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wanderlust

Travel

Top 10 Attractions of The Lake City- Udaipur

August 8, 2017

I have always been curious to visit India. India has this certain vibe that makes you want to explore and understand their culture more. Himanshu of Pearls India Tour is here to bring us to The Lake City – Udaipur and to make us fall in love with their country.

T O P 10 A T T R A C T I O N S

Historically speaking, Udaipur is one of the richest sites in India. Named after the Rajput ruler, Maharana Udai Singh, Udaipur used to be the capital of the Sisodia clan of the Rajputs (“Son of a King”). Udaipur is located in the western state of Rajasthan in India, and is the administrative headquarters of the Udaipur district. It is about 403 km from Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan.

Udaipur has also been nicknamed the “Venice of the East” owing to its many lakes and majestic palaces from the ruling era of the Rajputs. Due to its picturesque look and prosperous air, made even more prominent by the impressive structures, Udaipur has been the site of many Indian as well as international productions. If you are planning your first expedition to India, in particular western India, be sure to visit the “City of Lakes” as Udaipur is endearingly called, with ample time on your hands. Short tours are also possible with a good understanding of the plethora of sights well beforehand.

You’ll be smitten with this imperial consignment from the past and will end up feeling like royalty yourself! We bring you the top 10 most sought after destinations of this regal city.

  1. Bagore Ki Haveli 

    Bagore Ki Haveli is the perfect time machine for the history lovers and will take you through a magical walk in the royal past of the kings from eons ago. The enchanting mansion was built in late 18th century, between 1751- 1778, by the Prime Minister of Mewar, Shri Amarchand Badwa. Located on the scenic bank of the Pichola Lake at Gangauri Ghat, it brings to light many windows that show us glimpses of the rulers in the era of their primes. The interior is beautifully furnished with various artifacts of the Haveli itself, as well as modern art. Two peacock glassworks are among the most popular adornments in it. Items used in the heyday of nobility such as floor coverings, costumes, paintings, hookahs, low tables, traditional arts and crafts with other everyday household objects are displayed, in addition to some of the rooms having been converted to imitate living conditions of the royal era. A puppet gallery can also be viewed, with the turban collection, which houses the world’s largest turban. The Haveli is open all days of the week (10 am to 7 pm) with a puppet show and a folk-dance performance in the evenings from 7 pm to 8 pm. With 138 rooms, corridors, balconies and courtyards there is a whole world to explore in the royal quarters, dressing rooms, living rooms and many other alcoves from the stately times.

  2. City Palace

    City Palace is a stunning complex of many palaces which have been standing for hundreds of years and they hold innumerable stories from the legendary days of the Rajput rulers. An astounding conglomeration of different palaces, City Palace is a blend of Rajasthani and Mughal architecture which were built across an impressive duration of more than 400 years. This was started in 1559 by Maharana Udai Singh of the Sisodiya clan. The balconies of these palaces bestow a panoramic view of the Jag Mandir on one side with the city of Udaipur on the other. Gardens, courtyards, corridors, terraces and intricately decorated mosaics of the interiors await you as you enter through the Tripolia- a three-arched doorway, built in 1725. City Palace also houses the world’s largest collection of crystals; additionally, two palace hotels and the City Palace Museum are also located within the palace complex. Make sure you attend the hour-long Mewar Sound and Light show at the complex. It is in the list of things to do in Udaipur. City Palace has been the location of many movie productions too. You can visit it daily from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm.

  3. Lake Palace (Formerly, “Jag Niwas”)

    The ultimate luxurious quixotic getaway for all your romantic wishes, the Lake Palace will impress you and leave a lasting imprint on your mind.

    Renowned as one of the most romantic hotels in India and the whole world, the Lake Palace is located on the Jag Niwas Island in Lake Pichola. The most gripping attraction of Udaipur, Lake Palace has 83 rooms which are exquisitely adorned, with the upper room built in a perfect circle. The floor is assembled of black and white marbles while the walls are lavishly decorated with different colored stones. The beauty of this palace is further emphasized by the Aravalli Hills and the city itself in the milieu of the sight. Concept of the palace is like that of Jal Mahal Palace in Jaipur, a must-visit.

