Hong Kong

Hong Kong is one of my favourite cities.

Hong Kong from the Peak

Since first visiting in 1997 I have been back six times.

Most people visit it for 2 or 3 days but I don’t think that is long enough.

Here are just a few of the things I love to do in Hong Kong.

Taking the Peak Tram

A spectacular ride up a funicular railway with great views from the top.

Best taken early in the morning as the queues can get very long later in the day.

Horse Racing at Happy Valley

Racing is every Wednesday night during the season at this spectacular location surrounded by skyscrapers.

Last time I went I had went on a tour organised by the tourist information centre including; coach pick up, meal and betting vouchers for a very reasonable price.

The Star Ferry

Star Ferry

One of the worlds greatest bargains is a trip across bustling Hong Kong Harbour on the Star Ferry for just a few cents

A little more expensive but well worth it is evening boat that stops in the middle of the harbour to take in the nightly light show.

Getting Tailor Made Clothes

In Hong Kong tailor made clothes is an affordable luxury.

If you don’t want a suit you can just get a few shirts and pants.

It’s worth checking a few review sites before you go. (I use Apsley Tailors but there are several other with good reputations)

Visit the Big Buddha on Lantau Island

The Big Buddha is in a great location, overlooking the South China Sea.

Make sure you get a ticket which includes a vegetarian meal at the adjacent monastery.

To get there you can take a spectacular cable car ride starting at Tung Chung Railway Station.

Best avoided at weekends.

Take a Bus trip on Hong Kong Island

Jumbo Floating Restaurant

Two of the scenic trips you can go on from the top deck of a Hong Kong bus start at ‘Central.’

One goes to Aberdeen Harbour where you can have an authentic Chinese sea food meal at the Jumbo Floating Restaurant.

For the shoppers Stanley Market is well worth a look.

Disclaimer I haven’t been paid or received any other reward for this post


I recently invited to Yazd in Iran as a representative of Disaster Aid Australia, the charity I volunteer for . . . . so here are some of the things I have learned.


I applied for my visa in advance to be picked up at the airport.

What I wasn’t told was that the fee varies depending on your nationality.

As an Australian my visa cost 145 Euros to be paid in cash while someone from Mynmar told me she paid less than 40 Euros.

If you haven’t brought evidence of your travel insurance you will also have to pay an additional $14 compulsory travel insurance.

One good thing was once you have paid the visa permission was electronically recorded and my passport wasn’t stamped. (I believe you can have big problems travelling to the USA if you have an Iranian stamp in your Passport)

Banking and Money

Because of the American Embargo a western credit card or debit card is not going to work.

I would recommend that you take hard currency, either Euros or USA dollars.

Most banks wouldn’t change your currency to Iranian Rials but some shops, hotels, and tourist guides will change money.

Because of the huge inflation in Iran, which means people like to get foreign currency, I actually got a much better rate on the exchange than the official rate.

In January 2019 the official rate was 47,000 Rials to One Euro.

Because the Rial is worth so little most people quote prices in units of ten Rials called a Toman.


Overall I found the people very friendly.

There aren’t many westerners around so I am a little bit obvious.

Several times a day I would be asked where I was from.

Frequently the next remark was “Welcome to Iran.”

Tower of Silence, Yazd


Iran has a very strong Islamic culture.

This means all women are expected to wear a headscarf, long sleeves, trousers and a mid length Jacket at all times.

For men its long trousers and long sleeves.

Don’t expect to be able to buy alcohol!

Travelling Around

When I arrived in Tehran the organisers of the event I was attending had organised my transport to Yazd, over 700km away.

I was surprised to find the transport was by Airport Taxi.

On the 8 hour journey, including stops, I didn’t see many coaches so I can only assume taxis are reasonably cheap and a convenient way to get around.

I did talk to someone from the Austrian Embassy about flying which he said he did, but only on certain airlines.