• A Journey through Bhutan – Part 3

    Day 5 – 6
    Gangtey to Punakha

    We left this morning with Kinley and Sonam for our 2 ½  hour drive to Punakha. We arrived at lunchtime – just in time for another great meal. Punakha is set around an old farmhouse high on the hills overlooking the Punakha River. We drove to an area and then walked across the suspension bridge, then hopped in a small golf cart- like vehicle for the ride up the hill. Continue Reading

    November 16, 2011 • Asia, Ian Swain Sr • Views: 6495

  • A Journey Through Bhutan – Part 2

    Day 4
    Last night, we walked about 10 minutes from the lodge and settled down to a log fire in the middle of the neighbor’s farm land. We were served a drink of locally brewed rice alcohol and were led into a stone building. The wooden tub had been filled and the back of it was separated with a wooden divider, from which the hot water flowed in. Stones were heated on a fire and placed in the back area. As each stone was added, the water temperature would rise. In the water was a local herb which not only added fragrance, but felt healing and soothing.  The bamboo doors were opened and we had an incredible view of the valley. What an incredible experience but after an hour, we had to get out and head off down the hill to the lodge and a great dinner. Continue Reading

    November 11, 2011 • Asia, Ian Swain Sr • Views: 3288

  • A Journey through Bhutan – Part 1

    Day 1

    After spending a restful night at the Novotel Suvarnabhumi Airport Hotel in Bangkok (the hotel is right at the airport – perfect for those early morning flights), we flew from Bangkok to Paro on Druk Air. Linda and I both felt the service was great and sparked our understanding of the Bhutanese people and how friendly they are. Also – when you travel to Bhutan, make sure you have an assigned seat on the left side of the airplane heading there, and right side coming home – incredible views of the Himalayas! Of course, booking with SWAIN and Amankora, almost guarantees that! Continue Reading

    November 11, 2011 • Asia, Ian Swain Sr • Views: 6958

  • 25th Anniversary Celebration

    We departed on QANTAS’s A380 non-stop for Melbourne, Australia! I love this aircraft and the great service onboard. 14 hours later, we landed and were on our way to The Langham Melbourne. Ben Sington, the General Manager, and his team do such a great job for our clients and for us whenever we are in town. Melbourne itself is a wonderful city. Located on the banks of the Yarra River, the city is renowned for its sidewalk cafes, laneways, and wonderful restaurants. I love coming down here and exploring a little more each time.

    25th-Anniversary-Celebration Continue Reading

    November 2, 2011 • Australia, Ian Swain Sr • Views: 3224

  • Corfu, Greece, Our first Villa Experience!

    Cities: Athens, Greece; Corfu, Greece

    This July, we all left Philly heading to Athens, Greece. My wife Linda, 4 of my children, Lianda, Ian II, Lorianna and Dilan and Ian’s girlfriend Kristen. We landed and headed to the Grand Bretagne in the city and checked in to our suites and rooms overlooking the Syntagma Square and Parliament buildings. We arrived right after the demonstrations that had been occurring, but they were contained to an area and heavily secured by the local police teams. It is a beautiful city – a great walking city, which we immediately embarked on. Continue Reading

    August 28, 2011 • Bloggers, Europe, Ian Swain Sr • Views: 20927

  • Wolgan Valley – Revisited

    Cities: Blue Mountains, New South Wales

    I was fortunate to visit Wolgan (located west of Sydney, Australia about 3 hour’s drive) the day before it opened in 2009, and spent a couple of hours with Joost Heymeijer (the General Manager) who showed me around, beaming with delight as he had been since ground breaking so everything that was there, Joost organized! Continue Reading

    August 28, 2011 • Australia, Bloggers, Ian Swain Sr • Views: 3613