One thing I love about Asian cultures [generally speaking of course] is the respect and honor the young ones show to their elderly family members.
I've seen it in both Taiwan and Philippines, teenagers going out socially with their parents and grandparents, and caring for them as they get older.
I'm sitting at SM Mall right now, and an older man sat down next to me with his teenage son.
Trying different foods while you’re out exploring the sights is a big part of holidays in South East Asia.
Visit just about any town or city in the region and you’ll find vendors selling all kinds of dishes. They look and smell tempting, with the aroma of spices and the colorful ingredients hanging above the cart or stall. But how to choose?
12 Tasty Filipino Dishes: Southeast Asian "Soul-Food" Recipes To Make Your Taste Buds Tingle! [Philippines]
The secret is out, Filipino food is on the rise! With more and more award winning Filipino themed restaurants cropping up across the nation, Americans are finally getting an elevated taste of the soul-stirring comfort food many hundreds of millions of Filipinos have been enjoying in their own home kitchens for generations!
A mixture of salty and sweet, soft and crunchy and slimy and crispy, this dish is a great example of a 'love it or hate it' flavor profile! In Chinese, it's called 皮蛋, or pídàn, meaning leather or skin egg. In English, it's commonly referred to as Century Egg or Thousand Year Egg.
Travel Phrases: Hiligaynon To Help You Get By in the Philippines (Iloilo, Guimaras & Negros Occidental)
Philippines is a country of many different languages. Although Tagalog, the official language, is taught everywhere throughout the country, the local languages are what's really being spoken on the streets, in stores, at the market, while commuting, and in homes. If you really want to connect with the locals, the best way is to speak to them in their local languages.
If you are traveling through Western Visayas, chances are you will be surrounded by a language called Hiligaynon, alternatively referred to as Ilonggo.
As the dominant language on the islands of Panay and Guimaras, as well as in the province of Negros Occidental, there are approximately 8.2 million native speakers of the language.
South Asia has long been a draw for travelers, and with good reason; the region offers the chance to see and experience things seldom seen in the Western world.
With that being said, a trip like that costs money, and from flights to lodging to food, the expenses can pile up. Here are some tips to help save you money during your holiday to the East.
Riding the Mekong Delta in Southern Vietnam [SOURCE]
If you are planning a trip to Vietnam in the near future, you will likely be looking for some ways to have the most authentic experience. After all it only makes sense to do justice to such an interesting country; of course there is the legacy of the war, but there is much for you to discover about modern Vietnam too.
That is why you should separate your time between the cool mountain regions, emerald green waters and soft white beaches with some time in the towns and villages.
Eating Snake at Liuhe Nightmarket: Have You Tried This Interesting Delicacy? | Kaohsiung City, Taiwan
The sign above the nightmarket shop couldn't have made it any clearer. Whatever lingering doubts one might have had as to what was being served on the menu here immediately disappeared once you looked up at the giant neon cobra flashing over the entrance way.
I am no stranger to exotic food. Deep fried chicken butt, fermented stinky tofu, boiled pig intestine hotpot, succulent fish eyes, juicy shrimp heads...these are just a few of the things I've not only tried but that I actually love eating as well.
Negros Occidental is a province in the Philippines that has a long story. From a prehistory where the local inhabitants lived and prospered, through a period of Spanish occupation where sugar barons ruled the land from their plantation haciendas, down to modern day Negros where farming is still deeply rooted in the traditional way of life.
Singaporean Dumpling Ladies [SOURCE]
In order to truly understand a culture, you need to taste their food. A country's cuisine has always been an important part of cultural identity, and Singapore is no exception.
Although Singaporean culture geographically originates in Malaysia, the ethnic diversity and historical cultural interactions found within the borders of this country is also reflected in it's cuisine, making it both vibrant and unique.
There are many reasons why people love visiting Thailand on their holidays. From year round sunshine to the amazing food, the experience can only be topped off by the fact that the country is highly affordable while still retaining an air of luxury.
That means it is possible to book a room in one of the many 5 star resorts in Thailand and still have enough money left to enjoy everything you want to do while you’re there!
