Embark on a Happy Life Discovery in Asia

For many, happiness is something that you pursue in the knowledge that you may never taste it. Visitors of the Asian continent share a different opinion. They have experienced the perspective of a broader horizon; they have seen natural beauty that they didn’t know existed before; they have met amazing people who showed them a new taste of life.

vintage suitcase
Pack your luggage for a new adventure

Whether you are a backpack adept or a tour lover, visiting Asia is one of the best gifts that you can make to yourself in a lifetime.

With 48 countries in Asia, you have a lot of choices to start with, but you also have a lot of opportunities to discover new lifestyles and new life philosophies that will upset your view of the world for good. Many find a new life balance on their way back from Asia. They have discovered in themselves a peaceful strength that was never there before. Asia changes people for the best. Here are some of the reasons why you should go to Asia. Continue reading “Embark on a Happy Life Discovery in Asia”

Lao PDR Diaries: Luang Prabang & Vientiane

The alarm went off at 5:30 am.

I opened my eyes, and saw the eerily life-like portrait of a Laotian woman hanging on the opposite wall looking at me. Then I saw a stranger sleeping on the other bed. Well, not a total stranger. She is Guonmin from Guangdong, China. We met on the slow boat a day ago…or was it two days ago? I can’t remember. All I know was that we were the only Asians on the boat…aside from the crew, of course.

Continue reading “Lao PDR Diaries: Luang Prabang & Vientiane”

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*

5 Itineraries to Help Kickstart Your Southeast 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

Continue reading “5 Itineraries to Help Kickstart Your Southeast Asian Adventure”

Review: Villa Maydou, Luang Prabang

When the tuktuk driver dropped me off at a temple, I thought he brought me to the wrong place. A group of Germans then approached the same tuktuk driver, so I asked them if I was indeed at Villa Maydou. They assured me I was in the right place, and pointed me towards the reception inside a two-story house with the numbers 1936 inscribed on the facade.
This signage was on the other side facing the road to Nam Khan Bridge.
The tuktuk driver dropped me off inside this temple’s compound

Tucked between a temple and the Nam Khan Bridge, Villa Maydou is located in a quiet area a bit offf from the city center.

It’s sort of a compound with 5 traditional Lao houses separated by lush gardens for privacy.

I immediately fell in love with the ambiance.
One of the 5 traditional Lao houses
Pathway to the restaurant
Lovely seating area near the reception

Bikes guests can use free of charge

I arrived earlier than the check-in time so I had to wait until the room was ready. While waiting, I was served freshly-squeezed pineapple juice.
My room was on the second floor
My own veranda
I was booked in a pool view room, which is part of 2 new additional buildings.
I had a veranda with couch and plush pillows where I had – as the name implies – a view of the saltwater swimming pool.

Double doors and windows with elegant French cremone bolts added a bit of flair to the rustic room. 

Dark wood flooring, cream-colored walls, and jewel tone accents adorn the room.
I enjoyed walking around barefoot (even though there were slippers provided), but the creaking sound of the wooden flooring made me worried that I might be disturbing the guests downstairs.
The bed was decked in beautiful Laotian tapestry.

The room was spacious with high ceiling, and plenty of windows which allow for natural light into the room.

The usual amenities are present like flat screen TV with cable channels, air conditioning unit, telephone, cabinet, and personal refrigerator. 

There’s also a working desk with enough power outlets for your electronics.

The WiFi can be unreliable — abysmal, to be honest (as is mostly the case in Luang Prabang), but it wasn’t really a big deal for me at the time because I just wanted to relax after traveling for 2 days on a slowboat.

I had to use the AEE camera just to get a whole shot of the bathroom because it was a tad small. I wish they made it bigger given the large size of the room.

The tub doubles as the shower space. And even though there’s a shower curtain, the water from the shower inevitably splashes onto it, and eventually spills on the floor. 

Other than that, the room was fine for me. 

You can only hear the sound of crickets at night.

They serve a good breakfast set, too, which consists of eggs, ham, a bread basket with spreads, fresh fruits (in season), coffee, and fresh fruit juice.

L: Lemon Butter Chicken for dinner (room service); R: breakfast set
The Laotian staff are courteous and nice, but you have to be patient when making some requests because of their limited English proficiency.

Overall, I would recommend Villa Maydou for travelers looking for a relaxing stay in Luang Prabang.
Ban Meuna – Luang Prabang
Tel: +856 7125 4601-04
Facebook: Villa Maydou