Thursday, May 29, 2014

Visit Volcanic Crater Island Aogashima Tokyo’s

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Aogashima – the blue island

Despite being 222 miles south of Tokyo, Aogashima, a remote yet inhabited island, falls under the administration of Japan’s capital city. But the address is where the similarities end. As of 2010, the 9 square kilometer (about 1680 football stadiums, for all you Super Bowl fans out there) island has 98 households and a population of 165, making it the smallest village in all of Japan.
Looking almost like a Jurassic Park-like natural fortress, the volcanic island is known as a caldera. Within the large crater is a smaller crater – a cinder cone – that was formed after the larger explosion. The steep rugged cliffs of layered volcanic deposits rise up as high as 1388 feet.
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Origins Shrouded in Mystery

How people first ended up on the island is largely considered a mystery. The island’s own legend has it that the island was once forbidden to women because it was believed that man and women living together on the island would anger the gods. The first written records of the island appear around the 15th century and many of them are of shipwrecks so there’s a strong possibility that sailors may have taken refuge on the island and eventually made it their home.
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Returning Home After Tragedy

A series of earthquakes in 1780-81 was followed by volcanic activity 2 years later. Lava flows burned down all the houses and residents were forced to flee to the nearest island, Hachijojima. Unfortunately, about half of the 327 residents did not make it out in time and perished. Those who did survive were forced to live out the next 40 years of their life on Hachijojima. Some sought out new life elsewhere but others could never forget their beloved island. One of these people was Jirodayu Sasaki, who, after 18 years of planning, courageously led an expedition back to the island and successfully resettled in 1835. He’s considered a hero on the island and there’s even a statue of him.
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Traveling to Aogashima

In this day and age, getting to Aogashima is actually much easier than you might have thought. They even have their own heliport!
  • First Class – fly from Tokyo to Hachijojima and then take a helicopter. A one way trip will take just a little over 2 hours and will cost about $240.
  • Economy Class – sail from Tokyo to Hachijojima and then take a smaller boat. A one way trip will take 14 hours and will cost about $100.

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So what do you actually do once you get to this lost paradise? Well what it doesn’t have in beaches the island makes up in starry skies. Photographer Toshihiko gawa documented some of these fantastic starry nights. The photos were taken from the 2nd caldera, where many people will go to camp out. There is also a volcanic natural hot spring where you rest those muscles from all the rock climbing you did getting there.
Otherwise there’s plenty of fishing, hiking trails and shrines to see. And the internet is probably shoddy so it’s the perfect place to unplug. 
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Friday, May 16, 2014

Top 11 Myanmar-Burma Travel Destinations

Explore the TOP 11 best tourist destinations, tourist spots, attractions in Myanmar (Burma) for your holiday! Myanmar is one of the mysterious country in South East Asia and because of its cultural and geographical diversity has retained much of its historic and unique character. Discover the great attractions in Myanmar and the country's wonderful uniqueness.


Yangon, formerly known as Rangoon, was the capital of Myanmar, is known for its colonial architecture, which although decaying, remains an almost unique example of a 19th-century British colonial capital. Friendly street vendors, traditionally dressed local people, attracting old Chevrolet buses and trishaws, all make a feel like a museum of Yangon downtown life.

Shwedagon, the heart of Yangon, is the most profoundly honoured pagoda in the country and interesting history behind. According to the legend, the Shwedagon Pagoda was constructed during the time of the Buddha which is more than 2,500 years ago and where the holy hair relics of the Buddha were enshrined. Towering to a height of 326 feet (100 meters) above the city, Shwedagon Pagoda is the famous landmark noticeable from miles around. It is one of the wonders of the world and the most revered pagoda in Southeast Asia. 


Bagan, in the past which was known as Pagan, is the place where the heart of the country ancient architecture lies. It is located in the upper part of Myanmar and is the capital of Myanmar’s first dynasty.  More than 2,000 temples and stupas are located in the area and can be found along the eastern bank of the Ayeyarwady river spreading in 42 square kilometers of a dessert like plain geographical location.  Pagodas can be found mostly covered in reddish color and religious monuments which were built more than 1,500 years ago and it can be said that Bagan, is the most memorable place for visitors coming to Myanmar.

There are different methods of transportations are available such as: by car, horse cart or by cycling for those who would like to do sightseeing around Bagan.  What is more, visitors can also enjoy an idyllic sunset boat trip along the Ayeyarwaddy river to enjoy the beautiful sunset while enjoying a cold drink. 


