Friday, November 20, 2015

Cambodia: Rigorous Khmer therapy in Siem Reap




Wellness travel writer Belinda Luksic discovers that sometimes the more unusual and exotic wellness therapies are best after a traditional Khmer massage at Siem Reap's Anantara Angkor Resort and Spa. Formulated for monks sitting long periods in repose, this no-oil technique of rigorous stretching and body alignment is the ultimate de-stressor.

"Using thumbs, elbows, palms, feet and knees, she pulls and pushes my body with a strength and dexterity that belies her size, incorporating moves that wouldn’t look out of place in a yoga class. I submit, serenely aware of a growing pliancy."

This story is ready for immediate delivery complete with images. 500 words. [enquire]

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

France: Wine capital of the world, Bordeaux.

Château Smith Haut Lafitte
Bordeaux is the world capital of wine, surrounded by some of the most expensive vineyards in the world. But it is also a city of culture with an intriguing history. Let Francophile and wine expert, Winsor Dobbin be your guide.

Some 1810 hectares of Bordeaux are listed a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Best of 2015 from travel photographer David Kirkland


Acclaimed travel photographer, David Kirkland, spent eight of the last 12 months on the road photographing destinations including South Africa, Ethiopia, Italy and New Zealand, as well as his favourite South Pacific island countries and Australia.

David is now taking bookings for 2016 assignments and, in conjunction with The Travel Writers, can also include expert editorial services in his packages.




Saturday, October 17, 2015

Fiji: On Pacific Time

MV Fiji Princess - renovated in 2014

Since his first cruise to Fiji aboard P&O's SS Himalaya in 1971, Roderick Eime has made numerous return voyages sampling the country's fleet of small ships.

He has just returned from a re-acquaintance with an old favourite, MV Fiji Princess, of Blue Lagoon Cruises. The 55m, 68-passenger boutique vessel underwent a makeover in mid-2014 and now sports renovated cabins and public spaces as well as technical updates.

Entertainment on Nanuya Island (R Eime)
Join Rod on a leisurely cruise through the Yasawas, or recall one of his longer, more comprehensive explorations as far as Rabi, Levuka, Kioa and Taveuni. Experience natural beauty above and below the water and discover why Fiji is a lot more than just luxury resorts.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

[Travel Editors] New stories from Japan, Argentina, Philippines, Greece + more




Travel * Lifestyle * Technology * Investment * Cars * Wine * Food * Family * Society
October 2015 - www.thetravelwriters.com

In this issue: Argentina, Wine, Scuba Diving, Philippines, Japan, Greece, Ethiopia

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The face of Ethiopia
Acclaimed travel photographer, David Kirkland, is just back from a stint in the tribal regions of Ethiopia capturing images of these beautiful people in his own stunning style.
A stunning photo-essay. [enquire]



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Argentina - Class by the glass
The Mendoza region of Argentina is known for its world-class red wines, but many of the wineries also make spectacular architectural statements in the shadows of the dramatic Andes mountains. [read more].



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Philippines - the life aquatic
With more than 3500 marine species (and still counting) among its 7100 islands, it's no wonder the Philippines is being touted as the world's premier diving location. [read more]



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Don't Miss Meis
The island of Meis, or Kastellorizo to the Greeks, is simply superb. Just two kilometres off the Turkish holiday town of Kas, this small eastern Mediterranean is brightly full of coloured neo-classical houses on a gorgeous blue water bay. [read more]



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The Sake Samurai
Often called the ‘Drink of the Gods’ by the Japanese, premium sake is like fine wine. Each brand has its own distinctive flavours and is paired with food in much the same way as wine. [read more]



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Just a sampler of our many offerings



QUESTIONS? CONTACT US

Ten incredible ski resorts in the USA and Canada


Australian ski resorts had a bumper season this winter with snow aplenty. But with spring now spreading its aromatic tentacles of green over the Australian Alps, families with a passion for the white stuff must wait until next winter … or do they? Helen Hayes looks at ten incredible ski resorts in the USA and Canada, giving the lowdown on what to do, what to expect, where to dine and where to stay.

(This pre-written story available on short notice with images supplied)

South Australia - Wine away the hours in Langhorne Creek



Want to visit gourmet regions where the winemaker greets you at cellar door? It pays to travel off the beaten track to regions like Langhorne Creek. Winsor Dobbin is your tour guide to roads less travelled.

Langhorne Creek is one of the underrated wine regions of Australian Viticulture and is among Australia's oldest and most significant wine regions. The first grapes were planted in the 1860s at the now heritage-listed Bleasdale Winery in area founded on the broad flood plain influenced by the local Bremer and Angas Rivers and dominated by magnificent River Red Gums.

