Friday, January 31, 2014

Vietnam: Timeless Charm

From the hidden charm of Asia, Vietnam slowly progresses to become Asia's timeless charm. This wouldn't be possible if not for the strong campaign and unity of people behind working for its tourism goals. Vietnam truly lives to its campaign since a visit to the country is an offer to its timeless charm - places, people, history, tradition and culture. My return to Vietnam after 7 years was a real worthy return trip because Vietnam on its progress has truly become a destination of choice.

If you want to have an authentic taste of Vietnam's timeless charm, visit its emerging capital of business, tourism, history and economy - Ho Chi Minh City. Named after its reknowned revolutionary leader, Ho Chi Minh, it is formerly known as Saigon which is still known for this name until now. In Saigon, signs of progress are evident but still intact with tradition and history that still lives in the city. In a corner they may be skyscraper buildings and modern structures like BITEXCO Tower but also in every corner you’ll see Vietnamese people honoring their culture by wearing their traditional dress of Ao dai.

A glimpse of Vietnam from the plane window as it ascends to Tan Soh Nhat International Airport.
Before I fully explore Saigon, I traveled 5 hours to a coastal town of Mui Ne in the city of Phan Thiet and Binh Thuan Province to see the timeless charms that I can find there. Our accommodation was at Mai Am Guesthouse, which also arranged our tours in exploring Mui Ne. Via jeepney, we started the exploration of Mui Ne to its famed sand dunes. We traveled for 30 minutes to reach the White Sand Dunes. It was early in the morning trip so we can watch the sunrise in the vast desert haven. And when the sunrise starts to unfold, I witness the most beautiful day in Vietnam. The White Sand Dunes also reveals itself - a beautiful and scenic vast white sand desert marvelously lighted by sunrise. This makes a visit to White Sand Dunes ideal at morning time. Then, we had a short stopover in Red Dunes Formation, which is like Red Canyon version of Mui Ne only smaller. The red dunes are formation of eroded walls of red soil in the site where there is an overlooking point to see it. We headed next to Red Sand Dunes which is called for its reddish orange sand. It is also a vast desert of sand dunes with scenic sights of a desert haven but because of its reddish sand dunes, it is best to visit it by sunset time.

Vietnam sunrise in the most beautiful day in Vietnam.
White Sand Dunes reveals its beauty by sunrise.
 Next, we visited the local Fishing Village of Mui Ne where we get to sample a daily life in the fishing village of Vietnamese people. Here, I saw the different sea harvest of Mui Ne people sold and traded which are mostly something new to my eyes like giant squids, lobsters, sea snails and giant seashells. Aside from seeing the daily life of a fishing village here, the port is also a scenic sight with boats dock near the port. A few minutes from here is the Fairy Stream or Suoi Tien, a beautiful scenic stream with sand dunes and rock formation formed between the sides of the shallow stream. Fairy Stream is a 2 kilometer walkthrough stream that is best enjoyed by admiring the natural beauty and formations that springs in between it. The last sight we explored is Mui Ne Beach, which undoubtedly the town’s famed tourists spot. Many resorts were located at Mui Ne Beach where tourists lounge, swimming or sun bathing around. Though it sand is ivory white, tourist still love to flock here since Mui Ne has a year-round hot and dry climate. 

Red Sand Dunes is perfect for sunset viewing.
The magical sight of Fairy Stream.
Experience Vietnam beach life at Mui Ne Beach.

After an overnight trip to Mui Ne, we return to Ho Chi Minh City for our Mekong River tour. I have been to this tour to Mekong River, 7 years ago on my first visit to Vietnam but since my travel companions have not experience it yet, I gave it a go and see what’s up with Mekong River cruise after 7 years. A Mekong River cruise is basically an immersion tour and trip to see the daily life and culture of Vietnamese people living in Mekong River particularly to the Ben Tre Province. One of the first activities we did on the trip is to observe how the locals do rice wrapper in the traditional way. We get to sample those crunchy and tasty rice wrappers after its making activity. Then, we had a Vietnamese lunch in one of the islands which composed of spring rolls with elephant-ear fish meat, vegetable soup, fish and pork dishes. After a taste of Vietnamese cuisine, we then had a Honey Lemon Tea tasting in another island. It was a pleasant to the taste buds – sweet tea with a mild hint of sourness of the lemon.

