The best job in the world and the worst job in the world for someone with itchy feet, I get to talk to all the Experts about their adventures. It’s a very pleasant form of torture but every day is different and when people ask me about my day I live vicariously through the experts in my tales and am never stumped for stories.
I also find fantastic experiences I think we should be including in our lists and people who know more about them than I do to review them…
I read everything that comes in and try to make sure everything makes it up looking good. You’ll hear about some of the gems I come across on the blog pages.
Let's face it, the Queen has a pretty nice spread. I wouldn't mind living in Buckingham Palace. Of course it's centrally located and has a lot of history and character to it, but it's also beautifully decorated with great works of art and objet d'art, …"
"How does what is essentially a department store selling mostly the same products as other department stores become a travel destination? How about be a one-off for starters. And being known for selling premium brands can’t hurt either. A historic façade …"
Because it's so far away Perth has to have everything. It also has many natural charms: one of the world's most beautiful coastlines, a dramatic interior and it's neighbours with Australia's oldest wine region."
"Their most famous piece is a reconstructed hull from the Batavia, which was wrecked off the coast of Western Australia in 1629. But it's also the horizontal trunk engine recovered from the iron steamer SS Xantho which sank in 1872, which sounds dull but …"
"If you reach over the fence you can probably touch a penguin... This is a really good zoo. The animals seem right at home in all Perth's sunshine."
"The Weedy Sea Dragons are some of the most amazing creatures I have ever seen - they're like beautiful sea weed moving gracefully with the current. So soothing to watch. The touch pool at the AQWA is also brilliant fun - I touched the back of a sting …"
You can toboggan down the Great Wall of China, and now zipline over the Mehrangarh Fort in Jodphur. Supposedly this is 'the invader's eye view' of the fort, darting in on metal cables between the fort's battlements and ramparts. You're esco…"
You can toboggan down the Great Wall of China, and now zipline over the Mehrangarh Fort in Jodphur. Supposedly this is 'the invader's eye view' of the fort, darting in on metal cables between the fort's battlements and ramparts."
Ms Joanna Lumley does the Nile - with style, naturally..."
There's a song that says pilots are in love with the sky and it's nice to hear from one of them that it's true: Mark Vanhoenacker is one such pilot, he's just written a piece reminding us of the pleasures of being a passenger in the window seat."
World Reviewer was recently approached by Steve Chambers, who's planning to trek the Great Wall of China, hoping to raise £6,000 for the Institute of Cancer Research UK."
London has a reputation for being an expensive city, and while there may be no such thing as a free lunch, it's really easy to see a film for free or catch up with some of the highlights of British TV – from its silent beginnings to the 'ooo matron…"
When you were a kid the contents of your toy box was probably one of the world's most valuable collections as far as you were concerned; and if you were to add to that the toys belonging to your neighbour, Ben Breen, then you're looking at a some of the …"
Richmond Park is London's largest green space, though some of it is more like golden heath than a green and pleasant park. It's out of town enough to feel like you're away from the traffic, though from the park's highest point, King Henry VIII's Mound, …"
Every now and then one of the WR team comes upon some interesting travel related facts, and this one comes care of our leader James DW. He was sent an email describing an experiment conducted by Reader's Digest to find the world's most honest cities."
If your budget for 2010 is looking a bit tight, but you fancy yourself as a writer Heritage Magazine could help you out: they're having a competition to win a seven night cruise around Scotland's western isles for the best British travel story."
A&O Hostels have come up with a unique gimmick: they're giving away a FREE weeks stay in one of their dorm rooms to people with one of the most popular first names from 1989"
Over the course of discovering festivals for World Reviewer we've come across some unusually dedicated events – for example I'll bet not that many people are aware of that mistletoe is deemed worthy of having its own event – it's got its own …"
I very much like the name of this park which translates to 'Enjoy Afterwards', from a Chinese proverb suggesting that the leader of a city should worry before the people do and enjoy things after they already are. There's a Chinese influence to the layo…"
There's a lot more to the destination of so many daydreams than the white beaches and the blue bays - if you can drag yourself away from them..."
To help ease the passing of summer for the British public the BBC has a big party – embracing everything that's good about music and about Britain. Or else that's what the Proms in the Park felt like to me the first year I went. It's pa…"
The Proms concerts last for eight weeks – it's a nightly summer season bonanza of music – the number of concerts and event hovering around 100. A lot of it is classical, but there's plenty of tasters for people who, for example, like th…"
It's 3720 miles across the Indian Ocean between Australia and Mauritius. Which takes between about 68 days and forever to row."
