Malaysia Is Truly Asia

This trip to Malaysia was last March, so basically 9 months ago.   I did not have the luxury of time to write about it and took me quite a while to remember everything that happened, time, places, food and etc. 

Moving on, and as usual, I traveled with friends.

Our flight was 1 pm of March 25 from NAIA Terminal 4 via Cebu Pacific. We arrived at KLIA after more than 3 hours flight.   toAfter we went to the immigration process, we hopped on a bus going to Kuala Lumpur. I forgot about the fare anymore. We dropped the hotel, dined out and rest the day.

This is Peking duck dish with sweet sauce. I forgot. It cost around Php150.00 with drinks.
Day 1

Petronas Tower

Everybody wants a picture in Petronas. I forgot about the transportation but we rode the train to Petronas Tower.

In the afternoon, we decided to go to Genting Highlands.

We reached Genting highlands by riding the cable car. It was my first time to ride a cable car and had that funny jumpy feeling.

Visited   the Genting Strawberry Farm

And the Lavender Garden.. with no lavenders. 😂

Day 2

Legoland

We had a lot whole mishap going to Johor Bahru. Great experience, though.

To be ready for the day, we ate breakfast at Kenny Rogers Roasters.

Bread, sausage, eggs, pork and beans with hot coffee for a boost!
We traveled 11 am, acted as fools at the terminal waiting for buses while we could have hailed taxi going straight to Legoland instead. Finally arrived at Legoland 5 pm, 2 hours before the closing time. So funny that I don’t want to remember it anymore. Anyhow, we made use of the 2hours left in the best way that we could. We took endless photos and were able to circle the theme park in just 2hours, but it was tiring. 
I would say bus routes to Legoland is really horrible. I would suggest you ride a taxi from the terminal to Legoland and vice-versa to save your time. For tourists, pack and leave KL early if you want to go to Legoland.

We left Johor Bahru 8.30pm and arrived at BTS around 1 am. Luckily, we have caught the last trip of airport train to KL. We arrived at the hotel exhausted and hungry at 2 am.

Our Legoland trip was a flop. I might do it right next time. I will come back to Legoland for sure. I missed the rides!

Lessons I learned from my Hong Kong – Macau 3-day trip

Exploring Hong Kong is for young travelers. Being one of the top destinations among Asian countries, Hong Kong is the gateway to international travels.

I had a chance to start my international travel in Hong Kong early June 2015. Traveling with friends is always like a breath of air.I love traveling with them because it makes the journey light and fun.

Tickets was not really on promo, but we could have availed cheaper rates if we have booked ahead of time. Anyway, Lesson No. 1 The best time to book a flight was 6 months ago. The second best time is now.

I could hardly remember specific details on our trip like fares, food we ate, places and mishaps but I will try my best to give you at least a glimpse of our little adventure last year.

Departed NAIA June 11, 2015 at 4 pm via Cebu Pacific, our airline of choice of course. Two of our friends are already in Hong Kong waiting for the 3 of us left in the same flight. My first time to fly internationally was great. I passed immigration swiftly. Arrived at HKG International Airport late afternoon, ride airport train to Tsim Tsa Tsui. We have chosen this district it is closer to Victoria Harbour, Avenue of Stars, Science Museum and the shopping centers.

 

Day 1

Avenue of Stars at night. HKG at night is spectacular. We missed A Symphony of Lights show though.

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We went to Victoria Harbour straight from the airport. We had our picture taken, had dinner with another 2 high school classmates who works in HKG. We arrived at the hotel around 9pm. Just right to take the rest of the day in our bed. I forgot the hotel name where we stayed. It was nice and clean but the passage is a little scary. The elevator is scary too. I will get a more nice hotel when I’ll get back to HKG in the future.LOL

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Day 2 – AM

We ride The Tram and visited the Victoria Peak.

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Day 2 – PM

We entered the magical world & meet Disney characters at Disneyland. Disneyland unleashed my inner child. I couldn’t be happier visiting Disneyland. I met Pooh and Mickey Mouse, my favorite Disney characters. I cried watching the afternoon parade and left me amazed by the fireworks. It made my dream come true. I was also proud when I learned a lot of Filipino artists and entertainers are working in Disneyland HKG. I could really feel the warmth of our Kababayan calling us from afar because they knew by looks that we are Filipinos. It left a smile on our faces. One of my happiest day on earth is spending an afternoon and night at Disneyland.

