Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

It's already New Years Day here in Nelson, New Zealand, but I know it's still not quite the New Year back in Los Angeles yet.

Since our last entry, we've been socked in by flooding and heavy rains en route to Westport from Fox Glacier before finally getting some decent weather (i.e. partly cloudy with on-and-off squalls) the next day. That allowed us to visit the impressive Mangatini Falls as well as the Oparara Arch and Moria Gate Arch near Karamea. That day ended off with a blustery late afternoon sighting of a fur seal colony at Cape Foulwind by Tauranga Bay.

On New Year's Eve, we left Westport for Hanmer Springs. We visited powerful Maruia Falls, the Maruia Hot Springs, and the Thermal Pools at Hanmer Springs. The Maruia Spring brought us back to our onsen experiences in Japan. It was also the first day in probably over a week that we finally got a day without rain.

Today, we left Hanmer Springs before dawn to catch a morning whale-watching tour in Kaikoura (that prevented us from staying up to do the countdown with the rest of the tourists and kiwis in town). Even though we were waitlisted with no guarantee of joining this tour, we were fortunate to be the last ones called, and boy were we glad to have done it. That's because we saw three sperms wales plus a massive school of dusky dolphins doing various jumps and backflips.

The rest of the day was spent trying out a couple of local crayfish dives while walking to Ohau Falls while seeing another fur seal colony nearby. Then, we concluded the day with a long drive all the way to Nelson. Julie had a little bit of food poisoning over dinner, but for the moment, she seems fine now. Tomorrow, we're expecting a long day exploring the Abel Tasman National Park area...

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Waterfall of the Week

Monday, December 28, 2009

The West Coast of New Zealand

Since Christmas Day, we've been busy continuing to visit some familiar haunts as well as some new places we missed five years ago. We were also busy playing the role of salespeople in an effort to make bookstores and information centers more aware of our New Zealand Waterfalls book.

But in terms of sightseeing, we went to Queenstown on Boxing Day. It was a very busy place and certainly not nearly as dead as we remembered it five years ago. It also seemed to be a bit more developed though we kind of expected that since just about everything these days has to keep pace with the population increase and increased tourism.

It rained pretty relentlessly in town so we didn't go up the gondola and get that classic view of Queenstown fronting Lake Wakatipu fronting the Remarkables.

The next day, we left Queenstown and headed to Fox Glacier through the Haast Pass Highway cutting through Mt Aspiring National Park. We revisited Fantail Falls and Thunder Creek Falls. However, the wall of waterfalls tumbling down the mountains weren't seen this time around because the clouds were hanging low and thus obscuring our views of them.

The fog turned into rain when we got right onto the West Coast. So we didn't bother stopping at Haast Bay nor at Knights Point. When we got to Fox Glacier, we spent some time checking out the glacier itself which was something we hadn't seen in the past. The walk to the glacier seemed shorter than we remembered it for Franz Josef Glacier, but the glacier was no less spectacular. We also got to see some of the waterfalls coming down both sides of the valley. I made a return visit to the glacier later in the evening when the weather had improved significantly. However, even despite the better weather towards the end of the day, the mountains of the Southern Alps were still blocked by clouds so we didn't go for a walk around Lake Matheson.

Today, we went to Franz Josef Glacier, but not before stealing a few looks at Mt Cook as the clouds briefly parted just enough for us to see it from our motel before the clouds obscured it again. Back at Franz, we noticed the walk was much easier and more popular than before, but it was also disconcerting to see how much the glacier had retreated in five years. At the end of the day, we finally decided to walk around Lake Matheson in the hopes of getting that postcard view of Mt Tasman reflected in the lake, but the clouds refused to cooperate and reveal the snowy mountain when we were on the other side of the lake.

I guess that's how it is sometimes when sights like these are weather dependent. And this is especially true of New Zealand's notoriously rainy West Coast...

Hugo Chavez Renames Angel Falls

This bit of news maybe a few days old, but when you're in New Zealand, it's not like you're actively paying attention to the news as the days are very busy.

Anyways, Hugo Chavez is not a very shy guy when it comes to making headlines, and this is one that is certain to shakeup the waterfall world a bit. Chavez decided to rename Angel Falls to Kerepakupai-merú, which is derived from the indigenous Pemón language.

You can read this development from a New York Times article here.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Wet and Busy Christmas

Today was a very busy day. We started off by heading straight for Milford Sound from Te Anau. It was partly cloudy down here, but it was raining when we got there. We arrived just in time for another Milford Sound Cruise, but this time it didn't seem as good as the first time when the weather was clearing and we were visited by fur seals, penguins, and dolphins. This time, the weather remained uncooperative but we did get to see fur seals and some dolphins that weren't in the mood to show off.

Afterwards, with the bad weather, we decided against doing a day walk on the Routeburn Track towards Earland Falls and maybe Key Summit. Instead, we drove back to the end of the Lower Hollyford Road and hiked the Hollyford Track to Hidden Falls and back. Hidden Falls was gushing, but it was hard to take a photo of it given the massive amount of spray. It was a long hike, but mostly flat and comfortable despite the rain. Plus, it was nice and quiet, which was something we missed in our previous trips to Asia this year. As the afternoon progressed, the rain lightened up and eventually gave way to sun.

When we finished the hike, we decided to capitalize on the weather and return to the Milford Sound. That was when we finally got to see the spectacular scenery on the Milford Sound Highway that we never really got to see due to rain and low hanging clouds. With ephemeral waterfalls still draping the towering snowy peaks and steep U-shaped valleys very reminiscent of Yosemite, we really looked forward to seeing Milford Sound in afternoon light. But when we got there, it was still cloudy though not as disappointing as this morning.

Oh well, we tried. We ended up having dinner at one of the few places in Te Anau still open for Christmas day. And so ended a very long day. We're headed to Queenstown tomorrow, but we might take a break from the waterfalling to recuperate from today.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Waterfall of the Week

Inside the Octagon!

