Tuesday, April 28, 2009

City Hall stop in Seoul

This is the spot where the airport bus number 6005 will stop (Seoul City Hall) and the fare is the  cheapest, 9,000 Won per way from the airport. The journey takes about 1 hr 20 mins and the interval between the journey is 30 mins.

Looking around from where I got off the airport bus, the Seoul Plaza hotel is on my right across the field.

This is a rejuvenated river where the water is so clean and clear that you will think that is from a mountain stream. It runs through the city and you will find people  walking along the banks, having their lunch, courting couples sitting by the banks or tourists like us just gawking away at the beauty of it all

Seoul in a day

The famous palace Gyeongbokgung where you get to see some actors in costumes to show us how the Royal people lived. Paid 3,000 Won for entrance fee. Looks very much like those in China, I suppose they all came from the same stock, years ago.

Saw this guy without his right hand working on a piece of wood. He is carving out the chinese words on the long piece of wood. He has many pieces of his handicraft laid out along the road for sale.

Standing at a junction in the middle of the city, the roads are very wide with lots of cars but the traffic is flowing very smoothly

Stopover at Incheon Airport

A Korean dinner with Alexey, me & Hosea just a short walk away from the hotel where we stayed for a night

In the lobby of the quaint European styled hotel, small, clean and cosy but there is nothing to see all around!

A view of the hotel block in the background, about 10 mins from the airport terminal

Sights and smells of Honolulu

Near the wharf  with the smell of the sea is where the Star of Honolulu is docked

In the crisp morning air, a beautiful park with manicured raintrees makes a picturesque scene

A Chinese meat shop selling roasted pork, chicken and other sumptuous foodstuff that I did not have time to try

A morning in China Town in Honolulu

A cool respite in the centre of the city; I came across this small park during my short stopover. I arrived at the Honolulu airport at 7.30 AM and since the counters were still closed, I caught the next bus into the city for a look around before coming back to catch the departing flight to Seoul at 12.05 PM

This is the market with some similar features with the Malaysian market with the fruits, foodstuff all laid out along the walkway. Saw alot of Asians, Chinese, Vietnamese maybe.

Bon Voyage

We were at the Maui airport by 5.15 AM all ready to go home. I was with Ronald, Roberto, David & Pete on that journey.

Flying above the clouds on the way to Honolulu to catch our connecting flights home.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Convocation Night

The convocation was held after the dinner and this was my main course for the night. A lovely piece of steak in mushroom sauce, with whipped potatoes, asparagus. We had a crunchy salad earlier on and there was a slice of apple cake with frozen yogurt with lime and a cup of coffee.

And here we are, the three of us from Malaysia wearing a Hawaiian "lei". We just received our certificates and are just goofing around.

This is one of the lovely volunteer Dawn with a heart of gold. She cleans and tidies my room every other day, she vacuums the carpet, change my bedsheets and towels. They serve a period of 3 months and many of them have been here several times and they keep coming back here to spend their vacation cleaning up after us.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Last stop! A small trendy shopping plaza

Err... did anyone say they wanted a hawaiian costume? This is the best I can do, I am not going to pay USD15 for two pieces of coconut half shells tied together with a string and a skirt made from dried grass. I will make one for you when I get back!!

A popular hangout for the Harley Davidson bikers known as the 'Koa Puna' tough looking guys in black leather jackets and weather beaten face to go with.

Makena beach with the Lava field

This is "Kepa"the Forest Ranger whom we met at the beach where the lava flowed into the sea many years ago. It is a reserved area and no one is allowed to step onto the hardened lava flow. We were told not to take anything, especially the lava rocks which I really wanted to take back.

Here, we are with the raised hand gesture which means to 'hang loose' and relax in Maui. The brown patch behind us is the dried hardened lava field

I am standing on the hardened lava flow that covers the whole beach front that obliterated some of the ancient native land. They have opened up just this little section for us to touch and see the lava stone. It is mostly dark brown or black with a pitted surface due to the presence of air bubbles and so the stone is lighter than any other stone of the same size.

