Taipei, Taiwan Day 1 & 2

Dec. 17, 2016

Like Thailand, Cambodia and other Asian countries, Taiwan is the kind of country that you can always fall back to when you want culture, nature and food.

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My family and I arrived 3:00 am in the morning at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport.

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Yes, it’s indeed a family goal!

We spent the next few minutes queuing up at the immigration counter and as soon as we got out of the airport, a van picked us up and brought us to our hotel.

We actually stayed in Go Sleep Hotel-our home for the next 3 nights. I actually did search about the hotel when I knew where we were staying before the trip and found some undesirable pictures. However, because we were on a tight budget I just prayed that it wouldn’t completely disappoint us when we get there. Surprisingly, the place is good for a budget hotel. It has a great location, there are lots of shops and restaurants right outside and the Metro is just a short walk. We occupied 7 rooms and it was clean and spacious. I also loved the modern-look.

Day 1

Dec. 18, 2016

We had too little sleep that day since we were expected to be all ready and prepared around 8:00 in the morning. Good thing we were able to wake up early despite the 2-hour sleep. It’s okay, a little sacrifice won’t hurt.

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There’s free breakfast in the lobby early in the morning and I must say they serve good food.  You can also avail their free drinks 24/7 whether it’s coffee, tea, juice or soft drinks. Just visit their lobby and go straight to their vending machines.

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Another day, another wall. Lol

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Siem Reap, Cambodia II

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DAY 2: Bayon Temple, Hot air balloon ride, Silk Farm 

The Bayon is the most impressive temple I have seen in Angkor Thom city and  is really one of the most spectacular ruins of Angkor because of its splendor gigantic smiling faces looking at different directions. I find it quite an art.

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Question: How many multitude of serene and massive stone faces on the many towers do you see? Though the faces are not really visible in this picture, there are over 200 massive stone faces looking in all direction.

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Siem Reap, Cambodia Part I

Day 1 in Angkor Wat

Our first day in Cambodia was our eldest sister’s 28th birthday and Ate Jane who happens to be a friend of my mom who traveled with us. It was a very special day for them so it was made sure that our first tour was something that’s new and very… special.

Our first activity was to watch the sunrise in Angkor Wat. It was quite a demanding day since from the time of our arrival early in the morning , we have to wake up around 4:30 am to catch up the sunrise.

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I tried to take a few photos from different angles around the Temple area and that is not easy either as there are hundreds of people (if not thousands) also trying to do the same! But this was one of the highlights that day; Watching the sunrise in Angkor Wat. Isn’t it spectacular? Now I get it why they said there will be 2 suns showing up during the sunrise! It’s because of the reflection of the puddle. Truly amazing sight and a sunrise I won’t forget for a long time.

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Shanghai, China 2

YOU CAN WATCH OUR VIDEO TRIP HERE

Day 2

‘Twas early in that magical morning in autumn at the streets of Shanghai. There was a slight breeze, much to my delight! The air was fresh and my breath could be seen. Since we didn’t have scheduled tour that early morning, we decided to walk at the streets of Shanghai and hit to the malls since our Hotel was just a few blocks away!

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 Sometimes it’s fun to keep it monochrome!

I’ve been wearing a lot of black and gray recently. I think you can create really classic looks with black, white and gray outfits and have your statement accessories stand out even more, like a fab necklace or a colorful bag but what I have here is my white bag and a brown leather jacket which I bought in one of the stores in my hometown and it was very ‘cheap’. Black and gray doesn’t have to be boring 🙂 Just pick the perfect accessories to make the look more fun!

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Trip to Gaas, Balamban!

6 months ago, my friends and I decided to embark on an adventure that was pretty out of plan. We decided to visit a special place called Gaas, Balamban. What I thought was just a typical hangout turned out to be one of the most memorable moments in my life as a young adult. It was surely an adventure worth remembering. It was exceptional, not only for the reason that I was with friends, but it was a day with many firsts- my first visit to Gaas and my first time to be able to travel a long distance ride on a motorbike.

