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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

My Top 5 'Buti na Lang!' Moments When I Traveled Solo

As you can probably tell (or not) from the title of this blog post, Taglish ito because...why not? Gusto ko lang! Para maiba naman. There's always a first time, pero limited edition lang ito kumbaga. Wow! haha

I remember nung nag-travel ako for 32 days nang solo, twice lang ata ako nakapag-Tagalog: when I met up with fellow travel blogger, Joshua, in Chiang Mai, and nung inampon ulit ako ni Riz when I went to KL. Hindi naman ako naubusan ng English pero nag-level up ang charade skills ko. :p

Anyway, ano nga ba ang ikkwento ko? Ahh, yung mga bagay na buti na lang ginawa ko nung bumyahe akong mag-isa. 

Kung inaakala mong ang post na ito ay isa sa mga 'quit-your-job-and-travel-the-world' posts, pwes, nagkakamali ka. Masyado nang gasgas yun. At sinasabi ko sa 'yo, maganda lang yan pakinggan sa simula pero pag hindi ka na makabili ng kape sa Starbucks na dati eh inaaraw-araw mo, babalik ka rin sa corporate world. *evil laugh*

Nag-eemote sa Traders Hotel

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Review: Swiss-Belhotel Rainforest Kuta

Swiss-Belhotel Rainforest is located along Bali's Sunset Road. It has a very unassuming facade, and looks small from the outside. But I was pleasantly surprised when I entered the lobby as it has a very tropical vibe - a very stark contrast to its commercial-looking exteriors. They didn't name it 'Rainforest' for nothing.

Love that palm leaf-like ceiling fan!
This is how the lobby looks from Oak Restaurant

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Review: Sheraton Mustika Yogyakarta Resort & Spa

Two nights of bunking with strangers at the hostel and I was already yearning for my own space, and space I got and so much more when I finally arrived at Sheraton Mustika Yogyakarta Resort & Spa.

Awang, Sheraton Mustika's Public Relations Executive, picked me up from the hostel. 

Photo from Starwood Hotels website

Our shuttle passed 'under' the grand ballroom, and we did a short ascent on a road lined by horse statues on both sides. It felt like entering an ancient city. 

West Lobby

The hotel has two lobbies: the West Lobby to accommodate individuals and couples checking in, and the East Lobby, decorated with gamelan, for group check-ins.

East Lobby

When we reached the lobby, I finally understood the unique design of this hotel. 

Sheraton Mustika sits on a hill, and instead of flattening it out just to build the hotel, they built the hotel around it. In fact, the lobby is on the 7th floor, and the rooms go down from there.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

5 Itineraries to Help Kickstart Your Sourtheast Asian Adventure

Ever since I got back from my month-long Southeast Asian trip last August 2014, some friends have expressed their interest of doing the same, but don't know exactly where to start.  

The thing is, when people ask me for my itinerary, I'm a bit hesitant to just give them what I used because it is customized according to MY traveling style. 
I found that it has changed over the years. I no longer feel the need to pack as many attractions as I can in day, and would prefer to pay more for convenience rather than sacrifice comfort for the sake of sticking to my budget. 

I also traveled solo, so my expenses were inevitably bigger than usual. And the only tickets I had pre-booked on sale were my Manila to Bangkok, Bangkok to Chiang Mai, and Bali to Manila flights. The rest of the flights, I booked when I was already on the road. 

I actually traveled for 32 days

With the fuel surcharge now chucked from airfares, and the AirAsia ASEAN Pass launched, I want to share 5 itineraries to help kickstart your own Southeast Asian adventure. The first 3 I have done personally (except for the ferry to Bintan/Batam), and the last 2 are options you can consider if you have more time to travel. 

To make your work easier, here are some guides that you can tweak according to your preference: 

Philippines - Malaysia - Singapore - Philippines (2 flights)

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Paragliding in Pokhara, Nepal

"Please don't do the acrobatics." I told my pilot, Peter. 

"We'll see. Maybe you'll like it when you're up there." he said.

This was our conversation before we walked closer to the edge of the cliff where he strapped the parachute cords onto my harness.

Picture-taking while waiting for our turn
Just an ordinary day in Sarangkot

After securing everything, he said...

Peter: "You only need to do one thing, okay? Don't jump. Don't sit. Just run, okay?" 
Me: "Okay!" 
Peter: "Wait for my signal. When I say run, just run straight ahead." He repeated.
Me: "Yup!"