Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Hello from #TaiOne!

At Hey Bear Capsule
Its day one of my #TaiOne adventure and I can't wait and get out and explore.  But before that, I am currently checking in at Hey Bear Capsule Hotel and I am loving it already.  We arrived a little before 8, went to the front desk and checked in.  We were told rooms are available at 3pm, but we can leave our bags now.  We changed our clothes at their restroom, and are currently at the lounge area waiting for our friends. They have free wifi, free water (hot and cold) and refreshments for sale.  They have a laundry area (NTD50/30 mins) and a ref where you can leave your food.  I haven't seen the capsules yet, but will be sure to blog it in a few days. There are 2 computers (where I am blogging right now) and lots of tables and power sockets for charging.  They also have a UFO catcher game and 2 arcades.

Also, we were informed that check out time is 11am, but we can leave our bags at the lobby.  Since our flight was at midnight of our last day, we can still take a shower and use the facilities for an hour for only NTD 100! Not bad, right.  It saved us a lot since we were planning on extending one room for one night.

So, we will start our #TaiOne adventure and will be blogging about it soon!

Thursday, September 28, 2017

#pisotraveller's Bucket List


I first wrote down a bucket list in 2011 and have been updating it here and here.  This time, I decided to write down the countries I have been and the mountains I have climbed and the things that I have done, and put down a new list of the places I want to see, the things I want to have and experiences that I want to enjoy. I have been to:

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Splurge: Miniloc Island, El Nido Resorts

I am a budget traveller. But every now and then, I get to travel in luxury, thanks to my work.  This trip to El Nido is for our off site planning and we get to spend 3 days in this wonderful destination.  
Cheapest rack rates for 2017, for a cliff cottage for 2 is P32,100 per night for a garden cottage. We got ours on a Fly Free promo so we only have to pay for the rooms and extra person.  The resort offers full board buffet meals, except drinks, and a wide range of complimentary activities including island hopping. 
For me, this trip was really a luxury.  We flew from Terminal 4 of the Domestic Airport on a 48-seater Skyjet plane.  We were given snacks at the waiting lounge of the airport.  Upon arrival in Lio Airport, we boarded a van going to the resort lounge where we were served some light snacks.  Then we boarded a speed boat, before transferring to a bigger boat going to the island that took about 45 minutes.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

How to get a Taiwan Travel Authorization Certificate

So we are going to Taiwan next week, thanks as usual to Cebu Pacific's seat sale.  There are five of us in the group, and 2 of us can go via the visa-free entry to Taiwan or via the Travel Authorization Certificate (TAC).  
The other 3 applied for e-visa with a fee of N T1,632. Now, getting a TAC is very easy and took no more than 5 minutes.  I have an expired Japan Visa so i qualified under the TAC.  So here's how:

Requirements:
  1. Valid passport (at least six-months validity)
  2. Round trip- ticket
  3. Have never been employed as a blue-collar worker in Taiwan
  4. Must have any one of these documents issued by Australia, Canada, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Schengen, US or UK:
      • valid resident or permanent resident card
      • valid entry visa
      • resident card or visa that has expired less than 10 years prior to arrival in Taiwan
How to apply:
Just go to this website and follow the instructions: Travel Authorization Certificate 

And you are done! Just print the TAC and remember to check the details.  And don't forget to bring the copy of the visa or documents that you enter during your application of the TAC. Mine is on my expired passport so I am bringing two passports with me.

I will be posting our itinerary soon!

Monday, August 28, 2017

Take Me Back to Macau!

I was in Macau last January 2017 and I want to go back for more!  Here is just a collage of the wonderful time I had in Macau.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Singapore, Coming Back for More!

I was in Singapore for work this week, and I can say that I really, really love this fine city! This is a country that got it all figured out.  The moment you set foot on the airport, boom, you are at the world's best airport in Changi.  They have an efficient mass transport system, and their train system works like a charm!

After I checked in at Fullerton, I just walked a few minutes and this is the view by the Jubilee Bridge in Esplanade.  It was a breathtaking sight, and one has to take a moment to savor its beauty.
View of Marina Bay from Esplanade
Of course, one has to talk about food when visiting Singapore. This is the famous chili crab, and I can tell you, it has every reason to be famous!  
Chili Crab from No Signboard Seafood
After work, I had a few hours to spare before I need to leave for the airport so I walked a little further to Marina Bay Sands, which was across Fullerton Hotel (and when I say across, I meant maybe a 5-km walk, hahaha) and went to Gardens by the Bay. As usual, it was teeming with tourist during the day, and yet, one can still discover new things to see!
Chinese Rock Garden
One day, I will get to stay at Marina Bay Sands and marvel at Gardens By the Bay from that view from  up there. But for now, this view was still magnificent to behold!

This was the view of the Supertree Grove by day, and they are amazing at night too! The Gardens by the Bay is a free attraction and there are only paid sections in the park. So you get to enjoy all of these for free!

