Perspective: Flying in Chiang Mai

Our group, composed of (left to right) a Canadian girl, our guide,  myself,
a Swedish girl and a South African couple on their honeymoon.

Today, on my last day in Chiang Mai, I did a 25KM off-road downhill bike. This is actually the second time I did this, the first one was 2 years ago on my first backpacking trip across South-East Asia. I took the time off from Bangkok to be able to do this for one more time.

Poems by the river

I was sitting by the Hippo River, just across Clark Quay (Singapore) watching boats pass by, and people also sitting by the river. Young couples, tired travellers having a short rest, and this young lady who seems to be waiting for someone... for the last 2 hours. 

I opened my book of poems by Nina Estrada (first published in 1959). Here is poem No. XVI

Wear high and proudly your defeat, my heart, 
Come, bare your wounds that those around may see
The triumphant banner of his victory.
With conquest swift, barbaric did he part
Your hesitating mouth, your virgin hair
Then pieced them all together with a kiss
That set them whole again. The magic this:
The new and old and one and yet compare;
The turbid past and luscent present see.
Where thirsty arms once mourned with weeping rain,
Now choirs of sunbeams sing but one refrain:
"Hosanna, Love! Behold! He loves but me."
How exquisite can willed surrender be
When it preludes a lover's victory.

Singapore, 2011 December 5

Around The World Itinerary (150 countries in 6 years)

At the Calauit Game Reserve in Palawan. Next, African Safari!
Finally, I was able to start drafting my itinerary for an around-the-world travel. I don't know when this will happen, but I am confident it will. The universe will provide.

This is the first draft, and most probably the last. This is the way I travel, I just identify the places I want to go to, sequence them with the only consideration being the availability of border crossings, have target dates for every place and just take it from  there. The key word is flexibility.

Total Number of countries: 150
Total Travel Days: Six (6) Years

10 Things You Should Not Miss to Eat in Khao San (Thailand)

It's raining now, and I am stuck in Khao San. I'm thinking of something light to write, and I realized I'm craving for some coconut ice cream and some other yummy delights that Bangkok has to offer.
A local preparing Thai Roti

So here it goes. My own list of what you should not miss in Khao San, or Bangkok in general.

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Sagada, Mountain Province

The majestic rice terraces


The isolated Anawangin Cove is perfect for group camping

Sunrise in Calayan

Calayan is part of the Babuyan Group of Islands

Chocolate Hills

While green during the rainy season, this attraction in Bohol turns to beautiful brown in the summer.


This remote island in Camarines Sur was host to Survivor France

Samal Island

This Pearl Farm is a famous destination in Davao.

Snake Island

This island, which is shaped like a snake is part of the attractions in Honda Bay, Puerto Princesa, Palawan.


Your private island

El Nido

This island is one of the stops in this famous tourist destination in Palawan

Calle Crisologo

This famous street in Vigan, Ilocos Sur is a reminder of this town's grand history

Central Park - New York

On a clear day, New Yorkers visit the Park to take a leisurely walk, run, play a game of catch, or just relax and read a book.

Brooklyn Bridge

The bridge is picture perfect, both for photographers and soon to be newlyweds having their pre-nup shoot.


A typical Plaza in Quito, the country's capital

New York

The view of Manhattan from the Empire State Building

Iguazu Falls

The majestic Falls shared by Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay


La Paz, Bolivia's capital, at night

Lake Titicaca

Colorful houses on Bolivia's side of the Lake

Pantanal, Brazil

A spot to read a book, and just below are hundreds of Caimans (cousins of alligators)

Copacabana Beach

Rio de Janeiro's famous beach

Curitiba, Brazil

One of the sights to be visited in their hop-on, hop-off Linha de Turismo bus service