Koreans I Met in Myanmar

The shared taxi to Mount Popa gave me the opportunity to meet 3 Koreans. Our hostels were right next door. As we cycled on the way to see the temples, they passed us by and invited us to join their donation day.

I had no idea where we were going but they had a bunch of stuff at the back of their scooters. We followed them until we reached a poor community. There was a small house where they donated medicines. There was a boy with them who I think they adopted from Myanmar. He can speak Korean and Burmese. He serves as the translator. He wrote down the instructions for the Korean medicines.

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We then went to a small school with more or less 100 students and 7 teachers. They donated school supplies and snacks.

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We all had lunch together before we did our own thing.

The experience I had with them was definitely a remarkable one. I’m so glad I met them.

Old Bagan, Myanmar (Burma)

We left Yangon about 8PM and arrived Bagan about 5AM. The taxi from bus station to Old Bagan costs 8,000 Ks even though it was less than 10 minutes drive.

There was an entrance fee of $20 per person which surprised us. Although, this will entitle you to get to all the temples.

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On the first day, we did the Mt. Popa for $10 per person on a shared taxi.

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According to wikipedia there are 777 steps to get to the top. I did not get to count it but definitely felt like it was 777 steps or more!

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On the second day, we rented a bicycle for $2 for the whole day. We cycled through the beautiful temples in Old Bagan. It was breathtaking! The $20 entrance fee was definitely worth it.

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We rented a bicycle again on the third day to see more of Bagan.

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Being in beautiful Bagan was like stepping back in time. It was dusty. No good internet connection anywhere. Guesthouses use a log book instead of a computer. Locals barely speak English and seem to be always happy.

I wish I got to see more of Myanmar but I’m thankful and satisfied of what I’ve seen in 7 days of stay.

On my second day in Bagan, I joined a group of Koreans which became one of the highlight of my trip in Myanmar. The story will be on my next blog. 🙂

Yangon, Myanmar (Burma)

Myanmar is on my top list of countries to visit this 2015. I got a one way flight from Kuala Lumpur to Yangon via AirAsia for $76. I landed in Yangon on January 20, 2015. Finally! It was like a dream came true to me. 🙂

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Yangon’s airport is tiny. The immigration was fast. I got my bag right away. There’s money changer right before the exit and there is a booth for airport taxi which me and my friend took. It cost $8 or 8,000 Ks to town. The traffic was bad and it took us at least 1 hour and 15 minutes to get to the hostel Rivers Youth Hostel.

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The check in time is not until 3PM so that sucks because the bed wasn’t available yet. We went to find a place to eat and saw this AJisai Japanese Noodle restaurant. I just asked for their best item on the menu and he gave me these. They were so good!

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We went back to the hostel around 12 noon I think and the lady receptionist asked the cleaner to make our bed because I was falling asleep in the lobby. It was nice that I got a place to rest.

We woke up around 4AM the next day to go to Shwe Dagon Pagoda. It was at least an hour walk from the hostel. The entrance fee was 8,000 Ks which includes map that I never used. It was beautiful there but I think the entrance fee was too expensive.

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We then went to Kandawgyi Lake nearby and surprise…there is an entrance fee of 2,000 Ks. Just right after the entrance is this beautiful restaurant where we had breakfast before a nice walk to the lake.

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As I enjoy the beautiful lake, a foreign man passed by with his adorable dog and of course I just had to have picture with him, the dog!

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A long walk and I’m glad that there is an exit on the other end so I didn’t have to go back.

That’s all I saw in Yangon. We went back to the hostel and booked a night bus to Bagan the next day. Unfortunately, first class bus was fully booked so we had to take a regular bus for 11,000 Ks.

Yangon is just another city for me which I am not fond of so I thought a day was enough.

Putrajaya Malaysia

I did not have any idea about this place until one of the receptionists in Reggae Mansion suggested it to me. On my way out, I saw a guy from Colombia and a girl from UK in the lobby so I asked them if they want to join me and they did.

We took a train from Masjid Jamek to KL Sentral which cost RM 1.30. From KL Sentral, we took a train to Putrajaya for RM 9.50.

The tour bus is only at 10:30AM and 2:30PM. We arrived just before 2PM so we got to eat late lunch.

For only RM 15.00, the tour bus will take you to places as shown on the picture below.

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The bus driver we had was nice. He was willingly taking our pictures. Here are some of his shots! 🙂

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The guy from Colombia has long arms and look at our beautiful selfie!

