All Travels
Showing posts with label All Travels. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

A Day Trip to Pocheon Art Valley

The nCoV (now COVID-19) outbreak was beginning to happen when we started planning this trip. But despite the confirmed cases in South Korea, we still pushed through and simply scrapped out places that are definitely crowded, ditched the guided tours, and decided to go all-out DIY in this trip.
Breathtaking.
One of the places that piqued our interest was the Pocheon Art Valley. Since it is not as popular as Petite France or Garden of the Morning Calm, there aren't so many blogs written about it. It took us quite some time to figure out how to get there since the guides that were written have different ways and some are already outdated.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Snaps from Nami Island

They say you have never been to South Korea if you have not visited Nami Island. But I have got to be honest here, Nami Island was a letdown. That's probably because we were there in the wrong season. I know Nami island in Spring is colorful and beautiful. It is undeniably breathtaking in autumn. And despite the freezing cold, no one can resist its charm in winter—if the island is covered in white.

We went there in winter (early February) and it was nothing like the dreamy winter wonderland. It was too crowded, the paths were mostly slushy and muddy, and most of the attractions were off limits or closed for maintenance.

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Our Honeymoon in South Korea

Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think of going to South Korea for a honeymoon (it has always been Batanes). I mean, we did plan about it but that's only because we unexpectedly snagged round trip tickets for two for only Php 8,400+.

The initial plan to spend honeymoon in Korea in autumn was cancelled because our visas were delayed. But we pushed through doing it this winter. The cheapest tickets were already at Php 24,000+ round trip for two but we gave it a go because first, after almost two months of waiting (yes, it took that long), we only got a single entry visa; second, I am pregnant. We would rather travel now because we might not have the time, energy, and resources to do it in the next three years.

This is the most expensive ticket we booked for an international flight but I'm glad Korea did not disappoint. This trip was a string of our many firsts. First out-of-the-country trip as married couple. First below zero degree weather. First snow fall. First fresh cherries. First pomegranate. First time to take photos of us kissing (that's not our wedding). Woot!
Pocheon Art Valley
PDA. Haha!


Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Surviving the Winter in Seoul

Jan and I, being complete newbies to true winter, spent our late honeymoon slash babymoon (never knew there is such thing) in South Korea, where the temperature dropped to -6°C. Although we were told that the current winter is warmer than usual, it is by far the coldest we have ever experienced.
Winter in South Korea


Saturday, January 4, 2020

Christmas in Siargao

It's weekend and I still have a lot of incomplete tasks needed to be done at work but I'm still having a hangover from the holidays and I can hardly function. So before I totally ditch blogging about our year-end trip (like what I did to the other trips), I'll throw in a few snaps of our Siargao getaway.

Our first Christmas as married couple was spent in Siargao with family. Five days and two nights in paradise is definitely not enough, especially when were not able to cover everything the island has to offer. We spent a day or two tuck in bed when Typhoon Ursula came raging in. Still, it is one of the best islands I've been to.

Naked Island.

Of course, photos!

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

A Day in Nara

Oh Deer!

If there's one thing I love about Japan, it is the people. They are the kindest, most disciplined, and most respectful people I have ever met. And quite surprisingly, the deer in Nara are just as polite as the locals. As a matter of fact, these critters are far more polite than half the people you meet.

Kidding? Perhaps not.
Posing with a deer at Nara Park
The deer poses better than I do.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Unplugging at Tengoku Japanese House

Davao City — Ever thought of trading the hustle and bustle city life for a day or two of unplugging without having to go too far? There’s no bad time for a relaxing escape to the Tengoku Japanese House. Situated not too far away from Eden Nature Park, this charming two-bedroom Japanese-inspired house calls for guests to unplug, reconnect with nature, and rediscover peace and quiet.
The main house.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Japan's Sakura Season

Robots. Sushi. Anime. Sakura. These are the first things that come to mind when I think of Japan.