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Disneyland dream come true!

 

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Lesson No. 2 Bring extra clothes and bottle of water.

Day 3

Macau!

I learned during our travel that Macau is consists of the peninsula Macau as well as two islands, Taipa and Coloane, connected to Macau by bridges.

 

Visited casinos in the morning.

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Grand Lisboa

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Wynn Hotel

Spent our afternoon at Senado Square and Ruins of St. Paul. We walked a lot, as in a whole lot of walking.

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Ruins of St. Paul

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Macau is glorious at night. The city is dancing in lights. Glowing spheres of lights covered the city buildings and casinos. Known as the casino capital of Asia, Macau indeed is marvelous.

The Venetian Macau, the largest casino in the world.

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The magnificent interior of The Venetian Macau

 

Went back to the hotel exhausted.

This was the longest walk in my life. We walked a mile around the Venetian Macau. We did not know where to go. We failed to research in this part. Lesson No. 3  Plan where you want to go.

 

Pictures to follow…

Baguio Family Trip

Baguio is one of the favorite destinations of Filipino families for vacation or even just to escape the buzzing city life a bit. Tourists flacks especially during summer season because of its nice cold weather.  Another reason why Baguio is always visited by tourists, both local and foreign is that it is readily accessible from Metro Manila. You do not need to pre-book bus tickets unless it is peak season. You can just go directly to any bus station to buy a ticket and after 6 hours of sleeping in the bus, you will wake up in Baguio City just like that.

It was already June this year that we decided to have a last minute summer vacation. It was not a bad idea afterall since its pre-off season, minimal people travels this time of the year. This was my first time to travel with family in Baguio and also my first time to travel with not much planning.No budget plans and no itineraries except for the house that we rented a week before. We just paid when we got there.

Transportation:

We booked a Friday 12-midnight bus trip to Baguio from Cubao via Victory Liner and reached the City of Pines at 6am. Regular bus schedule to Baguio is every hour. Fare is P455. It would be wise also to get a return ticket at the bus terminal on your first day. This will save you time from lining up for ticket when you go back to Manila.

Accommodation:

Our house rental costed P3,500 for an overnight stay. We were allowed to cook so we have saved some on meals. We only lunched out on our 2nd day.

I will not dwell on details of the tour since Baguio is a common destination to many. I will just share our simple yet fun-filled adventures.

 

Day 1

Our welcome food. Taho vendors are everywhere on Baguio.

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Strawberry Taho

 

Early morning bike in the park was fun and energizing. Good to jumpstart your day.

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Burnham Park

 

 

This is just a normal Saturday in Baguio. Zumba, cyclists and other sports enthusiasts gathered in the park to do their own thing.

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Saturday is Zumba day in Burnham Park.

 

We settled our things in the house, ate lunch, rested for awhile and proceed to our afternoon tour.

 

Mines View Park

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Good thing about traveling in a group is to save expenses. You can save more on group rates compared to invidual or by twos.

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8 adults and 1 kid

 

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My niece Kate riding the famous pink pony at Mines View Park.

 

 

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We also came to Good Sheperd Convent to buy pasalubong. I love their ube jam. The nuns make the best ube jam in the city.

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We went back to Mines View Park  and from there we walked to The Mansion. It took us 20mins to finally get there. Along the way are pines and greeneries.

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You know it’s Baguio when you see pines.

 

At The Mansion.

Nothing really special here. You cannot even go inside it. Maybe what interests people is the history which you can read at the main gate. People normally come here for picture taking.

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The main gate of The Mansion.

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From The Mansion, we went to Wright Park.

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We visited Baguio Botanical Garden last because it is the nearest spot in area where we stayed. It is walking distance to the house that we have rented.

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I have no idea why would one touch the nose of this totem pole. Lol

 

End of Day 1. Our house is a 5-minute walk from the garden. We went to the market nearby to buy groceries for our dinner and breakfast the following day. We got at the house around 6:00pm.

