What makes your favorite place special?
Is it the variety of activities? Historical relevance? Richness of culture? Breathtaking views? Or delicious food?
I think as much as the visual treats or any tangible aspects of traveling, the intangibles play a more important role in making travels extraordinary. For me, it will be the connections I’ve made with the locals and fellow travelers that will always stand out. And this is why I say that the Philippines will always be #1 for me. I might sound biased being a Filipina, but I will say it again and again that nothing compares to Filipino hospitality.
A great example of a place that exudes this warm hospitality is one of my all-time favorites: Apo Island. I always tell my relatives and friends to go here. Why?
Known as the birthplace of pizza, Naples is the place to be if you're searching for the best pizza in the world.
Phnom Penh can shock you. Somewhat like a bipolar, one minute it peeps out a chaotic urban feel; next, it would take you to its relaxing laid-back lifestyle. One minute it lets you meet friendly people, and the following minute it would let you stumble across money-grubbing people from hell.
We hopped out of the bus, after surviving seven hours of bus ride from Ho Chi Minh City. The environment was frantic, the bus stop was nowhere to be found. We were in the middle of a market-like place, surrounded by Cambodian tuk-tuk drivers hounding us for their services. The sun was up and everyone was ironically wearing long-sleeves, gold bling blings, and slacks. Near the area were more Cambodians hopping in and out of packed vans and pick-ups with their oversized bags. Vendors selling crickets and other unidentified exotic snacks were roaming the streets. It was Quiapo and Divisoria rolled into one.
One of the best night markets in Taiwan, in my opinion, is the Ziqiang Night Market in Hualien County. It's not that crowded compared to the ones in Taipei. Plus, there's wide variety of food to choose from. Here are some of the gastronomic finds this bazaar is famous for:
1. TAKOYAKI (OCTOPUS) BALLS
The best takoyaki balls I've tasted in my life. Not only it's "too tender that it melts in your mouth" but the sauce used was unforgettable. I asked the kid to give me extra sauce! This is best eaten while it's smoking hot. I think these balls are the reason why this night market stands out for me!
I have always been a fan of Thai food. Red curry, yellow curry, green curry, pad thai noodles, catfish salad-- name it, my construction worker appetite will eagerly devour it!
So when my friends and I visited Bangkok, I made sure that my stomach will get all the loving it needs. And as luck would have it, we stayed in a hotel along Phetchaburi Road, an alley that turns into a food market at night.
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