Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Palawan - The last frontier of the Philippines

This is a guest post from TravelTours.in.

Palawan happens to be the largest island of Philippines and considered to be the most beautiful one in the world making it an integral part of Philippines tourism. Although it is not yet touted as the most desirable tourist destination, its popularity is slowly and gradually on the rise. The ideal time to pay this island a visit is between October and May and is an hour and a half away from Manila by air.

It has picturesque sandy beaches with emerald green water, green lush mountains which have their bases in the water and small fishing villages spread across the island. However, the biggest reason for visiting this island is to see the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River, a Unesco World Heritage Site, which is now considered to be one of the world’s seven best natural wonders. The reason why it has been declared a wonder is because of the vast limestone and karst deposits found in the complex cave catacomb surrounding the river. A Miocene age fossil was also discovered in the cave system which added to its wonderment. Tourists can enjoy this wonder of the world by kayaking into the caves and enjoying the sights of crystal and limestone formations. Without a tour of Puerto Princesa, any Philippines holiday is incomplete.

Besides this main activity, Palawan Island is also famous for deep sea diving. One of the key attractions is to dive from the Coron Bay. It is considered to be the best site for diving because of the high water visibility of about 20 meters and the beautiful rock formations and wrecks which can be seen, while snorkeling. Diving at Tubbataha Reefs also makes up for an interesting experience as it is one of the most beautiful coral reefs in the region and has an extensive marine life for the viewing of the tourists.

Exploring El Nido Marine Reserve is also a day’s activity at Palawan Island. It is the country’s largest wildlife preservation site and consists of rainforests, sandy beaches, coral reefs, and cliffs with limestone deposits. Visiting the Honday Bay also gives the chance to further interact with the aquatic wildlife. There are islets surrounding this bay, which makes it an ideal spot for swimming and snorkeling. The experience is worthwhile primarily because of the great visibility that the clear water offers, allowing the visitor to see and truly appreciate the ocean depth.If you are tired of exploring the water life that Palawan Island has to offer, tourists can always take a day or two to see some of the key landmarks. One such landmark is the Plaza Cuartel, which is a ruin that has been restored to commemorate the memories of the soldiers who lost their lives during World War II. Palawan also boasts of having a Crocodile Farm, which has been developed to further the cause of conserving wildlife. Religious monuments like Immaculate Concepcion Cathedral are also famous because of their architectural uniqueness and warrant a definite visit.

Despite not being one of the most popular tourist destinations, a number of luxury hotels are available which give a five star treatment to their guests. Delicious cuisines and all world-class facilities are easily available on the island to make the travel experience, truly magical.

If you happen to have visited this destination, do leave your views and memories in the comments below.

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Saturday, January 24, 2015

Dynamic landscapes of Lavasa - valley, mountains and river

I had absolutely fallen in love with the landscapes of Lavasa. The main reason being the various vantage points while getting to and moving around Lavasa. 

So the series continues with a few more shots of the valley and mountains. The flowing river and dramatic clouds add to the dynamism of the landscape, to which, I hope I've done some justice.

Now, let's try create a bit of drama through HDR.

And here's the original for reference.

Worth hearing your comments and feedback for the HDR effort. 

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Thursday, January 8, 2015

Aerial view of Lavasa - hills, valley, civilisation and river

There is little doubt in Lavasa being a serene and picturesque hill station with a lot of it natural beauty still intact. Here are a few aerial views depicting the hills, the valley, civilisation and and the river along with the dam.

An HDR aerial shot of the main town and waterfront



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Monday, January 5, 2015

The Picturesque Pawna Lake

Pawna Lake, alternatively spelt as Pawana, Pavana, Pavna is located on a slightly off-beat route from Lonavla towards Paud. The lake is because of the Pawna Dam, which acts as a reservoir and hydro plant.

Nestled between the mountains, the view is simply breathtaking and serene! The drive is wonderful during the monsoons and the roads are largely pretty good. 

Once you've enjoyed the tranquility out here, the Lohagarh fort isn't very far or like us, you could continue on your way to Pune/Lavasa.

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Saturday, January 3, 2015

Portraits of a little village boy - Age of Innocence

En route to Lavasa, we stopped by for bhutta (corn cob). At the shop accompanying his father, was a little village boy Bala. His innocence stood out and we took out a Minion, I think, from the car's dash and handed it over to him. 

He became the centre of attention amongst the others day and clearly his joy knew no bounds. That age of innocence where little things give immense happiness.

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