• Pena Palace., Sintra, Portugal

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    Travel stories, adventures and photos from around the globe

“The Fine City”

The nickname for Singapore, “The Fine City”, has double meaning. In order to maintain the “public order” and to protect the “fine state” of Singapore, the Government has imposed a multitude of strict laws and hefty fines.

Don’t risk being fined or worst, caned and jailed in Singapore. Besides the usual “No Smoking” or “No Littering” signs, and besides the unusual “No Jumping”, “No Riding”, “No Running”, “No Heel Shoes” and “No Umbrellas” signs – there are also weird laws in Singapore that you should be aware of. Read More

October 1st is the World Sake Day and we are celebrating!

Made from fermented rice, sake is the national beverage of Japan. Sake can be served at the room temperature, hot or cold – depending on the type of sake. With 18% – 20% alcohol, sake is not a strong drink. Easy to drink, but so easy to get drunk!

Follow my “sake” story from wonderful Japan. Read More

The Arab Quarter, Chinatown and Little India

Singapore is a diverse melting pot of cultures and races, with four official languages: English, Malay, Tamil and Mandarin.

Find Singapore’s traditional roots and enjoy the exotic sights and sounds of the Arab Quarter, Chinatown and Little India.

The Arab Quarter

Also known as Kampong Glam, the Arab Quarter is one of the most atmospheric places of old Singapore. The main attraction is the Sultan Mosque, with its golden dome. Interesting, the mosque was designed by an Irish architect and the dome base is a ring of black bottles! Read More

Geylang is part two from the “Let’s Go to Singapore!” series, after a short introduction to the Lion City.

The Red Light District

From Changi airport I took the MRT train to the “Aljunied” station where I was welcomed by 14 CCTV cameras!

My two stars “Fragrance Hotel Ruby” is located in the middle of the Geylang red light district. After checking-in, I went out to explore the neighbourhood. Read More

Going to Japan?

Learn the etiquette! A Japan good manners guide for travelers comes handy and the City of Kyoto has has just released the “Akimahen of Kyoto” using smart graphics and an emoji scale of severity for misbehaving.

“In Japan, I was immensely impressed by the politeness, industrious nature and conscientiousness of the Japanese people.” – J. Paul Getty

Did you know the taxi doors in Japan are opened and closed remotely by taxi drivers?

Do you know how to use the Japanese style toilets?

Don’t ride a bicycle while drunk: US $8000 fine or 5 years in prison!

Find out more about the etiquette in Kyoto and Japan. Read More

 Find Your Own Paradise

“We travel, some of us forever, to seek other places, other lives, other souls.” – Anais Nin

Once you don’t have a home can be liberated. Your home is the world! For almost one year I travelled from one place to another. While in Asia, Bangkok is a good hub to be and plan your trips in Thailand and in the neighbouring countries.

After spending some time in crazy Bangkok, I moved to a remote place on the East side of the Koh Chang Island in Thailand: Baan Talay Thai. Read More

The Ban-Tod-Ja-Roen School in the Aranyaprathet District is a small school in the Thai countryside, few hours drive from Bangkok. I visited the school with my Thai friends to bring donations to the school children.

We bought school requisites, a water cooler, toys and other items. The women from our group prepared Thai food for children. And we even had ice cream!

Follow the story in 13 photos! Read More

Namaste!

I visited Nepal in 2010 and I felt in love right away with this beautiful country.

It is very sad to see the destructions of the April 2015 Nepal earthquake, not only on the human scale (8,800 people dead and more than 23,000 injured), but also in the destruction of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, such as the Durbar Square in Kathmandu.

Check out photos of Nepal before the earthquake and read the “Rush Hour in Kathmandu” post. Read More

“We Italians like to say that a gesture is more valuable than a thousand words.” – Silvia Marchetti

Ma Che Vuoi? (“What the hell are you saying?”) and Ma Va Va (“Get Lost”) are just few expressions not told, but conveyed through hand gestures.

You don’t have to go to Italy to see how Italians use hand gestures. Just watch an Italian movie!

Don’t forget the Mafia sign Occhio (Eye) that means “Beware, I’m watching you every step you take”.

Believe it or not, I received the “Occhio” warning a couple of years ago from an IT director when I worked for a municipality – not in Italy, but in Canada!

You never know when you will get the “Occhio”, so be prepared: learn about the Italian hand gestures expressions from the excellent CNN article published by Silvia Marchetti.

Photos of patterns found in nature from countries such as Canada, Thailand, Japan, Romania and Cuba.

The featured image of the post shows the pattern and texture of a leaf, the parallel angled lines giving an optical illusion to the viewer.

“The beauty of the natural world lies in the details.” – Natalie Angier

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