Batad

Batad is a very tiny village only accessible by foot. We started the journey to Batad in Banaue with a stop in Bangaan. After several pit stops we hopped out of our Jeepney and began trekking in the misty rain up the Batad where we were staying for the night at a local homestay. 

While the hike isn't too long (around 45 min) it was a bit slippery in the wet weather conditions so we took our time and slowly made it to Ramon's Homestay - a special place in the middle of the rice terrace amphitheater known as Batad. 

We had quite a unique experience as Ramon's sister had just recently passed away - and following the Ifugao Tribe traditions - the whole family had come from near and far to celebrate her life together in the small village. 

Our group chatted over local cuisine (and rice wine!), observed funeral traditions, and took in the stunning rice terrace surroundings of Batad. 

Batad Travel Blog
 
Batad Travel Blog
 
Batad Travel Blog
 
Batad Travel Blog
 
Batad Travel Blog
 
 
Batad travel blog
 
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The Country Side of Sagada

The little one lane village of Sagada is visited by tourists as a launching point to the surrounding country side - most specifically to see the hanging coffins. This landmark is an unusual sight - coffins nailed into boulders - an ancient tradition practiced by the Igorot Tribe in the Norther Philippines. 

We took off in the morning, and after a visit to the large cathedral like church, we headed into the jungle path towards the hanging coffins and a series of waterfalls and rice fields. After our day we relaxed with a glass of local rice wine in a small restaurant. 

Sagada Travel Blog
 
Sagada Travel Blog
 
Sagada Travel Blog
 
Sagada Travel Blog
 
Sagada Travel Blog
 
Sagada Travel Blog
 
 
 

Mingun

Mingn is a short boat ride from Mandalay, and on our first full day in Mandalay we woke early to have catch a 9am ferry up the river to spend the morning and afternoon in Mingun. 

We loved Mingun - from an ancient unfinished rock temple (complete with white door) to a whitewashed pagoda - we were in heaven. Not only did we take time to explore the many pagodas, we also had time to interact with the locals (and the dogs!) which was an extra special touch to the trip to Mingun. 

Before we headed back to Mandalay we stopped at a garden cafe for tea leaf salad and a cold Mandalay beer - yum! 

Mandalay Travel Blog
 
Mandalay Travel Blog
 
Mingun Travel Blog
 
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Mingun Travel Blog
 
Mingun Travel Blog
 
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Mingun Travel Blog
 
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Mingun Travel Blog
 
Mingun Travel Blog
 
Mingun Travel Blog
 
Mingun Travel Blog
 
Mingun Travel Blog
 
Mingun Travel Blog
 
Mingun Travel Blog
 
Mingun Travel Blog
 
Mingun Travel Blog

A Ferry to Mandalay

After spending a wonderful three days in Bagan in was time for our next destination in Myanmar Around 4:30am we met in the courtyard of our Bagan guesthouse and took a tuk tuk to the ferry landing by the riverside. We boarded the boat and spent 12 hours traveling from Bagan to Mandalay. 

The ride was fantastic! While the morning was a bit chilly by the afternoon the sun was out and we were lounging on deck reading our books and chatting. We even had a full Myanmar lunch while cruising ... pure luxury! By 5pm we had arrived to Mandalady and were ready for our next adventure to begin! 

Mandalay Travel Blog
 
Mandalay Travel Blog
 
Mandalay Travel Blog
 
Mandalay Travel Blog
 
Mandalay Travel Blog
 
Mandalay Travel Blog
 
Mandalay Travel Blog
 
Mandalay Travel Blog

Yangon Circular Line

With a full day in Yangon we decided to hop on board the Circular Line, which goes around the city, to catch a glimpse of local life within the suburbs of Yangon. In the morning we jumped on the local train (complete with open doors and windows) and buddied up next to those catching a ride to the wholesale market or heading to work just outside of downtown Yangon. 

I choose to sit right in the open doorway with my legs dangling down to fully embrace the morning air and life of the people as we chugged by. The circular train goes very (repeat, very) slowly through Yangon and this allowed us to really get a good understanding of our surroundings. While the train station originates in the downtown area the train continues along in a circular path around the outskirts of the city, and passes through many suburbs of Yangon. Some of these areas have markets while others are dominated by farming and local life. 

Throughout the day we interacted with a handful of locals through wide smiles and exchanging of ‘Mingalaba’ or Hello!

Yangon Travel Blog
 
Yangon Travel Blog
 
Yangon Travel Blog
 
Yangon Travel Blog
 
Yangon Travel Blog
 
Yangon Travel Blog
 
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Yangon Travel Blog
 
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Yangon Travel Blog

Relaxing in Pokhara

After 9 days trekking to and from Annapurna Base Camp we deserved several days relaxing in Pokhara. I really enjoyed the laid back, local feeling in Pokhara - between the Nepalese locals and the expat community there was a great vibe of caring and lovely people. 

I spent several days relaxing in a lovely guesthouse, eating local cuisine, and spending time on the lakefront - watching daily life go by in Nepal. 

