Monday, December 30, 2019

My 2019 Travels

by Regin Reyno

One of the reasons I made this travel blog, is for me not to forget the wonderful memories of my travels. Every year, since 2011, I make it a point to have a recap of the year's travels. These experiences are precious; the people encountered, food tasted, and scenery seen.

2019 has been a wonderful year, once again. I was able to experience traveling with my sibling: and of course, my dream travel-an around-the-world journey.

Join me as we look back at my travels in 2019. I thank the Lord for these blessings.

1.Tianjin, China 
Mode of transportation from/to Beijing: CRH Bullet Train
Accommodation: Ibis Hotel 

A very cold winter. We strolled from noon till evening. Hot chocolate drinks at the Italian concession, frozen river with a view of the Tianjin Eye; the only Ferris wheel in the world suspended on a bridge. It was a memorable, romantic walk. This city is perfect for strolling. It feels like you’re in Europe, seriously. The next day, I walked on the river while watching locals ice fishing. 

2. Misamis Oriental, Philippines
Mode of transportation from/to Beijing: Korean Air and Air China 
Accommodation: Win Minn, Duka Bay Resort

A family vacation. It was a relaxing road trip from Cagayan de Oro to Gingoog. The view along the way is beautiful: forests and mountains. We stayed at Duka Bay Resort. The villa is on a hill overlooking the sea. Scuba diving and breakfasts with a view is worth remembering. 

3. Bali, Indonesia
Mode of transportation from/to Manila: Air Asia 
Accommodation: Loft Legian Hotel Bali 

I wanted to surf. So, I went to Bali; just to surf: no cultural Ubud or any of those nature destinations. It was a pure surfing and beach bumming vacation. It’s a wonderful vacation island. It is also packed with beautiful Koreans and Japanese tourists. Really. 

4. Shanghai, China
Mode of transportation from/to Beijing: CRH Bullet Train
Accommodation: Jinjiang Inn Select Jiading

I went to Shanghai for a Formula 1 weekend. As an F1 fan, that place was paradise during that weekend. I even saw my favorite driver, Kimi Raikkonen. I also spent a day at Disneyland before the actual F1 weekend started.

5. Hong Kong
Mode of transportation from/to Beijing: Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon 
Accommodation: Royal View Hotel 

A wonderful trip with my siblings and nephew. We were at Disneyland for 2 days. We enjoyed our free park entrance and food and merchandise discounts. Thank you, The Walt Disney Company. 

Our hotel was near a beach and is surrounded by forested mountains with a view of the sea and majestic bridges: it was a wonderful place to relax: a memorable vacation. 

6. Macau
Mode of transportation: Bus 

One of the longest bridges in the world slicing over and under the sea from Hong Kong to Macau was experienced. It was really amazing. It took us to this former Portuguese colony where we had some historical experiences, like the UNESCO World Heritage site, Historic Site of Macau. And of course, we enjoyed those gigantic resorts and casinos, making use of their complimentary rides. The cable car at Cotai is fun. Try it.

7. Chengde, China
Mode of transportation from/to Beijing: regular train
Accommodation: Jehol Story Youth Hostel 

This is where the emperors during the Qing dynasty usually come whenever they want to have a retreat or enhance their hunting skills. The summer resort was mind-boggling. It is so huge. The surrounding temples were visited, too. My favorite temple in China, by far, the Putuo Zoncheng Temple-made similar like the Potala Palace in Tibet-was the highlight of this trip. It is so majetic and grand. 

8. Yinchuan, Ningxia, China
Mode of transportation from/to Beijing: soft sleeper train
Accommodation: Tongfu Hotel 

This is one of the least visited provinces in China. When I was there, I haven’t seen a single foreigner. I love this province. A predominantly Muslim province, the food here is very delicious. 

Highlights of this trip: 
a.) Mausoleums of the Emperors of Xixia (Wester Xia) Dynasty (1038-1227)
One of the most impressive archaeological sites I've visited.

b.) Helan Mountains
Suyukou National Forest Park

My favorite mountains and hiking experience in China. I saw many wild mountains goats freely grazing and resting in these mountains.  

