Facebook Login twitter login

avatar

The Wandering Kiwi

Natasha von Geldern

Rss Author Twitter Author Facebook Author Linkedin Author

Natasha Von Geldern is the Wandering Kiwi, a freelance travel writer whose obsession is discovering and covering the world - making the pages of the atlas real, one trip at a time. Having visited nearly 50 countries, with a strong focus on Asia, she is currently based in Melbourne, Australia and writing for online sources around the world. She blogs at www.worldwanderingkiwi.com and tweets about all things travel @NvGtravels.

thumb

Jaipur: Exploring the Pink City

March 6, 2013 - 0 Comments - Natasha von Geldern

THE city of Jaipur forms one point of India’s “Golden Triangle” but when I arrived in the Pink City I confess I knew little about the sights to see, apart from it presumably having some pink buildings. The rose-coloured ochre wash was originally applied to the buildings as part of preparations to welcome Prince Albert,…>

thumb

River cruising in Yangshuo, China

February 25, 2013 - 0 Comments - Natasha von Geldern

ON my first day in Yangshuo, southern China’s legendary karst mountain landscape so overwhelmed me that I rushed to take a boat ride on the Li River. This is the scenery immortalised on the back of the 20 Renminbi note and attracts millions of visitors each year. Yes the scenery from the boat is spectacular,…>

thumb

Searching for unspoilt Ubud in Bali

November 16, 2012 - 0 Comments - Natasha von Geldern

WHEN I first arrived on a hot afternoon in the central streets of Ubud I felt disappointed. My first impression was that 30 years of headlong tourist development have left Bali’s artistic centre a noisy, polluted traffic jam. Yes it is a fascinating mix of east and west, with all the energy that arises from…>

thumb

The other side of paradise: West Bali National Park

November 12, 2012 - 0 Comments - Natasha von Geldern

SITTING at a romantic table under a hand-blown glass lantern waiting for my dinner to arrive I suddenly caught my breath. Picking their way through the shallow, mangrove-root-punctuated sea were a pale beige Menjangan deer and her fawn. Under a starry sky and a crescent moon I was finding it difficult to believe it was…>

thumb

Australia’s great rail journey: The Indian Pacific

October 20, 2012 - 0 Comments - Natasha von Geldern

I awoke early on my first morning aboard the Indian Pacific and opened my blinds to a rich apricot dawn along the horizon below a perfect, newly-minted moon and one star so bright and big it looked as if someone had been punching holes in the sky. It was one of the most beautiful scenes…>

thumb

Wanaka: A slice of Kiwi paradise

October 8, 2012 - 0 Comments - Natasha von Geldern

THE Southern Lakes region of New Zealand is a land of clear mountain water braiding through shingle river beds into deep blue lakes. At the end of winter it is a landscape of many variations on the color brown, offset by bright snow on the mountains and red rose hips in the valleys. Many travelers…>

thumb

Mountain biking in Malaysia

September 27, 2012 - 0 Comments - Natasha von Geldern

WITH exciting jungle single-tracks and glorious coastal scenery, Malaysia is an off-the-beaten-path mountain biking destination that is quickly growing in popularity. Whether you want to challenge yourself by biking around Mt Kinabalu or enjoy the fun of the Langkawi International Mountain Bike Challenge, you should definitely consider taking your bike on holiday to Malaysia. Mountain…>

thumb

Views from the top of the world: Climbing Mt Kinabalu

September 19, 2012 - 0 Comments - Natasha von Geldern

DAWN is breaking over Malaysian Borneo and a tired group of climbers have stopped, awestruck by what they can see. Soon they will enthusiastically begin to take photographs of each other and the incredible views from the top of Mt Kinabalu, but for now they are breathless with wonder. At 4,095 metres they have every…>

thumb

Malaysia’s hill country: The Cameron Highlands

September 9, 2012 - 0 Comments - Natasha von Geldern

THE bus from Tapah to Tanah Rata winds slowly and steeply through jungle-clad and mist-wreathed hills. I’m on my way to Malaysia’s biggest hill station, the Cameron Highlands. Every one hundred metres or so is a palm frond shelter, built with varying degrees of sophistication, where a man or a boy waits, hoping to sell…>

