thewelltravelledman universal studios singapore

If you have a free day, or even a few hours while you’re in Singapore, you can’t go past Universal Studios! Whether you have children or you are a big kid yourself, you will find something to keep you entertained.

Where is Universal Studios Singapore

Located on Sentosa in Singapore, Universal Studios is only one part of this fun filled island. You can very easily fill an entire day exploring this part of Singapore.

Getting to Universal Studios

Take the MRT to Harbourfront and then take the monorail to Sentosa. You can use your MRT Travel card to get on and it costs S$4 per person for the ticket. You will need to get off at Waterfront and follow the crowd of people to the entrance to USS.

What is at Universal Studios

There are 7 incredible zones at USS which is plenty to keep you occupied for a few hours. The zones include:

Hollywood: I can only imagine this is what it feels like to walk through Hollywood!

This is the first part of the park we walked through. There is plenty to see and do in this section including street entertainment and singing from Mel’s Dinettes and The Cruisers – we watched The Cruisers perform! And of course there is Sesame Street, Jenna grew up with these guys so getting a snap with them was a must – who said you need kids to have fun?

New York: Well, this actually made you feel like you were walking through the streets of New York.

Have you ever wandered how those big film sets are created with boats catching fire during a cyclone? You can see how this is all done at the Lights, Camera, Action attraction. It is really awesome! You see wind, fire, lightening and water splashes – you really do need to see this one!

You can also see some more Sesame Street characters here and get more photos!

Sci-Fi City: This zone is not for the faint hearted! Two of the most thrilling rides live in this zone. They are of course the Battlestar Galactica roller coaster rides.

Jenna didn’t want to go on them, I just started walking to the line and she followed. Jenna later admitted that they were up there in the top 4 rides! These two roller coasters intertwine through each other – it is really quite amazing!

The Transformers 4D ride was amazing – it was recommended to us and I will happily recommend it to you!

Ancient Egypt: Probably our favourite ride was in Ancient Egypt and that is of course The Revenge of the Mummy!

There are a few reasons why this was our favourite… firstly, the line is air conditioned (yep, air conditioned!!) and secondly it is a roller coaster, inside (in air con) and in the dark so you never know what’s coming up next! It was so much fun and we wanted to go on that one over and over again.

Lost World: This is where you go if you want to get a bit wet! You can buy a poncho for S$5 (Jenna did…. not sure why!!) or you can risk getting wet. We went on the Jurassic Park Rapids Adventure which isn’t as thrilling as the roller coasters but it is still pretty good.

Then, you must make sure you stop by and visit the WaterWorld show in the afternoon (check the timetable for times).

They perform some pretty cool stunts and worth a visit. If you sit in the front though, prepare to get wet!!

Far Far Away: This zone is perfect for kids, there are kid friendly roller coasters and other rides as well. Here you can get your photo taken with Pinocchio or Shrek!

Madagascar: Another fantastic kids zone where they can really enjoy themselves!

Enjoying the rides at USS

If there is only one piece of advice you take away from this article.. it’s that you buy yourself an express rides ticket! Click here for prices. You’re probably wondering why you would spend more money on top of the entrance fee to get express entry to the rides. I can promise you, you won’t be disappointed. Often the wait time for the rides is 40 minutes. With the Express tickets, we didn’t wait longer than 5 minutes for any given ride, actually it was probably less than that for most. You simply enter a different line and bypass all of the other people standing there waiting their turn! it’s fantastic!

Enjoy a highlights video of our trip to USS!

“Travel and change of place impart new vigor to the mind.” – Seneca

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Imagine this… sitting by your pool in a sun lounge overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, cocktail in hand and soaking up the sun. Doesn’t this sound like the most amazing relaxing holiday? I couldn’t agree more!

When planning your trip to Italy, you have so many incredible destinations to choose from… Milan, Lake Como, Cinque Terre, Amalfi Coast or Sicily, but if you’ve read our other posts, you will know that Sardinia would have to be up there with our favourite Italian destinations and it’s not hard to see why.

This post will focus on Sardinia vacation rentals.

Getting to Sardinia

There are a number of airports on Sardinia so you have a few to choose from when booking your flights. The airports are:

  • Cagliari (the main airport)
  • Olbia
  • Alghero
  • Arbatax (although, this is a small regional airport and not often open all year round)
  • Oristano (also a small regional airport)

Why visit Sardinia

Besides being one of the most beautiful parts of Italy, Sardinia has nearly 2000km of incredible coastlines, sandy (and not so sandy) beaches and hiking trails – there is just something for everyone.

Whether you drive around the island over a week or so or you stay in one spot, it is hard to be disappointed on and island like this. You just have so much to choose from and the Italian summer is absolutely spectacular. You have perfect day after perfect day, the days are long and the nights aren’t too hot.

Sardinia is known for its exquisite fresh seafood as well as the traditional Italian meals such as pizza and pasta. It doesn’t matter where in Sardinia you are, you will find some delicious traditional Italian food that tastes like it has come out of Nonna’s kitchen.

Staying in a Villa or Vacation Rental

We all know that one person (or maybe that is you) with amazing travel luck- amazing accommodation, views, weather and they just seem to have it all right. Staying in a Villa or Vacation Rental will make anyone jealous!

Fair enough, for many of us, you’ll initially be shocked at the price per night, however if you’re travelling with friends and/or family and divide the cost between everyone you’ll be pleasantly surprised and I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if you end up saving quite a bit of money compared to the traditional hotel rooms or airbnb options, especially when you see what these villas include!

This incredible villa, as an example is from $992 per night, but sleeps 12 people which makes the cost per person as low as $82.75 per person per night and check out the views you get for that…

Not to mention, it is so wonderful having your own space, the kids having their own rooms, especially if they are at an age where they need to have day time naps. You won’t have to worry about waking them up (which means you can get more relaxation time by the pool!)

Sardinia vacation rentals have so many options around the island for you to choose from. If you decide to fly in to Olbia, as an example and you have a few of you going together, how can you go past this incredible villa with your own private beach access, yep that’s right – private beach access! This awesome villa can home up to 16 people – so there is room for you and your extended family and friends!

The outdoor living area comes complete with a BBQ and a well maintained lawn overlooking the magnificent sea. I don’t know about you, but for us this is the ideal relaxation holiday. You have the perfectly warm Mediterranean temperature, a sandy beach with no waves, no sharks, nothing dangerous (except for the odd fish who decides to nibble at your feet!) and plenty of room to relax and do your own thing.

You’re probably thinking… but the best thing about a hotel is that you come back to a tidy room and you have a cooked breakfast (I know we love that part of staying at a hotel as well), but never mind about that- if you stay at this villa includes two housekeepers and a cook who will take care of breakfast and one other meal each day. Seriously – how did we not know about this when we travelled with our group of friends!!

I know recently, destination weddings have become more and more popular with guests being asked to travel across the world, or to the other side of Europe to see their mates tie the knot. This is a perfect example of where you can get a large group of people together to share the cost of what will be one fantastic holiday, one to remember.

I could go on and on and on about these wonderful villas and vacation rentals, but instead I’ll let you scroll through the photos which will no doubt make you want to book the next flight over to Sardinia! For more information and to see all of the amazing villas and vacation rentals available in Sardinia, click here.

Stunning – absolutely stunning accommodation!

