Saturday, 15 March 2014

Forget Man-Made Structures or Attractions, Nature Beckons...

Nowadays when I travel, I prefer going on a hike and a boat trip rather than shop or visit museums. It's impossible to resist the green lungs of the nature reserves, the scenic beauty of the mountains, the aquamarine blue of oceans and rivers that beckon, and the mystery of caves that have existed centuries ago

I have yet to meet anyone who hates the gentle caress of the wind on their skin, the fleeting screech of a seagull or the soothing sounds of waves crashing on the beach.

It is said that reminiscing comes with age. So it is that my appreciation of the amazing wonders of nature has kept pace with the grey hairs that merrily spread their territorial claim on my head.

I pay more attention now to the rich diversity of wildlife, flora and fauna. The traditions and simple - or challenged - lives of the people and homes I visited. The rich history that has bound and defined existing customs and traditions. Most of all, it's the peace and quiet away from the humdrum of busy city life that I sometimes crave. I get this when I go on such "breaks". 

Many trekking trails in the
mountainous north,
with a small town
My nature sojourns are my way of coping with stress. Recollections of such holidays I will always hold dear, and I hope they will never fade like the pages of an old and tattered book.

Over the past year, I had my Kodak moments of sojourns to Borneo's Gaya Island in Sabah, to Noosa on Australia's Sunshine Coast, both of which I blogged about.  

Most recently, I was captivated by Sapa and Halong Bay in north Vietnam. Especially my overnight stay on the Victory Star, one of many Victorian-day replica ships that cruise the tranquil waters of Halong Bay. 
 Some balancing act!
The tribes in Sapa depend on farming and tourism for a living