Visa-Free Southeast Asian Countries for Filipinos (Philippine Passport Holders)

A lot of Filipino travelers I know have expressed some frustrations on how less ‘powerful’ the Philippine passport is compared to other countries because we are only eligible to enter a few countries without the need for a visa. To someone who is aiming to visit all nation-states in the world, yes, it would be a struggle, but it won’t hurt if you start traveling to visa-free countries first, right? That’s also what I am currently working on.

But hey, it is not the end of the world, guys! In fact, setting up a good and clean travel record to visa-free countries is a brownie point should you apply for a visa in the First World, like Europe and the US. After all, there is so much to explore in these visa-free countries which deserve to be visited first by us, Filipino travelers.

With “start traveling to visa-free countries first”, I meant the Southeast Asian region. In fact, Southeast Asian region is one of the most popular regions visited by travelers from all parts of the world and from all walks of life. There is so much to see in this region: cultural and historical heritage sites, natural wonders, cities, beaches, mountains, name it! Did you know that your Philippine passport entitles you to travel around Southeast Asia, visa-free? 🙂

ALSO READ:
THE BEAUTY OF LEARNING ABOUT SOUTHEAST ASIA

Why can Southeast Asian citizens travel around the region visa-free?

The members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) signed an ASEAN Framework Agreement on Visa Exemption in order to achieve a lasting friendship and cooperation among ASEAN countries, hence as ASEAN Citizens, we Filipinos can travel around ASEAN region without a visa. How cool is that? You can have your own Southeast Asia visa free travel bucket list before exploring the rest of the world!

SEE ALSO:
FREE INSTAGRAM STORY TEMPLATE: SOUTHEAST ASIA TRAVEL BUCKET LIST

Without further ado, here is the list of visa-free Southeast Asian countries for Philippine passport holders:

BRUNEI DARUSSALAM (visa-free for 14 days)

Omar Ali Saiffudien Mosque Brunei
Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei

Anyone up with seeing some beautiful mosques and feeling a legitimate sense of peace away from your home countries? Brunei is definitely the place to be.

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A COMPLETE GUIDE TO 23 INSTAGRAM-WORTHY SPOTS IN BRUNEI DARUSSALAM

For more travel articles about Brunei, click on the banner below:

Where's Sherlyn Travel and Food Blog Brunei Darussalam

CAMBODIA (visa-free for 21 days)

southeast asia visa
Royal Palace, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
southeast asia visa
Pub Street, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Temple run, anyone? You are entitled to roam around Angkor complex in Siem Reap and explore magnificent historical structures around Phnom Penh without a visa!

Oh, btw. Some sad news: Cebu Pacific suspends Siem Reap route

ALSO READ:
WHERE TO STAY IN PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA: KOLAB SOR HOTEL

For more travel articles about Cambodia, click on the banner below:

Where's Sherlyn Travel and Food Blog Cambodia

INDONESIA (visa-free for 30 days)

southeast asia visa
Bali Museum, Denpasar, Indonesia
southeast asia visa
Mount Bromo, Probolinggo, East Java, Indonesia
southeast asia visa
Hotel Majapahit Surabaya, Indonesia
southeast asia visa
Bank Museum, Jakarta, Indonesia

Whether you’re exploring historical sights in big cities like Jakarta and Surabaya, exploring the countryside and natural wonders in Probolinggo, or having the vacation of your life in Bali, you can do all of these without the need to apply for a visa. How’s that?

ALSO READ:
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For more travel articles about Indonesia, click on the banner below:

Where's Sherlyn Travel and Food Blog Indonesia

LAOS (visa-free for 30 days)

southeast asia visa
Haw Phra Kaew, Vientiane, Laos

Laos is the most underrated Southeast Asian country!!! Please please consider exploring this beautiful country! There’s so much history and culture in here, and oh, it’s the most heavily-bombed country in the world (well, Vietnam War-speaking, because I know Syria feels the same way, too). Unfortunately we don’t have direct flights from Philippines to Laos, but hey it doesn’t hurt to include this in your itinerary, let’s say, when you go visit Thailand.

