Monthly Archives: August 2012
As soon as I saw “Tropical Fruit Farm” on a map of Penang in my hostel, I immediately wanted to go. I’ll be honest: the abundance of delicious fruit is definitely one of my favorite qualities of Southeast Asia. Pineapple, mango, banana– I love it all. So I asked the reception at the front desk how to get to the fruit farm and discarded all my previous sightseeing plans for the day.
Getting to the fruit farm was my first taste of the complicated and confusing bus transport in Malaysia. The hostel told me to “take the 101 bus, in front of 7-11.” They failed to inform me of any further directions, like the fact the fruit farm was 8 kilometres away from the bus stop… uphill. In 90 degree heat and humidity. Despite my difficulties finding the place, once I arrived I knew the fruit would be worth it.
Luckily my unintended two hour long journey worked in my favor, and I found the farm just in time for a tour to start. The tour guide was quite the character–very passionate about fruit and armed with dozens of prepared corny jokes about said fruit. We wandered around the orchards, stopping to learn about macadamia nut trees and avocados. As a Californian, the avocados looked a little sad, but I let it slide.
My favorite part of the tour? Sampling the fruit. We tried so many different fruits that I had never heard of! Although I didn’t take down the names, we tasted a ton of random fruit, most of which was sour. The tour guide was very enthusiastic about having each of us sample everything, and expended on all the fruits’ various health benefits, including ones that were “good for the bed.”
The farm markets itself as organic, and the tour describes some of the pest control methods they use. As a former Conservation and Resource Studies minor, I was all ears. However, we walked by a pond that had a suspicious amount of algae formations… So I’m not positive on their status as completely pesticide free or not.
The tour ends at with a fruit buffet– best. thing. ever. Ok, I totally lied about my favorite part of the tour. The fruit buffet is the best part! Come hungry. I had three full plates and a dragonfruit pineapple smoothie, at the suggestion of the guide. You can also buy fruit to take home as well as a few other fruit related products, like coconut oil spray.
Although the tour is a little kitschy, it’s still fun and informative. It was also nice to get out of Georgetown for an afternoon; the farm is located in the middle of the island at the top of a hill with beautiful views. If you’re a fruit lover, there’s no better way to spend a few hours!
As I mentioned in my post on the architecture of Georgetown, it’s easy to spend a day in Penang wandering around aimlessly. The city was first founded by Brits, and has an interesting history shaped by the different ethnic groups and cultures that settled there in its early years. After walking down Love Lane, a street named for its former abundance of brothels and mistress quarters, but now populated bu guesthouses and hostels, I made my way to the Penang State Museum. With an entrance fee of less than $2, I wasn’t expecting too much–and while the museum was fairly small, it was well worth $2 and an hour’s time.
While the Brits were the first to establish Penang as an important trading post, the Chinese also had a major influence on the island. The museum housed a ton of Chinese artifacts, included some traditional outfits and wedding shoot photos from the early 1900′s. Its funny to think how dated our wedding albums will look in one hundred years!
The next sight I stumbled upon was St. George’s Church, Southeast Asia’s first Anglican church, built in 1818. It still retains an active congregation–did I mention Penang was ethnically and culturally diverse? Though it looked a little out of place among the headscarf wearing population, it wasn’t alone; I also passed by the Church of the Assumption later that day. St. George’s wasn’t quite as grand as the Sacre Couer, but nonetheless beautiful, especially with its well manicured green lawn. Like I said yesterday, I often felt like I was in Virginia more than Malaysia!
On the walk to the Fort of Cornwallis, I stopped to snap a photo of the Town Hall. If this doesn’t demonstrate the British influence on Georgetown, I’m not sure what does.
The Fort of Cornwallis is located right along the waterfront, and while the beach isn’t anything to write home about, the ocean breeze helped cool off the Fort a little bit. As I’m not too much of a military buff, I didn’t spend too much time at Fort Cornwallis. Without an informational pamphlet or signs, it lacked the education component of the museum and church. But after spending only $1 on the entrance fee, I didn’t feel too guilty about skipping out after 20 minutes.
With plenty of cheap and free sights, there’s plenty to fill your time between the delicious meals Penang is mostly known for. I recommend throwing away the guidebook and just wandering around, as everything is grouped pretty close together in Georgetown. My only complaint? The heat! After three hours out in the sun I needed to take refuge in some air conditioning. Heat and humidity–yet another thing Virginia and Penang have in common.
