Mechelen, a little magical town in the Flemish region of Belgium

In 2018, I prepared myself to miles of walking, after finishing a Summer School at the Antwerp University. My plan was to exhaust all UNESCO World Heritage Sites (WHS) in the Flemish region of Belgium. However, plans usually are just there to guide your anticipation and excitement. For a strange reason, my plan of visiting…

Iceland’s parliament’s birthplace at Þingvellir (Thingvellier)

I never imagined myself visiting what many Europeans call the most isolated place in their region: Iceland. Never did I also imagine to be traveling there during a pandemic. But in June 2022, I found myself strolling around Reykjavik, eating fermented shark, and being so cozy with the Nordic summer with single digit temperature. The…

Palawan: Arguably, the Philippines’ Best Island (Part 2 of 2)

As stated in the first part of this post, the locals (particularly, the boatmen and the tour guides) analogize the stalagmites and the stalactites formations of the cave as artistic sculptures or masterpieces by renowned masters. One formation I will never forget is attributed to Da Vinci: Palawan’s Last Supper, which as our boatman in…

Palawan: Arguably, the Philippines’ Best Island (Part 1 of 2)

My family and I were supposed to travel to Palawan in April 2020. We had to cancel the trip because of the onslaught of the pandemic. But above all, we were grieving over the losses of two loved-ones in the family: my partner and my dad who both succumbed to cancer in March and April…

From Shanghai to the Classical Gardens of Suzhou (Part 2)

“It’s the peak of tourist season” said our driver. He was pissed. He had a difficult time looking for a parking slot. “Summer time, also in China, meant travels for many” he added. Since early 2000, several Chinese, especially those from rural areas began exploring the world via travels. Some began visiting large urban centers…

From Shanghai to the Classical Gardens of Suzhou (Part 1)

A one and a half hour westward drive from Shanghai is the city of Suzhou in the province of Jiangsu. The city is home to kunqu, the oldest form of Chinese Opera and listed as one of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity since 2001. The city is also known for…