ALSO READ:
WHERE TO STAY IN VIENTIANE, LAOS: MINI S HOTEL

For more travel articles about Laos, click on the banner below:

southeast asia visa

MALAYSIA (visa-free for 30 days)

southeast asia visa
Kuala Lumpur City Gallery, Malaysia
southeast asia visa
Sunway Lagoon, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia

Malaysia is a melting pot of different cultures, and as a result, there’s just a variety of good food here! You can explore Malaysia if you want to go shopping (everything here is, for some reason, cheaper than Manila), have some food trip, or have some cultural immersion, Kuala Lumpur can provide them for you. If you want to have some amusement park-ish type of fun with friends, Petaling Jaya is the place to be.

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4 MUSEUMS TO VISIT IN KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA

For more travel articles about Malaysia, click on the banner below:

Where's Sherlyn Travel and Food Blog Malaysia

MYANMAR (visa-free for 14 days)

southeast asia visa
Shwenandaw Monastery, Mandalay, Myanmar
southeast asia visa
Old Bagan Ruins, Myanmar
southeast asia visa
Yangon Zoological Garden, Myanmar

Myanmar is also one of the least popular Southeast Asian destination to Filipinos because there are no direct flights to here from Manila. But, I could attest that you will not regret going this far because Myanmar is so authentically uninfluenced by any external culture (I’m talking about Westernization hehe). It’s indeed the “Golden Land”, literally, because of the golden stupas all over.

ALSO READ:
15 (OF THE SO MANY) AWESOME PLACE TO VISIT IN MYANMAR

For more travel articles about Myanmar, click on the banner below:

Where's Sherlyn Travel and Food Blog Myanmar

SINGAPORE (visa-free for 30 days)

southeast asia visa
Central Perk Cafe Singapore

Deemed as one of the best countries in the world, this small island nation never failed to impress everyone who goes here. From the vast number of museums, to hawker centres, to the very efficient transport system, and the very progressive economy, I could say that Singapore is really very utopian for me.

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For more travel articles about Singapore, click on the banner below:

Where's Sherlyn Travel and Food Blog Singapore

THAILAND (visa-free for 30 days)

southeast asia visa
Wat Pho, Bangkok, Thailand

From beautiful temples to happy people to nice beaches, Thailand is a perfect destination for almost all types of travelers. Drinking some Thai tea overlooking Chao Phraya River? Priceless.

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For more travel articles about Thailand, click on the banner below:

Where's Sherlyn Travel and Food Blog Thailand

VIETNAM (visa-free for 21 days)

southeast asia visa
In front of Ben Thanh Market with a view of Bitexco Tower, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Vietnam, being the second largest producer of coffee in the world, is not only home to the best coffee out there, but also to the healthiest set of green leafy cuisine! A legit banh mi sold by the street sides is a must-try!

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SHERLYN’S QUICK (AND HONEST) OVERSEAS HOTEL REVIEWS: TO STAY OR NOT TO STAY AGAIN?

For more travel articles about Vietnam, click on the banner below:

Where's Sherlyn Travel and Food Blog Vietnam

There you have it! To Philippine passport holders, Southeast Asia is literally visa-free! It can ease everyone’s travel hassle and more energy and money can be dedicated to this beautiful region. I just hope Southeast Asia visa requirements for all Southeast Asians will be lifted indefinitely because it can indeed contribute to the region’s economy as well as the awareness of ASEAN citizens about the region and the countries surrounding them.

So, I’ll just wait for your travel stories, then? Safe travels and prepare your passports to be stamped now! 🙂

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Flying Around Southeast Asia: Direct Flights From Brunei Darussalam

Direct flights to Southeast Asia may have been limited before, but more routes have been opening to so many destinations connecting the East and the West every now and then. Flights to Brunei Darussalam, for instance, are increasing, hence Bruneians and other travelers have more options on where to go next. Brunei has direct flights to six (6) Southeast Asian countries. As part of my passion project to help travelers have a seamless navigation experience around Southeast Asia, I am writing a series of flight guides to help you have the best travel experience in this beautiful region of the world. The first of this series is this comprehensive article guide about direct flights from Brunei Darussalam.