After spending yesterday doing a couple of hikes in the Peel Forest (basically the Acland Falls and Emily Falls hikes), and then enjoying Mt Cook under beautiful skies, today we had a real busy day going from Mt Cook to Dunedin and then sightseeing both the city and the nearby peninsula. We also managed to squeeze views of Wakefield Falls in the Tasman Valley.

Our day in Dunedin was spent visiting the familiar Octagon (basically a city block shaped like an octagon with a pair of attractive buildings and a lawn area perfect for picnics), but this time, we had time to walk around and enjoy the place since we're spending the night here instead of just zooming by like last time. So we also managed to visit a charming railway station just east of the Octagon (right in the city centre) while stumbling into a farmers market where we loaded up on fresh cherries as well as a delicious galette (a gluten- and wheat-free type of crepe) made by a French family.

Later in the day, we drove all the way out onto a peninsula where we visited the Larnach Castle, saw a couple of sea lions resting on the beach at Sandfly Bay, and then unsuccessfully tried to spot penguins at Pilots Beach.

Before we knew it, we were back in our motel at 10pm. There was still daylight at this hour since we're far south in latitude. Still, we have yet another long day of driving ahead of us tomorrow as we go to Te Anau.

With the weather going from warm and sunny to rainy (albeit brief) at the very end of the day, we're expecting the weather to deteriorate into the typical wet New Zealand weather we've come to know. We hope we're wrong, but considering Fiordland is one of the rainiest spots in the country (let alone the world), we're not holding our breath for blue skies. At least, NZ is a place I'd rather be than inside an octagon, MMA style!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Diaoshuilou Waterfall Man

It thought it was strange to see an article written by the China Daily about the man who jumps off the top of Diaoshuilou Waterfall in the Mudanjiang Province in the northeast of China.

When we were there, the falls was dry. But we still witnessed the waterfall diver dutifully doing his dive, which he apparently does twice a day. I guess he didn't have to worry about whirlpools or turbulence on the day we went. But from the photo in the article, it seemed like they came at the right time of year. Amazing that this guy has been doing it for 20 years.

Picking Up Where We Left Off

We're now on day 2 of our return to New Zealand.

Day 1 involved us arriving in Auckland where it was raining. We then caught a connecting flight to Christchurch, where we began our trip in earnest.

Five years ago, we only had time to spend the night near the airport. That was because we started that day in Invercargill, drove through the Catlins Forest seeing five waterfalls along the way, then drove all the way up the South Island to Christchurch. Over the years, we've learned a lot about pacing ourselves and planning better over the years. So now, we're planning to cover this same stretch over a period of five days instead of one long hectic day.

When we arrived in Christchurch yesterday, it started off sunny. So we spent some time walking around the city centre. Unfortunately, our GPS/netbook combo failed. I wasn't sure if it was the GPS or the netbook software that failed. In any case, we forked over money to buy a Kiwi version of the Nuvi. It wasn't cheap, but at least we weren't traveling blind.

We then spent the afternoon driving all the way to Akaroa. It was too bad that it was Sunday because many places were closed. Plus, the weather deteriorated quickly as it rained pretty hard the rest of the night. I guess Summer hasn't started yet.

Today, we visited Ryde Falls as well as the Lyttleton area by way of the scenic Summit Road. The weather was much better today as it was sunny all day long.

Tomorrow, we're headed to Aoraki, otherwise known as Mt Cook. We're also making a stop to the Peel Forest along the way where we can possibly see three waterfalls there. Hopefully, the weather continues to hold up, but we're well aware that New Zealand can see four seasons in a day. So maybe we're just hoping against hope...

Validation of Our Cherrapunji Observations

I knew we weren't crazy or seeing things based on our recent visit to the Sohra area back in early November to see Nohkalikai Falls among others.

Back then, we were wondering whether the "wettest place on earth" claim was warranted, because all we noticed were a bunch of moors covered in dry grass and trickling or disappointing waterfalls.

Well, I just chanced upon this BBC article, which confirmed our suspicions. It just goes to show you that when you see something in person, you get educated even well before someone tells you about it.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Coming Full Circle In NZ

We're now headed back to the place that essentially changed our lives; to the place that expanded our waterfalling into a worldwide endeavor; to the place that empowered us to believe in ourselves and embrace the beauty and diversity of our world.

Just a little over five years ago, Julie and I got married and honeymooned in New Zealand.

I still smile and remember fondly the memories acquired on that trip. And tonight, we're about to see different parts of the Land of the Long White Cloud while revisiting a few old haunts.

Even though no one really knows what the future holds, I can say for certain that this trip will be the end of our crazy globetrotting and the start of the next chapter in our lives. While I warned at the start of the year in our newsletter that the winds of change were coming in 2009, they will have made their mark in 2010.

Indeed, life will be different, but we'll still be waterfalling just at a little more deliberate pace.

In the mean time, you can follow our musings and happenings during this "end of the extended honeymoon" by following this blog or get updates via Twitter or our Facebook group.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Waterfall of the Week

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Peru Waterfalls To Be Sacrificed?

An article caught my attention regarding a deal between Peru and Brazil where Peru is supposed to export hydroelectricity to Brazil. In order to generate the needed electricity, Peru needs more hydroelectric schemes while capitalizing on the steep terrain of the Andes Mountains. What's not clear yet is whether any of the major waterfalls in the country will be adversely affected.

While we can appreciate the need for energy to try to meet ever-increasing demands, we worry whether losing waterfalls (which we predicted in this article) is the way to go in light of less expensive options (though politically unpopular) like using less energy or population control.

Click here to see the news article regarding this development.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Hikers Rescued from Eaton Canyon

We don't get much rain in Los Angeles. When it does, it wreaks havoc. After the recent Station fires in August, the hills are more prone to landslides. Yesterday, 4 people were rescued from Eaton Canyon after they were trapped by water and fallen debris. They were probably hiking to Eaton Canyon Falls because it's a popular day hike on the weekends.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Waterfall of the Week

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Waterfall of the Week

Monday, November 30, 2009

Cloud Seeding in Venezuela?

