Tag Archives: pics

Onsen Papawaqa hot springs Tai’an, Taiwan

2 Dec

It seems that Facebook won from the blog. Have a look at the pictures of this heavenly hot spring hotel on my Facebook album. Lovely room with a view of the valley and mountains…

Bali road trip – lot’s of road

15 Feb

Sticky rice on the rice terraces

For some reason Indonesia (Bali) seems tougher to get around in than Thailand. There’s a lot more ‘services’ that just blatantly rip you off – with a friendly smile. Once you get a feel for the prices though, you can get good deals – so we booked ourselves a trip around Bali, mixing and matching the ‘standard tours’ and going off the tourist trail a bit. I’m not sure if the mixing of different sights was a good idea, as we ended up spending quite some hours in the car getting to the sights… But I guess that a road trip involves being on the road… lots of road… Pics below. Continue reading

Let’s all go to Phi Phi Island

10 Feb
Follow the masses into boats, islands and snorkling

Follow the masses into boats, islands and snorkling

What does one do when one is in Phuket. Well, some would go to all the girly or boy bars. Well, we didn’t. We went on another kind of tour, which is just as much advertised on the corner of each street: a boat trip to Phi Phi Island (Ko Phi Phi).

Already when arriving at Phuket airport, the tourist hunters try to trick you in all kind of different ways into tours, packages, accommodation, services and what not (yep, probably also those). Continue reading

Pukhet inferno

9 Feb

Beach boy at sunset

Phuket… I suppose you can see it as a huge playground. There are bars and restaurants at every corner of the street and in between there’s a tourist shop or travel agency at every second step. And in certain areas of town, the lights grow dim, the clothes become scarce and the men older and fatter. Whatever it is, it certainly isn’t Thailand.

So what is it that draws dozens of millions of tourists to Phuket every year – both international but also local? Continue reading

Tuptim Fertility Temple

8 Feb
Have your pick, or is it d...

Have your pick, or is it d...

Another one on the list of surreal temples – one dedicated to Fertility: the Mae TupTim shrine. And fertility for the Thais seems to be a quite ‘male affair’ as you will see on the pictures… The shrine is well hidden behind the parking lot of the Nai Lert Park hotel, a 15 minute walk from the nearest Skytrain station, but quite interesting. Well, let’s say, it depends on your ‘interests’ – hehe.

If you are interested in more ‘funny’ temples: have a look at the ‘Million Bottle Temple‘, the disputed Preah Vihaer temple or the forgotten jungle temple – and more temples.

Continue reading

Bangkok as usual…

6 Feb
Sunset at the pool on the 10th floor

Sunset at the pool on the 10th floor

Oh my Buddha – all this travelling has quite some effect on me – when Bangkok starts becoming ‘usual’ or even a ‘homey feeling’. I speak the basic tourist survival Thai – know the best dishes to comfort my palate – have found the corners of the concrete jungle that are soothing – able to use the public transport eyes closed – no more need to visit the tourist traps, because been there, done that – a few good places to stay, from nice to luxury – and most of all: indulge in shopping: Thai and cheap. (pics below)

So our regular routine goes as follows: Continue reading

New Year – Viet or Chinese Style

3 Feb
Happy year of the Cat - 2011

Happy year of the Cat - 2011

Don’t get in a fight now – it doesn’t really matter. Some call it Chinese New Year, some call it Vietnamese ‘Tet’.  Fact is that 3 February is new year on ‘this side’ of the globe. The Vietnamese celebrate the year of the cat, which for strange reasons, in the Chinese world it is the year of the rabbit. (something got lost in translation?) – pics below.