DIRECT FLIGHTS TO SOUTHEAST ASIA: FLIGHTS TO BRUNEI DARUSSALAM

Where's Sherlyn Travel and Food Blog Brunei Darussalam

Are you currently in Brunei and planning your next Southeast Asian destination? But wait, I do hope you were able to visit this beautiful places during your stay in Brunei:

Places to visit in Brunei Darussalam:

Omar Ali Saiffudin Mosque

https://www.instagram.com/p/B3yo6QEH9df/

Jame ‘Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque

https://www.instagram.com/p/BqNJbyvHUUv/

Kampong Ayer

https://www.instagram.com/p/BvrEqYqHZvM/

ALSO READ: A COMPLETE GUIDE TO 23 INSTAGRAM-WORTHY SPOTS IN BRUNEI DARUSSALAM

Where to stay in Brunei Darussalam:

So thank you, next! Where to? Did you know that you can actually directly fly to six (6) Southeast Asian countries from Brunei?

DIRECT FLIGHTS FROM BRUNEI DARUSSALAM: A COMPLETE GUIDE

Where's Sherlyn Travel and Food Blog Indonesia

DENPASAR (DPS)

Non-Stop Flight Time (BWN-DPS): 2 hours and 20 minutes

Airline that has direct flight from Brunei to Denpasar:
Royal Brunei Airlines Logo

Places To Visit in Denpasar:

Garuda Wisnu Kencana (GWK) Park

https://www.instagram.com/p/B4XHMXLnykR/

Bali Museum

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bv7-639Hk5X/

Goa Gajah Temple

https://www.instagram.com/p/By7hrZVntxG/

Where to stay in Denpasar:

JAKARTA (CGK)

Non-Stop Flight Time (BWN-JKT): 2 hours and 20 minutes

Airline that has direct flights from Brunei to Jakarta:
direct flights from brunei

Places to visit in Jakarta:

National Gallery of Indonesia

https://www.instagram.com/p/BJkTUoPDmcn/

Wayang Museum

Museum Bank Indonesia

Where to stay in Jakarta:

SURABAYA (SUB)

Non-Stop Flight Time (BWN-SUB): 2 hours and 10 minutes

Airline that has direct flights from Brunei to Surabaya:
direct flights from brunei

Places to visit in Surabaya:

Hotel Majapahit

https://www.instagram.com/p/B5oxtBknmeB/

Heroes Monument

House of Sampoerna

Where to stay in Surabaya:

Where's Sherlyn Travel and Food Blog Malaysia

BINTULU (BTU)

Non-Stop Flight Time (BWN-BTU): 55 minutes

Airline that has direct flights from Brunei to Bintulu:
direct flights from brunei

Places to visit in Bintulu:

Similajau National Park

Niah National Park

Taman Tumbina

Where to stay in Bintulu:

KOTA KINABALU (BKI)

Non-Stop Flight Time (BWN-BKI): 40-45 minutes

Airline that flies directly from Brunei to Kota Kinabalu:
direct flights from brunei

Places to visit in Kota Kinabalu:

Mount Kinabalu

Desa Cattle Dairy Farm

Manukan Island

Where to stay in Kota Kinabalu:

KUCHING (KCH)

Non-Stop Flight Time (BWN-KCH): 1 hour and 50 minutes

Airline that flies directly from Brunei to Kuching:
direct flights from brunei

Places to visit in Kuching:

Kuching Cat Museum

Fort Margherita

Bako National Park

Where to stay in Kuching:

KUALA LUMPUR (KUL)

Non-Stop Flight Time (BWN-KUL): 2 hours and 20-25 minutes

Kuala Lumpur is known to have a lot of direct flights to Southeast Asia destinations, including flights to Brunei Darussalam, because of the presence of low-cost carrier AirAsia.

Airlines that fly directly from Brunei to Kuala Lumpur:
direct flights from brunei direct flights from brunei

Places To Visit in Kuala Lumpur:

Petronas Twin Towers

https://www.instagram.com/p/B2qY3ionRBw/

Kuala Lumpur City Gallery

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bt8cP5UHtjC/

Sultan Abdul Samad Building

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bled5AVnNLR/

ALSO READ: 4 MUSEUMS TO VISIT IN KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA

Where to stay in Kuala Lumpur:

SANDAKAN (SDK)

Non-Stop Flight Time (BWN-SDK): 1 hour and 5 minutes

Airline that flies directly from Brunei to Sandakan:
direct flights from brunei

Places to visit in Sandakan:

Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Park

Turtle Islands National Park

Puu Jih Shii Temple

Where to stay in Sandakan:

