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Twenty reasons to visit Fiji

From white-water rafting to spa treatments, these are the top 20 reasons to visit Fiji.

Castaway Island Resort in the Mamanuca Islands.
Castaway Island Resort in the Mamanuca Islands.

From white-water rafting to spa treatments, these are the top 20 reasons to visit Fiji.

1 Diving

The Great Astrolabe Reef is the world’s fourth-largest
barrier reef and curls around the sparsely populated southern island of
Kadavu. Snorkellers can cruise the reef’s coral gardens and divers can
swim with eagle and manta rays, turtles and wrasse and ogle the reef’s
drop-offs. Stay at the simple thatch bures of Matava dive resort (matava.com).
Astrolabe’s rival for the title of best diving, the Great Sea Reef, is
known locally as Cakaulevu. Off the northern island of Vanua Levu, the
reef was little explored before 2004 and is home to green turtles and
spinner dolphins. The closest resort is Nukubati. nukubati.com.

2 Sigatoka river and cave safaris

It’s a jet-boat safari, yet it’s also a great cultural
adventure. Take a 15-kilometre journey up the rich, green Sigatoka
Valley to visit one of 15 Fijian villages to learn of local customs and
legends on the Sigatoka River safari. There’s a kava ceremony at the
village chief’s bure, followed by lunch and traditional singing and
dancing. Costs from $140.80 adults, $69 children. The newest tour from
the same gang is the Off-Road Cave safari, which visits Fiji’s largest
cave system, Naihehe Cave, once the home of a cannibal tribe. Costs from
$131 for adults, $60 for children. Both tours depart from Sigatoka, 70
kilometres south of Nadi on the Coral Coast, and pick up from Nadi or
Coral Coast resorts, twice daily, Monday to Saturday. sigatokariver.com.

3 Mei-meis (Fijian nannies)

Cultural show ... Fijian fire-walking.
Cultural show … Fijian fire-walking.
Photo: Alamy

Fijians are renowned for their love of kids and every
hotel caters for them (save a handful of exclusive, adults-only
retreats) without busting your budget. Top kid-friendly hotels include
Outrigger on the Lagoon, which has 30 mei-meis (nannies), great for
families with babies, while Holidays with Kids magazine’s latest survey
found the top three family-friendly resorts are Shangri-La’s Fijian
Resort & Spa, Yanuca Island, the Naviti Resort, Coral Coast and
Plantation Island. shangri-la.com; warwicknaviti.com; plantationisland.com.

4 Fire-walking

Who knew that there are two types of fire-walking in
Fiji, not the commonly known one? There’s the indigenous Fijian
tradition of walking over hot stones and the Hindu purification ritual
of walking on ashes and charcoal. Fijian fire-walking can be seen during
cultural shows at many resorts across the country or at the Arts
Village in Suva, and Suva’s Mariamma Temple holds a South Indian ritual,
Trenial, featuring fire-walking, in July or August each year.

5 South sea pearls

At the top of your Fiji souvenir list should be South Sea
pearls, which come in a rainbow of colours from soft creams to
pearlescent greys. You’ll find earrings and necklaces at the big
souvenir shops such as Tappoo (tappoo.com.fj) or Jacks (jacksfiji.com)
but also from the lady sellers at most resorts. There’s also a daily
craft market in the centre of Nadi and Suva’s craft market runs every
day except Sundays. If you’re in Savusavu, be sure to visit the black
pearl farm J. Hunter Pearls for farm tours and shopping. pearlsfiji.com.

6 Tribal belonging

Maybe you never felt you belonged: maybe you belong in a
Fijian tribe in a cross-cultural social experiment. Spend a week or more
on Vorovoro island with the people of this remote community, helping
with sustainable community tourism projects that aim to bring positive
change. tribewanted.com.

7 Tropical spas

The award-winning Bebe Spa Sanctuary at the Outrigger on
the Lagoon is built high on a hilltop and looks over the main island’s
Coral Coast. The spa treatments use Pevonia and Pure Fiji spa products
and Bebe’s warm seashell massage is worth the journey south ($126/hour).
The founder of Pure Fiji, Daniel Anania, lists among his favourite spas
Spa Denarau at Denarau Marina, Harmony Spa at the Radisson Blu Hotel
and the InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort and Spa as well as Bebe Spa. bebespafiji.com; radissonblu.com/resort-fiji; intercontinental.com.

