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Busan & “Fan Death”

“Fan death” isn’t really specific to Busan, it’s country wide; however, this is my last post about Korea and I just have to talk about it. Fan death is a very serious thing and not something to be taken lightly in Korea. Fan death is the misconception that leaving an electric fan running in a closed room (no windows or doors open) can lead to death, literally, death. To try and get across just how seriously this is taken in Korea, consider that in 2006, the Korea Consumer Protection Board (a government-funded public agency) issued a consumer safety alert and published the following: Continue reading

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Siquijor

For the first time in over a year of travelling, we missed a reservation we had made. Our early morning flight from Boracay to Cebu was delayed almost three hours. When we finally landed we quickly hopped in an Uber and rushed to the bus station but got stuck in typical Filipino traffic. We hopped on a bus/ferry combo to Dumaguete and hoped we’d make what we had read online was the last ferry to Siquijor (7:20 PM). We arrived at 7:00 PM and raced down the street towards the port. Turns out he last ferry actually left at 6:00 PM. Continue reading

Boracay (9)

Beautiful Boracay

Given that in 2012, Boracay was awarded ‘best island in the world’ from the international travel magazine Travel + Leisure (it came in 2nd in 2013, with Palawan – our previous destination – in 1st); we thought we should probably pay it a visit. The centre of the action in Boracay is a 4km, postcard-perfect stretch of sand beach aptly named ‘White Beach’ and lined with hotels, restaurants, bars, and dive shops. White Beach has been hailed by Yahoo Travel, BMW Tropical Beach Handbook and many others as one of the world’s best beaches. It is immensely popular with beach-loving tourists from all over Asia – most commonly Korea, Taiwan and China. When we found a one-way flight on sale for 25$, combined with a cheap Airbnb, well, we didn’t really have a reason to say ‘no’ to checking out another slice of paradise. Continue reading

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Philippines’ Gem: Palawan (Coron and El Nido)

The province of Palawan is home to some of the most picturesque places I have ever been; I’m talking post-card perfect, no need for photo-editing; just raw beauty. It is rapidly becoming a huge tourist destination for both Filipinos and foreigners and is drawing more and more people every year. While most foreigners seem to congregate in El Nido, we decided to make another stop en-route by first taking an overnight ferry from Manila to Coron, spending a few nights there and then another ferry to El Nido. And I can’t stress how glad I am that we went to Coron – if I had to do it again, I would probably skip tourist-crowded El Nido and just visit Coron. Continue reading

Penang (8)

Malaysia

From Thailand, our goal was to get to Singapore – in the most scenic way possible. I mean, why take a direct train through Malaysia when you can island hop from Thailand?? So of course that’s what we did. The ferries between islands cost a significant bit more than the buses on the mainland but we decided it was worth it to see the Malaysian islands of Langkawi and Penang before finally landing on peninsular Malaysia and busing to Kuala Lumpur.

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The Thai Islands

After an amazing month in Chiang Mai, Thailand we extended our Thai visas and spent two weeks island hopping in the south. We were joined by two friends (Dan S. and Cory) who flew out from Vancouver to travel with us for a couple weeks. We all first met in Manitoba working for Kiewit (our employer before we quit to travel the world). For two weeks we island hopped across the southwest coast and southeast coast Thai islands. Dan and I upped our budget a little to stay in nicer resorts and hotels and treated ourselves to a bit more partying and alcohol (that is, if you can call being incredibly hungover a “treat”; also, when did I start getting so old that I actually get hungover – oh how I miss my early 20’s.) Continue reading

Full Moon Party Koh Phangan (10)

Koh Phangan Full Moon Party

The infamous Koh Phangan Full Moon Party supposedly started in the mid-1980’s and has since gained fame throughout the world of travellers. An experience to be remembered (at least through the photos on my phone), the party now draws somewhere between 5,000 and 30,000 people to Haad Rin Beach. The bars stay open all night and the party stops sometime after sunrise (if you can make it that long). It’s a hot travel spot for many travellers (especially young party-goers) and while Dan and I missed it last time we were in Thailand, this time it was part of our itinerary. Continue reading

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Travelling with High Expectations = Disappointment (Greek Islands)

Every time we set expectations for a place we seem to regret it. With the route we were following over land through Europe, we wouldn’t have made it to the Greek Islands until sometime in late October or November. So, we flew out of our way to make it for the tail-end of high season before it got too cold to enjoy the beaches and because most of the restaurants and hotels shut down for winter. We wanted to experience the famous party scene on Mykonos and watch the sunsets in Santorini. Greece was the only spot we booked our plane tickets and accommodation in advance. We booked a room right on Paradise Beach on Mykonos to be at the party area and a more remote (cheaper) room on Santorini planning to rent a scooter for four days and explore the island. We were going to eat cheap and delicious Greek food daily, buy fresh olives, watch countless sunsets, lay out on the beach, get tanned, etc. etc. Continue reading