Trouble in Hong Kong…

an outsider's perspective of hong kong

Posts Tagged ‘rotorua

the land of the green and blue lakes

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there were a few places in new zealand, i wished we had the luxury of time to stay a little longer and rotorua was one of it. many years ago, i watched this documentary about places that are considered energy vortexes such as glastonbury and sedona. i am not sure if rotorua make this list but i feel that it should.

of all the pools that lie within hell's gate i remember sodom and gomorrah the most because george bernard shaw the writer named it. for me that describes macau and shenzhen!!

there are things that are distinctly rotorua which you cannot help but notice the moment you drive into the city. first of all the smell hits you like bad revenge. rotorua is like a friend with a bad farting problem. there is literally the smell of sulphur everywhere. famous for geothermal activities, a lot of the infrastructure is built around the hot pools. i find it very much a novelty when i see gas emitting out of the ground.

almost everyday is a beautiful day in new zealand

many people who come to rotorua will try out the spas. the most popular one is probably the polynesian spa that is located right in the heart of the city next to the botanical garden. we didn’t try that because a friend had recommended us to go to hell’s gate instead.

first of all the name hell’s gate did not appeal to me and when i looked at the website – i didn’t think it was very well designed. but i must say, it surpassed  all of my expectation and we had a great time there.

when i asked about the landscape of hell's gate, our guide told us, it changes every few years because new pools are formed and some of the older ones changes in terms of size and level of activities. very interesting

the maori people consider hell’s gate a “taonga”( treasure) and all throughout the reserve – there are many different types of pools.  our tour guide pearl taught us so much about the reserve, the healing properties of the different types of mud.

look i am a warrior!!

i tried the mud spa for the first time as well.maybe it’s pyschological but my skin felt really soft after the dip. i secretly wanted my own mud pool at home too but i think it may be too much maintenance.

after the mud spa, we got ready for our massage was surprised to see pearl our tour guide earlier at the reserve walk as my assigned masseur.

i said – ” are you a therapist as well?”

she laughed and said they do almost everything. sometimes she is a cashier, sometimes she is a guide and that is what i find cool about the new zealanders. unlike corporate america – where job functions are streamlined, people in new zealand seem to understand business from a holistic point of can quiz them about the most intimate details of a business and they can tell you. i like that. it gives everyone a form of ownership.

she asked me, what do you think of the reserve walk?

i kept quiet for a minute. i was struggling to find the right word. i then said, you know pearl, it struck me as very odd to find in the middle of all these hot boiling pools a bush walk.

earlier on while she was taking us to the various pools, there was this “green reserve” with a waterfall nestled right in the middle. the waterfall known as the kakahi falls is the largest hot waterfall in the southern hemisphere. the maori warriors used to bathe themselves in the fall, cleaning battle wounds and because sulphur is so acidic it was then used as a form of antiseptic.

the enchanted bush walk in the middle of the reserve

pearl looked at me as i continued speaking. i said – i think the green reserve is enchanted. there is an energy there, i felt something.

she said, you are right and from her eyes – i knew immediately i said enough. something unspoken was exchanged between us.

after we came back - i was looking through our entire album. i found this picture of the green reserve at hell's gate. when i said to pearl - i felt something there. i think we may have even caught it on camera. but i must say, what i felt it was a good feeling. it wasn't eerie or anything

maybe there is magic in this world. somehow right, after coming back from my trip. i became somewhat intrigued with the healing powers of plants. maybe it is in line with my resolution this year of wanting to eat better. maybe our ancestors knew better than us about the healing power of certain things. we just forgot about it along the way.maybe….


sometimes i think we focus too much on what lies on the surface level, we don’t care about what is within. we spend so much money on using expensive skincare but not what we eat. a lot of us are broken inside. i have been struggling with nasal complications for years and none of that – allergy medication is helping me. i think it’s time for me to look elsewhere.

i like the maori people. every single maori i spoke to – they tell you stories about their ancestors. i have enjoyed their stories. when you speak to enough maoris, you’d gather that the eruption of mount tarawera on 10th june 1886 changed maori history forever. i cannot help but to think that rotorua is a good representation about life in general. in life, there is always duality. the land of rotorua is beautiful yet so deadly. so fertile yet so destructive.

mount tarawera - breath taking isn't it.. the volcano isn't extinct, it is just sleeping

i hope to go back someday. until then, like what the maori people say. we are the ” kaitaiki” ( guardians). we need to good care of the environment.


way way way down under…. new zealand

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before the fall of the berlin wall, east germans were asked about what they envied most about the west. it was the fact that  west germans could travel whenever they want to.

i must say i resonate the same sentiment. people that i have often found interesting were people who had travelled extensively. i find stories of their travels so intimately thought -provoking. we did 15 days in new zealand. whilst we now have thousands of photos to remember the trip by, there was so much about the country i won’t be able to take home with me.. the clean air, the curious looking animals and plants, the spirit of respect the maori people have for the land and animals, the people that we met along the way, the stories that were shared along the way.

i think we went to new zealand at a good time. this year the country is hosting the world rugby cup. whenever a country play host to an event of that scale – the country gains a lot of attention forever changing the lives of its people. many europeans i have asked see new zealand as one of the furthest places they could go and now that traveling has become so common, new zealand will be high on the any avid traveller’s must-visit countries.

things that i will miss about new zealand

1.) every kiwi we have met and talked to, they look as though they really like talking to you. i like that sense of sincerity ( or maybe it’s because when you are so isolated, living with 4.5 million people in a rather large space don’t create enough people for you to talk to. in asia, we have too  many people but we have too many people whom we don’t want to talk to!)

2.) the meat because from what i see, cows really graze and run around in large space. if you have seen food inc, you would understand my paranoia about our food source.

3.) sitting outdoor and having a nice cuppa coffee. the air is so clean. i have come to the conclusion that the world doesn’t need 9 billion people, the world needs 9 billion consumers. think about it.

4.) seeing children play.

5.) keeping a sense of child-likeness. we stayed at a farm ( i will devote a write up to this) and the owner of the farm told me this – what is the likelihood of you taking a walk by the beach and finding a piece of driftwood that resembled the head of an alpaca? i seriously thought he was pulling my leg. it’s funny that this person has so much less than me yet have so much more than me – at least he is not jaded and being jaded is nullifying.

5.) i will miss all the animals i made friends with while staying at the farm.

children playing by lake takawera, rotorua

the shoreline of kaikoura

all ready for the world rugby cup?

enjoying a glass of wine is somewhat such a pretentious affair in asia. i really like the laid back vineyards in new zealand. it doesn't cost anything to get a nice glass of anything. i am not a fan of pinot noir but apparently new zealand is famous for good quality pinots. picture was taken in a vineyard in the canterbury region - it's called langdale. it's very pretty with all the lavenders around.

pahi beach - have you seen a beach with black volcanic sand? that was my first time.

church by lake tekapo. do you care about eternity when you have a view like that?

lake pukaki. seriously this lake is strange. have you seen a lake that is completely still? maybe there is a monster that lives in there? you know what they always say about still water runs deep right?

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