South East Asia


Bridge to the chinese gardens
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



Sunrise melbourne airport
This was the 30th post (Day 30) of an entire year-long series, which I named ‘Project 365′. The idea was simple enough: travel for a full year and document every day of it, in the form of a daily picture and poem. I am still working on a book of this year-long travel, but till then, enjoy all the posts here. You can check out the daily posts in the details below or jump to the final day of the project by clicking here. 31st July 2014 – Melbourne, Australia In airports and terminals, I found a new game. Of hide-and-seek, with […]

12 hours in Melbourne Tullamarine Airport: Australia   Recently updated !


Mestizo district vigan 2
Mestizo. A term used in Spain and Latin America to refer to people who were of mixed origin. But the first time that I heard this word, was in Ilocos Sur, at the Northern tip of the island of Luzon in Philippines.   In the capital of Ilocos Sur, Vigan, a Mestizo street came to life in front of me.   And if the name is familiar to you, it is because Vigan is also one of the New7wonder cities in the world. (Source: BusinessInsider) Further Reading: Check out one of Philippine’s most colourful festivals: the Panagbenga Vigan – The beautiful […]

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


Phnom penh park cambodia
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



Masskara festival photography
After living in Manila for nearly 3 years, the Masskara festival in Bacolod was the first time that I got a real taste of street life in the Philippines. You see, I lived in Taguig. And worked in Makati. Both are very well-developed commercial centers in the Philippines. There was not much of street life that I could see there, except for the rare times that I visited Ermita for the times that I took Spanish classes at Instituto Cervantes. Bacolod was a revelation, as the people gathered in huge numbers at the festival. There were stalls of all kinds, selling everything […]

Images from the street – Masskara festival, Philippines


Lord murugan statue batu caves malaysia
Despite having travelled endless times to Kuala Lumpur – thanks to the close proximity to Singapore, and the many, cheap buses between the 2 cities – it was only on my 10th or 11th trip that I finally managed to visit the legendary Batu Caves. I had previous wanted to see the caves during the Thaipusam festival, but had instead decided on sticking to Singapore for that period. But as luck would have it, with an extra day available during a weekend trip to Kuala Lumpur, I finally found the time to visit the caves. Click here to check out the […]

272 Steps from Lord Murugan: Batu caves in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


holland village singapore
This was the 2nd post (Day 2) of an entire year-long series, which I named ‘Project 365′. The idea was simple enough: travel for a full year and document every day of it, in the form of a daily picture and poem. I am still working on a book of this year-long travel, but till then, enjoy all the posts here. You can check out the daily posts in the details below or jump to the final day of the project by clicking here.   3rd July 2014 – Singapore (Day 2) I charged windmills, and leapt on window stills. Mad like […]

A little bit of Holland in Singapore



singapore farewell party 2
This was the first post (Day 1) of an entire year-long series, which I named ‘Project 365′. The idea was simple enough: travel for a full year and document every day of it, in the form of a daily picture and poem. I am still working on a book of this year-long travel, but till then, enjoy all the posts here. You can check out the daily posts in the details below or jump to the final day of the project by clicking here. 2nd July 2014 – Singapore (Day 1) A journey begins with a beer, they said. A smile […]

A Farewell at Zsofi’s Tapas Bar


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This was the first post of an entire year-long series, which I named ‘Project 365′. The idea was simple enough: travel for a full year and document every day of it, in the form of a daily picture and poem. I am still working on a book of this year-long travel, but till then, enjoy all the posts here. You can check out the daily posts in the details below or jump to the final day of the project by clicking here. 1st July 2014 – Singapore From dust we rose and to dust we shall go And dust is […]

Project 365: Day 0 – The beginning


pope john paul dili timor leste
While Dili had a lot to see and experience, the outskirts of the capital city also had its unexplored secrets. Especially a Pope statue which I had heard so much about, but was in the outskirts of the city. Of course, there is the famous Christ statue in Dili, which a lot of people mistakenly (!) assume to be the Pope statue. Hence, I was told this was a very exclusive tourist destination, very rarely visited. So, I rented a taxi, and set out to see it. Further Reading: Images from Dili’s beach front! A Pitstop in Tasitolu As I would […]

Visiting Pope John Paul II in Dili, Timor Leste



anti thaksin protest bangkok
The news has been abuzz recently about the Thailand political crisis. Back in June 2013, I was in Bangkok, and was witness to an anti-Thaksin rally. I am no news reporter, but there was something very raw and unexpected in a Thai protest. Almost like the first reaction when you eat a spicy pad thai. There was only one thing that could be done when an immature photographer like me meets an immovable protest like that. I HAD to join them! You see, the Thais are some of the most peace-loving people on earth. I have been to Thailand 4 […]

