• The Jagalchi Fsh Markets of Busan, South Korea

  • The busy port of Busan

  • You can buy just about anything at the Busan markets

  • Fish markets in Busan

  • Busan is South Korea's second largest city

  • Someone has to open the shells!

  • A cornucopia of sea creatures in Busan!

There are fish markets and then, there are fish markets! Busan, South Korea

There are fish markets and then, there are fish markets!   The Jagalchi Fish Markets in Busan fall into the latter category. Markets are not every traveller’s “thing” but I have

  • Trendy Gdansk at night

  • Like the sign says - Just good strong coffee

  • Gdansk Harbour on the Vistula River

  • The working harbour of Gdansk

  • Old cobblestone street in Gdansk

  • Old Baltic boat in Gdansk harbour

Gdansk – A true gem of Poland

In the north of Poland on the Baltic Sea lies the beautiful city of Gdansk. Take at least a full day – more if you prefer to move at a

  • Bonifacio citadel

  • Autumn is in the air

  • Corsica Calanques

  • The dramatic coast of Bonifacio

  • Calvi's beautiful bay & harbour

  • Autumn in Corsica

  • A visit to the traditional port in Bastia

  • Corte in the heart of Corsica

Can we recommend Corsica? of course we can!

What an island of surprises Corsica proved to be. It may not have been on your radar as a destination but having visited,  its many delights deserve to be shared.

  • Ark Fortress Bukhara

  • Handmade carpets from Bukhara

  • Chor Minor Madrassah

  • Meet the local Bukhara ladies

  • Some of the delicacies on offer in Bukhara

  • Mir-i-Arab Madrasa Bukhara

  • Folk show at Nodir Devon-begi Madrassah

  • Plov cooking demonstration

  • Poi Kalyan complex Bukhara

  • Suzanni at the museum

Bukhara – an ancient city in Central Asia’s Uzbekistan

One of my favourite Silk Road cities is the town of Bukhara, located a few hours west of Samarkand. Like Samarkand, Bukhara is also home to significant and stunning

  • Parsurameswara Temple

  • Colourful India

  • The coastal town of Puri

  • Handsome local

  • The colour of India

  • So India!

  • Bhubaneswar temple

  • Our local guide in India

  • From behind the veil

Odisha India – with it’s complex history, enticing tribal culture and natural beauty

 Over 40 million people live in Odisha (pronounced Orisha) – one of India’s 29 states.  Sitting in the northeast on the Bay of Bengal, it is generally regarded as India’s poorest state, but don’t let this

  • The popular destination of Trakai

  • Rowing boats near Trakai castle

  • 'Egle' Queen of the Serpents - Palanga Botanical Sculpture Garden

  • Art in the park

  • Seaside flowers

  • Sailing ship in Klaipeda port

  • Visit the Hill of Crosses Lithuania

  • Visit Trakai Island Castle

  • Rowing boats near Trakai Castle

Lithuania, The Baltics – One of the gems of Europe

Allow at least a week to see the best of what Lithuania has to offer, including the following highlights.
Without a doubt, the capital city Vilnius, is a treasure.  The

  • Travelling through the locks

  • The train runs alongside the canal between Colon and Panama City

  • The new enormous bridge under construction near San Lorenzo National Park

  • Ships passing through the locks

  • Three locks over the canal's 80kms lift ships up or down about 26 metres

  • The biggest of ships can fit comfortably through the canal

  • Ships take about 8 hours to navigate the length of Panama Canal

The Panama Canal

Since I was a small kid, I’d always wanted to visit Panama and see the Panama Canal.  The notion of watching huge cargo ships glide through the nearly 80km of

  • Express delivery to the market

  • Famous Kolkata River Ghats

  • Strings of yellow and gold marigolds at the Kolkata flower market

  • Kolkata flower market seller surrounded by beauty

  • Potters' quarter near Kolkata flower market churn out wonderful statues

  • Strings of yellow and gold marigolds at the Kolkata flower market

  • One bunch or two?

