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Jun 022014

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This place is well worth visiting if you’re in Valparaiso, but prepared for an arduous trek up hilly streets.

This house is one of Pablo Neruda‘s three houses in Chile. The other two are in Santiago (the capital), and Isla Negra.

La Sebastiana museum La Sebastiana Museum 2 horse

view of Valparaiso from the bedroom in the house:

view of valparaiso from a window in La Sebastiana

Jun 022014

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Almacen Nacional Restaurant, delicious place with traditional Chilean food in Cerro Alegre, Valparaiso.

I had the menu of the day, which cost around, 7,000 CLP.

it came with a pisco sour, an appetizer, an entree, and a dessert.

ceviche salad
ceviche salad

beef and rice
beef and rice

cheese cake

The interiors of the place was very nice, with a lot of vintage memorabilia.

vintage memorabilia

interiors of Almacen Nacional restaurant

May 312014

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#skate #skateboard #skateboarding #ollie #slide #skating #sports

Valparaiso, Chile, May 2014

May 262014

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went to A Mano Gin & Burgers in Vina del Mar earlier.

A mano gin and burgers

had a delicious craft beer, Mestiza pale ale (brewed by Cerveceria Altamira).

the food is quite good too, although, like most Chilean food, is drenched in too much mayonnaise.

potatoes and chicken fingers

May 242014
garlic butter and bread

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My friend Stewart made this awesome garlic butter and shared it with us last night.

I was intending to use it with my frozen corn and peas, but M.T. smelled it when she saw it in the fridge this morning, and she said it’s so fragrant, we need to consume it this noon.

However, we were out of bread and it was a cold, gray, and damp Renaca day. Nobody wanted to walk to the bakery 3 minutes down the street.

Finally, I volunteered for the team.

garlic butter
And the verdict is….

Delicieux! We couldn’t get enough of it.

Thank you, Stewart.

May 232014

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Sazon Peruana 1 Sazon Peruana 4

very good restaurant, a bit pricey, but worth it. I got the set meal for around 7,500 CLP, it came with ceviche for the appetizer, and i chose chicken for my main course. ice cream for dessert.


fried chicken

my friend got the salmon:


the set meal also comes with pisco sour:

pisco sour

May 232014

#van #vw #volkswagen #camper #transporter #transportation #car #vehicle #automobile #city #street #urban #dog


Valparaiso, Chile, May 2014

May 222014

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1. Don Pancho (Rawson street, near P. Montt Avenue. near the interstate bus terminals)

Don Pancho diner 1 Don Pancho interiors 3

charquican con huevo, a traditional Chilean dish (comida tipica chilena) of mashed potatoes, beef, an egg. It’s really delicious, not to mention cheap. 1,800 CLP.

charquican con huevo 2

the dip called pebre they serve with the bread is also delicious.

bread with pebre dip Don Pancho interiors 5

I liked it so much, I went back two weeks later, and tried the cazuela, another traditional Chilean dish. This one was yet another home run. It was also only 1,800 CLP and really yummy.


2. Hotel Fauna – (Paseo Dimalow on Cerro Concepcion)
went to this rooftop bar twice, great view. food is great, but on the pricey side. great atmosphere, with outdoor seating on the balcony, with a good view of Valparaiso.

ice cream at Hotel Fauna

meat sandwich

Hotel Fauna Hotel Fauna restaurant interiors 1

3. El Desayunador (Almirante Montt, Cerro Concepcion)
churrasco chacarero sandwich

I had the churrasco chacarero sandwich and causeo queso tomato (goat cheese with tomatoes).

El Desayunador 1 El Desayunador 2 causeo queso tomate

4. Casa Cerveceria Altamira – very good locally made craft beer, right beside Ascensor Reina Victoria.

hamburger and fries casa cerveceria altamira

5. East on Placeros Street, Valparaiso- really cheap Japanese food.
East Restaurant 2 East Restaurant 1

6. Casa Hesperia- Valparaiso
decent food, a bit on the salty side. I had the cazuela.

cazuela Cafe Hesperia 2 Cafe Hesperia interiors 1

May 222014

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Restaurant Dina- delicious, with big portions.

chicken and rice

Mantra Gourmet- this restaurant has a mixed Thai/ American theme. I’ve been here thrice (as of this writing), and I had their hamburgers every time. It’s very good.

hamburger and fries

Mauricio’s Empanadas, just beside Mantra Gourmet.

empanada from Mauricio's

May 212014

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My friend M wanted to try out the Valparaiso walking tour as we had a good experience doing the Santiago walking tour, so last Sunday, she and I took the 607 bus from Renaca to Valparaiso.