When we booked our flight to Japan, it just happened that we took advantage of a seat sale, chanced upon a very cheap flight to Narita, and booked it right away. Plus, the timing couldn't be any more perfect for Jan’s birthday. It never occurred to us that it's going to be the most anticipated and most visited sakura season.

I got so excited when I learned about it and started reading about these famed cherry blossoms only to end up a little disappointed about the fact that these pink delicate flowers bloom for just a week. Early April is the best time to see the sakuras this year according to blooming predictions. And since we will be arriving two weeks earlier, the chances of seeing these in full bloom are slim.

On our first day, we have already seen a few budding sakuras on some streets. Even Hachiko's statue stood under the sakura trees. It wasn't that impressive, yet. But it's promising and we were hoping to see them bloom in a riot of pink hues.

So we visited two parks, Chidorigafuchi (ten-minute walk from our hotel) and Yoyogi Park, which are best known for hanami (flower viewing). Even though each park offers a charming scenery of spring, not one sakura tree has a single flower on sight yet.

We then proceeded to Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, home of at least a thousand sakura trees.


Sunday, July 28, 2019

Snaps from Tokyo: Three Worlds In One Day

Tokyo is currently my favorite city (next to Davao, of course). I'm not really huge on highly-urbanized cities. Skyscrapers and cityscapes don't fascinate me. But Tokyo offers more than the high tech toilets, electronics, Anime, and manga. It's where you get the best of modern and historical worlds at the same time.

Tokyo spring weather can definitely make you fresh all the time!

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Photo Diary: First Day in Japan

We went to Japan for Jan's birthday which is just in time for spring. And since it was only the first official day of spring when we landed, the weather was still chilly and temperatures dropped to as low as 4°C. I actually thought that I was prepared for that. I had 3 layers of clothes (base thermal, thick sweater, winter coat/jacket) and it still wasn't enough. Tagos sa buto ang lamig.

Nonetheless, we had a great time! To be honest, I can still recall almost everything that happened, but I don't think I will be able to narrate the details of our adventure. Although it's not a surprise that this trip is not well-documented, I'll let the pictures speak for it (yes, yes, lame excuse for being lazy).

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Where to Find Snow Resorts Near Osaka (Our First Snow Experience)

When we went to Japan last March, it was transitioning from winter to spring. That means, we were able to experience both snow and sakura season at the same time.

You see, even though the season was leaning toward spring, a deep-rooted fascination for snow has definitely gotten my mind fixed to experience snow by any possible means. Well, you must understand that this utmost desire to see snow is coming from someone who has spent an entire life in a tropical country and has never seen one. This Japan trip—that happens once in a blue moon⁠—was my chance.
An obligatory snow shoefie.


Honestly, there would have been a lot of snow resorts outside Tokyo. However, 4 days is not enough to explore the city alone. So we planned to have our first snow experience somewhere in Kansai since we will be spending more time in Osaka. Also, it is a lot cheaper.

Monday, June 17, 2019

A Magical Day at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

My heart had been broken terribly when the owl carrying my Hogwarts acceptance letter lost its way (must have been held up in Customs 😂). I thought I would die a squib (no offense to squibs). But here I am, saved from eternal despair. For those who are still waiting for that letter, here is your salvation.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (WWoHP) will get you completely swept up in magic. I was and I cannot get enough of it! The moment we started walking into the woods with the familiar music playing in the background, nostalgia washed over me and I knew we were no longer in Universal Studios.
At Hogsmeade
I introduced my world to this muggle.


Friday, May 24, 2019

How to Make the Most Out of Your Trip to Singapore's Trick Eye Museum

When we went to Singapore the second time, we made sure we would avail of attractions that are fun, interesting, and most importantly, family-friendly. Attractions in Sentosa can be pretty pricey especially when you do multiple activities in a day. But you can book tickets online that offer cheaper packages. So we purchased a Sentosa Fun Pass (Play 3) where we can choose 3 activities from a list of 20 attractions, valid for one day. It is much cheaper than purchasing attractions separately.

