Qantas A380 Business Class

Qantas A380 business class desperately needs an upgrade

 

Read the highs and lows of the Qantas A380 business class cabin on its journey from Melbourne to Singapore. It’s a non stop flight of just over 7 hours.

Australia’s national carrier gets the Only1invillage review. Flying high  and flat with the white kangaroo because Qantas has an impeccable safety record. Like the character in Rain Man says, “Qantas has never crashed”.

We get to turn left when we board a plane! One of us is already a little light headed after 2 hours in the Qantas international business lounge Melbourne. Is it going to be a g’day or not? Continue reading as we give you all the details of this business class flight.

Quick Index of Qantas A380 Business Class 

          

Find out why the Qantas A380 business class desperately needs an upgrade.

The flight from Melbourne to Singapore is scheduled to leave at mid day. An announcement is made that the plane is going to be delayed. When you’re sitting in economy class, expletives start to form. Your eyes meet your fellow passengers and you roll your eyes upwards.

Qantas A380 business class cabin flight review Melbourne to Singapore Only1invillage
On the flight leaving Melbourne, there isn’t any pre flight champagne. We settle for the wine and pretzels.

But, if you’re in business class, you don’t care, because the champagne just keeps on coming! Well actually, there’s no pre flight champagne on the Qantas A380. We settle for wine and pretzels instead. We have sympathy for our fellow economy class passengers. After all, we fly economy too!

          

The Qantas A380 business class cabin

Qantas A380 business class cabin flight review Melbourne to Singapore Only1invillage
The Qantas A380 business class cabin is a 2-2-2 configuration.

First up, it’s really big. The business class section on the upper deck is split into two parts. The front end is smaller and feels more cosy. There are 18 seats here. We get seats 13 A and 13B. One is a window seat and one is an aisle seat.

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Seats 13A and 13B are a window and aisle seat. The window passenger has no direct aisle access.

The configuration is 2-2-2. If you’re not travelling in a couple or with friends, it can get a bit awkward for the window seat passenger. The window seat passenger has no direct aisle access. Your fellow passenger will have to step over you when you decide to go fully flat!

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Even with the privacy screen on maximum, it’s not that private! On board the Qantas A380 business class cabin.

The service galley separates the mini cabin from a further 24 business class seats. Behind that there are 8 rows of premium economy seats. Finally at the very back of the plane are 2 rows of economy seats.

The front end contains the ‘bar’. We’ll get onto that a bit later!

        

The seat and its surrounds on the Qantas A380 business class cabin

The seats themselves are comfortable enough, but, showing their age. The positives are the 180 degree flat bed position and the comfort mattress. Notice that business class seats are not much wider than economy class seats. It’s all about the legroom.

Qantas A380 business class cabin flight review Melbourne to Singapore Only1invillage
Qantas A380 business class seats. Not as wide as you might think. But, you’re in it for the legroom! The mattress makes the seat extra comfortable, especially in lie down mode.

There is a huge amount of legroom.

Qantas A380 business class cabin flight review Melbourne to Singapore Only1invillage
Flying business class is all about the amount of legroom space. The seat width isn’t that much wider than an economy class seat.
Qantas A380 business class cabin flight review Melbourne to Singapore Only1invillage
On board the Qantas A380 business class cabin, there’s plenty of leg room.

The window seat passenger gets an extra piece of stowage space in a side compartment.

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The window seat passenger enjoys handy stowage space. This is in addition to the overhead storage on the Qantas A380.

        

In flight entertainment

 There is plenty to entertain yourself with. The Qantas in flight entertainment system has all the usual options. The latest films and classic films in various languages. You can watch the flight cameras or listen to music. The TV screen is a bit grainy and small for business class.

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There are plenty of entertainment options on board the Qantas A380 business class cabin.

The noise cancelling headphones are a nice touch. They are superior to the ones you get in economy class. You almost want to take them with you!

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The noise cancelling headphones really do make a difference.

But what’s going on with this controller? Is it a telephone?

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Hello Qantas! Your TV controller needs an upgrade! Is this controller a telephone too?

        

The electronics around the seat

The TV controller can hide in a compartment to the left of your seat. The seat can go into many positions. You can have just your feet up, a slight recline or, the fully flat bed. The buttons to change the seat positions are self explanatory. What we love most, is the in seat massage function of the seats. Getting a massage at 39,000 feet, that’s luxury.

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Adjust your seat to 4 different positions at the touch of a button. The Qantas A380 has a lovely massage function built in to the business class seat.

The most disappointing and surprising aspect of the seat electronics is the lack of charging outlets. There are no USB or sockets to charge your devices! What is going on Qantas? That’s a big reason why this fleet of planes needs upgrading. Many airlines in economy have USB charging options under the TV. We are baffled by the lack of electricity available in business class.

        

The amenity kits on the Qantas A380 business class

We have to say, they’re a bit under whelming. No pyjamas, that’s only for first class passengers. The quality of the toiletries bag isn’t great. It looks a bit cheap and will make a great ‘re-gift’ present for a 5 year old. The Aspar products do smell very good, though.

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The his and hers amenity kits are certainly eye catching. They don’t contain much, however, which is a little disappointing.
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Apart from the eye mask, ear plugs, socks and toothpaste, this is what you get. Mini Aspar toiletries products – hand cream, a face moisturiser and a lip balm.

      

The food and beverages

Now if you really want to know what you’re eating, you can pre- select your food online. You go to ‘manage your booking’ on the Qantas website and look for ‘Menu Select’. Personally, we like the surprise, there’s always something you’ll want to eat, when flying business class.

Qantas A380 business class cabin flight review Melbourne to Singapore Only1invillage
We are happy to report that the lunch service looks and tastes good on the Qantas A380 business class flight from Melbourne to Singapore.

When you fly business class you expect the food to be restaurant quality. The food should look and taste different to economy class. From the ‘real’ cutlery and crockery, you expect a big difference. The food is definitely better than economy class! One small gripe is the wine and premium alcohol quality.There’s also no cocktail service, unlike on  Emirates business class.

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The Asian inspired appetisers of pork and shiitake mushroom dumplings look and taste good. There is a choice of fresh bread. J opts for sourdough bread.

The menu selection always reflects the place you’re flying from and the destination. So, on the flight from Australia there is a choice of Asian inspired and Modern Australian food. We opt for one of each and share!

The menu selection always reflects the place you're flying from and the destination. So, on the flight from Australia there is a choice of Asian inspired and Modern Australian food. We opt for one of each and share!
The prawn salad is delicious and fresh. The modern Australian menu also includes a third option, of pumpkin soup, but, we can’t fit it in! The chilli and lime salsa on top of the prawns is sublime.

The lunch service begins an hour into the flight. The headphones are on and the latest film is rolling. It’s main course time. There are four options to choose from! There’s a vegetarian polenta with braised greens, mushroom ragout and a salsa verde. The other choice is a Moroccan style beef tagine with chickpeas, roasted sweet potato and coriander yoghurt. As you can see, it’s a difficult choice!

The menu selection always reflects the place you're flying from and the destination. So, on the flight from Australia there is a choice of Asian inspired and Modern Australian food. We opt for one of each and share!
J opts for the seared Humpty Doo (A small town in Northern Australia) barramundi. It comes with a tamarind sauce, gai lan and Jasmine rice. It’s very good and doesn’t have the mud taste that barramundi can sometimes have.
The menu selection always reflects the place you're flying from and the destination. So, on the flight from Australia there is a choice of Asian inspired and Modern Australian food. We opt for one of each and share!
C opts for the roast chicken breast on a potato gratin. It is served on minted peas, with honey roasted carrots and a tarragon eschalot butter. Now, try saying that again, without reading it!

Ok, Ok, so we eat a lot. Yes, we had a little breakfast in the lounge before the flight, but, you can always make room for dessert! In the interests of a thorough review, it would be unfair not to order something sweet!

Qantas A380 business class cabin flight review Melbourne to Singapore Only1invillage
The final act is here. Sweet and savoury delights on board the Qantas A380. The cheeseboard is served with quince paste and a cranberry jelly. The chocolate mousse is topped with sour cherries and toasted almonds. The almonds are missing on our pudding.

Now, just when you think you can’t eat any more. Three hours into the flight, there’s the mid flight snacks. These are also available at the ‘bar’ section at the very front of business class. They are pieces of whole fruit, chocolate bars and bags of crisps/chips. They don’t need a photograph.

Prior to landing, so about 6 hours into the flight comes the last food offerings. There’s a choice of two things, so naturally, we order one of each!

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The prior to landing meals are much better than in economy class. The Cornish pastie and the egg noodles are both very tasty. They get the thumbs up from Only1invillage!

      

The service of the Qantas staff

The staff are friendly, but not over friendly. They don’t seem to have as much time to chat to you about your destination. For example, landing cards are handed out regardless of whether Singapore is your final destination. A more personal touch would have been to ask passengers if they are connecting or not. Outside of meal times, the Qantas staff keep to themselves. 

        

The Qantas A380 business class toilets

This is what you have all been waiting for! Here it is, the toilet photo!

Qantas A380 business class cabin flight review Melbourne to Singapore Only1invillage
It’s an economy class toilet. The Qantas A380 business class cabin desperately needs a toilet upgrade! There are no toothbrushes or face towels on offer in the toilet.

        

The Qantas A380 business class bar

This is the part of the Qantas A380 that needs the urgent upgrade the most. When you see the pictures of the bar, you will understand why. Unlike its competitors Emirates, Etihad, Qatar, Virgin Australia, Virgin Atlantic and Korean Air, you probably won’t be leaving your business class seat for this bar.

It’s not really a bar and the shape of it, isn’t really enticing. Despite that, you will always get some people using the room behind the curtains!

Qantas A380 business class cabin flight review Melbourne to Singapore Only1invillage
This is the Qantas A380 bar! Judge for yourself.
Qantas A380 business class cabin flight review Melbourne to Singapore Only1invillage
You collect your own drinks from a separate section of the ‘bar’ and then walk to the seating area of the ‘bar’. We do like the safety belts, in the bright red seats. Safety first Qantas!

        

Summary of why the Qantas A380 business class cabin desperately needs an upgrade

Firstly there are NO USB charging points! What happens to people who actually use business class to do some work? Your laptop isn’t going to last the 7 hour flight on battery mode.

Secondly, that bar isn’t enticing. There should be better quality wines, champagne on boarding and cocktail options to match competitors. If you compare the area to its competitors, you can see why it doesn’t come close to Emirates or Qatar’s on board bar. See pictures of the Emirates A380 bar here.

Thirdly, the seats are starting to sag and could be a little wider. Seating configuration of 2-2-2 vs competitors such as Emirates 1-2-1 means a lot less space. Also it means window passengers need to climb over the person next to them. The privacy screens are too short. The television screens are too small and low quality. The toilets have no amenities.

Good news the overhaul of the A380 started in September 2019. Qantas promises to make the bar area more inviting. 

Qantas A380 business class cabin flight review Melbourne to Singapore Only1invillage
This is what Qantas envisions the new bar area to be. Definitely an upgrade from the existing bar on the A380. The refurbishment begins in September 2019.

Qantas has also announced that all seats will have aisle access in business class. They are making their business seats more like Qatar’s ‘business suites’ which are like mini first class areas.

The upgrades are scheduled to finish at the end of 2020. Roll on 2020, we say!

To read about the improvements, Qantas is planning for the A380 fleet, click here.

 

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Qantas A380 business class desperately needs an upgrade 7

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Qantas business class lounge Melbourne International review only1invillage

Qantas International Business Lounge Melbourne 

Here is our review of this shiny and modern lounge. It is spacious and comfortable with fast Wi-fi. A calm oasis to relax in, before your long haul flight. We visit at breakfast time. The menu changes at mid day. Only1invillage tells you what you get and what you don’t, in the coffee Capital of Australia!

Australia’s national carrier Qantas has recently spent a lot of money refurbishing its domestic lounges. Are the lounges of the same standard for international passengers in Melbourne, Australia? When Down Under, find out if you’re getting a dud or a gem, when you fly through or from Melbourne International.

Quick Index Qantas International Business Lounge Melbourne

            

 the Qantas International Business Lounge Location

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The Qantas business class lounge for international passengers is after security in Terminal 2. Look up for the signs!                               

After passport control in Terminal 2 you go through the duty free shops. Keep following the signs. The lounge is located down an escalator and is opposite the Singapore Airlines and American Express Lounge.

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Keep following the signs to get to the Qantas business class lounge at Melbourne International Airport.
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The Qantas business lounge for international passengers is on Level 1, airside, opposite the AMEX and Singapore Airlines lounges.

                

Qantas International business class dress code

Quite a lot of people can use this lounge. Before you get dressed though, please read our guide of what to wear and what not to wear! How embarrassing if you get refused entry because you’re not properly dressed!

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Would you let this man in? Make sure you’re properly dressed for the business class lounge. Qantas are quite fussy. You don’t have to wear a shirt and sunglasses. They are optional.

                

Who can Get In

Emirates code share customers who are flying business class can use this lounge, but will probably opt for the Emirates lounge. Also business class passengers of the following airlines. Get ready for the long list! Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Qatar Airways, Sri Lankan Airways, LATAM (Chilean), China Airlines, China Southern, China Eastern, Garuda Indonesia, Fiji Airways, Jetstar, Vietnam Airlines and Sichuan Airlines.

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Who let him in?!! A lot of people can get into the Qantas lounge.

You can also gain entry if you have racked up enough points with your airline. Usually if you’re in the top two tiers and have jewel status of at least a sapphire, you can use the Qantas international business lounge in Melbourne. For Qantas you have to hold gold status. For Emirates, gold and platinum status gets you in. If you’re a Oneworld alliance flyer and have sapphire or emerald status, come on in!

Lastly, if you’re a Qantas Club member or you have a single entry pass, then come on in and relax.

              

Seating

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Various seating options in the Qantas international business lounge at Melbourne. The one negative is the natural light, There isn’t much of it!

The good news is that the lounge is very big. It can hold up to 350 people apparently. Still you don’t want it to be full and at capacity! You come to a lounge to get away from the terminal crowd.

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Size matters! The Qantas lounge at Melbourne International is spacious.

The best thing for families with small children, is the play area. It would be better however, if it was enclosed, so you can’t hear the screeching of the little darlings. Take a leaf out of Emirates’ children’s area in Dubai. For a review of the Emirates business class lounges in Dubai, click here.

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A dedicated area for little travellers to play in (Melbourne international Qantas business lounge)

There’s a business area with a sleek long desk and photocopier machine/printer at one end, just after the reception desk. Set up here if you need to get some work done.

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Get your business done here! A large office area is available in the Qantas Melbourne international business lounge. Naturally there are plenty of charging points.
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One of the office benches with USB charging points for your devices. If you forget your laptop, you can use this machine!

The seats range from armchairs in small groups to bar stools. They come in a variety of colours, textures and comfort levels. As usual, the tables are way too small to fit much onto them. However, most people aren’t travelling in large groups and you can always put two tables together, if the need arises.

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Sit and have a meal, like you’re at home in your kitchen!
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Take a seat in a padded armchair in the business class lounge at Melbourne international airport.
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Have a chat or watch some sport on these modern round chairs.
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Like the leather look instead? Place your hide on these arm less leather sofas.
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If you like the breakfast bar look, pull up a stool. They are surprisingly comfortable!
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Hidden behind one of the breakfast counters. These weird cylinder stools look funky. But, are they comfortable? Probably not as no one is sitting on them.

                

Bathrooms and Showers

Close your eyes it’s time for the shower shots!

You ask for a towel and an amenity kit at reception. It isn’t help your self service and there is no attendant like at the Qantas Sydney international lounge.

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Your towel and toiletries kit includes a bath mat.
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Your towel kit contains a bath mat. You are given a toothbrush and a shaving kit.

The shower area is located in the middle of the lounge. 

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The shower cubicles are located in the middle area of the business class lounge at Melbourne international.

There are also separate toilet areas.

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Separate from the showers are toilet areas.

The showers have a toilet inside them too, so they’re more like a mini bathroom.

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Each shower cubicle is really a mini bathroom. Every shower room also has a toilet and sink inside.

The toiletries have been exclusively designed for Qantas by Aspar. The 500ml body lotion retails at $50AUD per bottle. When you get on the A380 Qantas plane, inside your amenity kit, you will find an exclusive offer for Aspar products. You enter a code on the Aspar website and you get $50AUD discount. Conditions apply.

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Aspar cleansing and moisturising products. They smell good and are mostly organic. Feel nourished, protected and loved! That’s their strap line, not ours.
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ALmost forgot to show the shower. A powerful shower with adjustable head, in the spacious cubicle.

                

Food and Beverages

Feeling hungry? Like all business class lounges, the food changes according to the time of the day. We visit at breakfast time. There’s a very good, not quite excellent, variety of hot and cold choices, including Qantas signature ‘made to order’ dish of the day.

The drinks selection never changes, don’t worry. You can still mix yourself a cocktail at 8am!

Being in Melbourne you are guaranteed great coffee. Barista made is best. There are 2 self service machines, but who in their right mind uses them, when you’re in the coffee capital of Australia?

              

The breakfast

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You won’t go hungry before your flight. The hot breakfast menu at the Qantas international business lounge Melbourne.

 

The cold options are a Western style selection. On offer for breakfast is fruit salad, yoghurts, cereals and muesli.

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The healthy cold choices for breakfast. Fruit salad (not from a can), yoghurt, cereals and muesli.
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Bright and appealing colours at the breakfast bar in the Qantas international business class lounge. There’s even chia pudding! What do you mean you don’t know what that is?! It’s on the right hand side of the photo.

Now onto the hot food. It’s what we call a full English.

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Here’s a full English breakfast served with fresh barista made coffee.

For those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s pretty tasty, but, not so healthy. Fried or grilled sausages, bacon, eggs, mushroom and hash browns are standard. For the health component grilled tomatoes are usually offered too. It’s not all bad!

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Components of a full English breakfast. Note that for our American friends, hash browns come in one piece, Down Under and in the UK.

If that’s too unhealthy for you, you can always try the special dish of the day. It is cooked to order, so it’s guaranteed to be fresh. The business lounge plate of the day is next to the barista coffee bar. You place your order and hang around for about 5 minutes. They call your name, when your food is ready.

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Place your order for the business lounge dish of the day at the barista bar.
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While you’re at the barista bar, might as well get a fresh pressed vegetable juice too, to go with that healthy breakfast option.
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The brown rice, kale, almond, feta and poached egg looks so good. The fetta cheese was missing, which was a bit disappointing.

                

The beverages

Any international business class lounge worthy of its class has to have a good selection of alcohol. Whilst Qantas doesn’t offer premium alcohol, like Emirates does, the variety is good.

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One of the red wine stations in the Qantas international business class lounge Melbourne.

 The selection of alcohol is vast. You can mix your own cocktails for breakfast at two stations in the business class lounge. No one is going to judge you!

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The range of spirits and beer available in the Qantas Melbourne lounge. Make your own cocktail!

The quality of the wines isn’t as good as in the Emirates lounges, but much better than the Qantas Club in the domestic terminal.

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White wine in the Qantas international business class lounge Melbourne. Bottles range from $15 to $25 AUD in price. Not quite up to Emirates standards, which is why most people prefer to use the Emirates lounge, if possible, on a code share flight.

The soft drinks selection is pretty good too. Teas are available in single sachets. Freshly pressed vegetable juice is available too. What the Qantas lounge does have over the Emirates lounge, is the barista coffee.The fresh barista coffee is excellent.  Well, this is the coffee capital of Australia, after all! The latte art is pretty impressive too.

What the Qantas lounge has over the Emirates lounge in business class is the barista coffee.
Barista made latte and capuccino is excellent in the Qantas lounge. The Italian Faema coffee machine retails at $17000USD . We do our homework at Only1invillage!

The only drinks missing are the bubble teas and smoothies. We don’t know any lounges that offer these! If you do, let us know.

                

Final Thoughts

Here’s a round up of what you get and what you don’t in the Qantas international business class lounge.

You get plenty of space. A dedicated children’s play area. Comfortable spaces to sit or work. A big variety of beverages. A good selection of hot and cold food. Showers to freshen up in. Fabulous barista coffee. 

What you don’t get is natural light. Also, the cleaning up of dirty plates isn’t as good as it could be. Apart from that, there’s not too much to complain about. We enjoyed our time in the Qantas international business class lounge Melbourne. It beats having to cook breakfast for yourself!

Qantas business class lounge Melbourne International review only1invillage
Want to read more about other lounges? See below for more fantastic reviews by Only1invillage.

