On the Shores of Lake Baikal
Feb23

On the Shores of Lake Baikal

I was sitting cross-legged on a pebble beach. My roll mat and sleeping bag were already laid out next to me, in anticipation of the night ahead sleeping under the stars. It was perhaps on the cold side to attempt a bivouac, but the flickering campfire and large pile of branches beside me would ensure I stayed warm, or at the least, survived, the night. That same fire, that I had cooked my dinner on just half an hour before, now sent...

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Tracking Sea Turtles in Oman
Feb03

Tracking Sea Turtles in Oman

Life is fragile. But even the most vulnerable of creatures can triumph over seemingly insurmountable odds. One such experience brought tears to my eyes on a cool, windy August evening in Ras Al Jinz, Oman. It was well past sunset, and the deserted beach was dark except for the light of a nearly full moon. The waves of the Indian Ocean crashed against the shore as the tour began. The first sighting was a green sea turtle – an...

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Tales of a Solo Traveler
Jan20

Tales of a Solo Traveler

Domestic Beginnings I was twenty-four the first time I boarded a plane. It was a forty-five minute flight via Philippine Airlines from Dipolog City to Cebu, two of the many fascinating travel destinations in the Philippines. At that time I was one of those unfortunate souls who could barely tolerate traveling a mile, by land or by sea, without feeling as though a million giant butterflies are frantically trying to escape from the...

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Cycling in Cambodia
Jan13

Cycling in Cambodia

The Idea Two days earlier, I had arrived in Siem Reap with little more than an idea: to go cycle touring in northern Cambodia. With no information available online, I set off with little idea what to expect and nothing but a small rucksack filled with a single change of clothes, a few spare bike parts and enough food and water for a couple of hours. It wasn’t long before I left the busy tourist centre with its many souvenirs and...

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Sukhothai, Thailand
Dec30

Sukhothai, Thailand

There is a distinct freedom that is ever present when site seeing by bike. Maybe it is because having my own transportation allowed me to briefly escape the constant hammering of touts by the locals. During my latest bicycle trip, I explored the 800 year old UNESCO World Heritage site of Sukhothai, Thailand. Besides its other worldly temples that sat upon mirror-like lotus ponds, the main highlight was the megalithic Buddha of Wat Si...

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The Toy-Train of Darjeeling
Dec23

The Toy-Train of Darjeeling

For the kid in me… The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway was the 1st that I sat on. It’s called the Toy-Train. They are also called Mountain Railways, and there are 5 such Mountain Railways in India – Kalka-Shimla Railway [Himachal Pradesh], Darjeeling Himalayan Railway [WestBengal], Nilgiri Mountain Railway [TamilNadu], Matheran Hill Railway [Maharashtra] & Kangra Valley Railway [Himachal Pradesh]. These trains were built...

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Giving Alms in Thailand
Nov18

Giving Alms in Thailand

I washed my hands, wore a spotless white shirt and made sure my face was cleanly shaven. Hastily checking my cellphone clock, I grabbed my bananas, chose seven gnoh (for its religious and spiritual significance) and gingerly placed each item into a plastic bag. With my heart beat steadily increasing and sweat beads forming on my forehead, I proceeded out of my apartment and embarked on the first phase of alms giving—finding a...

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Glass Walkway For a Shanghai Tower
Nov04

Glass Walkway
For a Shanghai Tower

Jin Mao Tower in Shanghai is one of the tallest skyscrapers in the world at 1260 feet tall. A glass walkway was added that allows visitors to walk around and admire the exterior of the top floor of the building. Tourists will be able to walk around the building, at more than 1020 feet on a transparent walkway that has no railings. With a width of only 48 inches, the bridge is not recommended for those with fear of heights. Tourists...

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For the Love of Nasi Lemak
Oct28

For the Love of Nasi Lemak

I live in the birthplace of one fantastic dish, and it’s one that many have not heard of. Yes, a good old plate of Nasi Lemak. Where am I from? Malaysia. A country that’s filled with different walks of Asians – Indians, Chinese, Punjabis, Malays and a whole number of other races. What makes the country unique is the fact that all come together as one in festivities, cultural celebrations and yes, food. Our national dish has got to be...

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Slow Boat to Bagan, Myanmar
Oct07

Slow Boat to Bagan, Myanmar

I always enjoy using different modes of transportation when exploring new places. Today I was taking a riverboat, leaving Mandalay, Myanmar (Burma) and heading southward to Bagan. Most travelers make this journey by bus, but I chose to take the MGRG Boat instead. True, the bus would have been a bit cheaper ($9.00 vs. $45.00 US), but the chance to cruise down the Irrawaddy River was an opportunity I couldn’t resist. It would...

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