Showing posts from 2013

Tarkine Wilderness Adventure - At home in the wilderness

from 28 October 2013, Rod will disappear into the Tasmanian wilderness on a trip to the acclaimed Corinna Wilderness Experience
"an escape from mass tourism, to one of the most remote and beautiful parts of the world." Editorial and pictorial will be available from first week November 2013
these images from the website

Bangkok by Design: The Thai capital's fun and funky new hotels (updated)

Following an on-going theme, Rod strives to investigate this new wave of 'designer' hotels sweeping the crazy capital of Thailand. Currently that roster reads:
Pullman Bangkok Hotel G (Accor)Sofitel So BangkokVIE Hotel (Accor M Gallery)HansarMode Sathorn Hotel (by Siam@Siam)Muse Hotel (Accor M Gallery)The Siam Plus Rod regularly samples the staple offerings from the best known chains.
For a complete list, please email.

Burmese Days - The Road to Mandalay - A tradition revived

Years in the making, Rod gets aboard the smaller boutique RV Katha Pandaw at Mandalay for an exploration of the upper Irrawaddy River and the historic colonial-era port of Katha, the spiritual home of the once great Irrawaddy Flotilla Company.
See full itinerarySee vessel details Editorial and pictorial will be available from mid-October 2013

Freelancer or Freeloader: the quest for the 'free lunch'.

It’s one of those things all professional travel writers have to endure.

“You’re always going on free trips!”

“So, who’s paying for this?”

Continually being interrogated by fellow travellers, family members and other office-bound journalists is something I always dread. While there is always varying financial participation by all parties in any given familiarisation trip, there is an old truism that always holds.

“There’s no such thing as a free lunch.”

Now legend has it, that once upon a time all a journalist had to do was call their mate at the airline and a First Class ticket came by courier with a bottle of French Champagne. Now, there might be one or two esteemed scribes still alive who can command that kind of worship, but let me assure you, my dear reader, those days are OVER.

Even getting an upgrade on a fully paid ticket is a chore. Lounge admission, check-in queue jumping or an amenity pack is the best we can often hope for. While some airlines may be marginally more gener…

Travel Lines Travel story starters slideshow


It's all just a SeaDream

* travel completed, stories available *

In early December 2013, Rod will board this much-lauded vessel for a week sampling what the respected Berlitz Complete Guide to Cruising & Cruise Ships describe as the “Best Specialist Cruise Line”, achieving the top rating in the 'Boutique Ships' category (50 – 250 passengers).

Give your readers an intimate, very personal opinion on this luxurious vessel.
The writer will supply his own high quality images, supplemented by PR images. [email enquiry]

Derelict Tourism: exploring deserted and abandoned places

Sometimes it's just a little building on street corner, other times a vast complex or even a city. What is the attraction we have with the empty and cast off? We wonder about the history, the stories of those who once lived (and died) within. Some are centuries old, others look like the inhabitants left just yesterday.

In this story I share my own fascination with the crumbling urban decay and mysterious emptiness of these forlorn structures. From sprawling whaling stations in the sub-Antarcitc to massive buildings in the middle of huge cities, let's investigate. [Email me]

West Africa: Voodoo Town

“You will travel far and the spirits will guide you safely through many perils,” Anthony whispers into his hands cupping the tiny object. And with that short and sweet blessing, he inserts a tiny wooden pin into the little shaft and presents me with my travelling talisman. Anthony, not his real name I’m certain, looks at me with the satisfaction that reminds me of a triumphant used car salesman.

In his tiny, darkened back room, Dr David Conrad (a PhD in African studies) and I survey the bizarre assortment of fetish idols arranged on the little table. “You won’t find these legba (vodun idols) out in the market,” he says to me through barely moving lips, “these are the real deal.”

David accepts one of the idols with all the solemnity of a holy treasure, only this macabre, roughly carved figure about the size of a premature foetus has none of the beauty associated with divine objects. Its blank gnarly body is covered in coarse dust, cobwebs and lumpy red stains which need no further descri…

Bill Peach Journeys Classic Australian Aircruise

Around Australia by private jet. Sounds like a dream, but it's for real and Bill Peach Journeys have been doing it for 30 years. Jump aboard for the Classic Australian Air Cruise. [contact]

Travel Lines - 2012 flipbook

37 pages of editorial and pictorial offerings from the latest destinations and locations

Malaysia's Ghost Capital

Malaysia's grand vision of a planned administrative capital was intended to follow the great examples of Brasilia, Islamabad, Washington and Canberra.

Located 25 km south of Kuala Lumpur, the city is laid out with much use of green space and state-of-the-art urban planning.