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Qantas A380 business class desperately needs an upgrade 14

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Redang Only1invillage secret paradise island revealed

Redang Island is Only1invillage’s secret paradise island

So what’s your favourite place that you have visited? A common question that is hard to answer. For us when it comes to beach destinations around the world this is it! Redang Island Malaysia is a tropical paradise! Beautiful sand, crystal clear warm water, spectacular scenery, amazing marine life and largely unknown. Keep reading and you will soon start wishing you are there!

Quick Index Redang Island

                        

Why Go to Redang Island?

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Oh No! Our secret is out! Redang Island is our Malaysian Maldives destination.
Redang Only1invillage secret paradise island revealed
Redang has spectacular, colourful reefs which rival the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. Diving is also a quarter of the price.

We are not joking! You don’t even have to dive to see giant bumphead parrot fish, angel fish, giant clams and the clown fish are everywhere!!! Black tip reef sharks, turtles, puffer fish, red breasted wrasse and titan triggerfish are common sightings.

Redang Island secret paradise revealed only1invillage
This is “our” resident turtle. Please don’t go too close, admire them from afar. Never try and touch one, it really stresses them out and please don’t chase them! He usually takes a lunch break between mid day and 2pm!
Redang Island secret paradise
These amazing giant and colourful clams are plentiful on Redang. As you glide over them, they snap shut to protect themselves.

If your idea of paradise involves palm trees, frangipanis, eating with your toes in soft, white sand, crystal clear warm water, amazing fish life and serious relaxation, you know what to do……..keep reading!

Redang Island secret paradise
Frangipanis, coconut palms and blue skies. Is this your idea of paradise? It’s definitely ours!
Redang Only1invillage secret paradise island revealed
Amazing water clarity in Redang! It’s warm too.
Redang Only1invillage secret paradise island revealed
Life is much better where it is wetter, under the sea! Snorkelling in the Malaysian Maldives of Redang! Just breathtaking.

We know, we know, you want to go to the Maldives, but, trust us, the Maldives is a huge rip off. Do you enjoy paying $US5 for a 330ml can of Coke? Do you like getting your feet cut on sharp coral? Do you enjoy going for a 1 hour snorkel and seeing one grey coloured fish?

Redang Island secret paradise only1invillage
You don’t need to spend $400USD a day to find Nemo in Redang! Malaysian reefs are teeming with various species of clown fish.

Is your idea of paradise worth $US400 a night for a 3 star resort? Unless you go to exclusive resorts which charge in excess of $US800 per night, the sand quality is not better in the Maldives. To us, Redang is the Malaysian Maldives!

Compare these photos. Can you tell which one is Malaysia and which one is the Maldives?

Redang Only1invillage secret paradise island revealed
Malaysia or the Maldives?
Redang Only1invillage secret paradise island revealed
Maldives or Malaysia?

You can see where we’re heading can’t you? Malaysia has everything the Maldives has but on a budget! Train your brain to say Redang Island is my next dream destination. Forget about the Maldives. Malaysia or the Maldives? See, they are even beginning to sound similar!

                        

Where is Redang Island?

Redang Island is NE of the capital Kuala Lumpur. It used to be a plane ride away, but the runway closed in 2016. It is a bit of a transportation collective to get to Redang Island, which makes it less popular than Langkawi. Yes, Langkawi is beautiful too, but far more crowded. We like the fact that it’s difficult to get to Redang. A plane, a taxi and then a boat ride from KL, makes Redang Island quieter. Redang is close to our other dream destination in Malaysia, the Perhentian Islands.

                        

When is the best time to go to Redang Island?

Redang Island has three seasons. Bloody wet and hot, bloody hot and dry and monsoon season. Best time to go is non monsoon season. June, July and August offer the calmest seas and best water clarity. Many places close from November to February. Always check in advance. The crossing over can be very rough in the monsoon season. Some boats may not operate at all.

Redang Only1invillage secret paradise island revealed
July weather is hot and dry on Redang. It’s the perfect time to escape the southern hemisphere Winter. Not a bad view, if we do say so ourselves!

April is good too, but tidal waves bring in some rubbish from wherever all that plastic comes from. When we come in April, we spend a lot of time cleaning the beach.

Redang Island secret paradise
April weather is right at the beginning of the season for holidays. It’s really quiet and you’ll definitely be the Only 1 in the village!

It is however, nothing like the nightmare of rubbish you see on Indonesian beaches. September still has plenty of sunshine. Even in October, when you might get downpours of H2o, it doesn’t last long! Basically Redang is an escape for the southern hemisphere experiencing Winter.

Redang Island secret paradise
Want endless blue skies, white sand and warm water? Escape the southern hemisphere Winter. June, July and August is peak season on Redang. This is the best time to come and get that beach life!

If you’re bored of crowded European beaches in June, July and August, come on over to the Malaysian Maldives, of Redang!

                        

How to get to Redang Island

Redang Only1invillage secret paradise island revealed
Air Asia the low cost carrier flies from Kuala Lumpur to Kuala Terrenganu 6 times a day. Malaysia Airlines, Malindo and Firefly also have direct flights.

Option 1

The nearest airport is Kuala Terrenganu. Kuala Terranganu is a 50 minute flight, from the capital of KL. KLIA2 and Air Asia offers the most number of flights to KT daily. From KT airport (Malaysians love acronyms) a 50 minute taxi ride takes you to Shandabhar Jetty. From there, a public ferry takes 90 mins to cross the South China Sea to our no longer secret paradise island.

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The public ferry takes 90 minutes to get to Redang from Marang. It is air conditioned. The boat leaves Syahbandar jetty at 9:00, 10:30 and 15:00.
Redang Island secret paradise
This transfer boat pulls up alongside the public ferry to disembark. The hull of the public ferry will ruin the coral, so this flatter bottomed boat takes over. This boat is upposed to only take 64 passengers. However, it can sometimes be overloaded with 200 people. Health and safety Malaysian style! The process of unloading the passengers and their luggage can take 45 minutes.

Option 2

You can also go to Merang Jetty and wait for a boat to fill up to get to Redang Island. Don’t confuse Merang with Marang, which is totally different. The letter e makes all the difference. There is no jetty at Marang. You must go to Merang. Click here for the boat times from Merang Jetty to Redang. Note, we only use this for the return from Redang. We cannot vouch for the accuracy of the times going to Redang from Merang Jetty. Also, we have never booked online, we always pay cash.

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Merang Jetty boats are smaller and faster. Journey time to Redang is 50 minutes. Boats generally leave at 8:00, 9:30, 10:30, 13:00 and 15:00.

However, the boats can be more crowded and you may have to wait for one to fill up.

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Alamein Boat Services go from Merang Jetty to Redang Island. It’s a bit more crowded and slightly less comfortable than the ferry. But, it’s a lot faster to our secret paradise!

Buy your tickets here for Redang if you turn up at Merang Jetty. Your accommodation can also buy your ticket in advance along with your taxi transfer from Kuala Terrenganu. Don’t forget, you will also have to pay a small jetty access charge and the marine park fee. Have to preserve paradise! It won’t put a dent in your budget. It’s 30MYR for non Malaysians, 15MYR for children and senior citizens. That’s the same fee for the Perhentian Islands marine park fee. If, like us, you go to Redang, from the Perhentian Islands, you don’t have to pay twice!

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Buy your ticket at the Merang Jetty ticket counter. You also have to pay the Marine Park entrance fee.

Option 3

If you love a bumpy, hold onto your bones boat ride for 50 minutes, you can also get to Redang Island from the Perhentian Islands! On arrival at the Perhentian Islands, we always go to Ayumni House, which is behind Tuna Bay resort and ask the lady there to arrange a boat transfer. The cost is MYR100 per person.

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While you’re on the Perhentians, buy a ticket from the lady who runs Ayumni House homestay. The cost is 100MYR per person and it saves you going back to the mainland.
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Hold on to whatever you can! This fast boat will whisk you between Perhentian and Redang in 50 minutes! Warning – It’s a rough crossing! There are 4 rows of padded seats. Boat transfer Malaysian style.

At least 6 people have to go to make it worthwhile for the ‘taxi’. That’s why you need to enquire at least 3 days in advance. In our experience, it’s easier to island hop from Perhentian Besar to Redang Island and not the other way around.

If you’re staying at the Taraas Beach Resort or Laguna Redang Island Resort, they will arrange all transfers for you. This includes a meet and greet at the airport in Kuala Terrenganu. Enquire with your accommodation. 

                        

What’s there to do on Redang Island?

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The snorkelling and diving is world class in Redang. Look at those colours. We spend at least 3 hours every day under the sea!

It’s all about the ‘s’ words. Sun, sea, sand and snorkelling! There’s also some hiking, massage, reading and yoga. A few places will rent out kayaks and stand up paddle boards. Believe us, it’s exhausting from dawn until dusk fitting everything in.

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We’ve got eyes on you, Mr Stingray. These colourful fish are very common in the shallow corals off the beaches in Redang.

The snorkelling and diving is some of the best in Asia. The diving is also very cheap and the equipment you get is of a good standard. Diving instructors are knowledgable. If you’re thinking of getting your PADI license, why not do it in paradise? It really gives Thailand, where J got certified a run for its money. 

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Malaysian humour! You have to come and dive in Redang. Why not get your PADI certification?
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Of course we are going to show you the other half!

Redang is an underwater paradise. Every day, we are busy spotting resident turtles, clown fish, angel fish and rare sightings of bump head parrot fish.

Redang Island secret paradise
OMG OMG a school of bump head parrot fish. These huge fish are responsible for all that white sand. Google them.
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Blue Ring Angel fish are not rare in Malaysian waters.

Not to mention giant wrasse, titan triggerfish, black spotted cod, moray eels and sting rays!

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Well hello there, Mr Black Spotted Cod. Spotted you!

 

Almost forgot about the schools of black tip reef sharks which smile at you as they glide past!

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Want to swim with the sharks? Common just 2 metres from the soft, white sand of Redang Island. Some are up to 5 feet in length! Don’t panic, they’re quite friendly. Well, so far they have been!

There is also pristine jungle, like on the Perhentian Islands.

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Feeling adventurous? You can hike on Redang. Bring plenty of mozzie repellent though! It’s a jungle out there!
Redang Island secret paradise
Don’t be alarmed when you see monitor lizards on your jungle walk!
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You get this white sandy beach all to yourself, after the jungle trek which starts at the back of Coral Redang Island Resort and finishes at this beach next to the 5 star Taaras Resort.
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You will be like this too after your jungle trek. Trying to dry out on the granite rocks. Maybe next time, don’t wear a long sleeved top!

Redang Island is, for us, the perfect mix of not too isolated and not too busy.

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Cheers to having so much sand to yourself! It’s about midday and there’s hardly anyone on Long Beach.

Nightlife consists of live bands at the various resorts. Thankfully where we stay doesn’t have a band at all. Also, Sari Pacifica doesn’t do live music, which means it is possible to sleep at 10pm.

Redang Island secret paradise
It’s pretty quiet at night on Redang. You’re going to have to make your own entertainment!

During the day, you often have the powder white sand to yourself and 10 other western tourists. Asian tourists avoid the sun from 10 until 4. Your peace will be interrupted 3 times a day when the snorkelling boats come in and out.

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Seriously empty white powder soft sand beach. Usually between 11 and 4pm, you will have the beach mostly to yourself. Asian tourists like to keep their skin fair, so are not out until dusk! You’ll only see mad dogs and English men, out in the mid day sun! Come to think of it, there’s no dogs on Redang, unlike Thailand. Another reason why Redang is our Malaysian Maldives paradise!

Apart from that you can only hear waves, gently lapping against the shore. Oh and course people’s conversations about the amazing fish!

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Helping out with the fresh coconut delivery! If you’re missing the gym, get a work out with nature.

                        

What’s the food like on a tropical island?

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You can have your cake and eat it on Redang Island!

You’ll need great coffee to go with that cake. Forgot to add the latte pictures! Here you go. You can get great coffee on Redang Island. OK, not Milan or Melbourne standard, but what else are you going to drink with your cake?

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Coffee time! Would you like a stunning view with that?
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If you can catch him, you can eat him! We’re only joking, there’s no exotic food on Redang. It’s great Malaysian and reasonable Western food.
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Food on Redang always come with a great view. Here we are having some stir fried vegetables with seafood and plain rice.
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Malaysian roti and vegetable curry. Gimme gimmee. The stretchy roti is a Malaysian speciality on Redang. One is never enough!
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Western food is widely available on Redang. However, it’s not the best for authenticity, but look at the view. Our advice, stick to Asian food on Redang.

          

Where we stay on Redang Island

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The open air reception greets you at Coral Redang Island Resort.

Our secret island paradise is out, so we might as well share where we stay. Our favourite place to stay on Redang Island is Coral Redang Island Resort. This is a 3 star resort.

Redang Island secret paradise
Coral Redang Island Resort is always our number one choice. A relaxed vibe which is popular with Europeans. A comfortable open air lobby, a great place to work on that all important travel blog!

Good value and modern with a prime position on the beach. What we like about Redang Island is that even though the hotels are built on the beach, they are well camouflaged. They are also about 20 metres back from the water. 

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Coral Redang Island Resort is set back from the beach. Here is the decking area that you can bring your own drinks to, for a small charge.

The service is good and the restaurant is the best option for western food. We have tried every restaurant on the island. The organisation of transfers to and from the island is very good. Visa is accepted for paying the final bill. You cannot book via booking.com or expedia. You have to book direct with the resort.

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Coral Redang Island Resort will come and pick you up in one of these tractors from the public ferry jetty. They are excellent at arranging the ferry transfer and drivers from the airport at Kuala Terrenganu. They will also handle your transfer back, when you leave paradise.

There are two types of room available. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. Deluxe rooms are more expensive, better decor and you only have one neighbour. Deluxe rooms are two storey stand alone buildings at the front  and centreof the property. The first 6 from the reception area have beach and water views.

Redang Island secret paradise
Deluxe rooms are fresh and decorated with neutral colours. Our top tip ask for an upstairs room, so you don’t hear your neighbours’ footsteps.
Redang Island secret paradise
The bathroom in the deluxe rooms at Coral Redang are spacious and modern. You also get a fridge and a huge safe.
Redang Island secret paradise
If you want a beach view at Coral Redang Island Resort, you need a top floor room at the front of the property.
Redang Island secret paradise
Always keep the windows closed. There are some very cheeky monkeys around.

Standard rooms are set further back from the beach. They are cheaper but are newer. They have a more plain decoration. The standard rooms don’t have a fridge. The showers are more powerful, however than deluxe rooms. You have more neighbours, especially if you are in the middle floor. Beds are newer and slightly more comfortable than in the deluxe rooms. We like both rooms and have stayed in both. Both rooms have a massive safe. The safes are big enough to store laptops, something quite rare. There are also family rooms. There is a block facing the pool which is ideal for 2 kids and 2 adults in a sort of adjoining room.

Redang Island secret paradise
Breakfast at Coral Redang in the open air restaurant.

Breakfast is included at Coral Redang Island Resort.

Redang Island secret paradise
Western options include cereals. The milk is UHT.

There is fruit, yoghurt, cereal, croissants and toast. There is also an egg station. Don’t expect poached, egg white omelettes or soft boiled eggs. The egg station is strictly for fried eggs and omelettes.

Redang Island secret paradise
The egg station at Coral Redang Island resort. Get your fried eggs and omelettes made fresh to order.

There’s always hash browns (English and Australian style), baked beans and some kind of starch like noodles or rice. On Sundays it’s roti bread breakfast day! Our absolute favourite flaky bread with a yummy curry sauce.

Redang Island secret paradise
Hot Asian options vary daily on a rotational basis at Coral Redang Island Resort.
Redang Island secret paradise
Food is kept warm in these silver serving trays. Hot breakfast options at Coral Redang Island Resort.
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Croissants and DIY toast options available for breakfast at Coral Redang Island Resort.
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Juice and water options. Juice is concentrate. Coral Redang is the only restaurant that offers free drinking water for lunch and dinner. Also as a paying guest, you can get filtered cold and boiling water on demand from a fountain on site.

Coral Redang Island Resort also have a very professional dive centre. Snorkelling and diving trips go out every day and the staff speak English, Mandarin and Cantonese in addition to Bahasa Malay. The equipment is modern and clean. If you have your own diving equipment, there is a small discount. So bring your oxygen tank, just joking! Waterproof cameras, masks and snorkels are available to rent. Life jackets, masks and snorkels are part of the snorkel trip package.  Kayaks and stand up paddle boards complete your water sports adventures. Thankfully there are no banana boat rides or giant doughnuts on Redang Island. 

Sari Pacifica click here to book

Redang Island secret paradise
Sari Pacifica has a prime position on the beach of Long Beach. It’s a 4 star resort. No loud music or karaoke here.

The beach view frangipani villas are the only choice here. You have well padded veranda lounges and a king sized bed. The food isn’t the best here. There’s no live music at night which makes this and Coral Redang on the quiet end of the beach. 

Redang Island secret paradise
The beach front villas at Sari Pacifica. Imagine waking up here!
Redang Island secret paradise
Back view of the frangipani villas at Sari Pacifica. Hmm wonder why they’re named frangipani villas???
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Secure your place on the day bed. Outside the beach front villas at Sari Pacifica on Long Beach.
Redang Island secret paradise
If you can’t afford a beach front villa, the lagoon view rooms at Sari Pacifica.

Laguna Redang Island Resort Click here to Book

Laguna Redang Island Resort is a big development. Even though it is large it blends quite well into the scenery. This is rated as a four star resort and caters mainly for tourists on a package, which includes daily snorkelling. During peak season, the breakfast buffet can be chaotic! 

Redang Island secret paradise
The view from inside Laguna Redang Island Resort. It has its own dive centre and kampung style nightly restaurant for non guests.

If you want a pool for the kids and a jacuzzi for yourself you have to stay at Laguna Redang. Make sure you venture out between 11 and 4pm and you’ll be like J (see picture below!)

Redang Island secret paradise
Be the only 1 in the pool between 11 and 4 at the Laguna Redang Island Resort. Although very popular with mainland Chinese tourists on a package, they don’t come out until the sun goes down.

Popular with Chinese tourists on a package. However, most Chinese people stay in the shade between 10am and 3pm, so you’ll have the facilities pretty much to yourself during daylight hours. Beware as the temperature drops (by 2 degrees from 32 to 30) the vampires begin to come out and the peace will be shattered!

Redang Island secret paradise
Laguna Redang is a huge resort. It occupies the far corner of the beach next to Long Beach.
Redang Island secret paradise
Laguna Redang has their own private pier and boats. If you stay with them, they will handle your transfer from the mainland at Kuala Terrenganu. They also have a mini ‘train’ to get you from the pier to reception.

Redang Beach Resort Click here to book

Located just next door to the big complex that is Laguna Redang is Redang Beach Resort. Yes, the names all get a bit confusing! This is also quite a big resort. The sand in front is powder white and has a volley ball net set up for the 5pm games. Note: no one plays before then, it’s too hot! 

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Redang Beach Resort has wide beach in front of its property. It doesn’t have any lounging chairs. Bring your own towel and take shade under the coconut trees.

This is a 3 to 4 star hotel, depending on your tastes. The rooms seem comfortable enough and you get the usual tea making facilities. 

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Redang Beach Resort can be noisy because it has TVs.

The Taaras Beach resort Click here to book

Redang Island secret paradise
The Taaras Resort has a spectacular beach and the turtle spotting trips all stop here.

Expensive and posh for Malaysia. Read Tripadvisor reviews however, for the service. Commanding a whole white sandy bay all to themselves. The Taaras is a bit remote. Stunning location, definitely a mirror image of some Maldivian islands. Once there, you don’t have many choices for food or activities. It’s a place to stay if you want luxury and you don’t want to leave the one beach.

Redang Island secret paradise
Turtles just off the shore of the Taaras Beach Resort are huge. You can get really close to them, but, please, don’t touch them!

Turtle spotting happens just in front of this luxury resort. So you don’t have to pay for a boat trip, because this is where you end up. The turtles here are amazing! But, it is sad to see that the tour operators let people get too close. They also feed the turtles squid to encourage them to hang around. We don’t like this practice and prefer to see our resident turtles on Long Beach. 

Redang Island secret paradise
Big adult turtles hang out near the Taaras Resort on Redang Island. Please respect their space!

There is a beach right next door which has the same soft white sand. We trek across the island and it takes about 50 minutes of pure sweat through the jungle. Don’t bring anything valuable as there can sometimes be people ready to snatch your belongings. (see the jungle trekking pictures)

The beaches on Redang Island

Long Beach

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The view of Long Beach. The beautiful curved and sheltered beach is 800 metres long. This is where we stay at Coral Redang. Sari Pacifica is next door.

