Visiting the Koh Phi Phi Islands in Thailand for the Second Time

  13442711_10208647186731165_1742528605137984301_o

I was so happy in the above photo because during our week in Phuket we dealt with a lot of weather like the below photo.  Those spots of water are not on the lens of my camera - the rain drops for really that big!  The good thing is it did not rain at night there and we were able to take a trip into the city of Phuket which I will write about later and I thought was extremely beautiful and interesting!

Phuket-1449393

Continue reading "Visiting the Koh Phi Phi Islands in Thailand for the Second Time" »


Night Photo Shoot at the Yasaka-jinja Shrine in the Gion Section of Kyoto Japan

  Japan-1432866 I have heard of photographers going out and taking photos all night long to get the perfect shots and perfect their night photography.  Taking photos at night is one of my biggest challenges when it comes to using my camera.  I do love night photos so it is something I am working on.

While my friend and I visited Kyoto, Japan in June she wanted to go to an area called Gion to see if we would get lucky and see some Geishas.  We had just arrived in Japan a few days before so I was still a little jetlagged.  My friend also has a lot more energy than I do and she insisted that I go.  I was literally falling asleep while I was at this beautiful area in Gion exploring the Yasaka-jinja Shrine.  My photos could be a lot better, but I am very grateful now to my friend for convincing me to stay out until 3 o'clock in the morning.

 

Continue reading " Night Photo Shoot at the Yasaka-jinja Shrine in the Gion Section of Kyoto Japan" »


How I Made It Onto the Cover of National Geographic and Time Magazine on the Same Day

DSC01731_ppWhen visiting Chiang Mai in the northern part of Thailand, my friend and I found a wonderful 3-D museum called "Art in Paradise".  Both my friend and I love to take photos and we spent hours there.  I saw people of all ages having a great time at this unusual museum.  I will continue to visit the 3-D optical illusion museums as much as I can in the future.  As a matter of fact I am going to be seeking them out and may plan a trip around visiting them as I had such a fantastic time. 

In the photo where it looks like I am on the cover of National Geographic magazine.  I am sitting on the floor up against the wall.  Part of the painting is on the floor where I am sitting and the cliff is on the wall behind me.  If you look closely you can see a crease where my right hand is placed.

 

Continue reading "How I Made It Onto the Cover of National Geographic and Time Magazine on the Same Day" »


Visiting the Amazing Monkey Park in Arashiyama Japan

Of all the countries I have visited Japan is now on the list of my favorites.  Although I only explored the amazing Kyoto area I would love to go back in see more of this lovely country.  The country is physically beautiful with so much interesting culture, but I found the people to be the most beautiful thing as they were so friendly and well mannered!

One of my favorite parts of visiting Kyoto was the Arashiyama area.  I'm a huge animal lover and the monkey park was one of my favorite parts of visiting Japan.  The monkeys were so much fun and being so well watched and taken care of by the staff.  I have visited monkeys in other areas of the world and you had to be careful because they were quite aggressive.  These monkeys we're very shy.  I had a hard time getting them to look at me when I wanted to take a photo of them.  They are very well fed so they are not looking for food from humans.  This attraction is rated number 13 out of more than 900 other attractions on Trip Adviser.

Although the monkeys in this park are not actively looking for food, you can purchase a small amount of fruits for a small amounts of money to feed the monkeys.  As you can see from the photos below I really enjoyed this activity!  They are so quick and we will take the fruit from you no matter how hard you try to hold onto it for a little bit longer!

The park is open from 9:00 to 5:00 most of the year.  During during the winter months between November and March the park closes at 4:00 PM.  The price for admission is approximately $5.00 USD for adults and $2.35 USD for children.


DSC07145

 

Continue reading "Visiting the Amazing Monkey Park in Arashiyama Japan" »


Why I'm Glad I Visited Bali and Why I Won't Return

I wanted to add something to this post because it is getting quite a bit of attention.  I don't want to make Bali sound like a bad place to visit.  I simply had a bad experience there.  I am a huge animal lover and have a special place in my heart for cats.  When you read this story you will see that on the last day I was there I tried to save a young very sweet, pregnant cat.  I was traumatized by the experience and that is why I wrote what I did.

 

I made two very big mistakes when I visited Bali.  I had very high expectations and I stayed too long.  For some ridiculous reason I envisioned Bali being similar to Thailand.  Why???  I'm not sure.  I guess because they are in the same continent - Asia.  I loved everything about Thailand and I was hoping that I would feel the same way about Indonesia. 

There are many pros to visiting the so-called island of paradise in  Indonesia.  There are many things to do, many beautiful sites to see, and the activities are not terribly expensive.  I got some really beautiful photographs while there.  The trouble is I don't care to look at them at this point.

Some of the cons are that Bali is a tiny overpopulated island and there is a lot of poverty.  There were many times that I felt as though I were being scammed.   It actually started when I got to the airport and I was asked if I wanted VIP access to getting my visa on arrival which meant jumping ahead of 10 people and saving five minutes.  That cost me about $20 USD.  I then was asked by one of the police officers if I was there because of "troubles at home" - that made me uncomfortable.  I guess the last straw was the ordeal that I went through with a young pregnant cat that I fed  during my final few days there. I did everything I could to help the cat including having a vet visit the hotel and fed her sugar water in my hotel room.  When I ended up needing to catch my flight, I really couldn't get anybody to help the cat.  I called a couple of days later and she had passed away. 

Here is the post with the story about the cat I tried to save :'(

“Knowing it and seeing it are two different things.” ― Suzanne Collins, Mockingjay

There are some nice beaches:

Bali000 Bali000 Bali000

Bali000

At the Monkey Forest in Ubud, Indonesia:

Bali000

Bali000

Bali000

Bali000

Bali0123 Bali0123

  Bali000There are so many beautiful Temples in Bali:

Bali000Bali0123 Bali0123
Bali000
Visiting the waterfall near Ubud was fun:

Bali000
Bali000


you can go to the rice terraced fields in Ubud:
Bali000
Bali000You can go to the orchid gardens which are beautiful:
Bali000

 

Bali0123

Bali0123

Bali0123

You can go dolphin watching in Lovina :
Bali000 Bali0123

it is relatively inexpensive to stay in a nice hotel.  This hotel is called "The Mansion" and is in Ubud:
Bali0123
Bali0123
Bali0123
Bali0123


Bali0123
Bali0123

 During my trip to Bali I stayed there for two weeks went on to Melbourne, Australia stayed there for one week and considered buying a one-way ticket back to the United States I tried to justify going back early and buying an extra plane ticket by telling myself I would save money on a hotel in Bali the visa on arrival in the exit tax which totals $50 I wish I had done it now because trying to save the cat was very traumatic to me as an animal lover if I were to give advice to someone who is planning a vacation in Bali I would tell them to stay with their tour group to make sure they don't go too far off the beaten path and beware of scammers.

I will leave you with a hopefully "feel good" video about how to open a coconut:

 

Have you ever "outstayed" your welcome so to speak or been incredibly disillusioned by a vacation?   Thanks so much for visiting!  Until next time

~Michelle