An Encounter with the Moken Sea Gypsies of Myanmar

The Mergui Archipelago is one of the most remote and untouched places I’ve ever been. Located at the very southern tip of Myanmar, the Mergui Archipelago (also known as the Myeik Archipelago) consists of about 800 islands in the Andaman Sea. The vast majority of the islands are uninhabited, and, until recently, the region was closed entirely to outsiders. It’s only native inhabitants are a group of sea gypsies known as the Moken.
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Restrictions have lifted in recent years, but access remains extremely limited. To enter the Mergui, you must travel with an authorized tour provider, of which there are few. You must also purchase a permit to enter, then leave your passport with the Myanmar Police until you return and exit the region. Continue reading »

Best of El Nido, Palawan : Climbing Taraw Peak

I have always been interested in climbing. Falling from a fruit tree as a child would usually deter the average person but that was the rocky start to a great relationship with climbing. Since then I’ve managed a 3-day climb at the second highest volcano in Indonesia and even rock climbing in the picturesque Railay in Krabi, Thailand. So when I saw the towering limestone cliffs surrounding the small town of El Nido, I knew that I wouldn’t leave the town without being on top of one of them.

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Taraw Peak rises about 230 meters above sea level. On the top is a bird’s eye view of Bacuit Bay. Along the way, amazing landscapes are sprinkled with sharp limestone paths that give thrills to adventurers. Continue reading »

El Nido, Palawan : A Glimpse of Paradise

“Consider yourself warned.”

This is one of the captions of Conde Nast Traveler’s description of the beach that took the number one spot in their “Top 10 most beautiful beaches from around the world in 2015”. I took it to heart but El Nido still blew my expectations away.

El Nido is composed of around 45 islands and islets found in Bacuit Bay, Palawan, Philippines. Surrounded by different limestone cliffs which form a Karst backdrop on the finest and whitest sand I’ve ever seen.

El Nido

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10 Unique Things that We Do in the Philippines

Living in Thailand afforded me the opportunity to travel to different places and learn about another country’s culture while living in it. When visiting home to the Philippines, I sometimes feel like a tourist instead of a local because the amount of time I spend at home is usually less than a month at a time. Thailand is similar to the Philippines in more ways than one.The Philippines, like Thailand, is very family oriented. People often never leave their families, and when they do, they still keep close contact and provide financial stability. The older people in communities are treated with a lot of respect, with young people behaving in a polite manner and going out of their way to convenience their elders. The inescapable heat of the daytime hours is also something that has never left me since moving away from my country of birth. However, despite all the similarities, visiting home reminded me of the unique things that we do in the Philippines.

1. Pasalubong / Souvenirs

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Source : kikomatching.wordpress.com

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A Day Around Mandalay – Myanmar

“Mingalaba, where you from? That’s a great country, why are you in Myanmar?”

This boy sold us postcards and introduced us to his younger brother and family.

I have gotten used to this usual greeting from people selling things at tourists places. I even tried asking if they really know about the Philippines but the usual reply is a genuine shy smile and then a repeat of the same question. However, in Myanmar, this happens all the time.The sellers, locals, children and those who are just genuinely eager to know about my impressions of Myanmar and offer help.

Mandalay is more vibrant than Yangon. Perhaps it was the presence of motorbikes around the city and it being the second largest city and former capital of Myanmar. Continue reading »

Blossoming Romduol Lodge: An Inspiration in Siem Reap Cambodia

The temples of Angkor complex will give you a mix of awe and wonder. They inspire many artists and provide history and charm to the city of Siem Reap.

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Looking for an accommodation that would provide me with comfort and hospitality in a place where there was so many options was a bit daunting. However, when I first glimpsed the name of this establishment, I was immediately drawn. Continue reading »

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