All posts filed under: Asia

Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar

When in Bataan, my beloved home province, you cannot possibly miss Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar. This is the only resort in the Philippines which is a member of the Historic Hotels Worldwide. The province of Bataan itself is already a historic place. It is famous for the Death March during World War II, when the Japanese invaders transported the Filipino and American soldiers on a train (and some left to march to their death) from Mariveles, Bataan to Capas, Tarlac. This is actually commemorated every year on the 9th of April as a public holiday in the Philippines… but I digress… Las Casas is owned and created by an architect who is a local of Bataan, Jerry Acuzar. According to the tour guide who conducts the tour of the houses, Mang Jerry started collecting old houses from all over Luzon (the biggest of the three main island groups in the Philippines, where Bataan is also located) and relocating them piece by piece to be rebuilt on his property in Bagac, Bataan as a hobby. Eventually he decided …

Hanami, Mt Fuji, Sumo Practice Viewing, and More (Japan 2017)

It has always been my long-time frustration to visit Japan during the Cherry Blossom Season, otherwise known as “Hanami“. Sakura is one of the prettiest flowers I have ever known. It is especially beautiful because its blossoming marks the start of Spring. There is nothing quite like seeing all the plants blossoming back to life after the dead of winter. Here are some of my favorite snaps from our trip… Tokyo was actually the last leg of our trip. We were so happy to get there just when the weather started to turn a lot sunnier and warmer. The most wonderful experience in Tokyo was the cherry blossoms in full bloom everywhere. It’s like walking into a forest of pink cloud heaven! It was one of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen in my life. I just couldn’t help but feel cheerful looking at all those delicate pink trees! My favorite area for the Cherry Blossoms is Meguro River. It looks more like a canal to me than a river actually. But it’s an …

Qunci Villas, Lombok, Indonesia

First off, I want to greet everyone a very Merry Christmas! I had some wonderful time with family last night. Speaking of family, isn’t that what Christmas is all about? This year, my whole family will be spending time all together at our place during the holidays. They will be coming from abroad, so I wouldn’t be doing some traveling during Christmas like I usually do. But that does not keep me from reminiscing about some of my wonderful Christmas Holiday trips. Here is one from 2013 in Qunci Villas, Lombok. And if you’re ever looking for a place to spend your Christmas Holiday next year, I would highly recommend it. Here are some of my photos taken during our trip: The year 2013 was the first year of our return to the tropics, having lived in France for two years before that, so I had been thirsting to see the gorgeous tropical beaches that I have grown to be even more fond of during my stay in the temperate zone of Southern France. Lombok was …

Birthday at Boracay Shangri-La Resort

For the longest time, I’ve been looking for an opportunity to take a dip once again in the beautiful, warm waters of the Philippines. And what perfect excuse is there to spoil myself (and my family + a close friend who tagged along) at a nice luxury resort than on the weekend of my birthday. Sand, sea, sky in one of the best white sand beaches this world has to offer — the perfect gift for my birthday. You will notice that I am posting a lot of pictures of myself for the first time. I hope you will bear with me because it’s my birthday. The resort really offers perfectly blissful opportunities for glorious photo-ops. This is also the first time I’m posting pictures that were all taken via iPhone camera and not DSLR. I wanted to travel light and enjoy my time, so I decided to do away with the hassle of carrying a big camera and heavy lenses. 🙂 I was a little bit sad, though, to find how polluted the once glorious and pristine …

The Great Wall at Jinshaling

The Great Wall of China had always been in my list of must-visit places. I can still vividly recall the first time I read about it in our high school text book. I was in complete awe reading about its history, how it was built spanning dynasties and centuries. When the opportunity to visit Beijing came along, the first thing I did was research on which part of the Great Wall is the least crowded of all. I quickly discovered this tour called China Highlights, which organizes a small group of 5 people for a three-hour trek along the wall. Although they advertise this on their web site as a trek from Simatai to Jinshaling, we actually trekked from Jinshaling to Shalingkou instead. But it was still a great walk. Jinshaling, is actually located in the town of Chengde, which is a couple of hours’ bus ride from Beijing. I chose this portion of the wall not only because it is a lot less crowded but also because these portions are authentic and unrestored, unlike the ones …

The Beijing Experience

My first impression of Beijing was unexpectedly nice. I was a bit wary to visit this city because of what people tell me — that it is very polluted, smoggy and that the people are rude. I was lucky to get there without so much smog and pollution, though. And I found most of the people quite nice and not rude at all, except maybe for the scamming cab drivers. I was impressed at how huge their airport is. You’d have to take a train after the immigration check to get your baggage. The immigration queue was considerably long but it took a very short time to get past it. I booked myself transportation in advance to take me to the hotel (since hubby was going straight to work) as I arrived very early in the morning and didn’t really want the hassle of haggling with the non-English speaking cab drivers. There was very thick traffic jams along the way. It took 45 minutes to get to the hotel. But I was impressed by the fact …