13 March 2013

Papua New Guinea March 2013

15 October 2012

Coffs Harbour Surfection October 2012

15 June 2012

Christmas Island, Western Australia June 2012

09 February 2012

Don't Cry For Me Argentina Feb 2012

A somewhat clich├ęd title to the blog, no doubt, but take a breezy stroll through the city of Buenos Aires with guidebook in hand and you very quickly realize that Evita (Eva Peron) is deeply submersed in Argentinian culture and her presence permeates through to every corner of this incredible city and to every person that resides here.

It is easy to get caught in the hype of cultural icons mainstreamed by international popular culture and Hollywood glorification but sit down with any of the locals and they will clearly recount their memories of the Peron- era and the incredible speeches off the balcony of the Casa Rosada. They will tell you of their struggles and hardship preceding the rise of Eva Peron and how she, quite incredibly and almost singlehandedly, changed the course of not just Argentinian history, but world culture.

Buenos Aires has a tumultuous political past and that is well reflected in all the exhibitions and landmarks around the city.  Add in its colonial history and you have a fascinating blend of European culture and monuments, with a South American flair, something quite unique to the city.

The city is divided into distinct suburbs, each with its own very unique culture. Palermo is at the heart of the BA social scene with its cool, hip cafes and up market restaurants, bars and clubs. Neighbooring Recoleta has more of a historical flair with its famed cemetery and crypts, as well as numerous landmarks and sculptures dotted along the suburb. It is also the heart of Argentinian Tango, one of the must-do’s of BA.

For those keen to peek into the much more real BA, head to La Boca, home of the famed football club Boca Juniors.  It is a run down and yet colourful barrio of the Argentine capital. Homes are made from leftover steel sheets from the old port, dingy shops and dirty bars dominate the adjacent streets to La Bombonera and an air of football fanatism dominates the the yellow and blue painted streets (colours of the football team).

In stark contrast to La Boca is the once abandoned “new” port of Puerto Madero. Its architecturally advanced high rises would shame the best any cities in the world has to offer, it has a beautiful port and yacht club with neatly moored vessels, and many buildings designed by world renowned architects are dispersed along the port.

Architecture aside (a pet passion of mine), there really is no escaping the great eats of Argentina. “Steak, red wine and French fries make up dinner” we were informed by the locals. The food and wine... simply sublime! The Mendoza Malbecs and the Argentinian steaks surpassed our high expectations and it wasn’t hard for the palate to quickly realize why there is so much hype about the food here. We also had a chance to “degust” a La Bourgogne, the only Relais Gourmand in Argentina, a Travel + Leisure magazine rated number one restaurant in the whole of South America, and Wine Spectator called it “one of the best restaurants in the world for wine lovers”. Gastronomical heaven.

05 February 2012

Montevideo, Uruguay Feb 2012

1.)  Montevideo is the capital of Uruguay.
2.) It is geographically located on the north shore of Rio de La Plata (River Plate), a 220km wide river that separates Uruguay from Argentina.
3.) Over half of Uruguay’s 3 million people population live in Montevideo.
4.) The Teatro Solis is the oldest theatre in South America.
5.)  Uruguay won the FIFA World Cup twice, in 1930 (as hosts of the first every WC) and in 1950.
6.) Uruguay has one of the most stable economies, lowest unemployment and violent crime rates in South America.

10 January 2012

Chinese New Year Taipei Jan 2012

09 November 2011

Koh Samui Nov 2011

Infinity pools, Private Speedboat, Phi Phi Islands, W Koh Samui, Private Plunge pool, Secluded lagoons, The Beach and one beautiful, beautiful girl.

07 July 2011

Whale Beach July 2011

Hong Kong Disney Land July 2011

The sweltering summer heat in Hong Kong can only be described as unbearable. Add to that my fat lump of a yet-to-ambulate nephew and Disney Land suddenly turned into a bad bad idea. Luckily, we took shelter at the lengthy and air conditioned "It's a small world after all" ride which kept him bemused and me well rested. We went round half a dozen times, but he didn't seem to mind.

Lei Yue Mun in Hong Kong is a waterway separating Kowloon and the Hong Kong Island and is famed for its fish markets and restaurants. Like most Hong Kong/ Chinese restaurants, it is tradition to pick out the live seafood from the aquariums nearby, have it all briefly brought to the dining table (to display the freshness of the seafood), before heading to the kitchen.