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Travel

Swimming with whales

I had wanted to go swimming with whales for a while, ever since I picked up freediving. I gave up freediving, but that’s another story. Having gone scuba diving with sharks and other big creatures, swimming with whales was an obvious next step. Sri Lanka was a good candidate location. I could potentially visit Sri […]

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Animals of Lion Rock

I awoke one Saturday morning in December and decided that it was about time I checked out Lion Rock and the “best views of Hong Kong”. I found a direct bus – 116 – that took me close to the area. Following my maps rather than any directions that I had gathered, I found myself […]

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Travel

The Pitiless Traveller

I was in a crowded bus station in Bangalore, before its name was officially changed to ‘Bengaluru’. I had just finished university in Singapore and was doing a South India trip of almost three weeks that would end in Kerala, from where I come. My first stop on the trip was a town a few […]

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Travel

Lost Christmas

“You get the best stories when shit happens to you”, a traveller once said to me. I had agreed. I could tell and retell stories of some of the worst things that I had endured. When everything went according to plan, there was usually not much to talk about. It was December 24, 2009. I […]

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Travel

Hills of Yangshuo

This trip was into Guilin and Yangshuo in China, places known for their limestone cliff (karst) scenery. Online and in-person reviews gave starkly different opinions between Chinese and foreign visitors. The Chinese maintained that Guilin was the better spot to visit and worth more time. The foreigners all said to use Guilin as the entry […]

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Local / Home

Blackout

Freediving is the art of going underwater while holding your breath. Unlike scuba, there is no breathing apparatus to rely on; one has to have the level of physical conditioning required to perform the dive. I picked up freediving with my trainers Chris and Michelle. Chris would talk up the purity of the experience: “No […]

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Travel

Muck diving in Lembeh

I was on a scuba diving trip in Sulawesi, Indonesia. The first part of the trip was spent on the island of Bunaken, including my best New Year celebrations ever. Part 2 was to be spent on the island of Lembeh, known for its muck diving. At the port of Bitung, I found myself a […]

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Travel

The Ride to Moni

My vacation was ending in just a few days and I was heading to my last stop: a volcano named Kelimutu. I had wanted to see the three famous crater lakes that were reputed for their distinct, striking colours. It was 4PM and I was about fifty kilometres from my destination, a village named Moni […]

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Travel

The subterranean river

I had business in Manila on a Friday and the following Monday, so I decided to remain in the Philippines and visit Puerto Princesa on the island of Palawan for the weekend. The longest-known subterranean river in the world at 8.2 Km length is a two-hour car-ride from Puerto Princesa, where I landed on Saturday morning. […]

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Travel

Eating in Sichuan

I travelled to the Chinese province of Sichuan to visit some interesting limestone formations. Sichuan is known for its food – very spicy food. I am game for almost any food, but “very spicy” is outside of my comfort zone. Beads of sweat start forming on my shiny bald forehead as soon as I see […]