Friday, March 29, 2013

itinerary: winter in seoul, south korea

with updates from random people over the social network scene, i came to know that it's still wintery in temperate places, when spring should already be evident at this time. the weather has indeed shown to every corner of the world, its unpredictable and frenzied behavior.

for me who has been living in a tropical country all my life, winter is always a novel and interesting idea. however, it will be nothing but being uncultured if i'd say that winter is perfect and close to being magical, with immaculate white snow that carpets over every possible patch of land, over the once barren trees, over the roofs and over everything that gazes towards the winter sky. how about accompanying that winter reverie with the winter wonderland song? but beyond all this, i do understand that winter requires hard work, layers and layers of clothing and to whatever is necessary which i have no idea anymore. i bet people in these places have long scorned winter to go away. it isn't however utterly hopeless since spring has started to heed its cue. say the cherry blossoms in japan? well, i'm sending my comforting virtual pat on the backs to these people and a virtual pocket full of sunshine. stay strong and hopeful, friends.

but before another season will completely take over, let me share with you my itinerary when i braved to join in the pertinent fad of wearing excessive clothes, boots, piles of socks, scarves, gloves and every piece of clothing which man invented to effectively insulate the body from the extreme cold.

and that was early february.

Namsan Tower in Seoul, South Korea
At Namsan. Taken by a random tourist from Thailand (hah!)

Saturday, March 23, 2013

more travel notes: hanoi and halong, vietnam

were you part of the VHS era or even the betamax era? i can't believe how fast technology changes and these VHS and betamax tapes can be considered as ancient artifacts today. back in the day when the CRT screen was considered as a major entertainment (most especially in a more rustic area where i lived), we kept ourselves updated with the latest movies by renting VHS tapes.

VHS tapes rental was nothing conventional of sorts because we rented them from two men who went around the neighboring towns on their motorbike. the VHS tapes were reused many times by overwriting it with a newer movie. i can still remember as a child, i was always in awe when after the credits or even when the black and white noise graphics was already showing, suddenly a movie scene appeared! it was a wow moment when i realized i had seen the extra scene from a movie before and i then proudly told my childhood friends about such fact. haha

of course, this travel note is something like one of those extra scenes. i have already written a very long post for my travel notes and here i am again, coming up with another post. i promise, this is the very last. {insert adorable emoticon here}

to save you from distress, this will only be a photo dump minus my long-winded write-ups (except the one above).

Halong Bay, Vietnam
Panoramic view of the beach in Halong Bay

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

my travel notes: hanoi and halong, vietnam

i exactly don't know how to begin with this travel note. i may even have gone a little overboard that i prepared a good number of 30 photos for this travel note! beware, i show no mercy for bandwidth!

but first, let me organize my thoughts by having an outline. this outline consists of the basic things that i normally start to cross out when planning on going somewhere. sigh. i wish i could do it more often but it doesn't mean i'm not grateful. i can be a little nice and all that, you know.

Getting There (Singapore to Hanoi)

Vietnam Airlines

Thursday, March 14, 2013

walking around hanoi, vietnam part 2

before my memories will close down on me, just like the setting sun that we fervently chased that day in hanoi, i should better channel these memories into my fingertips soon enough. in other words, now. what better time than now? what better place than here? or was it the other way around according to rage against the machines?

anyway, drifting away from that (because it's totally unrelated), let me tell you another kind of drift and that's drifting in the midst of the insane traffic in hanoi! are you ready for this? oh in case you're wondering why this is part 2, of course a part 1 precedes this. ;)

Traffic in Hanoi, Vietnam

Saturday, March 9, 2013

walking around hanoi, vietnam part 1

i made a 4-day trip to northern vietnam four months ago and within this span time, a lot of things had already happened. for one, i braved one remarkable feat as kick off for my 2013! the other things? i can't seem to think about them at this moment. haha i just like to believe that november, last year was so long ago!

i actually decided awhile back to put up a concluding post of northern vietnam and just summarize everything into a single post. that won't be really the case now, after i browsed through my photos recently and i figured that i won't do justice if i would just bury these photos in my external drive and have them rest in peace, unless i come up with a good account first. and i hope i will. i'm even coming up with two posts! c'mon, the title should rightfully be your clear-cut hint!

Old Quarter, Hanoi, Vietnam

Sunday, March 3, 2013

island hopping in coron, palawan

i had gone through a turmoil several days before my trip to coron in december of last year, and it was a turmoil that is most feared by anyone -- flight reschedules. to put it bluntly, it disheveled my plans like a brat kid would do to neatly arranged things.

why did flight reschedules affect me like an upfront blow on my face? because in order not to feel the high expense of plane fares in a single time, i booked some of my plane tickets at the first quarter of the year. it turned out that early birds caught worms in poor quality. the airline had probably done some brainstorming to prepare for the infamous doomsday and had come up with entirely new flight schedules, even new flight codes at that!

end of rant.

so, breinn and i only had one full day in coron and we had to do the island hopping on that very day or else, i would throw bad fits and a ludicrous tantrum! heavens must have seen that coming and with how it would create a very inappropriate scene, a last minute island hopping booking and good weather were then in order for us. i couldn't be happier.

Corong Island Hopping