Month: December 2017

By the sea

Photoseries, 2017


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Bun Cha Ta, Hanoi, Vietnam 

We asked our tour guide where’s good, what’s off the beaten track, what’s a hidden gem, and his first answer was this. Bun Cha Ta is a must-do restaurant in Hanoi. It’s two storeys of intimate bun cha (traditional Vietnamese noodle soup). It always seems pretty busy and you’ve got to be prepared to take your shoes off and sit on the floor.

The menu is relatively limited, but will still have something for everyone and their dietary requirements. The salad is filled with herbs, and the waitress will explain to you how to eat them and what medicinal properties they have. The soup is hearty and flavoursome, like those pots that have been bubbling for generations. I also tried an egg coffee and was pleasantly surprised,  what what a delicious drink! 

This restaurant is such a cool experience and it’s wonderful value for money. Don’t even bother trying bun cha anywhere else, it just won’t be as good.



Disclaimer: This review was also posted on TripAdvisor. This blog has no affiliation with TripAdvisor. I just share my experiences to spread the love to fellow travelers.

Calabur Café, Bondi Junction, Sydney

Calabur is truly a hidden gem. A short walk from Bondi Junction takes you to an underground cafe, covered in vines and smelling of Asian curries. It’s a fusion, a flavour explosion with a menu inspired by asian profiles and western tastes. 

The fruit salad and yogurt is absolutely to die for. Is there anything more virtuous and delectable than honey drizzled over fresh fruits and nuts? The green smoothie bowl celebrates kale and spinach but tastes just like banana and coconut. I paired my brunch with lemongrass and pandan tea, refreshing and uplifting. 

I haven’t even delved into the savoury realms yet. Maybe I’ll see you there when I do. 
Hit the link for food pics!



Disclaimer: This review was also posted on TripAdvisor. This blog has no affiliation with TripAdvisor. I just share my experiences to spread the love to fellow travelers.

St Joseph’s Cathedral, Hanoi, Vietnam 

St Joseph’s Cathedral is stunning gothic monolith, just a stroll from Hoan Kiem Lake and the Old Quarter. It’s a marvel of history and architecture and beautiful even just to witness. The church still runs masses in various languages. However, it’s worth visiting for the sheer beauty of the structure. The area around it is a meeting place for tours and has plenty of cafes and restaurants. Lots of boutique handicraft shopping in the area as well.

Disclaimer: This review was also posted on TripAdvisor. This blog has no affiliation with TripAdvisor. I just share my experiences to spread the love to fellow travelers.

El Mercardo, Sukhumvit, Bangkok

Hail, Bangkok’s best kept secret. El Mercado is tucked away down a side street, down a side alley, down a long driveway. It’s a courtyard and a delicatessen and bar and a terrace house all rolled into one restuarant. It’s off the main drag, and the place is vibing, with fairy lights and fig trees and raucous laughter. 

Find it. You wont regret it. 
This Spanish delicatessen treats you in all manners sweet and savoury. Their cheese selection is to die for, and their charcuterie is carefully selected, and decadent. We tried an array of tapas; salmon, tuna, salads, cheeses, meats, wines. Everything was exquisite. The owner came to greet us, recommending wine pairings and off the menu delights. It was a perfect feast for my final night in Thailand.

Disclaimer: This review was also posted on TripAdvisor. This blog has no affiliation with TripAdvisor. I just share my experiences to spread the love to fellow travelers.

The Chef,  Hoi An, Vietnam 

Easily my favourite experience in Hoi An. It was muggy, as it usually is, and we needed aircon, wifi, a refreshing beverage and a seat. We ducked into an unassuming little bookstore come gift shop and browsed there for a bit. Incidentally, this was an excellent find and held unique souvenirs. 

Then we saw stairs and wandered all the way up to the rooftop terrace. My goodness, what a view! Sunset over all of Hoi An Old Town is a spectacular sight to behold. The rooftops glow and the air becomes cooler. 

There is a restaurant on the second level, but you can’t miss the sunset from the terrace. Drinks are delicious, I had a coconut iced coffee and was on cloud nine. The bougainvillea and lanterns add a lovely touch. The waitstaff are very friendly, helpful and had a nice chat with us about our travel plans while in town, offering us recommendations and directions. 
Dinner was excellent. We navigated our dietary requirements with ease. And I tried something local and new- Hoi An style pancakes. To die for. And reasonably priced too.

Excellent experience, hard to find on social media, but definitely recommend to about all travellers. 



Disclaimer: This review was also posted on TripAdvisor. This blog has no affiliation with TripAdvisor. I just share my experiences to spread the love to fellow travelers.

Clarence River, Grafton, Australia

Day Two

We went off-road in our 4WD and had access to sites deep within the national forest. Station Creek has twisting angopheras and hidden waterways where the water is electric blue.




We drove through bush to the beach, saw where the brolgas teach their young to fly, saw the blue bottles washed up with the tide. We drove through the sand.

We drove to a village that is only accessible via the beach, and the beach is only driveable at low tide. Only one permanent resident lives there, everyone else is a blow-in. There’s an adjacent caravan park too, but there’s not road to that. Swim, or bring your boat.