Exploring the world, one story at a time. Travel stories, adventures and photos from around the globe.
A short ride by long-tail boat from Koh Phi Phi, the tropical Bamboo Island will welcome you with both, deserted beaches and touristy ones, rocky and white sand beaches – all surrounded by the crystal clear waters of the Andaman Sea and coral reefs. Covered by Bamboo and Casuarinas trees, the island is pretty small: 600 m wide by 700 m long.
Perfect for snorkeling or bathing with the fishes, including “Nemo” – the clownfish movie star from Disney, parrot fish and small sharks.
Krabi, the Andaman Sea. Stunning scenery. Limestone cliffs dotting the turquoise seas and hundred of islands with beautiful white-sand beaches.
Actually Koh Phi Phi is a group of islands, with Maya Bay being the most famous – the place of the movie “The Beach” starring Leonardo di Caprio. Now Maya Bay is closed for tourists to allow the ecosystem to recover from overtourism.
Dream of Africa – the faraway lands, the excitement of discovery, the awakening of the senses, the adventures. Africa may not be on your top destinations you want to visit. Too expensive or too dangerous, we are always finding excuses not to go there. But sometime, chance or romance will lead us to places we never dreamed about.
A chaotic place at first sight, Merkato Addis Ababa in Ethiopia is the biggest open air market in Africa employing 13,000 people. The market is organized in sections for spices, coffee, metal scraping, recycling, textiles, second-hand clothes, pots, baskets and many more – dotted with tailors and shoe-shiners.
There is a constant flow of people, cars, trucks and donkeys, carrying merchandise on narrow alleys. It is quite overwhelming. Heavy weights, such as a stack of three or four mattresses, are carried on the head by merchants while keeping the balance and navigating through the busy alleys.
“Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.” – Norman Vincent Peale
It is the time for Christmas – a time for joy, celebration and reflection, a time to look back to the year that has passed and prepare for the year ahead.
Looking back many years, the Christmas caught me in some unusual places such as in the airplane flying from Toronto to Bucharest, in a deserted lounge of the Lagos airport, near the bridge over the river Kwai in Thailand, on the top of Carpathian Mountains or at a cabaret show in Havana.
This post was originally published on 2014 and updated on 2018.
Tibet was a tough trip. With only 60% to 70% available oxygen at these high altitudes, especially the nights were more like a nightmare. Four hours sleep and the rest of the night struggling to find oxygen. The Tibetan high altitude pills didn’t help too much. The highest point reached was at 5, 248 m.
I arrived in Lhasa with a small Air China plane coming from Kathmandu. The view from the plane was impressive. The entire chain of Himalayas covered in snow can be seen. Mt. Everest was on the left side of the airplane.