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STA Travel Blog

The band behind #PhilippinesUnplugged

By Tor White. Global Creative Director STA Travel
Last year, STA Travel and Tourism Philippines embarked upon a pioneering new project. Philippines Unplugged would document the journey of British band Skinny Living as they travelled through the island province of Palawan. Raw, unscripted and all-access, this film series would show the beauty and honesty of the Philippines. The footage and photography would capture a world of authentic people and unfamiliar places; and the lyrics would tell their story, with Skinny Living writing an exclusive track for us on the road.

Here are our highlights behind the cameras and the music.
“Come take a trip with me”

Ryan, Rhys, Danny and Will are Skinny Living – our first STA Travel Sounds artists from back in 2015. From smashing our Sounds stage at Bestival on the Isle of Wight, to playing in a converted railway carriage in Cornwall as part of our Airbnb film series, together we’ve worked on some incredible projects.

However, none would depict the relationship between music, travel and discovery like this one. The band hadn’t been to Asia before, let alone to the remote Filipino island of Palawan, and the experience was transformative. From the madness of tricycles on mud roads, to making music at sunrise on the beach; watching the story unfold from behind the scenes and behind the camera was incredible.

We interacted with everything, and the influences were many. But here are a few that really hit us.

A local affair

From the school kids who sang their hearts out with us at their school on a secluded island, to the chilled and friendly folks we met in each village… the Philippines IS the people.

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The reality of #PhilippinesUnplugged

Last year, STA Travel and Tourism Philippines embarked upon a pioneering new project. Philippines Unplugged would document the journey of British band Skinny Living as they traveled through the island province of Palawan. Raw, unscripted and all-access, this film series would show the beauty and honesty of the Philippines. The footage and photography would capture a world of authentic people and unfamiliar places; and the lyrics would tell their story, with Skinny Living writing an exclusive track for us on the road.

Here are our highlights from behind the cameras and the music.
“Don’t stop till’ we reach the highest high”

No travel company had ever done anything like this before, or told the story of a destination in this way. This was our opportunity to show how travel inspires us creatively. For the band, this would be their songwriting. For you when you travel, it would inspire something different. But the process is the same.

And our muse? Our muse was the Philippines – one of the most fascinating, truthful and staggeringly beautiful landscapes on the planet. And we had just landed.

The reality was wilder than we could have ever imagined. It’s hard to pick out the highlights, but here are a few.

Travelling as a creative team is a different type of travel

You experience each moment, while at the same time seeing it with a wider sense of storytelling – of how you can bring it to life for the audience who aren’t there with you yet.
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5 Reasons to drop everything and go to Vietnam

Do you like to eat mouth-watering food? Drink exquisite coffee? Explore UNESCO world heritage sites? You do! Well welcome to Vietnam. With its floating markets, world’s largest cave, delicious Pho dishes and incredible floating islands, it’s a truly unique country full of hidden treasures. The backpacker buffs here at STA Travel have put together 5 VERY important reasons why you should drop everything and head to Vietnam now. Read on wanderluster…

1. The Mekong Delta

Vietnam Cheat Sheet

From the bustling city of Ho Chi Minh, to the beautiful beaches of Mui Ne, Vietnam has something for everyone! Interested? Here’s a few useful tips to help plan your adventure.

When to visit

There’s no one season in particular to recommend as the ‘best’ time because Vietnam is beautiful all year round. Generally, Autumn months (September to December) and Spring (March and April) are the most favorable seasons if you plan on touring the whole country because the weather isn’t too cold or too hot.

The temperatures in the South will tend to stay balanced all year around, whereas the North has very distinctive seasons. It’s generally sunny and warm from October until December, followed by a cold winter up until March. In Summer temperatures will reach 40°C, but it’s also rainy season!

Packing tips

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Japan Cheat Sheet

Konichiwa and welcome to Japan! So you’ve decided to head to the land of contrasts where old meets new and east meets west. Where anime and modern technology sit side by side with Geisha and Samurais – good decision! But not sure what you should pack? Confused about when to visit and what to budget? We thought so! That’s why we’ve put together this handy cheat sheet for a rundown on all things Japanese. Listen up…

Number 1 tip: Learn a little bit of basic Japanese, it will come in handy and locals will appreciate it. Even if it’s just the phrase: 私日本語は話せません。(watashi-nihongo-wa-hanasemasen) ‘I can’t speak Japanese’. Bit of a mouthful but EXTREMELY useful.

Seasons and packing

Japan