Saturday, August 29, 2015

Hong Kong - Macau 2015 SDE

Sharing our Hong Kong-Macau 2015 same-day edit video!!! 

Watch it here, ENJOY! >> click here <<
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Saturday, July 25, 2015

A Quick Side Trip to Ilocos Norte

Business trips are meant for business of course!...but if you have extra time, who says you can't maximize your stay and squeeze in some fun? Besides, majority of the working force aims to have that so called "Work-Life Balance" ;) 

In my line of work, one of the perks is to travel around the Philippines. Yes, on some weekends, I am usually at work but it's fine with me as long as I get to  satisfy my "traveling needs" haha :) 

My first stop was in Illocos Norte. My mom who is already a senior citizen excitedly accompanied me to work because she said she wanted to watch over me but, we all know it's just an alibi hahah. Clearly, my mom is also a jet-setter :)

When in Ilocos Norte, you can do the following (in no particular order):

1. Visit Ferdinand Marcos' House Museum and Mausoleum in Batac City
Our starting point is in Laoag and going to Batac is just a 25-30 minutes drive. The Marcos Museum is the house of former president Ferdinand Marcos in Batac City. It is also where his preserved body is located. Some people believe the body is real but some thinks its just a wax. Photos are not allowed inside the Mausoleum so see for yourself and be the judge.

Viewing Hours (Mausoleum): Daily from 9am to 12nn and 1pm to 4pm. FREE of charge!
Museum Hours: 9am to 4pm
Fee: Php 50

Sunday, June 7, 2015

A Quick Visit to Shanghai's Yuyuan Garden

Aside from the 6 places I recommended to visit in Shanghai, my favorite place would be the Yu Yuan Garden that's why I've dedicated one blog post for it. Yu Yuan Garden is an enchanting garden built during the Ming Dynasty and after 400 years, it is still magnificent!

How to get there?
1. Ride the MRT Line 10
2. Get off at Yuyuan Station Exit 1

If you wish to go there by bus take bus nos.: 11, 26, 64, 304, 736, 805, 920, 926, 930 and get off at Xinbeimen Station. Walk along Anren Street to reach to the garden or for a simpler route, take the City Sightseeing Bus and get off at Yuyuan Garden.
Follow the Yuyuan Garden signs...

The whole Yuyuan Garden area is quite big! Here you can do a lot of things like eat street food, buy souvenirs, stroll, visit temples like the Cheng Huang Miao or the City Temple of Shanghai and you may also walk from Yuyuan to get to The Bund area--I suggest you walk instead of riding the subway which is just 1 station away. 
3. Upon Exit 1, turn right and walk straight. At the end of the walk way you will see this building (above photo) to your right. Walk towards that direction.
4. From this intersection you may now explore the Yuyuan area. You may enter in any alley and work your way towards the Yuyuan Garden entrance. There are signs everywhere so no need to worry but you may find yourself a bit lost because the structures all look the same haha.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

6 Places to visit in Shanghai

When I was little, I remember seeing a photograph of my grandfather posing in front of the Oriental Pearl Tower. He said that the tower is one of the most iconic landmark in Shanghai and that one day I must visit the place to appreciate my roots and "follow his footsteps" :) The Oriental Pearl tower is China's version of Eiffel Tower or Statue of Liberty which is why Shanghai has been part of my bucket list aside from the Great Wall of China and the Terra Cotta Warriors (which we failed to visit because of time constraints). 

Shanghai, China is the largest Chinese city by population and the largest in the world. This is the metropolitan part of China and it is considered as the global financial center. It has also one of the busiest transport hub container port in the world. 

We were able to visit Shanghai as part of our China trip after Beijing. Our initial plan was to maximize 3 full days in Shanghai but we then realized there is not much to do in Shanghai compared to other cities. But there are definitely must do or must visit places in Shanghai which I recommend to all travelers going to Shanghai.

These are my 6 recommend places in Shanghai (in no particular order):

1. The Bund (Wai Tan)- a fascinating stroll along The Bund is a must! It's where you get to see the old and new Shanghai all at the same time--truly a piece of Shanghai's history whenever you walk along the 4km long waterfront boulevard. The cool breeze of the water and air is just so relaxing that gives contrast to the busy streets and subway of the city haha. There is no entrance fee here so it is perfect for budget travelers like me haha. We went to The Bund in the afternoon and spent time exploring the vicinity until early evening. It is best to have dinner somewhere near the area and have coffee and desserts right after :)

How to get there?
1. Ride the MRT Line 2 
2. Alight at East Nanjing Road and walk towards the Bund. It's about 10 min. walk.
3. If you wish to go cruising along the Huang Pu River for about an hour, look for the Shiliupu Ferry Terminal near the Bund. The cruise opens from 10am to 9pm and it will cost you about CNY 100 or Php 733 per person. Pls. research more about this in case rates and operation schedules have changed. We skipped the cruise part since we were on "tipid mode" haha :)
It doesn't feel like you're in China when you go to The Bund! It feels like you're in Europe haha. Look at those very beautiful buildings and lights! 

