Page 7 of LivingTheDream Travel Blog Posts

Oceania » Australia » Northern Territory » Darwin October 28th 2009

(Day 572 on the road)I am in Australia, and I keep having to pinch myself to believe just how different this place is compared to Southeast Asia. A mere two hour flight southeast of Bali, it feels like a different world altogether. After travelling across Asia for the last year and a half, some things that I once considered normal and a part of everyday life in Europe suddenly seem odd and new, yet strangely familiar. Some of the things I noticed on my first few days in Darwin and which caught my attention: Pedestrian crossings where cars actually stop for people. Laws that prohibited smoking in public places. Kindergartens and day care centres. A well-stocked library. Fixed prices for everybody without any discrimination. People using rubbish bins and not just dropping their litter everywhere. A ... read more
Museum and Art Gallery of the NT
Darwin waterfront development
What a place for a swim (at Florence Falls in Litchfield NP)

Asia » Indonesia » Bali » Ubud October 21st 2009

(Day 565 on the road) So here it is, my last blog entry about Southeast Asia after travelling across the entire region (plus a few other "nearby" countries) for the last 18 months or so. On the way back to Bali from Lombok I had met adventurous and ever-smiling Suzannefrom Holland, and the next two days we were to explore central Bali together on a rented motorbike. My last stay in Kuta on Bali hadn't been the most wonderful experience for me, but I had heard good things about Ubud and its surrounding and was determined to give Bali a second try on my final two days in Indonesia. In the end, it was a mixed blessing. The landscape and scenery were truly stunning, with terraced rice paddies giving way to the mighty Batur volcano with ... read more
Colourful display at Ubud market
Everybody is on the way to the temple with offerings
Countryside around Ubud

Asia » Indonesia » Lombok » Gilli Trawangan October 18th 2009

(Day 562 on the road)I have done my fair share of diving all over Southeast Asia in the last year or so, but nothing comes even close to how amazing the underwater life is here in the Gili Islands off Lombok's north coast. Apparently, the fishermen are paid by the local dive operators NOT to fish, and it more than shows in the marine life to be found just a few metres from the beach. Visibility is amazing with 20 to 30 metres, and thousands of tropical fish (many in big swarms) and some turtles are all over the place. Arriving back in Indonesia through Bali's airport was a fairly straight-forward process - at least by Indonesian standards. It took me only one hour to get to the front of the queue at the four manned ... read more
Amazing beach on Gili Trawangan
Want some peace and quiet, ma'am? Or water?
Fresh fish on offer at the restaurant

Asia » Malaysia » Wilayah Persekutuan » Kuala Lumpur October 11th 2009

(Day 555 on the road)I am back in Kuala Lumpur, and I love it just as much as on my previous few visits here. Of all the Southeast Asian countries, I definitely like Malaysia the most, with its mix of immensely friendly and tolerant people and its diverse natural beauty. If I ever chose to live in a country in this part of the world, it would almost certainly have to be Malaysia. This time however I was only here for a one-day stopover on my way back to Indonesia. In the morning I met up with Ali, the guy who founded, in my opinion the best travel blog site out there. We had a great chat over some delicious food in Chinatown. Interestingly, Ali has moved to KL a while ago, and loves the ... read more
Tame stork with Julia in the background
Hornbill at KL Bird Park

Asia » Philippines » Pampanga » Clark October 9th 2009

(Day 553 on the road)How to write a blog entry about a place that has such an awful reputation as Angeles City in the Philippines? The place is possibly the sex capital of the world, with between 10.000 and 20.000 prostitutes selling their bodies every night. During the time of the U.S. airbase here, as many as 100.000 working girls were offering their services. I had a morning flight the next day from Clark airport just outside of Angeles, and decided to spend the night here instead of crazy Manila and see this place for myself. I soon realised that accommodation in Angeles is definitely not geared towards backpackers, and after walking around for an hour in the afternoon heat with my backpack looking for an affordable place to crash I finally had to admit defeat. ... read more
Bored prostitutes inside one of the countless bars
Going home after a hard night's work - Deserted Fields Avenue in the morning
Apparently Angeles is not quite the safest place to be - Security guard at my hotel

