Roy Tang

Programmer, engineer, scientist, critic, gamer, dreamer, and kid-at-heart.

Blog Notes Photos Links Archives About

All entries tagged travels.

You can subscribe to an RSS feed of this list.

Nov 2019

  • Four Days in Bicol

    Posted by under post at #travels #philippines
    Also on: twitter / 0 / 2425 words

Jul 2019

  • Why Travel?

    People travel for different reasons. My parents travel mostly for shopping purposes. Which meant when I flew back home with them during the recent trip, we came back with an additional 3 fully-packed pieces of luggage full of shoes and clothes and such. As someone who doesn’t really indulge in shopping, I can’t relate to this, and in fact it runs anathema to my philosophy of always packing as little as necessary when travelling.

    read more (352 words)

    Posted by under post at #travels
    Also on: twitter / 0 / 352 words
  • Travel Anxiety, Part 2

    I had written about travel anxiety before, but I’m revisiting the topic because the recent US trip reminded me how much of a problem it is for me. The US trip was a new experience because I would be abroad for 40 days with multiple travel legs, it involved 4 international flights (back and forth) plus three domestic flights within the US, and on one leg and several flights I would be travelling alone.

    read more (1339 words)

    Posted by under post at #travels #ustrip2019
    Also on: twitter / 0 / 1339 words
  • After the Seattle part of the trip, I reunited with family for the final leg of the trip where we all be hanging around the San Francisco bay area. We were based in my uncle’s place in Vacaville, which one of my friends kindly described as “in the sticks”, i.e. basically far away from everything. Like Houston, we had to rely on the kindness of relatives who were willing and available to drive us around.

    read more (1256 words)

    Posted by under post at #travels #ustrip2019 #tech life
    Also on: twitter / 2 / 1256 words
  • US 2019 - Seattle

    Seattle was the riskiest part of my trip, relatively speaking, because it was my solo leg - I didn’t have any friends or relatives in the city I could turn to in case of an emergency. I had also read online that while Seattle was very much a walkable city, there was a nontrivial homeless population, and some areas may be a bit sketchy after dark. As a friend of mine said though, “sketchy” in the US is probably a lot safer than “sketchy” in Metro Manila.

    read more (733 words)

    Posted by under post at #travels #ustrip2019
    Also on: twitter / 0 / 733 words

Jun 2019

  • Not much to say about Anaheim, it felt like the town was all about Disneyland and not much else. But then again we did spend our three days there just going to Disneyland, so what can you do? In LA we stayed in the Koreatown district, so everything felt weirdly Asian. Not Asian like living in Asia, but like Chinatown in any other city I guess? The city felt a bit dirty, I’m told the metro elevators smelled bad, and there was grafitti everywhere and a high incidence of homeless people.

    read more (410 words)

    Posted by under post at #travels #ustrip2019
    Also on: twitter / 0 / 410 words
  • US 2019 - Theme parks

    I’m not a big fan of theme parks. I think for the most part they are overpriced and not worth the time, effort or money. And I’d probably never go to one by myself or without one of my nieces/nephews. I understand the impetus of bringing kids to a theme park of course, they really enjoy it. Prior to this trip, I’ve only ever been to a theme park once, and that was in Unversal Studios Singapore with my brothers back in 2015.

    read more (1241 words)

    Posted by under post at #travels #ustrip2019
    Also on: twitter / 0 / 1241 words
  • My US trip started on the first of the month. I’ve been meaning to write more regularly about it, but one thing I had forgotten was how exhausting it would be to be a tourist, walking everywhere all of the time. Here’s how many steps my Fitbit recorded during that first week: (Click to view full-size) 8 Jun 2019 5:56amClose I finished this week with a bit more than 105k steps, which I’m pretty sure is a lifetime record (though I dont have the data anymore from the Europe trip in 2015 - I suspect that it’s comparable in scale.

    read more (313 words)

    Posted by under post at #travels #ustrip2019
    Also on: twitter / 0 / 313 words

Apr 2019

  • I Got A US Visa!

