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Archive for June, 2009

Three Countries In Ten Days: Thailand To Malaysia

June 30th, 2009 by

SUVARNABHUMI AIRPORT, BANGKOK, THAILAND – I will be embarking on a BIG adventure!  My partner and I thought that it would be difficult to go on a trip this year because of the global financial crisis.  It did not help that there have been cases of pandemics and other viruses that seem to be circulating the globe.  But if traveling is really your passion then I guess nothing can stop you from seeing the world.

Suvarnabhumi Airport - Bangkok, Thailand

So for this year, my partner and I decided to book a trip that will take us to three different countries in one week.  Thanks to budget airlines and not so expensive hotels, we felt that we can fit everything in what little budget that we have set for the trip.  About three months ago, we came across airline ticket promotions from one local airline in the Philippines.  We got excited as we were able to book a trip from Manila (Philippines) to Bangkok (Thailand) for only about US$ 100.  After booking our tickets, we figured that if we have ten days to spare on this trip then we might as well cross over to other countries and start ticking off items in our bucket list.

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Things To Do In Shinjuku

June 29th, 2009 by

Known as the Times Square of Tokyo, Shinjuku is a major transit hub for Japan’s capital, servicing 3.6 million passengers every day. Containing the busiest train stations in the world has turned this district into an after-work entertainment and dining zone, a travelers can expect plenty of things to do in this must-visit section of the mega-city.

nighttime Shinjuku

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Indonesian Coffee For Coffee Lovers

June 26th, 2009 by

Indonesia is not only known for its endless list of tourist attractions.  My stay in Indonesia has also been made memorable by its wonderful people, delectable Indonesia cuisines and nice hotels like the Ascott Jakarta Hotel.  Aside from all these lovely things, I especially enjoyed the different kinds of coffee that I got to savor.

Brewed Coffee

How can I ever resist coffee?  I am a certified coffee addict and it really took quite an effort on my side to limit my coffee intake to just two cups in one day (there were days when I can finish up to five cups!).  So when I found myself in Indonesia, I promised myself that I will try as many kinds of coffee as I can while in Asia’s “coffee heaven.”  Indonesia is actually the third largest producing region in the world!

Coffee beans have their own origins and possess different characteristics that they got depending on how these beans are processed, where the beans were grown and the weather conditions that beans have to face.  In the case of Indonesia, the major places where coffee is grown include Sulawesi, Sumatra, East Timor, Papua New Guinea, and Java.  Unfortunately, only a very small region grows Arabica coffee beans which are most preferred kind.   In terms of percentage, only 10% of the harvest is Arabica Coffee.  Even if this is the case, it is known that Arabica coffee beans that are grown in Indonesia are the best.  These beans are priced high for the rich flavor, gentle acidity, and full taste among others.

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Traditional Chinese Medicine

June 25th, 2009 by

Many of us have never considered stepping into a traditional Chinese drugstore, a shop only recognizable by its jars of dried herbs and diagrams of the therapeutic relationship between different body parts. This is because not only are the prescriptions even more indecipherable than their Western counterparts, but few of us even know the location of a Chinese doctor, much less consult with him/her. Nevertheless, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has a millennia-old heritage, and plays a major role in China’s healthcare system; the Chinese government provides traditional drugstores and therapeutic centers alongside Western-style hospitals and clinics.

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The 10 Best Tourism Cities in Asia

June 24th, 2009 by

Asia is a continent jam packed with diversity. No matter where you turn you’ll find yourself faced with a new culture, unique and friendly people, and the opportunity to see and explore some of the greatest historic and cultural monuments on earth.

The sky’s the limit but, unfortunately, most of us are limited on time. Instead, you’ll want to start your Asian exploration by visiting some of these incredible cities first. Read the rest of this entry »

Satisfy Your Sweet Cravings With Hong Kong Desserts

June 23rd, 2009 by

Hong Kong is “heaven” not only for shopaholics but for food trippers as well. I love Cantonese food and the fusion of cuisines that I can try while visiting this vibrant city. But aside from appetizers and full entrees, one must also find room in their tummies for delectable desserts that abound in Hong Kong.