  4. Lake Pichola

    A watery wonderland of endless sights and beauty, Lake Pichola will take you on imaginative journeys as you take a tour of the lake. Lake Pichola, along with Fateh Sagar Lake to which it is connected by a channel, make up the largest of the man-made lakes in Udaipur. Lake Pichola is the domicile of four islands, the “Jag Niwas” island on which the Lake Palace is built, the Jag Mandir which houses a palace of the same name, the Mohan Mandir and the Arsi Vilas. You can indulge in the charming views of the Lake Palace as well as the City Palace complex with a beautiful view of the havelis and the Ghats that line the lake by taking boat rides on the lake. Boats can be boarded from the Rameshwar Ghat (from City Palace gardens) and Lal Ghat (which includes stopping at Jag Mandir) with reasonable fares.

  5. Shilpgram

    The rustic yet charming nook of rural Rajasthan is beautifully re-created in this expansive location with lots to see and buy!

    Translated as “Village of Craftsmen”, Shilpgram is best described as a living museum of Rajasthani lifestyle, costumes, crafts and villages. About 3 km away from Udaipur, this was established in 1986. Countryside style of living comes to life in this life-size representation of not just Rajasthani culture but also of the neighboring states. Admire the authentic architecture and spend delightful hours of shopping traditional craft items and wares. Folk dances are also performed here. It is a sprawling complex of 55 acres that is packed with revelry during the Shilpgram Arts and Crafts Fair, or the Shilpgram Utsav (celebration) held in late December. It is open from 11 am to 7 pm.

  6. Saheliyon-ki-Bari

    Be it lovebirds of the introspective traveler, Saheliyon-Ki-Bari is just the thing where you can get some serene privacy and sit in nature’s copious lap of graceful beauty.

    This “Garden of The Maids” was fabricated by Maharana Bhopal Singh for the 48 lasses who had been a part of the dowry of a princess, and had escorted her to Udaipur. This garden is an idyllic setting for romance and love and had been portrayed in many Indian movies. The fountains, marble artifacts and sculptures and pools make for a relaxing and tranquil experience. It is open every day during the week from 8 am to 7 pm and a small nominal entry fee is needed to be paid for accessing this soothing nook of Udaipur.

  7. Udaipur Ropeway, or, “Karni Mata Ropeway”

    Exciting, yet mesmerizing, the Udaipur ropeway offers an incredible view of the lakes and islands with palaces and other structures.

    The famous Karni Mata Ropeway features short one way trip on a ropeway in red cable cars in between Deen Dayal Park (Dudh Talai) to the Karni Mata Temple. Being a popular tourist appealer, the queues can be extensive at times. Once you dismount from the cable cars, you can catch a stunning yet leisurely view of the sunset from a viewing platform.

  8. Jagdish Temple

    A touching and fortifying boost awaits you in this hypnotizing place of worship. The Jagdish Temple is one of the most impressive beacons of Udaipur that simply cannot be missed. With its striking white structure and rich embellishments of elaborate carvings immersed in a fusion of Indian and Aryan architecture, it is a hard-to- miss milestone. Built in 1651 by Maharana Jagat Singh, it is located in the City Palace complex, near its entrance. The most revered deity is a black idol carved from a single slab of stone, representing Lord Jagannath, one of the many manifestations of Lord Vishnu. It is open daily from 5 am to 2 pm, and from 4 pm to 10:30 pm. The “aarti” (ceremonial worship) held every morning and evening is reminiscence-inducing and leaves you feeling touched and uplifted.

  9. Vintage Collection of Cars Museum

    The ultimate destination for the lover of olden ages and mechanical buffs, this museum has a splendid compilation of old cars in functioning states.

    For the car aficionado, this is a must-see. Classic cars borne from the era of sophisticated and lavish routines continue to rumble and run in this car museum. This archetypal anthology of four-wheelers from the day’s bygone belong to the current Maharaja and all preceding royal lineages. With all the automobiles in working condition, you can not only admire them, but also be awed by the living, reverberating machines which have seen and moved through many pages of history. It is open from 9 am to 8 pm, all days of the week.

  10. Pratap Smarak

    To honor one of the greatest and most loved warriors of ancient India, this memorial boasts of a remarkable full-sized statue of Maharana Pratap riding on his beloved horse, Chetak. The Pratap Smarak is a memorial dedicated to the famous warrior and ruler, Maharana Pratap and his loyal steed, Chetak. This is life-sized bronze statue of the Maharana on his favorite horse is evocative and alluring to the history buffs as Chetak was known to be faithful and very protecting of his master. Before he died of his wounds in the battle of Haldighati, this heroic steed whisked away the Maharana away from the perilous milieu of the raging conflict. Located atop Moti Margi (Pearl Hill), this is a reverential site to pay homage to the warrior and his devoted companion. For the photographer, this location is bountiful with scenic views and magnificent angles.

