Category Adventure

Swimming with Dolphins

Just last week, we went to Apo Island near Dumaguete in the Visayas region of the Philippines.  Our main goal was to see the famous corals of Apo Reef, which I had seen 10 years ago and still remember to this day how beautiful it was when I was still in my teens.  Colors of gold, purple, different shades of blue and green used to fill the bottom of the sea in the marine sanctuary of the island, but recently two typhoons had struck the island and destroyed the beautiful corals in the Sanctuario.  Despite this, marine life is still very busy and bustling underwater, and we got the chance to spend a day on the opposite side of the marine reserve, where we saw countless huge Pawikan turtles and had a good day swimming with the dolphins.

Of Spices and Indigo Dreams

India never ceases to amaze me.  Every time I travel to this country, the moment I step onto it’s soil I feel every part of me tingle with a different kind of energy. I had heard before from other travelers that the moment the plane doors open, each destination they go to has a different scent for them. To me India has this effect.

Just recently, during the Chinese new year break, my partner and I traveled to different parts of India, particularly Hyderabad, Jodhpur,  Jaisalmer, Bangalore, and Kerala.  We had a total of two weeks for our whole vacation, and at the end of the trip it felt like I wanted to stay longer. I felt like a cattle being dragged to the airport to be shipped back to the concrete jungle where I live.

I’m so excited to share with you the photos from that memorable trip.  You may be overwhelmed with all the color, but I hope I’m able to share the wonderful experience that we had through this visual diary.

First stop: Hyderabad. Main things to see were: Golkonda Fort and the Taj Falaknuma, which was a royal home turned into a luxury hotel.

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After just two days in Hyderabad, off we went to Jodhpur, the famous blue city of Rajasthan.  The buildings were not all blue, as I originally thought from seeing pictures from National Geographic.  Still, it was surprising to see how so many houses used indigo, which according to locals was used because it was believed to keep them cool in the summer, and has mosquito repellant properties.

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Rajasthan has always been my favorite region in India.  It’s where all my pre-conceived notions of the country are brought to life. Most other places have become developed and no longer feel as historical as this region.

Onward we move on from Jodhpur to Jaisalmer by taking a train ride.  It’s a must to take the train for people who really want to experience as much of India as they can.  Aside from the beautiful scenery you’d get to see, the experience of traveling with locals is altogether a story of its own.

sheep herdJaisalmercatching sunrisemorning in IndiaCamel rideEndlessJaisalmer Rajasthan

From the dry desert of Jaisalmer, we took a sleeper train ride to Jaipur, and then took a plane to Bangalore.  There we spent a weekend just relaxing,  we didn’t get to take much photos in Bangalore but to give you an idea, it’s a modern city where you could easily find different types of cuisines, and overall feels more developed.

After two days in Bangalore, we flew off to Kerala to see the famed backwaters. A backwater is basically a part of a river where there is little or no current because it is obstructed by either land or a dam, so the place has a general feeling of calm.   Kerala has many places you can visit, we chose three, namely: Cochin, Thekkady, and Allepey.

We saw a Kathakali performance in Cochin, rode on elephants in Thekkady, and stayed in a houseboat in Allepey.  You can do so many things in Kerala you can’t even imagine how to fit your time, especially since moving from one place to another already takes up quite a bit of time.

I think it was a good way to end our trip in Kerala, we got the peaceful energy and took it back home with us to Shanghai.

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Between Chaos and Peace

Old and new.  History and new technology.  It amazes me how Japan can be so much of one thing and so much of the opposite of that.

One thing I must admit though, before the trip and many months after, I have been addicted to their cuisine and have been having Japanese food non-stop.  It was an explosion to my tastebuds when I finally got to try the authentic flavors, and I have been hooked since.  It’s the melody of having different textures and flavors, that I think makes Japanese food so amazing.

Scroll down below to see photos from our adventures in Tokyo, Kyoto, and Kobe.

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European Escape

Ahh summertime in the French – Italian Riviera… having scoops of delicious gelato while multitasking ourselves to people watching and getting suntanned on the beach.. What could be better?  Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I vacation in this area every summer, but once in a lifetime is an experience to remember, especially while you’re young and without much worries still…

It may be my third time in Europe, but a first to visit Italy – why I didn’t visit sooner is something I have yet to ask myself.  We did as normal tourist would do, visit Rome, Tuscany, Venice, Milan, and even make a sidetrip to see the beautiful Cinque Terre.  My brother was also vacationing in Côte d’Azur at the same time so during our three weeks in that region, we took a train ride from Italy to France to visit my brother in Nice for a few days.

What happened in our vacation? Scroll down below to see what we saw (or ate), and hope you’ll enjoy the visual ride as much as we did.

Our first stop was of course, the capital ROME.  We stuffed ourselves with carbs and washing it down with good coffee, at the end of the day we always felt happy.  The best coffee I have ever tasted, would have to be from Italy.  There is something different to the way they make it there which brings out all the flavor, amazingly.

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More than a weekend in Bali

Every year I say it’s a year of firsts – first time to do this and that, or go someplace new.  Despite growing up in the Philippines, I never had the chance to visit Bali before.  Although I know my country has similar things such as rice terraces and beautiful coastlines, coming to Bali still seemed very fresh to me.  My now fiancee took me here on our first trip together, and the pictures below were what we saw in our few days there.

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