I read somewhere that there are 52 buildings in this area with different architectural styles such as Gothic, Baroque, Romanesque, Renaissance, and Chinese. Hence, The Bund is regarded as "The Museum of International Architecture".

Friday, June 5, 2015

Shanghai Airbnb Room for only Php 225 a night

When we discovered Airbnb sometime in October 2014 during our trip to Japan, we were hesitant to try shared accommodation with a host or another guest because we were slightly paranoid with the safety of our belongings..and not our safety haha, kidding! But because we're after adventure and cheap travel cost, we gave Airbnb a try and we were glad we tried it and we've not stopped using Airbnb ever since that experience.

It all started in Osaka, Japan where we rented about Php 400 per person/night. Then in Beijing, China for Php 785 per person/night which was a bit more expensive but we were particular with the location and the type of room as we selected private room but shared apartment. For our third time using Airbnb, we book a shared house but private room in Shanghai, China and guess what... we only paid a  Php 225 per person/night!!! 

*Note: 
a) Most listings in Airbnb are priced per day and some are priced per person. But in most cases the rooms are priced per room per day and since I always travel with my boyfriend, costs under accommodation is divided into 2 :)
b) Prices of Airbnb listings may change without prior notice.

Our host named Jacob, was very accommodating even prior to our trip to Shanghai. We booked his listing not only because of the price and location but also because of the positive reviews from his previous guests. 

Whenever we book through Airbnb we always consider these 3 things: PLT or Price, Location, and Type of room.

PRICE:
One night in this room costs Php 450 since it's a shared house with other guests and the host. So we paid total of Php 900 for two nights and we split the cost into two. 

LOCATION:
Location is about 1 hour away from the main city (where the Bund is) but it wasn't an issue for us since we start our itinerary very early and go back home very late. Shanghai also has good transportation system so it wasn't difficult to travel from the accommodation to the tourist destinations in Shanghai.

How to get there?

Friday, April 17, 2015

How to travel from Beijing to Shanghai, China via Train... Nope, not bullet train!

Most people travel via bullet train (if available) whenever they do multi-city travel. However, it comes with a very huge price tag because of the time savings and the convenience you're getting. In fact, in most cases, bullet trains are already considered an attraction on its own. But if you're willing to sit 11 hours in a train but save a lot of money in the process (someone like me!) then there are alternatives to bullet trains that you can choose to travel with! :) Riding regular long haul trains or Sleeper/Overnight buses is one of the key tips to drastically lower your travel cost because ticket prices is significantly lower and you save 1 night of hotel cost if you choose to travel at night.

For our Japan trip, we traveled from Osaka to Kyoto via a overnight bus and this is how much we've spent:
- Overnight Bus One way: Php 1,600  per person 
- bullet Train One way: Php 5,100 per person
- Hotel Costs: Php 3,000-10,000 for 2
- Savings of Php 5,000-8,500 per person for one way!

You see? so much savings right? But I always tell my friends that overnight buses or trains are not for all travelers because of the difference in "traveling styles", preferences, and values ;)

Anyway, going back to China, we traveled from Beijing to Shanghai via a regular train and we chose a night schedule to save on money for hotel/hostel. Here's a detailed step by step on how we did it:

1. Book your ticket online before traveling to China.

We booked our ticket via http://www.chinahighlights.com/china-trains/ and paid using credit card. You also have the option to buy tickets on the spot which a lot of Chinese locals do, but we would recommend for you to buy online to avoid the long lines and avoid having to fight through language barrier. The cheapest options usually run out very quickly so don't risk having to change your travel dates or risk having to buy the most expensive tickets which sometimes cost more than bullet trains. 

There are literally hundreds of trains traveling through each station in China so you won't have any problems finding the right time you want to travel. For seats, you can select Business class, 1st class, 2nd class, hard seat, hard sleeper (bed), soft sleeper (bed), and worst of all the standing room (yes, there's such a thing in China!). We chose the cheapest which is the hard seat which is just like a regular train seat.

