a journal on hiking and traveling around the Philippines

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Guest Post : My 2014 Holiday Wish List

I haven't written much lately and while I'm finishing some projects, I'm sharing with you a fellow traveler's Holiday Wish List. This gets me thinking about my own year-end adventure, (which I am yet to decide on :P). How about you,  what's yours? :)

I keep a diary. But it’s not for my personal musings and deep dark secrets. It’s where I write down my holiday wish list. Every time I come across a place that sounds truly incredible, I scribble it down at the bottom of an ever-growing list of must-see destinations.

My travel bucket list for 2014 is already two pages long. Whilst I won’t be able to visit them all, I have managed to narrow it down to three of my favourites.

Havana, Cuba
Prado, Havana, Cuba
Havana, Cuba (Credits : Rinaldo Wurglitsch)
The warm, colourful streets of Havana have been playing on my mind for a while now. As a big Hemingway fan, I feel like I’ve experienced his love for the city vicariously through his books. The thought of having a drink in the Floridita Bar, Papa’s favourite pub in Havana, makes me want to pack my bags and catch the next flight to Cuba today.

Something else on my Havana must-see list is the street art. The city is known as one of the biggest street art hubs in the world. Giant murals, many inspired by the Cuban Revolution, cover Havana’s walls and the sides of its buildings. Who needs art galleries when the city itself is a work of art?

Chiang Mai, Thailand
Thailand’s famous beaches and Full Moon parties have an obvious appeal. However, it’s not the coastline that intrigues me, but the country’s mountainous northern region. Chiang Mai, approximately 700 km northwest of Bangkok, is Northern Thailand’s largest and most culturally-rich city.

Unlike Bangkok, it’s known for its laid back vibes and majestic natural landscape. Surrounded by mountains, Chiang Mai is also famously home to the Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep temple. The temple sits atop Doi Suthep and remains a functioning monastery to this day. With so many comparison sites offering deals on flights to Thailand, this could be the cheap holiday 2014 I’m looking for.

Portland, Oregon, USA
Portland (Credits : Joe Shlabotnik)
It may be the hipster capital of the world, but there’s far more to Portland, Oregon than coffee shops and quirky moustaches. Although, I do hear the coffee shops are pretty incredible. Oh - and the food trucks too. Portland has been an under-the-radar foodie hub for a while now, and it was one of the first west coast cities to truly embrace food truck culture. To wash down all the tasty grub, there’s plenty of delicious craft beer to go around. Apparently you can’t walk more than a few blocks before running into a brewery.

In addition to the food, Portland’s city centre is filled with bridges of all shapes and sizes. As an architecture nut with a bit of a thing for impressive structural engineering, this is another side of Portland that appeals to me.

My goodness, you’d think that narrowing it down to three destinations would have been a step in the right direction. But now I think the decision’s even harder! Which do you think I should choose?

1 comment:

  1. Hello! I'm a spanish who are going to travel very soon for the 2nd time to the Philippines. I found your blog and it's still very useful.

    Let me share this. I will explore several areas of Mindanao. I'll make the route next december/january with a good friend (also spanish). We've already bought the flight Manila Dumaguete. The plan is to spend a few days in Dumaguete and Siquijor. After that take the ferry to Dipolog, and from there go by road to Davao (making stops in some areas).

    The plan is to make the route by road, bus and/or jeepneys, stopping at different places, We take the trip very prepared, but at the same time we let's go improvising. In principle we want to stop in OZAMIZ, PAGADIAN, ILIGAN, CAGAYAN DE ORO and CAMIGUIN (cities and surrounding areas, We would like to rent a bike or motorbike in these areas to explore).
    From Cagayan de Oro would go to Davao, perhaps stopping in the city of Valencia and visit the Province of Bukidnon.

    You can give us some opinion or advice on the route?
    We asked some people in the Philippines and they have told us that may not be good idea to do this route by road, perhaps because it was so recent conflict with the Moro National Liberation Front. I know it is a conflict that goes back many years, but it seems that it has now gone to more. Do you know if there is conflict and danger of kidnappings of foreigners is only Zamboanga City, Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi... or maybe in some areas of the province of Zamboanga?

    We were also told that Pagadian may not be a good place to stop being foreigners, because there have been problems. We were surprised to be told this, can be true?

    On the road, we have doubts about going to Ozamiz and from there maybe we can take a ferry to Kolambugan, or to Iligan (I read we have too the bus option, can take the barge to cross the bay).
    We don't know if do that, or make the journey by land, from Ozamiz buses stopping in Pagadian and elsewhere. From what we have said may be some danger going on buses and stopping for these areas being foreigners, but I think it exaggerates the danger, and the real risk of theft or kidnapping must be very very small.

    Thank you very much in advance!



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