Continue reading Nagasaki, Pleasant City with Tragic History Author: naim Date: 09 Feb 2017 Filed under: Japan

Nagasaki, Pleasant City with Tragic History

I have always wanted to visit Nagasaki ever since I learnt in school about the horrific twin atomic bombings of 1945. After visiting Hiroshima, my desire to visit Nagasaki reached an all-time high. Now as I step out of the train at Nagasaki Station, my ambition is almost fulfilled.

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Continue reading Sakurajima, Former Volcano-Island Author: naim Date: 05 Feb 2017 Filed under: Japan

Sakurajima, Former Volcano-Island

Today we are visiting the famous active volcano – Sakurajima – or the ‘Cherry Blossom Island’. Well it used to be an island in the Kagoshima Bay until 1914, when a huge eruption spilled lava down its eastern flank thus joining it to the mainland of Kyushu. Henceforth it become a peninsula in the bay, but the name ‘island’ remains.

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Continue reading Kagoshima, First Stop in Kyushu Author: naim Date: 31 Jan 2017 Filed under: Japan

Kagoshima, First Stop in Kyushu

Being an avid fan of belching, erupting active volcanoes, the Kyushu volcano of Sakurajima has been on my to-visit list for a while. Being Japan’s most active and one of the world’s most active, I just have to see it. On my recent trip to Japan, I soon found myself making my way from Tokyo, via Kyoto, then all the way to Kagoshima, the city at the western end of Japan’s main islands, right in the shadow of Sakurajima itself.

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Continue reading MENU Author: naim Date: 12 Jan 2016 Filed under: MISC

MENU

PLEASE READ THIS ENTRY FIRST. IT’S MY “TABLE OF CONTENTS”. THANKS!

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Continue reading Nenana and the Alaskan North Pole Author: naim Date: 30 Oct 2015 Filed under: USA

Nenana and the Alaskan North Pole

After the unforgettable Denali experience, we drive from Healy to Nenana, enroute to North Pole, via the George Parks Highway. A stop in Nenana to spot the legendary Alaska Railroad train fails, but the log cabin and Santa Claus House in North Pole delight us! (September 2015)

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Continue reading Visiting Denali but the ‘Tall One’ Hides Author: naim Date: 29 Oct 2015 Filed under: USA

Visiting Denali but the ‘Tall One’ Hides

We are at Denali village, the gateway to the world famous Denali National Park, an American icon. The morning starts with less-than-stellar weather as we make our way to the township at the entrance to this great national park. We are heading deep into the park, and snow is forecast. This should be fun. (September 2015)

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Continue reading Leaving Anchorage and into the Alaskan Wilderness Author: naim Date: 28 Oct 2015 Filed under: USA

Leaving Anchorage and into the Alaskan Wilderness

Autumn of 2015, and we embark on another epic journey — a self-drive tour of Alaska, doing the Anchorage-Denali-Fairbanks-Glenallen-Seward-Anchorage loop, via Routes 1, 2, 3, 4 and 9 (not necessarily in that order) for a total distance of 1700km. This story is the first part of the journey — the very scenic 400km leg from Anchorage to Denali National Park. (September 2015)

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Continue reading Discovering Vincent van Gogh in Arles, France Author: naim Date: 18 Jun 2015 Filed under: France

Discovering Vincent van Gogh in Arles, France

A collection of three stories on our visit to Arles in Provence, France, to track locations Vincent van Gogh used for his famous paintings of 1888-1889. (September 2013)

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Continue reading The Old Quarter of Porto, Northern Portugal Author: naim Date: 25 Nov 2014 Filed under: Portugal, UNESCO World Heritage Site

The Old Quarter of Porto, Northern Portugal

In this short visit to Porto, I take a stroll from the modern port-wine Gaia area of Porto and cross the Douro river, via the Luis I Bridge. This brings me to Ribeira, the old quarter of Porto, with buildings from the 15th century, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here facades covered with azulejos tiles (introduced by the Moors in the 8th century) look spectacular in late afternoon light. Looking a bit decrepit, but notable nevertheless. (May 2014)

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Continue reading Labuanbajo in Flores, and Denpasar Airport Author: naim Date: 20 Nov 2014 Filed under: Indonesia

Labuanbajo in Flores, and Denpasar Airport

Labuanbajo is a small town located at the western tip of Flores island at the centre of the huge Indonesian archipelago. Its claim to fame is being the gateway to the islands of Komodo and Rinca, where the famous Komodo National Park is located, home of the Komodo Dragons. Anyway, the area around Labuanbajo also boasts of pristine islands and beaches, plus spectacular snorkeling and diving sites. (September 2014)

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Continue reading The Home of the Komodo Dragons Author: naim Date: 18 Nov 2014 Filed under: Indonesia, UNESCO World Heritage Site

The Home of the Komodo Dragons

We finally make it to the home of the awesome Komodo Dragons. We fly from Denpasar DPS to Labuanbajo LBJ, located at the western tip of Flores island in central Indonesia. The 90-min flight from Bali is memorable with the sights of menacing, but enchanting, active volcanoes along the way. (September 2014)

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Continue reading Bali, Island of the Gods Author: naim Date: 17 Nov 2014 Filed under: Indonesia, UNESCO World Heritage Site