We left the city during the night where the streets were busy, not only the streets but also the sidewalks, people walked from place to place, running for errands and if there’s one thing that I love with busy streets is the sound of music everywhere; From the stores down to the honks of different vehicles in this never-ending traffic of Cebu.

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 We travelled on a convoy of motorbikes and I thought it was rad, well, with our huge jackets and hoods. Haha. As we speed down the road, I felt the wind in my face. I smelled the crisp, evening air. There’s nothing like the rush of energy during that ride and darn, the coolness of the wind was a very good feeling to my skin. Passing through the tree lined section of the road, I felt the 2 degree drop, and though it was dark and pitch black, I still felt the combination of fear, exhilaration, relaxation, and pleasure.
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 Roadtrips bring you to beautiful places, like Canada for instance! Hahahaha

After an hour of travel, I felt a drop of rain on my head and it was about time when the rain came pouring when we arrived at our place. Immediately, we set out the table and placed all the foods so we could start rocking the night out. Haha! After a while, the rain transitioned from drizzle to heavy rain. However, the rain didn’t stop us from having fun. We played, talked, and laughed all night with about anything, drank coffee to keep us warm, and stayed up past midnight ‘til we didn’t notice it was already 5 o’clock in the morning. And then we slept early in the morning to boost our alertness and energy level for our activity right after.

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 After a few hours, I woke up with a renounced excitement to look at what supposed to be a beautiful morning view was a fog that was so dense that nothing could be seen a few yards ahead. Instead of planning to go back to the city, we were stucked inside the house ’cause it was unsafe to go out. We didn’t know that there was a big storm coming to town so we decided to stay for another day until the fog clears out and the rain stops.

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Dolphin Island

If your dream is to swim with one of the ocean’s most graceful creatures, the bottle-nose dolphin, as well as spend time relaxing on beaches or swimming with other marine life then visit the Dolphin Island in Misamis Occidental in Aquamarine Park.

Ozamis May 2008 207When we arrived at the place, we paid 10 pesos for the entrance and another 300 pesos (round-trip) for the boat that will take us to the Dolphin Island Resort.Ozamis May 2008 160

Dolphin island is actually NOT an island. It is a complex that takes care of rescued dolphins, they are sent back to the open sea once they are fit for release in the wild. The government then created more structures that included a restaurant, a swimming pool, a grandstand,  and an area enclosed by net where dolphins are kept and fed.

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Great Wall of China

YOU CAN WATCH OUR VIDEO TRIP HERE

Our last visit from our 3-day trip was China’s famous Great Wall! It’s roughly an hour journey away from the city of Beijing so you have time to regain your energy in case you need to. The Great Wall trip was really one of the memorable vacations I had since…

  1. First, it was one of my dream place.
  2. Second, aside the fact that it’s my dream place. It’s also one of the world’s seven wonders.
  3. Third, we were able to visit the place before Christmas eve. In short, it was God’s christmas gift!

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Taking a picture of my sister having her forty-winks. I wasn’t taking a nap since I was way too excited to close my eyes and rest.

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Upon seeing the beautiful view of the wall, I was all prepared to jump out of the bus and kiss the ground. :))

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Weeee! It was a first time for me to witness snow. Unsurprisingly, there is snow here towards the Great Wall as it is in a mountainous terrain farther up north. In fact, as far as I remember it was already -13 Degrees Celsius at that very moment. More freezing and it was much colder, with below freezing temperatures and strong winds.

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While climbing all the way up, I saw Yogi bear! Hahaha! The bears would perform for treats purchased by tourists. I felt sorry for the bears and wished I could take them all home.

As we walked closer, the revelation of what actually constituted a trolley ride greeted us. Our tour guide said that it was a Toboggan car. It is more like a series of trolleys on rails, sort of like a roller coaster, that bring you down from the top of the wall.

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In all fairness, the trolley ride got me even more excited because you can control the speed of the car yourself! Such a nice alternative to hiking/walking.

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And Lo! we have arrived!

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Words and pictures can’t describe the beauty of the walls as it stretches on as far as you can see, it has to be seen to be really appreciated. It’s majestic and powerful and makes necessary saying the word “wow” without meaning to an unnecessary number of times.