    Family’s been planning a US trip this year, and while I wasn’t originally planning to join them, they convinced me to go. I was like, why not? My schedule is flexible, I’ve never been there, and going to the US meant adding a whole new continent to my experiences. Getting a US Visa was a good idea anyway, in case I ever decided to travel there for some other reason (i.

    read more (1009 words)

    Posted by under post at #Travels
    Also on: twitter / 0 / 1009 words

Jun 2018

Dec 2017

  • Singapore 2017

    I took a 5-day trip to Singapore last weekend, mostly to play in the Grand Prix, but the opportunity to get away from the country for a while was appreciated. These are some notes and anecdotes from the trip. (Not about the GP itself, that’s a separate post on its own.) By my count this would be my 5th visit to Singapore. That means Singapore now ties Hong Kong for my most visited foreign destination.

    read more (1864 words)

    Posted by under post at #Travels
    Also on: tumblr twitter / 0 / 1864 words

Jun 2017

  • Tokyo, Redux

    So last April my friends and I took a second trip to Japan. This time we mostly stayed around Tokyo, while taking a few days off in-between to visit Fuji, Hakone and Nikko. I went to Fuji, but that’s not in Tokyo! (Click to view full-size) I went to Fuji, but that's not in Tokyo! 13 Jun 2017 1:30amView postClose I like Tokyo, so I’ll talk about Tokyo for now.

    read more (1113 words)

    Posted by under post at #Travels
    Also on: tumblr twitter / 4 / 1113 words

May 2017

Mar 2017

  • Paella

    A couple of years ago, two friends and I were being tourists in Barcelona. With its wide, spacious streets and strangely uniform city blocks, we walked around a lot. During one of our tourist days, we decided to eat some paella on the way back to our AirBNB. Who comes to Barcelona and doesn’t eat paella right? We ended up walking for quite a while. Every time we came upon a new restaurant that served paella we would consider the price and the restaurant and would think, hey maybe we can find somewhere better or cheaper further along the way.

    read more (421 words)

    Posted by under post at #Travels
    Also on: tumblr twitter / 0 / 421 words

Nov 2015

Aug 2015

  • Museum of Natural History

    Museum of Natural History

    There was an actual Grimlock toy in the exhibit lol
    Museum of Natural History
    Museum of Natural History
    A stegosaurus from China. It's named after the town where it was found (which I don't remember)
    Mammut (mammoth) skeleton
    Iguanadon (I think)
    Museum of Natural History
    That's a terrible looking mouse lol
    Museum of Natural History
    I had to talk to a stranger so that I'd have proof I really went lol
    This is supposed to be half of Charles Babbage's brain, from the history of computing exhibit
    Velociraptor skeletons and animatronic velocity raptors. Sadly I did not have time to do the Chris Pratt/Jurassic World thing
    The content of the Science Museum is more like things of academic interest. Still interesting (if not nerdy), but i was a bit tired so I kinda breezed through the exhibits
    Animatronic T-Rex. It moves and roars. I was sad that they didn't have a skeleton
    Sabretooth tiger! Or cat, whatever
    Diplodocus/Sludge (okay, Sludge is actually an Apatosaurus, but this was the closest one)
    Life-size blue whale model. There's a blue whale skeleton suspended above it. The blue whale was smaller than I'd have imagined, but still huge
    Giraffes are taller than blue whales!
    I was disappointed to learn that this was a replica and the original was in the Smithsonian. Then I realised that it made sense because this one looked far too easy to steal
  • British Museum

    British Museum

    I'm disappointed that there wasn't a Philippine exhibit (the Asian exhibits were mostly Japan, China and India). Also no giant dinosaur skeletons. It was nothing like Night at the Museum at all
    Sculptures from the Parthenon. They should give them back, Greece could use the tourist dollars
    Assyrian Lion Hunt reliefs. Apparently they shot one of the lions out of midair
    The Portland Vase. Made from cameo glass, apparently there's only around 40 samples of cameo glass from olden days (or at least the guide person said)
    Easter island dude!
    Oxus treasure, fabulous metalwork from ancient Iran
    The Rosetta Stone. I couldn't get a better picture because of all the tourist. I don't think it uses UTF-8
    A pendant-mask made from ivory, from Africa. I find that I wasn't as interested in the African exhibits as compared to the European ones
    A horse sculpture recovered from the Mausoleum of Halikarnassos
    Medieval-era samurai armor. Didn't fit me.
    The Lewis chessmen, supposedly the most well known chess set in the world. Why haven't I heard of it before? And what happened to that missing rook?
    The Royal Game of Ur, some sort of old-school boardgame with weird button dice
    Some statues recovered from the tomb of a Tang dynasty general. I don't see the resemblance

Jul 2015

Jun 2015

  • GP Singapore 2015

    GP Singapore 2015 would be my first Modern GP and maybe only my 3rd or 4th Modern event altogether. Modern is a difficult format to prepare for; there are many decks to prepare for and it’s almost impossible to master all the matchups. For this reason, I felt much less prepared for this event than for GP Manila back in January. I put together Grixis Twin for this event. It’s a bit difficult to pilot, but I felt it had a reasonable matchup across the board and there’s always a chance of comboing out when you’re falling behind.

