Tucked at the highlands of Northern Taiwan, Yangmingshan Tien Lai Resort and Spa offers a luxurious stay while enjoying top-notch outdoor hot springs, pools, spa facilities and refreshing mountain views.
From one cool location to another. Coming from the serene Sun Moon Lake, we took a speed train to Taipei, then transferred to our all-familiar tour coaster up to the slopes of Yamingshan north of Taiwan. With elevations up to 1,120 meters above sea level and and just an hour’s drive from Taipei city, Yamingshan is a popular national park for people to enjoy cold weather, lush environment, natural wonders and hot springs. So fitting that our home for the night is the Yangmingshan Tien Lai Resort and Spa, a favorite destination to enjoy Japanese style indoor and outdoor hot springs in the Jinshan District.
Hearing the word apsaras readily reminded me of the elegant female figures carved at the Khmer temples in Cambodia. Generally, apsaras are celestial maidens represented in different interpretations depending of the places. As for Apsaras Tribe Siargao, this is the newest seaside hotel in the surfing capital of the country. An appealing container-type style accommodation with direct view of the Pacific Seas.
As beautiful and serene Sun Moon Lake is, a fitting complement on a visit here is a luxurious stay at Fleur De Chine. A 5-star resort at the northern shores of Sun Moon Lake. Home of the first ever hotel built on the site in 1975 under a different name. After a major Taiwan earthquake in 1999 where the original hotel crumbled, the hotel was reborn as “Fleur de Chine (Flower of China)”. Along with the renovation is a discovery of a natural hot-spring in the area. A high quality “sodium bicarbonate” hot spring which is colorless, odorless and potable. It became the spring board attraction of the hotel aside from its key location views of Sun Moon Lake.
Sunway City can be an overwhelming complex to visit. It has grown vastly from my first visit in 2009. A sprawling 800-acre township developed as an integrated lifestyle and entertainment destination roughly half an hour away from the KLIA airports or from the city in Selangor, Malaysia. It has three hotels, a huge theme park in Sunway Lagoon, a mall and a number of businesses and facilities for education and medical. It’s an ideal place to stay for families and friends looking for a convenient getaway that combines comfort and adventure in one place.
From my window up 15 floors, I see the EDSA traffic but thankfully couldn’t hear it. I’ve passed through this area time and time again, mostly onboard the MRT and what I remember is the long stretch of not-so-idle land in between the intersection of Quezon Boulevard and the corner in front of SM City North EDSA, as well as the space where an MRT train makes a detour, parked quite away from motorists plying the main thoroughfare Then, Trinoma happened. Now, a newer, more prominent landmark has opened this side of Quezon City — Seda Vertis North.
I turned up the volume of the Bose speaker connected via bluetooth to my smartphone. The acoustic harmony of the Hollow Cove’s “The Woods” filled my large Luxury Room. I split the curtains wide and see the Sukhumvit street below early in it’s early morning bustle. “We’re all falling and we all need a place… to hide!” I somehow echo the lyrics of the song. After a week of exploring Bangkok and Chiang Mai, I welcome a little indulgence to cap my last few days in Thailand. Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit welcomed me with their 5-star comfort and warmth. My birthday was just five days ago but it felt this was the time to celebrate.
Manila and its ironies. The city is both charming and chaotic which can be a challenge to new travelers in the country. The superficial grime and bustling streets can be intimidating but find time to see past it and discover Manila’s true character beyond skin-deep. And what a better way to start is staying at the heart of city, Waterfront Manila Pavilion. A 50-year old hotel in Ermita brimming with history yet keeping up with the modern times. An iconic witness to the ever changing city.