Thursday, December 26, 2013

Taiwan's Themed Restaurants

That's my man! Making hard decisions haha is it Barbie or Hello Kitty? ;)

One of the most popular keywords when you google "Things to do in Taiwan" is its themed restaurants. Taiwan has a lot of quirky restaurants that is very popular for tourists such as the hospital , ninja, A380 airplane , classroom, Barbie, Hello Kitty and Toilet themed restaurants. We managed to visit the latter 3 and  I'll be sharing here my reviews and tips for those who want to make their visit in Taiwan unique.

1. Barbie Restaurant 

When I was a child, I remember collecting Barbie dolls and all accessories related to Barbie--clothes, shoes, make up, bag, even her child Kelly and her sweetheart, Ken. So when we visited Taiwan, we made sure to try Barbie Cafe errr...just because it's pink and fantastic! 

How to get there?
Address: 2F, 128, Section 4, Zhongxiao East Road, Taipei City (Across Zhongsiao/Fushing Sogo department store B1). To go there via MRT, go down at Zhongxiao Fu Xing station and Exit at # 2.

It is open from 11:30 am to 10:00 pm everyday.
 I'm a Barbie girl in a Barbie World!

The interior is very girly! Full of glitters, pink stuff, ruffles, and crystals. It's like a real Barbie house or should I say Cafe! haha :) The ambiance is great and also the staff; however, we encountered a translation problem when we got there which eventually led us to leave the place.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Best Hotel for Budget Travelers, Inn Cube

When my boyfriend and I travel, we rarely stay in lavish hotels unless it’s a business trip or sponsored by someone. We always stay in 3-star hotels, guesthouses, or youth hostels (haven’t tried couch surfing though but maybe someday we will explore that option).

For our Taiwan trip we stayed at Inn Cube Hotel in Gongyuan Road. It was by far the cheapest, most decent, and accessible hotel we booked and here are the reasons why.

4Ps of Hostel (Marketing) Principle

When choosing for a place to stay, as a real life Marketer, my partner and I apply the 4Ps of Marketing—Price, Place, Product, and Promotion in that order.




Taipei 101

Part of my bucket list aside from traveling the world is to visit as many towers or skylines I can from all over the world. There are more than 10 iconic towers all over the world and I am proud to say I have visited 2 already--Namsan Tower in Korea and this... TAIPEI 101.

Taipei 101 was the tallest building from year 2004 to 2010. Now it is the second tallest building in the world next to Dubai's Burj Kahlifa. The tower's design and architecture is a standing monument to feng shui and modern design and it was designed to symbolize prosperity and good fortune for Taiwan. The stalk of bamboo reaching into the sky to connect heaven and earth is the most obvious symbolism you can identify from afar. 

The tower was made because Taiwan is regularly subjected to powerful typhoons and earthquakes. They say that the tower can withstand winds up to 134 mph and the strongest earthquakes on modern record. Thanks to the steel pendulum suspended at the core of the building between the 92nd and 87th floors named, Baby Dumper. He's an anti-sway system who already surpassed Taiwan's 6.8 magnitude earthquake last 2002.

Ok enough with my geeky tendencies. Going to Taipei 101 is very very easy. Here's how:

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Keep Calm and Just Travel

I came across these nice travel quotes in the internet just this morning and realized that my 2nd Blogniversary is fast approaching. How time flies! I remember last January 2012, I was caught in a "slight" and "early mid-life crisis at the age of 23" haha. I was lost for a while. I suddenly became too anxious about almost anything and blogging and traveling is all I can do to overcome that life stage of mine. It was right after New Year that I promised myself to travel once a year and just go someplace I've never been to because life is short period. I have one blog entry dedicated to traveling and seizing the opportunity to do whatever you want in life...buy whatever you want (as long as you work hard for it) and never miss out on opportunities of creating wonderful  memories with your loved ones and memories for yourself.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Taiwan Tourist Visa For Filipinos

For my next destination 2 weeks from now, I will be visiting Taiwan, Taipei. I booked this particular trip last year during a piso fare from Cebupac for only Php 970 :D I think this is by far the cheapest international airfare I got for the past 2 years of traveling.

Taiwan as a country is quite interesting. I read it in the internet that Taiwan has the highest recycling rates in the world and the lowest poverty rate in the world? Cool huh? And did you know that they have one of the fastest processing of travel visa here in the Philippines? Well, this is based on experience :) and I'm about to share with you the easy breezy steps and visa processing for Filipino passport holder :).

