Archive for the ‘Gold Coast’ Category

What vaccines should I get to travel to Peru?

Dr Simon Thatcher  Health HQ Southport

Most travellers have heard Yellow Fever vaccine is compulsory to enter Australia after Peru. While not compulsory, it is recommended. Yellow fever vaccination is required to cross borders to many other South American countries you may visit. It is also one of the haemorrhagic viruses (like Ebola) with a high fatality rate, so if you are going to the Yellow Fever areas of Peru it will be recommended whether you need it for customs or not.

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Survival Tips for Bali


23 Survival tips for Bali:

Having promised the kids an overseas holiday, Bali was the ideal choice. The most expensive part is the flights and accommodation – although there are plenty of bargains to be had. Day to day living expenses are cheap. Whilst there, I wrote some “notes to self’ to share with our readers.

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Tran Siberian Express

Prepared by TMA member Gold Coast

Travel Health Doctors Gold Coast clients, Kate and Matt experienced the longest and arguably one of the most fascinating train journeys of all time – the Trans Siberian Express. The couple boarded the train in Frankfurt then onward to Warsaw and St Petersburg. The official journey then commenced in Moscow. From there Kate said she was amazed by the diversity of the landscape.

“It was so brilliant to see the unexpected variety in the landscape – such eye catching scenery from European forests through to Siberian forests, snow and desert” she said

Also what surprised them was, although not travelling in the height of the winter, the Gobi desert was covered mostly in snow and when it wasn’t snowy, the land was mostly rocky instead of sandy -only a small percent of the Gobi desert is actually sand. Throughout these rocky regions of the desert, a huge number of dinosaur relics can be found.


As self adventurers, highlights for Matt and Kate along the way included a three day horseride along the Mongolian step which proved a real eye opener for them.

“It was fascinating to see nomadic families move to greener and warmer pastures – just packing up their lives and livestock and moving in groups of three or four families to an area more sustainable” Kate said.

Away for nine weeks but spending three weeks touring Mongolia, Matt also lent a hand helping a farmer herd cattle along the way. To show their gratitude, the farmer insisted Matt and Kate accompany him home where he offered his “best yoghurt” – from a bucket just sitting outside. They thought for sure the yoghurt would render them sick for days but surprisingly were okay!

Travelling throughout Mongolia the couple do recommend employing local guides.

“Due to snow and the movement of nomadic tribes to let areas grow over with grass, the roads are ever changing and you would get hopelessly lost without a guide” Kate said.

At one stage they were blocked by a huge snowdrift and had to physically dig their way out before help arrived in the form of a local landrover which pulled their car to safety.

After this, the locals again extended their hospitality insisting on bringing them home to taste their proud home brew of warm, salty camel’s milk.

“Outside of the cities especially, the locals are so appreciative, interested in us and super friendly..

“We enjoyed tasting the local food, although you never really knew what you were ordering – one cafe had dishes called “Horse and Cart” and “The Merchant’s Daughter” ..which in fact was chocolate pancakes” Kate said.
Health wise the couple left prepared and were grateful not to experience any health issues as sometimes they were nearly three days’ drive to anywhere which could remotely help them.

Travelling for nine weeks, it’s difficult to condense such a life changing trip, but both Matt and Kate were amazed and humbled by the beauty and culture they experienced.

Travelling in September/October at the end of the tourist season, proved ideal with temperatures reaching -15 at night… instead of -40 which can occur in the Winter.

Considered the longest train journey in the world, the most extended stretch Matt and Kate spent on the train non-stop was 60 hours. Their tip is that you book both an upper and lower bunk instead of just upper bunks so you have more space to relax during the day.

“The train journey was ever-changing and we so enjoyed meeting some amazing people and glimpsing cultures and experiencing adventures we could only dream about” they said.



This report has been prepared by Travel Health Doctors, Southport.

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Exercise in Type 1 Diabetics

… Prepared by Dr Norman Hohl – TMA member Gold Coast

A fascinating presentation in Perth late yesterday at the Australian Diabetes Conference by a Paul Fournier showed the progressive fall in glucose for 2hrs after moderate exercise in Type 1 Diabetes, can be prevented by a 10 sec maximum intensity sprint immediately after the moderate exercise. This could be of critical benefit for travellers who find themselves unexpectedly without their carbohydrate emergency supply at hand.

