Travel: more memorable moments of 2013

A second installment of the travel moments that have stuck in my head the most from last year. (Click photos to zoom.)

6. El Nido, the Philippines
04PhilippinesOn Snake Island

Our family trip to El Nido didn’t all go smoothly (I’m looking at you, box jellyfish; yeah, you who decided that my three-year-old daughter’s thigh was the perfect landing pad for your tentacles) but it’s hard to deny that this part of the Philippines is completely stunning. Takes a bit of getting to, but worth it. Snake Island isn’t named after snakes but after a spit of sand that snakes its way for 500 metres from the island to the mainland of Palawan. You take a boat here and then you just kind of laze about. Happy days.

7. Fukuura Island, Japan
On the shore of Matsushima Bay06Japan

Journeying through the area devastated by Japan’s 2011 tsunami is a disquieting thing. Personal snapshots of the destruction, already sepia-tinged as the years start to tick by, can be found sticky-taped to the front windows of businesses that were destroyed and have been rebuilt. The bridge in this photo was one of the few lucky structures in gorgeous Matsushima Bay not to have been washed away. It leads to a beautifully peaceful island of simple paths among towering pines. Continue reading

Mount Etna redux

So, Sicily’s Mount Etna has kicked off again. She doesn’t take much of a break these days.

I must say I kind of miss my time living in the shadow of an active volcano. As a half-remedy, yesterday I jumped on a cheap-as-chips AirAsia flight from Singapore to Yogyakarta in Central Java, Indonesia, to explore the volcanic belt around Borobudur temple. Woke up this morning with the call to prayer echoing across the plain and snapped a couple of pics, below. Bit of a moody sunrise, but an impressive view nonetheless.

Mount Merapi, Java

Mount Merapi, Java

Borobudur, centre left (click to zoom)

Borobudur, centre left (click to zoom)

Continue reading

Little Red Dot

This morning I went jogging for the first time in yonks. It was the 10km Run For Hope, an event that raises money for cancer research; so, a very good reason to lace up the sneaks.

It was also a glorious morning, weather-wise. After yesterday’s deluge and minor flooding (I was fittingly at a screening of Skyfall when the heavens opened), Singapore turned on a show: vermillion sun rising over the Straits, deep-blue canopy above, rippling bottle-green water in the harbour, and other assorted colour-related cliches. It made me wish I had my camera with me. (It certainly couldn’t have made me jog any slower.) Continue reading