Thursday, 15 October 2015

Blue, Blue, the Mountains are Blue!

Now where do you find blue mountains? Uh, no, it has nothing to do with a mental state. Okay, it might not be as bright as the clear blue sky but it still is a shade of blue. So, where is it you ask? 

They really are blue!

Monday, 2 February 2015

Up, Up and Away! Hot Air Balloon Over Bagan (Myanmar Part 3)

Call it excitement but I was already awake before the phone rang at 5AM. It was our wake up call. Yes! This was the day! Ever since we decided to go on this trip, I could hardly wait for this moment to come. We were going on a balloon ride! 

I do have to confess something though, the first time I mentioned the balloon ride to the Big K he didn't like the idea and was quite adamant. "Nope! Not doing that. No engines!" Well, I guess I can somehow understand his feelings since him being an airline pilot he'd want to know where he's going and not be at the mercy of the wind. But truth be told I knew he was somewhat intrigued when I showed him pictures of balloons floating across a vast field of temples.

So, little ole me just kept quiet and secretly booked us a spot. Haha!

Saturday, 31 January 2015

Amazing Bagan! (Myanmar Part 2)

What can be more exciting than being in a hot air balloon gently rising off the ground, the cool silky breeze tickling your face as the warm whoosh of the burners' flames effortlessly lift the balloon into the early morning sky. Eyes fixed on the horizon, giddily anticipating the sunrise that would soon be bathing the temple-filled landscape in fiery hues....
Whoa! I'm getting way ahead of the story. Let's rewind and start again.

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

On the Road to Mandalay! (Myanmar, Part 1)

When I was planning our anniversary trip last month we were all set to do a temple run à la Angelina Jolie's Lara Croft in Siem Reap, Cambodia and stuffing our faces silly with yummy Vietnamese food on a back of the bike foodie tour in Saigon. But then I came across a picture of a hot air balloon gently floating across a vast plain dotted with temples as far as the eye can see. It was an early morning scene with mists still blanketing the surrounding countryside. WOW! Talk about taking your breath away.

Change of plans! We're going farther north into a country famous for its thousands of temples, a nation just starting to open up to visitors and the home of Nobel Peace Prize awardee Aung San Suu Kyi. The land of the golden pagodas, MYANMAR.

Totally awesome! My picture does not really do justice to the scene we've experienced.

Thursday, 4 December 2014

36 Hours Down Under - A Preview of Sydney

After a two-week wait I received an email from the Australian embassy with my visa grant. Unlike my other visa applications, in particular for the US and Europe, getting an Australian visa was the easiest and most hassle-free application I have ever experienced. Everything was done online from filling out the application form, paying the visa to scanning all my supporting documents. I never had to leave the house. Easy peasy!

Now all I have to do is wait for the Big K's roster and hope he'll get a flight to Sydney. 

Sydney here I come!

Thursday, 23 October 2014

36 Hours in Xi'an (Well, sort of....)

One of the main reasons I wanted to come with the Big K on his trip to China was the opportunity to see the Terracotta Army of Emperor Qin Shi Huang. The story of these life-sized clay sculptures have been frequently featured in magazine articles and TV documentaries. And what makes these statues remarkable is the sheer number of them. No, we're not talking of a handful nor a hundred but think thousands! Thousands upon thousands of warriors and horses, all created to accompany a single person in the afterlife. 

And where do you find this incredible army? It's in Xi'an, the ancient city in the Shaanxi province. Xi'an is one of the oldest cities in China and was once the eastern terminus for the Silk Road. It was also the capital city of 13 dynasties (there were 26 dynasties in all) where a total of 73 emperors once ruled.

Monday, 20 October 2014

Beijing's Temple of Heaven and Qianmen Street

Having barely unpacked our bags from our last adventure, the Big K told me to get my gear back on as we were going on another trip. Yay! To be more exact he was going on a two-week training. Read: Do Not Disturb Me I Will Be Working. But I was more than welcome to join him (refer to previous statement: You're On Your Own. Which was totally fine with me!) 

So, where to this time? The beautiful city of Beijing! Unlike my previous visits to this ancient city, this time I was looking forward to a more relaxed tour of the place. Or so I thought.

Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests at the Temple of Heaven