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Friday, January 20, 2017

Chiang Mai | A Laid Back Historical Gem and Cultural Melting Pot This Side of Thailand


It was past midnight and the open-air acoustic place set up at Ploen Ruedee Night Market where I am hanging out with a friend starts to close down – so as the other nearby establishments. The once lively stalls lining up Chang Klan Road leading to Chiang Mai Night Bazaar are almost devoid of pedestrians and shoppers. Earlier in the night, I met up with a friend Valerie, who is also traveling in Chiang Mai. After a couple of rounds of Singha beers we were joined by her friends she met in Myanmar; Feven a beautiful girl with a braided hair from Ethiopia, Colorado native Michael and the pretty Puerto Rican Gisele.


 Doi Inthanon Temple. Photo Credit: "Thailand Tourism Authority"

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Dear Robin Leach, Cruise Ship Traveling Isn’t Just for the Rich and Groovy Retirees


Notwithstanding sans a honeymoon mate, I walked towards the gigantic ship bootlegging the swag of Mark Renton at the end of Trainspotting. Only this time, I am Ship-spotting. Unflappably sliding my feet over the smooth carpet of the hallway of Harbour Front in Singapore, I silently declaimed my own version of the film’s famous quote. “Choose Cruise Life. Choose Traveling. Choose a big ship to sail. Choose on-board parties, choose an island to explore.” Finding myself separated only by a thick glass and a couple hundred meters of pathway ahead, I stopped on my tracks and laid eyes on the sheer beauty of the docked ship that awaits my first ever cruise ship experience.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The Motorbike Road Rush to the City of Pines


Devoid of any experience between the wheels of these big two-wheeled road monsters we refer to as “big bikes”, I still view the film Easy Rider with fascination and the source of my desire to someday acquaint myself with these types of motorcycles. My previous conception about the men who ride these powerful machines of motorbikes are synonymous with the wild and colorful characters the late Hunter S. Thompson rode for a year with and wrote about in his career-defining book Hell’s Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga.


Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Deer hunting (for selfies) and heritage sites in Nara, Japan


‘OH, deer,” I muttered to myself as I sensed how these lovely creatures seem to almost outnumber us two-legged humans, who are all trying to corner them into taking selfies in the park that day. An estimated 1,200 sika deer romp the grounds of Nara Park every day in paramount freedom enjoying an almost rock-star status, brought about by their historical designation as messenger of the Gods for many centuries. According to a story handed down from more than a thousand years ago, Takemikazuchi, a Shinto God from Kasuga Shrine, descended from his world and appeared at Mount Mikasa riding a white deer. In the aftermath of World War II, the deer’s ‘divine’ distinction was replaced by a ‘national treasure’ designation, to ensure their protection while at the same time, tapering down their religious significance. 

'Feeding one of the many Deer with deer cracker