South Korea · Travel Tales

We (unintentionally) gatecrashed a wedding in Unhyeongung

On our fourth day in Seoul, we slept for as long as we could and took our time with breakfast. Our goal was to visit nearby areas — the Jongmyo Shrine, Unhyeongung, the War Memorial, and whichever other place struck our (read: my) fancy. Unhyeongung used to be where the crown prince Gojong stayed before… Continue reading We (unintentionally) gatecrashed a wedding in Unhyeongung

South Korea · Travel Tales

An Autumn Morning on Nami Island

Notes on visiting Nami Island, Petite France, and the Garden of Morning Calm in one day from Seoul: Preparations Reserve your ITX-Cheongchun tickets here. Print out your reservation form. This is not your ticket; more on this later. Print out a discount coupon (1 for each person) for Petite France here. This gives international tourists… Continue reading An Autumn Morning on Nami Island

Batanes · Philippines · Travel Tales

Batanes after a storm, and some musings on traveling

It was three in the morning. Power was out, and the air inside our room was getting suffocating. I, however, dared not open the window. I’d been up awake for more than a couple of hours, watching the branches of a mango tree in the yard get whipped in all directions by Typhoon Noul/Dodong’s signal… Continue reading Batanes after a storm, and some musings on traveling

Batanes · Philippines · Travel Tales

A Tour of South Batan, Part Three: Ivana

I just love how unique place names in Batanes are and how they make you pout your lips as they create sounds and stresses you never realized existed in a Filipino language: Kayvaluganan. Mahatao. Imnajbu. Ivana. The last place, which you pronounce with the stress in the first syllable (EE-va-na), is the last of the five (out… Continue reading A Tour of South Batan, Part Three: Ivana

Batanes · Philippines · Travel Tales

A Tour of South Batan, Part 2: Uyugan

Brgy. Imnajbu (pronounced im-nah-boo) in the municipality of Uyugan has a very cool name and one of the smallest populations in the Philippines — just over 100 people! Its rugged landscape is captivating, especially more so the day we went there, what with a signal no. 4 typhoon coming. Imnajbu has a lot of claims to fame for… Continue reading A Tour of South Batan, Part 2: Uyugan

Batanes · Philippines · Travel Tales

A Tour of South Batan, Part 1: Mahatao

Unlike the previous two days, when the sky had been as blue as any Philippine summer sky could be, our third day in Batanes foreboded rain. Signal no. 2 had been forecast the day before as typhoon Noul/Dodong was about to make landfall in northeastern Luzon. It was quite the perfect day, though, for touring: the overcast… Continue reading A Tour of South Batan, Part 1: Mahatao

Batanes · Philippines · Travel Tales

Sabtang Island, Part 3: Morong Beach, and more on the vakul

Perilous roads make for grand views. It’s true for the Cordilleras; it’s also true for Sabtang. The southernmost part of Sabtang that we were able to reach during our tour was Brgy. Chavayan. Like Brgy. Savidug, it has traditional stone houses nestled between Sabtang’s green slopes and rugged coastline. Here, we were able to have… Continue reading Sabtang Island, Part 3: Morong Beach, and more on the vakul