A Charm called Chiang Mai

IN the northernmost part of Thailand is Chiang Mai, a city that caught my heart and became my instant favorite the first time I saw it from an airplane window. Chiang Mai is a far cry from the hustle and bustle of Bangkok. It is small and laid-back but packed with everything—from mountains to verdant … Continue reading A Charm called Chiang Mai

Culebra: An island hopper’s get-away

Published at the https://www.pacificislandtimes.com/ August 2018 issue. ABOUT 17 miles east of Puerto Rico is a famous strip of an island with beaches so pristine and white and waters so clear that it has become an island hopper’s must-stop in these parts of the Caribbean. A few months ago my travel buddy and I hopped on … Continue reading Culebra: An island hopper’s get-away

Twin peaks of Saint Lucia

THE famous twin peaks of Saint Lucia—the Piton mountains is the first landmark you can see when you approach the Castries port in this eastern Caribbean island. I was excited to finally check off this island from my bucket list after I joined a group tour a few months ago. Fast forward, we boarded a … Continue reading Twin peaks of Saint Lucia

Flamenco: A beach lover’s paradise

ABOUT 20 minutes or so onboard a small plane from Puerto Rico toward the east coast of is a small slice of idyllic paradise surrounded by the bluest waters of the Caribbean Ocean. The island is called Isla de Culebra. From the air, the first sight that attracts one’s attention to Culebra is a long … Continue reading Flamenco: A beach lover’s paradise

Catching winter’s last hurrah in the Himalayas

INDIA has always been in my bucket list for as long as I can remember, so when my travel buddy from Thailand suggested a trip to India, I said yes right away. After numerous email exchanges and chats and ticket booking updates and travel arrangements, we finalized our plan and  to cut it short, we … Continue reading Catching winter’s last hurrah in the Himalayas

Colorful Trishaw Rides

THEY all abound around the historic Dutch Square in Malacca—trishaws decked out in colorful cartoons, movie themes and storybook characters including the all famous Hello Kitty, Pokemon, Frozen, Snow White, Cinderella, Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Minions, Sponge Bob, Barbie, Angry Bird, name it and it’s there. The trishaws or bicycles with sidecars attached to them … Continue reading Colorful Trishaw Rides

Malacca in one day (and it’s not enough)

  The historic city of Melaka, or Malacca in the southwestern Malaysia has always been in my bucket list for as long as I can remember. I finally had the chance to check it off few weeks ago. I had one day to spare and learned that one day is never enough. To get as … Continue reading Malacca in one day (and it’s not enough)

Cash-strapped at the New Delhi airport

When I got off the taxi at the Terminal 2 of Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi a few weeks back, I already exchanged all the Indian rupees I had in stash to Thailand Baht and was left with nothing else but 50 rupee bill for souvenir. That turned out to be the biggest … Continue reading Cash-strapped at the New Delhi airport

I slept in a crypt in Kuala Lumpur

I slept in between two guys last night, with another guy on top of me and yet another guy across from me. There was also a girl and another girl next to her. We were all strangers to each other and we all slept on crypts. And I survived unscathed. When I say I survived … Continue reading I slept in a crypt in Kuala Lumpur

Vietnam: Where I became an instant millionaire

WHEN I said I became an instant millionaire in Vietnam, I just mean that. It was the first time I held over two million in bills in my hand at one time. An ATM was the first thing I looked for after I cleared immigration after over an hour in Ho Chi Minh, which I’d … Continue reading Vietnam: Where I became an instant millionaire

Early morning at the India Gate

I first saw the India Gate from the Parliament Building in New Delhi and I thought it was just a short walk away, but I guess I was looking at it from a forced perspective. It was a good few blocks down the street with intersections and heavy traffic so walking would require more than … Continue reading Early morning at the India Gate

Chiang Rai’s Golden Toilet

IT is not a golden palace where a royal family lives, or a temple but it is a public restroom. The golden toilet at Wat Rong Khun temple is probably the most luxurious and the most photographed restroom in the world. I usually take sneak photos of everything and anything everywhere I go but I … Continue reading Chiang Rai’s Golden Toilet

King’s Well in Malacca

The King’s Well or Hang Li Poh’s Well is a historical water well in Kampung Bukit China in Malacca City. It is the oldest water wells in Malaysia and is now one of the top tourist attractions in the city. The well sits right next to the Poh San Teng temple At first glance, the … Continue reading King’s Well in Malacca

Sunset at the Taga Beach

TINIAN, Northern Mariana Islands—Just a few meters across from the Tinian Dynasty Hotel & Casino is my favorite beach on the island—Taga Beach. From the ground level, you won’t see any beach but just the rocky ledge bordered with Taga Stone-shaped rocks leading to the jump off or diving point the end which is the … Continue reading Sunset at the Taga Beach

Taste of the Marianas kicks off tourism month

MAY. It's that month again when Saipan holds the month-long celebration of the Annual Taste of the Marianas International Food & Beer Garden Festival drawing thousands of locals and tourists at the American Memorial Park grounds on Saturday evenings. It was almost impossible to move around without bumping into someone else at the festival grounds … Continue reading Taste of the Marianas kicks off tourism month