Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Why Travel Tuesday: Modi Khola Valley in 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 the early morning mist clearing through a valley in Central Nepal: Modi Khola Valley.)

View from Landruk, Annapurna Sanctuary Trek, Nepal
Early morning in the Modi Khola Valley of Central Nepal

Friday, April 26, 2013

Foodie Friday: Penang Curry

(We all know I love to eat, so you realize this was coming. On Fridays, let me torture myself and anyone who might stumble upon this travel blog with a photo of one of the countless delicious foods I ever had the pleasure of tasting in my travels, some of which include foods I made myself. Yes, I cook. This week, Foodie Friday features one of my favorite Thai dishes of all time: Penang Curry.)

Penang Curry, I Cooked That
It's rich, thick, nutty, tangy and spicy: Penang Curry. I cooked that.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Guide to Traveling to El Nido, Philippines

UPDATED 22 November 2013—To say that the tropical paradise that is El Nido, Philippines is spectacularly beautiful would be scratching the surface. Characteristic of the country's final frontier Palawan, El Nido has numerous limestone karts islands with white, sandy beaches, surrounded by pristine turquoise waters and rich coral reefs. It is personally one of the most beautiful places I have seen, not just in the Philippines but in Asia. There were several travel highlights in my week-long trip to El Nido, Philippines, including seeing the iconic picture of paradise, the Big Lagoon, and climbing to a viewing deck above Matinloc Island to see the calm waters of Tapiutan Strait.

View from above Matinloc Shrine, El Nido, Palawan, Philippines
View from above Matinloc Shrine, El Nido, Palawan, Philippines

El Nido, Philippines is spectacularly beautiful largely because it remains remote. For most people, the only way to access it is via Palawan's capital Puerto Princesa, which has its own domestic airport. El Nido has an airport, too, but only (expensive) charter flights use it. The town of El Nido itself is small, comprised only by a few housing blocks on the shores of Bacuit Bay. Tourism here only caters to a small number of independent backpackers and an even smaller number of high-end luxury travelers.

All these make El Nido, Philippines a bit tricky to travel to. Thankfully, there are a number of great resources online, especially from Pinoy travel blogs, about traveling to El Nido. Here is a guide to traveling to El Nido, Philippines based on my own experience with links on the great online resources I found.


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Why Travel Tuesday: Puerto Princesa, Palawan

(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 one of the Philippine cities that I have grown to like: Puerto Princesa, Palawan.)

Dallas Inn, Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Philippines
Small, comfy nook in Dallas Inn, a gem of a budget hotel in Puerto Princea, Palawan

Friday, April 12, 2013

Seven Travel Highlights of El Nido, Philippines

The boat drifted towards tall limestone cliffs carelessly draped with small green shrubs. We seemed to be floating away from the deep blue sea onto a vividly turquoise reef. The unabashed clarity of the water fooled us into thinking the seabed was four feet deep but, as the boatmen clarified, it was at least four times that. I stood up gingerly with a bulky camera on hand towards the bow of our motorized fishing boat turned tourist vessel and leaned steady against the mast.

"This is the Big Lagoon," our tour guide Von said as we entered a narrow canyon. It was flanked by karst towers on both sides and, as it was currently high tide, it was flooded by the warm, crystalline waters of Bacuit Bay. I of course immediately recognized this place. How could I not? The Big Lagoon of El Nido, Philippines has come to be the iconic picture of tropical paradise in my head, thanks to countless postcards, posters, and billboards depicting this little corner of the 7000-island archipelago I call home.

Big Lagoon, El Nido, Palawan, Philippines
The Big Lagoon of El Nido, Philippines
has become the iconic picture of tropical paradise.