Merge

I need to return to Surabaya, Indonesia

I need to return to Surabaya, Indonesia

Surabaya is Indonesia’s second-largest city (after Jakarta), and is known as the “City of Heroes” due to its significant role in the Indonesian National Revolution against Dutch colonial rule.  I (Merge) was there for a short visit in November 2023 as part of my adventures on the MS Westerdam.  The city has a bustling port, […]

Kota Kinabalu – Home of head-hunters and spirit worshippers

Kota Kinabalu – Home of head-hunters and spirit worshippers

There are three countries that make up the island of Borneo. The northwest one-third of the island is Malaysia’s Sabah province. The southeast two-thirds is Indonesia’s Kalimantan province. And the tiny country on the northwest coast and surrounded by Sabah on land is the kingdom of Brueni. The MS Westerdam called on Kota Kinabalu, the […]

Puerto Princesa – Palawan at its best

Puerto Princesa – Palawan at its best

As I (Merge) continued my travels in the Philippines on the MS Westerdam, I visited Puerto Princesa in the southwest for a couple of days.  On my must-do list were two things.  First, explore the historical town and other sites within the area; and two, make the short day-trip to the UNESCO world-heritage Puerto Princesa […]

Manila’s native son – Dr. Jose Rizal

Manila’s native son – Dr. Jose Rizal

Not just a medical doctor, but also a writer, artist and nationalist, Dr. Jose Rizal was pivotal in the Philippine struggle for independence from Spanish colonial rule.  He is also a national hero in the Philippines as I (Merge) discovered in my two-day visit in November 2023 to Manila, the country’s capital.  I had been […]

Hong Kong revisited

Hong Kong revisited

I (Merge) am fortunate to have visited Hong Kong many times.  In fact, Al and I were last there in 2015 when we first spent a few days in Hong Kong, and then another few in Macau.  However, in November 2023, I visited again for a couple of days during my marine journey on the […]

A beach day in Boracay, Philippines

A beach day in Boracay, Philippines

Boracay, located in the central Philippines, is a small island known for its striking natural beauty, stunning beaches and vibrant tourist industry.  I (Merge) got a chance to visit one cloudy November day on my travels on the MS Westerdam.  Boracay is part of the Aklan Province and lies approximately 315 kilometers south of Manila. […]

Kaohsiung, Taiwan – I barely scratched the surface!

Kaohsiung, Taiwan – I barely scratched the surface!

During my travels on the MS Westerdam in November, I (Merge) stopped for one day in the city of Kaohsiung, Taiwan, the country’s second-largest city.  I was a little under the weather that day, so I planned to stay close to port.  Fortunately for me, I did not have to go very far to experience […]