Monday, April 14, 2014

Let Me Tell You about My Favorite Place in Thailand

So let me tell you about my favorite place in Thailand. It is not my adopted city Chiang Mai, although I have waxed poetic about its lively markets and its Buddhist temples.

No. This place is further up north in Thailand, through winding mountain roads which look out to hills and valleys. It's so further up north that when people talk, you don't hear the gentle sound of Thai, rather the forward and rapid sounds of Tibeto-Burmese languages. It's so further up north that a few kilometers further, you might just find yourself in Myanmar.

I'm talking about Pang Mapha in Mae Hong Son, Thailand.

So what makes this place special? That is a question I will answer in the next couple of weeks through a series of posts about Pang Mapha. But as a sneak peek, here are some of my reasons.

1. The Sunrise

Mae Hong Son, Thailand
Sunrise in Pang Mapha, Mae Hong Son

Friday, March 21, 2014

Foodie Friday: Thai Curry Paste

(We all know I love to eat, so you know I am not kidding around when talking about food. On Fridays, let me torture myself and anyone who might stumble upon this travel blog with a photo of a delicious food I had in my travels. This week, Foodie Friday features not food specifically, but an ingredient, really a hallmark of Thai cooking: Thai curry paste.)

Curry Paste, Asia Scenic Thai Cooking School, Chiang Mai, Thailand
From farthest back: Khao Soi curry paste, Thai red curry paste, and Penang curry paste. Things of beauty.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Why Travel Tuesday: Wat Lok Molee, Chiang Mai

(Every Tuesday, I will be featuring a photograph from a place I have gone to, a photograph which I believe will inspire others to go out and see the world for themselves. For this week, Why Travel Tuesday features a photo from my favorite temple in all the temples of Chiang Mai: Wat Lok Molee.)

Wat Lok Molee, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Colorful night lights of Wat Lok Molee in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Backpacking Itinerary: Shanghai and Huangshan in Five Days

The objective: Travel to a visually stunning place on this side of the world where, the season being winter, our Filipino tropical sensibilities would be jarred by freezing cold snow. The rationale: Get ourselves a travel experience far from our "ordinary." The real rationale though: Heck, who knows? Why would anyone trade comfortably warm in flip-flops for mind-numbing cold in clunky winter boots?

But we did. And our objectives? Glad to say, achieved and surpassed.

Backpacking Itinerary: Shanghai and Huangshan in Five Days

With only five full days in between round-trip flights to Shanghai, I seriously thought we would be pressed for time. I'd soon discover, however, that a schedule of five days was just right for this trip. It was a combination of trekking in the "Avatar" mountains covered in snow, lazily strolling through a UNESCO Heritage ancient village, and treating our eyes to the bright lights of China's largest city.

So without further ado, that this may be of service to other travelers out there, let me present a backpacking itinerary of Shanghai and Huangshan in five days.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Shanghai, China: A Birthday in the City that Ignited My Wanderlust

I only had a few minutes to myself before my travel companions and I reunited at the lobby. We had just settled into our accommodations for the night but I quickly rushed down as soon as I dropped off my bags. Fortunately, our hostel was steps away from one of the most impressive riverfronts on this side of the world. So I walked towards where the people and the glittering lights were and again saw the sight that ignited my wanderlust three years ago.

There, on the other side of the river, was the global financial center of Pudong. Skyscrapers filled the skyline and their lights flashed extra bright this cold winter night. I was back.

Welcome to Shanghai, China.

Pudong Skyline, Shanghai, China
I do heart SH. I really do.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Why Travel Tuesday: Bali, Indonesia

(Every Tuesday, I will be featuring a photograph from a place I have gone to, a photograph which I believe will inspire others to go out and see the world for themselves. For this week, Why Travel Tuesday features a photo from the island of the gods: Bali, Indonesia.)

Bali, Indonesia
Scootering around South Bali equals a day well spent.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

The Shanghai Food Post: 10 Foods I Loved in Shanghai (and Anhui, too)

It took some effort to get up at 7 a.m. If there was one thing I loved about winter, it was staying warm and comfortable in bed. But today was a special day. It was someone's birthday. Mine. I didn't have anything planned, but this was Shanghai and that morning, I hear the city buzzing into life. More importantly though, my stomach was grumbling and delicious Shanghai food was calling.

So here are the top 10 delicious Shanghai foods I loved while traveling in the city. Alright, some of them I had in the adjacent province of Anhui, but still. Let's go.

1. Cōng Yóu Bǐng (Scallion Pancakes)

Cōng Yóu Bǐng, Shanghai, China
Street stalls selling cong you bing open very early in the morning. Very popular breakfast food this.