MEXICO 2017

MEXICO 2017
MEXICO 2017
MEXICO 2017
MEXICO 2017
MEXICO 2017
MEXICO 2017
MEXICO 2017
MEXICO 2017
MEXICO 2017
MEXICO 2017
MEXICO 2017
MEXICO 2017
MEXICO 2017
MEXICO 2017
MEXICO 2017
MEXICO 2017
MEXICO 2017
MEXICO 2017
MEXICO 2017
MEXICO 2017
MEXICO 2017
MEXICO 2017
MEXICO 2017
MEXICO 2017
MEXICO 2017
MEXICO 2017
MEXICO 2017
MEXICO 2017
MEXICO 2017
MEXICO 2017
I would never have chosen to come to Mexico in May, knowing how hot it'll get. As a native Texan, I'd say Texas is pretty dang hot in May. I can only imagine how much hotter it is in Mexico! But my little sister. She decided to get married in Mexico. In May, of course. Well, since I'll be in the area, might as well come a week before the wedding to explore around the Yucatan! Bring on the loads of cenotes, ruins and beaches! Yes, it was super humid. Yes, I was super miserable. Yes, I still had a great time!

NOTE: Cochinita Pibil, Poc Chuc and Chaya are some of the trademark dishes and drinks of The Yucatan.

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// TULUM //
Where me and V started our Yucatan adventures. Far from uber touristy Cancun and Playa del Carmen. Though it seems Tulum is likely heading in that direction in the near future, seeing as things have cleaned up quite nicely in Tulum Centro. But one can still find a few hole-in-the-wall restaurants scattered about. It's these very places that we did not hesitate to venture into. After all, if loads of locals go here, it must be good and affordable! Other than the pleasant cheap foodie finds in Centro, it's a pretty chill life in Tulum. Tulum Ruins is only a 15 minute colectivo bus ride - followed by a 15 minute walk - from Centro. And nothing but beaches, beaches, beaches with endless resorts and hotel boutiques along the coast. By taxi alone, it takes over an hour to get from north to the southern part of the beach! All in all, it's a great beach getaway alternative from Cancun and Playa.
>> STAY : Secret Garden, Howlita
>> RECOMMEND : Beaches!, Tulum Ruins, Gran Cenote, Spend a day at Nomade.


// VALLADOLID //
This little town is a joy to walk around! With it's little pastel colored buildings and rustic Spanish colonial architecture. There are many cenotes to explore in the area, conveniently, there's one in Valladolid! Only a 10 minute walk from plaza mayor! Chichen Itza, of course, is the main Mayan ruin attraction in these parts, although Ek Balam is the less crowded (and better) option to check out. By night, we caught street performers doing a cultural dance (Jarana yucateca) in plaza mayor! Such a treat! Yes, Valladolid is a nice mix of authentic nuances and touristy vibes. We enjoyed it here!
>> STAY : El Meson del Marques (Highly recommend!)
>> RECOMMEND : Many beautiful cenotes in the area! (Def check out Cenote Zaci because it's actually in town), Chichen Itza, Ek Balam, Tienda Chocolate Shop for their cold chocolate drink, Cafe del Profesor Pitagoras for a quaint place to chill.


// LAS COLORADAS + RIO LAGARTOS //
The sole reason why we made a visit in Valladolid - the famed man-made Las Coloradas pink lakes are a mere 2 hours away! We contemplated about renting a car in Valladolid, but waited til the last minute to rent one and, instead, opted to hire a driver for the day. A much more expensive option, but hey, how often do you see pink lakes? Ever? After a quick stop at Ek Balam Ruins (30 minutes from Valladolid), we were well on our way to Las Coloradas. Happily speeding along with a broken speedometer towards pink lakes and pink flamingos. Now upon first sight, gosh, it's a stunner! To be greeted with epic salt mines and the whitest beaches, flanking these giant pink lakes ... it's mesmerizing, simply put. A pain to get to as they are in the middle of nowhere. But so worth it!
>> HIRED DRIVER FROM VALLADOLID : ~2,000 Pesos