Coral Beach

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We call this beach Coral Beach. But, we don’t really know its name! It is around the corner from Long Beach and about 400 metres long. Redang Beach Resort and Laguna Redang are on this side.

Used to be a resort Beach

This is where we want to buy and develop a resort! After that we want to set up house on this island, our beautiful Malaysian Maldives. There used to be a resort here and it is a bit eerie exploring here. But, go through Laguna Redang Resort, past their private jetty area and into the back area to get to Delima Resort and you will arrive here! We are always the only people here. We don’t know what this beach is called. There are no facilities here obviously.

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We don’t what this beach is called! But there’s never anyone on it! Okay, if you look really carefully, you might see another person.

Well if we haven’t convinced you that Redang Island is the Maldives on a budget, you’ll have to go yourself and prove us wrong. We love it so much, we have been six times! Pop on over to the Perhentian Islands, our other fave Malaysian Maldives islands, while you’re in the area!

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Sunsets and sun rise on Redang Island are just stunning. Bye for now!
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We hope you enjoy reading all about our no longer secret Maldives like destination! Any comments, feedback or improvements welcome. See you soon Redang! Love from Jason and Christina.

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Perhentian Island Beach

Only1invillage shares our dream destination the Perhentian Islands

Here, we reveal how the Perhentian Islands is just like the Maldives and why it should be your number 1 dream destination! We are regular visitors and this is our 5th trip to these amazing hidden gems. You’ll be kicking yourself in the nether regions, thinking “How come I’ve never heard of this place?!” Forget Thailand and Bali for beaches and sunshine, hello Malaysia! Malaysia is the new Maldives. Keep reading and start planning your first visit to the Perhentian Islands! You know you want to 🙂

Quick Index Perhentian Islands

                                

Ask yourself these questions about a beach holiday destination.

Do you love to walking and lying on powder white soft sand?

Perhentian Islands your next dream destination only1invillage
You can be the only 1 in the village on Perhentian Besar, Malaysia. Looks just like the Maldives to us!

Do you love watching spectacular sunsets and sun rises?

Are turtles, clown fish and reef tip sharks your favourite ocean animals?

Perhentian Islands your next dream destination only1invillage
Is finding Nemo high on your list of dream destination activities? You’ll be bored stiff of seeing them after a day of snorkeling around Perhentian Besar!
Perhentian Islands your next dream destination only1invillage
Reef tip sharks are common on Perhentian Besar. Even in knee depth water they come really close to you. Don’t freak out, they’re harmless. Well…..so far so good!

Do you love days of clear blue skies and no rain?

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Endless blue Summer skies! Sign me up! Here we come Perhentians!

Do you love swimming in crystal clear, warm water?

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Swimming and snorkelling in crystal clear, warm water. Don’t you just love it?

Do you love gorging yourself on fresh seafood and local delights?

Do you enjoy island hopping?

Is snorkelling in pristine coral reefs high on your agenda?

pristine coral reef Perhentian
Perhentian waters contain some big areas of pristine coral reef.

Are friendly locals an important part of your holiday?

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A friendly reminder. Stick to the rules and you’ll be fine!

Do you like to gain some cultural knowledge of the place you’re visiting as a tourist?

Do you love getting a bargain on holiday?

 

Have you answered yes to all the above questions? Well, who wouldn’t? Maybe some of us don’t care too much about the last question, but, overall you say yes to the questions. That’s why the Perhentian Islands is your next dream destination.

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Welcome to Perhentian Besar (big Perhentian) Malaysia.

                                

Where are the Perhentian Islands?

The Perhentian Islands are in Malaysia, south east Asia. They are on the Eastern side of the Malaysian peninsula. The Perhentian islands are south of the Thai border. Penang is on the western side, directly opposite the Perhentian islands, when looking at a map. From Kuala Lumpur in the south, the Perhentians are located in the North East.

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The Perhentian Islands are off the coast of NE Malaysia, in the South China Sea. An hour’s flight from Kuala Lumpur, a taxi and then a boat will land you in what we call paradise!

                                

How many Perhentian Islands are There?

They are two islands which on a clear day, you can see across the South China Sea. In Bahasa Malay, they are known as ‘pulau Perhentian’. Pulau means islands. Furthermore, Pulau Perhentian Kecil means ‘small Perhentian island’ and Pulau Perhentian Besar, means, ‘big Perhentian Island. It’s important to not that there is an island off the coast of Melaka, called Pulau Besar, so don’t confuse the two! 

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Small island is ‘kecil’ in Bahasa Malay and big island is ‘besar’. Travel between the two by taxi boat. No cars on either island. Note ‘Quite Beach’ should be ‘Quiet Beach’ although it is quite a beach!

                                

How do I get to the Perhentian Islands?

To get to the Perhentian Islands you have to get a boat from Kuala Besut. Before you get to Kuala Besut, you have to get to Kota Bharu. International visitors will fly into Kuala Lumpur. From Kuala Lumpur, an internal flight is necessary. Air Asia, Firefly, Malindo Air and Malaysia Airways fly to Kota Bahru, one hour away. Air Asia offers the best number of flights per day. From KL, you can choose from 10 flights per day on Air Asia. The cost is usually about $US20, $GBP15, $AUD30, EUR18 one way before luggage and taxes. Air Asia is a budget airline. But for an hour’s flight who cares?

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Air Asia is one of four carriers that fly to Kota Bharu, the nearest airport to the Perhentian Islands. Malaysia Airlines, Malindo AIr and Firefly also fly from Kuala Lumpur to Kota Bharu.
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It’s a 50 minute flight from Kuala Lumpur to Kota Bharu, the nearest airport to the Perhentian Islands.

From Kota Bharu, you get a taxi to the jetty point of a little town called Kuala Besut. You can either get your resort to arrange a taxi, use your GRAB app (UBER for SE Asia) or get a pre -paid ticket at the taxi counter at Kota Bharu airport.

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Get a fixed price taxi – no need to haggle, at Kota Bharu airport to Kuala Besut jetty.

There is a public ferry, but we never take it. Time is of the essence when you need to get to paradise!

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Get your boat to paradise from Kuala Besut, a small village on mainland Malaysia.
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Kuala Besut Jetty is a 50 minute drive from Kota Bharu airport. It is the jumping off point for the Perhentian Islands, Malaysia.

We always hitch a ride with the Tuna Express, run by the Tuna Bay resort. They also arrange a driver from Kota Bharu airport and drop you off at their office on the mainland. The operation is seamless.

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Hitch a ride with the Tuna Express. Departures from Kuala Besut, three times a day. You have to stay with them to catch their boat! It’s not a ferry service.

They guide you to the departure point where you pay MYR30 per adult for the marine park fee and then onto their own boat. The boat ride is 45 minutes to Perhentian Besar. 

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On board with the Tuna Express and the daily supplies. This is boat transfer, Malaysian style! This is not a ferry service. It’s a private boat transfer.

                

What’s the best time to go to the Perhentian Islands?

The tropical islands of Perhentian Besar and Perhentian Kecil experience the dry season from April to August. Peak season is June and July. To escape southern hemisphere Winter, the Perhentian Islands are perfect for that dream destination getaway. Long days of sunshine make for perfect snorkelling and diving in June and July. On the cusp of dry season, March and September are months still worth going, as the rain is generally at night.

                

What’s there to do on the perhentian islands?

Like the old saying goes, there’s 4 things to do on a tropical island. It’s sun, sea, sand and serious sandcastle building! Actually the snorkelling and scuba diving is pretty amazing. Crystal clear waters an abundance of sea life from turtles, reef sharks, sting rays, clown fish, parrot fish and plenty more make it an adventure every time you go in to the water! Jungle hiking and kayaking are also popular activities. Most resorts do not have a television which suits us just fine.

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Making sand sculptures hasn’t been banned on the Perhentian Islands, unlike on Boracay, Phillipines. Look at that powder soft, white sand!

                

Jungle trekking on Big Island

The path is well signed for this short, but very sweaty little hike. Take mosquito repellent!

You actually start the walk from the beach after Cocohut Chalets. See picture below.

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Get to this beach! It’s just after the CocoHut Chalets.
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Start the jungle walk on this dodgy looking staircase! Adventure, here we come!
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Start the adventure here! This is after the concrete staircase.
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Keep following the signs, you can’t go wrong!
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There are a lot of trees and mosquitoes on the trek.
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Keep following this enormous pipe for orientation on the jungle hike.
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The pipe is your friend! You’re half way there when you step over this pipe, on the trek.
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You can see water through the clearing! You have made it through the jungle!

Oh there’s snorkelling too and high quality snorkelling at that.

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Huge triggerfish are a common snorkeling sighting.

To recap the Perhentian Islands activities are sunbathing, swimming, snorkelling, diving, sand castle building (unlike on Boracay, this has not been banned!) jungle trekking, walking, reading and island hopping.

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Bring a good book to read as most rooms don’t have a TV in paradise!
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Stop taking pictures of me swimming and sunbathing on this tropical island!

Throw in eating and sleeping and then press repeat. Yup, it’s a serious beach vacation on the Perhentian Islands.

Perhentian Islands your next dream destination only1invillage
We forgot to mention meditating and practising yoga! Things to do on the Perhentian Islands.
Perhentian Islands your next dream destination only1invillage
When you go jungle trekking on the Perhentian Islands, look out for these colourful lizards on the trees.

                

How do I pay for items and services on the perhentian islands?

There are no cash machines on the islands! We repeat, you cannot get cash out! You need to bring a combination of Malaysian Ringitt and credit cards. Bigger establishments will accept credit cards. The water taxi boats accept cash only. The small shops on both islands accept cash only. If you like collecting foreign currency banknotes, some Malaysian notes are plastic. This means that even if you drop your money in the crystal clear waters of the Perhentian Islands, you can still use it! 

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Carry some cash for your island getaway. Boat taxis and shops on the two Perhentian islands only accept Malaysian Ringitt.

                

Is there WI-FI?

The most important question! It’s an island in the middle of the South China Sea. Yes, WI-FI is available. Of course it can be unreliable in times of bad weather. If you need an uninterrupted connection it is better to buy your own SIM card at the airport. There are three outlets at KLIA2 and a few stands at KLIA. Tune Talk seems to be reliable and DIGI also sell good plans.

Perhentian Islands your next dream destination only1invillage
Do not fear WI-FI is here! For reliable connectivity on the Perhentian Islands, buy a traveller SIM at a Malaysian airport when you land.

Prices are very cheap. MYR40 buys you 15 days and 25GB. Beware that if you don’t activate a top up message half way through your plan, your plan will stop in 12 days. You can buy Tune Talk before you go and pick it up at your arrival airport in Malaysia. For DIGI you have to go to the shop.

Perhentian Islands dream destination only1invillage
Buy your Malaysian SIM at Kota Bharu airport. Don’t panic if you haven’t bought data in Kuala Lumpur. You can buy a SIM from the shop on the left of the picture, after you collect your luggage at Kota Bharu. PHEW!

                

Is the food halal?

Malaysia is a Muslim country. There’s no pork available on the Perhentian Islands. There are several places on Perhentian Besar that serve halal food. These will be the Malaysian run places. If the restaurant or cafe is Chinese Malaysian owned, the food will not be halal. This is a generalisation. It is best to check before you order just to be on the safe side.

Food from Nia Cafe on the beach, next to Tuna Bay resort on Perhentian Besar serves halal food at great prices. 4 dishes and 2 soft drinks (no alcohol) only 60MYR.
Food from Nia Cafe on the beach, next to Tuna Bay resort on Perhentian Besar serves halal food at great prices. 4 dishes and 2 soft drinks (no alcohol) only 60MYR.

                

What are the food options like on the Perhentian Islands?

Western and Asian food is widely available on both islands. Vegetarians always need to check if the food contains small bits of meat. Also oyster sauce and fish sauce are widely used. So, if you’re a strict vegetarian you must make sure you say so. Salad leaves are rare but cooked vegetables are plentiful. Malaysian style curries are fabulous. The roti bread on the Perhentian Islands is something else! Flaky and buttery, one is never enough!

Perhentian Islands dream destination onl
Western style food is widely available on both islands. Snapper with a beach view- we give this the double thumbs up!

Check out the size of those prawns. The fork is there for illustration purposes. Cocohut Chalet on Perhentian Besar provides the best value for huge prawns on their nightly barbecue. Size does matter in this case!

Perhentian Islands dream destination onl
OMG! Look at the size of those prawns! Prawns rear their heads for the nightly dinner menu on both islands.

For the best in Western cuisine we like Bubu’s on the small island. From Tuna Bay on Big Island it’s only MYR15 per person in a boat taxi.

Perhentian Islands dream destination onl
Head over to Bubu’s on Perhentian Kecil for fantastic Western food, with a beach view, naturally!

                

Can you get alcohol on the Perhentian Islands?

You can get beer, wine and spirits on both of the Perhentian Islands. There are a few places that do not serve alcohol, such as Abdul Chalets on Perhentian Besar. Beer is available to purchase from the small shops on both islands. The most popular beers are Tiger and Heineken.

                

How do I get around?

There are two options – your legs and boats. There are no cars or mopeds on both islands. Water taxis clearly display their prices for both islands and various snorkelling trips. There is no haggling as prices are very reasonable.

Perhentian Islands dream destination onl
Boats and your legs are the only forms of transport. No cars on the Perhentian Islands – yay! Taxi boat prices are fixed and very reasonable.

                

The Beaches of Perhentian Besar

Tuna Bay Beach

Tuna bay beach best all rounder for swimming sand and snorkelling
Tuna Bay beach is just in front of the resort named Tuna Bay. This is the best for swimming, snorkelling and lazing around. The area is roped off to protect the coral. No waves and the coral is visible from your sun bed!

This is the best all round beach for sand, coral and fish life.

Perhentian Islands dream destination onl
Tuna Bay Beach is roped off to protect the coral. The sand is fine and white with some large pieces of coral. Head to the left, towards Abdul Chalets for more powder soft sand.

Here we see puffer fish, parrot fish, needle fish, titan triggerfish and wrasse. There is also something very special here. One bright neon pink anemone is in the crystal clear shallow waters. If you’re very lucky the resident turtle will make an appearance. If you’re really lucky, bumphead parrot fish will make an appearance. On our 6th visit here we see one! This is the beach that has the best coral. It’s just in front of the resort called Tuna Bay. There are some naughty small fish that like to take a nibble if you stand still in the shallow water.

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Conservation efforts include sinking piping to encourage coral growth. The puffer fish seems to like it!

The reef begins literally 1 metre from the sand. Please don’t wear fins when snorkelling. There is a sign that says fins are not allowed, but, this is unfortunately, largely ignored. There is some bleaching happening, but, overall, for snorkelling it’s pretty good!

Perhentian Islands dream destination onl
Bet you’ve never seen neon pink anemone before! On our 6th visit to the Perhentian Islands, this is the first time we have seen this amazing sight. Swim out about 2 metres on the Tuna Bay beach.

On our latest trip, we discovered a neon pink anemone! This is something we haven’t seen before on our previous 5 trips. There’s always something different to see. There is also some conservation work going on underwater. The marine park has sunk some frames, to encourage coral growth. Some of them are quite successful. The sand here has small bits of coral in it, right in front of the restaurant, but head further along and it’s powder soft. 

Abdul Chalets Beach

Abdul's Chalet beach
Powder soft white sand in paradise. The Malaysian Maldives! Abdul Chalets beach is good for swimming but not as much fish life, due to lack of coral.

Powder soft sand. It’s a continuation from Tuna Bay and on the other side of the pier. A couple of large granite rocks provide some snorkelling opportunities, but, not as good as outside the front of Tuna Bay. Better for swimming. This beach has no umbrellas and is generally used by the guests staying at Abdul Chalets. The water is of course crystal clear. It’s better for swimming at this beach.

The Barat Beach

When you jungle trek accross the pathway shown in the map above, you reach this part of Perhentian Besar. This isn’t really the name of the beach.

Perhentian Islands dream destination onl
Barat Beach with a view of the mosque on small island. The main village is on Kecil. There is a doctor, school and some small shops, on the other side.

When you get water taxis around you will notice the destinations are the accommodation names.

The Barat accommodation has a busy restaurant and a nightly BBQ of seafood delights.

Here you will also find Mama’s Place, Water Colour, The Reef and Coral View resorts. From here you get a view of the mosque on Kecil.

Perhentian Islands dream destination onl
Barat beach has fine sand with some small stones. A water taxi will drop you off at your accommodation on this jetty.

The beach here is made of small stones and fine sand. More a beach for sunbathing and getting your feet wet. No coral here.

Coral Garden View Perhentian Besar
No coral and fish life at the Beach where The Barat, Mama’s, Watercolours and Coral Garden View have accommodation. The sand here is grainy with small stones. The water is warm and clear.

 

Perhentian Island Resort Beach

Perhentian Island Resort beach out in front
No prizes for the name of this beach! A wide curved bay with lovely white sand.

Perhentian Island Resort pretty much has a sheltered bay and granite rocks at one end. This beach is a 50 minute walk through the jungle or a MYR10 ride in a water taxi from Tuna Bay. This stretch of white sand has the colourful pier on one side and ends with huge granite boulders on the other side. It is a lovely curved bay.

Curved bay and fine powdery white sand Perhentian Island Resort beach
The view of Perhentian Island Resort beach is a welcome sight after the sweaty jungle trek! Shouldered by huge granite rocks on either side, this beach is great for children.

Before you get here, there is a massage place on top of the hill offering spectacular views of this beach.

Fancy a hill top massage? Perhentian Island Resort beach
Fancy a hill top massage with magnificient view of Perhentian Island Resort beach?

Reef tip sharks love to swim near the pier in knee deep water!

colourful pier marks the drop odd point for Perhian Island Resort customers
Watch out for the sharks under the multi-coloured pier. It’s ok, they’re only reef tip sharks!

Powder soft sand with some coral the closer you get to the water. Chairs and umbrellas are reserved for guests only. There is however, some natural shade under the coconut trees. This beach has easy entry into the water along the sand. At low tide you might have to go 20 metres before you can’t swim. You can swim out to these floating square buoys for a break in between swimming.

take a break Perhentian Islands
Take a break from all that swimming and snorkelling. These buoys are about 30 metres out from the shore at Perhentian Island Resort beach. Getting up onto them is slippery work!

Perfectly calm without waves, it is great for children.

Perhentian Island Resort beach Perhentian Besar
Sand quality is powder soft and white in colour at Perhentian Island Resort beach. Take shade under the coconut trees in paradise.

This is clown fish heaven. The little cuties are everywhere! You will also see different species of clown fish, not just the orange and white ones. This is the best beach for clown fish spotting. There are hundreds of the little orange and white cuties fiercely defending their territory. The anemone here is also pale white, pale green and the more common green colour. 

Clown fish heaven Perhentian Besar only1invillage
Come and see Nemo and his family! This beach is the one where clown fish are everywhere. Perhentian Island Resort beach, Perhentian Besar.

KK  Beach and Teluk KK snorkelling point

This is a very, very quiet beach.

KK Teluk Perhentian Besar
KK Teluk snorkelling point has two beaches. This beach is just around the corner from the big sunken rocks of KK Teluk. You can walk here from Tuna Bay and Abdul Chalets.

Water taxis can drop you off or you can walk from Tuna Bay or Abdul Chalets. Warning, there is some broken jungle path along the way and a kind of bridge made from plastic pipes! There is one lady selling snacks here.

Teluk KK Perhentian Besar
Teluk KK beach is narrow and sandy. You can swim out to the deep sunken rocks and coral gardens of Teluk KK. The boat near the rock is where the snorkelling and diving trips drop you in the water.

The sand is powder soft, but the beach is narrow. It’s good to swim out to Teluk KK which is where snorkelling trips drop you off for half an hour. Due to its remoteness we saw some western girls go topless on this beach. Please don’t do this in a Muslim country. It is quite disrespectful. 

Turtle Beach

Guess what you can see on Turtle Beach? Erm…..yes you’re turtle-y correct. It’s a flippin marvellous sight to behold! The sand is lovely and soft here too. Granite boulders enclose this small crescent shaped beautiful beach. To be the only 1 in the village, you have to get there early before the boat loads of tour groups. Please, please don’t touch the turtles, it stresses them out. Of course the aquamarine clear water makes this beach a dream destination. What more do you need? White sand, tick, clear water, tick, turtles just offshore, tick and for an hour or so by yourself! Dream destination status secured in our humble opinion!

Quiet Beach

Although it’s often called Quite Beach, it’s really is supposed to be QUIET. Not many people come here as its name suggests. Reachable by water taxi.

