South East Asia


breast mound
Katai Kamminga sat opposite to me while sipping her bluish iced tea, which tasted delicious. When I asked her what the tea was made from, she mischievously retorted with a wink. “From my flower. Now you know what it tastes like”.   It was one of the many witty puns that I would hear from the brilliantly sharp mind of Katai Kamminga over the next hour. Turns out the tea was made from a non-orchid pea flower quite common in Thailand, named the Butterfly pea.   And it’s scientific name was ‘Clitoria Ternatae’. The erotic garden and teahouse of Mae […]

The Erotic Garden of Katai Kamminga: Chiang Mai, Thailand (NSFW)   Recently updated !


people loy krathong chiang mai
It was a bittersweet culmination of a dream I had harboured for many years. To see the Loy Krathong festival. Or, as hippie instagrammers often called it, the lantern festival.   Bittersweet, because it was everything I had expected. And much more. But we will come to the ‘much more’, later in this post. Thanking the Lannas   It had been a long road from Phuket to Bangkok. Thanks to some seasonal floods that were happening in central Thailand, my long, arduous 21 hour bus ride from Phuket to Chiang Mai, had become a long, arduous 27 hour bus ride […]

Mixed emotions at the Loy Krathong Lantern festival: Chiang Mai, Thailand


lake pinatubo philippines
“It’s a magical world, Hobbes, ol’ buddy… Let’s go exploring!” — Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes   As always, Calvin knew best. So did I, apparently. And that was when I decided to finally explore the Pinatubo crater lake after years of putting it off.   I had lived in Manila for nearly 5 years. But not once during those 5 years had I tried to step beyond the comforts of the city, and venture towards Pinatubo. Venture I did – and plenty of times – to the famous beaches of Zambales, the colourful festivals of Masskara and Panagbenga, former […]

To the moon and back: Trekking Pinatubo in Philippines



monk kid angkor wat 2
Note: The Angkor archaeological park is a giant area, and it is impossible at this age for me to remember all the details (yeah, I am blaming the 30’s for everything nowadays). Hence, this post is not very descriptive, rather more of a photo-story. The sunrise was upon us. And the Tuk Tuk driver couldn’t have found a better place to drop us off. Right in front of the magnificient Angkor Wat temple complex!   We had spent the last night getting knackered in the party streets of Siem Reap’s Club Street, and walked in tripping, into our hostel. The […]

In Photos: A day at the Angkor Archaeological Park, Cambodia


Waterfight songkran chiangmai 2
This was not my first Songkran. I had previously been to the Songkran of Khaosan Road, in Bangkok. 4 years ago, which also had me witness a full-blown protest. And the 3 days spent there were the craziest 3 days of my life. Street parties are a very rambunctious and boisterous affair, but a street party with water involved; it almost feels like the whole atmosphere is jacked up on steroids. Read: Churning of the milk ocean, in Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport Songkran is Thai New Year. And if you are wondering why the name seems so familiar, it is because it’s […]

A 3-step guide to enjoying the Songkran festival in ChiangMai   Recently updated !


Just a short ferry ride away from Singapore, lies an oft-visited weekend destination named Bintan. And in a less-explored trikora beach, lies a lesser known hideway called – tantalizingly – ‘Shady Shack’. Enough of suspense-filled opening narratives. Let’s get on with the blogpost, shall we? Riau Archipelago, Indonesia For some of you who live in Singapore, I wouldn’t be surprised if you believed that the Riau islands – which include Bintan – was a part of Singapore. And to some extent, there is some historical credibility to this misinformation too. Bintan is a part of  the Riau archipelago which – along […]

A Shady Shack on Trikora Beach: Bintan, Indonesia



seychelles islands 2
This is a list of countries that do not require a visa, or offer a visa on arrival for Indians. If you are looking for countries that offer electronic visas (E-visas), click this list. There are plenty of countries which do not require an advance visa for Indian citizens. And if you are an Indian – or if you have interacted with an Indian – the chances are likely that you will believe/hear the most commonly stated reason why Indians dont travel much. “I need a visa for every fricking country that I want to go to!” Click here for […]

Top 10 countries where Indians can travel without an advance visa!


tough mudder bali indonesia
I was no stranger to Bali. But I knew this trip was going to be different. It was for the Toughmudder in Bali. Oh yeah. Waaaayyyy different! As I sat on the window seat of the Airasia flight, on a turbulent Friday night, it slowly dawned on me that the turbulence was more inside me, than outside. This was probably the 4th time that I was visiting Bali. I have rode a motorbike through the entire island in the past, and even stopped here on the way to my epic trip in East Timor. I had seen pretty much every […]