First and foremost, visit the Official Taiwan Website here to read latest news and changes regarding their visa processing. Online forms and list of requirements for different type of visa can be seen here as well. For now, I will focus on the tourist visa requirements.

1. Visit the site for online visa forms. A security message will pop up stating that the site is not trusted. It will look like either this...
or this...but no need to fret because it is legit. So just accept whatever prompts may appear and then proceed. 
2. You should be able to enter the Taiwan online application forms. Click General Visa Application when you're applying for tourist visa.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

The Art Of Doing Nothing

After one full day spent at the summit of Mount Talamitam, our group decided to chill and recover our energy at Hamilo Coast Pico de Loro, Batangas. 
The view was spectacular and breathtaking. From our vantage point, we can actually see our next mountain destination, the famous Pico De Loro Parrot's Beak.
But for now, we needed some sand and salty breeze on our hair to help us recover and transition from holiday mode to....urrr work mode again!

Wild Wild Mount Talamitam Wind

This is how intense the wind at Mount Talamitan summit was. It was really wild and even wilder at night. If you're planning to camp out, don't forget to bring a sturdy tent and a really thick jacket ;)

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Conquering Mount Talamitam, Nasugbu Batangas

"Climbing mountains is not just a physical act of taking your body to the summit. It is the spiritual act of coming close to nature, to God, to other people, and to your own, inner self"

This is what I felt the moment I reached the summit of Mount Talamitam, Batangas for the very first time. It was a surreal kind of feeling--until now after almost a week, I still can't believe I/we made it to the top and back home safe :) 

Climbing mountain is indeed part of my long bucket list. To be able to try it for the first time with my friends makes me feel proud, happy, and grateful for life in general. It's very refreshing, liberating, and enlightening to take a walk with Nature's peace.
To start off, our group went to the Jump-off point at Sitio Bayabasan, Brgy. Aga, Nasugbu (KM. 83). We prepared our backpacks, paid our hiking fee for just Php 20 and two (child) guides for PhP 300 since it's required now according to the DENR people there. 

We started our journey at around 10 am. The number of hours to summit is about 1.5 to 2 hours and that includes few rests in between.
There are 2 bridges you need to cross for this specific trek. The first one is made of cement but the second is just made of bamboo. This freaked me out since I am really afraid of heights! Yes the bamboo bridge is sturdy but still scary for me haha. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

3 Days Itinerary For Thailand...Mission, SHOPPING!


The first time I went to Bangkok was two years ago. As I review my blog entries I realized that I only have one blog for this trip and it's mainly about temples. Also I was just starting out with this travel blog and completely forgot to share more details of the trip and the much awaited itinerary section :)

My Bangkok trip was the first out of the country adventure with my college loves. We really prepared for that trip and even had few meetings prior to settle our wish lists and mission--this is very important to settle as group of travelers in order to satisfy each and everyone's "trip". Good thing my friends and I think a like and for our Bangkok trip we only have one common goal and that is to SHOP till we drop! 

As you can see, in our itinerary, we only have three full days. We divided our mission into three categories--cultural, night life and shopping. 

For our first day, we went to different temples such as the Grand Palace, Watpho, Wat Arun, and Chao Phraya River. Generally, all temples look the same but it was still worth visiting. We also went to the famous Jim Thompson Museum and it was actually cool :). We manage to squeeze in shopping time in the afternoon and night life to celebrate our first day in Bangkok by drinking their famous beers and visiting Patpong--the red light district. Patpong is one hell of an adventure!!! super haha! YES we watched one show and it was...wild and...acrobatic and funny at the same time. I can't write all the details here but my gosh it's beyond your imagination haha... To see is to believe! BUT before you do, RESEARCH RESEARCH RESEARCH and go there with caution kasi scary talaga yung area palang :O It took us quite a while to choose what "show" to watch because we were afraid na maloko kami buti hindi.

Second day was dedicated solely for shopping. One whole day is not enough for Chatuchak promise haha then a good thai massage at night is all you need to prepare for another shopping the next day.

On our last day in Bangkok, we went to the Platinum Mall instead and went on a shopping spree. Clothes here are more fashionable and really really cheap! We went gaga over sheer tops and cute accessories. I personally spent almost Php 13,000 for clothes, bags, accessories, and pasalubong but if you will minus my shopping expenses, I only spent around Php 15,000 all in! For more information regarding my expenses check it out here.
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City of Dreams Casino and its Grand Mermaid Wall

Sharing with you a video I took inside the City of Dreams Casino, Macau. It's a mermaid swimming in a 20 ft. deep "imaginary waterscape". Such a lovely wall it's very realistic and grand! 

