Trivia: Did you know that there are 89 stairs/steps going to the main hall, which was the age of President Chiang when he passed away?
History lessons are one of those exciting things to learn especially when teachers shares interesting stories about a public figure who shook the world, a historical place which made an impact in our history or even those events that changed the world today. When I was in my junior high, we were saturated with Asian history, more or less, those important people, events and places which not only shook the world but somehow, made an impact of inspiration to the rest of the world. One of these, is the world famous leader, Chiang Kai-shek.
He did a big role to what Taiwan has become now and for many, he served as the founding father of the Republic of China, known today as Taiwan. In commemoration of his contribution to Taiwan, a national hall, dedicated to him was built by 1976, after his demise. His monument served as a reminder to everyone in Taiwan, and also, one of the main attractions of the country.
The hall is open from 9am to 6pm, with the changing of guards every hour until 5pm. As for my experience, it is best to come 20 minutes before the changing took place so you can get the best spot and avoid the crowd as well.
Chiang Kai-shek hall is accessible via the green line, and go out at exit 5. Hall is closed during eve of Chinese New Year, Chinese New Year dates, and during its regular maintenance. For the perfect weather, it is up to you when but try to avoid summer and monsoon season as it might be too uncomfortable, be it too hot or too wet. Aside from the hall, the entrance gates, of color blue and white has significant meanings. The blue and white colors represent Taiwan’s national emblem, Blue Sky and White Sun.
The archway at the entrance which is comprised of 5 entryways/gates, 6 pillars, and 11 roofs, means that this archway is of the highest rank according to the traditional Chinese architectural classification system.
The vicinity of the hall is also perfect for recreational activities like jogging, fun times with friends, or just strolling around appreciating nature, while munching a bit (littering isn’t allowed so might as well be responsible). So for those who are planning to visit Taiwan, do not forget to pay here a visit, and leave footprints of memories.
Watching the picturesque landscape from above is just absolutely amazing. As long as this exists, this is a reminder of how Taiwan have stood its ground over the years.
Nature always has a special place in my heart. Not only that I was born and raised in countryside wherein access to nature’s wonders are easy, but being with nature even a glimpse of your day is somehow an anti-depressant more so, a quick relief from stress.
Waking up with mountains just outside your window, hearing chants from different animals on an early morning and breathing clean and crisp air makes me miss even more my life living in the countryside.
Mostly, when I travel, I make it sure to include in my itinerary that at least half of the day, I can spent time with nature. And with my last travel last January in Cebu, I have experienced another milestone in my travelling – climbing the highest peak in Cebu, Osmeña Peak and experiencing Tumalog Falls, two different avenues of nature, land and water based.
Osmeña Peak and Tumalog Falls are still part of Badian, southwestern part of Cebu and is a must see when you got travel plans in the area. There are a lot of ways to reach the area from the city, either you book on a tour from legit travel sites or you can also do DIY when you got friends who knew the direction.
Driving towards Osmeña Peak is a bit challenging especially traversing on an uphill road with cliffs on the other side. We decided to go early morning so we can witness the sunrise but to our surprise, it was the zero visibility because of the fogs (also it rained the night before) that greeted us. From the base, it took us almost an hour to reach the summit (depends on how fast you can climb) because my colleague decided to savor the moment while climbing up especially that the mountain is covered with fogs which adds up to our excitement. Below were some of the captured moments during our climb.
The view from the top is just magnificent. Considering that it was too foggy, it gave us a different view from the top. Proper safety measures should be observed, as it was to slippery too. We have failed to view the sunrise since it was a bit cloudy when we reached to the top yet the spectacular view pays off our visit.
From Osmeña Peak , we drove to Tumalog falls, one of the tourist spots around Badian area as well. These two spots can be visited prior your canyoneering adventure. When we reached the area, there are 2 ways where you can visit the site of the falls: either you take a “habal-habal” or the motorcycle for a 50 Php fare or you can walk going to the site. The pathway is too steep that driver should be extra careful enough (well they have mastered the skill as well) else you would end up rumbling on the cliff. The walk is easy going down but going up afterwards is really a challenging one. The falls have lowered down the intensity of its waters since it is not raining much, yet the hair-like falls have captivated the visitors. The water is not deep as well like above waistline only so it is a good spot to have unlimited poses for your social medias.