8 Pure Fiji

Fiji’s own spa brand, Pure Fiji, puts into a jar all the
reasons we love to visit Fiji – papaya, coconut milk, pineapple and
kaffir lime – the scents of a tropical paradise. Bestsellers are the
coconut hydrating lotion and coconut sugar rub: the orange
blossom-scented rub is a winner. Find the products at the Pure Fiji spa
in Suva or at the airport on the way home. If you happen to be in Suva
on a Saturday, you can buy the products discounted at their factory
outlet. purefiji.com.

9 Rugby

Rugby is Fiji’s third religion and the locals are
obsessed. Almost every village has a team. Teams from the outer islands
compete in the Island Zone Championship in Suva every August, while the
beloved Farebrother-Sullivan challenge pits provincial teams against
each other from September 1 to October 13. Fijians go crazy supporting
their own province.

10 Blue lagoon

Children of the ’80s, remember when Brooke Shields rose
out of the crystalline waters in the 1980 shipwreck movie Blue Lagoon?
It was filmed on Turtle Island, in the Yasawas, a string of islands
north of the Mamanucas in western Fiji. Widely regarded as having the
best beaches in Fiji, they’re connected by inter-island flights, fast
catamaran and multi-day, languid Blue Lagoon cruises. Yasawa and Turtle
islands are home to two of Fiji’s top resorts, with a high
beach-per-guest ratio. bluelagooncruises.com; yasawa.com; turtlefiji.com.

11 Tropical golf courses

There’s nothing more delightful than dropping a
hole-in-one on a beautifully landscaped, tropical green. Fiji offers a
few green gems, including the home of the Fiji Open, the Natadola golf
course, designed by famed Fijian golfer Vijay Singh, Denarau Golf and
Racquet Club, and Pacific Harbour’s tough Pearl Champion course,
designed by Robert Trent Jones jnr, which has held eighth ranking
worldwide in the past. natadolabay.com; denaraugolf.fiji-golf.net; thepearlsouthpacific.com.

12 Kokoda

Fiji has two main cuisines – indigenous Fijian and Fijian
Indian. Fijian Indian is heavy on the rice, spice and chilli, and
indigenous Fijian features plenty of seafood and is easy on the spice.
Kokoda is the Fijian take on cerviche, a divine dish of local fish
marinated in lemon juice and coconut milk. Time your visit to include
lovo night in the hotels, where food is cooked in an underground oven.
Otherwise, try Indigo, at Port Denarau, which serves Indian fusion as
well as indigenous Fijian, or Sky Top, on the rooftop of Ohana
restaurant (Queens Rd, Martintar). If you’re self-catering, get down to
the morning produce markets, held in all the main towns, including Nadi,
Suvasuva and Suva, or just stop along the roadside to buy freshly
caught prawns, mud crabs or fish. Also, pineapple, papaya and mangoes
are plentiful when in season.

13 The Mamanucas

Castaway, Treasure, Beachcomber and Bounty islands: the
Mamanuca Islands are total showponies (literally: the Tom Hanks movie
Cast Away was filmed on Modriki). This handful of islands is beloved of
day trippers with good reason: the diving, snorkelling and surfing are
world class and busy Beachcomber has the reputation of Fiji’s top party
island. Lying west of Nadi, the islands are easily reached by boat from
Denarau Marina; South Sea Cruises does most of the day trips. ssc.com.fj.

14 Kula Eco Park

Get up close and personal with Fiji’s rare and endangered
animals in this environmental haven near Sigatoka, on the Coral Coast.
It’s a great stop for kids, with fruit bats, iguanas, an array of
rainbow-coloured parrots including the flashy Kadavu red-breasted musk
parrot, and the fluffy orange dove. It’s
also a pram-friendly set-up. fijiwild.com.

15 Glamour digs

Make no mistake: while Fiji loves its reputation as a
family getaway, its 333 islands hide deeply glamorous resorts sought out
by the international jet set. Mel Gibson owns an island in the Lau
group, and TV bachelorettes hang out at Anthony Robbins’s luxury Namale
Island. Dolphin Island was the private island of the owner of New
Zealand’s top lodge, Huka Lodge, but has been opened to guests – it can
be home to just four couples or one lucky family – and the new,
adults-only Tadrai Island Resort, which is just a chopper ride from Nadi
in the Mamanucas, has just five villas with their own plunge pools and
butler service. namaleresort.com; dolphinislandfiji.com; tadrai.com.

