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

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.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Road Trip to Kalon Barak

Yesterday was our baby's string of many firsts.

First, we named our baby, Bill. I know Bill doesn't have anything to do with a car. Unlike others, I didn't name it after its color, it's performance, or whatever's under its hood. I could come up with Silver Bullet, Speed, Sasha (because it is grey haha), Lil Beasty, or even Sasuke because it almost sounds like the car brand. But I like Bill Parish from Meet Joe Black. It doesn't really have to have a significance and I don't need a reason to name it Bill. But Bill sounds good and that's good enough.

I know naming a car is not an uncommon practice. I think, if not all, almost every car owner does it and I think I know why. Mike Wazowski once said, "Once you name it, you start getting attached to it." Once you get attached to it, you take good care of it and I would like to believe that would make you a better driver.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Photo Diary: Universal Studios Singapore (2017)

I've never been to a theme park before. I've never been to Enchanted Kingdom nor Star City. But there are carnivals that come to our city from time to time which made me a sucker for extreme rides. And by extreme, I mean, those dodgy and rusty roller coasters that clank and screech at every turn with the possibility of the safety harness coming loose or, worse, bolts and screws break and go flying around while you hang on to your unsecured over-the-shoulder restraints for dear life. So if you really think about it, any theme park's extreme rides do not come close to that. Haha.

Universal Studios Singapore is the first legit theme park I've ever visited. And it is nothing short of amazing.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Yehliu Geopark

Most of the time when we travel, we DIY because it is a whole lot better than organized tours for the following reasons: you take control of your own time and speed, you have your own freedom to explore, and it is way cheaper.

But that is not always the case. Sometimes, choosing convenience and comfort over spontaneity is the best choice.

You see, exploring Taiwan would have been easy if the bus routes and directions were also written in English. Not that I'm saying it's difficult, but we simply want to relax and not stress over boarding the wrong buses, getting lost, and chasing bus schedules that we chose to book a guided Yehliu-Shifen-Jiufen tour from KKDay. And I never thought traveling could be this easy and hassle-free (this is not a paid endorsement and also, I think we're just getting old).

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Photo Diary: Zhongshe Flower Market

This isn't part of our itinerary. Honestly, I didn't know about this until we realized that we still have more than eight hours to spend before our flight back home. And I'm glad I came across TripAdvisor's Top Ten Things to Do in Taichung because it would be a bummer if I missed something lovely as this.

Zhongshe (also spelled as Chungshe) Flower Market is one of Taiwan's attractions located in Houli Township, Taichung. It is a vast six-hectare land filled with beautiful and vibrant flowers that bloom all throughout the season. I would have loved to see my favorite flowers - the tulips - in bloom but we were there during the wrong season. Different season offers you different flowers. As for the tulips, you will see them around February to March.

But still, even if I didn't see my favorite flowers, even if some flowers were not in full bloom,  it is one of the most beautiful places I've been to. The pictures will speak for itself.

Chungshe Flower Market, Taichung, Taiwan

Monday, November 20, 2017

Cycling Around Sun Moon Lake

When we extended our travel dates, I know that a visit to Sun Moon Lake is a must. Two hours by bus from the city of Taichung, Taiwan lies the beautiful and breathtaking Sun Moon Lake.

Sun Moon Lake offers a lot of activities. You can do a round-the-lake bus tour, or board the boats and sail some areas of the lake such as Lalu Island and Ita Thao, or try the ropeway (a.k.a. cable car), where you can see a fantastic view of the lake from above.

But of all the activities that are offered, I only wanted to do one thing: go cycling. Sun Moon Lake has been dubbed as one of the most scenic cycling paths in the world.

And it did not disappoint.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Taiwan It That Way

I've got to say, this is one of the most memorable trips I've ever had. And I bet Jan would say the same.

We booked our Taiwan trip from November 16 to 19, thinking that 3 days would be enough for Taipei. But since the airline cancelled our flight on the 16th, we had it moved to the 14th. Coming from Davao, international trips can be steep because we also have to fly either to Manila or Cebu since the only international flight available from Davao is going to Singapore and vice-versa (soon to Kuala Lumpur). Fortunately, we were able to book an early flight to Cebu because we also planned to go to Bantayan Island before the Taiwan Trip.