“Every man can transform the world from one of monotony and drabness to one of excitement and adventure.” – Irving Wallace

Note: We have not stayed at each of the properties featured in the post, however given the quality of the accommodation and price, felt the content would benefit those who are looking at travelling to Sardinia.

thewelltravelledman halong bay 2 night cruise indochina junk

When it comes time to planning your trip to Vietnam, you will see many things pop up in your search engine, one of which will be Halong Bay and when you google Halong Bay, you realise why this is a must visit part of Vietnam. Trying to decide on a company to book with can be daunting, there are so many to choose from so we of course went to Trip Advisor to get advice from fellow travellers! The reviews speak for themselves, Indochina Junk, particularly the Dragon Legend Cruise needs to be at the top of your list.

thewelltravelledman halong bay 2 night cruise indochina junk

A bit about Halong Bay

Halong Bay is around 165km from Hanoi and is an impressive 43,400 ha which includes an equally impressive 1600 islands and islets. The amazing thing about that is that most of these island and islets are uninhabited by humans which just adds to their beauty.

Halong Bay, in ancient Vietnamese, translates to descending dragon and originated from a legend of this ancient land and Bai Tu Long Bay translates to The dragon parts the offspring. Interesting isn’t it?

When to visit Halong Bay

We visited in April and the weather was warm and we didn’t get a great deal of rain. After speaking with the crew on the ship, they said that September is probably the best month to visit Halong Bay. Either way, you have to be lucky to see that magical sunset as most tourists only see the hazy, foggy Halong Bay!

Getting to Halong Bay

Most people will start their Halong Bay experience from the beautiful Hanoi, in the North of Vietnam. You can arrange a hotel transfer service through Indochina Junk which I would highly recommend. The journey from Hanoi to Halong Bay takes around 3.5 – 4 hours with a bathroom stop along the way at a tourist souvenir shop.

The transfer van was extremely luxurious and complimentary water was provided.

Arriving at Halong Bay

When we arrived at the wharf, you have the chance to use the bathroom, buy a cold drink and pay your outstanding fees.

We were then taken by a cart to where the tender boats depart from, just a few minutes down the road.

Our luggage was taken separately and delivered to our room – it is a simple process! When we got on the tender boat, it was only another few minutes before we arrived at the gorgeous Dragon Legend 1.

Arriving on the boat and getting upstairs to the dining room, it was exciting!

The boat was amazing (we’ll get to that in a second). There was a safety and information session where our cruise manager Tony gave us an overview of what we will be doing over the next three days.

How long to spend on Halong Bay

One piece of advice we received before booking was to make sure we spend 2 nights on Halong Bay. I completely agree! Not only is it absolutely breathtaking on Halong Bay, but it wouldn’t be very relaxing doing the 3.5 hour drive two days in a row – where’s the relaxing there?

Spending 2 nights and 3 days also means that you are likely to be further away from the other tourist boats which makes it a much more relaxing experience.

Your last day on the boat usually consists of breakfast, and relaxing on the sundeck before an early buffet lunch and back on the mainland by midday. Therefore, if you visited only for 1 night you would probably spend less than 24 hours on the boat and for us, that simply wasn’t worth such a long journey for such a short time!

Which boat to choose?

We chose the Dragon Legend 1 from Indochina Junk. There are two of these ships (Dragon Legend 1 and Dragon Legend 2), one of which does the 1 night and the other the 2 night cruise. They also happen to be the newest ships of the fleet and the most luxurious as well.

Chances are you’ve travelled quite a distance to get to this point… if there is one thing you do on the trip, it is splurge a little bit on the Dragon Legend 1. You will not only get your money’s worth but it will be an overall relaxing, wonderful experience.

About the Dragon Legend

The luxurious Dragon Legend consists of 24 luxury cabins, 4 decks, 2 dining rooms (one inside and one outside), a spa / massage space & sundeck area. The Dragon Legend cruise offers guests the chance to sail through Bai Tu Long Bay which is the far less touristy area of Halong Bay.

The Dragon Legend’s Accommodation

When we opened the door to our air conditioned cabin, we were amazed firstly at the size of the cabin, and secondly the view you have out of your window!

The bedroom included a large super comfortable bed and also a lounge room area which had a large window overlooking the Bay. It is so nice waking up to such a beautiful view each morning.

Then you get to the bathroom and our first reaction was WOW! We were not expecting such a luxurious bathroom, fitted with a large bath (which unfortunately we didn’t have time to use!).

The other thing to mention is that there were plenty of power points, which as fellow travellers I am sure you will appreciate! There is room to charge all of your devices at the same time 🙂

A mini bar, safe, TV and luggage space are just a few other things to mention that are included within the cabin.

Join is below to take a walk through our incredible room.

The Dragon Legend Facilities

Dining Rooms: As I mentioned earlier, there are two dining rooms onboard. The first in indoors if you’re unlucky enough to have some rainy weather (which is quite common on Halong Bay) and the other is outside. We had lunch on day 1 inside and sat along the windows and the view are just amazing. All of our other meals were served at the outdoor dining room and the views, well – uninterrupted views of Halong Bay, can you get much better than that?

Bar: There is also a well stocked bar on board ready to service you delicious mocktails, cocktails or anything else you would like! The prices are reasonable and service was always really great.

Gym: If you like to stay active and healthy while on holidays, why not visit the gym with an amazing view over Halong Bay!

Sundeck: There is a wonderful sundeck which a heap of sun chairs for you to sit back, relax and enjoy sailing through Halong Bay. There are umbrella’s available if you need to escape the scorching sun.

Pool: There is a small pool on board which is filled up each day.

Spa: If you like to relax and enjoy being pampered then you will love the Spa! When we first got on the ship, the staff walked around seeing if you wanted to be booked in for a massage. We booked in that first night for a couples massage. The ambiance in the room was good, the massage therapists were quiet and the massage was lovely and a perfect way to end an evening.

The Food

The quality of food that was provided to us throughout our three days was simply amazing. There is one thing for sure, you will not go hungry on this ship, particularly if you love Vietnamese cuisine, particularly seafood. It isn’t your typical three course meal – but several courses so getting through lunch and dinner can take a bit of time, but when you’re being served delicious dish one after another, what’s the rush?

The food is prepared fresh in the kitchen on board, even the edible decorations on the plates!

We were celebrating my birthday as part of this trip so the crew were kind enough to arrange a birthday cake for me and a small gift, it was very sweet. There were a few birthdays and honeymoon celebrations on the boat – each received their own cake.

The excursions and extras

Floating Village: We arrived at this floating village where we got a history lesson behind the area.

It was then time to jump into our smaller rowing boat where we were taken to the main village. It was so peaceful sitting back, relaxing and enjoying the views of the limestone karsts and islets.

There was even a school located in the village at one point. Now days, the children are able to go to the mainland for their schooling.

Pearl Farm: What is interesting about this excursion is that you get to see an actual pearl being farmed and the local guide explains the process of farming pearls and how long it takes! Jenna picked up some earrings and a necklace while we were there.

Cave: Our stop to the cave was pretty interesting. You walk up a few stairs (100 to be precise) to get to the cave entrance which also happens to have incredible views over Bai Tu Long Bay and it is pretty impressive.

Our guide explained the history behind the cave and we had time to explore inside before heading to lunch.

BBQ Lunch on a secluded beach: Imagine having an entire beach dedicated to just your boat, enjoying a fresh BBQ lunch.

Swim Spot: One of our first stops was for a swim at a beach. There were a few other boats that stopped here, but the water was lovely and it was nice to relax on the beach for a bit.