However, both of the new years involve lots of kitchy decorations, sporting either rabbits or kitties for 2011. Red envelopes are present everywhere, in the New Year trees (who said only christians decorated pagan trees ;-), in your pocket (if all goes well) and you should make sure red envelopes make it to the pockets of your relatives and friends. In a tourist city, like Siem Reap, where life never stops to vibrate, all of a sudden shops close (tough luck for the tourists) and bus prices double. Continue reading

Temple forgotten and found back

29 Jan

Jungle likes temple ;-) Me too

How much temples can one digest? I had seen a fair bit of Angkor Wat temples on my previous trip, so now it was time to see the more ‘special ones’ (like the Million bottle Temple). I went to see the Bang Malea jungle temple some 75 km from Siem Reap (pics below).

    Think twice before venturing out too far too pee: mines!

  • PS careful when you take a p-p-break along the road – some areas still haven’t been cleared of mines (see sign ;-)

Bang Mealea is a temple that was long lost and forgotten and it had completely fallen to ruins. The jungle nevertheless adopted the ruins and trees grew upon the ancient buildings. As it is far away from Siem Reap (1,5 hours by tuk tuk), it is relatively peaceful and quiet, set amidst de shady greenery. Visiting the temple actually involves climbing over the rubble and ducking under the doorways – I assume, completely in line with health and safety regulations (yeah, right). Continue reading

What to do if the neighbours have a wedding?

28 Jan

The Wedding Tent (I want one like that!)

Hm, what is the ‘interculturally sensitive’ action when the neighbour of your Cambodian guesthouse gets married: meaning 120 decibel (very) Khmer music starting at 5am during 2 days, to attract the good spirits…?

  • tell them spirits don’t exist
  • put in ear plugs (to reduce the 120 Db to 80)
  • write down (as they wouldn’t hear you with the noise) that maybe 50 decibel would also be enough to attract the good luck?
  • act out (as they wouldn’t hear you with the noise) that 100 Db damages your ears
  • give them a few of your favourite mp3 to add to the mix
  • go join the party
  • any other suggestions?

Pictures of the wedding below Continue reading

Preah Vihaer border temple

25 Jan

The traditional 'I was there' pic ;-)

One of the must-sees on my trip and the reason for hopping over the not so common Thai-Khmer border crossing, was the Preah Vihaer temple. It is not only declared UNESCO world heritage (since 2008) but it is also the subject of vigorous quibbles between two oh-so peaceful countries. So if even two zen countries fight a war over it, it must be amazing (pics below).

So I asked well around before setting off to this well hidden temple at the Thai border. The holy guidebook told me that the trip involved having dollars ready to ‘support’ the Cambodian soldiers (so that they let you through). My guesthouse girl (who looked very much like a boy though) told me that there were shared taxis from the one and only Anlong Veng roundabout going to the road crossing at the foot of the hill/mountain. From there I would need to take a motorbike up the steep slopes (because no common vehicles would manage). Continue reading

A temple made of a million bottles!

23 Jan

Made out of a million bottles

This is the most impressive temple ever. Even though I’ve seen Angkor Wat near Siem Reap or Bangkok’s Grand Palace, this well-hidden temple in the North-East of Thailand is surely the most original. A temple completely made out of glass bottles! (pics below). Continue reading

Boracay Beach Impressions

6 Aug
Boracay equals Beach

Boracay equals Beach

This time round I haven’t been very much into writing, because of combining a Filipino household, work for back home and making sure I get some holiday at the same time. Therefore, I’ll have to satisfy you with some pictures giving a vague impression of a month in the tropics

.

Continue reading

A proud day in Brussels

15 May

Presumed Heteroseksual (with KS to avoid being blacklisted by your provider)

Some picture impressions of the Belgian Pride – 35000 people partying in the streets (even though the parade itself is rather pathetic and un-creative). They changed the name from Gay and Lesbian Pride to Belgian pride – because ‘everybody’ should be proud to be what they are…

  • Hm, where is that going to end up…
  • More pics below

. Continue reading

Taking a little beach break

8 May

Nothing to do but watching the sunset...

