A Perfect Day in Giethoorn

Expectations are almost always different from reality. It applies to nearly every aspect of life, especially during travels.

I love fantasizing about the places I’m going to, months before the actual date of departure. I usually spend hours and hours wandering around the spots in my itinerary without moving away from my doorstep.

My imagination goes wild daydreaming about the possible encounters and experiences I will have. But when the day of actual traveling arrives, the places and the atmosphere are usually not how I imagined them to be. It doesn’t mean they’re bad. It’s just my expectations have always been…

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Pinatubo Crater: The Beautiful By-product of a Disaster

Time. The ultimate con-artist. It can show you a paradise as if it wasn’t molded by a deadly catastrophe.

The stunning landscape of Mount Pinatubo crater was formed by a major eruption in 1991. This event claimed hundreds of lives and left thousands of Filipinos homeless.

Fast forward to 2017, it’s now one of the main tourist destinations in Central Luzon which attracts hundred thousands of visitors each year which created jobs and livelihood for significant number of locals.

My city is 3 hours away from here and I do wonder why it took me this long to do this trek. If…

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10 Ways to Explore and Capture Stunning Images of Tokyo for Free

If you think traveling to Japan is expensive, you are absolutely right. But can a backpacker on a tight budget hack the average travel spending in Tokyo? The answer is YES!

Tokyo is one of my favourite cities. It’s a vibrant metropolis packed with hundreds of things to do for travelers and locals ranging from interesting to suuuper weird.

During my recent trip with my friend Joan, we followed a DIY itinerary that avoid the need to pay entrance fees and other extra expenses. (We didn’t hold back on spending for food though :b) We…

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The Pufferfish Theory

 

There was a time when I was obsessed with catching fishes using my bare hands. This is about the time when I first caught a pufferfish.

I was around 7 years old when my hobby and obsession was catching poor small fishes swimming around the cemented walls of the main river in my hometown.

I gained expertise in knowing what types of common fishes were easy to catch. I usually didn’t bother with the fast or the boring colorless ones. I targeted the tiny little estuarine species that are slow or those that love sticking to the walls like kitang and…

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Silver Lining of a Fashion Disaster

I’m not really the fashionable type. If you catch me wearing some terrible #ootd picks and combinations, you can always blame my horrible taste in clothing and I wouldn’t have the guts to disagree with your harsh criticism because chances are, you’re right.

But there was a time when I badly needed a fashion police to arrest me for flaunting my colourful chaos inside a palace… yet this time, it wasn’t my fault. Phew!

I was responsible for the colourful top, aztec doll shoes, and the huge necklace… but not the polychromatic pants. It was mine alright, but on that day…

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I Should’ve Spent That $1 Extra

 

Every budget traveler has been torn on whether he will spend an extra dollar/s for inessential things during travel.

Extra costs such as souvenirs, added convenience to the cheapest transportation option, a dinner in a highly recommended local restaurant or whatnot.

In my case, while walking around the temples of Angkor Wat, I decided to pass on a photo opportunity with local girls wearing traditional costume for $1. I was in a very tight budget and I was trying to keep my daily spending to minimum.

At first I thought it would be great to take their photos but I didn’t wanna…

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The Tropical Creature’s First Snow

For a warm-blooded mammal who has been been spoiled by sunshine and summer heat in a tropical archipelago, winter is a fairy tale.

As a tropical creature, I’ve always wondered how it would feel to see a snowflake, to be surrounded by bright piles of solidified liquid from the sky, to watch all those tiny dandruff-like stuff fall into someone else’s shoulders. It must be magical.

Finally… one day… I stopped wondering.

It was a relaxed morning in Groningen. My body clock hasn’t adjusted to the time zone yet so I woke up way earlier than Maui. It was still too dark…

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To Topload from Banaue to Sagada? Think Twice!

Going ‘topload’, or riding at the top of a jeepney is a must-do experience when you’re traveling around Mountain Province.

Sure there are thousands of jeepneys in the Philippines where you can go topload, but a thrilling local ride through dangerous roads along the edges of the mountains… with spectacular views of nature, cool breeze and unpolluted air… it will be difficult to have that somewhere else.

That’s why I strongly recommend everyone to do it at least once when they go to Batad from Banaue. But if you don’t have time to visit Batad and the only chance you have…

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