  • Busy market stalls

Kolkata and its street markets

Kolkata has a dark history from the days of it’s formation by the British East India company in the late 1600s to the early Bengal insurrections such as the Black

  • Stroll down the quaint streets

  • Old wooden Lutheran church in Turaida Park, Latvia

  • Latvian National Opera House Riga

  • The Old Town of Riga and its market square

  • Sigulda New Castle

  • Riga Latvia's Capital

  • Street art in Latvia

Latvia – rich in UNESCO world heritage listed sites

Latvia, part of the Baltic States (a term used by the locals), is a small country with a small population. But there’s much to see and do, around the capital

  • Catch the street performers in the square

  • Inside Kumu Museum

  • Riga's Central Market is located in old German Zeppelin hangars

  • The pretty cityscape of Tallinn

  • Meet your friends in the old town square Tallinn

Tallinn, Estonia – Small city, weird language

Arriving on the ferry from Helsinki, two things grabbed my immediate attention about this small, sophisticated, medieval capital city. First, it is one of the most charming and beautiful cities

  • On the Mekong river with Irrawaddy dolphins

  • Everyday life in Kratie village

  • Brett & Kate on the Mekong River

  • Local volleyball team

  • Stroll among the wooden houses north of Kratie

  • The local kids are always up for a chat

  • Loading the wagon

Kratie – The Real Cambodia

Without a doubt, Angkor Wat is Cambodia’s immediately recognisable national icon but there is much more to this beautiful country. If you want to see the real regional Cambodia where

  • Bukchon Hanok Village where there are hundreds of traditional wooden houses

  • Night food markets in Seoul

  • Korean drum outside Gyeongbokgung Palace during the changing of the guard ceremony

  • Buddhist Prayer Ribbons at the DMZ site

  • There are markets everywhere and for everything in Seoul!

  • At the DMZ outside Seoul

A few days in Seoul – South Korea

Years ago in the advertising industry, we used to joke that if a manager did a lousy job, they’d get a “promotion” to run the Seoul office. Well, things have

  • Magnificient Valletta Harbour

  • Local boatman in Valletta Harbour

  • The most famous building in Mosta is the Rotunda

  • Fort Saint Elmo in Valletta

  • The Blue Grotto in Gozo

  • The motto of the village is 'Non Nisi Per Ardua' means 'Only with Ability'

  • Walking in the cool laneways

  • Love Malta - we sure do

  • Mosta Rotunda ceiling

  • Living the simple life in Malta

  • Valletta Watch Tower

Malta is definitely the mouse that roared

Malta is definitely the mouse that roared. It is tiny yet impressive enough for the country to be awarded the George Cross for bravery in World War II. Blue Dot

  • Small islet of Sveti Stefan

  • The fortifications of Kotor

  • Magnificient Bay of Kotor

  • Wonderful old towns to explore

  • Church of St Archangel Michael Herceg Novi

  • Medieval clock tower in Kotor

  • Old town of Kotor

Montenegro – The Black Mountain

If you didn’t know that Montenegro was a country, don’t despair – you’re not on your own! While many travellers from Australia have discovered neighbouring Croatia as a fabulous destination, not so

  • Naga tribal elder

  • Wonderful faces of Naga tribes

  • Wrestling Naga style

  • Pulling of the monolithic stone

  • Tribal costumes you will see at the Hornbill festival

  • Impromptu dancing at the festival

  • Vibrant colours of Hornbill Festival

  • Tribal head gear worn at Hornbill Festival

Hornbill Festival of Nagaland North East India

The north east frontier of India has always been a remote outpost even during the rule of the British Raj. Whilst the famous Assam tea plantations saw early colonial interest

  • Welcome to Guatemala

  • Making tortias at the Chichicastenango markets

  • Something is wrong with this picture?

  • Atitlan volcano

  • Guatemalan masks

  • Meet the local cowboys

  • Local Antigua women selling colourful items

Guatemala – A lesser travelled gem of Central America

We all travel for different kinds of reasons. Some people like ancient history, others prefer more recent colonial history. Some folks love to photograph wildlife, while some would rather eat

  • Ruky mosque near Ashgabat

  • Flag of Turkmenistan

  • Visit the ancient city of Merv

  • Local Turkic family

  • Ministry of Happiness

  • Sheep pen

  • Colourful salad bar

  • Wishing tree - tie a ribbon for good health

  • Ancient city of Nisa

  • UNESCO's ancient city of Merv

Turkmenistan – now for something unusual!