I always take buses that traverse Errazuriz to go to Valpo (also the 6 series, but not 607), but the 607 plies Chacabuco instead of Errazuriz. Chacabuco is parallel to Errazuriz, and ends up almost in the same place, but I got a bit confused when we got off, as it’s the road less traveled for me, and I have a weak sense of direction. I only know how to get to the foot of Cerro Concepcion if I get off at Errazuriz.

map showing Chacabuco and Errazuriz

map showing Chacabuco and Errazuriz

We wandered around for half an hour before finally spotting the spire of the green Lutheran church and using that as a guide to get to Cerro Concepcion.

valparaiso panorama

I didn’t mind being lost because we were able to see a lot during our thirty minutes of wandering, as that cerro we were on is a bit off the beaten path and it’s rare for travelers to stumble there by mistake.

We came across a graffiti workshop, then ten minutes later, bumped into my graffiti tour guide Elias, who is on his way to that very workshop!

We also saw Cemetery No. 2, which the guide to the walking tour we joined that afternoon said is the Protestant cemetery. We didn’t go back to this hill, he just pointed in its general direction and mentioned the name. Cemetery No. 1 is the Roman Catholic cemetery, and Cemetery No. 3 is the cemetery for all other religions.

graffiti workshop
graffiti workshop
valparaiso architecture 03- cemetery no 2
Cemetery No. 2

We also passed a cultural park in what was formerly a prison.
park in former prison

We got to the foot of Cerro Concepcion twenty minutes after getting our bearings, and took the Ascensor Reina Victoria funicular up, then walked five minutes to El Desayunador, where we had planned the day before to go there to have brunch, which turned into a late lunch.

El Desayunador 1

We were starving by the time we were seated. I had these:

churrasco chacarero sandwich
churrasco chacarero sandwich
causeo queso tomate
causeo queso tomate (goat cheese with tomatoes)

We walked down to Plaza Anibal Pinto to meet up with walking tour after lunch. He pointed to the Cinzano cafe across the square, which is supposedly the oldest cafe in Valparaiso.

plaza anibal pinto sculpture
Plaza Anibal Pinto

The guide then introduced us to Emile Dubois, popularly known as the first serial killer of Valparaiso, who killed the rich to give to the poor. He used to live in this building across the square, and when the cops went after him, this is what happened- see caption below photo:


he used to live in the building labeled A, and when the cops came, he ran to the point marked B.

He’s buried in the Playa Ancha cemetery, and he’s now known as the “serial killer saint”, as he’s supposed to grant wishes. People go on privileges to his grave.

We then took the Ascensor Reina Victoria (my second time for the day) to go up Cerro Concepcion, and walked around. Somewhere in the middle of the tour, we took a second funicular, Ascensor El Peral, which led us to the top of Cerro Alegre. (click here to see my post on these two ascensors, plus another).

palacio baburriza 4
saw the famous Palacio Baburizza.

We also learned the story of two oldest non-Catholic churches in South America.

The Anglicans built a low key church, with no towers, no bells, in the hopes that the Catholics wouldn’t get pissed. the Catholics did, and according to the guide, their response to build a bigger church (with towers and bells) a few streets down. It was the first non-Catholic church in South America.

The Lutherans (German) were the first to build a structure that had all the traditional hallmarks of a Christian church- towers, bells, the works.

