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

December 29, 2014

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. 

Christine Fernandez

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

December 25, 2014

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

Villa Angela

A Cyclo Ride Around Hanoi | Vietnam

December 19, 2014

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. 

Hanoi Cyclo Tour fun fun fun

A Few Good Days at Railay (Rai Leh) Beach

December 10, 2014

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.

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

December 05, 2014

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. 

Stilt Fishing in Unawatuna | Sri Lanka

December 03, 2014

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.

Sky Gavin