Of sun,sea,sand and finding a hero.

Under the Tuscan Sun

Enjoy Tuscany with a glass of wine

Finding Felicity in El Nido

Pink painted skies in El Nido,Philippines

Quaint Girona

Off the beaten path in Girona

Good Morning,Vietnam

Cruise the emerald water of Hanoi

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Pai: Deconstructing a piece of "pai" (pie)

Deconstruction (culinary term) - Take the ingredients or components in the dish, change their forms and then plate them together in a different way. It's not just about taking the dish apart but putting back its elements back together.

Pai, Thailand heralded in numerous blogs as a secret mecca of backpackers in Northern Thailand. The ultimate definition of CHILL. It might not come across any guidebook of Thailand but try to search for travel blogpost and you will be bombarded with endless praise of this quirky small town just about 3 hrs ride away from Chiang Mai.

If Pai is a dish these are the elements that defines it that I will aim to deconstruct based on my own experience. 

INGREDIENT (1) : From Chiang Mai to Pai and the infamous 762 turns
Search any blog entry about Pai and you will not miss out how the 3 hours travel from Chiang Mai to Pai is the Worst Ride ever with a very slim 10% puking survival rate.
How the ride was described instilled fear in me which prompted me to chew on 2 tablets of Bonamine while a barf bag is tucked inside my bag.
My mantra is "Better to be prepared than to puke inside the van".

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Venice: Venice in 24

24hrs left
As the train stops at the Santa Lucia station, you will be greeted with utter chaos.Commuters going down the train with their heavy luggages, people rushing in the platform clutching their train tickets , groups huddled in the corner trying to figure out where to head to, disoriented tourists trying to figure out what water boat to take. This particular scene in Venice's train station just shows how popular is the city.
Most probably you have booked a hotel that is within a walking distance from the station or else you need to brave the crowds over at the vaporetto (waterboat) docks. Even if your hotel is a mere stone throw away it is still not an easy task to drag your luggage over crowded cobblestone streets and hoisting it over the bridges that connects the streets of Venice. To your greatest horror there is a non-existent elevator for the price you paid is which means you now need to carry that hulking 15kg of clothes and whatnots over 2 (if your lucky) or even 3 flights of stairs to check-in to your room. Venice is such popular tourists attractions that most accommodations come with a hefty price tag. A very basic room with threadbare bedsheet and thin mattress can still make a dent in your wallet

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Tuscany: Dear Mom, wish you were here

Dear Mom,

This afternoon, we arrived in Florence. This will be our base city as we explore the Tuscany region of Italy. As this is my first time in Italy, I'm so excited with all things we will see and experience and I'm also looking forward to eating authentic Italian food. I remembered grandpa when I first set foot in the old quarter of Florence. Like grandpa's graying hair and wise eyes the age and wisdom of the city is very much evident in the sheer patinas of the houses that line the historic district, worn out cobblestone streets and century old churches.

We stayed in a rustic Italian apartment a bit dusty but it is just a short walk to the famous Duomo. The Duomo is so huge but you will notice the fading paint which gives it a somehow grimy look. I think it is supposed to look that way considering that it is a very old church. But as I looked closer I noticed the painstaking details of the paintings and the intricacies and genius of the architecture.I feel so blessed Mom, that I was given an opportunity to personally see and experience places and things that I can only read in books before.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Girona: Off the Beaten Path

I have never heard of Girona until three months before the big trip, it was initially recommended by one of my travel buddies since her officemate can't stop raving about the city. Armed with a two-way train ticket, we decided to just basically wing it once we reached Girona. No plans just see where our feet will lead us.

Once we reached the Girona railway station, with a mixture of following signages ang asking locals our first stop is the tourism office (Oficina de Turisme de Girona) which is about 15 minutes walk from the train station. Here we were greeted with warm smiles by the tourism officers as they gave us copies of maps and guided us through what to do and see in the city. 

Girona is a walkable city, once you are in the city center you can practically walk from the Jewish quarters back to the railway station with a few stops in Mango and Zara stores. 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Barcelona: Of Sun,Sea,Sand and finding a Hero

With a lot of ground to cover in just three days in Barcelona, it was imperative for us to visit the Barceloneta area once we arrived from Madrid.On that balmy afternoon a bit weary from the 4 hrs train ride from Madrid, we made our way by metro to Barceloneta. A short walk from the metro stop of Barceloneta lead us to the harbour that borders the Meditteranean sea. Numerous sailboats dot the waterfront along with the huge shopping mall Maremagnum. Here, one can leisurely walk along the harbour and be treated with the best view of sunset over the Catalan capital. 

View of the sailboats and the Meditteranean Sea