    read more (706 words)

    Posted by under post at #mtg #grand prix #modern #travels
    Also on: twitter / 0 / 706 words

May 2015

Apr 2015

  • Europe trip photo dump

    Bubble Guy -- Photo Credit: Ryan Liwanag
    The view from atop the Centro Comercial de las Arenas -- Photo Credit: Ryan Liwanag
    Maria Reina Church in Barcelona
    There's a mess of tunnels underneath what used to be the Colosseum floor - they raised up animals using trapdoor platforms from this level
    The outside of the Colosseum - the pillars are riddled with holes
    The Coronation of Napoleon ended the first audioguide tour we had decided to follow. The painting is huge and there were lots of details to take in
    Dona i Ocell' Sculpture at Parc Joan de Miro -- Photo credit: Ryan Liwanag
    Diana of the Hunt. There's a replica of this statue in the hall of mirrors in Versailles
    We took the train ride to the top of the Eiffel, almost 300m above sea level. It was ridiculously cold at the top too, my hoodie was nowhere near enough
    After enjoying the view from the top of the tower, we descended and enjoyed the tower's light show
    A display atop the tower showed the distance from different capital cities around the world, and the height of the highest building there, for comparison to the Eiffel. I have no idea what this Stratford Residences is though
    Panoramic view from atop the tower. Please excuse my poor camera skillz
    Fountain Show -- Photo Credit: Ryan Liwanag
    One of the golden statues watching over the Pont Alexander
    Hospital Sant Pau -- Photo Credit: Ryan Liwanag
    Another view of the hospital
    Apparently there's always a big crowd around the Mona Lisa. I honestly found it a bit underwhelming, given how famous it is.
    Panorama of the view from the Montmarte hill
    Supposedly if you lie with your hand inside the mouth, you will lose your hand. I would have pretended to lose my hand, but the guy ahead of us in the queue already did that gag
    Yummy paella!
    The view overlooking the Roman forum and nearby ruins
    The roof of the columned area looks like shattered plates -- Photo Credit: Ryan Liwanag
    This lizard is kind of a big deal, souvenir shops often have keychains featuring it. Photo credit: Ryan Liwanag
    Googling "barcelona street game where old men throw metal balls" tells us this is called Petanque. -- Photo credit: Ryan Liwanag
    The bridge gives us a good view of the Eiffel Tower in the distance
    Our quiz night results -- who knows what place we finished
    One of the last rooms we visited was full of Rembrandts, who was apparently very fond of selfies somehow
    Sagrada Familia -- Under Construction
    South facade of the Sagrada Familia -- it looks like some sort of Nativity scene
    Europe trip photo dump
    There's a series of rooms with detailed paintings of Greek myths which left me looking up all the time. I think this Apollo one was my favorite
    The Hall of Battles was easily my favorite thing in the Chateau, I paid attention to each of the battles/paintings discussed by the audioguide. Typically, I have already forgotten most of the information, but I was well entertained
    The famous Hall of Mirrors in the Chateau
    There's a series of rooms where normal people could get a glimpse of the king and queen's daily lives, including their bedrooms and this dining room
    The Winged Victory of Samothrace. Well, I may have accidentally clicked on the detailed guide for  this piece and thus spent some extra time here
  • Thursday in Rome (Mar 12-13 2015)
    Thursday in Rome (Mar 12-13 2015)
    Thursday in Rome (Mar 12-13 2015)
    Thursday in Rome (Mar 12-13 2015)
    Thursday in Rome (Mar 12-13 2015)
    Thursday in Rome (Mar 12-13 2015)
    Thursday in Rome (Mar 12-13 2015)
    Thursday in Rome (Mar 12-13 2015)
    Thursday in Rome (Mar 12-13 2015)
    Thursday in Rome (Mar 12-13 2015)
    Thursday in Rome (Mar 12-13 2015)
    Thursday in Rome (Mar 12-13 2015)
    Thursday in Rome (Mar 12-13 2015)
    Thursday in Rome (Mar 12-13 2015)
    Thursday in Rome (Mar 12-13 2015)
    Thursday in Rome (Mar 12-13 2015)
    Thursday in Rome (Mar 12-13 2015)
    Thursday in Rome (Mar 12-13 2015)
    Thursday in Rome (Mar 12-13 2015)
    Thursday in Rome (Mar 12-13 2015)
    Thursday in Rome (Mar 12-13 2015)
    Thursday in Rome (Mar 12-13 2015)
  • Previously: Overview | Barcelona Part 1 | Barcelona Part 2 | Europe trip photo album Wednesday March 11th It’s early in the morning when the shuttle picks us up to take us to the airport for our flight to Rome. When we first planned the trip a few months back, only Spain and France were on the itinerary. But due to a last-minute change in circumstances, we decided to add Italy to the trip.

