Asia

How Much to Budget for El Nido (6 days, 5 nights)

How Much to Budget for El Nido (6 days, 5 nights)

How Much to Budget for El Nido (6D/5N)) | SGMT  — An El Nido vacation can cost as little as ₱5,000 to as much as…I don’t know…₱5,000,000 or more. This budget, which we used for our Palawan trip last June, is somewhere in between. It’s […]

El Nido, Nice and Easy: A Stress-Free 6-Day Itinerary for Non-Backpackers

El Nido, Nice and Easy: A Stress-Free 6-Day Itinerary for Non-Backpackers

SGMT  — I’m pretty sure I’m not the only person left in the Philippines who still hasn’t been to El Nido but it sure feels that way sometimes. Countless friends have gone and come back gushing about the paradise they found out west, in what’s […]

Tokyo’s Skyscrapers

Tokyo’s Skyscrapers

SGMT – If plans for the Sky Mile Tower in Tokyo are approved, it will become the tallest building in the world, with a height that will be twice that of the current champion, Dubai’s Burj Khalifa. At a proposed height of 1600 meters — […]

Lake Kawaguchi: Fuji and Fall

Lake Kawaguchi: Fuji and Fall

. . The appreciation of fall foliage is serious business in Japan. Just as with cherry blossoms, there is an entire industry devoted to predicting when the leaves would start to turn where. In my case, I was going to be in Tokyo on the […]

The Meiji Shrine

The Meiji Shrine

. One of my favorite TV shows of all time is Samurai X, the English-language version of the beloved Japanese anime series Rurouni Kenshin. It takes place in the early Meiji era and follows the story of Kenshin Himura, a feared wartime assassin who tries […]

Kyoto Notes: Temples, Trees and Blossoms

Kyoto Notes: Temples, Trees and Blossoms

. . Before I left for Japan last year, I made all these quick notes on places that I thought would be interesting to see. In this post, I’m sharing my Kyoto notes. There are 5 places listed here, though I only got to visit two — the […]

Tokyo Notes: Cherry Blossoms and Fall Foliage

Tokyo Notes: Cherry Blossoms and Fall Foliage

. Some of the best cherry blossoms and fall foliage viewing spots in Tokyo. Includes each place’s most picturesque features and short instructions for how to get there (especially for JR Pass holders). . . There’s something about the Japanese culture of appreciation for flowers and […]

Not all those who wander in Tokyo are lost in Tokyo

Not all those who wander in Tokyo are lost in Tokyo

Except me. I was DEFINITELY lost. . . When Tolkien wrote his now-ubiquitous, often-misappropriated line, he probably wasn’t thinking about girls who get lost three times in less than 24 hours in Tokyo, e.g., me. It got to the point that when I told my mum […]

Tokyo Train-ing: The JR Pass and the Narita Express

Tokyo Train-ing: The JR Pass and the Narita Express

* * There are various ways to get to central Tokyo from Narita Airport. If you have a JR Pass, you can use the Narita Express — free. Should you get a JR Pass? * There are so many articles in the internet devoted to […]

Inauspicious beginnings and the importance of being kind

Inauspicious beginnings and the importance of being kind

To yourself. * * Tokyo and I didn’t hit it off right away. * Before I was 24 hours in the city, I had managed to get lost three times. And I wasn’t even mildly lost — I was tired-and-hungry, all-alone, dragging-baggage-in-the-rain, going-back-and-forth-a-dozen-times lost. Thrice. […]