Beach Days In Pattaya

Knowing that I’ll be travelling mostly inland during my Indochina solo backpacking trip, I made it a point that I’ll see the sea. At least once. It was kinda difficult finding a way to put Pattaya on the route to Cambodia without going back to Bangkok. There was little information about transportation  from there to the border town of Aranyaprathet. The backpacker instinct in me though said there must be some form of transport going from there to the border. So I said, heck yeah I’ll just wing it! Continue reading

S21: Cambodia’s Concentration Camp

Most backpackers when doing the Indochina trail either from Vietnam or Thailand would jut breeze through Phnom Penh.  Cambodia’s capital can be a bit boring if you would think about it. Yeah there are Museums, temples and food places that you can visit but there are such as well in Siem Reap right?

Before you dismiss and take Phonm Penh off of your list even just for a stop over, try to consider this. Phnom Penh actually holds a lot about what Cambodia is today. The city hosts a couple of Museums that you will not find in Siem Reap. Though emotionally bothering, these museums are important to Cambodia as a reminder of what the past has thought them.

phnom penh


One of these Museums is located right at the heart of the city is called S21. Formally known as Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, the museum got its name as it was concentration camp #21.

The property was a former high school for the city with several buildings to educate the children of Phnom Penh. As the Khmer Rouge took over the country, it’s idealist leader wanted to “reborn” the country. This rebirth means realigning the country’s priorities and goals. Pol Pot, Cambodia’s defacto leader at that time decided that the country should strengthen their agricultural productivity. He sent every one to  the country side forcing them to become farmers .

But these people whom he sent from the city do not know how to farm and use the tools. While it should increase agricultural productivity, Cambodia’s population starve instead as real farmers were killed and replaced by city dwellers. Intellectuals and educators on the other hand were also purged out of the population as the Khmer Rouge’s Pol Pot see them as a threat to his reign.

I know I could never summarize the atrocities of the Khmer Rouge. This is why you should visit Phnom Penh even just for a stop over. I firmly believe that as part of traveling, be it for leisure or backpacking, should include understanding a bit of a place’s history. This allows us to know how to respect each place that we visit.

What You Need To Know

Entrance fee : $5
Audio Guide: $3
Adddress: St 113, Phnom Penh 12304, Cambodia
Dress code: None

So next time you visit Cambodia traveling to or from it’s neighboring countries, check out their historical sites. They can be as recent as a few decades ago but it surely have shaped the nation as it is right now.


Adventure: Tinipak River Trekking and Caving

It was suppose to be a day hike when two of my co-workers invited to go. But some set backs and an hour of waiting later begged us to down step our planned adventure for the day. We didn’t want to waste our day, I mean I’ve already waited for hours for one of them! Hahaha!

Daraitan, more over, the province of Rizal is famous for its mountainous topography. This part of Luzon is often visited by adventurous mountaineers who seeks the challenges of scaling a mountain over the weekend. Its proximity to the metro is its main draw for nature lovers.

How To Get to Daraitan

Commuting to Daraitan is relatively easy. First off, you have to get your self to Tanay, Rizal. There are a couple of ways to get there. Most popular option is by taking a jeep or a van from Cubao. The other option is by taking the same mode of transportation this time from Shaw Blvd. in Mandaluyong city. From those places, both transport options will take you to the Tanay Public Market.

This is the tricky part and where having friends with you be best. From the public market you will need to take a jeep that will drop you off at Sampaloc where you will need to take a tricycle all the way to Daraitan. However, it could be a better and more convenient option to just hire a tricycle from the public market to Daraitan.

Hiring a tricycle costs 400 pesos one way. We haggled a bit with the driver and got to lower it down to 300 pesos. But once we arrived at the registration area, we actually paid him 100 pesos more on top of the original 400 pesos he was originally asking for. Nope he didn’t scam us at all. It was from our own conscience. The road leading to Daraitan is horrendous! We felt that we are short changing the driver given the incredibly bad situation of the road that his tricycle endured if we pay him just 400 pesos.

The River Experience

Arriving late in the morning and knowing that we need to leave early in the afternoon, we decided to bail out of trekking up Mt. Daraitan. But we did not go home disappointed what happened next was one of the most memorable things I’ve done with nature.

We got a proper guide (which is a requirement) to take us around for a river trekking adventure. The guide gave us a few minutes of orientation about the river and the natural park before heading out. He also gave us some equipment that we will later be using in our adventure.