Have you ever been to Penang? Do you think I’m crazy for likening it to the colonial towns in America?
Penang, an island off the coast of Malaysia, is one of the only islands in the country known for its amazing cultural experiences instead of its pretty beaches or great dive sites. As one of the major British trading points during their colonial rule in Malaysia, Georgetown, Penang’s first settlement, is filled with British architecture and history. The city has wide green parks, a British fort, and is home to Southeast Asia’s first church–when I was wandering around, I felt like I was in Virginia rather than Malaysia.
The city holds enough cultural significance for Malaysia that it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008. The old shops, trading posts, and residential areas are deteriorated, but their slightly shabby appearance holds a certain charm.
Although Georgetown was founded by a British Captain working for the British East India Trading Company, the current residents are now a diverse mix of ethnic Malays, Chinese, and Indians. The Chinese influence is readily apparent, with many of the shop signs written in the Chinese alphabet. The best benefit of this ethnic diversity? Amazing food. Penang is known for its street hawker food courts, and they’re just as awesome as everyone says they are. I recommend staying for a few hours with a Tiger beer in hand for the
worst best karaoke performance you’ve ever seen.
Although I’m no pro at architecture, I did notice a few commonalities between the buildings. Besides some of the government buildings, like the Town Hall, looking much more Western than Eastern with neoclassical columns and a lot of white paint, I noticed that arched windows with shutters were present on most of the remaining historic buildings. The view below your feet is just as nice: the sidewalks are often beautifully tiled, as seen in one of my Photos of the Week. The walkways are generally covered and the arches are seemingly endless. Another thing I loved? All the bright colors and wall murals. Georgetown’s candy colored streets definitely have a little more character than the average American sprawling suburb.
Georgetown is also unique among Malaysian cities: during my month traveling here, I’ve found them to be a little intense, often dirty, and overall not too pleasant. But Georgetown is the notable exception–the British colonial buildings interspersed with Chinese Buddhist and Indian Hindu temples make for a great day spent walking around. And lest you forget you’re in Asia instead of Williamsburg, the abundant satay food carts will be a gentle reminder.
There’s a reason I haven’t been posting my regular amount of posts this week! I spent the past 5 days in Sepilok and a wildlife camp on the banks of the Kinabantangan river here in Borneo and–surprise!–there isn’t wifi or cell phone service in the jungle. Despite the lack of technology (or maybe because of it) I had an amazing time. This week was all about the wildlife; I probably saw hundreds of proboscis monkeys in total between the Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary and the river safari cruises I took at Uncle Tan’s Wildlife. While I am relishing air conditioning, wifi, television, and my first shower in 3 days, I am already sad that my time exploring Borneo’s jungles has come to an end. Without a doubt, of all the places I have visited so far, I will come back here. There is so much more exploring to do and so many monkeys to photograph!
After spending a month in Thailand, I can see why it is so popular with tourists- the food is amazing, the natural scenery is beautiful and unique, the tourism infrastructure is built up, and it’s cheap. There is a well defined tourist trail in Thailand, and I followed it to a T. I couldn’t help becoming one of it’s adoring fans, and I’ve already decided to return there as my last stop before I head home.
Where I stayed:
- 2 nights at the Rikka Inn in Bangkok: I thought this hotel was awful. There’s two reasons I wanted to stay there, which were its location on Khao San Road and the rooftop pool. I hated staying on Khao San (it’s loud and far from all public transport) and I didn’t use the rooftop pool, so the rude staff and smelly room made me dislike it. I don’t think I’d stay there again. Also, Agoda advertises free breakfast for this place, which is not true.
- 1 night on an overnight bus to Koh Pha Ngan: This was also awful. I was so uncomfortable I couldn’t sleep and even worse was that the workers on the bus stole some gold jewelry out of my bag. Others also reported stolen items. I’m glad I had my valuable electronics with me, but do not keep anything you wouldn’t want to lose in your big pack. More importantly, don’t book an overnight bus through a tour company on Khao San!