Having visited these two prior to our canyoneering activity was just fantastic. We know how adrenaline rushed the canyoneering activity is, yet these experiences have started up to fuel ourselves and is a must when you visit Badian.
With these activities, I hope that you would get the consider to explore Cebu, and pay a visit to these areas I have visited. Til then, Cebu!
I just want to Thank You guys for sparing your time to read my blogs (“,). Apologize if you might find it too bland as I am just a newbie in this platform and I have not learned everything on how to run a blog site. To those who are willing to educate me, I am more than happy to learn how to upgrade or even improve my blog site. Cheers! -JohnBee
Last February 17-22, 2019, we have spent 5 full days exploring TAIWAN for the first time, with my mom to witness and experience the Annual Lantern Festival. I have read and watched blogs and vlogs regarding the place which made me more excited to visit the place.
We kick-off our trip via AirAsia airlines from Cebu, Philippines and took us only about 3 hours to reach Taiwan (30 minutes ahead of the ETA). The weather is crisp 14 deg when we reached , just perfect to start our adventure. After clearing from immigration and getting our luggage, we head off to Unite Traveler to get our rented wifi via KKday, to help us mobilize more in exploring the place. Oh by the way, we rented it for 87 PH peso, like less than 2 USD per day, for a very fast and stable connection even in super rural areas), you might as well consider renting it too especially you need it for Google maps and your social media updates. After getting all the stuff needed at the airport, we head to the MRT station to start our trip going to the city (from T1, you can ride train, bus or hire taxi going to your destination).
Destination: Taipei Expo Park, Beitou Geothermal Valley and Museum, Shilin Market
Taipei Expo Park –> alight at Yuanshan Station, opposite Exit 1
Since we arrived on a Sunday, this means that the park is full of crowd. Not only that it’s family day, there were also activities lined up and food stalls everywhere! We saw independent artistes showing off their skills, SME entrepreneurs who displayed their local cuisines (like pastry, bite size snacks, street foods, etc) and have witnessed 33 Fancy Frontier, an activity where participants dressed up on their favorite anime character. Aside from these, the magnificent landmarks built within the parks’ vicinity are visually appealing, favorably for IG fanatics. Take a look at some of the pictures below.
The park is really a perfect spot to stroll around and the best place to even rest with good food and conversation with friends and family.
Sample Food Cart Displays
After more than 2 hours exploring the park, we head our way to Beitou Geothermal Valley and Museum. Take note guys that the Valley and Museum close at 530 pm so it’s better to go earlier so you can visit both.
Beitou Geothermal Valley and Museum –> Beitou station –> Xinbeitou station
The trip took about 30 minutes if I remembered it right an about 20-30 minutes walk too depending on your pace. Since we arrived late, we failed to see what’s inside the museum and the famous Geothermal Valley, which offers an emerald green colour of the water. Often called as the Hell Valley, you might hear it odd, but this one remains one of the top destinations in Taiwan, tourist and locals alike. One trivia before was that, people bring eggs to the valley to boil them in the hot spring water, which is now prohibited for safety reasons. Below were some of the photos we took going to the place.
The last stop for today is the famous Shilin Market. Remember to alight at Jiantan Station, Exit 1.
Hype as one of the best when it comes to street foods, I cannot contain my excitement to give my verdict since I have tried street foods of Singapore, KL, HK, Macau, Japan, Thailand and Seoul. As were on the way to the night market, I’ve noticed that there was a long queue on one of the stalls which gave my curiosity. Not to mention, the flavourful scent coming from the different foods/bbq along the way made me hungry and even more excited to taste each one of those.
Before you reached to the Shilin Market sign, a lot of foods stalls and gaming stalls would greet you. From stinky tofu, to seafoods, to cheese cakes, fried cheese, fried chicken and a bunch of fruit stuff as well. Take a look to some of the food stalls we managed to take a photo before my phone died (and forgot to bring my power bank).
Overall, I will give 3 out of 5 stars regarding my visit to Shilin Market. I have noticed that variety of street foods is not much, though they have food court at the basement, still the stalls offer more likely the same foods. Some foods were just bland, some were great. The famous fried chicken, the veggie bao, and the fried cheese were some of my favorite.s I just expect too much since a lot of people have shared their experience going over to Shilin Market. The souvenir shop is quite okay as well, not to cheap but has a decent variety to choose from. For me, it’s not really a main spot to visit to, but should be included in the list as well.
