RSS

Monthly Archives: August 2012

Magnolia Plantation – Charleston, North Carolina

One of my childhood fantasies is to walk past an avenue of oak trees covered in spanish moss. And at Magnolia Plantation in Charleston, North Carolina, that fantasy came true. It felt magically inviting. The entire plantation is, a matter of fact, a magic itself. It is one of the oldest plantations in the South and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. It is beautifully located across Ashley River, hosting the oldest public garden in America.

The Oak Avenue at Magnolia Plantation and Gardens in Charleston, South Carolina.

The Oak Avenue at Magnolia Plantation and Gardens in Charleston, South Carolina.

View of the Magnolia House from a distance - Charleston, South Carolina.

View of the Magnolia House from a distance – Charleston, South Carolina.

The Magnolia House at Magnolia Plantation and Gardens in Charleston, South Carolina.

The Magnolia House at Magnolia Plantation and Gardens in Charleston, South Carolina.

View of Magnolia House from Ashley river, Charleston, South Carolina.

View of Magnolia House from Ashley river, Charleston, South Carolina.

 

But the beauty of this plantation was at the cost of slavery. African-Americans were used to create the beauty inside the plantation. Perhaps, the most interesting part of this plantation is giving us a glimpse of slavery and the stories behind those slave cabins. Don’t get me wrong. I love the plantation. The Drayton family did a wonderful job at maintaining its beauty generation after generation. But for Civil War enthusiasts like me, the tour was enlightening and it gave me a deeper understanding of the struggle to freedom and equality. I have been to different plantations, but Magnolia showed me an interesting face of the South. At Charleston Market, I was educated on how the emancipated slaves started to pick up the pieces of their life to start anew by selling local handcrafts. At Magnolia, after the narrative of one of the workers, I felt the kindness of man when the slaves who were having a rough time outside the plantation came back to work and they were still welcomed.

with Civil War and Uncle Sam reenactors at Magnolia Plantation, Charleston, South Carolina

With Civil War and Uncle Sam reenactors at Magnolia Plantation, Charleston, South Carolina

 

Check the Google Street view below for additional infomation:

 

 

 

About these ads
 
2 Comments

Posted by on August 21, 2012 in S.Carolina, TRAVEL

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Starrlight Mead – Pittsboro, North Carolina

g o t   m e a d ?

Got Mead?

Starrlight Mead is a labor of love. It is an epitome of a defined purpose and noble cause. A reminder that in this fast-paced and competitive world where almost everything’s worth is measured in currency, love still moves us.

The couple Becky and Ben Starr discovered mead while attending Renaissance Fair. After hearing good results from their friends who are home brewing mead, they decided to do their own. They liked the mead they did and their friends who have tried their mead liked it as well and would come back for more bringing pitchers with them. On their first competition, they brought home the Best in Show prize out of the 210 entries in the home mead-maker category, an amazing feat they themselves did not expect as beginners. And the rest, as they say, is history. Starrlight Mead is a labor of love, created not for capital gain but out of the couple’s desire to share to the world this beverage and their passion for this craft. As a matter of fact, the Starrs are still doing their respective full-time jobs out of the meadery.

The best in show prize on the Starr's first competition in mead making.

The best in show prize on the Starr’s first competition in mead making.

 

Mead is a fermented beverage from honey, much closely associated to wine than beer. It is a separate and distinct type of beverage, also known as honey wine, probably the oldest known fermented beverage. At Starrlight Mead, scheduled tours are available.

left to right : the Starr couple, Ben and Becky, and hubby Jon Sellers at Starrlight Mead in Pittsboro, North Carolina.

left to right : the Starr couple, Ben and Becky, and hubby Jon Sellers at Starrlight Mead in Pittsboro, North Carolina.

 

Their wide selection of meads consists of Traditional Off-Dry mead, Blackberry Off-Dry mead, Traditional Semi-Sweet mead, Black Berry mead, Sweet Peach mead, Spiced Apple mead and Meadjitos. I liked the Black Berry mead while hubby liked the Spiced Apple mead so we bought a bottle of each.

The wide selection of mead at Starrlight Mead in Pittsboro, North Carolina.

The wide selection of mead at Starrlight Mead in Pittsboro, North Carolina.

Ben Starr, explaining the process of mead making from fermentation, to mixing flavors, and labelling at Starrlight Mead in Pittsboro, North Carolina.

Ben Starr, explaining the process of mead making from fermentation, to mixing flavors, and labelling at Starrlight Mead in Pittsboro, North Carolina.

 

Starrlight Mead is located in Pittsboro, North Carolina. It is a meadery that will remind you of home, the kind where you just want to sit down, sip mead, talk like old pals and wonder of Renaissance as you glance at their beautiful collections of dragons and drinking horns.

Starrlight Mead in Pittsboro, North Carolina.

Starrlight Mead in Pittsboro, North Carolina.

Drinking horns at Starrlight Mead in Pittsboro, North Carolina.

Drinking horns at Starrlight Mead in Pittsboro, North Carolina.

