Welcome to Kakadu National Park. In my opinion one of the most beautiful national parks on our planet. It is a protected area in the Northern Territory of Australia, about 170 km southeast of Darwin. So it’s best to plan a long drive or even stay at a hotel near the park area.
I took the opportunity and did a short scenic flight over the park area with Kakadu Air. The whole park has covers an area of 19,804 km2 (7,646 sq mi), so it’s a convient way of seeing at least a part of it.
The best time to visit Kakadu is end of October or later, because then all the waterfalls should be filled with enough water to create an amazing landscape.
We were at beginning of the wet season when we visited the place. Therefore most waterfalls didn’t had enough water to flow, but it is still one of the most beautiful landscapes I’ve seen.
If you plan to visit the Northern Territory, make sure you visit Kakadu. The photos don’t show the whole beauty, because it’s hard to take vivid photos while flying at speeds of several hundred kilometers an hour.
Welcome to my first hotel review in Australia this year.
In October 2013, I stayed at the Travelodge Mirambeena Resort Darwin. This resort offers both “motel” and “hotel” accomodation. In this review I focus on the so called “motel room”. There’s also a so called “budget motel room”, which I wont describe in this post.
I got a motel room with Queen size bed and a second bed on the first floor (one level above ground floor). The room featured a flatscreen TV, an A/C and a small table. The bathroom was clean and had a shower. There also a small fridge in the room and a in-room safe with digits pad.
The hotel/motel offers two swimming pools and a bristro area. I enjoyed spending some time relaxing at the pool and reading my newest novel, which I bought at the Darwin Bookshop. A fitness room and internet terminals are also on location.
The hotel is conviniently located at Cavenagh Street. There’s a Woolworth supermarket located across the street. Want to send a postcard home? There’s also an Australia Post office on Cavenagh Street, just a 5 minutes walk from the hotel. Want to go on a shopping spree? Downtown Darwin is just a 10-15 minutes walk away. There quite a few smaller shops and a few shopping malls.
I only tasted the continental breakfast option, which was good. All the standards were on offer: coffee, tea, toast, vegemite, jam, cereals, fruits.
Sorry, no photos this time. Check out the photos from the official website, they’re pretty accurate.
Welcome to my new series of posts about Australia.
This time I travelled from Darwin, capital of the Northern Territory in Australia to the centre “Alice Springs” and Uluru/Ayers Rock. Plus bonus: 2 days in Sydney.
To start off my new series: An article about Darwin.
Darwin, named after the naturalist and geologist Charles Darwin is a “small” city of approx. 129,000 people. It’s only about 4 hours flight time from Singapore and many other major Asian cities. So head out into the Territory!
Darwin has a a lot to offer. Period. Here are some examples.
Museum & Art Gallery of the Northern Territory
This amazing museum and gallery features collections of different animals of the past, aboriginal art collections, paintings from Arnhem Land and dot paintings from the desert.
Also they give the opportunity to learn more about Cyclone Tracy , in a multi-room display with movies, pictures from the life before and the recovery phase and also features replica homes from the time before Cyclone Tracy hit Darwin.
The Crocosaurus Cove is located in the heart of Darwin city, allows visitors to view Australia’s iconic Saltwater Crocodiles. And more the extra brave there’s an opportunity to Swim with the Crocs or to holding a baby Saltwater Crocodile. Many of y travel mate spent some time there and enjoyed it!.
admission: $26 AUD – $160 AUD (depends on package you choose)
How about a relaxed afternoon by a water fall. Then head out to Litchfield’s Florence Falls. A place where you can swim under a waterfall and enjoy the sun or the shade under the trees.It’s a 2 hours ride from Darwin’s city centre.
You like pizza? Try “il lido“, a Spanish restaurant, at the Darwin Waterfront. Their pizzas are amazing! Trust me.