    Much More to Behold

    The City of Lakes has much more in store than you can possibly fit into one single journey. Do make sure to also visit the Sajjangarh Palace, the Ek Ling Nath Ji Temple, Udaipur Solar Observatory, Gulab Bagh and Zoo, Dudh Talai, Pratap Museum and Ahar Museum.

    Author’s Bio:

    Smitten by the lavish views of Udaipur, Himanshu yearns to share his trips and travels to other breathtaking locations in India and share them with the world through PearlsIndiaTour.

USA

New York Travel Diary

August 7, 2017

Last June 26, my mom and I officially left for the United States of America! The main reason why we had to go to the States was for my grandma. It’s her first time to experience an international flight and we wanted her to enjoy. So, to officially start this USA journey, we started off with New York City (making this trip my 2nd time)

New York City – a place where there’s something new you can do every day. From Staten Island til the Bronx, you surely will not run out of interesting things to do and experience in New York.

Here are a few things you should remember when visiting New York:

  • New York is a walkable city but if you need to go from one place to another, you can always take the subway or taxi.
  • Study the subway and the map of New York. These will be your lifesavers when you  navigate around New York.
  • Wear comfortable shoes since you’ll be walking a lot.

A T T R A C T I O N S

  • Times Square 

You haven’t been to New York if you haven’t experienced Times Square. New York Times Square is a major tourist hub. Giant billboards and bright lights. Costumed characters and people playing instruments. Broadway shows, a lot of tourists and crazy traffic.

  • Museum of Modern Art

Known as MoMA, it’s a museum that showcases different kinds of artworks done by famous artists. Famous artists like Andy Warhol and Van Gogh can be found here. Be wary though, it’s a big museum so expect to have your stay in the museum around 2-3 hours. There is also an entrance fee which will cost around $25. It’s expensive but it will be worth it – that is if you are really interested of museums and artworks.

  • St. Patrick’s Cathedral

This is a famous Catholic Church found at the heart of New York City. What makes this cathedral interesting is its architectural design. The Cathedral is made out of brick but overlaid in marble. Once you enter the Cathedral, you can feel at peace and being one with Christ.

  • Broadway Shows

If you love watching Broadway shows, then it’s a MUST for you to experience watching one in New York. Fortunately, I was able to watch Anastasia. If you get lucky, you get the chance to meet the casts of the certain play you would want to watch. Since I watched Anastasia, I was able to meet Derek Klena (who plays as Dmitri), John Bolton (as Vlad) and Christy Altomare (as Anastasia).

F O O D

Finally, there is this fast food chain that I believe beats McDonalds. It is no other than Shake Shack. Everywhere we went to in New York, you can actually see Shake Shack. When I get the chance to go back to New York, will definitely try their shakes this time!

Umami is a Japanese term that stands for “deliciousness”. They stand true to their word. With every bite I took, I felt like I was in heaven. You can actually taste how juicy their beef was cooked. The size of the burger was just right and worth your money.

Cafe Lalo is a small cafe located at the Upper West Side of Manhattan. They serve mouthwatering pastries that makes me want to go back. We got Strawberry Tart & Carrot Cake. When eating desserts, I tend to share with someone since I can’t really finish it. Lo and behold, I was able to finish the Strawberry Tart by myself. That’s how yummy it was!

Fun Fact: Cafe Lalo appeared in the 1988 movie, You’ve Got Mail.

  • Bibble & Sip

Bibble & Sip is a 3rd wave & hole in a wall coffee shop. I am glad I was able to try this coffee shop. I went to this place twice within a week! They have cute interiors that made me want to stay longer. Sadly, limited seats were available.

O T H E R  A T T R A C T I O N S

Since it’s my 2nd time to go to New York, we didn’t bother going back to the other attractions in New York (Grand Central Terminal & Central Park specifically). At the same time, I still have to go back for the 3rd time because we were not able to go to other attractions when we were there.

  • Statue of Liberty

  • The Oculus

  • Brooklyn Bridge

Care to share other attractions I should go to when I get the chance to go back to New York?

