Saturday, 23 March 2013

Angkor Temples in Photographs

Photographic experiment of the superb stone structures of Siem Reap, Cambodia.

2 Photos in Multiple Exposure: 
Entering the Temple World

Manually stitched photos taken in Ta Prohm
Ta Prohm. Initially known as Rajavihara which means royal monastery is also called Old Brahma. A typical flat Khmer Temple, it has five rectangular enclosing walls surrounding a central sanctuary. Founded as a Mahayana Buddhist monastery and university, Ta Prohm has been left in much the same condition as it was found, one which had best merged with the jungle but not yet to a point of becoming part of it. The site is currently under conservation and restoration since 2003 in partnership with Archaeological Survey of India and APSARA. One of the most visited complexes in Cambodia's Angkor region, it was listed as UNESCO's World Heritage site in 1992. 

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Loving and Hating Bangkok

What I love about Bangkok:

at floating market
Fresh fruits, freshly squeezed juices, pad thai, fried rice, chicken bbq, curry, sticky rice with ripe mango, rice toppings among others has the strongest appeal on my taste buds. The delicious smell from a nearby bbq stand would usually draw me closer to it and would make me surrender. It's also funny to see pad thai (freshly cooked) being sold on the street in a rolling cart while it's a restaurant menu here. Like us, Thai also like rice toppings and sell them like in a carenderia. I remember us buying a pork stew with hard-boiled egg rice toppings on a bus pit stop from Aranyaprathet to Bangkok city. 

Prices are very affordable as well. A kilo of Mangosteen is only about 40-60baht, street pad thai is 15-30baht, tasty fried rice is 20-45baht. Though restaurants has almost the same price ranges as here, the Thai cuisine is just as bursting as its culture.

Bangkok is a backpackers paradise most specifically the area of Khao San road. Affordable stays are absolutely everywhere. You can head directly to the area even without a reservation and look around if that works for you. From our experience, we booked ahead online, we were able to get a 300baht AC room good for 2 for a night with TV, a free wifi and own T&B, amazing isn't it. Even a starred hotel would cost only about 20-30USD a night including a buffet breakfast and all the perks of a comfortable stay.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Gunung Bromo, Probolinggo. Ano?

Gunung Bromo means Mount Bromo (named after Brahma, Hindu's Creator God), considered sacred, is in fact a volcano, part of the Tengger Massif, an active one with last dated eruption in January 2011. Probolinggo is a town located in East Java, Indonesia. How on earth we found this? Because of one single photo (doesn't look the same when we visited because of the eruption) by one of the travel bloggers that I am following.

trying to re-create the 'inspiration' photo, can you spot the difference? there's a lot
up close Mt Batok, a dormant volcano

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Bacolod, A Work-Travel...Not

Travelling for work is not at anyway a luxury. Most of the times your itinerary revolves around the airport, hotel, restaurants and clients. Your working time extends to late night and weekends to completely cover the objectives of the trip. This was how usually it was with me. But if I didn't turn the opportunities into gold, I may have eloped with my backpack and thrash all the work documents the moment I saw a bus with a sign "going nowhere".

So, in June 2010 when I landed in Bacolod on my first leg of a West Visayas OB trip, I made use of the small gaps I had in between my priorities and my real life. A big thanks to some friends who made it possible for me.

Guintubdan Mountain Resort
How to get there? I don't know. Maybe Mr Google can help but unfortunately I cannot, I was out of directions at that moment because I just got off a plane, took a quick lunch and off we're gone driving through sugarcane plantations, wide plains and highways cutting through the mountains with thick forests and fog. I didn't know where we were heading and didn't see any road signs nor any motorists. Hour later we reached a lone establishment at a hill called Guintubdan. We were in La Carlota. It was a Sunday.

What's in there? Oh, a beautiful and gracefully flowing falls. But there will be some legs exercise before witnessing this.

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Batanes Fever After Two-and-a-Half Years

It's been two and half years since yet the fever remained...

I knew we were going to have a more than amazing tale the moment I saw beautifully lined-up hedges on top of never-ending greens and the dangerously-looking paved roads hanging by the edges of the rugged mountains from the window of the Dornier. We had one of the very smooth touchdowns in one of the smallest runways and  a very warm welcome by our host. Few steps from the airport is Basco town itself.

Our accommodation was nothing fancy just like its town. But I had that tingling feeling there's just something behind the quiet and simple community like a curtain waiting to be unveiled. And so the show began...

The Starex we rented hit the road through sharp and most of the time blind curves beside cliffs and the raging splashes of the waves . One false move, we'll fly to the oceans where big and mighty rocks await to turn our bodies into pieces. But hey, it's not as scary as it sounds, thrilling was the right word.