We then ride on a traditional horse drawn carriage to proceed to our next destination. We stopped on a hall with tables where we were served with local fruit produce in the province like dragon fruit, longan, pineapple, papaya and watermelon. While enjoying those local fruits, we were serenaded by a Vietnamese traditional music sung by the local islanders. Though I did not understand the song, one of the Vietnamese we met during the tour, explained to us that the song is a traditional folk music about Vietnam, love and war. After a lovely serenade by the locals, we headed to cruise the Thoi Son Canal via small rowing boats. The views of the canals were the charming, serene and romantic lining of water coconuts where we cruise through for 15 minutes. This is one of the best experiences of Mekong River tour! At the end of the cruise is a look to the coconut candy making factory were locals of the Ben Tre Province are making it for income. Coconut candies come in different flavors like coffee, durian and pineapple. They are perfect “pasalubong” threats to bring home.

Romantic cruise at Thoi Son Canal.
Local fruits during Mekong River tour.
It’s almost a whole day trip to the province of Ben Tre and Tien Giang for the Mekong River tour. We arrived back at Ho Chi Minh City at six in the evening. Even tired and weary, I continued my Saigon exploration that night. We first stop at Ben Thanh Night Market for shopping bargains of class A bags and t-shirts and for local cuisines like Xoi (sticky rice with flavors) and Vietnam iced coffee. As we walk through the streets around Le Loi, visitors will glad to see the brightly lit skyscrapers of Ho Chi Minh City like especially the imposing lotus-like tower of BITEXCO. After walking around for sometime, we finally reached Ho Chi Minh’s Statue contained in a manicured garden and the City Hall at the back of it which is all brightly lit at night to clearly see the stunning details of the building’s architecture. This is probably the most beautiful landmark of the city at night!
The beautiful landmark of Ho Chi Minh City at night - The brightly illuminated City Hall and the statue of Ho Chi Minh. 
Saigon skyscrapers at night from 23/9 Park viewpoint.
We roamed around for a while but tiredness has succumbed my body, so we return to our accommodation at Kim Huong Hotel which is just at the back of Ben Thanh Market. The city also has many sights to visit from history, cultural, food trip up to shopping bargains so the following morning I continued my exploration of Ho Chi Minh City via a walking tour with my travel companions. We started with Municipal Cultural Park in the morning where there are morning joggers and strollers roaming around and enjoying the sunny morning. The park has huge shady trees ideal for sitting relaxation and unusual sculptures for photo souvenirs. Then, we headed on a historical trip to the War Remnant’s Museum where I had a glimpse of the war history that happened to the country back to the 70’s. I also had an unexplainable goosebumps all the time during my stay at the museum probably because of the unfortunate and emotional pictures of war history of Vietnam. A few blocks of walking and we passed by Reunification Palace, the former residence of President of South Vietnam during the Vietnam War. If you want to peek inside the former palace, there’s an entrance fee.

Souvenir shot of Saigon Notre-Dame Cathedral.

Enjoying the walking tour of Ho Chi Minh City in the morning.
Just a one straight street walk from Reunification Palace is Saigon Notre-Dame Basilica, one of the famous downtown landmarks in Ho Chi Minh City. The cathedral is officially known as Basilica of Our Lady of the Immaculate Concepcion and it is one of the legacies of French colonization of Vietnam. Just beside the cathedral is the Saigon Central Post Office which was built by famed architect Gustave Eiffel who is also the architect behind the famous Eiffel Tower of Paris.

A few more walks and we reached Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee or the Ho Chi Minh City Hall and Ho Chi Minh’s Statue at the front of it for a morning viewing this time. Unfortunately the city hall is not open for public or for tourist. Even taking a photo by the building grounds is not allowed but the guards let you have a picture of the building if you are a few meters away from it just like what happened to me. The Ho Chi Minh’s Statue at the front of the city hall was a commemoration and honor to the country’s famed revolutionary political leader and former president of Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh (1890-1969).

On the way to the airport - Heels on wheels.
In between the walking trips, visitors can rests to the benches of the huge 23/9 Park. The park is just near the downtown and perfect for morning or afternoon strolls for park lovers. The park is also good for night strolls where local families and friends stay here for evening bonding and people watching. In the morning, the local students and old folks like to lounge here until afternoon. Aside from Ben Thanh Market for last minute shopping before flying out, Saigon Square is also worth to shop in for bargains of bags, clothes, mobile phone accessories and jewelries. We check-out their wide variety of shopping items and got some good bargains for bags and mobile accessories.

