Palazzo Versace – a weekend in luxury

Last weekend a long cherished dream became reality, as we were generously invited to spend a weekend away at the Palazzo Versace on the Gold Coast of Australia. Not only is the hotel an absolute high-end getaway, which is a local icon and internationally renowned for it’s outstanding luxury facilities. It also, as the name reveals is dedicated to and designed in style of my all time favourite fashion brand: Versace!

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With that said, it’s natural that we have arrived there with ultra high expectations and I know well enough that this can sometimes be a bad omen, making a good time feel very disappointing just because it hasn’t managed to be the best time ever. With the Palazzo Versace although, I most definitely have not been disappointed!

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From the moment of arrival, when we walked over the stunning driveway mosaic ( the second largest in the world! ) and through the massive roman columns lining the entrance to enter the luxurious foyer hall, we felt like we had just stepped into an antique Italian royal palace. With magnificent marble floors, big pillars crowned with beautiful, golden capitals, a pianist playing classical melodies on a noble piano, a gigantic 750 kg chandelier hanging from the high ceiling and beautiful round lounges in Versace’s extravagant yet classy signature style all framed by loads of beautiful fresh and fragrant flowers the interior design of the Palazzo is something just so perfect I could rave about it for ever.

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Through the glass front at the back of the foyer we sneaked our first peak at the guests-only pool area, but owed to our late arrival and it already being dark outside we could only guess it’s full extent. We went to have a little snack and a glass of wine while enjoying the marina view at the hotel’s Vie Bar and Restaurant and then crawled into bed, very excited to get up early the next morning to make the best use of our day.

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The following morning could not have been any better! After waking up super relaxed in what must be the most comfortable bed we have ever slept in we quickly got ready for the day and half an hour later we found ourselves all refreshed, sitting on a table overlooking the bright pool area at the Palazzo Versace’s second restaurant, where they serve a phenomenal buffet breakfast. We have absolutely indulged in the broad variety of choices, but especially loved the delicious fresh fruit and spiced yoghurts, juices and what always is a very important breaki component for me: finest bakery and high-quality condiments.

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Now full of new energy we set off to finally explore the full beauty of the pool area in bright daylight. The large space is completely shut of from the outer world, being enclosed by the hotel building on three sides and opening up to the broad water on the fourth. This leads to a very pleasant intimate feel and quite the serenity inside which I absolutely loved.

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The pool itself is very generous with a bright fake sand beach on the front side. You have the choice to relax on one of the Versace beanbags on the sand right next to the water or stretch yourself out on the large shadowed luxury day beds. Just be careful, choosing the day bed might mean that, like in our case, you are stuck there for many hours, not wanting to leave this spot of ultimate relaxation.

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We stayed at the pool for so long that we almost ended up being late for meeting our friends out for dinner that night ( we made it in time! it’s just been a bit hectic haha ). Another benefit of the Palazzo Versace clearly is it’s location. Leave the hotel premises through the northern entrance and it will lead you straight onto a pretty little boardwalk along the hotel-own marina and the broad water canal. It’s a great opportunity to take a walk and appreciate the beautiful scenery, but also does is lead you to numerous high-end restaurants with fabulous cuisine and alfresco dining overlooking the water. We had a great night catching up with some good friends at Omeros Brothers Seafood and ended up having quite a few drinks post-dinner.

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After a big night out the following morning did not feel quite as refreshing as the first one did and so we decided to sleep in for a bit and get our breakfast delivered by the room-service ( best decision ever! ) A hangover certainly never feels great, but I could not think of anywhere more comforting and soothing than the Palazzo. Our room has been very spacious: unlike most other hotels we have been to it had a bedroom as well as a big living room with a dining table, two couches and a TV. The bathroom has been amazing as well, featuring both a big rain shower and a jacuzzi bathtub ( you can call the receptions and they arrange a scented bath with flowers and candles and chocolate fondue! ). And not to forget! Same as the complete rest of the hotel, all rooms are designed in full authentic Versace style. From the floor, over beddings, decoration, pillows, furniture, curtains, taps, window glasses, toiletries to towels and even cutlery and glasses: Everything had a touch of Versace and we loved it! 12752056_1134146459942418_1244838314_o

We finally got out of bed when the room service rang our door bell to bring in our breakfast order. Struggling to make decisions as usual when we are hungover we could’t decide whether we should go sweet or savoury and ended up having both, eggs benedict bagels and pancakes! And a big milkshake of course! It’s been an absolute dream, made better by the fact that we still haven’t had to put proper clothes on. Yes!

