Himalayan Sunrise

If there ever was a more stupidly spontaneous travel moment in my life, it would be when I took this photo. The Himalayas are the highest mountain range in the world and it stretches across five countries: China, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Bhutan. This picture below was taken from Nagarkot, Nepal and you could see the outline of the snow capped mountains looming in the distance. One of them should be Mount Everest. Which one? Oh I don’t know! I was busy trying not to lose my toes from the cold.

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Mount Everest is the highest peak in the world and is the holy grail for serious mountaineers. You know, fit and athletic people unlike me. So how exactly did I end up here wearing only flip-flops? Well my shoe broke and so was I but hell, it’s not everyday that you get the chance to see the sunrise over the Himalayas even if it might cost me my toes! I’d have to say the view was well worth it. So there. No regrets.

Now it’s your turn. What’s the stupidest thing you’ve done in the spirit of travel and adventure?

Zoos Make Me Sad

The Singapore Zoo is hailed as one of the best in the world and it seems like it. The animals look well taken care of and healthy. However, I never really liked zoos. Maybe because of that penguin going bonkers while inside the zoo in Happy Feet or maybe because I’m just a plain old hippie. But all zoo animals just seem a little sad to me.

I live a meaningless existence. Sigh.

We need to get out of here! The staff won’t notice the stone elephant in our place!

Me so lonely.

How you view zoos I guess depends on what you value in life. Would you rather be in the wild and live a life of freedom and uncertainty or would you prefer to be in the zoo and live a routine yet comfortable lifestyle?

Note: Free all zoo animals!

Boracay Sunset

This will always be one of my favorite shots because it’s a reminder of that perfect day spent in the small island of Boracay in the Philippines—I didn’t even have to get up from my lounge chair to take this photo. It’s like they all conspired and posed for me on cue!

Although getting to this paradise island requires a domestic flight, land trip and ferry ride, the beaches are surprisingly packed. Who can blame them (us!) though when you’ve got the perfect mix of powdery beaches, water sports, fantastic night life, fresh food and cheap beer. At night, the restaurants spill out their tables onto the beach complete with live music thus creating the perfect beach atmosphere. The beautiful people who walk by on occasion certainly enhance the experience too.

For a country spoilt with warm waters and white sands, Boracay certainly tops my list.

Puerto Princesa Underground River

You know what I’ve said previously about caves not being photogenic? Well the Puerto Princesa Underground River in the Philippines is one of them caves. It’s highly unfortunate too because it really is a sight to behold. The photo shows the mouth of the cave. You enter by paddle boat armed with just a trusty battery powered floodlight and then total darkness!

The rock formations and several secret caverns are easily jaw dropping however, the guides advise against it as not all droplets from the ceiling are water. The cave is home to several birds and bats that fly around continuously. With its unique flora and fauna, it’s not surprising that this subterranean river was named as one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature.

Bali High

I’d like to say that this photo sums up everything that Bali has to offer: sun, sea and surf.  Although Bali is famous for all these and rightly so, what truly makes this island special are the Balinese people.

Some of the nicest people I’ve met are Balinese and they’ve probably thought nothing of it but my short encounters with them will always be remembered.

Banyan Tree in Angkor

Unlike other temples in the Angkor complex, Ta Prohm has pretty much been left to the elements instead of being restored.  The overgrown banyan trees add an eerie and otherworldly character to the ruins.Whatever the design intent was, the Khmer empire sure had an incompetent gardener. I mean seriously!

Fun Fact: This was where they shot some scenes in the Tomb Raider movie with Angelina Jolie.

Deserted Beaches of Pamilacan Island

With the advent of budget airlines and on-the-cheap travel guides, once secluded beaches have now turned into party centrals dotted with hotels and pubs. Although there is certainly nothing wrong with that, the appeal of having an entire stretch of white sand and pristine waters all to myself still holds superior to ogling hot guys in board shorts while continuously getting drunk under a giant umbrella.  Well sometimes anyway. One such example is Pamilacan island off the coast of Bohol in the Philippines.

The international flight + domestic flight + land trip + boat ride sure was worth it. And it’s not just the view, or the wild dolphins we sighted, or the freshly caught grilled fish served for lunch. At the end of the day, it’s just being able to lie on the beach without having to worry about your wobbly bits exposed in public. That’s what really matters.