Tag Archives: walking tour

#100days Photo 40: Charles Bridge by the Vltava River, Prague, Czech Republic

Charles Bridge and Vltava River, view from Čechův Bridge
Charles Bridge and Vltava River, view from Čechův Bridge

When in Prague, it’ll be a total let-down if you did not (or at least tried your best to) cross Charles Bridge. Why, you might ask. Well, simply because Karlův most, as it is locally-known, is a historical 610-meter long architectural creation that is definitely worth the few minutes (or hours) you’d spend while walking through it. My first glimpse of Charles Bridge was in a windy winter afternoon, while taking Sandemann’s New Prague Castle Tour, after we took the free city walking tour that they offered. We were crossing Čechův Bridge, a vehicle- and tram-passable bridge connecting the Jewish Quarter and Letna Park, or the area where we took the tram to the Prague Castle complex, when I saw that old-looking bridge — clearly, I had no idea that it is the famous Charles Bridge. We actually crossed Charles Bridge (only pedestrians are allowed) at the end of the Prague Castle Tour, as it connected the complex to Old Town Square area. Our guide told us interesting trivia about the bridge and the statues lining/guarding it — the most famous of which is that of St. John of Nepomuk’s statue and the plaques under it. Apparently, if you touch the statue of the priest being thrown into the Vltava River, your trip back to Prague (and of course Czech Republic) is assured! 🙂

#100Days Photo 28: Chao Phraya River and the Bhumibol Bridge, Bangkok, Thailand

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The Me Nam Chao Phraya is a major river in Thailand, even referred to as the River of Kings. On my second day in Bangkok, during my Rattanakosin Island walkabout, I ended up in a plaza across Wat Arun (Temple of the Dawn) where the Chao Phraya river has overflowed, swallowing most of the benches by the riverbanks. If you remember the flooding in Bangkok and Thailand in October 2011, you wouldn’t think that the overflow from the calm Chao Phraya River can be the cause for severe flooding in many of the provinces and its capital city. This photo, taken the next day when I explored Bangkok outside of Rattanakosin, was when I took the Chao Phraya Express Boat so I can have a closer look at some of the sights I have missed! Also coz I’m so cheap to buy the dinner river cruise ticket. Hehe 🙂 We passed under the towering Industrial Ring Road Bridge or officially, the Bhumibol Bridge, named after King Bhumibol Adulyadej (apparently, naming bridges after Kings is customary). By the time I left Bangkok the day after, the city was already frantic trying to prepare for the floods — communities passing and arranging sandbags, construction of 2-feet cemented walls by their homes’ doors, diversion of traffic in some areas. Although the Chao Phraya River caused misery to many Thai people, the River of Kings remain to be an important part of their daily lives — either for agriculture, trade or transport. I hope measures, by government and the communities, are being taken so that the October flooding won’t happen to Bangkok or to Thailand again.

Backpacking South East Asia: Walking Around Rattanakosin Island, Bangkok

Bangkok is known here in the Philippines, and perhaps in many other countries, as a place to do your bargain shopping. Little do people know that it is in Bangkok where they will be introduced to Buddhism, whether it was their intention or not. As for me, I think Bangkok was my first official Buddhist induction—with Khao San Road, the backpackers mecca where I stayed (well, the next street), and Rattanakosin Island (as in the tourist area) being very Wat (temple) sections of Bangkok.

Backpacking SEA - Bangkok - Grand Palace Grounds

Don’t worry though, as being overloaded with Buddhism and Thai architecture is something that you should look forward to. I think the Buddhism and IndoChina-rooted/based architecture, religious and cultural heritage is something that is very different from other countries, especially the Philippines. So, without further ado, I give you an overview (so as not to spoil your personal discovery) of what Bangkok is beyond shopping. These photos were selected among the hundreds I took while walking from Thanon Khao San towards the tourist sites of Rattanakosin Island.

Backpacking SEA - Bangkok - Thanon Khao San Continue reading Backpacking South East Asia: Walking Around Rattanakosin Island, Bangkok

FotoFolio: Walking Tour of South Bombay (Images of Colonial Mumbai)

I miss Mumbai. There, I said it. I lived in Navi Mumbai (New Bombay, totally different twin city) and I would go to South Bombay (aka SoBo) whenever me and my friends  would go out for dinner and drinks. Why SoBo and not in Bandra, the party/gimik capital of Mumbai? I think it’s mainly because it is more accessible and hanging out in Colaba has a more chill vibe. Not to mention, I personally find South Mumbai more pleasant to walk through, with more character and history than the upscale Bandra area.

FotoFolio - South Mumbai - Gateway of India and Taj Hotel
The Gateway of India and The Taj Hotel

Needless to say, South Bombay and Colaba is also the most touristy. But hey, when you live in the city, you don’t really mind the mix of the local and foreign crowd. You enjoy it. People-watching and all. Being a foreigner myself, though I am not as tourist as the newly-arrived ones anymore, I always find something new to discover in Mumbai.

Anyway, I am not in a talking (writing) mood much today. Unless I want to end up too nostalgic to function. Haha. Therefore, I would jus want to share with you the images of Colonial Mumbai. I always call South Bombay the British area, primarily because the structures you would see closely resemble what you would find in London. I think (as referenced to movies and TV series).