- 4 nights at the Full Moon Hostel in Koh Pha Ngan: This was okay- the entire hostel is just one huge dorm for 30 (!) people. You have a small locker, light, and plug but nowhere for your backpack or clothes so it gets really messy. The bathrooms get extremely dirty, and no one ever locks the door. My other gripe was the common room is only open from 2pm onwards. It’s right next to the Drop In Bar, so it’s super convenient if you’re there for the party but pretty much impossible to sleep otherwise. The good things? You can run back in to the room from the beach if you need to grab money, water, or change your clothes, and the Wifi wasn’t bad. It’s overpriced but so is everything in Koh Pha Ngan during FMP.
- 4 nights at Prik Thai Resort in Koh Tao: I stayed here in Koh Tao and I loved the woman who’s in charge- she’s so sweet! These bungalows are really basic and right next to the beach. It’s pretty cheap (500 baht/night), but Wifi is extra. If you book your diving through Roctopus they will set you up with a room here and also pick you up from the pier. If you’re coming to Koh Tao after Full Moon, book in advance as everyone else seems to have the same idea as you.
- 1 night on the overnight train to Bangkok: This is so, so much better than the bus. Do this if you care about sleeping or being comfortable at all. It’s more expensive (I think I paid $60 for my own a/c sleeper bunk room, also included the ferry and bus from Koh Tao) but it is worth it!
- 3 nights at Lub D Siam Square in Bangkok: This is known as one of the fanciest hostels in Bangkok, and it delivers! I loved the bathrooms especially- the rain showers are amazing. It looks more like a boutique hotel than hostel! It’s right near MBK and the Skytrain, making it easy to get around Bangkok. The rooms are pretty tiny but are extremely clean. The only negative? I really think breakfast should be included at the price. But I’d still stay there again in a heartbeat! I also love the movie theatre room with bean bags- it’s super comfy to hang out and a good place to meet other travelers.
- 4 nights at Deejai Backpackers in Chiang Mai: This is a solid choice in Chiang Mai. It’s super cheap (I paid $4/night) but I think the fan rooms are a little too hot for my taste. The fan doesn’t really move around. But all the dorms are only 3 people, the restaurant downstairs is cool, and it’s impossible to stay there without making new friends. They also have a massive amount of tours you can book through them, though it’s usually cheaper to go to the tour agencies themselves.
- 1 night at the Monk Chat Meditation Center in Chiang Mai: This was actually pretty nice considered the price! Each room is only 2 people, with attached bathroom and a fan. The rooms are gender segregated, however, so if you are traveling with your boyfriend or husband prepare to find a new roommate.
- 1 more night at Deejai in Chiang Mai: See above, I really liked it there.
- 2 nights at the Kata Orient House Hotel in Phuket: This place is a great value in Phuket. It’s only $2 more per night than Bodega, Phuket’s most popular hostel, and you get a huge private room, attached bathroom, A/C, TV, and a pool! Definitely check it out if you want to stay in Kata. It has some sketch reviews on TripAdvisor but I had a great experience there, so I’m not sure what’s going on with those.
- 5 nights at the Orange Tree in Koh Phi Phi: It seems all the options in Koh Phi Phi are overpriced and crappy. The Orange Tree was okay; the room was pretty small but I enjoyed the frigid a/c and the location. It wasn’t a bad place to recover from my second bout of stomach flu, but it is expensive for one person.
- 1 night at Bodega Phuket in Phuket: After I realized how far away Kata was from the pier and airport, I decided to stay in Patong for my last night in Thailand. This is a great hostel: they have lockers for your bag and separate lockers for your valuables, the four person dorm is really spacious, and it’s a social place. Good location in Patong as well: close enough to the party but not hard to sleep. I also loved the airy windows. Definitely one of my favorite hostels I’ve stayed in this trip; they know exactly what backpackers want.
What I did:
- Bangkok round one: Grand Palace and Wat Pho, MBK and Siam Square, Chatuchak market
- Koh Pha Ngan: beach bummed and celebrated the Full Moon
- Koh Tao: more beach bumming, got the stomach flu, lost my phone and camera to Davy Jones in Koh Nang Yuan, and went diving with Roctopus Divers (highly recommended!)