There has been a severe drought in Venezuela, and this has prompted President Hugo Chavez to move forward with a program to perform cloud seeding.

Will this program work? Is it a desperate ploy to cope with the longer term problem of Climate Change?

And is it going to help revive the country's iconic Angel Falls as well as the country's other outstanding waterfalls (let alone its ailing agriculture and Nature)?

Only time will tell, but you can read more about this issue here.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Woman Falls Over Edge At Kaieteur Falls

This may be a bit of old news, but to me, it's no less shocking nor saddening when we read about it after returning from India.

You can read the story about the incident here. There's another article written about the incident here.

There has been some rumblings about building safety railings or barriers around the Kaieteur Falls. Personally, I hope this doesn't happen as it would certainly take away from the beauty of the place. I can only hope that people continue to stay away from the edge and exercise caution and respect for Nature, but I also know that Nature is inherently dangerous and it's one of those things where it's difficult to manage these risks when there's always that potential that someone may die.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

India Travel Diaries Posted

I've just finished posting the travel journals from our time in India.

So if you're up for a little variety and something beyond the waterfalling fix, check it out!

There was also a little bit of a shake-up in a couple of our Top 10 Lists.
India Waterfalls have certainly impacted our Top 10 Asian Waterfalls List, but one of them has also cracked the Top 10 Tallest Waterfalls based on highest vertical drop that we've seen.

Friday, November 27, 2009

India Waterfalls Now On WoW

Battling through Thanksgiving food coma and a stubborn cold, I've at least managed to put in the India Waterfalls that we've visited earlier this month. So far, our sampling of 16 falls spanned five states, including some famous ones like Jog Falls and Dudhsagar Falls as well as some of the more obscure ones like Unchalli Falls and Nohkalikai Falls.

There are still more waterfalls I wish to visit that we couldn't get to on this trip for one reason or another. But we think we've seen some of India's best as well atmospheric waterfalls even in our current humble survey. In fact, we've even changed our Top 10 Asian Waterfalls list to reflect how some of the country's best stacked up against the incumbents we've seen from other Asian countries.

I'm hoping to finish putting in the whole India section including travel stories, other attractions, and some informational pages on weather and some practicalities as well as putting in Google Maps for the specific waterfalls we've just seen in India. So stay tuned, but in the mean time, come check out the beauties just put onto WoW!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Waterfall of the Week

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Time To Get Caught Up

We've recently returned from our adventurous cultural and waterfalling trip to Subcontinental Asia. That's basically a fancier way of saying India (as well as a very brief getaway away from the getaway in the Maldives).

So now the work really begins.

Fortunately, I've got Thanksgiving Weekend to try to get all the waterfall pages as well as travel stories updated with new information and photos from India. I do expect The Top 10 Asian Waterfalls List to get a little shake-up due to this latest waterfalling escapade. Stay tuned...

Friday, November 20, 2009

Thank You, India!

After an adventurous 19 nights in India, we're now winding down our trip by spending a few nights in the Maldives, where fortunately, there's complementary internet. Thus, I can compose this entry. This part of the trip isn't meant for waterfalling, but after some hectic traveling in the subcontinent, I think we've seen enough waterfalls for the time being.

Since our last entry where we were at the Mangalore Airport in Karnataka state en route to the Cochin Airport in Kerala state, we've visited the Athirappilly Falls, Palaruvi Falls, Courtallam Falls, Old Courtallam Falls, and Five Falls. The first two falls are in the state of Kerala while the last three are in the state of Tamil Nadu.

To break up the waterfalling, we also enjoyed Marari Beach as well as the backwaters of Kerala.

We look forward to sharing our Indian experiences through the World of Waterfalls website when we return next week. But to summarize the last three weeks, let's just say it was both adventurous, unexpected, chaotic, and peaceful.

I echo the sentiment of Canadian singer Alanis Morrisette when she said "Thank you, India" in her song "Thank You." But instead of ironic enlightenment on her part, we once again feel a sense of enlightenment just by experiencing different cultures, peoples, and landscapes.

Indeed, despite what our expectations might have been prior to visiting India, the country always manages to defy them in some way shape or form. I'm glad we came here, and I hope we can come back to see other parts of India that we simply didn't have time for the first time around...

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Waterfall of the Week

Monday, November 16, 2009

Headed to Kerala

We'd been without internet for several days (not since Shillong over 10 days or so ago). So during that time, we'd been to Mumbai, Goa (Calangute and Panjim), Sirsi, and Murudeshwar. We've visited Dudhsagar Falls, Magod Falls, Sathodi Falls, Jog Falls, and Unchalli Falls. And even though our experiences in Karnataka state was more like roughing it, we probably had our best waterfalling in the country here.

Now, we're headed to Kerala. There are two more waterfalls to go in Athirapilly Falls and Courtallam Falls (in Tamil Nadu state).

We're looking forward to seeing this part of the country where it's said to have the most successful socialist state in India and possibly the world. And given the amount of poverty we've seen so far, we'd be real interested in seeing how Kerala compares.

Besides, we're looking forward to fish curries or something more substantial than the vegetarian sweets and snacks we'd been eating for the past 3 days.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Waterfall of the Week

To celebrate our wedding anniversary...

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Finally, A Waterfalling Day!

With yesterday's costly 3-hour flight delay to Guwahati from Delhi, we didn't get a chance to see any significant waterfalls near Shillong.

So today, we had a lot of catching up to do, and we managed to see Nohkalikai Falls, Nohsngithiang Falls, Kynrem Falls, Elephant Falls, Beadon Falls, and Bishop Falls.

I was really bumming that we didn't get to see Sweet Falls as we simply ran out of time. After doing a post mortem, we saw that it was a smaller version of Nohkalikai Falls, but easily 200m tall.

I don't think we'll be able to see Sweet Falls tomorrow either as we still have to make a 3.5-hour drive back to Guwahati to catch our noon-time flight to Kolkata (Calcutta) and then to Mumbai (Bombay).