thumb

Malaysia: Diving in the Perhentian Islands

September 2, 2012 - 0 Comments - Natasha von Geldern

Eight metres underwater I turned and drifted slowly into the midst of a glittering school of Yellow-Spotted Trevally. I controlled my movement with the barest of body actions and, like a shimmering golden mist, the fish turned side-on to look unconcernedly at me. It was in the night markets of Kota Bharu that diving on…>

thumb

Agra: The architecture of paradise

August 30, 2012 - 0 Comments - Natasha von Geldern

SUNRISE at the Taj Mahal: the pollution that cloaks the city of Agra is pierced for just a few minutes. The vast marble surfaces catch the first, red glow of dawn and then the golden light of the sun rising. This play of light on the facades of the Taj Mahal is a deliberate decorative…>

thumb

Beach holidays on the Perhentian Islands

August 30, 2012 - 0 Comments - Natasha von Geldern

SOFT white sand lapped by clear turquoise water and framed by arching coconut palm trees – what more could you ask for in a tropical paradise island? A world away from the over-developed resorts elsewhere in south-east Asia, the Perhentian Islands are a beach holiday destination that is definitely under-the-radar for most tourists. The large…>

thumb

A multi-cultural tour of Penang, Malaysia

August 30, 2012 - 0 Comments - Natasha von Geldern

By Natasha von Geldern The rickshaw turned smoothly on to the Esplanade and the crumbling colonial administrative buildings along the waterfront breeze past. In the multi-cultural country of Malaysia perhaps nowhere is quite so vibrantly diverse as Penang, the state and island off the west coast of the Malaysian peninsula. The capital of Penang –…>

thumb

Top 5 day trips from Kuala Lumpur

August 29, 2012 - 0 Comments - Natasha von Geldern

By Natasha Von Geldern The Malaysian capital is a city of fascinating contrasts, rich culture and wonderful street food but make sure you take time to get out of the city and experience one or more of these top five day trips from Kuala Lumpur: 1.      The Batu Caves A revered Hindu temple, an impressive…>

thumb

A guide to Penang’s best beaches

August 28, 2012 - 0 Comments - Natasha von Geldern

Find accommodation in Penang to suit your budget on Agoda.com MOST travellers on Penang Island in Malaysia flock to the capital Georgetown with its gleaming skyscrapers overlooking crumbling colonial architecture and famous street food markets. But while the city life of Penang is a wonderful example of vibrantly multi-cultural Malaysia the beaches and islands are…>

thumb

Top sailing locations in Malaysia

August 28, 2012 - 1 Comments - Natasha von Geldern

By Natasha von Geldern Whether you love sailing under canvas or by motor, on small craft or large, independently or on a charter, the extensive coastline of Malaysia offers a wide range of sailing experiences and interesting ports of call. From the popular waters along the coast from Langkawi and the multi-cultural attractions of Penang…>

thumb

Exploring Melaka’s heritage

August 28, 2012 - 0 Comments - Natasha von Geldern

ACROSS the 16th century the great European powers jockeyed for position and fought bitterly over a scrap of land on the coast of what is now Malaysia. The Portuguese came first in 1511, headed by admiral and military genius Alfonso de Albuquerque. They were seeking the fortunes to be made in this vital trading post.…>

thumb

키나바루 산 정상에서 바라본 경관

August 20, 2012 - 0 Comments - Natasha von Geldern

나타샤 본 겔던 말레이시아 보르네오에 해가 뜨자 피곤에 지친 등반가들이 눈 앞의 경이로움에 놀라 멈추어 섰다. 곧 자신들과 키나바루산 정상의 놀라운 경관을 열심히 사진에 담느라 바쁘겠지만 바로 이 순간 만큼은 경이로움에 숨이 막힌 모양이다. 해발 고도 4,095미터에서 숨이 차는 것은 당연하다. 이곳은 동남 아시아에서 가장 높은 지점이고 등반가들은 로우 봉우리의 정상에 다다르기 위해 이틀 동안…>

