The breeze was cool and comforting, as I gazed down the Han River, enjoying a quite afternoon in Jeoldu-san. The promontory has great views of this part of Mapo-gu, in Seoul. The trees provided a much needed shade, rustling gently while the sound of birds and vehicles passing the motorway merged. Although serene and peaceful, Jeoldu-san has a dark history, going back to the 19th century when Catholics were being persecuted. In fact, Jeoldu-san, literally means beheading mountain, when it was used in the 1860s…Continue Reading “Peace & serenity in Jeoldu-san, Seoul’s beheading mountain”

Necropolis, the city of the dead. Like in any cultures, Filipinos have a deep respect for the departed ancestors. From prehispanic, Spanish colonial era to modern times, tribes and modern society, cemeteries in the Philippines provide an interesting aspect of its culture, architecture and other practices. In this list, I’ve compiled some noteworthy sites covering the modern era, notable architecture, tribal practices and even the quirky, gathered from years of extensive travels around the country. 1 Libingan ng mga Bayani (Taguig City, Metro Manila) It’s…Continue Reading “10 interesting cemeteries in the Philippines you should visit”

Just as what I wanted, an almost deserted and quiet beach, golden sand, the blue sky and the wide Andaman Sea. If not for hotel guests a few hundred meters away and the occasional beach comber, I would have this part of Mai Khao Beach all to myself. I love its quietness, a far cry from crowded Patong, Nai Harn, Kata and other beach strips around Phuket teeming with foreign tourists, beach lounge chairs and parasols. But the water was not as clear as I…Continue Reading “An almost deserted Mai Khao Beach in Phuket”

So, I’m going back to Japan this November forĀ a media invitation by one of the top travel companies in that country. This time, I got so excited and was really expecting to get a multiple entry visa as I’ve visited it twice last year. We filed the application last Monday, I was informed that it was already available yesterday and just this afternoon, got it from the accredited agency. But to my disappointment, it was still a single entry visa. Why this happened? The type…Continue Reading “How to apply for a visa to Japan for BUSINESS travel”

Bandung has so much surprises for the traveler and if you want something out of the ordinary, why not visit two volcanic craters? Kawah Putih and Tangkuban Perahu are two of the very accessible volcanoes in this city. Kawah Putih stuns with its white to bluish to greenish crater lake while Tangkuban Perahu, the drive up volcano, so to speak, gives you that raw feel. Kawah Putih I got excited when we were already heading to Ciwidey, passing through villages and fields as the temperature…Continue Reading “Two very accessible volcanic craters you can visit in Bandung”