It’s winter in Melbourne.
It’s cold and wet and we’re in lockdown so it’s a good time to look back and appreciate some of the fun tropical experiences that I have enjoyed in the past.
There have been holidays in Hawaii where I have memories of beautiful sunrises, lazy days at the beach, good food and family walks through the night market and memories of lazy days at the beach in Africa and Malaysia. In an earlier post I’ve written about a great tropical experience on Cocus Island and closer to home I’ve had some fun times holidaying on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia
In Dar es Salaam, in Tanzania, where we lived for a number of years, I enjoyed a beautiful tropical drive to school each day and watched the sunrise as I drove around the Oyster Bay road. Occasionally we would spend time at that beach which was close to the capital but a trip to Dar es Salaam’s Bahari Beach or Kunduchi Beach on a Sunday was always a highlight of the week for me. On those days our family would pile into our old and rattly Landrover and we would bounce along 17 kms of rough and rocky road out of Dar es Salaam to what seemed to me to be Paradise. It was a lovely weekend escape with white sandy beaches and restaurants and accomodation in tukul designed buildings. Tukuls are round /cone shaped mud huts with thatched roofs found in parts of EastAfrica. After a very uncomfortable drive to the beach we would have lunch in the restaurant before enjoying a long swim. Swimming at Bahari Beach was peaceful and relaxing in beautiful tropical surrounds. Bahari Beach in the 80’s was very basic but beautiful. Kunduchi Beach was nearby and I remember it as a good place to watch the fishermen organising their boats and sometimes pulling in their nets full of fish.
In Malaysia in the 70’s where we also lived we had a motoring family holiday and drove around the country starting at Kuala Lumpur. It was a long time ago and I have forgotten most of the details of that holiday but I have never forgotten our visit to Terengganu Beach on the east coast of Malaysia. It was peaceful and seemed to be untouched and there were no footprints or signs of other visitors. White sandy beaches stretched for miles and we watched the fishermen pulling in their boats. At that time Terengganu Beach had not been developed as a tourist resort.
I also have memories of an amazing holiday experience in Penang, Malaysia with my husband and three young children. At the time we were living in Kuala Lumpur and we were very excited about this trip. I am guessing that the Penang of today is very different to that of the 70’s but I remember it as a beautiful place with lovely sandy beaches. My memory of this holiday has faded but I do remember the balmy evenings and having dinner on the beach while we watched the sun set. It was stunning and I still remember thinking how lucky I was to be able to holiday in such a beautiful place with a very young family. Penang is a small tropical island. There were amazing sea views and beautiful gardens at the hotel in Batu Ferringhi where we stayed. The hotel was not luxurious but ideal for a family and the children had fun swimming in the pool and playing on the beach. The night market was within walking distance and we enjoyed the variety of Malaysian dishes that were available, especially the seafood dishes.
I’ve often thought about returning to Penang but with so many COVID issues and our borders closed to International travellers a return seems unlikely at the moment – but it’s a beautiful place to remember!