Tom Rooney Travels

Tom Rooney

Tom Rooney Travels

Welcome to my travel blog. During this visit I encourage you to take a walk in my shoes while browsing through these entertaining and informative travel journals. My weblog features journals, photos and videos from many of the world's beautiful countries. I have over two decades of travel experience, and feel blessed to embark on regular trips abroad. There are endless delights to enjoy while exploring foreign countries. After all, how else can you meet so many of the world's proud people and experience as much wonderful culture?

Travel is developing into a lifetime passion and I believe I'm making a positive contribution to global society, thanks to the bountiful gifts bestowed on us by Mother Earth. My journals from around the world commence in 1986, and are written for you to read sequentially as a travel book if you have the time. Otherwise, feel free to pay a short visit until next time to catch up on my blog. The journey through life takes us on an unforgettable adventure, and I'm confident you'll enjoy viewing recommendations on places to stay, locations to visit, and things not to be missed for the traveller in all of us.



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since my arrival in Vietnam

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Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City June 24th 2019

What a thrill to have the opportunity of revisiting Vietnam, after a long absence of 18 years. My previous trip in 2001 has always had a special place in my heart, and it seems every second person you bump into in Australia has recently visited, or is planning to visit Vietnam. The buzz became so great I could no longer resist the charms of this wonderful country. The memories from all those years ago are becoming a distant memory, so it's great to be back in Vietnam amongst the friendly people, wonderful culture, and delicious food for a three week return visit. What's particularly surprising is the prices don't seem to have changed over the years. Travellers will struggle to find a cheaper destination, and there's plenty on offer to make the most of visiting this ... read more
Lovely park
City life
Lovely park

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island February 3rd 2019

Have you ever found as the years roll by old travel stories tend to become a little tired? The memory still lingers, but every time in the telling they get more distant, as if they're just part of a dream from the distant past. So occasionally it's time for a refresh, and after 18 years it's a thrill to revisit the spectacular South Island of New Zealand. When island hopping in the South Pacific, most flights route through Auckland as the only regional hub. So I figured as I'm coming to NZ on multiple occasions, I should take the opportunity to finish this unforgettable adventure down south. With this in mind I snapped up an early morning Air New Zealand flight to Christchurch for just a hundred dollars, and within a few hours I was out ... read more
Church by the lake
Milford Sound
Historic building

Oceania » Cook Islands » Aitutaki January 29th 2019

For all the internet researchers who have stumbled across Aitutaki in the Cook Islands, firstly kudos for the meticulous research on potential travel destinations. And if by chance you clicked on google images of this paradise, I can understand if some skepticism may be creeping in. Perhaps you're wondering if an island could possibly be as beautiful and captivating as the images portray, has there been some liberal use of photoshop? Well my friends, rest assured Aitutaki is everything and more than you could ever imagine. For my part, nearly a week has passed in wonderful Rarotonga, when all the talk revolved around a visit to this tropical wonderland. A few guests from the hostel were keen to take the plunge, and I formed the impression that most visitors to the Cook Islands have a visit ... read more
Transluscent lagoon
Island resort
Beach scene

Oceania » Cook Islands » Rarotonga January 23rd 2019

One of life's special travel moments has resulted in the title of this blog, and rest assured more details of my brush with royalty will be revealed later in the journal. Here I am in the Cook Islands, made up of 15 islands spread over vast distances in the Pacific Ocean, and it's a privilege to visit this paradise for the first time. The influence of the islands has been crucial to the spread of Polynesian culture throughout the Pacific. Arguably the first landing in modern day New Zealand took place in 1350 according to legend, which means Cook Islanders are the forefathers of the Maori people. The local greeting Kia Orana means "May you live long", and in New Zealand it's Kia Ora. Rarotonga is the capital and affectionately referred to by locals as the ... read more
Beach views
Palm trees on the beach
My friend Jesse