    read more (1976 words)

    Posted by under post at #Travels #europe2015
    Also on: twitter / 0 / 1976 words
  • Europe 2015: Barcelona Part 2

    Previously: I went to Europe, decided I should tell you more about it and started talking about Barcelona Monday March 9th For today, we had decided to visit Park Güell, a Barcelona tourist spot created by this old-timey big shot to display the works of well-known Catalanion architect Antoni Gaudi. I say “well-known” but I’ll be the first to admit that my culturally-ignorant self had not heard of him before, but he’s kind of a big deal in Barcelona with many souvenir shops sporting some thing reminiscent of his works.

    read more (1913 words)

    Posted by under post at #Travels #europe2015
    Also on: twitter / 0 / 1913 words
  • Europe 2015: Barcelona Part 1

    My previous post only skimmed my trip to Europe. I did not want to write too much, partly because I was uncertain at how many would be interested to hear the sordid details and partly because while I was writing the post, the words did not flow as freely as I would have wanted. Despite this, I have received good feedback and more than one person had asked for more details.

    read more (2012 words)

    Posted by under post at #Travels #europe2015
    Also on: twitter / 2 / 2012 words

Mar 2015

Jun 2011

  • Singapore

    I was in Singapore from June 2 – June 6, mostly to visit friends who are getting married and compete in the MTG Grand Prix held there last weekend. I like bullet points, so here’s a summary of my trip: Props: public transportation. One thing Singapore and Hong Kong have in common: well-defined, convenient and tourist-friendly public transportation systems, namely trains and buses. It makes our local buses and trains here pale by comparison.

    read more (705 words)

    Posted by under post at #Travels
    / 1 / 705 words

Mar 2009

  • It’s 8:30 pm on Friday. I step out of Maxim’s, a fastfood place near the office in Hong Kong. I flew in to HK the morning of the day before, and had given a presentation over a conference call on Thursday night. This was the only free time I had during the entire trip since I had to fly back the next morning. I decided to take a walk for maybe an hour or 30 minutes, to savor the cool night’s weather before going back to hot and humid Manila the next day.

    read more (1658 words)

    Posted by under post at #Travels #hong kong
    / 2 / 1658 words
  • went out to look for (real) bread, took 45mins to find an open bakery. this city needs to wake up earlier

    [07:33] all my bags are packed im ready to go. heading out to check in at central

    [09:25] at hkia having a croissant from burger king

    [10:28] flight’s boarding, next tweet will probly be from home. not sure if i have enough pesos for the cab

    [10:38] so theyre boarding seats 66 and up first and some filipina in seat 50+ asks if her seat is included.

    [10:41] i wonder if that sort of thing gives pinoys a rep of either cant follow directions or bad at math. or both

    [15:47] home sweet home! it’s 18 degrees warmer here than at hk this morning but there’s no place like home

  • at naia2 waiting for boarding,tweeting using psp :p

    [06:34] dont think naia2 had wifi last time i was here

    [06:51] only had 4hrs sleep, breakfast was a croissant from delifrance (expensive).wifi here is hella slow

    [07:01] is leaving on a jetplane.

    [07:21] flight’s boarding, hope to sleep all the way

    [10:51] in line at hk immigration, there’s a guy who looks like aaron forsythe [mtg]

    [10:53] safely in hk, waiting in line for the A11 bus

    [18:30] panicky

    [22:21] done for the day, can finally sleep (but still posted status!)

Mar 2008

  • I’m blogging from an airport; I feel like such a seasoned traveler. Actually I’m writing this post just so that I can claim to post on the internet from airports.

