Mexico City’s Metropolitan Cathedral – Keep Calm and Wander

Mexico City's Metropolitan Cathedral - Keep Calm and Wander

Mexico City’s Metropolitan Cathedral is the oldest and largest cathedral in Latin America. Located right at the heart of the city, the church is an imposing structure that demands your attention.

For visitors, it’s just another tourist attraction, but for the locals, it is a symbol and soul of their faith. It’s also the seat of the Archdiocese of Mexico. Its complete name is Catedral Metropolitana de la Asuncion de la Santisima Virgen Maria a los cielos. That’s a mouthful, right?

In English, it is translated as Metropolitan Cathedral of the Assumption of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven. Even in English, that is still a mouthful to say.

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Pura Lempuyang Indonesian Temple – Keep Calm and Wander

Pura Lempuyang Indonesian Temple - Keep Calm and Wander

Pura Lempuyang (or Lempuyang Temple) is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Bali. It is also one of the oldest and holiest Hindu temples worth going to when traveling to this tropical island.

This sacred temple is two hours drive away from Canggu. The picturesque ride on your way up there is one to be enjoyed with such delight.

Visiting Lempuyang Temple during the pandemic has its good and bad side. There were only very few people (close to none) when we were there. On the other hand, not every temple was open.

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Indonesia’s Jatiluwih Rice Terraces – Keep Calm and Wander

Indponesia's Jatiluwih Rice Terraces - Keep Calm and Wander

Jatiluwih Rice Terraces is really beautiful. I mean, it won’t be called Jatiluwih if it’s not really stunning, right? I was told that “jati” means real, and “luwih” translates as beautiful or good. You see, Jatiluwih Rice Terraces is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You might wonder why but when you are standing there, you’d understand why.

Its five rice terraces are interconnected with a brilliant water irrigation system, known as subak, that goes through canals and low head dams. These water management systems mirror the philosophical belief of Tri Hita Karana, which brings all together with the balance of nature, of the spirit, and the human world.

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Indonesia’s Kelingking Beach – Keep Calm and Wander

Indonesia's Kelingking Beach - Keep Calm and Wander

Yes, Kelingking Beach in Nusa Penida is your ultimate hiking trail down to the white seashore. That is, I assume, if you are into a treacherous hike and reward yourself by frolicking in the white sandy beach and the turquoise salty water.

Perhaps you’ve seen this area on many tourism promotions for Bali and Indonesia.

Pantai Kelingking in Nusa Penida, according to the Traveler’s Choice Awards in 2019, grabbed the 19th spot of the best beaches in the world.

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Sri Lanka’s Kandy Lake – Keep Calm and Wander

Sri lanka's Kandy Lake - Keep Calm and Wander

The views around Kandy Lake are worth seeing. I recommend you walk around the lake and just enjoy it leisurely. Stop in a nearby cafe or under a shed if you needed to. Strolling around was actually kind of therapeutic to me after a whirlwind of sightseeing days before I arrived here. On my second day in Kandy, I had a whole morning free so I used the time to stroll around Kandy Lake.

After the early visit to the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, I told my driver I’d spend the rest of the morning strolling. He was okay with it and told me where to meet him afterwards.

Kandy Lake is a man-made lake that was built in 1807 to beautify the the country’s most sacred Buddhist temple.

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Caverns of the Marble Mountains – Keep Calm and Wander

Caverns of the Marble Mountains - Keep Calm and Wander

Exploring the caves at the Marble Mountains in Da Nang can be really confusing. There are just so many of them and you don’t even know where to start – even if you follow the map. Going to one direction would mean either you will miss a cave or you will have to go back on the same route to reach the other caves in the opposite direction. There are no shortcuts here. I ditched the map they gave me. I just followed the signs.

The Marble Mountains

The Marble Mountains is a collective name for 5 groups of mountains named after five elements. They are Hoa Son (Fire), Kim Son (Metal), Tho Son (Earth), Thuy Son (Water), and Moc Son (Wood).

As the name suggests, the mountain is popular because of its marbles and limestones. Climbing these mountains is just one of the few things to do in Da Nang. Aside from its beaches, I think this is the city’s most visited tourist attraction.

There are not only caves to see here but there are also pilgrimage sites, tunnels, and a revolutionary base used during the Vietnam War.

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Sunrise at Bali’s Mount Batur

Mount Batur at Sunrise - Keep Calm and Wander

My adventurous trek to Mt Batur volcano to watch the sunrise was all worth it! 

“Sunrise trek to Mount Batur? Why not? Ok, sign me in!” Those were the words I uttered when a tour agent asked if I’d be interested. Of course, I paid the tour right away without qualms. You see – I love a mountain climb. I always do. At my age right now (I’m not really that old hag yet), I know, I’d be slower than I used to be.

For me, it’s all about proper breathing when trekking/climbing/hiking a mountain. And of course – keeping a distance from the person you are following with. I find that if I hike closer behind someone, I’m pressured/forced to keep up – and I won’t enjoy the journey anymore. So, I want to be the last one in a group.

Mount Batur Volcano Trek Tour

Based in Ubud, I was picked up at my accommodation at 2:15 AM. Then, they served us a pre-breakfast food: banana pancakes and coffee/tea. Right after that, we’re off to the base of Mt. Batur. When we arrived there, two guides met us (a group of 9) and briefed us about safety. They then each gave us a small flashlight for the trek.

At 3:40, we started our trek in the darkness. Under the star-filled skies, the adventurous climb was off to a good start.

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Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon – Keep Calm and Wander

Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon - Keep Calm and Wander

Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon is pure bliss in the morning. Its serenity and the murmuring whispers of prayers are calming to the soul. At least that’s how I felt because I arrived there at 4:15 in the morning – earlier than most Buddhist worshippers. And way too earlier than most tourists, too. I highly recommend that you go early in the morning, for an obvious reason: it’s not crowded.

Your visit to Myanmar’s capital city won’t be entirely complete without getting a glimpse of this golden pagoda. 

Shwedagon is the most iconic landmark of the country that used to called Burma under British rule.

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Athens’ National Archaeological Museum – Keep Calm and Wander

Athens' National Archaeological Museum in Athens

The National Archaeological Museum in Athens has wide collections of artifacts from various times in Greek history. It’s very overwhelming to see them all, especially when you don’t have much time to spare. So I’m breaking down 14 artifacts that you must see when inside. This is, for me, a very subjective list, of course! You’re welcome to add yours to the comment below this post.

Golden Age of the Mycenaean Civilization

As soon as you enter the museum, you will find the relics from Mycenaean civilization. The golden face masks command attention and the rest of the golden pieces of jewelry are fascinating.

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Views From the Berlin Cathedral Dome – Keep Calm and Wander

Views From the Berlin Cathedral Dome - Keep Calm and Wander

The Berlin Cathedral dome and the views from up there may not impress you much, but the climb to the Baroque dome is a nice experience you’ll remember. After exploring the Cathedral’s interior, climb the stairs to the top of the dome.

A 360-degree view of the city is awaiting for those who’ll make it there. 

Berlin’s historic district is so close looking down from above. 

Though the dome is not as tall the other Cathedral domes in Europe, the views from here give you a different way of looking at the German capital. 

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