 

I love the pewter goblet heart sets.  They are paired to make one heart!

Pewter goblet heart sets paired to make one heart at Starrlight Mead in Pittsboro, North Carolina.

Pewter goblet heart sets paired to make one heart at Starrlight Mead in Pittsboro, North Carolina.

 

My hubby was drawn to the dragon interior displays in an instant.

Dragon displays at Starrlight Mead in Pittsboro, North Carolina.

Dragon displays at Starrlight Mead in Pittsboro, North Carolina.

 

Starrlight Mead also cares for the environment. Bottles are recycled by local artists, and corks, both natural and synthetic, are reused to make other items. Inside the winery is a display of colorful bottles recycled into a beautiful candle holder.

Glass recyled at Starrlight Mead in Pittsboro, North Carolina.

Glass recyled at Starrlight Mead in Pittsboro, North Carolina.

 

When people do labor of love, it inspires souls. It exudes and it reflects. It makes me conclude that Starrlight Meadery’s secret is not North Carolina’s honey but love – lots and lots of love.

Got mead?

A visit to Starrlight Mead in Pittsboro, North Carolina.

A visit to Starrlight Mead in Pittsboro, North Carolina.

 
6 Comments

Posted by on August 20, 2012 in N.Carolina, TRAVEL

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Underwater Adventure (Seawalk and Helmet Dive), Panglao, Bohol

Underwater Adventure (Seawalk and Helmet Dive), Panglao, Bohol

When my hubby -then fiance- learned I did suislide with friends in Danao, Bohol, he wanted to faint. And when he knew I did underwater adventure, seawalk, I think I gave him a heart attack. There is nothing, however, to worry about this aqua sport. It is completely safe and fully guided.

To my delight, swimming skills is not necessary for this seawalk adventure. Yey! A closed fiber helmet is simply used with a compressor attached to the air source above water for breathing. Thirst for fun, nonetheless, is a must!

Dumaluan Beach Resort, Panglao, Bohol, Philippines

 

A short glass bottom boat ride of Dumaluan Beach Resort Aquasport took us to the location, allowing us to observe the underwater from within the boat. It was already fun watching the aqua life through this glass but I was itching to play with them.

Glass Bottom Boat Ride in Panglao, Bohol, Philippines

Glass Bottom Boat Ride in Panglao, Bohol, Philippines

Glass Bottom Boat Ride in Panglao, Bohol, Philippines

 

We finally arrived at the spot for the dive after the quick tour. We were then shortly briefed by our qualified seawalk instructor of DBR Aquasport before going underwater. Do’s and don’ts and hand signals were rehearsed. I am not certain I was paying full attention out of excitement. All I was making sure though is to remember these three signals which I think will help me survive:

  1. OK sign – thumb and forefinger making a circle
  2. going up sign – make a fist with one hand, thumb extended upward
  3. camera click! – I personally think this is of most importance, PHOTOS!

And the dive starts! Our guide fully assisted each of us with gearing up our helmets as we go down one by one. The helmet by the way weighs about 35kg to allow you to walk underwater. It is only worn when you are starting to descend so you cant really feel the weight. A ladder from the pontoon was used in going underwater with full assistance. The instructor will never leave you for the entire dive.

Ear pressure starts to build as you descend deeper so you must equalize by forcing an exhalation out of the closed nostrils. Then relax and enjoy.

Underwater Adventure (Seawalk), Panglao, Bohol, Philippines

Underwater Adventure (Seawalk), Panglao, Bohol, Philippines

Nico and Eve on Underwater Adventure (Seawalk), Panglao, Bohol, Philippines

Nico and Eve on Underwater Adventure (Seawalk), Panglao, Bohol, Philippines

 

Slices of bread were also handed out by the instructor so we can feed the fish.

Carlo, diving instructor and me on Underwater Adventure (Seawalk), Panglao, Bohol, Philippines

Carlo, diving instructor and me on Underwater Adventure (Seawalk), Panglao, Bohol, Philippines

Carlo during his Underwater Adventure (Seawalk), Panglao, Bohol, Philippines

Carlo during his Underwater Adventure (Seawalk), Panglao, Bohol, Philippines

Underwater Adventure (Seawalk), Panglao, Bohol, Philippines

Underwater Adventure (Seawalk), Panglao, Bohol, Philippines

 

Seawalk tour took 45 minutes to an hour and it was absolutely amazing. I love snorkeling but I find seawalking better because I don’t have to breathe through my mouth and try to float and paddle but I just breathe and walk normally like I do on land. I also felt like I was space walking :)

We ascended and we can’t stop marveling at how incredible the underwater tour was as we headed back to the resort. We could not get over the excitement so we decided to play with jet skis.

jet ski ride at Dumaluan Beach Resort, Panglao, Bohol, Philippines

Jet ski ride at Dumaluan Beach Resort, Panglao, Bohol, Philippines

jet ski ride at Dumaluan Beach Resort, Panglao, Bohol, Philippines

Jet ski ride at Dumaluan Beach Resort, Panglao, Bohol, Philippines

jet ski ride at Dumaluan Beach Resort, Panglao, Bohol, Philippines

Jet ski ride at Dumaluan Beach Resort, Panglao, Bohol, Philippines

 