Big THANK YOU to everyone who voted for us in the TravelMole awards..."
Daniel Fox, one of our syndicated bloggers, has just got back from a 600 mile kayak expedition along the Argentinian coast. That's right, all his blog posts were coming in from the far – field."
What would you do if you came across a piano? All alone. Just minding it's business on the pavement, spray painted with the words: “Play me I'm yours”?"
You get a great view of the whole of this crescent moon shaped bright turquoise and white Mediterranean beach from the cliffs above it as you walk down the 350 stairs to the sand – on a hot day all the while your enthusiasm for the water growing. There …"
The first time I knowingly saw Turin was when I watched 'The Italian Job', so for me the city will always be inked to cinema, even though I'm sure there's a lot more to it than that wacky one way system and all the beautiful old churches and squares the …"
They're about to start an 'underwater museum' in Cancun, though from the description it sounds more like an underwater sculpture gallery. Interesting and aquatic..."
Hamilton Island and 'The Best Job in the World'"
When I was a little kid growing up in Australia, I first heard about Hamilton Island when it was written on my Grandad's t-shirt, surrounded by palm trees and blue squiggle waves. He hadn't been, a friend of his had, and I think it was the original 'My …"
(25th April 1840 - 25th October 1893) Tchaikovsky's tomb has a bust of the great composer, flanked by two angels, one holding a large cross and the other reading something, which I choose to be a score. This is the composer of some of the world's most …"
Two thirds of this national park are ocean, under which grown long ribbons of coral reef. The other third is the land that makes up five islands. The reefs are colourful, but not as colourful as the marine life that inhabits them – pink and green parro…"
Pulau Sapi (Cow Island) has some of the nicest beaches in the Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park and pristine diving and snorkelling conditions. The water is very clear and inhabited by colourful fish who peck in a surprising way at the feet and legs of u…"
These towers were the world's tallest between 1998 and 2004 – which is quite a long time these days – before they were over taken by Taipei 101. But they're still the world's tallest twin buildings. I visited the towers in 1998 just after they were com…"
"I haven't added any images to this listing because I want you to have a look at the map opposite, select the Hybrid view option and close on in until you can see why I had to include this hotel on our list of Unusual Places to Stay. Inside it's just a H…"
Yellow Waters is the bit of waterway where Jim Jim Creek branches off the South Alligator River – famous for crocodiles. In fact this whole area of wetland is famous for crocodiles, they run the street map of waterways, tributaries, floodplains, channel…"
These 'marbles; are gigantic granite boulders, arranged, and some very precariously balanced, in a remote, shallow valley, against a backdrop of empty desert and spinifex spikes. Some are over four metres high and up to 7 metres in diameter, and some si…"
Australia: it's a big place. And there's just no way you're going to be able to see all of it on a flying visit. But two weeks is enough time to experience both."
This rock, like a piece of cliff separated from it's ridge, stands proud in the middle of a flood plain, which is bright green in the wet season and bone dry hessian coloured in the dry. The rock itself is the yellow and orange of the granite in this re…"
Jim Jim Creek cuts through the bright orange rock of the Arnhemland escarpment and plunges suddenly down 200metres into the clear, sandy pool below, filling the air with spray. In the wet season you can only reach the falls by helicopter or plane the ar…"
The mods and rockers used to use this route along the A23 then M23 from sooty old London down to happening beach-side Brighton. It was mods on scooters and mopeds and rockers on motorbikes – all of them with girls on the back, assuming the girls didn't …"
This nine day classic offers the contrasting best of Tokyo's neon and Kyoto's ancient grace."
Oz is the land of colour and the big colour destinations: the Red Rock, Blue Barrier Reef and Green Daintree can all be seen in one fantastic trip."
With belts a tightening non financial trades are on the up - home swaps have been around since the 1950s but they've never been more popular, but now you can swap motorhomes as well."
I just learned about a fair in Morocco where you can meet woo and marry your life partner all over the space of a day. The Sex and the City girls didn't cover this one..."
