Trop­i­cal is­lands top travel spot

From camp­ing at San­tos Beach to ex­pe­ri­enc­ing the Sanya is­land in China, Di­eter tests com­fort zones glo­be­trot­ter

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - TRAVEL 2011 - MELANIE PETERS

HUNKY TV pre­sen­ter Di­eter Voigt is a model best known for pre­sent­ing the Afrikaans life­style show Pasella and for win­ning the Mr South Africa con­test. He shares some of his ex­pe­ri­ences dur­ing his trav­els.

How many places (cities or coun­tries) have you vis­ited?

Al­most all the cities and lit­tle towns in SA. I started work­ing on Pasella in 2008 and have trav­elled our beau­ti­ful coun­try ex­ten­sively.

On over­seas ad­ven­tures I have been been to China and the UK.

Where was your favourite hol­i­day or time spent abroad?

I had a very spe­cial hol­i­day ex­pe­ri­ence on the trop­i­cal is­land of Sanya, about 200km north-east of Hong Kong. It is part of the Hainan is­land. The friendly peo­ple, ex­otic food, a trop­i­cal rain for­est and the warm ocean water made for the per­fect ingredients for a once-in-a life­time hol­i­day ex­pe­ri­ence.

What must a first-time vis­i­tor see there?

You have to step out of the fives­tar ho­tels and ex­pe­ri­ence the re­al­ness and hu­mil­ity of the peo­ple work­ing the fields in the ru­ral parts.

I joined a fam­ily on a scooter, we were three adults and a child on one bike! It is some­thing very nat­u­ral to them, a nor­mal way of com­mut­ing. It was fun at the time, but I won’t do it in SA.

What should they not bother with?

Try every­thing, get out of your com­fort zone, that is where you meet strangers and walk away with new friends.

What was your best hol­i­day ever and why?

I have to say my child­hood mem­o­ries of camp­ing at San­tos Beach in Mos­sel Bay.

We grew up in this small coastal town. Camp­ing with hol­i­day mak­ers was like trav­el­ling to in­ter­na­tional des­ti­na­tions for us.

I had the priv­i­lege of swim­ming, snorkelling, body board­ing and chill­ing with new friends from all over SA.

I also had amaz­ing teenage hol­i­day ro­mances and my heart was bro­ken many times. Your fun­ni­est ex­pe­ri­ence? Body­surf­ing and los­ing my shorts in the process.

Which desti­na­tion would you do again?

In SA I had an amaz­ing ex­pe­ri­ence on a horse trail in Port Al­fred. It is one of those hid­den gems, not a lot of peo­ple have been on this epic ad­ven­ture.

I want to do it again, but this time not as part of my job.

Your favourite restau­rant and food dur­ing your trav­els ?

I play it safe most of the time, although I did have a bad ex­pe­ri­ence in China once.

I mix my meals be­tween the tra­di­tional food of that area and that which I know.

Nu­tri­tional food is im­por­tant to me, even more so when I travel.

Your favourite place to drink a glass of wine or to have sun­down­ers?

At the mo­ment noth­ing beats The Grand in Granger Bay, Cape Town.

What do you avoid dur­ing a hol­i­day?

Con­flict and neg­a­tive vibes. Work bag­gage stays at work.

I open my­self up for a pos­i­tive learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

As a sea­soned trav­eller and flyer can you share some tips?

Travel light. I fol­low the Kiss prin­ci­ple: keep it short and sim­ple.

EX­OTIC TOUCH: The friendly lo­cals im­pressed Di­eter Voigt in Sanya. BE­LOW: Port Al­fred has an amaz­ing horse trail.

ABOVE: Monks in the court­yard of a Chi­nese monastery. LEFT: The warm hos­pi­tal­ity and amaz­ing sights made the trop­i­cal is­land of Sanya a hol­i­day never to be for­got­ten for Voigt.

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