Guest Post, Indonesia

Essential Bali travel tips: what to know before you go

Note: This is a guest post by Amilia Anderson

Fear of the unknown is rife in people who have never travelled to Bali before. An equal number of good stories and bad stories continually circulate about this magnificent island. Below is a list of travel tips for anyone who has never travelled to Bali before. They will assist you in being prepared and making sure you have a fantastic holiday on this magnificent island.

Pack a decent pair of walking shoes

The footpaths in Bali are not exactly structurally sound. Although wearing trainers can be quite warm in the humid environment your feet will be thanking you.

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Guest Post, United Arab Emirates

Ten landmarks of the UAE that define the Arabian Peninsula!

The UAE has seen a significant transformation in its landscape with full-throttle development, towering high-rises, world-class beach resorts, and much more. The UAE is one of the hotspots for tourists from different parts of the globe for a wonderful holiday and city break. There are several landmarks in the UAE that are instrumental in labeling it as a luxury destination.

If you look carefully, there is much more than just skyscrapers, loads of shopping, and sandy shores. There are plenty of destinations in the UAE that offer cultural fans several things to do. Explore the country’s glorious Bedouin past in the beautiful desert nights or visit the forts that have at one time been the guarded coastline before being dominated by the glitzy and glamorous high-rises. We have listed some of the things to know about UAE when you visit this fabulous holiday destination.

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Travel Stories, Visayas

Ridiculous! This Cebu Hostel is requiring 3 valid IDs,ONLY for Filipino travelers

It was already late at night when I arrived in Cebu.

I didn’t realize that it was hard to get a cab at the airport, so I used Grab. It was actually my first time to use the app. Yes, after years of making waves in the Philippines, it was only a few months ago that I’ve tried it. I didn’t even download the app on my phone. I sought the assistance of a Grab personnel at the airport to book a car for me. I know, I am so oldies. Hahaha!

So that’s it. I got on the car and told the driver my hostel and the address.

When I arrived at the hostel, it was already like a few minutes before 11PM. With all my huge backpack and all, I went straight to the reception. 

I told them that I booked online. While the reception dude was looking for my booking, he asked for my ID. So I gave him my company ID because my driver’s license is already expired and left it at home. You know, I wasn’t able to renew it since I don’t have a car anymore.

To my surprise, he told me about their policy of requiring 3 valid ID’s for guests availing the dorm type room. Oh my, they’re even worse than banks for requiring identification. Aside from my company ID, I only had another one which is invalid because it’s an ID for a membership. 

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Luzon

“Puno ng Walang Poreber” in Jomalig island

I noticed Victor, our habal-habal driver, was smiling when asked about our next destination.

He just said, “Dun tayo sa puno ng walang poreber.”

“What? Seriously?”

Apparently, he was. There is a tree in Jomalig that is named as “puno ng walang forever.” Hahaha

On the way to the location, I was thinking, asking where did they get this idea? Then I remember, this was popularized by a love team on a TV show. Walang Poreber means that there’s no forever in love. That if you have a better half, you’re gonna break up soon. Hahaha! Too much bitterness, right? I don’t know but the younger generation always use this phrase a lot. So even after the TV show ended, the walang forever mania continued.

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Beaches, Luzon

How to get to Masasa Beach in Tingloy, Batangas

If someone asks me for a recommendation of a weekend getaway destination, I would always include Batangas.

You know the usual beach like Laiya and Nasugbu. But if you want a complete experience like having to ride a boat and experience the island life, I highly recommend Tingloy, Batangas. It’s the only island town in the province. Here, you could find the island’s most popular beach which is Masasa.

I’ve been to Masasa years ago. When I was still in college, we had to shoot a travel show for a production project. Since, we have a friend who knows someone from the island, and we really wanted to shoot an island destination, we decided to go to Tingloy.

That time, Tingloy was not yet a tourist destination so I was able to experience Masasa beach in its fine and unspoiled glory.

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Thailand, Travel Stories

The Scorpion Lady of Bangkok

It’s true, you’ll meet a lot of people and new friends when you travel.

But there are times that you’ll just encounter a person whom you didn’t become a friend, but will leave an indelible mark in your memory.

Just like this woman in Khao San Road in Bangkok. We just finished having a foot massage that night when we decided to stay for a while and drink some beer.

