Last Updated on April 16, 2021 by Tina
Three weeks ago I received an email from one of the travel bloggers I’m subscribed to, and the first sentence on the email says “When people ask you what your favorite trip has been, what comes to mind?”. This got me thinking and reminiscing. I can’t think of just one favorite trip, I have a few. I’m gonna share them with you here. And who knows, you might get inspired to travel to these places too when it’s safe for everyone to travel again.
I haven’t been to many places yet, but here are my favorite trips so far. My favorites are not necessarily the prettiest places I’ve been to. My choices were based on how my experience was when I visited the place. So here are my 10 favorite trips, in the order of when I visited them:
Favorite Trip No. 1 – Singapore
I’ve been to Singapore a few times, and the first time I visited it in 2012, I loved it instantly. Coming from a third-world country, I was so amazed at how efficient their transport system is. And I love how modern the country is but that there are also a lot of places where you can enjoy nature. I remember wanting to move there if only there are jobs in Singapore for geologists.
I love all my trips to Singapore, not just the first one. It was fun having experienced visiting the country with a child. I enjoyed the Singapore Night Safari. It was also nice being able to experience living there even for just a short time. I can’t wait to go back there again and try out all the hiking trails.
Favorite Trip No. 2 – Hong Kong
Hong Kong was my first out-of-the-country trip after more than 5 years. I traveled to Hong Kong alone and loved every moment of it. I never bought a local sim card when I was there. But somehow I survived without the help of the internet while I was out exploring. My trip to Hong Kong was a bit unconventional because I didn’t visit Disneyland or Ocean Park. Instead, I went hiking. I went to Tian Tan Buddha not through a cable car but by hiking Lantau Peak.
I’ve read that there are a lot more to hike in Hong Kong, and I would love to go back and do some of those in the future.
Favorite Trip No. 3 – Fenchihu, Alishan, and Taipei in Taiwan
I visited Taiwan in the first year that it became visa-free to Filipino travelers. This was a solo trip again. I spent the first two days in Chiayi County, in Fenchihu and Alishan, then the remaining four days in Taipei. The first two days were a bit challenging because not all of the locals could speak English. During that time I didn’t have a local sim card yet, so I couldn’t connect to the internet. My mistake was that I didn’t download an offline map. But everything went fine.
I had a great time in Taiwan. I experienced staying in a capsule hostel, visited a geopark, released a sky lantern, visited temples, and hiked solo again. My hike to Yangmingshan, Taiwan’s highest (dormant) volcano, was quite challenging because it was raining. When I reached the summit, it was super windy. For a moment, I actually got scared.
Most of all, I enjoyed visiting the night markets and trying out the street foods. And I love all the tea leaves I bought in Taiwan.
Favorite Trip No. 4 – Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
It has always been my dream to climb Mt. Kinabalu. Mt. Kinabalu is one of the highest mountains in Southeast Asia. Though I was not able to reach the summit because of the weather condition that day, I’m still happy that I was able to climb it.
And I didn’t only climb Mt. Kinabalu on my trip to Kota Kinabalu, I also went on an island-hopping trip and visited the Lok Kawi Wildlife Park. Again this trip was solo, but I was already good at traveling solo by this time.
Favorite Trip No. 5 – El Nido, Philippines
One of the places I would love to go back to when the pandemic is over is El Nido in Palawan, Philippines. I had an amazing time when I traveled to this place solo in 2018. It’s such a beautiful place. I spent six days in this beautiful town, going on island hopping tours and beach bumming. I almost canceled my trip to this place but I’m glad my friend convinced me to go. He said it’s paradise, and I couldn’t agree more.
I think what made my trip to El Nido a memorable one was the people I met there. On the first island hopping tour that I joined, I was the only solo traveler. I wanted to do kayaking at the Small Lagoon and Big Lagoon, but I was afraid to do it because I didn’t know how to swim. One of the guides on the tour offered to accompany me. I had a lot of fun that day.
The succeeding days were great as well. I became friends with my tourmates on the second tour that I went on. El Nido was the first trip where I traveled solo but I never felt alone. I remember going to Siargao and though the place is also beautiful, I felt so alone. El Nido is a perfect destination for people who are traveling solo for the first time.
