The AustraliAsian Adventure

The AustraliAsian Adventure

Let's get it all out in the open: I love #Australia. I lived there for awhile and can't wait to take my sister back with me and show her how great Oz is. We're hitting several different Aussie stops, including a chance to face our fears and go #diving with crocodiles. Yikes! Once that's done, we'll head over to #Thailand for a serious stint of #relaxation.

I alluded to an upcoming trip to Australia and Asia when I talked about my upcoming year in travel, but now it’s official.

I’m going back to Australia.

It’s a day I’ve been thinking about ever since I left Sydney on December 1, 2011. And this time, I’m taking my sister Sammi along with me. While I wish the whole family could come along, I’m excited to show her what my life was like there and the amazing things that make me fall hard for this country. But that’s not all...

We’re also going to Thailand and as much of Southeast Asia as we can manage. I’m finally going to the wedding of one of my best friends from my time Down Under, which just happens to be in Koh Samui. Not too shabby. I’ll be exploring the country before and after and hope to squeeze in trips to Burma, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia before coming home to work my next trade show. Here’s our loose schedule.

March 28-April 1: Sydney, Australia

Stunning Bronte Beach
Stunning Bronte Beach

I’m so excited to return to my former home to see friends, stop by my favorite cafes and even indulge in the tourist sites I never got around to (or want to see again). I’ll be showing my sister the neighborhoods I used to hang out in, namely Newtown, Marrickville and Glebe, as well as shopping The Rocks Market and walking the beautiful Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk. And I want to make time for trips to Taronga Zoo, Opera House, and the Blue Mountains, all quintessential stops in Sydney.

In my continued partnership with Hostelworld, I’ll be staying at Sydney Central YHA, one of the brand’s top rated properties located across the street from Central Station. 

from  $99

Hotel Sydney Central Yha

 11 Rawson Place, Sydney, NSW, Australia

It’s above one of my favorite spots for cheap drinks in Sydney, ScuBar!

April 2-5: Melbourne, Australia

Federation Square
Federation Square

Despite the fact that my last trip to Melbourne was less than pleasant, I’m excited to give the cultural capital another shot. When we arrive, I want to go straight to the Little Creatures Dining Hall, home to some of my favorite Australian beers. We’ll be seeing the city from above at Eureka Tower and checking out the famous street art in Hosier Lane. Walk Melbourne will be showing us the best bites in the city, including dumplings, macarons, coffee and rooftop cocktails. I also want to go kayaking in the harbor to snap some more great photos of the city. And time permitting, we’ll spend a day at St. Kilda or Brighton Beach, soaking up the Victorian sun.

from  $69

Rooftop Bars Walk in Melbourne

 Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
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I’ll be hosted for one night at the new Tune Hotel, the first of the brand’s locations in Australia. The hotel chain was developed by the CEO of AirAsia and it’s great for budget travelers who can add a la carte amenities as needed.

from  $76.63

Tune Hotel - Melbourne

 609 Swanston Street, Melbourne, VI, Australia
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April 6-12: Darwin, Australia

Cage of Death, Credit: Tourism NT
Cage of death

When I told a few people I was planning on visiting Darwin, I was met with some odd looks. But I wanted to have one place on my itinerary I hadn’t been yet and since my last Outback tour, I’ve been dreaming of the national parks of the Top End. Since I’m bringing along my sister, a nature lover and environmental educator, I’m sure I’ll be learning lots about all the creatures we’ll see along the way. And what trip to Darwin is complete without a trip to Crocasaurus Cove, home to the Cage of Death, where we’ll be swimming in a tank with monster crocs?! From there we’ll hop on a tour of Kakadu and Litchfield National Parks.

from  $165

Cage of Death

 Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia
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Hostelworld is again putting us up at Melaleuca on Mitchell, located in the middle of everything. It has its own pool and nightclub, so I foresee lots of fun days.

April 12: Singapore

This day is the longest travel day of the trip, leaving Darwin at 7 am, arriving in Singapore for a 6 hour layover, another flight to Bangkok and a final flight arriving into Chiang Mai at 9 pm. We won’t have much time to get a real feel for the city, but we will be able to take one of their free city tours leaving from the airport. I also hope to get myself a Singapore Sling and chili crab before we catch our next 2 flights.

April 12-29: Chiang Mai, Thailand

Sunday Walking Market
Sunday walking market in Thailand

We’ll be arriving in Chiang Mai just in time for Songkran, the Thai holiday known for public water fights. I’m excited to return to the city after four years away to revisit some of the temples and the Sunday Walking Market. We’ll also be spending a week volunteering with the lovable pachyderms of the Elephant Nature Park.

April 30-May 9: ???

This block of time is still up in the air, but it’s possible we’ll go up to Chiang Rai for a day or two to check out the White Temple before going back to Bangkok to then continue on to Siem Reap and Angkor Wat. We’ll also be celebrating my sister’s birthday!

May 10-12: Bangkok, Thailand

I have to be back in Bangkok for these days to celebrate my friend’s bachelorette party and see the city sights.

May 13-20: Koh Samui, Thailand

Koh Samui
Koh Samui

The main event is a week on Koh Samui for my friend Flo’s wedding where the couple’s friends and family from around the world will get together to share their day. I’m excited to unwind and relax after the chaos of Bangkok by spending lazy days at the beach and going snorkeling at Ang Thong National Park nearby. I also hope to get my advanced scuba certificate on Koh Tao during this time.

May 20-June 19: ???

This is another block of time that isn’t planned yet. We have to be back in Bangkok to fly home for work in mid June, so hopefully this gives us enough time to go traipsing around Vietnam and Laos!

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