Category Archives: Coffee Talk

The Bridge Runner

Over my amateur running life, I have been running across 3 bridges. These are no small bridge. These are major bridge that connected significant amount of land masses, or even continent.

The Sentosa Island Bridge, Singapore

Bridge to Sentosa
Photo by Soham Banerjee

This bridge is my first bridge crossing in a major running event, the Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore, 2012. The starting point of the half marathon is just few hundred meters on the Singapore island side. The run itself cross the bridge twice, one right after start to Sentosa Island, and another one few kilometers later back from Sentosa Island to Singapore Island.

This is also the shortest bridge crossing I did in an running event. Soon it is followed by the longest bridge crossing on foot.

The 2nd Penang Bridge, Malaysia

Sunrise On Penang Bridge

Until today, the Penang 2nd Bridge is the longest bridge crossing that I did, on foot. I joined a Penang Bridge International Marathon in 2014, and they can fit almost the whole 42km course on the bridge itself. We started on Penang Island, and less than 1 km to the run, we are already on the bridge. The 21km turning point is 1-2 km inland on Malaysia mainland, and then we are back on the bridge.

The Bosphorus Bridge, Turkey

Bosphorus Bridge

My latest running saga brought me to the legendary Bosphorus Bridge. It is legendary, because it connects 2 continents, Asia and Europe. The bridge is normally closed for pedestrian after few suicides, except once a year during the Istanbul Marathon. I crossed the bridge during Istanbul Marathon 2016.

The starting line is few hundred meters on the Asian side of Bosphorus bridge. As I run on the bridge, and I can feel that the bridge shake from the tramping of hundreds of runners.

This post is made in response to WordPress Photo Challenge: Bridge

The Most Popular 2016 Words

In Response to WordPress Discover Challenge:

And so, at the final day of 2016, the final sunrise, and soon going to be the final sunset, this is the recap of words in 5 most visited post in 2016.

Favorite Words 2016

My travel scene in 2016 has been amazing. It has seen my come back to Scuba Diving after 5 years of hiatus. The underwater world rejoice, and the Manta Ray spread their wings to greet me. And Bali is still awesome.

But nothing compares to our family trip to Turkey, the run across Bosphosurs bridge from Asia to Europe, the hot air balloon ride, and the first snow experience for me and my son.

Wishing another great travel year for 2017.

Paper Map

4 PM at the office, and I have this thought: How many traveler these days still using paper map to find direction?

Photo credit: “Explorer,” © 2011 Sakeeb Sabakka, used under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license.

I still remember, during the good old days, before Google Map, 3G, and GPS device, every time I arrived in new country, the first thing that I look for is free tourist map at the airport.  The map is my primary guidance to find places and public transport

Did I get lost? Yeah, for sure I did get lost. And what did I do? I ask around. And asked around created the interaction with local people. It is the old romance of traveling that is missing these days, interacting with locals.

Not only that. When you walk with paper map, your eyes won’t be fixed on the red pin that move as you move. You are forced to see your surroundings, and recognizing landmarks to match with the map. And while doing so, you might encounter some unplanned interesting stuff that can enrich your experience.

Once upon a time on my first trip to Bangkok, Thailand, I was exploring the city on foot. I bump into streetside stall with a lot of people lining up. I joined the queue, and it turns out to be the best street food in Bangkok that I’ve ever eat.

Queue
Photo Credit: Queue by Charles Haynes

Had I follow Google Map, I probably won’t ever bump into the street food. Either I’m taking a different shorter path, or my eyes is so fixated to follow the red pin that move.

This post is made in response to WordPress Discover: Analog

The Most Amazing Place in The World

If you ask someone of the most amazing place one has been travelling to, everyone will have different answer. Everyone will have their own best place, with different reason.

If you ask me, Bali would be my answer. it has beach, mountain, culture, underwater, nightlife, and within 1.5 hours flying from Jakarta. For that reason, I have been coming to Bali for 13 consecutive year.

Chasing Sunset at Dreamland

But, over time, I agree with Don Parrish’s favorite place. Don Parrish has been in 193 UN Member States. And, according the website mosttraveledpeople.com, who divided the world into 875 parts, Don Parrish only has 32 places that he haven’t visit.

You can’t be comparative. You got to figure out what is special about every place. – Don Parrish

When asked which place he has been are the most amazing, he said that “It is a wrong thinking. You can’t be comparative. You got to figure out what is special about every place. Because the most important thing is not to shut down. If you can be alert, you will find it all over the world”

Well, there are some truth in there. If you keep comparing one place to the other, which one is better, and worse, compare a new place with your home town, it would be better to stay at home. There are nothing to gain from travelling if you keep looking the comfort of your home, or somewhere that you are convenient with.

But, it doesn’t hurt to have favourite. What do you think? Do you agree with Don Parrish? Or, do you have a favourite place? Please share in comment below.