Sure, you can go to a zoo or aquarium to have virtually any animal encounters you desire, but what’s the fun in that? There is something truly special seeing an animal in its natural habitat that makes you feel like a real explorer. In addition to UNESCO sites, seeing some amazing wildlife is one of my biggest draws to travel. Here are ten unique species and where I was lucky enough to have encountered them. Read more →
On our very first UNESCO Monday guest post, we welcome a picture from my very own girlfriend, Sidney (EunKyoung ) Choi. This is a picture I practically begged for as she captured my favorite moment of Komodo National Park through her camera while I was busy filming. This is how she describes the fantastic experience.
It was my first trip ever to South East Asia, and even though I am also from Asia, it was totally new to me. There was the super clean sea water that was so clear, I could even see the bottom of the ocean. The untouched nature, especially the wild animals in a national park (in the national park where I live, you’re lucky if you can see squirrels or frogs), was amazing, strange, and exciting. One of my days in Indonesia, I went to Rinca Island in Komodo National Park to see Komodo dragons. Since the guide said it is not that easy to run into a dragon on the trails, I didn’t expect that much, but I guess we were lucky. The one we saw was injured and barely moved, but it was enough to be amazed.
On our way out of the trekking, we found this Komodo near the ‘kitchen.’ There were about 7~8 Komodo dragons trying to get some food from the ranger kitchen. I know it doesn’t sound like something one of the scariest predators in the world would be doing, but yeah, that was exactly what they were up to. It was actually the dry season on the island, so they needed to find some food out of the trails.I found this dragon to be the most desperate one as it was even standing up looking for the food. He kept standing for a while, and that was the moment I realized that Komodo dragons can actually stand up. It is pretty amazing, but kind of cute, isn’t it?
Sidney Choi is a relatively new blogger who accompanies me on as many trips abroad as possible. She recently started her own blog in her native language, Korean. Her fantastic pictures and story telling are reason enough to check it out, even if you don’t understand Korean script. Hey, it’s not like I am biased or anything.
[Want to participate and be featured on this blog? Have you visited a UNESCO World Heritage Site? Find out how to submit your pictures here.]
Every post doesn’t have to be so serious (cue Joker voice), and that is something that I have a hard time understanding. I want every post to be accurate, informational, fulfilling, and maybe even obsessionally so. What can I say, that’s just me. What does that leave out though? You guessed it, heart!
This is my attempt to loosen up and just write! I don’t know if you noticed, but I don’t do that very often. Most of my posts are logical, methodical, and maybe even a little robotic. Looking at my girlfriend Sidney’s style of writing made me realize that I need a little heart in what I say. I know, I know, it is going to read like an awkward middle schooler trying to talk to a girl just two days after he realized he even liked girls (I’ve been reading “The Wimpy Kid” a little too much it seems)… but I have to start somewhere.
Special Notes: To properly evaluate this site, I have decided to judge it based on its beauty on the land, in the sea, and through the air. I saw it by land by visiting both Rinca and Komodo Islands on a 2 day 1 night live-aboard boat. The water portion consisted of four snorkeling sites along the way, and a separate scuba diving tour. Finally, the air evaluation is based on the amazing views on our fly over into and exiting Labuan Bajo airport.
“The island of Komodo in Indonesia. Remote and Barren. Few people live here. It is ruled by a giant reptile. It looks like a survivor from the age of the dinosaurs. The Komodo dragon. Nine feet long. A top predator. Only one thing can challenge a dragon’s dominance. Another dragon.” -David Attenborough
Some people remember the lines of their favorite movie. Others memorize the touching lyrics of a song that speaks to their heart. I recall these words, the introduction to a place that has fascinated me for the last couple of years. After first learning about Komodo Island from BBC’s Life series on the animal kingdom, I was hooked, intrigued, maybe even a little obsessed. Read more →