Plus, the weak monsoon this year coupled with the fact that some of the Cherrapunjee waterfalls really need to be experienced during the monsoon made many of the falls here (except Nohkalikai Falls) disappointing. But the Shillong-vicinity waterfalls exceeded expectations.

If only we didn't have that costly delay yesterday...

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Drama Always Follows Us

After a pretty successful "alternate" itinerary in Ranthambhore National Park sighting a wild royal bengal tiger as well as a leopard, we're now back in Delhi to spend the night before flying out to India's northeast tomorrow morning. That's where we expect to see the first of the India Waterfalls on this trip.

Like I said earlier, the original itinerary included Chitrakote Falls in Chattisgarh state (discouraged by tour operator due to Maoist activity and time/cost constraints) and the Barehipani Falls and Joranda Falls in Simlipal National Park in Orissa state (again due to Maoist activities). So I've been chomping at the bit to see waterfalls in the country and really look forward to the off-the-beaten-path locales we're about to journey to.

However, before I sign off, I must mention that drama always seems to follow us around, and today was definitely one of those drama-filled days. To make a long story short, there was an accident involving our vehicle where a local village boy was hit about an hour from Ranthambhore. Fortunately, he was taken to hospital and he's fine. I'm not sure if the driver will get through OK as the villagers want money either from the driver or from the tour company.

I feel bad for the driver because driving in India is very difficult (the roads are pretty chaotic and it's shared with camels, bikes, rickshaws, lorries, buses, tractors, scooters, foot traffic, cows, goats, dogs, you name it). And for all we know, the accident may not be the driver's fault (the kid could've dashed out in front of the car). All I can say is that our driver's quick reaction may have made the difference in keeping the boy alive as opposed to becoming another traffic fatality (not all that uncommon in India).

I certainly hope our driver makes it through this ordeal. He's been real nice and the tour company has also been excellent with our trip so far...

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Tiger Surprise

We're currently in Ranthambore National Park, which substituted for a failed trip to Simlipal National Park in Orissa. And what would've been a waterfall visit to Barehipani Falls and Joranda Falls (which was thwarted due to Maoist insurgencies) ended up being our very first sighting of a wild tiger - a royal bengal tiger to be exact.

She was called the Lady of the Lake because she's the oldest and largest tiger in the park. Not bad for a first time safari in India.

Still no waterfalling to report. But we hope that'll change in a couple of days when we go to Meghalaya. Stay tuned...

Friday, November 6, 2009

India So Far

We're currently on the outskirts of Agra awaiting a train ride towards Ranthambore National Park. This is actually a part of the trip where we had to make changes due to Maoist activity occurring in or near Simlipal National Park preventing us from visiting Barehipani Falls and Joranda Falls as well as a chance to see tigers in the Eastern Ghats.

So far, we've managed to visit Delhi (including the Chandni Chowk bazaar, Humayun's Tomb, India Gate, etc.) and Agra (including the Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, and Fatehpur Sikri). No waterfalls yet. That won't be until a few days later when we go to India's forgotten northeast corner in Meghalaya barring any more unforseen circumstances...

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Waterfall of the Week

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Heading to the Subcontinent

After enduring a brutal week of third shift, the only positive I can take out of this experience is that I guess it prepared my body clock for the time zone in India.

Indeed, as soon as I'm done with the last night of 3rd shift this week (including a bonus hour of work since we have to turn back the clock), I'll be heading home, doing some last minute preparations, then heading right back to the airport for a brutal series of international flights ultimately arriving in Delhi by way of Narita and Singapore.

No rest for weary?

I guess, but sometimes it seems you've got to earn it in every way if you want life changing experiences as I hope this waterfalling trip to India will become...

Friday, October 30, 2009

Dangerous Waterfall... In Massachusetts?

This little article caught my attention when they mentioned a particular waterfall called Bash Bish Falls in Massachusetts was considered one of the most dangerous tourist attractions in the world.

I thought this was strange considering the falls is only 60ft and it sits in a state not exactly known for waterfalls.

I guess it goes to show you that sometimes you can't underestimate the dangers of Nature.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Waterfall of the Week

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Are they Crazy? Swimming in Devil's Pool at Victoria Falls

I've seen videos of people swimming in Devil's Pool when there isn't much water at Victoria Falls but in this video, the water flow looks pretty strong.

"The naturally formed Devil's Pool rests right on the edge of the Zambian side of Victoria Falls. A rock wall on the edge of the falls slows down the current and prevents brave swimmers from tumbling over the edge. To really drive the point home, let me remind you that Victoria Falls stretches an astounding 5,600 feet in width and spills over a 360-foot-high cliff.

Also, please note: it's only safe to swim in the pool when the water levels are low (September–December)."

Source: Travel & Leisure

You can also check out our own videos of Victoria Falls.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Some WoW Rearranging

Back when I started this website over three years ago, we weren't sure how to organize the material we wanted to share with you. What you're seeing on the World of Waterfalls today largely began from the somewhat arbitrary and haphazard decisions made back then. In some cases it seemed to have worked, but in others, we ended up with some orphan regions.

So I spent this week trying to address some of these orphaned regions and the result was some rearranged pages in the Pacific Northwest, American Southwest, and even Europe.

Perhaps the biggest changes were in the Pacific Northwest as we've incorporated waterfalls that were once on the Yellowstone pages into the states of Idaho and Wyoming.

Now I'm sure some of this rearranging will leave some geographical purists scratching their heads asking why Idaho and Wyoming are in the Pacific Northwest. While we recognize this controversy, we're sticking with our partitions to facilitate the organization of this website. Moreover, I'm sure with changes like this, there may be some broken links so if you happen to catch any, please let us know!

Waterfall of the Week

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Return to Eaton Canyon

This was supposed to be a big group hike involving co-workers to introduce them to the local nature scene and some of the waterfalls that was sure to pleasantly surprise those who went.

Unfortunately, a big fire that turned out to be Los Angeles County's largest ever occurred just two days prior to the late August Saturday that this excursion was to take place.

Two months later, we made another attempt at this again. But now, a group of about 12 dwindled down to 5.

