Original Nomad

Original Nomad

From the Site_iconWorldNomads.com network
  • +4 rating

    1st time in Thailand for three weeks in Feburary What activities / Towns /Islands / Tours are best budget?

    Well, I have to say that if you are Australian, the islands of the South like Krabi, Kho Phi Phi or Koh Samui are over-rated. If you went there 30 years ago they might have still held some mystique but in these days of cheap flights they are full of large, pink Europeans unused to sun, sand and sea. Not pretty. There is quite a lot to do in and around Bangkok, including this market to the south (http://journals.worldnomads.com/simon_monk/post/35426.aspx) which I haven't ever been to but will on my next visit for sure. Chiang Mai is very pleasant although well visited: they have a large night market on a Wednesday night which is great fun and you can go either north west or north east from there. Personally, I'd recommend the North East corner of the country (if you are game for a little adventure off-the-beaten-track so to speak. There is some excellent hill trekking on the edge of Laos from the town of Nan where you get to stay with various hill tribes and eat rice and cabbage for a week! Great experience, honestly. There is a most unusual temple in the north east, but I can't remember the name, it was years ago: it's built around a sandstone outcrop, has 7 levels which are just wooden boards stuck into the stone and you really take your life in your hands to explore it! Make sure you have travel insurance if you go here! Another recommendation is simply to make sure you eat at a genuine Thai night market most nights: these can be found everywhere at night where they set up in dusty car parks and the like and the food is simply awesome. The best one I ever found in many months in the country was in a tiny town called Loei in the north east - I've never had a Green Papaya Salad like it since! The food is some of the best in the world and I've never been sick in Thailand. Have fun simon almost 10 years ago

  • +4 rating

    Where can I Learn Spanish in Guatemala?

    I'd agree, Antigua is a beautiful town to locate yourself in. I've only been there, not learnt Spanish there, but I know of this web site that prove useful: http://www.transitionsabroad.com/publications/magazine/0505/learn_spanish_in_antigua_guatemala.shtml PS - take care of your personal safety in Guatemala, there are bandits and muggings aplenty. Personally, I nearly got kidnapped on leaving a hospital at 3am, but that was 12 years ago ... and it's only got worse apparently! about 9 years ago

  • +3 rating

    Currency for Vietnam

    The currency is the wonderfully named DONG. Take US$ as the currency is non-convertible outside the country as far as I know. Last time I looked there was something like 9,000 to the US$ so you can end up with rather a large amount of paper. Most mid-range accommodation I have always paid for on credit cards (at least in the last few years) but cash is king the rest of the time. Local cash too, not USD. And beware the Cyclo drivers or anyone else who want you to pay in USD as they are just trying it on so they can charge you exhorbitantly. Great country to visit though. almost 10 years ago

  • +3 rating

    Japan - suggested itinerary and can I do it on my own?

    I think you'll find far more signs in English than even just a few years ago and although people ARE incredibly friendly and helpful, very few people speak English: a good reason to practise some basic travellers japanese: http://itunes.apple.com/au/artist/worldnomads-com/id296305805 Navigating trains can be pretty daunting as the stations are truly huge, but they are a great way to travel since if they say 12:02:30 they really do mean it. To the second. Personally, I'd try a less ambitious itinerary as you have a lot of travel in there! If you fly into Osaka, I'd spend more time in Kyoto (which is stunning), stop by Himeiji Castle on the way to Hiroshima, and only perhaps try to Kyushu. Oh, and by your Japan Rail Pass before you leave as it's dirt cheap compared to buying tickets once you are there. Couple of other tips: 1. Local food is one of the best kept secrets of the country and doesn't cost the earth 2. Try out locals Onsen (Spa's) they have to be one of the best experiences you can get of authentic Japan: http://journals.worldnomads.com/simon_monk/country/107.aspx Happy travelling. over 9 years ago

  • +2 rating

    Best affordable sushi in NYC

    Nobu is worth every cent. I ate at Nobu next door a few years back, had no booking, didn't have to wait long and it really wasn't too expensive. http://nymag.com/listings/restaurant/next-door-nobu/ (Oh, and I love sushi and know what's the real deal since my wife is Japanese and I've lived in Japan) about 10 years ago

  • +2 rating

    Is the area around Van in Turkey safe to visit?

    I haven't been but you might like to check http://www.worldnomads.com as they have some free travel safety information once you join (which is free). And I quote : "Travellers should note that there are reportedly around 400,000 unexploded landmines in Turkey's south eastern regions, and many have killed over 500 people since 2004. The highest numbers of landmine-related deaths have occurred in Diyarbakir, Bingol, Tunceli, Siirt, Sirnak and Van. Additionally, the Turkish government's presence in the south east has led to a number of violent demonstrations and numerous deaths and injuries. The Turkish land borders with Syria, Iran and Iraq are unstable and are said to be the crossover point for numerous militants. Due to the instability in the region, checkpoints are a common sight and travel restrictions are often enforced." I'd go but would probably be a little more cautious than I normally would. over 9 years ago

  • +2 rating

    Do I need a visa when travelling from Australia to Penang?

    This is from the web site of the High Commission of Malaysia: "Australian passport holders do not need a visa to enter Malaysia for a visit of up to three months provided their passports are valid for at least six months on arrival and they have a return air ticket or onward ticket to another international destination. A single entry air ticket is not accepted without a confirmed date and exit from Malaysia." http://www.malaysia.org.au/travel1.html So no, it looks like you don't. over 9 years ago

  • +2 rating

    What are the must see things in Japan?

    From Osaka? You'd be mad not to head to Kyoto and visit as many of the gorgeous temples there of which there are too many to name. I loved walking and walking around this incredible place as many of the best ones (in my view) aren't well known or famous. Here is a good starting point: http://www.japanvisitor.com/index.php?cID=357&pID=309 about 9 years ago