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And for whoever might expect this to be the end of our lazy phase and for us to really get our lives together and have a productive day: Sorry to disappoint you, but getting the tanning oil out and spending the day at our own private pool seemed like a much better idea!

At this point, thanks to the Palazzo Versace for an incredible weekend. We have certainly enjoyed every moment of it. 🙂

 

How I fell in love with Singapore! – First Day Itinerary

Singapore has been the first Asian city I have ever travelled to, making me love this beautiful continent from the very start. It has been so different to everything I had ever known before: so diverse, vibrant and full of adventures and foreign places ready to be explored. This city has instantly captured my imagination and still now, after travelling a rather large part of South-East-Asia, it still is one of my absolute favourite cities. With the exciting combination of Chinese, Indian, Malay and Western influences, Singapore is truly a cultural melting pot. From great nature over delicious street-food, giant skyscrapers, bustling markets, amazing light shows to contemporary arts – Singapore doesn’t cease to surprise you over and over again!

I’ll have to add: These days in Singapore have worked out absolutely perfect for us. We have been very lucky to just randomly stumble across incredible places,meet awesome locals to show us around and I am pretty sure that if things had gone differently I might have not enjoyed our stay as much as I did.

So therefore, here is a new guide to help you start of your Singapore Adventure right and make you fall in love with this city, too.

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Start your day at Chinatown. The cramped five-foot-ways, dingy alleys and raucous street hawkers will be the perfect introduction to the cultural heritage of the city.You could easily spend the whole day wandering through these still-narrow streets, strolling past family-run goldsmiths, medicinal halls and teahouses, but also some more modern shops. Chinatown also is where Hindu temples and mosques sit right next to Chinese temples, perfectly capturing the spirit of the entire city. Leave yourself some time to explore both the streets and temples, grab some lunch at one of the hawker stalls at the Chinatown Food Street and then make your way to the Gardens by the Bay.

12620447_1119636398060091_1314475764_oThe Gardens by the Bay are an amazing place. Right in between the modern business district of the city and the ocean they are enormous public garden facilities with great views on the Marina Bay Sands. There is heaps to do here, but I’d suggest you start of with a visit to the Cloud Forest. It’s one of the two domes featured in the gardens and is designed to take you up high into a mysterious mountain world, with lush vegetation and pretty waterfalls.

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It’s also a very informative place where you can learn interesting facts about plants and our environment. Afterwards you can either check out the Flower Dome or have a wander around the gardens. Definitely check out the boardwalk over the Dragonfly Lake as well!

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Then for dinner check out Satay by the Bay. It’s a nice little food court right in the heart of the gardens, hosting local food stalls. You’ll notice that a large number of them are specialising in Satay, which is a typically local dish of seasoned, skewered and grilled meat, served with peanut sauce. Definitely get yourself a good amount of these: they are great! The dining experience is rounded off by the ridiculously small tables and chairs, often to be found in asian countries.

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Finished your meal? Alright, let’s go on. There is one more stop that you should not miss out on at the Gardens by the Bay, literally my favourite experience in Singapore at all: the Super Trees! Measuring between 25 and 50 metres tall, they are massive vertical gardens in a unique tree-like look that is created through a trunks and large outspreading canopies. If you have already seen them earlier in the day (which is pretty likely, as they are towering up high above the gardens) you’ll be surprised by how different they look once it’s getting dark. Get there around 8 pm, look for a nice place to sit down close to the trees (the little plaza in between the biggest ones is perfect) and then wait. What you are waiting for you wonder? It’s called the Garden Rhapsody and basically is a light and sound show, bringing the Super Trees to live in bright colourful variations of light that are aligned to the sounds of classical music. It is absolutely stunning to watch and one of my most distinct memories of Singapore still is laying on the floor at the Gardens by the Bay, looking towards the sky and letting my mind drift away while watching these giant trees glow far above my head. This must have been the moment I fell in love!