9. Hong Kong
Mode of transportation from/to Beijing: CRH Bullet Train
Accommodation: Lander Hotel Prince Edward, Oriental Lander Hotel, and Manka Inn

Sumptuous Cantonese food, Filipino restaurants, relaxation at cafes overlooking the bay, it was a nice break from work. This is my farthest bullet train ride, by far. 

10. Xi’an and Huayin, China
Mode of transportation from/to Beijing: CRH Bullet Train
Accommodation: Four Seasons Magnolia Select Hotel 

My friends and classmates from college (Klement) visited China. We, then took bullet trains to visit Terracotta Warriors and climbed Mt. Hua. It was a wonderful time being with classmates and friends. We reminisced, laughed, and just relaxed, enjoying the company of each other. You can’t go wrong with traveling with old friends. 

11. Hong Kong
Mode of transportation from/to Beijing: China Southern Airlines and CRH Bullet Train
Accommodation: Hotel Ease Mongkok

This is another relaxing trip. I had more of a staycation, as my hotel this time is a lovely boutique hotel. 

But I also explored the non-touristy destinations in Hong Kong, such as Sham Shui Po, and tried their cha chaan teng and dai pa dao. 

12. Zhengzhou, Henan, China
Mode of transportation from/to Beijing: China Southern Airlines and CRH Bullet Train
Accommodation: M Hotel Zhengzhou 

From Hong Kong, I opted to stay 1 night in Henan province’s capital. It was a very Chinese experience. This city has few foreigners. You can still see locals hanging out at night in squares, dancing, mingling with each other, and dining. Starbucks and other conglomerates are so few-almost non-existent. And we had a delicious, authentic Henan meal and snack. 

13. Manila and Bukidnon, Philippines
Mode of Transportation: China Eastern Airlines and AirAsia 
Accommodation: Go Hotels, The Manila Hotel, my sister’s house, Green Ridge Apartelle, Amelie Hotel Manila

Went home to visit family. Watched the concet of Suan Plu Chorus and Philippine Meistersingers conducted by Ramon Lijauco, jr. at the Cultural Center of the Philippines. Experienced The classic Manila Hotel with family. It was amazing. The rooms are so spacious and elegant. I love this hotel.

Trekked Taal Volcano and witnessed its beautiful crater with siblings.

In Bukidnon, I just relaxed in Malaybalay and Mt. Nebo for its mountainous scenery and cool breeze. Then, went back to Manila to start my around-the-world journey. Before my trip, I met up with my friend, Chie A. and she showed me around Manila to try Filipino-Chinese cuisine at Chinatown. Thank you so much, Chie A.


My ultimate travel dream is to circumnavigate the globe. On November 8, I departed Manila International Airport and circumnavigated the globe.

My ultimate travel dream come true.

15. Isabela, Philippines
Mode of Transportation to/from Manila: private vehicle (Thank you, uncle Ronnie B., uncle Jessie O., auntie Zeny G. and kuya Jessie G., ate Mona S., kuya Allan S., Don Don and kuya Harvey M.)
Accommodation: Dreamwave Hotel 

Together with my family, we visited the place where I and all my siblings grew up. It was a great time seeing our former house and old friends. We reminisced good times there; the good old days. It felt warm, remembering our younger days with old friends, spending time, playing in the compound where we grew up. As what kuya Kenneth D. have said, "Nong panahon natin dito, walang prutas ang nahihinog. Hilaw pa lang binabato na natin at kinakain." Good times.

A huge thank you to uncle Ronnie B. for making this vacation possible. May God richly bless you. 

This year, is hands down, my most travelled year, by far. 

In my travels, I’ve witnessed how the hand of God had led me. Thank you, Lord. 

"We have nothing to fear for the future, except as we shall forget the way the Lord has led us.”--Ellen G. White

Save On Airfare

No comments:

Post a Comment