Congrats to the Living la vida Imelda contest winner!

Thank to everyone who shared their Metro Manila itineraries! It was such a joy to read the replies, specially the ones that included detailed descriptions, significance of the places and means of transport. It gave me plenty of new ideas for when I have friends and family coming to visit. If you’re thinking of places to bring your guest, the comment section of that post is rife with possibilities!

Chyng deliberately disqualified herself by saying outright that she wouldn’t take her guests around Manila, while Cornelio started with Manila, yet ventured out of town and had his itinerary spread for more than a day. I intentionally limited the itinerary to one day and only within Metro Manila. Why? Because most of those who travel to Manila only transit here — they fly in only because Manila is the main international hub and they use it as the jump off point to exploring places outside Manila.

In Requiem: Phonie's last days
Father Blanco’s garden circa 2006

Allan Reyes said he’d take his guests to Tondo so that they will see the real Manila, and erica yu-b said she’ll take them for a peek at Smokey Mountain so that her guests would help make the Philippines a better place. I understand what you guys are coming from, but let’s face it — those squatters is what the world already have in mind when they think about Manila. That is what’s often depicted in the media. I believe it’s every Filipino’s responsibility to make the Philippines a better place, not our guest’s.
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Category: Everything Travel
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Living la vida with Carlos and Imelda

Let’s start the week right with a contest! Up for grabs is a free pass (for two!) to Carlos Celdran’s Living La Vida Imelda tour of the CCP Complex.

Carlos Celdran's Livin la vida Imelda Tour
Why don’t I have a photo of Carlos with the Imelda photo? Fail.

I’ve done the Imelda tour last March and the Intramuros tour last April. I thought more people should experience one of Carlos’ tours, and here’s your chance to try it out for FREE!
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Bangkok with a bang

From Hanoi, I flew to Bangkok. It was just to transit for my flight to Krabi, but of course, it’s never “just” a trip to Bangkok. In the three hours that I spent outside my super charming guesthouse (more on this soon!), I managed to blew whatever money I’ve saved in Vietnam.

Bangkok has gone back to normal. Save for the gutted buildings, there were no signs that this was a city that has been paralyzed by the red shirts a month ago. The malls are open again, the BTS taking people from one end of the city to another.
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Category: Bangkok, Thailand
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Vietnam Diaries: Hanoi and Halong

I’m at the Hanoi airport, sitting on the floor while waiting for Air Asia’s check-in counters to open. It’s my last hour and some stray minutes in Vietnam.

Hanoi has been… interesting. The city has an old world charm. The streets are small in the Old Quarter, lined with shop houses with French and Chinese influences. Sidewalks are nearly non-existent as some shops extend their wares, while most use it as a parking spot for their motorcycles.
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Vietnam Diaries: I’m in love with Hue

I can’t stop saying it — Hue is awesome. Sure it’s freaking hot and the electricity goes out in some areas in the morning, but there are airconditioned mini malls with wi-fi. Like Ho Chi Minh City, there are also plenty of parks around that overlook the Perfume river.

Sayuri at the Imperial City
Sayuri celebrated her birthday at the Imperial City

A visit to Hue is not complete without going to the Imperial City. Enclosed in a citadel across the Huong River, the walls are imposing and thick. When you pass through the arch that serves as a gate, it’s like you stepped back to a different time.
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Category: Vietnam
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