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What a life: Cruising the Whitsundays on a Yacht

Today we followed the kind invitation of our friends Mark and Sam and spent the day cruising the Whitsunday Islands on their Charter Yacht. And i can tell you, that with certainty this must have been one of the best days i’ve had in a long time. We put out to see at 10 o’clock this morning and popped our first bottle of champagne whilst the captain started to head towards Whitehaven Beach. By the time we anchored at Whitehaven we have all had a few drinks already and were in an awesome spirit, super excited to get off on the beach. Even though I have already been to Whitehaven before, or maybe just because of that, I was so happy that I was given the chance to see this beautiful place again. I have spoken to many people that have loved Whitehaven Beach as much as I do, but lately I had also heard a few people say that they were not as impressed, that they just didn’t see what is so special about it.

The Whitsundays

By the time we anchored at Whitehaven we have all had a few drinks already and were in an awesome spirit, super excited to get off on the beach. Even though I have already been to Whitehaven before, or maybe just because of that, I was so happy that I was given the chance to see this beautiful place again. I have spoken to many people that have loved Whitehaven Beach as much as I do, but lately I had also heard a few people say that they were not as impressed, that they just didn’t see what is so special about it. So I almost got a bit nervous about going back and potentially realising I’ve just played it all up a little in my head.

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I was so happy when we arrived and I realised that the place, that I have called my Favourite Place in Australia, is exactly what I have remembered it to be like. The crystal clear aqua waters and pleasantly cool pristine silica sand, the sand banks out in the water looking like a swirl of aquamarin and white and the beautiful fish and baby sharks floating through the waters. For me this is paradise!

The Whitsundays

After plenty of time on Whitehaven we got back on the Yacht and resumed our cruise. There is something unbelievably relaxing and joyful in watching the waves hitting the ship, feeling the airflow passing and the sun shining on your body, while blasting good music and having a drink. It was so good.

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Arrived at our second anchor location we had some yummy lunch -fresh fruit, sandwiches and salads- before jumping back in the water for some snorkeling with turtles! We have seen two, one was pretty huge and the other one was a bit smaller and we managed to get a really good look at both, as they were very close to the water surface and didn’t care about us at all. It was pretty awesome that we have been the only people at this location as well, as too many people can often scare many of the animals away. But with only the four of us there was so much to see and we could swim right through schools of big and colourful fish. So much fun!
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Time passed in a flash and soon it was starting to get dark: time to return to the Hamilton Island Marina. All the way back we celebrated a great day, giving our best to finish off the bottles we had left and by the time we arrived back on the island we were all perfectly tanned, drunk and happy.

Koh Rong Samloem’s Sunset Beach – perfect for everyone looking to get off the beaten track in Cambodia

I bet we all can agree on one thing: South- East- Asia is a great place! The beaches, the people, the food, the lighthearted way of life.. You go there once and it somehow casts a spell over you that makes you want to return over and over again (..or sometimes just stay). It was the same for me, after I returned from my first visit to Malaysia and Thailand in 2014, I could simply not wait to plan my next trip.

This time I wanted to do it a bit differently though. On my first trip, especially in Thailand, I followed the common route, leading myself from one tourist spot into the next one. And it was great fun.. But this time I wanted to have more of an adventure, get out of the party zones and explore the pristine nature of my destination in a less developed setting.

And this is where my search had lead me. Koh Rong Samloem Island off the coast of Cambodia. Now this might seem familiar to you, because in the last few years the island was subject to a decent rise in tourist numbers. The beach is still stunningly white and the waters are super clear, but yes development has kicked off and it does start to get busier there.