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The tour took 2 hours. We decided to give the driver RM 2.00 each so he got RM 6.00 tip from us.

Putrajaya is like a little Middle East in Malaysia. If you like the pictures I posted, then you better check this out because it’s definitely worth it.

Six Nights at Reggae Mansion KL

I am not a party person but I really enjoyed the Reggae Mansion’s Rooftop Bar. I was literally on the rooftop every night. Reggae music is being played early in the evening then it will be switched to a party music around 10PM. More party and crazy music starts at 12 midnight where people can’t help themselves but go to the dance floor.

I also liked the BBQ on the rooftop for RM 18.00 per person every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. They also have a good quality shisha/hookah/waterpipe for just RM 20.00.

On my last night here, there was a free dinner for the launching of Taman EKO Rimba Kuala Lumpur. Most of the guests in the hostel joined.

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The food was great and this man-made fountain is definitely an add-on tourist attraction in Kuala Lumpur.

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Going back to Reggae Mansion, they have a cinema. A very nice cinema. If you leave a good review online, you get to watch for free and they have a lot of movies to choose from.

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The Reggae Mansion’s restaurant got good food too! Although it’s a little pricey I’d say it’s worth it. I tried a few and they were all good. Spaghetti Oglio is highly recommended if u like spice and seafood.

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I truly enjoyed my time at Reggae Mansion, KL. I met a lot of cool backpackers. They also have CCTV’s in all common areas and in big dorms so I felt safer. This is the first time I stayed in a big city for more than 2 nights. Highly recommended if you’re in KL and if you like to party or do not mind loud music at night.

The facilities of this hostel are great. The hostel is clean. The view on the rooftop is nice. All the staffs I encountered were friendly. They were always smiling at me. From the receptionists to housekeeping to chefs, waiters, bartenders, DJ, guards and the owner, Robert…they all made me feel like I am member of the family. Few guests thought I was working here because they saw me talking to everyone most of the time. 😊

This is my personal experience and I’d say someone’s experience depends on someone’s personality. I was friendly and always smiling so I got the same treatment. 😊

I love traveling and every place I go, I’m reminded that it’s the people you meet along the way that makes your stay worthwhile.

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Batu Caves in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

I took KTM to Batu Caves from KL Sentral. One way ticket only cost RM 2.00 and the travel time was about 25 minutes.

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Once you exit the station, just turn right to Batu Caves. You will pass by this big statue and a temple.

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Then there is this beautiful tall statue of Murugan and the 272 steps to go up to the cave.

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The cave did not fascinate me, maybe because I’ve seen better but going up and down was fun seeing all the monkeys even though they freak me out. You just never know when they’re going to be wild!

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There were a lot of pigeons on the foot of the cave. I sure had fun feeding them.

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On my way out, I saw a woman offering hand tattoo for RM 5.00. That was cheap so I had one. This is my first ever henna tattoo ever! Literally! 😊

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First Night in Reggae Mansion KL

I checked in and Lovely, a Filipina receptionist greeted me with a smile. Reggae Mansion Hostel is a bomb. I really like it here.

I am in a 24-bed dorm. It sounds crazy and this is the biggest dorm I have ever been. The room is very spacious though and since the bed has curtain, you still get your privacy.

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After the tiring bus ride from Penang to Kuala Lumpur, I fell asleep in my comfortable bed after I freshened up. I woke up around 6PM and when I went downstairs I found out that they have a BBQ night on the rooftop for 18RM. Jake, a Filipino staff accompanied me upstairs. He also introduced me to the other staffs on duty.

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They took me to Reggae Bar after midnight. We danced and had another drink there too.

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The Reggae Mansion staffs gave me a blast on my first night in KL. I am definitely extending my stay!

Why was I back in Penang, Malaysia?

I took a train from Bangkok to Butterworth because I have to be in Kuala Lumpur to meet a friend. I was in Penang couple weeks ago just for a day so I decided to come back for 3 nights to relax after the exhausting two weeks in Bangkok. Since I’ve seen Georgetown the first time I came here, I just chill in my guesthouse most of the time. I stayed in Old Penang Guesthouse and I really enjoyed my time there. The lady in the reception area was always smiling which gives positive vibe.

I met awesome dorm mates. I spent most of my time with Bryna. We walked around, we ate a lot.

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We discovered that O’Marleys beside Reggae Mansion has ladies night every night from 6PM-11PM. We went there and recruit people from our dorm.

I surely met a lot of nice people in my dorm and had fun with them.

