All posts tagged: Epic Ups!

Well, hello there.

I’ve been quite busy this past couple of weeks, so I haven’t been updating my blog as often as I should. While I struggle to get through my backlog of posts, here’s a teaser of what you can expect next on Wander Write Now. Can you guess what place this is? Here’s a hint: It’s something to include to my list of Epic Ups! Advertisements

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 …

Hitching a ride on an elephant in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Okay, I’ll admit it. I am a total scaredy-cat. My cousin had to taunt me into riding the California Screamin’ roller coaster at Disneyland (her words, I believe, were, “Don’t be such a pussy”). My legs shook as I climbed the Sydney Harbour Bridge (they kept shaking even after I hit solid ground). And I nearly backed out of paragliding in Austria (only I had already coughed up the money for it and was halfway up the mountain). One of the funniest things I’ll admit to being scared of was mounting an elephant. Bareback. All by my lonesome. But more than three years ago, I did it. Here’s how it went down. My sister (“Ate”) and I stayed in Bangkok for a few days before flying to Chiang Mai to meet her friend there. Along with checking out its temples and cultural spots, Ate deemed that we couldn’t leave the city without visiting an elephant camp…and riding one of said elephants. I’d promised myself I would try something new every time I traveled, so I went along with the plan. An …

The Demilitarized Zone, Korea

It’s sad that most, if not all, countries have a history of violence that has defined, molded, and transformed them so completely. I haven’t gotten around to writing about my last three days in Korea, but I decided that what we visited on my final day deserved a post of its own. Before our trip, I didn’t really know much about the history of Korea (due in part to my propensity for sleeping in history class back in high school). I knew there was a North Korea and a South Korea…Yes, that was basically it. So when my brother mentioned that we include DMZ in our itinerary, I was clueless and just nodded along. It took us some maneuvering since my stay was much shorter than my siblings’, but we managed to allot my last day for our trip there. We booked a half day tour to give me enough time to prepare for my flight later that evening. Though our trip was quite short, I have to say that DMZ was one of my most memorable experiences …

Kayangan Lake, Philippines

In anticipation of my beach escapade next week, I’d like to feature some photos of our family trip to Coron, Palawan. It was a first time for all of us, which made the New Year’s treat all the more memorable. Coron is one of the municipalities of Palawan, Philippines. It refers to the biggest town on Busuanga Island, and is also the name of a smaller island nearby. That island is very aptly differentiated as Coron Island, but the town and the island are part of the same municipality. Confusing, isn’t it? In general, though, when people go to Coron, they end up going to both — the town, because most of the accommodations and shops are located there, and the island, because it is home to beautiful beaches, lakes and popular diving sites. There’s much to see and do in Coron, but for now, I want to focus on one of the most unforgettable places we visited during our stay there: Kayangan Lake.