All the important government departments are there as well as regal residences, but where is the population?

MPs and diplomats were supposed to relocate from KL en masse, but have so far refused to do so. Their empty palatial residences await their arrival.

Hotels like Pullman and Shangri-La remain almost empty. Great skyscrapers lunge for the heavens, but how much space is occupied?

The cracks are starting to show as many facades are finished but the contents remain void. The futuristic monorail system lies idle and unfinished.

Despite its design prowess, it has been described variously on the web as:

"Pyongyang without the parades."
"artificial city lacking life"
"Malaysia’s Frankens…

Kruger National Park: Life and Death in the Dark

“The lions have made a kill,” crackled the thick Afrikaans-accented voice over the 2-way radio, “we’re on them now.”

And with that, our Land Rover sped off down the bumpy track, long shadows from the setting sun creating crazy shapes in the long grass and low shrubs.

Minutes later, we’re on the scene already now in near darkness as the last embers of the setting sun fall below the distant tree line. Jacob shuts off the 4WD’s noisy diesel engine and we coast the last few metres, coming to rest close to the action. At first it’s just a jumble of dark apparitions jostling in the bush interspersed with the occasional ‘crunch’ as a rib or leg bone is crushed in the lioness’s powerful jaw.

The spotlight reveals three young lions feasting on the carcass of a freshly killed buffalo. In rotation, they come in for a few mouthfuls, tearing the flesh and sinews from the bones then ambling away for a rest before resuming the bloody buffet. This is life and death in wild Africa and we’re right th…

Chiang Mai: Pillars of Tranquility

Story starter only

The former royal city of Chiang Mai in Thailand’s mountainous north, rises above the noise from the rowdy south. Roderick Eime escapes the rabble.

“Everything in Siam has its own time”

So said the bold Anna Leonowens to King Mongkut in that famous piece of semi-fiction, “Anna and the King”

And if that time was now, the former Kingdom of Siam has indeed come into its own.

While the southern territories abound in hedonistic pleasures, attracting record tourist numbers, the north retains the charm and beauty that so enthralled the 19th century royal governess. With her precocious son, Louis, the two lived in the King of Siam’s court for six years from 1862. Anna left, never to return, while Louis returned 15 years later to begin an enterprise in the burgeoning teak trade.

He returned to the former seat of the royal family, Chiang Mai, and built a magnificent manor in the traditional Thai style. That residence has now been restored and forms the centrepiece of the s…

I think I'm going Macanese

In July I returned to Macau to see for myself the development that has occurred since my previous visit in May 2006. Macau is developing at a staggering pace, to say the least. 2013 Images - includes Hong Kong and PR-sourced images2006 Images - includes Hong Kong and PR-sourced images Earlier stories: Macau in a hurry - 12 hours to (go) spare in MacauAwaken MacauA Taste of Macau by Sally Macmillan

Iceland: Trolling about

This excerpt is published here as a guide to editors as to what material is available.

Trolling About Iceland

Be sure to pay your respects to little invisible Icelanders or your journey may end abruptly. Roderick Eime treads carefully.

“If you go walking, be careful not to kick around rocks and things. You could disturb a troll or an elf,” my guide tells me and I turn to share in the joke. But he’s not laughing.

Trolls, elves and fairies are serious business in Iceland and whoa betide any clumsy hiker who messes up the abode of one of these mysterious, unseen beings. In 2004, a golf course was being built just outside the capital, Reykjavik, when a bulldozer dislodged a massive boulder. Heavy machinery began failing and workers met with strange accidents until a very public apology ceremony was conducted. Only then could the golf course be completed.

But fantasy creatures aside, Icelanders have an enviable lifestyle. There is almost no crime or unemployment and the population enjoy the…

May 2013 - INDABA - South Africa

Coverage of INDABA 2013 with post-famils to Kruger and Cape Town

April 2013: Cape Town to Dakar aboard MS Expedition

West Africa aboard MS Expedition

For all of April 2013, Rod will travel the wild west coast of Africa, sailing aboard the 140-pax MS Expedition, visiting ports and countries seldom explored by cruise ships. Operated by G Adventures (formerly GAP), this 27-day odyssey is bound to be full of surprises.

You can see the whole itinerary here, but just quickly, we'll visit these countries:
AngolaBeninCongo - BrazzavilleThe GambiaGhanaNamibiaSao Tome and PrincipeSenegalSierra LeoneSouth AfricaTogo If you'd like to see something from this trip, please let him know now. No obligation.


BOOM Magazine: Shark Diving

from Oct 2012 issue