Chang, a Thai beer, was surprisingly good.

It’s not so strong like beers here in the Philippines. It has a mix taste of fruity apple in it. We chatted for a while. We were thankful for our new Pinoy friends in Bangkok for showing us around the city. We were having a great time until a strange woman approached us. She has this weird hair and all. But hey we were in Bangkok, our minds were open for anything new, so it was okay and fun that she talked to us.

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Food, Mindanao

Knickerbocker of Zamboanga City!

We toured Zamboanga city the whole day. Yes, we were tired but still excited for our dinner, especially me!

After staying in our hotel for a few minutes to freshen up (naks!), we headed to one of the city’s popular restaurant, the Palmeras Restaurant which offers wide array of Filipino dishes.

Food was served, one dish after another. If you were as hungry like us, you would expect us to feast on the food immediately. But you’re wrong, we are bloggers remember? So we still took some photos, lots of them before anyone could touch the food. Hahaha!

For me, I simply snapped a photo and then that’s it. But you don’t have any idea how my fellow bloggers took some shots. There was lighting, proper plating. Just like in a studio photoshoot.

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Beaches, Luzon

Little Boracay of Jomalig Island, Quezon

 Habal-habal ride in Jomalig in Quezon province  is one of the most adventurous activities you could try when you travel to the island.

After visiting Kanaway island, we headed straight to our next destination. Dante, my habal-habal driver, said that we would surely enjoy our next stop. It’s a white beach, so white that it was coined as the Little Boracay of Jomalig.

When we arrived, we paid 30 pesos as entrance fee. The beach is being managed by Pamana Beach Resort. Just a small amount for the beauty that is waiting for you. It’s white beach, not the usual golden sand that is very popular in Jomalig.

We walked on the fine sand, enjoyed the sea breeze while relaxing on hammock. The kind of vacation that will take away all your stress and worries. The view was just perfect.

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Thailand

Wat Pho: The Temple of Reclining Buddha in Bangkok

We crossed the  Chao Phraya River from Wat Arun to reach another temple complex  in Bangkok.

Just a few minutes of walking, passing through some shops and street food, we reached Wat Pho or The Temple of the Reclining Buddha.

My high school friend, Gev, went straight to the ticketing booth. There’s an entrance fee worth 100 Baht. While waiting, I took the chance to observe, looked at tuktuks and saw some Thais praying at the little temples. One very significant moment that I’ve witnessed was a mother teaching her daughter how to pray while kneeling and uttering words of praise and meditation.

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Travel Stories

Hostel Stories: Please don’t turn off the aircon

To some European or Western backpackers staying in hostels in Southeast Asia, we know you are all used to the cold weather in your countries with snow and all. So when you arrive here, you really enjoy the tropical climate.

The warm weather is something new to you, so you enjoy it, you savor it to the point that you’re beginning to love those sweat on your forehead.

You don’t usually use aircon right? the cold weather in your country is just enough or maybe too much.

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Travel Stories, Visayas

‘Bigyan ng Jacket Moment’ in a Hostel in Cebu

I woke up to the sound of two dudes who were in a hurry packing their backpacks.

It was my first day in Cebu. I checked-in in my hostel at about 11PM so when I entered my room, it was pitch-dark and I had no idea who were my roommates. They were all asleep.

I sat down on my bed, and they greeted me good morning. By the sound of their voices, I had an idea that they were Europeans, but of course I couldn’t distinguish which part in Europe. Hahaha! Until one dude introduced himself as Gustav. That’s what I heard and understood about his name. He apologized if they woke me up. I told them, it’s already 8AM so it’s okay. Read More

Hotels

Belmont Hotel Manila: Your Stay Near the Airport

I remember there was a typhoon then.

A typhoon at the time of my travel to Bohol and Cebu. It was an all-expense paid trip sponsored by Tourism Promotions Board of the Philippines as I was invited to be part of the TBEX tour together with travel bloggers from different parts of the world.

Good thing they arranged a hotel stay at Belmont Hotel Manila the day before our flight for our comfort and convenience.

The next early morning, a bus picked us up at the hotel to the airport. It was a lot more convenient instead of coming from our house. But more than that, a lot of our comfort comes from the hotel we stayed.

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