Page 2 of nickb Travel Blog Posts

Africa » Zimbabwe » Victoria Falls April 3rd 2009

Smart Traveller listed Zimbabwe as do not go zone for Australians. It is true that no one will hear about Zimbabwe besides the complete mess the country is in. It currency is worthless and a majority of the world have negative opinions of the president Robert Mugabe. Even the tour had to be rerouted through Botswana due to the dangerous situation the country was in. I crossed the border from Botswana and was feeling much better after the food poisoning and felt that a new country bought upon much welcomed health. We went to the Africa Travel Co office in the town of Victoria Falls and as we crossed the road to the camp saw a string of limousines, security and jeeps drive by. In one of them was the aforementioned Robert Mugabe – perhaps the ... read more

Africa » Botswana March 29th 2009

My earliest memories of Botswana were when someone in highschool updated their MSN and called themselves Bushpig. Their location was somewhere in the jungle, Botswana. How remote and untouched it seemed. In reality, Botswana is seen as an African success story. A sparsely populated country whose main concerns is not civil war, but the effects of AIDS. The Khama Rhino Sanctuary Trust is a community based wildlife project, established in 1992 to assist in saving the vanishing rhino, restore an area formerly teeming with wildlife to its previous natural state and provide economic benefits to the local Batswana community through tourism and the sustainable use of natural resources. I was lucky enough to visit the sanctuary on my first day in Botswana. We set out in jeeps through the park and saw plenty of rhino, wildebeest, ... read more

Africa » South Africa » Gauteng » Johannesburg March 23rd 2009

South Africa is a kaleidoscope of contrasts. The average person’s image of South Africa ranges from safari suits to apartheid, georgeous Table Mountain to Soweto, modern wines to AIDS. This is a country that needs to be seen to be comprehended. My first taste of Africa went from the five star Bangkok Novotel and Thai Airways first class to a backpacker’s dormitory. We had booked an African Travel Co tour with On the Go and arrived in Jo’Burg as it is affectionately known, a day prior. The place was the Backpacker’s Ritz. It hardly was the ritz. Jetlag had set in so we slept for most of the day. We did make a small trip to the local shopping centre to purchase a memory chip for the camera and then to the service station that night ... read more

Asia » Hong Kong March 22nd 2009

Getting upgraded on a flight is one of the goals of all travellers. Due to flight cancellations, my flight got re-routed and I had to catch a flight from Bangkok to Thailand on Thai Airlines. This flight let me achieve the ultimate – a free upgrade. I didn’t notice it was an upgrade till half through the flight when I peered through the curtain and saw economy class, with their plastic cutlery, three seats in a row and alcohol rations. Too bad this wasn’t the worlds longest flight. Now once we landed in Hong Kong, we had 7 hours to kill – not knowing much about the place prior, we looked at a train which took you through the city – the logistics of the city however made this option unavailable. We got out the airport, ... read more

Asia » Thailand » Central Thailand » Bangkok March 21st 2009

Alas, I was back in Thailand, one of the worlds great areas to travel and one of my favorite places to be. I embarked on my first multi destinational trip and had to stopover in Bangkok due to a Thai Airways cancelled flight. Now the first time I was in Bangkok I did not enjoy it as much as I could have. A big culture shock, a bit tired from Chaing Mai and a guess a little home sick. I didn’t really want to stop in Bangkok overnight but as is always the case in the developing world, you can’t be in too much of a rush because you will inevitably have something go very wrong and keep you grounded for a few days. Southeast Asia is certainly no exception but there are far worse places ... read more

Oceania » Vanuatu » Efate » Port Vila August 16th 2008

Vanuatu is a great place. It is only a two and a half hour flight from Brisbane, it is a tax haven and has been voted the happiest country in the world – as the sign in the customs area of Vila airport reminds us. Unlike the brochures in a travel agency, the 8km drive from the airport to the city of Vila does not drum up feelings of idyllic beaches and happy locals – rather it made me think that it is more like a third world country. One thing to learn about Vanuatu and the south Pacific is that things are generally done on island time. Places close down between noon and 3pm daily for siesta and Sundays are purely a day for church gatherings. I stayed at the Sebel, a beautiful hotel on ... read more

Asia » Thailand » Central Thailand » Bangkok March 1st 2008

Bangkok is a huge city with high rises for suburbs on end. We stayed in the Classic Palace, which was about 2kms from the city centre and about an hour from the airport. Bangkok is the capital city and central business district – it is also one of the major hubs of Asia. Tuk Tuk drivers work on commission here and take you indirect routes to your destination – to places like suit tailors or jewellery stores where they try to sell you their products. Unfortunately the traffic is ridiculously bad in Bangkok and getting taxi is not worth it – thankfully, we discovered at the end that Bangkok has an excellent public transport network and the train station was near the hotel. We did a few tours of Bangkok – the temple tour is a ... read more

Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Chiang Mai February 27th 2008

St Augustine once said that the world is a book and those that don’t travel read only one page. My first trip abroad made me want to read the whole book – prologue to epilogue. Thailand is a Mecca for the tourist and a great place to set the first chapter– the most popular of South East Asian destination – it blends an exotic mix of culture, food, history and temples. The national carrier, Thai Airlines, gives an excellent preview into this country – hospitable hostesses, great food and unlimited entertainment. We transited through Bangkok’s main terminal – the escalators echo ‘end of the walk’ – we then caught a domestic flight to our first destination – Chiang Mai. We were met at the airport by Aki, who would be our tour guide whilst in Chiang ... read more

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