St Paul's Anglican Church valparaiso lutheran church

The guide took us to the oldest stock exchange in South America, El Mercurio Building (HQ of the longest continuously running Spanish newspaper in the world), and Little Ben, some English immigrant’s model of the Big Ben in London.

valparaiso architecture 16
oldest stock exchange
Little Ben valparaiso architecture 13
Little Ben
El Mercurio building valparaiso architecture 11
El Mercurio building

boats at the pier 1

We ended up at the pier across Plaza Sotomayor, and M and I headed back up Cerro Concepcion to Hotel Fauna for dinner. A German guy from the walking tour joined us. Capped off the night with a delicious sandwich and Shop Kross golden ale.

meat sandwich

valparaiso map

map of the area we covered in the walking tour

Click to see more of my snapshots about this day on Flickr.

 Posted by on May 21, 2014
May 212014

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These funiculars are over a hundred years old and still running, even if somewhat shakily. It’s around 100 CLP single-trip. Cheaper than the actual elevator of Cerro Cordillera.

I photographed these three funiculars on the same day, when I returned to Cerro Concepcion and Alegre for a third time to join a walking tour. I rode Reina Victoria and El Peral, and just dashed in to photograph Ascensor Concepcion.

Ascensor Reina Victoria (constructed 1902) – you’ll land on Paseo Dimalow, Cerro Concepcion
Ascensor Reina Victoria 8 Ascensor Reina Victoria 10
Ascensor Reina Victoria 7 Ascensor Reina Victoria 4

Ascensor El Peral- you’ll land on Paseo Yugoslavo, Cerro Alegre
Ascensor El Peral 7 Ascensor El Peral 5
Ascensor El Peral 6 Ascensor El Peral 9

Ascensor Concepcion (constructed 1883)- Cerro Concepcion
(oldest and fastest funicular in Valparaiso)
valparaiso architecture 15- ascensor concepcion entrance Ascensor Concepcion 1

map locations for Ascensors El Peral, Concepcion, and Reina Victoria

map locations for Ascensors El Peral, Concepcion, and Reina Victoria

May 152014
May 152014

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runtime: 28 seconds

Renaca Beach at night, May 21, 2014

Click to watch on Vimeo.

runtime: 3 seconds

Vina del Mar at night, May 12, 2014

Click to watch on Vimeo.

video diary of a day at the small fish market on Bustamante St., Valparaiso, Chile. April 24, 2014
runtime: 1 minute 36 seconds

Click to watch on Vimeo.

 Posted by on May 15, 2014
May 102014

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1. Ciudad Vieja Sangucheria

This place has really great sandwiches and is in a bustling part of town. I really loved their food.

sandwich dinner

2. Cebicheria Constitucion- Peruvian food

Cebicheria Constitucion restaurant 2 Cebicheria Constitucion restaurant 3 fried rice

3. Guili’s Burger- pretty good fast food, but very slow service. they gave us a free plate of fries for waiting though, so it’s all good.

hamburger and french fries

May 062014

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bellavista night scene 2
the hip Constitucion street in the Bellavista district at night, Santiago, Chile

After a 1.5 hour bus ride from Vina del Mar, my friend M and I got to Santiago at 9PM. Her seatmate was a Chilean named Gabriel who speaks english, and when I woke up from my bus nap, we all had a great chat about governments and bitcoin.

Santiago subway 02 Santiago subway 07

Our first stop wasn’t the hotel, but Cebicheria Constitucion, a restaurant in the Bellavista area near our hotel. We were famished. Constitucion street has a lot of bars and trendy restaurants. This restaurant serves Peruvian cuisine. I was surprised that fried rice is a thing in Peruvian cooking.

Cebicheria Constitucion restaurant 2 Cebicheria Constitucion restaurant 3 fried rice

We stayed at the Hotel Don Santiago, a cozy little hotel that seems like a refurbished old house.

Hotel Don Santiago 1 Hotel Don Santiago 8 breakfast- ham, cheese, milk, and bread

police on horses
mounted police in the Central Market area

The next day, we walked half an hour from our hotel to the Central Market (Mercado Central),traversing a huge park. The Central Market is a big hub of seafood stalls and restaurants. I don’t think I’ve seen fish this huge in my life.

