Postcards from Abroad

Whether your dream is to stay in a colonial-era bungalow in the middle of a tea plantation, an Indian princely palace, or to cruise in luxury the Irrawaddy to Mandalay, we never tire of searching for your next great travel destination. This is the place to share with us your most recent adventures.

A postcard from Vietnam by Paul Booty

One Pillar PagodaGood afternoon Vietnam. Yes I know, rubbish title, but hopefully you will enjoy.

 2 weeks north to south and just wow. We landed in Hanoi in the early morning. We upgraded to premium economy and that is worth every penny, space and comfort, just do it. Hotel magnificent and we had breakfast before retiring to catch up sleep. We had a “Clarkson” moment looking at some of the food (still don’t know what it is) but there was traditional food there too, Vietnamese and European. Room stunning with a loo with automatic washer/drier! That was interesting.

Out into the street be warned there are roads with white lines, they are meaningless. Scooters everywhere on any side of the road and in any direction. You cannot imagine the sheer volume of traffic. How to cross the road, easy, pick a moment and go, do not deviate in speed or direction and by some miracle they all go round you. In a group do sticky rice (all together and stick together). Looking for a bar that’s not in a hotel, good luck, they are like square eggs!


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Shy Sa Pa is revealed by James and Cate Fraser

James and Cate at Sa Pa 2Well, after 3 days of cold weather, torrential rain and heavy cloud we got rewarded for our patience; today we actually saw the town and the sun. It was quite a treat to see the lake properly for the first time, gain our bearings and to go by cable car part of the way up to Fansipan, Vietnam's tallest peak ( 3,143 metres) .




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Hallowed Halong and Tam Coc by James and Cate Fraser

Halong Bay KayakOur 2 night cruise in Halong Bay has been interesting. The giant mysterious karsts stand tall in the emerald waters, some contain tiny sandy beaches and others reveal mighty caves and caverns.




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Reflections, and Hectic Hanoi by James and Cate Fraser

HanoiWe arrived safely in Hanoi, and on time; just as in our previous internal flight from Ho Chi to Danang. Vietnam Airlines seem to get some bad press but we have no complaints whatsoever.

We really enjoyed Hue. The hotel, the Saigon Morin, was great, sits besides the riverbank and was an ideal place to stay, particularly as there were 2 excellent restaurants nearby. We can only recommend The Mandarin, where we had lunch every day, and Hanh's where we had supper. The bill at the former amounted to a total of £6 inc beer, while Hanh's came to £10 for many courses and beer. Sad to leave!


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Vietnam 2 Awesome An Bang to heavenly Hue by James and Cate Fraser

Khai DinhAn Bang was a delightfully sleepy seaside village consisting of a Main Street with various small roads attached. Mango House where we stayed, set amongst the foliage about 50 metres from the beach, was quite a find. We spent a very relaxing week cycling, swimming and exploring. Great that Eastravel are flexible enough to let us go "off piste" booking accommodation direct as the owners did not deal with agents.



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Scintillating Saigon by James and Cate Fraser

cateWell, we are not disappointed! Our Vietnamese Dreamliner flight was excellent but we won't dwell on the wait we had to get visas; Khai our guide had given up on us and had only come back to the terminal to have one last check...... In addition, our hotel room was not to be ready for another 5 hours; luckily our hotel in the Dong Khoi area, the Majestic, is very central overlooking the Saigon River so undeterred we decided to wander around.




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Harbin: A winter wonderland by Gary Leay

Harbin Ice Festival 2Just back from Harbin, China...... temperatures ranging from -15 day time to -30 night time

With the correct clothing, a winter wonderland!
We went to the Harbin 31st Annual Snow & Ice Festival (the largest in the world)
Brilliant by day .... spectacular when lit up at night.


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Top Destinations to watch in 2017

Do Chula Pass Bhutan  Need inspiration for holidays in 2017?

  Immerse yourselves in a new destination.

  Live like a local.

  Rediscover some of your favourite places. 


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A Japanese Holiday Experience by Jim and Janet Buis

The Nakasendo Way 2A Japanese Holiday Experience as arranged by Eastravel in conjunction with OKU Japan November 2016.