Down at Mystical Iao Valley

It is a narrow valley shadowed by towering mountains on both sides. It is a very special place for the local people here as a great war was fought at this place that claimed many lives. The place is a tropical rainforest that has a higher rainfall than the rest of the island. The people playing in the river are college students.
We were caught in a shower and had to wait for it to stop before we could venture into the valley. There is a group of college students there too

The mountain behind me is known as the Iao Needle, but the local believed it to be the phallic stone of the Hawaiian ocean god, Kanalo.

On the road to Haleakala

We are on the road that leads to Haleakala, the summit is 10,023 feet above sea level. The blot on the windscreen came from the birds poo. It is winding but not treacherous, only consideration for me was to remind myself to drive on the right side of the road

Monday, April 6, 2009

Biking down Haleakala

This is a Gary Fisher bike that uses disc-brakes for both the wheels to get better traction when they zoom down the mountain.

This guy is all ready to cycle down the mountain, he has a video camera attached to his helmet and he is wearing Spandex suit, I sure hope that will keep him warm in those temperatures. You can rent a bicycle from the Haleakala Downhill at the summit and they will supply you with a rain jacket, helmet, a Gary Fisher bike and you better pray hard before you start the journey downhill. It will be fast and winding.

I am on the bicycle now and getting ready.... You think I'm that crazy to bike down hill??? No way, it too fast and too cold for me. Brrrr...

Sandalwood Cafe, Haleakala

A Freezing Volcano

Sitting outside the Visitor's centre in zero degree C temperature. I was wearing 4 layers of clothing but I did not have any gloves to keep my hands warm. When the wind blew, my fingers were numbed by the cold that it shook when I took some of the pictures.

Orji Bright (Nigeria) and me coming down from the Visitor's centre
Trying to enjoy the scenery out on the ledge overlooking the lip of the volcano. 

View from the Summit of Haleakala

It has a dry and barren appearance with loose sand and rocks covering the surface. You can see some of the cones of the volcano near the top of the photo. This volcano is still considered alive and it will erupt again... the last time was in the 1700's and it may occur in our lifetime! Nothing happened when we were there! Phew! 

Pit stop before ascending the volcano

Having a toilet break and putting on some warm clothes before the ascend to the summit.

Journey up Haleakala

In the rented car "Chevrolet Impala" and starting on our journey up to the mystic volcano in Maui. The rental including insurance cost a total of USD62.80 for a day

The passengers, Roman, Philip Chung, Orji Bright and Hosea taking a short break half way up the volcano. 

A friendship made in Maui

That is Silvanus from Nepal during a break in our schedule. We found out that we have a friend in common whom I have not met for the past 10 years. The world is indeed shrinking fast!

My Fellow Brothers

Timothy Olonade is on my right and Orji Bright on my left. We called Timothy the 'King' and Orji the "Prime Minister" in our little skit. Oh... the one peeking from behind is the "Wizard" of our group for he can make things appear and disappear at will. I am very sure he was somewhere else when the photo was taken...! He just appeared!!! 

Monday, March 30, 2009

Laihana Shops

There was just this one road where both sides are lined with shops selling all the touristy things, ice cream parlour, jewelry stores and stuff. Old, but very charming, it reminds me of Albany in Australia.

Bubba Gump Restaurant

Guess who we met for lunch? It was a sumptous spread of shrimps and chicken with tortillas  washed down with a ice cold fruit shake. Well, Forest Gump didn't stay for lunch! but it was delicious! mmm... but the meal burnt a hole in my pocket! ...sigh... well it will just be once!

Just look at the spicy shrimps... by the way, they removed all the heads, so it is not so bad... si?

There are pieces of fried chicken strips, deep fried shrimps, tortillas, shrimp cocktail and a cheese salad.