SIBU (SBW)

Non-Stop Flight Time (BWN-SBW): 1 hour and 10 minutes

Airline that flies directly from Brunei to Sibu:
direct flights from brunei

Places to visit in Sibu:

Tua Pek Kong Temple

Sibu Central Market

Sibu Night Market

Where to stay in Sibu:

TAWAU (TWU)

Non-Stop Flight Time (BWN-TWU): 1 hour and 5 minutes

Airline that flies directly from Brunei to Tawau:
direct flights from brunei

Places to visit in Tawau:

Tawau Hills National Park

Teck Guan Cocoa Museum

Tawau Tanjung Market

Where to stay in Tawau:

Where's Sherlyn Travel and Food Blog Philippines

MANILA (MNL)

Non-Stop Flight Time (BWN-MNL): 2 hours and 35 minutes

Manila is known to have a lot of direct flights to Southeast Asia destinations, including flights to Brunei Darussalam, because of the presence of low-cost carrier Cebu Pacific.

Airlines that fly directly from Brunei to Manila:
direct flights from brunei direct flights from brunei

Places to visit in Manila:

National Museum of Natural History

https://www.instagram.com/p/By4xf0InBf_/

National Museum of Fine Arts

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bo_W05gnHH0/

Filling Station Bar Cafe

https://www.instagram.com/p/BuTkADZHiwO/

ALSO READ: A COMPLETE GUIDE TO 64 INSTAGRAM–WORTHY SPOTS IN MANILA, PHILIPPINES

Where to stay in Manila:

ALSO READ: TOP 10 PLACES TO STAY IN LUZON, PHILIPPINES

Where's Sherlyn Travel and Food Blog Singapore

SINGAPORE (SIN)

Non-Stop Flight Time (BWN-SIN): 2 hours and 5 minutes

Singapore is known to have a lot of direct flights to Southeast Asia destinations, including flights to Brunei Darussalam, because of the presence of many routes by its flag carrier Singapore Airlines.

Airlines that fly directly from Brunei to Singapore:
direct flights from brunei direct flights from brunei

Places to visit in Singapore:

ArtScience Museum

https://www.instagram.com/p/B3PhVfsnUIe/

Little India

https://www.instagram.com/p/BzqZs4RHQjz/

SEE ALSO: POSTCARDS FROM LITTLE INDIA, SINGAPORE

Kampong Glam

https://www.instagram.com/p/B3PleohHUCW/

Where to stay in Singapore:

Where's Sherlyn Travel and Food Blog Thailand

BANGKOK (BKK)

Non-Stop Flight Time (BWN-BKK): 2 hours and 45 minutes

Bangkok is known to have a lot of direct flights to Southeast Asia destinations, including flights to Brunei Darussalam. It is also a good transit point to many Southeast Asian destinations.

Airline that flies directly from Brunei to Bangkok:
direct flights from brunei

Places to Visit in Bangkok:

Grand Palace Bangkok

https://www.instagram.com/p/B4PJKFmHda1/

Wat Arun

https://www.instagram.com/p/B4ATGnlnWM9/

Soi Nana (Chinatown)

https://www.instagram.com/p/B5K4FMbH6pU/

ALSO READ: BANGKOK, THAILAND TRAVEL: 11 AMAZING THINGS IN 24 HOURS

Where to stay in Bangkok:

ALSO READ: 5 REASONS TO CHECK-IN AT THE JOURNEY HOTEL LAKSI BANGKOK

Where's Sherlyn Travel and Food Blog Vietnam

HO CHI MINH CITY (SGN)

Non-Stop Flight Time (BWN-SGN): 1 hour and 55 minutes

One of the nearest destinations to Brunei outside Borneo, Ho Chi Minh city also operates a lot of flights to Brunei Darussalam and other destinations to Southeast Asia

Airline that flies directly from Brunei to Ho Chi Minh City:
direct flights from brunei

Places to visit in Ho Chi Minh City:

Bitexco Financial Tower

https://www.instagram.com/p/BlzLffWnr7_/

Ben Thanh Market

Cu Chi Tunnels

Where to stay in Ho Chi Minh City:

See? I told you there is a lot of flights from Brunei Darussalam! There are so many direct flights to Southeast Asia and direct flights from Brunei is just one of the many destinations to choose from. Are you ready to draft your ultimate Southeast Asian itinerary covering these amazing destinations and hop on that plane to take one of the next direct flights from Brunei?

