I never really thought of visiting zoos as a children’s activity; I’ve always enjoyed meandering in zoos as an adult whenever I travelled. Now that I have a toddler who is thoroughly fascinated with making monkey and lion sounds all day, now I see the appeal of taking along your kids to see living, breathing, amazing animals.Continue reading “It’s Wild in Pairi Daiza”
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
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”
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”
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.
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!”
I feel blessed to have the most adventurous and fun friends around to make dreams like these happen. From them, I’ve learned to take chances, to be unapologetic for being whimsical, to chase after adventure and celebrate life whenever I can. Til our next celebration!
Song: Brighter than the Sun by Colbie Caillat
Because life is too short to not celebrate and dance around.
Tasmania, Australia | Jan 2014
Song: Make a New Dance Up by Hey Ocean
If you want to read more about our adventures in stunning Tassie, just boogie on over to here.
Tasmania is mostly known for its devils, but it certainly felt like basking in paradise once we had a chance to visit this corner of the world. Picturesque meadows, lush rainforests, beaches with water so clear that the waves are almost see-through — this state has it all. Continue reading “Heavenly Tasmania”
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.
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.
- Room with a double-bed & ensuite bathroom at Shoestrings Airport Lodge, Johannesburg – ~USD 40 per night (the lodge offers free shuttle to and fro the airport, which was great)
- Room with a double-bed & shared bathroom at Mbizi Backpackers Lodge, Johannesburg – ~USD 38 per night
- Bungalow for 2 people at the Skukuza camp in Kruger – ZAR 902.50 (~USD 83.17) per night
- Safari Tent for 2 people at the Lower Sabie camp in Kruger – ZAR 779 (~USD 71.8) per night
- Room with a double-bed & ensuite bathroom at Big Blue Backpackers, Cape Town – ~USD 44 per night
- One-day Red City Sightseeing Tour in Johannesburg – ZAR 130 (~USD 12)
- Guided safari sunset drive at Lower Sabie – ZAR 220 (~USD 20.2) per person
- Table Mountain cable car fare – ZAR 215 (~USD 19) for return, ZAR 110 (~USD 10) one-way
- Abseil Africa Kamikaze Kanyon Tour in Cape Town – ZAR 895 (~USD 85) per person
- Boulders Beach National Park entrance fee – ZAR 40 (~USD 3.7) per person
- Cape of Good Hope entry – ZAR 105 (~USD 10) per adult
- Two Oceans Aquarium entrance fee – ZAR 106 (~USD 10) per adult
- A much-recommended SABP Wine Tasting Tour around Stellenbosch and Franschoek – ZAR 595 (~USD 56) per person
- Cape Town Free Walking Tour – pay what you want for the tour 🙂
- Johannesburg-Nelspruit KMIA return flight via South African Airways – ZAR 2301 (~USD 216)
- Johannesburg-Cape Town return flight via Mango – ZAR 2929 (~USD 274)
- Avis Car Rental for 4 days (Group A -VW Polo and similar) – EUR 72.43 (~USD 98), pick-up points are available in Nelspruit, Johannesburg and Cape Town
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/.
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”