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Ngong Pin 360 Hong Kong: View From The Top

AND I'M BACK! It's been a long time since my last blog entry and I missed this so much. I miss traveling, miss the FEELING of traveling, and I miss sharing my experiences and tips as well.

Since September is the start of the -BER months and Christmas is just around the corner yet again...it made me realize that I haven't finished blogging my Christmas travel to Hong Kong and Macau last year! I have almost a year of back logs yikes! I'm so ashamed of myself but here I am again, starting my -BER month right!

Just a re-cap, last Christmas my mom, sister, and sister in law went to an all expense paid trip c/o my ever loving Father. He wanted us 4 to bond and there's no other perfect holiday than to spend it in Hong Kong and Macau. We shopped, revisited the Stars Of Avenue, non-stop eating soy chicken and Delicious Kitchen's signature dish,  got all cozy and warm in our mini hotel and visited Ngong Pin 360 to appreciate Hong Kong's view from the top.

Actually this is my second time visiting Ngong Pin. The first time I went there was last 2010 for a business trip with my family! haha so it does not feel like a business trip at all :)

Ngong Pin 360 is one of Hong Kong's "must see" tourist attraction in Lantau Island. It is a natural ecological environment featuring the culture of the said Island and Buddhism. Ngong Pin 360 is also the home of the tallest seated outdoor bronze Buddha, the Tian Tan Buddha Statue. It's a thrilling experience to visit Ngong Pin because it's refreshing to the body and enlightening to the mind.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

GOOD NEWS To All Filipino Travelers Going To South Korea!

Are you itching to go back to South Korea but don’t have the time to process another visa?
Well, you just got lucky as the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) says the South Korean government has decided to relax its visa rules for Filipino tourists.
In a statement released on Friday, the KTO office in Manila announced that Filipinos who have visited Korea at least once will be eligible for a one-year multiple-entry visa.
The new rules, which has been implemented since September 1, also makes Filipino travelers who have visited South Korea at least twice eligible for a three-year multiple-entry visa.
It noted that Filipino visitors, as well as those coming from China and other countries in Southeast Asia who previously held a three-year multiple-entry visa can get a five-year visa.
Sangyong Zhu, director of KTO in Manila, expects more Filipinos to visit South Korea than ever before with the implementation of new visa rules.
In this year alone, tourists from Philippines alone increased by 61.5 percent in March, 8.5 percent in April, 12.1 percent in May, 47 percent in June, and 74.4 percent in July compared to 2012.
“Korea is always ahead in visa processing compared by other countries. We are confident that visitor arrivals to Korea will surpass more than 12.5 million visitors again this year,” Zhu said.
From January to July 2013, Korea welcomed more than 6.3 million visitors.
By  | Yahoo Southeast Asia Newsroom – Sat, Sep 14, 2013

UPDATE:
 Korea Announces NEW VISA REQUIREMENTS for Tourists

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Sunday, May 5, 2013

Avenue Of Stars, Revisited

The Avenue of Stars in Hong Kong is one of the most popular tourist attractions along Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront. It is similar to Holywood's "Walk Of Fame". Avenue Of Stars was created to pay tribute to outstanding professionals of the country's film industry like Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee.
Tourists come here to see the panoramic view of Victoria Harbour and stroll along 440 meters with over one hundred years worth of cinematic history for FREE. Yes, it's a walking tour great for tourists who want a change of cover photo for their Facebook account haha or just plain relaxation and appreciation of Hong Kong's skyline.                                

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Warm And Cozy At Mini Hotel Hong Kong


This post is long over due because it happened last Christmas of 2012. Pardon for posting this just now since I've been extremely busy since the start of the year :). But, now that I have free time, I'M BACK AGAIN! and as I write this post, I can't help but miss the feeling of cold, warm, and cozy Christmas travel escapade with my dear family at Hong Kong.

This is the first time my family and I spent Christmas abroad. It is actually the most bonggacious gift from our Dad because he wanted us girls in the family (mom, sister, and sister-in-law) to experience "White Christmas". He booked our flight using his credit card miles and prepared everything for an all expense paid adventure! Isn't he such a sweetie?

My dad booked us in a small boutique hotel called Mini Hotel at the heart of Hong Kong's shopping district in Causeway Bay. 

To get there is so easy breezy! 

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