Travel

#IAmUrbanBrave

December 13, 2016

As someone who lives in an urban jungle like Manila, the traffic and chaos in the city can be a bothersome. I may be immune to my surroundings in Manila but there are times that I crave for adventure. So once I crave for an adventure, I start to search for places that I could go to and fits my budget. If it will be a quick getaway, I choose places within the Philippines because there are 7107+ islands in the country. If it will be long haul flights, I get to choose the location wisely because you would want to make sure that the time and money spent will be worth it.

This year, I was able to travel to different parts of the Philippines and the world. In the first 6 months of the year, I was given the opportunity to go to Cebu for Sinulog Festival and Boracay for Labor Day. The next 6 months, I was able to go to Kalinga and international trips mainly Cambodia and Europe (London, Scotland, Iceland and Norway). You see, travelling gives me this sense of fulfillment. When I go to different places in the world, this makes me understand the country’s history and culture. I feel so alive that I would rather embrace Do-It-Yourself trips rather than joining group tours.

In being able to travel, I get to share my experiences through the platform, Instagram. I love taking pictures and Instagram is a good avenue for me to share my photography skills and inspire other people that they can travel no matter where they are. All you need is guts and determination.

Kawasan Falls in Cebu

Palm Trees in Boracay Island

One of the temples in Siem Reap

 

The start of the trek to visit Apo Whang Od

Apo Whang Od doing her craft

The famous Scott’s View in Scotland

The famous stonehenge in London

Glacier in Iceland

The famous fjords in Oslo, Norway

One MUST invest in good items for travelling. Thankfully, there’s Urbanize to help solve every traveler’s problems.

URBANIZE ITEMS

Pacsafe – Venturesafe 55L Anti Theft Travel Pack

This has the features of a slashguard, interlocking zip pullers, puncture resistant toughzip, anti-theft anchor lock, stainless steel locking cable

Cabin Zero – Classic 44L, Ultra Light Cabin Bag, Absolute Black

This has a built in global luggage tracker, lockable zippers on main compartment, 10 yrs. warranty, thick padded shoulder straps and fully lined. 

Loqi – Airplane Tote Bag

This is perfect if I go to the beach since this is water resistant! I can also use this to put my dirty clothes in.

Dosh – RFID Wallet

 This will help protect my card information from those people trying to steal data. This is also water resistant!

Pacsafe – Camsafe Anti-Theft Compact Camera Bag

When I travel, I tend to have a hard time to bring my DSLR with me. With this bag, this will be easy for me to bring my DSLR wherever I go.

Sherpani – Luna Crossbody/ Shoulder Bag

This bag will be perfect when I get to roam around a city.

Lewis N Clark – Adjustable Neck Pillow

This is perfect for long haul flights. You will surely get a good sleep.

Lewis N Clark – Surge Protector w/ USB Charger

This is a MUST especially when travelling in Europe.

Lewis N Clark – Eye Mask

With all these bags and accessories I can find in Urbanize, I know I won’t go wrong with my decisions. I will surely enjoy my trips and make each moments last.


GENERAL INFORMATION

Branches: Gateway, Shangri-La, UP Town Center, Nuvali, Glorietta 3, Uptown Mall BGC, Alabang Town Center, Serin, The District, Kiss & Fly

Website: urbanize.com.ph

 

Philippines, Travel

The Journey to Visit Apo Whang Od Was Worth The Trip

June 19, 2016

I couldn’t believe it. My parents actually allowed me to go to Kalinga with my friends the last minute!

One of my best friends, along with her thesis mate, had to go to Buscalan Village for school research. I didn’t want to miss the opportunity since Apo Whang Od is already a National Artist. We left Quezon City around 7pm via Victory Liner. After 12 hours, we finally arrived Tabuk, Kalinga!

It was still a long journey to reach Buscalan Village. From Tabuk, we had to ride a van going to Tinglayan since this was where we had to meet up with the guides. It took us another hour to reach Buscalan from Tinglayan. Our travels to both Buscalan and Tinglayan were via top-load. You should try it next time!

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As we reached the turning point, there was still trekking done. The trail is actually easy but what made it difficult for me was that it was too steep and I tend to get tired easily. It has been a year since my last trek and my body is not used to it anymore. This just shows that I NEED to go back to the gym ASAP and trek more mountains. While trekking, there were a lot of times I wanted to back out. But, I told myself “Girl, sayang ang pagpunta mo dito if magback out ka. Kapit ka lang.” (Girl, it’s such a waste if you decide to back out. Just stay strong.) After an hour and a half, we reached the registration area to register first. Then, a little walk to reach Buscalan Village.
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To experience their culture, we stayed in a homestay. It was actually fun to stay in a homestay because 1.) it’s cheap, 2.) you get a nice view of the mountains and rice fields, 3.) we get to interact with the locals, 4.) we get to meet different kinds of people with like minded spirits. Please take note that there are limited plugs available.