Turkmenistan – Land of the Turkmen – could best be described as an odd country. The former Soviet state became independent in 1991 and was until 2006 ruled by Niyazov,

  • Bear Rock Porto Cervo at Capo d'Orso

  • Orgosolo painted mural

  • Sardinia vineyard

  • Su Gologone Hotel

  • A wonderful feast at Pabillonis

  • Castlesardo's castle at the top

  • Bosa one of Sardinia's most attractive towns

  • Suckling pig Sardinian style

  • Picturesque Su Gologone hotel

  • Mural at Orgosolo

  • Wonderful countryside

Captivating Sardinia

I came to Sardinia with few preconceptions, except about its reputation for brigands and kidnappings. Our itinerary included a visit to the mountain village of Orgosolo, a headquarters for the

  • Black volcanic sands of the southern shore

  • Thingvellir National Park

  • Icelandic horses

  • Icelandic fish lunch

  • Brett & Kate at Skogafoss falls

  • Gullfoss Falls in Golden Triangle route

  • The Great Geyser on the golden triangle route

  • Vic on the south coast of Iceland

Iceland – Heaps of “wow”!

We visited Iceland on a recce in 2013. The brief to ourselves was to develop an itinerary providing a “best of” and some lesser-known parts of the country for our

  • A model of the Arc of the Covenant

  • Blessing the water

  • Christians showered with blessed water

  • Priests chanting

  • Dancing and drumming as part of Timkat

  • Tabot is wrapped in cloth and carried through the crowd

  • Priests dance and shake their clappers during the procession

  • Priests holding Lalibela crosses

  • Colour of Timkat

  • Waiting for proceedings to begin

Timkat Festival Ethiopia continues…

Day 2 of the Timkat Festival,  we reach the special ground where the waters are blessed for the Baptism rites. The whole area was crowded, and locals waved lighted tapers as the priests

  • Cliffs play host to thousands of breeding pairs of guillemots

  • An icy home for these gulls

  • Cautious yet inquisitive walruses

  • Every ledge is precious to these Guillimots

  • Thousands of Glaucous gulls

  • Magic

  • The magestic polar bear

Arctic Wildlife wildlife and more wildlife – Arctic Part 2

Our trip was all about the Arctic wildlife. The best opportunity to photograph a bear surely had to be the site where the remains of a sperm whale had been

  • Feel the serenity

  • Zodiac excursion

  • Arctic Rainbow

  • Blue glacial ice

  • Spend time watching the amazing birds

  • Waiting for the ice to carve

  • Ship ahoy

  • Kayaking in the Arctic

  • Arctic bergy bits

Arctic Part 1 – Exploring Svalbard

It’s coldish up here in the Arctic, ranging from daily maximum of 1 degree celsius to an incredibly warm 10 degrees. On the warm days, we shed layers like reptile

  • Dressing for the ceremony

  • Hamar women dancing prior to ceremony

  • Looking cool

  • Becoming a man

  • Face paint part of ceremony

  • Becoming a man today

  • Young boy ready for initiation

A Hamar boy becomes a man – Omo Valley Ethiopia

Young men from many cultures must endure rituals to enter manhood. The young Hamar men of southern Ethiopia’s Omo Valley, prove their manhood by eventually succeeding at ‘cattle-jumping,’ a challenge

  • I do!

  • Full bloom in Shinjuku Gyoen park - FINALLY!

  • Blossoms everywhere

  • Everyone's welcome

  • Kanazawa castle

  • Vibrant blossoms

  • Tokyo with the sakura blooming

  • Chasing cherry blossom in Japan is well worth it

Chasing cherry blossom in Japan

Take a tour named Japan in Spring and it’s perfectly reasonable to expect to see cherry blossom … and lots of it. What I didn’t expect was the fervour that came with

  • Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon

  • Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach

  • Magnificient waterfallsa

  • Blue Lagoon in Reykjavik

  • Hardy Icelandic horses

  • Old whale watching ship in Iceland

  • Whale watching

  • Quaint farm houses in Iceland

  • Huskavik port

  • Cutest puffins in Iceland

  • Stunning scenery everywhere

  • Erupting hot springs

Iceland – Lots of green and lots of ice

Iceland conjures up images of a remote island in the arctic, with freezing temperatures and a small population. After all, who could live on an island in the middle of

  • What do make of all these Australians

  • Meet the locals

  • City view of Tehran

  • Flag of Iran

  • Brett at a local restaurant

  • Local Tehran students

  • Visit the carpet museum in Tehran

  • View of Tehran

Tehran – it’s not what you think

I cannot recall visiting any country in any part of the world where the people are more welcoming than in Iran. This might sound like a big statement but it’s true. Within my first 24

  • Nalychevo National Park - Kamchatka

  • Travertine Creek Kamchatka

  • One of the many carnivores to be found in Kamchatka

  • Ex-military helicopter is the standard mode of transport

  • Valley of the Geysers

  • A Kamchatka brown bear

  • One of the many volcanoes in the UNESCO-listed area

Land of Fire and Ice – Kamchatka – Far Eastern Russia

I’m fortunate enough to have visited the land of fire and ice on a few occasions. It’s a destination that few people can pronounce and even fewer know where to find. Kamchatka

  • View of Khiva from the wall

  • Want to buy a carpet?