That’s talking about Saracen Bay though. It’s the main beach of the island and pretty much what everyone is talking about when saying Koh Rong Samloem. But there is another beach, called Sunset beach, on the opposite side of the island that is only connected to the main area through a 1 hour bushwalk and therefore stays widely unregarded and in my opinion that’s exactly what makes it the gem that it is.

Sunset Beach Koh Rong Sanloem

Sunset Beach Koh Rong Sanloem

Although smaller, it has a beautiful beach. Combined with muuuuch less hassle. There is only like 4 resorts/accommodations over here, all super laid- back and perfectly fitting in with the surroundings. To get here you can either take the ferry to the pier at Saracen Bay and then do the one hour hike ( wouldn’t recommend it if you have a lot of luggage though ) or book one of the accommodations in advance and get transfered over by their own boat. That is definitely the more comfortable option and the one I would recommend.

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While all of the accommodations looked awesome and have their own cool features, we stayed at the Happa Garden Resort and it was great! You get your own centrally located beach bungalow with a hammock on the balcony. Electricity works through a generator, so only over night, but trust me there is so much to do you are not going to worry about it.

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The Happa Restaurant is super nice as well, serving delicious teppenyaki and japanese, in shaded daybeds on the beach.

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You can book diving trips at the dive shop or alternatively just explore the beautiful surrounding reef by snorkeling. Rent of snorkel and mask is included for guests.

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Further you can always wander over to the other resort areas. One of which features a great chillout setting by the beach, including hammocks and a treehouse and where you also have the option to play boccia and pool by the beach bar. Another place is regularly holding competitions such as beach volley ball and shows movies in the evenings.

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What we liked most about this beach was, how quickly you got familiar with everything and everyone. It’s an amazing feeling to find a place like that away from home, where you can just be comfortable and relax. So go and check everything out and make sure to see at least one of the beautiful sunsets ( it hasn’t been called the Sunset Beach for no reason! ).

PS: There is one more very special thing to be experienced here. Read about Cambodia’s Glowing Plankton.

 

 

 

 

Happa Garden Resort Video

We have just finished creating a resort video for ‘Happa Garden Resort’ located on Koh Rong Sanloem island in Cambodia. We had an amazing time on the island and it was so much fun creating a video of our adventure. The video explores what can be done in a day at the resort with the beautiful bungalows, delicious teppanyaki food, snorkelling straight off the beach and some nice areas to relax and watch the sunset. There is no need to continue talking about it, just watch it below!

 

Palm Beach Bungalow Resort – Koh Rong Cambodia

Located on the North Of Koh Rong Island, Palm Beach Bungalow Resort is a slice of island paradise with white beaches, comfortable wooden bungalows and entertaining facilities. Only accessible via a private resort boat from Sihanoukville the location is hidden away from the rest of the island but still has enough activities to keep you busy for days.

The Rooms

We stayed in a beach front bungalow that was extremely comfortable for 2 people with plenty of space to drop the bags, hang clothes and comfortably settle in for a few days. It also was very tidy and clean with a big bed, strong fan and a mosquito net that seemed to actually work! Bungalow bathrooms can normally lack any form of comfort however it was clean, we always had strong running water, plenty of area to leave toiletries and a nice mirror with the sink.

Plenty of room for both of our bags and shelves to stack clothes or other items

Very comfortable area for two

The bungalow had a hammock hanging on the front patio, which also included a few seats and a small table. A great touch for relaxing in your own private space between activities (Also a feature we have long wanted to experience).

There is not much better than a hammock facing the beach

The facilities

The communal facilities are what really made this stay that extra bit more memorable.

  • A great restaurant and bar area
  • One of the most impressive locations for a pool table ever, and it’s free
  • A huge stack of board games
  • Plenty of hammocks and lounges on the beach
  • 24 hour electricity
  • 24 hour wifi
One of the many secluded spots to relax by the beach

One of the many secluded spots to relax by the beach

Lunch by the beach, why not?

