Greetings from Mullumbimby and another edition of Where I’m At; a monthly update of what I’ve been up to and general site news.
Where I’ve Been
I began the month in Saigon, which means more work and less travel. I haven’t blogged about Saigon on Nomadic Notes for ages, so I need to get onto that. I have been writing about Saigon on my Living In Asia site though, and this month I published about the never built projects in Saigon.
I hadn’t planned to go to Da Nang until the thought crossed my mind that I hadn’t been this year. Flights are cheap even a week before flying, so I ended up going for a quick trip. Here is my trip report on Da Nang, 2018 edition.
While I was in Da Nang I visited Ba Na Hills. It’s become famous for the the bridge held by giant hands in the mountains.
And now for something completely different. Last month I was contacted by Solomon Islands Tourism in Australia. I had to Google where the Solomons are as my geography knowledge of the Oceania region is limited. In fact I’ve never been to a South Pacific nation, so it was good to open my account with such an interesting country.
There are over 900 islands in the Solomons, most of which are uninhabited. There are coral reefs everywhere, and many of the islands we visited were what I had imagined a South Pacific island to look like. And being based in Southeast Asia, the small population and lack of tourists stands out. This was such a refreshing island nation beach holiday, and I will be posting about my time in the Solomons this month.
Brisbane is the gateway for flights to the South Pacific from Australia, sort of like how Miami is the gateway to Latin America. I stayed here overnight and had a morning of exploration before getting my bus. I hadn’t been to Brisbane for 12 years and I really should have made more time in my schedule to explore the city.
Byron Bay is just south of the Queensland-NSW state border, and it takes and hour to drive there from the Gold Coast airport, and 2.5 hours from Brisbane. With my trip ending in Brisbane, it was an opportune occasion to make a stop in Byron Bay. I was last here in 2001, and since then I have a number of friends that have moved there from Melbourne. Often people say they have moved to the Byron area, though it is more accurate to say the Northern Rivers region if you aren’t in Byron Bay proper. I’m staying with a friend in a remote forest near the town of Mullumbimby. The house has internet, but I can’t pick up a mobile phone signal. The sky is blue and there is not a single engine sound all day. It’s a stark contrast to my life in Saigon, and being back in my homeland for the second time this year has been a bonus.