ALSO READ: THE BEAUTY OF LEARNING ABOUT SOUTHEAST ASIA

The Beauty of Learning About Southeast Asia

My love for Southeast Asia started in high school when I had the privilege to compete and win an ASEAN Quiz Show hosted by a private college in my hometown, and along with the trophy are brochures, maps, and information materials about ASEAN and Southeast Asia. I became passionate with learning more about Southeast Asia and fell in love with the region, real hard. Since then, I vowed to visit all ASEAN countries. Nine years after casting that dream in stone, I already visited all of ASEAN. Life is sweet!

Southeast Asian region refers to the eleven countries Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor Leste, and Vietnam. However, if you are referring to ‘ASEAN countries’, we have to eliminate Timor Leste because the organization is still working out on its membership. Southeast Asian region may have been united by geography, but the countries are totally different politically, economically, and socio-culturally. Having the privilege to travel around the entire region not only expanded the knowledge I had from high school about Southeast Asia, but it also made me appreciate the beauty of my own country and how unique it is compared to the beauty of each Southeast Asian countries.

Because of my love for Southeast Asia, I took Political Science for my Bachelor’s Degree so that I will have the chance to learn more about the region, most especially its government and politics, and how they compare to that of the Philippines. I went on to pursue my Master’s Degree in International Studies wherein I took cognate classes on Southeast Asian Studies to learn more about the region. Currently, I am teaching courses on Southeast Asian/ASEAN Studies in college and graduate school levels and put up a social media microblog where I post my photos and travel stories about Southeast Asia. Since then, people have been interested about my travel stories and learnings about the Southeast Asian region.

I have a long share of my stories from my travels around Southeast Asia, but here are some of them: Brunei is a small and peaceful country and has a lot of cosmopolitan people with high respect for their religion at the same time. Cambodia may be considered by the United Nations as one of the poorest countries in the world, but it is very rich in culture and kind-hearted people. The Indonesian island of Bali is where I witnessed the best sunset of my life, with people trying their best to preserve the island’s beauty despite the continuous influx of tourists. Laos, the most underrated country in Southeast Asia, has a lot of beautiful stories to tell from its classy French bakeries and local food. Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur may look like any other major concrete jungle in the region, but wait until you explore Malaysia as far as Penang, Langkawi, or even Kuching. Another one in the Least Developed Country list, Myanmar, made me cry with the beauty of the hot air balloons flying over the stupas in the Old Bagan complex during sunrise, and because serve a huge amount of rice in restaurants as well. Singapore is more than a concrete jungle to me. It is a melting pot of so many cultures – Chinese, Indian, and Malay, and everything is so utopian and feels like a small island and a megacity at the same time. I’m not going to say that I love the traffic jam in Bangkok, but I love pad thai and tom yum, and how Thais are very faithful to their cultural practices. The coffee lover in me felt instantly at home in Vietnam, let alone its healthy set of cuisines. Ladies and gentlemen, this is what is waiting for you just a few hours away from the Philippines.

Had the Bachelor’s Degree in Arts in Southeast Asian Studies been offered by the university I attended for college during the time I studied there, I would definitely enroll in the program. It’s not too late, though. I still have a PhD to pursue, and it can be in Southeast Asian Studies. In the meantime, I will focus on teaching and doing research about the region and occasionally write microblogs about my actual experiences as I visit and revisit more places in Southeast Asia.

It is a dream of mine to let the world know how seeing and learning about this beautiful region may develop their cosmopolitanism and sense of global citizenship. Also, realizing that there is so much beauty in diversity will definitely change the way how they look at the world and what’s happening around. It would be nice to study International Relations or Southeast Asian Studies to learn more about the region, but nothing beats with actually trying out the food, conversing with people, visiting heritage sites, and observing the daily scenes in these places. This is the beauty of learning about Southeast Asia – it can be beyond the books and formal schooling. It is the actual experience which will not only widen your horizons, but will change you as a person and a citizen of your country and the world.

(This was my attempt to write an article which I submitted to Inquirer Young Blood. I know this will never get published there, so I’m posting it here instead.)