16 Sigatoka Dunes

When the sun is shining, why stay inside? The prehistoric
sites excavated at Sigatoka Sand Dunes give a glimpse into Fijian
history without having to trek through a museum, and you get to stretch
your legs, too. Archaeological digs are still turning up stone tools and
the area is one of the largest burial sites in the Pacific. You may
even catch sight of Fiji’s national rugby team, which trains down here.

17 Real ecotourism

Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort, on the northern island of
Vanua Levu, is home to Johnny Singh, Fiji’s first marine biologist.
Cousteau, an explorer and oceanographer, set his small resort away from
the bustle of the main island and it has won several awards for its
ecotourism projects. The family-friendly five-star resort has set the
benchmark for other Fijian resorts to follow, featuring organic gardens,
rainwater harvesting and edible landscaping without compromising on
comfort. fijiresort.com.

18 Island-hopping

In Fiji, “day tripping” doesn’t mean hours in a car, it
means lying on the deck of a yacht, smelling the sea breeze, seafood
banquets and snorkelling stops. Charter a private yacht and choose your
course or join a cruise to, say, Tivua Island on the tall ship Ra Marama
and spend the day snorkelling, glass-bottom boating, kayaking or
chilling on the beach in Fiji style. fijisafari.com; captaincook.com.fj.

19 World-class surfing

Most surfers head for the Mamanuca islands to hit the
waves – the permanent six-metre wave Cloudbreak, off the coast of
Tavarua, is a Fijian legend, and reigning world champion Kelly Slater
describes nearby Restaurants as “one of the most perfect waves that I
have ever surfed”. Taravua will host the Volcom Fiji Pro, featuring the
top pro surfers, from June 3 to 15. Off the south coast of the main
island, you’ll find little Beqa Island is home to the challenging
left-handed reef break Frigates, and Sigatoka Beach’s Sand Dunes stand
out on the Coral Coast.

20 White-water rafting

Fiji’s lagoons are brilliant for sea kayaking and the
waterways through its mangroves let you explore these mysterious
ecosystems. The local guides of Rivers Fiji take groups river-rafting
through the forests and past highland villages on the main island and
sea kayaking out to Benq Island, renowned for its fire-walkers and
surfing. riversfiji.com.

Source: Sun Herald newspaper

Dining high in Hong Kong

The InterContinental Kowloon

IT’S ONE of the world’s eternal stand-offs: Hong Kong Island versus
Kowloon. The two sides of the city face each other over the gorgeous
Victoria Harbour, each with its own personality – HK Island sniffs and
says it’s sophisticated and fun, while Kowloon’s just for the tourists.

Yet Kowloon’s makeover, with the glamorous international
ocean terminal and Elements shopping and lifestyle complex, has sent it
on an interstellar flight far from street markets and dodgy basement

As Kowloon’s buildings are lower than those on HK Island,
this is the side to watch the nightly light show, Symphony of Lights,
with laser beams shooting out from 44 of the city’s skyscrapers. “It’s a
conversation between Kowloon and HK Island,” says my friend, Hong Kong
girl-about-town Rainbow.

Either way, either side, grab a seat at one of
the best bars and dining rooms on high.

Looking to Kowloon

Hong Kong, SHD 
Travel Jan 22. Felix Restaurant and Bar. Peninsula Hotel, Kowloon, Hong Kong.
Image courtesy 
Peninsula Hotel
Felix Food Mood Shot (lower res).JPG
Felix restaurant and bar.

Hip to the eyeballs, Cafe Gray Deluxe is
on the 49th floor of The Upper House hotel in the Admiralty district.
Stop in to eat Gray Kunz’s celebrated one-Michelin-star fare – ask for a
corner table for the best views – then move to the bar for late-night
cocktails. In fact, go straight from customs to this bar. The harbour
views from the gorgeous loos are jaw-dropping.

For exciting contemporary Spanish, FoFo is
a tapas bar at the back of Central. Sadly, the rooftop bar is only for
private parties. But the views of HK Island’s Mid-Levels from the dining
room are expansive. Snack on 36-month-old Iberian ham, beef cheek
cooked with banana and passionfruit, or crispy suckling pig dished up by
Barcelona’s Alex Martinez Fargas and married with one of FoFo’s many
marvellous tempranillos or the house’s Sexy Sangrias. Open for almost
two years, it’s already a Bib Gourmand – meaning you can score a quality
three-course meal for less than $HK300 ($37) – in the HK Michelin

Isola, in the IFC Mall in Central,
doesn’t have to be a night-time gig. In fact, we’d recommend slipping
into its little rooftop terrace bar for a lunchtime pizza, as Maria
Sharapova has been known to do. Set right on the harbourside, it’s the
spot to watch the Star Ferry slosh by.

