One Night (Yangon, Myanmar)

It all started a little after sunrise on a Saturday. The coffee-stained boarding pass pretty much speaks for the rush and stress I had that morning. I nearly missed my flight! Nonetheless, I made it. The trip was meant to be a quick one for the long weekend. Little did I know it was going…

I Spent My Birthday Week With Strangers: Part III (Koh Yao Yai, Thailand)

Nestled between Phuket and Krabi is a secluded island called Koh Yao Yai. Translated as “Big Long Island”, this enchanting island was my final stop for my birthday week solo trip. See Part 1 and Part 2 here: BANGKOK: https://samarellano.com/2017/05/28/i-spent-my-birthday-week-with-strangers-part-i-bangkok-thailand/ PHUKET + KRABI + PHI PHI ISLANDS: https://samarellano.com/2017/05/28/i-spent-my-birthday-week-with-strangers-part-ii-phuket-krabi-phi-phi-island-thailand/ I rode a small boat from Phuket to…

One Bus Ride Away to a Quick Getaway (Malacca, Malaysia)

The first photo I have from this trip is of us when we touched down Malacca (also spelled as Melaka), Malaysia. Why? Funny story. Well, it’s funny now. It was scary then. So what exactly happened? It was my first bus ride from Singapore to Malaysia. When we got to the border, we all had…

It’s Magic (Siquijor, Philippines)

Siquijor. I grew up fearing this place for its reputation of housing some of the Philippines’ most feared “mythical creatures.” Legend also has it that the place is known for black magic. It was in 2014 when I finally had a different view of this place. All it took was a one-time search on Google….

Not Too Urban, Not Too Rural (Dumaguete, Philippines)

What makes a destination worth going to? As a traveler, there are just too many destinations on my list but as budget and time dictate it, I can only choose a few, at least then. In my case, these are what I look for: Food & coffee, people, sights, and activities because these make up a…

One-Day Getaway (St. John’s Island + Lazarus Island, Singapore)

It was 10 May 2017, a Wednesday, and a public holiday in Singapore. So what would you do if you get to have a day off smack in the middle of the week? Here’s what we did. A 45-minute boat ride from Marina South Pier, which cost only $18 per person (for adults; $12 for children), brought…

Firsts (Bintan, Indonesia)

You’ll always remember your first. Yes, I remember. It was labour day weekend 2016 and it was my… First time to take a 45-minute ferry ride from Singapore to go overseas. First time to have a quick weekend getaway at Bintan, Indonesia.   First time after a long time to have a break from a backpacker’s way…

Turning Japanese (Tokyo, Japan)

   “Make your passion your profession then work will become play.” Rancho, from the movie 3 Idiots, struck me with this powerful line. I couldn’t agree more. Being a Creative Writer in the field of Advertising has been my dream and I was blessed to be a part of a company which not only opened…

For the Kid in Me (Legoland, Malaysia)

I can’t express enough how much I’ve been waiting for this day. I don’t know either why it’s only now that I pushed for this trip when it’s only roughly an hour away via bus from Singapore. Nonetheless, I’m happy I get to experience it with my nephew Yuan to celebrate his 7th birthday! And…