  • Mercado Central, Santiago, Chile Mercado Central, Santiago, Chile Central Market
  • Mercado Central, Santiago, Chile Mercado Central, Santiago, Chile Central Market
  • Mercado Central, Santiago, Chile Mercado Central, Santiago, Chile Central Market
  • Mercado Central, Santiago, Chile Mercado Central, Santiago, Chile Central Market
  • Mercado Central, Santiago, Chile Mercado Central, Santiago, Chile Central Market

We headed to Cerro Sta. Lucia after, a park on a hill. We hiked up to the peak (entrance is at the structure labeled Castilo Hidalgo inside the park).

Cerro Sta. Lucia 01 Cerro Sta. Lucia 02

You could view the beautiful Santiago skyline from that vantage point.

santiago skyline panorama

Spotted these people in costume on our way down the hill.

Cerro Sta. Lucia medieval costume

Our other friends joined us while we were at the top of the hill, and our merry band had lunch at a really slow fast food joint, Guili’s Burger, we headed to Plaza Armas to join a free walking tour. There was only one guy in his 60s making food for the whole restaurant, and it closes at 2PM. they gave us an extra plate of fries for our long wait though, so it’s all good.

Guili's Burger

Guili’s Burger

Plaza Armas itself was under repairs, so we didn’t get to see it. We did get to check out the Metropolitan Cathedral across it. Afterwards, we went to check out the Presidential Palace, and other different buildings. There’s a lot of classical French style architecture in Santiago.

One highlight is when the guide introduced us to the concept of “coffee with legs” in the financial district of Santiago. We did our tour on a Saturday so offices are closed, but he said during weekdays, these coffee shops attract customers by having scantily dressed baristas serve coffee. He said,even if the coffee culture in Chile was undeveloped, these “coffee with legs” chains are doing quite well. There’s also such a thing as a “happy minute”, when they close the doors of the coffee shops and the baristas lift up their tops for the mostly male clientele (from the offices nearby) to ogle at.

(photo in slideshow below. please click dots to navigate slideshow.)

  • police and dog police and dog Santiago, Chile
  • art deco building art deco building Santiago, Chile
  • coffee with legs in the financial district coffee with legs in the financial district Santiago, Chile
  • coffee with legs in the financial district coffee with legs in the financial district Santiago, Chile
  • Correo Central (Central Post Office) Correo Central (Central Post Office) Santiago, Chile
  • government building government building Santiago, Chile
  • Metropolitan Cathedral Metropolitan Cathedral Santiago, Chile
  • government building government building Santiago, Chile
  • court court Santiago, Chile
  • Museo Historico Nacional Museo Historico Nacional Santiago, Chile
  • Fuente Alemana Fuente Alemana Santiago, Chile
  • Palacio Monera Palacio Monera Santiago, Chile
  • Pablo Neruda's House exteriors Pablo Neruda's House exteriors Santiago, Chile
  • "wall street" of Santiago "wall street" of Santiago Santiago, Chile
  • our walking tour guide (he's originally from Bolivia) our walking tour guide (he's originally from Bolivia) Santiago, Chile


We also passed by a small restaurant called La Pica de Clinton (a.k.a. Clinton’s Dick).

la pica de clinton restaurant

We stopped at a coffee shop called Mulato for a little pick me up.

We ended the tour outside Pablo Neruda’s house, then my friend and I went to have dinner again in the Bellavista area, at Ciudad Vieja Sangucheria, a famed sandwich shop the guide recommended.

Ciudad Vieja Sangucheria interiors 2 sandwich dinner

We left the Santiago bus terminal for Vina del Mar around 9 PM, making our stay almost exactly 24 hours.

bottles on the ground in a crate
Saturday night bottles, Bellavista, Santiago, Chile

Other snapshots from this trip on Flickr.

May 052014

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Click to open slideshow of Valparaiso Labor Day protest

Went with the other Exo participants to Valparaiso with a somewhat harebrained scheme to hone our capitalistic entrepreneurial hustling skills by selling cookies to socialists. then, we had lunch after. I had “typical”* Chilean dish of cazuela at Cafe Hesperia, which was a broth with potatoes, beef, and corn.

cazuela Cafe Hesperia 2 Cafe Hesperia interiors 1

*they call traditional food “typical” food here.