For a late-night option with the same views, head to the glass-cube G Bar (Podium Level 4, IFC Mall).
Super-chic Sevva has a “lazy type of
glamour”, somewhere to have your divine cake and eat it in divine
surroundings presided over by HK-Australian fashion and cake maestro
Bonnie Gokson. Get the elbows and knees out to bag a terrace sofa and
gaze at the best of Hong Kong architecture, from the old Legislative
Council to the Norman Foster-designed HSBC Building. The clientele
ranges from Hong Kong tai-tais (ladies who lunch) to cigar-chewing VIPs
(complete with bodyguards). An arty party set descends at sundown and
Fridays are deservedly manic. Dress code: fabulous.

You wouldn’t think Hotel LKF would have any decent views
but the little boutique hotel set in the Mid-Levels is built up the
hillside leading to the Peak. So when you ascend to Azure restaurant on the 29th and 30th floors, you’ll also find the swankiest, most secretive little bar with the worst name – Slash.
Pitched at the indie-design set, it doles out cocktails until 1am most
nights and 3am on Thursdays to Saturdays, with a daily three-hour happy
hour from 5.30pm.

ToTT’s is on the 34th floor of the four-star business hotel The Excelsior, in Causeway Bay.
It’s easy on the wallet, with cocktails below $HK90, but
uneasy positioning means it’s not the best place for the Symphony of
Lights. However, the revamped rooftop bar is the place for a
post-shopping restorative bevvy – the hotel is just minutes from the
late-closing Causeway Bay shops. Ask for the Moonlight Lychee Blossom, mixing Aviation gin
from Oregon in the US with rose water, green lychee liquor and brut
sparkling wine.

The Harbour Grand is breaking new ground in the eastern HK Island locale North Point. The five-star hotel’s cheesily named Le 188°
indicates just how far the views span, encompassing both harbour
entrances. BBQ in the Sky starts in September, with seafood barbecues
every weekend until 1am. The best way to get there is via Exit A of the
Fortress Hill MTR station.

Wooloomooloo is best known for its
steakhouses but the Wan Chai branch includes a chic rooftop 32 floors
high, plus 360-degree views. You can just about stretch out and touch
the Peak up above. The meat here is 120-day Australian Black Angus, with
set lunches from $HK138. Beloved by meat lovers and naughty Hong Kong
ladies whose husbands don’t like heights.

M bar at the Mandarin Oriental does dark
and moody to a T. Renovated last year, the 25th-floor bar whispers the
secrets of molecular cocktails but the staff still remember how to do a
good old-fashioned one. Hot tips: wrap your lips around a Hong Kong Legend, a mix
of vodka, lychee liqueur and kuei hua chen chiew, a Chinese wine that’s
almost a health drink, dammit. We also love the elegance of the Earl
Grey Mar-tea-ni (geddit?). And if you’re hunting for a HK banker, this
is definitely the place to prowl.

Of course, there’s a pool at the Grand Hyatt’s open-air Waterfall Bar,
a teensy 36-seater in the heart of Wan Chai, by the convention centre.
Cuban-cigar lovers will relish the alfresco puffing and city views and
the rack of booze is as smart as the dress code (which reads “smart”,
not “smart casual”).

Looking to Hong Kong Island
“Hong Kong Island’s skyline at night yanks New York’s
shorts down and whups its butt, hard,” say the saucy scribblers of Luxe

The biggest news on the Kowloon side of town is the opening of the Ritz-Carlton and its OZONE bar on the 118th floor, which it claims is the highest bar in the world. You can eat and dance here and, of course, there’s a
signature cocktail, the Senses, which blends Hennessy VSOP with vanilla
syrup and blackberries.

There are no reservations, so get in early to
grab a prime table by the windows. Without a swanky name, the Lobby Lounge
at the Intercontinental could be dismissed as another dreary hotel bar
but it’s not. And Kowlooners agree it has the best views of the light
show. This great HK staple is also blessed with a gorgeous Mariage
Freres afternoon tea, jazz at 6pm and crooners at 9pm. The drinks to
drink are the Nine Dragon cocktails (all $HK120), ranging from the
Dragontini (kuei hau chen and Jagermeister) to the non-alcoholic Green

We suggest you wear white when you visit Aqua Spirit
so your friends can see you in the sultry darkness. Key spots are the
glam curtained alcoves and the drink de jour is the Aquatini, which
swirls Ketel One Dutch vodka, Chambord, lychee liqueur and, because it’s
Hong Kong, gold leaves. Otherwise, order a One Peking, which blends
jasmine tea, peach schnapps, saffron and elderflower cordial.