Getting muddy in the Island of Gods: Toughmudder in Bali


Yap airport micronesia
Manila It was an uneventful flight to Manila. I was no stranger to the Philippines. I lived here for 4 years. And even after I moved my base from the Philippines to the urbanscape that people called Singapore, I had visited Manila a couple of times. So, nothing exciting awaited me in Manila, save a couple of planned meetups with old friends. If you are looking for something interesting to do in Manila, go offbeat and check out the Ermita region for some amazing street photography opportunities. Owing to some confusion in my seat booking, Jetstar gave me a free upgrade to […]

Island-hopping on an airplane: Singapore to Palau



When people usually think of the Philippines, the first images that come to mind are either the densely populated streets of Manila, or many of the thousands of islands and the white, sandy beaches they hold. Very few people equate Philippines with a grand mountain range. Until they visit the cordilleras! Luzon is the largest island of the Philippines, and located at its north-central section, is the Cordillera Administrative Region – a massive mountain range that occupies a total of 6 provinces. And if you are hearing this for the first time, a cordillera is a Spanish term which implies what I […]

Visiting the Cordilleras: The lesser known Philippines


While everybody goes to Luang Prabang to enjoy the alms ceremony and the waterfalls nearby (have to blog about both some other time), one of my first impressions of this Lao cultural centre, was captured by a night market. Click here: to check out the Iranian markets of Doha, Qatar. Laos is the Rapunzel of South East Asia. Extremely beautiful, but hid away from mainstream eyes. With a good mix of socialist core values, and creeping commercialism, some interesting and much-needed laws (did you know foreigners will be jailed if they have sex with a local person!), and a very colourful culture, Laos […]

The Sisavangvong night market: Luang Prabang, Laos


I see a lot of museums in my travels, but never blog about them. None, except one. The war remnants museum in Ho Chi Minh City, had that impact on me. Located in the bustling District 3, it is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Ho Chi Minh City. The Vietnamese name is a little too hard on the mouth (Bao Tang Chung Tich Trien Tranh!), but thankfully you can ask anyone for the war museum, and they will guide you there. Depending on the diplomatic relations between Vietnam and United States, the name has been changing for […]

The war remnants museum: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam



Scroll down for the answer. Click here for previous quizzes. Click here for the hall of fame of scores. Qn: Look carefully at the military flag of the Philippines, and tell me why is it unique? Answer: The wartime flag of the Philippines is their national flag, only inverted. This is unique among world flags. Cracked by nobody, this one! Click here for the hall of fame of scores! Click here : to check out my Philippines episodes.

Been there, learnt that! Quiz #18


The view from Kampong glam to the Sultan Mosque
I’ve written a few different blogposts about Singapore being a cultural melting pot, focussing each time on different racial groups of Singapore. Yes, in one tiny country, you can see mid-autumn festivals in Chinatown, Thaipusam festivals in Little India, Javanese Kuda kepang dancing, and even the young expats doing the dance-walking around Orchard or Clarke Quay. But one important cultural icon of Singapore is the Kampong Glam and Bugis area, which is where you want to be if you want to enjoy the best of Arab/Malay food and culture. The Buginese people were one of the ethnic groups of South […]

The Sultan had a large mosque! : Bugis, Singapore


Having lived in Singapore for 2 years, I have previous blogged about various touristy places here. But one place which I keep forgetting to mention, or which most people generally ignore from the tourism map of Singapore, is the Chinese Gardens. Heard of the other gardens? The Gardens by the bay? Click here to read about them! Also called the Jurong Gardens, the Chinese gardens was built by the Taiwanese architect Yuen-Chen Yu. Conveniently located at the MRT station, which is also named ‘Chinese gardens’, this interesting bit of Singapore is located on the west end of the green metro […]

Chinese Gardens: Singapore



The roof, is one clearly lacking piece of architecture in this ruined mansion.
There is something about monuments of remembrance, that captures the human imagination. Like Taj Mahal for instance. Built as a monument by the Mughal emperor Shahjahan for his wife Mumtaz, this mausoleum has had many a romantic tourist going all ooohs and aaahs. During my visit to Bacolod, for the Masskara festival, I had chanced upon an opportunity to visit something similar in the Philippines. Perhaps you want to see my picture of the real Taj Mahal? Click here! Talisay is a small city, which is part of Metropolitan Bacolod in the island of Negros Occidental, and has no other respectable […]