Taipei, Taiwan Itinerary: Historic Route Walking Tour

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TAIPEI, TAIWAN ITINERARY: GOLDEN AGE ROUTE WALKING TOUR

ALSO READ:
TAIPEI, TAIWAN ITINERARY: MODERN ROUTE WALKING TOUR

https://www.instagram.com/p/BvGysWjnr1W/

Whenever I travel on practically every place (inside or outside the Philippines and Southeast Asia), I always make sure to get to know the place by reading about its history. Aside from the fact that I teach history in the university as a profession, I think the best way to make sense of all my observations and experiences in places I’m going to is to get to know about the places’ past. I realized, there is no other way to do it than to create an itinerary on Taipei historic route walking tour.

As I was researching for my Taiwan trip itinerary, I came across Like It Formosa, an organization that conducts free (but tip-based) walking tours around Taipei. Apparently, they offer three free walking tours around Taipei: Historic Route, Golden Age Route, and Modern Route. Of course, I cannot miss all of these and I joined all of them.

What I liked about the tours offered by Like It Formosa is that it’s led by young and very intelligent guides. For this specific route, we were guided by a young film director whom I discovered was an Erasmus Scholarship recipient! The way they share information about Taiwan is very passionate and really coming from locals.

Apparently, Taipei has a very intriguing history and was shaped by several other cultures, as evidenced by different architectural wonders. Here is the itinerary of the Historic Route tour. Obviously, all of these are walking distance away from one another.

Longshan Temple

https://www.instagram.com/p/BkmCXQIHnOU/

No wonder this is the most iconic and popular temple in Taiwan. The architecture is so beautiful and a little different than the other Chinese temples I’ve been to. Our tour guide was able to teach us some stuff, including how to pray for a love life, because why not? Haha! It was built during the 1700s by settlers from Fujian, China as a gathering place for Chinese settlers. It was heavily destroyed during World War II but was restored to its current beauty.

Bopiliao Historical Block

Taipei Historic Route Walking Tour

This structure was opened to the public in 2009. It was an area preserved by the government which used to be a busy commercial district during the Japanese occupation of Taipei. It connects the Longshan Temple to the Shi-Da Night Market area which became an important historical and cultural landmark. I really admire the red brick walls!!! There was even a prenup photoshoot when we visited there (Oh edi kayo na. Charot. Haha.)

Ximen Red House

Taipei Historic Route Walking Tour

Also known as the Red House Theater, it is a historic theater that was built in 1908 by Japanese architect Kondo Juro. Apparently it used to be a market building before being converted into a theater. It has a café at the ground floor (which I wish I was able to try). What I admire about this architectural wonder is its octagonal shape (and of course, the red brick wall). And oh, there is a beautiful boutique at the back of this building.

Presidential Office

This beautiful building houses the President of Taiwan ROC and was designed by another Japanese architect Uheiji Nagano during the Japanese occupation of Taiwan during 1800s-1900s. The tour guide actually warned us about taking photos around the area because apparently it was prohibited. He also shared us a lot of firsthand information about Taiwanese Politics which I found interesting and intriguing.

228 Peace Memorial Park

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bl5CKbknrEv/

This park was built to commemorate the victims of the February 28 incident of 1947 (hence the name 228) and this is also where the Taiwan National Museum was located. It was the first European-themed park in Taiwan (which I really found interesting because it’s complete with a lot of amenities, including the stone foot massage thing). The February 28 incident was a long story (and I am yet to read more about it), but it was an anti-government uprising which killed thousands of civilians. I think the Philippines has to learn from this. #NeverForget

Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bmfct0tn8lj/

This iconic structure was built in commemoration of Chiang Kai-Shek, the former President of Taiwan ROC. This is a very beautiful place and it’s very obvious that the people of Taiwan really valued the legacy of Chiang-Kai Shek. It started to rain so hard when we went there, but admiring the architecture of this place was so worth it. Taking the steps going to the monument of Chiang Kai-Shek was a little tiring, and it looks like the huge Abraham Lincoln statue in the US.

There is so much history to be learned from Taiwan, especially having undergone a lot of wars and colonizations, like the Philippines. I really admire how Taiwan preserved and valued their historical heritage which made them into what they are now. No wonder Taiwanese people are so resilient and nationalistic. In my next visit to Taiwan, I make sure to explore more first-hand historical trivia from the locals. The history buff in me is so happy once again! My brain was fed very properly.