So far, Taiwan has impressed me. I have seen how clean the area, how disciplined the people (even if there’s communication barrier, they still tried their best to converse to tourists), mode of transportation is convenient, and food is decently delicious.
Have you ever imagined facing one of your greatest fears and win over it?
My name is Johnbee and I am just one of those typical persons who have these typical fears – in height, getting down deep into the water and seeing those “scaly” animals alive! And just 2 weeks ago, I have tried facing not only one, but two of my greatest fears at the same time – heights and getting down deep in to the water.
I might considered myself a bit of a risky person when it comes to exploring things yet sometimes, I just don’t have the balls to start even in just one step.
After my Sinulog experience last 20 January, my friends and I have signed up for a canyoneering activity the day after, in one of those highly recommended adventure and adrenaline rush activities in Southwestern Cebu, canyoneering in Kawasan, Badian. Located 60km from Oslob and 130km from Cebu city, Kawasan have gained this reputation as one of those things one should do when you go to Cebu city. Not only it has win over the hearts of the locals, but also, captivated the interest on the tourists.
When we went there, the weather is just perfect! Sun is up ( as it was intermittently raining during Sinulog) yet not too humid, but still humid hahaha. We left the hotel from the city around 4am and reached Kawasan almost 12nn. It’s a bit of a long drive though since we drop by at Osmena Peak and Tumalog Falls before we head our way to Kawasan.
After we had our lunch, we changed to our rash-guard suits, then hop on the “habal-habal” or motorbike all the way to the briefing area before starting the Kawasan adventure. While on the way, the scenery is just magnificent. Lush greens of trees and different plants greeted us while we are on our motorbike. The orientation lasted for about 10 minutes, somehow it’s a detailed briefing on what and what not to do.
Heading to the base 1, is a challenging walk downhill as we were fighting against gravity, not to mention were still full from our lunch though. It took us about 30 minutes to reach base 1.
The first jump is always the bravest one I should say!
After a 10 minute break to catch our breath, we now started the journey. And yes, to our surprise, the challenge started by having our 1st jump – YES! First out of the 5 jumps for this adventure! The first jump is always the bravest one I should say! Not to mention the pressure of the people queuing for their turn, but the fact that your peers has already jumped off! This is a 20-feet jump by the way.
The water is crystal clear and its very cold – just perfect for the weather. Not to mention, the magnificent scene we witnessed as we continue with the journey adds up to the excitement. One of the challenges I must say is the focus to keep your balance while walking on the rocky path.
Going to the 2nd base would mean a more challenging act to do, and it surely is! The 2nd base challenge is to slide down from the falls to the base with your head first – yes, heads first, like an inverted slide. When I saw this in YouTube, this is the one I always wanted to try, and it never failed me. For me, this is one of the most satisfying act we did in Kawasan.
If you think the challenge ends there, you’re wrong. After we slide down with heads first, we had our 2nd jump, either you choose the 20-feet or the 30-feet. Our team chose the 20-feet as the 30-feet is a bit of a steepy one. Our guide had told us that there is still another 30-feet jump on the next destination.
If you think the challenge ends there, you’re wrong.
After we have done with the chu-chu-train ride act, (which was fun by the way) we head to 7/11 (the term they use) for a quick break and even a munch if you want to. When we arrive there, the smell of BBQ made our tummy hungry, ended we ate some smoked hotdogs and bbq. Energy replenished and we are in the way to our 3rd jump, a 30 feet jump.
The 3rd jump was a bit challenging since the footing of the rock base where we will jump is a bit small. Pressured by the people cheering on us, we bravely face the jump and win over our fears. We had to walk for about 30 minutes to reach the next destination but it is not a boring walk since the lush green of trees and crystal clear waters together with the sound from the birds chirping accompanied us as we continue with the journey. Our guide had told us that the 4th jump will be a 40-feet high and when we reached the area, our legs starting to shake and my balls went poff!
It took me about 20 minutes before I finally decided to do the 4th jump. Seeing from afar, it looks like it’s too high and the base looks a bit scarier thinking that we might hit on the cemented area of the foot bridge. Challenged on how to swim to the baseline since the waves from the waterfalls lead us to the other side, we just patiently cling on the rocks and from there, slowly swim towards the baseline. Otherwise, will be going round and round and round. For me, out of the 5 jumps, this would be the scariest among them all. After that jump, there’s a swing nearby it and it’s somehow a fun one to try on. This location before the final jump is a nice one to soak on the water longer. Hence we ran out of time, we only stayed for about 30 minutes before heading to the last jump.