Felix is the restaurant atop Tsim Sha
Tsui’s iconic Peninsula Hong Kong and atop the restaurant is a little
bar designed by Mr Fabulous, Philippe Starck. Take your drink to the
window and look across to Victoria Peak, HK Island and down on Victoria
Harbour. Otherwise, men can head to the glass urinals to wow while they
wizz. Avoid if your wallet is dieting: this is one to visit if you’re
hell-bent on impressing.

There are plenty of bars we haven’t got to yet: RED bar and Barcepage wine terrace on HK Island; Living Room in Kowloon’s W Hotel; the Sheraton’s Sky Lounge in Tsim Sha Tsui …

We’ll leave you to it.

Address book

  • Aqua, 30/F, 1 Peking Rd,

  • Tsim Sha Tsui, +852 3427 2288, aqua.com.hk.

  • Cafe Gray Deluxe, Upper House, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, upperhouse.com.

  • Felix, The Peninsula Hong Kong, Salisbury Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui, 2315 3188, peninsula.com.

  • FoFo, 20/F, M88 Building, 2-8 Wellington St, Central, 2900 2009, fofo.hk.

  • Harbour Grand Hong Kong, 23 Oil St, North Point, 2121 2688, www.harbour-grand.com.

  • Isola, Level 3, IFC Mall, Central, 2383 8765, isolabarandgrill.com.

  • Hotel LKF, 33 Wyndham St, Lan Kwai Fong, Central, 3518 9688, hotel-LKF.com.hk.

  • M bar, Mandarin Oriental, 5 Connaught Rd,

  • Central, 2522 0111, mandarinoriental.com.

  • Lobby Bar, Intercontinental Hotel, 18 Salisbury Rd,

  • Tsim Sha Tsui, 2721 1211, intercontinental.com.

  • OZONE, ICC, 1 Austin Road West, Kowloon, 2263 2263, ritzcarlton.com.

  • Sevva, 25/F, Prince’s Building, 10 Chater Rd, Central, 2537 1388, sevva.hk.

  • ToTT’s, The Excelsior, 281 Gloucester Rd,

  • Causeway Bay, 2894 8888, mandarinoriental.com.

  • Waterfall Bar, Grand Hyatt, 1 Harbour Rd, Central, 2588 1234, hongkong.grand.hyatt.com.

  • Wooloomooloo, 31/F & Rooftop, 256 Hennessy Rd, Wan Chai, 2893 6960, wooloo-mooloo.com.

Well I’ll be burgered. Shopping Australia Day

It’s that time again when we celebrate sunburn, sand in your swimmers and all things beetroot.

Yes I know most of you are still reeling from Christmas and New Year’s, and the first hot cross buns have already appeared in the supermarkets in preparation for Easter, which doesn’t appear till 8 April.

But in between, we still have Australia Day, on 26 January. I remember an Irish colleague marvelling at his first Australia Day barbie in rainy, wintery Dublin. “We had beetroot burgers!” he reported back to the rest of the Dublin newsroom, eyes wide with astonishment. Oh, the culinary heights. Australian theme bars the world over (most notably London’s notorious Walkabout pubs) break out the Men at Work and Ganggagang records and the cricket and tennis are on.

This year, the Aussie Day theme seems to have gone into overdrive in the homeland. Building on the 2011 Christmas must-have decoration, reindeer antlers for your car, you can now replace them with car-safe Aussie flags. Forget that American ‘respect for the flag’ thing, our flag also appears on paper plates and serviettes, swimmers and dresses, tins of beetroot, inflatable thongs, singlets, and of course, eskies and beer coolers.

Hot, or what?

You can buy raw burgers moulded in the shape of Australia (yes, Tassie is attached), or savoury biscuits in Aussie bbq meat lovers flavour. Lamingtons, those all-Australian cakes, are on special, as are ANZAC biscuits and flag-emblazoned Nutri-Grain (IronMan food).

I nearly gave the award of most useless Australia Day object to the disposable nappies emblazoned with our Union Jack and stars, but the winner is… an Australian Flag car mirror sock, free when you buy slabs of beer from a leading supermarket. Yes, car mirror socks – you know, a sock for your car’s side mirror. Total must-have.