thumb

In the hill country of Vietnam…

August 8, 2012 - 0 Comments - Natasha von Geldern

THE air in Sa Pa is refreshing after the broiling lowlands of Vietnam. It feels strange to be wearing shoes and a jersey in this, Southeast Asia’s version of an alpine resort. After many centuries of southwards migration from China and northwards migration from Indonesia, the hill country of Vietnam is a fascinating mix of…>

thumb

The many faces of Vietnam’s Mekong Delta

July 11, 2012 - 1 Comments - Natasha von Geldern

LIFE in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta is fascinating to observe, if not always picturesque. In a place where people’s lives revolve around the waterways, the massive expansion of rice production and dangerous levels of pollution spell trouble. Getting up at dawn to visit a floating market, the palely opaque water slaps against the sides of small…>

thumb

Thailand: The bridge over the River Kwai

July 8, 2012 - 0 Comments - Natasha von Geldern

I’VE always been a fan of Alec Guinness and so when in Bangkok I had to visit Kanchanaburi, where his famous film “Bridge Over the River Kwai” was set. Only a couple of hours away from the Thai capital, Kanchanaburi is a bustling town that attracts tourists to its markets, Tiger Temple and elephant sanctuary.…>

thumb

Vietnam’s Hue Citadel and a cruise on the Perfume River

July 4, 2012 - 0 Comments - Natasha von Geldern

THE ancient citadel of Hue was once capital of the Nguyen dynasty but what remains of the Forbidden Purple City now sits quietly in its peaceful, grass-grown garden, surrounded by a nearly million-strong Vietnamese city. Hue’s monuments are a battle-scarred Unesco World Heritage site after fierce battles during the 1968 Tet Offensive. Bullet holes punctuate…>

thumb

Melaka: Malaysia’s cultural melting pot

June 28, 2012 - 0 Comments - Natasha von Geldern

SCOOTERS are buzzing and tooting through streets lined by faded historical buildings. But I’m not in a small town in Portugal or Italy. I’m in Malaysia, in a town once mighty in commerce and now languishing in the shadows of history. Melaka, at the foot of peninsular Malaysia, is a cultural melting pot to end…>

thumb

My Son: A spiritual crossroads in Vietnam

June 20, 2012 - 0 Comments - Natasha von Geldern

IT is rice harvesting time in Vietnam and everywhere women in conical straw hats are scything and gathering the green soggy stalks into armfuls to be spread out for drying. In the midst of a rice paddy area near Hoi An, is a peaceful ruin that is a testament to the historical religious patchwork of…>

thumb

Food, drink and fashion in Sydney’s Surry Hills

June 18, 2012 - 0 Comments - Natasha von Geldern

SURRY HILLS is one of the latest inner city neighbourhoods to hit the cutting edge of this ever changing Australian metropolis. It’s the beating heart of Sydney’s artistic world, and it’s packed with new hot drinking spots and eateries.  The area started life in the 19th century as a popular spot for the mansions of wealthy…>

thumb

The Perhentians: Paradise islands in Malaysia

June 12, 2012 - 0 Comments - Natasha von Geldern

SWIMMING here is like pushing my arms through liquid glass, the pale green glass of old-fashioned milk bottles. When I tip back my head the water disappears to be replaced by an endless blue and a shadowy half moon. Even further back and the green heads of palm trees appear like spiders on long stalks.…>

thumb

Nature all around: Australia’s Kakadu National Park

June 6, 2012 - 0 Comments - Natasha von Geldern

AN exquisite blue kingfisher alights on a paperbark tree and is reflected in the lily-studded water on Yellow Water billabong. Somewhere nearby a four-metre crocodile lurks under the trailing roots of freshwater mangroves. I’m in Kakadu National Park and the steamy fecundity of nature is everywhere around me.  From watching the glorious sunset over Arnhem…>