For other blog posts on Taiwan, please click on the photo below:

Where's Sherlyn Travel and Food Blog Taiwan

For accommodation options in Taipei, Taiwan, click on the banner below:

15 (of the so many) Awesome Spots to Visit in Myanmar

Spots to Visit in Myanmar

Since opening up its borders to the world, especially for tourists, Myanmar has always been one of the most recommended places to visit worldwide. In fact, it was number 9 in the Top 10 countries of the Best in Travel 2016 book by Lonely Planet. My 2016 travel to Myanmar has been the best thus far. I am hereby recommending these 15 Myanmar Travel Spots to include in your itineraries as you visit this golden spectacular country:

But before that, you might wanna check out this other Myanmar Guide article I wrote based on Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown episode on Myanmar:

If you haven’t seen the said episode yet, you may check the trailer below:

SPOTS TO VISIT IN MYANMAR: MANDALAY

1. Mandalay Palace

https://www.instagram.com/p/B3e_jwcn0Hp/

The Mandalay Palace is the last royal palace of the last Burmese monarchy and was said to be built around mid-1800s. However, the current structure existing is only a replica of the original. The top of the spiral watchtower will give you a spectacular view (such as shown in the photo above). I recommend you to devote 1-2hours to go around the complex because it is really huge. Entrance fee is MKY10,000.

2. Kuthodaw Pagoda

https://www.instagram.com/p/B6ch85-HUea/

Maha Lawkamarazein or Kuthodaw Inscription Shrines (which literally means Royal Merit) contains the world’s largest book and was inscribed on the Register by UNESCO in 2013. This stupa is located at the foot of the Mandalay Hill and is patterned after Shwegizon Pagoda. It contains 729 marble slabs with Buddhust scriptures displayed in them.

3. Sutaungpyei Pagoda at Mandalay Hill

Spots to Visit in Myanmar: Sutaungpei Pagoda
Spots to Visit in Myanmar: Sutaungpei Pagoda

The Sutaungpei Pagoda is located atop Mandalay Hill which gives a spectacular view of Mandalay City. The way up is not an easy one — it’s like going up to the City of Baguio in the northern Philippines, but the experience is really worth it. It is also a gppd spot to view the sunset on the side where the Irrawaddy River can be found. It’s a huge complex, and there are actually escalators around! This pagoda is also more ‘shining shimmering splendid’ compared to other pagodas since mirrors and beautiful tiles surround the place.

4. U Bein Bridge

https://www.instagram.com/p/ByKBW7Pn-Bf/

U Bein Bridge is a 1.2-kilometer bridge is said to be the oldest and longest teakwood bridge in the world. This was named after the former Mayor who had it built, U Bein. It passes over the Taungthaman Lake in Amarapura.

5. Taungthaman Lake

https://www.instagram.com/p/B6gGSgJHMIe/

Below the U Bein Bridge is the Taungthaman Lake which also offers a stunning sunset view. Beers, coconut water, and other drinks are sold by the lakeside which you can drink while enjoying the sunset. Boatrides are also available which wander around the lake.

Mandalay, Myanmar Accommodation: Oway Grand Hotel

For my trip in Mandalay Myanmar, I stayed at Oway Grand Hotel.

spots to visit in myanmar

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SPOTS TO VISIT IN MYANMAR: BAGAN

1. Shwezigon Pagoda

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The Shwezigon Pagoda is a typical circular gold-leafed stupa located at Nyaung U in Bagan and is only one of the thousand golden temples in the country. A lot of mysteries surround the pagoda, such as shadow positions not changing throughout the day, the Hti still standing despite the absence of butresses, the ability of the complex to accommodate a huge number of people and yet does not get crowded at all, name it.

2. Ruins of Old Bagan

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When you search Myanmar on Google Images, you will inevitably come across this photo of hot air balloons above stupas in Old Bagan. This is definitely a must-see in Myanmar, however it was said that climbing the stupas in Bagan to view the hot air balloons flying on sunrise will now be banned by the Burmese government in order to preserve the temples. It was a sad news, though. However, do come while it is still allowed. The day I went to see the sunrise in one of the stupas with hot air balloons above my head was the best feeling in the world.

