This past fall, we took a trip to the other side of the world! We spent two weeks traveling in Japan and the Philippines. We actually arrived home from the Philippines one week before Typhoon Haiyan struck.
We first arrived in Tokyo and spent a few days sight seeing. Our hotel room was TINY. So tiny, the bed was pushed against one wall. Two people got in and out of the bed from one side. Since our time in Tokyo was brief and mostly spent outside, we didn’t mind as much as we would’ve on a longer trip. We visited the Tsujiki Fish Market, Hamarikyu Gardens, and the Tokyo Tower (which reminded me of the Eiffel Tower in Paris)
The next stop after Tokyo was Boracay Island in Aklan, Philippines. Boracay’s White Beach graces several “Top Beaches in the World” lists so we were really eager to visit. Getting there was quite an ordeal. It reminded of some sort of Anthony Bourdain adventure. We flew into Manila, then flew to Kalibo, took a two hour ride in a van to the water’s edge, and then took a boat to Boracay Island. The only thing missing was a train ride.
On Boracay Island, we stayed at Fridays resort. Upon arrival, we were greeted with shell necklaces and a cocktail. The service at this resort was outstanding. My favorite thing here was the fresh fruit cocktails. I think they mixed fresh mango with rum and ice for the mango daiquiris and they were delicious! The mangoes in the Philippines were some of the best I’ve had.
Boracay is where I collected the sand and shells to create my own mementos and souvenirs. After a few days at the beach, we flew back to Manila. There, we stayed in the Manila Hotel which I also highly recommend. We were told Michael Jackson and Barack Obama have stayed here too.
I loved these small flower arrangements they had throughout the lobby. This low height arrangement is perfect for a dinner table setting.
In Manila, we attended a special convention and did some sightseeing. We visited the Ayala Museum (no pictures allowed) and Hidden Valley. Hidden Valley Springs is beautiful forest with naturally heated mineral pools to enjoy.
We absolutely loved the food at our hotel. They had quite a variety with several stations of different types of cuisine: Japanese, Chinese, Korean, and more. Outside the hotel, Filipino food was interesting. I describe it as a mix of Asian and Mexican foods. There is rice and soy sauce, but also some seemingly latin-based spices. My favorite meal was chicken adobo.
The trip was enjoyable but also so eye opening and a step outside the box from what we are used to on this side of the world. Now, we’re already thinking ahead to our 2014 trip.
Have you been to the other side of the world (where ever that may be for you)?
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