Sunday, November 25, 2012

Saigon On My Mind


The plane landed on the wee hours of the morning, there was nothing to see, and the empty streets could be compared to Recto during summer. It took time to find a cab whose driver would not rip off travelers who, though not Western, still had a few dollars in their pockets. The persistent warnings in travel forums has made us wary and this weird excitement that came out of it turned into a “Will we be scammed?” game.

Thirty minutes later, we knocked at the gates of the hostel located at a small street right behind a market. A sleepy receptionist welcomed us, ushered us in, gave us a map, and shoved hand-outs of group tours straight into our accepting hands. The next thing I knew, I was in Dreamland.

Although still lacking sleep, we started out early and found Saigon in its waking, bustling state. It may be the biggest city in Vietnam but that did not stop us from deciding to walk its streets and not take any form of transportation for the day. 

We first ventured into the streets near Pham Ngu Lao, the backpackers area, to find some decent place to exchange money but were surprised to find stores with reprints of travel guides sold at half the price. The streets in this area are lined up with establishments catering to both local and Western tastes. Different as they may be, they all had one thing in common. The restaurants had tables set outside on the sidewalk, with all the chairs facing the street. 

Farther into District 1, the trees became taller than the buildings, the roads were busier, and the foreigners were lesser in number. Every now and then, we would pass by groups of people sitting at a street corner drinking iced black coffee, chatting and staring right into the streets. 


Saturday, November 03, 2012

Baguio Rediscovered


The Bustling Stop-Over in the North, Baguio.

Baguio means downing a couple of beers at Ayuyang while waiting for the bus to Manila. Or having a quick boodle dinner at Kalapaw with a bunch of hungry and exhausted people. Or strolling at SM to buy sweets because you can't find them in the other parts of Benguet that you just came from. It's too crowded, too touristy, and too typical that NOT going further up north is unthinkable. It's Manila minus the humidity and the temperature a few notches lower. 

Over dinner on a hot holiday night, an idea came up.

Let's go to Baguio? Day trip? Tara. 

And off we went.

Who would have known that in this rare chance to see Baguio as a destination it would slap me in the face with its beauty?

Rainbow to welcome even the most ungrateful of visitors

Thursday, November 01, 2012

First Antsybeersary!


A year ago, I had nothing better to do but revisit my old online presence elsewhere and immediately felt the urge to get back into blogging.

A year ago, I wrote about the first thing that came into my mind... summits and how I hate the feeling of gasping for breath while on the trail but loving the climb anyway

A year ago, I decided to self-medicate with writing as a cure to my short-attention span and proved that it did help me keep my focus for at least a few minutes a day.

What I'm trying to say is that it has been a year! Thank you to everyone who has been a part of the lovely year that was. 

The Year That Was - 2011 Collage

One of the few posts where
I feel the need to post a photo of myself! 
I am celebrating because that, for me, is a real feat. Having started (and eventually forgetting!) a couple of blogs before, See.Hear.Explore. has been the only one that I have stayed with and kept, providing faithful (at least monthly) updates like that of a long-distance lover.

After sharing 47 posts, experiencing more than 10 major destinations, having 1 published article, and meeting friends on the road (and online), I know that this one could only get better. I am looking forward to more years of experiencing the world, to having more opportunities of sharing and exchanging stories, to learning more, to continue meeting inspiring people on the road, and gaining more insight on the things that define me. 


A year later, my conviction to see, hear, and explore is stronger than ever.

Again, THANK YOU!

Now, I'll quit the drama and get back to my drink! :)

Cheers!