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Monday, December 29, 2014

Hiking with the Hill People in the Scenic Sapa Region of Vietnam


Tired and cold from the previous night's hike from the city center to our homestay located in a village deep in the hillside of Sapa, I exulted at the sight of sunlight creeping in our spacious second floor room. Because this means the temperature is hovering near 10 degrees compared to the almost 2 or negative 2 degrees that chilled us the night before when I lay shaking even under a thick blanket. 

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Thursday, December 25, 2014

Where to Stay in Vigan: The Heritage House of Villa Angela

It was still dark when we arrived at the front gates of Villa Angela and fortunately the caretaker was waiting for us already. She opened the gates and let us enter a long driveway flanked by gardens on both sides leading to a short staircase going to the upper level of the house. Stepping on creaking wooden floors we were ushered inside our spacious room furnished with two double beds and a lone single bed. It was the fatigue from our long bus trip that had us dozing off in no time - at that moment still unmindful of the rustic charm of Villa Angela, whose historic walls we just walked by under the mask of darkness.

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Friday, December 19, 2014

A Cyclo Ride Around Hanoi


During my first visit to Hanoi last year I was able to ride its famous rickshaw or "cyclo" as they call it there, on a brief pedal from the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum back to the old quarters. Other than that, I wasn't able to hop on it and pass through the busier parts of the city, as I opted to spend most of my time moving and dodging motorcycles on foot. 

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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

A Few Good Days at Railay (Rai Leh) Beach


The vibe and the scenery surrounding Railay reminds me of the many beautiful islands in the Philippines but with Thai food and more tourists. Shrugging the resemblance aside as a no-biggie, I feel excited bout being here. The fact that I am now one step closer to visiting Maya Bay, a majestic dot on this planet which has become a fascination of mine since I first watched the Danny Boyle film (based on Alex Garland's novel) all backpackers know well about, I consider Rai Leh as a perfect pit stop.

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Friday, December 5, 2014

A Mid-day Meander at B.B.D. Bagh Kolkata, India


On December 8, 1930 three young Bengali activists Benoy, Badal and Dinesh cloaked in European clothing, entered the Writer's Building in the former Dalhousie Square and assassinated the Inspector of General Prisons N.S. Simpson. Though, this incident was just a tiny speck in the storied history of this central district of Kolkata, it proved significant enough to create a ripple effect that enhanced the Bengali’s role in the collective fight for Indian independence, which is the reason why the place is now known as B.B.D. Bagh - in honor of the three freedom fighters that also died that fateful day. 

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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Sri Lanka: Stilt Fishing in Unawatuna


I realized we were outside of Galle already when the scenery shifted to azure seas and unending white sands. I resisted telling my guide Sandrew to pull on the side of the road so I could combat the strong waves battering the shore. I saw a couple of surfers high five each other from afar and after another kilometer, a Sri Lankan couple gazing at the beautiful formation of whitecaps caught my attention. The wind was incessant attached with a yawning effect on me - on any other day I would prefer to just doze off while listening to the thunderous rolling of the waves. But unfortunately, not this day though.

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