Snapshots: Misibis Bay, Cagraray Island, Philippines







I rarely stay in fancy hotels and resorts, so I have very few pictures of places like those. This photo is one of those mentioned few, taken in Misibis Bay in Cagraray Island. We were on a company away-day, and I remember trying out windsurfing while we were there. Water sports FTW!

Misibis Bay Official Site

Snapshots: Life's a Beach in San Juan, La Union, Philippines







I still can't get over our awesome weekend spent in San Juan, La Union. There were hardly any waves on the first day but we were able to surf on Sunday, which was so much fun and made the overnight bus ride from Manila worth it! When we weren't surfing or frolicking in the water, we were playing Monopoly Deal and Cluedo, eating (a lot!), and just hanging out at the resort. On Saturday night we stayed out late by the beach, laid out on the sand and spent the night looking up at the sky waiting for shooting stars, engrossed in conversation. There couldn't have been a better way to spend a weekend away from the city after a long week at work.

Snapshots: Thai Desserts, Hua Hin Night Market, Thailand







The many colors and quirky desserts found on a street market during our one night in Hua Hin, Thailand. Wish I tried all of them, especially the ones in the egg shells (that must've been a pain to make)!

Snapshots: Quirky, Cool and Cute Cafe Benches in Seoul, South Korea







On our first morning in Seoul, we took a walk along Samcheongdong and got inspired by the many random and quirky things you can find in their shop windows. Seriously, Samcheongdong feels like a real-life, 3-dimensional Pinterest board.

Speaking of which! I should really take some time out to get my Pinterest boards started. I've always wanted to make a real life vision board but it's just too much of a hassle to get photos printed and such, so maybe a virtual one would be a better idea.

Hope you enjoy the rest of the weekend, whatever's left of it!

Snapshots: Where Sea and Forest Meet, Anawangin Cove, Zambales








Super Saturday! I'm in La Union for the weekend, hoping to catch some waves. Here's a picture from another trip I took in North Luzon a few years back, in Anawangin Cove, Zambales.

Have an adventure-filled weekend!

Snapshots: Ibu-Oka Babi Guling, Ubud, Indonesia







Friday is usually Lunch Out Day at the office, a day for comfort food to cap off a busy work week, so here I am posting one of my favorite food memories from all of my trips so far - the legendary babi guling of Ubud in Bali, Indonesia. I had raved about how epic babi guling is in a post I wrote while in Bali, and now I feature the place where we first had a taste of it. Definitely a place worth visiting if you're ever in Bali!

Snapshots: Sort of a Celebrity Sighting, Phnom Penh, Cambodia







Has anyone else stayed at this hostel in Phnom Penh? It's called Fancy Guest House, probably on account of its Fancy Guests, like the one pictured above. This was the photo I was talking about in yesterday's post.

Upon looking at the signature on the photo more closely, I have come up with two possible conclusions - one, that Sir Elton John does not cross his T's, or two, someone other than the Rocket Man (I love that song by the way! Jason Mraz would sing it in his live shows and I have a few recordings of those performances, and they're just amazing) actually signed on the photo, and he knows the guy in the photo as "Eldon John".

All jokes aside, I remember having a pleasant time at Fancy Guest House - the rooms were clean and comfortable, especially for its price.

I'm closing this out with a joke I got from a Modern Family episode a few weeks back: what was Elton John's sexual orientation in the 70's?

Bi!

....

I think by now, you already know I suck at jokes right? Besides, it was funny when Phil said it! *le sigh*

Snapshots: Marilyn Monroe Street Art, Macau







This was the Marilyn Monroe mosaic I mentioned in yesterday's post, which we chanced upon on a random street in a less tourist-y area of Macau - and by less tourist-y, I mean cheap and affordable. We were on a backpacker's budget when we went on our Macau-Hong Kong trip, so we consciously avoided its glitzy and pricey areas and their equally glitzy and pricey hotels.

Someday soon I will also tell you about the tin can of a hostel we stayed at in Mongkok, owned by a guy named Jackie Chan.

No, not the actor Jackie Chan. Somehow, unless you're talking about the bloody Quentin Tarantino movie and its cast, the word "celebrity" and "hostel" just don't fit right in one sentence.

Speaking of "celebrity" and "hostel", I'm reminded of an "autographed" photo of Elton John that was proudly situated, for all to see, right on the signage of the hostel we stayed at in Phnom Penh. According to the hostel owner, Elton John had actually stayed there too, just like us humble backpackers, so we should, like, be totally stoked about it and tell everyone when we get home!

Fact or fiction, it makes for a rather quirky anecdote. And a few more sentences on this post.

I really ought to write a longer, more decent post soon.

Snapshots: Street Art, Metro Manila, Philippines







There was some horrendous traffic when I was on the way to work last week, so I took a side street and chanced upon this. It reminded me of a Marilyn Monroe mosaic we chanced upon in an out-of-the-way street in Macau. I should post that one of these days.

Snapshots: Ornate Statues for Sale, Hanoi, Vietnam







We only got to explore Hanoi for a day when we were there, and I'd love to go back so I can discover it further, and try out the food!

Snapshots: Forging Friendships at Ta Prohm, Siem Reap, Cambodia







I love this picture! A big shout out to Tiff and Jen, epic travel buddies, whom I miss dearly! We had been great friends at university, but traveling together is the only way we see each other now - Jen is based in Petaling Jaya and Tiff in Melbourne. Proof that traveling doesn't only produce fleeting friendships - on the contrary, it can also forge and strengthen friendships that will probably last a lifetime.

Hopefully we all get to travel to Laos this year.

Have a great Sunday everyone!

