Category: Travel

Tripping – Vegas and Sydney where and what on the travel list! Collaboration with Kendra Thornton, US

This month I collaborated with the lovely @KendraThornton to publish posts on favourite travel destinations. I started with Sydney, where I currently reside as there are lots of things to do here and I wanted to start with my own ‘backyard’. Kendra shares her fave city to visit – Las Vegas. I am going to Vegas soon and want to try all those cool things mentioned in this post!

Enjoy!

Where to Go in Vegas When Looking for Thrills

Las_Vegas_strip_photo_1_e316f5Whether you’re headed to Las Vegas with the family, friends or both, there are all sorts of things to do. Can you believe Vegas has shark tanks that you can swim in or even dolphin training at some of the bigger hotels? There’s even a museum near a nuclear testing site. There’s no end to the things that you can do in this town, and that’s probably why it’s one of the top destinations for the United States. These are just a few of my favorite places to go to when in Las Vegas.

1. Golf Like Tiger: Really!

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If you think you got what it takes, the Butch Harmon School is open for all golfers who want to experience some real lessons by Tiger’s swing coach Butch Harmon. He’s legendary in Vegas and holds 3-day clinics for those who book in advance. If you’re staying at Caesar’s Palace, you can add on the lessons as part of your package and even get free transportation.

2. Swim with Sharks

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This is a real thrill and not something for those who can’t swim well. The aquarium at Mandalay Bay has some of the deadliest creatures like moray eels, crocodiles, piranhas, jellyfish and 15 species of sharks! The whole experience is rather education because you learn quite a bit about these creatures and come to find out, they’re not as dangerous as people think. Swimming with sharks is a fun adventure for older kids and adults to enjoy. It’s also a great photo opportunity.

3. Can You Eat IT?

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There are a ton of different food challenge places around Vegas, but the most famous is probably at the Monte Carlo’s Brand Steakhouse where you can try your tastebuds at the 120-oz steak. You have to eat the whole dish with two sauces and a side to get the meal on the house. If not, it’s $250! There’s also the 8-pound Burger Challenge down the street from Monte Carlo’s if you’d rather go for grilled beef.

4. Pink Jeep Tours

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Adventure is my middle name, and someone in your party probably has the canyons on the brain! The Grand Canyon and other nature trails around Vegas are truly beautiful to behold. The Pink Jeep Tours take you on a trip around the best nature sights to see in this desert oasis. You’ll get a real look into the beauty of mother nature and also have fun with the tour guides who are a riot!

 

Las Vegas certainly has plenty to see, do and places to stay so each time you visit, each experience is different than the last. Sites like Gogobot make it easy to read user reviews so you and your party will know exactly what they are getting themselves into.

Sydney City and Nature Tour

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It’s easy to come to Sydney and stay in the CBD because that’s where everything happens. Not many will experience Sydney for its connection and closeness with nature however, especially the proximity to the ocean which almost no other grand city in the world can boast about.

 

To really take in all of Sydney and see how far it spreads and how many connections it has with the ocean, you need to get up high, if you like heights that is.

Exploring the view:

 

sydney-tower-from-darling-harbour1.You can go up the Sydney tower and check out the view as far as it takes you – on Saturday nights and special occasions you can see the fireworks light up the sky in Darling Harbour. Here you can go on a 4D ride and experience Australian culture through an interactive film. There’s a balcony on the tower (for the brave ones!) where you can also do the SKY WALK, 268 metres above Sydney. On Wednesday mornings you can get in touch with your zen and do a  yoga class at the top of the tower and indulge in breakfast at the restaurant afterwards.

 

2.Climb the Harbour Bridge.

013069-sydney-harbourTo really get an appreciation of Sydney’s beauty you need to climb the Harbour Bridge. Sydney has one of the most beautiful harbours in the world and possibly the cleanest one. Anyone can do the climb, no matter what level of fitness and you will be immerced in the dynamic of the views. It’s a great opportunity to take a cool photo with the opera house in the background too! Choose from a range of different climb options: express, discovery, Mandarin and even Wedding! This is probably one of the most iconic experiences of Sydney you can have.

 

3.Do a helicopter tour around the city.

black-r44-helicopter-over-sydney-harbourThere are a number of companies that will do a helicopter city tour and take you up high and around to see Sydney from all angles. It is breathtaking once you get up there and you can see all the activity that happens in the water and on the roads. See all the Sydney icons from angles you’ve never seen them before. The flights usually last around 20-25 minutes but will stay in your memory for a long time!

Check out Sydney Helicopters for tour options.

 

Enjoying nature:

Sydney has so many awesome spots where you won’t need to spend much $$ to have a great time. You do hear from a lot of visitors that Sydney is one of the most beautiful but also a very expensive city, especially if you’ve come here with the whole family. Here are a few things you can do on a shoestring budget for the day.

1.Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens

OperaHouseHero800The Gardens are located in the heart of the city next to Bennelong point on which the Opera House sits. The whole area plays a significant role in the history of Aboriginal people and the Botanical Gardens, even though you may not notice it at the start foster a lot of the history behind the first settlements in Australia. You can find a few passages where you’ll explore a bit of Aboriginal history and that’s a rarity to find in Sydney. It’s easy to lose yourself in the gardens and you can enjoy a picnic under one of the leafy trees. When you’re there, try and spot the New South Wales red flower, Waratah.