Cruising around Bai Tu Long Bay: We had a couple of trips on the smaller boats around Bai Tu Long Bay and it was absolutely amazing.

thewelltravelledman halong bay 2 night cruise indochina junk

In the smaller boats, we were able to get closer to the karsts and islets and really enjoy the Bay. Although Bai Tu Long Bay isn’t an excursion as such and is part of the itinerary, it is worth a specific mention as you really feel like you’re out of the main tourist part of Halong Bay and are surrounded only by these incredible karsts and islets.

Fishing Village: We stopped at this adorable fishing village! We were off on our little tender boats and enjoyed a ride through this village.

Swimming: We had an opportunity to swim off the side of our boat. It is safe to swim in Halong Bay, so we jumped in for a quick dip to cool off.

Cooking Class: You can try your luck at making spring rolls with the chef! It is heaps of fun and then you get to eat them afterwards.

The chef even made these incredible vegetable animals, both very symbolic of the area, and Vietnam.

The Crew

We had such an amazing crew for our 3 day cruise. They were always extremely polite and their knowledge of the area and wider Vietnam is impressive. It was nice to see all of the crew come out to see us, and even put on a little show for the guests.

The verdict

If you can’t tell from what I’ve written above, we can highly recommend the 2 night, 3 day cruise through Halong Bay with Indochina Junk on their Dragon Legend 2. It is such a fantastic option when sailing this part of Vietnam and it is worth the money spent for the luxury ship.

For more on Vietnam, click here.

Enjoy watching this short highlights video from our Halong Bay cruise.

“Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” – Andre Gide

 

 

Hotel: Holiday Inn Orchard City Centre, Singapore

Location: Singapore

Room: Executive Room

Perfect for: Couples, Business trips

Category: Executive


Spoiled for choice when looking at hotels in Singapore! Whether you’re visiting Singapore for the tourist attractions, to splurge on a bit of shopping, or both, there is something for everyone. The challenge is finding a property within budget, that also meets your criteria.

We spent two nights at the Holiday Inn Orchard City Centre and were not disappointed.

The hotel is located along Singapore’s main shopping street, Orchard Road and is a short walk from the Somerset and Dhoby Ghaut MRT (Metro) stations making it a perfect spot to base yourself whilst in Singapore.

Our welcome experience…

From the moment we pulled up into the driveway of the hotel, we were greeted by some incredibly friendly staff and were impressed with the look and feel of the hotel.

The car door was opened, our luggage was promptly transferred to our room and we received a warm welcome from the staff on reception (Munirah) who had us checked in within 5 minutes. Munriah explained to us where the gym and pool was, restaurants, bar and executive lounge and breakfast – we left our check in counter not needing to ask any questions.

Most would think that is normal, but I can assure you it isn’t. Prior to our check-in at the Holiday Inn we also stayed at Marina Bay Sands and our arrival experience couldn’t have been worse, but that’s a story for another post.

The Room…

We booked an Executive Guest room and were not disappointed. The room was well equipped having everything you need including a safe, mini bar, lounge chair, large king sized bed and comfortable bathroom with amenities.

Something we have never seen before at a hotel is a handy phone. This phone offers unlimited internet and includes calls to 10 countries – how amazing is that when you don’t have data activated on your phone!

Complimentary drinking water is also provided daily free of charge, which is amazing, especially when you’re walking around all day long! You can also get additional bottles of water from the gym if you’re thirsty 🙂

Executive Lounge

The room we booked included the Executive Lounge. I can’t stress enough how much value you get out of this! You are probably aware, or you are now, how expensive drinks are in Singapore.

As an example, we paid S$10 for a glass of Soda Water in the city so when you get access to the Executive Lounge which includes an extensive range of drinks, including beer, wine, soft drinks and of course, a Singapore Sling cocktail.

The lounge also includes breakfast, afternoon tea and snacks for dinner (which is easily enough for a meal!).

If you upgrade to an executive club room, you will have access to these special privileges:

  • Personalised check in and check out services at the Executive Lounge
  • Access to the lounge from 7am – 11pm with light refreshments available all day
  • A continental breakfast from 7am – 11am in the lounge, or access to the Window on the Park restaurant for a full buffet style breakfast
  • Daily afternoon tea from 1pm – 4pm
  • Daily evening drinks and snacks from 6pm – 8pm
  • Two pieces of non-accumulative laundry or pressing service
  • Complimentary in room local calls
  • Complimentary usage of the computers in the lounge and business centre

So, if you ask me – it is worth upgrading your room to have access to the exec lounge!!!

Meals…

Window on the Park: This all day dining restaurant offers buffet breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert. We ate breakfast here on the first morning and it was delicious with an egg station and plenty of fresh food available.

thewelltravelledman holiday inn orchard city centre singapore

Lobby Lounge and Bar: We decided on a late night snack, around 10pm and wandered down to the lobby lounge and bar where we enjoyed some beef sliders to share while listening to live music.

The service and general atmosphere was great and the food came out quickly.

Tandoor: This award winning restaurant can seat 80 people and gets quite busy on the weekends, so best to book ahead. They are open for lunch and dinner every day. Tandoor provides you with authentic North Indian dishes and the flavours are simply divine. We were quite spoilt at Tandoor and our menu was as follows:

Starter

Samosa & Corn Chaat – Fried pyramid-shaped pastry shell stuffed with potatoes and chickpeas, served with tangy corn salad

Soup

Murgh Badam Ka Shorba – A rich infusion of chicken soup brewed with fresh mint

Kebab

Ajwaini Macchi Tikka – Fish tikka flavoured with carom seeds, spices and chargrilled

Nimbu Murgh Ka Tikka – Morsels of chicken delicately flavoured with lemongrass, kaffir lime and jalapenos

Main course

Murgh Makhani – Every Indian’s delight, chicken tikkas cooked in rich creamy smoked tomato sauce

Malabari Fish Curry – Chunks of fish cooked on slow fire in a tangy spiced coconut curry

Dal Makhani – Black lentil slow-cooked overnight with tomatoes and garlic, finished with butter and cream

Mango Curry – A unique ripe mango curry from the Mangalore region of India

Naan – Plain Naan & Garlic Naan

Dessert

Saffron Pistachio Kulfi – A unique mélange of handmade saffron pistachio flavoured Indian ice-cream

Gulab Jamun – Khoya (reduced milk) balls deep-fried to a golden colour and immersed in rose flavoured sugar syrup

Health and Fitness…

The hotel has a pretty well fit out gym which overlooks the rooftop outdoor pool area.

So if you are someone who likes to stay active and healthy on holidays, this hotel has what you need.

Good to know…

The hotel doesn’t have a car service to and from the airport, but a taxi is super cheap and the journey is only around 30 minutes.

Also, if you’re travelling with children, the hotel has a great package called Kids Stay & Eat Free which is for kids under the age of 12 can stay for free when sharing their parents’ room with up to to kids in each room. This is pretty good and can help save some $$ when travelling with your family.

Checking out…

Just like checking in, our check out experience was fast and easy, which is what you want when you are usually on your way to the airport!

Above and beyond…

The staff at the hotel were more than helpful. When I asked concierge for a city map, the team member spent the next 5 minutes showing me where to go and what to see and ensuring places of interest were circled on the map.

The not so good…

There is nothing I can put under this category, we couldn’t fault our stay as it exceeded our expectations based on the budget.

The verdict…

If you’re looking for a well priced, well appointed hotel then this is the spot. We loved our time at the hotel and would recommend it for anyone visiting Singapore.

“Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” – Ibn Battuta

Note: The photos used in this post are a combination of photos we took and photos obtained from hotel management.

thewelltravelledman mekong delta two days from ho chi minh city

The Mekong Delta: a maze of rivers, rice paddy fields and simply a great spot to emerge yourself in the Vietnamese culture to see how the locals live, outside the buzzing of Ho Chi Minh City.

We did exactly that, experiencing a homestay with with local family to learn more about their way of life on a 2 day, 1 night tour with Innoviet Travel. It was exactly what we were hoping it would be, yet at the same time, nothing like we expected it to be. It is certainly an authentic experience!

Our highlights of the 2 day tour

There were two things we were most excited about, the first was the homestay and the second was the Cai Rang floating market. We felt these two parts of the tour were the Mekong in our mind. In addition to these, you get to experience…

  • a bicycle ride through the rural villages seeing pagodas (similar to a buddhist temple), tropical orchards and rice paddy fields
  • incredible hand rowing boat ride through the canals
  • cooking lesson at our homestay – we made spring rolls!
  • visiting a local market

Two day Mekong itinerary

Day 1: Ho Chi Minh City – My Tho –  Vinh Long

We were picked up from our hotel at around 7am and were ready for the 1.5 hour drive ahead of us to get to what is known as the ‘gateway to the deal’ My Tho. There were only 4 of us on the tour which meant we had heaps of room in the mini van to spread out. The van was comfortable and plenty of drinking water was made available.

We stopped in this local village where there was this narrow bridge with kids playing – they were so excited to see us and pose for a photo!

We then visited some locals who were working on a coconut farm. Working in extreme heat, the skilled workers peel up to 2000 coconuts for as little as $10 – $12 USD per day!

In My Tho, we enjoyed a tuk-tuk ride where we reached our first stop!

We visited a local family who provided us with some local tropical fruits (pineapple, dragonfruit, bananas and mango).

The fruit in the Mekong is probably the nicest, freshest fruit we’ve ever eaten!

We even got a fresh coconut each!

The next part of the tour on a hand-rowing sampan was amazing!

If you’re not sure what a hand-rowing sampan is, imagine a gondola in Venice, then bring it down to basic form which is used for local Vietnamese families along the Mekong. In our hand-rowing sampan we glided through some amazing canals, taking in the scenery, wildlife and vegetation. It was one of the most peaceful parts of the tour, I only wish it had lasted longer!

It was time to move on to our next destination which was Vinh Long. It is here that we met our host family and were provided with a traditional Vietnamese lunch. Now, for those of you who know Jenna, or have read a few of our posts, Jenna is a particularly fussy eater and doesn’t eat Asian food (yes I know – WEIRD!!).

To be fair, she really gave it a go and finally admitted that it actually wasn’t as bad as she had in her mind! There was so much food! The one thing we learned was that when they Vietnamese put on food, they put on enough to feed a small army. We had pancakes filled with shrimp and noodles, chicken, seafood, rice paper rolls and many other things.

If there is one thing to learn is how to say “Mot, hai, ba, YO!” which translated is simply “one, two, three, yo! Basically guaranteed to enjoy that beer or local rice wine in a synchronized manner. If this doesn’t make sense, it’s the Vietnamese’ equivalent to saying Cheers, Prost, Na Zdorovie and so forth. The drinks (soft drink and beer) were available for purchase – but it’s just so cheap in Vietnam that it’s basically free.

Jenna isn’t that coordinated when it comes to bicycle riding either, which was the next part of our day! We spent the next 3.5 hours cycling 20km through quaint villages, rice paddy fields, pagodas and breathtaking orchard paths.

Luckily, Jenna managed to stay on her bicycle! As day one draws to an end, it was then time to head back to the host family where we were able to cook dinner with our hosts. We made some crab spring rolls and our host family showed us how to roll them and how to cook them in their outdoor kitchen. 

After our 20km bike ride, we were all pretty exhausted so had a pretty early night as we had to be up early the next morning.

Take a look at our Day 1 highlights video!

Day 2: Vinh Long – Can Tho – Cai Rang Floating Market – Ho Chi Minh City

We woke up on day 2 nice and early for a 6am start, which also happened to be my Birthday! There is something special about waking up in a foreign country on your birthday… no gift can ever outweigh the ability to be able to travel, especially on your birthday. That, is the best gift of all.

We bid farewell to our host family and we were off to Can Tho.

It was a short drive to get to Ninh Kier Wharf and we jumped into our local boat to get on our way to the floating market.

The Can Tho floating markets are the largest wholesale floating market in the Mekong Delta! They start trading at around 5am and finish up at midday. It is understandably busy busy busy!

Floating down the river towards the market, you get to see how the locals live, see houses built on stilts over the water, it is truly incredible.

And when you reach the market, it is certainly a wow factor. The floating markets sell a heap of products and whilst you’ll of course find tourists, you’ll be pleased to know the locals still frequent the markets as well! We also stopped here for breakfast which was either a traditional crab or pork soup, or you can opt for an egg baguette if you prefer.

Back on the boat for our journey through the markets. A helpful hint – the traders hang their products on a long pole high above their boats, so if you’re looking for some pineapple all you have to do is look up and find a long pole with a pineapple!

Our guide did explain that this does become somewhat problematic when a trader is wanting to sell his boat, clearly you can’t dangle a boat from the top of a long pole! So, if you see a long pole with a palm leaves at the top, he’s not actually selling palm leaves, nor palm trees, the trader is actually selling his boat!

Be sure to take with you some local Vietnamese Dong so you can buy a cold drink from one of the market stalls. It is so hot here, so buying an icy cold drink is a great idea, you can even get yourself a beer. I always say that if you’re on holidays it doesn’t matter what time you crack open your first drink 🙂

It was then time for us to leave the hustle and bustle of the floating market and stop by an impressive land market where we were able to watch locals buying their fresh meat for the day.

I am sure we were the only tourists at the market. They were selling everything from fresh meat, fruits and toys for kids. It was definitely an eye opening experience.

Our next stop on this busy, yet fulfilling day was at a local fruit orchard. Here we walked around and tried our luck on the bamboo walkway over a pond with plenty of fish (look closely and you’ll see them along the surface). I walked across no problem of course 😉

We then enjoyed some fresh fruit.

Our second stop on the tour before heading back to Ho Chi Minh City is by car to Ninh Thuy Ancient House. Built in 1807, this house is nothing short of stunning. The facade of this house, designed with French architecture is uniquely incredible with a combination of East and West and is also one of Can Tho’s most popular tourist destinations.

The furniture inside was also in pristine condition.

It was time for our last stop which was lunch. This was at another homestay residence and the amount of food we were provided again was insane! You certainly don’t leave feeling hungry. The family even came out and offered me some homemade rice wine – let’s say it was an interesting experience!!!

Mot Hai Ba Yo!

Our drive back to Ho Chi Minh City is around 3.5 hours from here, arriving back at around 5pm, in time to check in, have a shower and head out into the city for some dinner and enjoy the nightlife.

Take a look at our Day 2 highlights video!

What’s included in your tour

  • Complimentary hotel pick up and drop off in District one (check with Innoviet)
  • Transportation including car, boat and bicycle
  • English speaking guide
  • Drinking water
  • Entrance fees and activities
  • Tropical local fruits
  • Meals as per the itinerary (1 breakfast, 2 lunches and 1 dinner)
  • Homestay in Vinh Long (could be a twin share or communal room)

What’s not included in your tour

  • Additional drinks
  • Personal expenses (e.g purchases on the floating markets, toy shop etc)
  • Tips for your guide and drive (see below)
  • Travel insurance
  • Bus to Rach Gia / Ha Tien / Chau Doc (if required)

What’s the homestay like?