Also along a similar theme:

Festival time in Heathcote
The Heachcote region of Victoria is renowned for its shiraz and the famous ancient red Cambrian soils which produce outstanding examples of Sangiovese, Tempranillo, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and excellent Rieslings and Viognier.

New Zealand: 'Hoodwinked' - the art of falconry




Wingspan, New Zealand’s National Bird of Prey Centre at Rotorua, is a place where people can visit and see birds of prey up close, guided by the country’s leading experts. Wingspan’s core is a commitment to the conservation of the threatened ‘Karearea’ New Zealand falcon. Being part of New Zealand’s unique natural heritage, falcons are a taonga (treasured) species to New Zealand’s Māori people. Our animal and eco-specialist, Kris Madden, interviews founder Debbie Stewart about her dedication to the conservation of New Zealand’s birds of prey, and the bird-characters you can meet including ‘Millie the Millennium Falcon’; and Ozzie, a NZ Falcon named after Ozzy Osbourne, as well as some interesting facts about the art of falconry and these amazing birds. [ Tell me more ]

Monday, October 5, 2015

Japan: The Sake Samurai


Often called the ‘Drink of the Gods’ by the Japanese, premium sake is like fine wine. Each brand has its own distinctive flavours and is paired with food in much the same way as wine. With names such as ‘Divine Droplets’; ‘Wandering Poet’ and ‘Snow Maiden’, premium sake brewers are family artisans, distilling their sake by hand using the purest ingredients sourced from around Japan. Kris Madden talks to the Sake Samurai; explores the role of sake in Japanese culture and reveals where to visit Japan’s premium sake breweries.

Philippines - home to some of the world's premier scuba diving

The Philippines is an archipelago of more than 7100 individual islands with 3500 (and counting) marine species and is touted as perhaps the premier diving location in the world.

School of Jacks (Balicasag Island, Bohol) by Jerome Kim
“The Philippines is jam-packed with diverse and threatened species—it’s one of the most astounding regions of biodiversity on Earth,” says Terry Gosliner, PhD, Senior Curator of Invertebrate Zoology at the California Academy of Sciences.

Amorita Resort, Bohol
 Roderick Eime explores beneath the waves as well as the shore-side attractions in Bohol and beyond.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Class by the glass - Argentina

The Mendoza region of Argentina is known for its world-class red wines, but many of the wineries also make spectacular architectural statements in the shadows of the dramatic Andes mountains. Winsor Dobbin reports.  


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Experience underwater wonders in luxury




Many of us are old enough to remember the white knuckle, underwater exploits of Lloyd Bridges as he fought off bad-guy frogmen in the seminal B/W TV series, Sea Hunt.

But now, a half century later, scuba diving is an industry. Not just for superhuman salvage divers and fearless mine clearance specialists, it's a solid ingredient in many luxury travel offerings the world over.

Tufi Resort, PNG
With the latest technology equipment providing a safer-than-ever opportunity for novices and first-timers to enjoy the wonders of the underwater world, PADI (the peak recreational dive certification organisation) now issues in the order of one million new certifications annually.*

Australia and the Asia-Pacific region are over represented in statistics, with more than one quarter of global certifications from our region alone. Many of these new divers are a result of programs offered at 5-star resorts and luxury hotels, especially in the key aquatic territories like French Polynesia and the vast South Pacific.

We go in search of the ultimate in premium dive experiences where you can cavort with wonderful sea creatures during the day and relax at five (and six) star resorts by night.

* Source: PADI.com. Median age for men is 30 and 27 for women.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Opening up Ethiopia - stunning images

Acclaimed travel photographer, David Kirkland, is just back from a stint in the tribal regions of Ethiopia capturing images of these beautiful people in his own stunning style. Click the image below to find out more.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Greece: Don't Miss Meis


Story and images by John Maddocks



The island of Meis, or Kastellorizo to the Greeks, is simply superb. Just 2 kilometres off the Turkish holiday town of Kas, this small eastern Mediterranean island sports picturesque, brightly coloured neo-classical houses on a gorgeous blue water bay. The first impression is that you've arrived on a movie set and indeed you have, as the Oscar winning film Mediterraneo was made here.

Wander up cobblestone lanes, admire the wrought-iron balconies and bask in the sun. Meis gets 320 days of sunshine every year. Check out the Knights of St John Castle, the museum and take a trip to the spectacular Blue Cave. Or just sit by the harbour, which is undoubtedly one of the best in Greece. So if you're travelling in Turkey, take the twenty minute fast ferry from Kas for a day trip or to enter Greece on the way to Rhodes. This tranquil island gem is not to be missed.