 

2.Manly beach

1329115722684_ManlyBeachCol000-938x704Of course Bondi is the most famous beach in Australia and a lot of tourists come to Sydney just to see this spot. I do like the beach but Bondi doesn’t resonate to me as a place where you can really see Sydney and take in it’s beauty. Bondi is a massive tourist attraction so its good to see it once when you’re over here, however it is better to travel across the bridge or catch a ferry from Circular Quay to Manly.

Manly has a lot of cafes and restaurants and can get quite busy, but there is a huge local feel to it all, like you’ve temporarily become a resident in that suburb.

There are lots of activities on the beach, cycling, kayaking. It’s a highly recommended spot if you’re travelling with kids. There is even a SEA LIFE Sanctuary where you can come face to face with various marine life and little penguins who can be found in Manly.

 

3.The Clovelly to Bondi Walk

attraction-clovellyOne of the most spectacular walks and coastlines will open up on this walk and you will experience some of Sydney’s most iconic beaches. If you’re doing the walk on Saturday or Sunday morning, you will see a lot of Sydney-siders doing the same, and at some pace too! You can take your time, take some amazing photos and see some interesting rock formations, not to mention, water that’s blue, turquoise, aqua and every other blue shade that exists. It’s not a short walk but you can reward yourself with brekkie or brunch at Bondi beach!

KerrieArgent_overconsumption_SxSCott2014_JessWyld_09In late spring, check out the free Sculpture by the Sea (www.sculpturebythesea.com).

Hope you like the post and if you have any questions please ask away in the comments section!

x

Beauties, I’ve been MIA…here is the recap of my Malaysia trip

Wow, missing in action for more than a month! That’s unlike me!

I was doing too many things at the same time and got myself into a loop of busy! I hope my Instagram and Facebook updates have kept you entertained and I promise to be better at updating the good old blog. My trip to Malaysia was a success and I have maaany beauty items to showcase – all coming up!

Highlights:

- Sephora in Kuala Lumpur (I went to 2 different Sephoras to find the Urban Decay Naked 2 Pallet as they were all sold out at the beginning of the week. I persevered and got my pallet safely to Sydney on the nearly last day in KL! Woohoo!)

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- Langkawi Meritus Pelangi Resort

This resort is amazing! Has one of the best swimming pools I’ve ever seen in a resort, a very secluded beach, lots of space, a tropical atmosphere and lots of greenery to look at.

The island of Langkawi is beautiful because you’re surrounded by hills and in some instances mountains.

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- KL Middle Eastern Food and all food!

I was born in Kazakhstan so for me having a variety of good food is essential. From a young age I have been used to eating (within the same week) food that comes from Middle Eastern influence , Russian and Korean. So it was good, almost home-like to see this sort of mix and variety of European, Middle East and Asian cultures. For that I loved Malaysia!

All religions and people living in the same place and making it work. That’s what Kazakhstan is essentially like and that is one of the most important things to me – having variety and living peacefully.

In KL I fell in love with a Turkish restaurant called Tarbush. Located in the Starhill Gallery, one of the premium malls in KL, this restaurant not only puts you in an intimate setting but provides amazing food. Below is a bit of a preview on the special menu they have all of this month as a part of the Malaysia International gourmet food festival 2013. (Forgive the quality of these photos, taken on my iPhone that is getting quite old).

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Malaysia is a great place to visit because of the multinational aspect and KL is ranked the  number 4 best city in the world for shopping.  With only 8 hours of flying in between Sydney, it’s a sure winner for me on all counts!

I am definitely going back :)

xx



Opal card – Sydney siders please get yours

I am not an early adopter and wouldn’t consider myself to be, it seems however that I am, with this new transportation payment concept- the Opal card.

This transport card that is very similar to the e-tag for cars in that you don’t have to stop at a toll gate, get out your change, wait in a queue, it’s a breeze to use ! With this card you don’t have to buy tickets to trains or ferries and can setup to top up your balance automatically.

You Order online, top up online pretty much do everything online .

Once you have your Opal card, you pretty much don’t need to ever get a paper ticket again if you catch the train or ferry. At the moment the Opal network is the city circuit for trains and the darling harbour service for ferries.

The network will continue to roll out across the city within the next few months. I don’t think the opal card can get used on buses at all, but on buses you can purchase the travel 10. For trains you can’t.

Opal works on demand, when you need to go on a train, you tap your card and a fare is calculated when you tap on exit at your stop.

To encourage adoption of the card, rates are approximately 30 cents cheaper on all routes and there is a fixed rate per day.

I still haven’t seen anyone else using this card but me but would encourage you – if you’re catching the train or ferry, please check out opal.com.au and see if the Opal card is available on your route to work.

It’s so much quicker tapping the card than having to scan through a paper ticket. Most of the time I don’t get why people want to line up to purchase tickets at the train station or ferry terminals. It’s inefficient and there is a much better and cheaper method.

Sydney peeps, the sooner everyone gets one, the easier transportation can become. And at the moment, it’s a bit if a mess.

More information and how to order yours here:
https://www.opal.com.au/

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