New Zealand: Hobbiton


For the second leg of our trip, we packed up all of our belongings and headed for Hobbiton.  Before I start the article, let me caveat:  I am a big fan of the Lord of the Rings; I’ve watched all the movies and read all the books.  In fact, before coming to New Zealand Fausto and I re-watched all the movies in anticipation of our visit to the Hobbiton movie set.  This place is the number one tourist attraction in New Zealand, and for good reason.  Even for people who have not immersed themselves in the world of Middle Earth, this absolutely beautiful imagining of The Shire made it a must visit. For the LOTR fans, a visit to the home of the hobbits is a fantasy come true. Continue reading


Inle Lake: Boat Tour


The beauty of Myanmar’s Inle Lake is not limited to nature, but also draws from the relationship between the Intha people who derive their livelihood from this lake.  The village grows out of the water while the fish from within provide sustenance.  And now, the beautiful scenery is providing another source of income in the form of visiting tourists.  Surrounded by mountains on all sides , the lake in the middle is so clear and reflective like a big mirror. Continue reading