Sunday, May 1, 2011

Up in the Air

"The stars will wheel forth from their daytime hiding places; and one of those lights, slightly brighter than the rest, will be my wingtip passing over."

I've spent too long away from home

Did all the things I could have done

Gone are the days of endless thrills

I know I'm not the only one

So long I'm goin'... goin' home

I saw the streets all ripe with jewels

Balconies and the laundry lines

They tried to make me welcome there

But their streets did not feel like mine

So long I'm goin'... goin' home

I want the sun to hit my face

Through oak trees in the open lot

Forget about the things you want

Be thankful for what all you got

So long I`m goin'... goin' home


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Travel Photo - Jomalig Island, Philippines

[Click picture to enlarge]

Here's a picture of a deserted beach on the small island of Jomalig.

I visited this not-so-well-known island of the Philippines a few months ago with a group of friends. If you're not familiar with this island, don't worry, not many people are. Not many people have heard about Jomalig, because 1) You won't find it listed in the Lonely Planet, 2) It's difficult to reach. To reach the island of Jomalig we had to take a six-hour long ride on a fisherman's boat, and through rough waters, and 3) You won't find any hotels on the island. Zippo. We actually stayed with the counselor of the island, who happens to be a friend of Sheila's.

Hence, for these reasons, explains the deserted beach.

Gotta love deserted beaches, yes?


Monday, April 25, 2011

Tasty Food in Taiwan

I'm not sure if Taiwan is renowned for its food or not, but after having spent three days there recently, I can say that it's food is simply delicious. Out of all the countries that I've traveled to on this trip, Taiwan's food ranks pretty high on the list. I'm not a big fan of eating exotic foods, and Taiwan didn't appear to have much of it - with the exception of stinky tofu. I don't even like the plain ol' regular type of tofu, much less the stinky kind. Seriously, it may be the worst, God-awful smelling food on the planet. I couldn't imagine attempting to eat something that stinks that bad. But I digress. The rest of the country's food was amazing. I'll let the pictures speak for itself.


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Final Day in Taiwan - Din Tai Fung and the Taipei 101

It was our final day in Taiwan, and we had many things to see and do before our departure back to the Philippines that evening.

Our first stop of the day was to the Museum of World Religions. I wouldn't have known about the museum if it wasn't for a fellow travel blogger - and a devout atheist, I might add - who had written highly of it. I thought to myself, if this guy, an atheist, thought it was worth seeing then maybe I should check it out as well. And I'm glad I did, too, as I thought the museum was brilliant. I found the museum to be quite an insightful, analytical overview of some of the world's major religions. Furthermore, I felt that the museum did an excellent job presenting the religions without interjecting any personal biases or personal preferences for one or the other. But what I enjoyed the most, probably, were the miniatures of some of the world's most renowned religious structures, e.g. churches, temples, mosques, etc. Some of these life-like models had remote controlled video cameras installed, controllable by a joystick, if one desired to see its interior. The Museum of World Religions is definitely worth a visit.

Next, we attended the Taipei International Flora Exposition. It was a sensory overload from sight, smell, and... unfortunately, hearing. It wasn't the greatest location for the expo as the airport was nearby; and every ten minutes or so, a giant jumbo jet would fly over and cause a ruckus with its jet engine screaming. But we had a great time at the expo, regardless. It was beautiful to be surrounded by such colorful flowers and plants.

For dinner, we went to Din Tai Fung, a popular restaurant in Taipei that specializes in dumplings. Actually, we decided not to have dinner inside the restaurant as the line was incredibly long. So we ordered the dumplings for take-out and had it with our dinner that evening. I have to say though: I didn't find Din Tai Fung's dumplings to be overly tasty. Actually, I had better dumplings in the food market near our hostel. I'm just saying.

Our final stop was to the Taipei 101, the country's famous skyscraper which was once the world's tallest building from 2004 to 2010. The Burj Kahalifa in Dubai now holds the official record for the world's tallest building; however, the Taipei 101 has the world's fastest elevator (I must have swallowed 8-9 times to alleviate the pressure in my ears) and the highest open-air observation deck - so it still has some bragging rights, I'd say.

So there you have it: My three days spent in Taiwan in a nutshell. It's definitely not enough time to see the country, that's for sure. It's a country that's often overlooked by travelers. But if I knew what I know now about the country, I would have arranged to spend more time here.

So, Taiwan, until next time...