Sweet Tarts

The truth of the matter is that Chinese dishes or Chinese cuisine is not really associated with scrumptious desserts. It is a great thing that this situation is changing and that there are quite a number of really nice dessert places that are sprouting all across Hong Kong much to the delight not only of the locals but, of course, of all tourists.

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Giant Gundam Spotted In Odaiba

June 22nd, 2009 by

From July until the end of August of 2009, mecha-geeks can stare in awe at a 1:1 scale replica of the celebrated Gundam robot in Odaiba. In this artificial island in the middle of Tokyo, the 18-meter tall RX78 model, a white, red, and blue armored humanoid fighter, looms high above the crowd, lighting up at night with 50 emitters all over its body and shooting mist from 14 strategic points. This fiberglass-and-plastic over steel frame creation was commissioned by toy giant Bandai-Namco in time for Mobile Suit Gundam‘s 30th anniversary, which will culminate during the Gundam Big Expo from August 21 to 23. For true Gundam fans, this monument to mechanized fantasy seems to be ready to blast off at any moment, taking the rest of us to the future with it.

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Touring Camiguin In One Day Part 2

June 19th, 2009 by

In my previous article, I mentioned three of the favorite attractions in Camiguin specifically the Ardent Hot Spring, Sto Nino Cold Springs and the Gui-ob Church Ruins.  But the list does not stop here.  Read on to find out more of Camiguin’s remarkable  attractions.

Sunken Cemetery

SUNKEN CEMETERY – No trip to Camiguin would be complete without paying a visit to the most popular tourist spot in Camiguin, the Sunken Cemetery.  This Sunken Cemetery lies about twenty feet underwater in a little town called Bonbon in Catarman.  This place is called a Sunken Cemetery because this area was what was left of a tragic volcanic eruption that took place in 1871.  The huge cross that is erected in the middle of the sea in 1982 is a tribute to all those who perished during the eruption.  Tombstones that are found underwater are already enveloped by different coral systems over the years.  This is one of the main reasons why this area is a favorite exploration site among scuba divers and snorkelers.  An annual event called a fluvial parade or procession takes place during the month of November in remembrance of the people who were killed.  The town folks join the parade and bring various flowers as a form of offering to all people who were buried in the Sunken Cemetery.  Given that the huge cross was built in the middle of the sea, visitors would have to rent small boats to reach the base of the cross.

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The Awesomeness of Muay Thai

June 18th, 2009 by

Muay ThaiOne of the things you should definitely do while hanging out in Bangkok is get seats to a Muay Thai tournament. This sport, popularized in the movie  Ong-Bak and its excellent lead actor Tony Jaa, is a brutal martial arts that utilizes not just fists and shins, but elbows and knees, as well. These multiple contact points gives Muay Thai its title the Art of Eight Limbs. Muay contests have become integral to local festivals and celebrations, held inside temples, and even used to entertain kings.

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India’s Most Beautiful Beaches – Part 2

June 17th, 2009 by

A while back we uncovered some of the hidden gems along India’s coastlines in our post about India’s most beautiful beaches. Believe it or not, there are dozens of other beaches to choose from and we’re glad to let you know where some of them are located. Prepare yourself for more fun in the sun and sand as you explore the east and west coasts of what can only be described as a diverse and eclectic continent!

Lakshadweep Island Beaches


The Lakshadweep Island area, also known as “the Laccadives,” consists of a group of 36 small islands scattered throughout the Arabian Sea. Only 10 of the islands are populated and a mere two are open to the public to enjoy. The beaches on Bangaram and Kadmat are especially popular and the shores and lagoons off of the islands are a much sought after destination for divers looking to enjoy exotic wildlife. Visitors to both islands enjoy not only diving but wind surfing and kayaking as well.

Maharashtra Beaches

The state of Maharashtra is littered with incredible beaches and resorts. Maharashtra is not only well known for its beaches but for its heritage and history as well. Visitors often enjoy tours of the coastal forts found in the area as well as their time spent on the beaches.