Apr 302014

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renaca newsstand with lens flare renaca beach 2 renaca beach 5 sun graffiti with dog 2 renaca beach dog 3 newsstand on boardwalk zebra print rug over balcony bird eating something on the sand renaca beach 4
Please click thumbnails to open lightbox.

I’m living in Renaca, a small beach side neighborhood of Vina del Mar, during my stay in Chile. It’s got a beach that has a sign telling you NOT to go swimming, and it’s the only beach I’ve ever been to where people are fully clothed, with jackets on, because of the cold weather. I’m here during fall (off season).

It’s a small and pleasant enough place, with a lot of hamburger and sushi places around.

Apr 302014
Apr 262014

food stall vendor 2

Quezon City, October 2007

Apr 232014
Apr 222014

dog in front of purple wall 2

Manila, April 2011

Apr 202014

let sleeping dogs lie

Baler, Aurora, Philippines, July 2013

Apr 182014

signs and electric post

Baler, Aurora, Philippines, July 2013 (mobile phone photo)

Apr 162014
Apr 152014

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Velas Latinoamerica was a touring exhibition of big ships from different South American countries. They stopped in the port of Valparaiso one fine April weekend. Here are my photos from that day.

velas latinoamerica 2014- 06

velas latinoamerica 2014- 40

I went up the Argentinian ship, but didn’t want to queue up to check out the other ships anymore. Amusingly, the Brazilian ship was the only one that didn’t have a line letting people up the ship, because they weren’t letting people up until nighttime. And they told my guy companions that they prefer women guests, so if they wanted to go up, they should bring two women for every guy.

I could also see from where I was standing that the Brazilian ship was the only one that had an actual bar, and was blaring party music.

velas latinoamerica 2014- 19

velas latinoamerica 2014- 38

velas latinoamerica 2014- 09

velas latinoamerica 2014- 39

Apr 142014

billiard hall 2

Manila, Philippines, April 2011

Apr 132014

Back in 2008, i went to Sanzhi and shot the pod houses there. those have been demolished since.

Wanli Pod Houses 19
Wanli Pod Houses 04 Wanli Pod Houses 79 Wanli Pod Houses 20 Wanli Pod Houses 33 Wanli Pod Houses 88 bulldozer at sunset 3 Wanli Pod Houses 50
Please click the thumbnails to open lightbox.

in October 2013, i went back to Taiwan and went to Wanli, a different town north of Taipei that had another set of these crazy pod houses.

this place was even more abandoned than Sanzhi, and it’s right beside an emptpy beach.

wanli panorama 3

abandoned resort of pod houses/ UFO houses in Wanli, Taiwan

wanli panorama 2

Click here for the rest of the album.

Apr 132014

I ushered in 2014 in Taipei City and spent a few days there. I finally got to participate in the New Year’s Eve festivities and fireworks in the Taipei 101 area.
fireworks 17
crowded subway station - new year's eve 01 crowded subway station - new year's eve 02 crowded subway station - new year's eve 03 elephant hill metro station fireworks 12 fireworks 20
Continue reading »

Apr 132014

Georgetown street art- painted 26

Gurney Hawker Centre 5
Gurney Hawker Centre

Hot, sticky, and named after a chewable seed that gives you a mild high, what’s not to love about Penang?

Modern Penang was founded by the British in the eighteenth century. Its name derives from the Chinese word for betel nut. It’s not normally on the must-go lists of SE Asian spots of people from the Philippines (where I’m from), but I’ve been fascinated by it since I read about its food, history, street art, and architecture.

weld quay at night
Weld Quay

I went there October 2013, and it was hotter and muggier than Manila, despite it not being summer. I normally avoid places even hotter than my homeland so the last few Southeast Asian places I went to before Penang had climates cooler than my hometown- like Chiang Mai and Bali, and I definitely did not go during summer.

Georgetown street art- painted 31
Georgetown street art- painted 18 Georgetown street art- painted 30 Georgetown street art- painted 16 Georgetown street art- painted 33 Georgetown street art- painted 21 Georgetown street art- painted 23 Georgetown street art- painted 19 Georgetown street art- painted 20 Georgetown street art- painted 13 Georgetown street art- painted 25 Georgetown street art- painted 12
Please click on the thumbnails to view gallery in lightbox.

