Scenery Sunday :- Haifa, Israel

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.

Come along with me for a quick tour of Haifa. Continue reading

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Scenery Sunday: Delphi, Greece

Quaint little town which exists because of the archeological ruins of Delphi.

The mountain air is fresh.

The views stunning.

People smiles.

Opposite of the scorching sun I’ve been under in Athens. The hoards of tourists are gone.

The birds and insects sings after the rain.
Continue reading

Pilgrimage to Tibet

The Red and White palace of Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet

The Red and White palace of Potala Palace

In the midst of the 2008 travel ban to Tibet, I signed up for a tour to Nepal and Tibet. Back then in 2008, I was buried by work, no time to research my travel logistics nor my destinations. I would pick up brochures and find somewhere far, far away from my cubicle in Toronto, Canada. I submitted my request for 4 weeks vacation in February 2008 to ensure work will be scheduled around my “escape time”. Continue reading

Day trip to Jogjakarta, Indonesia : Part 3 Afternoon!

On the first day of July in 2013, I ventured on a day trip to Borobudur from Bali, Indonesia. For some unknown reason, I diverted to Prambanan and the city center of Jogjakarta before visiting the UNESCO world heritage site of Borobudur. One would think that if Borobudur is my main reason to travel, that would be my first place to visit. But at the same point, I thought it would be a nice way to end the day with sunset at Borobudur.

Now I am usually pretty good at checking for the weather forecast of the day so I can dress accordingly. Continue reading

Tibet continues to fight for Freedom

“March 10, 2014, marks the 55th anniversary of 1959 National Uprising against China’s illegal occupation of Tibet, when H.H. the Dalai Lama was forced to flee into exile. It also marks the 6 year anniversary since wide spread protests against Chinese rule swept Tibet in 2008.” ~ This quote is taken from a handout I received on Monday during the annual Tibetan National Uprising Day rally in Toronto, Canada.

Back in October 2008, I traveled to Tibet on a flight from Kathmandu, Nepal, stayed there for 7 days and traveled overland back to Nepal. It was an extremely memorable experience for me. The natural landscape was stunning while surveying the remnants of old Tibet broke my heart. Continue reading

Day trip to Jogjakarta, Indonesia : Part 1 Morning!

Hazy morning view of Mount Kelud from airplane window

Hazy morning view of Mount Kelud from airplane window

During my extended stay in Bali, Indonesia, I met Agung, a Reiki healer through a Swedish friend I had met while traveling in Bangkok, Thailand. From my chat with Agung, he mentioned that the world’s largest Buddhist temple is right here in Indonesia – in Central Java, named Borobudur. When I got back to my homestay, I did a bit of research and knew I had to get there before leaving the country!

The search was on!! I spoke to local travel agents and online tour companies. However, they all required a minimum of 2 travelers, offered a fixed itinerary and the cost was outside of my comfort zone. The draw to Borobudur was intensifying yet I did not have a method and I was set to leave Indonesia in a matter of days. I started looking for flights online and how plausible was it for me to “Do it on my own!” Continue reading

Meditation retreat in Penang Malaysia

When I was 5 months into my 2013 Epic Journey, I had the urge to get away from everything, find a quiet place and retreat, be a hermit. At that time, I was traveling in Penang, Malaysia. I was about 1 month into my stay in Asia – already spent time in Cambodia, Thailand and Singapore.

Google came to the rescue as I typed in “meditation retreat in Penang Malaysia”. What I found was a discreet, privately owned temple – Mr. Yeoh is a very friendly, helpful retired police officer. He owns the land that the temple is built upon and is a devout Buddhist. He informed me that all are welcome to stay at Sitavana Vihara 悉达林, as long as they observe the 8 precepts and refrain from eating food after 1:00 pm. I had no idea what are the 8 precepts at the time and had to google that as well. Continue reading