The Taj Mahal of the Philippines : Talisay Ruins


Actually, I hate to go. - Changi airport, Singapore 2
4th August 2014 – Singapore Goodbyes are the worst sob stories. Oh, the pain! Especially to friends, who saw you in both the low and prime. But with all this travel, I find that I now smile more often at airports. Because, thankfully, goodbyes don’t last a wretched lifetime.   When I started this journey from Singapore, it was heartbreaking. To let go of all the friends here. To start again, on ground zero. I was consumed with depression on the first day of my journey, in Sydney. And rightfully, i decided to make a short pitstop here, on the way from […]

Project 365: Day 34 – Leaving on a Jetplane


When one crazy, clicks another. - Clarke Quay, Singapore 2
3rd August 2014 – Singapore Don’t build distances, so vast that you drown in them. And, don’t dream about pastures that you cannot see. Don’t lead to revile. Don’t follow to beguile. Liquor is quicker, so just walk this bridge beside me.  Last night, the drinking started at the bridge, only to end at 5 or 6 in the morning. Now, even if you were living in Singapore for the last 10 years, there is a good chance that you don’t know where ‘the bridge’ is. Neither are you at fault if you started searching the club listings for any establishment named, well, the […]

Project 365: Day 33 – The bridge doesn’t divide



The face and the brushstrokes - Chinatown, Singapore
2nd August 2014 – Singapore The smell of succulent fried wantons filled the air And the red lanterns stood arrogant, and looked down. Among the bigots, the drunks, the pimps and the whores, The artist remains largely unnoticed, in Chinatown. A sleepy saturday for most of the part, I pretty much woke up only around 4 PM. Victoria, my friend whose place I am crashing, ensured that I got enough rest, before we took off to a volleyball game at Sentosa beach. At the beach, we met up with another couch surfer named Alex, and asked her to join us for dinner at […]

Project 365: Day 32 – The Artist


Invisible in a crowd. - Singapore
1st August 2014 – Singapore Their boots were filthy, and dust danced on their palms They carried stories of pain, and all the agonising lore. Yet they slept in unknown corridors, and roamed unseen roads. Beyond preying eyes. Beyond stomp. Beyond Singapore. I am back to Singapore, although just for a bit. Thought of spending 4 days here catching up with friends, before I proceed to the next phase of my journey. Check out images from the Thaipusam festival in Singapore. Click here! So, this left me in a quandary. I have pretty much photographed anything of touristic value in Singapore, so what do […]

Project 365: Day 31 – The others


No emergencies. And no exits. - Melbourne, Australia
31st July 2014 – Melbourne, Australia In airports and terminals, I found a new game. Of hide-and-seek, with an edge of chaos and mayhem Time is playing a good referee, and keeps reminding me. The exits are always there. But I have no plans of taking them. They say time flies. Mine must have taken a concorde, because the realisation is a kickback when you are already typing out the 30th day post. The last one month was spent in 5 different countries, and that is a fairly good start. Click here to check out pictures from Vanuautu, one of my favourite countries the […]

Project 365: Day 30 – Going full circle



calesa in vigan 2
It has been 4 years since I visited Vigan, but this charming little UNESCO heritage site in the Philippines definitely deserves needs a blogpost. Check out one of Philippine’s most colourful festivals: the Panagbenga! Vigan has historically been one of the Spanish centres of Northern Luzon. While the commercial section of the city has nothing much to see, the historical mestizo district offers a lot of amazing sights to see.   Check out ‘the ruins’, the building they call the ‘Taj Mahal of the Philippines’!   Follow my travels on Facebook, for more updates and photography. Unless mentioned otherwise, all pictures are taken by the blog admin. […]

A little bit of Spain in the Philippines: Mestizo district in Vigan


Cambodia is one of those countries, about which I never got to post much. Except for the one post about the silly travel video which we made in Cambodia, which for some reason, became pretty popular in the Singapore couch surfing community. Was going through my pictures, and decided that I had to post some pictures of this beautiful country. Although my Cambodian trip took me mainly to Siem Reap, I did have the pleasure of visiting Phnom Penh for a quick day, before I darted off on a minivan to see the Ankor Wat. Will have to write about Siem reap some […]

Images from the street: Phnom Penh, Cambodia


The tricycles made great chairs during the festival.
I previously did a post about my stint at the Masskara festival in Bacolod. All the pictures then were of the masked performances during the festival, so I didn’t get to post the many pictures of the streetlife. So, decided to do another post with those pictures alone. Click here to check out the pictures of the masskara festival participants. Follow my travels on Facebook, for more updates and photography. Unless mentioned otherwise, all pictures are taken by the blog admin. If you would like to use them for any commercial or non-commercial purposes, please contact for approval.

Images from the street – Masskara festival, Philippines   Recently updated !