Getting into hot water

One of the strangest things about North Island is suddenly coming across a patch of ground that’s smoking – or hearing a glooping and plopping noise coming from a muddy puddle, which is bubbling away happily all by itself. The volcanic hot springs are wonderful.  You can either pay to go to the pools –…

Hobbits

Hobbiton was at the top of my list for NZ North Island. Having seen lots of countryside locations where Lord of the Rings had been filmed, I was now keen to see something that had been built especially for the film. Hobbiton is big business, with 3,000 people a day visiting in peak season.  Although,…

Mad museums on South Island

I have to say that some of the strangest museums I’ve been to are here in New Zealand. They have the world’s only steampunk museum on South Island, with some very unusual displays … sort of Dr Who meets Narnia in Steptoe’s yard – But the descriptions were the highlight for me. This – if…

Albatrosses and Orcs

We landed in New Zealand at Christchurch, and the temperature was 32 degrees.  We just accepted it, having become used to Malaysian and Australian weather – but it turned out to be a fluke, and as we drove south to Dunedin the temperature dropped by more than 20 degrees, until it was just ten above…

Doing shots in Tasmania

This is a shot – Tassie style – It’s an oyster shot – – sake with wasabi, pickled ginger and a plump, fresh Tasmanian oyster … delicious! The seafood here is so good – – I devoured these six scallops cooked with brioche crumbs and herbs in about three minutes, in a little restaurant on…

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Melbourne: trees in skirts

Having spent a few days in Melbourne, I feel just that little bit hipper and cooler.  I’ve been hanging out in bars with uber-cool names like … which has a series of unusual collages on the walls – And Melbourne’s the sort of city where you can get a Shiatsu massage in the market –…

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What a whopper!

To wrap up my time in Malaysia, we did a little strawberry picking up in the Cameron Highlands – – it must be the unique climate that makes them grow so big … The Highlands are ideal for growing tea, and in some places there are tea bushes as far as the eye can see…

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Krabi … but not Crabby

After a hectic Christmas day at the pool – and an exhausting evening posing around the Christmas tree at the Majestic Hotel – We were definitely in need of some R & R on Boxing Day, so headed off to the beach in Thailand. Krabi was not quite what I was expecting.  Despite the severe…

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Street food in Taiwan

When you tell anyone in SE Asia that you’re going to Taiwan, they roll their eyes ecstatically and say, ‘Ooh – the food!’ So when I arrived in Taipei, getting to grips with the local food was my number one priority. I really like walking food tours, where the tour guide walks you around an…

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Crazy Rich Asian Parents

It’s not just Singapore that has Crazy Rich Asians – the Chinese Malaysian parents in KL are up there with the best of them. The most ridiculous thing I’ve been asked to date by a parent, was whether I thought it would be a good idea for a five-year-old to start learning Latin ‘because it…

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Wedding number one …

As I have recently learnt, having just the one wedding when you get married is SO last year – in fact a friend in KL is having three, so I wasn’t surprised when Sam and Alice announced that they would be having two weddings. Wedding number one was yesterday – a beautiful sunny autumn day…

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Feeding my addiction

Mindful that I will be leaving KL at the end of the year, and will be cut off from my new favourite foods, I put out a plea on the local residents Facebook page – I got a few suggestions for using salted egg powder instead of the real thing, which just wouldn’t be the…

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