Probably one of the most authentic parts of our holiday in Vietnam! Being able to stay with a local family and living like them and with them for a night is truly eye-opening. It is a real home, with real food and real people. We were able to see how they work, live and eat!

Rooms are communal or multi-share dormitory style rooms, and occasionally limited private rooms. Each room has a traditional Vietnamese mattress, sheets, blankets, mosquito net and a fan. Western style bathrooms and toilets are shared between guests. At our homestay (they differ depending on the size of the group), it was really lovely. Full bamboo flooring and walls, mosquito nets (you need these!) and the rooms were pretty private. The bathroom was clean and tidy as well.

What to pack for your two-day tour

Here are a few things you need to remember to pack on your two-day trip:

  • Passport
  • Sunscreen
  • Mozzie spray
  • Hat
  • Toiletries (essentials such as toothbrush, toothpaste, towel, soap, shampoo, deodorant etc)
  • Comfortable shoes / sandals are appropriate for girls
  • A small backpack. If you can leave your bulky luggage at your hotel, and bring a small backpack the would be ideal. Otherwise, you may be able to leave these bags in the car (again – best to check with Innoviet Travel)

What to wear on the tour

Innoviet does not have a specific dress code for their tours. However, please be respectful when traveling to another country. Outside of the major cities, it is important to try to dress a little more conservative. If you’re not sure what this means, for girls in particular, clothing that covers your shoulders and knees would be ideal. You could consider a maxi dress with a lightweight scarf, or a t-shirt with some nice cotton or linen pants. Remember, it does get hot so dress for the climate as well.

How much to tip your guide/driver

This is such a common question to ask when travelling to different countries. How much do I tip? What’s acceptable? What is considered an insult?

Firstly, always carry extra local currency on you for personal emergencies like additional food or water.

Drivers: The standard acceptable tip for drivers are US$1 – US$2 per day (per person). If you have had a standout driver though, always feel free to tip a little bit more.

Your Guide: Your guide is who makes or breaks your tour. Are they knowledgeable, were they attentive, did they answer your questions? If you’ve had a guide that has been fantastic, an acceptable amount is US$3 – US$5 per day (per person).

It is important to note that tipping is not compulsory in Vietnam. If you have received poor service, you do not need to tip. But, if you have received good or excellent service then a tip is welcome.

Note: It is considered an insult if you tip with coins, very small denomination notes and/or ripped or dirty notes.

Why choose Innoviet Travel

There are so many tour companies around and it can sometimes be hard to pick who to choose. We chose Innoviet Travel simply because of their first two promises on their website:

  • NO Tourist shopping or traps
  • Non-touristy areas

These particularly caught our eye because the number of times we’ve been on tours and we feel like we’ve been taken somewhere only for the guides to get commission on sales. More often than not, it is to places we don’t even want to visit and there are busloads of other tourists there as well.

I can’t speak highly enough of Innoviet Travel. They delivered on their promise and we loved every minute of the tour!

Additional important information

As per Innoviet Travel’s website, families with children under 4 is not recommended. For safety reasons, they do not provide small bikes for young children who are under 12 years of age, as local traffic behaviour is quite different to that from the West or developed countries. Children between 4-11 years are required to sit on the back of the bike, baby seat for bicycle is provided.

  • There will be quite a bit of driving on this tour as we have to cover a vast region.
  • The trip concludes in Ho Chi Minh City at around 5-5:30 PM (default) or Can Tho at around 1:00 PM where you can take a bus to Rach Gia (3 hours) and boat to Phu Quoc (2,5 hours). Please take this into account when making onward travel arrangements.

Here are some more photos from our 2 day tour.

“The life you have led doesn’t need to be the only life you have.” – Anna Quindlen

So you’ve finally reached the dreamland you decided to visit or work at, and you’re feeling somewhat held back by the fear of the unknown? Don’t be disheartened, for that’s completely normal. A good way to break that crippling feeling is to, well, dig right into it. Whenever your muscles ache, you need to train more to heal them – same goes with feeling out of place in a new country.

Exploring the city, of course, should be delayed until you’ve properly adapted to the new conditions, so until then, there are a number of preparatory actions for you to undertake.
We’re sure you feel what we mean so far, and if you’d like us to elaborate, simply read on!

Strut Around, Literally

thewelltravelledman first 24 hours in thailand

The best thing you can do at first is to get familiar with your surroundings. It doesn’t matter where you are, the unique spirit of Thailand is ubiquitous. A simple walk around the airport will do the trick.

Then again, if you’ve already arrived at your hotel, take a short walk down your street and back up, so as to explore the environment and maybe catch a glimpse of what you may be visiting later. The best outcome of this little adventure will provide you with the location of the store closest to your hotel, which covers basically anything you might need upon arrival.

Get a Thai SIM Card

We suppose you’d love to connect with your friends as soon as you get there, regardless of the hotel WiFi. You’ll probably send or post a bunch of photos as you’re cruising the city, so a 3G connection is a must.

Putting a little money on your new SIM card will last just long enough for you to record all of your daily adventures, while relaying your fascination and excitement to your loved ones back home. 

Besides, if your touring plans differ from those of the people you came with, or if you already have friends nearby, it’s going to be super easy to maintain contact with them using regular messages or calls.

Try the Local Food

Sure, you can have dinner, lunch, and breakfast at your hotel or any restaurant of your choosing, and you can buy loads of snacks to keep your stomach from growling. However, the real magic of Thailand rests within its taste.

The food sold at street stalls throughout the entire country is known for its fabled quality and exquisite taste. The effort that the locals put into making these dishes is often extraordinary, resulting in 5-star meals.

What’s even better is that they’re extremely cheap and yet most of them will keep you from being hungry for a while. You haven’t tasted the world without Thai food, and street stalls offer all of its flavors.

Go for a Foot Massage

Thailand is famous for its esoteric and relaxing massage parlors, where you have the opportunity to experience its beauty in a completely unique way.

These massages are boosted by the complete smell experience, letting your mind wander into the far reaches of consciousness using their meditation methods. 

Thai foot massages are known worldwide for their miraculous effect, and they’re also pretty cheap. Don’t hesitate to hunt for a nearby parlor, no matter which part of Thailand you visit.

Visit a Landmark

If Bangkok is the city you’re spending the 24 hours in, you’re in great luck! Being the capital itself, Bangkok offers you sights that you can’t catch anywhere else in the country.

Of course, you’ve just arrived, but a little sightseeing won’t hurt. Depending on where you are in Bangkok, a little walk to the Grand Palace won’t be too harsh on your feet. Seeing the golden dome will make it all worth it.
If you’d like to see Buddha in an unusual position right after visiting the royal city, you can head to Wat Pho whenever you’re ready to move on with your little adventure. It’s almost right across the street.

A Traveler’s Addiction

Thailand’s beauty and uniqueness manage to instantly attract everyone’s unprepared minds, ranging from mere passers-by waiting for another plane at the airport, to those that have come to stay for good.

A large number of foreigners come over for the purpose of teaching English in Thailand, so the amount of those coming to settle is drastically increasing. Many of them used to teach in China and they preferred to continue their Asian education career elsewhere.

