Biking in Amphawa, Thailand

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Biking is one of the the best ways to get around in small towns. You get to explore at your own pace, soak in the scenery, and burn a few calories while sightseeing. During our week-long tour with the Tourism Authority of Thailand, I was itching to have any excuse to get on a bike. I always tend to overeat when I travel and by the third day of buffet breakfasts and lunch feasts featuring amazing Thai dishes, I felt like I needed some sort of workout.

day 4 amphawa riverside thailand bicycle door travelup

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Thailand Through Her Eyes 2016

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Thailand is the travel hub of Southeast Asia. Known for its rich culture, tourist-friendly facilities, accessibility and affordability, Thailand is a great destination for first time travelers and seasoned travelers alike.

Its capital Bangkok is one of the major regional flight hubs for Southeast Asia. Filipinos can easily enter Thailand because no Visa is required for ASEAN passport holders and flights are pretty affordable coming from Manila.

Aside from the famed beaches and temples, shopping is a major tourist draw and the food is arguably the best in Asia. For international travelers, this country is often the start of the backpacking trail as you can travel overland to other countries like Burma, Laos, Cambodia and Malaysia.

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Ride and Trek to Lake Holon

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As soon as we reached the dirt road, I knew I was in trouble. I was on my way to Lake Holon in South Cotabato driving a rented motorcycle along with fellow travel blogger Louie of A Nomad’s Perspectives. While the view was nothing short of spectacular, the terrain seemed to be a few levels above my motorcycling skills. Apparently, my concept of rough roads in Manila is very different from rough roads in Mindanao.

lake holon south cotabato motorcycle travelup signage

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10 Must-Try Dishes in Thailand

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Thailand’s food is a feast for the senses. First you eat with your eyes, as each dish is beautifully presented. A whiff of the spicy aroma teases you again before you finally dig in. Once you start eating, every bite tantalizes the tastebuds. Thai cuisine is diverse, with influences from a lot of different countries. Its flavors are complex. Each individual element and condiment is used deliberately. It’s a delicate blend of exotic spices, flavors and textures that result in dishes that transports you to places. 

food trip thailand cover
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10 Extreme Adventures in Camarines Sur

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My home province of Camarines Sur in the Bicol Region is commonly associated with religious pilgrimage sites. Most people who stop by Naga City, its capital, usually do a Visita Iglesia tour of the historic churches or come during the Penafrancia Fiesta, one of the biggest and most popular religious events in the Philippines held every September. 

caramoan island hopping catanaguan island limestone 1

But for adventure-seekers, it’s good to know that there’s a lot more to do in the province any time of the year. From scaling down waterfalls to biking down mountain trails, adventure-packed activities await. Here’s a look at some of the fun and exciting activities that you can do in and near Naga City. Continue reading

Travel Guide: Antique

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Antique is a province of the Philippines located in the region of Western Visayas. Just a couple of hours away from the gateway to Boracay, the country’s most famous beach party destination, Antique offers a different kind of getaway.

kawa inn tibiao antique jungle hot bath travelup 2

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Lakes in the Philippines

There’s something I really like about lakes. Though they’re not as popular as beaches and waterfalls, lakes often have this quiet understated charm about them. The Philippines is home to many natural lakes which are closely related to volcanic and tectonic activity as well as artificial lakes or reservoirs that have resulted from the damming of rivers for hydroelectric activity. Aside from their recreational and aesthetic qualities, many lakes are important habitats for marine life and food sources. Other lakes play a part in water-supply, hydro-electric power or flood control. As the saying goes, “still waters run deep.”

photo by angel copy

Though some lakes are not really suitable for swimming, these serene bodies of  water are ideal for for low-impact activities like fishing, boating, rafting, kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding. Here are just a few of the scenic lakes and reservoirs in the Philippines that I’ve personally visited (arranged by distance/accessibility from Manila).
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Microtel General Santos City

After covering the Golden Anniversary and T’nalak Festival in Koronadal City, I extended my trip to explore more of the region and opted to stay in Microtel by Wyndham – General Santos City. Located on the shores of Sarangani Bay, this independent city is geographically part of South Cotabato in Mindanao and is the gateway to other provinces including Sarangani, Sultan Kudarat, and (North) Cotabato.

microtel general santos city facade

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Travel Tips for the Rainy Season

Most people prefer to travel and go on adventures during the summer months when it’s nice and sunny. However, traveling during the monsoon months has its own charms. While travelers need to take extra care as the rain may bring landslides and floods to some regions, the rainy season shouldn’t stop you from having fun. Here are a few travel tips to make the most of the rainy season in the Philippines.

lake sebu cotabato philippines waterfall double rainbow

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Food Trip: Pampanga

Located just a couple of hours from Metro Manila, Pampanga is a great choice for those looking for a unique food trip destination relatively near the metro. This province in Central Luzon is known as the “Culinary Capital of the Philippines,” known for being the birthplace of chefs who learned cooking techniques from Spaniards during the colonial period and passed down family secrets through generations.

01. food trip pampanga aling lucing sisig tokwat baboy chicharon bulaklak

It’s always difficult to come up with a list of “where to eat” in a destination, and more so when you’re writing about a place that’s known for their great cuisine. Like all food trip guides, this list is by no means definitive. It’s based on places that I have personally tried during media tours & from recommendations of friends who live in the area. If you only have a limited time, these are just some suggestions where to eat. WARNING: Putok-Batok post ahead.
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