Friday, 15 March 2013

Just Go!

Does it always take you awhile contemplating on clicking that 'confirm' button of a long-awaiting promo ticket now right in front of you and regretting afterwards because you didn't? Being a corporate slave, for years, here's what mostly worked for me. 

Booking the Ticket
Photo courtesy of
For domestic flights, if the total return fare is not greater than Php1,500, while Php3,000 and less for international, it's a no-brainer, BOOK IT! The next time you refreshed the page or click the 'next' button, your session has timed out and the lowest fare is gone so act fast otherwise, stay glued for the next promo round. If you have a deeper pocket, you most probably can still allow up to 2,000 for local and 5,000 for abroad RTs.

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Cruising Halong on a Junk

If there is one easy trip I've had so far, it would be this. Easy in the sense that when you get to the place, all you need to take care of is how to have fun - no planning where to go, what to eat, what to do most of the time. It's also maybe because it is one of the rare times that we went on strict tour, we usually would go for do-it-yourself budget itinerary.

Ha Long bay is located at the northeastern part of Vietnam. Nearest airport is in Hanoi, 170 km away or 3 to 3.5 hours drive.

There is no other way to sail along the bay of Halong but to get on tours unless otherwise if you own a boat or has a friend who has a boat in that side of the world then you must be one lucky/rich person. So for an ordinary individual like me, I'll buy myself a slot on a tour therefore, the big challenge is how to choose the right tour service. It could either make or break the trip if not carefully decided.

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Bali: Quick Guide and Tips

Here's some hopefully-useful notes (especially for time and budget constrained) when visiting Bali, Indonesia.

How to Get to Your Hotel from Airport
There are several taxi services just outside the arrival area of Ngurah Rai Airport offering fixed rates depending on location/area. You my visit this link - Bali Aiport Service. If your hotel is located nearby like Kuta, just walk towards the parking area and get a public taxi instead, rate should be lower than the airport cabs. 

Where To Stay
a peek of Kuta Square
Definitely, Kuta area is recommended. It's 5 minutes from the airport and walking distance to the beach (2-10 minutes), to shops, restaurants and convenient stores. To save on accommodation, there are homestays in the area keeping good competition with the hotels in terms of quality and service but assured cheaper. 

We stayed at Bakung Beach Club (BBC), a little pricey but not a good value for money. We met Ketut, our driver/tour guide for 2 days and mentioned his brother's newly opened Samudra Homestay located in Kartika Plaza in Kuta with reasonable rates, free breakfast, free airport transfer and free wifi. Had we not fully paid BBC, we could've transferred and Samudra is few steps away.

Thursday, 7 March 2013

How We Made It: China, again

Our day-by-day journal with the China trip that we took, how we were able to go around and survived surprisingly despite being Chinese-language illiterates. Our itinerary maybe touristy but it was already difficult especially communicating nevertheless, it was a damn good and fun experience. It was our second time in China and we are still looking at part 3 or 4 or more.

Route: Manila-Beijing-Xian-Wudangshan-Xian-Shanghai-Manila
Period: October 18-27, 2012 (late Fall)
Travelling Party: 2

Day 0: Manila-Beijing via Cebu Pacific.
Midnight - Arrived Beijing. Rest. Stayed at cousin's place at Hairun International Compound in Chaoyang District. Beijing is huge and divided into several districts so make sure you are somewhere near public transport (train stations, bus stops).

Morning - Depart to Mutianyu Great Wall, another section of the Great Wall relatively newer than the famous Badaling. Not that easy but was able to arrange a cab for 550yuan for return trip. Arrived Mutianyu after 2.5 hours. Check out for information and details. We paid 80yuan/head for the cable (return) and 45yuan for the entrance fee per adult. There are other features and activities in Mutianyu had we had time I would try it out. Back in the house late afternoon and met old colleague at night.

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About Dee

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I was born and raised attune with nature, grew up from the countryside and a strong believer in endless possibilities. I am drawn to adrenaline rush and was never a girly kind but I dig chick flix and plays some music. I started this site during a 6-month distressing/long sojourning away from the corporate world. I gathered all the travels I went and translated them into words. I am not fond of sharing details of my trip and thought looking at the photos I've effort-fully taken was enough. Yet to my amazement reading through it flashes back more wonderful memories like a gush of throwback Thursdays. This is also a good venue to practice writing and to connect. So, thank you for stumbling upon my corner. Sorry I can't update regularly but I hope you'd visit again as my journey continues, find some useful information here and most of all be inspired to go on adventures your own. See you on the road!