Nevertheless, the smaller, intimate group setting provided for some nice conversations and I think the overall positive experience from those involved may help in getting the others on board again. In the mean time, here's our brief story about what happened.

Also, the Eaton Canyon Falls page has been updated and expanded as well.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Waterfalls in La Huasteca

Mexico isn't a country where going waterfalling is high on the priority list for tourists. However, I ran across this article which highlights the waterfalls in the La Huasteca area of Mexico.

We haven't been there yet but it's certainly something we're looking into doing time permitting!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Yosemite Waterfalls in Autumn?

It seems these days, there aren't a whole lot of reasons for going to Yosemite to see waterfalls in the Autumn unless you're into seeing dry streaks on granite walls where they used to be.

However, the recent storm this week seemed to have revived mammoths like Yosemite Falls and Bridalveil Fall (according to this website).

So here's a chance at getting that uncommon shot of a Yosemite Waterfall juxtaposed with fall colors!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Waterfall of the Week

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Waterfall of the Week

Monday, October 5, 2009

One Year Anniversary of Maui's Pi'ilani Highway Reopening

Since the big earthquakes in the northwest of the Big Island of Hawaii back in October 2006, there were many closures as a result. But among the casualties for waterfalling fans were:
Fortunately, it has been a year since the re-opening of Pi'ilani Highway in southeast Maui (read the news article); thus ending a two-year closure. So we're taking this anniversary to remind adventurers considering the drive completely around East Maui that you're in for a very different side of the island if you take on this excursion! We certainly plan to do it on our return!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Africa, South Pacific, and Asia Tier 4 Pages Updated

In the last phase of my effort to incorporate Google Maps into all of the individual waterfall pages on the World of Waterfalls website, I've finally finished integrating this tool into the regions of Asia (including China, Japan, and Thailand), the South Pacific (including Fiji and Tahiti), and Africa (including Zambia, Uganda, and Kenya).

Thus, I'm done with this pretty nontrivial overhaul of the website.

I'm sure there'll be more work to do in terms of another overhaul, but for now, I'll worry about it at a later time as I feel pretty satisfied with the way the website is turning out for the time being.

So check out the website and let us know what you think!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Tier 4 Latin America and Caribbean Waterfalls Pages Updated

Like I did a few days ago with Norway, I've finished integrating Google Maps to the Tier 4 waterfalls pages for the regions of the Caribbean and Latin America.

Still more to come later this week. Stay tuned...

Waterfall of the Week

Monday, September 28, 2009

Tier 4 Norway Waterfalls Have GoogleMaps

The Norway section is now completely integrated with GoogleMaps. So not only do the regional maps show where the waterfalls are concentrated, but now each individual waterfall page has its own Google Map so you can pinpoint their locations.

More Google Maps to come for the remaining individual waterfall pages for other parts of the world!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Niagara Falls - More Than Just A Pretty Waterfall!

After reading up on some very interesting books and websites about Niagara Falls and its role in American History, I wrote up an article trying to put everything in perspective.

The end result of this effort was a greater sense of appreciation for a humble waterfall that somehow managed to change the course of our lives as well as the history of our world.

So for those who wonder what value waterfalls have to us as a whole (besides what has been said in one of our Waterfalls 101 articles and another in which we waxed poetic about them), read this article and see how even history can tell us that waterfalls are more than just pretty attractions.

America's Best Idea and Costa Rica Waterfalls

Tonight is the airing of the much anticipated PBS series "National Parks: America's Best Idea." But rather than being another travel exposition about the majestic and historically important reserves in our Nation, this documentary has been said to focus more on the human connection with the parks from the history of the National Park System to its influence that is still being felt around the world today.

As a matter of fact, I get the sense that this show has the potential of being one of the more influential educational shows in recent memory. At a time when the sour economy is forcing Americans to go back to basics (i.e. family, Nature, quality time, etc.), I can envision parents and kids watching this show together and instilling that sense of purpose and importance about our National Parks where we have something that everyone can share and pass on to future generations. I'm certainly going to check it out throughout this week. I'm sure I'll never tire of seeing Yosemite Falls or the Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River, which are sure to be in there.

On a different note, I noticed a blog that listed 12 waterfalls in Costa Rica. This country is definitely on our to-do list (gee, seems like this is a never-ending list). So while we try to figure out how to make this happen, the armchair traveling will have to do...

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Google Maps Almost Completely Integrated Into WoW

At this point, the Tier 2 and Tier 3 Waterfall Region Pages throughout the World of Waterfalls now have Google Maps integrated into them. I'm almost at the point where I'm pretty happy with the way the overall website is shaping up (though I'm sure something will come up that will make me rethink this).

Thus, you can see where the waterfalls are for the Tier 2 regions I've most recently updated such as Norway, South Pacific, Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Plus, don't forget about the regions that were already done such as Iceland, Australia, plus the USA regions like California, Pacific Northwest, American Southwest, Eastern US, as well as Yosemite and Yellowstone.

Plus, the subregions within the Tier 3 pages corresponding to the Tier 2 pages above have maps as well. This includes China, Japan, Thailand, Peru, Argentina, Guyana, St Lucia, Venezuela, Zambia, Uganda, Kenya, Tahiti, Fiji, etc.

Slowly but surely, each individual waterfall page (Tier 4) will have their own maps to make it easier for you to locate them and perhaps help you plan your trip.

In the mean time, check out WoW!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Iceland Tier 2 and Tier 3 Pages Updated

Since I'm currently in the mindset to try to incorporate some visual geography into the website through Google Maps, I've managed to get the tier 2 and tier 3 pages of Iceland updated. These pages now have regional maps of the waterfalls in their respective regions (or in the case of the tier 2 page, the whole country!).

The maps for individual waterfalls pages will come later. Stay tuned!

Waterfall of the Week

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Australia Pages Updated With GoogleMaps

This took several days, but I finally managed to update the Australia pages on the World of Waterfalls with GoogleMaps.

