Thursday, June 27, 2013
I went to three sites early this month. These are the Tirta Empul Temple (which I also got to visit in 2009), the Royal Water Temple Pura Taman Ayun, and the subak of the Jatiluwih Rice Terraces, said to be the best-preserved of the subak included in the inscription. My immersion in Jatiluwih was quite profound thanks to the invitation of Heru and Grace Tarjoto. The Tarjotos, who own a rice mill in Jatiluwih, contribute quite a lot to the promotion and distribution of Jatiluwih red rice. And Grace, a Filipina who has lived in Bali for so many years, is the honorary consul of the Philippines in Bali.
Towering over Jatiluwih Village are three grand mountains namely Mount Batukaru (2276m), Mount Sangyang (2,093m) and Mount Poohoen (2,063m). Unfortunately, clouds beat me to the view by a good thirty minutes or so. Some photographers stay overnight in Jatiluwih just to capture the scene of the three mountains with fertile rice terraces below.
Jatiluwih Village is further divided into seven communities or tempek that form three subak. Subak Gunung Sari has Umakayu (38ha) and Gunung Sari Desa (45ha). Subak Jatiluwih has Central Jatiluwih (90ha), Besikalong (40ha) and Kesambih (25ha). While Subak Kedamaian has Umadui (30ha) and Kedamaian Utara (35ha).
But with the UNESCO inscription, tourists have started to arrive. There's a construction frenzy for tourist accommodation and facilities in Central Jatiluwih which if unregulated, might erase the charm and essence of this beautiful village. I was also told stories of the local government confiscating funds raised by the village through entrance fees, leaving nothing for the community for restoration and cultural promotion. The local politicians say that the collections are rightfully theirs because the village is in their jurisdiction.
Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Our tour price of US$725 already includes twin/triple sharing hotel accommodation (including one night at Nagarkot Resort), all meals as stated, transfers and tours (guides, entrance fees and gratuities). Note that lunch and dinner are included in the package as well as tips and gratuities. Please book your own flights on Cebu Pacific and AirAsia but coordinate with us first via email@example.com.
August 21 (Wednesday) - Ninoy Aquino Day
Flight options are:
MNL – KUL via Cebu Pacific – 5J499 14:10–17:50 or 5J501 20:55–00:35
CRK – KUL via AirAsia – AK1875 11:05–14:50 or PQ7455 15:15–19:15
Overnight in KL
Breakfast at hotel in KL
KUL – KTM via AirAsia D70193 11:50–14:00
Arrive – KATHMANDU – NAGARKOT (32km) (L, D)
Overnight at Nagarkot Resort for a spectacular view of the Himalayas
August 23 (Friday)
NAGARKOT – POKHARA (232km) (B, L, D)
Awake in the morning to the cold but stunningly spectacular sunrise over Nagarkot Hill. The first ray of the sun firing the peak glimmering red, slowly lighting the Himalaya range. You will see Mt. Everest in the east and Langtang and the Dhaulagiri Peak in the west.
At Pokhara, free at leisure walk around the lake side bazaar for some delightful shopping bargains. Late afternoon boating at scenic Lake Fewa and visit Barahi Temple in the middle of the lake.
August 24 (Saturday)
POKHARA-SARANGKOT-POKHARA (B, L, D)
Early morning, drive up to Sarangkot (1200m) sunrise view point for 30 minutes. After sunrise, drive back to Pokhara for breakfast. After breakfast, visit Tibetan Refugees’ Camp, Devi’s Fall and Mahadev Guptes War Cave.
POKHARA-KATHAMANDU (200KM) (B, L, D)
Late afternoon leisure walk in Thamel, a popular tourist district in Kathmandu Valley and a bustling bazaar which offers a glimpse of Nepal’s vibrant ethnic culture.
August 26 (Monday) - National Heroes Day
KATHMANDU (B, L, D)
Visit Kathmandu Durbar Square, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This complex of palaces, courtyards and temples like Hanumandhoka Palace, Kumari Ghar (Abode of the Living Goddess) and Taleju Temple. After that, visit Bouddhanath Stupa, one of the world’s largest stupas. After lunch, explore Asan Tol, the colorful local market area and shopping. Traditional Nepalese cuisine with cultural performance for dinner.
August 27 (Tuesday)
KATHMANDU – DEPARTURE (B, L)
After breakfast, free time. Transfer to airport after early lunch.
KTM – KUL via AirAsia D70192 15:30–22:30
Dinner on flight. Please book your own meals when you purchase ticket.
