Not bad considering we went through a lot of turbulence. Was out of the airport at 9:00 am because the airport is – in a word – massive. It’s really really big – you need to take a train to get to the baggage claim area. The airport is very sleek as well.
Beijing’s Massive Airport
Entrance to the Train Station
Typical Beijing Bus
Took the shuttle then the bus to the backpackers lodge. It wasn’t that hard to find though I think I got off one (or two) stops too early, and I also walked the wrong way (hihihi). Pero di bale, I found it in the end.
After I checked in, I walked down the hutong’s alleys and took pictures of almost everything. I say almost kasi I had to stop myself. There were so many interesting buildings or carvings that if I took pictures of them all, I’d die.
So, I went off to look for a sim card and a supermarket. I found the shop where they sell simcards and goodluck na lang! Kahirap to communicate! No one spoke English so I think I spent about an hour there just trying to buy a sim card and top-up. Afterwards, I went to the supermarket to stock up on food. I wanted to buy bread and perhaps, peanut butter and some de-lata – pero naman! I’m in the land of Ma-Ling yet I could not find one single ma-ling can around, plus they didn’t have sliced bread! I bought shampoo and soap and a big jug of water na lang.
When I got to the counter, they didn’t have plastic bags! So Sige, may-i-siksik sa camera bag kaya lumala ang scolio ko. I planned to go back to the lodge to put down my things pero … medyo malayo so I opted to go ahead and check out the drum and bell towers. Buti na lang I did that kasi nakakita ako ng convenient store and they had bread and strawberry jam! Lunch and Dinner forever! I bought a bag as well so that I can distribute the weight evenly (camera on the left side of the body, groceries on the left). I then went to see the Drum Tower but before that … lunch.
@ The Drum and Bell Tower
Kelangan ata kasing tangkad mo si Yao Ming para di ka mahirapan pumanik ng stairs. I was taught in school that risers should be 0.15 to 0.20mm max and treads are at least 0.30. Dito, both riser and tread are at least 0.30mm. Mid leg (sa shin) ang taas ng step and super duper steep! PLUS MADULAS! Good luck na lang kay lola with the camera and the bag of groceries (me).
Selfie by the Drums
Selfie in front of the steep and slippery flight of stairs
Selfie by the Bells
Pardon the selfies – I was a solo traveler – if I don’t take selfies I won’t have photos!
After exploring the two towers (and being lucky enough not to fall), sabi ko uwi na ako – but I was side tracked by a nice street (don’t know the name). Lots of shops around and very quaint. Took photos but I gave up after that. I went back to the lodge to rest and plan the rest of my week … and to BATHE! I am so nanlilimahid.
Come and see the beautiful centuries-old churches at Ilocos
The following photos (and a bit of text) are about the various churches we were able to visit while we were at Ilocos. These churches, all built during the time the country was still under Spanish rule, were built in the Earthquake Baroque style.
My mum and stepdad will be going to Paris later this year and mum was asking me about the places I saw, and things I did, and food I ate so that they’d kinda know what to expect when they get there. They haven’t been to Paris yet so they’re quite excited about the whole adventure (I have been and I’m still excited). I spoke to my mum the other day and she asked me about Chateau de Versailles. I said it’s a really beautiful place and they need to spend one whole day to fully appreciate the palace. I went to Versailles last year and, honestly, I no longer remember what trains I had to take to get to Versailles from Paris (it’s quite easy really, you won’t get lost, Just get on the RER Line C – it’s the last stop) but I remember getting off at the Versailles platform, crossing the road (I was just following what the guides were saying), turning right and walking past a small shopping centre selling souvenirs and knick knacks, turning left on the next main street and then going “Oh My God” when I saw what lay before me. Versailles literally and figuratively took my breath away. Continue reading “A Day at Versailles”
Last year, during that brief lull between Christmas and New Year, I spent 2 1/2 blissful days in the lovely islands of Tonga. As mentioned in a previous post, we (meaning myself and my lovely hosts and good friends) had to visit a whole lot of places in a span of 2 days – and one of those places is the Blowholes at Houma.
A few weeks ago, a photographer friend and I went on a 2-week photo-tour in the Philippines (yes, my country of birth). We spent a week in Cebu, a day in Bohol, a weekend in Albay, a day in Corregidor, and the rest of the time was spent in Manila. It’s quite exciting because, to be totally honest, even though I spent the first 31 years of my life there, I really haven’t been to Cebu, nor Bohol, nor Albay (to see the Mayon Volcano) nor Corregidor (which is about a 2-hour ferry ride from Manila Bay).
It’s the first day of 2015 and what better way to celebrate the new year than to post pictures of my recent trip to Tonga. What’s the relevance of the New Year and Tonga, you may ask. Well, according to timeanddate.com and worldtimezone.com, Tonga is one of the countries that greets the New Year before the rest of the world. The first ones to usher in 2015 are Samoa and Kiribati (Christmas Island), followed by Chatham Islands and parts of New Zealand. Tonga falls in the third group, together with more parts of New Zealand (Wellington) and Fiji. I guess that’s why The Kingdom of Tonga is also known as “The Land Where Time Begins“.
I can’t believe it’s been 3 months since I last posted something here. It’s not that I haven’t been travelling (well, I haven’t been on any long-distance trips but I have been going in and around Wellington), it’s just that I’ve been crazy busy! So many things have happened in the last 3 months – but I won’t be going into those bits – it’s just been crazy. Happy crazy – but crazy just the same. 🙂
Anyway – sometime in October, the whole clan flew down to the South Island for a much needed holiday. It was originally meant to be a week-long get-away to celebrate my mum’s 65th birthday, and for all of us to be able to put our feet up and just enjoy the beauty that is distinctly The South Island.