Category Archives: Travel

The beautiful Hanauma Bay

Hanauma Bay was recommended to us by many people for snorkelling but as we had Chhori with us we decided that we will go there and just swim but not snorkel.

The bay opens in winter from 6am to 6pm and in summer from 6am to 7pm except Tuesdays. But when the carpark is full you will not be allowed in. There is also an Entry Fee of $7.50 per person and Car parking fee of $1 per car.

The drive there was beautiful from Waikiki as you could see the beautiful blue sea along the coast.

As we planned to stay at the bay for the whole day, we thought it would be a good idea to have breakfast and go there but it turned out to be a mistake. When we reached there around 11 am, the car park was already full and we were not allowed in. Most recommend getting there the first thing in the morning when they open and we realised why.

So we went a little further along the road and parked at a scenic view point for a while. We didn’t know what to do as we have driven so far so we decided to go back and try again and to our surprise it was open. So if it is closed for you when you get there, you can drive around and go back again a little later as the car park does open as people leave.

Once we went inside, parked and bought the tickets, everyone had to join a queue to go watch a 9 minutes compulsory video. It just let us know what to expect, important rules and what not to do while swimming and snorkelling at the bay. Some of the important points are that it is against the law to touch the turtles and do not touch the fish, rocks or coral.

By the time we finished all that, we were very hungry so we decide to go the café there for a quick lunch. We had burger and chips and rested for a while. The food was OK.

When we were ready to go, we realised that it is a fairly steep walk down to the bay so we decided to buy tram tickets ($1.25 down; $1.25 up; $2.5 all day) which was worth it, especially when we were coming up after a long day of swimming. Some people prefer to walk down but catch the tram to come up after all the swimming.

Once we were at the bay, I could see why people recommend it so much. It looks beautiful with the blue water and the volcanic hill at the back. People were snorkelling and swimming everywhere.

We just grabbed a spot near the beach and went into the water. It was beautiful day as it was sunny and warm.

Chhori decided to sit and play with the sand so one of us stayed with her while the others went into the water to swim. As it is a small bay, it was not rough so we swam and enjoyed the amazing view.

Once we got too tired, we went and had a shower. There are showers, changing and restroom facilities. Then we caught the tram up to the top.

Overall we had a great time at Hanauma Bay. If you are planning to go there, do try to get there early. Don’t forget to bring your sun screen and towels. You can rent snorkelling gears there or bring your own.

Hanauma Bay (16)

Have you been at Hanauma Bay? Do share your experiences?

Take care,

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

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Trip to Dole Planation

One of our friends who lives in Hawaii recommended that we go and visit the Dole Plantation as it is the second most-visited tourist attraction in the state of Hawaii. The plantation is located near Wahiawa in the central part of the island of Oahu which is on the North side of Hawaii.

We have been told that it originally operated as a fruit stand beginning in 1950 and the Dole Plantation opened to the public as Hawaii’s “Pineapple Experience” in 1989. Today, they state that the Dole Plantation is one of Oahu’s most popular visitor attractions and welcomes more than one million visitors a year.

So we started our day after breakfast. We went there with two of our friends and their daughter.

It took us around 45 minutes to get there and it was a pleasant drive. It looked really busy as parking was almost full and we could see many tourist buses. At the front of the building there is a big sign and also on the front lawn they used different plants to spell out DOLE. As tourists do, we took some photos in front of the building.

From there we went inside through the gift shop and joined a long queue to purchase their famous Dole Whip.  Dole Whip is a pineapple-flavored soft serve and it is served many different ways – in a cup, in a cone, with cherry or pineapple topping, or floating in a glass of fresh pineapple juice.

We decided to buy the kids their own ice-cream which was a big mistake as the serving was so big that not even the adults finished their ice-cream. I thought one serve would easily feed 3 adults but then I could see people around us who were eating bigger serves than ours.