Enquire about this story for your magazine

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Getting railroaded in Europe

Gen 3 ICE trains in Germany travel at speeds up to 300kmh (Wikipedia)

In 1977, a pimply young Roderick Eime set off on a railway journey around Europe armed with a Student Rail Card and a sleeping bag. Now, some 35 years later, he sets out again with a smartphone app to explore some of the routes in the former Soviet-controlled Eastern Bloc that were not on the Eurail map during the Cold War period.

Sofia departure board
The journey begins in Athens and takes him through Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary, Austria, the Netherlands and into Germany over five hectic days.

While some trains remind him of the dank compartments and ramshackle carriages of his youth, the space-age, 300kmh ICE trains running through Germany are a thing of wonder.


Route map (click to enlarge)
Climb aboard for this journey of nostalgia, history and amazement as Rod bribes his way through Bulgaria, gets fleeced in Belgrade and rockets across Germany with his 21st Century Rail Europe Eurail pass.


Tuesday, June 2, 2015

The romance of sail: Star Clipper in the Aegean Sea

Star Clippers recreates the essence of maritime adventure with their fleet of superb, fully-rigged sailing vessels. Small ship cruise expert, Roderick Eime, gets into the rigging aboard Star Clipper in the Aegean Sea

Star Clipper (c) Roderick Eime
Superb, 4-masted barquentine, Star Clipper (Roderick Eime)

The waters of the glorious Aegean Sea have been sailed by ships since the dawn of time. Greeks, Romans, Persians and Turks all traded and invaded the these waterways and coasts in their quest for regional domination. The great philosopher, Plato, described the Greeks living round the Aegean "like frogs around a pond". With numerous UNESCO World Heritage sites like Rhodes, Delos and Patmos, there's intellectual as well as hedonistic pleasures to enjoy.

Now a modern aquatic playground plied by ships of all shapes and sizes, the Aegean Sea is visited by thousands of fun- and sun-loving travellers and tourists from all over the world.

This story follows Star Clippers' Southern Cyclades itinerary (see map) as part of the vessel's year-round Eastern Mediterranean program.


Original photography by the writer. PR sourced images also available.
1. IMG_1380, 2. IMG_1202, 3. IMG_1210, 4. IMG_1267, 5. IMG_1298,
6. IMG_1322, 7. IMG_1330, 8. IMG_1095, 9. IMG_1428, 10. IMG_1458,
11. IMG_1480, 12. IMG_0976, 13. IMG_1009
You may also be interested in: Through the Panama Canal with Star Flyer

Monday, June 1, 2015

Through the Panama Canal to Costa Rica aboard Star Flyer

Riding the bowsprit (Star Clippers)
The Panamanian port of Balboa lies at the Pacific end of the Panama Canal. There are luxury yachts from all over the world here, but the towering mast and bright lights of Star Flyer stand out well above the rest. Stepping on board this luxury windjammer is like going back in time to the days of the clipper ships that ruled the waves in the 19th century. Ducking under booms, stepping over coils of rope, leaning against railings just feet above the sea, and watching sailors work the winches, are constant reminders that you're on a real working ship. Kris Madden tells of sailing from Panama to Costa Rica aboard the clipper ship Star Flyer.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

New stories from Austria, Vietnam, Tahiti, India

Travel Lines Editors Bulletin

Travel
 * Lifestyle * Technology * Investment * Cars * Wine * Food * Family * Society


MAY 2015 - www.thetravelwriters.com

sound of music
There is no doubt that the Austrian city of Salzburg is synonymous with sound. The much loved "The Sound of Music", based on the life of the Austrian Trapp family rings in its 50th anniversary in 2015. [read more]
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danang fireworks
Recently voted by TripAdvisor as the #1 Emerging Destination for 2015, the burgeoning Vietnamese city of Da Nang dazzles with nightly lightshows and an annual international fireworks festival. [read more]
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bora bora
Bora Bora is best known for its star-studded resorts, but there is another way to explore the many delights of the mesmerising lagoon – on a large, luxury catamaran. [read more]
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Hooghly River
Once the domain of the hardy and adventurous, the Indian rivers are quickly becoming the new highways for those wishing to travel in relaxed comfort without the anxiety of the notorious Indian traffic. [read more]
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Just a sampler of our many offerings
the travel writers
QUESTIONS? CONTACT US

Monday, May 4, 2015

Tahiti: Into the lagoon. Sailing Bora Bora


Beautiful waters of Bora Bora (supplied)
Bora Bora is known for its star-studded resorts with more legs on their overwater bungalows than a centipede, but there is another way to explore the many delights of the mesmerising lagoon – on a large, luxury catamaran.

Terehau, a 60ft fully-crewed catamaran (supplied)

Helen Hayes boards the good ship Terehau, a 60ft fully-crewed catamaran for a three-night cruise around Bora Bora, stopping off at all the snorkelling hotspots, dropping anchor in one idyllic place after another and taking in the scenery in the relative silence of a boat under sail. Swimming with reef sharks and stingrays will be a highlight for a long time to come.