- Bangkok round two: MBK to replace the phone, Siam Paragon for a movie (movie going in Thailand is awesome), Jim Thompson house, Chinatown food tour
- Chiang Mai: wandered around to “soak up the atmosphere”, trekked, cooked, and meditated
- Phuket: toured Phang Nga Bay
- Koh Phi Phi: even more beach bumming, went diving with Princess Divers, went snorkeling
- Phuket round two: did nothing worth blogging about, pretended I was in San Francisco and ate a huge sundae at one of Thailand’s ubiquitous Swensen’s ice cream, went to see “The Dark Knight Rises” (verdict: awesome)
What I wanted to do but didn’t:
I really wanted to see some of Thailand’s less developed islands, like Koh Lanta and Koh Lipe, but they are pretty much shut down during the off season (when I was there). I’m also still really sad I only got to do two dives in Koh Tao!
My favorite: Tough choice, but I’d say either the food tour in Bangkok or snorkeling in Koh Phi Phi (diving in Koh Tao would be up there if it wasn’t for the puking involved…)
My least favorite: my time in Phuket
Some fun facts!
- Total nights: 29
- Dives done: 4
- Times I got sick: 4 (ugh)
- Buckets drank: 2
- Times I swore off buckets forever: 2
- Elephant crossing signs: 1
- Blog posts I wrote about Thailand, including this one: 23
- Shared a room with people from the countries of: United States, Canada, China, Belgium, Italy, Switzerland, South Korea, United Kingdom, Ireland, and Norway
If I haven’t made it clear enough, I loved Thailand. I can’t wait to go back!
This week I was in Singapore, and it’s safe to say if I hadn’t bought a flight out of the city I never would have left. Singapore is one of those places where you think, “I could live here” after about 3 hours or so of being there. I loved how clean it was, the amazing public transit, the friendliest people, a wide variety of delicious food, and the numerous green spaces placed neatly between the skyscrapers. This photo is from the Marina Bay Sands hotel, which could easily hold its own among any of the opulent Vegas hotels. While unfortunately I wasn’t a guest at the hotel (one day!) I did get to wander around and see the awesome Andy Warhol and Harry Potter exhibits at the Art and Science Museum next door.
The highlight of any trip to Koh Phi Phi has to be a day spent snorkeling- the water is clear, the fish are abundant, and the views are stunning. While some divers seem to hate on snorkeling, I actually had a better time snorkeling than diving in Koh Phi Phi! I saw more fish (including a sea snake and bannerfish), and the visibility was much, much better.
All the snorkeling trips are standardized on the island, with similar itineraries. You start at Monkey Beach, where dozens of monkeys come to grab fruit from tourists. I’m pretty sure this is where I would choose to live if I was a monkey! On the way to the second location is a stop by Viking Cave, where bird nests for bird nest soup are collected. Next up is Pileh Bay, a cove surrounded by the limestone cliffs Phi Phi is famous for. There’s great snorkeling and the boat captains have a stock of bread to throw into the water and attract the fish. The third stop is Maya Bay: the location where “The Beach” was filmed. Stunning yet overpopulated, the only way to see the island without the day trippers is to spend some cash and camp overnight with Maya Bay Camping. The afternoon tours end by parking the boat in the ocean on the way back to the pier for a scenic sunset spot.
Like the beaches on Koh Phi Phi, the bays and beaches visited on the snorkeling trip are crowded with other boats and tourists. Yet I couldn’t help feel amazed by how beautiful everything was. I know it sounds cheesy, but my actual thoughts while floating in Pileh Bay, staring at the limestone surrounding me, were, “This is paradise.”
While I usually love traveling alone, this tour I was with two other couples- and while they were all extremely nice, I definitely felt like the lonely single girl and wished my boyfriend was there. I credit this partly to the tour I chose; I picked the more expensive speedboat option after hearing that those were the only ones that can pull up directly to Maya Bay. The snorkelers from the longtail boats have to climb over a sketchy looking rope ladder, and with my expensive camera I did not want to risk it.
There isn’t much more to say about snorkeling in Koh Phi Phi besides, “don’t miss it,” so I’ll let the photos do the rest of the convincing.
Like three million other Americans, I have a peanut allergy. If I eat peanuts, pine nuts, almonds, cashews, walnuts, pecans, hazelnut, pistachios, or macadamia nuts, I could go into anaphylactic shock and die. Luckily, I don’t have nearly as severe an allergy as others do- while I have been hospitalized for allergic reactions and carry an Epipen, my body’s normal reaction is simply stomach cramps and vomiting. So how did I travel through Thailand for 30 days without eating peanuts?