I am really thankful that I get to enjoy the beauty of Singapore for free, thanks to my job. But I really did enjoy it the first time I went there with my superfriends, and I still love it now!




Wednesday, June 21, 2017

I Miss the Mountains!

Work has been hectic these past few months, and I have not been to the mountains recently.  My last climb was in Mt. Binacayan in April and though I have raring to go I have no one to go with!

I hope to be able to remedy it next month and climb, even do a solo climb if I must! I really, really need to recharge!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

DIY Hong Kong-Macau Tour: Day 3

Day 3 of our Hong Kong-Macau adventure was a visit to Ngong Ping Village and Big Buddha. We also stopped at Disneyland for a quick photo op, but we didn't go inside because of time and budget limitations.  Too bad the cable car going to Ngong Ping Village was under repair so we had to take the bus.  But it was a fun experience nevertheless.

We ended the trip with a visit to the Citygate outlets for some shopping.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

DIY Hong Kong-Macau Tour: Day 2

Day 2 of our Hong Kong-Macau Tour is a visit to Ocean Park.  We bought our tickets in advance so we saved around P500 each, and didn't have to brave the long lines at the counter.  I don't think that I need to tell you what you must see in the park, because it will depend on whether you are travelling with young kids, older kids or friends. In our case, just try to avoid the long queues.
The highlight of the Ocean Park adventure was a ride on the cable car. Just a reminder, food is really expensive inside the park.  We bought sandwiches at the 7-11 just before the gate and it was such a huge savings for us.  I really couldn't pay HKD75 for a few fries and drinks. 

We ended the day at the Harbour Front, watching the lights show while enjoying (aka freezing) to our hearts content.

Friday, February 17, 2017

DIY Hong Kong-Macau: Day 1

Last January 24 was our Day 1 in Hong Kong.  Our flight out of Manila was at 530am, and we arrived in Hong Kong at 740 am.  After some picture taking and passing through immigration, we went outside to buy our Octopus card and went outside to the bus terminal going to our hotel in Chungking Mansion. We took the A21 bus, which took around 40 minutes. We have already prepaid our hotel through Agoda. After we deposited our bags (hurray for early check-in) we went out to see some sights in the Tsim Sha Tsui area. We just walked for 15 minutes from our hotel and our stops included Avenue of Stars, Clock Tower, etc.we rode the ferry(you may also use the Octopus card) We had lunch at MX in Central and walked a few more going to the Peak Tram.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Tipid Travel Tip: How to DIY in Hong Kong for First Time Travellers

Photo not mine
Next week, I will be doing a 4D3N Hong Kong-Macau trip with the Superfriends (and then some).We are a group of 10, and all of us are first-timers in Hong Kong.  Planning for this trip, here are the ways with which we were able to save:

On Airfare:
  • We bought our MNL-HK tickets via Cebu Pacific last April 2016.  We only paid P999 each,including airport tax of P550 so the fare only came out to P449 each (P299 base fare and P150 web admin fee), without baggage.
  • For the Macau-Manila ticket, I bought this July 2016 for MOP678 (around P4200) for 2 pax, while the rest bought Macau-Clark tickets for around P2500 each, without baggage.
  • Roughly, I paid only P3,100 round trip, while the rest paid about P3,500 each.
On Baggage:
  • We bought baggage allowance for 6 out of 10 pax and paid around P5,300.
On Rides/Attractions:
  • For our Ocean Park tickets, we bought it from Asia Travel for P22,500 or P2250 each and saved more than P500 each.
On Hotels:
  • We also booked our hotel through Agoda for P1,700 per night and paid them last August 2016 (via Citibank installment at 0% interest).
As you can see, we first bought our tickets then plan out itinerary around these dates.  We have mapped out the places we want to go, and the expenses per day.  We have a low budget option of P5000 and high of P7000 (excl food and shopping).

I will share our detailed itinerary after our trip, showing our expenses, so stay tuned!


Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Travels 2016: A Year in Pictures

2016 was a great year for travels, both in places and within myself. In January, I bought our first vehicle, which we also lost this year and also visited Mt. Talamitam and Mt Apayang, with side trip to Layong Bilog.  In February, we visited the National Museum for the first time. In March, I went to Singapore again for work, and to Regina Rica for the Holy Week. In April, I enrolled in a gym. In May, the whole family went to Boracay and I joined a 10K run where I placed 3rd on the women's division. I also finished my MBa. In June, I climbed Mt. Daraitan with office mates. In July,  got a promotion at work. In August, I went again to Bohol for our company's off site planning. In October, I joined my first 21K and had a reunion with my high school classmates. We also went to Ilocos for All Souls Day. In November, I climbed Mt. Sipit Ulang and went to Payaran Falls, and in December, went again to Singapore for work. 

I went to places in 2016, but more importantly, I made decisions this year that made me a much stronger person. 

I am excited this year because of my new travels (Hong Kong and Macau this month) and hopefully, more work-related travels.  But also because of my new found freedom and endless possibilities!