All posts filed under: Asia

We Arrived: A Weekender in La Union

I can’t believe it’s been nearly a year since I last posted about my travels here. So much has changed since that trip to Turkey, and I have tons of writing to catch up on. But exactly because a lot has changed, I think this is the best travel post to start with—a trip I went on exactly a year ago, which was also my first time to travel with a partner. That’s right. I’ve gone from backpacking it solo to traveling with a significant other. Late last year, I made a compilation of personal travel tales that I haven’t yet decided to publish. The story below was included there. It’s cheesy and old, but there’s nothing wrong with some cheese once in a while. And since I decided to put this out here, I figured why not go all out and share the video I created as well?   18 August 2017 The sky was dark when we hit the road, but the moon smiled down on our journey. Armed with a tank of gas …

Up and Down the Temples of Prambanan

Just an hour or so away from Borobudur lies another temple compound that’s a must-visit while in the vicinity of Yogyakarta. Prambanan is considered the largest Hindu temple complex in Indonesia, and like Borobudur, it’s landed a coveted spot on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Having just been to Borobudur, it was impossible not to compare the two. While the former gave me that staggering, surreal feeling of “Oh, I’m finally here, and it’s even more amazing than I expected,” Prambanan snuck up on me slowly. Yes, there was that burst of whoa when I got my first full view of it from across that long stretch of grass and plants, but it was calmer. Quieter. Instead of stopping me in my tracks, it urged me to come closer and gained more of my admiration with every step I took. Despite its misleading name, Prambanan Temple, or Loro Jonggrang, is actually composed of 240 temples. If you look at its original model on Wikipedia, you’ll see that it follows a square plan with more than 200 small temples enclosing the main temples and …

Finding enlightenment at Borobudur

I can’t pinpoint when it was that I first realized I wanted to see Borobudur, but it’s been on my list for a while now. Sometimes, when you dream about something for so long, you build it up in your head and end up disappointed when it turns into reality. This wasn’t the case here. The hostel was dim and quiet when I walked down to the lobby five minutes before 3:40 AM. I’d gotten probably two hours of sleep, tops, but I wasn’t about to let that get in the way of my plans. The car arrived late enough that I’d worried they’d forgotten about me, but it all worked out. I sat beside the driver and watched the night pass me by as two men chatted in the backseat. Despite the early hour, life stirred on the streets of Yogyakarta, and as we drove closer to Magelang, the more I saw people going about their morning routines. The sunrise can be viewed from Borobudur itself via Manohara Hotel’s exclusive Sunrise Tour, which gets you inside the temple an hour and …

Touchdown, Yogyakarta!

When I boarded my plane to Yogyakarta, I’d expected to spend the entire two-hour flight asleep. I’d never thought that I’d end up talking to a stranger for majority of that time and learn so much about his life story in the process, all because he’d offered to translate the custom declaration form for me! That encounter set the tone for the entirety of my trip—it was filled with apprehensions and lucky interventions, peppered with new experiences and discoveries, and blessed with happy encounters. Thanks to my friendly seatmate, I arrived in Yogyakarta knowing a lot more about Indonesia than I previously had, such as how they had more than 300 languages and even more dialects, how gudeg was the must-try dish in town (it involves chicken, tofu, jackfruit, and rice), and how I looked like a local from one of the cities up north. That last bit threw me off, but I discovered how true that was when everyone kept talking to me in Javanese and giving me surprised looks when I couldn’t understand them. After sailing past …

These feet were made for wandering…

Just a quick post to let you guys know that I’m still here…though not in the same “here” that I used to be. I’m in the Lion City, baby! By that, I mean Singapore. Until early tomorrow morning, anyway. I’ve been here a couple of times now, but I never run out of places to explore. Today, my sister and I had brunch at Pasarbella, walked the Ponggol Waterway up north (pictured above), then had early dinner at Joo Chiat/Katong in the East Coast. Most of my photos are still on my camera, but I just had to share some shots I got on my phone. If you’ve got podophobia (aka feet phobia. Yes, I looked it up!), better close this window now. Oops, you’ve probably already seen them. Sorry. :)) I’m such a sucker for patterns, and I discovered some darn lovely ones on the streets of Katong. Check them out below. (I apologize for my veiny feet, LOL.)   My feet and I’ll be wandering off to somewhere new tomorrow—and hopefully, we’ll be crossing some things off my …