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.
It took us two trips to fully inspect and really appreciate this marvellous Jimenez Church particularly named San Juan Bautista Church. The day before, we passed by this church in haste after a tour of Oroquieta City. It was late afternoon and the church was closed. I wasn’t satisfied seeing just the faced. My fellow travel blogger, Apple of Sole Searching Sole had the same sentiments that we should get back here the next morning. It was a good decision lest we’ll miss one of the most beautiful and well preserved in the island of Mindanao.
Funny how Singapore weather can be. We were supposed to visit Bukit Timah, one of the Singapore Nature Reserves but the thunderstorms have other plans. Back in the city, it seems rain clouds didn’t visit the area. We rendezvous with our friend again that evening who toured us to the Supertree Grove, just behind the Marina Bay Sands. It’s wonderful to see this sci-fi inspired grove finally done after seeing its construction two years ago.
It seems that every time I visit Singapore, there is always something happening. Constructions here and there doesn’t seem to stop. A couple of years after, I found myself back in Singapore, courtesy of a Photography Talk for Sony Singapore. We spent most of time for the event but spared a day to go around the city and see what has developed. Our friend J, a long time resident, took us for a night stroll from the infamous Marina Bay’s iconic Merlion Statue passing by the Helix Bridge and into the Marina Bay Sands Light and Water Show.
It may probably the first thing you’ll see upon approaching Culion Island. The red-colored walls of La Immaculada Concepcion Church is eye-catching from afar. It stands on a hill overlooking the sea and part of the town. It’s an even beautiful church up close and right beside it is Hotel Maya and a light house with war cannons pointing to the open sea. Since its nearby where we are staying, it’s easy to just visit this neighbor of a church and admire its wonderful details.
North Sulawesi, found at the tip of the K-shaped island of Sulawesi, may not be as popular to the “eat-pray-love” crowd of Bali or the enlightenment-seekers meditating on the multi-tiered levels of Borobudur in Yogyakarta, but explorers and adventurers seeking a refreshing side of Indonesia will find something to like in this region. There’s an interesting mix of culture, islets teeming with diverse marine life, imposing volcanoes, enchanting lakes and a slew of activities that can keep people under the sun longer than intended.
I felt a tap on my right shoulder. It was the bus driver signaling me we’re near the last stop. I didn’t know I already dozed off in front of this mini-bus on my way back to Yogyakarta. I had an early start that day visiting Candi Borobudur before sunrise and now I head back that afternoon to Yogyakarta this time for Candi Prambanan. One of the UNESCO Heritage Sites in Central Java, often times shadowed by the nearby Candi Borobudur.