Thursday, January 19, 2012

Euromonitor International’s Top 100 City Destinations Ranking

(released: Jan 11, 2012)

Euromonitor International is pleased to release its latest Top City Destinations Ranking, covering 100 of the world's leading and most dynamic cities in terms of international tourist arrivals. After recording a decline in 2009, international arrivals to countries regained growth in 2010, positively impacting results for the top 100 cities, which saw arrivals increase by 7%. Star performers in 2010 were emerging city destinations located in Asia Pacific, thanks to a strong economic environment and growing travel and tourism dynamism. Most European cities lagged behind as a result of the weak economic prospects in the Eurozone, which impacted intra-regional travel.

Happy to share that I've been to 13 out of 100 cities posted on their site. 
City
Ranking     
Arrivals
       '000 2010         
      % volume growth
      2009/2010
Hong Kong  
1
19,973
18.0
Singapore  
2
18,297
16.0
Macau  
4
13,098
25.9
Bangkok  
5
10,984
10.0
Kuala Lumpur  
7
10,351
10.0
Shanghai 
15
5,397
22.9
Pattaya 
21
4,430
4.0
Taipei  
33
3,224
11.4
Seoul  
39
2,809
14.2
Ho Chi Minh  
50
2,435
28.4
Hangzhou  
76
1,744
10.9
Halong  
82
1,581
28.0
Manila 
100
1,250
25.6

For the complete list, please visit: http://blog.euromonitor.com/2012/01/euromonitor-internationals-top-city-destinations-ranking1-.html

Saturday, January 7, 2012

2011: My Travels by the Numbers

Inspired by an article from StarStudio mag,
Travelling isn’t just about seeing the sights; its also about a  whlot lot of numbers, too!

These highlight my travels for the past year.  I truthfully acknowledge everything and everyone who made all these possible – to my team who allowed my leaves, to all my accommodations and airlines, to the drivers (airline, trains, boats, cabs, buses, tricycles), to the tourist guides, to those who accompany me in every step, to my newly found friends and to my family for allowing me on this addiction – thanks!

To all the challenges, for all those times of getting lost, of losing patience – lessons have been learned.  To the awesome scenes, to simply walking in the fields and seashore, to all the memories – all will be kept in my heart.

And praises to Almighty God for the safe travels I had and will have in the future.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

2011 November: South Korea: Incheon Airport

How to kill time in the Airport?

1. Make sure to get a map of the airport in the Information Center, you can start by food hunting, shopping and looking for available entertainment (I was able to watch a musical show on their center stage).

2011 November: South Korea: Café in Seoul

One of the many descriptions I can tag to Seoul is it is the café capital of Asia.  If you are a coffee lover, this is a place to be – and you’ll be in heaven.  Below are just some of the cafés I have seen as walk along, this still not include one of my favorites: Café Bene.  Others in my must try list are:  Coffine Gurunaru, Angel in Us Coffee and Paris Baguette

Monday, January 2, 2012

2011 November: South Korea: Bukchon Village

What is 'Sanggojae' (상고재)?  It is the house used in the Korean drama Personal Taste (also known as Perfect Match in the Philippines).

Based on my online research, the original name of the house is known as 'Yeorangjae' (여랑재).  It is found in the middle of Bukchon Hanok area. 

The name, 'Bukchon,' which literally translates to 'northern village,' came about as the neighborhoods that the village covers lie to the north of the two significant Seoul landmarks, Cheonggyecheon Stream and Jongno. Today, many of these hanoks operate as cultural centers, guesthouses, restaurants and tea houses, providing an opportunity to experience, learn and immerse in Korean traditional culture. [Reference]

Sunday, January 1, 2012

2011 November: South Korea: Hawkers in Myeongdong

Myeongdong is not a cheap market, but it is a shopping heaven for those who are addict to buy anything and everything.  Aside from the high-end shops of Zara, Uniqlo, Lacoste, Nine West, Forever 21, Guess, etc; cafes like Starbucks, Coffee Bean, Café Pascucci, etc. that are success under the sun.

Less in the morning, but the place becomes a street of hawkers more at night!  Loving this night photography in one hand.

2011 November: South Korea: Lantern Festival

That late afternoon, it was starting to get dark.  I was walking from Myeongdong to Cheonggyecheon Stream.  Along the way, they started to open the lights, emphasizing the autumn leaves of the piles of the trees along the street.  So I started to shoot with my camera.  Upon reaching the stream proper, it started to rain, so it’s a choice between freely walking under the rain or holding the umbrella on my left hand and keeping my right hand steady.  Too bad I can’t use the tripod that rainy evening - so proud to say, all were taken by my steady hands under 10.5 degrees Celsius in Seoul.