Wednesday, May 15, 2013

This month's photo: Water

This month's photo theme is water and not showing a holiday photo with a wonderful turquoise sea is actually quite difficult!
But a (good) idea always come in the end, so let me introduce you to Songkran!

Songkran is the new year celebration in Thailand, Cambodia and Laos  and it consists of a giant water battle in the streets, R went to Bangkok a few weeks ago to participate, he came back with some very flashy water guns that a kid would dream off, and I can bet there was a fair amount of partying as well...

Anything is allowed: guns, buckets, bins even the firemen spray!
If you are a particularly mean player you can choose to load your gun with really cold water, apparently it hurts a lot more! (water reload is free, for ice water, you have to pay!)

As per usual, it's not the best photo you'll see this month but I couldn't pass the opportunity of introducing you to another SE asian celebration!

Tip for future holidays in Asia: If you don't want to be soaked for a week every time you get out, check Songkran dates before booking!

Now back to some other water photos:

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Sunday, May 12, 2013

Manado, Sulawesi

(back in October last year...)
It started as a diving trip but obviously, we had to extend it a bit to a trip in a nearby national park.
As the underwater camera had recently died (no panic, it has since been replaced by a cute new Go Pro!), there are no photos from under water...
It was a while ago, but the most memorable thing from diving in Manado was mandarin fish having wild sex (right in front of us!!!!) at dusk. A very unsual dive, departure around 5pm, just a couple of meters under the surface and no swimming, just holding in place (helped by a very long stick!), watching what is happening on a tiny reef below: mandarin fish, urchins laying eggs, beautiful lion fish coming by
but I had to capture some shots of the stunning landscape coming back by boat from the diving place:
On our return to dry land, we were taken to the Tangkoko national park, a quite unknown national park which doesn't seem to see more than 4 visitors a day! We are now on their website as are probably every other tourists who ever came there before!
Tangkoko park is one of the rare place where tarsiers can be observed, there are absolutely tiny little monkeys looking very much like the gremlins! (back to childhood!)
we went for a jungle trip at dusk to observe them when they come out to feed.

The day after, we were back in the jungle to observe a huge family of black macaque, we followed them from the trees they sleep in to the beach where they go to have breakfast and pick lice from each other (their favourite hobby apparently...). It was an incredible experience, they came very close to us, sometimes they even thought we were fighting for the same fruits! An exceptional moment with nature!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Coron island

Easter WE is only 3 days long in Singapore  (vs 4 days in the UK), so we added a few extra holidays...
This time we are off to Coron island in the Philippines

Actually we never stayed on the island, we only visited as it's a protected sanctuary.

First we went diving for a few days, the area is known for its wrecks, mainly Japanese, from WWII.

Then, we moved hotel to come closer to Coron island itself. It's a stunning looking island, it's described in the guide book as a perfect backdrop for the KingKong movie, very wild, it actually reminded me of Halong Bay in Vietnam but with clearer water!
We spent the day moving from multi temperature layered lagoons to inland lake and deserted white sand beach...


Little note on the side, I came eye to eye with a very big lizard in the bathroom who seemed to think that was his home as he returned every night...