// PLAYA DEL CARMEN //
Aside from quickly checking out the touristy markets of 5th Avenue, I've spent all of my time at the equally touristy The Royal Resort prepping and partying it up for sister's wedding. Life sure was good at The Royal! Who doesn't like all-inclusive luxury resorts? With a jacuzzi in the middle of your bedroom?? Bluntly put: No, I didn't do any exploring in Playa del Carmen!
>> STAY : The Royal Playa del Carmen

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When: May 2017
Temp: 85-95 F
Cities: Tulum, Valladolid, Las Coloradas, Rio Largartos, Playa del Carmen
Transportation: We flew in and out of Cancun. Rode buses (ADO) to and from each destination. Once at the desired destination, we try to save money and not take an overpriced taxi to our hotel, opting to walk the 10-15 minutes in the heat with our luggages instead.
Stay: Refer to individual cities above.



-jin-

MEXICO 2007

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One last trip right before it became unsafe to cross the border. Unbeknownst to us at the time, but if we'd known, I'm pretty sure we would've stocked up on more tequila. Haha! (C'mon. Why else would you go to Juarez??) Thinking back on it now, it's crazy how easy it was to hop on over to Mexico from Texas! No passport, 35 cents to walk across, grab some tequila, 30 cents to walk back into Tejas. Repeat the next day. Repeat the 3rd day. Although getting caught up in a sandstorm whilst coming back into Texas on that last day sounds a bit ominous for things to come. I can now say I've been in a sandstorm, dust devil, hurricane, tornado, flood, drought AND snow ... in Texas! (Why I'm still living here is beyond me!)

besos ... jin.

MEXICO 2006

throwback travel thursdays // tijuana, mexico. 2006.
tijuana, mexico. 2006.
tijuana, mexico. 2006.
throwback travel thursdays // tijuana, mexico. 2006.
throwback travel thursdays // tijuana, mexico. 2006.
throwback travel thursdays // tijuana, mexico. 2006.
tijuana, mexico. 2006.
tijuana, mexico. 2006.
throwback travel thursdays // tijuana, mexico. 2006.
tijuana, mexico. 2006.
tijuana, mexico. 2006.

Steph didn't believe me + Anthonette when we said that we wanted to make a day trip to Tijuana. Why the heck not? It's only a 30-minute train ride from San Diego! And Steph still didn't take us seriously as me + Anthonette talked to an informative bellhop, checked out a map, walked over to a kiosk, bought our tickets and stood at the designated platform for the train ride straight to Mexico. Only then when we started to board did Steph had a minor meltdown.

"It's dangerous in Mexico!"

I remembered Anthonette and I exchanging looks,

"It's like being in a 3rd world country! We're all from 3rd world countries!"

"Trinidad does not look like Mexico. What if we end up in a Mexican jail??!"

Hmmm. I suppose the streets of Trinidad aren't the same as Nigeria or Philippines.

"Steph, what the hell are you going to do that will make you end up in a Mexican jail??!"

"You never know!"

I think at this point me and Anthonette were gawking at Steph, but honestly, in my opinion, I don't think anybody will mess with 2 black people. So I said it,

"Nobody will bother us ... I'm with 2 black people!"

And with that, we hopped on the train to Mexico.

We garnered celebrity status attention while roaming Avenida Revolucion. Not because we were an unlikely trio of black-asian-black (if Nausheen was with us, we'd really be a sight to see!), but because Steph, well, looked scared shitless the whole entire time. Even after a successful haggling bid (Anthonette has some sort of weird attraction to lude souvenirs), discovering 3 margaritas for $1, pointing out every pharmacy in an attempt to cheer up our dear Steph the Pharmacist (20 in an hour!) ... home girl still wasn't having it. Not even a donkey moonlighting as a zebra could loosen up Steph. So after a few hours, we headed back to San Diego. But not without the most awkward verbal exchange ever with our sassy taxi driver before walking back into the states, which I'm sure proved Steph's point even further.

But I gotta admit, because of Steph's sourpuss attitude (sorry, hun - it was kinda comical!), this has got to be one of my more memorable and entertaining trips to Mexico. Makes for great stories! (As Anthonette had plugged into her MOH's speech at Steph's wedding years later. Can't believe I've made it in that speech!) When's the next trip to Tijuana, ladies? ... Steph? =P

besos ... jin