    I am of course flying back to Manila after a short 3-day visit to Hong Kong. People always ask me where I plan to go while in HK, even though I always come here to work. It’s even worse this time, as I flew in Sunday evening, attending a three-day seminar until Wednesday, working during the evenings then flying back Thursday morning. Not much time to do anything really.

    read more (359 words)

    Posted by under post at #Travels #hong kong
    / 4 / 359 words

Jan 2008

  • Legazpi, Albay

    Traveling by land sucks compared to traveling by plane. So for our weekend trip to Albay to visit our new sister-in-law’s family, I booked 3 two-way Cebu Pacific tickets for my brothers and myself. Our parents would take the bus since it was slightly cheaper and they didn’t mind sleeping on the road. The other reason was that my two brothers had never ridden a plane before – this would be their first time.

    read more (469 words)

    Posted by under post at #Travels
    / 0 / 469 words

Aug 2007

  • Hong Kong Saga, Part Three

    It’s a bit strange, but somehow Hong Kong is becoming a bit familiar to me by now. This is only my third time here of course, and I’ve spent less than five weeks here in total since 2004. Still I find that certain things like ordering at restaurants and riding the MTR have started to become a bit more “normal” for me. Originally when I was told that I would be staying in HK for two weeks, I was a bit depressed, as I didn’t really enjoy the prolonged stay last time.

    read more (347 words)

    Posted by under post at #Travels #hong kong
    / 1 / 347 words

Feb 2007

  • Should I Go Across The World?

    I’ve been asked if I would be willing to be temporarily posted in another country, halfway across the world, for around half a year. On the surface, it seems like a good idea – I don’t have any definite plans for the next few months, so there’s nothing in the way. It would be new stuff, new places, people, experiences, etc., a most welcome change of pace. But the first emotion that grips me is fear.

    read more (131 words)

    Posted by under post at #Travels
    / 3 / 131 words

Jan 2007

  • The Food in Hong Kong

    I’ve been meaning to write more about my time in Hong Kong. One of the many new things I experienced there was the food. People who’ve eaten out with me on a regular basis know that I’m quite the picky eater. In general, I dislike eating veggies and seafood (yeah, I’m an unhealthy carnivore). In Hong Kong, you cannot avoid vegetables and seafood; every meal comes with some form of green stuff or shrimp or whatnot.

    read more (611 words)

    Posted by under post at #Travels #hong kong
    / 0 / 611 words

Dec 2006

  • I remember looking for the signs that would tell me where to find the A11 bus that could take me to North Point. My instructions were to find the McDonald’s inside the airport and look for the exit nearby. Sure enough, the signs pointed me to the bus terminal. I bought a ticket, and as I arranged my luggage for easier carrying I didn’t notice that I had dropped the just-purchased ticket to the floor.

    read more (369 words)

    Posted by under post at #Travels #hong kong
    / 0 / 369 words
  • Back from China

    Yeah I know, Hong Kong is technically a part of China, but my feet actually did manage to walk some non-Hong Kong Chinese territory. Too many stories accumulated in three weeks to tell in one post though, but to say the least I actually got to experience a bit more of Hong Kong this time, as opposed to the five-day almost-all-work schedule that I had last time. Unfortunately, I did not get to experience any kung-fu in the streets, although I did manage to get a picture with Jacky Chan.

    read more (90 words)

    Posted by under post at #Travels #hong kong #china
    / 0 / 90 words

Nov 2006

Feb 2006

  • Looking Out Over Punta Fuego

    (Click to view full-size) 13 Feb 2006 6:58amClose This is the photo I decided to put on the front page of while I wasn't sure yet what to put there. We were at Punta Fuego in Batangas last Jan 30-31 for our coincidentally-coinciding-with-the-HK-Chinese-New Year-weekend annual company outing. Those who know me in person might be aware that I'm not really big on out-of-town trips.

    read more (219 words)

    Posted by under post at #Travels
    Also on: flickr / 0 / 219 words

Nov 2004

  • Daet, Camarines Norte

    As I’ve mentioned before, Daet is a small town. When I was there, I was mentally comparing it to the UP Diliman campus. Main reason being, we had a tendency to walk everywhere we went. Just like in UP, everything was literally within “walking distance” – the beach, the church, the cemetary, etc. So in my mind, the UP Diliman campus and Daet, Camarines Norte occupy roughly the same area, even though technically, one is a university campus and the other a full-sized town.

    read more (438 words)

    Posted by under post at #Travels
    Also on: blogger / 0 / 438 words

Oct 2004

  • Posting From the Boondocks

    Well, not really, seeing as how there aren’t really any mountains anywhere near here. I’m in Daet, Camarines Norte, if that means anything to you. It’s great to be back here — apparently the last time I was here was in 1996. Some things have changed, but mostly things are still the same. There’s some sort of minimall now, and a Shakey’s, and a Jollibee. 😛 And there’s internet! I’m posting right now from a dingy internet cafe near my grandmother’s house.

    read more (298 words)

    Posted by under post at #Travels
    Also on: blogger / 0 / 298 words