My Best Travel Moments of 2016

I love this time of year. It’s time to reflect on the year that has passed and remember all of the good times. This year, I’ve visited 24 countries and in every one of them, I’ve had beautiful and memorable moments. But some of those moments stand out more than others – they are the moments that I think back on with a huge smile…

Snowy Days at Gorkhi-Terelj National Park

When I returned to Ulaanbaatar from my little adventure in Kharkhorin, I was already ready to escape to nature again. I had a plan for my last few days in Mongolia; I wanted to visit the Gorkhi-Terelj National Park, famous for it’s beautiful landscapes and crazy rock formations. I soon made plans with Jimmy and Charles, who I had met at the hostel, to go…

Stories from the Gobi Desert: Snowy Mountains at Elsen Tasarkhai

Read part five of Stories from the Gobi Desert: The Ongi Monastery The sixth and last day of our Gobi tour had no set itinerary, apart from where we were going to stay for the night. Luckily, Byamba and Bagii chose an amazing place with much to see and do, but we were technically no longer in the actual Gobi Desert, when we arrived there;…

Jeju Island: Climbing Mt. Hallasan – an Extinct Volcano at 1.950 m.

After spending a day in rainy Busan, I flew to Jeju Island, a special self-governing province located 130 km. from the southern coast of South Korea. Jeju Island is the honeymoon destination of South Korea, well known for its worldclass beaches and beautiful natural heritage. I spent my days on Jeju touring the island, going from one natural wonder to another. On my second day,…

Yangmingshan National Park: Climbing Mt. Qixing at 1.120 m.

Even though I had decided to skip the East Coast, where all the tall mountains are and spend 6 days in Taipei instead, I still wanted to do some mountain hiking. 20 km. north of Taipei lies a beautiful national park, the Yangmingshan National Park, which is nicknamed “the back garden of Taipei”. Yangmingshan is home to the tallest mountain in Northern Taiwan; Mount Qixing.…

Taipei from Above: Climbing Mt. Elephant & Mt. Muzhi

On my second day in Taipei, after exploring the city for a bit, I decided to go on an afternoon hike to the popular Elephant Mountain at 183 m., where the view of the city is said to be spectacular. I had some trouble finding the beginning of the trail and when I eventually did, I ended up half running up the steep trail, as…

Climbing Mt. Kinabalu: Summiting and Descending During an Earthquake

At 2 AM, climbing a mountain isn’t what I would normally be doing, but on the morning of March 20th, that was exactly what I was going to do. I had been tossing and turning all night, thinking that the wake-up call would come at any second, so when it finally did, the night felt like it had been going on for ages, although I…

Climbing Mt. Kinabalu: Ascending to the Resthouse at 3,272 m.

Everytime I embark on a journey, there are a few things that I really want to achieve. This time, climbing a mountain taller than 3000 m. was one of them. The mountain that I chose to conquer was Mount Kinabalu in Sabah, Malaysia. Mount Kinabalu rises 4.095 m. above sea level and is one of the tallest mountains in Southeast Asia and the tallest in…

Climbing Mount Batur – a 1717 m. Active Volcano

For my last week in Indonesia, I decided to explore Bali, one of the most popular island destinations in the world. It was a huge change from the remoteness on Pulau Belitung, where I had just come from, so on one of my last days in Bali, I decided to get away from the busy tourist cities and surround myself with nature by going hiking!…

Climbing Sarkofagen Mountain on Svalbard

For my last full day on Svalbard, I had booked a 5-hour glacier landscape hike with Svalbard Wildlife Expeditions. But I actually wasn’t supposed to go, as I was the only one who had booked the tour and therefore it should have been cancelled, but since I had already had two other tours cancelled, they decided to go with just one participant, which was really…