At last we are heading to the final jump with only a little bit of the time before the sun finally sets down. The last jump was only less than 10-minute walk from the 2nd to the last one with still amazing view to enjoy. Here, since it is the last jump, we gathered all our guts of bravery and energy to give that jump with a bang! The last jump is not as scary as the prior jump, may be because it is the last one or just no pressure because there were no other people waiting for their turn. Overall, I could say that the Kawasan canyoneering is a must try when you go to Cebu. Into adrenaline rush adventure or not, this is a treat one should give to yourself. Below is the link for the jumps I did. Enjoy guys.
It doesn’t only make you brave in facing some of your fears but it also would make you realize that in some time of your life, you should try things out of your comfort zone.
These were the chants I have heard from almost every people in every corner of the street who went for the Sinulog 2019 celebration last 20 January 2019 in the heart of the Queen City of the South, Cebu.
This celebration always mark every 3rd Sunday of January, wherein locals and even tourists alike who are devotees of the child, Senior Sto Niño, will gather on this special event. Weekly activities, prayer processions, 1 week novena, and etc were some of the activities attendees look forward to every month of January. The celebration runs for a month yet the street parade and dances is celebrated every 3rd sunday of January.
During this day, expect that traffic will build up and even closure of some streets will take effect. Thus, this is a chance where you can explore the city and join in the jive of the people passing by, making their dance moves in the beat of the Sinulog sounds. T-shirts and face painting (with fee or for free) will dominate the streets to hype even more the festivity. Street foods and local cuisine floods up along the street, so no need for you to worry if you end up hungry in the street.
Aside from this special event, security is also at its peak as the local government had assigned a lot of security personnel like police and army (in some areas) to make sure that security of all the attendees is their utmost priority (in Basilica del Sto Niño, bag packs are not allowed). When I went there, I have felt so proud hearing comments from my friends in Singapore, that even they, have also commented on a job well done by securing the safety of the place.
If you happen to include Cebu in your bucket list, try to experience the Sinulog fever and I tell you, there is so much fun even under the sun or rain? hahaha
Disclaimer: This is not a detailed guide on how to go to the tourist attractions we have visited in Seoul. I am just sharing my experience BUT I will try my best to reply on the questions (should I encountered them) you will post after reading my blog. Also, this is just a quick view of my first time trip in Seoul. Thank You 🙂
With the global phenomenon of K-Pop alongside with K-Drama, it is not a question that South Korea is indeed one of the top tourist destinations for the past 5 years. The growing number of tourists flying in to experience the Hallyu wave or the K-Pop sensation has proven much that South Korea is not only famous for its aesthetic side when it comes to vanity, and mouth-watering foods served wherever you may go, but also, for preservation of what makes South Korea today, its culture. And with it, I am excited to share to you, my 5-day stay, wandering my soul in Seoul, South Korea.
Day 1. Arrival in Incheon, Namsan Park and Tower, Dongdaemon History and Culture Park, Dongdaemon Shopping, Pojangmacha @ Jongno 3-ga.
My mom and I flew from Cebu City to Incheon via Pan Pacific Airlines at 11 pm and have touched down Seoul around 4 am. It was a cold 7 degree outside as it was in the middle of the autumn season, November. My mom was super excited as it was her first trip overseas (and experiencing autumn too!) that she even told me she can “tahan” or can endure the cold weather by not wearing a fleece jacket or a heat tech suit. And by the time we disembarked from the plane and moved to the airport shuttle bus, she then experienced her first autumn breeze and she was like, ” it’s nice, the breeze is so cold, can you pass over to me my jacket?” and I was like, welcome to autumn season ma.
We started the tour around 10 am after we have checked in our luggage, freshen up a bit and took our breakfast in the hotel where we were staying. The sunny weather with a cold autumn breeze is just perfect in this journey. Mom was excited as I have told her that the first destination we will visit has something to do with nature (she’s a nature lover by heart). Surely, there are a lot of ways on how to get to Namsan Tower: by cable car, by bus or even by walking / hiking. Originally, the plan was to take the cable car from (insert station) going up the tower; but since we were still a bit full from the sumptuous breakfast we had, we decided to take the walk and somehow it would be best for mom to take a personal look and feel of autumn season, by touching the autumn seasoned colored leaves.
