Myanmar travel guide for Filipinos 3: Everything Bagan

Sunrise over Bagan. (Photo courtesy of Ann Umaña.)

More often than not, Bagan is the highlight of any tourist’s Myanmar itinerary. Like most tourist spots in the country, it was once a royal capital in the olden days of the First Burmese Empire. Its main feature are the thousands of pagodas of various sizes that dot a vast plain adjacent to the Ayeyarwaddy River. Continue reading

Myanmar travel guide for Filipinos 2: Everything Yangon

(Photo courtesy of Ann Umaña.)

I realized that a general travel guide would not enable me to say everything I want to share regarding traveling within Myanmar.  So I thought of creating this supplement to provide some helpful tips that are unique to some specific areas in the country.  In our 7-day trip, we were able to visit 3 of the top 4 tourist destinations in Myanmar.  These are Yangon, Bagan and Mandalay.  Together with Inle Lake (which we were not able to visit) they are collectively known as the “Big 4” of Burmese tourism. Continue reading

Myanmar travel guide for Filipinos 1: Pre-departure and general concerns

I decided to leapfrog over a year’s worth of pending drafts and backlog to create this Myanmar travel guide primarily for 2 reasons: (1) I want to do this while all details of the trip are still fresh in my mind.  A few months from now, I would have already forgotten half of them and more so if I let a year pass without writing down anything.  And (2) I want to come up with a guide that is still relevant.  As I mentioned before, a lot of changes are happening in Myanmar, and at a fast pace at that.  It would be pretty much a waste of time to make a travel guide no one can use. Continue reading

Taiwan: Epilogue

This is absolutely the last entry of this series and I must say I’m relieved that I’ve already come to this point.  As I’ve already mentioned before, the events of this series occurred more than 1 year before and I’m eager to blog about my more recent travels.  I originally planned to have this epilogue as the last part of the previous entry on Taiwan, but since that was getting to be too long, I just decided to create a separate entry for it. Continue reading

Taiwan: Last 24 hours in Taipei

Basically every point in Taipei can be reached by means of the subway, provided that one knows how to read and speak Mandarin.  For someone who does not, making sense of the “helpful” diagrams posted all over the train stations can be downright confusing – even if the place names have their Roman letter equivalents written just below the Chinese characters. Continue reading

Taiwan: Leaving Yilan, Arriving in Taipei

Woke up the next day with an image of somebody – might have been Sam or Pavel – leaving the room and wishing me well.  I was still sleepy enough to not make sense of anything.  Later on, after a few more minutes of dozing off, I realized that my 3 roommates were gone (they’ve taken an early bus going back to Fo Guang Shan Monastery in Kaohsiung) and that I too had to quickly take a shower and pack my stuff for the trip going to Taipei. Continue reading