Reliving The Magic The Best Of Biyahe Ni Drew In 2016

Over the past three years, 'Biyahe ni Drew' has brought us to almost 200 adventure-filled episodes complemented by visually appealing sights and gastronomic food. Be it a local or foreign trip, Drew surely made all biyaheros envy his job even more. As we near the end of the year, let's look back and relive the best travel experiences we had this 2016!

JAPAN

Let's begin reminiscing with Drew's trip to Okinawa, Japan! What's so significant about this trip was the cultural and historical immersion. As you walk down the streets of Japan, you'll get to realize that despite being innovative people, the Japanese never drift away from their traditional way of life.

Aside from the various destinations to see and experience, they also boast of their commendable discipline. This perhaps is the reason that makes the cleanliness of the place an attraction in itself. Drew even noted, "Naalala ko dun, it was raining constantly, dahil sa sobrang linis ng lugar, nag dry up na yung sneakers ko, puti pa rin siya… ganun!"

What to do:

1. Nanjikin Castle
Nanjikin Castle is located in Kunigami and was the former seat of government and royal residence. Built in the 1200s, the castle provides a trip down memory lane for history enthusiasts. Each door has a unique story to tell and one of them offers a magnificent view of the East China Sea.

2. Okinawa World
Okinawa World is a theme park located in Nanjo City which offers a taste of the Okinawa culture. There are no rides and roller coasters, but tourists can dress up, watch traditional shows, among others.

3. Makishi Public Market
The Japanese experience would not be complete without indulging in the local food scene. The Makishi Public Market serves a wide variety of local food from fruits, vegetables, meats, and seafood. What makes the experience great is that you can buy the products raw and have it cooked at the second floor!

ISRAEL and JORDAN

Cross-country traveling is more convenient on a tour package, take it from our Biyahero Drew.

"Kung dadalaw kayo sa Jordan at Israel, importanteng mas madali ang biyahe kung sasabay kayo sa isang packaged tour para worry-free ang pagtawid sa dalawang bansa."
Israel and Jordan was the more spiritual and historical side of our travel this year. For Drew, walking the path Christ once walked was a unique experience.

What to do:

1. The Dead Sea
Swimming at the highly saline waters of the Dead Sea was one of the highlights of Drew's travel. Even without a floating device, surely no one would ever drown in this water.

2. Hike up Masada
Back in King Herod's rule in 31-37 BC, the summit of Masada mountain became his fortress, wanting to see the Dead Sea. At present, there are two ways to reach the mountain - either by a two-minute cable car ride, or an hour worth of walk down the Snake road.

HONG KONG

Although Hong Kong is a typical go-to place for travelers who wishes to have a quick vacation out of the country, this trip was among the sweetest travels for Drew this year! We all know why, Biyaheros! Who wouldn't want to have their special someones as their buddy in trips like this?

What to do:

"Ano bang gagawin natin sa Hong Kong? Isa lang naiiisip ko eh: Kumain nang kumain nang kumain," said Drew. Yes, Biyaheros! Hong Kong is all about food! It is not known to be home of authentic dim sum and Cantonese cuisine for nothing.

1. Lang Fong Yuen
Located in Goge Street, Hong Kong Central, Drew considers this place as Hong Kong's version of turo-turo, "Kahit walang English descriptions ng pagkain, tingnan mo lang 'yung picture at ituro ang mga gusto mo!" For only P300, you can already try their Silk milk tea, and noodles. Definitely a must-try!

2. Good Spring Company, Ltd.
This is a tea kiosk at Cochrane Street, Hong Kong Central selling over 7,000 cups daily. Their Sweet Flower Tea, which costs about P37 a cup is perfect to cleanse an oily lunch and set you for more adventures.

3. Tim Ho Wan
Curious about the long lines at the Fuk Wing Street, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon? It takes about 45 minutes to almost two hours before one can try their baked bun (resembling a baked asado siopao) and chee cheong fun (thick rice noodle stuffed with shrimp and ginger), but Biyahero, we tell you this dim sum is worth the wait!
But don't be fooled, Drew's local travels were equally exciting and worth remembering! Of the more than 7,100 islands in the Philippines, who wouldn't be thrilled to experience every unique characteristic of the island?

