Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Why Travel Tuesday: Chiang Mai, New City

(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 my new city, coincidentally known in local language as New City: Chiang Mai.)

View of Chiang Mai, Thailand from Doi Suthep
View of Chiang Mai, Thailand from Doi Suthep

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Seven of the Most Beautiful Virgin Beaches of the Philippines (Part Two)

I believe I have said it again and again on this travel blog. I am a very big fan of virgin beaches. Forunately enough, I come from the Philippines, a country with more than 7,000 islands, many of which are remote and uninhabited. It's really inevitable that I come up with a list of Seven of the Most Beautiful Virgin Beaches in the Philippines.

The article remains to be one of the most popular posts on this travel blog. So I thought I create a follow-up. Since I am out of the country at the moment, I have asked my fellow Pinoy travel bloggers to tell me about the virgin beaches in the Philippines they have discovered in their travels.

Without further ado, here are Seven of the Most Beautiful Virgin Beaches in the Philippines (Part Two).

1. Panampangan Island (Tawi-Tawi)

First up is a virgin beach sent in by James of JourneyingJames.com. Located at the remote southeast corner of the Philippines, Panampangan Island may only be an hour and 15 minutes by boat from the nearest town of Bongao in Tawi-Tawi province, but very few people visit it. Although the area is peaceful, being on a remote corner of the Philippines means police escort is necessary. With waters of that color and clarity, however, I reckon all the trouble would be worth it.

Panampangan Island (Tawi-Tawi)
© JourneyingJames.com 2012


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Why Travel Tuesday: That First Sunset

(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 the moment I fell in love with travel and photography: that first sunset.)

Puerto Galera, Mindoro, Philippines

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Backpacking Itinerary: Nepal in Three Weeks


"Still I felt uncommonly happy at trekking once more behind a string of mules with their bright headbands, gaudy red wool tassels and jingling bells, over a road and country new to me with the promise of sixteen such days ahead. I felt I could go on like this for ever, that life had little better to offer than to march day after day in an unknown country to an unattainable goal."
HW Tilman, Nepal Himalaya

And so goes my favorite quote about Nepal. I will not say that my trip to the Nepal Himalaya was something life changing. I am still me after all. However, that trip did bring out the best in me, qualities I didn't even know I had. I was able to trek the Himalayas uphill and downhill for 10 continuous days. I was able to bungy jump and prove to myself that bravery is being scared shitless and doing it anyway. For all these, I am grateful. And by sharing this knowledge I've acquired about travel to Nepal, I am hoping that more people experience what I experienced and more in that amazing country.

Below is our backpacking Nepal itinerary in three weeks. This is the second in a series of itinerary posts I will be releasing. Hopefully, this will help future travelers to Nepal with their own itineraries and general planning.

Open Nepal Itinerary Map in Google Maps
Nepal Itinerary in Three Weeks


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Backpacking Itinerary: India in Three Weeks

There's the rest of the world, and then there's India. Simple statement, sure. Yet it encapsulates every traveler's experience in this vastly diverse and culturally rich country. As we were on an extended trip to India lasting three weeks, we knew we could see a lot of places. But we didn't. India is a huge country, a continent in itself. It would be impractical to run around trying to see everything all at once. We have learned early on that to really, really see a place, we need to travel slowly. We tried to cover the basics. However, the travel gods had other plans. Thankfully, they did. We experienced everything from Indian urban metropolis, Indian mountains in the Himalayas, to the vast northern Indian plains, and we covered four of India's great religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, and Sikhism.

Below is our backpacking India itinerary in three weeks. This will be the first in a series of itinerary posts I will be releasing. Hopefully, this will help future travelers to India with their own itineraries and general planning.

Open India Itinerary Map in Google Maps
India itinerary in three weeks


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Why Travel Tuesday: The Campus of the University of the Philippines

(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 the beautiful campus of the University of the Philippines in my hometown, Manila.)

UP Fallen Fire Trees

Monday, July 9, 2012

How to Pass up a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Still Have a Rockin' Good Time

The city of Kathmandu, Nepal has a lot of interesting sites to see. There are at least 130 historic and religious monuments in the Kathmandu valley, an area listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Naturally, most visitors to Kathmandu go visit these sites.

Not us. While we did visit Kathmandu's Durbar Square, we figured we do something different on our last full day in this Himalayan capital. So we went to Patan, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in itself. However, we didn't go to Patan's temples and palaces, or any place there tourists would usually visit. We passed up our opportunity to see what Patan is known for the world over and instead, went to a punk rock concert happening right in this Nepali neighborhood. That's right. A punk rock concert. More like a punk rock jam session, but you get the drift. And hell yes, we had a whole lot of fun.

So here's how to pass up a UNESCO World Heritage Site and still have a rockin' good time.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

The Beautiful Women of Chetana in Pokhara, Nepal

In many societies in Asia, women have always been the underprivileged group. This is especially so in male-dominated societies that heed to the caste system. Such is the case in Nepal. Women are discriminated against and underrepresented in many sectors of Nepali society. UNICEF figures indicate that only 65 percent of adult females in Nepal gain literacy. No education means a very limited source of livelihood, if any at all. Even if employed outside their homes, Nepali women are paid 25 percent less than that of their male counterparts and are traditionally relegated to more traditional, low-level jobs.

Chetana Women Skill Development Project, Pokhara, Nepal

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Why Travel Tuesday: Porters of Nepal

(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 group of people whose job I have grown to respect while trekking up in the Himalayas: the Porters of Nepal.)

Porters, Annapurna, Nepal
The porters of Nepal and the backbreaking work that they do

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Top 12 Places to See Tibet Outside of Tibet

Tibet has always been one of the few places in Asia that truly fascinate me. It still does as I have yet to set foot on the Tibetan plateau. It fascinates because the Tibetans are a peaceful people with a stunningly rich and colorful culture hardened by one of the most inhospitable environments in the world. Unfortunately, Tibetans are some of the most oppressed people in the world. The oppression continues with recent news about Tibet being closed to foreign travelers in light of recent self-immolations and protests happening in the Tibetan capital of Lhasa. Authorities are still seeking to control information and news about Tibet that could leak out to the rest of the world through foreign visitors.

While this is unfortunate, I don't believe this should stop anyone from learning more about the Tibetan cause or at the very least, understand Tibet, Tibetan culture, and other related Himalayan cultures. Here are some suggestions for places to see Tibet outside of Tibet. (Do note that I have only been to some, not all, of the places listed here. These are mere suggestions. I would love to learn your thoughts on the matter in the comments section!)

1. Dharamsala

McLeod Ganj, Dharamsala, India