                

The beaches of Perhentian Kecil

Long Beach

Long Beach is the main attraction.

Long Beach Perhentian Kecil small Island only1invillage
Long Beach on Perhentian Kecil is the busiest stretch of white, soft sand. No coral or fish life here. It is serious sunbathing territory!

Many restaurants and cafes have put their chairs onto the sand, making the beach look a bit like Thailand. We guess due to rising popularity, the vendors don’t want to miss out. The sand is powder white and soft here. There isn’t any coral or fish to see here. 

Long Beach Perhentian Kecil BUBU VILLAS END only1invillage
The sand on Long Beach, Perhentian Kecil is powder soft and glow white! It is best at either end of the bay. This end is at Bubu Villas.

Coral Bay

Coral bay is on the other side of Long Beach on Kecil. You can get there by a well maintained path starting from the glamping tents or  just before Bu Bu Villas. Look out for the signs! It is a bit of an uphill walk, but you can do it in about 25 minutes. The beach here is curved. It’s  mostly yellow sand with a few patches of large grainy sand. It’s not the prettiest view with many boats tied up in the water. The water is clear once you get out past the boats.

Coral Bay Perhentian Kecil small island oonly1invillage
Coral Bay Perhentian Kecil. You can trek across from Long Beach or get a water taxi.

Romantic Beach

If romance is on your mind, head to the aptly named Romantic Beach! You’ll be left alone! Ask your water taxi driver to come back for you!

There are more beaches which we will share next time! This should be enough to get you planning a trip to the Perhentian Islands. Remember the best time to go is between April and September. A perfect getaway from the Southern hemisphere Winter!

Walking from Long Beach to Coral Bay on Perhentian Kecil

If water taxis are too easy for you and you want to get your cardio exercise for the day, we suggest you do this little hike!

It will take about 25 minutes, going at a reasonable pace.

On Long Beach look for the Aina Garden Chalets or Long Beach tents.

Perhentian Kecil Long Beach to Coral Bay walk
Start the walk to Coral Bay from Long Beach from here.
Perhentian Kecil Long Beach to Coral Bay walk
You can also start the walk from here to Coral Bay on the small island.
Perhentian Kecil Long Beach to Coral Bay walk
The path is well signed to Coral Bay on Perhentian Kecil. 
Perhentian Kecil Long Beach to Coral Bay walk
The path is quite well maintained for a jungle path!
Perhentian Kecil Long Beach to Coral Bay walk
Go through the Ombak Resort and you have found Coral Bay on Perhentian Kecil.

    

Accommodation Options on the Perhentians

We always stay on Perhentian Besar. It is slightly more upmarket than Perhentian Kecil, which is mainly for backpackers.

We are loyal customers to Tuna Bay Resort because they offer a really convenient transfer service from the airport to the jetty and then the island. They use their own private boat which runs three times a day. Most of their rooms could do with a make over, but they have the best restaurant on Perhentian Besar. After years of lying on the hard wooden sunbeds, they have finally added padding to their sun loungers! Tuna Bay are not on any of the hotel websites, you have to book with them directly.

accommodation options on Perhentian Besar
We like to stay at the Tuna Bay Resort because of their transfer service to Perhentian Besar.
Accoommodation option on Besar are generally of 3 to 4 star quality only1invillage
Accommodation options on Perhentian Besar are generally in the  2 to 4 star range. This is a chalet facing the beach with Perhentian Island Resort. They will arrange your transfer via boat from the mainland.

Warning, there are not any 5 star establishments like in Thailand or Bali. It is altogether a more rustic kind of paradise.

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Coral View Garden Resort has a wide range of options.
Accoommodation option on Besar are generally of 3 to 4 star quality only1invillage
The beach front apartments at Coral View Garden resort have a plunge pool and a very expensive price tag. Perhentian Besar.

There are exceptions on Kecil such as BuBu Resort and a newly built hotel, MIMPI on Long Beach. The reason we stay on Besar, is also for the snorkelling. It is non existent on Kecil, it’s more for the sun part of your holiday.

Kecil caters more for budget travellers. There are tents and shacks with fans only. If you want air conditioning, you will have to pay a bit more.

Perhentian Kecil accommodation only1invillage
Kecil accommodation is more geared towards backpackers. Simple huts without air conditioning.

There is also free accommodation! If you do a diving course with some diving centres, they’ll throw in the accommodation for free. We have not inspected a room being offered, so we can’t comment on this offer.

free-accommodation-if-you-sign-up-for-a-diving-course-Perhentian-Kecil
Stay for free! If you book a diving course, many dive centres offer complimentary accommodation.

Well done for reading (or scrolling through!) our very long article on your next holiday destination in Asia. What are you waiting for? Paradise waits for no one. Get packing, Perhentian paradise is waiting for you! You too will be dreaming about this destination. Like us, you’ll be returning visitors. We even have another little Malaysian Maldives up our sleeves. Redand Island our favourite tropical paradise

Your next dream destination Perhentian Islands Malaysia only1invillage
Still day dreaming of lying on white sand and being the Only1invillage? Use our Booking.com link on our website for great Perhentian Island prices on accommodation. Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram for more travel inspiration and information!

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Bali-business-class-lounge

Is Bali Business Class Lounge the worst in the world?

Using the Bali business class  lounge in Denpasar may not be the treat you are expecting. One of the many perks when flying business class is the pre flight experience. Using a business class lounge to freshen up after you get thrown out of your hotel is usually a pleasure. Nibbling on local delicacies is another business class perk. But, in the Bali business class lounge, you may change your mind, after reading our review!

The lounge is also called the Premier Lounge. The problem with this business class lounge starts at the entrance.

Quick Index

 

                                            

Who can use the Bali business class lounge?

Airlines that use the Bali business class lounge
The Bali business class lounge is available for a lot of airlines and their business class passengers!

Lots of airlines and we mean, lots of airlines share this business class lounge. Qatar, Emirates, Qantas, Jet Star, Thai, Singapore, Malaysia, Cathay Pacific, China Eastern, China Southern, Philippine Airlines, Air New Zealand and the list goes on! The Bali business class lounge can also be accessed if you have certain priority passes. 

That’s a scary amount of airlines sharing one business class lounge! 

                                            

Where is the Bali business class lounge located?

After immigration at Ngurah Rai International Airport, Bali, it’s quite crowded and very humid. The air conditioning can’t quite keep up. You have to weigh up the pros of sitting in the crowded ground floor terminal or the Bali business class lounge. It’s not a huge airport, so finding the lounge isn’t difficult. From the ground floor at Ngurah Rai International Airport you can see the Premier Lounge and it isn’t huge. 

Bali business class lounge Ngurah Rai AIrport Denpasar Indonesia
The Bali business class lounge is also called the Premier Lounge. It is on the first floor on the right of the photo.
Bali business class lounge Ngurah Rai Airport Denpasar Indonesia
The main terminal is very crowded at Ngurah Rai International Airport. It’s also very hot and humid.

Let’s step inside and see what the Bali business class lounge is really like. Is it really the worst business class lounge in the world?

                                            

The seating options at the Bali business class lounge

This is the view when you step inside the business class lounge at Ngurah Rai International Airport after immigration.

Bali business class lounge Ngurah Rai Airport Denpasar Indonesia
Step inside the Bali business class lounge. Also known as the Premier Lounge at Ngurah Rai International Airport, Denpasar, Indonesia.

To give it some credit, the Bali business class lounge is at least cooler than on the ground floor with the masses.

When you go to a business class lounge, you expect two things, comfortable spaces and great food and drink. In the Bali business class lounge you get the comfortable seats, but, only when not busy. With over 15 airlines sharing the Bali business class lounge, you’ll be lucky to get a seat. Most business class lounges are not busy. There is always somewhere to sit comfortably. However, this space quickly fills up and you’ll find yourself very close to strangers.

Bali business class lounge Ngurah Rai Airport Denpasar Indonesia
There is a quiet room just off the main area of the Bali business class lounge. The armchairs have seen better days.

                                          

The shower and toilet facilities in the Bali business class lounge

You also expect toilet and shower facilities above and beyond what is on offer in the main terminal. There are toilet and shower facilities, but they are very small and of dubious cleanliness.

Bali business class lounge Ngurah Rai Airport Denpasar Indonesia
The shower in the Bali business class lounge doesn’t look very inviting. There is no attendant cleaning the area between guests.
Bali business class lounge Ngurah Rai Airport Denpasar Indonesia
The range of amenities on offer in the shower room can definitely be improved and replaced when used up!
Bali business class lounge Ngurah Rai Airport Denpasar Indonesia
The toilet in the Bali business class lounge doesn’t look any different to the ones in the terminal below.

                                          

The food on offer at the Bali business class lounge

Now onto the most disappointing aspect. We thought British Airways was bad and the Qantas Club Lounge in Melbourne. The Bali business class lounge can definitely win the title of worst food on offer for business class passengers. Judge for yourself.

Bali business class lounge Ngurah Rai Airport Denpasar Indonesia
A cold chicken salad dish sits sadly by itself on a banana leaf.
Bali business class lounge Ngurah Rai Airport Denpasar Indonesia
The hot food options are too scary to show at the Bali business class lounge. Trust us, it will put you off fried rice and string beans for life.
Bali business class lounge Ngurah Rai Airport Denpasar Indonesia
How about some cold finger food? The white bread with the crusts cut off, remind us of school sandwiches. They don’t taste great, unfortunately. In Asia, sugar is added to white bread.
Bali business class lounge Ngurah Rai Airport Denpasar Indonesia
How about some salad at the Bali business class lounge?
Bali business class lounge Ngurah Rai Airport Denpasar Indonesia
We try the desserts at the Bali business class lounge. Surely you can’t go wrong with sugar and chocolate? WRONG! They are close to inedible.

There is one saving grace though in terms of food on offer….

Bali business class lounge Ngurah Rai Airport Denpasar Indonesia
There is fresh fruit, the one saving grace of the food options in the Bali business class lounge. The fruit above the bananas is called a snake fruit. Quite a unique taste. It is crunchy and tastes like a bitter pineapple.

                                          

The beverages selection at the Bali business class lounge

Now onto the beverages. As Indonesia is a Muslim country there is no alcohol available. Even though the island of Bali is mainly Hindu, the lounge does not offer alcoholic beverages, which is not a problem for us. You can select soft drinks from a free standing fridge.

Bali business class lounge Ngurah Rai Airport Denpasar Indonesia
Cans of non alcoholic beverages and bottles of mineral water are available at the Bali business class lounge, Ngurah Rai International Airport, in Denpasar.

There are also some ‘fruit’ juices. When we say fruit juice, it is concentrated fruit juice, not freshly squeezed.

Bali business class lounge Ngurah Rai Airport Denpasar Indonesia
The fruit juice at the Bali business class lounge is of the concentrated variety.

                                          

The hot drinks selection at the Bali business class lounge

There’s no hand made latte art going on here! 

Bali business class lounge Ngurah Rai Airport Denpasar Indonesia
Erm, we are not sure what to do with this machine. Hang on, we know it’s the milk frothing machine.
Bali business class lounge Ngurah Rai Airport Denpasar Indonesia
Your tea and coffee selection. The boiling water is just on the right in the silver urn.

                      

Final Thoughts

It’s a place to escape the humidity and heat of the main terminal. You might as well go since you have a business class ticket. You can get complimentary water and canned drinks. If you’re desperately sticky, you can have a shower. If you want great food, you’re better off staying downstairs. You might get a soft seat, you might not. That wraps up the review of the Bali business class lounge by Only1invillage. Do you agree? Have you been to a worse one?

Post a comment below, we would love to hear from you!

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Japan two week itinerary only1invillage

Your essential 2 week Japan Itinerary starts here!

How to spend an awesome 2 weeks in Japan. Our two week Japan itinerary suggestions. The Japan Rail Pass is a must for your 14 days. See the incredible sights, sounds and smells of this amazing country. Below is our itinerary put together from two separate 2 week trips to Japan. You don’t have to do it all. Pick and choose from what sounds most exciting. You might want to slow the pace down a bit too as our itinerary is pretty jam packed!

Quick Index 2 Weeks in Japan!

                                                 

Quick Japan Round Up

The land of the rising sun. Ahh, the Karate Kid, raw fish and big drums. Sushi, sake and noodles. High tech gadgets and robots instead of humans in hotels. Toilets that talk to you, wash and dry you. Plus public toilets are spotless, plentiful and free! Public transport that runs on time and never ending politeness. Bowing, bowing, more bowing, bow some more. Girly giggling and wild make up. Boy bands, anime, manga, Pokemon and big name fashion brands.

incredible two week Japan itinerary bowing Japan manners
Start practising your bowing technique. Even the mannequins bow in Japan! Japan is an ultra polite society and on your two week trip to Japan, you’re going to do a lot of bowing!

Temples, castles and fast cars. Japan is a country full of stereotypes and contrasts. Ancient traditions and cultural practices are jostling with the modern Japan.

Incredible 2 week trip to Japan
Japan is a country where tradition and modern influences exist side by side.

Mountains, forests, busy coastal mega cities, hot springs galore and fascinating gardens to explore. Japan provides everything for tourists and at a surprisingly reasonably cost.

                                                  

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is Japan?

                                              

Don’t laugh! Some people don’t know where Japan is. Japan is an archipelago in East Asia. The biggest islands of Honshu, Hokkaido and Kyushu get all the attention. Japan stretches almost to Taiwan, with the islands of Okinawa, Miyakojima and Ishigaki in the south of the East China Sea. Neighbouring countries are: South Korea, China,Russia in the extreme North and Taiwan in the extreme South.

incredible two week Japan itinerary
Japan is a collection of many islands in East Asia.

                                                  

When is the best time to go to Japan? 

In our opinion the best time to visit Japan is Spring or Autumn. April, May and June have plenty of daylight and it’s not too hot. It’s mild, some showers, but most days will be bright and sunny. The famous sakura (cherry blossom) season is also in Spring in the major cities of Tokyo and Osaka. For exact weeks you have to check each year, because of the effects of climate change.

incredible two week Japan itinerary when to go cherry blossom season
The cherry blossom (sakura) is best captured in April. The Japanese go nuts for taking photos of these pink flowers. Hinami (cherry blossom viewing) in most Japanese cities is in Spring, but check to make sure, due to climate change effects.

Avoid Summer as it is roasting in Japan!  However, if you love the high temperatures and humidity, you’ll love Japan in July and August! September and October are good months to travel on your two week trip to Japan. The days are still warm and the nights cool, not cold. There is still plenty of sunshine and the Autumn colours are just spectacular.

incredible two week Japan itinerary when to go Autumn magnificent colours
September is Autumn in Japan. It’s a great time of year to plan your two week trip to Japan. The formal gardens are simply breathtaking.

                                                  

How Big and expensive Are Hotel Rooms in Japan?

Japan isn’t as expensive as people think. On your unforgettable two week Japan itinerary, you will spend less than you think. There is a vast range of accommodation available. The hotel rooms are not all like capsules! We like the Tokyu Rei chain of hotels for the price and size of the rooms. Some rooms are over 20 square metres. Our top tip is to always book twin rooms, rather than double, as you can be guaranteed a larger room with two beds. You can always push them together if you like.

Incredible 2 week trip to Japan hotel room size 25 square metres
Our messy room in the Tokyu Rei Hotel, Hiroshima. This room is 25 square metres. Not all hotel rooms are tiny in Japan.
incredible 2 week trip to Japan itinerary hotel rooms can be small
Some Japanese hotel rooms are notoriously small and compact. Here we are standing against the door! The traditional tatami mat and futon design is surprisingly very comfortable. The closer you are to a JR station the smaller the room, unless, you’re in a 5 star hotel. Spotlessly clean though. You can just see the shower on the left.

Youth hostels are becoming more popular in Japan. Good value three star hotels are very clean and can be as cheap as USD60, AUD90 or GBP50 in the right season and if you’re prepared to be a little further away from the railway station.

                                                  

How expensive is Food in Japan?

premium Japanese fruit presentation box supermarket food incredible 2 week trip to Japan
This is an expensive fruit box for special occasions. Don’t worry, fruit isn’t really this expensive in Japan. (Price of those 8 pieces of fruit is $120 USD, $170AUD and GBP95!) Not for everyday consumption. It’s apparently the best of the best!

Food is also very reasonable. Filling and tasty noodle dishes can be found in McDonalds like ‘restaurants’ for USD6, AUD10 or GBP6.

incredible 2 week trip to Japan itinerary cheap set meals fast food style restaurants
Eating out in Japan isn’t as expensive as people think. We get these types of meals at ‘fast food’ restaurants. Cheap, healthy and tasty.

Western food, especially Italian dishes are copied very well and are also not expensive. They are available ready made on a microwaveable plate at convenience stores. In Italian restaurants pasta dishes start at $US7 for a basic spaghetti dish with tomato sauce, basil and parmigiano reggiano.

incredible 2 week trip to Japan itinerary Western style food is widely available in Japan
Western food in Japan is very high quality. This duck salad and roast beef with good quality wine is only $US15, $AUD21 or $12 for lunch. Japan isn’t as expensive as people think.

Sushi and sashimi as you would expect is everywhere! NIgiri (the rice on the bottom and a slice of raw fish on top) is about an Australian dollar, 70 pence or 70 US cents per piece. Every corner shop, mini supermarket and major supermarket has top quality raw fish. You will see sashimi (raw fish with no rice) types you have never seen before. The variety of raw fish is amazing in Japan. Our top tip is to go at about 6.30p.m. to supermarkets in department store basements. The day’s fresh catch is discounted by 30 to 50 per cent. 

incredible two week Japan itinerary sashimi and sushi from supermarkets great presentation and variety
Keep costs down when eating sashimi and sushi on your incredible two week Japan itinerary by buying from supermarkets.

                                                  

Is Japan safe to visit?

In terms of crime for tourists, Japan is one of the safest countries in the world. If you drop a tissue, people will come running after you, to give your tissue back to you!

The organised crime of the Yakuza gangs will not be visible to the tourist.

The biggest danger is a major natural disaster. Japan is of course earthquake and tsunami prone. 

                                                  

What’s Japanese food like? Where to eat? What to eat?

Traditional Japanese food is always beautifully presented. Every dish is a little work of art.

incredible 2 week trip to Japan itinerary all food is like a piece of art noodles soup vegetables and fish
Japanese food is always beautifully presented. A typical lunch is a mixture of hot and cold dishes. There is always miso soup, a noodle dish and pickled vegetables. Vegetarians are well catered for in Japan. Tofu and soya bean products are widely available.

Like all countries different regions have different specialities. Noodle of various types (there are 8 types: ramen, uson, soba, yakisoba, somen, hiyamugi, shiritaki and harusame) rice and dumplings (goyoza) predominate of course. Fish is highly prized and the famous marbled beef from Kobe.

incredible two week Japan itinerary famous wagyu beef
If you’re not vegetarian you have to try the wagyu beef. WIdely available in supermarkets for much less than a restaurant in Kobe. The high fat content or marbling is what makes this beef so special.

Fresh vegetables are really expensive in restaurants. You’re better off buying fruit and vegetables from a supermarket. Pickled vegetables are served with everything and at every meal.

Japan has the most Michelin starred restaurants, (after France) in the world. So you can drop a whole day’s budget on one meal if you choose!

                                                  

Is it true ATMs are hard to find and Credit Cards aren’t widely accepted?

Yes and no. There are plenty of ATMs in the big cities. Top tip – many ATMs are hiding inside 7-Eleven convenience stores.

Credit cards are widely accepted in the big cities. Mastercard and Visa are more popular than American Express. 

2 week incredible trip to Japan itinerary credit cards
Credit cards are widely accepted in the big cities. Visa and Mastercard are preferred over Amex.
Incredible 2 week trip to Japan market vendors cash only
Smaller establishments won’t accept credit cards in Japan. You need to carry some cash in Japan, even in the big cities. Yen in Japan, do as the Japanese do!

                                                  

What unique souvenirs can I buy from Japan?

Rice paddles and every sort of Hello Kitty merchandise you can think of!

incredible two week Japan itinerary hello kitty comes in every size shape and form you can even eat her
Hello Kitty! She is the cat that everyone loves ! You can find all the Hello Kitty merchandise you will ever need!

Green tea Kit Kats are definitely on the top of our list. In fact, green tea everything, green tea Pocky, ice cream, biscuits, waffles, cakes, chocolate, macarons, green tea latte powder and  green tea leaves. We eat so many green tea products when we go to Japan, our poo turns green!

Incredible 2 week trip to Japan green tea ice cream
C is so happy when she gets her hands on green tea products! If you love green tea, you’re going to find it in Japan. Take green tea products home as unique souvenirs.