I’ll let you in on a secret about Thai food: it isn’t all made with peanuts! Shocking, I know. I think Americans have this preconceived notion that much of Thai cuisine is garnished with peanuts since the Thai dish most Americans know best, Pad Thai, does include peanuts. But Thai food is much, much more than Pad Thai. Pad Thai wasn’t even that popular in Thailand until the 1930′s, when the Prime Minister at the time wanted to reduce the nation’s rice consumption. So in the interest of helping other peanut allergy afflicted travelers, I’ve compiled a list of non-Pad Thai dishes and tips for traveling through Thailand with an allergy. I didn’t eat Western food and often ate street food and tried dishes that I wasn’t familiar with. And here’s one more secret: you can even eat Pad Thai! Simply ask for no peanut garnish- I had it several times while I was there and I’m still alive to tell the tale.
First, some general tips for visiting Thailand with a peanut allergy:
1. Be prepared. Bring several Epipens with you on your trip, along with Benedryl. Make sure to actually carry them around with you too, instead of leaving them in your suitcase at the hotel. If you already keep an Epipen on your person when you are at home, this shouldn’t be too hard. Thailand also has many, many pharmacies in the general tourist towns, so you can purchase more Epipens or Benedryl should you run out or lose them for some reason.
2. Use a local for help. On my food tour in Bangkok, my tour guide wrote out some version of, “I’m allergic to all nuts and cannot eat them” in Thai on a small slip of paper. I kept this paper in my wallet at all times and showed it to every waiter or street vendor. This proved so invaluable! It allowed me to try more exotic looking foods without worrying. Ask the front desk of your hotel or hostel if they can do the same- this really is the best way to stay safe while trying new food.
3. Be vocal. It’s almost inevitable that you’ll take an organized tour of some sort during your time in Thailand, whether it be scuba diving, a meditation retreat, or visiting an elephant sanctuary. These tours usually include a meal, so when you book the tour, make sure to tell the operators that you have a peanut allergy. They are used to accommodating various food restrictions from vegetarians to Muslims, so they’ll ensure you have a nut-free option.
Now the fun part- the actual food! Thailand is known for having some of the best cuisine in the world, and for good reason. I miss the food so much even though I’m still in Southeast Asia! Here are my favorite, non-peanut dishes I ate while I was in Thailand.
1. Green curry
Like pesto, this sauce gets its green color from basil. But unlike pesto, green curry has no pine nuts. Yay! This is a curry usually served over chicken, vegetables, and rice. So yummy! It isn’t spicy and it’s on 99% of the country’s menus (scientifically proven by me). Green curry is almost always an option, and it’s a delicious one at that.
2. Sweet and sour
This is a little more boring than green curry, but hey, you can’t eat green curry for every meal. It’s also served with a meat, vegetables, and rice.
3. Fried rice
I LOVE fried rice. Somehow Thais have also figured out the secret to making the best fried rice ever. I think they put crack in it.
4. Khao soi
Don’t tell fried rice, but khao soi is actually my favorite Thai dish. As the recipe originates from Burma, it is found mostly in Chiang Mai and the rest of northern Thailand. It is a coconut curry soup with chicken and egg noodles- it’s really filling and really delicious.
5. Fruits and vegetables
What’s that you say? Your body needs actual nutrition? Oh, okay. Lucky for you, Thailand has the highest concentration of fruit stalls per capita of any country in the world. Stir fried vegetables are also very common- my favorite is morning glory (I’ve also seen it called water spinach, Chinese spinach, and water grass on some menus). They saute it with garlic, red chilies, and oyster sauce, and it’s so good I’ve already Googled, “Where can you buy morning glory in the United States?”
This is in no way an exhaustive list of everything you can eat in Thailand with an allergy- these are just some of the best dishes I ate there. Any other travelers with a peanut allergy out there? Share your favorite meals and tips in the comments!
Koh Phi Phi, a small island about 50 kilometers away from Phuket, is undoubtedly the most beautiful place I’ve ever been. Made world famous after its star role in the backpacker favorite film, “The Beach,” Phi Phi is heavily overdeveloped and visited by millions of tourists. Even though I was there during the low season, the beaches, restaurants, and bars were completely packed. Everyone wants a slice of “The Beach,” and as a result, Koh Phi Phi in actuality is nothing like the deserted paradise portrayed in the movie.