3. Ananda Phaya

Spots to Visit in Myanmar: Ananda Phaya
Spots to Visit in Myanmar: Ananda Phaya

Ananda Phaya is considered as one of the most beautiful temples in Bagan. With its unique beauty, it was dubbed as the ‘Westminster Abbey of Myanmar’. Right after the entrance to the temple are sellers of different goods like scarves and books.

4. Mahabodhi Temple

Spots to Visit in Myanmar: Mahabodhi Temple
Spots to Visit in Myanmar: Mahabodhi Temple

This Buddhist Temple is modeled after the temple of the same name (which is actually a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was believed to be the place where Buddha reached his Enlightenment) located in Bihar, India. It is unique compared to the typical golden stupas found everywhere else in Myanmar because its architecture resembles that of the Gupta period. This is where I actually saw the temple caretakers watching a Filipino TV Series, Princess and I (which was shot in Bhutan), dubbed in a Burmese local language.

5. Buphaya Paya

Spots to Visit in Myanmar: Buphaya Paya
Spots to Visit in Myanmar: Buphaya Paya

This pagoda is distinct because of its bulbous-shaped dome, as opposed to the typical pagodas with many edges. It is located at the banks of the Irrawaddy River and it also provides a nice view of the sunset. Buphaya literally means “a gourd shaped pagoda”. There are food stalls at the entrance of the temple.

6. Irrawaddy River

Spots to Visit in Myanmar: Irrawaddy River
Spots to Visit in Myanmar: Irrawaddy River

Also called Ayeyarwady River, it is the largest river in Myanmar, spanning from north to south. It is considered as the cradle of civilization in Myanmar, being the most important commercial waterway. One of Rudyard Kipling’s poems dub Irrawaddy River as “the road to Mandalay”. Cows and other farm animals can be seen in the riverbanks and cruiseships roam around the river. Boatrides are available during sunset time (that’s when I took the photo above).

7. Nyaung U Market

Spots to Visit in Myanmar: Nyaung U Market
Spots to Visit in Myanmar: Nyaung U Market

This looks like your typical marketplace, but it does not make it hard for tourists to roam around. The thanaka kids outside the marlet were kinda aggressive, though. You will not have to worry leaving your motorbikes and bicycles unchained in the parking area. Nyaung U market also offers a lot of products to tourists, such as spices, postcards, pottery products, and the like.

Bagan, Myanmar Accommodation: Golden Crown Motel

For my trip in Bagan, Myanmar, I stayed at Golden Crown Motel.

spots to visit in myanmar

CLICK HERE FOR MY REVIEW ARTICLE OF GOLDEN CROWN MOTEL BAGAN

SPOTS TO VISIT IN MYANMAR: YANGON

1. Yangon Zoological Garden

Spots to Visit in Myanmar: Yangon Zoo
Spots to Visit in Myanmar: Yangon Zoo

Located across the Kandawgyi Lake, Yangon Zoo is where Burmese families flock and bond together as they enjoy wacthing different animals. It is considered as the oldest and second largest zoo in Myanmar which also houses a museum inside. Renovations are ongoing when we came there to modernize the facilities in order to serve the visitors better.

2. Kandawgyi Lake

Spots to Visit in Myanmar: Kandawgyi Lake
Spots to Visit in Myanmar: Kandawgyi Lake

Literally means “great royal lake”, Kandawgyi Lake is an artificial lake located in Yangon, across the Yangon Zoological Garden. It used to be a provider of clean water supply for during the British Colonial Government. In this place you will find the Kandawgyi Nature Park wherein families have their picnics and quality time. The lake is also surrounded by a 6-kilometer wooden bridge, perfect for a leisure or fitness walk.

3. KFC Yangon

Spots to Visit in Myanmar: KFC Yangon
Spots to Visit in Myanmar: KFC Yangon

Okay, it’s just a typical fastfood chain with a huge presence worldwide. What’s so special about this one? This KFC is the first US fastfood chain to open up in Myanmar which opened up only last June 2015 as Myanmar opens up its economy to the outside world. Before that, Myanmar has no access to Western fastfood.

Yangon, Myanmar Accommodation: East Hotel

For my trip in Yangon, Myanmar, I stayed at East Hotel.

spots to visit in myanmar

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