Salzburg, Austria: 50 years of the Sound of Music


There is no doubt that the Austrian city of Salzburg is synonymous with sound. The much loved "The Sound of Music", based on the life of the Austrian Trapp family rings in its 50th anniversary in 2015. First screened in 1965, and awarded five Oscars, the movie remains one of the three most repeatedly screened films in history. Salzburg is also the birthplace of composer Wolfgang Mozart, and the UNESCO World Heritage-listed city, which has a population of just 150,000, stages some 4,200 concerts a year, morning, noon and night.

Salzburg by night (supplied)
Kris Madden will describe how travellers can join in the celebrations, visit the film locations, stay in the Von Trapp family’s original home and discover why the “hills are alive” with songs they have sung for a thousand years.



Da Nang Goes Off - Vietnam's most dynamic city

Lung Linh Song Han - Ngo Minh Duc (supplied)
The Vietnamese city of Da Nang does not feature large on the travel map of many, but those Australians familiar with the third largest sea- and airport in Vietnam will know it as the gateway to the UNESCO-listed sites of the Imperial City of Huế, the Old Town of Hội An, and the Mỹ Sơn ruins.

Han River scene from Dragon Bridge (Roderick Eime)
The wide Han River provides a soothing centerpiece for this burgeoning metropolis and is spanned by several modern bridges, all of which are illuminated by creative light shows including one where fire spits from the massive head of a dragon.

Once the site of one of the largest and busiest US military bases in all of Vietnam and the setting for the hit TV series ‘China Beach’, reminders of the US occupation still linger in the form of aircraft revetments and base buildings around the new domestic and international terminals.

Flower Garden at Ba Na Hills (Roderick Eime)
Now a fresh energy fills the city. New hotels and resorts line My Khe (China) Beach, an international firework competition is run semi-annually plus one of the most ambitious (and bizarre) theme park has opened on the peaks of nearby Ba Na Hills on the site of a former French colonial hill station. The dangerous old road has been replaced by the longest non-stop single track cable car in the world (5800m).

Local authorities are keen for visitors to linger longer in the city before setting off to neighbouring attractions. Infrastructure and entertainment facilities are springing up and at night the whole city takes on a Fantasia-like theme with multiple light shows all around the prominent city structures like bridges, buildings and roadways.

Key sites visited include:
  • Ba Na Hills complex
  • Cham Museum
  • Hoi An Old Town
  • Marble Mountain
  • My Khe Beach
  • Fireworks Competition
  • Han River cruise and boulevard
Also of note:

Listed by TripAdvisor as #1 of 10 destinations on the rise — World
International Fireworks Competition 2015 - Won by Howard Fireworks Australia

Rod was hosted by the Danang Center for Tourism Promotion and stayed at Naman Retreat, Intercontinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort, Sunrise Hoi An and Anantara Hoi An Resort as well as several site inspections and local restaurant meals.



Please contact Rod to commission an illustrated feature on this dynamic city.

Monday, April 6, 2015

The Holy Rivers of Incredible India




One of the cleverest tags in the travel business, it perfectly sums up this multifaceted country of more than 1600 languages and dialects, scores of ethnic groups and the birthplace of at least four of the world’s major religions.

The cultural experience of India is overwhelming to many, especially for first-timers and travelling with a reputable operator that understands the needs of the modern sophisticated traveller is imperative.



Land travel has always been a nervous exercise on the roads of India and this is one of the reasons why the rise in popularity of river cruising has been so phenomenal.

Once the domain of the hardy and adventurous, the Indian rivers are quickly becoming the new highways for those wishing to travel in relaxed comfort without the anxiety of the notorious Indian traffic.

With luxurious new ships being launched to cater for this increased demand, the Ganges, Hooghly and Brahmaputra are seeing visitors like never before.

Cruise specialist, Roderick Eime, can provide a comprehensive examination of the ships plying these holy rivers that take you to temples, tea plantations, jungles and bazaars all along the way.

Sample galleries

https://www.flickr.com/photos/rodeime/sets/72157642929598065/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/rodeime/sets/72157643309177934/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/rodeime/sets/72157626306303994/

Friday, April 3, 2015

Testuya Wakuda: Australia's first superstar chef


Testuya Wakuda
Long before My Kitchen Rules or Masterchef, a man who arrived on Australia's shores as penniless immigrant with only a few words of English was shaping the way the next generation of diners would eat. Testuya Wakuda worked his way up from a kitchen hand to regular spot on the lists of the world's top chefs; and he still mans the pans at his restaurants in Sydney and Singapore. Winsor Dobbin reveals the remarkable and uplifting story of the man who changed the face of dining forever.