There’s no debate over the effects tourism have had on Koh Phi Phi: vast number of tourists and the accompanying waste they produce is doing the island no favors. It’s crowded, dirty, and smelly. While the local population is mostly conservatively dressed Muslims, visitors sunbathe topless and wander around in swimsuits. The restaurants serve poor imitations of Western food; the breakfast options include, “American breakfast,” “Israeli breakfast,” and “British breakfast.” The bars blasting music make it difficult to fall asleep before midnight and all the hotels are wildly overpriced.
Want a picture of you looking like Leo on “The Beach”? Be prepared to share your frame with hundreds of other tourists, speedboats, and buoys. A popular souvenir shirt sold on the island read, “Koh Phi Phi: Think Different.” I always wondered what that meant- how was going to Phi Phi an original or unique destination?
All of this had me wondering: has Koh Phi Phi been ruined by tourism? It certainly is not the idyllic laidback beach resort it was twenty years ago. If you’re looking for an authentic Thai experience on a beautiful island, Phi Phi is not your island.
But despite all of the other tourists, crappy accommodation options, and loud speedboats getting in the way of my own personal Leo fantasy, I absolutely loved Phi Phi. It was so stunning; the water was the prettiest turquoise blue that I didn’t know existed in real life. Although I had seen pictures, nothing could prepare me for how the sheer limestone cliffs looked in real life. It was, quite literally, breathtaking, in a way I’ve never seen before. I think perspective was important in forming my impression- I knew to expect the crowds, trash, and partying. And although I personally enjoyed my time on Phi Phi, I know it isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.
Does its natural beauty justify its crass overdevelopment? Of course not. If Koh Phi Phi is going to last as a tourist destination for twenty more years, the Thai government needs to step in and impose some regulations. The rubbish situation needs to be fixed, and there should be a limit on how many speedboats are going out each day. The water pollution is out of control and frankly pretty gross. With a few simple laws in place (and actually enforced, another hurdle), Koh Phi Phi could still be pumping out plenty of tourist dollars while retaining and sustaining its natural resources.
What do you think- can a place be ruined by tourism? Did you love or hate Koh Phi Phi?
After getting scuba certified in Cambodia, I was so excited to try diving in Thailand. I had read and heard so much about the amazing diving on both sides of the country: Koh Tao, on the Gulf side, is known as a training mecca, offering some the cheapest prices in the world for certification, and the Andaman Sea has world famous dive sites like the Similan Islands. After two great but camera-less dives at Sail Rock off the coast of Koh Tao, I knew what my first order of business would be once I arrived in Koh Phi Phi- find a dive shop!
As word of mouth is usually my preferred method for choosing accommodation, sightseeing, and dive shops (thanks Alex for recommending the awesome people at Roctopus on Koh Tao), I had already done some previous research on TripAdvisor. I headed straight to Princess Divers, and after chatting with one of the divemasters I signed up for two dives the following afternoon. Princess is one of the only dive shops on Phi Phi that does both morning and afternoon trips, so if you’re a night owl they’re the shop for you.
The prices are much more expensive than on the Gulf side of Thailand, but the service equates to the price change. Your gear is carried to the boat, and after the dive briefing you’re free to relax as the divemasters set up your gear for you. After the first dive, they switch your gear to the new tank, and when you arrive back at the pier you’re done for the day. While I certainly don’t mind putting my gear together, it was kind of nice to not have to worry about it. The food was much better, too: you have a choice of several lunch options. While Koh Tao is all about the training (putting together your gear is an integral part of leaning), Koh Phi Phi really caters to the wealthier traveler and people doing Discover Scuba Dives.
While I enjoyed my two dives, I was a little disappointed, as the conditions weren’t the best. The visibility was only around 7 meters, and the currents prevented us from going to the best dive site (it didn’t help that most of the boat was uncertified). I was also hoping for a black tip shark (sorry Mom) or some turtles, as the divemaster who booked my dives told me they were really common. Not the case- the only pelagics were a school of barracuda. Adding to my disappointment was my difficulty at taking underwater photos. I’m still a beginner at diving, so I’m not very good at neutral buoyancy (the art of neither sinking nor floating), an essential skill for remaining still enough to take clear and focused photos.
I’m torn whether I should still consider buying underwater camera housing- is it worth the expense if I hate the photos I take? And if I’m only diving once every two weeks (and only for the next few months), will I improve? Divers, let me know what you think!