Whew! What a walking day tour of Ho Chi Minh City! I think I have explored enough of Saigon that day with my travel buddies. So we prepare our things for our flight back that noon. Good thing, we didn’t miss the flight but I encountered a flight mishap upon check-in and I was the only one who got on the flight. But despite of it, I still had a good time in exploring Vietnam’s timeless charms. The places, the people, the culture, the history, the natural wonders… Timeless charms worth to experience. Vietnam had definitely step out of the hidden charm to a timeless one. It was a worthy return trip to Vietnam after 7 years!

Vietnam: Timeless Charm is the first of my 4-part series of travel stories about my latest travel to Vietnam that happened last October 29 - November 1, 2013. This my 2nd trip to Vietnam and my return after 7 years. You might be interested in other parts of the series (Stories soon):
+ Mui Ne: Vietnam's timeless charm
+ Mekong River: Vietnam's timeless charm
+ Ho Chi Minh City: Vietnam's timeless charm

Friday, January 24, 2014

Going 5

This is a very late post and it supposed to be posted and "celebrated" last October. I've been really busy and at times I also became stubborn to update this travel blog. But anyway, as I've said in my 2013 year-ender review, I will have a separate post about this - my 5th year of travel blogging! Going Places turns 5 in 2013! Hurray!!!

This is a milestone to be celebrated. 5 years is 5 years of sharing travel stories, adventures and full of spirit of "Travel is an experience of a lifetime"! Cheers to that! So to celebrate my 5th year of travel writing and Going Places birthday, I will share to you my top 5 most memorable moments of my 2013 travels. Let's begin with...
#5:  Discovering and experiencing dessert haven in Vietnam.
It was my first time to experience dessert and it is in Southeast Asia - to Vietnam! Mui Ne is a coastal town of Phan Thiet City in Binh Thuan Province of Vietnam. It's main attractions are its sand dunes - White Sand Dunes and Red Sand Dunes. It was in Mui Ne, I get to experience dessert haven just like being in the middle of Sahara Dessert or Arabian Dessert. Froclicking in the sand is one of the best activities to do here. Trying to do sand slide is another must-try activity to do. But the best thing I did is waiting for the sunrise to shine in the middle of the desert. It was an unforgetable moment in my Vietnam trip!
Discovering dessert haven in Vietnam.
It was an awesome experience when you know that you're just near home (Vietnam is just two hours away from Philippines). I've been to Vietnam already and experiencing dessert is something new to me in travel.
#4: Witnessing the last sunset of Summer 2013.
It was exactly May 31, 2013 - the last day of Summer 2013 when I visited and discover Sampaguita Beach, a hidden charm of Bauan, Batangas for an overnight trip where I got to witness the last sunset of summer season. It was stunning, breathtaking and beautiful! It was so gorgeous that I even took a selfie shot of the last sunset of summer! It was alsoa  momentous moment of travel for me because the Summer season ends that day - the most ideal season to travel around the country and I was on the last summer trip of Summer 2013. As in "pahabol byahe sa huling araw ng tag-araw"!
Goodbye, Summer 2013...
But one of the best thing I did on that very last day and sunset of Summer 2013 is to savor the beautiful moment. I watched the sunset as it fades down while on the beach. I even wave goodbye to it! It a nothing but pure marvelous moment of travel. For me, it was a great way and a great sight to see to end my Summer 2013! 
#3: Return to Anilao, a year after.
Last 2012, my trip to Anilao, Mabini, Batangas is one of the best travels of my life and one of the highlights of my 2012 travels. It was just a simple trip with friends and colleagues at work but it turn out to be the best day-off ever of my life! It wasn't just about the place and friend bonding that we had but with the place, our "samahan" grew stronger alongside creating the best memories that we won't forget. So to return to Anilao, a year after is something sentimental to me. 
Last 2012, it was Anilao Sunset, this time, it's Anilao Sunrise... Amazing and thankful.
Fast forward, 2013. It was the last month of the year and exactly 2 weeks to go before 2013 ends. I unexpectedly had a chance to return to Anilao again. But this time with a different set of people and in a different place of Anilao.  Even though, this time my trip here is the opposite of last 2012, I'm still happy and felt thankful to return to this place where I had great travel memories. Because returning to Anilao now brings me so much memories!

