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One Week in Tokyo

Experiencing Tokyo, the world’s most populous city, a melting pot of old and new, tradition and business, temples and neon lights, was one of the primary reasons why we travelled to Japan. When we were looking at accommodation (two months in advance) we almost cut down our days in the city due to the high prices and lack of availability. But we stuck to our plan of spending a week there and booked a small, cute and modern private apartment conveniently located by the largest JR station. We used credit card reward points to offset the price and justified it due to the fact that our trip was nearing it’s end and we were running short on places to splurge. Continue reading

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One Night in Hiroshima

In 1945, the first atomic bomb in history was dropped on Hiroshima. The destructive power of the bomb obliterated nearly everything within a two kilometer radius. Since then, great efforts have been taken to rebuild the city. Maybe it’s something embedded in our psyche that gives us a desire to go somewhere where such great destruction occurred because, like so many others, Dan and I wanted to experience the city. We caught a morning train from Osaka and booked one night in a hostel. In retrospect, we could have day tripped, although the change of scenery, not to mention upgraded accommodation was a nice change. 

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Macau: The Vegas of Asia

Macau, officially ‘the Macao Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China’, is a autonomous territory on the southern coast of China… just like Hong Kong. When we read that it was the “Las Vegas of Asia” and only a short ferry ride from Hong Kong, we decided to do a day trip. We left Hong Kong in the morning and returned in the early evening. Continue reading

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Hong Kong: The World’s #1 Tourist Destination City

While there are hundreds (if not thousands) of cities in the world worth visiting, there’s a few that just about everyone has on their list of ‘must-see’ cities and Hong Kong is one of them. Not only is Hong Kong one of the world’s three most important financial centres (alongside New York and London) and a major global trade hub, but it’s also the world’s number one tourist destination city. Top 100 City Destinations, published by Euromonitor International, has placed Hong Kong in the number one spot consistently since the 2010 data was published in 2012. Of course, a big reason Hong Kong is on the top is its proximity to mainland China and the massive increase in Chinese tourism around the world. Continue reading

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Bohol: The Island of Tarsiers and Chocolate Hills

The island of Bohol was our last stop in the Philippines before continuing our journey East to Hong Kong. The adorable island of Bohol is a quick ferry journey from Cebu (an international travel hub in the Philippines) making it an ideal place to stay. Type “Bohol” into a Google Image search and two things will come up: cute bug-eyed tarsiers (amongst the world’s smallest primates) and the majestic Chocolate Hills (some 1,200 limestone mounds that turn cocoa-brown in the dry season); hence the “adorable” adjective when describing Bohol. Continue reading

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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