We decided to go for these activities:
1. Trick-eye Museum (1 credit)
2. S.E.A. Aquarium &  Royal Albatross Tour (2 credits)

Honestly, if I had it my way, I would ditch the Royal Albatross Tour. It's only a 15-minute tour on a classic sailboat. There's nothing much to see in there. But since it is in combo with the S.E.A. Aquarium, we had no choice.

Anyway, let's get to the fun part.

Monday, April 1, 2019

Japan, Sagot Sa Kahirapan

We have a lot of catching up to do. I hate not writing about the shiznit happening in my life because that's what this blog is supposedly for. But this is what happens when you have a counterproductive after-work hobby. I get mentally drained every time I get off work that I wouldn't have enough strength to do anything else but ogle over videos of cats being adorable and jerks.

But also, I just came home from my best vacation yet. Jan and I couldn't get over it that we still talk about our escapade and eat ramen at local shops even if it pales in comparison to the real ones. Yes, a few days ago, we were in Japan.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Photo Diary: A Weekend in Manila

This is a long overdue post. And since I convinced myself that I am busy, I never really got to post about the weekend that was well spent in Manila.

We only have a little more than 48 hours and it was Red's first time in the metro so we did all things toursity! Here's how we spent it:

Of course, obligatory pose na pang Instagram!

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Snaps from Singapore (2018)

WARNING: PHOTOS OVERLOAD

There was a reason why I was always broke the past few months. It was only last April when I finally made up my mind to go with Jan, bought the tickets in May, and flew a month after. So that's almost three months of fighting the urge to buy milk tea, refusing fast foods, declining Friday night invitations, and pretending Shopee does not exist.

This is the fourth time Jan and I went out of the country, second time in Singapore, and the first time we did it with the family.

A lot of things happened and I wouldn't really want to put everything in detail because that's going to take forever. But here are some snaps during our trip. I may have to create separate posts for the Trick Eye Museum, S.E.A. Aquarium, and Flower Dome, but given my pseudo-busy schedule, we all know that's not happening any time soon. So for now, I hope you enjoy looking at these photos.

Monday, May 7, 2018

A Dahilayan Escapade

Jan and I have been eyeing Dahilayan for a long time. But since we see transportation a potential problem (going to Bacolod or Cebu was easier), it always gets to the bottom of our must-visit list. But not until we had Bill.

Manolo Fortich in Bukidnon is by far our Jan's longest drive. Our road trip destinations are going farther and farther and I guess, sooner or later, we'll find ourselves driving to Camiguin, Dapitan or even as far as Visayas! Or not.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Road Trip to Cape San Agustin

I knew I should have just rolled this Gov. Gen. and Mati trip into one long blog post. I realized that after coming home late at night from a 2-leg road trip and waking up really early the next day for Easter Sunday service, I'm too drained to churn out something coherent.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Dahican, Again!

I don’t feel so good about myself, and I don’t think my body likes me much. The brain hasn't really been active at night but I'm still fazed how its idleness can still keep me awake at night. I haven't had enough sleep daily for the past month. This isn't new. And usually, when this happens, a quick beach getaway "fixes" everything.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Boracay, Baby!

Right now, I am writing this blog 1076 kms from where I usually write while I try my very best to sum up my most relaxing vacay, yet. I love that we didn't have to wake up early in the morning and cram as many activities as we can to seize the day.

We have more than enough days to enjoy the island but I don't think I'm ready to leave just yet. Not when I know that a shitload of work is waiting for me.

I also worry my friends back home won't be able to recognize me anymore because I am ten times darker. But I would not have it any other way. I think I am born for the ocean. And if the kiss of the ocean breeze meant a sun-kissed skin, then the sun can have me anytime.
© Life is so full of tae!
Maira Gall