Images of a protest : Bangkok, Thailand


manila to paluig 4
With 7107 islands (or 7108 in low tide, as Charlene Gonzales would remind you), Philippines is second only to Indonesia in terms of Islands. So, it was no wonder that one of the easiest weekend activities during my stay in Manila, was finding a new island. There are so many options out there, that it is mind-boggling to see all of them. There is Corregidor, Anilao, Puerto Galera, and even the hundred islands. I wanted to blog about these islands, but don’t know where to start, so I’d rather start with a very obscure, yet amazing, island which is roughly […]

One of the 7107 islands : Magalawa, Philippines


herIn Java (Indonesia), there is a folk dance so crazy, that you will squeak, scrimp, and look away in horror. While I have not seen it in Indonesia, I have seen it in Singapore – where it is supposed to be conservative – and I almost cried. It’s one of the positive culture-shocks that travellers to this part of the world, must experience. If you are looking for traditional festivals in Singapore, also check out my pictures from the mid autumn festival here! Kuda Lumping is a traditional Javanese Dance form and literally means ‘flat horse‘, denoting a prop that is used throughout the […]

Kuda Kepang in Singapore



Santa cruz memorial 2
The beach had finally taken its toll on us. So, we delved deeper into the main roads of Dili, in the enchanting Timor Leste, searching for the offbeat, away from the touristy parts of the young country. Click here for images from the beachfront in Dili. One must-see item which miraculously (or stupidly) fell off my list, was the Immaculate conception Cathedral, which is supposedly the largest catholic cathedral in South East Asia. And how did it fall off my list? Because I saw the Motael church – pictured below – and assumed this was it. Well, I have made […]

Sights from the city center : Dili, Timor Leste


avenida portugal road dili timor leste
After settling into our hostel, we decided to explore Dili city for the first couple of days. Dili is a relatively laid back and lazy sea-side city with a dark history. After Timor Leste gained a bloody independence in 2002, this small city was suddenly a capital. Further Reading: Read more about how I had a scary landing in Timor Leste to begin with. The Avenida Almirante Americo Tomas, where our hostel was located, was like a central vein  running through the city, beginning from the airport road and leading all the way to the famous Jesus statue of Dili. […]

A walk by the beach – Dili, Timor Leste


East timor backpackers
One of the last south-east Asian countries, Timor Leste is nowhere on the banana pancake trail. In fact, many people dont even know of this country, which became completely independent only in 2002, and still receives less than 10000 tourists annually. I made my plans to visit it when 2 friends in the couchsurfing community had informed me that this was one of the best countries they visited. Further Reading: Sights from the city-center of Dili. Travelling to Dili, the capital of Timor Leste, can be quite interesting in itself. If you are low on budget, the cheapest way is […]

A short landing indeed : Dili, Timor Leste



Streets of Ermita
It was Spanish language that guided me to Ermita.   ========================================================================= When an Indian tries to learn Spanish in the Philippines. Click here. =========================================================================   When you are living in a country, listening to a language where almost every single word sounded like Spanish, you develop an inclination to learn Espanol. And so I signed up for a Spanish course at Instituto Cervantes, which was bang in the middle of Ermita, a district in downtown Manila. While the Instituto Cervantes campus itself had seduced me to bring my camera to class many times, it was the streets of Ermita which brought […]

Images from Ermita: Manila, Philippines


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My legs are cramped. I am unceremoniously woken up to the sight of a blank arrival card, which I need to fill up. And the smell of a prebooked meal, consisting of chicken and some dry pieces of vegetables thrown in together, with some kind of a barbeque sauce to cover everything. With the heavy turbulence that I am experiencing currently, I have no idea how that chicken is going to end up in my mouth. I MUST be on an airasia flight to Bali. A tiring week had ensured that I slept off the moment I had taken  my […]

Sunset or Sunrise? : Campuhan Ridge walk in Ubud, Bali


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The first time I visited Bali was at the end of March 2013. The date is critical, because it coincided with one of the best Balinese local festivals, which is simply named, the Galungan. I have previously written about other colorful festivals in the South East Asia region, namely Masskara, Panagbenga and Thaipusam, so a post on Galungan is highly apt.   ============================================================== Check out images from the Campuhan ridge walk in Bali! ==============================================================   Indonesia is mostly a Muslim country, but the island of Bali is unique with its Hindu majority and hence remarkably different customs from the rest […]

Images from the Galungan Festival : Bali, Indonesia