Favorite Trip No. 6 – Siquijor, Philippines
Another place where I had a wonderful time was Siquijor. Again I was traveling solo when I visited this place. This place is not very popular among Filipino travelers, probably because of old tales that it is a land of witchcraft, sorcery, and magic potions. But what they do not know is that they are missing a lot of things.
Siquijor has amazing sunsets, beautiful waterfalls, and white sand beaches with crystal clear waters. You can even do the broomstick challenge there. And the locals are super friendly. I had a great time just hanging out at the restaurant of my hostel every afternoon, having a chat with the staff while waiting for the sunset.
There’s just something about the place that makes you want to stay there forever. I was supposed to stay there for three nights only because you can explore the whole island for just a day or two. But on my supposed last day there, I was feeling sad thinking that I have to leave the following day already. I was so conflicted about whether I should extend for another day.
The universe conspired in my favor. I didn’t have a reservation for that night anymore and the staff said they are already fully booked. But when she checked with her boss, they still got one available. Meaning I could extend for another day. On top of that, I had a new roommate, a Taiwanese girl. I spent my last day in Siquijor with her, roaming around the island in the motorbike that she rented.
Favorite Trip No. 7 – Inle Lake, Myanmar
Inle Lake, Myanmar was a part of my Southeast Asian backpacking trip in 2019. I had a great time in this place even though I only spent two days. I did the Inle Lake boat tour on my first day and my guide brought me to so many places. I was able to visit a cigar factory, a silversmith, and a lotus, silk, and cotton hand-weaving center. It was in Inle that I was able to try thanaka on my face and I also got to wear the necklace worn by the long neck women.
I was planning on visiting Myanmar again when the pandemic is over because I want to do the Kalaw to Inle Lake trek. It’s very sad though what is going on with Myanmar right now. I’m praying every day that the peace and order in the country will be restored, and for the Myanmar citizens to be free again.
Favorite Trip No. 8 – Bagan, Myanmar
Bagan, Myanmar was also part of my Southeast Asian backpacking trip. Bagan is an unforgettable place for me because it’s the place where I learned how to ride an e-bike. I explored the temple area of Bagan for one whole day on an e-bike. I felt so free driving that e-bike.
It was also in Bagan where I experienced having a monkey jump on my back and stayed there for about 5 minutes. This was when I visited Mt. Popa. I was recording a video while walking down the stairs when one monkey suddenly jumped on my back. I was so scared but I didn’t dare move because the monkey might get agitated and bite me. Nothing bad happened to me, thanks to the local who helped me.
Just like Inle, I also wanna go back to Bagan again. I want to see the hot air balloons over the temples in Bagan.
Favorite Trip No. 9 – Luang Prabang, Laos
Luang Prabang, Laos was also part of my Southeast Asian backpacking trip. I was supposed to stay there for three days only, but I ended up extending for three days more. The first day that I explored the town, I instantly loved the vibe of the place. It was so chill. And I met some amazing girls at the hostel where I stayed, which made my stay there even more memorable.
One of them even did the two days slow boat travel with me. I spent most of my days in Luang Prabang with her. We visited the night market together, climbed Mt. Phousi and hung out at the bamboo bridge at night, tried the Laotian massage, and witnessed the Tak Bat.
Favorite Trip No. 10 – Southern Taiwan
Two years after my first trip to Taiwan, I went back to the country but the second time was in the southern part. My trip to Southern Taiwan wasn’t solo. I joined my friend on his birthday trip. We explored Southern Taiwan on a motorbike. We did some hiking, went to the southernmost part of the country, checked out the many night markets, and visited temples and many beautiful tourist sites. My favorite part of the trip was the eating part. We drank lots of milk tea, tried different street foods, and ate lots of xiaolongbaos. Oh, how I miss the fried xiaolongbao in Kenting.
I’ve had so much fun during the trip. It’s been nice having someone to talk to while exploring those places and trying out all those food. It would be nice to be able to go back to Taiwan again someday. There are still a lot of places to explore, and I would like to buy some tea leaves again.
So there goes my top ten. It has been fun reminiscing about the good old days. It’s sad that reminiscing is all we could do now. What about you, what has been your favorite trip?