DINGALAN, AURORA

In Aurora, Drew has been diagnosed with a fast spreading disease -- the "Dingalan Syndrome." Our biyahero, like any other tourist, was left in awe with the infectious beauty of the secret paradise of the east. The province of Aurora is not just about Baler, after all.

Although it takes 3-4 hours to get to the province, going there is not much of hassle. Thanks to the very accessible North Luzon Expressway.

What to do:

1. Visit the picturesque beach for free
When in Dingalan, it's good to take a plunge at their majestic Matawe Beach. Enclosed by mountains, the four hundred meter-long stretch of fine sand and low-tide rock formations create a picture perfect serene view. "As they say, the best beach in life is for free," said Arellano

2. Indulge in the serenity of nature
If you loved the Matawe Beach, you'll love the Tanawan falls even more. Far away from the hustle and bustle of the Metro, the Tanawan falls is your escape. Indulge yourself with some quality alone time, biyahero!

3. Savor the local dishes
Apart from the beauty of nature, Dingalan boasts of its sumptuous food - best enjoyed with family and friends. Treat yourself to a great boodle fight and enjoy the freshness of every bite!

If you still haven't got enough of the simple beauty and quietness far from the metro, Drew got us covered with another escape-worthy island!

BURIAS ISLAND, MASBATE

Burias Island is one of the three major islands in Masbate. A biyahero can opt to fly in or take a bus to Naga City. From Naga, a jeepney or van ride to Pascao Port will take about an hour and from there, a two-hour long boat ride will take you to the beautiful Burias Island. We know, we know, the travel seem tough but we promise, it's worth it!

What to do:

1. Island Hop
Enjoy the fine sand and take a long walk in the Tinalisayan Island. In the evening, rest a la castaway in Sombrero Island. If you're in for some art appreciation, the Animasola Island rock formation is a must-see!

According to Drew, "the most appropriate time to be in the Tinalisayan sand bar is when it's low tide. Make sure to ask your boatman what time that will be. Islands are a bit far from one another. To maximize the experience, limit the tour to two islands per day."

2. Eat away
Your castaway experience would be incomplete without a taste of their local 'tamilok' - an oyster-like tasting wood worm found in decaying mangrove logs. If you have a weak stomach, and would rather eat a more usual feast, make sure to try their seafood produce. 'Laswi,' a shellfish, and 'Takla,' a mangrove shrimp should be a top your list!

ALEGRIA, CEBU

If you've been to Cebu, you would think that it is a lot like the busy streets of Manila, but why does Drew keep falling for the province? Simple. Every fall is breathtaking!

A biyahero needs to take a plane ride from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) or the Clark International Airport in Pampanga to Mactan Cebu International Airport. From there, they can take a private van to Alegria or a bus ride which will cost around P160. Both trips would take three to four hours of road travel.

What to do:

1.Cambais Falls
You'll need to take a trek for about 15-20 minutes from the jump point in Brgy, Guadalupe. You can swim all you want and plunge into the crystal clear waters from various jumping points for a minimal entrance fee of P20.

2. Cangkalanog Falls
Cangkalanog Falls is a 20-minute hike from the jump point in Sitio Samoyaw. The hike maybe tiresome, but we promise, the fresh blue waters, and the beauty of the falls will surely make you breathless.

3. Taste local food
When in Alegria, one should never miss out on trying their local version of suman. 'Budbod' is our usual sticky rice, but made from coconut milk paired with either brown sugar, coconut jam, or sweet mango slices. You can also try their Pan De Bisaya - a bigger version of our typical pandesal but made with coconut milk, cooked in banana leaves.

In all the places we travel, there is always something new to discover and makes the place worthy of a second, a third, or even a fourth visit. As Drew puts it, "kahit ilang beses na naming na feature 'yun o kahit ilang beses na puntahan may lilitaw talaga na something new, maybe a tourist destination, a tour guide, a tourist as well na makikilala mo… there is always something new at babalik-balikan mo 'yan!" Be it a local or foreign destination, Drew reminds us to always "have an open mind when [we] are traveling."

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