Craig Smith

Craig9563

Craig Smith

I'm an Australian guy with a passion for traveling. I am especially interested in nature. My aim is to see the "main" animal species in the wild and the "major world sights" and by the time I retire. (Not when I retire - life is too short !) My blogs are a mix of information and a bit of comedy - the latter largely provided by my long term traveling companion. The blogs are also a record for me myself, so I can read them with a smile when I am old and grey. Enjoy.



Asia » Cambodia January 12th 2020

The final cut of our photos: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmKv7brQ... read more

Asia » Singapore January 4th 2020

Blog # 3: A Singapore postscript. January 4, 2020 Hello folks. I hope 2020 is being kind to you so far (and that you are not fire affected). For the last leg of our trip, we traveled from Phnom Penh across to Singapore on Jetstar. (Our experience on Jetstar Asia was just fine, compared to the woes I’ve had with Jetstar in Australia.) Like most other travelers, we love Singapore. It is warm, safe and clean, it boasts fantastic food and has heaps of things to do. Furthermore, the city state is shaking off its sterile, puritanical image. (It was once described by writer William Gibson as "Disneyland with the death penalty".) Nowadays, there are thumping bars and nightclubs that stay open later than that nanny city, Sydney. Clarke Quay last Friday night, for example, was ... read more
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Asia » Cambodia December 31st 2019

Blog # 2: Siem Reap and onto Phnom Penh December 31, 2019 Well, happy new year everyone! 2020 , my gosh. (Over here, there has been extensive coverage by international news outlets of the Australia bush fires. And incredulity from commentators and experts at the inertia of the Australian federal government with regard to addressing climate change. Australia is especially vulnerable to global warming, but the band plays on.) Anyway, We are safe and well and coming to the end of our trip. It was hot and sunny the whole time in Cambodia. Don’t remember seeing a cloud! This “cooler” dry season of November-January is the best time to visit, in my view. It’s still hot, about 32°C each day. Just not shit hot (nor wet). After visiting Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom, the two other ... read more
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Asia » Cambodia » North December 25th 2019

Blog # 1: Siem Reap, Cambodia December 25 , 2019 - Merry Christmas!! It must be very obvious to you by now that I’m addicted to travel. I’m obsessed with it. I’m always dreaming of where to go next. My head says: save money as it may be needed one day. But my heart says: spend it now and enjoy today. After all, who knows what tomorrow may bring? I’m a biologist and I know exactly how fragile human life can be. I am passionately following the “live life now” option. I feel that I have indeed made precisely the right call. So, I am pleased to say that we are back here in South East Asia, one of our favourite travel destinations. We booked flights several months ago and so here we are, in sunny ... read more
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Asia » India » Maharashtra » Mumbai February 28th 2019

Blog # 7. Sunday, March 3, 2019. Earning our stripes in Tadoba, then Mumbai and back home. Dear family, friends and colleagues, Hello everyone, I hope you are all doing OK. We have come to the end of our five week India odyssey. This is the last blog of a trip that was one year in the planning. As usual, we have had a fantastic time. The highlight of the whole trip for me was undoubtedly this past six days. You can guess why. Wild animals. I’m talking sloth bears, wild dogs, a rare black leopard, various deer and birds and – most significantly of all – magnificent tigers! A life-long wish come true to see tigers in the wild. Tigers are endangered and elusive, and for me it was a race against time to see ... read more
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Asia » India » Maharashtra February 26th 2019

Blog # 6 (February 23, 2019). India is incredibly diverse. There is a saying here that for every 50 km you travel, the food changes, the language changes, the culture changes! So, as we boarded an overnight train from Agra to Varanasi (several hundred km apart), we expected a change! Gosh, was that true! But let me backtrack a little. My last blog ended in Agra, when we boarded the train. The extensive rail network in India is amazing – transporting millions of people each day. India Railways is said to be the largest employer in the world (or maybe the second largest, after the Optus complaints department). The best legacy that Britain gave India, it is often said, is its railway network. I think you cannot come to India and not do at least one ... read more
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Asia » India » Uttar Pradesh February 18th 2019

Blog # 5 (February 18, 2019). Time for some critters….and a rather well known building. From Jaipur we drove East to Keoladeo National Park, a protected wetland that is choc-a-block with birds. How could I not stop there??!!! Along the way, we stopped at a huge old step well called Chand Baori - probably the largest in India - dating back to the 10th century. A deep four-sided structure with a massive temple on one face, it was like an Escher painting, with zig-zag terraced steps on three sides leading way down to the well (water source). Step wells are out-dated and abandoned nowadays, superseded by modern plumbing. But they are culturally significant and lately many are being lovingly restored. We’d seen a few already, but this one was a doozy (see opposite). In addition, I ... read more
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Asia » India » Uttar Pradesh February 13th 2019

Blog # 4 (February 13, 2019). Think Pink – It’s Jaipur. Did you know that Shampoo was invented in India in the 1700’s ? The word itself derives from the Hindi, “champo”, a fruit and herb extract for cleansing the hair. I contemplated this information as I showered this morning, as the shampoo in our hotel room was frickin’ awful. It was more like cold porridge than shampoo. It’s not as if they haven’t had a few hundred years to perfect the bloody stuff. Oh, well. We have just spent time in Jaipur, having flown from Jaisalmer on SpiceJet. (Their motto is “Red, Hot and Spicy”, but if this refers to their food, it really should be “Brown, Cold and Heinous”.) Upon arrival in Jaipur, we grabbed a pre-organised cab to our hotel. Jaipur is the ... read more
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Asia » India » Rajasthan » Jaisalmer February 8th 2019

Blog # 3 (February 7, 2019). Jaisalmer – the “golden desert city”. From the blue city of Jodhpur, we travelled to the “golden city” of Jaisalmer, which sits at the edge of the vast Thar desert, quite close to the Pakistani border. Jaisalmer is deservedly a popular tourist spot. It’s central feature is a glorious golden sandstone fort rising out of the desert, dominating the city. It looks like a fabulous giant sandcastle that a kid might build by the shoreline. But we were a long way from the ocean. We were in a city on the edge of the desert. The fort at Jaisalmer was quite different to that in Jodhpur. Unlike in Jodhpur, Jaisalmer fort is a living fort. There are homes, shops, hotels and temples and lots of little cobblestone alleyways all within ... read more
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Asia » India » Rajasthan » Jodhpur February 4th 2019

Blog # 2 (February 5, 2019) The Jodhpur blues - and cranes galore. Last year, a few people commented that they would like to have read more blogs from our Europe trip (e.g, you, Mark Waters! ) People wanted more stories! So, I’ll try to be more frequent this time! To get from Udaipur to Jodhpur, we used a comfy cab. (In India, for about $50, you can just get a cab between major cities, even though they might be some 5 hours apart.) We decided to break the five hour drive by staying overnight about half way. After leaving Udaipur, we firstly dropped in to see a magnificent Jain temple in Ranakpur. Jain = a rather obscure Indian religion. We believe it is actually pronounced “Jan” so we had a little chuckle for you, Bryan ... read more
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