Tag Archives: Asia

Phang Nga Bay, Thailand – Photo Friday #14

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Welcome back to Photo Friday!

One of the most memorable places I’ve been throughout my travels is Phang Nga Bay, Thailand. I visited here in February 2020 as part of a boat tour operated by a company called John Gray’s Sea Canoe, more specifically their Hong By Starlight experience. I’m definitely going to dedicate an entire post to this boat tour, because it’s one of those trips that sticks with you forever, but all you need to know for now was that it was absolutely incredible, and a must-do for anyone visiting Phuket.

For those unfamiliar with Phang Nga Bay, I like to think of it as Thailand’s version of the world famous Ha Long Bay, found in Vietnam. Stunning rock islands, sweeping ocean views, and amazing sunsets are all on the features list. It’s a magical place, and the scenery there is about as far away from what I’m used to seeing here in Canada, in the best way possible.

I can’t wait to go back someday.

See you next week!

Phang Nga Bay, Thailand
Phang Nga Bay, Thailand (ca. February 2020)

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What’s the Luckiest You’ve Ever Been While Travelling?

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What is the luckiest you’ve ever been while travelling? I’ll start.

I narrowly missed two typhoons, and dodged an earthquake.

Let me explain:

The year was 2018, and the destination Japan. My brother and I had booked a 2-week long trip which would take us through such cities as Tokyo, Kyoto, and Hiroshima in what would be our first time to Asia. In the weeks leading up to our departure, my Mom began to worry about our safety, as mothers do. In preparation for sending us off on our first international adventure without her, she began watching as much documentaries and travel videos on Japan as possible. The only problem? Those videos generally showcased many of the abundant natural disasters the country is known for.

Tsunamis, earthquakes, typhoons, volcanoes; if there was even the slightest chance of it happening, my Mom made sure we knew about it. I would like to say that her worrying was all for nothing, but in the end it turned out that dealing with these things almost became a reality.

The week before our departure, Japan was hit by Typhoon Jebi, in what would end up being the costliest Typhoon in Japan’s history in terms of insured losses, and the strongest to make landfall since 1993.

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We were extremely lucky that our trip hadn’t started yet. We had picked completely arbitrary dates and it just so happened that we lucked our way into missing a Typhoon. Obviously, this near miss didn’t do any good in reducing my Mom’s anxiety, but that’s not where our dumb luck ends.

We spent 5 days in Tokyo, and much of it was centred around avoiding the residual rain from the Typhoon. During our stay, we gained the habit of coming back to our hotel room around dinner time to feast on FamilyMart fried chicken and watch the Japanese Grand Sumo tournament on TV, which was taking place just across the river from our hotel. In-between matches, there would be the occasional news update, which would often inform us of an earthquake that had happened somewhere else in the country. My brother and I joked that we would be lucky to get out of Japan without experiencing one, not actually thinking we would. As it turned out, we cut it pretty close.

On the sixth day of our trip, we took the Shinkansen (Japanese bullet train) to Kyoto. After arriving, we found the nearest convenience store, stocked up on food, and settled into our new hotel room to watch the night’s sumo matches. It wasn’t long into the broadcast before the television cameras started to violently jolt, and the commentator announced that an earthquake was underway in Tokyo. At the time, it was pretty shocking for us. We were in Tokyo just a few hours prior, and had narrowly missed being in an earthquake. Even though there was no danger, we decided it was best not to tell Mom until after we got home.

Looking back at it now, it wouldn’t have been that big of a deal if we had been in Tokyo anyways. By Japanese standards, this quake was a mere inconvenience and I can’t find a single mention of it anywhere online today, evidence of its insignificance. If I remember correctly, at the time the quake was measured to be somewhere around the magnitude 3.0 – 4.5 range on the Richter scale.

Again, not that impressive in hindsight, but you have to understand that growing up in Southern Ontario, Canada, earthquakes were almost never heard of. I can only remember experiencing one in my life, about 10 years back, and it was so weak that nobody realized that it had happened until we heard about it on the 6 o’clock news later that night. So to have missed an earthquake by a few hours, was a big deal at the time. Looking back at it now, I kind of wish we had been in Tokyo to experience it. Just enough to get a little taste without tempting fate too much.

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After dodging the earthquake, the rest of the trip went by relatively smooth.

We managed to visit Mt. Fuji 5th Station as part of a day tour, (and the volcano didn’t erupt, so that’s good) and eventually made our way to Hiroshima before returning back to Tokyo to catch a flight home. It was during our return to Tokyo that we saw on the news that yet another Typhoon was headed towards Japan. Less than a week after arriving back in Canada, Typhoon Trami hit Japan, and although most of the damage was centred around the island of Okinawa, the storm caused hundreds of train, plane and other public infrastructure delays and cancellations across the country. Not really something you want to deal with on a 2-week holiday.

So, what’s the luckiest you’ve ever been while travelling? I think narrowly missing two typhoons, and dodging an earthquake is definitely top of the list for me. (Although travelling to Thailand in February of 2020 and somehow not getting COVID-19 is up there too)

If our itinerary had been just a few days shifted on either end of the trip, or had we spent a couple of more hours in Tokyo, my time in Japan could have been a much different experience, and one for the worst. I’m definitely glad everything worked out though, because Japan has become one of my favourite countries to travel to.

Even with all those pesky natural disasters.

What’s your luckiest travel story? Let me know in the comments below!


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Bangkok’s Golden Buddhas (Wat Pho Temple) – Photo Friday #8

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Welcome back to Photo Friday!

Today’s travel photo comes from Wat Pho Temple in amazing Bangkok, Thailand.

This week marked the 1 year anniversary of my trip to Thailand in February of 2020. It seems hard to believe it’s been this long, and yet felt so short since my first time visiting Southeast Asia. If you read my post from a couple months ago, Thailand Travel Diary – Day 1: In Transit, you will recall that I was only able to spend one full day in the magical city of Bangkok before jetting off to the beaches of Phuket.

But you better believe that one full day was a full day well spent.

One of the destinations on the whirlwind city tour was Wat Pho Temple, better known as the home of the Reclining Buddha, where I caught a picture of a series of golden Buddhas sitting in a row. Just one amazing example of what Bangkok and Thailand has to offer!

See you next week!

Golden Buddhas, Wat Pho Temple, Bangkok, Thailand (ca. February 2020)

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Kata Noi, Phuket, Thailand – Photo Friday #4

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Welcome back to Photo Friday!

This week’s image was taken in February of 2020, and features the view from the swimming pool of our hillside accommodation in Kata Noi, Phuket, Thailand.

Aside from the obvious spectacular scenery, I love this picture because it brings back a flood of memories; the smell of the ocean, the gentle whispering breeze, and the warmth and silence of the setting sun. Thailand is a special place, and I can’t help but look at this photo and wish I was there once again.

See you next week!

Kata Noi, Phuket, Thailand
Kata Noi, Phuket, Thailand (ca. February 2020)

Thank you so much for reading, and if you’ve made it this far please consider liking the post, sharing it with your friends, and hitting the follow button so you don’t miss any of my upcoming material! And don’t forget to follow me on InstagramFacebookTwitter, and Pinterest!

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