No trip to Japan is complete without the toilet experience. You might want to take one home. Well the seat that is! Once you go, you’ll know what we mean! It will definitely be a memory of your 2 week trip to Japan!

incredible two week trip to Japan itinerary unique souvenirs from Japan take home a toilet seat
Bet you thought Panasonic only made TVs! If you’re in love with the unique Japanese toilet experience, you might want to take one home. It’s definitely a unique souvenir and one you’ll remember every day!

                                                  

Getting around on your two week Trip to Japan

The best way to get around Japan on your two week itinerary is by  Bullet train.

Buy the two week Japan Rail Pass

This is the best way to keep travel costs down. The Japanese fast trains (shinkansen) or bullet trains are well known throughout the world and rightly so. Shinkansen actually means ‘trunk line’ but that doesn’t sound as sexy as bullet train does it? Their ability to run on time and the safety record of these high speed trains is amazing. You will be left in wonder how precisely these bullet trains leave and arrive to the second.

incredible two week Japan itinerary bullet trains shinkansen fast efficient clean
The Japanese bullet trains are fast, on time and mega comfortable. You too will fall in love with the shinkansen on your two week trip to Japan.

Also your shinkansen tickets will tell you exactly where to stand on the platform and the bullet train pulls up at exactly that spot. You will be a bullet train geek by the end of your two week trip to Japan! Even if you can’t tell your Hikari from your your Aomori, you’ll still love the Japanese bullet trains for their speed, comfort, cleanliness and efficiency.

Two week Japan rail pass cost 

The National  JR pass is available to buy in 7 days, 14 days or 21 days only. Green class is first class and  ordinary class is, not, as the name suggests, that ordinary! In our opinion, splashing out the extra is worth it for first class travel. 

incredible two week Japan itinerary bullet trains shinkansen green class is pure luxury
Treat yourself to Green Class (first class) seats on your 2 week trip to Japan. The seats are always in a 2 -2 configuration. In ordinary class there’s a row of 2 and a row of 3. In Green Class on the bullet rains, the seats are wider, there’s more legroom and on some routes you get a free blanket.

The National JR Pass is such a bargain that the bullet train trip from Tokyo airport to a downtown destination, is a quarter of the 7 day pass alone. You do the maths!  You will make half your money back on the two week Japan rail pass cost just by doing a return journey on the bullet train from Tokyo to Kyoto. But, of course, you’re in Japan for a 2 week trip, you’re not just going to Kyoto!

incredible two week Japan itinerary bullet trains shinkansen ordinary class seats are very comfortable
The seats in ordinary class on the Japanese bullet trains are very comfortable. They also turn around, so if you’re travelling in a big group, you can face each other.

Just in case you’re not going to Japan for a 2 week trip, you can buy the Japan Rail Pass for 7 days or 21 days, too. Below is a link with the cost of Japan Rail Passes, for 7, 14 and 21 days, in 3 major currencies.

buy-the-japan-rail-pass-online

Japan rail pass which one should I buy?

First up don’t get confused with the number of Japan Rail Passes on offer. For your two week Japan itinerary you will need the National JR Pass. This will give you access to all the bullet trains except the Nozomi. The Nozomi is the fastest bullet train, but, that doesn’t mean the other bullet trains are slow.

Japan rail pass where to buy

You can’t buy the Japan Rail Pass in Japan! You must buy it in your country of residence. As a tourist you are very privileged to be able to buy a two week Japan rail pass. Japanese citizens are not allowed to buy one! These bullet trains are something else!

Japan rail pass how to buy

Make sure you are a non resident of Japan. Type in the words ‘Japan Rail Pass’ into your browser’s search engine. Lots of travel agencies and online vendors will compete for your business. 

Japan Rail Pass rules of use

The Japan Rail Pass can only be used for the person whose name appears on the pass. You must carry it at all times with the tickets of the various destinations you are travelling to.

Japan rail pass map Where can I Travel?

Don’t get confused by the names of the trains. The Japanese give names to their trains and service lines. Come on, admit, it’s sort of cute! The name of the train also tells you if it’s fast or mega fast. Yes, all the shinkansen (bullet trains) are fast, but in Japan, there’s quick and super quick!

incredible two week Japan itinerary
Each shinkansen (bullet train) line has a name. Here are the major cities the national Japan Rail Pass will cover.

The Nozomi and Mizuho trains are not covered by the National Japan Rail Pass. If you want to take these ‘super fast’ services you have to pay an additional fee. 

The Japan Rail Pass also entitles you to free JR buses and the JR Miyajima Ferry when travelling to the beautiful must see island of Miyajima, near Hiroshima. Click here for the JR train map.

                                                  

Unforgettable Two Week Japan Itinerary

Warning: This is an action packed, not for the faint hearted 2 week Japan itinerary. It involves a lot of walking and a lot of train rides. You’ll be travelling at speeds of 320km/h (200mph) on the bullet trains, so actually, you won’t be spending that much time on trains. It means changing hotels every 2 to 3 days. Of course you can always skip a few of the places we suggest in our incredible 2 week Japan itinerary.

On a two week trip to Japan we suggest this itinerary. Tokyo – Kyoto – Nara – Arashiyama – Osaka – Kobe – Himeji – Hiroshima –  Miyajima – Beppu – Takayama – Matsumoto – Tokyo.

This route means you don’t back track on yourself. Well, you do in the sense that you have to get back to Tokyo but you don’t stop at the same places!

As soon as you land at Narita International, Haneda, Osaka Kansai  Airport, head straight for the Japan Rail Pass office to exchange your ‘exchange order voucher’ you received in your home country. The actual Japan Rail Pass will look like this.

incredible two week Japan itinerary exchanging your voucher for the Japan Rail Pass
This is one side of the actual Japan Rail Pass. On the other side there is a handy map and the travel terms and conditions. Hello bullet trains!

A piece of card, which can be folded into three, to make the same size as your passport. While you’re at the office, you might as well get your tickets to Kyoto. You can reserve your seats at the same time.

                                                  

Tokyo on your Two Week Japan Itnerary (3 nights)

The mega busy, modern capital of Japan is everything you have heard about. Tokyo is crowded, fast paced and full of energy. Shopping and entertainment is everywhere. It looks like any other major world city, full of skyscrapers and busy roads. Commuters and tourists from all over the world descend on Tokyo. 

Deciding which district to stay in is very difficult. All we can say is, make sure it is near a train station. Shibuya, Roppongi, Shinjuku and Ueno are popular choices. Look at the map below. For a PDF version of Tokyo train lines and districts,click here.

incredible two week Japan itinerary Tokyo train map including JR stations and subway
Stay near a train station when choosing a base in Tokyo. It will be easy to get around with a combination of JR lines and the excellent Tokyo subway system.
incredible two week Japan itinerary famous Shibuya crossing Tokyo
The famous Shibuya crossing in Tokyo. A popular district to base yourself for first time visitors to Tokyo.

In Tokyo, you’ll want to visit Harajuku street, the Royal Palace and the Meiji Jingu Shrine. Tokyo is also the place to do a day trip to Hakone and view Mount Fuji from a distance. You have to visit the famous Tokyo fish markets if you’re a sashimi (raw fish) lover. 

2 week trip to Japan Tokyo fish markets yummy sashimi on rice
If you like it fresh and raw, the Tokyo fish markets (Tsukiji Outer Market area) are a must visit place. A whole area of tantalising ocean delights await.
incredible 2 week trip to Japan itinerary tokyo fish markets fresh seafood
No 2 week trip to Japan is complete without visiting Tokyo’s famous Tsukiji fish market. If you crave raw fish, raw crustaceans and anything uncooked, head on down.
incredible two week Japan itinerary Meiji Jingu shrine Tokyo
Say or rather write a little prayer or peace offering on these wooden boards at the huge Meiji Jingu shrine in Tokyo’s Shibuya district.

To see Mount Fuji, you will need to do a day trip to Hakone and Lake Ashi. This is a one hour train journey from Tokyo. Your Japan Rail Pass is valid to Odawara. From there you have to pay a separate fee to get onto a ‘romance car’ to Hakone. 

Incredible 2 week trip to Japan Mount Fuji Pixabay
The iconic Mount Fuji, Japan. Best to see the mountain from a distance. Lake Kawaguchiko and Lake Hakone offer good viewing spots. Pray for a clear day.

                                                  

Kyoto (3 nights as part of your two week Japan Itinerary)

Inari

Kyoto is the place to see the iconic, much Instagrammed 1000s of tori or gates of the Fushimi Inari shrine.

incredible two week Japan itinerary Fushimi Inari tori bright red near Kyoto
Iconic bright red tori gates of the Fushimi inari shrine near Kyoto. Get there early and you might get a shot with no one else in your way!

There is also a hill walk/ hike at this shrine. The shrines are actually in the little town of Inari, which is on the JR Nara line. This means with your two week Japan Rail Pass, it’s totally free! Kyoto to Inari is only 5 minutes away! See the green and white dashed lines below.

Qantas A380 business class desperately needs an upgrade 33
From Kyoto you need to get on the JR Nara line for the Fushimi Inari shrines. It’s only two stops away from Kyoto.

It’s impossible to miss the entrance to the Fushimi Inari shrines.

incredible two week Japan itinerary bottom of Fushimi Inari near Kyoto
You can’t miss the entrance to the famous Fushimi Inari shrine. You just follow every one else from the train station until you see this.

Just follow the crowds who will be on your train. The walk to the top will take around 2-3 hours depending on your fitness level. You can turn around at any point, it’s not a one way circuit. As you climb between the thousands of bright red ‘tori’ you might even get sections to yourself for that precious photo!

incredible two week Japan itinerary fushimi inari shrine go early
If you’re very lucky, you might get sections of the Fushimi Inari shrine walk to yourself.

There are a few restaurants and shops to buy refreshments along the way to the top of Fushimi Inari. Make sure you deviate a bit from the main paths and find these gorgeous areas with mini gates and animal statues.

two week trip to Japan smaller shrines on the hike up the hill at Inari near Kyoto
Find the little shrines when you get off the main two tori tunnels. Fushimi Inari is unmissable on your 2 week trip to Japan.

 

Gion District of Kyoto

This is one area you don’t want to miss out on seeing. Amazing shrines and temples at the top of streets lined with magnificent food shops and restaurants. Wandering up and down the narrow and traditional streets of the Gion district is unmissable.

2 week trip to Japan Gion district Kyoto traditional style houses
Kyoto’s Gion district is lined with narrow and more traditional looking houses and shops. Wander up and down the ancient capital streets of Japan. There’s plenty of restaurants and souvenir shops to keep you going as you ascend towards the pagoda and temples on the top of the hill.

This is the traditional district of the geisha. Always ask permission before you take a photograph of geisha. 

2 week trip to Japan Gion district Kyoto geisha
Geisha in the Gion district of Kyoto. These are not tourists dressing up as geisha. Yes you can pay to have the white make up, hairstyle and kimono of geisha for a few hours. Never insult geisha by taking their photos without permission.

Kiyomizu -dera Temple Kyoto

This amazing UNESCO World Heritage Site is set on the hills above Kyoto. A vast complex with lots of steps and opportunities for stunning photography.

2 week incredible trip to Japan itinerary Kiyomizu dera temple Kyoto
You won’t be able to resist the bright red pagoda of the Kiyomizudera Temple complex in the Higashiyama sightseeing district of Kyoto. It’s a bit commercialised, but still, very worthwhile in our opinion.

The main hall ‘stage’ built out of wood fascinates all who visit. The view of Kyoto down below is truly unique. The overhanging ‘stage’ of the main hall of the Kiyomizu Temple is built onto the steep cliff of Mount Otowa. It is built in a Japanese style of grids, without any nails being used! The wood is almost 400 years old and still supports the hundreds of visitors each day.

2 week incredible trip to Japan itinerary Kiyomizu dera temple Kyoto
The amazing Kiyomizu dera temple complex is built on the cliffs of Mount Otowa, Kyoto. A UNESCO World Heritage Site that offers stunning views of the city from its main hall ‘stage’.

You might need a little map to orientate yourself at Kiyomizu dera Temple. It’s like a little village. Kiyomizudera means ‘pure water temple’. There are lots of places to see this pure water running out from the Otowa waterfall. There are said to be benefits from drinking this pure water. Visitors can drink from special long handled ladle like cups to bring longevity, luck in love and success at school!  Every little bit helps!

2 week incredible trip to Japan itinerary Kiyomizu dera temple Kyoto
Kiyomizudera Temple, Kyoto. Drinking from the ‘pure water’ of the Otowa waterfall has three separate benefits. Get lucky in love, live longer and do well at school. You’re only supposed to drink from two, so choose carefully! There are special long handled ‘cups’ which don’t touch your lips for this purpose at designated spots.

You will also want to make a day trip while in Kyoto to the nearby town of Nara. You can feed tame deer with special deer biscuits.

Nara

It’s temple time again! You have to visit Todai-ji temple when you’re in Kyoto. Well, actually, temples will be like churches in Europe, on your 2 week trip to Japan! Todai-ji temple is one of the world’s biggest wooden structures. It’s ancient too. Todai-ji temple is over a thousand years old. 

incredible two week Japan itinerary Todai Ji Temple Nara near Kyoto
Todai-ji Temple in Nara Park. One of the biggest wooden structures in the world. Try and go in sakura (cherry blossom) season for those unforgettable memories on your Japanese vacation.

The main attraction is the huge, and we mean huge, bronze budhha statue. 400 tonnes of huge. 

incredible two week Japan itinerary giant bronze buddha in Todai-ji Temple Nara, near Kyoto
Feel small in front of the giant 400 tonne bronze buddha at Todaiji Temple in Nara Park. A must see attraction on your unforgettable 2 week Japan itinerary.

Todai-ji Temple is inside the Nara Park, where you can see deer roaming around. They’re quite friendly and very cute. See below!

incredible two week Japan itinerary friendly deer in Nara Park near Kyoto
Come and feed me in Nara Koen Park. Oh and see the amazing Todai-ji temple too.

Arashiyama

From Kyoto this is another easy day trip, you don’t want to miss out on! 6 stops from Kyoto on the Sagano line. Yes, it’s free if you have the Japan Rail pass! It’s not a bullet train, but a local train. The top three attractions in the Arashiyama area are the bamboo grove, the Kinaku-ji golden temple, Tenryuji temple and Sogenchi gardens. There are of course other delights which will be on your Kyoto tourist map, that your hotel will give you.

incredible two week Japan itinerary Kinaku-ji golden temple near Kyoto
The golden temple (Kinaki-ju) is literally covered in gold leaf. It’s a glittering marvel. One of the highlights on a day trip from Kyoto on your 2 week Japan trip. Located 20 minutes from Kyoto. Best to go by the 205 bus from Kyoto bus station.

The bamboo grove has gone insta crazy and now it’s really hard to get a shot of this place without anyone else in it! Ok, maybe if you go at the crack of dawn, we’re just not early morning people! It’s not really a forest. It’s a pathway with lots of tall bamboo on either side. It can look very green or quite grey. 

incredible two week Japan itinerary Arashiyama Bamboo Grove near Kyoto
The bamboo grove in Arashiyama. These amazing tall plants are a top attraction on a day trip from Kyoto.

Another must see site is the Tenryuji temple. You can enter it via the bamboo grove. This amazing temple has one of the best gardens in Japan. The famous pond is also full of colourful carp fish and on a sunny Spring day, the reflection of the hills in the pond is just amazing. You will see devout Japanese meticulously picking up leaves and pulling out grass in these immaculate gardens. This is one of the finest examples of shakkei which means borrowed scenery. The hills in the background blend in seamlessly with the Sogenchi gardens.

incredible 2 week trip to Japan itinerary Sogenchi Gardens part of the grounds in the Tenryuji Temple, near Kyoto near the Bamboo Grove
Capture the stunning reflections in the garden pond in the grounds of the Sogenchi Gardens, Arashiyama. The Tenryuji Temple is in the background. There are some of the biggest carp fish you will ever see in this perfectly landscaped temple complex. A must see attraction on your 2 week trip to Japan.

                                                  

Osaka (1 night or a day trip from Kyoto)

incredible 2 week trip to Japan itinerary Osaka Castle and Gardens
Castles and beautiful gardens go hand in hand in Japan. Osaka castle is no exception. Just a 15 minute bullet train ride from Kyoto.

Next stop on your unforgettable 2 week Japan itinerary is the city of Osaka. Population 2.6 million.  It’s just a 15 minute bullet train ride away! We only stop for a night and a day. Our main highlight is the castle and the entertainment district of Dontonburi. You can even stay an extra night in Kyoto, if you don’t want to pack your bags and change hotels. Osaka castle and the Dontonburi district can be a day trip from Kyoto.

incredible 2 week trip to Japan itinerary green and gold Osaka Castle
The fabulous green and gold castle in Osaka, Japan. Make a day trip from Kyoto (only 15 mins away) or stay over night. Note J has a very apt T shirt!

Your 2 week trip to Japan continues on the awesome bullet trains. BY now you are loving your Japan Rail Pass. It is so convenient. Practically every major tourist site is reachable for free on the 2 week Japan Rail Pass in your hand. We bet even you have started bowing at the trains like the conductors do on the platforms! Come on, admit it, you’re a big fan of travelling by train, bullet train style.

                                                  

Kobe  (1 night)

It’s just 13 minutes from Osaka on the amazing bullet trains. The famous city named after an American basket ball player? No, we’re just joking. Apparently Kobe Bryant’s parents named him this after seeing the famous beef on a restaurant menu. What can we say? We came all the way to Kobe just to eat the beef too!

Kobe beef is a type of Wagyu beef. Wagyu beef is so expensive because you can trace the cow back to its parents and grandparents. Kobe beef has to come from the Hyogo prefecture. It also has to be from a type of cattle calle Tajima. The wagyu, which means ‘Japanese beef’ you’re eating in your home country probably isn’t genuine. However, if you come to Kobe, you can bet your bottom dollar, the beef is local. Kobe beef is exactly that, beef from the Kobe region. 

2 week trip to Japan kobe beef meal
Kobe beef dinner. When in Japan, you have to try it. Genuine Kobe beef is extremely rare outside of Japan. This meal cost us a day’s budget. Back to noodles for a few days!

Apart from some of the best beef in the world, Kobe has some other attractions worth coming for. If you’re a nature lover, you will be amazed by the Kobe Herb Gardens. Perched high up on the hills of Kobe and reachable by cable car, the Kobe gardens are quite unique.

incredible two week trip to Japan itinerary Kobe ropeway
Take the rope way (cable car) high into the hills to escape the grey city colours of Kobe. You can even walk up the rope way route if you want some exercise.

It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, (which you can get up there), as you gaze down on the sprawling city. It’s built to mimic a European, German to be precise, castle and its grounds.

incredible 2 week trip to Japan itinerary Kobe herb gardens restaurant and museum cafe
At the top ropeway station is the German style landscape. You can grab a bite to eat, with all food using the herbs on the slopes.

There’s a fabulous restaurant too.

incredible 2 week trip to Japan itinerary Kobe food restaurant herb garden
A main and an appetiser at the restaurant is only 2380 yen, about 20 US, 17GBP and 30 AUD.

It’s a place to go just to breathe some fresh air and relax in nature. In Spring, the slopes are bursting with colour from the thousands of varieties of flowers and herbs. There’s also a water fall on the way up. This is definitely worth seeing, on your 2 week trip to Japan. For a map of the rope way and gardens, click here.

incredible 2 week trip to Japan itinerary Kobe herb gardens
The Kobe Herb Gardens are set on an easily walkable slope on the foothills of Mount Rokko. Colourful and peaceful, a place to surround yourself with beautiful flowers and aromatic herbs.

Another reason people come to Kobe is to experience the hot baths at Arima. The Japanese onsen experience is quite a ritual and Japan is famous for its onsens. Good for the skin and a great cultural experience. Remember in Japan, no tattoos and no mixed bathing. Plus, you have to get naked. Sorry, no naked pictures of us!

incredible 2 week trip to Japan itinerary onsen gold and silver water at Arima near Kobe
The ‘gold’ and ‘silver’ soothing mineral water is a unique factor for onsens in Arima, just north of Kobe. This outdoor terrace is part of the Arima Grand Hotel (photo courtesy of www.tsungagujapan.com)

Search for Arima onsen and you will see that there are plenty of hotels with private onsen too. If you want more privacy, you will have to go in your hotel’s onsen. In any case, walking around a traditional town is quite nice after so many big cities on your 2 week trip to Japan. Even if you don’t like bathing in thermal mineral waters, Arima is worth the day trip from Kobe.

incredible 2 week trip to Japan itinerary Arima onsen river gold and silver water
The thermal waters of Arima are said to be gold and silver in colour. Here, they run through the river in the centre of Arima. Many hotels and 4 public baths use these waters to fill their own onsen at Arima.

