It’s Sunday and I just got back from the Laoag Public Market in Ilocos Norte province of the Philippines. Now I’m hiding in an air conditioned McDonald’s to share with you the photos I just captured in the buzzing market.
It is a combination of an outdoor and indoor market. Outdoor hawkers spread out their goods onto tarps on the road and inside the permanent structure, 4 levels of shop stalls keep their goods in a more organized fashion.
It is literally swarming with people stocking up on fresh produce and daily necessities. Continue reading →
Growing up in Hong Kong meant seeing my mom visit the traditional wet market every day. In the last three decades much has changed. The level of cleanliness has improved substantially. Large governmental structures houses most of the fresh food hawkers, divided into various sections; fruit & vegetables, dried goods, meat, seafood, poultry and cooked food. Some still maintain their presence on the street with their goods spread out onto the pavements or sidewalks. It is an aspect of Hong Kong that I treasure.
Fresh is the name of the game in Hong Kong. Variety is also highly regarded.
Imagine, a slab of soft tofu that’s so fresh, steam is still rising off as the vendor cut out a square for your purchase. It is without preservatives. It is not wrapped up in plastic containers and stored in the supermarket refrigerators with an expiration dates stamped on top. Continue reading →
Have you ever been to a new city and want to make the most of your time?!
Well I tried to do just that when I had only 18 hours to spend in Haifa, Israel. I had arrived in Haifa at around 11am on a Wednesday from Tiberias, Israel and then I had a train to catch at 5:25 am the next morning, to catch a flight from Tel Aviv (Ben Gurion airport) to Istanbul Turkey. So after my check-in at the hostel, I scurried and tried my best to explore the port city as much as possible.
I still don’t know much about Haifa but I had 2 places I wanted to check out – the famous Baha’i Gardens and Wadi Nisnas. As the Gardens is up on top of the hill, I figured I’d see Wadi Nisnas first and capture the sunset while up high over looking the city.
Fêtes de Genève is an annual 25 days event along the waterfront of Lac Léman (Lake Geneva). Locals, expats and tourists, from near and far, show up en masse to celebrate Summer in Switzerland. Fair rides, concerts and a grand show of fireworks on the last Saturday night of the festival are all part of fun.
Yes, if I had been more organized or actually done some planning and research, I would have known about the festival and made it to the fireworks. But I was flying by the seat of my pants and I had spent the day in 5 different cities. Needless to say, I was bone tired when I questioned why my train, in the direction to Geneva, was completely packed and not many were dressed up for clubs or bars. It was also the last night I get to spend with my friend and her family who hosted me the whole time I was in Switzerland, so I did not mind missing out on the firework show.
However, I was in Geneva on the last day of the festival and it was a great event for me to stumble upon. Continue reading →
One of my favorite things to do while traveling is blend in with the locals. This time in Istanbul, I stayed outside of the typical touristic neighborhoods and lived among locals.
On a rainy Wednesday, I stepped into the supersized outdoor market in the Fatih neighborhood of Istanbul, Turkey. I brought along my camera, shopped with the locals and walked shoulder to shoulder with them all.
Weekly markets around the world feed my curiosity; visually, mentally and physically. From the way people dress, what they eat, how they bargain and buy, how they socialize, how they react to the weather, it’s all part of the local culture. Continue reading →
Recently I spent 2 weeks traveling from the South to the Northern reaches of Jordan. I must say it’s not an easy country to visit – especially for a solo, independent, female traveler. Luckily I met a fellow solo, independent, male traveler from Germany with a rental car so we had an impromptu road trip together for a few days.
The public transportation in Jordan only connects Aqaba and Petra in the South with Amman and Madaba in the North. Access to the other beautiful historical sites can only be gained with a private car, taxi or a tour bus.
A small town in the area of the Kaçkar Mountains in Turkey reminded me of the beauty of the Swiss Alps – without the exorbitant prices. It is within the Kaçkar Dağları Milli Parkı so park fees are charged to each vehicle entering the area.
The Kaçkar Mountains are unlike anything I have seen so far in other parts of Turkey. It is in the north east part of Turkey close to the Black Sea. Due to the higher elevation, the temperature is much cooler. I actually had to put on a jacket!
Ayder is quaint, friendly, mountainous, affordable thermal bath, lush forests, hiking trails and plenty of waterfalls. Continue reading →