It was my first time to do jet skiing but Carlo did a good job at boosting my confidence.

jet ski ride at Dumaluan Beach Resort, Panglao, Bohol, Philippines

Jet ski ride at Dumaluan Beach Resort, Panglao, Bohol, Philippines

jet ski ride at Dumaluan Beach Resort, Panglao, Bohol, Philippines

Jet ski ride at Dumaluan Beach Resort, Panglao, Bohol, Philippines

jet ski ride at Dumaluan Beach Resort, Panglao, Bohol, Philippines

Jet ski ride at Dumaluan Beach Resort, Panglao, Bohol, Philippines

 

Before we left the beautiful island of Bohol, we met Sonnen Labastilla for lunch.

Tagbilaran, Bohol, Philippines

Tagbilaran, Bohol, Philippines

 

And we took a ferry ride back to Cebu that afternoon with huge smiles (and sunburn) on our faces and beautiful memories to cherish a lifetime.

 

 

 
10 Comments

Posted by on August 17, 2012 in PHILIPPINES, TRAVEL

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

South Carolina Aquarium, Charleston

Located at the edge of Charleston Harbor, South Carolina Aquarium is a private non-profit education and conservation organization with about 85 paid staff and close to 400 volunteers. It features 5,000-6,000 aquatic animals, 47 exhibits with animals, 42 aquatic exhibits, 51 aquatic back-up tanks, and 10 turtle hospital beds.

Display of fish and shark at South Carolina Aquarium in Charleston, South Carolina.

Display of fish and shark at South Carolina Aquarium in Charleston, South Carolina.

Some displays at South Carolina Aquarium in Charleston, South Carolina.

Some displays at South Carolina Aquarium in Charleston, South Carolina.

Eel at South Carolina Aquarium in Charleston, South Carolina.

Eel at South Carolina Aquarium in Charleston, South Carolina.

Jellyfish at South Carolina Aquarium in Charleston, South Carolina.

Jellyfish at South Carolina Aquarium in Charleston, South Carolina.

Jellyfish at South Carolina Aquarium in Charleston, South Carolina.

Jellyfish at South Carolina Aquarium in Charleston, South Carolina.

Frogs at South Carolina Aquarium in Charleston, South Carolina.

Frogs at South Carolina Aquarium in Charleston, South Carolina.

School of fish at South Carolina Aquarium in Charleston, South Carolina.

School of fish at South Carolina Aquarium in Charleston, South Carolina.

Shrimp at South Carolina Aquarium in Charleston, South Carolina.

Shrimp at South Carolina Aquarium in Charleston, South Carolina.

Sea horse at South Carolina Aquarium in Charleston, South Carolina.

Sea horse at South Carolina Aquarium in Charleston, South Carolina.

Horseshoe crab at South Carolina Aquarium in Charleston, South Carolina.

Horseshoe crab at South Carolina Aquarium in Charleston, South Carolina.

Stingray at South Carolina Aquarium in Charleston, South Carolina.

Stingray at South Carolina Aquarium in Charleston, South Carolina.

South Carolina Aquarium, Charleston, South Carolina

South Carolina Aquarium, Charleston, South Carolina

Turtle at South Carolina Aquarium in Charleston, South Carolina.

Turtle at South Carolina Aquarium in Charleston, South Carolina.

South Carolina Aquarium in Charleston, South Carolina.

South Carolina Aquarium in Charleston, South Carolina.

South Carolina Aquarium in Charleston, South Carolina.

South Carolina Aquarium in Charleston, South Carolina.

An albino American alligator at South Carolina Aquarium in Charleston, South Carolina.

An albino American alligator at South Carolina Aquarium in Charleston, South Carolina.

Crocodile at South Carolina Aquarium in Charleston, South Carolina.

Crocodile at South Carolina Aquarium in Charleston, South Carolina.

The largest tank at South Carolina Aquarium in Charleston, South Carolina.

The largest tank at South Carolina Aquarium in Charleston, South Carolina.

South Carolina Aquarium, Charleston, South Carolina

South Carolina Aquarium, Charleston, South Carolina

 

Check the Google Street view below for additional infomation:

 
2 Comments

Posted by on August 16, 2012 in S.Carolina, TRAVEL

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Sunway Lagoon- Petaling Jaya, Malaysia

Sunway Lagoon Malaysia has successfully defined the word awesome in many sense. Located in Petaling Jaya, just 15-minutes reach from Kuala Lumpur, this 88-acre amusement park offers 5 different theme in just one destination: Water Park, Amusement Park, Extreme Park, Wildlife Park and Scream Park.

Sunway Lagoon is an 88-acre amusement park complete with rides and attractions located in Petaling Jaya in Peninsular Malaysia.