thumb

Delhi up close: Humayun’s Tomb

June 2, 2012 - 0 Comments - Natasha von Geldern

THE best time to visit Humayun’s Tomb, on the banks of the Yamuna River in Delhi’s old quarter, is in the dying light of the day. The huge sandstone mausoleum of the second Moghul emperor explodes with glowing red colour in the evening sun, the gorgeous Persian-style building picked out in white marble. The tomb…>

thumb

A Mumbai day trip to Elephanta Island

May 22, 2012 - 0 Comments - Natasha von Geldern

MUMBAI Harbour is calm as calm, the water opaque with an oily sheen. The docks and then the great city slowly disappears into the thick air pollution. Out in the Gulf of Cambray we are eerily surrounded by the ‘Bombay Mist’. Elephanta Island is a popular day trip from Mumbai and the ferry boat departs…>

thumb

Arts, eats and music: Exploring Melbourne’s Fitzroy

May 15, 2012 - 1 Comments - Natasha von Geldern

IT’S grungy, it’s trendy, it’s the place to be in Melbourne: Brunswick Street in the inner city suburb of Fitzroy has bags of character and some of Melbourne’s best cheap eats. Decades of settlement by Mediterranean immigrants led to the foundation of Melbourne’s famous café scene right here, followed by years as the centre of…>

thumb

Bukhara: Uzbekistan’s Silk Road wonder

May 8, 2012 - 0 Comments - Natasha von Geldern

BUKHARA has been an oasis in Uzbekistan’s dry landscape since before the days of the Silk Road trading routes and seeing the flowering of Islamic architecture here is a shortcut to travel paradise. There is main complex of Medressahs, or universities, including the stunning Kalon Tower. Serious but smiling students loiter outside their schools, which…>

thumb

An unpleasant but necessary trip: War Remnants Museum, Ho Chi Minh City

May 7, 2012 - 0 Comments - Natasha von Geldern

A visit to the Museum of War Remnants in Ho Chi Minh City is exactly how not to have a pleasant holiday experience, yet it is a “must do” for every tourist to Vietnam. This photo of War Remnants Museum (Nha Trung Bay Toi Ac Chien Tranh) is courtesy of TripAdvisor No, viewing photograph after…>

thumb

Eating out in Hong Kong? Just follow the locals

May 1, 2012 - 0 Comments - Natasha von Geldern

HONG KONG is famed for its culinary delights and the rule for eating well is of course to follow the locals. On my first night in Hong Kong it was the fresh mango juice, or fresh coconut juice with red bean that had me in transports of delight at The Sweet Dynasty in Tsim Tsam…>

thumb

Delhi up close: India Gate

April 24, 2012 - 0 Comments - Natasha von Geldern

IN Delhi manic traffic, dense air pollution and struggling humanity contrast with spectacular architecture and aspirational town planning. Nowhere more so than at India Gate. It may not have the attraction of famous Old Delhi sights like the Red Fort but the India Gate is a great place to see and meet regular Delhi people.…>

thumb

A relaxing retreat in Daylesford, Australia

April 20, 2012 - 1 Comments - Natasha von Geldern

NATURAL mineral springs, goldrush-era architecture and a burgeoning food and wine scene make Daylesford one of the most popular weekend breaks out of Melbourne. Nestled in the foothills of the Macedon Ranges just over 100 kilometres northwest of Melbourne, the small town of Daylesford was established at the height of the Victorian goldrush in the…>

thumb

New Zealand’s other West Coast

April 17, 2012 - 0 Comments - Natasha von Geldern

MANY visitors to New Zealand chart the obligatory tour up the west coast of the south island: the glaciers, the lakes, the wild coastline. But the west coast of the North Island also has much to offer. From the ferocious surf beaches to serene harbour settlements, this is where many New Zealanders have holiday homes…>

thumb

The romance of Udaipur

April 13, 2012 - 0 Comments - Natasha von Geldern

HAVING lunch at Jagat Niwas, reclining on cushions in a private window alcove framed by scalloped archways, I concluded that Udaipur must be the most romantic place in India, if not the world. The White City of Rajasthan is almost unbearably romantic, with creamy palaces floating on the lake, sunsets and boat cruises to croon…>