Lunch by the beach, why not?

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Might be the best setting for a pooltable there is

Some of the many hammocks scattered around the resort

Some of the many hammocks scattered around the resort

 

The Activities

Beach Volleyball included! a great location surrounded by palm trees

Beach Volleyball included! a great location surrounded by palm trees

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Relax at endless stretches of pristine beach

A sunset boat tour that included snorkelling, fishing and a GLOW IN THE DARK PLANKTON tour. Read more about our experience in the glowing ocean

A short walk to a local fishing village, one of the best experiences during our trip to Cambodia. Read more about our trip to Prek Svay Fishing Village

We spent three nights staying at Palm Beach Bungalow Resort and that was enough to experience all of these activities. For more information about our entire stay including how to travel to Koh Rong read Everything You Need To Now About Koh Rong

The fantastic glowing Plankton that lights up Cambodias ocean

Cambodia is an incredible country. From the enormous temples of Angkor, the buzzing capital of Phnom Penh, secluded island paradises, sheer endless kilometres of unspoiled tropical beaches, the mighty Mekong River, to a vibrant culture and some of the friendliest people around, this country has it all. There is so much to see and even more to experience, making it an absolute highlight on every south-east-Asia trip and a great spot for a holiday.

Last month we spent 4 weeks travelling Cambodia and of course we didn’t miss out on all the famous sights but we were very surprised when we finally came upon one of the countries features, which not only ended up to be our absolute highlight, but also we had never in our whole lives heard of before! In case this has caught your interest, read on as I will tell you all about it:

The phenomenon that had blown our minds so much is called Phytoplankton and we first heard of it when at Koh Rong, a beautiful island off Sihanoukville, situated at Cambodia’s southern coast. We stayed at Palm Beach Bungalows, which is the only resort on the secluded Palm Beach and upon arrival with the resort owned boat, we discovered a sign advertising a sunset boat trip to see the “Glowing Plankton”. We loved the sound of it and immediately made the decision to book the tour for the next day, to see what it was about.

One day later, in the late afternoon we got picked up by a diveboat, which took us on a pretty 30-minute cruise towards the north of the island, where we got equipped with snorkel and mask and then jumped in the water for a snorkel. When the sun started setting we got back on the boat where we had plenty of time to enjoy a serving of fresh, tropical fruit salad, watch the sunset and even try our luck at fishing. This was in order to pass the time, that was needed for it to get absolutely pitch black outside.

We were treated to another beautiful sunset as we waited for all light to disappear Treated to a beautiful sunset as we waited for all the light to disappear

But why did we want it to be so dark, you wonder? Phytoplankton has evolved to glow in order to startle or distract fish and other potential predators, leading them to light up in the water as soon as they are being distracted. This distraction is caused best by objects that are moving through the water, but the simple swirl of a wave can sometimes be enough. One condition is absolutely imperative though and that is absolute darkness. Daylight, or even just distant lights, such as the lighting of a bar or a resort will cause too much light pollution. That’s why the best way to see them is on a dark boat in the darkness of the night, or on a super secluded dark part of the beach, if available.

At 8 pm it was finally dark enough for us to jump in and we couldn’t wait. I was first in the water and I literally couldn’t believe what was happening. All the water around me was full of glowing sparkles, I could see how my body was covered in them as well and every movement I made would cause a flow of bright water. It was so magical that I started swimming and watching the sparkles run over my arms and through the water until someone on the boat had to tell me to turn around, cause I was going to far away. I didn’t even realise, thats how captured I was by this amazing sight. After this first swim we ended up jumping in a second time, with snorkel and mask, and it was even better. With your head under water it was easier to watch the plankton and you could see the light coming from all directions and right in front of your eyes. We spent over an hour in the water, absolutely fascinated and playing around with the glowing water like little kids and when we finally had to get back on the boat to go back to the resort, we sat down on the top deck, watching the stars and talking about how unbelievably beautiful it was.

