May 19, 2009
I am planning to visit Perth in August with my family of eight adults and a two-year-old child. We are planning to rent two cars. What should we visit in Perth city, Margaret River and Albany? Also, can you recommend a good place for farm-stay?
Ng Sheue Lin
In Perth city, stop at the King's Park and Botanic Garden for a panoramic view of the city before heading to Lake Monger to snap pictures of the black swans there.
Since you will be driving, a scenic drive to Fremantle is highly recommended. Check out the Fremantle flea market, which is open only from Friday to Sunday.
You will find farm-stays on the australianfarmstay.com.au website. There are a few in Perth.
At Albany, visit The Gap and Natural Bridge for its rock formations shaped by the powerful Southern Ocean waves. The most famous is Dog Rock, which is shaped like the head of a dog, and the large granite rock even has a motel named after it.
For an educational tour of the whaling industry, go to the Albany Whale World, where the 3-D theatres feature the giant mammals. Your child will enjoy the children's playgrounds there.
Margaret River is known for its vineyards. So if you are a wine enthusiast, stay a night or two to go on a wine-tasting tour.
The coastline also has the best beaches in Western Australia. Since you are planning to go close to springtime, it might not be too cold for a quick dip.
Which places do you recommend that I visit in Bandung, Indonesia?
Valerie Wong Ai Min
The Museum Geologi, a geological museum north of the city centre, has excellent volcano exhibits and fossils that include a model skull of the prehistoric Java Man.
The Museum Prangko is known not only for its stamp collection from all over the world, but it also offers visitors a peep into how locals lived during the old colonial times.
Like its name says, Jeans Street is the place to buy denim-wear. There are rows of stalls selling cheap jeans there.
The capital of West Java is also known for its volcanic peaks, some of which are still active.
In the north, visit the Maribaya Hot Springs, which has a thermal spa and a magnificent waterfall. There is also the Tangkuban Prahu, a huge crater that still emits sulphur fumes.
The less crowded Kawah Domas area has steaming and bubbling geysers, but you must be willing to go trekking.
For a quick pick-me-up, check into the Sari Ater Hot Spring Resort, one of the main attractions at the Ciater Hot Springs. It offers one of the best hot spring pools in Bandung.