Oceania » Solomon Islands » Guadalcanal January 15th 2019

As the years pass by and I gradually add to the number of countries visited, it seems a more spontaneous travel approach is beginning to flower within your intrepid travel correspondent. I'm happiest when the experience of a country begins to unfold as a result of my visit, and lately have shied away from burying myself in information about countries prior to arrival. It goes without saying the occasional surprised look comes my way in the first few days after arrival, nevertheless I bury myself in each destination and the experiences on offer to ensure I'm enriched by the country and her people. The inaugural visit to Solomon Islands has been the latest example, where it all magically unfolded for me over the course of ten days, and what a wonderful experience it's been! For a ... read more
Vilu outdoor museum
Tenaru Falls
Park Heritage hotel

Oceania » Tonga » Vava'u January 5th 2019

The island of Vava'u is situated in the north of Tonga, and is famed for beautiful beaches on it's Outer Islands. Many tourists visiting the Kingdom only stop off in Nuku'alofa, before catching an Air Tonga flight north to the resort mecca. However, I had the privilege of spending four enjoyable days in the capital prior to heading to the airport, for a direct one hour flight on a propellor plane out to Vava'u. There seemed to be quite the crowd milling around at the arrival area of the airport, but to my astonishment I wasn't pounced upon by a bevy of taxi drivers haggling for business. This was a first for me, literally no-one was paying me any mind. I couldn't believe it, and out of desperation approached a westerner for help. He got the ... read more
Secluded beach
Neiafu centre
Neiafu coast

Oceania » Tonga » Tongatapu December 29th 2018

Back in 2015 I had my heart set on visiting Tonga, with flights and accommodation booked as part of a previous South Pacific adventure. Mother Nature, however, had different plans as a volcano burst out of the ocean just off the coast and started spewing volcanic ash in a major eruption. Bizarrely; I had gone through check in, customs, and immigration on multiple occasions, and the planes had taken off, only for the pilots to announce mid flight we had been ordered back to Auckland. This was my version of Groundhog Day, where every day is the same! After three days of trying I had no alternative but to abandon my dream of visiting this South Pacific paradise. Well, here we are at the tail end of 2018, and this time around an effortless commute from ... read more
Tsunami rock
Natural Land Bridge

Asia » South Korea » Busan July 19th 2018

I'm not sure how this sudden change has come over me, where I seem to have transformed in to the most compliant traveller going around! I'll never forget these past 10 days in Busan, a beautiful city at the base of South Korea. The welcome has been overwhelming, the people I've met kind and friendly, and the invites arriving at a dizzying rate. Basically I've become accustomed to just saying yes to anything. Tom, would you like to go to Cheongju for a day trip ... yes; Tom, would you like to go to a restaurant to try this traditional Korean dish tonight ... yes; Tom, shall we go and explore a temple today ... yes; Tom, do you want to come to the spa with us tonight ... yes; how about karaoke tonight ... yes; ... read more
Beautiful temple
Stunning temple
Temple stairs

Asia » South Korea » Seoul July 8th 2018

Korea is a super cool travel destination and should be high on the bucket list for lovers of travel. The home of K-pop is an all singing, all dancing extravaganza and a must see for travellers visiting Asia. It's been a long held dream to revisit this wonderful country, it's thrilling to be back after many years. It's clear the Koreans haven't been sitting on their hands in the last few decades, as first impressions of Seoul leave me wide eyed and very impressed. The Korean economy is an economic juggernaut, with the wealth generated evident throughout the Korean capital. Despite the ongoing threat caused by the aggressive posturing of the North Koreans, the demilitarised zone just sixty kilometres north seems a world away from the bustling and energetic lifestyle enjoyed by the citizens of Seoul. ... read more
Palace entrance
Ceremonial guard
Gyeonbok palace

Asia » Taiwan June 28th 2018

The summer months are typhoon season in Taiwan, a period of volatility over the Pacific Ocean that can lead to severe ramifications for the people of the region. Since my arrival in Taipei there's been a typhoon alert in place, however there's been no evidence of severe weather during my visit to date. So I decided it was time to explore more of this magical island, and booked a train ticket for the four hour journey down the east coast to the city of Taitung. A traveller in Hong Kong recommended I visit Green Island, however the ferries weren't running due to the weather, so I decided to push on to Dulan. The little town is renowned for surfing and a hippy lifestyle, and attracts an interesting and vibrant group of tourists and Taiwanese alike. It ... read more
Little park
Rest hut
Coast in the rain

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