Pigeons cover all its exposed surfaces but they can’t deface this square’s historic importance or the grandeur of its presence. Nelson watches from way above on his column, and the lions have his back at the bottom in case there’s a fracas in the founta…"
"Vast trunks reach up towards the canopy a long way overhead, they’re thick with vines or external roots winding all around them, but everything else seems to be in shades of green. Springy, velvety moss, palm fronds like opaque glass setting the light t…"
Firstly it’s pronounced Kozzy-OS-ko – you’ll definitely need to know how to say it so you can tell all your friends that you’ve climbed the tallest mountain in Australia in a matter of only a few hours. It’s not an ancient …"
On Christmas eve Sydney-siders rush to the Fish Markets but on Boxing day they line the harbour to watch the start of the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race. The harbour glitters as the big white sails jostle into position and the media helicopters fly overhea…"
Underneath the Opera House, this bar doesn't just have location, location, location – it's got another couple of usages of the word location and some great food and drink including home made honey beer and a decent selection of local wine. If that's not…"
Sydney born Kat serves up this taster of Sydney to take you onto the harbour, into the bush and the mountains, to a couple of Sydney's best beaches, fill you up on top seafood and feed you a bit of local culture as well - and all in just five days."
Considering Australia's past it's not hard to see why the country's maritime history is so important to the nation. We couldn't have been built on the sheep's back if we hadn't first been put on the map by the maritime industry – how would those sheep ha…"
The Chinese Garden of Friendship is a walled in scaled down version of a traditional Ming dynasty Chinese garden in Darling Harbour just down the hill from Sydney's Chinatown. It's got a large mirror pond, a bamboo forest, Chinese sculptures and statues,…"
It looks like a half eaten lolly pop, but it's a part of the Sydney skyline and the best place to go if you like to look at a city spread out below you. Lots of people still call it Centrepoint because it rises 305 metres out of Pitt Street's Centrepoin…"
"The music video for the Ben Lee song 'Gamble Everything for Love' was filmed in Hyde Park - and in other Sydney Locations. It's a good way to capture the vibe of the place - just sans the mysterious scent."
Why is it that so many cities have a central park called Hyde? I'm not going to be able to answer that question in this review but I can give you an idea of what the Sydney version is about: It's got a big fountain with spurting turtles, huge shady tree…"
Small and narrow, this beach has a very regular shaped scoop of sand seemingly ideal for volleyball or other sand/ball sports. Its cliffs keep it nicely sheltered so the beautiful bathers can keep their tans even all year round – this is a bathing beach…"
If you walk along from Manly's long stretch of ocean-side surf and sand along the rocks, past the perfect rockpools and ocean swimming pool, you get to the clear waters of Cabbage Tree Bay. The sea floor is rockier than Manly's but that's what makes it …"
This building is in the style of great galleries in other cities – neo-Greek, large and pillared, with the names of greats of the art word carved into its sides - but set in the Domain it has a hard time competing with the view from its front yard. Wh…"
The company's tag line, 'Chocolate by the bald man' gives nothing away...and does nothing to suggest to you why you should come inside. It's not great marketing, but maybe they don't have to worry...maybe they can get by on word of mouth alone. 'Cause f…"
One of the outermost inner bays on the Bondi side of Sydney Harbour, Watsons Bay is on the harbour side of 'The Gap', a Sydney-siders first choice for an early exit, and worth a mention - and worth a visit - for a few reasons. 1.)The Ferry trip out. …"
It could be that Coogee is like Bondi used to be before all the tourists moved in, but that doesn't take into account surfing conditions, of which I know nothing. Coogee requires a bit more commitment. You have to travel further from the centre of to…"
I was amazed to hear that you can get yourself a free guide to Tokyo - a real person not a book - but you can get one in New York as well!"
"If I had to choose only one of London’s great sites to see it would be the British Museum. In fact if I had to choose a building in which I had to spend the rest of my life it would be the British Museum. There is that much to find within its halls, ch…"
One Scottish mile in length this mile is royal because it runs downwards from Edinburgh Castle to Holyrood Palace – the Queen’s residence in Scotland. If you fishtail around to your right you’ll come to the buildings of the Scottish Pa…"
Running along the canal, this park separates Central London from the zoo, so as well as people frolicking on the grass, strolling amongst the rose gardens – with over 400 varieties of roses – or playing sports on the fields, you’ll also see a whole lot o…"
St. James’s Park is part of the green bit of the London map that runs from the tip of Green Park at Green Park Tube Station to Kensington Palace Gardens annexed off Hyde Park. It’s not the biggest of the parks or the most famous, and it doesn’t even hav…"
Ueno Park is more than your local swings and scrap of earth, but the name for the green bits surrounding Tokyo’s Zoo, the Tokyo National Art Museum, the National Science Museum, the National Museum for Western Art and the Tokyo Metropolitan Fine Art Muse…"
The Meiji Shrine is on the wooded grounds of this quiet, green and leafy park. A pocket of serenity in the middle of busy Tokyo, Yoyogi isn’t manicured like many of Tokyo’s parks and gardens but looks like the kind of place you can have a bit of a run a…"
"There isn’t an ‘Only in Japan’ section at the end of newscasts but maybe there should be, what with their capsule hotels, love hotels, sumo wrestling, inventive tv programs and the way the Japanese lifestyle embraces the colourful and the wacky along with"
Paris offers so many things to see and do that just walking around can be an experience, but if you choose your route carefully you can swing by some of the main Paris attractions. This Itinerary is Paris for the beginner who knows they're coming back."