After booking, an email confirmation will be sent to you so you just need to print it. You'll need to research at which station you can get your tickets as not all train stations provide tickets for intercity travel.

Initially, the website states that you can show the booking confirmation in ANY TRAIN STATIONS in Beijing. By showing, you can already get your train ticket going to Shanghai BUT, THE STAFF ARE NOT AWARE OF THIS PROCEDURE SO MY TIP, GO TO BEIJING SOUTH RAILWAY TRAIN STATION DIRECTLY AND CLAIM YOUR TRAIN TICKET/S THERE :) It saves you time for looooonnnnggg explanations haha! 
2. Go to Beijing South Railway Station and go to the ticketing booth.
You will be required to show your passport and your booking confirmation. 

If ever you don't have an online booking, you may just ask around for an available schedule and seats....then, pray that they understand what you're saying! hahaha just kidding. 

As a tip, translate all details to Chinese and print out the time, terminologies, pictures, the word "Shanghai", or even phrases like "I want to buy a regular train ticket to Shanghai" for example to help you communicate better haha. I believe this is also our reason why we booked online! we're afraid of the language barrier hahaha :)
3. Get your train tickets and know the gates, boarding time, and other details.

The cheapest bullet train costs CNY 553 or Php 4,053 but travel time from Beijing to Shanghai is 5 hours. 

Our ticket costs CNY 309 or Php 2,265 (almost half!) but we paid USD 68 or Php 3,000 because of the additional fees through online booking to the agency. Total travel time for our train was 11 hours.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

China Expenses: All in 6 Days and 5 Nights in Beijing and Shanghai for Php 20,000

China is a relatively an affordable destination compared to Japan and Korea. Cost of living and daily expenses are comparable between China and the Philippines, but there are differences in cost between cities such as Beijing and Shanghai. We spent a total of 20,783 Php for our trip including Airfare and Taxes but our living expense meaning minus the Airfare and taxes was only Php 10,475. 

Here's what we've spent for EACH person (for 6 days, 5 nights in Beijing/Shanghai):
 If you remove Airfare and Taxes, here's what we've really spent on our Travel expenses:
Our total expense (minus Airfare and Taxes) in China is Php 10,475 each. This already includes 5 nights accommodation, visits to 2 cities (Beijing and Shanghai), expenses for 5 days on food and transportation, entrance fees and Shopping. This is probably one of the cheapest cost that we incurred among all our travel, and here's why:

1. Similar to our Japan trip, don't book round trip tickets in one city. Book airline ticket going to Beijing and book return flight to Manila from Shanghai (or vice versa). This will save you tons of time and money as inter-city transportation is extremely expensive.

2. There are a lot of train options from Beijing to Shanghai. Most people will recommend riding the bullet train which costs a fortune. Being a budget traveler, we rode the overnight train which is a normal train with comfortable sits worth CNY 137 or Php 1,000. There are other options such as overnight sleeper which provides you a bed but will cost you much more than the regular seats (will blog about this soon!!!).

3. Use Airbnb for accommodation! Aside from saving 1 night riding the overnight train, we also saved a huge amount of money by booking through Airbnb. We paid  CNY 428 or Php 3,137 for 2 nights for 2 people in Beijing and CNY 137 or Php 1,000 for 2 nights for 2 people in Shanghai. Accommodation in Beijing is much more expensive compared to other cities, so take note of that in booking for hotels or other accommodation (will blog this soon as well).

4. Research and bring a copy of a printed itinerary with Chinese characters. This will avoid you the cost of riding taxis (which we did once from Airport since it was 1am) and you don't feel the need to get portable wifi as well.

5. This is not really a tip but what we've realized is that food in China is similar to Chinese food in Philippines, so we decided not to splurge on food as we normally do in other countries. We also were not able to see anything special to buy so our shopping costs are extremely low.

Overall:
The biggest cost savings will come from your accommodation and train ride if you'll decide to do intercity trip. So make sure to save on these! Other things like food, entrance fee, daily transportation, shopping, etc. are not really that expensive in China so there is not a lot of tip that we can share here.
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Fall in Love in Summer Palace, Beijing

Summer Palace is a UNESCO world heritage site. It is the largest and most well-preserved royal park in China. It is a royal garden for royal families to rest and entertain themselves. It is like a "retreat" place for the Imperial family...my family! hahaha kidding :) 

The entire garden is about 300.59 hectares and it is dominated by the famous Longevity Hill and the Kunming Lake. Expect to see a lot of bridges, lakes, pavilions, towers, and corridors.Though repetitive, it never gets boring because the ambiance is very light, romantic, and grand at the same time. In fact, Summer Palace is my second favorite place in Beijing, next to the Great Wall of China of course! because the place is so relaxing and everything seems picture perfect! :) Imagine nature and art and the old and new in one grand place....simply marvelous!