This return to Anilao trip as the last trip of my 2013 is an unexpected return that's why even though I'm just look back at the memories of the past I'm still feel thankful to those great memories.
#2: Accident on travel: Injured feet in Baler, Aurora.
I've just been to the comfort room and roamed around under a bad rainy weather on the outside grounds of Museo de Baler when I passed by its tiled grounds, then I suddenly slip. My slip would be a split position bound, so I force to stop it becuase I knew it would me more painful by sacrificing my right instep and knee which landed on the slippery floor. It was all sudden and I get the attention of all the caretakers of the museum because it happened just few steps away from the museum's entrance. I did not think of humiliation at that time. I stand-up eagerly because my buddies are waiting for me. And when I stand-up, I got my most memorable souvenir from Baler - big scratches and bloody wounds!
My most memorable souvenir from Baler!
I won't narrate anymore the details of how bloody it was (actually, it didn't stop bleeding at that time, which caused me to worry, hehe...) or how painful it was. What good thing to tell is I was still strong from pain and was able to help myself gone through a store to bought band-aids for immediate remedy while still soaking wet and under the rainy weather. My friends were surprised but I said, I'm still strong and I can still go on with the tour of Aurora. With worriness, we still toured around despite a bad weather and my condition. I won't let this accident spoil my first time trip to Aurora - that was what conditioned in my mind that day. 

When I got home at our accomodation, my friend treated it and proved the saying that - A friend in need is a friend indeed. Psst, I had a misunderstanding with him earlier that day but we're already fine. This wasn't just the first time I had accident on travel or had an injured feet while on trip but this is surely my most memorable souvenir from Baler, Aurora.

#1: Celebrating my birthday twice last March on two different destinations.
Not everyone has a chance to celebrate their birthday twice. Especially when you're thinking of money matter on birthdays to be celebrated on a travel trip - magastos! I always planned my birthday celebrations and it is always on travel, thus it is celebrated on a different place, year after year since 2011. But last 2013, I did not to expect it as grand and epic celebration having double birthday trip celebration! I still thankful I still had savings after this birthday trips!

My first birthday trip falls on the day of my birth date so it is more plan than my second birthday trip. I went to Puerto Princesa, Palawan with my family and relatives. It was my first time to see the world famous Underground River of Palawan and to see fireflies on a river cruise! I enjoyed my birthday trip. And on the exact day of my special day, I rode an airplane back home. It's a milestone for me, because I am riding my most favorite mode of transportation in travel and doing my passion in life on my birthday, which is travel!
Double birthday trip celebration. Left: Palawan with family and relatives. Right: Zambales with friends.
My second birthday trip falls a few days after my exact birthday.  This is really unplanned but suddenly had an urge to initially have a birthday celebration again but this time with friends. I did not expect it to be a travel trip or a second birthday trip but I think it is because of the call of summer -  the ideal season to travel in which my birth month falls. So I immediately, invite my friends to do an immediate planning for a summer trip/second birthday trip. It was just planned shortly and very rushed that some of the friends I wish to join the trip didn't make it due to schedule conflicts and sudden planning. But despite of it, we still push through with the trip. I had a summer camp trip in the coves of San Antonio, Zambales for my second birthday trip. It was my first time to do camping, cooking on our own and we had a birthday dinner for me by the bonfire at night. I had a wonderful birthday celebration this time with my best friends!

What a milestone and memorable 2013 birthday trip for me when it was my first time on those places! But what really makes it memorable is not just the beautiful place, picturesque sights or good food in totality but also because of the great people I am with on these travels.
Nothing beats the experience of doing your one great passion in life on your special day.
It's been 5 years and Going Places still didn't lost the theme of discovery, places, experience and travel. It even went on to go and share the travel motto - Travel is an experience of a lifetime. Which is a true experience in travel and I think the real essense of travel, going places and gaining experiences from it. I hope every readers here has got the sense of this spirit of Going Places.

Thank you everyone for reading and contineous visiting this travel blog. May this year, I travel more and share more adventures in travel that not only enriches me as a person but also to enrich everyone who reads my travel stories. I'm happy to reach 5 and I hope to share more travel stories. Cheers and let's go together towards going 6!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Undiscovered Sampaguita Beach of Bauan, Batangas

The last days of Summer is approaching. And I'm tempted to have one last summer escapade before the rainy season comes. Just a quick, short and nearby summer escape is all I need to quench my thirst for a one last summer trip.