So apparently, the Bantayan trip has to be scrapped to give way to Taiwan. And even with the extended travel dates, 5 days is still not enough to experience Taiwan. And one blog post will not be enough for that. So for now, this post will only be about Taipei.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Photo Diary: Hong Kong Disneyland

I was 4 when I was first introduced to Mickey Mouse. Since then, I fell in love with anything Disney. From The Rescuers to Aladdin to their first computer animated film Toy Story to their latest live-action film Beauty and the Beast. Name it. I have seen it all. Disney has etched magic in my 4-year old heart and apparently, it has not escaped me ever since.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

How We Got Around Macau for FREE

Well, almost.

Macau is also known as "Little Vegas" or the "Vegas of Asia", or at least that's what I've heard. And with its reputation for grand casinos and luxurious hotels, all the while we really thought going around Macau is expensive. But with research and a lot of reading, we never thought that it could be the most budget-friendly first class destination in Asia (as if I've traveled a lot of places in Asia noh? Haha).

We originally planned to book our Macau tour from legit online agencies since we can always go cheaper with that. A Macau city tour can go around Php 5,000+ that's already inclusive of lunch buffet in a 4-star hotel, roundtrip ferry (HK-Macau), and of course, the convenience of having a transportation that can take you from point A to point B. Actually, it's not bad. The buffet lunch would have made it reasonable. But it can still be quite steep for budget travelers like us.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Hong Kong-Macau Diary

This is not a travel guide but rather a summary of our recently concluded HK-Macau trip.

I'm not really sure what exactly happened but I think I held my breath for a while as I stood in front of the Immigration Officer while he asked me a couple of questions. The thought of being offloaded scared me. But the next thing I know, I was already at the boarding area working on a couple of urgent tasks.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Sand Dunes Adventures at Paoay

Ilocos Norte is the farthest we've been to in the Philippines (maghintay ka lang Batanes). And like every eager first time visitor, we did almost everything touristy! But also like every thrill-seeking adventurer, we just had to do something that can turn on the rush.

Honestly, I could skip any other tourist attractions around Ilocos but not the sand dunes - the only known sand dunes in the Philippines. So despite being pressed for time (thanks to my friend, insomnia, for keeping me company at night and asleep by the day), we managed to find ways.

Our original plan was to go there before sunrise or before sunset so we can avoid the scorching heat of the sun. But since we scrapped all our plans out and did all things spontaneously, we went there after lunch. Midday. High noon. Beat that.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Photo Diary: Vigan's Calle Crisologo

I tried to be a regular blogger. Hence, the lame attempt to strike those blogger poses in the quaintest street I've ever been to: Calle Crisologo.

It wasn't as crowded as I thought it would be. So I thought it's a perfect time for photo ops while Jan and I wait for our tummies to go hungry again just after eating okoy and empanada. I'm not really the type who takes a lot of photos, let alone strike a pose. Like I always say, I don't have an ounce of talent for it. There were even times when Jan would ask me, "dili ka magpicture?" (are you not going to take pictures). Sometimes I would. Most of the time I wouldn't. But then I realize I need to breathe life into my Instagram account, my Facebook page, and this blog. Simply put, I just want to have an interesting online presence.

Jan is so supportive about this hooey and has been patiently taking my photos no matter how awkward and annoying it gets. He shows willingness to be one of them - you know, Instagram boyfriends - just so I can master the art of striking those blogger poses which isn't really beneficial to my life, his life, or to anyone's life. But for the love of blogging, social media, and let's just say, art... here goes...

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Ilocos Norte: South Burgos Tour

After enjoying the top tourist attractions in Pagudpud, we had our lunch at past 1:00 in the afternoon and headed to Burgos for our South Tour.

If you are going for a DIY tour, the best way to get around Ilocos is to ride a tricycle. You may opt for a cheaper alternative which is riding a bus albeit waiting for the next bus will just eat all your time up.

Once you get off from the bus, tricycles are just everywhere. They offer South (Burgos) and North (Pagudpud) tours at a standard rate. Each tour costs Php 600 (max of 3 pax per tricycle) and you will be taken to the following places:
South Tour (Burgos) North Tour (Pagudpud)
-Cape Bojeador Light House
-Kapurpurawan Rock Formation
-Bangui Windmills
-Kabigan Falls
-Bantay Abot Cave
-Patapat Viaduct
-Blue Lagoon Beach
Tricycles in Ilocos are quite small. So it is best to only have two people in one tricycle if you want to travel comfortably. You can do both South and North Tours in one day.