Seeing Thailand’s immeasurable historical and cultural value while knowing you’re about to live there – simply priceless.

I hope you have enjoyed this guest post from Moveinhand! We have visited Thailand a handful of times ourselves and thought these tips would be helpful to those travelling to this beautiful country. We especially love the tip about getting a local Thai sim card, which we have done ourselves on various trips.

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” – Helen Keller

thewelltravbelledman cu chi tunnels vietnam ho chi minh city

If you’re travelling to Vietnam there is a pretty good chance you will stop in at Ho Chi Minh City for at least a night or two – with a number of good options to fill your time from meandering through the bustling markets, a trip to the Mekong Delta or a section of the 121km of the Cu Chi tunnels.

You may or may not be aware of the Cu Chi Tunnels in Vietnam, to be honest, before a bit of research ourselves, we didn’t know anything about the tunnels, let alone why they were built back in the 1940’s. To learn more about this fascinating part of history, we decided to jump on a half day tour from Ho Chi Minh City to see what it was all about.

We chose to tour with Innoviet Travel which they advertise to avoid the major tourist areas and this is exactly what we found, we were a couple of only few other tourists!

The Ben Duoc site we visited is also part of the original tunnel system, while the Ben Dinh site (closer to Saigon) has tunnel reconstructions and some of the tunnels have also been made bigger to allow tourists to fit.

A bit of history behind the Cu Chi Tunnels.. in a nutshell

Cu Chi (pronounced Ku Chi) is a district northwest of Saigon (Saigon was the original name before they re-named it Ho Chi Minh). The tunnels played a big part to the Việt Cộng in their resistance to America and had a lot to do with North Vietnam winning the war. The war was between north Vietnamese and their allies, the communists and the south Vietnamese and their allies which were against communism.

The tunnels stretched 121km and took around 25 years to build, predominantly using scrap metals collected from weaponry and bombs left by the Americans- absolutely fascinating.

Our highlights from the half day tour

Our highlights of the tour include visiting the Ben Duoc tunnels, a private history tour, trying to fit into the tiny entrance points to the tunnels (will I fit, won’t I fit??) and firing a rifle!

Cu Chu Tunnels tour itinerary

8am: The tour starts with a hotel pick up (confirm availability with Innoviet directly). From here, it is a leisurely 1.5 hour drive out of the busy capital of Vietnam, formally known as Saigon to the peaceful area of Cu Chi. The driver and guide were on time and we jumped into a comfortable sedan for the drive. We stopped shortly after and the guide purchased us some water.

9.30am: We arrived at the Cu Chi Tunnels, which I might add is about a 20 minute drive further along to the main touristy section. This meant that it was only us and one other small group in the area, and given we started the tour at different times meant we had the place to ourselves.

It was fantastic not to have to share the spot with 100 (or more!) other people.

Before the tour starts, you get to watch a documentary  and get to learn the facts behind the tunnels which you need to have an understanding of prior to the start of the tour. There are detailed maps so you can gauge where you are and what the area is like.

After the documentary, the guide took us on a tour through the tunnels. It is at this point that we started to understand more about what the Vietnamese had to endure, the typical living conditions and of course detailed information on the weapon workshops.

During our tour, we were able to navigate ourselves through an authentic tunnel and get a feel of what it would have been like all those years ago. Just imagining having to live this way, using bunkers designed into kitchens. To think about what it must have been like?

The tunnels were small, you can’t walk through standing, you do have to crouch and it is stinking hot!!!

thewelltravbelledman cu chi tunnels vietnam ho chi minh city

I actually got into one of the hidden tunnel entrances which as you can see from the picture is tiny.

When I got in, I closed the lid and you couldn’t even see it – this meant the Americans were walking directly over where the Vietnamese were hiding out. Jenna didn’t want to get into this tunnel, she didn’t wan the embarrassment if she didn’t fit (she would have fit!).

Have you heard of Cassava? We hadn’t either! It is in fact the local speciality of Cu Chi. It was cassava that fed the Viet Cong fighters for many years. It is a starchy root vegetable which makes sense given the cost of root vegetable is significantly cheaper than other veggies and lasted longer as well. We were given a plate of Cassava after our tour to snack on, I doubt this was available in the war, but it was tasty after being dipped in a bit of salt and chilli.

On our way out, we walked past where they made rubber shoes. It is quite incredible what they can make with rubber cut from tyres – the shoes certainly are durable!

Jenna has always wanted to go to a firing range, but hasn’t had the chance. We purchased 10 bullets for an AK47 at the souvenir shop at the exit of the Cu Chi Tunnels tour. The bullets, were not cheap compared to those available in America! Feel free to have a look at the price list not the below picture.

Our guide and driver then took us to the firing range. It was such a good experience, Jenna had an absolute ball and really enjoyed the experience.

It was time to make our way back to the hustle and bustle of Ho Chi Minh City. On our way back, we stopped in at a workshop where they make these incredible pieces of art or decorative pieces/vases out of egg shells! Yep, egg shells, it was pretty amazing to see how they do this.

We had learnt a lot in the morning and the drive back to the hotel was a great time to reflect on the morning. We arrived back at our hotel at around 2pm.

Enjoy our short video!

What to bring on the tour

  • You’re in SE Asia – remember to wear sunscreen and a hat!
  • Mozzies can be a problem so it might be best to pack mozzie spray
  • Comfortable shoes

What’s included in the tour

  • We stayed at the Sofitel Saigon Plaza which was in District 1 so hotel pick up and drop off was included
  • Air conditioned mini van (we were in a comfortable and new sedan)
  • 2 bottles of water per passenger
  • English speaking guide
  • Entrance fee

What is NOT included in the tour

  • The firing range fee as this is an optional extra
  • Additional food/drinks
  • Personal expenses
  • Travel insurance
  • Tips for your guide and drive (for tip information, keep reading!)

What to wear on the tour

Innoviet does not have a specific dress code for their tours. However, please be respectful when travelling to another country. Outside of the major cities, it is important to try and dress a little more conservative. If you’re not sure what this means, for girls in particular, clothing that covers your shoulders and knees would be ideal. You could consider a maxi dress with a lightweight scarf, or a t-shirt with some nice cotton or linen pants. Remember, it does get hot so dress for the climate as well.

It might seem obvious, but you’re visiting tunnels.. you might get dirty (duh!) so maybe avoid wearing white and wear decent shoes.

How much to tip your guide/driver

This is such a common question to ask when travelling to different countries. How much do I tip? What’s acceptable? What is considered an insult?

Firstly, always carry extra local currency on you for personal emergencies like additional food or water.

Drivers: The standard acceptable tip for drivers are US$1 – US$2 per day (per person). If you have had a standout driver though, always feel free to tip a little bit more.

Your Guide: Your guide is who makes or breaks your tour. Are they knowledgable, were they attentive, did they answer your questions? If you’ve had a guide that has been fantastic, an acceptable amount is US$3 – US$5 per day (per person).

It is important to note that tipping is not compulsory in Vietnam. If you have received poor service, you do not need to tip. But, if you have received good or excellent service then a tip is welcome.

Note: It is considered an insult if you tip with coins, very small denomination notes and/or ripped or dirty notes.

For more on what to see and do in Vietnam, click here.