Walking thru the path towards the tower with the sight of the colourful and playful leaves that had turned into yellow, red, and brown is just magnificent and de-stressing; Coming from a tropical country who rarely see this wonderful sight every autumn, always delighted me and made me realize that His creation never fails to amaze us.
From there, we just followed the signs going to the tower, and mind you, the climb is not easy BUT it is satisfying. Why? Because as we continue to walk and climb and walk and climb again, the natural beauty that greeted us every time replenished our lost energy. Not to mention that me and my mom are both nature lover, I was just surprised that she just keeps her cool and always tell these two phrases while walking : “wow ka tsada jud sa nature (wow, how nice nature is)” , ” thank you Lord “. I am more than happy to see my mom with her smile all over her face and appreciating what she have seen so far (as she only saw these sight when I shared to her my pictures during my autumn trip in Japan last November 2017). While we continue on walking and climbing following the trail thru the signs, we did not miss the chance to capture some great moments by having some photos taken with the nature 🙂
It was more than an hour trek but the determination to reach the tower while appreciating the sight were still on point. As we are heading to reach the tower, the excitement is still on point and the view is getting more amazing. When we reached, we quenched our thirst with local drinks and grab some food to munch. Energized by the fish cake and some breads we have eaten, we started taking photos on this amazing location.
After we have drowned ourselves with what we have witnessed in Namsan Tower, and as the sun is slowly setting without us noticing it, we have decided to proceed to Dongdaemon History and Culture Park to have a look of those cool sculptures displayed recognized as on of the famous landmarks.
After having a quick stroll at Dongdaemon, we have decided to go to Myeongdong not to shop yet, but just to experience the place. After few hours of walking, checking out the place, we went to Jongno 3 to have our dinner in one of the coolest Pojangmacha there. And after a delicious samgyeupsal for dinner, we head back tour hotels to get some rest after a very productive day.
Thank you for the time you consider reading my FIRST EVER post in my blog.
The entry you are about to read below are my thoughts on travelling solo.
At first, whenever I read blogs and watched vlogs about going on a solo travel, there is always a feeling of excitement as well as being anxious of how do they managed to do such brave act and ended up (for most of solo travelers) sharing a lot of unforgettable, awful as well as surprising turn-of-events experiences.
“They say that if you haven’t traveled, you only see a bit of what the world can offer.”
Travelling solo is a mix of FUN and fierce.
Fierce I must say because the moment you decided to travel solo, it would mean that you do not have that person to back you up on your travels (physically), fix things and solve concerns related on your travel; and of course, the trip might be boring because you do not have someone to talk to.
If that would be the case, why do I bother to travel solo?
This is where the FUN part sets in.
Travelling solo is also FUN. This is a good opportunity where you learn a lot of stuff by yourself – from locating directions, perfecting that solo poses with the help of tripods / selfie sticks, fix things on your own and to even managing your time well, so you will have a productive day afterwards. After all, it is a matter of how will you push things to end up beautifully amidst all the struggles you have encountered. And with travelling solo, you have a taste of how to be independent, successfully.
Travelling solo would mean you are ready to grow mature as a person. This is one of the many steps towards growing maturely, and it would make you realize that you can break beyond your limits if you allow yourself to. This is also a good instrument of gauging if you are prepared enough for an independent life you have always wanted to achieve. Travelling solo would mean brushing off those interpersonal skills! I know a few introvert people in their own place but the opposite one when travelling abroad. With travelling solo, you are exposed to different types of people – to extreme introverts and extroverts, and how these, meeting them, would change your perspective.
I got my first hands-on experience of going on a solo travel, in Japan, back in November 2017 and yes, it left a mark in my heart, that up until now, I can remember every single detail of pure excitement, fun, and appreciation of culture, people, tourist destinations, food and even their confusing-at-first-yet-turned-out-to-be-efficient transportation.
Japan has moved me in ways I can never get tired to explain – and that’s because of the brave act that day, when I decided to have my first solo travel.
So what were my preparations for my first solo travel?
Aside from the basics – passport, visa and all those stuff, I prepare myself emotionally.
I read lots of blogs from solo travelers’ and learn a thing or two from there. I watched tons of vlogs from solo travelers’ and even the non-solo travelers too, giving tips on how to start and what to do on your first solo travel. And I guess I learned a lot from it because I bravely decided to try this travelling solo thing.