Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Banana Pancake Trail 2016: 16 days on Southeast Asia's backpacker trail

by Regin Reyno

I just finished Banana Pancake Trail 2016, 16 days of independent travel on Southeast Asia’s backpacker trail. It was a memorable trip. I was able to travel with my family, saw old friends, and meet people along the road. 

I was able to visit 3 countries: Thailand, Cambodia, Laos
1 layover: Hong Kong
4 cities: Bangkok, Siem Reap, Phuket, Vientiane
3 towns: Vang Vieng, Koh Phi Phi Don, Pakkred

Plane rides: 1. Beijing to Hong Kong (Dragon Air)
                    2. Hong Kong to Bangkok (Cathay Pacific)
                    3. Siem Reap to Bangkok (AirAsia)
                    4. Bangkok to Phuket (AirAsia)
                    5. Phuket to Bangkok (AirAsia)
                    6. Vientiane to Bangkok (AirAsia)
                    7. Bangkok to Beijing (Thai Airways)

Train rides: 1. Bangkok to Aranyaprathet
                   2. Bangkok to Nongkhai
                   3. Nongkhai to Thaleng 

Ferry rides: 1. Phuket to Koh Phi Phi don
                    2. Koh phi phi don to Phuket

Bus rides: 1. Vientiane to Vang Vieng
                 2. Vang Vieng to Vientiane

Countless taxis, skytrain, and tuk tuks

Monday, July 18, 2016

Banana Pancake Trail 2016

by Regin Reyno

I’m so excited for my upcoming travel. This will be my longest independent travel so far. 16 days on the Banana Pancake Trail. It is an imaginary trail in Southeast Asia named after a favorite snack/breakfast amongst western tourists that is being served on this trail; the Banana Pancake. (muesli and yogurt, too)

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Top 5 Inspirational Treks in India

guest post by Rohit Agarwal  

India is a land of spirituality. This very spiritual nature of India interlaced with its breath-taking natural beauty lovingly attracts countless trekkers from all over the world. Every year, thousands of pilgrims embark on spiritual journeys in search of that elusive holiness in the mysterious grip of the Himalayas. The imposing yet multifarious Himalayas truly echo the Indian spirit of Unity in Diversity’. This presents, in abundance, opportunities to spiritual trekkers of diverse religious beliefs. 
On your way to piety, you could fill in your lungs with whisk of fresh Himalayan air, bask in the crisp, sunny Garhwal weather, enjoy the serenity of quiet ambience while perking up your ears every now & then to hear the sound of eerie silence. Pamper your taste buds with tangy yet healthy dishes of Uttarakhand heavily influenced by Tibetan & Nepalese culinary styles because of proximity. Let’s find those top 5 places in the lap of the Himalayas where a sense of spirituality has lent an element of profoundness to the beauty of nature.

1. Hemkund Sahib and Valley of Flowers Trek
Image credit - Alosh Bennett, CC BY 2.0

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Zhangjiajie Budget and Itinerary

by Regin Reyno
During the Spring Festival this year, I had the opportunity to visit one of the most iconic tourist destinations in China. Zhangjiajie, made even more famous by the movie Avatar, the highest-grossing movie of all time. It’s in my China Bucket List. 

I have this desire to visit beautiful places which were featured in movies, especially famous movies. Examples are Maya Bay, Thailand from the movie The Beach, and the set of The Lord of the Rings in New Zealand. So, when I saw an article on the internet in 2013 stating that the Hallelujah Mountains in the movie was shot from a real location somewhere in China, I dreamed of visiting this amazing place. 

Avatar Hallelujah Mountain

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Gubei Water Town

by Regin Reyno

Our happiest moments as tourists always seem to come when we stumble upon one thing while in pursuit of something else.” — Lawrence Block

We took the bus from Donzhimen bus station in Beijing that day. For just 2 RMB or so, (not really sure because we just swiped our transit card) we travelled for about an hour until we reached Miyun. Then from Miyun, we transferred to another bus going to Simatai Village-another 1 hour travel passing by wonderful country-side scenery. And, again, we just swiped our transit card. 

Monday, April 18, 2016

Pryce Plaza Hotel: A Classic in Cagayan de Oro

by Regin Reyno

Whenever I visit the Philippines for my annual vacation, I always make it a point stay in my favourite hotel in Cagayan de Oro, the gateway to Mindanao. After 2 flights from Beijing, it’s nice to relax in this classic resort before heading home.

And just recently, my family stayed in this hotel. It was a wonderful experience. So I want to write a review about it.
my dad, relaxing

Friday, April 15, 2016

A Short Getaway to Inner Mongolia

by Regin Reyno 
I rushed to Beijing Railway Station after my 2 classes that day, to catch the overnight train. Hundreds of people were busy in that Beijing Railway Station-one of the main train stations in Beijing going to different provinces in vast China-that night, so I had a hard time finding my travel buddies-colleagues who are also addicted to travel and treat it as a form of therapy and escape from our usual classroom routines. We were heading to one of the most exotic destinations in China, a land where the culture and landscape is more Mongolian than Chinese. Inner Mongolia. Technically part of China but it’s “Mongolian”. (kinda confusing, I know).  Some of the people’s ethnicity is Mongolian (although they are Chinese citizens), they have their own language and form of writing (which is obviously Mongolian)-so though part of China, it’s like visiting a different country.  
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