Image Credit: Gauravonomics

Some of the most popular beaches in Maharashtra include:

  • Madh Island Beach – Madh Island Beach is a hot destination for those who love throwing beach parties and picnics. Set in an urban area, the sandy beaches are littered with incredible bungalows where visitors traveling from Mumbai and the surrounding areas can relax in between parties.
  • Juhu Beach – Juhu Beach is considered amongst the largest beaches along the Arabian Sea and is always packed with visiting tourists. The beach is considered one of the best places for those visiting the city of Mumbai to hang out.
  • juhu beach

  • Baseein – The beach at Baseein is a historic destination, known for being the location where the Marathas defeated the Portuguese. This beautiful beach, which was once a shipbuilding area, is considered one of the best places to go when one wants to simply get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Juhu Beach, Mumbai

Tamil Nadu Beaches

Tamil Nadu is the southernmost state in India and every beach has its own form of elegance and charm. Some of the beaches are great for simple relaxation while others are hot spots for movie shoots, surfing, or boating.
india kanyakumari4 vivekananda rock memorial and thiruvalluvar rock

What beaches in Tamil Nadu should you visit?

  • Marina Beach – In the Chennai section of the state you’ll find Marina Beach. This particular beach is thought to be the second longest in the world and its golden sands and incredible surf draw tourists from around the world.

Marina Beach

  • Elliot’s Beach - Elliot’s Beach is a hot destination for those who’d like to catch a glimpse of some of India’s hottest stars. If a movie is set in Tamil Nadu you are almost guaranteed to see a scene being shot on this beach.
  • Elliot's Beach

  • Kanyakumari Beach­- Kanyakumari Beach sits in a unique location where the Arabian Sea, the Bay of Bengal, and the Indian Ocean all meet. This astounding site is an incredibly romantic place to catch the sun either as it rises or sets.

Marina beach, Chennai

Pondicherry Beaches

The beaches at Pondicherry are some of the most serene and relaxing in all of India. On these beaches you’re more likely to see individuals and families relaxing in the sand and water than you are to see lively parties that last long into the night.


Image credit: Melanie-m

Some of the best beaches in Pondicherry are:

  • Serenity Beach – Serenity Beach is true to its name. The warm sands will welcome you after you take a quick swim in the beautiful turquoise waters. Relax in the sun or in the shade – it’s up to you.
  • Karaikal Beach- Karaikal Beach is popular amongst those looking to enjoy some quiet time on the water. You’ll often find kayaks and canoes dotting the shoreline. This beach is a bit more active – often hosting small volleyball games or welcoming fisherman looking to grab their next big catch.
  • Paradise beach - footsteps on the sands of paradise beach

  • Plage Paradiso – Plage Paradiso, also known as Paradise Beach, is an amazing destination for those looking to enjoy a real tropical experience. Take a short cruise out into the ocean and you’re destined to see some of the area’s dolphin population at play as you soak in the warm sun.

Agatti island beach resort, Lakshadweep, India

India’s beaches are some of the cleanest and most refreshing in the world. Make sure you ask the concierge at your hotel in India where the closet beach is.  You’ll find that the trip is well worth the extra effort.

About Travel Blog Travel Blog is your central source of news bits, amusing experiences, funny observations, and helpful tips and guides to travelling around Asia. For easier browsing, check the Categories section for topics you are interested in. Every month, we also highlight an Asian destination with quick links to the travel guide and best hotels in […]

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Plan Your Escape!

Temple in New DelhiExhibiting remnants of 7 ancient cities, is the capital city of India, New Delhi. Immerse yourself in the intense culture that Delhi has to offer through its many attractions, including shrines, temples and museums. Bellhop Picks: Read more about other attractions in our India guide. See what fellow travellers have to say in the India tales section.
  • Polls

    Top 5 Romantic Spots in Asia

    • Palawan, Philippines (39%, 182 Votes)
    • Boracay, Philippines (36%, 168 Votes)
    • Bali, Indonesia (31%, 143 Votes)
    • Agra, India (18%, 84 Votes)
    • Batangas, Philippines (17%, 79 Votes)
    • Male, Maldives (16%, 77 Votes)
    • Jeju Island, South Korea (16%, 75 Votes)
    • Sentosa Island, Singapore (15%, 72 Votes)
    • Krabi, Thailand (13%, 60 Votes)
    • Macau, China (10%, 49 Votes)
    • Halong Bay, Vietnam (7%, 34 Votes)

    Total Voters: 467

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