Things to do in New Zealand, West Coast (South Island): Punakaiki Pancake Rocks & Blowholes, Paparoa National Park

Things to do in New Zealand, West Coast (South Island): Punakaiki Pancake Rocks & Blowholes, Paparoa National Park

The Punakaiki Pancake Rocks in Punakaiki are part of the Paparoa National Park. They are limestone formations created by immense pressure on alternating hard and soft layers of marine creatures and plant sediments. The rocks started forming about 30 million years ago. During high tide, the ocean water bursts through several vertical blowholes.

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Pororari river track & kayaking, New Zealand West Coast (South Island)

Pororari river track & kayaking, New Zealand West Coast (South Island)

The Pororari river runs through a dramatic limestone gorge surrounded by lush rain forests. The river has deep pools with a lookout point. It is part of New Zealand's Paparoa National Park. The Pororari River Track is a part of Punakaiki area walks. Punakaiki Canoes offers rental kayak trips into the heart of the Paparoa National Park, 1km north of the Pancake Rocks and blowholes at Punakaiki.

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Top ten things to do in Cebu (south island), Philippines.

Top ten things to do in Cebu (south island), Philippines.

I visited Cebu in the Philippines in early June. Even though June is not the best weather to visit the Philippines, I enjoyed my trip very much. I visited Kawasan Falls (and canyoneering), Inambakan Falls, Binalay Hidden Falls, Sumilon Island sandbar (from Oslob), Boljoon Church, Panagsama, mushroom rocks in Moalboal, Basdaku White Beach…

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Ask for what you want & make your dreams come true!

Ask for what you want & make your dreams come true!

The other day I was sitting in my room and working on my laptop as usual. It was a cold winter day, and as I was going through the hundreds of my travel photos I still needed to edit, my mobile phone rang. And when I answered it, it was Mr. Vikram Oberoi, CEO of Oberoi Group, and one of the leading hoteliers of the world! I was shocked that he was calling me! And the reason he was calling me was to give me some information regarding the heated pool at the Oberoi Sukhvilas in Chandigarh…

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My TEDx talk (TEDx MACE). Doing the right thing the right way for the right reasons.

My TEDx talk (TEDx MACE). Doing the right thing the right way for the right reasons.

Recently I got an email from a young lady who wanted to go to Italy to do her Masters, and she was asking me about the job market in Italy. She told me that her dream was to earn money and travel. It reminded me of the time when I was 20 and when I wanted to go to Italy to do my Masters. I had never been abroad and my reasons for going to Italy, at least at that time seemed quite valid to me…

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White Beach (Basdaku), Moalboal, Cebu, Philippines. About the beach & my experience.

White Beach (Basdaku), Moalboal, Cebu, Philippines. About the beach & my experience.

On my second day in Moalboal, I visited the famous Basdaku White Beach there with my friend Brad. Brad Chilby is a landscape photographer from Sydney (https://chilby.com.au/), Australia. Initially, our plan was to go to the island of Pescador, but since we were over-exhausted from visiting three waterfalls the previous day, including doing Kawasan canyoneering,…

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Sumilon Island (Oslob) & sandbar, Cebu, Philippines. Location, getting around & my experience

Sumilon Island (Oslob) & sandbar, Cebu, Philippines. Location, getting around & my experience

Located in southern Cebu, Sumilon Island is a 15 minutes boat ride from Oslob, the coastal town famous for whale sharks. Cebu City to Oslob is a driving distance of about 3-4 hours, depending on traffic. From Moalboal, it takes a little less than two hours to reach Oslob by car. Even though you can combine your trip to Sumilon Island with whale shark watching (or swimming with the whale sharks) at Oslob,…

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Boljoon Church, a Philippines National Culture Treasure & a future UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Boljoon Church, a Philippines National Culture Treasure & a future UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Located in Boljoon in Cebu, Boljoon Church is a Philippines National Cultural Treasure and under consideration to be a future UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is a driving distance of 16.5 km from Oslob. If you can afford it, I recommend hiring a driver for your adventures in Cebu.

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A real life Japanese 'Rom-Com'. Why Japanese are one of the kindest people on earth!

A real life Japanese 'Rom-Com'. Why Japanese are one of the kindest people on earth!

It was almost 5 p.m. when Yuta dropped me to the main railway station in Tokyo. Yuta was a Japanese photographer based in Fuji whom I had connected with on the internet before leaving India for Japan to help me shoot for my blog and Instagram. After shooting in Tokyo the previous evening, we had driven to Nikko, a small hill station located on the outskirts of the Nikko National Park, about 125 km north of Tokyo. The town is famous for the Toshogu Shrine and the Shinkyo Bridge.

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Exploring Panagsama town & beach, a short distance from Moalboal, in Cebu, Philippines

Exploring Panagsama town & beach, a short distance from Moalboal, in Cebu, Philippines

Panagsama is a small town in the south of Cebu in the Philippines, famous for the Panagsama beach and its many restaurants serving traditional and international cuisines. It is about 4 km from Moalboal. I first heard about Panangsama at the Blue Orchid Resort in Moalboal where I was staying. My friend and I had had a long day of visiting waterfalls in Cebu.