                                                  

Himeji (1 night or day trip from Kobe)

Next stop on your whistle stop tour of Japan is Himeji. Himeji is home to the White Heron castle and has been restored to its former glory. From Kobe, it’s just 30 minutes on the bullet train! The main reason for stopping here is the stunning castle. It is a national treasure.

incredible 2 week trip to Japan itinerary Himeji
Now where is the darn castle? Himeji Castle towers at one end of the main street in Himeji.
incredible 2 week trip to Japan itinerary Himeji beautiful white castle
Who’s taking the photo? Looking energetic before the climb to the top of the castle!
incredible 2 week trip to Japan itinerary Himeji
Nice gardens and views surround the castle. There’s also a moat around the castle.
incredible 2 week trip to Japan itinerary Himeji
Himeji castle is lit up at night and the gardens are full of locals and visitors sitting, picnicking and chatting.

                                                  

Hiroshima and Miyajima Island (2 nights)

Hiroshima is infamous for a very sad reason. Two atomic bombs were dropped on two Japanese cities in 1945. Without going into the politics of the Second World War of who was wrong or right, Hiroshima deserves a visit. Hiroshima is also the jump off point for the beautiful Miyajima Island, with its massive red gates built into the sea (our feature picture). Also if you have missed out on seeing the deer at Nara Park, there’s hundreds of deer roaming around Miyajima Island.

From Kobe, this is another short trip on the bullet trains. Just over 90 minutes away. 

incredible two week Japan itinerary
Jump on the shinkansen bullet trains for 90 minutes from Kobe. Hiroshima is your next stop on your incredible 2 week trip to Japan.

The most photographed image in Hiroshima is the Industrial Promotional Hall.

incredible 2 week trip to Japan itinerary Hiroshima Industrial Promotional Hall
This is the original building that now stands as the only surviving structure in Hiroshima. The Industrial Promotional Hall is commonly referred to as Genbaku Dome.

Now called the Genbaku Dome, it is the only surviving structure that withstood the atomic blast in 1945. It stands now as a permanent Peace Memorial. It is both a reminder and warning to us all of the destructive power of atomic weapons.

2 week trip to Japan bullet trains to Hiroshima Genbaku Dome
The Genbaku Dome stands as both a memorial and future reminder to the horrors of atomic weapons. Hiroshima is all about embracing peace.

It’s not all doom and gloom in Hiroshima. Even though the Peace Museum is a must see attraction with confronting images. You have to go.

2 week trip to Japan Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum
Confronting images at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. It’s a sobering way to spend some time on your 2 week trip to Japan.

There is great food, an electrical bike system and if you’re a baseball fan, the Mazda stadium. Oh and of course there’s a castle and pretty Japanese gardens to stroll around!

incredible 2 week trip to Japan itinerary Hiroshima Castle
Hiroshima Castle. Photo courtesy of Pen Ash from Pixabay.
incredible 2 week trip to Japan itinerary HIroshima get around on e bikes and trams
E bikes, electronically assisted bikes are the way to get around Hiroshima. Weather permitting of course!
incredible 2 week trip to Japan itinerary Hiroshima Mazda stadium baseball fans go mad
The Mazda Stadium in Hiroshima. This place is insane on match days. If you’re a baseball fan, the Japanese baseball fans are crazier than you! Go just for the atmosphere, even if you don’t like or understand baseball!
incredible 2 week trip to Japan itinerary Hiroshima beautiful and serene Japanese gardens to explore
Make time to stroll the relaxing gardens of Hiroshima. Shukkeien Gardens is a beautiful landscaped garden.

Getting to Miyajima Island is also easy from Hiroshima. With that handy Japan Rail Pass in your hands, even the ferry over is completely free! Miyajima warrants a whole day, especially as you’ll want to stay for the amazing sun set shots. It’s also a chance to see Japanese island life, away from the big cities. You can even find spots where you’ll be completely alone!

incredible 2 week trip to Japan itinerary JR ferry to Miyajima Island from Hiroshima day trip
Hop on the Miyajima Ferry to the beautiful and calm island of Miyajima. Of course it’s free with your Japan Rail Pass! It’s not just bullet trains that are covered with your pass. You can even use JR buses.

Miyajima Island

After breakfast in Hiroshima, make your way to the JR ferry. Get on a JR Sanyo mainline train (it’s not a bullet train, but still free with the JR Pass). 30 minutes later you’ll be at the Miyajimaguchi JR station. From there it is a 6 minute walk to the ferry terminal. Don’t worry it’s well signed. You can’t get lost. As usual follow all the other tourists! The ferry ride only takes 10 minutes.

Qantas A380 business class desperately needs an upgrade 34
Getting to Miyajima Island from Hiroshima is easy.

 

As you sail on the waters, you approach the famous Otorri Gate. It’s unmissable. It comes in as the number three most scenic spot in Japan.

incredible 2 week trip to Japan itinerary magnificent gate Miyajima Island off the coast of Hiroshima
The gigantic gate of Miyajima Island. Comes in at number three of Japan’s most scenic spots. What do you think?

Don’t panic if you don’t get good shots from the ferry. There are plenty of opportunities to get those breathtaking shots when you get on dry land. When the tide is out, you’ll even be able to go underneath the huge gate.

incredible 2 week trip to Japan itinerary Otorri huge gate Miyajima Island
The impressive Otorri is built on the seabed off Miyajima Island. At low tide you can walk directly under it.

From the ferry terminal on Miyajima, don’t forget to make a note of the last departing ferry back to the ‘mainland’. Head right towards the huge red gate and the old town walk just like everyone else. Sorry you won’t be the only 1 in the village just yet!

The main attractions are all centred together in two main areas. The Itsukushima Shrine, the 5 storied pagoda, the Senjokaku Hall and the main shopping street are in one area. The aquarium, history museum, treasure hall and Tahoto Pagoda to the right of the shrine.

incredible 2 week trip to Japan itinerary Miyajima Itsukushima 5 tiered pagoda
Hmm …wonder why they call it the 5 storied pagoda? Up close and personal at the 5 tiered pagoda on Miyajima Island.
incredible 2 week trip to Japan itinerary Miyajima Itsukushima shrine and 5 tiered pagoda
The elevated Itsukushima Shrine and 5 storied Pagoda are within the same area on Miyajima Island. A day trip from Hiroshima, Miyajima is one of Japan’s top scenic destinations.

You can do some hiking on Miyajima. There is a trail that winds itself up from the Momijidani Ropeway station, which is just a 10 minute walk from Itsukushima Shrine. In fact there are three trails that will get you to the top of Mount Misen for some spectacular views. (see the map below)

incredible 2 week trip to Japan itinerary Miyajima map
To do some hiking on Mount Misen on MIyajima Island you can either walk or get the ropeway. If you walk, there are three routes, the Momijidani Course, the Daisho-in Course and the Omoto Course.

We cheat and go to the summit with the assisted option. But we do come down on foot.

2 week incredible trip to Japan itinerary Miyajima ropeway
Take the Miyajima ropeway to the top of Mount Misen on Miyajima Island. You can always walk one of the hiking trails on the way down.

At the top of Mount Misen, on a clear day, you get fabulous views. Even if it’s not a clear day there are huge granite boulders and possibly, if you’re lucky you will see some hawks or falcons circling high above you.

2 week incredible trip to Japan itinerary Miyajima ropeway to Mount Misen summit
At the top of Mount Misen, MIyajima Island. On a clear day you can see all the way onto the ‘mainland’. The weather wasn’t being kind to us!

On the way down, we choose to take the Momijidani hiking trail. This is particularly rewarding if you want to be the only1in the village. Hiking down is a lot less crowded than getting the ropeway up. As you descend along this path there are hundreds of maple trees. There’s even a small river and of course a beautiful shrine to keep the spirits up. No pun intended!

2 week incredible trip to Japan itinerary Miyajima
As you trek down the Momijidani Trail from the summit of Mount Misen, you pass the small but pretty Momijidani River. Mount Misen is Miyajima’s tallest peak.

As you walk along the Momijidani hiking trail, you will see the lovely Shinomiya Shrine.

2 week incredible trip to Japan itinerary Miyajima
Shinoyima Shrine is in the background. Hiking down from Mount Misen, on MIyajima Island following the Momijidani Trail. Hooray, we are the only ones in the village!

Miyajima is also home to lots of deer. So don’t worry if you missed out on seeing them in Nara, near Kyoto. The deer are very used to humans and often try to walk with you!

incredible 2 week trip to Japan itinerary deer on Miyajima
Don’t worry if you miss out on seeing deer at Nara, near Kyoto. Deer on Miyajima Island are very relaxed and used to humans! This male deer is ignoring J. Seen it all before, another human who wants a photo with a deer.
incredible 2 week trip to Japan itinerary deer on Miyajima
Plenty of friendly cute deer to see on Miyajima. They’re part of the landscape.

                                                  

Beppu

Beppu is on the island of Kyushu. Looking at a map it is left of Tokyo. To get here you get your shinkansen to Fukuoka (have fun pronouncing this one!) and change onto a local train. Of course it’s all included with your 2 week national Japan Rail Pass. Beppu is known for its many onsen, over 2000 in fact. The coloured water of various ‘hells’ are a main attraction of the area. Think New Zealand on a smaller scale. But we mean a really smaller scale.

Beppu - incredible 2 week trip to Japan itinerary Red Hell
Hells therme in Beppu has a range of different coloured waters some you can bathe in.

In order to get a European spa experience, meaning you can bathe together you have to go to Suginoi Palace Baths. This is a hotel with a huge set of pools with local thermal waters attached to it. Non guests can use the pools. To bathe naked though is single sex. That’s very Japanese. No naked bathing together like in Germany and Austria.

incredible 2 week trip to Japan itinerary Suginoi Hotel baths near Beppu
Suginoi palace baths in Beppu have both separate and mixed baths. It is rare in Japan for couples to bathe together.
incredible 2 week trip to Japan itinerary Suginoi palace baths near Beppu
Suginoi palace baths in Beppu has a fantastic light show every night.

                                                  

Takayama Japanese Alps

Now you have visited quite a few big cities on your 2 week trip to Japan. You are a bit tired of the neon, bright city lights. It’s time to head for the countryside for some fresh air and a change of scenery. You’ll still be eating awesome food and experiencing polite Japanese culture, just at a more relaxed pace.

2 week incredible trip to Japan itinerary HIda Takayama
Connect with the countryside. A traditional thatched roof in the village of Hida in the Japanese Alps. Hire a bike and ride around at a slower pace on the last leg of your amazing Japanese holiday.

Now getting here is a bit of a conundrum when it comes to using the bullet trains and the local JR trains. It depends where you’re coming from. If you decide to come from Tokyo you will come via  Nagano and Matsumoto. There’s not much to see in Nagano, or rather, we don’t have time to stop off and see Nagano on our jam packed 2 week Japan itinerary. The trains will take 4.5 hours and a bus 2.5 hours. Getting the Nohi bus is definitely quicker from Matsumoto.

2 week incredible trip to Japan itinerary Beppu to Fukuoka limited express train
The limited express train from Beppu to Fukuoka. It’s going to be a long day of train rides, but look at the comfortable seats. Beppu to Takayama is over 7.5 hours. You’ll be ok!

If you decide to follow our itinerary and come from Beppu, you’ll be coming via Nagoya on a mixture of limited express trains and the shinkansen. Change at Nagoya for a limited express train and the journey is 2.5 hours. Get the local JR train and the journey time increases to 4 hours. Please note that the total train journey time from Beppu to Takayama, with changes is just over 7.5 hours.

2 week incredible trip to Japan itinerary Beppu to Takayama
The Beppu to Takayama train route. 2.5 hours Beppu to Fukuoka, Fukuoka to Osaka on the Sanyo shinkansen is 2 hours and 40 minutes. Then change Osaka to Nagoya which takes an hour because you can’t use the Nozomi train with your Japan Rail Pass. Finally Nagoya to Takayama is 2.5 hours on the JR limited express trains.

It’s a long day of travelling. The total train time without waiting for connections is 7 hours and 40 minutes. But hey, it’s all covered on the Japan Rail Pass you have in your hands.

Takayama itself is very compact and has an old district and a new district. The old district is similar to the Gion district in Kyoto. There are lots of wooden houses and restaurants with narrow streets. This is the place, apart from Kobe, to eat Hida beef, a special type of beef, reared only in Japan. 

2 week incredible trip to Japan itinerary Takayama old district
The narrow streets of the old district in Takayama, Gifu prefecture. Life in the Japanese Alps is at a much slower pace than the big cities.

 

Traditional village – (Hida No Sato) Takayama 

2 week incredible trip to Japan itinerary Hida no Sato
The open air museum of Hida no Sato is a village of traditional wooden houses of the Edo period (1603-1867). Plenty of things to see including everyday utensils and you can dress up too if you want.

Hida No Sato is an open air museum. This might sound a little naff, but, actually it is a really good experience. The area is built to recreate life in a traditional Japanese village. You can go inside houses, dress up and try traditional games. It is a lot of fun and you learn something about traditional Japanese village life. It will be really quiet here too as not many tourists make it out here!

                                                  

Matsumoto

If you’re not sick of castles and you want to break up your bullet train journey before heading back to Tokyo, you must stop off at Matsumoto. 50 minutes on the limited express train from Nagano will get you to one of Japan’s most complete castles.

incredible 2 week trip to Japan itinerary Matsumoto castle
Matsumoto castle stands on a plain, rather than a hill. One of the most original castles in Japan. On your 2 week trip to Japan you’re going to become a castle expert. Matsumoto castle is unique because it has a heavily fortified second donjon! It also has a turret adjoined to its main keep. But you know that, now you’re a Japanese castle expert.

Matsumoto is a compact little city with all the main attractions walkable from the train station. It has a cute walking street, lined with of course cherry tees. Matsumoto is the place to eat horse meat  – raw and cooked. Neigh, we are not joking. Being global travellers, horse is not new to us. We eat as the locals do, when in France, we mean Japan!

Incredible 2 week trip to Japan horse meat Matsumoto
Horse meat is on the menu in Matsumoto. It’s available raw, lightly seared or cooked in many restaurants in Matsumoto.

Matsumoto castle is best photographed in cherry blossom season, as its outer moat has hundreds of cherry trees. Walking under them or on top of freshly fallen petals is like a carpet of pink pastel. Girls, get your inner pink on! It really is quite magical. It’s not too crowded either which is another reason for stopping off at Matsumoto.

incredible 2 week trip to Japan itinerary Matsumoto castle view of cherry trees on outer moat
The view from inside Matsumoto Castle. The outer moat is lined with hundreds of cherry trees which look spectacular in sakura (cherry blossom) season. It’s pastel pink all the way around the outer moat, baby!

If you have made it all the way through our 2 week Japan guide, well done! Obviously this doesn’t cover the whole of Japan. You need at least a month for that to happen. Next time we go to Japan, we’re going to turn right from Tokyo and go towards Sapporo. 

Japan is a country you will want to visit more than once. You will leave with memories of bullet trains that run on time to the second. Your bowing technique will leave you more flexible than your yoga teacher. Going to the toilet will never quite be the same again. You will tell your friends about how in a country that has robots running a hotel, there are still places you can’t use a credit card. All of the above will be done at your local izakaya over some sushi and sake!

Incredible 2 week trip to Japan sake barrels
You’ll be telling all your friends about Japan over sake. Hopefully your sake barrel will be smaller than these!

If you have any comments or suggestions about our incredible 2 week Japan itinerary, please write a comment below.

Arigato gozamaishita! (We’re bowing as we say this by the way!)

 

 

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Peninsula Hot Springs near Melbourne indulge relax and rejuvenation

Only1invillage reviews the Peninsula Hot Springs Melbourne

Tired, stressed out, need a short break? Head to the Peninsula Hot Springs Melbourne for a much needed short getaway. Indulge, relax and rejuvenate. Luxury is so close at hand for city slickers at the Peninsula Hot Springs Melbourne.

Healing thermal waters are just 100 kms from the CBD. Make a day trip from Melbourne or stay in a nearby winery for extra luxury. 

The Peninsula Hot Springs on the Mornington Peninsula have long been a secret destination for corporate bonding, girls’ day out, hen parties and nature lovers. Here you can immerse yourself, literally, in warm mineral water and in nature. 

Quick Index Peninsula Hot Springs!

                  

The Benefits of Thermal Spring Waters

The benefits of geothermal waters are plentiful. You get really smooth skin and a great night’s sleep for starters! In addition to this, the minerals in the water are good for arthritis sufferers and can reduce blood pressure. Finally bathing in mineral rich waters, such as the Peninsula Hot Springs promotes detoxification. By increasing blood circulation and the movement of oxygen through the body, the warm waters contribute to the body’s detoxifying capabilities. So what are you waiting for? Not only enjoyable, a social event and a beautiful peaceful place to visit, but good for your health!

                  

When to go to the Peninsula Hot Springs Melbourne

The good thing about hot springs is that you can visit them at anytime of the year. Even when it’s cold and raining, you’ll be immersed in warm water. You won’t feel the cold at all. Personally we like to go on sunny or cloudy days with an air temperature in the 20s. 

                  

Getting To The Peninsula Hot Springs

Drive

About 1.5 hours away from Melbourne. Of course this is traffic dependent too. Taking the paid way is 15 minutes quicker than taking the free roads.

Peninsula Hot Springs near Melbourne indulge relax and rejuvenation
The best way to get to the Peninsula Hot Springs Melbourne is to drive.

Public Transport

It’s a bit difficult to get public transport and we don’t recommend it. But it is possible. If coming from Melbourne, you need to get a train to Frankston. From Frankston take the number 788 bus to Rye. From Rye you need to call a taxi or an Uber.

Tour

Book a day tour which includes entrance, lunch, wine tasting and a gondola ride. The lunch is not at the Peninsula Hot Springs. Prices start at over $200AUD. You only get to spend 2 to 3 hours in the pools, if you come on a tour.

                  

Prices and Packages at The Peninsula Hot Springs

For public bathing,  prices start at $55AUD for a whole day. To experience all pools you need at least 4 hours in our opinion. 

If you want just a ‘quickie’ and you can get to the Peninsula Hot Springs before 9am, you can pay as little as $25AUD. That’s the off peak tariff, which means Monday to Friday. Weekends are naturally more expensive!

If you don’t want to mix with the common people and are seeking seclusion, packages start at $95AUD per person. This means however, no people watching and why would you sacrifice that?! There are also plenty of other ways to spend your money, for example, buying a massage package or the Spa Dreaming Package.

                  

Staying Overnight

At present you cannot stay on site. There are plans for 10 glamping pods to be opened soon. Stay at nearby wineries or in hotels in the nearby towns of Fingal or Rye. The Peninsula Hot Springs has partner hotels on their website. We stay at the excellent 4 star Rye Hotel

                  

What to bring

Bring your own towel and bathrobe if you want to cover up as you run from pool to pool. Bring your thongs! By that we don’t mean your G string! Take our Aussie slang guide quiz to make sure you can understand what the staff are saying! 

Ladies – C always brings her own powerful hairdryer. There’s nothing worse than a bad ‘after the hot springs’ look!

Bring some clay. What? A mud mask or a body mask. There’s an area where you can paint yourself with clay, but, you have to buy it. SO bring your own instead!

                  

What not to bring

On sunny days, you don’t need sunscreen as there is plenty available at the Peninsula Hot Springs. Can we just say though, please don’t smother yourself in it and get straight in the pools. It leaves a sticky, oily mess floating on the top! 

Don’t bring jewellery because it will tarnish – badly!

Don’t wear your best footwear. They might get wet and shrink.

                  

Spend a whole day relaxing at the Peninsula Hot Springs Melbourne

The number of pools is amazing. They keep adding to the pools too. It’s getting bigger and bigger. You can bring your own food because there are dedicated picnic areas. The food isn’t that great at the cafe we’re afraid to report.

Start at the bottom of the complex and slowly work your way up!

Let’s get stuck into the pools!

We like the public spaces pools. You can have private baths, but the tubs in the private areas are not that big and there’s less people watching. Where’s the fun in that?

After parking, you follow the signs to the Reception area. It’s best to book ahead, especially at the weekends. You will get refused entry or told there’s a slot available in four hours if you want to wait. The locker charge is $5 which is activated onto your wristband. You don’t have to use a locker, there are wooden boxes that you can put your belongings by the first hot pool. However, you are relying on other people’s honesty not to rifle through your things.

