South East Asia

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

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

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

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 statue 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. To Read: Images from Dili’s beach front! As I would find out, there was […]

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

kuda kepang dancer ratan horse
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

Timor leste school children 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

Santa cruz memorial
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. Wondering how to enter Timor Leste? Click here to know more! 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. But sadly, this road is also […]

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. Click here to check out images from the Timorese capital of Dili. Travelling to Dili, the capital of Timor Leste, can be quite interesting in itself. If you are low on budget, […]

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

Paddy fields in Ubud, Bali. 2
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

Galungan celebrations in Bali 2
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

Many of the people I meet while travelling, have never heard of dancewalking. And I am proud when I explain to them, especially when I tell them, how it is so common in Singapore. ================================================================= How to order your kopi like a boss, in Singapore! ================================================================= Well, to keep things in perspective, nobody knew of dance walking in Singapore too,  until a year ago. Around that time, one hippy local couch-surfer with long hair went on a trip to some European city, and his host there took him along for a dancewalk. When he came back to Singapore, he explained […]

Dancewalking in Singapore

Changi airport butterfly garden 4
Everytime I have to catch a flight from Terminal 3 of the Changi airport in Singapore, I look forward to arriving 3 hours before the flight. While this is partially caused by my fear of missing flights, the other main reason is that I like to renew a photographic affair in T3 every time.   ================================================================== Ever heard about dance walking in Singapore? Click here! ================================================================== There are a few different gardens in the Changi airport (sunflower garden, orchid garden etc.), but my favourite one would be the Butterfly garden in Terminal 3 transit area. Apart from the fact that it […]

Clicking around a butterfly garden: Changi Airport, Singapore

Waterfront ferry terminal in Bintan 2
When in Singapore, the closest international getaway for most people is to Johor Bahru, in Malaysia, where Singaporeans tend to settle down to the cheap food and shopping. All you had to do was cross the border from Singapore, and there are even public buses that you could take, costing just 1 SGD. Johor will have to be another blog post, but for now, am going to talk about another international getaway. Just 40 minutes by ferry,  lies the Indonesian island of Batam, which for long was considered as a sex-tourism getaway for Singaporeans. Thankfully, not anymore. According to news […]

A weekend getaway at Harris Resort : Batam, Indonesia

Panagbenga flower festival Baguio
It’s February already, and this is the month of the awesome Panagbenga! Now, I’ve mentioned this before that Philippines is the land of festivals, with some amazing events like Masskara, Sinulog and Ati Aklan. All of these require you to take a short flight or ferry out of Manila. But, in Baguio, the summer capital of Philippines, a month-long festival is celebrated every February. And if you happen to be there to witness it, you will know why I rate Panagbenga so high.   ======================================================================== Click here to check out my photos from the Masskara festival of Philippines. ======================================================================== Some […]

In Photos: The Panagbenga flower festival of Baguio, Philippines

How to Order Kopi in Singapore
It’s a Friday! So, here is some inside info on how to order Kopi in Singapore!   There is something so bad-ass about visiting a hawker center in Singapore, and watching a local true-blue Singaporean order Coffee. Or wait, Kopi! Because ordering one in the typical local tongue, could give Starbucks a run for their money in the coffee-naming business. The best place to try ordering this would be the local Kopitiams or hawker centers. I like the ‘Da Bao’ style of taking your Kopi with you, in a plastic bag that hands by a thread. But the topic of this post […]

Order your Kopi like a boss! : Singapore