Georgetown, a UNESCO World Heritage site, lived up to my expectations and more. I spent three days going back there to take photos of its street art and installations. A free shuttle bus takes you around Georgetown proper, and you can also rent cheap bikes to go around, which definitely helped with the scorching heat.

indian men at work

I loved how Penang architecture, named after a style called Straits Eclectic, was well preserved and still in active use today by existing businesses like dry goods shops, auto shops, and hardware stores, just like they were decades and decades ago. They weren’t just repainted and made to stand static as a tourist attraction.

Straits Eclectic architecture  02
Straits Eclectic architecture  50 Straits Eclectic architecture  07 Straits Eclectic architecture  54 Straits Eclectic architecture  36 Straits Eclectic architecture  58 Straits Eclectic architecture  04 Straits Eclectic architecture  10
Please click on the thumbnails to view gallery in lightbox.

The Penang Botanic Gardens had monkeys that were more territorial and photo-averse than the monkeys in Bali‘s Uluwatu Temple and Ubud Monkey Forest. I couldn’t get too near without them snapping and lunging at me.

Dusky Leaf Monkey/ spectacled langur monkey monkeys 07 monkeys 23 Dusky Leaf Monkey/ spectacled langur monkey monkeys 27
Please click on the thumbnails to view gallery in lightbox.

Other highlights (Please look at this Flickr album for more, like Penang Hill, Camera Museum, temples, etc.)

added these Penang pay phones to my Phone Booths of the World collection (phone booth album 1, 2):

Penang pay phone Penang pay phones 8
Penang pay phones 2 Penang pay phones 3 Penang pay phones 7 Penang pay phones 4 Penang pay phones 5

stayed at the 1926 Heritage Hotel (yes, built in 1926, originally housed mid-level staff the British government sent over)
1926 Heritage Hotel 3 1926 Heritage Hotel 1

and of course, Penang food: (Please click on the thumbnails to view gallery in lightbox.)

pumpkin porridge from Zhou restaurant noodle soup ice kacang fried rice poh piah meat rolls vegetables and curry at Hai Nan Town curry

Apr 122014

#architecture #archilovers #lookingup #archidaily #composition #perspective #red #stripe #structure #architecturelovers #tower

Instagram, April 2014, Valparaiso

Apr 112014

photographed a year apart:

famous iced dessert shop in Hualien 1
famous iced dessert shop, Hualien, October 2012

Continue reading »

Apr 082014

four photos:

office windows in the afternoon
office grilles drawn down, Quezon City, March 2011
Continue reading »

Apr 052014

United States Post Office, Hagatna

Hagatna, Guam, November 2012

Apr 042014

dental clinic 05

How many graphic representations of teeth do you see in this picture?

Manila, April 2011

Apr 032014
Apr 032014

Manila, Philippines, April 2011

dental clinic 10 dental clinic 08

Continue reading »

Apr 032014

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Concon’s sand dunes are a ten minute bus ride from where I live in Renaca. It was a scary climb for me to the top, because the sand was so soft. It was worth it though.

sand dune panorama

Be prepared for sand to get in every crevice of your face, bag, camera, anything with an opening.

concon sand dunes 17

vendor renting out boards for sand boarding

Mar 312014

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Universidad del Mar was a university whose headquarters are a ten minute walk from where I live in Renaca, Vina del Mar. It shut down due to student protests over financial and accreditation anomalies (read more here).

abandoned university

>abandoned university 31

I’ve always loved photographing spooky abandoned places (see my series on Taiwan’s UFO Pod Houses here- Sanzhi and Wanli).

gobierno incompetente

stacked abandoned chairs

Chairs were stacked high on stairs, creating a makeshift barricade. Some areas had nothing to barricade but still had a bunch of chairs stacked and tied up together like a failed contemporary art installation.

stacked chairs on the steps of an abandoned university

abandoned university

It looked surprisingly bright and cheery inside as I went during daytime. Someone has since made a temporary fence around the compound.
abandoned university

inside an abandoned university

Other photos from this album. (Flickr link)