LITTLE BLACK BOOK
IN 2004, Bali-based Australian Stuart Mcdonald, a former guidebook author, founded Travelfish, an online specialist guide to Southeast Asia with a range of iphone apps. More: travelfish.org. Desperate to get back to: Hanoi, for its fabulous food and manic street scene. Must-do: The Rocket Festival in northeast Thailand, the country’s best celebration, held annually in May and June. Perfect place for indulgence: The old wing of the Hotel Sofitel Legend Metropole, Hanoi. Most-memorable splurge: A weekend excursion from Bali to Raffles Hotel Le Royal, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, DEALS OF THE WEEK Classic Cambodia: Book before November 30 for a five-night Cities and Temples tour with Travel Indochina in April or May 2012; from $1390 a person twinshare from Melbourne ($1408 from Sydney), with return economy flights on Vietnam Airlines, accommodation, breakfasts and an internal flight. More: travelindochina.com.au. where I proposed to Samantha (she said yes). Stand-out bar experience: Sunflower Beach Bar, Loh Dalam Bay, Phi Phi Island, Thailand — a hidden gem that’s a great spot for sundowners. Inviting culinary destination: Mozaic restaurant in Ubud is a Indian idyll: Consider a Specialist Holidays adventure such as the seven-day Rajasthan Golden Triangle with Villages tour from Delhi; from $1190 a person twin-share, including transfers, accommodation and selected meals. Numerous departures until March. Flights extra. More: 131 969; specialistholidays.com.au. splurge by Balinese standards but the contemporary food and degustation menu are amazing. Inspirational travel narrative: A House in Bali by Colin Mcphee. Mcphee’s love of Bali flies off the pages. Favourite travel website: Adioso.com, an up-and-coming Australian site that helps travellers find the cheapest international flights. Best new Asian experience: Snorkelling off Menjangan Island in northwest Bali. Best-spent travel dollars: My iphone, which is, for better or worse, my fifth limb. Otherwise, the few bucks a day it costs me, wherever I go in Asia, to hire a scooter. Oriental voyages: Visit Japan and China on all-inclusive 11-night Silver Shadow cruises from Tokyo to Shanghai calling at Hiroshima, Jeju and Tianjin; from $5199 a person twin-share (for bookings before November 11), with menus by Relais & Chateaux and butler service. Departures April 25 and May 6, 2012. More: 132 757.