Sunday, July 27, 2014

Travel with Airbnb

There's been a lot of debate between the difference of a flashpacker and a backpacker. I have seen several different meanings online. For me, they are both budget travelers who relish every moment, culture and food on every trip they make. The only difference I see for flashpackers is that they spend a little more by eating in a famous restaurant or taking a cab when it gets too late. Basically having more convenience but compromising their length of stay. Backpackers on the other hand will save every penny they have in order to stay longer.

I fall under the flashpacker category. To humbly explore the city without passing the opportunity to dine at a Mario Batali restaurant. I'm happy to say that I have started crossing off some places in my bucket list together with the husband. Whenever I travel, I always discover something that makes me want to  say "I just have to comeback." Thank God for Airbnb!

Airbnb connects people to unique travel experiences at any price at any point, in more than 34,000 cities and 192 countries.

#MyAirbnbBucketList as of the moment:

5.) Geneva, Switzerland - It houses most if not all organizations who aims to make a world a better place. It would be nice to walk in its old towns and appreciate their architecture. I'm also pretty sure that their chocolate is to die for.

4.) The Museum of Terracotta Warriors (Xi'an, China) - The museum, more like a dig site is located in the Xi'an province of China. This marvelous site stands thousands of clay soldiers, horses, chariots and weapons believed to be created during the Qin Dynasty.

3.) Machu Picchu - This historic sanctuary is in Peru specifically in the Cusco region. It is believed to be the lost city of the Inca. Although there are some articles online that disagree, I still want to walk in these mountains.

2.) Bethlehem - The birthplace of Jesus Christ. I guess this says it all.

1.) Aurora Borealis in Norway - Also known as the Northern Lights. It can be seen in various countries like Sweden, Iceland, Finland, Canada and Norway. I want to see this in Norway. Why? Because the northern lights belt hits Northern Norway so this means it's the best place to see this heavenly phenomenon. It is best seen during late autumn or early spring.

And the list goes on gradually... XOXO

Photos originally from: 5,4,3,2, and 1

Monday, July 7, 2014

Mount Fuji for a Day

Hello! I'm back after hibernating for a month. I have accepted a new role in the corporate world which made me busy as a bee. Now where was I? Oh, there are still some stuff I'd like to share with you about the trip to Tokyo.

We visited Japan's highest and most sacred mountain: Mt. Fuji.

We took the touristy route this time because we only have a week to explore the city and booking a day tour will save us time and energy. It is also economical. I booked the tour online in advance from Japanican. I made sure to check the weather forecast before booking the exact date of the tour because it doesn't make any sense to visit Mount Fuji on a rainy or cloudy day. It usually likes to hide its peak in a bed of clouds.

We assembled at Keio Plaza Hotel in Shinjuku together with other people who booked the tour. Our transportation was a giant motorcoach. The seats are comfortable that can be reclined. There is no bathroom on board but we made stops every few hours. Despite areas with heavy traffic, we were able to make it on time. We were also taught how to sing the Mount Fuji song and the Sakura song while traveling on the road.

The road to Mount Fuji's 5th Station is closed due to heavy snow but that's OK. It had been the tour's disclaimer even before we signed up because the weather can really be unpredictable. What matters most is we got to see the gorgeous snow-capped peak at the nearest distance possible.

Next stop, Oshino Hakkai. It is a small picturesque village with beautiful ponds with spring water that came all the way from Mount Fuji's melted snow.

Look at the size of this ancient tree!

Next stop, Lunch at Lake Kawaguchi. We were served a Japanese-style set lunch. There's nothing special about it but it was filling.

After a hearty lunch, we went straight to Shiraito Falls. It's a waterfall from melting snow falling down Mount Fuji.

Our last stop before the tour ends was Fujisan Hongu Sengen Taisha Shrine. A Shinto shrine that has been around since ancient times.

The tour was efficient! We managed to see a lot of beautiful sceneries in such a limited time. The tour guide is pleasant, entertaining and knowledgeable about the sights. We were even able to squeeze in an origami lesson on the ride back to Tokyo. The tour has an option to take the shinkansen back to the city but we chose to take the cheaper option. It was time and money well spent!

Photos taken by Canon 550d and iPhone5
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