Sunday Herald Sun - Escape - - ASK THE EXPERT DOC HOLIDAY - KIM CULYER

I am go­ing to Barcelona in April and want to de­vote five days to see the An­toni Gaudi ar­chi­tec­ture in de­tail. Can you rec­om­mend any com­pa­nies that do in-depth tours of Gaudi’s work?


Do­ing an or­gan­ised tour of this artist’s work is a good idea as the tour guide can ex­plain the pro­cesses Gaudi went through and the in­flu­ences he had when cre­at­ing such unique de­signs, plus help with skip­ping long queues. Start with Tai­lored Tours Barcelona (tai­lored­tours­ who cre­ate itineraries fo­cus­ing on the com­bi­na­tion of art, ar­chi­tec­ture and his­tory. Their Ge­nius of Gaudi tour in­cludes de­tailed com­men­tary and in-depth dis­cus­sion on the man who has seven UNESCO World Her­itage sites at­trib­uted to his name alone.

You could also con­sider spend­ing time with a pri­vate tourist-guide. Ton David (ton­ is an of­fi­cial and li­cenced tour guide with ex­per­tise in Gaudi and ar­chi­tec­ture. His stan­dard Gaudi tour vis­its the mas­ter­pieces of Park Guell, the Sagrada Fa­milia Basil­ica, Casa Batllo and Casa Mila, plus some of his other work in­clud­ing Palau Guell, Casa Cal­vet and Casa Vi­cens, and you skip the lines.

If you con­tact him as early as pos­si­ble, you could chat about tai­lor­ing your other days to suit your spe­cific in­ter­ests.

The Barcelona Guide Bureau (barcelon­aguide­bu­ of­fers fast-track en­trance to Sagrada Fa­milia and Casa Batllo on its daily tour be­gin­ning at 9am, with the Sagrada Fa­milia at the end of the tour, so you can linger in the build­ing for as long as you like.

We are plan­ning a trip to Vietnam and Cam­bo­dia and have heard it is a good place to have suits made. Do you have any tips?


Try to in­clude the an­cient vil­lage of Hoi An in your itin­er­ary. It’s about half way between Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi, near the coast. Here you will find more than 400 clothes and shoe tai­lors who can repli­cate or tai­lor good qual­ity items ex­actly as you wish, in un­be­liev­able time.

If you have a favourite item, take it with you, or even a photo or mag­a­zine cut­ting of a style you’re look­ing for. Usu­ally, if you first meet with them in the morn­ing, you can go back later in the af­ter­noon for a fit­ting. The gar­ment will be cut out and loosely sewn al­low­ing for any ad­just­ments, then, all go­ing well, it should be ready for col­lec­tion the next day.

Suits are their spe­cialty and the range of ma­te­rial on hand is huge, but if you have a par­tic­u­lar fab­ric in mind, I sug­gest you take it with you. The prices are cheap and most peo­ple don’t en­counter any prob­lems.

Look for a shop that has its own peo­ple work­ing on-site. This en­sures the own­ers can con­trol the qual­ity and work­man­ship. If they don’t, it is pos­si­ble the store is out­sourc­ing to a fac­tory and the per­son you are speak­ing to is just a sales­per­son.

Hoi An is also a great place to spend a week or so ex­plor­ing. This old port is full of Chi­nese and Ja­panese his­tory along with lovely French colo­nial build­ings. Its river­side set­ting makes for colour­ful lan­tern dis­plays, par­tic­u­larly at night, and plenty of good fresh food. Cars and mo­tor­bikes are banned from the cen­tre, so you can take your time wan­der­ing the World Her­itage Old Town with the cov­ered Ja­panese bridge, mu­se­ums and pago­das. The night mar­ket is def­i­nitely worth a stroll as is hir­ing a push bike and ex­plor­ing the lush green sur­round­ing ar­eas.

My wife and I have a stopover at Hong Kong on our way back from Europe and we would like a full day at Dis­ney­land. We are stay­ing in Kowloon and would like to know the best way to book it and how to get there and back.


From Kowloon MTR train sta­tion, hop on the Tung Chung Line. This will take you to Sunny Bay sta­tion where you should hop off.

Here you will trans­fer to the Dis­ney­land Re­sort line. It’s about a 30-minute jour­ney in to­tal.

A sin­gle-day en­try to the park is the equiv­a­lent of about $97 an adult, $15 a se­nior and $79 a child.

One place to ac­cess dis­count tick­ets is from the China Travel Ser­vice counter at the air­port or down­town. They are sub­ject to avail­abil­ity, but worth check­ing out be­fore you pur­chase on­line or at the gate.

De­pend­ing on your sched­ule, you may be in­ter­ested in check­ing out the free in-town check-in ser­vice of­fered by most air­lines. It op­er­ates from Kowloon and Hong Kong train sta­tions and you sim­ply check-in for your flight and leave your bags in the same fash­ion as you do at the air­port. You will need a valid Air­port Ex­press train ticket and when you ar­rive at the air­port, you can go straight to se­cu­rity.

A group of friends, with a com­bined weight loss of more than 300kg, would love to do a health and fit­ness cruise, so we can re­lax and also work on our health and fit­ness. We’d pre­fer de­par­ture from ei­ther Mel­bourne or Syd­ney.



At the time of writ­ing there are no specif­i­cally themed fit­ness or well­ness cruises de­part­ing from Mel­bourne or Syd­ney.

In­stead, cruise lines of­fer plenty of ac­tiv­i­ties and healthy food op­tions for pas­sen­gers to take ad­van­tage of, if they wish.

Princess Cruises ( of­fers the Lo­tus Spa and Fit­ness Cen­tre which, along with spa treat­ments, in­cludes per­sonal train­ing and classes such as pi­lates, yoga and Body Sculpt Boot Camp.

Cu­nard’s new Queen El­iz­a­beth (cu­nard­ will visit Aus­tralia in 2019 for two months and of­fer ded­i­cated fit­ness classes in­clud­ing spin, yoga and pi­lates.

Car­ni­val (car­ni­ pro­vides op­por­tu­ni­ties such as yoga on the beach on the Isle of Pines and morn­ing boot camp, along with per­sonal train­ing, a fit­ness cen­tre, jog­ging track and well­ness treat­ments on their ex­cur­sions to the Pa­cific.

P&O has cre­ated the daily Evolve Health and Fit­ness pro­gram. On their ships you’ll find work­outs in­clud­ing car­dio, sus­pen­sion, box­ing, cy­cle, pi­lates and yoga.


Sagrada Fa­milia, Barcelona, Spain, is one of An­toni Gaudi’s mas­ter­pieces; Hong Kong Dis­ney­land is magic, and Vietnam’s Hoi An suits those look­ing for be­spoke cloth­ing.

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