The hotel prices are a little bit above Australian average (I searched for hotels in several places in Australia). You can find accommodation from hostels, 1 star little motels up to 5 star luxury hotels with bay view. I stayed at the 3/4 star hotel/motel “Travelodge Mirambeena Resort Darwin”. They have both so called “motel rooms” and hotel rooms. A had the opportunity to stay at a “budget motel room” and at a “motel room”. My tip: Definitely spend a bit more of your bucks and upgrade to the motel room. More details in one of my upcoming reviews.
Most hotels in downtown Darwin are in the walking distance of restaurants and Woolworth or other grocery stores. If you stay at the Travelodge Mirambeena Resort Darwin, Woolworth is just across the street.
Darwin is situated in in the tropical area of Australia. This means Darwin has a wet and a dry season. The wet season begins in early October which is also the beginning of Spring.
During my stay end of September/early October I had temperatures of up to 33°C during day time. In the summer you can expect temperatures of 40°C+. Keep in mind that you can exspect more rain during the wet season. The wet season begins in October.
Stay tuned for more about the Northern Territory in the coming days!
I stayed at this hotel during my first trip to Singapore.
The Peninsula Excelsior is located in Coleman St., right at the city centre. There’s a MRT station “City hall” of the East-West line nearby. (about 5-10 minutes walking).
You’ll find a 7/11 store, a few restaurants and a few shopping malls within a few minutes walking. Thanks to the MRT, you’re greatly connected to many attractions and shopping malls.
I had a Superior Room during my 3 nights stay at this hotel. The room features twin beds, a desk, an armchair and a flat screen. The enclosed bathroom has a shower cabin and a huge mirror. Wish: It could be a bit cleaner for Singapore standards . I had some good nights sleep, even though my room was next to the elevator.
The main room was clean.
I haven’t tried the breakfast. There’s also a pool, a spa and a gym on the higher floors. The staff at the reception desk and the luggage storage was very friendly.
Can I recommend this hotel? Yes, it is a good option for a stop over.
I stayed at 2 different hotels during my first trip to Bangkok, Thailand.
I really enjoyed both hotels. Today, I write about the Urbana Langsuan in the Lumpini district of Bangkok.
The Urbana Langsuan is located in Langsuan Rd., which is a business district road. There’s a BTS sky train station “Chit Lom” at the intersection with Sukhumvit Rd. (about 10 minutes walking).
You’ll find a few restaurants and lots of other hotels in Langsuan Rd. One of the “entertainment districts” is one stop with the BTS train away. All the famous shopping malls like Central World Plaza and Siam Paragon are about 15-25 minutes walking time away.
There’s a 7/11 store and a shopping mall between the BTS station and the hotel. Even at late hours you’re still able to buy some cool drinks or a snack.
The reception staff speaks good english. They even got me a room on a high floor as I requested.
I had a studio room during my 2 nights stay at this hotel. The room features a king size bed, flat screen, a coach and a small pantry with microwave. The enclosed bathroom has a shower cabin with rain shower feature. The room also has a balcony to enjoy the urban views of Bangkok.
The whole room has a friendly and warm interior. The room was clean. It was very quiet thanks to the high floor. Free WiFi was included in the rate, because I booked online. I had a stable and fast connection.
I haven’t tried the breakfast, because it’s only open until 10am. There’s also a pool, a spa and a gym on the higher floors.
Can I recommend this hotel? Yes, it is a great option for your stay in Bangkok.
I stayed to 2 different hotels during my first trip to Bangkok, Thailand.
I really enjoyed both hotels. I start my series of reviews with the Grand President Hotel in the Sukhumvit district of Bangkok.
The Grand President is located in Soi Sukhumvit 11, which is a quiet (for Bangkok) side street of the Sukhumvit Rd. There’s a BTS sky train station “Nana” right at the intersection.
