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Travel

Gunung Padang

I have been to Indonesia so many times that I have lost count. It started with the disastrous “Lost Christmas”, many years ago. Indonesia has provided me with a variety of travel stories, being the country where I learned to scuba dive; checked out a bunch of volcanoes; tried a hand at surfing and saw […]

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Travel

Scenery and service in El Nido and Coron

I visited The Philippines with my friend Pablo during one Chinese New Year holiday in Hong Kong. Trips to the Philippines, as with some other South East Asian countries, are usually a mixed bag. One can expect breathtaking scenery along with various bizarre disappointments in how travel arrangements are conducted. This trip was no exception. […]

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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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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

Lost in the jungle

January 2009 It was 11PM and I was about to go to bed. I got a message on MSN Messenger from my friend Shamraz. We were classmates at the National University of Singapore. “I’m going to the Malaysian rainforest Taman Negara tomorrow. Wanna join?” “Sounds cool. At what time are you leaving? How many days?” […]

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Three palm trees to the jetty

I had met my friend Plamena while we were both travelling in Timor-Leste in 2016. We stayed in touch through Facebook and realised we shared a love for beer. After an incident in 2017 where I heroically saved a beer when I fell into water and got immersed to my head, we decided, over a […]

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Travel

The Old Town of Lijiang

I visited the town of Lijiang in Yunnan, China for a short Christmas break in 2017. To be more precise, it was one day of a four-day trip. I also spent some time in Dali, visited the nearby Tiger Leaping Gorge and hopped through Kunming for my flights to/from Hong Kong. My time in Dali […]

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Travel

Rustbuckets of western Mongolia

I had landed in Ulgii (Ölgii) airport for my trip to the mountains. I saw a van approach the airport and a man exit from it. The vehicle started rolling backward. The man quickly found a rock to place under a wheel before coming to the building and holding up a sign. I thought to […]

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Travel

Mountains of western Mongolia

After my trip to the Gobi desert, I went to western Mongolia to trek in the mountains. The flight from Ulaanbaatar to Ulgii (Ölgii) takes 3 ½ hours by propeller plane. That’s quite a while, given that you’re barely flying halfway through Mongolia. I saw very barren-looking land, with hardly a village showing up through […]

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Travel

Dirt tracks of the Gobi: Part 2

Mongolia is a vast country with half the land area of India but barely half the population of Bangalore. I visited just as the winter chill started setting in in late September / early October with my friend Linto. Continued from Dirt tracks of the Gobi: Part 1 Day 3 had fewer kilometres on the road […]