Tag Archives: weather

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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Help – Post travel depression!

29 Dec

I vote for hot weather

I’ve just been a day in Brussels and I’m depressed already. Where are all the smiling faces ;-) ? And this weather, isn’t it beyond acceptable?! The EU should make a directive against miserably grey & wet weather. That would be a useful ruling for a change (hehe). Cuz, what do I do now with all my Thai boy-shorts & slim-fit T-shirts?

I need to really control my urges here, as everything is about 3-5 times more expensive than ‘in my second home’ over there in Boracay. If I’d live the same lifestyle in Brussels I’d be bankrupt in about 3 minutes (well, 3 days)…

  • Life’s not easy after travelling in Asia
  • Weeeeeeeehhh – I wanna go back!

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Boracay Beach in the Rain

1 Jun
Experiencing Philipino Planes...

Experiencing Philipino Planes...

Getting there was half of the challenge because the airports and airlines in the Philippines seem to function quite differently from the European ones. Arriving at Caticlan airport was only a first step, it did involve getting a few tricycles and boats through stormy weather to get to Boracay island proper.

View from my room... on an exceptional sunny day

View from my room... on an exceptional sunny day

Luckily I was met by a friend (an angel ;-) on the other side of a rocky and splashy sea-ride who had found me a lovely guesthouse, with beach view and balcony, and whose staff adopted me as one of the family, for better and for worse… (read below)

The beaches were very worthy of the title Paradise (many pics below), but the weather didn’t really cooperate. Rainy season seemed to have kicked in early this year, so I gave up hope of sun and simply went swimming in the rain. A loooovely & liberating experience.

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Manila – Same Same but Different

23 May
Traditional Guard - spanish style

Traditional Guard - spanish style

So I arrived in the Philippines (after some struggle with Thai Airways who made me pay my booking fee again, despite the fact I had already paid it). I can’t help but compare the Philippines (Manila) with the other countries I visited recently.

The phrase that comes to mind is ‘Same same, but different’. Indeed, there’s a similar Asian feel about the Philippines, but on the other hand you can clearly see the stamp that the Spanish & Americans left on the country.

Or as my guidebook put it: think of a Philippino as an Asian that spent 300 years in (Spanish, catholic) church and 50 years in Disneyland – very accurate!

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Penang sunset – the sky is on fire

10 May
Wow - the sky is on fire...

Wow - the sky is on fire...

Just in front of the Kampung House where I am staying, there is a beach bar with chairs and tables in the white soft sand, and some straw thatched umbrellas. The name of the bar was Sunset Bustro, and I thought this was just one of those ‘look good’-names to attract people. Until 6 pm arrived (and their happy hour, when beer ‘only’ costs as much as in Belgium) when the sun was going down. Then I realized that the sunset in Penang is THE reason to come here.

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The Effect of Asia on a Westerner

27 Mar
Probably not all Asians are like this

Probably not all Asians are like this

So are you ready for gross generalizations? This post gives a little insight of what could happen to a Western traveler when hanging around (South East) Asia too long (or maybe for a short time as well ;-) Asia does strange things with your body and soul – and maybe those things are not so bad after all – they just help you put things in perspective and appreciate the ‘differentness’… (see also ‘the only white guy’ post)

It messes around with your mind

No, I’m not going crazy – I could survive here in South East Asia for a long time easily, but nevertheless being far away from home makes you think… (that’s also part of the reason to come here) Continue reading

Oh Bangkok baby…

30 Dec
Try to read that...

Try to read that...

So Thai Airways brought me safely to my first stop on my (hopefully) long Asia trip: Bangkok!

As soon as I got out of the plane, reality started kicking in. I was on the other side of the world!

  • The dream I had been dreaming of exotic temperatures came true – once OUTSIDE of the airport – because inside everywhere it is like a fridge because the airconditioning. It was 34 degrees, sunny, hot: a caress to the skin and soul.
  • The funny squiggles that make up the Thai alphabet did take my by suprise when getting my luggage. I of course knew that the Thai writing is different, but still, I had to blink my eyes a few times to find out which conveyor belt my suitcase would be arriving.
  • And then immigration started. Not just waving your passport briefly (or ID card for that matter) at the border guard. Nope, this was serious business: being ushered in different lines, by security guards that were wearing combat boots and trousers that were more tight than would be good for them (and for my concentration). Continue reading
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