  • Old city of Khiva

  • A wonderful book to read if visiting Khiva

  • The walls of Khiva

  • Walls at sunset

A Carpet Ride to Khiva

I liked to think I was well travelled but my recent visit to Uzbekistan made me realise that skiing four continents (even including sliding down a couple of runs in

  • View above Victoria Falls

  • Brett & Holly Goulston at the falls

  • Don't miss out on this

  • Our Blue Dot group ready with raincoats

  • View from Victoria Falls Hotel

  • View from the helicopter

  • Holly Goulston ready to take off

  • Victoria Falls Hotel

Victoria Falls – The Smoke that Thunders

Mosi-oa- Tunya translates to the Smoke that Thunders. It describes the world’s greatest sheet of falling water aptly, where over 500 million litres of water each minute, pours over the

  • Enjoy the peaceful waterway of Okavango

  • Mokoros or dug out canoes

  • Focused on her job

  • Flying over Okavango Delta

  • Some impala on our walk

  • One of our paddlers

  • Our paddling crew in Okavango Delta

  • Water lillies in the Okavango delta

  • Herd of impala in the delta

  • Gordon and Julie McRonald on tour

  • Beautiful local girl

The Okavango Delta, Botswana – one of Africa’s most incredible places

Even in the dry season, the Okavango Delta in Botswana’s north west, is an amazing sight. It’s the world’s largest inland delta, which, depending on the season, sprawls across some 15,000-22,000 square

  • Timurid ruler

  • Colourful suzannis make a perfect souvenir

  • Old photos of Samarkand

  • Exploring Samarkand

  • Meet the locals in Samarkand

  • Registan Square Samarkand

  • Traditional food

  • Magnificient Sher Dor Madrasah

Samarkand on the Silk Road – the ancient trade route linking China to the Mediterranean

Samarkand – conjures up so much when you say the name. One of the oldest inhabited cities of Central Asia, Samarkand was a legendary stop along the Silk Road, being strategically

  • Victoria and Alfred Harbour

  • Cape Seals

  • Nelson Mandela's statue on Robben Island with Brett & Holly Goulston

  • Rock hyrax commonly called a dassie

  • Wine regions near Cape Town

  • Table Mountain aerial cableway

  • African penguins at Simon's Town beach

  • Victoria and Alfred Harbour Cape Town

  • Local musicians

  • District 6 Museum

Cape Town – Africa’s Most Beautiful City

It’s hard to argue about the beauty of this city, at the very bottom of the African continent. Cape Town points of interest including Table Mountain as a backdrop to the

  • Nomadic golden eagle hunter

  • On the road in Kyrgyzstan

  • Holy Trinity Cathedral in Karakol built with no nails

  • Livestock is moved to mountains during the summer months

  • Brod Brennan at Lake Issyk Kul

  • In Kyrgyzstan they serve a type of bread called “boor sok

  • Kyrgyz musicians

  • Summer yurt camp for Kyrgyz family

Travelling through Kyrgyzstan

With an average elevation of 3000 metres and over 90% of the country covered in mountains, you’re in for a treat when travelling throughout Kyrgyzstan. After being in Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan the

  • Panama City bus

  • UNESCO old town cathedral

  • Portobelo Spanish Fort

  • Frank Gehry designed Natural History Museum

  • UNESCO site Society of Jesus, Casco Viejo

  • Black Jesus in Portobelo

Panama City – a cultural cocktail of contrasts

After a three-day visit to Panama City, I can confirm that Panama is not just about the Canal!  Panama City is the most cosmopolitan capital in Central America where many

  • Victoria Memorial

  • Artisan making clay statues in Potters Lane

  • Flower market in Kolkata

  • Sunset over Hooghly River

  • Bath time by the Hooghly River

  • Waiting for the train

  • Waiting for the next ride

Kolkata – India’s second biggest city

Kolkata is very loud and very busy and some parts (but not all) are dirty. It could be best described as chaotic, but its utterly fascinating and if opening your mind

  • Ancient city of Petra

  • Camels in Jordan

  • Cool off in the pool

  • This might be your camel

  • Desert sunset

  • Brett Goulston and guides in Jordan

  • Ready for your camel ride?

