

I think I read on the TA Brazil forum that the visa system is changing for Australians.


#1652

We prefer our travel to be slow / hub & spoke, so Brazil is a challenge given you need to stitch together a bunch of internal flights to get any sort of spread.


#1653

Yep, we were planning a South American extravaganza based around a conference Mrs Fox was presenting at near Rio, but even travelling economy and no frills it was getting up to $30,000 for here weeks. Getting to Rio was even difficult with poor flight connections and multiple stops.

That said, the Falls were worth the hassle.


#1654

Ouch. At the moment, I’m looking at flights around $1800 * 3 Melbourne-Santiago-Sao Paulo and Rio-Santiago-Melbourne. The price is likely to drop to $1500’ish & connections seem OK, so all good there.

I haven’t estimated ground costs yet, but its the logistical hassle and travel fatigue re. the four likely internal flights that concern me -

Sao Paulo to Cuiaba direct for Pantanal.
Cuiaba to Iguassu via SP.
Iguassu to Rio direct.


#1655

I’m in Darwin. I saw a billboard for the Essington school. @scotty21 would’ve loved it.


#1656

How is Vang Vieng these days @GRR ?

When I went eight years ago it was full of p1ssed and/or st0ned 30 and 40-something Aussies and Brits, lounging around in tyre tubes on the river, falling out of their togs in riverside bars dancing to pumping techno music, or staring at endless re-runs of Friends in the bars and restaurants as they tucked into their latest “happy” pizza or milkshake. The countryside was SPECTACULAR but fark me… the place had sold its soul to the tourist dollar good and proper.

I’d heard the authorities were hellbent on tidying up their image, so am keen to know if that’s indeed the case (God knows, they needed to…)


#1657

We only stayed the one night and that was primarily to break up the bus trip from Vientiane to LP but other than a little muffled noise it didn’t appear to be the hippy dope den of legend. It is still touristy, albeit easy on the eye. We had intended heading out to the nearby caves which are meant to be worth a look but we were stuffed after a dodgy mini bus ride over 5 hours and the view from the balcony outside our tiny room was so good we sat on our bums and drank beer lao instead. If we go back I wouldn’t mind a few days there to see the caves.


#1658

Palawan is amazing and can see how it has earned the “Best Island in the World” tag. Puerto Princesa is a great starting point right from the brass band playing Flamenco music that greets you at the airport. Amazingly cheap food and drinks of a very high quality and the friendliest people you will meet. Popped in the barber this morning for the old cut throat shave and after he finished he gave me a 20 minute head, neck and shoulders massage. Whole lot cost $2.50. The resort we are staying at is simply amazing also. Went to a couple of local beaches today with powdered white sand and crystal clear warm water and tomorrow we are on a day trip to the Underground River. Going to try to get up to El Nido for a day or two but is a solid 5-6 hour drive.
Puerto Princesa Garden Resort


#1659

This must be that swamp they’ve been talkin about.


#1660

Did you read the issues the Formula One guys are having with robbery in São Paulo. Mirror my experience in my first trip there when I was robbed at gun-point. Probably why I am not keen on retipurning there.