Beyond the sleek urban high-rises, ultra-modern shopping malls, and the cosmopolitan attractions of its capital, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia can be an intrepid explorer’s destination if one is willing put in the effort and look beyond the sand and dunes stereotype. The opportunity to discover storied places, some dating back to ancient times, certainly make visiting Saudi Arabia as a traveler out for a real, honest-to-goodness adventure, a worthwhile thing to pursue. That there are inexpensive Riyadh to Manila flights ticket available sweetens the pursuit all the more.
I wouldn’t want the weather to spoil my exploration in Dinagat Islands. I’m thankful I was able to visit Pangabangan Island and Lake Bababu, but I felt I wasn’t able to maximize my boat rental for the places I visited. With the weather showing no signs of letting up anytime soon, I decided to take a road trip toward the east instead. Escaping the habagat winds to a much, hopefully, fairer weather at the municipality of Cagdianao. Rex of JBN Inn managed to find me a habal-habal service for the road trip. The plan was to stop by interesting places along the way. Just within town are the Divine Master’s Shrine and the Islander’s Castle atop the scenic hills, our first few stops.
For many culture, a broken mirror means bad luck in the unforeseeable future. But for Italian-born contemporary artist Lidia Qattan, seeing her daughter with scattered glass shards on the floor sparked a creative idea. To minimize her daughter’s wall doodling, Lidia started to place the mirror pieces on the wall with artistic patterns. This was the start of decades of work to transform her humble home in Kuwait as the only house in the world covered in mirror mosaic – the Mirror House.
The Philippines is no stranger to water world communities or people living on stilt houses by the sea. Like the Badjao’s of Mindanao or the community of Rio Hondo in Tawi-tawi, the UNESCO-listed George Town interestingly have their own version in Clan Jetties. But unlike our communities here, these jetties are owned by different Chinese “clans” or families which often can-do merchants or rich families. There are currently seven Clan Jetties. I visited a couple including the tourist-friendly Chew Jetty. This was still part of the KKDay Historical George Town tour but I managed to return to the area for my own exploration of this intriguing seaside community.
It’s always fun to allow yourself to be touristy at times, especially when new to a destination. And since it’s my first time in Taiwan, I was interested to see the famous spots that makes Taipei distinctive. The significant attractions that iconize and built the country throughout the years. Here’s a visit to Chiang Kai-shek Memorial, Taipei 101 and Ximending.
After exploring adventure-filled destinations in the outskirts of the main capital, we’re excited to wander finally through Taipei, Taiwan’s metropolitan city. And what better place to start than Dadaocheng, where some of the country’s oldest streets are found. There are more than a 100 year old culture and businesses that still thrive until this day. We had a full afternoon to experience the dazzling array of sights, sounds and even taste as we walk through the lively and charming Dihua street.
With only an hour’s drive from Taipei, Yangmingshan is one of the favorite getaways from the city, especially during summer time. Yangmingshan National Park is one of the nine national parks in Taiwan. It is the only national park in Taiwan that has a volcanic geography and hot springs. The elevation may be low at 200-1100 meters above sea level but is endowed with magnificent landscape, breathtaking valleys, scenic hills, waterfalls and hot springs. If one does not have much time to go around for adventurous hikes, these places below can be enough to fill your Yangmingshan experience for a day or two.