Bye bye Burma

My fears from my last post now seemed silly. They have Internet in Myanmar.

Myamar has been amazing. I’ve been to Mandalay, Bagan and now just killing time in Yangon before I leave for Kuala Lumpur. The people’s devotion to their faith is astounding — shiny, sparkling golden stupas everywhere. Don’t even get me started on Bagan; thousands of temples dot the horizon as far as the eye can see.

It’s not just the ancient temples that caught my attention. Yangon has a lot of colonial buildings. Gothic style cathedrals, brownstone buildings and Victorian houses are found throughout the city. Sadly, most are in a state of disrepair.
Continue reading Bye bye Burma

Into the unknown

Into the unknown, originally uploaded by nina_theevilone.

Well, not really. Myanmar or Burma is not as popular a tourist destination as its next door neighbors China and Thailand, but it remains a favorite amongst travelers who has visited the country.

Burma is the last country in the ASEAN that I have yet to visit, but that’s to change in a couple of hours. I am both excited and scared. A thousand scenarios are going through my head, but from past trips, I know that I am just being paranoid and everything will be alright. I think it’s the lack of Internet that scares me the most.

From Brunei with love

From Brunei with love, originally uploaded by nina_theevilone.

Brunei exceeded my expectations. All the forums and guidebooks say the same thing: it’s so small, you can see everything in one day. It’s true — Brunei is small and if you move fast enough, you can see the major attractions in one day.

I was lucky enough to meet a Filipino family staying in the same hostel. Since it was their third day in Bandar Seri Begawan, they took me under their wings and we explored BSB and surrounds together. They showed me where to buy cheap food and water, and how to travel cheaply (by bus, only BN$1 per ride).

We share the belief that traveling is also a vacation. No need to wake up at the crack of dawn, no need to rush through everything in one day. We had no choice but to take it easy last Wednesday anyway; it was Hari Raya, a public holiday.

We were amazed at the number of Filipinos are living in Brunei. It’s funny when we’d be speaking to each other in English then finding out later on that we’re all Filipinos. The bayanihan spirit is very much alive as they go the extra mile to help us.

The Bruneians are quite exceptional too. They’re friendly and generous. Earlier we were just asking a local about how to go to the Kampung Ayer Cultural Gallery, he volunteered a friend’s boat, including his friend’s son and his son to take us around the water village and up the river.

After the water tour, he then volunteered to drive us to Kota Batu and then to Muara — places we wouldn’t have thought to visit since it was far from Bandar.

In my travels, I’ve come to realize it’s not just the landmarks and experiences that make a destination memorable. It’s the people that you interact with that makes the trip amazing. After this, I think I’ll be making a bigger effort to come out of my shell and be friendly.

A quickie update in between countries

I’m back in Manila from an amazing four-day trip in Hong Kong. It was an invitation from Disneyland to experience the park and the hotel, as well as to experience Hong Kong. It was made possible through Nuffnang. Unfortunately, as much as I would like to write about how great the Disney experience was, it would have to wait as I am just in Manila to change bags and clothes before heading out again to two new countries.

I’m not sure if I will be able to go online much, specially starting on the 20th, but I will try my best to post updates while on the road. I will definitely be updating my Facebook page and Twitter account, so if you like to see what I’m up to, do follow those pages.

That’s it for now. See you guys on the 27th!

Notes from Hong Kong

I started writing this while in Wan Chai on Hong Kong island, while passing time until we have to check out. We’re not flying out yet; we’re just moving to another hotel — Disneyland Hotel.

Along with Ferdz and Oggie, we’ll be meeting the other Nuffnangers from Malaysia and Singapore to discover, explore and experience the magic of Hong Kong Disneyland.
Continue reading Notes from Hong Kong