I’ve included here a series of photographs, showing these British colonial structures. I tried my best to put them in the walking order, although my memory might be messed up already since there were some turns during these several walkthrough of South Mumbai.

FotoFolio - South Mumbai - Chattrapati Shivaji Terminus
Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST, formerly known as Victoria Terminus) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the main railway terminal for local and inter-state trains
FotoFolio - South Mumbai - BMC
Birhanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) serves as the City Hall (sosyal!). It’s on the left side if facing CST
FotoFolio - South Mumbai - Unidentified Building
I can’t be sure if this is still part of CST but it is behind the CST facade area
FotoFolio - South Mumbai - Unidentified Buildings
These colonial buildings house modern establishments and banks
FotoFolio - South Mumbai - Sculpture
Several unidentified sculptures form part of one building’s foundations
FotoFolio - South Mumbai - Churchgate Area
I am not sure if this is the Churchgate Railway Station. If it isn’t, then it must be the building across the road
FotoFolio - South Mumbai - Hutatma Chowk
Hutatma Chowk (Martyr’s Square) is found at the center of South Bombay. Easily accessible from Churchgate Station
FotoFolio - South Mumbai - Hutatma Chowk - Martyrs
The Hutatma Chowk memorial, as far as I have heard, was to commemorate the lives of the martyrs during the Maharashtra and Gujarat separation (correct me if I’m wrong!)
FotoFolio - South Mumbai - Hutatma Chowk - Flora Fountain
Flora Fountain, built in 1864, is one of the most photographed landmarks in South Bombay. Sorry, no more water flowing through. 😦
FotoFolio - South Mumbai - University of Mumbai
University of Mumbai (Fort Campus) was established in 1857. It’s mong the oldest universities in India
FotoFolio - South Mumbai - Rajabai Clock Tower
The Rajabai Clock Tower, completed in 1878, is called Little Ben as it was patterned to the Big Ben in London
FotoFolio - South Mumbai - David Sassoon Library
David Sassoon Library, built in 1870, is another main landmark in the Kala Ghoda area. I never entered the library.
FotoFolio - South Mumbai - Prince of Wales Museum
The Prince of Wales Museum (officially renamed as Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya) houses artifacts, sculptures, painting, china and other art collections. I think it’s under the patronage of the Tatas. (Entry Rs 300 for foreigners, Rs 50 for Indians. Camera fees apply)
FotoFolio - South Mumbai - Colaba Crossing
I don’t know who the statue is for or what is the building. But I’m sure this is after the museum and towards the Colaba area
FotoFolio - South Mumbai - Gateway of India
The Gateway of India (not to be confused with the India Gate in New Delhi). Built from 1911 (primarily to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary) to 1914, the Gateway of India is perhaps the most visited and photographed monument in Mumbai. The boats leaving for Elephanta Island is found at the back of the Gateway of India.
FotoFolio - South Mumbai - Taj Mahal Hotel and Arabian Sea
The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel and Tower is on the left of the Gateway of India if arriving by boat. It is said to be the or one of the most expensive hotels in Mumbai.

I hope you enjoyed these virtual walking tour of South Bombay. Maybe you’ll get to walk through Colonial Mumbai someday too! I’ve heard several mixed reviews of being a tourist in Mumbai. Admittedly, the city can be unnerving and overwhelming but hey, give it more than a day or two and surely, you’ll get to know and feel it’s vibe too. If you need a walking guide (especially for couchsurfers), let me know and I might introduce you to a friend or two who may be able to show you around Colaba, South Mumbai and the rest of the city!

FotoFolio - South Mumbai - Taj Hotel Dome and Arabian Sea
The illuminated dome of the Taj Mahal Hotel and the waterfront (Arabian Sea)

FotoFolio: The Helix Bridge and Singapore Flyer

I have been to Singapore twice: first in April 2010 for a quick 4-day Singapore and Kuala Lumpur birthday holiday and second in October 2011 as part of my 4-week backpacking South East Asia trip.

Helix Bridge and Singapore Flyer
Helix Bridge and Singapore Flyer: Metallic Wonders

The first time we went, as we had limited time in Singapore itself, I think we only saw a glimpse of the Singapore flyer and the newly-[half] opened helix bridge. The entire Helix Bridge, which connects the Marina Bay area, officially opened in July 2010.

Inside the Helix
Shaded walkway for a fine afternoon stroll

When we came the second time, we spent almost an entire day just walking around the streets of Singapore. And of course, when we visited the Marina Bay Sands area before heading to the Singapore Flyer for our ride, the Helix Bridge served as a pleasant, interesting and [most importantly] shaded connecting walkway.

View from Helix Platform
The Singapore River and Skyline (leftmost is Fullerton Hotel, with the small Merlion a little to its right; rightmost is the Esplanade – Theaters on the Bay, with a bit green of The Float)

Not only that. When you walk through the walkway, you also get a chance to have a different vantage point (opposite side of the Merlion area) to appreciate the calm Singapore River with the bustling skyline in the background.

Happy walking! Click here to read the Wikipedia entry for Singapore’s Helix Bridge.