(For regular sports, or adventure travellers, he showed convincingly that a 4 sec burst of max intensity sprinting every 2 minutes during moderate exercise, also decreased significantly the hypoglycaemia occurring in the 2hrs after.)

Clearly this is only for the emergency as carrying the glucose is better, but the unintended can happen, particularly when travelling, and this could prevent loss of consciousness.

A unique resource is now available for specific effective practical advice on exercise for type 1 diabetes. This is really an amazing web-based tool, that I am sure any Type 1 diabetes (T1D) traveller would find invaluable, as well as those who are fearful or confused about exercise and are not travelling.
Have a look at site here.

Allan Bolton has put enormous personal effort into writing this and has had to charge a subscription fee to make it viable. He is lobbying to get it available free without biased sponsorship deals, but currently it costs $85, but any T1D who likes sport and travel, or parent who wants their child to be active and liberated would find it well worthwhile.


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A Fun And Festive Thai Shopping Adventure

GoldCoast TMA Member

Frontline at Travel Health Doctors, Southport, Senior Receptionist Ilana Capan, recently embarked on a 7 day girls shopping, relaxing and more shopping trip to Phuket and Koh Samui in Thailand.

Travelling with her sister and friend, Ilana was keen to soak up some culture and also visit Maya Island – backdrop to movie, The Beach, starring Leonardo Di Caprio.

Her first trip to Thailand, Ilana stepped off the plane in Phuket and immersed herself in the hive of activity which is synonymous with the tourist hotspot.

Struck by the friendliness of the Thai people Ilana and the girls laughed as each Thai greeted them with a welcoming “Oh I remember you!!”

Being a short trip, the girls were keen to hunt out some bargains. They didn’t have to look far. Patong is a tapestry of multi dimensional modes of shopping including high end shopping malls and boutiques, selling the highest quality Thai silks, furniture etc. However the hub remains the Beach Road Markets – a vibrant and eclectic mix of local stalls stretching along the entire beachfront and through the numerous lanes and alleyways cris-crossing the area. The area particularly comes alive at night where the sense of chaos and festive atmosphere is pumping. Enthralled by the range and choice, Ilana said many of the items are counterfeit ranging from fake Cartia watches through to Jimmy Choo shoes and Samsonite luggage.


“It’s a unique shopping experience as you walk up to a small roadside stall front and then the owners persuade you to walk behind this into air conditioned rooms stocked floor to ceiling with merchandise…quite a surprise” she said.

Despite the revenue generated for the local Thais from these stores, officially, selling counterfeit items is against the law in the area and at any time the police and/or military can move in, shut the stores and fine the owners.

A storeowner with heart

This situation was witnessed by Ilana and the girls. After happily purchasing hundreds of dollars worth of Samsonite bags, their storeowner offered to mind them while the girls went for a bite to eat. By the time they returned, it was raining solidly and the entire lanes and roadways of stalls were completely shut up as the police had arrived. Thinking there was no hope of finding the Thai storeowner again, frustrated; the girls gave up their search and left for their hotel. On their way back however they were incredulous to see their Thai storeowner by the side of the road, standing on his own in the downpour, with the Samonsite bags beside him. He was so happy to see them… and they him!

Maya Bay

With shopping behind her and despite stormy weather, Ilana was keen to see Maya Bay. With the large boats taking three hours to take tourists to the island, Ilana instead found a man with a smaller boat willing to take ten passengers. Half an hour into the trip though lost in the sea’s crashing waves, all ten on board were seriously sea sick and there was no choice but to turn the boat back to shore. Maya Bay will have to wait till Ilana’s next trip. “I can see why people take the slow boats – the sea is so choppy – don’t risk a dinghy!” she said.

After elephant trekking, the girls concluded their trip with a night out at Fanta Sea – an entertainment experience which included a performance similar to Circ De Solae. It left a lasting impression from their trip as it reflected the simplicity and beauty which is so intrinsically central to the fabric of Thai culture.
In Thailand they sell gasoline on the street everywhere and a tuk tuk has no seat belts!

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