December 16, 2015

Cambodia | The Royal Palace and Phnom Penh City

Cambodia is beyond Angkor Wat. A short stay in the Kingdom of Wonder showed me the country’s true beauty apart from the historic temples and ancient ruins that sprawl on its grounds.  

welcome to The Royal Palace
Let me be transparent. I was more than excited to visit Cambodia for several reasons. For one, I’ll finally witness the most photographed sunrise in the world and see the famous Angkor Wat. Who wouldn’t get thrilled? It’s almost always included in travel wish lists and bucket lists all over the World Wide Web! Another thing is, I’ve been wanting to cross borders without riding an airplane. Going to Cambodia from Vietnam via bus will help me cross that one out off my list. And oh, Khmer cuisine! I love trying out various Asian cuisines, so introducing my taste buds to the unfamiliar Khmer food will do me and my appetite a big favor. And lastly, I’ll be able to learn more about its culture and people. Yes, it might sound really cliché, but I find myself amused with how locals in different places live their daily lives and stuff. You know.

our bus crossed the bridge over the Mekong River to get to Phnom Penh from Ho Chi Minh
khmer food... yum!

October 16, 2015

Vietnam | Night Life in Saigon

fancy dinner on-board a ship
We were asked by the accommodating staff member of Phan Lan if we’d like to get any of their travel packages. There were several to choose from and he enthusiastically explained the activities of each package. Giving in to his persistence, we decided to get the night life city package for around $32 per person. This includes a Vietnamese water puppet show, transportation to and from the hotel (car and cyclo ride), and a cruise dinner. We’re not the type to splurge on trips but made an exemption this time. Going for something you don’t usually do can be a good thing, right? 

the theater looks small from the outside
the puppets are controlled by people behind the 'curtain' while the music is played by the orchestra at both sides of the stage

October 6, 2015

Vietnam | Inside the Cu Chi Tunnels

one of the many bomb craters found in cu chi
When in Vietnam, never miss the chance to visit the impressive Cu Chi Tunnels. The place shows the bits and pieces of the Vietnam war history and reflects the tenacious spirit of the Vietnamese. The network of tunnels, which is several stories deep, served as a facility for communication and coordination between VC-controlled enclaves, and includes countless trapdoors, storage facilities, weapon factories, field hospitals, command centers, and more.

our guide narrated the story behind cu chi tunnels

October 1, 2015

Vietnam | Beyond the Streets of Ho Chi Minh

HCM's streets can get really busy and rowdy
The thought of going to Vietnam for the very first time has left me with certain apprehensions. You see, I’ve heard and read about several not-so-good experiences and encounters with locals from Western travelers and fellow Filipinos during their trip to Vietnam. And that made me feel half excited and half skeptical about this trip.

view from our room
It was an hour past midnight when we arrived in Ho Chi Minh. Good thing we made pick-up arrangements with our chosen hostel, Nguyen Khang Hotel. The check-in wasn’t so smooth, and we were asked to transfer to its sister hostel just across the street. Not a very good way to start, but we were so tired and sleepy to care. We were transferred to Phan Lan, which I think was a better option because of the more spacious rooms. Never did I imagine that we’ll meet the most accommodating hostel staff in Vietnam – right in Phan Lan and Nguyen Khang hostels. They were very helpful and flexible with our requests. They even took care of our bus trip going to Phnom Penh and gave us packed breakfast before leaving one early morning. Talk about taking care of your guests, right? My experience with them alone took away all my doubts of having an awesome trip. 

September 3, 2015

Crossing Borders, Crossing Paths

Meet Sky. He was our tuktuk driver in Phnom Penh. We didn't make prior arrangements with him to fetch us at the terminal nor tour us around the city. I guess it was fate that made our paths cross.
We just arrived from Ho Chi Mihn and were waiting long enough under the midday heat at the terminal where the bus dropped us off. Our hotel shuttle is nowhere in sight. Sky must have seen us getting worried and tired, so he offered us a ride. He didn't talk much, but after learning we're from the Philippines, his eyes lit up. This guy has grown a fondness for our country after meeting a Filipino medical missionary doctor from Davao. He told us a lot of stories - on how he met Dr. Dave, where they went, what the doctor gave him, the list went on. He kept sharing stories which showed how great Dr. Dave was.

June 28, 2015

Travel Checklist | Hiking and Camping Trip Essentials

Summer is the perfect season not just for hitting the beach, but for camping and hiking in the mountains as well. There's something about the outdoors that excites my wanderer soul. Maybe it's the feeling of being one with nature and away from the city's hubbub or staring at the magnificent view from the summit. Most likely, it's the sense of accomplishment and fulfillment after every hike.

the view is way better at the top
Nothing beats going offline and taking on a summer adventure trip. I know almost everyone can't wait to step outside their homes and start exploring. But hey, first things first. We should pack some essentials, right? What you bring on your next summer trip, be it a beach escapade or a mountain hike, can make or break the journey. I'm no pro hiker, camper or climber, but I'm more than willing to share some tips to help (or save) others in going through the inevitable inconveniences of exploring the mountains.

backpacks, trek shoes, sleeping mats and bags

June 18, 2015

South Korea | The Vibrant Shopping District of Myeong-Dong

It is known to many travelers that the city of Seoul is thriving with shopping districts and retail centers. One can expect to see stores lined up in just about every street, subway station, nook, and alley. Each store is beaming with their line of goods and products. 

rainy day shopping
Myeong-dong is a place familiar to most people living in or visiting Seoul. This place is mostly a commercial area and is one of the city’s main shopping and tourism districts.

It’s easy to be engulfed in a whirlwind of colorful, dainty, and edgy stores that line up the streets and alleys of this shopping destination. From global fashion brands and local labels down to countless cosmetics stores and favored food stops, Myeong-Dong makes an ideal place to shop, dine, and hang out.

Korean street food
beauty shops, fashion retailers, restaurants. name it, myeong-dong has it.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...