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Visiting Moalboal, Cebu, Philippines with an Australian friend. McDonald's, ATMs & 7-Elevens.

Visiting Moalboal, Cebu, Philippines with an Australian friend. McDonald's, ATMs & 7-Elevens.

I was in Moalboal for four nights and five days while visiting the south island of Cebu in the Philippines. Moalboal is the perfect location to base yourself while exploring southern Cebu. There is food and internet. It is close to all major tourist spots in the Philippines like famous waterfalls and beaches. There are also some nice resorts for those who want a more comfortable stay.

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Binalay Hidden Falls, Samboan, Cebu, Philippines. Location, about the falls, and my experience.

Binalay Hidden Falls, Samboan, Cebu, Philippines. Location, about the falls, and my experience.

The Binalay Hidden Falls in Samboan is a driving distance of about four hours from Cebu city and one and a half hours from Moalboal. On my short trip to Cebu, I did Kawasan Falls, Kawasan canyoneering, Inambakan Falls and Binalay Hidden Falls, all on the same day. My recommendation is to do Kawasan Falls and Kawasan canyoneering on one day, and Inambakan Falls and Binalay Hidden Falls on another.

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Inambakan Falls, Ginatilan, Cebu, Philippines. Location, tour guides & my experience swimming in the falls.

Inambakan Falls, Ginatilan, Cebu, Philippines. Location, tour guides & my experience swimming in the falls.

Inambakan Falls is a five-level waterfall in Ginatilan, in southern Cebu in the Philippines. It is a four-hour drive from Cebu city, and about an hour and a half from Moalboal. During my stay in Cebu, I stayed in Moalboal at the Blue Orchid Resort, located in comfortable driving distance to all the major tourist attractions on the south island of Cebu.

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Kawasan Falls Canyoneering, Cebu, Philippines. My experience canyoning, tour guides, and where to stay.

Kawasan Falls Canyoneering, Cebu, Philippines. My experience canyoning, tour guides, and where to stay.

At Kawasan in Badian, you can go canyoneering in the beautiful turquoise blue water. There are two types of canyoneering, upstream or downstream. The downstream canyoneering starts at Barangay Sulsogan, Badian and ends at Kawasan Falls. The upstream canyoneering starts at Kawasan Falls in which you climb several waterfalls with the help of ropes.

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Kawasan Falls, Philippines, a guide to visiting the beautiful turquoise blue waterfalls in Badian, Cebu

Kawasan Falls, Philippines, a guide to visiting the beautiful turquoise blue waterfalls in Badian, Cebu

Kawasan Falls, known for its turquoise blue water, is one of the Philippines' most beautiful waterfalls. It is also the most famous. Located in Badian, Cebu, it is a driving distance of about 30-40 minutes from the town of Moalboal and about 3-4 hours from Cebu city. Since it is a top-rated tourist destination, it gets very crowded.

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The Blue Orchid Resort, Moalboal, Cebu, Philippines, a divers paradise & a picturesque retreat.

The Blue Orchid Resort, Moalboal, Cebu, Philippines, a divers paradise & a picturesque retreat.

I stayed at the Blue Orchid Resort in Moalboal, Cebu, the Philippines for four nights and five days in the second week of June 2019. Even though the rainy season had just started in Cebu, and it was still hot and humid, I enjoyed my trip very much. The best time to visit Cebu is however during the winter season.

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Why Mount Yoshino, Japan's top cherry blossom viewing spot is so overrated

Why Mount Yoshino, Japan's top cherry blossom viewing spot is so overrated

Mount Yoshino (吉野山, Yoshinoyama), in Nara Prefecture, is covered with 30,000 cherry trees of different varieties, and is considered to be Japan's most famous cherry blossom viewing spot. However, after visiting there, I can truthfully say that it is also the most overrated.

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Ninnaji Temple, Kyoto: find late blooming cherry blossoms here

Ninnaji Temple, Kyoto: find late blooming cherry blossoms here

I made the mistake of booking my trip to Japan to see the cherry blossoms months in advance. I was relying on cherry blossom forecasts made by Japan travel blogs, and accordingly planned to be in Kyoto for five days in the middle of April. I also booked my flight tickets which were already getting very expensive, and my accommodation on Airbnb as most of the hotels were either over-priced or sold out for my dates.

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Ibis Styles Kyoto Station, review

Ibis Styles Kyoto Station, review

Hotel Ibis Style Kyoto Station is located directly opposite the Kyoto train station (the JR railway station), and is a very convenient hotel to stay especially if you are traveling solo. It is also ideal for those travelers who want to keep Kyoto as their base and do day trips to Osaka, Nara or Yoshino. It is a budget hotel with great service, the only downside being that the rooms are small.

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