A visit to Japan, Australia, Laos and Thailand

July-August 1991


Sat 20th July. We arrived in Tokyo and stayed at the Grand Palace Hotel. Had dinner at Shigaku.

Sun 21st.  Went shopping in Ginza, visited the Imperial Palace, had dinner in Roppongi.

Tokyo imperial palace  
Tokyo imperial palace  
View of the Imperial Palace from the Grand Palace hotel. The approach to the Imperial Palace in Tokyo.

Mon 22nd. Business meeting with Fujitsu. Went to Shakey's for lunch in Shinjaku and moved to Asia Centre, had dinner there.

Tue 23rd. Caught the bullet train to Kyoto and stayed at the Ishinaga Ryokan.

Wed 24th. Visited the Higashi-Honganji temple, Nishi-Hoganji and Nijo Castle.  Moved to the Rich hotel.

Kyoto Nijo gardens  
Kyoto Clearwater temple  
The gardens in Nijo castle, Kyoto. The Kiyomizu (clear water) temple in Kyoto.  No problem drinking the water!

Thur 25th. Visited the Kiyomizu temple, went through the back streets via the tea shop with a pond of huge coy carp to Kodaiji temple, visited Yasaka Shrine. Went to the Gion Corner traditional theatre.

Kyoto Kiyomizu bell  
Kyoto fish at teashop  
Yasaka shrine Kyoto  
Above left:  The great bell at Kiyomizu temple, Kyoto.
Above:  The coy carp pond at the tea shop near Kodaiji temple, Kyoto.
Left:  Yasaka shrine, Kyoto.

Fri 26th. Visited Nara: went to the deer park, Kofukuji, Todaiji temple (the biggest wooden building in the world) and Kasuga shrine.

Kusaga Shrine at Nara  
Kusaga Shrine at Nara  
Above and right:  The picturesque Kasuga shrine at Nara, near Kyoto. Kusaga Shrine at Nara  

Sat 27th. Visited Kiyomizu (in the early morning), Ryozon Kama, Nijo castle and Kinka-Kuji (golden pavilion) temple.

Kinkakuji temple Kyoto  
Kinka-Kuji, the golden pavilion temple, Kyoto.

Sun 28th. Returned to Tokyo and flew to Sydney.

Mon 29th. Arrived in Sydney at 7am. Got the bus and train then walked to Glyn and Linda's house in Cherrybrook. Had an Indian meal in the evening.

Tues 30th. Looked round Sydney - the Rocks district and Circular Quay. Had Chinese takeaway for dinner.

Wed 31st. Got the monorail to Darling harbour for lunch, went up the tower. Had Thai satay for dinner.

Thur 1st Aug. Had lunch up the tower and a tour round the opera house. Another Indian meal for dinner.

Sydney Opera House  
The classic picture of Sydney - the Opera House.

Fri 2nd. Packed and flew to Cairns.

Sat 3rd. Had a walk round Cairns in the morning and went to Wild World in the afternoon. Stroked kangaroos and wallabies, had a photo with a koala, ruffled an emu's feathers and tentatively touched a crocodile.

Kangaroos at Cairns  
A croc at Cairns  
Feeding the kangaroos at Wild World in Cairns. A friendly looking fellow at Wild World.

Sun 4th. Got the train up to Kuranda, had a meal at an Italian restaurant.

Kurunda railway at Cairns  
Grand Hotel Cairns  
On the Kurunda railway. The Grand Hotel, opposite Cairns railway station.

Mon 5th. Sheila and Jamie did a bungee jump. Had a meal at Jardine's restaurant at the Cairns Colonial Club.

Tue 6th. Got the train to Gladstone.

Wed 7th to Sun 11th. Got the launch out to the reef and stayed at Heron Island. Jamie and Sheila did a scuba dive, we did the island walk and the reef walk and went on the semi-submersible.  Relaxed and sunbathed.

Mon 12th. Got the launch back to Gladstone, had a look round and then flew to Brisbane. Had a steak at Brekkie Creek Hotel.

Tue 13th. Flew back to Sydney and had a takeaway from the Satay Skewer.

Wed 14th. Went to Taronga Zoo. Had brunch at an Italian, evening meal at the Satay Skewer.

Sydney from Taronga Zoo  
View of Sydney across the harbour from Taronga Zoo.

Thur 15th. Went to Manly and Chinatown. Had a drink at the Lord Nelson, meal at the Indian Empire.

Fri 16th. Flew to Bangkok and stayed at the Metro Palace hotel.

Sat 17th to Mon 19th.  Arranged our visit to Laos with Deithelm Travel, then visited the Raja hotel (where we stayed many years before).  Got a boat down the canal to as near to the centre as possible, then a tuk tuk to the Royal Palace and a boat from the pier there to the Oriental Hotel. Had tea in the Authors' Lounge. Dinner at the Ambassador food market.

Bangkok Wat Phra Keo  
Inside Wat Pra Keo, the temple by the royal palace in Bangkok.


Tue 20th. Flew to Vientianne and had a city tour - Wat Si Sacket, Wat Pra Keo, Pha That Luang temple, the market and That Dam Stupa. Had a drink in the Fountain restaurant. Stayed at Lane-Xang hotel overlooking the Mekong river.

Pha That Luang Vientiane  
Pha That Luang temple in Vientianne, Laos.

Wed 21st. Had a day tour to Vang Sang sanctuary, lunch at Ban Thalat, boat trip on Nam Ngum lake, the salt works at Ban Koen and the deer park. Got soaked on the ferry. Had a drink overlooking the Mekong river and dinner at the hotel.

Laos Mon market  
Laos Mon market  
The 'Mon' ethnic people's market on Route 13 between Vientiane and Mam Ngum, Laos.
Laos fish on a truck  
Laos bullock cart  
Loading fish at Nam Ngum lake, Laos. Traffic congestion at Ban Koen, Laos.

Thur 22nd. Flew to Bangkok and had an Indian meal.

Fri 23rd. Went on a day trip to Ayuthaya, one of the former capital cities of Thailand. Had another Indian meal when we got back.

Wat Prasi Sanphet Ayuthaya  
Wat Suwen Dararam Ayudhaya  
Wat Yai Chai Mongkok Ayuthaya  
Above and left:  Temples at Ayuthaya (names as per the file names!)

Sat 24th. Sheila went shopping at Thai Damaru and the Central department store, then we flew to London.

If you would like to read about our other travels, please click here ..... Globe