August 28 (Wednesday)
KUL – MNL via Cebu Pacific 5J502 01:20–04:55
CRK – MNL via AirAsia AK1874 06:45–10:30
Package excludes international airfare, taxes and terminal fees, travel insurance, Nepal visa fees, other meals, beverages not included in meals and all personal expenses. We can arrange your travel insurance by request.
Friday, June 14, 2013
Old Manila Walks and EEI Global Holidays Corporation bring you our favorites in the UNESCO World Heritage City of Georgetown, especially its food! Best of all, our visit is timed on the weekend of the Georgetown Festival when the city's multi-ethnic communities: Chinese, Malay, Indian, Peranakan and more come out in full force to celebrate Penang's multicultural mix through the arts and performances. It's one big cultural fiesta!
Join us as we immerse ourselves and eat our way to Malaysia's Pearl of the Orient!
July 04, 2013 (Thursday): Manila - Singapore - Penang
Meet and greet by local guide at Penang International Airport. After check-in, pick-up at hotel lobby for
Penang Night Tour with dinner. First things first, chow time! Our tour begins by visiting the famous Gurney Drive Hawker Food Center to try some of the famous local Penang delicacies.
July 05, 2013 (Friday)
To burn off last night’s calories, we take a guided walk and ride tour of Old Georgetown: Khoo Kongsi Temple, Peranakan Heritage Mansion, Chew Clan Jetty, Penang Art Gallery and State Museum as well as many other historical and architectural treasures (time permitting) that make Penang special. Lunch at one of Penang’s most historical sites before taking the afternoon break to recharge your battery in time for a walk-eat-trishaw experience at night to experience more of Penang’s culinary offerings. Free time afterwards to catch the festivities of the Georgetown Festival. Trishaws will be provided but participant pays for the meals to allow you to choose and try what from the selection
July 06, 2013 (Saturday)
The tour is more interesting as it falls during the July month fruit season. We’ll make stop at a durian stall in Balik Pulau, for a typical local fruit tasting stop then visit the Kek Lok Si Buddhist- the largest in SEAsia. For lunch, we’ll stop by a traditional Malay Kampung and try out the local laksa dish! Free time afterwards to catch the festivities of the Georgetown Festival and dinner (own expense)
July 07, 2013 (Sunday): Penang - Singapore
We say farewell to Georgetown by taking a funicular and going up cool Penang hill for a
lovely view of the city. Lunch then off to the airport.
July 08, 2013 (Monday): Singapore - Manila
Tour cost is US$435.00/head (based on twin-sharing) inclusive of transport within Geogetown, guided tour, site entrances, and meals (as stated). E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org ASAP to book your slots!
Tuesday, June 04, 2013
It was also not easy finding a vehicle. Well it was, but they'd usually charge you over US$200 for the day trip, too much if I was going alone. Some tour companies charge per head and won't give you car or van rates but the all-inclusive cost that includes lunch and your guide. Plus I couldn't find people who wanted to go really badly to share the costs with me. While I got some people interested, they'd get scared away by the rates. A Cambodian friend also told me that they got to rent a car several months ago for just US$100. So the overcharging was quite evident.
Good thing a day before my visit, a local partner offered to call a friend to get a friendly rate. And a friendly rate I got! Regular price is US$150 (contact details below). So the visit to Preah Vihear was on!
|Banteay Srei is a red sandstone Khmer temple dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva|
|The inner enclosure of Banteay Srei is exquisitely carved with decorative motifs that include kala (a monster symbolic of time), dvarpala (an armed protector of the temple) and devata (demi-goddess)|
Before you could visit the temple, you have to pass by the ticket office at the foot of the mountain. Entrance is free (as of posting), but you have to register with your passport and they will issue you a ticket which you will have to show at two ticket inspection areas, at the foot of the mountain and right before the temple. Despite roads being well-paved most of the way, your rented vehicle, unless it's a 4x4, will not be allowed up since it can get really steep. So you will have to hire a motorcyle taxi (US$5 per person round-trip) or a pick-up truck (US$25 round-trip) also at the ticketing office to get you up to Preah Vihear Temple.
|View of the Thai border from the Preah Vihear causeway|
Back in Siem Reap, we passed by Pre Rup Temple before calling it a day. It's one of the favorite places to catch the sunset. But unfortunately, there was none today. We left before 7 a.m. and we were back before 5 p.m., with a lot of time to spare before my evening flight back to Manila.
Phkay Prouk Sroem Restaurant
Telephone No. 012 63 83 78 / 064 677 7727
012 63 66 17 / 0888 48 88 28
So Chet (English Driver)
Mobile No. 012 331 664 / 097 77 55 743