“Nobody can discover the world for somebody else. Only when we discover it for ourselves does it become common ground and a common bond and we cease to be alone.” – Wendell Berry

thewelltravelledman bondi to coogee coastal walk

Looking for a walk that gives you postcard perfect views every turn you make? Keen to see some of Australia’s most dramatic and stunning coastal suburbs, including, probably, the most famous beach in Australia…? Then look no further than the Bondi to Coogee coastal walk in Sydney’s eastern suburbs.

thewelltravelledman bondi to coogee coastal walk

Where is the Bondi to Coogee Walk?

The famous coastal walk runs from Bondi to Coogee and is a quick 10km from central Sydney, in the iconic eastern suburbs. The best part is that after this amazing walk, you have many options for the rest of the day, whether brunch at a hip café, drinks at a local pub or a scenic drive through the impressive suburbs.

How far is the walk?

The coastal walk is around 6km in each direction. It is important to remember that if you park at one end, unless you want to catch a bus back, you’re looking at a 12km return walk so be ready and wear comfortable walking shoes!!

How to get to Bondi or Coogee beach?

We always chose to drive to the beach as we were lucky enough to live only around a 20 minute drive. However, you can pick up a bus to the beaches which would be your best bet.  Click here for NSW Transport journey planner.

If you drive, I would suggest to NOT park at Bondi beach. Besides that it is far too busy, parking is ridiculously expensive. You can pick up parking at one of the other beaches for much cheaper! Just be careful to look at the street signs to make sure you have the correct ticket otherwise you’ll get whacked with a parking ticket.

Tip: unless if you’re doing the return walk, the walk in my opinion is even more picturesque if you walk from Coogee to Bondi beach – so if you’re only planning on walking one way then this is definitely the way to go.

Can you start the coastal walk at a different spot?

Yes! The great thing about this walk is you can pick it up at any of the beaches between Coogee and Bondi.  Quite often we would park at Bronte beach and go for a morning run (quite early before the tourists get there!) and head to North Bondi and back. There are also some great cafe’s for brunch at Bronte beach which we simply couldn’t resist.

How hard is the walk?

Tough question as it will come down to your personal fitness level, it’s not easy, but it’s certainly not a difficult walk, I would say it is within the low to medium range. This walk is NOT suitable for those with prams or in wheelchairs. There are a number of stairs and the pathways are quite narrow in places. There are some steep spots as well so don’t think it’s all smooth sailing!

How long does the walk take?

I would allow 2 hours for the walk one way. This should also give you plenty of time to capture some wonderful shots.

What are some of the beaches along the walk?

If you start at Coogee, the first beach you come across (besides Coogee) is Gordon’s Bay. The great thing about Gordon’s Bay is that it is normally really quiet. The only people there are those who have gone out of their way to get there, or are passing through on the walk. It’s a gorgeous secluded beach.

Next stop is Clovelly beach. This is an interesting beach, it’s a long stretch of water surrounded by concrete with a sandy beach at the far end.

Although this next stop isn’t a beach, it is worth a mention. It is of course the Waverley cemetery and probably the most scenic cemetery in the country.

The next stop is probably one of my favourite beaches in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, Bronte. The beach is pretty sheltered and has plenty of space for the family to relax and enjoy a swim.

Tamarama is the next beach on the list. It is a gorgeous little beach, beach volleyball nets are set up and a few waves also. It gets pretty busy in the summer!

And last but certainly not least is of course the world famous Bondi Beach.

thewelltravelledman bondi to coogee coastal walk

Bondi is also home to some awesome artworks along the length of the beach carpark. They change fairly often so each time you go, there is something new to look at!

What amenities are at the beaches?

The best thing about this walk is that most of the beaches in Sydney offer picnic tables and covered shelter, bathrooms, play areas and some have free BBQ’s if you fancy cooking up a storm.

Sculptures by the Sea

Each year, the Bondi to Tamarama walk is extremely popular and this is for the famous Sculptures by the Sea! To read more about this, click here for our full post. It is extremely popular with families and the kids just love it!

What to take on the coastal walk?

There are a few things you must take with you on your coastal walk. These include:

  • Walking shoes
  • Hat
  • Sunscreen
  • Water
  • In winter months, you will need a jacket, or a windproof jacket!

Map of the coastal walk

For a map of the coastal walk and approximate time and distance, click here.

“Stuff your eyes with wonder, live as if you’d drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It’s more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories.” – Ray Bradbury

thewelltravelledman grand pacific drive sydney australia

If you’re looking for a scenic day trip from Sydney with plenty of picture perfect stops along the way then you should definitely head down the Grand Pacific Drive which hosts the famous Sea Cliff Bridge.

Sydney’s Royal National Park

New South Wales is home to hundreds of gorgeous coastal towns, scenic walks and drives. One of which is only an hour south of Sydney so incredibly easy to do as a day trip.

One of the most popular beach stops in the Royal National Park would be Wattamolla Beach. If you’re heading there in summer, be sure to arrive super early, otherwise not only can the traffic be impossible, but the car park closed because it is full!

There is a beautiful walk you can do alongside the beach, there are a few rocky stairs but the view when you get to the lookout are spectacular.

Figure 8 Pools

The famous Figure 8 Pools are also part of the Royal National Park. This is a day trip on it’s own. Be sure to read the full blog post because you can’t just turn up at any time of the day to see the pools. Click here to find out when you can visit this incredible natural rock formation.

Where does the Grand Pacific Drive Start?

The drive starts at the base of the Royal National Park, around an hour south of Sydney.

How far is the Grand Pacific Drive?

The drive is around 140km, which sounds like a lot but the drive is a scenic coastal drive and not only takes you through the national park, but rainforests and gorgeous coastal towns such as Wollongong, Shellharbour, Kiama and the Shoalhaven Coast.

The Sea Cliff Bridge

The Sea Cliff Bridge makes the Grand Pacific Drive. Without it, it would simply just a drive. The 665m bridge is certainly a highlight of the drive and there are spots to stop the car and jump out for some photos and to enjoy the view.

If you’re there at the right time of year, you can also see the whales migrating north or south!

Stanwell Tops

It is worth stopping at Stanwell Tops to see the bridge from a high vantage point. It is really good perspective and a lovely spot to relax and grab an ice-cream!

When you get to Otford Lookout, you will be amazed by the view.

There is plenty of space to relax and enjoy your ice cream or stretch your legs. The view down to the beach are amazing, and of course you can see the spectacular sea cliff bridge!

What we loved about the whole area was that you can walk along the rocks and get the view from underneath the sea cliff bridge! It gives the whole area a different perspective.

“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.” – Saint Augustine

 

 

If you like the sound of island hopping from Split down to Dubrovnik on a yacht with only 7 other people, then do I have something that will interest you! Over the course of a week, you can sail from one end of Croatia to the other, in our case we started in Split and ended up in Dubrovnik. It was one of the best holidays we had whilst living and travelling in Europe for two years!

What company do you choose for your sail Croatia trip?

We spent a bit of time researching the best company to go with. We wanted a small intimate group of people who were interested in relaxing, enjoying the scenery and have a few drinks during the day rather than simply partying until the wee hours of the morning. We decided to gather up a few friends and booked with Med Sailors on their Voyager tour from Split to Dubrovnik which is designed for those between 20-35 years old, during the booking process you’re also able to note what you’re looking for, if you’re a couple or single traveler and that allows Medsailers to pair you up with (hopefully) like-minded travelers.

thewelltravelledman medsailors croatia sailing trip

Our one week itinerary sailing the coast of Croatia

After spending an incredible night and half day in Split, we departed on our week long sailing trip.  Our stops included:

  • Seesula
  • Hvar
  • Vela Luka
  • Korcula
  • Mijet
  • Sipan

All of these stops were on our way to our final destination of the beautiful old town of Dubrovnik.