It is nice to be travelling around, but after the hustle and bustle of Bangkok (including red shirts) and the temple overdose of Chiang Mai, we thought it would be time for a little break at the beach. Ko Samet is only a few hours bus & boat away from Bangkok, so easy to get to… but a lot more difficult to leave…

After our first day there we decided to stay till it was BKK time again to fly back home…

  • Such a lovely stay on Ko Samet slow-down island.
  • Also have a look at the funny Thai English we found there

Continue reading

Thai English ;-)

4 May

For me a DEEP SAUSAGE for breakfast please

I know it’s not nice to make fun of people – but sometimes the things I came across just made me smile. As English is the lingua franca of tourism, it’s interesting to see how different countries come to grips with it.

There’s something like Thai English, which in a way is a lot more logical than the ‘real’ English, because it is written more phonetically. It would be indeed easier if we would just would write what we say, instead of concocting some incoherent set of letters for words.

Charming Chiang Mai Pics

1 May

Massage literally on every corner of the street...

Not sure how to summarise Chiang Mai, the charming relaxed city of the North of Thailand: full of temples, nice hotels, yummy food, biking around town, smiley people, superb China town and night market, massage on every street corner (literally sometimes), street food a go-go, quaint old town, enjoying yourself for no money, just a night train away from Bangkok!

  • All of this and much more in 101 pictures (well, a few less…).
  • Also have a look at the Funny Thailand pics

Continue reading

Funny Thailand Impressions

1 May

The real Thailand tourist

Thailand is a country too crazy for words – that’s why I’ll just post some pictures of my trip here, to share some funny impressions with you ;-)

For example:

  • The Red Shirt protests in Bangkok – going for a drink in the war zone (more here)
  • Thousands of temples – templed out again (like the churches in Europe/Phils)
  • Soooooo yummy food – help – I’m gaining weight… ;-(
  • Pictures of the king everywhere – do not dare to make fun of him!
  • Colours and glitters everywhere – pink taxis, shiney temples, crazy clothes,…
  • Dozens, hundreds, thousands, millions of smiles and beautiful people…
  • Hot, hot, hot, hot,… (40°, red shirts, Silom, etc)
  • Also have a look at the Charming Chiang Mai picture post or the post about Thai English (hehe)

Continue reading

Hi from the Bangkok Barricades

25 Apr

The red shirt camp seen from the overpass

You might have heard, or you might not have, the city of Bangkok was under siege of the Red-Shirts. The fashionistas dressed in red were protesting to get the former corrupt (!) prime minister back in power – or rather – to oust the new PM. They took over the commercial centre of Bangkok – including the gay Silom area.

So, what to do? Despite the closed metro & sky-train, we still managed to cross the barricades and barbed wire. Here’s a look from the Red Shirt camp on our way to a drink in the gay bar. Pics below.

  • Civil war seems to be a relative concept after all.

Continue reading

Conferencitis – wows and woes

14 Apr

Fancy people at fancy conferences

One of the nice things of working in a European resource centre is the business trips. You get to see new destinations (with a bit of luck) and new people, which makes working a little bit less ‘work’.

Since SALTO Inclusion is working for the next 2 years on Unemployment, I was invited to the youth conference of the Spanish EU presidency, which had as central theme: Youth and Work. And I had a chance to discover Jerez de la Frontera – yep, the place where the Jerez (Sherry) comes from.

  • The ideas were super, the practice sometimes a little less.
  • Or how every conference coin has two sides…
  • And getting back was even more of a challenge (read here)

Continue reading

Roaming around the Arctic Circle

21 Jan

Fairy tale wooden houses

Opportunities lie in small places, for example in Tromsø, a few hundred km North of the Arctic Circle, where i went to visit some friends I’d known for 6 hours before… They live in a Norwegian fairy-tale world, with wooden houses, trolls and fjords. It’s not only cold there, but also dark – except for all the lights. It’s like living in a christmas tree. An expensive one, because I felt like a poor 3rd world boy when i saw all the prices…

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