Sundays are meant for over eating at breakfast while looking over the bits of the paper you never have time for in the week, afternoon naps and strolls though the markets and Greenwich Markets are just this kind of market. Covered, which is key in Londo…"
In the 60's this street swang and grooved with the best of them. Girls wearing shoes with platforms with more vertical inches than their skirts tottered though between getting their hair bouffed by Vidal Sassoon or make up done by Mary Quant, passing ge…"
Kyoto lets you back into the world of old Japan, of religion, royalty, commerce and nightlife. Gion’s streets beckon warmly after a day of gazing in awe at Kyoto’s thousands of temples and shrines-proving there is still life in the beautiful old girl"
Older people in Japan seem to have a more gung-ho attitude than I’m used to – steep stairs don’t seem to stop them, neither do hills with unfriendly inclines or inclement weather – which is the attitude you need to have to enjoy Chion-in Temple. To get …"
Maruyama Park, like much of Kyoto is compact and perfectly arranged, paths direct you politely towards the highlights, or the best places to view them, but there are artfully arranged smaller paths that offer solitude as well. There’s a tea house at the…"
When ever I come to Spitalfields I can't help remembering that this is where Jack the Ripper stomped around – or I imagine it was more of a skulk in his case. The church with it's clean, straight spire stands over the infamous Ten Bells, the pub w…"
I took a lot of photos in Japan, but these are the ones I look at most. It's just such a feat that these tori gates have been built here, in these eiry corridors all the way up the mountain. As much as anything else it's a surprise. When you approach …"
"Touristy – but then if you're visiting you're kind of a tourist anyway – this market will sell you the kind of souvenirs you'll be wanting to take home to your Grandma or little cousins – Chinese silks and jewellery, stamps with your name engraved on it …"
"Car showrooms with concept cars in the window, block-buster cinemas and a Hagen Daas Café have slightly lowered the tone of what I used to think of as the world’s most glamourous street. The view and the bright lights are just as dazzlingly perfect but …"
"Paris loves the ladies, or at least appreciates them at their best – and expects it. For many visiting dames, Paris has an air of class that we want to emulate or at least get close to and for that reason Sephora on the Champs-Elysees is something a bit…"
"I wish I lived here. The buildings all look as if they survived both wars and were once the homes of stylish Parisian ladies and artists - or the love nests of both. The streets don't allow for much more than foot traffic and the layout is wonderfully …"
Tokyo brims with contradictions-ancient shrines and temples squashed between office blocks and shopping districts and any time spent there should embrace something of everything. Here's a nice blended three days of past, present and future Tokyo."
Where can you be charged more for a coffee than a glass of wine? I want to move!"
Beijing has so much to see-The Forbidden City and the Summer Palace are beautiful, sprawling historic monuments, the Temple of Heaven is painstakingly lovely and the hutongs and night markets are a feast for all the senses.You can even make it to The Wall"
What happens when backpackers grow up? Once you've explored the world at your wandering own free will you might balk at the idea of joining a tour group..."
"Not just because it’s in Amelie or because it’s in one of my favourite parts of Paris, or because you can see it, atop its hill, from all over Paris, or because it has a carousel at its feet and a view that lays Paris out like a blanket in front of you, …"
Yeah, hostels have always been the accommodation of choice for bargain basement travellers, but with mod cons like free internet access, advice with travel arrangements..."
"There are 650 stairs from the ground to the second floor observation deck. Only 320 to the first floor, where you can buy an elevator ticket if you're too tuckered to go for the second - but walking up the Eiffel Tower is definitely another way to exper…"
"To me the building isn’t quite as impressive as the art it contains, but to many it may be. This museum used to be the Hôtel Salé – first the home of a farmer then a general then later a school of art – and has been stripped back to bare pale stone wall…"
A sunny, beach break on a December afternoon? Swimming on a December morning? Why not? Crowded Christmas holiday shops and miserable weather aren’t much fun - get the work done early and duck off to warmer climes."
