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Posts Tagged ‘Scenery’

12th January
2012
written by Hazel

The first thing that struck me about Singapore is how clean the city is.  Seriously, they must sweep constantly and there are heavy fines for littering.  No grimy, dirty streets here!

We stayed at an excellent hostel which was a really good deal compared to other places in the area.  Singapore is not cheap, but A Beary Good Hostel was reasonably priced, a pleasant place to stay, and wonderfully located right next to a subway station in Chinatown.  We were able to walk or take the subway and see a lot of the famous sights.

We had a couple of days of relaxing (we were tired after our long travel and days in the jungle) and exploring the city.  So here are some highlights of our time in Singapore.

Lanterns in Chinatown

Lanterns in Chinatown

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10th January
2012
written by Hazel
Pretty strange burger

Pretty strange burger - not sure what was going on with this

I’ll start this post out by saying that almost everything we tasted in Singapore was excellent.  Singapore is not a particularly cheap place, but we were able to do pretty well by mostly eating at our local food court.  We stayed in Chinatown and there were plenty of tasty morsels to try!

We found that the best strategy was to go to the food court (kind of like a mix between a market and a food court you would find in a mall here), look around until we found a longish line and then get in that line and order whatever everyone else was eating.  Singapore has very strict regulations about food handling and cleanliness, so pretty much anywhere food is being sold it’s likely to be edible.

We had delicious noodles with pork.

So Good!!!!

So Good!!!!

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15th November
2011
written by Hazel

Our time in Vietnam was a bit of a blur as we only had one week and we spent all night every other night travelling.  Unfortunately, this left us a bit exhausted and I really wish we had had a lot more time to enjoy this amazing country.  I cannot say enough good things about our time in Vietnam.  The people were awesome, the food was awesome, the scenery was awesome…all in all, awesome.

So, this post will probably feel a little crazy, but I’m just going to throw a bunch of photos of the places we went at you, and maybe the crazy rush along the country will come through.  We started in the south in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) and worked our way north by a series of long bus and train trips, ending up in Hanoi.  If we had just a little more time I would have liked to see more of Hanoi.  If we had a lot I would have been very happy to just keep exploring and to make many more stops along the way.

View from hotel

View from hotel - Hoi An

Hoi An

Hoi An

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8th November
2011
written by Hazel
City streets

City streets

Our first morning in Bangkok we set out exploring.  It was hot, humid, and felt like there could be a thunderstorm at any minute.  Our first order of business was finding something to eat.  We were stoked because we both LOVE Thai food and were so ready to try the real deal.  And what we found did not disappoint.  We ended up at a vegetarian restaurant (and cooking school, but more on that later!) and had our first (of many) wonderful Thai meals.  Absolutely delicious.

Bangkok is an interesting city.  It has it’s own particular smell to start with.  A kind of combination between tasty, tasty Thai cooking and open sewers.  It’s not the cleanest city and it is extremely hazardous trying to cross the street.  In fact we would walk several blocks out of our way in order to cross the street sometimes.  But, everyone is very friendly and we found it to have a really good feel to it.  And did I mention that the food is AMAZING?!

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1st November
2011
written by Hazel

We were very sad to leave Sabi Sabi.  It was such a beautiful place and we loved seeing the animals so much.

The same day we left the game reserve my mom had to fly back to Johannesburg and then on home, so we were also sad to say goodbye to her.

A driver came and picked us up and then took us to Nelspruit, a nearby town where my mom would catch her flight later that day.  But first we had another treat in store!  We met up with my aunt’s foster daughter, her husband and their new baby!  They gave us a wonderful lunch at their home and we had a great time chatting with them.  They also gave us some good travel advice, dropped my mom off at the airport and us at our hostel.  So kind of them!

We had a couple of days left before our flight out of Africa, so we decided to stick around in Nelspruit and see the Blyde River Canyon which is only a short drive away.  We rented a car and I was very happy to find that the traffic in that area was not so busy.

It was a beautiful day exploring the canyon!

Rock Pinnacle

Rock Pinnacle

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24th October
2011
written by Justin

Swaziland Countryside

The first day in Swaziland we mostly spent inside, recovering from travel and making plans for our time in the country. Our exceedingly generous hosts Phil and Joanna made us great food – they typically eat raw vegetarian food, so we had really delicious salads covered in nuts and fruits and other goodies, along with some cooked dishes made just for us. We felt completely relaxed and really well taken care of! So we were productive in our planning and made an ambitious schedule where we’d get to see 3 Swazi sights – the Mlilwane Game Reserve, the famous Reed Dance, and the beautiful Malalotja Nature Reserve.

Lurking Croc

Lurking Croc

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8th October
2011
written by Justin

We were sad to leave the campsite when we did – 2 nights just didn’t seem enough to fully appreciate where we were.  However, Maggie and I got to have a completely different experience of the delta once we got out: a 45 minute flight above it!  We were stoked because it had been said that it’s hard to fully appreciate the size of the delta from the ground.  Whoever said that was right!  It was wild to see animals, scenery, and the odd fire from 500-1000 feet up. I’ll let the pictures do the talking.

Our Plane

Our Plane

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4th October
2011
written by Justin

We were so thrilled to see so much at Chobe that we were really sad to leave.  Fortunately the next part of our safari was to be a similarly awesome (though quite different) experience.  We were headed into the Okovango Delta (after another day’s worth of driving) – a place that is unique in the world for both its ecology and its culture.

En Route - Early and Cold

En Route - Early and Cold

The Okovango Delta is the world’s largest inland delta – it is a huge area whose geography changes with the seasons.  In the low season, it behaves much like a normal river plain would – grasses and a few river channels (along with wild animals) can be found then.  But in high-water seasons (We were there in August which has a high water level) the islands sink under water and become marshes separated by hundreds of small islands. (more…)

30th September
2011
written by Hazel

This post has been a while coming partly because the amazing awesomeness of Chobe National Park is so huge that it’s a pretty intimidating post to write.  This, for me, was a completely magical day.  I wanted elephants and I got ELEPHANTS.  Tiny baby elephants, elephants having mud baths, a huge herd of elephants crossing a river, and even sunset elephants.  This park has the highest concentration of elephants in the world.  In fact, they like it so much that if they try to take the elephants elsewhere to redistribute the population the elephants will walk back over 700 kms to get back to this park.

We got up in the morning in Livingstone, in Zambia and had to wait for some new people to join the tour.  There was a bit of a miscommunication between the head office and our tour leader (the didn’t tell him that some people were not going to show up!) which resulted in a bit of a mad dash to get the ferry across the border.  Fortunately, our guide was looking out for us and arranged for our game drive vehicles to meet us straight off the boat and take us directly to see the animals.

We had a really nice game drive vehicle and driver and had about 2.5 hours of driving up and down the Chobe river looking for wildlife.  There were so many amazing sightings, so if you want to see all the pictures click on any of these and it will take you through to the gallery.  But here are some of my favorite things!  (EDIT: ok, there are about a million pictures below.  But it really was that great!)

First view of the Chobe River

First view of the Chobe River

Hippo!

Hippo!

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18th September
2011
written by Justin

We got up early again – around 6am – to depart for our walking safari which started at 7:15 and was to last 3 hours.  Fortunately the chefs at the Waterfront opened the restaurant early (sweet!) and we were able to eat before loading up on the safari vehicle.  It was our first safari 4×4 – seemingly a converted pickup truck with 4 rows of 3 seats in the back.  They very considerately provided poncho-like blankets for the drive to the park, which was fairly cold in an open-air vehicle early in the morning.

En Route to Safari

En Route to Safari

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