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Traveling can be tiring so we need to stop and just relax in between. Indeed I got to relax in Penang.

An Asian Backpacking in Southeast Asia

I left Manila, Philippines to backpack (for the first time, alone) some parts of Southeast Asia in July of 2014. I started in Singapore then I flew to Cambodia. From Cambodia, I traveled by land to Vietnam, Laos and ended in Thailand in October.

I was 27 years old then. Most of the backpackers I met were between 19 and 24 years old. Man, that made me feel old!

The backpackers I met were mostly from European Countries and Australia. I met a few from USA, Canada, Israel, Korea and Japan. So far, I haven’t met any from my country, The Philippines.

Being an Asian, particularly from the Philippines, I was always mistaken as local with the exemption of Singapore. “You look like Cambodian. You look like Vietnamese. You look like Lao. You look like Thai.” Those are what I was told when I was in those countries. I always responded as “Well, you look like Filipino.” Then everyone will laugh.

Locals always initially talk to me in their local language until they realized that I am not local because I would look stupid not knowing what they are talking about or how to respond.

The good thing about this is that I can walk around alone and there will be no people to sell me something or drivers to offer expensive taxi or tuktuk which makes me feel safer and “local”. LOL!

If only I could speak the language of all those countries I visited then nobody can take advantage of me when it comes to fare or price of items in the market.

That’s how interesting it was for me as Asian being in other Southeast Asian countries. 🙂

Khao San Road, Wat Pho, Wat Arun

I had to stay in a hostel for couple nights because my friend’s dad would be home. I spent a day with my roommate from Germany. On our way to Wat Pho, we saw this in the park. There must be some kind of event later on.

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We paid 100 baht to enter Wat Pho which includes free bottle of water. The reclining Buddha was fascinating!

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And everything inside Wat Pho!

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When we got out, we bought this delicious Ice Cream for 20 baht!

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We then headed to ferry station to take us to Wat Arun. We paid 3 baht per person. It was just right across the river. The entrance fee in Wat Arun was 50 baht and it was my favorite place. You can see on the pictures why.

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We were too tired after so we didn’t make it to the Grand Palace but it was okay since I wasn’t so excited about it anyway. We walked back to our hostel but stopped by at the park near by.

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We then had late lunch / early dinner at Magic Thai.

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The Thai salad was my favorite for 50 baht. I’m salivating as I’m writing this! Yeah, it was that good.

Then we had roti pancake for dessert.

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After a long productive day, I just stayed in my room to give my feet some rest!

New Year Countdown in Bangkok

Not only it was my first time to spend New Year in Bangkok but also my first time to do the countdown somewhere. My friend Jenny and her sister Cyn decided that we will do the countdown at Asiatique.

As I expected, it was crowded. I opted to buy this thing we put on our head just because I saw a lot of people wearing one. 😊

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Near the concert stage is this nice sign.

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And of course, the big wheel but we didn’t ride because the line was crazy.

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Then I saw Oppo!

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We had 1 1/2 hour before New Year. There was concert but it was all in Thai so I couldn’t relate while everyone was partying, laughing, singing along.

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Then, the countdown started and there’s fireworks.

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We had a hard time going home so it was very tiring after but I definitely had fun.

Penang, Malaysia to Bangkok, Thailand

Before I left Penang, I had breakfast with the two Chinese girls at the Dimsum place.

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I took a bus from Komtar bus station to the ferry terminal and again the fare was MYR 1.40. I didn’t have to pay anything to board the ferry back to the train station. I arrived around 1pm and the train departed at 2:13PM.

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The train had these chairs at first.

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After 2 1/2 hours, we arrived at the border where we got our exit stamp on the right side and entry stamp to Thailand on the left side. We stayed there for at least 2 hours though. The counter was slow and we waited for the extension of the train.

The chairs were then converted to beds at 8PM. This time, I had the top one which was smaller than the bottom bed.

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Around 8AM, they started serving breakfast to those who ordered food. I was already awake and we requested to convert our beds back to chairs. Then there’s this beautiful sunrise.

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At exactly, 11:50AM Bangkok time, we arrived at Bangsue station.

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I got off here and walked a little to MRT station to get to where Siamaze Hostel is. From Sutthisan station, it was about 10 minutes walk. I paid 490 Baht for a 4 bed dorm for one night including simple breakfast. This is a little over my hostel budget but definitely worth it after a long hours on the train. There is nothing bad I can say about this hostel, or should I call it a hotel. 😊

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