Benson Kua's Blog

Posts Tagged ‘vacation

Daylilies

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We’ve had a REALLY hot and dry summer in Toronto so far.  Its been so hot and dry that I have never seen our backyard so lifeless and dry that whenever I step out into the backyard I would hear the brown brittle grass (well, whats left of it) crunching under my feet on every step!  The state of our backyard right now is really in stark contrast to what it was about a month and a half ago when the weather was nice and mild and everything in the backyard was full of life and ripe with photographic opportunities!  Thankfully I took a lot of pictures of the backyard during that time so I’ll have stuff to process for the future.  Think of it as saving for a rainy day except that I saved the pictures for the opposite reason.

Anyways, here are some pictures of the daylilies in the backyard when they were in full bloom. I love how the flowers are backlit by the warm sunlight and makes it seem like they’re glowing… And who said that you shouldn’t shoot against the sun?? :P

Honda Bay Island Hopping

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“Early morning stillness at the Honda Bay docks”

Last day of the Puerto Princesa trip :(

Our last day in Palawan was spent island hopping around Honday Bay.  We really only had half a day left because our plane ride back to Manila was at 3:30PM that afternoon, so we had to wake up really early that day so we could maximize our time around the bay and still have enough time to pack and get to the airport.  We got to the Honda Bay docks at around 7AM and it was great because there were barely any people there except for the boatmen that worked the boats.  Since it was very early, the boat rental office wasn’t even open yet so I just roamed around the docks and took pictures until we got a boat that would take us around the bay.  I loved how quiet and calm the dock was, compared to the chaos it was in later in the day.

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To the Batcave (aka Puerto Princesa Underground River)!!!

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“Local transport boats ferry people from Sabang’s port to the cove which houses the Puerto Princesa Underground River; Si mamang bangkero nahihiya pang magpa-picture! lol”

 Continuing on from my previous post….

So after a couple hours of lounging about Sabang Beach, we were ready to head to the Puerto Princesa Underground River (PPUR for short) through Sabang Port.  Sabang port was literally 5 minutes away from Sabang Beach (and I did not know this).  We boarded our tour bus from Sabang Beach and I was all ready to have a nap on our tour bus when about 5 minutes later our tour guide asked us to get off the bus and wait for her at the terminal.  There went my after lunch nap plans! Darn!  We then boarded a boat that took us to the area where the entrance of the cave was.  It was my first time to travel by small boat (if you exclude those rides at amusement parks…) and the ride was very enjoyable.

“The Sabang Community Stage at Sabang Port; The stage had been taken over by tourists!”

” A view of the Saint Paul Mountain Range which houses the Puerto Princesa Underground River; The profile of the mountain is shaped like a man lying down on his back (Thats one big stomach!).”

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Onwards to Sabang!

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“Ulugan Bay from the Buenavista Viewdeck”

One of the highlights of my recent Palawan trip was to visit the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River, and in order to get there we had to stop by Sabang. Sabang is a port where bangkas transport tourists to the cove where the river is located.  The journey from the Puerto Princesa city centre to Sabang took about 2 hours (or more… I wasn’t really awake for most of the car ride since we had to leave the city centre quite early); and on the way to Sabang we made a couple of pit stops.  One of our pit stops was at the Buenavista Viewdeck where we had a gorgeous view of Ulugan Bay (see picture), we only had about 20 minutes there and most of that time was utilized by taking pictures (What else would asian tourists do??? lol).

The next pit stop was just a random farm by the roadside, some of the people on our tour van saw other people taking pictures at the farm so they asked our tour guide if we could stop by there too and we did.  After a LOT more pictures were taken, we were off on the road again.

“Roadside farm – The mountain on the back of the frame was apparently part of the Saint Paul Mountain Range which housed the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River”

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A Visit to the Puerto Princesa Crocodile Farm

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“Baby crocodiles lounging around at the Puerto Princesa Crocodile Farm”

Continuation of the Puerto Princesa posts.

One of the places that we had visited in Puerto Princesa was the Puerto Princesa Crocodile Farm. They had SOOOO MANY crocodiles of varying sizes. They had small ones which were less than a foot long to a big adult one which measured more than 15 feet.  The farm is known to locals as the “Crocodile Farm” but its official name is the Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center.  It not only houses crocodiles but also other animals, but the crocodiles are the main attraction of the center. We had gone to the farm as part of a city tour that our hotel offered so we only got to see the crocodiles because we had to go to other destinations in the city to complete the city tour.

The tour started out with a guide saying stuff/information about the crocodile farm but I was too busy taking pictures (as I always am in all my trips) to listen. I did catch the information about the crocodile skin and skeleton that they had displayed at the entrance (scroll to the picture to see the information).

“The dried crocodile skin and the skeleton in the pictures were apparently from a crocodile that was approximately 60 years old and measured about 17 feet long. Amazing that an itty bitty baby croc can potentially grow that big!”

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Goodbye Manila! Next stop, Puerto Princesa, Palawan!

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“Goodbye Manila! Next stop, Puerto Princesa, Palawan!”

I have always wanted to go to Palawan because friends, who have been there, have been telling me how beautiful this little chain of islands is!  They rave about the beautiful sights, the mouth watering seafood feasts, and of course the gorgeous white sand beaches! So I vowed to myself that I will one day get there! It didn’t really matter to me where in Palawan (since I heard that it was nice anywhere; although Amanpulo would have probably been extra nice – someone please sponsor me to go there?? Please???), I just needed to get there!!!  Well last year, I was lucky enough to have had the chance to finally travel to Palawan’s provincial capital, Puerto Princesa.  I was only there for a weekend but I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of that weekend!

This post is about the sights from the plane ride going from Manila to Puerto Princesa. Yes, MORE pictures out of windows…. The flight was about an hour long (I think) and I was peered out the window the entire time taking pictures (except for those occasions when motion sickness creeped in a little).  I loved how the sights under the plane became more “remote” and less city-like as the plane travelled from Manila to Puerto Princesa; I have always lived in cities and this was definitely a nice change.  I also loved seeing the islands of Palawan pass under the plane; this was such a new experience for me because whenever I had travelled by plane it is usually over the Pacific Ocean and all you can really see is water.  I really enjoyed that plane ride to Puerto Princesa, it was the perfect start to a great trip!

This is the first of many more posts about my Puerto Princesa trip!  Enjoy the plane pictures as I was en route to Puerto Princesa!

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Grounded at the Airport (and I Love It!)

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“Grounded at the Airport”

Have you ever had a layover at an airport? If you have ever travelled by plane, even occasionally, you will most likely have experienced waiting at the airport for a connecting flight.  Well, whenever I go back home to Manila (Philippines) from Toronto (Canada), I would always have a layover at the Hong Kong International Airport lasting around 4-5 hours, depending on how early my flight from Toronto would arrive in Hong Kong.  This flight would also always arrive in the wee hours of the morning (around 5 AM) and I loved this because of several reasons:

  1. There aren’t a lot of people at the airport, except for the people who sleep on the airport benches (who I assume stayed overnight at the airport) so its not ridiculously crowded unlike peak hours.
  2. The relatively empty airport gives me a chance to do some ridiculous stretching exercises, which I normally would not do in an airport full of people. Believe me, you need to do a good stretch after a 16 hour flight (deep vein thrombosis begone!)
  3. The early morning light is beautiful and I get a chance to take pictures of the planes (thank goodness the Hong Kong Airport is mostly glass as this gives me more places to take pictures from!) and the airport itself!

This post chronicles my picture taking exploits at the beautiful Hong Kong International Airport during my somewhat lengthy layover when I had gone back home in August of 2011.  Enjoy!

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