While talking to the locals, I found out that men still do not have tattoos. They need to earn it before being placed on their body. Locals also enjoy when tourists flock to their place. Because of this, the tourism industry in Buscalan Village is improving. But, they have to realize that they should not exceed taking advantage of the situation. They should also look for other ways to earn aside from focusing too much on Apo Whang Od.

Aside from talking to the locals, we were able to meet a fellow traveler! Her name is Jeng and what I love about her was that she did this trip via #solotravel. It’s been a dream of mine to do solo travel and I was so amazed with her. In fact, it was her first time to do solo travel! Soon though, I will be able to do it as well.

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Photo 16-06-2016, 9 59 57 AMIt was nice meeting you, Jeng! To more travels!

We then proceeded to Whang Od. As I saw her, we were starstruck. At the age of 99, she was still strong and was able to make intricate tattoo designs. I wanted one but my mother was against the idea of having a tattoo. We decided to let Whang Od draw instead. It was such a nice feeling that I was able to meet Whang Od.

All tourists should remember that she finishes her tattoo sessions by 5pm. Her rest day is every Sunday. As tourists, we have to respect her time. At her age, she needs all the rest she can get. If other tourists don’t even follow the rules, she can die of exhaustion. Also, when planning to have a tattoo, make sure to bring enough medications. My friend’s cousin got a fever on that day when Whang Od placed tattoo on him.

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whangod9Crab. It means “traveler”

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As I sat inside the bus to go back to Manila, I started to watch the videos and check the photos in this wonderful journey. Because of this experience, I learned to appreciate having no signal and just pure interaction with the people surrounding you. This gave me the chance to detach myself from using the internet and creating peace with one self. I got to experience how it feels like to live with the locals and to appreciate their culture. I was given the chance to meet the legendary Apo Whang Od and know her story. Aside from Whang Od, I was able to meet Grace as well (her granddaughter). There are a lot of things that I would love to share but it’s best that you experience it for yourself. whangod14

Photo 16-06-2016, 6 16 26 AMNo Filter Needed

Personal, Travel

EuroTrip 2016 Plans

May 10, 2016

This is the day that I have been waiting for.

Plans have been pushed through for Europe this October! It’s been a dream of mine to reach Europe and now that is finally happening, I can’t seem to shake off the feeling of excitement over my body.

Right now, were in the process of looking for a place to stay in London. We’re actually done with our itineraries for Iceland and Norway. Once we’re done with London, all I have to worry about is our UK Visa and Schengen Visa.

Good thing everything is going according to plan. I started to renew my passport since it will expire this November. I expect my passport to arrive on the last week of May or first week of June. Then, once I have my passport, it’s the start to process my UK and Schengen Visa. I really do hope these visas get approved despite having many stamps on my passport.

I will update you guys if this finally pushes through.

As of the moment, wish me luck!

 

FINAL UPDATE

I am officially leaving for Europe this coming October 16! I can’t wait to share to all of you the journey that I will get to experience. I will be gone for 3 weeks and expect me to start posting content after November 7!

Au Revoir,

Gene

Philippines, Travel

Swimming With the Whale Sharks in Oslob, Cebu

March 31, 2016

Is it possible?

That was my first reaction when I found out that you can swim with the whale sharks in the Philippines. Later on, I found out that it is actually safe to swim with the whale sharks, known as butanding. Good thing my friends and I decided to attend Sinulog Festival. We decided to fit in our schedule to watch and swim with the whale sharks in Oslob, Cebu.

To swim with the whale sharks, you have to ride the bus or bring your own car to Brgy. Tan-awan in Oslob, Cebu. The journey may take you 3-4 hrs depending on the traffic conditions. If you have a private van/car with you, more or less it can take you 2 in a half hours to reach Oslob. Also, the feeding happens every 6am-12pm. So I suggest you leave early to reach the designated time to swim with the whale sharks. We decided to leave Cebu City around 530am and reached Oslob around 8am.