You’ll find a few bars and restaurants and a “German beer garden” near the hotel. One of the “entertainment districts” is about 10 minutes walking distance away. Another one is one stop with the BTS train away. All the famous shopping malls like Central World Plaza and Siam Paragon are about 10 minutes/3 BTS train stops away. Terminal 21 is only one stop away. Get off at “Asok”.
There’s a 7/11 store between the BTS station and the hotel. Even at late hours you’re still able to buy some cool drinks or a snack.
The reception staff speaks good english. They even upgraded me to a better category.
A had a deluxe room during my 4 nights stay at this hotel. The room features a king size bed, flat screen, a coach and a fridge. The enclosed bathroom has a bath tub with integrated shower.
The whole room has a very dark (black/dark brown) interior. The room was clean. It was a bit noisy during 1 of the 4 nights, because I had a room on one of the lower floors. But this was due to a parade on the street. Free WiFi was included in the rate, because I booked online. I had a stable and fast connection.
The international breakfast buffet was okay. Lots of hot and cold food options. Coffee and juice were on offer, but nothing special.
Can I recommend this hotel? Yes, it is great option for a short stop over.
Here’s the official promotion video from the Grand President Bangkok
Welcome to my review of the KrisFlyer Gold Lounge at terminal 2 of Changi Airport. It is a Star Alliance Gold lounge at the dedicated lounge area of terminal 2.
After presenting your boarding pass and Star Alliance Gold member card to the lounge agent. You find yourself at a not so well lit room with with lounge chairs and a buffet selection. You can find here an intensive selection of hot and cold food.
The hot food are typical Asian dishes. A selection of different cereals and yogurt or milk is available. Fresh fruits like bananas and apples can also be found.
A selection of non alcohol drinks like bottled orange juice and soft drinks are available in the fridge.
There’s also a coffee machine which makes espresso, cappuccino, latte macchiatto and other.
If you go further you will find a more silent area of the lounge with a selection of news papers and a huge TV screen.
Overall this lounge is a good place to spend some time before your next flight. The lighting setup should be improved, it’s a bit dark.
The MRT subway is a convenient way to get around. The fares start at 16 baht for a single journey.
Take the stairs from street level to the station. Upon entering you have to go through a metal detector like at airports.
Go to a ticketing machine. You will find there a touch screen with map that displays, how much the fare is when you select your journey. After you payed your fare you will receive a small plastic coin. This is your ticket.
Most ticket vending machines accept coins and also bank notes. Day passes are also available. You can purchase them only at the ticket counters located at some stations. Go through the fare gate by placing your coin/token on the scanner.
The system works similar to public transport in Europe, look for a sign that tells the name of last station of the line. This will show you in which direction which train will take you. Board the train. On the train they will make announcements about the next stop both in Thai and English. Get off at your designated stop and exit the station through the fare gate.
There’s currently 1 line running through the city. The government of Bangkok is still working on extending the existing network.
The BTS sky train is a convenient way to get around. The fares start at 10 baht for a single journey.
It runs on tracks above the streets of this vibrant city. Take the stairs from street level to the station.
Go to a ticketing machine. You will find there a map that displays, how much the fare is for your selected journey. Also look for the name of last stop of this train line, this is important as you will see later.Press the button with the right the fare for your route, pay and receive your paper ticket.
Most ticket vending machines accept only coins. There are some machines that accept also bills, but only at selected stations. Day passes are also available for 150 baht. You can purchase them only at the ticket counters located at some stations.Go through the fare gate.
Next, take the stairs or escalator up to the trains. The system works similar to public transport in Europe, look for a sign that tells the name of last station of the line. This will show you in which direction which train will take you. Board the train. On the train they will make announcements about the next stop both in Thai and English. Get off at your designated stop and exit the station through the fare gate.
Some train stations are also connected to nearby shopping malls by a overpass.
There are currently 2 lines running through the city, you can use your ticket on all lines.
The government of Bangkok is still working on extending the existing network. E.g the trains don’t run to the northern districts yet.