The undiscovered Sampaguita Beach of Bauan in Batangas province.
It was timely when a friend of mine invited me to check out the beaches in Batangas for a summer trip. After online searches, we found Sampaguita Beach in Batangas with resorts located at the municipality of Bauan, which is just near to our province in Cavite. So we went off for a 2 hour trip to Bauan from Dasmarinas, Cavite. Upon arrival in Bauan, we took an Anilao bound jeepney and drop-off at Barangay Sampaguita which is just near the border between the municipality of Bauan and Mabini. From the drop-off, we took a tricycle that will take us to Barangay Sampaguita-Baba. There are two barangay of Sampaguita - Baba and Taas. Barangay Sampaguita-Baba is where the resorts of Sampaguita Beach are located. It is a 40-45 minute tricycle trip down to the mountainous and hilly terrain of the barangay. The end of the road is the jump point to the beach.

The road within a "forest" that one must past through before reaching Sampaguita Beach. 20-25 minutes from jeepney drop-off point.  
The long shoreline of Sampaguita Beach has numerous beach resorts.  But we had a challenge - to reach the other resorts of Sampaguita Beach when the land entry point is block by a private resort. The second option is to cross the resort on a knee-deep water to reach the other side of the shore. Though the water is just knee-deep, our heavy things and packed food is making our cross difficult. So my friend devise a plan by pretending looking for rooms to stay and then excuse to come back when we wouldn't able to find rooms. It actually worked!

Residencia de Riego Beach and Dive Resort beach front.
Residencia de Riego Beach and Dive Resort beach front area with its boats.
The resort's accommodation - all-fan room nipa-hut style rooms.
After scouting for other resorts, we settled to Residencia de Riego Beach and Dive Resort which offered us affordable room package. It is also a very nice resort. Plus it has a beautiful beach front of Sampaguita Beach. Residencia de Riego Beach and Dive Resort is known for its signiture look of bamboo designed cottages and rooms and wide space grounds for music band performances. Bamboo trees also adorned every corner of the resort which invokes a feeling of tropical resort relaxation. But what I like the most about the resort is its good share of Sampaguita Beach shoreline that is gives a stunning seascape view from the front of the resort. They also offer snorkeling and island hopping activity. And unlike any other resort in Sampaguita Beach, only them offers diving activity to its guest.

The pristine Sampaguita Beach.
Violet cowrie shells at Sampaguita Beach.
Sampaguita Beach is a hidden charm of Bauan. It has an ivory-white sand beach with clean shoreline and pristine waters. The beach also has scenic seascapes of mountain ranges set against the blue-green waters of the beach. Also at the beach front, one can see the gorgeous seascape and its nearby islands of Anilao, Mabini and Tingloy. Those gorgeous sights added to the charming beauty of Sampaguita Beach.

The other side of the cove.
I coudn't resists its clear and clean blue-green waters so I swam to it under the midday sun. I think my break was just lunch time and by 4 in the afternoon I return to the beach again to swim again. It was a relaxing and calming swim under the summer sun. But how time flies fast that its time for me to witness the sunset of Sampaguita Beach. It was a momentous event of the day for me because it is the last sunset of Summer 2013. It was a beautiful golden Bauan Sunset that I will never forget! It was simply breathaking, stunning and marvelous. I watched its golden beauty and I'm glad to watch that sunset. And as it goes down, I watched until it faded in the faraway side of the sea up to until it faded in my eyesight. Witnessing that last sunset of summer is a great way to bid goodbye to summer season.

That night we had our packed dinner and a few booze of beer over sharing of stories. Unfortunately for those who are looking for a loud sounding nightlife in Sampaguita Beach, there is none to be found except doing a drinking session of beer or alcohol liquors over sharing of stories. Nightlife in Sampaguita Beach is mostly quiet, relaxing and tranquil to the body and soul.

Corals just a few meters from Sampaguita Beach. Perfect for snorkeling activity.
The following morning we did one last swimming in the morning at the beach. Though, I tempted to do snorkeling at the beach's coral garden reef or do island hopping activity since we still had enough time. I refuse to do so and instead choose to have a relaxing swim to the beach. I find it a calming and relaxing activity option to do in the morning. But in case visitors tries to do snorkeling, a coral garden is just near the beach where the resort's boat can fetch back and forth to the location of the coral reefs. For island hopping, one of the island itineraries is a visit to Sombrero Island, named after the shape of island which is a hat. Sombrero is the Tagalog term for hat.