thumb

Review: Hobart’s MONA Gallery

April 4, 2012 - 0 Comments - Natasha von Geldern

DESCENDING into the bowels of a deep pit hacked out of a sandstone cliff. That’s what it feels like entering the Tasmanian capital of Hobart’s newest big attraction. The Museum of Old and New Art has been open more than a year now and is a success by any measure. The private museum is the…>

thumb

Nepal: A trekker’s life in Namche Bazaar

April 3, 2012 - 0 Comments - Natasha von Geldern

NAMCHE Bazaar is a Nepali mountain village that has been transformed by the trekking industry. I’m not sure quite what I expected of this famous Himalayan town but satellite TV and cyber cafes were not it. A stop in Namche is a part of many of the incredible treks in Nepal’s Khumbu region and a…>

thumb

The Asian side of Istanbul

March 31, 2012 - 0 Comments - Natasha von Geldern

A CONCOCTION of sherbet and black mulberry juice slides down my throat and my eyes widen with excitement at the dishes of pilaf and kebab laid out before me on the table. The street outside the restaurant is festooned with reddening grapevine leaves that sway in the faint breeze. Istanbullus are proud of their city…>

thumb

A taxi tour in Mumbai

March 27, 2012 - 0 Comments - Natasha von Geldern

FROM Narriman Point I look out past the breakwater, through the murky polluted air, and across the harbour to the endless towers of Mumbai’s central business district. It is easy to be overawed by the sheer size of Mumbai: after all it is one of the most populous cities in the world and home to…>

thumb

Riverboat travel in Laos

March 23, 2012 - 0 Comments - Natasha von Geldern

THE mighty Mekong River runs through the People’s Democratic Republic of Laos and has a profound influence on both life and travel in this tiny southeast Asian country. I first crossed the Mekong up near the Thai border, entering the country in a longtail boat under a lowering monsoon sky. Travellers crowd onto a cargo…>

thumb

Visiting Nepal’s Tengboche Monastery

March 20, 2012 - 0 Comments - Natasha von Geldern

THE path sidled around to the Tengboche Valley then plunged down to the river as the cloud boiled up from below. Mist hung about until the snow started but I could still see some large bird of prey soaring above as I followed the hill path to climb up the other side of the deep…>

thumb

Australia: Going to the Prom… exploring Wilsons Promontory

March 17, 2012 - 0 Comments - Natasha von Geldern

DRIVING to Wilsons Promontory through a mauve-skied evening, a big yellow harvest moon cast a big pool of silver light on the sea. Setting up our tent in the dark I heard a munching sound nearby – a wombat was quietly cropping the grass just beside the ablution block. After dusk there are amazing wildlife…>

thumb

India: Taking the Himalayan Queen to Simla

March 13, 2012 - 0 Comments - Natasha von Geldern

THE Himalayan Queen, one of India’s five ‘toy’ trains, chugs at a sedate 18 miles per hour from Kalka to Simla – the former summer capital of the British Raj. It is only 60 miles but you can feel the three per cent gradient of the narrow gauge track and impressive multi-arched viaducts make it…>

thumb

Festival focus: Melbourne Food and Wine Festival 2012

March 7, 2012 - 0 Comments - Natasha von Geldern

THE fabulous riverbank opening weekend is behind us (until next year) but there’s plenty more to enjoy at the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival this month. It is the 20th edition of an enormously popular festival and this year over 400,000 people from around Australia and the globe will enjoy 100 events taking place in…>

thumb

Camel racing at the Rajasthan Desert Festival

February 29, 2012 - 2 Comments - Natasha von Geldern

AN ancient outpost in India’s Rajasthan, the golden fort of Jaisalmer is the perfect place from which to set out on an exploration of the Thar desert. While on a camel trek from Jaisalmer I was lucky enough to catch the end of the annual Desert Festival. Thousands of people had gathered from the surrounding…>