I consider myself to be a relatively creative person. However, I feel that my art is mainly translated through words on a page. Anything else truly artistic comes in secondary to that. This includes photography.
One cool aspect of traveling that I've always enjoyed is learning more about the animals that are found in the countries I visit. Several months ago I wrote a post about exotic pets from South America. In it, I talked about the captivating capybara, the ornate horned Pac-Man frog and the creepy looking nightwalker-kinkajou. All three of these animals I had come across before during my travels, and I was surprised to find out that people also kept them as pets.
Well, I recently shared the link to that post on my Facebook page, and this led to an interesting discussion on some of the other unique and or bizarre animals many of you have come across during your own travels. (As it turns out, a lot of you found Hawaii animals to be rather bizarre, which is quite the opposite for me, but no worries, I'll still be including them in the following discussion.)
Here are just some of the most bizarre creatures you've seen in your travels, and my personal commentary on each of them...
Have you ever wondered what it's like to leave your home country and live in a foreign land? Do you need some inspiration and motivation to do this yourself?
"Chat With an Expat" takes you around the world and brings you into the homes, huts, tents and yurts of global drifters to give you an inside look at what life is like living abroad.
In this installment, we speak to an Australian with the heart of a Gypsy living in Asia.
It's always interesting to meet someone who grew up unconventionally in a conventional world. Kara is a personal friend of mine who, although she was raised in Australia, moved around a lot when she was younger. She was brought up in a household of gypsies with parents who loved to move and travel, and she never lived longer than 3 years in one house. Last year, she moved to the East Asian country of Taiwan. Here is her story of what life is like there:
Koh Phangan, Thailand - Last week we talked about Bangkok. This week, we leave the capital city of Thailand and head south to the island of full-moon parties. Agness from eTramping has been traveling since 2011 and blogging with her best friend Cez. Recently, she took some time out to share with us some tips on how to have a fun and safe trip to Koh Phangan Beach, all for under $25USD.
Bangkok, Thailand - You either love it or you hate it. During the planning stages of my first trip through Southeast Asia, I had originally decided to use Bangkok as a hub city, a sprawling metropolis worth no more than a passing. As it turned out, some of the most endearing characters I've met during my travels were befriended in Bangkok.
Since then, I have always had a certain affinity towards the real lives of the working class Thai. Street life was introduced to me as being a vibrant part of any capital city, a key way of getting to know the feel of what life is really like behind all the glossy tourism ads.
It's time for another "Days Go By" write-up! This time around you guys voted for the Instagram photo of my smiling Taiwanese student, a picture I titled "ESL Student Archetypes". And that's what I came up with, a short list of 3 basic ESL student stereotypes* in Taiwan, plus a few extra contributed ones sent in by readers!
I had Vietnamese coffee at lunch a couple Sundays ago. "Big deal," you might say. Well, it is a big deal, for me. You see, living in Taiwan, I've been deprived of conveniently accessible truly gourmet coffee for over three years now, and it's time for me to fight for my rights to again be obsessed with all things coffee bean along with any of it's aromatic byproducts.
Lunch was not the first time I had ever tasted Vietnamese coffee. I can still think back now when my friend Scott got back from his trip through Southeast Asia, and one of the things he'd unpacked from his travels was a small tin contraption made up of several parts. I hadn't understood it at the time, but this filter would eventually TURN MY WORLD UPSIDE DOWN!
PLEASE NOTE: On NOvember 8, 2013, Guiuan Town was the first area where Typhoon Haiyan-Yolanda made landfall, thereby sustaining the maximum amount of winds in the country. This beautiful town was 90% destroyed, leaving many dead and the survivors homeless and with no source of income. We lost all contact with my friends there once the storm made landfall. After 5 days of distressful thoughts, I finally managed to get word about my friends, and now we are in full contact again. They have all made it out safely, and are now relocated in an area hundreds of kilometers away in the northwestern part of Samar Island. Their lives are changed forever, but at least they are alive. Please remember the victims of Typhoon Haiyan-Yolanda, and continue to help them in whatever way you can.