Our trek started along the pebble road beside a rocky river. The boulders were incredibly big and white and the farther we walk along the trail the bigger they get. The river though was almost dry until we reach to a point where the rocks seem to merge together and become the river bed it self. Crevices allow the water to flow smoothly creating this soothing sound.

After about 30 minutes we arrived at our first stop, the Tinipak cave. Honestly I would skip this one. I didn’t like the atmospher inside as the air was a bit too heavy to breath. We also felt some entities watching us so we were very cautious. I don’t know if all of us were just naturally sensitive to those or maybe they just liked us.

Inside the cave is a pool of cool water, but since we were not feeling comfortable that time we opted to just wade on the side of the pool.


We told our guide about what we felt inside the cave and he denied it, of course he would. But when we bumped into another guide, we think he told him about the incident, only in codes.

The best part still of this adventure is tracing the river. We were taken to magical landscapes that I never though existed. It was like the set of a Okay ka Fairy ko (a local tv show) and that Ina Magenta would come out of nowhere.




We spent a couple of hours just swimming and looking at the landscape. It was very hard to move on from one spot to another as our guide suggested because we wanted to stay more. But each and every stop was just as beautiful as the last one, we didn’t want it to end.

Our quick adventure in Daraitan turned from a fail to a huge surprise. Nature really has its own ways of showing you how beautiful God’s creation is. I highly suggest you bring friends with you to split the cost of transportation. They also have camping ground perfect for over night activities. I’m sure mornings by the river will be amazing!

If you have any question or suggestion about this post, you can leave on the comment section below!

Ningxia Night Market Eat Out

On my last couple of days in Taipei on my last trip there. I hanged out with a local friend checking out the area I was staying at all the way to the underground Taipei City Mall. To my surprise he actually planned to bring me to one of the best food night markets there is in Taipei, the Ningxia Night Market. Continue reading

Visa Free Entry For Pinoys OFFICIALLY EXTENDED UP TO JULY 2019

Sources from Taipei have announced that the visa free entry for Filipinos have been extended by the government of the Republic of China (Taiwan).

Although the extension has no definite coverage yet, it was reported that the Taiwanese officials said that this is a result of Filipinos good behavior while in Taiwan. Filipinos are advised to continue following the provisions of the visa free entry policy by not overstaying and getting involved specially in organized crimes.

Reports also say that the official announcement of the extension could possibly be after the dragon boat festivals.

This is a developing story and will be updated as soon as we gather more information.



Taiwan has officially announced through Minister Chang Ching-sen that Philippine passport holders  can enter Taiwan up to Jul 31, 2019 because of their good standing as visitors and while causing good impact to the Taiwan tourism industry.

Mikey Bustos also became Taipei’s ambassador for tourism and is currently working with the Taipei government in promoting the city.

>>>>>Read more of about TAIWAN here<<<<<

watch our Taipei Travel Vlogs on YouTube!

Featured image used courtesy of Jirka Matousek

Travel Insurance For Pinoys: Why, How and Where To Get It

Filipinos are becoming more and more open and active in traveling. Be it domestic or international travel, Filipinos seem to have been bitten by the travel bug over the past few years. We’ve learned how to get the best value flights by chasing seat sales and doing DIY trips with the help of Facebook groups members.

It’s great and all that we’ve all opened up our selves to going out of our comfort zones. We’ve gone to search for adventures, new sights and new tastes to experience. But what most all of us fail to discuss and work on are the risks that comes along with it. Yes, everything may seem to turn out the way we intend it to be as we plan but what we fail to realize is that there’s a reason why they are called Risks.

Many would just dismiss the things that may go wrong while on the road. Some of us would  not even want to think about it, thinking that if don’t think about it, it wouldn’t happen. Some of us would just avoid thinking about these possibilities deeming it as too morbid or being too negative. “I don’t wanna attract bad vibes” some would say.

But all of these in reality will not matter if something goes wrong on the road. Then you regret not preparing for it.

As much as we like being positive and all, we need to acknowledge that there are things that we don’t have control of. You might lose your passport or money. You could unknowingly eat bad or mishandled food in a nice fancy restaurant. Political unrest and you need to be evacuated. It could also be small things such as losing or having your luggage delayed and you don’t have anything to wear! Fortunately, you don’t have to worry about what to do or spending so much money when uncontrollable things like these happen.