thumb

Staying in a yurt in Kyrgyzstan

February 27, 2012 - 0 Comments - Natasha von Geldern

TRAVELLING into the mountains of Kyrgyzstan to meet some of the semi-nomadic herdspeople, I was treated to some of this Central Asian country’s most beautiful mountain landscapes and found out more about the legendary hospitality of the Kyrgyz people. With over 93 per cent of the country sitting over 1,000 metres, herding and horses are…>

thumb

Australia: The Kings Canyon Rim Walk

February 22, 2012 - 0 Comments - Natasha von Geldern

THE Watarrka National Park is at the western end of the 70-kilometre-long George Gill Range in Australia’s Northern Territory. It forms a geological and ecological meeting place of the Simpson, Western and Macdonald Ranges regions. But it’s probably most famous for Kings Canyon, a great scar in the landscape that draws a small numbers of visitors who…>

thumb

Trekking in India: The Dhauladar Range

February 20, 2012 - 4 Comments - Natasha von Geldern

WATCHING the stars rise over the Outer Himalayas is a slow fade to black; until you can see the stars but not the mountains. This was star rise from the pretty village of Kaneri, at the foothills of the Dhauladar Range, at the beginning a four-day trek in the Himchal Pradesh region of India. It…>

Jaipur: Exploring the Pink City

Jaipur: Exploring the Pink City

March 6, 2013 - 0 Comments - Natasha von Geldern

THE city of Jaipur forms one point of India’s “Golden Triangle” but when I arrived in the Pink City I confess I knew little about the sights to see, apart from it presumably having some pink buildings. The rose-coloured ochre wash was originally applied to the buildings as part of preparations to welcome Prince Albert,…>

River cruising in Yangshuo, China

River cruising in Yangshuo, China

February 25, 2013 - 0 Comments - Natasha von Geldern

ON my first day in Yangshuo, southern China’s legendary karst mountain landscape so overwhelmed me that I rushed to take a boat ride on the Li River. This is the scenery immortalised on the back of the 20 Renminbi note and attracts millions of visitors each year. Yes the scenery from the boat is spectacular,…>

Searching for unspoilt Ubud in Bali

Searching for unspoilt Ubud in Bali

November 16, 2012 - 0 Comments - Natasha von Geldern

WHEN I first arrived on a hot afternoon in the central streets of Ubud I felt disappointed. My first impression was that 30 years of headlong tourist development have left Bali’s artistic centre a noisy, polluted traffic jam. Yes it is a fascinating mix of east and west, with all the energy that arises from…>

Australia’s great rail journey: The Indian Pacific

Australia’s great rail journey: The Indian Pacific

October 20, 2012 - 0 Comments - Natasha von Geldern

I awoke early on my first morning aboard the Indian Pacific and opened my blinds to a rich apricot dawn along the horizon below a perfect, newly-minted moon and one star so bright and big it looked as if someone had been punching holes in the sky. It was one of the most beautiful scenes…>

Wanaka: A slice of Kiwi paradise

Wanaka: A slice of Kiwi paradise

October 8, 2012 - 0 Comments - Natasha von Geldern

THE Southern Lakes region of New Zealand is a land of clear mountain water braiding through shingle river beds into deep blue lakes. At the end of winter it is a landscape of many variations on the color brown, offset by bright snow on the mountains and red rose hips in the valleys. Many travelers…>

Mountain biking in Malaysia

Mountain biking in Malaysia

September 27, 2012 - 0 Comments - Natasha von Geldern

WITH exciting jungle single-tracks and glorious coastal scenery, Malaysia is an off-the-beaten-path mountain biking destination that is quickly growing in popularity. Whether you want to challenge yourself by biking around Mt Kinabalu or enjoy the fun of the Langkawi International Mountain Bike Challenge, you should definitely consider taking your bike on holiday to Malaysia. Mountain…>

Find a place to stay

best price guarantee


Villa Kiara Boutique Hotel

View

Barefoot Sakau Lodge

View

The Peninsula

View

Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit

View

Shangri La Bangkok

View

The Heritage House & Gardens

View

Webdesign