Mandalay is located between one of the most historical Ayeyarwaddy river and the Shan state. In other words, the location itself is the central of Myanmar geographically which leads the city to become the economic hub of Upper Burma and considered the center of Myanmar culture.  The unique culture of Mandalay city is the transportation method of how people travel.  In other words, among the local people, Mandalay is known is the cycling city where majority of the Mandalay citizens prefer to travel on bikes rather than relying on other transports.

As it can be said that, Mandalay is nearer to Bagan and also the central of the country itself, as a result, various traditions and cultures can be found in the city itself which is why, every visitors should always go to Mandalay when they are in Myanmar not just only for sightseeing purpose but visitors can also see and observe different cultures and traditions of Myanmar in one place. 


Inle, located in the Shan Hills in Myanmar is a freshwater lake with numerous villages against the foggy mountain ranges.  The weather of Inle Lake differs from other places in the country as the air is a bit cooler and drier.  The unique culture which visitors can find in Inle Lake is, fishermen have tendency to row boats using their legs and it is also a part of the Inle tradition itself. 

Other significant scenery that one can expect to see in the Inle Lake such as: floating tomatoes fields around the lake, gardens of flowers properly anchored to the lake bed with bamboo poles.  The friendliness of the local people and their unique daily life activities spice things up a little bit better for visitors that they can enjoy a pleasant trip alongside the lake yet enjoy the sincere of the local community. 


Kyaing Tong, is a town in eastern Shan State, Myanmar and it is also the principle town of Kengtung Township.  The weather in this area is particular cooler than compare to the tropical area of Myanmar which is a suitable place for those visitors who would like to enjoy plenty memorable sceneries in the chilling weather.  Kyaing Tong is geographically located in an easily accessible location to the golden triangle area.

There are plenty of shifting fields and most local community maintains their unique culture where visitors can see traditionally built huts on the mountain slopes.  As it is interconnected to the golden triangle, and where diverse ethnics group inhabitant, therefore; visitors can expect to see other cultures and traditions but not just only the traditions of Kyaing Tong itself are the main attraction of Kyaing Tong has to offer.

GOLDEN ROCK (Kyaikhtiyo Pagoda)

Golden Rock, in Myanmar language known as KyiteHteeYoe Pagoda is one of the breath-taking and also a sacred place for Myanmar people.  It is located in Mon State and perched on the highest mountain of Paunglaung mountain range.  To travel to KyiteHteeYoe pagoda, it will take a 4-hour drive from Yangon, where it will proceed in an open truck uphill to hermit hill.  The rock and the pagoda are at the top of Mt. Kyaiktiyo. It is the third most important Buddhist pilgrimage site in Burma after the Shwedagon Pagoda and the Mahamuni Pagoda. A glimpse of the "gravity defying" Golden Rock is believed to be enough of an inspiration for any person to turn to Buddhism.

It is the best place for those who would like to have a legendary pilgrimage because the Golden Rock itself is placed on top of the mountain and visitors can choose whether to take a bus to go to the top of the mountain or trekking up to the mountain which will take around 5 hours while being able to enjoy various legendary milestones along the way making to the top of the mountain.


Monywa, is located in Sagaing Division, in Myanmar, and geographically 136km northwest of Mandalay along the eastern bank of River Chindwin.   It will take 3 hours drive from Mandalay via Sagaing in order to get to Monywa.

There are many places to visit around in the area and one of many attractions is the Poewindaung mountain caves where visitors can observe the incredible stone curving and mural paintings all over the cave.  Thanboday pagoda is also another major attraction of Monywa, according to the myth the solid section of the monument is engraved 7350 relics and other holy items.  Boddhi-tataung (1000 Buddhas), a group of banyan trees with a Buddha image at each of the tree feet is another place where most visitors would obviously should not miss on their trip to Monywa.  Being able to enjoy a one-thousand banyan trees with Buddha images together in one place within one’s eyesight is a moment will never forget those who has been to Monywa.


Putao is located in Kachin State, Myanmar which is also the northernmost town of Kachin State.  It was once the site of World War II British Fort Hertz.  Transportation to get to Putao has a bit of constraint as getting to Putao by road is only available during summer, however; it is accessible year round by air if there are enough visitors/tourists group to justify a plane. 

Putao is popular for having rare orchids which grow naturally in the area.   Obviously, it is the place for those who love orchid to visit and a rare orchid specie name called “Black Orchid” grow in the mountains western and eastern of Putao.  The weather in Putao can be said cooler than the rest of the entire Myanmar and iceberg and mountain covered in snow can be seen almost throughout the year in certain part of Putao.  


