S: Philippines & Hong Kong 2012
BC: "To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries." - Aldous Huxley | "A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step." – Lao Tzu | "No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow." – Lin Yutang | "Not all those who wander are lost." –- J.R.R. Tolkien | "One's destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things." - Henry Miller
FC: PHILIPPINES | HONG KONG
1: We spent time, at our resort, three beaches and two islands, swimming, snorkeling, touring, drinking and eating. As I reflect on my year of traveling, I will never forget how kind people are in Taiwan and the Philippines. | To escape the cold winter weather, I spent seven days in the Philippines on the island of Panglao. Spanish explorers named the small island, located southwest of Bohol, after the world ‘mapanglao’, meaning ‘lonesome place’. | Hotel in Seoul
5: Pancit bihon | Ube ice cream (Purple yam)
14: Bohol Beach Club, Dumaluan Beach
30: There may be as much as 1,700 hills spread over 20 sq miles. During the dry season the hills turn a chocolate-brown color. Made of grass-covered limestone, the symmetrical domes vary in sizes from 98 to 160 ft high with the largest being 390 ft in height. | Chocolate Hills
31: The most popular geological theory is that the hills were the result of thousands of years of weathering of marine limestone. Others say they formed from coral deposits, rain water and erosion.
33: Our guide was friendly and energetic - adding little jokes to his spiel on butterflies. "I will now bring you to the world's longest bridge," as we approached a small garden bridge, and "You can put this picture on Facebook. I only have a notebook." | Conservation Center | Simply Butterflies
37: Man-made mahogany forest where our driver had us stand in middle of the road for a quick photo. Manila filmmakers often use the forest as a backdrop for some of their action films.
42: Hanging Bridge, Loboc River
45: We didn't want to wait an hour for the river cruise and lunch that we heard has lost its luster over the years, so we asked our driver to bring us to his favorite local restaurant.
48: Around 200 native laborers were forced to construct the church from coral stones taken from the sea and cut into square blocks. Bamboo was used to lift and move the stones in position. It's said that millions of egg whites were used to cement the coral stone blocks together. In the church is a dungeon, which was used to punish natives who violated the rules of the Roman Catholic church.
49: The Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception in Baclayon. The second oldest stone church in the Philippines, completed in 1727.
57: Blood Compact Monument The Blood Compact (1565), is considered the First Treaty of Friendship between two different races, religions, cultures and civilizations (Spain and Bohol). A native custom during that time, the two sealed their friendship through a blood compact where both parties draw two or three drops of blood from their arms, mix the blood with the wine and equally drink from the cup.
59: Island Tour
62: Balicasag Island Known to have some of the best dive sites in the Philippines. Approximately 100 families live on the island. | snorkeling
68: Virgin Island
76: Four days in Hong Kong.
78: Our cozy Hostel | Fortress Hill on Hong Kong Island
82: Veggie dumpling
83: Horlick (drink) and French toast filled with peanut butter. | Food court
87: Avenue of Stars - modeled after the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
88: Victoria Harbour | waterfront
89: Honey orange latte
91: S T A R | f e r r y
93: Let's Celebrate!
96: Dim sum | A bug bite I received while in the Philippines caused some major eye swelling.
97: Reflexology foot massage | Barista Jam has the "Best coffee in Hong kong," according to a guy on the street. And it was delicious.
102: Man Mo Temple Built in the 1800s, it's one of the oldest temples on Hong Kong Island. The temple is dedicated to the God of Literature (Man) and the God of War (Mo).
103: Incense coils
104: St. John's Cathedral
105: Built in 1849 it's the oldest surviving Western churches in Hong Kong.
107: Hong Kong Park
109: Duddell Street is famous for its four gas-powered street lamps. While all other street lamps in Hong Kong are now electric, these four still use town gas.
112: Built in the 1920s, the Hotel has long been hailed as one of the finest hotels in the world. | The Peninsula Hong Kong Hotel
114: Afternoon Tea
119: Rum raisin
122: Temple Street Night Market
123: Fortune Tellers | Karaoke Tents | Hot rice pot
124: Hong Kong's most popular and well known area for a night out. The bars offered happy hour prices until 9 p.m. While happy hour meant a nice discount, the prices were what you'd expect to pay at a nice bar in Minneapolis. In the area we saw several men dressed up as monks asking for donations. Monks will never sell items, including Buddha images, prayer beads & relics. Alms bowls are not for collecting money - a monk will only use his alms bowl to receive food and medicine. Most people turned them down, but we did see a few people give them money.
125: Hong Kong's Red Light District The streets were lined with older madam-types, pimps and girls sitting on stools trying to lure people into their club. | Wan Chai
126: Views of the city and Victoria Harbor from the highest bar in the the world - 118th floor. | Ritz-Carlton