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Philippines

Ilocos in Pictures

Ilocos happened by chance.

I was supposed to go to Batanes, an archipelago province in The Philippines situated in the Cagayan Valley region. It is the northernmost province in the country, and also the smallest. As luck would have it, just few days before my trip, typhoon struck there and everything came to standstill. The damage was done. The flights were cancelled, so was the trip.

windmills in ilocos in pictures
Gorgeous Bangui Windmills.

The organizers TBEX offered me three

Bulul the Rice God

Bulul the Rice God

There he was! Sitting on a platform in a fetal position with crouched legs. His head had an attractive piece of headgear and a necklace made of bones adored his neck. He had dressed like a Bulul the rice god. I heard a soft voice, “photo?”. The hopeful eyes of this wrinkled man looked at me.

P1120316.2

I was in a hurry to reach my

Looking back at Year 2014

Looking back at Year 2014

I know it’s so cliche to reflect back on the year that was, but it’s something we all think is important to do. It is that time again to look back and see how enriching our walk has been. These walks, these journeys opened a new horizon in front of me and helped me see the world with diverse perceptions.
As I always say, I count my memories, not places and I am happy that my travel memories are far more and better than the destinations.

Tarragona @lemonicks.com

When do you say

Why I love Christmas Markets?

I was missing from the scene. You know why?
Hmm.. I was busy shopping!
Shall I tell you one secret now? More than Christmas, I look forward to Christmas markets. The liveliness in dull winter days is what makes them more attractive. Probably that is one of the reasons why I always try to escape every year to a country where these markets happen.

christmas market @lemonicks.com

Christkindlmarkt, Marché de Noël, Christkindlesmarkt,

World Heritage Day

Today is World Heritage Day. There are 30 World Heritage sites in India, and 981 in the whole world. Can anybody visit them in one life? Yes, I know of a person who visits only Heritage sites and he’s been doing it for last 6 years! Slowly, one by one.
While I am not fortunate enough to be like him, I am contended with my own pace. When I look at the pictures of the sites I’ve visited, I feel quite happy.

Today I share pictures of few of the Heritage sites visited by me. I have many more but then this post will be very long. 🙂

Rice terraces Batad @lemonicks.com

Rice terraces of Batad, Philippines

A Wooden Mug

A Wooden Mug

More than fond memories of a place, some souvenirs show us the character of that place. They tell us history, culture and much more about the place. This wooden mug from Philippines is one such souvenir.

wooden mug @lemonicks.com

A beautiful handmade wooden Mug.

When we stopped at a house in a village while

Top 10 holiday destinations in Asia

Asia is one of the most popular tourist destinations throughout the world – and for very good reason. Offering travellers diverse cultures and awe-inspiring natural beauty, it is often hard to resist the temptation of holidaying in Asia. Holidaymakers will have the luxury of deciding whether they laze on the beach all day or trek some of the most famous landmarks around the globe. For some inspiring ideas for planning your next escape, check out our favourite holiday destinations in Asia.

Ubud, Bali – Experience the luxury of private villas, set amidst the lush Balinese rainforest, in the arts and music hub of this beautiful island. Browse the local markets to find hand crafted jewellery and traditional Balinese pieces.
Phuket, Thailand – The party capital of Thailand, Phuket never fails to attract a crowd. Affordable accommodation and cheap nightclubs make this destination a backpackers dream.

phuket party @lemonicks.com

Phuket : Party anytime, anywhere !

Hiking to Tappiya falls

It was monsoon season when Vasu and I had landed in Batad in Ifugao province of Philippines.
Batad, as we all know, is a UNESCO Heritage place in Philippines and its claim to fame is its many hectares of tall rice terraces; all of them hand built over thousand years back and their descendants still farming here!

During monsoon reaching Batad itself is very difficult with only one trip of Jeepney per day on a muddy one lane road on mountains. Invariably it gets stuck in the mud with no one in sight except its passengers. I won’t go in details as how we reached our guesthouse down in the valley. 😀

rice terrace @lemonicks.com

View from our window. Yes, in spite of incessant rains we crossed and went to the other side. 😀

The view

How to go to Pagsanjan Falls

This post is an outcome of those queries asking me for directions & tips to visit Pagsanjan falls, pronounced as Pag-san-nyan.
You can also watch a video of the falls to feel how pleasant is the journey.

I give here comprehensive driving directions and tips to visit Pagsanjan town from Manila. You can do the round trip the same day. It is not too complicated really.

rowing to Pagsanjan @lemonicks.com

Some people under the waterfall.

1. Start early, not because

The Year That Was 2011

The Year That Was 2011
Another year. Another set of to-dos. And a time to look back and take stock …
Yes, I know I am late to do this post but by only a few days and since I am travelling, I can be excused. 😛

Sometimes we travel to too many places and at times we don’t have enough.
The year 2011 started in the Philippines. We celebrated our Christmas & new year in that country. Besides the capital Manila, we could explore some part of it but Batad was a place which left mark on my life. However, as I always say, any place on this earth can never be counted as ‘done’.

The year 2011 was not very good in terms of travel. There were always some issues cropping up and I had to cut short or cancel many trips either midway or before the start irrespective of the locale, foreign or Indian.
This time when I was about to leave India, my doctor, instead of telling, asked me “Are you fit to travel?”. So, that’s about it.

Anyway, I’ll let the pictures speak of the places I visited in the year 2011. I think I did more than this. If anyone of you recall, please let me know. I always think I have more memories than photos of a place.

Batad.

hiking in Batad @lemonicks.com
Looks easy? It is world’s one of the most difficult places for hiking and any other

Floating Tax collection office

Picture of the moment:-

Floating Tax collection office


Picture of the moment is a weekly series exhibiting pictures from around the world.

The Pagsanjan waterfall in Laguna Bay area in Philippines is protected by environment department. All the boats that go there have to pay a tax. And what better way to keep a tab on their traffic than to have a floating office ?

rowing to Pagsanjan @lemonicks.com

The tax