This is duty free heaven. Opals, merino fleeces, gold, Aboriginal Art and other things visitors think are quintessential Australian purchases are displayed here in beautiful cases and supposedly sold cheap. Do all your duty free shopping here if you have…"
The items you buy may be the same whether you buy them in a modern outlet mall or in the graceful confines of the Romanesque Revival style Queen Victoria Building, but you may feel a little more of that materialistic buzz if you've discovered them agains…"
You wouldn’t know it from the modern fixes and fittings, the bright lights and shiny, warmly glowing surfaces but the Mitsukoshi department store was founded in the 17th century. If that doesn’t make it the oldest store in the world then who knows what …"
Any street which has stores where security guards open the door to you, or you have to buzz to be let in is inviting only a select clientele. But that doesn’t mean you can’t go in. You may have to be happy to absorb or bounce off the looks which disapp…"
Liberty of London has its own signature style, such a nice thing in a homogenizing world where shops seem to sell only variations on a standard theme. The style, in the form of ye olde skoole floral patterns and art deco era designs, is signature-ly sta…"
"At 8:15Am on August the 6th, 1945 the world's first nuclear attack was launched on Hiroshima. A single bomb, accompanied by three planes was dropped over its skies which parachuted gently to 580 metres above the city before detonating and obliterating a…"
"The Heritage listed Zen rock garden, designed in the 16th Century is the largest diamond in the setting of this temple complex, in that it has become a bit of a poster piece for explaining Zen principals to the rest of the world. Its fifteen stones laid…"
Kat wonders at Japan..."
"From the outside it looks like a half built Express Way bridging towards an un-started second side – but that's the design, and it's striking. Inside the museum is minimalist, in that it's not an overwhelming mess of artefacts and descriptions but a car…"
"That thing about Chinese people changing their names to make them easier for us Westerners to say is well known but I’m proud to say that the man, who on a cruise ship would be called an ‘Entertainments Officer’, in my Beijing hotel was called Storm. I’…"
"Poor Mao... He only ever wanted to be cremated but instead he was preserved after death, his corpse rolled out for people to look at twice a day, though there are very strict rules about taking photos or video - so much so that you're not even allowed t…"
"The hutongs are the alleyways of old Peking, the passages between abodes built without planning or sanitisation in mind. The narrowest gap is about a metre across, enough for only one lane of bike traffic. This hutong used to be for banking, some are c…"
"Botany, Entomology, Mineralology, Paleontology and Zoology – it all sounds very scientific doesn’t it, but as well as the glass cases, intimidating skeletons and stuffed creatures, the Natural History museum has things you’re supposed to touch, play with…"
"Anyone who thinks science is uncool obviously hasn’t been to the Science Museum. Colour, movement and light bounce around the exhibits: you can touch things, make things move and explore some of the more exciting human inventions - from familiar machine…"
"Despite the being strapped onto the bridge with techy looking harnesses and hiking to a height 134 metres from the harbour below, climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge isn’t quite as thrilling as the brochures would have you believe. It’s a great view, but…"
"I climbed Uluru as an eight year old, when it was still called Ayers Rock, and it was an exciting scramble up the steep sides with a truly thrilling view at the top. My Dad had promised me there would be an ice cream shop up the top but needless to say …"
"'With 500 ha of parks and 150 buildings constructed between 1730 and 1916, Potsdam's complex of palaces and parks forms an artistic whole, whose eclectic nature reinforces its sense of uniqueness. It extends into the district of Berlin-Zehlendorf, with t…"
"When I was a kid growing up in the Northern Territory I remember telling other kids that I was named after this notable natural wonder so when we finally went camping there I was pretty excited about seeing it. I remember being impressed by the gorge bu…"
"One of my overwhelming memories of childhood trips to Port Douglas are the cane toads, an introduced pest and really really ugly to boot. Kids will love them. There was plenty of indigenous wildlife, we did get leeches all over us on our explorations i…"
"Not personally a fan of the sterilised feel of Canberra’s layout, this is one time it works: from the huge flag at the top of the Australian Parliament House, down the hill though the old Parliament House and across the lake to Anzac Parade and up to the…"
"The air in the orchid garden seems heavier than that outside (the elevation is quite high so the air feels quite clear on the mountain - maybe it‘s the pollen?.) and the orchids have a gleam to them making them appear almost fake. There are orchids in t…"
"…And people say that Canberra is staid and dull?"
"I was lucky enough to grown up in Kakadu National Park. There is a very small permanent population made up of those who work for the mine, scientists who monitor the mine and the parks and wildlife service. As a child I had geckos running up and down m…"