Sunway Lagoon is an 88-acre amusement park complete with rides and attractions located in Petaling Jaya in Peninsular Malaysia.

Sunway Lagoon is an 88-acre amusement park complete with rides and amusements that attracts people of all ages. It is located in in Petaling Jaya in Peninsular Malaysia.

Sunway Lagoon is an 88-acre amusement park complete with rides and amusements that attracts people of all ages. It is located in in Petaling Jaya in Peninsular Malaysia.

The friendly staff at Sunway Lagoon in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia.

The friendly staff at Sunway Lagoon in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia.

Halloween atmosphere in November at Sunway Lagoon in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia.

Halloween atmosphere in November at Sunway Lagoon in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia.

The water park at Sunway Lagoon in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia.

The water park at Sunway Lagoon in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia.

The water park at Sunway Lagoon in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia.

The water park at Sunway Lagoon in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia.

The water park at Sunway Lagoon in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia.

The water park at Sunway Lagoon in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia.

At the man-made beach made to look real at Sunway Lagoon in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia.

At the man-made beach made to look real at Sunway Lagoon in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia.

The water park at Sunway Lagoon in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia.

The water park at Sunway Lagoon in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia.

The man-made waterfall at Sunway Lagoon in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia.

The man-made waterfall at Sunway Lagoon in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia.

 

Sunway Resort Hotel and Spa has 1,234 rooms for visitors who need accommodation.

In one of the rooms at Sunway Lagoon and Resort in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia.

In one of the rooms at Sunway Lagoon and Resort in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia.

 

And shopping is just a stone’s throw away at grand Sunway Pyramid Shopping Mall.

Inside Sunway Pyramid Shopping Mall in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia.

Inside Sunway Pyramid Shopping Mall in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia.

 

 

 

 

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on August 16, 2012 in MALAYSIA, TRAVEL

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Hot Air Balloon Festival – Putrajaya, Malaysia

My enthusiasm over hot air balloons is intense and I want to see them up close. So when I learned about the hot air balloon festival in Putrajaya, I encouraged my colleagues to go and join the annual event.

Putrajaya is Malaysia’s third federal territory next to Kuala Lumpur and Labuan. It was built to address the increasing problem of scattered government offices in the city aggravated by the growing problem of traffic congestion and overcrowding. Putra means prince and jaya means success. While Kuala Lumpur is Malaysia’s national capital as well as the commercial and financial hub, Putrajaya is the administrative center. But for today’s festival, it has transformed itself to a playground, both for the kids and kids at heart.

We arrived early at the event but others arrived earlier and there were only limited tickets to the balloon ride. I am more than happy just to see them up close anyhow.

Annual Hot Air Balloon Festival in Putrajaya, Malaysia.

Annual Hot Air Balloon Festival in Putrajaya, Malaysia.

 

Zorbing Balls are available but I am not in the mood for it that day.

Zorbing balls during the annual Hot Air Balloon Festival in Putrajaya, Malaysia.

Zorbing balls during the annual Hot Air Balloon Festival in Putrajaya, Malaysia.

 

Because I was more interested in doing paintball!

Trying paintball during the annual Hot Air Balloon Festival in Putrajaya, Malaysia.

Trying paintball during the annual Hot Air Balloon Festival in Putrajaya, Malaysia.

 

Enjoy and take photos as you cruise aboard Cruise Tasik Putrajaya around the man-made Lake Putrajaya past beautiful landscape and landmarks.

Overlooking Lake Putrajaya before the start of the cruise aboard Cruise Tasik Putrajaya during the annual Hot Air Balloon Festival in Putrajaya, Malaysia.

Overlooking Lake Putrajaya before the start of the cruise aboard Cruise Tasik Putrajaya during the annual Hot Air Balloon Festival in Putrajaya, Malaysia.

View of Seri Wawasan Bridge while aboard Cruise Tasik Putrajaya during the annual Hot Air Balloon Festival in Putrajaya, Malaysia.

View of Seri Wawasan Bridge while aboard Cruise Tasik Putrajaya during the annual Hot Air Balloon Festival in Putrajaya, Malaysia.

View of Masjid Besi while aboard Cruise Tasik Putrajaya during the annual Hot Air Balloon Festival in Putrajaya, Malaysia.

One of the beautiful views while aboard Cruise Tasik Putrajaya during the annual Hot Air Balloon Festival in Putrajaya, Malaysia.

View of Putra Mosque while aboard Cruise Tasik Putrajaya during the annual Hot Air Balloon Festival in Putrajaya, Malaysia.

View of Putra Mosque while aboard Cruise Tasik Putrajaya during the annual Hot Air Balloon Festival in Putrajaya, Malaysia.

Aboard Cruise Tasik Putrajaya during the annual Hot Air Balloon Festival in Putrajaya, Malaysia.

Aboard Cruise Tasik Putrajaya during the annual Hot Air Balloon Festival in Putrajaya, Malaysia.

