Colorful Trishaw Rides

THEY all abound around the historic Dutch Square in Malacca—trishaws decked out in colorful cartoons, movie themes and storybook characters including the all famous Hello Kitty, Pokemon, Frozen, Snow White, Cinderella, Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Minions, Sponge Bob, Barbie, Angry Bird, name it and it’s there. The trishaws or bicycles with sidecars attached to them … Continue reading Colorful Trishaw Rides

Managaha: An island getaway

Any visit or stay on Saipan is never complete if you have not stepped foot on this small, flat coral islet that is one of Saipan’s main tourist attractions. Managaha Island, accessible by about 20 minutes by ferry from the Lower Base, is one site that never fails to get its fair share of visitors … Continue reading Managaha: An island getaway

Roadtrip Rota

DRIVING aimlessly around the island of Rota is one of the most rewarding experiences on island, especially if it is your first time there and you came with a thirst for adventure. Upon your arrival, rent a car from the car rental companies outside the arrival area of the airport and as soon as you … Continue reading Roadtrip Rota

Tuk-tuk: Ride of a lifetime

BANGKOK—Do you remember that 2002 Visa card commercial where James Bond (Pierce Brosnan) rented a tuk-tuk, those sputtering three-wheeled open air taxis  to cut through the traffic and catch up with his date Zhang Ziyi in Bangkok and how the tuk-tuk collapsed to the ground from fatigue? I always thought that commercial as exaggerated but … Continue reading Tuk-tuk: Ride of a lifetime

Hop on hop off in Kuala Lumpur

IF it’s your first time to visit the bustling city of Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, the best way to get the most of it is to buy a ticket for the hop on, hop off bus and explore the city at your own leisurely pace. After failing to find a tour agency at the Kuala … Continue reading Hop on hop off in Kuala Lumpur

Coconut Kingdom by the Sea in Rota

ROTA — One of my favorite spots here is the abandoned Coconut Village, a row of wooden cottages facing the Pacific Ocean. Driving from Sinapalo to Songsong, you can see a signboard by the road side directing you to the Rota Coconut Village Hotel about a third of a mile away. If you are new … Continue reading Coconut Kingdom by the Sea in Rota

I stepped on a ‘wedding cake’

The first time I saw the flat-top mountain everybody referred to as the Wedding Cake, it did not look like a layer of cake to me at all. It was just like any other elevated piece of land. I later learned that it got the name because it resembled a tiered cake. When I drove … Continue reading I stepped on a ‘wedding cake’

‘Shooting’ a Japanese cannon

THE first time I saw this Japanese cannon at Naftan Point, Saipan’s southernmost tip, was in 2009 when I went for an early morning hike with my co-workers, and I vowed never to return to that place. For someone whose only form of exercise was going up and down the stairs at the office, another … Continue reading ‘Shooting’ a Japanese cannon

The Shadow at the Bell Marker

IT started with a red arrow on a rusty sign beside the path that proclaimed: “The Bell of Peace and Love…anyone who rings this bell will return to this special place someday again.” It was the red arrow pointing to a wooded area some 80 meters ahead that kept me going despite the knot of … Continue reading The Shadow at the Bell Marker

Ladder Beach gazebo: Your new wedding venue

Photos by Patrick Horton AN unplanned drive to the southern part of the island one afternoon led me and photographer buddy Donna to Ladder Beach where we got a pleasant surprise. We had not visited the place since her wedding in September last year, when we all had to find our way through the tall … Continue reading Ladder Beach gazebo: Your new wedding venue

Revisiting Star Sand Beach

TINIAN — An afternoon of aimless driving at North Field a couple of weeks a go took me and two companions to a fork in the road leading to Unai Chulu, or Star Sand, Beach, a popular destination known for its star-shaped grains of sand. We saw a family that included a teenage boy arranging … Continue reading Revisiting Star Sand Beach

A Visit to the White Cross Memorial

TINIAN — Driving around in circles on a hot Monday afternoon proved fruitless as we searched for a particular site which I haven’t been to or even heard of before. My companion was looking for a cliff line with a couple of white crosses which he saw through his telescope on Saipan but we couldn’t … Continue reading A Visit to the White Cross Memorial

Moonlit sailing in Saipan lagoon

THERE are sunset, sunrise, and daylight cruises. I’ve tried them all at one time or another, but a moonlit cruise in the Saipan lagoon was something I didn’t plan for. I had heard moonlight cruises were being offered by some cruise companies here by special arrangement through some organizations for fundraisers, meetings and gatherings in … Continue reading Moonlit sailing in Saipan lagoon

Under the deep blue sea

FOR a non-diver or non-swimmer, the surface of the ocean may seem nothing but a long expanse of water with a terrifying mystery in its depths but here is a chance to prove that underneath those rolling and crashing waves, there’s a whole world down there. Diving into the blue depths of the Saipan Lagoon … Continue reading Under the deep blue sea