If you wish to have a unique holiday experience in Japan we can thoroughly recommend the guided Nakasendo walking holiday arranged by OKU Japan. Listed as a walking holiday but it was much more than that. In fact until I wrote the brief summary of our itinerary I realised just how much we packed into a few days.



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Captivating Cambodia by James and Cate Fraser

Dramatic view at sunset of Sous-Dey (hello) from sunny and warm Cambodia.Siem Reap and Phnom Penh are both charming, energetic cities with tree lined streets and riverside promenades. Our schedule however has been relentless and time has passed in a whirl since arrival.



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We say goodbye to Laos and enter the Riel world of Cambodia by James and Cate Fraser

101Laos - what an exciting series of unforgettable experiences. Today is our last day in the south of the country in the Si Phan Don (4 Thousand islands) area on Don Khong.

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Southern Laos Explorer by James and Cate Fraser

James and Cath FraserVang Vieng is tucked in beside the Nam Song River, the vertical soaring and imposing limestone cliffs created a very attractive backdrop. We survived our 18-km kayaking trip along the Nam Song and spent a whole day paddling and navigating small rapids which made a very pleasant change from sightseeing on foot.

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Laotian Days - the next adventure by James and Cate Fraser...

James Fraser at the Plain of JarsOur first effort of a blog in colour!

We left the lovely city of Luang Prabang and headed to Phonsavan the capital of the Xieng Khouang Province. Although it meant an 8 hour drive the scenery was spectacular-towering mountains, lovely waterfalls, hillsides covered in different fruits and vegetables, many stilted villages perched precariously on the most inhospitable terrain and vast areas of road which had succumbed to land slides and later been repaired.

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From Suffolk to the Plain of Jars by James and Cate Fraser....

LaosWow, we never want to travel economy again! I blame Nell ( J's sister) for planting the idea when she flew to Dubai in Business. Her description of the whole experience was too good to resist! The United Airlines Lounge at Heathrow Terminal 2 was fab. We resisted the booze as we knew we were in for a long flight but it was great as Cams (J's niece, who works for BAA in Terminal 2) met us and we were able to have a catch up. We boarded Thai and flew about noon. The welcoming glass of champagne went down very well. Service impeccable and food delicious. Lots of little quaint Thai dishes consisting of .......


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In and out of Africa by Paul Booty

Image taken by Paul BootyI decided many years ago that I would love to go on Safari to shoot some wildlife, big game hunter me. So armed with my Canon for my 50th birthday I went in and out of Africa. Booking was made through Eastravel (Ipswich) and they came up with a plan that should work, using Somak Safari, and this is my story.  

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A postcard from Bhutan

Archery Bhutan  The dawn flight from Delhi to Paro on Drukair tracks the High Himalaya so closely you feel you can reach out and            touch the peaks. Be sure to book a window seat on the left of the cabin. The Captain identifies the mountain with snow    blowing off the peak as Everest.


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Beautiful Bhutan by Jen and Larry Risdale




     "A senior monk invited us to his cell today and made us a cup of tea.

      Apparently he was really chuffed as we were the first foreigners who had been to his cell.

      If he was chuffed there are no words for what I was! Thursdays are never going to be the same

      again - putting the bins out is just not going to cut it ...


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A journey of discovery to Australia by John and Sylvia Smith

Glen Helen, near Alice Springs, Australia Read all about John and Sylvia's self drive Journey of Discovery to Australia.

 From Sydney to the Blue Mountains, Tassie's National Parks, the Great Ocean Road, followed by a        memorable journey on The Ghan.  Explore the Red Centre and marvel at the sunsets and sunrises.

 Top it off with a visit to Western Australia and sample the delights of Albany and Margaret River. 


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A Postcard from the Visayas by Mike Tunstill

Mike Tunstill at Chocolate Hills, Bohol


When we travel, as a guiding principle we think in terms of quality, rather than quantity of experience. The Philippines is an archipelago of over 7000 islands. It would take a lifetime to see them all. For this short adventure therefore we have kept it to a mere handful, looking out over the glittering blue waters of the Bohol Sea.


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