Monday, December 1, 2014

Nice Pictures - Amazing Asian Islands

When it comes to breathtaking island destinations in Asia, there is, quite literally, an archipelago of hotspots to choose from. Thailand is famous for its many pristine isles that dot its southern shores, while Indonesia and the Philippines are made up entirely of thousands of islands – some large, some so small they disappear at high-tide. There are some excellent island getaways in Malaysia, and even in less-obvious places like Japan. So how are you to decide on the ideal island for your holiday? We’ve rounded up our top picks of Asia’s most amazing islands, to help make your decision easier, and to whet your appetite, providing you with some fantastic travel inspiration.

                                         Crystal clear waters in Palawan, Philippines

Palawan is a long sliver of an island paradise, stretching nearly 1,200 miles from Mindoro in the northeast to Borneo in the southwest. It’s surrounded by nearly 2,000 smaller islands which, together with the main island itself, make up Palawan province. With long stretches of virgin white-sand beaches, a rich diversity of flora and fauna, a fascinating UNESCO-listed underground river cave, forest-covered mountains that rise up to 6,800 feet, hidden lagoons, a host of five-star hotels and luxury facilities, and easy access via an international airport in Puerto Princesa, it’s little wonder that this island is a favorite getaway for Hollywood celebrities and the global elite, who escape to the island for clandestine tropical breaks.

Considered to be the last ecological frontier of the Philippines, Palawan is a truly special place, blessed not only with beauty, but also a long, colored history that can be traced back 22,000 years. Visitors to the island can step back into the region’s history – from wreck diving WWII ships in Coron, to exploring the Tabon caves, where the earliest appearance of modern man, named the Tabon man, was discovered in the Philippines.


                                                              Gaya Island, Malaysia

Just 10 minutes from Borneo’s Kota Kinabalu lies an expansive island covered in dense, virgin tropical forest, with 16 miles of pristine shoreline and vibrant corals thriving just off its coast – Pulau Gaya is one of Malaysia’s most spectacular islands. Gaya, derived from a local word meaning big, is the largest of a cluster of five islands, which form Sabah’s Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park.

                                                                  Komodo Island

The island of Komodo is famous for its fearsome inhabitants that bear its name. The Komodo Dragon is the world’s largest living lizard, and its bite can be lethal. What the island is not as well-known for is its absolutely mesmerizing pink-sand coastline, one of only seven such coastlines in the world. Part of Komodo National Park (which also includes Rinca and Padar islands, as well as many smaller islets), the island is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and was declared one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature in 2011.

This is a true nature lovers’ delight, home to 4,000 species of wild birds, and around 25 different endangered species. Off the island’s shores, a rich and diverse marine habitat of 1,000 species of fish, 260 species of reef-building coral, manta rays, sharks, whales, dolphins, and sea turtles thrive, making for a true diver’s paradise. The best way to experience Komodo island and its surroundings is aboard a luxury vessel, allowing you full access to the practically untouched beaches and hidden corners of the island, and providing you with a comfortable place to sleep at night, far out of the reach of hungry dragons.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Mt. Pico de Loro

Mt. Pico de Loro stands 664 MASL, but don’t let its short height fool you. Its trail is not as easy as you think. You will trek through forests, streams, and scale inclines that will make you question why you went on the climb in the first place.


Pico de Loro’s most prominent feature is the parrot’s beak. This monolith is the ultimate test for beginners. Once you muster the courage to scale parrot’s beak, you will be rewarded with 360 degree views of the countryside. It would also serve as a neat profile picture on your social media accounts. It can take up to 8 hours to hike up and down this mountain, but obviously depends on your pace.



Take a bus from Coastal Mall bound for Ternate and alight at the terminal. The bus ride takes around 2 hours and costs around ₱82 one way. Once at the terminal, you can rent a tricycle for ₱250 one way to get to the jump-off point at the DENR outpost. Pico de Loro is a popular hiking destination so most drivers will know where you should alight.

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