Mrauk U, is an ancient city and situated in Rakhine State, Myanmar and it is also one of the most important site for archaeologists to observe different artifacts in the area.  Mrauk U lies Eastern Kaladan River and is surrounded by hills in both northern and southern part. 

King Narameikhla (1404 – 1434 A.D) founded Maruk Oo  and remained the same as the capital for the next 400 years. To reach to Mrauk Oo, visitors need to take boat about 5 hours from Sittwe following along the bend of the Kalatan river.  It can be said that Mrauk U is another ancient city with lots of pagodas spreading over the land just as it is in Bagan but with entirely different architecture which were built in different times back in ancient Myanmar history.  


Ngwe Saung beach is situated near Yangon city and it can be reached within a 5-hour drive from Yangon.  The beach itself is approximately 9 miles long and one of the longest beach in South East Asia and newly opened beach in Ayeyarwaddy delta region interconnected with the Andaman Sea.  Moreover, Ngwe Saung is located a bit south of Ngapali which is also another popular beach resorts in Myanmar. 

Though, the beach itself was recently opened, due to the incredible quality of the beach, water and sand, it is getting more and more attention from tourists and becoming more popular.  It is not just that the beach is good in quality but it also has incredible vistas and breathtaking view of the Bay of Bengal especially during the evening when the sun goes set.


Ngapali is located in Rakhine State and stretches along the Bay of Bengal and it lies in Rakhine State of Myanmar. Ngapali is said to be one of the best beaches in Myanmar where most natural are untouched where visitors can enjoy the true nature of the beach itself.  It is famous for its natural and unspotted beauty up to this day. The beach stretches about 3 km with soft white sand fringed by coconut palms. It is the best place for those leading a modern life in urban areas and looking for a place to enjoy the nature beauty of the beach itself.  The beach is unlike like other beaches around the world where it is very crowded along the beach and hawkers persuading visitors to buy their products. 

There are other organized recreational activities where visitors can participate such as: beach strolling, cycling and many more.  It has also the perfect sunbathing ground.  The sea cobalt blue, without any dangerous marine animals and clean as well.  There are a few fishermen villages nearby and it can be arranged to visit to those villages on bicycle tour.  Most local people believe that the best time to visit the beach is in during October and May of every year. 

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Thursday, May 15, 2014

Visit Eye-Opening Architecture at Quinta da Regaleira, Portugal

One of the most beautiful human-made groups of structures on Earth, Quinta da Regaleira was constructed around the turn of the 19th century by a wealthy Portuguese merchant named Carvalho Monteiro, who, based on the architecture, was clearly very interested in mysticism, alchemy, the Knights Templar, freemasonry, and an esoteric medieval German ideology called Rosicrucianism.
On a steep coastal hillside, Quinta da Regaleira is home to an artistically-rich gothic lodge, multiple chapels, sky-scraping turrets with broad views of the vast countryside, eerily beautiful benches, gardens, an enormous stone well lined with a spiral staircase down into the extensive tunnel system, which connects everything on the property.
As a co-founder of Alternative Non Fiction, this is a place I’ve personally visited. I spent an afternoon here a few years ago, and I can honestly say, the energy here is unlike anywhere else I’ve ever been. It’s peaceful, but full of an angst that seeps out through the imposing stonework. The property has a dimension, just based on the hillside alone, with shallow tunnels making flat-line dives into the hill, meeting a deep-diving entrance farther in. This place is unlike any I’ve ever seen, anywhere else, and hopefully, the architectural style can be repeated elsewhere in the world, which is sadly too devoid of creativity in building-scale construction.
Without further ado, here is a photo-album of open photos detailing Quinta da Regaleira, a fascinatingly beautiful Iberian landmark, where ghosts outnumber people, and where the medieval intersects with the modern.

Please feel free to click any image for a larger version.


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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Most Beautiful Places On Earth

We've always enjoyed going to new places and seeing different things. It keeps my awareness out of my mind and forces me into the moment. When I see something new my awareness grows, my experiences grow and my consciousness grows. Hopefully these pictures will inspire you too to travel the world.

Ice Canyon – Greenland


Quinta da Regaleira – Portugal


Glacier Caves – Iceland


Kolmanskop – Namib Desert 


El Hotel Del Salto – Colombia


Treasury – Jordan


Salar de Uyuni – Bolivia


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