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Beijing, China Part 2

YOU CAN WATCH OUR VIDEO TRIP HERE

Day 2: (-10 Degrees Celsius)

The last day of our 3-day trip in Beijing was continuing our city tour and visiting the most awaited Great Wall of China. Not bad for saving the best for the last!

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Here’s a picture of myself early in the morning tryin’ to expose my skin outside the -10 degree celsius temperature. My objective was to be able to get use of the cold since we will be visiting the Great Wall after the city tour and it surely is freezing above the mountains. They said here in the city would be -10 degrees but above would change to -15 degrees or more. Wow! That’s too cold!

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Matching winter outfits with my twin sissy, all bundled up!

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Taking pictures with our elder sister.

Ming Dynasty Tombs 

This is considered to be one of the places that you should be visiting in Beijing! Ming Dynasty Tombs is where the Emperors were buried but no one actually knows where the location is. Maybe the people who buried them but it’s already centuries ago so no one really knew it.

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Inside is a museum of the Jade collection of the Empress and the Emperor. All of their accessories and things were made of Jade. Isn’t it amazing that they managed to preserve those things?

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This one’s a beaut! The Empress’ Head Dress.

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That’s the statue of the Emperor and below are a pile of money. Have noticed something different in the picture above?IMG_7930

 Yhup! You got it right! Someone threw a 20 peso bill. Hahaha! I’m not sure if it was my dad but this totally made me laugh.

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Beijing, China Part 1

It has been a great opportunity to be able to visit Beijing which is the capital of the most populous country in the world. Beijing is by far one of my favorite places that I have been thus far. They have thousands of ancient temples mixed among gigantic parks, a modern downtown with skyscrapers, mazes of hutongs, and LOTS and LOTS of people. Clearly the absolute must see if you are in China is the Great Wall, there’s just no denying that.

But before we proceed, just please pardon our clothes. Haha! This was our fashion disaster days. Few weeks before leaving for Manila, we weren’t able to anticipate the winter season in China. Yes. This was my first winter experience. We didn’t have winter clothes except for my dad and mom so we bought for just a short period of time. Boy, it was hard looking for cheap winter clothes since it is really expensive. We ended up buying any winter clothes just for our comfort instead, making sure that we wouldn’t freeze when we arrive there.

1st Day: (0 Degree Celsius)

The Forbidden City is the largest cluster of ancient buildings in the world, a city within a city and a symbol of China’s cultural heritage.

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We were strolling down the streets of Beijing with our not so comfortable and two layered winter clothes (Which in about 10 minutes, I thought I was nearly going to die due to the uncomfortable stress of being cold.)

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While traveling around the world, a person can visit many wondrous and mysterious sites that conjure up images of historical events of long ago. One of the most fascinating sites in existence is the Forbidden City. Yhep. This beautiful icon at the back. So rich in history and mystique.

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This should give you an idea of how consistently cold it was. No time for posing. As you can see I was already covering my face with my scarf. Frankly speaking, I COULDN’T FEEL MY FACE that time! It was all NUMB. Like, every part of it. Good thing, at about 20-25 minutes exposure to the freezing air, the bus arrived and all of us came running like we were some kind of beggars who just saw a mouth-watering food displayed in the middle of nowhere. Hahaha So yeah, to be able to sit inside the bus with the heater was like HEAVEN.

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Mantigue Island Nature Park

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One of the favorite destination of many tourists (whether local or foreign travelers) nowadays is Camiguin. This beautiful island features a wide array of amazing spots to visit and to explore.

But Mantigue Island is one of my favorite places in Camiguin. A panoramic view of the island of Camiguin from this sandbar is simply the most photogenic scenery that you could imagine. This small island is best visited during early in the morning.

If you’re ever tired of frolicking in the water, you can roam around the island bare-footed and you’d surely notice the fine white sand of the island. It shimmers in sunlight and feels soft to the skin. There are wooden tables and benches built under the shade of pandan trees ideal for picnics and cooling off from the heat of the sun.

When you’re in the province of Camiguin, don’t miss your chance to experience the perfect coastline of powdery-white coral sands! The Island obviously took my breath away. Well, not literally.