Now, you should be able to see where each waterfall is in the country, while the tier 2 and tier 3 pages have larger regional maps to help you get a feel for where the waterfalls are concentrated.

Next up on my GoogleMaps to-do list are Iceland and Norway. But since there's another couple hundred waterfalls for those self-driving destinations, it's probably going to be several more days before you'll see another announcement from me regarding their completion. Still, for fans of this site, hopefully it's something to look forward to.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Second Drowning At Litchfield Waterfall

Litchfield National Park in Australia's Northern Territory has just claimed a second victim in one of their many waterfalls. This time, it was a Taiwanese man who was submerged under Wangi Falls (read report). A month earlier, another man drowned under Berry Springs.

This year, more than others I can remember, has had more than their share of swimming hole drownings. Please respect the dangers of Nature as you're trying to enjoy yourself. As you can see, Nature can be a pretty unforgiving place even if you're going about innocent pursuits like having a good time around waterfalls.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Waterfall of the Week

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Which Waterfall Do You Think is the Best in the World?

It wasn't easy for us to decide which waterfall was the best in the world.

Which waterfall do you think is the best in the world?

Read more to find out what we picked.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

New Changes To WoW

Our host has finally put in some useful features that allows us to unclutter the Navigation Bars (NavBars) on the left-hand-side of the World of Waterfalls website.

Now, I hope certain topics or regions are easier to find as you browse through the site. There will also be a few more re-organizational changes (no, I'm not talking about a re-org in the corporate sense) in response to this recent update time permitting.

Have a look at the new-look website and let us know what you think!

(PS: If you checked the website and didn't see anything different, check back after 30 minutes. It takes time for the host to get the NavBar updated. Otherwise, do a re-load since the old version might still be in your cache)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Google Maps and Other Things

Over the long weekend, I had been working on getting Google Maps into as many of our waterfall pages as possible. This is a real tall order since we've got over a thousand of these pages to deal with. So instead, we've completed adding in maps to all of the waterfalls we've been to in the USA. I figured people self-driving here would want to know where the falls are located.

I'll try to get GoogleMaps put into the remaining pages (self-driving destinations first) as time becomes available...

On a different note, we've added a page on travel logistics in the Pacific Northwest.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Waterfall of the Week

How about this waterfall for a calendar date where the 9's rule!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Travel in Japan

In our trip to Japan about three months ago, we learned quite a few things about taking their public transportation system. Sure we struggled with the Japanese language and script, but somehow we managed to get by. Yet in the end, we saved quite a bit of money and we were able to see both the urban and rural attractions (namely the temples and waterfalls, respectively). So we ended up with a pretty memorable trip that was uniquely ours, and all of this was made possible because of Japan's public transportation system that's second to none!

So we decided to write up a web page pulling from our experiences and lessons learned, and here's what we came up with.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Thrill-Seeker With Spinal Injuries At Waterfall

(photo courtesy of The Territorian)
We just got this bit of news about a guy who managed to injure his spinal cord after doing a waterfall jump at Sandy Creek Falls in Litchfield National Park, which itself sits in the Northern Territory of Australia.

In our trip to that region back in the Summer of 2006, I recalled not being able to make it to the falls because the 4wd road was closed. Although we were disappointed at the time, perhaps it was a good thing since saltwater crocs were marauding the area thanks to Cyclone Monica passing through a few weeks prior to our arrival.

Anyways, while I've known and witnessed many people who do waterfall jumps, it's not something I recommend doing. We haven't done it ourselves as we're pretty content to just photograph waterfalls and be around them.

But for those who can't resist the temptation of a thrill or to impress people, check out this article.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

South Africa Waterfalls

Our first trip to Africa didn't include South Africa due to time and budget constraints. However, that never stopped me from imagining and plotting out a future waterfalling trip there.

Check out this page, which highlights four of the waterfalls I had already planned to see on a future trip there. You'll see that the country has more than the 2010 Word Cup going for it. (photo courtesy of © SA Tourism)

Friday, September 4, 2009

Labor Day Blues

It seems strange, but this is the first Labor Day weekend in a while where we've opted to stay home. Last year at this time, we made a crazy weekend trip to Guyana to see Kaieteur Falls. The year before that, we made another crazy long weekend trip to Argentina to see Iguazu Falls. Plus, the year before that (two years ago), Julie and her mom started a European trip that encompassed the UK, France, Switzerland, and Italy, and I was planning a little spontaneous trip with my mom to the American Southwest, which we ended up doing two weeks later . So indeed, I can't remember what it's like to just go through a weekend like this and do absolutely nothing.

I guess that's the way it goes sometimes. Perhaps we need this rest. Yet in the back of my mind, I still feel like we should capitalize on the extra day off to go to quick-hitting places like La Gran Sabana in Venezuela or something quick in the Canadian Rockies or something. Oh well, maybe next time...

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Waterfall of the Week

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Waterfall of the Week

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Pacific Northwest Travel Blogs Updated

Finally, I've uploaded the latest travel blog of our mini-trip to Northern Oregon and Southern Washington last weekend as promised. It was a trip that allowed us to visit some of the falls we missed the first time around like Proxy Falls, Lower Oneonta Falls, Salt Creek Falls, and Watson Falls among others. We also got some good weather so we got to see some famous Pacific Northwest landmarks like Crater Lake and Mt St Helens. But we also missed out on some falls that I really wanted to see. I guess you can say that some of their accesses were overcome by events...

Monday, August 24, 2009

Pacific Northwest Pages Updated

The Pacific Northwest pages are updated to include new waterfalls from our 4-day quick trip to Oregon and Southern Washington last weekend. There are ten new waterfalls added to the site (3 in Washington and 7 in Oregon), and you might notice that most of these have been photographed under good weather (unlike our trip 5 months ago).

There's also new attractions added to the Other Attractions page to include Crater Lake and Mt St Helens. Plus, there are other tweaks to the existing web pages.

