Monday, March 23, 2020

Japan 2019: Universal Studios

My favorite part in every vacationa visit to a theme park! I'm still a kid at heart and I love love love going to theme parks. This is quite funny but my theme park tradition is ordering a turkey leg for snack. Every time I go to theme parks, I always have to have a turkey leg. It makes my visit complete. Lol.

In USJ, I especially loved the Wizarding World of Harry Potter! I am a Harry Potter fan and I've read all the books immediately after they were published. This place is truly memorable because it was where I got my very first taste of butterbeer! And to add to that, we were lucky that we went on this trip in October, since Halloween was approaching, the park was horror-themed! There were horror houses, and at nighttime, the park staff dressed up as monsters or zombies and they roamed around the park to try and scare you! HARRY POTTER + BUTTER BEER + HORROR HOUSES + TURKEY LEG = HAPPINESS!!

Monday, March 16, 2020

Japan 2019: Himeji Castle

We headed to Himeji Castle on our second day in Kyoto... which was a wrong decision because we would be passing by Osaka on our way there! We stayed during the first half of our trip in Kyoto and the second half in Osaka. Traveling back and forth is so fast and easy so it would've been better if we stayed in Osaka the entire duration of our trip—we could've avoided the hassle of transporting our luggage! 

Himeji Castle was amazing! From the train station, we rented bikes and biked around the castle complex. It was so cool because we got to enter the castle to see the rooms up close. Would you believe that this castle was built more than six centuries ago?

When we felt we have spent enough time at Himeji Castle, we took the train back to Kyoto for a quick visit at Arashiyama Bamboo Forest. Unfortunately, when we got there, it was already closed! Disappointed at our poor time management, we just went to the mall where we met up with a Japanese friend, and ordered katsu for dinner!

Monday, March 9, 2020

Japan 2019: Kyoto

It has been a looooong time since I last visited Japannine years ago, to be exact. Oh but I did go to Okinawa last year as it was a stopover in a cruise, but that doesn't count lol. Anyway, for my annual trip with my high school friends, we decided on Japan!

We visited Kyoto and Osaka, and I was the only one in group who would be visiting these cities for the first time (I visited only Tokyo before)! We went to Fushimi Inari shrine, and joined a walking tour in Kyoto on our first day, where we explored both Gion (where geisha houses are located) and Higashiyama districts. We decided not to finish the tour because some of my friends were tired from all the walking, so instead of making multiple stops had we continued the tour, we headed directly to Kiyomizudera Temple. We didn't enter though because the building was under construction. Sad, it could've looked so beautiful. We ended our tiring first day with an unlimited yakiniku dinner. Yay!

The next day, we headed to the majestic Himeji Castle! But more on that on my next post.

On the third day, we got up early to have a quick look at Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion). It was a remarkable sight! The place looked so peaceful and relaxing, and the entire walk around the property took only around 20 minutes. After that, we were supposed to meet up with the rest of the group at Nishiki Market but we took the wrong bus and got lost on the way! Lol. It took us a long time but we eventually got there. After grabbing some food at the market, we checked out from the hotel and took the train to Osaka.  

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Thailand 2019: Bangkok City Center

The rest of my trip to Bangkok was spent on eating Thai food (pad thai and mango sticky rice, yum!), getting massages, and visiting markets (Chatuchak) and shopping malls (Icon Siam). 

One unique thing we did was try Dialogue in the Dark. It's a one-hour experience where you would be navigating and exploring different places in the dark to give you a glimpe of how it would be like to live without the sense of sight. You would also be given a cane and a blind tour guide to accompany you. At first, it was very difficult to move in the dark since I couldn't see at all--even if you open your eyes, you would only see darkness--but after a while, it somehow became easier. The blind lady who accompanied us was very patient, and even with her disability, she was able to navigate pretty well. After this experience, I got a newfound appreciation for my eyes and realized that I'm blessed to be able to see the things around me. I highly recommend this experience to anyone who's open to try new things!

That's it for my Bangkok trip! Will be posting my Japan trip next!

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Thailand 2019: Suhring

This is definitely one of the best best best meals ever! Suhring is a two-star Michelin restaurant and belongs to the World's Top 50 Restaurants in 2019. We had a wonderful nine-course meal, which took us almost three hours to finish! Each of the dishes were very innovative and perfectly crafted. Every bite was like an explosion of flavors⁠—I loved every bit of the experience! The restaurant is a beautiful glass house surrounded by lush greeneries, which made the meal even more enjoyable.  

Before we had lunch, we joined a yoga class at Trika Yog. The class focused more on deep stretches rather than traditional yoga poses, which I don't see very often, but the instructor was great and guided each student in the class well.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Thailand 2019: Ayutthaya

Since my first visit to Bangkok last 2018, I have been wanting to visit Ayutthaya because of its historical significance. I booked a day tour and visited Wat Phutthaisawan, Luang Pu Thuat Market (where we had lunch), Wat Ratchaburana, Wat Mahathat, and Wat Phra Ngarm. Most of these sites have Buddha structures, with the one on the tree at Wat Ratchaburana the most popular. We spent an entire day in Ayutthaya, and when we got back in Bangkok, we had a relaxing massage! 

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Thailand 2019: Cooking Class

This is the third time I signed up for a cooking class during my travels. The first one was in Ho Chi Minh, the second one was in Bali, and the third one's here in Bangkok! I noticed that I'm slowly enjoying preparing food in the kitchen! 

On my first day in Bangkok, I booked a class at Silom Thai Cooking School. The preparation area was very nice and clean, and the chef very friendly and approachable. I found the class a bit fast paced thoughwhile I was still slicing and chopping the ingredients, the chef was already explaining the next steps! It was perfectly okay though as I was able to catch up easily. The class had to be fast paced because we had to prepare five dishes under three hours! Not an easy feat for a beginner like me! When the session was over, I felt so proud of myself to have prepared these yummy dishes! The dishes I made were: Tom Yum Soup, Pad Thai, Green Curry Chicken, Red Curry Chicken, and Dessert Rubies in Coconut Milk.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Spartan Race 2019 RD Hill

A day after my birthday, I flew to Cebu for the Spartan Race. Last year, I entered the Sprint Category in Alviera, Pampanga, where I ran 6km and completed 23 obstacles. This time, I went one level higher and joined the Super Category covering 13km in distance and more obstacles. Although I allotted more time to train for this race (around three weeks) compared to last year where I practically had zero training, I was able to complete more obstacles last year. The terrain in RD Hill in Cebu was very muddy, and every step was a challenge. We had to cross lakes, and rivers, and sometimes had to walk on waist deep mud where your entire legs get stuck with every step. The obstacles were also much more difficult. Because of the mud, the bars, the ropes, and the weights were all very slippery and hard to grip. 

Despite all these, I still had so much fun! The unexpected terrain made the victory much more satisfying. There's another race coming this October and I want to push my limits even further and join the Beast Category. It's a 21km race with 30 obstacles. I also want to complete the Trifecta this year, but the only way to make this possible is if I join the Sprint a day after I complete the Beast. I haven't made up my mind yet, but this is certainly a possibility. I guess we'll just see how it goes!

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