Us 3 in 3 countries

It has been a long while since the three of us (Erik, Mai and I) traveled together. So we decided to take  a ten day trip to Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam. Since I have more free time than my other siblings, I get to do our itinerary. Luckily, my siblings are not too picky, I was free to decide where to go and where to stay. Basically, all they have to do is follow my lead.  I do often asked them their opinions before I make a final decision. First stop Cambodia, Siam Reap to see the Angkor Wat. Siam Reap is a cute little town. People are quite friendly and accommodating. What I like about Cambodians is that they are nicer to Asians and definitely would not take any crap from the white folks. As compared to us here in the Philippines, Filipinos tend to be more hospitable to the white folks than to their own kind. I can’t say it’s because of years under colonialism. Cambodia was also under France for many years. Anyways, Siam Reap is an easy place to move around. It also reminded me of our small towns here in the Philippines. I like small towns, you feel safe walking around as you do some sightseeing but a disadvantage of a small town is you’ll get to see everything in 3 days. That was when we left for Thailand.

Oh yeah, Ankor Wat is a must see.

Oh yeah, Ankor Wat is a must see.

I think I had more fun inside the van traveling to Bangkok than going around the city itself.  It was an adventure especially after people have warned us from crossing country by land. I’m here to tell you about crossing borders: It’s totally safe and fun, you get to see and hear stuff you won’t normally experience when you take a plane. The best part of the experience was in Thailand. A crazy guide picked us up at the border and gave us a warning not to go down of the van at any given time. Mind you, he was laughing while he said this. We were sharing the van with people from Europe and the United States.  I knew intuitively that the guy was bluffing, but our companions believed it! When we stopped by the gasoline station, I wanted to go down to stretch my legs and I heard one of them say… “Is it safe to go down? The guide said not to go down anytime.”  In my opinion, it is always good to practice caution but anything too much will spoil the fun. Now, the city of Bangkok has overpowered me with its colors, crowd, glitters, noise, taxis, etc. It’s crazy! Sight. Sound. Smell. Taste.  Whew! They surrounded my head as I stepped out of the street. It can really be overwhelming! I think the next time I go back to Thailand, I’ll hit the beach instead for serenity.

I love where I stayed though.

I love where I stayed though.

This is Phranakorn-nornlen , a lovely place to stay. It’s so near all the tourist spot you might want to see: the palace, the temples, Buddha statues, shops, etc.   Just click on the picture to drop their site a visit.

Notre Dame Cathedral

Notre Dame Cathedral

Gosh, I was so glad that I decided to place Vietnam as our last place to go. We went to Ho Chi Minh. I love small towns. Ho Chi Minh City is very picturesque. Old French buildings, small roads, people hanging out in the open park, and maybe over a million of bikes, these are what I saw of the town.  The roads inside of the town  just loops around.  In case you get lost, look for where the Notre Dame Cathedral is located and I believe the whole town loops around it. The church being the center of that circle. I’m guessing here, so I can’t be that sure, but that was how I found places when I was there. We also did our shopping there… But, that was a mistake. We should have done our shopping in Siam Reap. It is a lot cheaper to buy in Siam Reap than in Vietnam but I always do my shopping on the last day of my trip. Tsk, tsk, tsk…. And I really should learn how to bargain well. Or at least get a friend from the area to bargain with me. I was not able to meet up with my friend, Patrick until we were about to leave the country. Sigh, that was a wrong move from me again.  Otherwise, I’d love to go back and do some more sightseeing. Just be careful of the motorbikes in Ho Chi Minh, they rule the country. :/

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Namaste!

camiguin

Sunken Cemetery. Photo taken last May 2010 at Camiguin.

After many months of dilly-dallying, I finally decided to enter the blogging world.

I am an aspiring photographer, a yoga-enthusiast, a vegetarian in a meat-eating nation, and have a bad case of wanderlust. In this blog, I’ll be sharing to you a lot about photography, yoga, health and traveling. Enjoy! ^_^V

To start, the photo on your left was taken last May 2010 in Camiguin, Philippines. This is an unedited version of the Sunken Cemetery. I’m proud of this photo because it show how much I improved since November 2009 when I first held a DSLR. Of course, I admit I still have a long way to go to call myself a pro. >_<

Camiguin issuch a beautiful island. It’s located down south, just at the top of Mindanao and it’s a peaceful place. There is so much to do in this little island from dipping into the different springs- from hot to cold to soda springs. Then jump into the clear water of their waterfalls, go hiking to the top of a volcano crater, or just  basking under the sun on the sandbar.  There is also diving and the famous Mantigue Island which I didn’t get to go. I would have wanted to stay long, but I guess the only solution is to go back. 😛  The island is systematic that once you get off the ferry you’ll see a big billboard of all the prices of the tours or rides for hire. That is such a big relief to any first time traveler. What I love best in this whimsical island, is the fact that they protected their old trees. Bravo! yahoo clapping emoticon

HEALTH

I’m so happy when I learned of this organic market that’s open every Saturday at Salcedo Village. I became a “suki” of this store and I buy my Kumbocha and pink Himalayan salt here.pink salt

Just a short info on the salt.
The Himalayan pink salt is mined in Pakistan Himalayas in an area known as the Salt Range. It is so pure and rich that it not only re-mineralizes the body but also promotes optimum health. It contains 84 essential minerals and trace elements naturally found in your body.

Chlorophyll Manila also offers different products aside from the pink salt. I like their 100% Natural Probiotic, but if you are going to buy one be sure to bring a cooler. You can get ice in any Mini Stops which is just around the area. And of course the Bee Pollen, which is a a powerhouse of minerals and vitamins. It tastes like flowers, but it contains so much goodness. >,<

Just put a dash of Bee Pollen on your salads or fruit bowls and wahla! That’s it!

Bee Pollen is listed by Foodmatters.com as one of the Superfoods found in nature. I’ll go into details of the other Superfoods on the later blogs.

Of course, there are lots of other food you can buy in this only once a week market. The food I can recommend to my fellow vegetarian out there is Tita Ope’s vegetarian lasagna. She offers two kinds: one creamy spinach and the other one the yummy tomato sauce based. Be sure to try both. >.<  I also like the Pad Thai of Thai Vegetarian Food and for an authentic Indian food try Kashmir. Yum, I’m getting hungry just thinking of it and I have yet to explore the whole market.

The Salcedo Community Market is at Jaime Velasquez Park between Leviste & Tordesillas Streets. Salcedo Village, Makati. They’re open every Saturday from 7 am to 2 pm.

For more info what else you can get from the market, click here.