Pokhara Nepal Travel Blog
Pokhara Nepal Travel Blog
Pokhara Nepal Travel Blog
Pokhara Nepal Travel Blog
Pokhara Nepal Travel Blog
Pokhara Nepal Travel Blog
Pokhara Nepal Travel Blog
Pokhara Nepal Travel Blog
Pokhara Nepal Travel Blog
Pokhara Nepal Travel Blog
Pokhara Nepal Travel Blog
Pokhara Nepal Travel Blog
Pokhara Nepal Travel Blog
Pokhara Nepal Travel Blog
Pokhara Nepal Travel Blog
Pokhara Nepal Travel Blog
Pokhara Nepal Travel Blog
Pokhara Nepal Travel Blog
Pokhara Nepal Travel Blog
Pokhara Nepal Travel Blog

ABC Base Camp Trek: Day 8 - Upper Sinwa to Jinu Danda

We hiked down from Upper Sinwa to Lower Sinwa and crossed a long bridge before coming to Chamrong for famous chocolate pie. Chamrong was a lovely little village and TIME magazine wrote an article about the chocolate cake from a teahouse - so we had to try! We kept on walking down and reached Jinu Danda where we stayed the night and enjoyed a bottle of red wine and local hot pools! That evening we played games and enjoyed each others company for our last night on the ABC trek. 

ABC Base Camp Travel Blog
ABC Base Camp Travel Blog
ABC Base Camp Travel Blog
ABC Base Camp Travel Blog
ABC Base Camp Travel Blog
ABC Base Camp Travel Blog
ABC Base Camp Travel Blog
ABC Base Camp Travel Blog
ABC Base Camp Travel Blog
ABC Base Camp Travel Blog
ABC Base Camp Travel Blog
ABC Base Camp Travel Blog

ABC Base Camp Trek: Day 7 - ABC to Upper Sinwa

Early in the morning all of the trekkers were woken up by the Sherpas to hurry outside and see the amazing clear view of Annapurna! Hamilton and I were blessed to wake up to clear sunny skies for our final morning at Annapurna Base Camp! We could see the surrounding mountains, the glacier and tons of prayer flags flapping in the wind. After breakfast we packed our bags and headed back down to Upper Sinwa which felt like home when we returned. I snagged a hot shower and we relaxed into the evening! 

ABC Base Camp Trek Travel Blog
ABC Base Camp Trek Travel Blog
ABC Base Camp Trek Travel Blog
ABC Base Camp Trek Travel Blog
ABC Base Camp Trek Travel Blog
ABC Base Camp Trek Travel Blog
ABC Base Camp Trek Travel Blog
ABC Base Camp Trek Travel Blog
ABC Base Camp Trek Travel Blog
ABC Base Camp Trek Travel Blog
ABC Base Camp Trek Travel Blog
ABC Base Camp Trek Travel Blog
ABC Base Camp Trek Travel Blog
ABC Base Camp Trek Travel Blog
ABC Base Camp Trek Travel Blog
ABC Base Camp Trek Travel Blog
ABC Base Camp Trek Travel Blog
ABC Base Camp Trek Travel Blog

ABC Base Camp Trek: Day 5 - Upper Sinwa to Deurali

After muesli with hot milk and Tibetan bread we headed off into the mountains. We stopped for a hot masala tea and then we were back trekking through the mountains for Deurali, which sits at 3200 meters. We passed running streams, mountain flowers and stunning mountain views. Once we reached the guest house we pulled out heavy blankets and sipped ginger tea and snacked on salty popcorn before hunkering down in the guest house for the evening. 

ABC Base Camp Trek Travel Blog
ABC Base Camp Trek Travel Blog
ABC Base Camp Trek Travel Blog
ABC Base Camp Trek Travel Blog
ABC Base Camp Trek Travel Blog
ABC Base Camp Trek Travel Blog
ABC Base Camp Trek Travel Blog
ABC Base Camp Trek Travel Blog
ABC Base Camp Trek Travel Blog
ABC Base Camp Trek Travel Blog
ABC Base Camp Trek Travel Blog
ABC Base Camp Trek Travel Blog
ABC Base Camp Trek Travel Blog
ABC Base Camp Trek Travel Blog
ABC Base Camp Trek Travel Blog
ABC Base Camp Trek Travel Blog
ABC Base Camp Trek Travel Blog
ABC Base Camp Trek Travel Blog
ABC Base Camp Trek Travel Blog
ABC Base Camp Trek Travel Blog
ABC Base Camp Trek Travel Blog

ABC Base Camp Trek: Day 4 - Tadapani to Upper Sinwa

Our 4th day trekking to ABC was the hardest yet! We spent the morning walking through narrow forest tracks before stopping in Ghurjung for hot Masala Tea and a chat with ABC friends. To reach Upper Sinwa we had a long uphill stretch with lots and lots of steps, but when we arrived we were greeted by a lovely local Nepalese lady who ran a cozy and intimate guest house. 

ABC Base Camp Trek Travel Blog
ABC Base Camp Trek Travel Blog
ABC Base Camp Trek Travel Blog
ABC Base Camp Trek Travel Blog
ABC Base Camp Trek Travel Blog
ABC Base Camp Trek Travel Blog
ABC Base Camp Trek Travel Blog
ABC Base Camp Trek Travel Blog
ABC Base Camp Trek Travel Blog