Bali, Island of the Gods

We do a quick one-day tour of northern Bali, while en route to Komodo National Park (500km to the east, near Flores island). Renting a car, we make quick stops at the icons of Bali — Pura Besakih or Mother Temple of Besakih, Kintamani with its picturesque (but dangerous) volcano Batur and lake, and finally sunset at the ever-romantic Pura Tanah Lot. (September 2014)

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Continue reading The Cultural Landscape of Sintra, Portugal Author: naim Date: 07 Nov 2014 Filed under: Portugal, UNESCO World Heritage Site

The Cultural Landscape of Sintra, Portugal

Just 30km west of Lisbon, lies the amazing cultural landscape of Sintra, with structures dating back to the Moors of the 8th century. This area is located right inside the verdant forest of a large national park which stretches all the way to the Atlantic Ocean. It has a long history of Portuguese architecture and culture, first occupied by the Romans, then the Arab Moors, who built a precipituous castle atop a mountain overlooking the plains all the way to the Atlantic. It used to be the playground for the Portuguese royals of the 12th-20th century, and many aristocrats owned and built properties here. The outcome is, the place is littered with palaces, stately homes, beautiful buildings, gardens, monuments and houses of worship. As such it plays host to thousands of visitors who drop by every year to savour the essence of Portugal. Spectacular Sintra earned the coveted UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995, so we decide not to miss it. (May 2014)

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Continue reading The Historical City of Evora, Portugal Author: naim Date: 06 Nov 2014 Filed under: Portugal, UNESCO World Heritage Site

The Historical City of Evora, Portugal

Just 130km east of Lisbon, along the main expressway to Madrid, lies the historical city of Evora, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Evora is famous for its well-preserved Roman, Gothic and Baroque buildings, thus compressing 2000 years of history in a compact place. It is late evening as we drive into town, on the way back from Elvas to Lisbon. Its quaint narrow cobblestone lanes and whitewashed buildings are relics of its Moorish past, and always a pleasure to saunter along, as we bump into one spectacular building after another. (May 2014)

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Continue reading Adelaide, Capital of South Australia Author: naim Date: 06 Nov 2014 Filed under: Australia

Adelaide, Capital of South Australia

Adelaide is possibly one of the best cities I have ever visited in all my travels, but then I could be handsomely biased. I spent 1978-85 here, in this beautiful place – did my matriculation, bachelor’s degree and doctorate, all in one swoop, and I also got married and had our first child. Needless to say, this Adelaide sojourn influenced my life thereupon and shaped my weltanschauung immensely, but short of migrating here, I have returned many times for quick visits. This is our latest outing, to touch base with the ever-sprightly Prof Les Berry, my supervisor, and the venerable Dr Andy Coyle, my fellow PhD-mate. All looking hale and hearty! (February 2014)

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Continue reading Victor Harbor in South Australia Author: naim Date: 05 Nov 2014 Filed under: Australia

Victor Harbor in South Australia

From Adelaide it’s a pleasant 80km drive south to Victor Harbor, a resort town (very popular with retirees) which faces the tempestuous Great Southern Ocean. There we spend time at the famous Coorong National Park, where the mighty River Murray empties itself into the ocean, but in a rather odd way via a huge lagoon. This area is also famous for its fish and chips, and that’s a must. Not to be missed are heritage buildings from the 19th century, and its flora and fauna. If you reach Adelaide, do consider spending a couple of days here. (February 2014)

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Continue reading Granite Island in South Australia Author: naim Date: 28 Oct 2014 Filed under: Australia

Granite Island in South Australia

We fly to Adelaide from Kuala Lumpur, rent a car and drive to the resort town of Victor Harbor, which faces the Great Southern Ocean. There we take a walk around Granite Island, a place we used to frequent during our student days in the early 80s. Things haven’t changed much, except that they have built nice access on the island proper. There is a colony of fairy penguins, a smallish species, on the island, but unfortunately we do not encounter any. They are only found in Australia and New Zealand. (February 2014)

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Continue reading The Old Garrison Town of Elvas, Portugal Author: naim Date: 28 Oct 2014 Filed under: Portugal, UNESCO World Heritage Site

The Old Garrison Town of Elvas, Portugal

Elvas is an ancient town located 220km east of Lisbon, just 10km away from the Spanish border. Its importance as a heavily fortified garrison town, guarding the vital Lisbon-Madrid road in the 17th-19th century, earned it the coveted UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2012. (May 2014)

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Continue reading Our Sudan Stories Author: naim Date: 04 Sep 2014 Filed under: Sudan

Our Sudan Stories

In March 2014, a bunch of us made a trip to Sudan. It was a most memorable outing, with new travel experiences not available elsewhere in the world. Here’s the collection of the entries I have made on this website on this wonderful journey.

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Continue reading Khartoum, Capital of the Sudan Author: naim Date: 04 Sep 2014 Filed under: Sudan

Khartoum, Capital of the Sudan

We spend several days in Khartoum before embarking on a tour of the famed archaelogical sites in the deserts of northern Sudan. While in Khartoum, we are indeed honoured and grateful to be hosted by H.E. The Ambassador of Malaysia to the Sudan, Dato’ Ashri Muda and his lovely missus, Datin Rohayahti. (March 2014)

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DIRECTORY OF PICTORIALS 2004-2009

Please click HERE for a full list of stories from 2004. Pleasant viewing, thanks!