I haven't gotten around to posting the travel blog related to last weekend's trip yet. But look for it in the next couple of days.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Unplanned Day in the Northwest

Today, we capped off this short 4-day trip to the Pacific Northwest with an unplanned day into southern Washington. We ended up seeing Falls Creek Falls, Big Creek Falls, a disappointing Curly Creek Falls, and views of Mt St Helens from the Windy Ridge (didn't have time to make it to the western entrance to see the Lava Dome Observatory).

All in all, it was a mostly successful trip, and the weather today was as perfect as Pacific Northwest weather could be. But there were some things I really wished we could've witnessed like Diamond Creek Falls and Toketee Falls (both of which were closed due to snow damage from recent Winter storms). Plus, Curly Creek Falls (at least the part that's supposed to go through a pair of natural bridges) was bone dry!

Oh well, at least we did get to revisit Multnomah Falls (bringing up discussions about Julie's favorite topic these days because the movie Twilightwas filmed there) as well as an adventure to see Lower Oneonta Falls. Crater Lake National Park was also a highlight as well as Salt Creek Falls and Watson Falls to a lesser extent.

These mixed results merely means that we'll have to come back here some time later. Only time will tell what's coming next...

Friday, August 21, 2009

Seesawing Weather

Today, we've returned to Portland (all the way in northern Oregon) after starting the day near Diamond Lake about a half-hour north of Crater Lake (way down in southern Oregon). The day started off bitterly cold (around 44 degrees F) before it gradually started warming up as we visited Watson Falls. However, Toketee Falls was closed due to trail damage, and this was a real bummer as I really looked forward to seeing how it would've compared to Svartifoss in Iceland.

When we got to Roseburg and headed north on the I-5, it was actually overcast and drizzling! Compared to the last couple of days where we were experiencing above 90 degrees F (even 100 degrees F in Eugene on Wednesday), today never got above 72 degrees F. It was cloudy most of the day before we visited the Columbia River Gorge again later in the afternoon (finally getting to see the Lower Oneonta Falls, which requires a bit of an adventure). By then, the clouds were retreating westward and we were under some late afternoon sun. I don't know if this means we can visit Southern Washington tomorrow under blue skies or not, but I figured today's weather was more typical of Pacific Northwest weather than what we started with on Wednesday...

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Back in Oregon

Well after our cold and wet visit to Oregon on the first go-around this past Spring, we capitalized on some decent deals and decided upon a return trip starting today. But this time, we were seeing some pretty extreme heat (like 100 degrees F in Eugene and mid 90s in McKenzie Bridge). As a matter of fact, the Pacific Northwest had been seeing the kind of hot weather that Southern California normally gets this time of year. But instead, we're seeing a little bit of June gloom in August back at home.

Anyways, despite the weird weather, we did manage to see some of the waterfalls we missed on that first trip. So far, we managed to check out a few waterfalls from the Three Sisters Wilderness in Proxy Falls, Sahalie Falls, and Koosah Falls.

Tomorrow, we're headed to Crater Lake (finally). We anticipate a few more waterfall sightings as well...

Waterfall of the Week

Saturday, August 15, 2009

China's Most Beautiful Waterfalls

I've noticed quite a few blog posts and articles lately talking about the most beautiful waterfalls in China. It's interesting to see other people's take on this subject compared to how they stacked up against our Top 10 Asian Waterfalls List as well as how we experienced many of the waterfalls in China themselves.

Unfortunately, there's a lot of misinformation out there as evident on some of these lists showing the wrong waterfall photos (examples you can see here). But here's a pretty decent website that is showing you their Top 8 Most Beautiful China Waterfalls. While I do have a beef with the inclusion of Diaoshuilou Waterfall (because it's regulated and dry most of the year), it's a pretty cool list and I hope to get a chance to return to China to visit those waterfalls on that list that we didn't get to see.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

India Going Thirsty

Well as we seriously contemplate a trip to India, we've been paying much closer attention to the weather in Asia as well as both the Pacific and Indian Oceans. It seems we're in an El Nino and the typhoon that lashed the Philippines, Taiwan, and the East Coast of China is reminiscent of how Hurricane Katrina lashed out on the Gulf Coast.

But India's got some serious water issues, and it appears that weather and climate doesn't factor as much as you'd think. Actually, it has more to do with population pressures and usage, which according to this BBC article is unsustainable. This may or may not bode well for our intentions to visit waterfalls in the subcontinent, but we won't know for sure unless we go...

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Waterfall of the Week

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Age Of Decommissioning Dams?

As a waterfall lover, we've never been big fans of dams let alone any other water diversion or water obstruction scheme whether it's for hydroelectricity, irrigation, or whatever. Having established that there are plenty of uses for water as well as big consequences for some of these uses, imagine my surprise when I stumbled upon a New York Times article suggesting that this may be the era of removing dams.

Now I've heard of plenty of controversial projects in recent memory (like Three Gorges in China, Kahranjukar in Iceland, etc.) so I'm sure we're not quite ready to declare this era just yet. However, plenty of whitewater enthusiasts are sure welcoming the fact that many dams in the US are being taken down allowing many rivers and streams to be restored back to their normal natural selves. You can read the article here and decide for yourself whether this bit of rare positive news is true indeed...

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Finger Lakes #1 Lakeside Destination In The World?

When I saw this bit of news, I was a bit in disbelief.

I mean, that would suggest it beat out various places with lakes like Crater Lake (Oregon), all those lakes in Jiuzhaigou (China), Lake Maligne (Canadian Rockies), Yellowstone Lake (Yellowstone, Wyoming), the Fuji 5 Lakes or even Mashu-ko (Japan), even Lake Tahoe or Mammoth Lakes (California). And these are just the places that immediately come to mind. I'm sure there are many out there that I missed.

But then again, I thought about our time over there a couple of Summers ago and perhaps there's some merit to this claim. After all, we felt we saw the best of Western New York and the handful of waterfalls we saw over there didn't hurt either. We can close our eyes and picture the colonial-looking towns, people seeking relief from the heat and humidity, and being pleasantly surprised by gorges that reminded me of the kinds we saw in the American Southwest.