After this day we had several more experiences with the glowing plankton. Once on the far side of the beach at the Palm Beach Bungalows at Koh Rong and twice at the Sunset Beach on Koh Rong Samloem (here we had to wait until the electricity turned of at 11pm). We were lucky and saw them very well every single time, but we have heard that the glow can be less obvious with a fuller moon (we had close to no visible moon).

Koh Rong Cambodia – Everything You Need To Know

Koh Rong is a beautiful island 2 hours west of Sihanoukville,  with resorts scattered across various locations, providing something for everyone from comfortable budget beach bungalows to luxurious resorts. The main area of the island is ‘koh Touch’ beach located on the south of the island this can be accessed from Sihanoukville with regular ferry journeys departing in the morning and afternoon. For more specific locations on the island it is important to contact your hotel prior as they may have their own direct transfer or require boarding another boat upon arrival.

Koh Rong is very big and it’s not easy or cheap to travel around the island. So research where on the island is best for you

We travelled to a more remote part of the island called Palm Beach, located within walking distance to a local fishing village named ‘Prek Svay’, where we stayed at the beautiful “Palm Beach Bungalows”. As this is the only resort in this area of the island there isn´t any public ferries that will take you there, meaning that you will have to catch a boat run by the resort which departs every day at 1pm from their head office in Sihanoukville.

Taking our tuk tuk from the Palm Beach head office to the pier

Be considerate of this departure time when planning and booking your trip and make sure that it will fit with your schedule, as travel times in Cambodia can vary a lot and once you have missed you transport you have no other option than waiting another day. We actually had a very close call, because we travelled from Phnom Phen on the same day. Normally being a 4 hour journey, it ended up taking us over 6 hours and we didn’t arrive till 1:15pm! We ran straight to the Palm Beach Bungalows office and managed to get there just in time to check in and jump on a tuk tuk to the dive boat. Luckily for us the boat doesn’t normally leave till 1:30-2pm.

Setting sail from the mainland knowing that we JUST made the boat transfer

We made it! Now we could finally relax, the 2 hour journey was beautiful I sat on the top deck of the boat blissfully reading as I could see our destination in the distance. Feeling the cool sea breeze and warm afternoon sun Jana and I began to feel excitement for the next three nights.

 

Both Koh Rong and Koh Rong Sanloem in the distance.

Both Koh Rong and Koh Rong Sanloem in the distance

The top deck provided a perfect spot for some reading.

The top deck provided a perfect spot for some reading

As the boat approached the pier, we spotted a small island just off Koh Rong, only like 200 meters out from Palm Beach. Rooms on this island can cost up to $1000 a night, and with the same view as Palm Beach Bungalows it’s quite obvious where the value is.

Song Saa Private island, is an example of the luxury available to you in Koh Rong

Song Saa Private island, is an example of the luxury available to you in Koh Rong

 

First glimpse at Palm Beach Bungalows as you stroll off the pier into the resort hidden behind jungle.

First glimpse at Palm Beach Bungalows as you stroll off the pier into the resort hidden behind jungle

Being treated to a delicious welcome drink upon arrival, we sat down in the main area, where we now started to take in just how wonderful our surroundings were. The whole main area of the resort, including bar and restaurant is overlooking the ocean and so is the pool table. There is a sand volleyball court in front of the beach bungalows, each one having it´s own hammock hanging across the front balcony and bright white sand beaches stretching in both directions for as far as the eye can see. We  immediately thought that we were going to spend some great days in this special place! Click for more about the Palm Beach Bungalow Resort and its facilities.

 

White Russian welcome drinks upon arrival

White Russian welcome drinks upon arrival

I have always wanted a beach front bungalow with a hammock!

In the bar we noticed a sign for a sunset boat trip which included swimming with glowing plankton and as we had never heard of it before we were super curious about it. After only an hour we knew what the plan was for the next day and booked two spots for the trip. Now it was time to take advantage of this pool table and have a few drinks.

The best pool table we have ever seen. many games were played!

The best pool table we have ever seen. many games were played!