When we arrived Oslob, the first thing we looked for was a resort where we could park our car and accommodate our needs. Each person had to pay 600php (100 entrance fee of the resort + 500 to swim with the whale sharks). Inclusive of the lifevest, snorkeling goggles and snorkel. There’s an extra charge if you want to rent their underwater camera so I suggest you bring your own. After paying all the things needed, off we went to the main entrance for the swimming of whale sharks.

Before you can start swimming with the whale sharks, you have to listen to the briefing first. They will tell you the do’s and dont’s when swimming with the whale sharks. Here are the following reminders one has to remember:

1. Don’t put on sunblock

2. Stay far away as possible from the whale sharks

3. DON’T TOUCH THE WHALE SHARK

4. no flash photography

5. ETC.

 After the briefing, you will have to wait for your designated boat and off you go!

Once we arrived on the site, we were in awe! We saw 2 baby whale sharks but they actually look like grown whale sharks! Since the current was too strong, I wasn’t able to have a decent picture with them. If you don’t know how to swim, you can wear a life vest. You are only given 30 minutes to swim with the whale sharks so use your time wisely!

Truth be told, swimming with the whale sharks is a controversial issue. Whale sharks are supposed to be swimming freely and looking for their own food. Instead, they depend too much on humans to feed them. In this case, this tends to not be a part of their natural habitat. From what I’ve heard, there are some tourists who actually touch these whale sharks. This just goes to show that they are not being a responsible traveler. As a responsible traveler, you have to make sure that you still get to respect Mother Nature at its best. Although it is a controversial issue, I still decided to swim with the whale sharks. To swim with the whale sharks is a part of my bucket list and I wanted to experience first hand. Now that I was able to experience it, it would be first and last experience.

Swimming with the whale sharks is a memorable experience. At the same time, we have to be responsible tourists. We become to be responsible tourists by making sure we follow the rules or not swim with them at all. As much as possible, we would want Mother Nature to be at peace.

Instagram, Top 5, Travel

Top 5 Instagram Travel Accounts (PART 1)

February 26, 2016

If you get to browse through my blog, it is no doubt that TRAVEL is my topmost priority. Travelling gives me the sense of fulfillment and it is my happy pill. Without travel, I feel stuck and in a rut. If I do feel stuck, then this is the time I start browsing through Instagram and look at the photos of people who have been travelling quite a lot.

I decided to share a few of my personal favorite Instagram Travel Accounts so that you may be inspired to plan your future travels with a loved one or friends. These pictures will actually leave you in awe as you start to browse through it.

  1. I AM AILEEN (@i_am_aileen)

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It was all because of Aileen that made me start my travel blog. As you browse through her blog, you can actually see that it is informative and perfect to read about it again. At the age of 21, she left the corporate world and decided to be a full time travel blogger. Truly takes a lot of guts to be able to do this!

2. BROOKE SAWARD (@worldwanderlust)

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Brooke Sawards is a 24 year old Australian who has been truly bitten by the wanderbug. As seen in her photos, it is pure travel and she does not seem to take a break. You can see she truly enjoys what she’s doing. Way to go Brooke!

3. JAY AND SAB AROUND THE WORLD (@jayandsab_aroundtheworld)

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Jay & Sab is the perfect definition for couples who travel together. What I love about their Instagram feed is that they are able to showcase the beauty of the Philippines. There were some places in the Philippines that they went to which makes me itch to plan one soon!

4. WHERE TO NEXT (wtn_wheretonext)Screen Shot 2016-02-27 at 12.55.29 AM

Where to Next? is a type of Instagram account that features different parts of the Philippines and these are travelers who share the same passion and purpose. I am glad that there were people who thought of this concept. We have to be proud of what our country can offer to tourists!

5. KIMI JUAN (@kimijuan)

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What I love about Kimi Juan’s feed is how minimalist, calm and serene it is. Majority of her feed is going to the beach and seeing the ocean. Truly can’t wait for the actual summer and be by the beach!

So there you have it! My Part 1 of Top 5 Instagram Travel Accounts! There will be more to follow 🙂

Care to share who you follow on instagram?

Philippines

Kawasan Falls – Badian,Cebu

January 23, 2016

Before going to Cebu, I have always dreamed of going to Kawasan Falls to experience the falls and Mother Nature. And since we had last minute preparations of going to Sinulog Festival, we decided to put Kawasan Falls in our itinerary. We left for Kawasan Falls on a Sunday early morning, after the Paintensity free party and getting our stuff in the apartment.

