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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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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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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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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TranzAlpine, New Zealand's most scenic train journey in the South Island

TranzAlpine, New Zealand's most scenic train journey in the South Island

TranzAlpine is regarded as one of the most scenic train journeys of the world. It is also one of New Zealand's most beautiful train journeys in the South Island. Traveling across the Canterbury Plains and the Southern Alps, it connects Christchurch on the east coast of the South Island to Greymouth on the west. 

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5 things to do in Christchurch, a historic city on the east coast of New Zealand's South Island

5 things to do in Christchurch, a historic city on the  east coast of New Zealand's South Island

Christchurch is a historic city on the east coast of New Zealand's South Island. In 2010 and 2011, earthquakes destroyed many of its landmark buildings. I arrived in Christchurch flying Air New Zealand from Auckland. I planned to spend two nights in the city and then take the famous Tranz Alpine train to Greymouth…

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Lauterbrunnen & Wengen, Switzerland, things to do

Lauterbrunnen & Wengen, Switzerland, things to do

Lauterbrunnen is a municipality in the Swiss Alps, enclosed by the village of Lauterbrunnen. It is set in one of the most impressive trough valleys in the Alps, featuring rocky cliffs and the roaring, 300m-­high Staubbach Falls. Nearby, the glacial waters of Trümmelbach Falls…

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Radisson Blu, Lucerne: Top 4 star hotel to stay in Lucerne, Switzerland

Radisson Blu, Lucerne: Top 4 star hotel to stay in Lucerne, Switzerland

On my recent trip to Lucerne, one of the most charming cities in Switzerland, I stayed at the Radisson Blu Lucerne hotel, a newly renovated top 4 star hotel located in the center of Lucerne and in walking distance to the railway station. Before traveling anywhere…

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A guide to Nikko, Japan: top 3 things to do in Nikko

A guide to Nikko, Japan: top 3 things to do in Nikko

“Never say kekko until you’ve seen Nikko” is a famous Japanese proverb, where “kekko” means “to be satisfied”. Essentially this means that you cannot miss doing Nikko when you visit Japan. Nikko is a small city in Japan’s Tochigi Prefecture, in the mountains north of Tokyo…

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Things to do in Nikko, Japan: Kegon Falls

Things to do in Nikko, Japan: Kegon Falls

The Kegon Waterfall is the most famous waterfall in Nikko. It is located at Lake Chūzenji (source of the Oshiri River) in Nikkō National Park near the city of Nikkō, Tochigi Prefecture, Japan. It is almost 100 Mts. tall and is regarded as one of Japan's three most beautiful waterfalls…

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Shinkyo Bridge, Nikko, Japan, a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Shinkyo Bridge, Nikko, Japan, a UNESCO World Heritage Site

The Shinkyo Bridge which means the "sacred bridge" is one of the three magnificent bridges in Japan. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is located in central Nikko at the entrance of Nikko's shrines and temples. It belongs to the Futarasan Shrine…

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Nikko Toshogu Shrine, the top thing to do in Nikko, Japan

Nikko Toshogu Shrine, the top thing to do in Nikko, Japan

Nikko is a famous hill-station north of Tokyo. I visited Nikko in mid-April driving from Tokyo with an English speaking Japanese tour guide. Even though I was a little late for the cherry blossom season, I was happy to visit the famous shrines and tourist spots in Nikko…

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Top 5 Cherry Blossom (Sakura) Spots around Mt. Fuji, Japan

Top 5 Cherry Blossom (Sakura) Spots around Mt. Fuji, Japan

Japan is one of the topmost countries in the world for cherry blossom or sakura (as the Japanese call it) viewing. Each spring the cherry trees blossom for a very short time in different parts of Japan. Starting from Japan's southern subtropical islands of Okinawa…

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