Day 2

So much beach, and we don't even need to share!

So much beach, and we don’t even need to share!

The next day we got up early to spend some time at the beach as the plankton trip didn’t start until 4pm. Here the beaches are heavily affected by the tides, but if you visit at the right time you can experience some pristine water of the most beautiful blue colour. We spent hours swimming around discovering plenty of harmless aquatic life.

 

The tides provided some amazing areas of sand that would change throughout the day

 

 

Only blue skies and blue sea as far as the eye can see

Only blue skies and blue sea as far as the eye can see

What is a beach photo collection without a handstand?!

The plankton trip that evening was one of the most unique and amazing experiences, including some time for afternoon snorkelling, fishing at sunset and the swimming with the plankton. Unfortunately the glow in the dark plankton are nearly impossible to effectively photograph, all the more reason to go and see it yourself. Remember to wear goggles and swim underwater with them because that is when they are most vivid. Read in more detail about The Plankton Trip.

 

Waiting for the the sun to set so we could see the plankton

Waiting for the the sun to set so we could see the plankton

Day 3

Today we woke up to a strong storm which is quite common throughout this area, however our bungalow stayed completely dry and waking up to the rain was actually quite relaxing. Fortunately the resort has a big collection of board games  and so we spent our morning playing chess, observed by our new found friend who would visit us every morning after breakfast.

 

our cute kitty photo

our cute kitty photo

 

We discovered there was a local fishing village only 30 minutes down the beach, so we decided to visit the area and it was a great experience. This was the only time we felt in a truly local area during our travel around Asia, somewhere completely untouched from tourism. There were only a few people in the whole village who could speak English and we managed to purchase the largest coconut we have ever seen and some freshly roasted cashews. For the rest of our time there we engaged in some funny chats with locals and exchanged English vocabulary for Cambodian. Click the link for a more detailed story about Prek Svay fishing village.

 

prez vek fishing villiage, a place truly untouched from tourism

Prek Svay fishing village, an area truly untouched from tourism

 

Day 4

Unfortunately the three night stay was now coming to an end and we had to check out at 8:30 for a 9:30 departure. This gave us time for some delicious breakfast on the beach and a final games of chess, to end what has been an extremely relaxing trip and one of our highlights of Asia.

Our last breakfast by the ocean, a delicous meal as usual

Our last breakfast by the ocean, a delicous meal as usual

We returned to Sihanoukville for a couple of nights and then jumped on another boat, this time taking us to the closeby  ‘Koh Rong Sanloem’. Accessible via ferry directly from Koh Rongs main pier or through Sihanoukville, we were very interested to see what the less developed island had on offer to compete with this amazing experience.

Wandering through the Glasshouse Mountains

Isn’t this beautiful? What you can see here is called the Glasshouse Mountains and with only an hours drive north from Brisbane, it is my absolute favourite nature spot in the area. Strangely, this incredible wonder of nature often stays beyond the spotlight for many tourists, as the popularity of the mountains is not what they’d deserve. Now, this is not exactly a sad thing, allowing the Glass House Mountain National Park to sustain that typical feeling, that usually comes with “insider tips”. Being out here, right in the centre of the forest or even far up one of these mountains, it feels like time is holding on. The peacefulness of nature and the awe-inspiring views on gigantic mountains towering up in the distance is incomparable.

The most impressive of them is without a doubt Mount Tibrogargan: Steeply sloping to all sides it has one cliff that resembles a face looking towards the ocean. There is a hiking trail that leads up to the it’s summit, from where you get amazing views. Yet, in numerous spots the hike is more of a free climb up vertical rock faces. This is super demanding and can be pretty dangerous as well, so please only take on this trail if you are in great fitness. If you are though, enjoy! This hike often gets mentioned as the Sunshine Coast’s best natural work out!

If you’d rather play it a bit safer, Mt Beerburrum should be your choice! This is a moderate hike up to the mountain top, with a beautiful view over the mountain skyline of the Glasshouse Mountains!