Observing Everyday Life in Suzhou China

Inside one of the gardens in Suzhou China

With just one day to visit, we only got a glimpse of life in Suzhou China. Sitting about 100km west of the big city of Shanghai, we could sense the more relaxed lifestyle the instant we got off the train. Life in Suzhou had an almost tranquil atmosphere despite being one of China’s most affluent cities. […]

Exotic Bali in a Day: Rice Terraces, Monkeys, Temples and More

Mandala Suci Wenara Wana Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary in Ubud Bali, Indonesia

Clearly, a day in exotic and exciting Bali is not enough. Even in the rain, the island is fascinating. For us, it was a cruise port with Royal Caribbean. We docked in Benoa and hired a private driver to show us the sites. We skipped the beaches as it was raining most of the day. Here […]

Your Guide to 5 Great Beaches in Palawan, Philippines

Corong Corong Beach, Palawan, Philippines

{This post was written for Albom Adventures by Carmela Kim Alvarez of Let’s Palawan.} Palawan, an island region west of the Philippine archipelago, is a popular travel destination for many reasons. One of the things that sets this island from all other tropical spots, though, is how it is filled with so many beautiful shorelines. […]

Street Art of Asia as Photographed by Top Travel Bloggers

Street Art seen in Bastakiya in Dubai, UAE

The street art of Asia is playful, creative, and fun. This is the fifth and final in the collaborative series of Street Art Around the World. The first shot is my own, the others were taken by top travel bloggers. I found the street art of Asia to be the most unique. Have a look and see if […]

Top Travel Bloggers Explore New Zealand and Australia Street Art

Union Lane Melbourne Australia photo by beer-and-croissants

Street art crosses cultures, language, and continental barriers. I love all of it, although I tend to gravitate towards the brighter, happier images. Today I share a collection of interesting New Zealand and Australia street art. It is part of a travel blogger collaborative series highlighting street art from around the world. Enjoy this collection . . […]

Macaque: The Tale of a Tail in Malaysia and Morocco

Macaque eating a banana at Batu Caves, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Spotting wild monkeys always makes us smile when we travel. My first encounter was long before I met hubby. We were drifting down the Belize River at dusk when my friend’s father pointed out the howler monkeys up in the trees. This was in the days before I had a digital camera, and the photos […]

Zig Zag Bridges in China ~ #AtoZ AmaZing Photos

Zig Zag Bridge in Suzhou, China. The bends stop the evil spirits from following.

Zig zag bridges are common in China, not because they are beautiful (although I think they are), but rather to keep away evil spirits who can only travel in a straight line.  They often lead to serene islands, symbolically taking followers from the chaos and bustle of a city to a peaceful spot. Possibly the […]

Platypus, Panda and a Pink Elephant ~ #AtoZ AmaZing Photos

Platypus in the Wild

Patience is the secret to seeing a platypus in the wild, mixed in with a bit of luck.  Plus some guidance from a local. Two hours later and we got our reward:   Panda were much easier for us to spot as they are not wild. Travel to the Panda Research Center in Chengdu China […]

Opera Houses Built to Stand Out ~ #AtoZ AmaZing Photos

Sydney Opera House

We went to Australia to celebrate my 50th birthday, as a visit to the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge were on my bucket list.  Then, a year later I saw the magnificent Opera House in Muscat, Oman.  Sydney’s Opera House is built in expressionist style, while Muscat chose a combination of Islamic and Italianate architecture. […]

Great Wall of China – A Walking Adventure ~ #AtoZ AmaZing Photos

Great Wall of China

We walked on the Great Wall of China! We chose the Mutianyu section as it’s a bit steeper and much less crowded than the more popular Badaling section. Have you walked on the Great Wall of China? Have you been to China? Are you participating in the AtoZ Challenge 2014? This post also submitted for […]

Desert Floods in Oman ~ #AtoZ AmaZing Photos

Desert floods in Oman

The desert floods in Oman evoked an interesting reaction. We witnessed the wonderment of children who rarely see swimmable wadis (a ravine that is dry except in the rainy season), and the bewilderment of the adults that looked on. Sadly, six people drowned that day in the Arabian desert as the dry ground was incapable of absorbing […]

Photos: The Army of the Terracotta Warriors in Xi’an China

Terracotta Warriors

Seeing the Army of the Terracotta Warriors was one of the highlights of our visit to China. This army of almost 6000 warrior statues was created during the Qin Dynasty (2000 years ago) and was accidentally discovered in Xi’an by a farmer in 1974 and opened to the public a few years later. The photos don’t […]