Bauan Sunset - beautiful, beguiling, breathtaking...

Saying goodbye to the last sunset of Summer 2013...
Residencia de Riego  Beach and Dive Resort is a nice and affordable resort with friendly staff but the only drawback here is its location and how reach it from Bauan town proper. It's a challenge to reach it especially to commuters. But visitors can take the resort's private boat transfer arrangement service from Anilao port to Sampaguita Beach for an add-on fee on top of the room rate. But overall, its worth a try to stay in the resort and its location shouldn't let visitors refrain from visiting the resort. Plus Sampaguita Beach is truly a hidden charm in this side of Bauan.

Deep submerge.
Discovering and exploring Sampaguita Beach's beauty and charm was a great way for me to end my last summertime thirst for adventure. The Bauan sunset that I witnessed that day was perfect enough for me to say goodbye to summer. Though my last summer escapade experience is just quick and my stay at the resort is just short, I think I had the most of it with just discovering the undiscovered Sampaguita Beach of Bauan. Those great summer experiences made my summer a summer to remember.

Undiscovered Sampaguita Beach of Bauan, Batangas is my fourth and last trip of Summer 2013 that happened last May 29-30, 2013. I will soon have a separate post of photo gallery of Sampaguita Beach and Bauan seascapes that I captured during my visit last summer and an accommodation review of my stay in Residencia de Riego Beach and Dive Resort.

Residencia de Riego Beach and Dive Resort
Baranggay Sampaguita-Baba, Bauan, Batangas
Contacts: 09065576922/09323823081/09474517974
FB Page: Residencia De Riego Beach

Monday, January 13, 2014

2013 Year of Travel and my 5th Year!

First, I'm sorry for a very much less update on my travel blog for the past months in which I've been really outdated on all of my travel posts. I have much less post in 2013 than in 2012 in which I really feel bad. I've been really busy at work (and bacause of traveling... of course! Hehe) that I have been unable to update this blog regularly. But good thing is, I have lots of travel stories to share that I had in last 2013!

I don't really know how to start writing every travel adventure I had last year. I have been outdated in posts and most of them are late posts already. Travel stories that I supposed to share filed on top of each other in addition to other series that I already started and left unfinished. But nonetheless, this year I'll try to finish sharing everything starting to last series of travel stories I've started in 2012.

Some of the 2012 travel series that I bow to finish this year were my trips to China - still 6 more story series to go. My trip to Iloilo - especially sharing its heritage churches and the hidden gem of Concepcion. My musings to Guimaras and my island hopping experience there. Lastly for 2012 travel series, my trip to Sagada and exploration of my Mountain Province experience. See? I still have lots stories to share. And now, all of them are throwback travel stories already because of  my pending updates!

2013 is a great year of travel!
For 2013, I have lots of stories to share too! No doubt and undisputed that 2013 is a year of travel for me! Here's a round-up of my 2013 travels: February - Baguio. March - Palawan and Zambales. May - Bauan, Batangas. November - Vietnam. And December - Aurora and Anilao, Mabini, Batangas. It may be a few for others, but for me, 7 travels a year is a major achievement. So expect, my travel stories in these places I've been last year and continuation of some story series that I've started already in the coming months. Geez! I hope to share them all this year!

I've been so busy especially in the last 5 months of 2013, that I even failed to celebrate my blogs' 5th year anniversary in the blogging world! So, I decided later this month, I will create a special posts regarding my blog's 5th year anniversary. My God! It's 5 years... it's a milestone to be celebrated!!! Wohoo!!!

For more of connectivity, Going Places have a Facebook Page already for updates and latest social sharing. I hope you tap the "like" button! And I really hope to share more in Facebook!  

Because travel is an experience of a lifetime!
I thankful and glad for the last 2013 because it has been a great year of travel for me for the fourth consecutive time. I had experiences of a lifetime again because of the places I have been. I have lived again to my travel motto - Travel is an experience of a lifetime!  Don't you agree with my motto? 2013 made sure of it to me! Doing my passion enriches me as a person because of the discoveries I made in travel. Travel is not just all about adventures. It is a real experience of a lifetime!

To end this, let me share this travel quote that has been trending in Facebook and Instagram social media last year which I would like to adapt as my travel motto too because of its very significant meaning - Take vacations. Go as many places as you can. You can always make money. You can't always make memories.

Indeed, travel is an experience of a lifetime!

Happy 2014 everyone! Cheers!
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