Why it is one of the best value sailing trips around…

We personally love Med Sailors and all they have to offer.  The real benefits for us was that you can take your own drinks on board which saves you heaps of money as a lot of the larger boats require you to buy your alcohol off them. You also have your breakfast and lunch made for you fresh each day.

thewelltravelledman medsailors croatia sailing trip

What is included in the price

Besides the best accommodation going around (because who wouldn’t want to be on a yacht!) and the breakfast and lunch made for you each day as mentioned above, you also get a heap more benefits and inclusions. These include:

  • Drinking water
  • Lessons from your skipper on how to sail (which I am pretty good at, but Jenna on the other hand…)
  • Paddleboards free of charge
  • Discounted day trips, scooter and car hire

You are able to book as a solo or you can book with a group of friends. That’s the best part! We were able to fill an entire yacht and had friends on another yacht who joined with another small group. We have stayed in contact with the friends we met on the trip and always talk about what an amazing time we had in Croatia!

thewelltravelledman medsailors croatia sailing trip

What the yachts are like

We had the choice of a Premier or Premier Plus Yacht and they have now added the Catamarans to their fleet.  We chose the Premier Plus yacht and found it perfect.

The Premier and Premier plus yachts are the same size, only the Plus is normally a newer boat with more or a modern design. Both have three double rooms and one bunk room, sleeping 8 guests. Our skipper used the lounge room (sectioned off) for his room.

thewelltravelledman medsailors croatia sailing trip.

We were lucky enough to have the double room at the bow (front) of the yacht which was extremely spacious and had plenty of room for our bags at the front.

The yacht had two bathrooms on board, which were fine for what we needed them for.  Remembering there are a couple of stops along the way with shower blocks should you want to wash your hair or take a longer shower!

The deck of the yacht is the most important part. There was plenty of room at the back of the yacht for everyone to sit comfortably with the shade able to be pulled over if you want to escape the sun. The front of the boat was perfect for catching some rays.

thewelltravelledman medsailors croatia sailing trip

Day One: Split to Sesula

Before departing on your sailing trip, be sure to explore the historical town of Split. For more on what to see in split, click here. From Split, you sail to a gorgeous pine tree framed bay of Sesula.  This is an awesome spot to jump off some rocks into the Adriatic Sea, paddleboard or float in the water and enjoy your first day of the holiday. Dinner is with your yacht group and the restaurant overlooks the bay and you can enjoy some delicious Croatian cuisine.

thewelltravelledman medsailors croatia sailing trip

Day Two: Sesula to Hvar

Probably the most anticipated stop on the trip would have to be Hvar. Your yacht will moor just outside of Hvar. Here there are shower blocks if you fancy a change from showering on the boat and plenty of space to get ready for a night out. A water taxi will take you to Hvar so you can enjoy a spectacular sunset at Hula Hula Hvar whilst sipping on cocktails.

thewelltravelledman medsailors croatia sailing trip

thewelltravelledman medsailors croatia sailing trip

Day Three: Hvar to Vela Luka

After breakfast, it is off to the next stop of Vela Luka.  It is such a gorgeous little town, which apparently is the sunniest towns of the Adriatic! There are plenty of restaurant and bars along the promenade.

thewelltravelledman medsailors croatia sailing trip

Day Four: Vela Luka to Korcula

Korcula was one of our favourite stops! It is such a beautiful town, with plenty of cobblestone streets leading you from one spot to another. It is easy to get lost! The best place to be is of course watching the sun go down at the famous Massimo Rooftop bar sipping cocktails. It really was amazing, but a bit of advice, get there early to get a spot! We were lucky enough to get a rooftop area big enough for our two yachts of friends.

thewelltravelledman medsailors croatia sailing trip

thewelltravelledman medsailors croatia sailing trip

Day Five: Korcula to Mljet

After a leisurely morning snorkelling and paddle boarding, it is time to head to Mljet, which is home to Croatia’s pine forest and national park. You can hire bikes and cycle to the picturesque lake and choose to hire a kayak if you want to check out the Med’s largest coral reef! If you are unable to cycle back to the yacht, they do have transfers you can take, which we decided to go with because I took a nasty fall on my bicycle and couldn’t ride back. Be sure to take out travel insurance!! The night is then spent on the yacht, with your friends (and new friends) after dinner at a restaurant at the marina.

thewelltravelledman medsailors croatia sailing trip

thewelltravelledman medsailors croatia sailing trip

Day Six: Mljet to Sipan

Just when you think the Croatian coastline can’t get any more beautiful, you arrive at Sipan. It is such a beautiful island and there is no better spot to relax on the deck of your yacht, grabbing a drink at a local bar before heading up for your last dinner as a group at a local restaurant with amazing views overlooking the bay.

thewelltravelledman medsailors croatia sailing trip

thewelltravelledman medsailors croatia sailing trip

Day Seven: Sipan to Dubrobnik

Enjoy one last jump off the yacht into the magical waters of the Adriatic before heading to your final stop of the trip, Dubrovnik. We were doing well for time so we were able to sail right down past the old town before circling back to moor the yacht. For more on what to see and do in Dubrovnik, click here.

What to do from Dubrovnik

If you have a day to spare after your trip and you’re looking for something extra to do, or tick an extra country off your bucket list, we can highly recommend visiting Kravica waterfall and Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina. For detailed information on this day trip, click here to read our post.

Here are a series of photos from the sailing trip.

thewelltravelledman medsailors croatia sailing trip.

thewelltravelledman medsailors croatia sailing trip

thewelltravelledman medsailors croatia sailing trip.

thewelltravelledman medsailors croatia sailing trip

thewelltravelledman medsailors croatia sailing trip

thewelltravelledman medsailors croatia sailing trip

thewelltravelledman medsailors croatia sailing trip

thewelltravelledman medsailors croatia sailing trip

thewelltravelledman medsailors croatia sailing trip

thewelltravelledman medsailors croatia sailing trip

thewelltravelledman medsailors croatia sailing trip

thewelltravelledman medsailors croatia sailing trip

thewelltravelledman medsailors croatia sailing trip

thewelltravelledman medsailors croatia sailing trip

thewelltravelledman medsailors croatia sailing trip

thewelltravelledman medsailors croatia sailing trip.

thewelltravelledman medsailors croatia sailing trip

thewelltravelledman medsailors croatia sailing trip.

thewelltravelledman medsailors croatia sailing trip

thewelltravelledman medsailors croatia sailing trip

thewelltravelledman medsailors croatia sailing trip

thewelltravelledman medsailors croatia sailing trip

thewelltravelledman medsailors croatia sailing trip

thewelltravelledman medsailors croatia sailing trip

thewelltravelledman medsailors croatia sailing trip

thewelltravelledman medsailors croatia sailing trip

thewelltravelledman medsailors croatia sailing trip.

thewelltravelledman medsailors croatia sailing trip

thewelltravelledman medsailors croatia sailing trip

thewelltravelledman medsailors croatia sailing trip

thewelltravelledman medsailors croatia sailing trip

thewelltravelledman medsailors croatia sailing trip

thewelltravelledman medsailors croatia sailing trip

thewelltravelledman medsailors croatia sailing trip.

thewelltravelledman medsailors croatia sailing trip

thewelltravelledman medsailors croatia sailing trip

“Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and enjoy the journey.” – Babs Hoffman

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