Have a Happy Australia Day, wherever you are.

Virgin’s guide to Hong Kong

Voyeur (Virgin Blue) inflight magazine, Dec 2011

The dense streets, the screaming neon, the waves of humankind –
Hong Kong’s pulse races at fever pitch. There’s nothing staid about this
waterfront jewel of Asia; it balances its past as a British colony with its present
as Asia’s hippest leader of the pack.
Hong Kong embraces its split personality: a Buddhist monastery shares
an island with Disneyworld, stately homes bunker down with Chinese chophouses,
and streets named after old Scottish towns and even older Chinese geographic
features. Old-world prestige and maintaining ‘face’ collide with killer cars
and killer heels: it’s old school versus 2 kool 4 skool.
Hong Kong’s also got a taste for the dramatic: world’s highest bar,
longest covered escalator, most outrageous real estate prices, stupendous bonuses.
It’s got glitz and polish, where nightclubs are open till noon, yet you’ll
still find the locals poking through street markets or traditional Chinese medicine
shops and comparing bargains while queuing at their favourite noodle maker. 
To read more about fabulous Hong Kong, click here 

Cairns pulls at the heartstrings

Cairns lagoon. Skin cancer central, but does have some shade!

On a busy corner of tropical Cairns, I could see OK Souvenirs, Koaland and Louis Vuitton. Then I got trampled by a Japanese tourist group. A woman outside my hotel window smoked rolled cigarettes and spat tobacco and invectives at passers-by, the hotel concierge went AWOL while I was trying to haul baby, pram and bags up the front stairs, and it was hot, humid and heavy. Cairns, I was quite prepared to hate you.

But the next morning, I’d softened. The concierge had materialised at the Cairns Hilton, which has just had a $6 million renovation. The streets were full of cute open-air cafes and restaurants and locals and travellers were splashing happily in the lagoon, a clear water pool in the middle of town. I liked the notices pinned telling you where to take baby flying foxes that have fallen out of the trees above, and the primal squeak of a hundred furry little bodies hanging from the branches like over-excited black fruit.

Flying foxes, just hanging out in Cairns.

Then, there was the discovery that the Hanuman restaurant in the Hilton is of the same family as the legendary Darwin Hanuman, and I was unnaturally thrilled to learn they even do bento, basically upmarket take-away, comprising two perfect curries, rice and some rather exciting pickles.

Pulling out of the harbour on a boat turned toward Fitzroy Island, I could smell the massaman curry and jasmine rice, and the prospect of enjoying it on a tropical island seemed pretty damned good. Cairns, welcome back into the heart.

Essential guide to Kuala Lumpur

There’s more to KL than those big towers – and what are they, anyway? You go up high, you look around, you go down…

Instead, we say hit the malls for some truly fabulous shopping, and get down and dirty on the streets of Little Inida, Chinatown, the Malay quarters…

Click here for where to shop, eat, sleep and sightsee in KL…

Hot to shop: Adelaide

Adelaide Arcade pic credit: Sun Herald

For vintage fashion, antiques and contemporary design, this city is streets ahead. We’re talking Adelaide. Yes, Adelaide. Canny eastern states bargain hunters are well aware of the great deals to be had in the city of churches, sex shops and hydroponic gardeners (and we’re not talking tomatoes here).

And with the addition of some cool new markets and ramped-up fashion, the city could possibly be getting rid of its love-hate relationship with Sydney & Melbourne (love to run away there, hate it when others run away there…)

To read more, click here

More bang for your baht in Bangkok

MBK, you big, beautiful monster, I miss you!

Someone told me recently they couldn’t understand the hype about Bangkok’s best budget shopping mall, but then they don’t know about the fantastic little camera shop on the ground floor, Nice Face spa that will set your toes a-twinkling for a few baht up on the fifth, just near the fantastic food court and they don’t know about the awesome watch I bought there a few years ago, that only just conked out, to my dismay.

Click here to read more…

Kyneton: Cool Piper calls the tune

Prunella’s florist on Kyneton’s Piper St.

Cafes and galleries open at a rate of knots, yet there’s still a tractor shop in Kyneton’s hip main drag. How groovy can one town get? 

IT’S a windy, rainy night, yet one street in this wee country town is buzzing with a crowd sipping sparkling wine and snacking while making dinner plans. Obviously country Victoria has changed since I last stuck my foot past Melbourne’s city limits sign.

To read more, click here

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