Myanmar ( Burma) has been on my list of places to visit since I started traveling around Southeast Asia. The images of golden temples, saffron robe clad monks and majestic sunsets over hundreds or thousands of temples have more than convinced me to plan a trip there. For Filipinos, we are allowed a maximum of 14 day visa free travel in Myanmar. That is more than enough time for me to plan an itinerary and convince two of my friends to join me!
Slowly emerging as a top tourist destination, Myanmar (Burma) is already on the list of places that has to be seen before thousands of tourists trample on its ground. As the former capital of the country, Yangon (formerly Rangoon) is one of the first places to welcome visitors to the country. To those who have been around Southeast Asia, it might look similar to other smaller cities. However, the comparison stops as soon as you get into the thick of the downtown area.
I am a keen adventurer and traveler, and I have learnt through the years that there is an art to the perfect vacation. It’s something that needs to be planned and thought about. But, if you can follow the tips I’m going to give you you’ll have a memorable holiday. And it will be memorable for all the right reasons, not the wrong ones!
Do fairies exist? Well, it seems like there’s a place in Vietnam to find them.
Upon hearing the name of the place, I was skeptical. Even though it is situated just close to Mui Ne’s coast, this place is a hidden gem. I embarked on the trail to find out why it’s called just that. I, however, didn’t expect to find fairies. I was told they are not usually out during the day.
The morning of our winter trek thereafter promised a different track but never insufficient of marvelous sights. The day is clearer in Sapa, the path still challenging and the smiles unwavering. We were welcomed with a surreal scene of the peak of the mountain as the day cleared and the clouds moved as if they are curtains unfolding a monumental moment.
Indeed for me, it was. Then as if the picturesque panorama wasn’t enough, the thick clouds’ movement created a scattered illumination of the sun’s rays from the sky beaming to the ground, creating a picture perfect moment. Yet you don’t click on the camera, or you can’t because you stand in awe. I think this is one of the reasons why we travel, to become spectators of wonder, participants of transient moments and become storytellers of rapture.
Winter of January 2015, one of the coldest months of Sa Pa District, Vietnam. We left our backpacks at the hostel in Hanoi and equipped ourselves with a few clothes, mostly consisted of jackets, secured our passports, readied our cameras and a boost in basal metabolic rate for we are about to venture in a cold exciting sojourn for two days, a winter in South East Asia like I’ve never experienced before.
A night bus trip from Hanoi provided just enough sleep and warmth from the cold outside breeze. At about five in the morning, the bus stopped and slowly the quiet bus awakened excitedly to the exit. Gusts of wind welcomed the tourists. And I immediately had to find shield from the five centigrade cold. What prompted a cold intolerant like me to go? My sister. Let’s just conveniently blame her. Continue reading »