Two of the best in Jordan

Often it’s a country’s capital city that offers a tourist the best things to see and do with the most important places of interest usually located there. This is not

  • Ovoo - made up of rocks and blue ribbons

  • Flaming Cliffs Mongolia

  • Yol Valley frozen river

  • Brod standing on frozen river with ovoo behind

  • Ovoo looking across Flaming Cliffs

Sacred Ovoo’s of Mongolia

According to Wiktionary an Ovoo is a shamanistic cairn found in Mongolia, usually made from rocks or wood and found on or around mountains.  These large piles are found on mountain

  • Rhino out in the open grass

  • On safari in Kazaringa

  • Sunrise over Kazaringa National Park

  • Salient features of Kazaringa

  • Up close to one horned rhino

  • Early morning elephant safari

  • Sneaking up on a rhino

  • Hunting leopards in Kazaringa

  • Mother and baby rhino

Kaziranga National Park – Assam, North East India – UNESCO World Heritage Centre

The rays of the early morning sun bounced off the water drops on the giant elephant grass as our mahout steered his 37-year-old elephant on our 5.00am morning safari. The

  • Bonifacio Citadel

  • Wonderful Corsican cheese

  • Bonifacio port and marina

  • Kings Aragon Steps

  • Seagull and the cliffs of Bonifacio

  • Bonifacio atop its Limestone promontory

  • Azure blue water of Corsica

  • Corsican olives anyone?

  • Meet the locals

  • Dramatic face of Bonicacio

  • Stunning Corsican cove

Bonifacio – Corsica – A wonder to behold

One of our best experiences was a day trip from St Teresa di Gallura on the northern tip of Sardinia on a ferry to Corsica.  Bonifacio  is a town on the

  • Japanese geisha girl

  • Sado Island taiko drumming

  • Anyone for squid

  • Japanese shrine

  • Quaint wooden buildings

  • Taiko Centre for a hands-on drumming experience

  • Cherry blossoms in the spring

  • Spring in Japan

  • Blue Dot Travel clients learning to drum

  • Japanese girls in traditional dress

  • Bamboo forest in Japan

Sado Island – Japan’s most precious gem

Sado Island, one of Japan’s smaller islands, is rarely visited by the European Tourist. In fact, it’s very difficult to find anyone – even in the hotels – who speak

  • Buddhist statue in ancient city of Polonnaruwa

  • Sigirya an ancient rock fortress

  • Warthogs on parade

  • Deliveroo Sri Lanka style

  • Elephant safari in Sri Lanka

  • Crocodile alert

  • Sigiriya fresco wall paintings

  • Leopard up a tree in Sri Lanka

  • Road side fruit stall

  • Sail away from Negombo Beach

  • Ceylon spotted deer

Sri Lanka

It’s no wonder that Lonely Planet recently named this island-nation the “hottest destination on the planet to visit”. And they weren’t talking about the weather! There are so many reasons

  • Lip plates worn by Mursi tribe

  • Hamar women in traditional clothes

  • Ritual face painting of Hamar boys

  • Typical houses made from acacia wood

  • Modern take on Hamar tribe boys gear

  • Hamar women at market

  • Karo men like to dress up

  • Young Hamar man in traditional costume

  • Painted face of Hamar boy

The Tribes of the Omo Valley – Ethiopia

The Omo Valley, in the remote south-west of Ethiopia, is a vast river basin fringed in the far distance by mountains. Life here has largely stood still.  No Ethiopia trip is

  • Burchell's zebra

  • Lioness kicks back and relaxes

  • Small ears ... small eyes ... big mouths!

  • Time to head home late in the day

  • Brett & Holly Goulston ... cute hats!

  • Tranquil lands provide sanctuary to much wildlife

  • Baby elephant after its bath

  • Wildlife is abundant and in close range

Botswana – It’s as good as it sounds

Just saying this country makes you feel like you are on an exotic safari! Recently I camped in Botswana with my teenage daughter. It was a never-to-be-repeated daddy/daughter experience. There

  • Beautiful Split Harbour

  • Harbour of Hvar Island

  • Rooftops from Dubrovnik wall

  • Walls of Dubrovnik

  • Terracotta roof tops

  • View from Castle Hvar

  • Dubrovnik Church Tower

  • Dubrovnik Harbour

  • View from Hvar Castle

Croatia with its picture perfect coastal towns

Croatia could be described as the “new” Italy for Australian travellers. The people, the pace of life and the food are considered “similar but different”.  If you haven’t visited