The first pool has a hydrotherapy bar and lie down jet massagers, that you can activate yourself. The water temperature  is a very pleasant 36 – 37 degrees. Just behind is a cold plunge pool which apparently is the best way to use thermal waters. You warm your blood up and then you cool it down. 

Peninsula Hot SPrings near Melbourne indulge relax and rejuvenation
If you turn right after coming down the stairs at Reception, you will see these pools. The ladies in the background are sitting on the jet massagers and you can see some people doing exercises in the hydrotherapy pool.

To the left of the first pool is another low pool surrounded by trees. The water  temperature is pretty much the same as the first pool (36 -37 degrees).

As you head up the hill, you come to the reflexology walk, also known as the ‘freakin painful footpath’. Raised pebbles make a supposed therapeutic walk  to ease the tension of your whole body and massage pressure points. It’s not for everyone, but, most people do it as a badge of honour. We just like the punishment factor. Of course, it’s filled with warm spring water.

Peninsula Hot SPrings near Melbourne indulge relax and rejuvenation
J starts the reflexology walk and stops to contemplate the health benefits! Come on, you can get to the end, deep breaths!

After you survive the water walk torture, there’s another pool and then the Turkish style hamam. Basically a steam room with a dome, a hamam, is the place to sweat all the toxins out. As is traditional, there is a heated marble stone in the centre to lie on, if you like to pose. Fill up the little silver bowls with cold water to splash on yourself, if you get too hot. Make sure you close the door quickly as you enter and leave, so the temperature can remain hot and all the steam doesn’t escape.

Just adjacent to the Turkish style hamam is the sauna. It’s quite small and can fit a maximum of 10 people comfortably. Bring a towel to sit on the wood for hygiene reasons.

Peninsula Hot SPrings near Melbourne indulge relax and rejuvenation
As you ascend, each pool has either pegs or rails where you can hang your towels and bath robes. Some spots have little rectangular boxes to place your glasses in. There are also water taps, so you never get thirsty.

Before you get in each pool and after you get out, you are supposed to have a shower to rinse off any dead skin. There are a variety of massage showers which we love to stand under as the powerful jets massage the head and shoulders. All the water coming out of the massaging showers contain trace elements. C swears her hair feels better and has more root lift after using thermal waters.

Peninsula Hot SPrings near Melbourne indulge relax and rejuvenation
Rinse off and get a massage at the same time! These powerful showers are pure bliss at the Peninsula Hot Springs on the Mornington Peninsula.

The newest area of the Peninsula Hot Springs, is called the amphitheatre. This area seems less busy probably because it’s further away from the older section.

Peninsula Hot Springs near Melbourne indulge relax and rejuvenation
The newest area of the Peninsula Hot Springs is the amphitheatre area.

You get beautiful garden views here, an outdoor stage and a new cafe will be built soon. There are seven hot pools and two cold plunge pools.

Peninsula Hot Springs near Melbourne indulge relax and rejuvenation
The newest addition to the Peninsula Hot Springs Melbourne is the amphitheatre area. In the background you can see the outdoor stage.

If you turn left at the bottom of the stairs after the reception area, you start at the foot pool inside. Continuing outside there are Japanese style waterfall jets and a small cold plunge pool. There’s a hand bath basin, where you can fill up a huge stone basin with therapeutic thermal waters.

Keep walking and you will come to a pond where the ducks are having the best time! You can watch the wildlife from the next pool which has the best foot, calf and back massaging jets. The jets are on automatic timer and get switched on every 15 minutes. Most of the pools look like the one below. The temperature of the pools range from 36 to 42 degrees celcius. All the pools are clearly signed for temperature.

Peninsula Hot Springs near Melbourne indulge relax and rejuvenation
Most of the pools at the Peninsula Hot Springs Melbourne can fit 8 to 10 people. You are always surrounded by bushes and native grasses as you soak.

Now for the best part of the Peninsula Hot Springs. No it’s not pictures of us in our swimwear, it’s the hilltop pool. When you make it to the top pool, you are rewarded with a 360 degree view of the Mornington Peninsula. Be warned, however, you will rarely get this pool to yourself!

Peninsula Hot Springs near Melbourne indulge relax and rejuvenation
The hill top pool provides panoramic views of the Mornington Peninsula. Immerse yourself in nature, literally!

After some careful editing to protect the privacy of others, we can show you the hill top pool. Be warned though, you will rarely have it to yourself.

Peninsula Hot Springs near Melbourne indulge relax and rejuvenation
When you get to the hill top pool at the Peninsula Hot Springs Melbourne, you will rarely be alone! It’s quite a hot pool and very small.

We hope you enjoyed this review from Only1invillage. The Peninsula Hot Springs is an easy day trip from Melbourne. If you’re in the Mornington Peninsula area, stay at the excellent wineries of the region and of course, take a detour to the nearby beaches. Make a weekend out of it or a day trip. Relax, indulge and rejuvenate!

 

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Qantas domestic business lounge Melbourne Airport

Qantas Club Melbourne Domestic Business Class Lounge Review

Recently refurbished, one of the business class lounges at Melbourne Airport for domestic passengers gets a review from Only1invillage.

There are 2 lounges at the domestic terminal in Melbourne for business class passengers. Here we review the Qantas Club lounge. Don’t confuse it with the Qantas Domestic Business Lounge. Definitely not same same!

Before you are allowed in remember Qantas has a strict dress code. To ‘ensure  an enjoyable experience’ make sure you read this first. No beachwear! (Erm who wears that to fly anyway?) and no singlet tops for men. No UGG boots and no thongs! By thongs we mean flip flops. They’re not going to check your underwear! (See our Ultimate Aussie Slang Guide to help you understand more of the native lingo!) No sleepwear. Don’t show too much flesh or look like you’re heading off to the gym. Make sure your tops don’t have offensive slogans or images on them. (But an ‘I love Qantas’ T shirt is probably fine!)

Qantas Club Melbourne domestic business lounge at Melbourne Airport
Don’t get caught out or refused entry to the Qantas Club in Melbourne. Check this guide to make sure you’re suitably dressed.

Qantas call this particular domestic business lounge the Qantas Club. The domestic lounge got a much needed makeover. According to previous reviewers, the space for business travellers was like a dark, scary corridor! It was also cramped. The renovations are still coming. There will be more space upon completion in November 2019.

Qantas domestic business lounge Melbourne AIrport
The Qantas Club lounge has had a makeover in Melbourne. Brighter and more spacious than the previous model.

We visit on a busy Friday evening. It is definitely being tested to the maximum. Seating is sparse, conversation is loud and most of the shower rooms are busy! It is very unlike the pictures Qantas show you on their website.

Qantas domestic business lounge Melbourne Airport
Friday evening in the Qantas Club lounge in Melbourne is busy.

Here are the positives and negatives of the Qantas Club Domestic Business Class Lounge at Melbourne Airport. No wonder Qantas shorten it to The Qantas Club, it’s quite a mouthful to say, otherwise!

POSITIVES Qantas Club Lounge Melbourne Airport

The lounge location is just after security. Turn right and go up the escalator.The other business class lounge is for when you turn left at the top of the escalators.

Qantas Club domestic business lounge Melbourne Airport
Turn right at the top of the escalators after security. The newly refurbished Qantas Club domestic business class lounge awaits.

The lounge is spacious and has a light airy feel. It is very long. The placement of the bar and barista coffee machine is nice and central. The luxury touches of marble and shiny stainless steel are new and inviting. The new wooden floors give the lounge a modern touch. It looks so much better than carpet. Carpet is so last century!

Qantas Club domestic business lounge Melbourne Airport
Sleek and shiny central food and beverage aisles in the spacious Qantas Club domestic business class lounge.

The wi-fi is fast and there’s no need to ask for a password. There are plenty of charging points. Look under or near your seat.

There are various types of seating. You can grab a bar stool while you chat to colleagues or sit on the more padded chairs and armchairs. If you need to work there is desk seating too.

Qantas domestic business lounge Melbourne Airport
Various seating options range from hard stools to comfortable, padded chairs and ‘lounge’ style ‘sofas’.

Showers are available in the toilet areas. There’s no reservation system, you just go and try your luck. Towels are a bit on the thin side. The glass is frosted so you can see if someone is using it (apart from the engaged red sign in the lock).

Qantas domestic business lounge Melbourne Airport
Can’t wait until you land to freshen up? Take a quick shower. Make sure you lock the door!
Qantas domestic business lounge Melbourne Airport
Don’t forget to return your towel after your shower!

The central bar looks and feels like any classy Melbourne City watering hole. It’s clean and the service is friendly and efficient. You can order beer on tap or get bottled beer. There’s no help yourself beer at the Qantas Club. You can help yourself to wine and sparkling wine. Spirits have to be requested too. Qantas clearly want to keep you in a decent upright state before your flight. 

Qantas domestic business lounge Melbourne Airport
The sleek modern bar is in a central location in the Qantas Club Melbourne.

The barista made coffee comes with latte art and tastes great. Melbourne lattes are good in the Qantas Club  business lounge!

Qantas A380 business class desperately needs an upgrade 41
The coffee at the Qantas Club Melbourne domestic business lounge gets the thumbs up from coffee conossieurs.
Qantas domestic business lounge Melbourne Airport
Get a fresh barista made coffee to have in the lounge. Take away a Vittoria coffee if you’re in a rush. Soy skinny available too. This is Melbourne after all. The great coffee capital.

NEGATIVES Qantas Club Lounge Melbourne Airport

Catering

The biggest disappointment is the food. Avoid it, if at all possible. You probably don’t want to eat there unless you’re really hungry or like food you used to cook when you were a student living away from home! Take a look at the uninspiring food menu.

Qantas domestic business lounge Melbourne Airport
The evening menu isn’t exactly gourmet dining at the Qantas Club Melbourne lounge for domestic departures.

You can make your own toasted sandwich. There are various fillings on offer. In our opinion it wasn’t very different to the AMEX lounge at Melbourne International Airport. The taste of the one hot dish was very bland. A microwave meal for one is tastier than the pasta dish on offer.

Qantas domestic business lounge Melbourne Airport
The hot food selection is nothing to write home about. Sorry Qantas, we are not impressed.

Sorry Qantas catering, you need to lift your game. The food definitely doesn’t match the pictures on their website. 

Qantas domestic business lounge Melbourne Airport
Poor taste and presentation of one of the hot meals. The pasta is soft and the sauce tastes like the chef just added ready made sauce over it.

The wine selection is also mediocre. Qantas has not pulled out the stops when it comes to the grog! Maybe they’re thinking, no one will notice. 

Qantas domestic business lounge Melbourne Airport
The wine selection is mid range. The bottles here range from $15 to $20 AUD.

Busy busy busy.

The lounge is heaving at the end of a working week. Friday evening at the Qantas Club domestic lounge is like Friday evening in the city. There’s people everywhere, drinking and socialising. It’s noisy and you can hear everyone’s conversations.

Qantas domestic business lounge Melbourne Airport
Feels like Friday drinks in the city! Hustle and bustle your way through the Qantas Club Domestic Lounge before your flight.

Who can get into the Qantas Club?

A lot of people!

Business class ticket holders flying on a Qantas or Jetstar flight. But you wouldn’t come here, you would go next door.

Qantas Gold or Emirates Platinum Gold.

China Eastern Miles Gold.

Sapphire and Emerald business or first class travellers travelling on a Qantas flight. Again though, you won’t be happy here.

Buy Qantas Club Membership ($399 once off joining fee and $540 per annum). Not worth it in our opinion.

Buy a day pass for $49 if you’re a Qantas Silver member. Must buy in advance. No at the door purchases.

Final Thoughts

The Qantas Club lounge is the poor cousin of the Qantas domestic business class lounge. There’s no Asian Spice Bar, it’s not peaceful and the food is a taste disaster! On the positive side it is much lighter and has a brighter feel than its predecessor. If you have the choice, head next door!

 

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Emirates Business Class Lounge KL

5 enticing reasons to use the Emirates Business Class Lounge KL.

The luxurious emirates business class lounge KL is situated on the upper level of KLIA. Malaysians love using acronyms. KLIA (Kuala Lumpur International Airport) is not to be confused with KLIA2. KLIA2 is the hub for the no frills airline Air Asia and is NOT walkable. There is a train called the KLIA Express which connects the two terminals. Make sure you go to the correct terminal or your FOMO (fear of missing out) will kick in!

You are welcomed with the bright golden signature colours of the Emirates lounge. Access is granted  in any number of ways. All business and first class ticket holders. Skywards Gold members travelling in economy can access Emirates Business Class Lounge KL. If you’re a silver member, you can’t come in here, but you can when you get to Dubai.

This lounge, like all Emirates Lounges are open 24 hours a day.

The entrance to the Emirates Business Class Lounge KL
The familiar and welcoming gold and brown colours of the Emirates Lounge in Kuala Lumpur.

Here are our top 5 reasons you must visit Emirates, business class lounge when in KL.

5 Emptiness and  luxury at Emirates Business Class Lounge KL

Emirates Business Class Lounge KL
Get your timing right and you can have the Emirates Lounge in Kuala Lumpur all to yourself!

Now some people might argue that having no one in the lounge equates to no atmosphere. Personally, we love an empty lounge. The space looks cleaner, the staff are way friendlier and it’s like sitting in your own living room. The large screen TVs keep you informed on current affairs and your flight departure. We have read reviews that this lounge can get very busy, but, this was not our experience.

Emirates Business Class Lounge KL
Like the feeling of being in your own lounge room? The Emirates Kuala Lumpur Business Class Lounge can be pretty empty!

4 Refresh and relax

A business class lounge should be an area to relax in. A space to catch up on some emails or research your next destination. There are a few different areas to spread out in. The lounge is lovely and cool. The famous humidity of the Kuala Lumpur weather won’t get you in here. You can definitely spend 3 hours here easily. Take a refreshing shower, as on board, unless you’re first class, there’s no shower for you! Collect a towel and toothbrush from the attendants or just help yourself. The shower pressure is good!

Take a shower in the Emirates Business Class Lounge KL
Tried and tested. The power shower in the KL Emirates business lounge.

3 Comfortable choice of seats and varied seating areas

The seating in the Emirates Business Class Lounge KL
Comfortable and spacious seats in the Emirates Business Class Lounge in Kuala Lumpur.

There are cosy seats for families and friends. Individual armchairs for business and lone travellers are covered in leather. You can choose to sit in a cafe style area or a more restaurant looking area. There’s an office space too complete with photocopier and printer. If you’ve been to other lounges, you’ll notice the same signature colours and styles of the seats.

Comfortable dining chairs in the Emirates lounge in Kuala Lumpur
Comfortable dining chairs are available to savour the gourmet dining available on the ground in the Emirates lounge in KL.

2 Views of aeroplanes

For those who love watching the aeroplanes, the Emirates Business Class Lounge KL has you  covered. Watch luggage and catering being loaded. Imagine your comfort on the upper deck of your A380. Dream about your arrival destination as you sip on top quality champagne.

View of aeroplanes from the lounge in KL (Emirates)
From the lounge in KL, you can watch the coming and going of planes while you relax.

1 The outstanding food and beverages selection

Emirates business class lounge KualaLumpur
The gourmet dishes will have you drooling. The Emirates Business Class Lounge in Kuala Lumpur does a stellar job in presentation.

This is where Kuala Lumpur really stands out. The quality and freshness of the ingredients used are first class. The presentation and the taste of the food is as good as a restaurant. Gourmet dishes and definitely standout presentation. 

As you can see from the pictures below, care has been taken in the way the food is prepared and plated up. Even when you make your own bigger plate, it still looks good. Everything is very clean and shiny in the Kuala Lumpur Emirates Lounge. Luckily for us, we get to the food before anyone else and so there aren’t any spills or stains in the buffet area.

Gourmet food in the Emirates business class lounge in Kuala Lumpur
Tasty hot dishes to choose from in the Emirates Business Class Lounge in Kuala Lumpur.
Gourmet food in the Emirates business class lounge in Kuala Lumpur
A glass of premium red wine goes so well with the beef carpaccio.

You won’t find any cheap and nasty wines in the KL lounge. All the wines retail at about $35 a bottle. (We like to do our research!) The wines are expensive and the champagne French. Emirates don’t take short cuts on the beverages list in Kuala Lumpur.

The wines are expensive and the champagne French. Emirates don't take short cuts on the beverages list in Kuala Lumpur.
Moet is the standard champagne in Emirates business class lounges worlwide. No Asti or Cava here darling!
The wines are expensive and the champagne French. Emirates don't take short cuts on the beverages list in Kuala Lumpur.
Uh oh! It’s time to be your own bartender! No experience necessary. We should mention that non alcoholic drinks are available too of course.

Booking.com

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Emirates A380 business class review Kuala Lumpur to Paris

Emirates a380 business class Kuala Lumpur to Paris

It’s non stop luxury from the business lounge in KL and onto the first A380. A BMW return transfer service to a complimentary hotel in Dubai too. Back in the dazzling and glitzy flagship lounges (there’s 3) in Dubai and onto another A380 to Paris. Come along with us for the ride.

Quick Index of A380 Business Class KL to Paris

                                                                                                  

Getting to KLIA and the Emirates Lounge

You will notice when in Malaysia, that acronyms are everywhere. No one says Kuala Lumpur – it’s KL darling. Unfortunately the Emirates limousine service to the airport isn’t available in KL so you are stuck with a cab, Uber, Grab or train. 

Flying business class on long haul flights makes it that much more bearable! Using the lounge beforehand in Kuala Lumpur is even better. The lounge is pretty empty for the 19.10 departure flight. This is also the best flight in our opinion, because you can leisurely check out at midday from your hotel. Most, if not all hotels in Kuala Lumpur have a midday check out time. So much nicer than European hotels, that sling you out at 10am. You also miss the notorious KL traffic. Sometimes, it takes over 1.5 hours from downtown KL to KLIA (Kuala Lumpur International Airport). The lounge is actually very impressive check out our full review here.

Stopover, Flight Times and Transit

Emirates flies with 1 stop in Dubai, between Kuala Lumpur and Paris (Charles de Gualle). There are 3 flights daily. Departure times from the Malaysian capital, are, 01:10, 10.15 and 19:10. The flight time is approximately 7.5 hours for each leg of the journey.

Emirates flight times from Kuala Lumpur to Paris
Emirates flies 3 times a day from Kuala Lumpur to the French capital.

The transit time can range from 3.5 hours to 18 hours! If you opt for the longest stopover, in business class, Emirates will provide you with a complimentary hotel stay. This will also include your meals and transfer in Dubai.

Emirates business class long transfer chauffeur Emirates provide all business and first class passengers with a complimentary chauffeur to a hotel in Dubai. Your layover in Dubai has to be over 6 hours to access this.

Emirates use Dubai and Singapore for their stopovers in Asia from Australia and New Zealand. From Kuala Lumpur, you’ll be in  transit in Dubai for between 3.5 hours to overnight. If you choose the overnight stopover/layover option, (anything over 6 hours for business class passengers) Emirates will provide you with a complimentary hotel. Emirates call this their Dubai Connect service. All the meals are included and so is the BMW or Mercedes chauffeured car to and from the hotel.

Emirates business class stopover in Dubai includes a BMW to and from the complimentary hotel
Emirates business class stopover in Dubai includes a BMW to and from the complimentary hotel if your stop over is 6 hours or longer.

The hotels Emirates use varies. We stayed in the Roda Hotel. Emirates like to advertise the Copthorne Hotel as standard, but it is at their discretion.

Emirates business class stopover in Dubai includes a complimentary hotel
Emirates business class stopover in Dubai includes a complimentary hotel stay. All meals and transfers to and from the hotel are provided.

                      

You must make use of the stopover in Dubai by using the Moet and Chandon Lounge in Terminal 3. It’s quite unique. When flying business class via Dubai, don’t miss out. See our separate review here for the Dubai Emirates Lounge. Read on to find out what to expect from the Emirates A380  business class flight from Kuala Lumpur to Paris, via Dubai. 

                                                                                                

Here’s the full review of the flight on Emirates A380 business class flight from Kuala Lumpur to Paris

 

After using the very non busy Emirates Lounge in Kuala Lumpur, (See separate review here) we are very relaxed as we board the 7.5 hours flight to Dubai. The personal welcome message ensures you are in the correct seat! Naturally you will have chosen the best seat via the Emirates App, beforehand!

                                                                                

the Emirates  A380 business class cabin

                                                         

The cabin is spacious and private on the upper deck. Nab the window seats if you’re a lone traveller. The window seats offer the most privacy. The middle seats are great for friends. Even if you’re not travelling together, the middle seats are still private enough.

Emirates A380 business class cabin configuration
The cabin configuration on the Emirates A380 is 1 – 2 -1.