 

Day 2

We travelled to Benguet to see the strawberry farm but it was off season.

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Strawberry Ice cream with real fruit bits.

 

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We were caught by traffic from Benguet going to Slaugther House to have our lunch. There were few eateries within the compound and mostly visited by tourists and locals too. Some dishes are exotic and of course the are normal Filipino food. Food at the Slaughter House is cheap but sumptuous. This place is perfect for budgetarians. Our meal summed to P900 only (rice, bulalo, chopsuey, pork liempo, ensaladang talong and Coke).

After lunch, we went back to the house to get our things bound home. But before heading home we hit Camp John Hay and had a short stop at Choco-late de Batirol. They serve their famous traditional cocoa peanut drink and local delicacies.

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Celebrated Independence Day at Choco-late de Batirol.

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You will see this upon entering.

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A cup of hot chocolate for a rainy day. Traditional Blend at P80.00
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Bibingka at P105.00
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 Turon de Langka (3pcs at P85.00)
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Suman Sa Lihia P64.00

We ordered Batirol merienda set Group of 6 for P740.00 which comprised of 6 Traditional Blend, 1 Bibingka, 1 Suman, 1 Turon(3pcs). We just added 2 Traditional Blend for P80.00 each. Total cost is P900.00 for 8 persons. We saved a little bit by ordering a merienda set.

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This is located in the garden area.

Choco-late de Batirol is located at Gate 2, Igorot Park, Camp John Hay, Baguio City. Monday-Thursday: 9am to 8pm, Friday: 9am to 9pm, Saturday to Sunday:9am to 10pm. Don’t miss to visit and have merienda at Choco-late de Batirol. It is worth it.

It was nice ending our trip at Choco-late de Batirol. The place was cozy, clean and zen. It was something worth remembering. We enjoyed  a lot so we stayed a little more.

We went home happy not until our assigned bus departed ahead of time. In short, we were late at the bus station and so we waited for another bus but with added fees. The bus departed at 5.45pm and arrived in Manila on Sunday before midnight.

 

Total Expenses: P14,580 for 8 pax / P1,822.50 each

Transportation

Bus – P7,280/ P910.00 each

Taxi/Jeep – P1,100 / P137.50

Accommodation – P3,500 / P437.50 each

Food/ groceries – P700 / P87.50 each

Dine-out – P1,800 / 225.00 each

Bus extra fees – P200/ 25.00 each

 

El Nido on a Weekend

 

Is it possible to tour El Nido, Palawan on a weekend? Yes, but you need to skip inland tour and do only the following worthwhile activities.

  • Tour A
  • Afternoon stroll along Bacuit Bay
  • Canopy walk via Ferrata
  • Swimming at Maramegmeg

El Nido is a place where you can just relax and enjoy exploring the wonders of waters. It is composed of islands which some of them are not yet open for touring. Basically, you cannot finish exploring all lagoons, beaches, islands and bays in El Nido in just 2 days, not even a week. So we did only the most popular and worthwhile activities during this weekend tour.

This trip is one of my favorite in two years of traveling. Maybe because its my post birthday celebration and I haven’t been to the place. I got my ticket on sale from Cebu Pacific early this year for P1,183 all-in two-way trip. Amazing, right? 😄 And as for the accommodation,  I decided to get an El Nido all-in arrangement tour package – tour A with tour assistance, room accommodation, daily breakfast and van transfer from Puerto Princesa to El Nido and vice-versa. This is my first time to book for a package tour out of fear that  I might not catch any vans or buses to El Nido due to our evening flight. I was weary since I am traveling with my brother this time and I don’t want to stress out myself looking for vans when I get there. Our transportation was easy like that. Good thing because I was also not feeling very well that time.

Our ETA in Puerto Princesa International Airport was 6:25pm (Friday) and the plane landed just right on time. We were escorted by Vanic Travel and Tours employee to the van that will bring us to El Nido. The van waited for other passengers and left 7:30pm. It took us 4hrs to get to the El Nido town proper with 1 stop over for 30mins.