Aboard Cruise Tasik Putrajaya with the Captain during the annual Hot Air Balloon Festival in Putrajaya, Malaysia.

Aboard Cruise Tasik Putrajaya with the Captain during the annual Hot Air Balloon Festival in Putrajaya, Malaysia.

Aboard Cruise Tasik Putrajaya during the annual Hot Air Balloon Festival in Putrajaya, Malaysia.

Aboard Cruise Tasik Putrajaya during the annual Hot Air Balloon Festival in Putrajaya, Malaysia.

 

This tour wont be complete without a photo of the Office of the Prime Minister of Malaysia.

The Office of the Prime Minister of Malaysia in our background during the annual Hot Air Balloon Festival in Putrajaya, Malaysia.

The Office of the Prime Minister of Malaysia in our background during the annual Hot Air Balloon Festival in Putrajaya, Malaysia.

 

 

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on August 15, 2012 in MALAYSIA, TRAVEL

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

SUISLIDE at Danao, Bohol

An invite from a friend was all it took to conquer heights. Carlo Villarta phoned to join him and his brother Nico in their trip to Bohol. This island has been my sanctuary for different reasons. My numerous visits have given me unique memories each time. With Nico’s girlfriend Eve tagging along, I was pretty sure this group is going to have tons and tons of fun. But what I thought was just a classic countryside tour turned out to be an adventure that requires adrenaline jolts. And I am not exaggerating when I said that. Here is why.

SUISLIDE.  At Danao, Bohol, one will get a dose of E.A.T. Danao or Extreme/Eco/Educational Adventure Tour, an ecotourism concept set up to benefit the Municipality of Danao, Bohol and its people. Various activities are offered but we chose suislide, a zip-line consisting of a pulley suspended on a cable mounted on an incline cliff. It does sound like a deadly attempt but I am glad I came home in one piece.

Suislide dares you to conquer a 480 meter zipline at an altitude of 200m, the longest and the deepest zipline in the Philippines.

Suislide zipline at E.A.T. Danao (Extreme/Eco/Educational Adventure Tour), Bohol, Philippines

Suislide zipline at E.A.T. Danao (Extreme/Eco/Educational Adventure Tour), Bohol, Philippines

 

When scared, just smile.

Suislide zipline at E.A.T. Danao (Extreme/Eco/Educational Adventure Tour), Bohol, Philippines

Suislide zipline at E.A.T. Danao (Extreme/Eco/Educational Adventure Tour), Bohol, Philippines

 

It was super scary when they started to let go, but the view of the river below took my breath away.

View looking down during a Suislide zipline at E.A.T. Danao (Extreme/Eco/Educational Adventure Tour), Bohol, Philippines.

View looking down during a Suislide zipline at E.A.T. Danao (Extreme/Eco/Educational Adventure Tour), Bohol, Philippines.

 

And I survived what I call my baptism of zip!

Suislide zipline at E.A.T. Danao (Extreme/Eco/Educational Adventure Tour), Bohol, Philippines

Suislide zipline at E.A.T. Danao (Extreme/Eco/Educational Adventure Tour), Bohol, Philippines

Suislide zipline at E.A.T. Danao (Extreme/Eco/Educational Adventure Tour), Bohol, Philippines

Suislide zipline at E.A.T. Danao (Extreme/Eco/Educational Adventure Tour), Bohol, Philippines

 

This is us breathing in short gasps after our flying attempt like superman.

 

 

 
10 Comments

Posted by on August 15, 2012 in PHILIPPINES, TRAVEL

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Singapore City – Singapore

There is no other reason why I paid a visit to Singapore but curiosity. I was living in Malaysia and I thought I should see this neighboring garden city-state with my colleagues. After all, Singapore was once part of Malaysia until its separation in 1965. A former British colony, this island nation showcases a diverse culture of Malay, Chinese, and Indian influence, a boosting economy, excellent educational services, well-planned transport system, crime rate as one of the world’s lowest, and a living testament that we can integrate nature with progress and development.

Merlion, a combined body of a fish and a head of a lion, is the famous Singapore’s icon. The fish represents the city’s origin as a fishing village and  the lion represents its original Sanskrit name “Singapura” meaning lion city, coined by a Palembang ruler who was shipwrecked and washed ashore to the island and saw a creature he thought was a lion. What we saw was probably not a lion since no there are no lions in this island, but a tiger.

The Merlion City, Singapore.

This city-state is considered as one of the world’s cleanest. Spitting, littering, chewing of gums are legal grounds for a huge fee or even an arrest.

Singapore

Singapore

The Singapore Flyer.

The Singapore Flyer.

Singapore Durian Convention Center.

Singapore Durian Convention Center.

Singapore Art Museum.

Singapore Art Museum.

Singapore Art Museum

Singapore Art Museum

Silosa Beach.

Silosa Beach, Singapore.

Silosa Beach, Singapore

Silosa Beach, Singapore

Silosa Beach, Singapore.

Singapore glows at night.

Singapore night scene.

