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5 Things To Know About Angkor Wat

If you ever get the opportunity to visit Cambodia, it’s likely that Angkor Wat will be high on your list of things to see. Though the country is also known for beautiful beaches and local culture, Angkor Wat is in a league with some of the most famous wonders of the world, and deserves every traveler’s attention. That said, it’s also a very misunderstood historical attraction, and it pays to know a little bit about a place like this before you visit. Thus, we wanted to write up a brief guide of things you should know about Angkor Wat.

1. Angkor Wat Is About 900 Years Old
Sometimes we lose a little bit of perspective when it comes to dating ancient wonders. For instance, we get used to the idea that things like the pyramids of Giza or Stonehenge are literally thousands of years old. Meanwhile, some other wonders like the Taj Mahal are far younger – in that specific case, only about 360 or 370 years old. But Angkor Wat falls somewhere in between ancient and modern wonders. It was built …

Birthday Hike at Mt. Matutum (Tupi, South Cotabato)

I woke up at 2:30 AM, ahead of the alarm, excited to meet another mountain. I had just turned a year older. Thankfully, my youthful enthusiasm for nature remains unchanged. Though I've been feeling the effects of aging with the slowing metabolism and white hair popping everywhere,  I'm happy I could still hike, though my pace is much slower than a few years back. :) This time,  I'm heading to Mt. Matutum, an active volcano in the municipality of Tupi, South Cotabato province.
Read : Celineism  | I Spend My Birthday in the Mountain

My hotel in General Santos city was next door to a 24-hour branch of Taps & Mix, a restaurant serving Filipino comfort food that has become a new favourite. The menu looks like something people enjoy eating when they have a hang-over.  Some of the items in their menu includes gambas, sisig, TAPSILOG, chicken wings & chopseuy . Though I did not get enough sleep the night before, I made time for brewed coffee and an early morning breakfast. #…

A Nature Lover's Bucket List to Thailand

Visiting a country that has so much to offer in terms of food, scenery and culture, it’s a challenge (but a very fun one), to squeeze everything on a single trip. While the country offers a variety of attractions, this post focuses on places (as you can already tell from the title :P) that will interest travellers with a penchant for nature at a relax pace.  
Here’s a list of places to get you and I started in exploring this beautiful Southeast Asian neighbour of ours, Thailand. 
If you have tips to share, please leave a comment or connect with me on my social media channels listed below. :)
Where to stay? Fortunately, travellers visiting to Thailand have a wide variety of options  on where to stay. From backpacker types to luxury Thai Homes, it's easy to find one that fits your budget.
Hike to Thailand’s Roof 
At a height of 2,565 meters, Doi Inthanon is the country’s highest mountain located within Doi Inthanon National Park, in the province of Chiang Mai. Though the only way up to t…

Tawi-Tawi Series : Hiking Bud Bongao

After covering the activities of the 44th Kamahardikaan Tawi-Tawi in Languyan(see post here), we traveled back to Bongao for some sightseeing. I was especially excited to hike Bud Bongao, a mountain which has long been on my bucket list. :)

Bud (mountain) Bongao is a small peak in the provincial capital with the same name, just 342 meter high with a stairs trail from jump-off to its summit. Sacred to locals, it is frequented by people practicing Islam who pray in tampats (burial shrines) along the trail.
When we got to the jump-off at past 8:00 AM, the sun was high up and the humidity was uncomfortable. I don't mind. I was just excited to finally set foot here. :) (Tip : Since you'll be passing some open trails, it's  ideal to hike early in the morning to avoid the heat. Trail opens at 6:00 AM.) 

The tasking concrete stairs trail is built in the middle of a forest, making it doable for those without hiking experience and even more manageable for those who come just to pray. I…

Adventure Farm at Timberland Heights

Living in Metro Manila, one can easily travel to Rizal for a quick outdoor adventure. About an hour from Quezon City (depending on traffic), the nearby province offers biking, running and hiking trails that can be enjoyed by people of varying fitness levels. 

Read : Travel Up | 5 Places to Mountain Bike near Manila

An addition to its outdoor playgrounds is Adventure Farm, an education farm concept that provides visitors a preview of farm life while learning about plants and raising animals. Though the layout is designed for kids, adults looking for a fun and easy time are welcome too!

Check out our hike at  Mt. Lubog, Rizal here.

Adventure Farm opened in 2014 and is a project ofFilinvest Land Inc., one of the leading real estate developers in the country and the same group behind Timberland Heights subdivision, where the farm is. 

On an overnight camp with my fellow bloggers, we tried its latest attraction, the Adventure Playground, a 1.25 KM natural trail lined with obstacles. I've be…

Tawi-Tawi Series : Kamahardikaan Tawi-Tawi & Agal-Agal Festival

Every September, Tawi-Tawi celebrates Kamahardikaan, its anniversary as a province. Held on the same week is Agal-Agal Festival, which highlights the province's top product, agal-agal, the local word for seaweed. On its 44th year,  the municipality of Languyan played host, about an hour away by speedboat from Bongao, the provincial capital. This being my first visit to Tawi-Tawi, I was very excited and didn't mind the arduous travel to get here, about 15 hours of air, land and sea travel from Manila!  Together with fellow bloggers and traditional media from Mindanao, we covered various activities during the five day celebration,  showcasing the culture & history of the  Sama, Badjao, Jama Mapun and Tausug, the four major indigenous groups in Tawi-Tawi. 
Related Post : Zamboanga-Basilan birthday trip (this post was written 2011, I was more hyperactive back then :P)

One of the festival's highlights was the parade and the street dancing competition. This year, it was partici…

Travel News : Starting the Christmas Vibe withTaiwan Excellence

Last September 29 - October 1, a showcase of Taiwan's best brands was held at the SM Mall of Asia Main Atrium. Taiwan Excellence Experience Zone 2 featured products which has earned the Taiwan Excellence seal.  

Sponsored by Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) and the Bureau of Foreign Trade (BOFT), Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) organizes the Taiwan Excellence campaign to promote innovative and superior-quality products, and encourage Taiwan innovators to continue transforming current technologies.

A post shared by Julius (@lakwatserongtsinelas) on Jan 3, 2017 at 9:39am PST
Travel info on Taiwan? Read : Poor Traveler | Taiwan on a budget
In this 3-day event, Taiwan Excellence brought its sports and leisure products to the spotlight. Visitors got a first-hand experience of products that maximize active lifestyles, such as the Johnson S3+ Spinner Bike, which parallels the rigors of a spinning workout, while at home. Meanwhile, a Revolution Tri-Max Fabric ca…

Beginner Friendly Hike : Mt. Kalisungan

Mt. Kalisungan in Calauan, Laguna is another good option if you're looking for a short & moderately challenging hike near Manila. The trail starts easy at a farm, then onto a moderately steep trail all the way to the summit. Though forested, you'll hardly feel any wind, making it a very uncomfortably humid hike. Making up for all that sweat is the view at the summit! Here, you can enjoy a scenery of nearby mountains and the lakes of San Pablo.  If you're planning to stay at the summit for a while, bring a cap or umbrella as the peak is a grassland with no trees. 
Read : 12 Useful Things to Bring on your First Mountain Hike

This was my third visit to Mt. Kalisungan and though the trail and the views are the same, the experience is unique. I'm  happy with the new friends I met (hello Cess, PJ, Red, Rod, Razel and Ana!) and the food we enjoyed after :P.
Mt. Kalisungan can be tackled as a short day hike, combined with a second hike to nearby Mt. Mabilog (post here) or as a…