To read more about this honor, click here.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Waterfall of the Week

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Which Waterfalls Did The Iranian-Detained American Hikers Look For?

Recently there has been plenty of press coverage concerning three American hikers who accidentally crossed into Iran while hiking in the Ahmed Awa resort area of the Kurdish Autonomous Region of Iraq. When the news reported that the Ahmed Awa area was known for mountains and waterfalls, that certainly piqued my interest (obviously, since we're big waterfall fans ourselves). But photos of this particular waterfall seemed to be quite hard to find amidst the noise of the political implications of this arrest.

While I find this incident to be an unfortunate case where political agendas have prevented intrepid travelers from seeing the world and especially the Nature that's left, I did manage to find someone's photostream that displays what could very well be one of the falls these hikers were looking for, which you can see here.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Fatal Attraction

Something we weren't too terribly aware of in our visits to Eaton Canyon Falls was that there's a second waterfall further up the canyon. Unfortunately, it's not easy to get to (which might explain why we never bothered). We figured the main falls was decent enough.

But the Pasadena Star News has just put out an article calling attention to this 2nd falls, and it's certainly worth the read as it has implications of other waterfall attractions that might be more trouble than they're worth...

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Waterfall of the Week

Friday, July 24, 2009

Big Pine Creek Travel Blog Posted

Well given a little bit of some Mozilla Firefox difficulties with working with my webhost, it took longer than expected to get the travel blog out concerning last weekend's backpack to Big Pine Creek. Nonetheless, it's now posted and you can read for yourself what it was like for someone who got rocked from a relatively "flat" trail (probably due to the nearly half-decade of not having backpacked once).

A Tip About Croatia's Plitvice Falls

I thought since this particular waterfall is high on our list of places to go, there was some pretty good advice by someone who had already been there that I thought I'd post and share with you. This is also a reference for ourselves in the event we do become fortunate enough to visit. Check it out!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Big Pine Creek Waterfalls Posted

After a little bit of computer trouble, I finally got around to posting the waterfalls on Big Pine Creek on the website. There are actually many Big Pine Creek Waterfalls, and the waterfall entry on the site tries to show you most of the ones we've encountered. But I also included some lake shots since the main scenery are the Eastern Sierra mountains along with colorful lakes and glaciers.

Two Waterfalls Are World's 7 Natural Wonders Finalists

It looks like there's another 7 Wonders List that's being formulated. Except this time, it's about the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. A pair of major waterfalls feature prominently among the finalists. They are Iguazu Falls and Angel Falls.

You can see the other natural wonders finalists by reading this article from the

It's also worth noting that the Milford Sound in New Zealand is in the other half of the finalists list.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Waterfall of the Week

Monday, July 20, 2009

Survived The Backpack

Well after the first full workday after the backpacking trip to the North Fork of Big Pine Creek last weekend, I'm still sore, bruised, and itchy. Sore and bruised from the heavy pack; itchy from the relentless mosquitoes there.

We camped at the unimaginatively named 5th Lake. We saw First through Sixth Lakes, which had gorgeously greenish-blue colors thanks to glacial silt. And each of these lakes were backed by picturesque jagged 14,000ft peaks so signature Eastern Sierras.

I'm working on organizing the photos and composing the material to be put onto the website. Stay tuned...

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

First Backpack In 5 Years!

This weekend, I'm about to embark on an Eastern Sierra backpack trip. Ordinarily, this isn't a real big deal, but considering that I haven't done an overnight backpack in about 5 years (about the time when we started going crazy with international travels), I'm a bit anxious.

Will I blow out a knee from packing too much? Will I forget to put something in the bear cannister and have something pilfered or torn to shreds? Will my equipment malfunction since I haven't used most of them for so long?

Seriously, I don't think I've actually gone deep into the Eastern Sierras since Lundy Canyon near Mono Lake or Horsetail Falls not too far south of Mammoth Lakes.

So I look forward to the change of pace and returning to the way we used to do Nature outings. Stay tuned...

Waterfall of the Week

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Packing List

One of the things we've been requested for and have overlooked until now was a packing list. Come to think of it, we ought to keep a page even for our own purposes since we often have to go through the same straining mental exercise of remembering what to bring right before a trip (often times forgetting something when it's too late).

So we've added a "Things to Pack" page on the website. They're mainly equipment that we've brought along on our trips depending on whether it was for a dayhike, overnight backpack, overseas travel, or for our camera gear.

And for now, it's a first cut at it. As we come up with more things to include on the list, we'll do so. There's also a form if you have something to add or have comments about the page.

Check it out!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Waterfall of the Week

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Kayaking Waterfalls

A few months ago, I saw photos and articles about a guy who kayaked over some 127ft waterfall in Brazil. Then, a few weeks later, another guy ran a 198ft waterfall somewhere near Spokane, Washington. Now it seems like there are more and more reports of people running waterfalls with dimensions once thought to be a death wish as people have died at smaller waterfalls.

Apparently, an extreme sport involving waterfalls has emerged and may start entering the mainstream in much the same way you hear about big wave surfers.

This article goes into a little more depth about kayaking waterfalls, and why it's really taking off now.

Waterfalls' Misunderstood Danger

Since we're now well into Summer, we know there'll be plenty of people going right into the water for some cooling off and some fun. Some of these Summer Soakers will also play in or around waterfalls.

Unfortunately, there are some dangers at waterfalls that need to be heeded. The tragic death of a father at one of them in North Carolina serves to remind us why we need to take notice. This article explains why.

So enjoy the waterfalls, protect them, but please be careful around them!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Japan Travel Blogs Posted

As I had promised, I've posted the travel blogs from our 3 weeks in Japan, which followed the China part of the trip. With these stories posted, I believe the Asia pages are pretty much complete (though there may be add-ons in the future from subsequent trips, or from the addition of a "Language" section which I'm considering at the moment).

There are some additional pages for the Asia section like Other Asian Attractions, When to go, How to plan and prepare for a trip here, an augmented book page, and in case you missed it, we've also posted a Top 10 Asian Waterfalls page.

Check them out!