YOU LOOK FAMILIA
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 (tailoredtoursbarcelona.com) 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 (tondavid.cat) 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 (barcelonaguidebureau.com) 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.
DOC’S TIP OF THE WEEK
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 (princess.com) 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 (cunardline.com.au) will visit Australia in 2019 for two months and offer dedicated fitness classes including spin, yoga and pilates.
Carnival (carnival.com.au) 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.