Monday, May 7, 2012

Day 1 Vietnam-Cambodia

10:50pm, May 06, 2012, we left the Philippines.

We arrived at Tan Son Nhat airport at 1:20am.



We were planning to go to Pham Ngu Lao (backpacker's area) before we take the bus going to Siem Reap, Cambodia.
We decided to change some of our dollars to dong(Vietnam currency) cause we heard that dong is cheaper at the airport.

Outside the airport we saw this:

The first non-English language that we heard at the airport is Nihongo 



We took the Saigon Air taxi to Sinh Tourist (former Sinh Cafe) at Pham Ngu Lao. Our fare was was worth around 200,000 dong.


There were a lot of taxi drivers outside the airport but we chose the one that was at the Taxi Stand.

We had to wait til 6:30am to take the bus of Sinh Tourist (Ho Chi Minh-Siem Reap). Pham Ngu Lao (backpacker's area), awake 24/7, was a good hang-out place. But we decided to stay at a guesthouse to rest.

Pham Ngu Lao in Ho Chi Minh(Saigon)

At 6 in the morning, we ate breakfast and bought bus tickets at Sinh Tourist.

Their delicious coffee and hot choco
delicious breakfast

Inside the bus, we took different pictures. It was raining back then and there.

motorbikes are everywhere in Vietnam



After 2 1/2 hours, we arrived at the Vietnam-Cambodia border.





eating pho in Cambodia for lunch

After 3 hrs from the border, we arrived at our next stop: Phnom Penh.

Sinh Tourist, Phnom Penh

We arrived at 7:45pm in Siem Reap. The tutktuk (a tricycle-like vehicle) driver of Bou Savy Guesthouse picked us up at Sinh Tourist, Siem Reap branch.

We ate our dinner at the guesthouse.

Fried Beef w/ Steam Rice

Amok Chicken famous Khmer Dish

I booked the $47 package tour of Bou Savy that includes a one-day tour at Angkor Wat Complex, one free dinner, one free breakfast, and 2-night stay(air conditioned room with two single beds).

bedroom

restroom

Since we arrived earlier than we expected, we wanted to make the most out of our time in Cambodia. We decided to go to the Night Market, which closes at 1am, to shop for souvenirs.



Pub Street



We tried their Anchor beer.

Smooth


We only had 1 beer each. It tasted a bit more bitter than the San Mig. 

At 11pm, we decided to go back to the guesthouse and rest for the big day next day.

I enjoyed my first day. The food was great and the Khmers(Cambodian natives) were friendly. The weather was the same as the Philippine weather, unpredictable and hot. And Cambodian night life was somehow similar to the Philippines'. 

Everything went out well. I did not feel tired that day, not in a single moment. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

My girlfriend and I are going to Vietnam this Sunday. *excited*

Monday, February 6, 2012

First Adventure in Japan

I went to Japan last February 2012.

On my first night in Yokohama, I went to a mall to find a place to eat for dinner. Then I discovered this fast-food outlet. It was so hard to place an order. The menu was in Nihongo. The waiter asked what I wanted to order, I just pointed out the meal that I wanted to try. And also, everything in the menu looked delicious, which made it harder for me to pick.



It was my first time in Japan, and the first Japanese food I ate in there was this curry. My friends did not like the taste of it, but I liked it. 0(^_^0)

After dinner, to make the most out of my first night, I explored the mall and found different souvenir shops. The greatest find was the 100-yen store: Daiso. 


Cute Panda Banks. (o^_^o)



Fourth day in Japan, I decided to go to Minato Mirai in Yokohama to see the Cosmo Clock and Nippon-Maru. 



And then, I discovered China Town in Japan which is also in Yokohama.








Sixth day, I woke-up early to visit different tourist spots in Tokyo. First stop: futuristic Odaiba



They also have the Statue of Liberty--a gift from France to Japan



Then I saw this: 
The super futuristic, battleship-like: Himiko. 

And this: 
THE LIFE-SIZE GUNDAM!!! \(^_^)/

An extremely kawaii (cute) Japanese kid with his grandfather. (.^_^.)V

After Odaiba, I went to Akihabara. Akihabara is popular for its anime stores, electronic stores and maid cafes.
Cosplayers in Akihabara. They're very cute and sweet. I have a very short video of them here.




A maid from a maid cafe.

And for Gundam Otakus:



I also went to Asakusa in Tokyo. Asakusa is famous for its Kaminari-Mon (Thunder Gate).

Raijin the Thunder God


Japanese girls in their yutakas.
Before entering the temple, one must be cleansed.
The Cleansing

The Main Temple

I went to Mitaka the next day. The ordinary life you see in anime can be seen in Mitaka.

Mitaka is also the home of Studio Ghibli Museum.


Museum's Main Entrance
Totoro the Ticket Vendor
Castle In The Sky

I also went to the busy town of Harajuku. Harajuku is known for its cosplayers and fashion boutiques.



That one in pink is a male

Last stop: Shibuya

Shibuya is known as the haven of fashionistas. It was also the hometown of the hero dog Hachiko.

Statue of Hachiko
I can say that my adventure in Japan is quite like travelling through time. You can see how they value their culture-- their past-- even in modern cities. Their advanced technology is also apparent in cities like Odaiba and Akihabara. 

Japan is, so far, the best country that I've been. I haven't been to other cities of Japan like Kyoto and Okinawa. This is the first, but this will not definitely be the last. (^_^)




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