Hawker food stalls are popular in this city-state and dining as you rub elbows with the locals and tourists is an experience worth flying.

hawker food stalls in Singapore at night

hawker food stalls in Singapore at night

Traveller in Singapore.

Traveller in Singapore.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on August 14, 2012 in SINGAPORE, TRAVEL

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Port Dickson, Malaysia

Port Dickson is a popular holiday destination famous for its fine sand beach located in state of Negeri Sembilan of Peninsular Malaysia. It is commonly known as PD among the locals.

Port Dickson, located in the state of Negeri Sembilan of Peninsular Malaysia, is a popular destination in the country.

Port Dickson, located in the state of Negeri Sembilan of Peninsular Malaysia, is a popular destination in the country.

Port Dickson in Malaysia is popular for its beaches.

Port Dickson in Malaysia is popular for its beaches.

Port Dickson in Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia.

Port Dickson in Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia.

Fine sand beach in Port Dickson, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia.

Fine sand beach in Port Dickson, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia.

Port Dickson, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia.

Port Dickson, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia.

Port Dickson, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia.

Port Dickson, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia.

Enjoying a day at the beach in Port Dickson, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia.

Enjoying a day at the beach in Port Dickson, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia.

With friends enjoying Port Dickson in Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia.

With friends enjoying Port Dickson in Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia.

With friends enjoying Port Dickson in Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia.

With friends enjoying Port Dickson in Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia.

With friends enjoying Port Dickson in Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia.

With friends enjoying Port Dickson in Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia.

The Museum at Port Dickson in Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia.

The Museum at Port Dickson in Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia.

The Museum at Port Dickson in Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia.

The Museum at Port Dickson in Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia.

 

 

 

 
2 Comments

Posted by on August 12, 2012 in MALAYSIA, TRAVEL

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Malacca, Malaysia

Malacca was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Located in the southern region of Malaysia, it is the third smallest state. The shaping of this state was highly influenced by Dutch, Portuguese, British and the Chinese culture quite apparent in their architecture and cuisine.

Malacca, located in the southern region of Malaysia,  is a declared UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Malacca, located in the southern region of Malaysia, is a declared UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Being a tourist in front of The Stadthuys, which means a city hall in old Dutch and is also known as the Red Square, at downtown Malacca in Malaysia.

Being a tourist in front of The Stadthuys, which means a city hall in old Dutch and is also known as the Red Square, at downtown Malacca in Malaysia.

Being a tourist at Melacca, Malaysia.

Being a tourist at Melacca, Malaysia.

 

Here is a virtual view of downtown Malacca courtesy of Google Street View:

 

 

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on August 12, 2012 in MALAYSIA, TRAVEL

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Wat Tham Suwan Kuha, James Bond Island, Koh Panyi Village – Thailand

I was wrong when I thought that temples, Patong Beach and Koh Phi Phi are the only things I will look forward to when visiting Thailand. Perhaps this is exactly why I love to travel. Because travelling humbles me, travelling reminds me that I have so much more to learn, so much more of the world to see, that there are more faces to meet, more souls to touch.

Wat Tham (meaning cave temple) Suwan Kuha, located in Phang Nga province, North of Phuket, is nothing grandiose but interesting. There are a lot of monkeys outside the cave temple, waiting to be fed or a chance to grab food.

Wat Tham (meaning cave temple) Suwan Kuha, located in Phang Nga province, North of Phuket

Wat Tham (meaning cave temple) Suwan Kuha, located in Phang Nga province, North of Phuket

Wat Tham (meaning cave temple) Suwan Kuha, located in Phang Nga province, North of Phuket

Wat Tham (meaning cave temple) Suwan Kuha, located in Phang Nga province, North of Phuket

But the highlight of this temple is the giant buddha reclining inside the cave. Stalagmites and stalagtites also hang the cave walls acting like natural chandeliers.

Wat Tham (meaning cave temple) Suwan Kuha, located in Phang Nga province, North of Phuket

Wat Tham (meaning cave temple) Suwan Kuha, located in Phang Nga province, North of Phuket

the giant buddha inside Wat Tham (meaning cave temple) Suwan Kuha, located in Phang Nga province, North of Phuket

The giant buddha inside Wat Tham (meaning cave temple) Suwan Kuha, located in Phang Nga province, North of Phuket

Before Leonardo DiCaprio made a buzz about Phi Phi islands, James Bond had definitely put Thailand on the world map when it featured Khao Phing Kan in the movie “The Man with the Golden Gun” in 1974. As a matter of fact, the island is popularly known as James Bond Island and its Thai name is rarely used by tourists and even the locals. It is  worth a note that there are no replicas of the Golden Gun or dvds of the movie or anything that would concern James Bond fans sold in the island but local produced mostly made out of seashells.

