Tag Archives: vacation

Thowback Thursday: Boracay (2008, 2010)

Whether you’re a Filipino or a foreigner, I highly encourage you to visit and enjoy one of nature’s greatest spots – Boracay, Philippines. Many have been said and written about this picturesque island; lately a number of negative/discouraging posts and comments had been made because of “the island being too congested and commercialized.” But I, for one, beg to differ.

Boracay, Philippines

Boracay has always been a source of pride for Filipinos. The island is surrounded by stunning white sand beaches, making it a top-competition of the best beaches of the world. In fact, it’s not unheard of that a number of foreign and local celebrities and personalities frequently spend their vacation in the island.

In the past couple of years, I’ve been blessed to have the time and resources to enjoy Boracay twice (2008 and 2010). Crossing fingers, I’m Bora-bound again before the year ends. Here are some basic, quick tips that I’d like to share to fully maximize and make your island experience one for the books!

1. Going to Boracay is merely an hour’s flight away from Manila (or Cebu). If you’re thinking of an alternate mode of transportation, you may also consider traveling via road and ferry. I personally suggest to just travel by plane as it saves more time and energy. Also if you can, try to book a flight to Caticlan airport rather than Kalibo. The former is just five to ten minutes ride away from the boat port; while the latter will take more or less two hours of additional land travel.

After the plane ride, you’d be traveling by boat (for a good 10-15 minutes) to reach the island. From there, you can ride a van (if you’ve booked a hotel with pick-up/transfer freebies) or motorized tricycles which are the “taxis/cabs” of the island.

Now, although this is a short-flight, it’s always a must that you bring a bottle of water and some crackers with you. Travel delays may happen so it’s better if you have something to snack on while waiting.

2. Get around. Hop from one station to another, from one island to the next. Sure, lounging is fine, sunbathing is good, people-watching is interesting, but you’re in an island, so go, enjoy the sun and sand. Instead of riding a tricycle, just try walking around. If you’re with your loved ones and having fun, you won’t even notice how far you’ve reached.

3. Explore and do as much activity as you can. Swim, scuba dive, cliff dive, kite-board, parasail, motorbike, and skim-board. Try something new that the island offers. And don’t forget to get a massage! I don’t know what it is, but Boracay’s massage is pure heaven!

4. Enjoy the “happy hour.” But the thing is, in the island, any hour is practically a happy one. So, just make the most out of it. Nightlife in Bora is particularly interesting, especially during peak season. So, while you drink and dance your heart out, just make certain you secure your valuables, too. You wouldn’t want your Boracay experience to just be about your stolen camera or phone, right?

5. Lastly, (as if I haven’t stressed this enough) ENJOY! Savor nature’s beauty, breathe in the stunning sunshine, let the dawn give you peace and quiet. It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve been in Boracay or if it’s going to be your first time. It even doesn’t matter if you’re traveling alone or with your loved ones. In the island, nature is your friend and your playground.

Bonus tip: Don’t leave Boracay without trying Jonah’s Fruit Shake!

In photos.

Boracay 2008
Boracay 2008

Throwback Thursday: Angkor Wat (2011)

Angkot Wat

One of the highlights of my still-short-but-absolutely-rockin’ travel life is visiting the City of Temples last August 2011. Angkor Wat in Siem Reap Province, Cambodia is beautiful and awe-inspiring in the truest sense of the words.

Just outside the city of Siem Reap, in northern Cambodia, lies a vast complex of ancient temples so breathtaking they’ve become a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a national symbol. In the 1960s, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy ventured here despite the Vietnam War raging across the border just to see the site; more recently, portions of Angelina Jolie’s first Tomb Raider movie was filmed in one of its tangled, tree-filled ruins. The main “city temple” is a 12th-century structure that began as a homage to the Hindu god Vishnu, then switched to a Buddhist sanctuary in the 16th century. An example of Cambodian Khmer architecture—with three rectangular galleries, central towers, a moat, and elaborate bas-relief carvings illustrating scenes from Indian mythology—Angkor Wat is the best-preserved of the region’s temple complexes and has been in fairly regular use since its creation. – source

To fully experience and take in the beauty of Angkor Wat, here are my basic, quick tips:

1. If it’s your first time to travel to Angkor Wat, research is the key. Check out travel sites like Tripadvisor to have the “feel” of the place. Previous visitors usually post their Angkor Wat experiences so you can learn a thing or two from them.

2. Nothing beats a good guide and driver to help you navigate the place. You may pre-book a tour guide online or hire one with the help of the hostel/inn/hotel you’re going to stay in. My friend and I opted to pre-book a guide, which turned out to be a good decision.

If you don’t wish to hire a guide, talking to one can still help you a lot since guides know the ins and outs of the Temple City. So don’t hesitate to ask questions.

3. Aside from your beloved camera, you need to bring WATER during the tour. Cambodia is a tropical country so expect the scorching sun, especially if you start your tour mid-morning. A hat is also a necessity, especially if you have sensitive skin. If you wish to wear shorts or tank tops, just make sure that you bring a shawl or cover-up.

4. Take it all in. Don’t rush from one architecture site to another just so you can do your photo-op. Listen to what your guide is saying about the history of the place. Take time to see, feel and touch – you can’t capture everything with your camera.

5. Needless to say, but still worth mentioning, ENJOY.

 

In photos.

Angkot Wat

Angkot Wat

Angkot Wat

Angkot Wat

Angkot Wat

Angkot Wat

Angkot Wat

Angkot Wat

Angkot Wat

Angkot Wat

Angkot Wat

Angkot Wat

Angkot Wat

Angkot Wat

Angkot Wat

Angkot Wat

Angkot Wat

Angkot Wat

Angkot Wat

Angkot Wat

Angkot Wat

 

 

***

Love and Light to all! X