Getting there is easy and accessible to tourists. Here's how:

1. Select how much time you'll spend there - I've read in several blogs that you need at least half a day to be able to go around the entire place and I regret not allocating enough time for Summer Palace huhuhu. I suggest you go there after lunch because it's nice to stroll around the area in the afternoon when the sky turns yellow, pink, and orange :) We went there a bit late and only got to spend 1-2 hours :( 

2. Ride the Subway - Take subway line 4 and alight at Beigongmen (北宫门) North Gate area and exit from Exit D. Walk to the west and follow the signs going to the North Gate which is the Beigongmen Gate. 
On your way to the entrance, you will see several pictures of the different pavilions and attractions of Summer Palace on almost all walls...then you'll know you're in the right way! haha :)
Once you reach the end of this long road...turn right and you'll see the Summer Palace sign (see picture below).
It will lead you to the North entrance! Yey! :)

3. Pay Entrance Fee- There are 2 kinds of tickets sold. First is the entrance fee of CNY 20 or about Php 147, which gives access for you to go around the garden area or the entire complex. This is the rate we paid because we didn't enter any Hall anymore since we were on "tipid" mode haha.

The second one is the "through ticket" which allows you to have access in some paid attractions. It will cost you CNY 50 or about Php 367 per person (adult). 

Furthermore, fees will vary depending on the season. November to March is their off-peak season while April to October is their peak season. 
Students enjoy 50% off the original fee but I am not sure if student-tourists can also avail this discount. 

Children under 1.2 meter high are FREE of charge! 
So many tourists haha!
Look at that breath taking view! This is the reason why I suggest you visit Summer Palace in the afternoon... ;) 

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Beijing Exploration

Beijing is one of the most famous tourist destination in the world! It is the home for the Great Wall which we have conquered here but there is much more to do in Beijing aside from climbing the Great Wall. These are places seen normally in history channels that people all around China and around the World come to visit. However, with it's fame also comes several challenges such as fighting through the crowds of people in each destination while battling air pollution. But the biggest challenge for us was surviving the language barrier! Many people warned us on this and recommended getting 1 day tour guide which we decided not to follow because of our principles of being a budget traveler. But nonetheless, we survived exploring Beijing!

Here's a guide on to explore the city of Beijing and tips on how to overcome the language barrier:
1. Tiananmen Square and Forbidden City:
Often shown in History Channel, this is where you can see the world's largest public square and it is also the home to the Great Mao Zedong's Memorial Hall. You can also see several historical buildings and it's definitely a must visit for people who have great appreciation of Chinese culture. However, don't expect to see or do much here as what you see in pictures is what you get which is why we decided not to enter Forbidden City anymore.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Beijing and Shanghai, China – 5 days 4 nights Itinerary

China is perhaps one of the biggest and well known tourist destinations in Asia as we constantly see features of China’s culture and unique landmarks in several documentaries, travel shows, and even Hollywood movies. Initially, I thought that preparing my itinerary for China was easy because of so many well known tourist destination that can easily be researched but I’ve realized that there are so much more that China has to offer and I saw so many recommendations of less known and less commercial places. But in the end, we still stuck to where we wanted to go all along and tick off several items in our bucket list such as hike through the Great wall.

