The Motorbike Road Rush to the City of Pines

November 30, 2016

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.

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

November 22, 2016

‘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. 

Marky Ramone Go in Nara Deer Park
'Feeding one of the many Deer with deer cracker

Postcard Series: Business Class | Thai Aiways

November 16, 2016

As the old saying goes; there’s always a first time.  On this trip, it’s my turn to fly on a business class. When I started traveling, I told myself I will be fine even If I stand inside a plane, as long as I get to travel. Flying on a business class wasn’t in any realm of possibilities as I know I could not afford it. Good karma indeed comes knocking when I get invited to a media trip to Thailand. A bonus: we get to fly on a business class of Thai Airways. So yeah, I did took advantage of the unlimited wine.

Things you need to know before Tibet Trekking

November 15, 2016

For the greatest adventurers trekking in Tibet is one of the must-do things on the list. In recent years, more and more tourists are coming to Tibet only for the unique treks and the majestic landscapes and scenery. Tibet is the highest region in the world, with an average altitude of 4,800 meters. Often is regarded as the "Roof of the World" or the "Third Pole." The reason for that is the number of glaciers and the volume of ice that lies within the Himalayas.

Kyoto: Of polite people, tidy streets, heritage sites, fascinating culture and then some

November 12, 2016

It was almost to the year when I capped my first trip to Japan by spending days walking aimlessly around Tokyo—getting lost while discovering the character of its gigantic city spread over towering skyscrapers and spacious sidewalks filled with hastening crowd. A total of 12 days constituted my first foray into the Land of the Rising Sun, and yet, I still desire for more. Only India had me yearning for a return trip to the same country too soon—and in Japan I felt that same attraction quite hard to resist.

the winding bamboo path leading to Tenryū-ji  temple

Following the Way of Jesus Christ in Israel

November 10, 2016

Savoring my first breath of air in the very birthplace of Jesus Christ, I instantly noticed the sudden shift of scenery as I stared out the window of our chartered bus. What arrested my attention was the fusion of colors representing the fertile lands dotting the countryside of Israel. The new topography that replaced the red desert dunes that dominated the landscape of Jordan provided a new visual spark for me to scrutinize. While I would miss the staggering golden tints characterizing the spectacular backdrops of Wadi Rum to Petra and to Amman, these fresh set of scenery added to the high I was feeling that moment.  Coupled with a realization about how this trip is turning into notches more epic, I glazed at the backdrop with intent focus. Within moments away of tracking the path of Jesus Christ, an emotional air got through me – and knowing how extraordinary it is for anyone regardless of faith, to step into the very heart of the Holy Land – I felt all the good karma overwhelming me.

Marky Ramone Go in Old Jerusalem
The Old Jerusalem is seen at the background.

Mouthing 'OMG' while Feasting on Ōmi Beef—a Popular Wagyu Beef in Japan

November 03, 2016

A trip to Shiga prefecture in the Kansai district of Japan won’t be complete until you roll your tongue on the mouthwatering Ōmi beef the region is known for. Billed as one of the top three kinds of Wagyu beef in Japan—along with Matsusaka beef and Kobe beef—Ōmi beef is also considered as the oldest beef brand in Japan. Accordingly, Omi Beef is sourced from the Japanese Black (Kuroge Washu) beef cattle breed that make up for over 90% of all Wagyu raised in Japan.