For a small amount, you can always buy your travel insurance either online or through a physical agent. Like literally a few hundred pesos can SAVE YOUR LIFE!

I Already Have Travel Insurance With My Plane Ticket

That’s great! Like all insurance policy though, always read the small prints carefully. I use to purchase those insurance as well in case that they lose my luggage. But then when I read their policy and compared it with stand alone travel insurance it turns out that I will be having limited coverage with lots of exclusions.

When I discovered this, I stopped buying insurance at all. I didn’t think that it was a need at all. But then when I started taking friends into budget tours. I saw things on a different perspective. I was in charge of more than a dozen of people’s lives, who thinks that they are in good hands. But then what if something happens to them or to our flight or anything that could put them in danger. Will I be able to handle the financial burden? This is when I started looking into stand alone travel insurance.  See sometimes you have to look outside of the situation to get a better understanding.

Types of Travel Insurance

As far as my experience goes I’ve encountered two types of travel insurance. The first one is called the reimbursement plan. These plans most if not every time are way cheaper. These kind of insurance will cover you only after you pay for the expenses needed. Say you got into an accident and you needed to be taken to the hospital, you will have to pay for your bill first in this case. Once you settled your bill, you have to send in the paperwork like the receipts to you insurance provider. The insurer will then reimburse all of your expenses that they deem covered by their policy.

travel insurance

The second type of insurance, the one that I prefer is the Cashless type. The Cashless type covers your needs real time. This means that if you are in a situation that is covered by your insurance policy, such as hospitalization for example, you do not need to shell out any money anymore. All you need to do is have the paperwork done and report the situation to your insurer and you should be good. I find this more convenient.

What To Look For In A Travel Insurance

When I started taking travel insurance coverage seriously, I always look into a few things. First of all and most important for me is its Medical coverage. I want to make sure that when I get sick, get my self into an accident or any unforeseen event is that I wouldn’t have to worry about paying the bill. I want to know that everything will be taken cared of while I get better.

The next important coverage factor I look into is their repatriation policy. If I were needed to be sent back to my country because of say, inability to continue with my journey this coverage will allow me to go back to my country without a problem. They should be able to cover my tickets and all the necessary facilities needed to take me back home. This clause also is useful if there are natural disasters or sudden political unrest where you need to evacuate from the country. The important thing to remember here is that you should have the ability to go back to your country if you need to in unforeseen cases.

Other clauses you should be check out are coverage in cases of lost of money, theft, lost of passport, flight cancellation, flight delayed and lost luggage. It is crucial that check the most important things for you. Those things that you absolutely want to make sure that you wont have to worry about in case it happens.

How To Get Insured

traditionally, you can call and see a licensed insurance agent. If it is your first time and not that familiar with insurance jargons or you need someone to explain the clauses included in your policy it would be better to call on someone who knows about it.

If you have done this several times or are in need of an insurance immediately, you can turn to the internet to actually buy a policy in as little as five minutes.

There are a few insurance companies that offer insurance purchase online. Some of them are Axa, World Nomads and Standard Insurance. I use standard simple because it is affordable and covers what I need. The good thing is that there are more and more insurance companies that are starting to roll out their business available online.

I hope this post has given you some light on why you should get travel insurance specially when you go out of your own country. We know that we plan for the best trips of our lives but there are times that things just happen no matter how much we prepare to avoid it. If not at least I hope I sparked something in your mind to start thinking about


8 Temples In Bangkok You Must Visit

It’s your first time in Bangkok and you want to explore every bit of the city. You are so excited. But, you don’t know where to start! So where should you start then, you may ask. Let’s go back to the basics first by knowing the city. Bangkok’s full name is Thai is Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Ayuthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Piman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasit. Nope I am not kidding. There’s even a song made using the name as its lyrics to help people memorize it. There’s a shorter version though, Krung Thep. Guess what that means, City of Angels! So this is Los Angeles’ sister city then? Hahahaha! As the name suggest this is a city of angels where the gods have converged and where you see and feel the god’s blessings. So where else best to start but with the city’s majestic Bangkok Temples! Continue reading

Mui Ne Hostel: Mui Ne Hills Budget Hotel Review

mui ne hills budget hotel

Mui Ne Hills Budget Hotel is situated at the hilly part central part of the Mui Ne beach area. The hotel as its name suggest offers very affordable accommodation. I got attracted to the three pools that they have. I got this notion that if a hostel can afford to maintain a good pool, it has got to be a good one as it takes a lot of effort.