The walnut and cream colours are used throughout the cabin. There are a couple of gold bling accents throughout too.  The bar is packed up for take off. It looks modern and funky when the canapes and stuzzichini come out later! You receive your champagne before take off.

EMirates business class cabin a380 kula lumpur to paris
No Emirates business class flight is complete without the pre -flight champagne and nuts.

When you need to sleep, the cabin darkens and you look up to the twinkling stars. Well, not literally, the electric stars on the roof. There is also mood lighting that sends signals to your body to prepare for sleep and waking up. That’s why some of the photos are a strange colour!

Emirates business class A380 KL to Paris via Dubai review
The configuration of the seats is good for both single and couple travellers. The privacy screens in the middle seats are high enough to shut out your fellow traveller, should the need arise! There is no problem getting in or out of every seat. All seats offer easy aisle access.

 

                

the seat and surrounds on Emirates A380 business class

The most important thing about the seat in any business class flight is that it reclines to 180 degrees.  A flat bed makes all the difference. There’s good storage space around you and you won’t inconvenience anyone when accessing your belongings. In business class, ample electrical points for charging various devices comes as standard. You get a personal soft drinks mini bar too. An additional ‘mattress’ for softness is  provided after take off. Your personal tablet is also available for flight information and selecting entertainment.

Emirates A380 business class review Kuala Lumpur to Paris via Dubai
Reserve a window seat if you want more privacy on the Emirates A380 business class seats.

The seats are most importantly able to go to a fully flat position. The Emirates 777 -300 ER business class does not do this. Newer 777 – 200LR planes do, however have a lie flat bed. The 180 degrees position allows you to get a full night’s rest. Immediately after take off, Emirates provides you with a ‘mattress’ which makes the seat even more comfortable for sleeping. Even if you don’t want to sleep, the mattress provides an extra layer of comfort.

Emirates business class A380 KL to Paris via Dubai review
A sleeping C awakes from the fully flat lie down bed in business class. Note the happy face after a good rest. Check your plane model carefully as not all Emirates planes have 180 degree positions. Shock horror! Yes, some of the older planes only have angled seats in business class. You have been warned.

There is plenty of space surrounding you. Plenty of stowage space by your feet and the over head locker.

Emirates A380 business class deep locker window seat
If you have a window seat you get a deep storage locker.

Some people don’t like the personal storage ‘box’ which is quite deep on your window side if you have a window seat. If you’re in the aisle seats, you have plenty of storage overhead. You’ve got your USB ports and international sockets close at hand too. Your soft drinks mini bar and small items storage shelf are all within easy reach.

Emirates A380 business class review Kuala Lumpur to Paris via Dubai
The seat area on the Emirates A380 business class includes your own personal mini bar. Plenty of charging options and your own personal tablet.

So, after the welcome drink and warm nuts, which come in a ceramic bowl, it’s time to look into the amenity bag. Men get a compact, grey rectangular toiletries bag filled with mini sized Bvlgari products. A disposable razor, shaving foam, the plastic toothbrush and those all important sexy flight socks!

Emirates A380 business class review Kuala Lumpur to Paris via Dubai
Looking into the mens’ toiletries bag. Bvlgari products, shaving foam and a razor to fight the 5 o’clock shadow. The bag is quite smart and good for re-use.

Ladies get a beige Bvlgari toiletries bag. Plastic brush, compact mirror, toothbrush, eye mask, body lotion and eau de toilette. Not sure the bag is reusable. It’s not as sturdy as the mens’ toiletries bag.

Emirates business class a380 flight kula lumpur to Paris
The ladies’ toiletries bag is filled with mini sized Bvlagri products.

All passengers are provided with noise cancelling headphones. They’re not as good as your BOSE headphones, but 10 times better than the economy class headphones. 

Emirates business class Kuala lumpur to Paris
Your noise cancelling headphones. A lot more padded and comfortable than the economy headphones!

 

                  

Emirates A380 business class In flight Entertainment

The entertainment system for business class passengers comes with a huge 23 inch screen. You can control your entertainment in three ways. You can touch the screen directly, use the handset, like in economy class, or use your personal tablet. There are over 4000 programmes and films. You can catch up on TV boxsets, listen to whole West End or Broadway musicals or watch endless documentaries. The latest films/ movies are a highlight of Emirates’ in flight entertainment. The flight cameras are also quite fascinating. We always leave the personal tablet on flight camera mode. If you’re not asleep, you won’t get bored.

Emirates A380 business class screen 23 inch Kuala Lumpur to Paris flight review
Your business class screen keeps you entertained for hours if you can’t sleep. Bye bye Dubai….hello Paris!

                                                                        

 Emirates A380 business class service

Business class service is pleasant and friendly. Staff notice when your personal mini bar needs a top up. We do notice that when there are only 20 passengers in business class, the friendliness of the staff increases dramatically. They are attentive, but not in your face. They also seem genuinely happy, particularly the bar staff. Where else do you get to chat and get paid at 40,000 feet? 

Emirates business class A380
Emirates flight crew are always smiling on the A380 service. Wouldn’t you if you were here?                                                                                                                    

                                                                            

the bar on the Emirates A380 business class

Fancy going to the pub or wine bar? After take off, the staff busy themselves setting up the famous bar at the back of the plane. Here you will find a large screen TV, standing room and seating for about 8 people. Little hors d’ouvres decorate the bar and cocktails are made to order.

Emirates A380 business class review Kuala Lumpur to Paris via Dubai
The famous A380 bar on board Emirates planes. Photo courtesy of Rob Young (Flickr)

If you’re a light sleeper, make sure you choose a seat away from the bar. If your flight is carrying an international sports team, things can get quite rowdy! The bar area is like a mini lounge area. You have 2 small seating areas on either side. There are 2 stand up spaces and a dedicated cocktail maker! The on board bar used to be the standout feature of Emirates business class. Now other airlines have jumped on board (no pun intended!!!) Qatar, Etihad, Virgin Atlantic and Korean Air also have on board bars. Maybe we’ll get to try them and write a review.  

                                                                                                

The food and Beverages on Emirates A380 business class

 

The food is good, but not exceptional. Whilst not exactly gourmet in taste, the presentation is solid. It is really hard to get fantastic tasting food when so high up in the air. It still needs to get reheated and this is where the freshness factor loses points. Still, the smoked salmon entree is always a good choice. You can’t go wrong, pulling out some salty fish from the refrigerator!

Your gourmet food is served on fine china crockery by Royal Doulton.  Your cutlery is exclusively designed by Robert Welch! (Just in case you wanted to know). All the salads are crisp and fresh. If you really want to know what you’re going to eat before the flight, you can download the PDF menu here.  J loves looking up the premium wine and liquor section, which you can also see here. The main draw card of all Emirates A380 planes are the bars at the back, where you can mingle with other guests or the staff. Never have your warm nuts and crudites looked so good!

The food on board is presented as a taste sensation of the globe. Flying from Kuala Lumpur you have a choice of Asian or Western starters, mains and desserts. All food is served on a crisp white tablecloth. You have shiny, stainless steel cutlery instead of plastic. If you haven’t pre – ordered a special meal, the staff come around with their phone to log your meal requests. There are also light bites available during the flight. You won’t be going hungry, that’s for sure. 

We opt for the smoked salmon starter. Moist and tasty. Fresh lemon and capers on the top are pleasing to the eye. The little salad has not wilted yet.

Emirates business class A380 KL to Paris via Dubai review
The smoked salmon starter is a great way to start off your dinner on the Emirates A380 business class. It even comes with capers!

For main course, the beef dish is succulent enough. There’s a bit too much sauce and the beef is medium. Like we say, it’s really difficult to get restaurant quality in the air.

The 7.5 hour flies by! (No pun intended)

We’re landing in Dubai and swapping onto another A380. As we opt for the long stopover in Dubai, we use the complimentary hotel service. (See above – Stopover, flight and transit times)

When we get back to the airport for our Paris flight, we make use of the Emirates Dubai lounge before boarding !

Back on board the Emirates A380 to Paris, from Dubai. We settle in to the same comfortable seats and play with the electrics again. Surely that’s the first thing everyone does? The crew is new and are as relaxed and refreshed as we are. We make sure the latest films are showing and calculate how many we can watch before landing. The menu is different and the first difficult choice is what to eat for breakfast.

We choose  the Western English breakfast. The little flower shaped butter is one of those special touches that foodies will appreciate. Cute little salt and pepper shakers add some table elegance. Fresh orange juice is on offer as well as cappuccino or freshly brewed tea. 

Emirates A380 business class review Kuala Lumpur to Paris via Dubai
It’s breakfast time! Yoghurt and a refreshing fruit salad. Fresh coffee or cappucino available.

It’s deja vu! We’re on another A380 plane. This time however we bring you a toilet review!     

                                                                                                

the toilet on the Emirates A380 business class

No Only1invillage review is complete without the important toilet pictures! Don’t look in the magnifying mirror. Flying has a terrible habit of enlarging pores and drying out your skin! You’re still breathing the same air as your fellow economy class passengers.

Emirates business class A380 KL to Paris via Dubai review
Erm, we know you have always wanted to see inside the business class toilets!

If you love brushing your teeth, you’ll find extra toothbrushes and Colgate toothpaste in the toilets. Apart from that, there’s not much more to say. It’s got a tap with hot and cold water, face cloths and perfume. It’s not a huge toilet, but how much room do you need? It is slightly bigger than economy class and of course, you have fewer people to share with.

                                                                                                

final thoughts on the Emirates A380 business class KL to Paris

 

The Emirates world wide network is quite big. Partnering with Qantas and part of the One World alliance, you can fly practically anywhere in the globe. If you’re flying with British Airways and at the last minute you get a plane swap for an Emirates A380, this is a good thing. 

On this particular flight, the two A380s are exactly the same. In fact, maybe it is the same plane? The crew changes in Dubai, but the standard of service, food, entertainment etc remains the same. 

A good thing about taking two shorter business class flights is you get to use two separate Emirates lounges in different countries. You get to experience the KL Emirates lounge and the Dubai Emirates Lounge. If you take a longer flight, for example, the Dubai to Melbourne route, which is 15 hours non stop, you only get to use the Dubai lounge.

The on board bar is a definite plus, over other long haul carriers such as Singapore Airlines and Cathay Pacific. Having a bar, brings back that luxurious feel of flying in the good old days when a whole deck was a lounge. We read  that somewhere. Is it the best business class available? Well, you’ll have to decide for yourself.

 

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Aussie Slang - Only1inVillage.com

Learn 24 Australian Slang Words and phrases in our essential Survival Guide

You have finally landed in the land Down Under. You’re in Australia. Everyone speaks English, well sort of! You’re not alone if you don’t understand everyday spoken Australian slang. Fear not, we have put together a guide we think you’ll find useful.

Australians have a special kind of English, that takes some getting used to. Here Only1invillage helps you navigate the confusing speak of ‘Straya’.  Australian slang is confusing at first, but, persevere and you will understand these humans. Take the quiz and see how well you score, Australians and visitors alike. Let your inner geek shine.  You know you want to get all the answers right!

C is a born and bred Londoner. She thought ‘Staryian’ would be a breeze. After all, it’s just English with a different accent right? WRONG! It’s taken her a few years to understand the lingo. That’s the first word in our Australian slang quiz.

The Only1invillage Aussie Slang Guide. Learn essential words and phrases to make your stay in the land of plenty a breeze! only1invillage essential guide
The Only1invillage Aussie Slang Guide. Learn essential words and phrases to make your stay in the land of plenty a breeze!

Only1inVillage Australian Slang guide starts here mate

1 – What does ‘lingo’ mean?

(A)   a type of exotic fruit, a cross between a lemon and a mango

(B)   a language

(C)   a line that can move on its own

Answer: (B)

Is this what 'lingo' means in Australian slang? An exotic fruit, a cross between a mango and a lemon? only1invillage
Is this what ‘lingo’ means in Australian slang? An exotic fruit, a cross between a mango and a lemon?

2 – How you going? What is the Australian slang speaker asking you?

(A)   How are you?

(B)   What type of transport are you using to get there?

(C)   When are you leaving?

Answer : (A)

Qantas A380 business class desperately needs an upgrade 63
This is ‘how I’m going’ – by car! Australian slang phrases you’ll need to understand. Actually, it means, ‘How are you?’

3 – Who, what or where is a ‘servo’?

(A)   A waiter or waitress

(B)   You say this when you want someone to bring you drinks

(C)   A service station where you can buy fuel and possibly go to the toilet

Answer: (C)

This person isn't your 'servo' in Australian Slang! A 'servo' is a place where you can fill up your car with fuel. Of course, it all makes sense. NOT! only1invillage Australian slang guide
This person isn’t your ‘servo’ in Australian Slang! A ‘servo’ is a place where you can fill up your car with fuel. Of course, it all makes sense. NOT!

How are you doing so far? Got them all correct? Here’s more!

4 –  Someone says to you ‘She’ll be right’ Do they mean?

(A)   Women are always right and know the answers

(B)   She’ll be here soon

(C)   Everything will be OK

Answer: (C)

5 – What, who or where is a ‘bogan’?

(A)   Something green or yellow that you shouldn’t pick from your nose

(B)   An uncouth or uncultured person

(C)   A shortened word for toboggan?

Answer (B)

6 – You’re in a moving vehicle on a road and someone says ‘Chuck a U-ey’ Do they mean?

(A)    Make a U turn

(B)    Throw up immediately

(C)    Throw a horse shoe that you just happen to have with you

Answer: (A)

7 – Who, what or where is ‘a bloody ripper’?

(A)   A person who tears things and produces blood while doing so

(B)   An angry person

(C)   Something amazing or awesome

Answer: (C)

 

8 – You’re in a pub and you hear ‘it’s your shout’ Does this mean?

(A)   You have to shout now

(B)   It’s your turn to buy all the drinks for your group

(C)   You’re talking too loudly, speak more quietly

Answer: (B)

9 – You need to go to a ‘bottle-o’ What kind of place is this?

(A)   A museum where you can see lots of bottles shaped like the letter O

(B)   A shop that sells alcohol and soft drinks

(C)   A therapist who will help you to un-bottle your emotions

Answer: (B)

10 – You’re deciding what to eat in Australia. A native suggests you go to ‘Maccas’ Where do you go?

(A)   A Spanish themed restaurant where maracas are being played

(B)   A small town west of Sydney

(C)   The fast food restaurant McDonalds

Answer: (C)

11 – You heard an Australian English speaker say, ‘I gave him the bird’ Did this mean?

(A)   I gave my mate a pet budgy (budgy – see question 12)

(B)   I tried to be a match maker with a girl friend and a mate (mate- see question 13)

(C)   I extended my middle (rude) finger in a gesture to show anger and annoyance

Answer: (C)

12 – You’re at an Australian beach, because Australia is blessed with lots of them. You hear someone say, great ‘budgy smugglers mate’ as a man walks by. You think to yourself,

(A)   That man is a known criminal who illegally imports colourful birds to Australia

(B)   The man is wearing tight swimming briefs that accentuate ‘the lump in the front’ in the shape of a cute bird that can be trained to mimic humans

Answer: (B)

'Great budgy smugglers mate!' This type of swimwear is not that common in 'Straya' The ex prime minister is a proud budgy smuggler wearer. J does not wear budgy smugglers! OK he does for swimming in the pool! only1invillage
‘Great budgy smugglers mate!’ This type of swimwear is not that common in ‘Straya’ The ex prime minister is a proud budgy smuggler wearer. J does not wear budgy smugglers! OK he does for swimming in the pool!

13 – You hear the word ‘mate’ shouted at the airport, in the street, in cafes, on the beach, well everywhere you go! Are the Australian slang speakers telling you 

(A)   You’re a friend 

(B)   You should ‘go forth and multiply’ like animals on the Discovery Channel

(C)   They are trying to say the word ‘might’ but can’t articulate it properly

Answer: (A)

14 – Your Australian slang speaking friend says, ‘Can you pick up some tinnies mate’? What do you do?

(A)   Buy some beer packaged in aluminum cans

(B)   Lift up some cans of food to show how strong you are 

(C)   Buy a random selection of tin cans

Answer: (A)

15 – A favourite one of C’s when discussing children’s behaviour. He or she ‘cracks the shits’ What is happening?

(A)   A child is desperate to go to the toilet to do a number two

(B)   A child is very angry or loses his or her temper

(C)   A child is nervous

Answer: (B)

16 – You are invited to a barbie (see question 17) and the host says in Aussie slang, ‘Don’t forget to bring the snags’ You nod and take to the barbie,

(A)   Some cigarettes, because you think snags are rhyming slang for fags, which is slang for cigarettes

(B)   Some of your SNAGS (sensitive new age guys) 

(C)   Cylindrical shapes of processed meat, wrapped in a skin, commonly called sausages everywhere else in the world

Answer: (C)

17 – Someone asks you if you have a ‘barbie’ What do you possess?

(A)   A plastic doll that has unrealistic female proportions and long blonde hair

(B)   A barbecue

(C)   A bar bell for keeping fit and strong

Answer: (B)

Is this a barbie Australian Slang only1invillage
Is this what Australians mean when they say Barbie?

 

18 – ‘See you in the arvo, for the barbie and snags’ You nod and take your sausages to the barbecue,

(A)   In the afternoon of your mate’s back garden

(B)   You’re totally confused because you can’t go inside an avocado. You think you’re good at Australian slang and heard the word ‘avo’

Answer: (A)

19 – You are walking on a hot day and you hear ‘awesome thongs mate!’ Is the Australian slang speaker complimenting you on,

(A)   Your great underwear choice, as you quickly think ‘Is my G-string showing?’

(B)   That great kitchen utensil you use to grip and lift food instead of using your hands

(C)   Your flip flops, a type of open toed sandal with no back strap, that you only wear when it’s hot. Australians even wear them in Winter. Yes, some parts of Australia have Winter!

Answer: (C)

When you get compliments on your 'great thongs', Australians mean the footwear, not your underwear! only1invillage
When you get compliments on your ‘great thongs’, Australians mean the footwear, not your underwear!

20 – Someone gives you advice about going to a popular tourist attraction because ‘it’s in woop-woop’ What do they mean?

(A)   It’s a place with an Aboriginal name

(B)   It’s quite remote or far away

(C)   You definitely should go because it will make you say ‘woop-woop’ because it’s so much fun

Answer: (B)

21 – The Australian slang term is ‘Did you get a root?’ What are they asking?

(A)   Did you find a fast route home back to Bondi?

(B)   Did you figure out the cause of the problem?

(C)   Did you have sexual intercourse?

Answer: (C)

22 – Your mate asks if you can bring the esky to the barbie? What do you bring?

(A)   A portable cooling box for your tinnies and snags

(B)   Your pet dog which is a mongrel breed – half husky and half unknown

(C)   A pair of skies

Answer: (A)

23 – Your Australian friend says, ‘Mate, it was chockers’ What do they mean?

(A)   He or she just had an awesome hot chocolate down at the cafe as they’ve given up caffeine

(B)   It was Chockers who did it, not me!

(C)   It was really full or busy

Answer: (C)

24 – You are whinging (complaining) because you’re probably a POHM (a British person who is a Prisoner of her Majesty. But, actually, descendants of the First Fleet are the real prisoners’ descendants, but, never mind). Your Aussie mate calls you a ‘sook’. Are you?

(A)   Sulking because things don’t always go your way

(B)   Saying ‘I suck’ or I’m not good at that

(C)   Being mistaken for a sock or is he/she asking you for a sock (preferably a pair)

Answer: (A)

Hopefully you are now confident to navigate the strange world of Strayian slang. Good onya mate! Ripper job for completing the quiz! Help y’self to a tinny, from the esky and grab a snag from the barbie. G’day, G’arvo and G’night from Only1invillage.

 

How did you go mate? 

Did you answer mostly A, B or C?

What kind of person are you? (Disclaimer: these personality types are not based on scientific research)

Mostly A – Crafty Cricketer  – When you’re not in the members only pavillion at the MCG (Melbourne Cricket Ground), you’re sipping rose at the Portsea Polo. 

Mostly B – Beer Drinking Bogan – You love drinking VB (Victoria Bitter) beer, while driving around in your Holden V8. The window is always down even in Winter. Maccas is your restaurant of choice. You will however, never be seen dead wearing budgy smugglers at the beach.

Mostly C – Latte Loving Larrikin – You love your piccolo, never drink capuccino after dinner and know your sashimi from your sushi. You’re also not afraid to have a few beers with your quinoa! You’ll sometimes wear your thongs or sometimes go barefoot.

Now you have mastered Australian slang like an Aussie go forth and spread the word (s). Happy travels from Only1invillage!



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