Image

At the bay, preparing for a boat ride to James Bond Island

boat ride to James Bond Island

Boat ride to James Bond Island

Image

Enjoying Phang Nga Bay view on the way to James Bond Island

Image

My first glimpse of James Bond island

Image

Approaching James Bond Island

A must see is the Koh Tapu or the Nail Island, a limestone about 20 meters tall. Legend says that a fisherman, after numerous attempts at fishing can only catch a nail and keeps throwing it back to the sea, furiously cut the nail with his sword and upon impact, the nail jumped and speared into the sea.

Image

With Ko Tapu (Nail Island) at the background.

Image

Taxi anyone? :)

My favorite part of the tour is probably the unique lunch experience at Koh Panyi Village. A reading from wikipedia says that this fishing village was built on stilts by Indonesian fishermen. The population consists of roughly 200 families or between 1,500 and 2,000 people descended from 2 seafaring Muslim families from Java.

Image

Approaching Koh Panyi Village

Koh Panyi Village, Thailand

Koh Panyi Village, Thailand

Lunch was not only unique but a truly truly wonderful experience. Sea foods and fruits were fresh and I met and shared the meal with new found friends –  a couple from Israel, a couple from Spain and a couple from New Jersey.

lunch at Koh Panyi Village, Thailand

Lunch at Koh Panyi Village, Thailand

We left Phang Nga Bay after lunch and went to Phuket Island and visited Gems Gallery, the worlds biggest jewelry store.

Gem's Gallery in Thailand is the world's biggest jewelry store

Gem’s Gallery in Thailand is the world’s biggest jewelry store

After the tour, we all went back to our respective hotels with smiles and faces to remember. I travelled to Thailand alone, but moved on with my journey with new wonderful memories, of new knowledge, new inspiration and new souls who i just touched and who also touched mine in a sweet adventurous way.

Thailand, Thank You.

Image

Image

Patong Beach

 

 

 

 
2 Comments

Posted by on August 12, 2012 in THAILAND, TRAVEL

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Koh Phi Phi, Thailand

I was twelve when the movie Titanic hit blockbuster and Leonardo DiCaprio matured into everyone’s hero overnight. His movies following that became a part of the bandwagon culture. I guess moviegoers, girls especially, will always remember him as Rose’s Jack or Juliet’s Romeo. But for me, Leo will always be Richard, the naive traveller who went to  Thailand and found himself in possession of a strange map that led him into an isolated island paradise, into a tropical bliss. And that is how I learned of Phi Phi islands.

Koh (meaning island in Thai) Phi Phi is part of Krabi province, composed of 6 islands but Phi Phi Lee and Phi Phi Don are the two main islands and that is where I am heading. The tour started at 7am, and aboard the Sea Angel Cruise, my first day as twenty-six in a foreign island and alone was awesome.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Behind me is Koh Phi Phi Lee, popularized by the movie “The Beach”. This was how I met Gaetano, also a traveller who came with his fiance Demet, and their mother and daughter friends Michelina and Morena. Gaetano, probably wondering why I was travelling alone, approached to help me take a photo of me with Phi Phi Lee as my background.

Koh Phi Phi Lee in Thailand as popularized by the movie The Beach by Leonardo Di Caprio

Koh Phi Phi Lee in Thailand as popularized by the movie The Beach by Leonardo Di Caprio

And this is Koh Phi Phi Don, the largest and only populated island among the 6.

Koh Phi Phi Don, Thailand

Koh Phi Phi Don, Thailand

Lunch with newly-found friends at Phi Phi Don.

lunch at Koh Phi Phi Don, Thailand

Lunch at Koh Phi Phi Don, Thailand

1,2,3 LEO!

Koh Phi Phi Don, Thailand

Koh Phi Phi Don, Thailand

Demet and Gaetano are neigbhors with Morena and Michelina in Germany. They did not plan this trip together but only met in Phuket by accident. Small world!

Image

from left: me, the couple Ms.Demet and Mr.Gaetano, mother and daughter Morena and Michelina

Koh Phi Phi Don, Thailand

Koh Phi Phi Don, Thailand

Koh Phi Phi Don, Thailand

Koh Phi Phi Don, Thailand

Trust me, it’s paradise. This is where the hungry come to feed. ( Richard – The Beach:2000)

Koh Phi Phi Don, Thailand

Koh Phi Phi Don, Thailand

 

 

 

 
2 Comments

Posted by on August 10, 2012 in THAILAND, TRAVEL

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Phuket, Thailand

Last 2010, I thought of doing something different on my birthday. So at the crack of dawn when I turned twenty-something, I had my bag ready and flew SOLO from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to Phuket, Thailand. Some friends thought it was crazy for me to travel alone, I cannot think otherwise. It was a crazy idea indeed and that was the point of the adventure – to be crazy and simply have fun. Phuket has been infamously known for its night life, but my trip proved that there is more this island can offer.

The hotel staff knew it was my birthday so one of them thought what was appropriate of me and brought me to Wat Chalong. It is the largest temple in Phuket, with a Grand Pagoda containing a splinter of Lord Buddha’s bone.

Wat Chalong, the largest temple in Phuket, with a Grand Pagoda containing a splinter of Lord Buddha's bone.

