White Beach, Boracay

White Beach, is located on the island of Boracay, Philippines.

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White Beach is approximately 4 kilometres long and is divided into three parts – Station 1, Station 2, Station 3.

The station names come from when boats use to bring tourists directly to the beach – they were boat stations.

The beach is popular for its white powdery sand (hence the name) and its crystal clear sea water.

There are many water activities to partake in including but not limited to banana boating, glass bottom cruising, helmet diving, island hopping, jet skiing, kite surfing, paddle boarding, parasailing, sailing, scuba diving, snorkeling, sunset cruises, and wind surfing.

For those not interested in the water there are many hotels, bars, day spas, and shops located close to the beach.

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Rotorua GLO Festival NYE

The 2018 Rotorua GLO Festival was a family-friendly New Year’s Eve event held at Rotorua’s lakefront Village Green.

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The evening line up included live music on stage from 4.30pm, a screening of the 2007 Disney Pixar computer-animated fantasy film Coco at 6pm, and then live music continuing as the sun set.

As well as the live music there were food trucks and Mahons Amusements hosted a carnival with carnival games, fairground food and rides including a Grand Carousel, Dodgem Cars, Fun Factory, Graviton, Round Up and the Pirate Ship.

A fireworks display on the lakefront concluded the night at 9.30 pm.

The decision this year to not have a midnight fireworks drew criticism from some members of the community. Despite this the Council reports 12,000 people attended the festival in its entirety and 15,000 people watched the 9.30pm fireworks.

Happy New Year!

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Thursday Throwback: 2012 86th Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

In 2012 I went to New York City for the 86th Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

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I stayed at Hotel Pennsylvania on 7th Ave, which is right opposite Penn Station. It was great location wise, but the floor I was staying did feel a little bit like I was in The Shining.

On the Wednesday afternoon I went and saw the balloons being inflated outside the Museum of Natural History. I went in the afternoon as I had read the balloons start to take shape between 1pm and 3pm.

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Sailor Mickey being inflated

On Thanksgiving Day I woke in the early hours of the morning to a marching band practicing. This didn’t worry me as I planned to get up early anyway and it added to the experience.

I staked out my spot early (a little after 6am) beneath Radio City Music Hall. Below are some of my photos.

To my American friends have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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Hello Kitty

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Mr. Pilgrim

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Woodland Family Gathering float, Ocean Spray

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Tom Turkey float with Chef Geoffrey Zakarian, Food Network

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Kermit the Frog

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Charlie Brown

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Kung-Fu Panda

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NYPD Mounted Unit

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Jimmy Fallon and the Roots 

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True Spirit of Thanksgiving float, Oneida Indian Nation

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Uncle Sam with Miss USA 2012 Olivia Culpo

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Mount Rushmore’s American Pride with Don McLean

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Jolly Polly Pirate Ship with Pirate Queen Whoopi Goldberg

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Gift of Freedom float

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Spiderman

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Pikachu

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SpongeBob SquarePants

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Papa Smurf

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The Smurfs

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Saratoga High School Marching Band, California

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New York City Police Department

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Macy’s Great American Marching Band

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Diary of a Whimpy Kid 

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Sailor Mickey, Disney Cruises 

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Sonic the Hedgehog

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Pillsbury Doughboy 

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Elf on a shelf

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Buzz Lightyear

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Stirrin’ Up Sweet Sensations float, Domino Sugar

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The King Charles Unicycle Troupe

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Santa’s sleigh

Agra Fort

Agra Fort is a historical fort in Agra, India.

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Construction begun in 1565 under Emperor Akbar and was completed in 1573. It was the central residence for four generations of Mughal emperors until 1638 when the capital moved from Agra to Delhi.

It covers an area of 94 hectares. The fort’s double red walls are more than 20 metres in height and 2.5 kilometres in circumference.

Agra Fort is approximately 2.5 kilometres (1.5 miles) from the Taj Mahal, so most tourists visit both sites in the same day. It is open from sunrise to sunset.

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Taj Mahal

The Taj Mahal is a mausoleum on the south bank of the Yamuna river in Agra.

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The famous ivory-white marble mausoleum was commissioned by the Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan in 1632 as the tomb for his favourite wife, Mumtaz Mahal, who died giving birth to their 14th child.

Construction was completed on the mausoleum in 1643. But the construction and landscaping continued on the surrounding buildings and gardens for another 10 years.

The central dome reaches a height of 73 metres (240 feet) and is surrounded by four domes and four minarets at the mausoleum’s corners.

Vehicle traffic is banned 500 metres from the Taj Mahal to minimise pollution and protect the building from deterioration.

The grounds are open from 6am to 7pm everyday, except for Friday when the complex is closed for prayers.

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Wagah border ceremony

The lowering of the flags at Wagah border is a daily military practice between India and Pakistan.

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The ceremony takes place at sunset at the Wagah border (its Indian name is Attari), a border town between India and Pakistan. Wagah is 27km from Amritsar on the Indian side and 29km from Lahore on the Pakistani side.

Both sides have visitor galleries. I viewed the ceremony from the Indian side.

The ceremony is very theatrical with the marching involving the soldiers raising their legs as high as possible.

The soldiers march towards the gate at the border, which is opened. The soldiers will then salute each other and the both countries will start lowering their flags at the same time. The flags are then folded and the gates slams shut.

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The Golden Temple – Evening Visit

The Golden Temple is a Sikh place of worship in Amritsar, India.

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This post is about my evening visit to the Golden Temple. Click here to read about my visit during the day.

In the evening the closing ceremony to observe is the sukhasan. Sukh means comfort or rest, and asan means position.

At night the Guru Granth Sahib scripture book is placed on pillow bed decorated with flowers and carried into the Akal Takht amongst chanting to symbolically be put to bed.

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