Dubai

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Desert Safari

Published April 11, 2011 by Diosa

Desert Safari is one unique experience in Dubai. It’s a roller coaster ride across the sand dunes. I was very excited because I would really see the desert. It’s amazing how the land of sand stretches to meet the sky and sun. When we first landed here, I was already looking for the desert and was left wondering how they built the city on loose ground. But that’s another story.

My sister booked me and my other sister at Sunflower tours. It was a good deal since she managed to get a voucher for two for the price of one. The driver picked us up from where we were staying and dropped us back. Since its a group tour, we joined another set of tourists. (Note: Its better if you are a group of six when you take the tour.) Unfortunately for me and my sister, our group was the quiet one. The two of us were showing real excitement while the other four were meditating or something. As far as I remembered, they reacted one time. Just one time. Anyway, one can’t rely happiness on others so better stay blissful and optimistic. The land cruisers lined up and started rolling. The drivers were really good because there were times when I thought that we would tipped over but we didn’t. Thankfully! I’m so impressed with their skills. The terrain changes frequently and they still know the land like the palm of their hand.

All geared up for the ride in the desert.

and the roller coaster ride pushed to its climax.

A quick stop at the camel farm. Of course we couldn’t miss the camels in the desert. You’ll know you’re near the camels if you spot prune-like thingy on the sand. It’s their poop. :)My messy hair looked like it was licked by the camels. (FYI, it wasn’t. I blamed it on the weather. It was hot and then it got cold.)

Dinner at the camp ended our safari ride. We arrived first at the camp and got to explore the place before the other tourists crowd in. Since I’m the “sulit” girl, I needed to use up all the stuff that’s included in our tour. Well, I drank coffee (I needed to drink something hot as , ate Arabic food, got my tattoo, rode the camel, and fooled around with sandboarding. I didn’t try the sheesha because I never smoke in my life. I wouldn’t want to spend the rest of the evening coughing. My tolerance to self-inject smoke is limited to hanging out with my friends AJ & her hubby Jo & Serge which happens once in two or three years. Anyway, I certainly regretted not trying the sheesha when I saw the hot Italian brothers inside the sheesha room. 🙂

Gauging myself if I would ride these smelly camels. Well, I did. As darkness fell, more tourists came and rode the camels.

I think I was the only guest who did this. Trying hard to balance and slide down the cold sand.

The girl is so fast and good. She did our matching henna tattoos in minutes. Compared with the henna tattoo artists found at the beach, no one comes close to this girl’s talent.

We got lamb, chicken, veggies, and few other things that I didn’t recognize. After tasting Arabic food, I declare I’m not really a big fan of it. I still prefer Chinese, Thai, Pinoy, Italian, and even Korean.

Towards the end of our meal, the belly dancer entered and began her show.

And the dancer performed with all her belly……….dancing grace and talent

I would say that this is the highlight of the performance. Isn’t the girl just look so adorable?

Desert Safari is just one-time experience for me. It wasn’t really the ride of my life. Once is enough. I understand why nobody wants to join us after they had this tour. It’s unbelievable that my brother-in-law joined this seven times.

You know when I was in Batanes, I rode on top of the jeep along the cliffs of island. I love the blend of different colors, the sound of the waves, the wind blowing on my face and people’s smiles. Both rides have heart stopping and overwhelming moments. Both rides pose danger but surely promise an unforgettable experience. Roller coasters in theme parks won’t give you the same thrill and excitement. I know land cruiser is safer but I always imagine the desert with quicksand. What if we tip over and land on the quicksand. Thinking about it makes me gasps for air. At least at the cliff, it would be swift and I would be easily spotted. Would you like to try both?

*sulit – maximizing what you paid for

**pictures were taken by dona diaz

***check out my friend’s blog: http://annagumamela.blogspot.com/

Hanging out with the Birds

Published April 11, 2011 by Diosa

If I would name one animal that I would remember in Dubai, camels would come in second. Birds would definitely be the first. Migratory birds from Africa to Asia and vice versa usually take the route here and Dubai is lucky to be visited by these fine creatures frequently. From walking around the parks, driving the road, or simply staring in the sky, I always get a glimpse of birds soaring freely. Their flock would instantly draw my attention and I catch myself watching them. It gets more fascinating as you would see different kinds of birds in one spot.

 

Dubai Creek Park is my favorite place here. Well, I might dislike it if I happen to go there during the summer. Anyway, I like it even more when I finally had a close encounter with the birds. We saw the people in the park feeding them and we were excited to see the birds catching the food, flying around, or wading in the creek. It was only a matter of time before we became part of the group that were feeding the birds. I was happy as I watched the birds but when I saw my nephews looking at them, it was amazing. I can’t explain how those small eyes can reflect humongous amount of awe, wonder, and joy.

 

 

Yehey!

 

Can you spot the difference?

Time to rest

 

 

 

At the Top (1.3.11)

Published April 11, 2011 by Diosa

What comes into mind when you hear places such as Taipei 101, Petronas, Empire state? Well, they all made to the top list of the tallest buildings in the world. I am lucky I got to go inside the current tallest building in the world, Burj Khalifa, in Dubai, UAE. Burj Khalifa and I share same important numbers in our existence. 828. It measures 828 meters towering more than 300 meters over Taipei 101 while I celebrate my birthday on this date. It’s one fact that I’ll always remember about Burj Khalifa.

As far as I remember, we parked at the fashion avenue as it is the nearest parking and passed by the mall and went up and there was the entrance. There were so many tourists at that time and tickets were sold out. It was very tempting to scalpel our own tickets as we watched the frantic tourists trying to get inside. We had our ticket booked online. We got our tickets and waited for our scheduled tour. For those who are going with kids like us, you need to leave the strollers and big bags at the reception area.

A tour to the top is a glide in heaven for a camwhore like me.

Here’s the entrance and the walkalator going to the world’s fastest elevator.

Waiting for my turn to ride the elevator. It only took 2 minutes to get us at the top.

At the Top’s Observation Deck gives you the 360 degree view of Dubai. I was amazed how structures became so small that made them look scale models. It’s a haven for those who crave for overwhelming architectural designs. On the other side, it saddened and made me wonder what would happen to the unfinished structures. It was like being awed to one building and disappointed to the next. Another thing, I don’t know if its possible but I imagined that when I get to the top I would feel the strong wind blowing on to me. I hope that there would be an open area.

Anyway, it didn’t ruin my tour….

nor waver my enthusiasm to take as many pictures as I like.

Do you see the shadow of Burj Khalifa?

from the floor to the ceiling

My sister and I waited for the sunset. It was too beautiful and I enjoyed too much that I forgot to take the video. It’s always nice to see the works of man and nature when they blend in harmoniously. I don’t get to see Burj Al Arab and sunset together everyday. Do you?

These were series of designs before the final Burj Khalifa.

We saw a wall of the people who helped built the building. To be part of something big and historical, I could only feel pride and happiness for the fellow Pinoys I saw on the wall.

Did I mention I am a camwhore? Well, the following pictures would show a definite proof of what I claim to be. And as we headed out, I turned this walk-a-lator to my own fashion runway. Thanks to Ate for taking all my pictures, Ate Liezel for my “boots made to walk all over you,” and myself for shamelessly posing. :)))

By the way, they took a picture of our group upon entering and it cost AED250. A total rip off if we had bought it. Basically, the group shot was pasted on Dubai skyline. At night!

You know when I was in Hong Kong, I went to Victoria’s peak. They captured a great shot of our group with the Hong Kong night skyline behind us. Something people behind At the Top should do. A picture worth spending for.