Kawasan Falls is located in Badian, Cebu and you can see the works of Mother Nature – clear blue waters and pristine waterfalls.The blue water really looks like the drink, gatorade! We were not able to cliffdive because the locals watching over Kawasan Falls didn’t allow anymore due to an incident before. In order to cliffdive, you have to do canyoneering. (Canyoneering will be checked off my bucketlist next year!) We were only allowed to swim and go to the falls. You can rent a lifejacket and/or rent a raft. The nice thing about renting a raft is that the guide can bring you to the falls and let you experience how strong the current of the falls is. (If you plan to go to the falls without the raft, then I highly suggest you rent a lifevest since the water’s deep and strong current of the falls)

Here are the ff. prices needed to pay when in Kawasan Falls:

300 – rent a table
300 – rent a raft
300 – for the guide (we were able to get this for 200 since we had a local with us and got a bit discount)
50 – lifevest

*For the rental of a cottage and a raft, I suggest that you should be a lot in a group so that the expenses won’t be heavy on the pocket and I also suggest to bring your own food rather than buying in their restaurant.

From the city proper, it will take you 3hrs to reach Kawasan Falls. From the entrance, you have to walk uphill to reach the 1st waterfall. You don’t have to worry since it is just an easy walk towards the 1st falls.

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Philippines

Simala Monastery – Sibonga, Cebu

January 23, 2016

Cebu is known to have a lot of churches due to the fact that the Cross of Magellan is located in Cebu as well. But a lot do not know that there is this grand and picturesque church on top of a hill in Sibonga, Cebu. This is none other than the Simala Monastery.

The Simala Monastery originated in the year 1998 by the Marian Monks from Pampanga. This monastery came about due to the fact that there were a lot of miracles that happen in the area. From that time on, a lot of devotees would flock to this church and pray to Mother Mary. Before the place became fully developed, roads were still rocky and cars can’t pass through thus devotees had to walk going up the Marian Hills. Aside from the devotees, this church also draws tourists since it looks like a structure in Europe.

Travel time to the Church would usually take you 2-3 hours, depending on the traffic conditions. You have the option to ride the bus or rent a van if you are many in a group. Visitors have to respect the Church which includes dressing up properly and being careful with their actions. Once you get in the Church, you may proceed to the altar where the miraculous Virgin Mary is. Before proceeding inside the altar, you have to leave your footwear by the entrance. You have the option to leave donations for the Church. You also have the option to choose the colors of your candles, light them and say a short prayer. These colored candles have meaning and these are the following :

  • Gold – Healing (Good Health, Recovery, Spiritual, Family Tree)
  • Green – Prosperity/Success (Exam, Study, Financial, Business)
  • Blue – Perseverance (Employment, Career, Assignment, Promotion)
  • Violet – Achievements (Plans in life, Struggles, Endeavors, Journey, Voyage)
  • Red – Love (Unity, Friendship, Engagement, Family)
  • Yellow – Peace (Courage, Strength, Hope)
  • White – Purity (Enlightenment, Guidance, Right Path)
  • Orange – Reconciliation (Sweetheart, Wife, Husband, Enemy, Family)
  • Pink – Thanksgiving/Happiness/Joy
  • Black – Souls
  • Brown – Vocation
  • Gray – Deliverance
  • Cream – Conversion/Faith

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Philippines, Travel

Experience Sinulog Festival

January 22, 2016

If you have plans of visiting the Philippines, I would highly recommend YOU to celebrate Sinulog Festival with us next January! So what is Sinulog Festival?

Sinulog Festival is a lively celebration that is usually held every 3rd Sunday of January in Cebu. This festival aims to celebrate the coming of Sto. Nino with a grand parade that lasts for hours! Because of this grand parade, cars can’t pass by the major roads anymore. You have no choice but to walk towards your destination.

What happens usually in a grand parade is street dancing. Groups of Cebuano and Cebuana dancers would create dances with colorful costumes and props. They would even use music to make the festival lively and for the audiences to dance along with them. And when they dance, they usually say Viva Pit Senyor! I was not able to fully watch all the dances of the festivals (just clips of it) but it was surely grand.

To sum it all up, my first Sinulog experience was truly intense and at the same time memorable. Imagine, my friends and I had to walk through a sea of people. In order not to lose one another, we had to hold on tight to each other and push other people away to  move properly. To add, you should experience having paint all over you! It’s a festive celebration so why not make yourselves dirty and enjoy for a day or two!

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