Wat Chalong, the largest temple in Phuket, with a Grand Pagoda containing a splinter of Lord Buddha’s bone.

Wat Chalong, the largest temple in Phuket, with a Grand Pagoda containing a splinter of Lord Buddha's bone.

Wat Chalong, the largest temple in Phuket, with a Grand Pagoda containing a splinter of Lord Buddha’s bone.

inside Wat Chalong, the largest temple in Phuket, with a Grand Pagoda containing a splinter of Lord Buddha's bone.

Inside Wat Chalong, the largest temple in Phuket, with a Grand Pagoda containing a splinter of Lord Buddha’s bone.

Wat Chalong, the largest temple in Phuket, with a Grand Pagoda containing a splinter of Lord Buddha's bone.

Wat Chalong, the largest temple in Phuket, with a Grand Pagoda containing a splinter of Lord Buddha’s bone.

Thai people believe that elephants bring luck. While they are widely popular for tourism nowadays, elephants were very useful in the logging industry and they were in the old days trained for war. So as we drove, my guide thought I should feed an elephant. I have seen these giant mammals on tv and in zoos but this was my first time to see them up close. I felt very small and I knew I could die with just a kick. While my blog post about my elephant ride in Bali showed my enthusiasm, I was behaving oddly in Phuket. And you can tell from the photo.

elephant feeding in Phuket, Thailand

Elephant feeding in Phuket, Thailand

Trying to get over that awkward moment with the giants, we drove to Promtehp Cape viewpoint. Believe me, it was a sight to behold.

Promtehp Cape viewpoint, Phuket, Thailand

Promtehp Cape viewpoint, Phuket, Thailand

Promtehp Cape viewpoint, Phuket, Thailand

Promtehp Cape viewpoint, Phuket, Thailand

Promtehp Cape viewpoint, Phuket, Thailand

Promtehp Cape viewpoint, Phuket, Thailand

I returned to my hotel for a quick fix and headed out again to explore more . The hotel was just a quick walk to Patong Beach.

Patong Beach, Phuket, Thailand

Patong Beach, Phuket, Thailand

Patong Beach, Phuket, Thailand

Patong Beach, Phuket, Thailand

Patong Beach, Phuket, Thailand

Patong Beach, Phuket, Thailand

Patong Beach, Phuket, Thailand

Patong Beach, Phuket, Thailand

Patong Beach, Phuket, Thailand

Patong Beach, Phuket, Thailand

Patong Beach, Phuket, Thailand

Patong Beach, Phuket, Thailand

Patong Beach, Phuket, Thailand

Patong Beach, Phuket, Thailand

The local food was interesting. I tried their grilled squid and it was delish :)

Patong Beach, Phuket, Thailand

Patong Beach, Phuket, Thailand

The beach was crowded and it drizzled but it was still beautiful. If you are looking for a quiet beach, Patong is not for you. This beach is packed with activities, of people, of faces, of stories. I stayed until sunset and waited for a group to fly sky lanterns. I was overwhelmed, I have always been a huge fan of lanterns and lamps. I was too overwhelmed I did not take photos. I guess I just wanted to breathe in the moment that I was there. That moment I am thankful to be alive.

On my way to dinner, I passed by Loma park and I was surprised to see all yellow flowers everywhere. It dawned on me that it was also Thailand’s Agong’s (King) birthday.

Phuket has a lot to offer. I stayed in the island for 3 days and had tours which I will blog about soon. But that day, it made me feel like a royalty, on my birthday!

commemorating the birthday of the King of Thailand in Phuket

Commemorating the birthday of the King of Thailand in Phuket

commemorating the birthday of the King of Thailand in Phuket

Commemorating the birthday of the King of Thailand in Phuket

 

 

 

 

 
2 Comments

Posted by on August 9, 2012 in THAILAND, TRAVEL

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Pandan Dessert Recipe

~~ Pandan Dessert

1 pack gelatin or green gulaman
2 cups water
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 medium can condensed milk
2 cups reduced fat milk

Bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Pour 1 pack of gelatin, vanilla extract and sugar and stir until evenly distributed.
Transfer mixture to a mold and let it cool until it firms. You can also refrigerate for faster result.
Slice the firm gelatin into cubes (1 inch) then combine it with condensed milk and reduced fat milk.
Serve with love :)

** this is my hubby’s favorite :)

 
2 Comments

Posted by on August 9, 2012 in FOODIES

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Lemon Butter Chicken Recipe

Image

~~ Lemon Butter Chicken

2 chicken fillets
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp lemon juice
1 1/2 tbsp butter
steak seasoning
black pepper
1/4 tsp salt

Coat chicken fillets with oil. Sprinkle salt, pepper and seasoning and marinate for 30 minutes.
Heat butter and place chicken fillets and cook each side for 4 mins.
Pour lemon juice on fillets and cover with lid for 2 mins.
Place fillets on plate and drizzle lemon juice. Serve.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on August 9, 2012 in FOODIES

 

Tags: , , , , ,

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 871 other followers

%d bloggers like this: