It’s been a pretty crazy week this week with lots going on behind the scenes at Romance Media. We’ve also started our coverage of our recent foray into Sabah, Borneo, which is exciting.
Here’s our first article, which details the majority of our trip. Because our visit to Sabah covered so much, we’re calling this our essential guide to this amazing part of Malaysia. It’s also one of the biggest posts we’ve ever done, so get yourself comfortable before you start reading.
It’s also the backbone to lots more detailed info on Sabah that we’ll be rolling out over the next couple of months, so expect to see more about Sabah soon.
We’re also celebrating a bit this week as it’s our anniversary of when we met. You can read more about that yarn here.
And just as a bit of background, we also went up the coast to beautiful Port Stephens last weekend to celebrate Mrs Romance’s mum’s birthday (happy birthday, Jeanette!), and here are some of the shots from that trip. This means we’ll be publishing our guide to Port Stephens very soon too. 😉
We hope you enjoy this week’s IG Edition and we’ll see you again soon.
Jim & Christina xx
Don’t forget to sign up to our weekly newsletter that I send out every Friday. In it is a rundown of the week’s posts plus news on what’s going on with us. We also give you exclusive notice on any competitions we’re running or freebies we’re giving away.
Click here to receive our newsletter and also our free ebook on travel.
The waters around Port Stephens – only a few hours’ drive north of Sydney and just round the corner to the fast-developing Newcastle – are absolutely amazing. We love it up here and come up as often as we can. It’s been a family favourite of Mrs Romance’s for years, and when my folks have come down to Australia, they’ve certainly enjoyed themselves here too.
The biggest town here, Nelson Bay, has a beautiful little marina and plenty to do. It’s a top spot for going out to spot whales and dolphins, which is definitely something you shouldn’t miss out on. We went whale spotting in Queensland a little while back and it’s a lot of fun.
Here in Nelson Bay there are lots of restaurants and shops, and a great pub too.
This is Bagnalls Beach just a bit up from Nelson Bay. Not only is it an absolutely stunning part of the Port Stephens coastline, it’s also one of those golden nugget secret spots that locals have managed to keep quiet for years: this is an all-year-round off-leash dog friendly beach!
Because it’s so rare to find a beach that allows dogs on it, dog owners are really careful to keep their pooches under control. This means even if you’re not keen on dogs, you’ll be fine here.
We’re back in Sydney again tonight and just in time to see evidence of the start of the new season. This sky is perfect spring style and absolutely stunning to look at. What do you reckon?
So today’s the big day. All those years ago (16 in fact) Mrs Romance and I met in a water shop (that’s a shop that just sold water) in the Sydney suburb of Paddington. I was a crusty backpacker and she had bright pink and correction-paper white hair in a pixie cut, and it was love at first sight.
Since then, we’ve seen the world together and fallen even deeper in love than either of us thought possible. Living, loving, travelling and working with this incredible lady is the most exciting thing I’ve ever done. It reminds me how blessed my life truly is.
Here’s to another 16 years of happiness and adventure, my darling.
Today, Mrs Romance and I are on a walking adventure. Well, we’re walking to the Sydney Fishmarkets anyway. Our path takes us across the Anzac Bridge, which is such a Sydney monument. Some even say they like this one more than the famous Sydney Harbour Bridge. What do you think?
Sydney Fishmarkets is one of the city’s big ticks if you’re here visiting. If you’ve ever lived here, I’ve bet you’ve been here at least once.
Even if you’re not going to buy anything, the spectacle of the Fishmarkets is enough to entertain you. It’s also the perfect spot for a bite to eat by the water.
What a lot of people don’t realise is there’s a yum cha restaurant at the back of the Fishmarkets, and it’s pretty bloody good. If you haven’t heard of yum cha before, it’s basically a Chinese buffet where you sit down at your table and they bring the food to you. Isn’t that great?!
There are lots of places around Sydney that offer this, and Fisherman’s Wharf here at the Fishmarkets is one of the best. We wrote about yum cha a while back, but we hadn’t heard of this place then… I think it might be time to revisit this post. What do you think?
This week’s travel recap
Each week we go back in time over some of our favourite travel destinations using never-before-seen photos of our travels. Here’s where we’ve been looking back on this week.
The classic Venice view: canals, gondolas, mooring posts and those classical stucco walls of the iconic Venice architecture. This city really surprised me by being a lot more beautiful and romantic than I thought it would be… and I knew it was going to be beautiful, just not that much!
We’ve written a lot about Venice over the past couple of years. Here’s a selection of our Venice coverage.
Central Park, at the heart of Manhattan Island, is such a key to what New York City’s about. It always astounds me to think that in the middle of this incredibly densely populated urban space is such a big area of nature.
This is the bridge over Bank Rock Bay looking south over the boating lake. You really get a great perspective of the city towering over the park from here.
For our first-timer’s essential guide to NYC, click here!
The main pool at the Aleenta Phuket is just stunning. The daybeds you can swim up to and enjoy are the perfect touch too, and then the added factor of the view out over the ocean makes this hotel a must if you’re looking for luxury and romance in Thailand.
Here’s our full review with a video walk-through of the rooms too.
Just next door to the main resort at Aleenta Phuket is this. It’s Villa Noi, which means simply ‘big’ in Thai, and it’s pretty much Mrs Romance’s dream home. The mid-century mansion design of this place is so well done, but this is just the entertainment area and kitchen.
Out of shot is another huge building with the master bedroom and seperate kitchen and lounge in a split-level villa, and off to the left are one-bedroom bungalows scattered around the property. It’s perfect for big groups or wedding parties. This place would be great for a big family get-together too.
If you want to see this and the rest of the resort’s rooms, check out our video walk-through of Aleenta Phuket here.
The Petronas Towers, once the tallest buildings in the world, are the focal point for Kuala Lumpur on Malaysian peninsular. They’re really quite beautiful and surprisingly shiny. I was also surprised at the park that’s in front of them – not what I expected to see in the middle of Malaysia’s busy capital.
We really enjoyed our short time in KL. We were only there for a night, but in our usual way, we packed it all in. Here’s our 24-hour guide to KL for first timers.
Said to be the most romantic dinner in Phuket, Thailand, the folk at Thavorn Beach Village Resort setting this up have a lot to live up to. The resort is just across the bay to Phuket’s party hub Patong Beach, but it’s much further away in terms of peace, luxury and romance.
One of the oldest resorts in this part of Phuket Thavorn is quirky, unique and ageing beautifully. Here’s our full review of this fascinating resort.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s IG Edition. Now tell us, how has your week been?
Great write up guys. Thavorn looks great. Even though Patong has loads of food, entertainment and shopping options, Phuket definitely has a lot more to offer. I’ve been living in Phuket on and off about 10 years now. Phuket Town is one of my favourite places on the island. It became a quite hip town recently. Loads of nice coffee shops, craft beer bars, mixology houses, funky restaurants and indie markets. Also great place to take many quality pictures with Sino-Porteguese architecture. I strongly recommend it. 🙂
Hi Nuno. Thanks for the tip. We didn’t make it to Phuket Town this trip but we’ll have to check it out next time we’re back. A friend of ours has a business in Phuket and is back all the time too. He enjoys going back but moved back to Australia to raise his kids.
Anyway, cheers for stopping by – Jim