Continue reading

5 Easy Steps How To Start A Travel Fund

Vietnam, Singapore or maybe Thailand has been infesting your Facebook feed and you have been dying of seeing those places. You really want to travel and experience them and have been day dreaming about it already. BUT! You don’t have the money. Like zilch, your payroll ATM is crying and you don’t even have money to buy coffee. Well here’s the thing. That exactly may be the reason holding you from traveling and seeing places. You don’t have a travel fund.

There are a lot of people at this situation. Most of the time, they rant about not having enough money or not having the money at all. Then you look at their situation. Single, no dependents and living this awesome lifestyle. See that last part, that could be the problem, you may be spending your money at the wrong places. Okay, okay, so you are thrifty but it just doesn’t add up and you still need more money. Maybe you are just not aware of the opportunities you have to earn more.

Here are some steps you can take to start creating that travel fund to make your backpacking dreams come true!

Side Jobs or Overtime

One of the most common recourse of people trying to save money. I have to say that it is just logical. If you work more you earn more! While I was still in the corporate world, I would work as much over time as I could to fund my travels. It was an easy source of income for me. The best part of it was that it didn’t feel so much of a burden since I was highly motivated by my impending travels.

Selling stuff over the internet is also a good way to get extra income. If you don’t have money to buy your merchandise, you ask friends who already are selling if you can sell their stuff at a small commission! You didn’t just earn extra that way but also helped a friend. You can also revisit your belongings and see what are the things that you no longer use, need or just want to dispose off. It may not need too much effort to post it online, then just tag friends or share it on your social media accounts!

You can also do freelance jobs with the skills that you have or maybe that hobby that you are really good at. You will never know that people are actually needing you service until you start telling people. Think of it, doing something you actually love an earning from it. Sounds like a win-win situation to me.

Don’t Eat Out Much 

That occasional fast food or dine out with friends can be a little expensive. Honestly I think eating out is not a necessity. You can always bring your own food and eat with your friends at the office pantry! If you really can’t help your self eating out, try minimizing it by organizing lunch sessions once or twice a week with office mates. Every one can bring in different food choices that everyone can share! Not only this creates a better social atmosphere in the office it also allows you to take control more of your eating habits if you are aiming to living a healthier lifestyle.

Simple Friday Night Outs

Weekend parties can be really expensive specially when you are drunk already. LOL. Why not go out with friends over coffee and plan about your travels? Maybe go to museum and learn something new. There are lots of things that you can do without spending so much. If you really need that dose of alcohol, try inviting friends to a house party. It will absolutely save you a lot! Whenever I get the urge to drink, my main motivation to save money is the thought of “why get drunk locally when you can get drunk somewhere better!” Hahahaha…. I know it sounds crazy but it does work for me and it does sound like a good idea right?

Write Down Your Finances

It may sound basic, but how many of us really does this? Writing down your expenses, how much you have, how much money you have and will come will give you some sort of realization of your financial status. It gives some sort of motivation to see how my travel fund has grown from my starting amount. It gives this sense of accomplishment when you reach your goal or you are on track, while it also gives you some sense of being vigilant to your spending if you see that you are somewhat off-course.

Create A Travel Fund Account 

Give your travel fund a home. Saving in a piggy bank could be good, but putting your money in a bank will give you more flexibility. Imagine, you were scrolling on your Facebook news feed then you see this post “Flash Seat Sale”. You scramble and try to book a flight only to be disappointed that you can only pay via credit or debit card. Sucks right? There are lots of banking options out there that lets you keep an account without a maintaining balance. I personally used a PSBANK Prepaid Mastercard to start building my travel fund. after some time I saved so much that even after traveling I’d still have spare money. At that point I opened a savings account already for more security features. Saving your money into such accounts also lets you track your expenses as each transaction gets logged online!


These are just a few of the things that I do to save money to travel. Reality check though, we all have our own priorities and travel may not be one of them for some of us. On the other hand, it isn’t also bad to treat your self once in a while or maybe this could be your reward to your self for a long time now. Travel may not be for everyone, I mean there are people who need to prioritize food over this privilege. But if you have the chance to give your self the opportunity to see the world, go ahead and grab it. I can assure you that it will open your eyes, heart and mind more ways than you think is  possible.