Taiwan is probably one of our closest neighboring country. It’s only 218km away from our farthest islands of Batanes. It’s so close I even saw the island when I was in Itbayat on a clear sky morning. It was with excitement I had a chance to explore Taiwan through Taiwan Tourism Board for their campaign Panahon sa Taiwan. Recently, Taiwan recently extended its VISA-Free visit for Filipinos allowing us to enjoy this charming country again. For this trip we went to central areas of Taichung and Nantou County, the north mountainscapes of Yangmingshan and of course the main capital of Taipei.
It was an advocacy to entice more people to travel to Mindanao, the southernmost major island of the Philippines. A region much maligned due to isolated insurgencies which affected nearby regions. Born out of Iligan’s Waterfalling activity, Travel Mindanao is a project by a group of travel bloggers with a common zest for adventure and to showcase the best of Mindanao. The project was supposed to be in a span of a month but I had to catch up shortening my participation to 20 days. Still, after seven provinces, it was one of my memorable journeys in the country.
It all started with a play of words, how the word “Borobudur” fondly rolls out your tongue as you one repeatedly utters it. Then the interest to visit this one of a kind UNESCO site came. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to join my group of friends on their planned visit so I embarked on a journey to Yogyakarta and Solo on my own as a birthday gift to myself. It was 5 Days in Yogyakarta and Solo of discovering mountain slope temples, admiring wonderful batiks, got into a motorbike accident and met hospitable strangers. Here’s recounting the trip with itinerary and trip cost.
If palm-fringed islands with pure white sand beach, abundant marine life, chill-out atmosphere and shacks serving sumptuous barbecue by the seaside is your thing, Perhentian Islands, at Terengganu, Northeast Malaysia offers the perfect island escape. It’s distance that has kept this gem partially hidden fromt he tourist crowd and enjoyed mostly by backpackers and those few whose willing to travel far to this coast of Malaysia. Personally it’s one of my favourite islands since it sets a perfect balance between tamed development and keeping the natural wonders intact. Sharing here is the summary of the trip.
Admittedly, it was hard to pack my stuff on the day of my leaving the country. I thought that the time I stayed there was too short but really memorable. I had my breakfast at Motherland Inn 2 and rode their free shuttle to Yangon International Airport. Checking-in, passing through the immigration was a breeze and gave me enough time at the pre-departure area. And there were no exit 10,000 kyat exit fee as I read on some old text. All that kyat I was saving went to some souvenir ref magnets for home. Sitting at the chair looking at the runway, looking at my notes. I spent 11 days in Myanmar spending a little over P23000 during the trip.
Let’s literally go beyond what North Luzon is mostly known for. Go past the borders of Ilocos Norte and step into the neighboring town of Claveria in Cagayan. I was awed by the raw beauty of Claveria even under gloomy skies on my first visit that I immediately planned a return trip soon after I got back to Manila. I was able to spend a few days here with my friends and found it as a destination in itself. Here you can find a dedicated video, the itinerary and travel budget chart for claveria and a side-trip to Tuguegarao.
Last year’s first Lakbay Norte was a blast so I was thinking how would they top it again this year? Well this year’s magic number is 2 for Lakbay Norte 2 2011 is twice as big with two separate legs around northern Luzon. The first leg held January 23-27, 2011 explored the South Western part of North Luzon particularly Baguio, La Union, Tarlac, Subic and Pampanga. The second leg held March 2-7, 2011 focused on the Upper north portions of Cagayan and Ilocos. Here’s a chronicle recap of both legs with links to corresponding posts. It would be a good guide in case you want to do a somewhat similar itinerary.