Of sun,sea,sand and finding a hero.

Under the Tuscan Sun

Enjoy Tuscany with a glass of wine

Finding Felicity in El Nido

Pink painted skies in El Nido,Philippines

Quaint Girona

Off the beaten path in Girona

Good Morning,Vietnam

Cruise the emerald water of Hanoi

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Tales from the Plate: Taiwan

Beyond the big city metropolis and natural wonders of nature that Taiwan is proud of, this state city is a food trip paradise as well.From its claim to fame - Bubble Milk Tea to hole in the wall restaurants, Taiwan will delight all your culinary senses.

A steaming bowl of Beef Noodle and some innards wouldn't hurt

You can find what the locals claim as "the best" beef noodle in Formosa in a small quiet side street in Da'an district. Identified by its huge signboard with huge Chinese letters and translation
at the bottom that reads Yong Kang Beef Noodle and a considerable queue in front of the store. It is a typical Chinese restaurant housed in old shophouse with its tightly packed table and chairs and
the din of conversations alternating with soft slurps.You can order a steaming bowl of beef noodle with a tasty broth often claimed is made of "well kept" secret ingredient, soft and tender beef and gelatinous clumps of tendons. A side order of some intestine innards cooked with spices and chilli is the perfect partner. Ordering might be a bit of a trouble for non-mandarin speaker but they have a menu with photos and as the old adage goes "A picture speaks a thousand words".

Address: No.17, Lane 31, Jinshan South Road, Section 2, Da'an District, Taipei

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Israel: The road to Galilee

Galilee, situated in the northern part of Israel offering beautiful sights of green valleys, rocky mountains and a lake that is called a sea.
My own journey through this part of Israel took me from the ruins of an ancient formidable city to a wooden boat sailing the waters of the Sea of Galilee.

Caesarea was once a busy city harbor built during the time of  Herod the Great. A place of economy and government during the ancient times.
It became the largest city in Judaea during that time and was an economic and cultural powerhouse.
Nowadays, Caesarea is dotted by the different ruins of that time.  One will not miss the remnants of old sculptures that welcome you into the Caesarea of today. One of the popular spot is the well preserved amphitheater which used to be the hub of entertainment during the Roman empire but now its exterior is destroyed by the elements of the sea water. As you sat down on the bleachers (which are replicas), you get treated to a breathtaking view of the Mediterranean sea as the blue waves roll into the harbor. A short walk away from the amphitheater is the hippodrome which is the ancient race track. Most of the walls that lined it has survived the times and are still intact. Farther out into the sandy beach are well preserved arches of the aqueduct which was the ancient city's lifeline as it carried water from the foot of Mt.Carmel into the city.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Israel: A biblical landscape in Neot Kedumim

After a short ride from Ben Gurion airport, I walked along the stony and dusty path of Neot Kedumim with the hazy sky in the distance. Neot Kedumim is a landscape reserve created to resemble the topography during biblical time.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Tel Aviv, Israel : Entering the Promised Land

Coming from a red eye flight and rubbing the sleep off my eyes, I disembarked in Istanbul after a 10 hours flight. From this city that straddles Asia and Europe, I will be taking a connecting flight to Tel Aviv. 
The view from inside Istanbul's Ataturk Airport
Inside Istanbul Ataturk Airport, is organized chaos - men, women and children of different colors, age and sizes navigating through the labyrinth of airport corridors. I weaved amongst the rushing feet and rolling luggages to  the connecting gate only to be greeted by a line of travel weary people and unsmiling immigration officers. Clutching my maroon Philippine passport, I stood at the end of the line to wait for my turn in the inquisition.
"Australia passport" - the pretty blonde tall immigration officer called over the din of muffled conversations
"Singapore passport" - another immigration officer shouted
As people went over to the immigration officer, I can see them handing their passport and were ushered in to the connecting terminals
I looked around and noticed that those left were from Malaysia and the Philippines - no hard feelings, no comments about racism, you just get used to the woes of travelling as a citizen of a third world country. You just shrug it off and mutter other your breath "Third world problems". It was a humbling experience knowing that you can't wave a passport that will send shivers to the immigration officer's spine - the only thing you can do is to wait and meekly hand over the maroon colored booklet emblazoned with golden letters that spelled PHILIPPINES. You look the officer in the eye and answer them truthfully and convincingly that you just wanted to see the world and not work or stay illegally in the country and that is the only time that you let out a sigh of relief as they put a stamp or a sticker on your passport and usher you into the connecting terminals.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Pai: Of cuteness overload, food trips and a motorbike ride

It was a spur of the moment trip when those restless feet started to itch and there is that feeling of wanting to go away even for just a few days. Airline's online bookings were scanned for good airfare deals and travel blogs are pored over for inspiration. Lured by the cuteness overload and promise of good food and cuppa, the tickets was booked and the travel plans were finalized.

As we landed in Chiang Mai on a balmy morning, we hurriedly took a taxi from the airport to the Railway station to make sure we can secure our train tickets back to Bangkok.
As we approached the Railway station, there was this feeling of foreboding when we saw the ginormous tarpaulin with an announcement written in Thai characters.
Tarpaulin + Lack of activity = Trouble.

signboards at Coffee In Love