After the ice-creams we decide to go on their most popular attraction, a 20-minute train ride aboard the Pineapple Express. Tickets are $10.50 per adult and $8.50 for children ages 4-12.  Children under 4 are free.

We waited around 10 minutes in the queue for our turn. Once on board, the train took us through two miles of plantation scenery while a recorded voice narrates the history of Dole and provides information about many tropical fruits and plants.

As we travelled slowly through the plantation, we could not only see the pineapple plantation but we saw the equipment used to harvest pineapples, as well as other products grown at Dole Plantation, such as coffee, lime, lemon, bananas, sugar cane etc.

Chhori really liked the train and when another train passed us, she got really excited.

As we got closer to the end place, Chhori fell asleep on my arms. So we skipped the tour of the gardens and the maze.

There was also a nice pond with lots of Koi fish where you could get fish food to feed them.

On our way out, we passed through the gift shop where I could see lots of souvenir, food products, jewelry, accessories, clothing, toys etc.

Overall, we liked our trip to Dole and I recommend the trip if you have half day while you are in Hawaii.

Take care,

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

Aloha Hawaii

We are back from our amazing tropical holiday and never before have I been so keen to go back to the same holiday destination as soon as I got back. We just loved the place, the amazing weather, warm warm and warm :), the food, the people and so many choices for shopping, all of us are in love with the place.

We were welcomed in Hawaiian style by our friends and it started our amazing time.

The Airbnb we booked was perfect with a big kitchen for us to enjoy breakfast at home and to make quick snacks for Chhori. The location was great too as it was just 2 minute walk to the International Market and 5 minutes to Waikiki beach.

We caught up with my friend and she drove us around the island so we got to do and see more stuff. It was great to see her after so many years.

The highlight of the trip for Chhori was definitely the Hilton Lagoon as she didn’t want to go back once we were there.

For me, the shopping was so great, so much cheaper than Sydney.

We managed to do everything on our list except Honolulu zoo but did manage to do other stuff. Here is the full list which I will blog about slowly.

  • Waikiki Beach
  • Hilton Lagoon
  • Road trip along the North Shore and enjoying yummy food from a food truck
  • Trurtle Beach
  • Hanauma Bay
  • Marukame Udon place
  • Diamond Head Crater Hike
  • Pearl Harbor
  • Manoa Waterfall
  • Dole Plantation
  • Chief’s Luau
  • Pali viewpoint

Today I will leave you with some amazing captures from our holiday.

Take care everyone and will catch up soon.

For now , let me relive my holiday looking at these photos on this cold Sydney day.

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

Sun, Sea and Sand, here we come

I think every winter I have written a post on how much I hate winter and it is no exception this year so I am very excite to be going away from this cold weather to enjoy lots of sun, sea and sand.

Working out at 8 degree in the morning and layering on multiple clothes during the day, this winter has not done me much favor. So I am excited to be leaving this cold weather for a warm hot tropical paradise :).

The packing is done, my hat, bikini and thongs are ready to enjoy the sun and I am ready to feel the water at the beach.

Hawaii holds a special place in my heart as I have meant to go there forever. I don’t know why but I always wanted to go there and for one reason or another couldn’t make it until now. When AS and I talked about it before the wedding, we even planned to go there for our honeymoon. Instead we went to Vietnam as we didn’t have many days left after a big wedding in Nepal.

Anyways no more complaints, instead my mind is full of ideas on what to do once we get there. I have a long list of places in my mind like

Please let me know if I have missed out the obvious. I am also planning to eat at the following recommended places. Please do add more if you know any good eateries.

  • Eggs and things
  • F. Chang’s
  • Udon Noodle place
  • Ihop
  • Cheesecake factory

And of course shopping is definitely on the cards as usual :).

A friend of mine, as I mentioned in a previous post, will be with us for the whole time which will make this holiday even more memorable.

Please do add any other things you know about Hawaii that we should experience.

Anyway guys until I blog again, take care and have a great week.

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

Chhori’s visit to the Zoo in Nepal

The last time we went to zoo was when we went to Nepal with my then 6 months nephew. This time we wanted to take the little girls, Chhori and our niece, there.

The zoo is located a few kilometres away from the city centre, Kathmandu. It is the only zoo in Nepal but there has been about talk about opening another zoo somewhere else as well.

We went there with AS’s mum, his two brothers, sister in law and niece. We really wanted the girls to have a good time. As it was Saturday afternoon, as expected the zoo was busy with many families coming for an afternoon out. It was a warm sunny day which was great.

The zoo is arranged according to taxonomy, with mammals, birds, reptiles and fishes all occupying different parts of the zoo. There are also playground rides, picnic lawns and boat rides on the lake.

The zoo houses some 780 species including the critically endangered white-rumped vulture and Chinese alligator and six endangered species: Asian elephant, royal Bengal tiger, one horned rhino, wild buffalo, gharial and yellow headed turtle.

Along with these animals, there was a hippo that was lazily sunbathing, a hyena, a giant deer, peacocks, white-napped crane, two big rhinos, monkeys, water buffalo, chimpanzees, leopards, bear, tigers, lions as well as golden pheasants, silver pheasants, chukar, kalij, parrots, owls. They also had a small reptile collection which featured a common cobra, an Indian rock python, snakes and a turtle.

As we walked from one enclosure to another, I could see the girls’ excitement. They would make noises of the animals that we saw or count the birds.

Chhori loves to look at real animals as she can hear them make noises and she gets really excited. I am so glad that she got time to spend with our families in Nepal and the girls did bond well despite fighting from time to time.

After the whole tour of the zoo, we were all tired so decided to go to a nearby restaurant for our favorite momo and Nepali food.

I have mentioned before that Chhori loves momo and she was over the moon in Nepal getting to eat so many times. In one occasion, she surprised us all by eating 8 momos in one sitting.  I guess she is showing us her Nepali side.  🙂

I hope everyone is having a great week. Take care till next time.

from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

Chandragiri hill

When we were in Kathmandu this time, we didn’t get time to go out of valley but we still managed to go to a few places within the valley. One glorious sunny morning we started a trip to the newly opened Chandragiri Hill.

Located 16 km from Kathmandu, Chandragiri hill is in Thankot and it took us around 30 minutes to drive there. They have recently introduced cable car to the top of the hill making it good place for a family day out. We bought our tickets a few days in advance from Bhatbhateni supermarket so we didn’t have to queue up once we reached there.

When we reached the base of the hill, I was already very happy to see an amazing view of the surrounding mountains and hills. We quickly caught a cable car to the top. The ride is around two and a half kilometres long taking us around 9 minutes to reach the top.

When we reached on the top and came out into the open area, we were welcomed by the beautiful Himalayan range. The panoramic views of Kathmandu Valley and the Himalayan range from Annapurna to Everest makes you feel as if you were seeing the whole of Nepal from this hill. I am so glad we got there early in the morning because; the view from the top was worth it.

People used to trek for hours to get to the top of this hill to watch the same view which we were lucky enough to enjoy with the new cable car ride in just a few minutes.

On top of the hill there are restaurants, a kids’ play area, a resort, a multipurpose hall and shops as well.

Once we enjoyed the view of the beautiful landscape, we decided to walk further up to the temple of Lord Shiva, Bhaleshwor Mahadev.

We prayed to the god, went around the temple and then to the nearby restaurant to have our lunch.

It was Shivaratri that day so there was only vegetarian option on the menu. We all enjoyed the lunch and kids had a good time too.

After lunch we went to the other side of the hill which is where the kids’ play area is. I was so glad that they had thought things through and had so many different things for kids to enjoy including slides, rides, see-saw, climbing robes, swings etc.

Chhori and our niece spent more than an hour there and didn’t want to leave as they were having so much fun.

We all had a great time too with the whole family and it was definitely one of the best outing place to go near Kathmandu.

If you are looking for a good escape from the city and don’t have much time in Kathmandu, this day trip is highly recommended.

If you like to hike, you can still do so using the route from Matatirtha-Chandragiri- Chitlang. This hike takes you through forest and hills offering scenic views of Kathmandu valley and through Chitlang taking around 5-6 hours to complete the entire hike.

This much for today. I will come back with more posts from Nepal soon.

from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

Chhori turns 2: the celebration party

We decided to have a party to celebrate Chhori’s birthday with our friends and family after puja. We started planning when we were here in Sydney with my in laws so we had a venue booked months in advance. I also found photographer via Facebook so they were booked for the day as well.

I am sure anyone who is trying to book an event from overseas goes through lots of frustrations when you can’t find the right vendor to execute your ideas. I had the same problem when we planned our wedding and it was no different this time.

We had no idea what was available in Nepal in terms of decoration so I bought everything I could think of from here and I am so glad I did. Because when we got there, I couldn’t get the things that we wanted.

As the venue and photographer were sorted, the next big thing was cake and decoration. I bought the Dora cake topper from here so we got the baker to do a cake with those. I was pretty happy with the cake.

We also ordered cupcakes which did not turn out as planned. The cupcake was not the pink colour we wanted and it was not decorated as we had explained but I guess we shouldn’t have set our expectation too high since everyone seemed to use their own ideas instead of following ours 😦

The biggest problem we faced was not finding a person to do helium balloons. After searching and talking to so many people, finally when I put out a call for help on Facebook and a friend gave us the number of a guy who did the balloons. We got the number just a day before the party and I was so worried on what to do until then.

The other big problem was our outfit. I had this vision to have me and Chhori wearing similar colour outfit and AS can have tie to coordinate with us. It turned out choosing the outfit was not easy as I planned because there are too many choices. Finally after going to a few boutiques, I settled on golden and fuchsia pink lengha and Chhori was getting fuchsia pink princess style gown.

It took many visits to get the dresses right fitting but the end result was perfect. I loved them.

It was a big job to find fuchsia pink tie in Kathmandu. The shop keepers had millions of other suggestions on the tie if they didn’t have the one I needed. But finally we found a shop that sold one and was super happy with it.

When the day of party arrived I was happy as most of the stuff were sorted. I got my make-up done and got dressed and got Chhori ready. AS was busy getting the decoration finished and picking up the cake.

He has always been so supportive of my ideas and when I plan, he helps me to make my plans come true. I think we complement each other well.

The photographers were already at the venue when we arrived. I was glad to see all the decoration looked as we planned. The hall was looking beautiful with hundreds of white and pink balloons floating around.

We had a few hours left before the guests arrived so we took photos of Chhori, us and with our parents.

 

Slowly, the venue started to fill with family and friends. I hadn’t met many of them for a while so it was great time for all of us.

After a couple of hours into the party, we cut the cake and then on to the dance floor as usual.

I had been teaching Chhori to dance to the Nepali move song “Sirai ma sirbandi” for the last few month but I didn’t know if she would dance or not. But she made us so proud by dancing to the song with all the right moves and steps. She actually danced twice to the song and we got some amazing photos and video of that. She was looking totally adorable and princessy in her cute outfit.

All our relatives were dancing and enjoying themselves as well. It was a really happy occasion for us to celebrate the birthday of our beautiful daughter with our close family and friends.

By 10 pm the guests had dinner and stared to leave. Chhori was really tired and was fast sleep on the sofa. It was a long day but we were very happy with the end result.

Chhori was spoiled by everyone with gifts, dresses and money. I know Chhori doesn’t understand much yet but we have some great photos and videos that she can go through when she is a bit older.

I will write more about our trip to Nepal in the next post. Till then take care.

from nepaliaustralian

XOXO