You may also want to read: DIY Pagudpud Tour

Monday, August 7, 2017

Ilocos Norte: Pagudpud Tour

Before we landed in Laoag City, we HAD a planned itinerary. The weather forecast app warned us about heavy rains and scattered thunderstorms. So we had it all planned out. Let's do Plan A. If weather does not permit us, we'll do Plan B. But traveling does not always work that way. However convenient traveling from Davao to Ilocos by plane is, still got our energies drained. It was raining when we got there. So we just decided to sleep for the rest of the day, scrap all our plans out, and do what we do best: go traveling spontaneously.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Ilocandia Trip

One of the reasons why I was so excited about this trip is because I would finally be reintroducing myself to my roots.

I am an Ilocano. Both my parents and most of my relatives from both sides are Ilocanos. But since I was raised in Davao, I never really got to know my roots. The only evident thing that would give away the Ilocano in me would be my skin and my love for gulay, suka, and bagoong.

When we booked this trip, I thought my Ilocano speaking skills would give me the upper hand to act like a local and haggle for prices and avoid being taken advantage of as a tourist. Alas, my accent just doesn't cut it and I sound so hilaw. Haha

Anyway, this post will not have a lot of details about the trip, but rather a summary of our adventures and mishaps. But don't worry guys, I'll also be sharing with you our DIY Itinerary. So please stay tuned for that. But for now, here's how our Ilocandia Trip went:
Calle Crisiologo

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Why Traveling Solo Is Not For Me

Traveling, among many other things, is my passion. But my love for traveling only sprung up on an epic scale when I met the love of my life. Unfortunately, my travel budget is not directly proportional to my passion. Otherwise, I would have been writing this blog post while enjoying a souvlaki on a boat as it tours around Santorini right now.

I'm not exactly a big traveler nor would I consider myself well-traveled. I'm not the one who could just quit a day job, pack, and never be seen again. I have my priorities and non-negotiables too. But I travel with every chance I get. Long weekends, holidays, vacation leaves, name it.

I've traveled to more than 20 provinces in the Philippines just within the past 3 years and most of the time, I shared it with Jan. Solo travel you say? Did it few times. Didn't die. But I would not say it's something I want to do again.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Pusan Point: Where the Sun Shines First

Just when I thought there won't be any travels for me in the next two months, the curse month really has its way of telling me that things will never go my way because I just found myself traveling to the easternmost point of the Philippines only to have my breath be taken away by this gorgeous sunrise.

Sunrise at Pusan Point

I've known Pusan Point when it became the venue for people to gather and catch the first sunrise of the new millennium. And until this very day, people still go there to be the very first one to catch a glimpse of the sunrise.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Top Ten Summer Favorites

This summer has been the summerest so far. The sweltering heat and my tan lines just said it all. But more than that, I was able to do a lot of things and see a lot of beautiful places.

Picture this... On the first day of April, I went beach bumming at Island Garden Resort in Pangubatan. Two weeks later, I completed a Basic Mountaineering Course, which includes camping, trekking, and rappelling. Then I went diving the whole day at the Taklobo Farm and Coral Gardens just a week after that. The next day, I found myself on a spontaneous road trip with friends and spent a day and a half riding the waves of Dahican. And then the week that followed got me more and more sun-kissed in El Nido. And since summer isn't over yet, this weekend was spent for a much needed rest and relaxation in Isla Reta. (Hashtag that QuotaKaNaSarah)

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Hiking Taraw Cliff

I think scaling mountains on our anniversary is an unspoken thing. It's never in our intention to hike every anniversary, but it happens all the time.

I guess, part of it is the need to pause from climbing the corporate ladder and have a breather. Another part is simply because we have always been in constant search for adventure and we love doing offbeat things together.

So for our third anniversary, Jan and I conquered El Nido's highest, the Taraw Cliff.

Taraw Cliff, El Nido

I would say we are truly blessed that we don't have to go too far to experience one of the world's greatest wonders. I am so grateful to have experienced El Nido first hand (and with the one I love). And to see such magnificence from a bird's eye view made us so alive. However, getting there is quite an ordeal (as what I've heard from a first-time climber).

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Oh, El Nido!

I wonder how many pieces of my heart have I got left because I keep on leaving them everywhere I go.

This time, I left my heart in El Nido.

El Nido, Palawan

El Nido wasn't really part of our travel plans this year. Yes, we've always wanted to go to El Nido but not anytime soon. I guess, luck was on our side and the impulse to explore something new was so strong, we unexpectedly made El Nido happen, not to mention sooner than expected.
© Life is so full of tae!
Maira Gall