Snapshots: Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia







It's been gloomy and rainy all week here, so I thought a nice, sunny picture of the beach would cheer us up some. Enjoy the rest of the weekend!

Snapshots: Caffe Bene Connection, Seoul, South Korea







As the last Valentine's-related post of the week, I'm sharing yet another photo from our trip to Seoul in 2010. Specifically, this was taken on our first fateful night in Korea, which we spent in young and hip Hongdae. Rissee made friends with the shy and cute Caffee Bene barista who served us our post-partying snack. It could've been a scene out of the many Korean dramas she loves oh so much! I wish they had exchanged emails, or names at least!

This chance encounter reminds me of the many chance encounters featured on a blog called Missed Connections. Check it out, there are so many adorable stories and lovely illustrations in there to inspire the romantic in you.

Snapshots: A Nice Little Thought in Namsan Tower, Seoul, South Korea







Proof that a romantic city like Seoul is not only for lovers, even if the numerous people in couple shirts and shoes will make you think otherwise. Even a place like Namsan Tower, known for its padlocks of love and other cheesy, mushy trinkets for lovers, can be a place for single people too!

So the next time you see another boy and girl in matching couple outfits, resist the urge to buy a tub of ice cream and a bottle of soju. It's probably best to ditch the food and alcohol, but it wouldn't hurt to indulge yourself by watching Hello Stranger:

Snapshots: Snow Heart, Yong Pyong Ski Resort, South Korea







For the record, my friends and I didn't draw this heart, we just chanced upon it. :)


Snapshots: Rama and Sita Sculpture, Bali, Indonesia







Happy Valentine's Day! Here's a sculpture of Rama and Sita of the Sanskrit epic Ramayana, from our visit to Bali. It's an appropriate travel photo for the day of hearts, don't you think?

Snapshots: Carmeli's Glasses, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia







My friend Carmeli's sunglasses on our trip to Kota Kinabalu. Cute right? :)

Snapshots: Flowers for Sale in Flower Market Road, Mongkok, Hong Kong







Flowers for you on this lovely Sunday morning! Apart from visiting the malls and the many other tourist sites that Hong Kong is known for, in my short stay there I spent an afternoon strolling along the narrow and winding streets of Mongkok, and chanced upon Flower Market Road.

Since it's Valentine's Day next week, I'll be posting a series of photos that are related, in one way or another, to this day of hearts starting tomorrow - hope you look forward to it!

Snapshots: Temple Visit, Bali, Indonesia







En route to Ubud, we visited a small temple and marveled at its intricate and unique design.

I love taking photos of temples against a bright blue sky - they always turn out pretty.

Snapshots: Inside Lazi Convent, Siquijor, Philippines







I took a side trip to Siquijor when I traveled to Dumaguete a couple of years back. This is a picture from inside the Lazi Convent, steeped in history and as if frozen in time.

Snapshots: Mickey's Water Works Parade, Hong Kong Disneyland (circa 2009)







The happiest place on Earth! My friends and I had a ball running around trying to get our pictures taken with the Disney princesses and going crazy in the twirling teacups. We were hoping to spot Prince Charming too, but had no luck. Is there even really a Prince Charming in Hong Kong Disneyland? (Enter the all but necessary hashtag - #StoryOfMyLife).

Snapshots: Flower Tea Shop, Hoi An, Vietnam







One of the many quaint, hole-in-the-wall shops in Hoi An, Vietnam that made us fall in love with the place. My favorite by far though was the little jewelry store tended to by a beautiful Vietnamese lady and her American husband, where Jen bought a pair of lovely jade earrings.

Snapshots: Ruins of St. Paul's, Macau







A very tourist-y shot to start off the week! Just be thankful I'm not actually in the photo, posing my very tourist-y pose in front of the Ruins of St. Paul's.

Rizal Boulevard, Dumaguete, Philippines








I've traveled solo twice, plus a couple more times on business trips (but those don't really feel like they count). The first one was to Talipanan Beach in Puerto Galera, and the second time was in Dumaguete, thanks to a pair of free flights from Cebu Pacific, on account of a super delayed flight from Cebu to Manila. This picture was taken on that solo trip. I stayed in a hotel facing Rizal Boulevard and I would stroll along that street every day I was there. Good times.

Snapshots: Monsopiad Headhunter Village, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia







Yes, those are human skulls, prized items from days and years past when headhunting was still being practiced in Sabah. Now the Monsopiad Cultural Village opens its doors to tourists who want to know more about what it's like to live in one of these villages. When my friends and I went, we got to watch a performance of a traditional dance by the young ones of the village, and even got to participate in the show (haha). We also tried our hand at their ancient weapons, which was pretty fun, after which we politely declined their offer/challenge to eat a traditional snack of living, breathing woodworms, which seemed terribly horrifying. (You can make me jump off a tower with just a bungee cord tied to my leg, but it takes an entirely different kind of balls to eat uncooked, living organisms. Except yogurt.)

Snapshots: A Tour Around Coron, Palawan







Floating along the still waters of Coron to discover hidden lakes and witness the towering heights of limestone cliffs. Palawan is an amazingly beautiful place every Filipino should be proud of.

Speaking of which, the Puerto Princesa Underground River in Palawan has officially been names as one of the 7 New Wonders of Nature, which is fantastic news! It's definitely more fun in the Philippines!

This ends the encore of "Staying Afloat", hope you enjoyed the pictures! Back to random travel photos tomorrow. :)

Snapshots: Woman Floating Along Hoi An Market, Vietnam







Cruising along the river that runs along Hoi An. I wonder where she's headed?

Snapshots: Boatman, Batangas







He was selling pearls, if I remember correctly.
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