JIPP's WORLD

JIPP's WORLD

…….The World Without Boundaries

Traveling

All of the posts under the "Traveling" category.

Back to Sunshine in Mirissa, Sri Lanka

The highlands of Sri Lanka were so beautiful but there were times when I really missed the brightness of the tropical sun that I was so accustomed to back in my country Malaysia. Of course, being a Tropical island itself, Sri Lanka is nothing short of the hot tropical sun but of course it can only be fully acquired in the coastal areas.

Coming down to the coastal areas of Sri Lanka from our last stop in the highlands (check out my post on Ella) was not easy. We took an air-cond-less public bus so it stopped like every now and then to drop off and take in passengers along the way. It was quiet empty in the beginning but it became heavier and heavier as more and more passengers came on board. In the end it was fully loaded so many of the passengers had remain standing for hours on end.

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It might only be around 5 hours – and I’ve been on much longer bus rides before – but somehow it felt like forever. Thanks God I was seated on the front row so it was probably less shaky compared to those at the back rows. I had a nice chat with a local Sri Lankan who was so eager to know what I thought of his country. Like most of the passengers on board of the bus, he was coming down from his village in the highlands to one of the coastal towns where he was working in. Read more →

That Place called ELLA

Ella was one of the places that my travel buddy Audrey had suggested us to go when we were touring the beautiful highlands of Sri Lanka. To tell the truth, I had never heard about it before Audrey mentioned it to me but of course anything with mountains and tea plantations turned me on so I was quite excited.  We went there by train after hiking across the beautiful grassland of Horton’s Plains and I could never get enough of the beautiful scenery that we were served with while cruising on the fast-moving (or slow-moving, depends on your expectation) train. I mean, seriously, the beauty of Sri Lankan highlands really took me by surprise. The train ride itself was very exciting. Every now and then the train would cut right through a hill in an underground tunnel and the screeching sound of the rails was deafening but of course it was part of the excitement.trainride (Copy)

Ella that I found out was more like a village which was about to turn into a small town. It was far from developed but the tourism industry seemed quite promising with more and more tourists coming in. A cab took us to a beautiful guesthouse which was very much strategically located on the side of a hill. The view from the veranda was just so breath-taking I really couldn’t get enough of it. It was quite unfortunate for us to be there during a long drought when Ella was not at its best look. I was told that it had not been raining for the last 6 months so the whole area was quite dry and dusty. A waterfall was supposed to be seen streaming down the hill and made it such a perfect picture for a postcard but still it was breath taking even without the waterfall. Read more →

jipp February 13, 2015 1 Comment Permalink

Hanoi Again after 5 Years

When I first came to Hanoi 5 years ago, I found myself instantly intimidated by all the surrounding. Thanks God I flew in from Ho Chi Minh City where the traffic was probably crazier so I did manage to hold on and find enough time to gather my senses without losing my mind in the process. There were people everywhere, all running to wherever they wanted to go and that constant honking took a little bit of time to chew in. I had to remind myself over and over again that I was there on a holiday so I didn’t have to keep up with them – that I had to go about things in my own pace only then I’d get to really enjoy all the things that the city had to offer.

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Arriving in Hanoi. Yippie!

But I liked Hanoi almost instantly, even more than Ho Chi Minh City, which I thought was quite too modern for my taste. Hanoi on the other side is very oriental yet so European, thanks to the French who had turned it into the Paris of the East. I could gaze and marvel at the architecture all day long without getting bored and believe me, Hanoi is not all about the architecture but a combination of so many other things that are hardly found in any other city. It is a very big city, probably bigger than KL, but somehow there’s something so rustic about it, with a strong flavor of kampong charms, at least in its people who look more like farmers that live in a metropolis that Hanoi is. Read more →

jipp January 10, 2015 Leave A Comment Permalink

The Sea of Galilee

One of the places that I was really looking forward of coming to pending my maiden trip to Israel was the Galilee – sometimes referred to as Tiberias – which was mentioned so many times in the Bible that it actually came to my imagination more than any other place mentioned in the Holy Book.

We stayed at a hotel which was located very much near to the lake that I could even see it (the lake) from the bed of my hotel room. It was not difficult to see why Jesus picked this lake to do most of his ministerial works and did many of his miracles to be immortalized in the scriptures.

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Remonim Hotels and Resorts at the lakeside of Tiberias

The Galilee is very beautiful – there is no doubt about it. Surrounded by beautiful mountains (or rather hills – tall ones) which are probably too green for a place located in the ever-dry Middle East – the lake captivated me with its breath-taking scenery the moment I set my eyes on it.

Looking at the mountains, which reminded me a lot of the Table Mountains in South Africa, I really wished I was there as a traveler – or rather a backpacker – instead of being in a group of tourists whose itinerary (and movements) were restricted by a rather tight schedule. I mean, I couldn’t stop imagining myself hiking up the hills and taking in from one of the high cliffs the views that had for so many times come to my imagination ever since I was baptized into Christianity. Read more →

jipp December 23, 2014 2 Comments Permalink

A Little Stroll into the Tea Plantation in Nallathanniya, Sri Lanka

I really like tea plantations. For one they are associated with lush greenery, highlands and refreshingly chilly weather. Here in Malaysia, the nearest tea plantation requires me to drive some 7 hours on a long and winding road from home and it is only a small patch compared to the thousands and thousands of acres of tea plantations that they’ve got in Sri Lanka.

I had my very first glimpse of tea plantations in Sri Lanka while I was on the train from Kandy to Hatton. From Hatton to Nallathanniya, it was all tea plantations but it was at Nallathanniya that I had my first close encounter with a Sri Lankan tea plantation. The guest house that we stayed in was very much located in a beautiful valley whose landscape is dominated by tea plantations, meandering rivers and breath-taking waterfalls. While waiting for our dinner to be ready, I grabbed the opportunity of taking a little stroll into the tea plantation and it was definitely one one of the most relaxing times that I have had while I was in Sri Lanka.

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Read more →

jipp November 5, 2014 1 Comment Permalink

Scaling the Adam’s Peak, The Holiest Mountain in Sri Lanka

One of the things that excited me most about visiting Sri Langka was the idea of climbing up to the Adam’s Peak or Sri Pada as it is locally known. We took a train from Kandi to Hatton and that was when we had our first glimpse of the beautiful highland of the country. I mean, the scenery was so stunning and beautiful and viewing them from a moving train was such an amazing experience.

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But then, the train ride itself was quite an experience. I would say it was quite comfortable and I had no problem at all. I happened to be seated next to a family from Hong Kong and a lone traveler from France who is currently serving as a member of the French army in Saudi Arabia. He told me how the people in Saudi Arabia are some of the most hypocrite people he has ever come upon, and how they always play holier than thou in front of everybody when in reality they are nothing but wicked people. Read more →

jipp September 29, 2014 Leave A Comment Permalink

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