Andon Ryokan | Tokyo

My default choice for accommodations during a trip is almost always a hostel. Hostels are cheaper, they usually come with free breakfast and whether you want to or not, you get to meet people from all around the world. If you’re lucky, the hostel you choose is sooooo cool and wonderfully designed that it’s forever branded as awesome in your memory (case in point: Hostel 64 Osaka).

With that said, the same principle applied to my recent trip in Japan. I was set to spend four nights in RetroMetro Backpackers. Unfortunately, they had emailed back to me and told me they’d be closed for two weeks starting on the day that I would arrive. So the search for accommodations continued, and I ended up choosing this wonderful budget ’boutique’ ryokan in Taito-ku.

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Little Edo | Kawagoe

There are many day trips to take from Tokyo, the most popular of which, in my opinion, is a visit to one of the nearby prefectures to view Mount Fuji (e.g. day trips to Hakone, or Kawaguchiko). And for good reason – it’s a sight to behold, especially on a crisp, sunny day.

But this post is dedicated to Kawagoe, one of the ‘roads less taken’, so to speak, when visiting Tokyo.

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Good Food, Good Art | Penang

As a last hurrah of sorts with four friends – one friend was leaving and heading back to Manila for good – we had come up with the somewhat spontaneous plan to spend one weekend in Penang. It’s northwest of Malaysia, known for its historical significance (Georgetown is part of the UNESCO Heritage list), its street art (Lithuanian artist Ernest Zacharevic‘s works are all over Penang), and its food (hands down, best laksa ever for only MYR6).

It’s such a great place to be in. If you happen to be visiting this part of the world – Singapore / Malaysia – choose to allot at least two days in this charming destination. Stay for the art; stay for the food. If that isn’t enough, then stay for the beaches, which we’ve heard are quite lovely. In any case, it’s a treat in itself to spend the whole day walking around Georgetown, and when it gets too hot, streets are littered with small cafes, each of which is unique and oozes chill vibes and good coffee. Continue reading

On the Dragon’s Back | Hong Kong

I don’t know about you, but recently I’ve noticed that more and more people have been climbing mountains and going on hikes whenever they’re out of town. Every so often, someone I know would post a photo of an incredible vista of a mountain range or a sea of clouds at the break of dawn.

It’s awesome, this renewed interest in the outdoors. We’re practically reminding ourselves that, yes, there’s something more to life than the city and our everyday lives in and out of school/work.

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