Asia » Philippines » Taal Lake October 8th 2009

(Day 552 on the road)Here is something I learned during the last year and a half of travelling in Southeast Asia: Whenever somebody claims to give you the "cheapest room in town" or a similar sounding offer, rest assured that there are much better deals to be had. This proved true once again when I shunned the guy who made just such a claim as I was looking for a place to crash in the unremarkable town of Talisay at the edge of Lake Taal. Just ten minutes later I found a much better deal, in terms of price, location and quality. To reach Talisay, I took a combination of van, plane, jeepney, bus, jeepney and hitchhiking in a private car. Of that journey, the 47 kilometre bus ride (from Manila to a town called Tagatay) ... read more
Local woman riding up the path to the volcano
Ugly Talisay main road
School dance and singing before classes start

Asia » Philippines » Palawan » Coron October 5th 2009

(Day 549 on the road)Leaving El Nido was a lot more difficult than anticipated. Ongoing typhoon warnings caused all ferries and flights from El Nido to be cancelled for days on end. I had already booked a flight from the island of Coron, about eight hours north by boat, for the day after tomorrow, and when I found out that the overnight ferry I had been hoping to take was cancelled I was starting to get a bit nervous. Forced to spend another night in El Nido, I was up at seven o'clock the next morning, exploring all the possible options. But, as always really, things worked out just fine. My saviour came in the form of a local boatman who couldn't care less about any coast guard clearance to leave the harbour, and he was ... read more
My friendly boatman and 8 of his 10 children
Hope it wasn't me that made her cry
Another beautiful bay on Coron Island

Asia » Philippines » Palawan » El Nido October 3rd 2009

(Day 546 on the road)There are places in the world that are just perfect for people taking pictures of them. And then there are places like the Bacuit Archipelago in the Philippines where I am at the moment, that no matter how many pictures you take of them, their true beauty can never be captured in a photograph. This place here is so amazing I sometimes had to pinch myself to believe it is real. I must say that I don't get this feeling too often these days, this feeling of being completely awestruck by a landscape or a sight, so when it happens I cherish it all the more. I think the more beautiful things I see on my travels the more difficult it becomes to excite me. Don't get me wrong, I am far ... read more
Me on our boat at "7 commando beach"
One of countless tiny and deserted bays in the Bacuit Archipelago
Islands in the Bacuit Archipelago

Asia September 24th 2009

(Day 538 on the road)The guidebook had called Manila airport dirty, chaotic and dark. I was expecting the worst, but instead after arriving here from Taipei I found it super-clean, well sign-posted and modern. Maybe they have recently upgraded it or I arrived at a different terminal? Leaving the airport I braced myself for the usual army of taxi drivers and other hawkers but I found - nothing. Not a single person approached me, and I had time to get my bearings. How nice! Shunning the expensive coupon taxis I took a shuttle bus that took me to a broad avenue and then a jeepney (in essence a jeep converted into a van) to where I wanted to spend the night. A word of warning at this point: I stayed at the Townhouse Manila - don't ... read more
On our pump boat exploring Honda Bay
Rainbow around the sun
Storm closing in on Snake Island

Asia September 21st 2009

(Day 535 on the road)Going back to Taipei to complete our loop around Taiwan, we opted for the high speed train that connects Taiwan's major towns. The system is very efficient and the stations and trains sparkling new. The next train to Taipei left less than twenty minutes after we bought our tickets, so soon we found ourselves going north at 300 km/ h. The next morning I accompanied my mum to the airport, where she caught a plane to Hong Kong for a three day stopover in this amazing city before flying back to Germany from there. We have had a wonderful time together first in Singapore and then in Taiwan, and I am amazed how quickly those three weeks went by. In the afternoon I made my way to the Museum of World Religion, ... read more
 First place for the award 'Shortest hot pants in Taipei'
Taiwanese enjoying one of their countless hot springs
Tasty pig blood cake

Tot: 2.972s; Tpl: 0.046s; cc: 53; qc: 202; dbt: 0.1273s; 2; m:saturn w:www (; sld: 3; ; mem: 2mb