Tag Archives: animals

Treasures from Out of the Blue

One big perk of living in an archipelago is that surprises ALWAYS await. A new island, a new beach, a new destination comes out of the blue, daring you to call into mind another place that is as breathtaking as where you are now. It makes you shake your head in disbelief, as you ask yourself, ‘How could I have not known this before?’

Song: All Smiles All Day by Dexter Britain


Dumaguete is an excellent home base to explore the jewels of Negros Oriental. Here are links to some of my trips wherein Dumaguete was the jump-off point:

  • Apo Island – where you can swim with giant turtles and laze away at tranquil beaches
  • Oslob – where you can swim with the whale sharks, snorkle at lively reefs and enjoy a majestic shower from a waterfall
  • Siquijor – where you jump off and dive from a waterfall, scour peaks, and chill to the island’s pace of life

Prowlin’ and Chowin’ in Chiang Mai

Zabb-e-lee cooking class

It was a strange feeling — heading to Thailand and knowing that I didn’t come here to saunter at the beach, nor to hit the flea market. Instead, I was making a beeline for something far away from the waves and the skyline — onto the mountainous state of Chiang Mai.

If Bangkok is the kingdom’s Fashionista, and Phuket, its Party Animal, the Chiang Mai would be the Flower Child. With a laid-back cool, it bids you to take things slow. Ever so gently, you find that you’ve turned from the bucket-bearing all-night-reveler, to that morning person who gets up to bike along the rice fields. Continue reading Prowlin’ and Chowin’ in Chiang Mai

Spotting Rudolph in Nara

I think I just found Santa Claus’ holiday lair (or at least where his reindeers escape to get some R&R).

I must admit, Nara was nowhere near my go-see radar. That was before a little bird told me that it was home to free-roaming wild deer, who didn’t mind being doted on by humans (that is a lot, we’re not exactly the world’s cutest species). On my return to Kansai, we hopped on the JR for a quick day trip to Nara.

Nara turned out to be a nice alternative to Kyoto, if you are all for immersing yourself in the rustic, nostalgic side of Japan, but are a bit wary of getting caught in the tourist stampede. Only a handful of people stepped off the train with us. As we strolled through the cafes lining the path that led to Nara Park, it almost felt like we were the only excursionists around. Continue reading Spotting Rudolph in Nara

Pinch me, I’m in Maldives!

Giddy much?

We went home with faces a little browner, hearts a little bigger, and memories wealthier. It seems so unfair to take so much and give back so little to a destination that has made you really happy, but Maldives is simply generous like that. Its giving is effortless, even, as natural as a pristine paradise can be.

Spotted: baby black-tip shark swimming on the shallow reef.
Spotted: baby black-tip shark swimming on the shallow reef.

Okay, so maybe the lavish water villas and mind-blowing infinity pools are a tad over-the-top. But the real opulence lies under the water. Underneath, it’s a busy city that doesn’t care about full-board amenities, service charges and the like. Big fish, little fish, predator, prey — everyone’s bustling to and fro, engrossed with their day to day, oblivious of the man-made spas above them. Here, life is simple — work, eat, exercise, build a house, try not to get eaten. Most of all, have fun. Well, it certainly looks like they’re having hoards of fun, the way their fins are wagging. Continue reading Pinch me, I’m in Maldives!

Africa, at last we meet!

It’s confirmed! South Africa has a lot of animals. And beaches. And breathtaking landscapes. And mouth-watering food and wine. Wait, why did I leave again?!

Song: Jubel by Klingande

If you want to read more about our safari adventure in Kruger, click here.



Our itinerary:
Days 1-2 – Touchdown Johannesburg! Settle in a bit and go around town with the City Sightseeing bus
Day 3 – Fly from Johannesburg to Nelspruit (KMIA) Airport, pick up the rental car and drive onto Kruger National Park
Days 4-6 – Take a self-drive safari around Kruger National Park
Day 6 – Drive back to KMIA to fly back to Johannesburg, then take another flight to Cape Town
Day 7 – Hike up Table Mountain and check out the nightlife at Long Street
Day 8 – Go canyoning with Abseil Africa
Day 9 – Pick up the rental car, drive off to explore Camps Bay and Muizenberg, and to visit the penguins of Boulders Beach. At night, check out the V&A Waterfront’s dinner scene.
Day 10 – Take more scenic drives to Bloubergstrand, Chapman’s Peak and Cape Point
Day 11 – Enjoy the good life in a wine-and-cheese tasting tour around Stellenbosch and Franschoek
Day 12 – Relax and see the Two Oceans Aquarium
Day 13 – See Cape Town on foot by joining a walking tour
Day 14 – Fly back to Johannesburg
Day 15-16 – Relax and drive a bit more around Johannesburg before heading home.

Expenses

Melbourne: The Posh and the Wild

Melbourne can be a poster boy for the Weekend Warrior — on weekdays, it charms you with its effortless chic, but on weekends, it’s all about basking in the sun and heading out for the stunning raw beauty that’s just a stone’s throw away.

Hit Play for some glimpses of Melbourne and Victoria; if you fancy some tales about koalas, narrow alleyways, fairy penguins, the Twelve Apostles, et al, then check out https://ishg.wordpress.com/tag/melbourne/.

Happy Feet and the Wildlife of Australia

Everyone has their destination must-do; for Geebee, it was to see the Penguin Parade at Phillip Island. Fortunately, it wasn’t that difficult at all to arrange a day trip. It took us just a couple of sites before we set our hearts upon the fairly-priced Phillip Island package offered by Wildlife Tours.

We sneaked in a quick breakfast jaunt at the Queen Victoria Market, before rushing back to the hostel, where our tour coach was to pick us up at 11 am. Continue reading Happy Feet and the Wildlife of Australia