We arrived at the hostel at 12 midnight. The hostel is located at the heart of the town. Unfortunately, I had fever and felt ill when we arrived. I easily fall into slumber after taking medicines. I think it was due to the cold weather and stress from work. I toured through anyway. :mrgreen:

 

ALL-IN PACKAGE TOUR
✔ Room Accomodations (At The Moment Hostel)
✔ Daily Breakfast
✔ Transfers
✔ Tour with assistance

TOUR A – Lagoons and Beaches 

Tour Inclusive

Tourism Fee, Motorized boat, Tour Guide, Life Vest, Snorkel gears, Buffet Lunch, Water and Towel

Itinerary

Secret Lagoon, Shimizu Island, Small Lagoon, Big Lagoon & Seven Commandos Beach

 

Day 1 (Saturday)

I still felt dizzy when I woke up and did not even manage to touch my breakfast. They served us coffee, ham and egg with rice and watermelon for dessert. We went out around 9am to start Tour A.

First stop was 7 Commandos Beach

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This island is a coco island.

 

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Second stop was Small Lagoon where we did kayaking. You should definitely do this to go inside the lagoon and be mesmerized with its beauty.

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Kayaking through the Small Lagoon.

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Tranquil turquoise-green waters.

 

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The lagoon is sorrounded by limestone walls.

 

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Be awed by the rock formations.

 

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We ate our lunch in the boat. We were served seafoods, pork, chicken and fruits. The buffet was worth it though I was not really in the mood to eat.

 

Next stop was Shimizu Island. We do not have a lot of activities in the island aside from snorkeling. I forgot to take pictures too because I slept in the boat.lol 😂

 

Our fourth destination was Big Lagoon.

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Felt a little better here.

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The Secret Lagoon was supposed to be our last stop but unluckily, we were not allowed to go because of the windy weather.

 

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Thanks to Dominic who arranged our tour. He was so accommodating to us.

The tour ended around 4pm and we reached back the hostel at 5pm. After we have freshened, we went to Bacuit Bay few meters away from our hostel. We walked along shores to wait for the sunset but the sun did not cooperate.lol😂

Restaurants are also located in this area where you can choose from depending on your budget. I will say that food in El Nido is a little pricey.

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Bacuit Bay at night.

We ate dinner, visited shops and went home to rest at 8pm.

 

Day 2 ( Sunday)

We ate breakfast and got ready for the morning activities. We were planning to hike Taraw Cliff. Taraw Cliff attracted most of the tourists in El Nido but it was already closed by the DENR due to a recent hiking accident. The Tourism Office does not allow anyone to hike Taraw unless you will have your own tour guide and if anything bad happened, the office will not have any liability. We were told this when we visited them asking the way to Taraw.

Canopy walking via Ferrata is an alternative to hiking Taraw Cliff. You can still see the same view of the town but Taraw is higher than Ferrata and so has a nicer view I guess. It costed us P400 per person. This was not cheap for me but I commend their tour guides and their investment in safety gears. Before walking the canopy, the tour guide will give safety instructions and will make sure your gears are properly worn.

We started the canopy walk at 9:30am and descended at 10:00am. The view above is still amazing.

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Pre-canopy walk photo.

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The view from Ferrata.

 

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Overlooking Bacuit Bay.
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El Nido town proper.

 

After our canopy walk, we rushed at Miramegmeg Beach for a short swim. We paid a two-way tricycle ride for P100. Travel time is 15 mins. The best thing about this beach is that it is free and not crowded. We could only see few people in the beach.

 

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I fell in love with El Nido.

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We went back to the hostel around 11:15am to get ready for the van to pick us up.

 

After a tiring morning doing canopy walk and swimming, we dropped by Skyline Grill and Bar to ate lunch and savoured Nido soup before leaving El Nido.

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Nido soup.

We left El Nido at 1pm and reached Puerto Princesa before 5pm to catch our 6:55pm flight back to Manila.

End of tour.

 

Total Expenses: P5,998 per person

Plane Ticket – P1,183

Package Tour – P3800 /person

Kayak Rental – P 150/ person

Canopy Walk – P400 /person

Tricycle to Maramegmeg – P50 / head

Dinner  – P240 /person

Lunch – P175 /person

 

We could save P500-P700 only if we did not avail the package tour and if we lessened our food cost.