Why is it that torrential downpours always bring out the journal-bug in me? It's 2 pm on a Saturday afternoon, and I'm at home under the shelter of a tin-roof shack in Guiuan, Philippines doing my laundry. This has turned out to be a long, drawn out process, as it's all done by hand, and can take hours to complete.
Although the first step of scrubbing the laundry is done, I now have to sit and let the clothes soak in the soap suds. But as I sit here, waiting for the right time to move on to the next step, it starts to rain.
PLEASE NOTE: On NOvember 8, 2013, Guiuan Town was the first area where Typhoon Haiyan-Yolanda made landfall, thereby sustaining the maximum amount of winds in the country. This beautiful town was 90% destroyed, leaving many dead and the survivors homeless and with no source of income. We lost all contact with my friends there once the storm made landfall. After 5 days of distressful thoughts, I finally managed to get word about my friends, and now we are in full contact again. They have all made it out safely, and are now relocated in area hundreds of kilometers away in the northwestern part of Samar Island. Their lives are changed forever, but at least they are alive. Please remember the victims of Typhoon Haiyan-Yolanda, and continue to help them in whatever way you can.
It's 12:20 am, February 2, and I sit here at Gate A7 in Taoyuan International Airport waiting for my 1:25 am flight to Manila, Philippines. It's strange. I'm surrounded by the familiar chatter of Westerners and Filipinos conversing in ENGLISH. I'm not sure what to make of it. After 3 years of living and traveling in strictly Chinese speaking countries, this return to the familiar helps me to understand what the "reverse culture-shock" hype is all about. But of course, it's not THAT big a deal., after all, I'm still in Asia.
I'm leaving for the Philippines in a week. I'll be there for fifteen days, on the island of Samar, in Eastern Visayas. This will be interesting since I don't even speak Tagalog!
I realize that this simple fact may come as a surprise to some of you, as I am more or less half-Filipino on my dad's side, but to be honest, it has taken me a long time to really understand the Filipino half of me.
I've come up with a general technique when writing each "Days Go By" article. While the votes are being tallied and the time gets near, I will sit and stare at the pictures that are up for nomination, letting random images and phrases flash through my mind. I knew that 'Manila Laundry' would probably be this week's winner, so in preparation I decided to load the page and stare at the picture. After a moment, one clear phrase stood out: "Good things come to those who wait."
Food Stall at a Taiwanese Nightmarket [SOURCE]
In order to truly understand a culture, you need to taste its food. A country's cuisine has always been an important part of cultural identity, and Taiwan is no exception. In this installment of ourFood in Four Courses series, we'll share with you three of the most beloved Taiwanese dishes, a starter, main course and dessert. And to keep things interesting, we'll add on a dish that's definitely not for the faint of heart.
The Chinese have had acultural influence in Hawai'i since the 1800's. The language that we speak at home, called Hawaiian Pidgin English (HCE), is heavily influenced by the grammar and vocabulary of Chinese dialects. The Chinese were one of the the first immigrant populations to intermarry and quickly assimilate with the Native Hawaiians, and many of us today can trace our genealogy back to at least one Chinese ancestor, if not more.
You see the craziest things in Asia. Like the time I got home, late at night, and I almost slammed into a giant pig! The most bizarre thing was what was going on behind it. I know that the picture above is of a dog, but for the sake of storytelling, I will begin this tale with a pig.
I had just turned the corner into the alley where I live, a dimly lit backstreet lane in a suburb on the outskirts of the second largest city in Taiwan. It had been raining all day and night, so the atmosphere was foggy and gray, the road was slippery wet, and the wind blew cool. As I pulled my motorbike up to the front of my house, ready to turn in, I could see, silhouetted by the flickering streetlights, a huge shadow lumbering towards me from a distance.
I'm JR. I come from a long line of adventurers, some were nomadic explorers of the sea and others wandering cultivators of the earth. Ultimately, this legacy of drifters has deeply affected my view of travel. Read more...