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!

Dining With the Carmelite Sisters

Located on the slopes of Mount Carmel is the Carmelite nunnery of Stella Maris Monastery in Haifa, Israel.  The monastery serves as a sort of spiritual headquarters throughout the world with sisters coming in from many different countries– some spend a few years to help while others stay on permanently.

Now the monastery itself has  a rich history but I’d like to focus on their dining room behind.

They aren’t exactly running a restaurant business and I’m not exactly a food critic but I’m gonna write a review nonetheless: They serve the best roast chicken I’ve ever tasted! There you go.

Bedouin Boy

We met while walking around Petra. Although I suspect deep down that he has swindled a couple of dinars from me for a few postcards, I can’t help but think it was a bargain. I’m blaming that smirk and shirt.

The Bedul tribe are a Bedouin group that inhabit Petra, Jordan. While they still maintain their traditional method of farming and agriculture, most nowadays are involved in the Petra tourism business– selling souvenirs, organizing guided tours and taking care of camels and horses used by the heftier tourists for transport.

While tourism is no doubt a good source of income, conservation should still be the utmost priority. This does not merely refer to ancient structures nor natural resources but also to the indigenous people of the region.

Retirement Huts

The thing about travelling is that you get a taste of different lifestyles and you end up imagining yourself living or heck even retiring in some of these places. It may be a bit premature but when I think of retirement (and I honestly do) these tropical seaside huts come to mind.

A simple shack by the beach

Built using sustainable and locally sourced materials

With a great view of the sea.

Ah wishful thinking. What about you? Which places would you like to move to and why?

Let’s Get Lost

“Not until we are lost do we truly understand ourselves.”

– Henry David Theroux

Travelling, especially alone, forces you to:

Embrace your fears,

Unlearn prejudices,

See through a child’s eyes once again,

Seek comfort in the unfamiliar

and if you are lucky…

Fall in love with a stranger.

Note: Thank you for the many wonderful comments. They really do mean a lot. As I’m currently lost in the Middle East (Jordan), anyone want a postcard? (Btw, picture above is not from Jordan)

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.

Bikes of China

People who know me might tell you that I have an unhealthy obsession with bicycles.  Well this is a blatant lie. Bicycles are extremely beneficial to your health! It’s good exercise and a great way to discover the city on the cheap. With a bike, you can go places that would otherwise be difficult to access by car or foot. And they just look unbelievably cool really.

To further prove my point, check out these Chinese folks on bikes!

Biking doesn’t have to be a solo venture.

Nor does it have an age limit

Electric bikes– if you can’t decide whether you want to pedal or a motor.

If you’re too lazy to pedal then just hire someone to do it then. 

This might not exactly be a bike but it still looks cool.

More rickshaws!

This kid approves!

Note: Hopefully, this would encourage you to start riding your bikes more often. 🙂

Sydney / Saigon Mindboggle

It can’t just be me right? I mean, the similarity is uncanny.

Notre Dame de Saigon in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Perhaps one of the few advantages of old world colonialism is the fusion of architecture styles. The Notre Dame de Saigon was built by French colonists to establish Roman Catholic Church in Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City). During its construction, red bricks were imported from Marseille and the glass windows from Chartes Province in France.

Luna Park in Sydney, Australia

This is an amusement park on the northern shore of Sydney Harbour. Luna Park was originally opened in 1935. Since then it has been closed, reopened, demolished and opened once more following a series of urgent repairs and general lack of profits. Nowadays though, it has been refurbished and is a fun sun-shiny way to spend a day in Sydney.

Marina Bay Sands

If you are a fan of megastructures and excessive living then you must check out Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands. It is the world’s most expensive standalone casino property and a night in one of the hotel’s 2561 rooms is enough to cover my monthly rent. Argh!

Aside from the casino and hotel, the Marina Bay Sands also houses a theatre, shopping mall, museum, skating rink and several high-end restaurants. The photo above was taken from the DNA bridge leading to the development. In case you were wondering, that thing on top of the three towers is a 340m long ‘Skypark’ with a 150m long infinity pool overlooking the Marina Bay. Pretty swanky huh?

Note: Here’s a panoramic view of the entire development just to emphasize the grandiosity of it all!