This is a collection of scribbles of past travels. After countless suggestions from friends that I create a blog for all the trips that I took, I have finally heed their call. And since Glenn has traveled extensively too, I kinda forced him that we create this joint account so that we can chronicle all our travel memories. All things start with small beginnings so we will start with our top 5.
1. Number one on our list is our El Nido experience. Glenn and I went there separately. I was the one who visited first with my favorite travel buddy and one of my college bff - Aimee. One of our best friends, Ivy can’t stop raving about the place after spending holy week there. So off we go to El Nido for the ultimate backpacker’s experience. This was my first try of independent travel which didn’t start well because of the 8 hour bus ride from hell. It was our first time to travel on a jam-packed bus on very rough roads. And we thought we were ready for it considering all the field works we did during our college days. We were ready to throttle Ivy by the time we reached the last stop before El Nido. But all the stress faded away with our first glimpse of the picturesque Bacuit bay. The islands scattered amidst the clear blue waters took my breath away. It was like discovering my own Shangri-La. El Nido is truly an enchanting experience.
Big Lagoon, El Nido, Palawan
2. Our visit to Cambodia’s Angkor Wat was a dream come true for me. While other girls dream of Disneyland, I wished for Angkor Wat. I have always been fascinated with history and the Angkor Wat was so mysterious and enticing in my high school history books. Lucky for me I have close friends who feels the same. Aimee and me originally planned the Thailand - Cambodia trip for just the two of us. But fate intervened and I ended up inviting Glenn and his best friend, Rodel. Them being travel junkies, they immediately agreed and made plans. It was an amazing trip with an element of danger because the Bangkok siege by the Red Shirts just ended days before our trip. The thrill of taking an 8 hour bus ride to cross the border at Aranyaprathet to Cambodia’s Poipet was a heady experience. But the most rewarding of all was waking up early the next day to witness the sun rise over the Angkor Wat complex. The scene was too beautiful it deserves my tears.
One of the ruins at Bayon, Cambodia
3. Our visit to Sukothai, Thailand is meaningful to both of us. Glenn and I have been friends for almost a decade. That friendship has survived despite the distance when an opportunity to study in South Korea was offered to him after college. Although we kept in touch regularly, it was during our Thailand trip that we reconnected. And it was in Sukothai, where the Thai alphabet was said to have been invented, that I realized that he is the man that I have been praying for. I can still remember the moment vividly. We were staring at one of the temple ruins and talking nonsense under the scorching heat of the midday sun when it dawned on me that this is the man I can spend the rest of my life with. After almost ten years of friendship, I finally realized that my dream guy was right by my side all along.
Glenn at Wat Chang Lam, Sukothai, Thailand
4. Our first vacation for 2011 was the Iloilo - Guimaras trip last January. The Guimaras part was my favorite since we had lots of quality time together. We stayed at Kenyama Resort, which at that time only had us as guests. Glenn and I always make it a point to choose a place which is off the beaten path. The resort was quite far from the port of Jordan but the secluded cove was worth the distance. So if you crave for serenity and quiet on your vacation, then visit Guimaras. We had a grand time posing for pictures with the sunset as background.
Blissfully together in Guisi beach, Guimaras Island.
5. Our first out of the country trip as a couple was our Vietnam escapade last December 2010. It was supposed to be just Aimee and me on that trip. But predictably Glenn doesn’t want me out of his sight so he came with us and ended up arranging the whole shindig. Our Vietnam vacation was by far our cheaapest overseas trip. This was mainly due to our uber generous and accommodating hosts namely Phi, Tuan, Thanh and Chung - Glenn’s classmates in South Korea. These geologists from Vietnam redefined the meaning of hospitality. They took time off to meet us at the airport and accompanied us around Hanoi. They introduced us to authentic Vietnamese cuisine and explained details of their country’s history. It was also in Hanoi that I found “the church” - St. Joseph’s Cathedral. I have a propensity to visit churches on all my trips and this one captured my fancy right there and then. Gothic arches reminiscent of the Notre Dame church in France. Plus the beautiful stained windows and exquisite side altars were a sweet bonus. Of course you cannot go to Vietnam and not take the Halong Bay cruise. Actually this UNESCO site was the main event on our itinerary. And true to its promise the majestic limestone formations did not disappoint us.
Lovers with the “kissing rocks” in the background, Halong Bay, Vietnam.