Camels Make Great Transportation and Delicious Burgers (AtoZ)

camel-for-laugh-quotes

Camels.  What would I do with 100 camels?  Honestly, this will never be a real issue in my life, as I turned down the offer. So, hypothetically, What would I do with 100 camels? Let’s explore the options for the letter C. (as part of the A to Z blogging challenge) Camels do make great […]

Always Bring Toilet Paper! (AtoZ Travel Tips)

always bring toilet paper

Always bring toilet paper.  I am not a rule follower, so generally any rule that starts with “Always” gets a roll of my eyes. Today starts the Blogging AtoZ challenge 2013 for which I am presenting one travel tip which I learned the hard way each April day (except Sunday) beginning with consecutive letters of the […]

Photo: The Monkey God at Batu Caves, Malaysia

monkey god

This larger than life statue of Hunaman, the Monkey God is located at Batu Caves, in Selangor, just outside of Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. Photo ©Rhonda Albom 2012 Larger than life, this huge statue of Hunaman seemed a bit of a surprise at the far end of the Batu Caves temple complex, located outside Malaysia’s capital city […]

Standing in a Truck – A Different Way To Travel In Oman

men in truck

Once we left the city of Muscat, seeing men and kids standing in a truck was a common site in Oman. Our guide thought it looked like fun, I thought it looked dangerous, what do you think? Standing in a Truck Photo © Rhonda Albom 2012, taken outside Misfat, Oman This is a Wordless Wednesday […]

Cow In Truck, Standing In The Cab in Oman

Cow in Truck

As we were driving in Oman our guide and driver pointed out the front window and simply said, “Cow in truck.”  I looked up, I laughed, I took a photo. Here it is: Cow in Truck Cow In Truck, On the road between Muscat and Nizwa in Oman © Rhonda Albom 2012 This Is a […]

Ephesus: Turkey’s Wonder of the Ancient World

Ephesis

Ephesus is one of my favorite ancient sites so far, interesting and stunning.  Having stellar weather helped to, offering clear blue skies. Honestly, we almost skipped this ancient Greek treasure. We our cruise ship docked in the port of Izmir, Turkey for only half a day. When I read that Ephesus is a bit over […]

Istanbul’s Key Sites and a Carpet Shopping Story

Istanbul Turkey

We had a long cruise ship port stop scheduled for Istanbul, Turkey and planned to tackle it without a guide. We knew the city highlights, and even had downloaded a self guided city tour.  The only free city tour I could find was in the evening and the timing just wasn’t going to work out for […]

Bastakiya and the Old Souqs in Dubai

bastakiya

Bastakiya, finally I found somewhere I like in Dubai. We had a wonderful guide named Wahleed who took us on a walking tour of traditional Dubai at Bastakiya. The narrow streets clearly show what Dubai was like prior to the oil money. Homes were built close together in this way to give shade and to […]

We Went Snow Skiing in the Desert at Ski Dubai

ski dubai

Traveling with two teens who are both former junior national snow sports champions in New Zealand, you know we had to stop at Ski Dubai. Both girls were really keen to give it a try and to able to say they they snowboarded and skied in the desert. Ski Dubai is about 4 times the size […]

Abu Dhabi: Grand Mosque, Other Highlights, and Driving Tips

Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi

Opting to visit Abu Dhabi as a day trip from Dubai was not a good choice. Abu Dhabi is a city worthy of its own visit of days, maybe weeks. With only a day including the two hour travel time each way, we had to do an express visit. It was enough time to fall in […]

Dubai Mall and the Burj Khalifa: World’s Tallest Building

View from the top of the Burj Khalifa the worlds tallest building in Dubai

After a week in Oman, the Dubai Mall felt very comfortable, albeit a bit overwhelming. We visited this massive mall as it is home to the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building. And, our girls are at the age where shopping malls are rather attractive options. We could practically live at the Dubai Mall, as […]

Bedouins, Dhows, Sink Holes and Camel Riding in Oman

getting on a camel

A two day excursion south of Muscat Oman brought us a far south as Ras Al Hadd and included stops to meet Bedouins, swim in a skin hole, watch dhows being hand built, and ride a camel. First we went south to Ras Al Hadd to see the turtles nest and to watch the newly […]

Desert Floods in Oman: Rain Fills Wadis and Takes Out Bridge

Wadi rain storm in Oman

A desert flood. The rainstorm was like nothing we had seen before. As we were returning from the Grand Canyon of Oman to Muscat, we could see the ominous clouds up ahead and our guide, Khalfan, received a phone call from his sister in a village  about 30 minutes away via car.  She called to […]