Tuesday, February 25, 2014


I feel a deeper sense of being when I come home from a vacation, from travelling. I feel more connected to the big big world around me. I feel like I matter - that I am not just a dot in this universe. I dream of being able to travel to every country in my bucket list and I plan to do it with my husband one country at a time (I won't complain if the odds would take us to more than one country though). 

For now let me share to you some travel tips that I personally follow - to avoid an epic travel fail:

Manners are universal - use them!

When in Rome, live like the Romans do. When in Greece, follow the Greek customs and traditions. When in Turkey, respect their culture. When in Indonesia, respect their local customs. The point is it isn't rocket science to have manners. Just do the right thing and don't ever attempt to impose your own culture - you are the visitor so you have to remember that. 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014


My husband and I share the passion for travelling. He gets to travel more than I do but we belong in two different types of being traveler. He belongs to the "satisfied-just-by-seeing-and-being-there" and I belong to the "I'll-take-a-lot-pictures-to-document-my-travel" group. So yes, he rarely takes pictures and I almost always do the shutter clicking. 

We, however, get along pretty well while travelling. We have never argued on which direction to go, never disagreed on which hotel to stay, never put up a struggle on who gets to carry the heavier bag and those type of things. We listen and work with each other as we go on finding our terminals and counters as well as navigating on tourist maps.  

While watching the Sochi 2014 coverage on TV a couple of days ago, we talked about visiting Keukenhof in Lisse, Netherlands until our conversation branched out into visiting some other European countries too. We came up with 5 countries in our list of our must-visit places. Read on if you want to know more. If you have suggestions for us, please let us know by leaving a comment below: 

The Norwegian Fjords, Normandy in France, Keukenhof Festival in Lisse, everyone's favorite Paris, Poland (I could not find a picture of Auswitch that will not make you cringe so I chose a photo taken in the city center instead) and of course Santorini in Greece. 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014



The Batu Caves attracts thousands of tourists as well as worshipers on a daily basis especially during the Hindu Festival Thaipusam. It is located in the Gombak District and is 13 kilometers away from Kuala Lumpur. The main cave (which is of course the biggest one and is formed from limestone) also known as the Temple Cave is one of the most popular Hindu shrines in the world and can be reached by climbing 272 steps of stairs. The climb is steep so you better be in good shape if you try. I was panting when I reached the mouth of the cave when we went there. The cave is devoted to the Lord Murugan. There is a gold statue that stands guard outside the cave and is made of gold. It is also the tallest statue of the Lord Murugan all over the world. Avoid going to the caves from January to February as this is when hoards of devotees flock the area to take part in the Thaipusam Festival. 

Numerous macaque monkeys also flock the stairs leading to the cave as well as the trees around the area. Tourists are adviced not to feed the monkeys as well as not to expose food that are within the monkeys reach as there is a danger that they could bite. The place is also becoming popular with rock climbing enthusiasts. There is no fee to get inside the main cave but you have to be prepared to leave a small amount of donation.

You can easily spend 2-3 hours here including climbing the stairs, exploring the caves and taking pictures as well as journey time. The fastest and cheapest mode of transportation is the train. There are also buses from Kotaraya and Puduraya that shuttles tourists to the caves. I will not recommend taking a guided tour as you can easily wing your own itinerary while there.

How To Get There?
a. By car or taxi - Always request the taxi driver to turn on the meter. 
b.Take the train from KL Sentral using the KTM commuter train (total journey time is approximately 20 minutes).

How Much Does Train Ticket Cost? 
KL Sentral to Batu Caves - MYR1 (US$0.33) / Batu Caves to KL Sentral - MYR2 (US$0.66)

Tuesday, February 4, 2014


It's a welcome respite for a tired city dweller like me.

Sarangani Province in the southernmost tip of Mindanao has a number of white sand beaches that are waiting to be enjoyed and explored. The place is very serene and calming.  The seemingly unending stretch of white powdery sand beaches is a sight to behold. It's the Boracay of the South - only this paradise in Sarangani is far from being exploited, void of the establishments that lure scores of foreign and local tourists alike. 

Sarangani has 230 kilometers of coastline. Just imagine that! Two hundred thirty kilometers of incredibly beautiful coastline, shores teeming with lush coconut trees as well as pockets of mangroves. 

My family and I stayed at the White Haven Beach Resort when we visited Sarangani. There was nothing grand about the resort but it provided us comfort and shelter when we weren't out soaking up the sun and enjoying the warm turquoise water. You can't expect amenities offered by hotels in places usually flocked by tourists such as Boracay. What the resort offers is tranquility, relaxation, a little piece of heaven.