How to plan for China?
  • Select which cities you want to go to. Our initial plan was to go to Beijing – Xi’an – Shanghai, but we realized it’s not possible given that we’re spending 5 days only. We also planned to go to cities Hangzhou and Suzhou near Shanghai, but we later skipped these places because we were too tired of moving around China.
    • Beijing – must visit because of Great Wall alone. Summer Palace is also highly recommended.
    • Shanghai – if you want the commercial and modern side of China, then you will enjoy Shanghai. The Bund is obviously the most famous place to visit, but I also highly recommend Tianzifang, Yuyuan Garden, and Cheng Huang Miao.
    •  Xi’an – if you want more cultural and historical stuff, then Xi’an is a must visit because of the famous Terracotta Warriors.
  • Identify how many days you’ll spend in each city. If you plan to stay in one city the whole trip, then you can skip this. But if you will do multi-city travel, then planning for how many days you’ll spend in each city is very important! Based on our experience, spending 2 days in Beijing and another 2 days in Shanghai is enough if you are a fast traveler just like us.
  •  RESEARCH, RESEARCH, and RESEARCH! Time and time again, I always advice everyone to research before travelling and this is even more critical in China because of the language barrier. A lot of people recommend getting tour guides but we knew we can still survive in China without a guide if we research extensively in advanced. True enough, our research helped us survive and accomplish our goal in traveling to China.
  •  Print your itinerary and write in Chinese Characters! If you want to survive without a tour guide, you need to ensure you do this. Expect that absolutely no one speaks English in China.
Here's our itinerary:
First 2 days of our itinerary was in Beijing and next 3 days was spent in Shanghai. If you want to visit all the famous tourist spots in a relaxed pace, then you can follow our itinerary. The only change that I recommend is to go to Summer Palace in a separate day in going to Great Wall as both of them entails so much walking and hiking! For Shanghai, you can compress this to 2 days given that most of these places are simply sightseeing and shopping places which you can go through very quickly if you’re not the type of person who shops a lot.

Check my other blog posts on China so it can help you better plan for your itinerary. J

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Saturday, February 28, 2015

Affordable Airbnb Private Room in Beijing

Last year, we found a very cool website called Airbnb, a trusted community for people to list and book unique and affordable accommodations around the world. We tried it first during our Japan trip because we challenged ourselves to look for a cheap place to stay in Japan (since it is a known fact that Japan's cost of living is very high especially compared to the Philippines). 

We were lucky enough to stumble upon Airbnb and the entire experience was awesome especially for budget conscious travelers like us. We were very satisfied with our stay in an Airbnb home that's why we've decided to try it again during our China trip. 

When searching for a place to stay we always have the following considerations:

1. Price
2. Location (should be near a subway) and
3. Type of room (either shared or private room)

These three are very important to us and all of these criteria are present in Alice's (name of our landlord) Beijing listing. To view the listing click here.

PRICE: 
Our room costs us Php 1,569 per night per room or about CNY 214 but we still divided the cost by 2 so I only paid Php 784.50 per night per person. 

LOCATION: 
The neighborhood is located in a prime real estate. It is just an 8-minute walk away from Jinsong subway station and around the area, there are convenient stores, restaurants, markets, and banks. The nearest bus station is also just a 3 minute walk. The station is called Jinsong Giao Dong Station.

From Jinsong station, it's just one station away from Panjiayuan Antique Market, 5 stations to Sanlitun, and only 2 stations away from Guomao or their CBD.

From Guomao, you may transfer to Line 1 which bisects the entire city and from there you can now go anywhere you want like the Forbiden City, Tian'anmen Square, and Wangfujing.

ROOM TYPE: 
Alice's business is to rent out her different apartments with 2-3 bedrooms per unit. She has a lot of apartments being rented out in Airbnb that's why she is considered as a trusted and experienced "landlord" haha. Alice allows guests to rent the entire apartment OR you may just rent one bedroom at a time. In our case, we just rented 1 private bedroom but shared the bathroom with other guests renting the other rooms in the apartment we stayed in. There was no issue for us in sharing the apartment with other people because we have separate keys per room and most of the time, the guests are just locked up inside their rooms anyway haha!

Alice's apartment is very convenient and easy to locate. Here's how to get there:

1. Ride the subway line 10 and alight at Jonsong Station exit B.
2) Walk straight and you will be able to see a 7-11 convenient store on your left.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Conquering the Great Wall of China

When I was in high school I remember I had this fascination over Chinese culture especially on the dynasties perhaps because I felt it was very relevant to me since I'm half Chinese haha. On top of that, I've always wanted to visit the Great Wall of China because it is one of the 7 Wonders of the World. After all these years, I'm finally able to tick this on my bucket list!

Last November 2015, my boyfriend and I went to China (Beijing then Shanghai) for 6 days and we made sure to visit the Great Wall! We've learned that the Great Wall has numerous sections that is open to tourists and we initially planned to visit the less restored part which is called the Mutianyu Wall because it has one of the best views of the wall and there fewer tourists which crowded the wall. However, we also learned that it is extremely challenging to go there because there is no direct public transportation going there and language barrier is an issue haha! Since we're pressed with time, we just decided to go to Badaling Wall, which is the usual tourist destination because it's very easy and convenient to visit.

We went to Badaling Great Wall via public bus and here's how to get there:

1. Ride the MRT Line 2 and alight at Jishuitan station Exit A. 
2. Once you're out of the MRT station, immediately turn left and look for this sign located on various lamp posts. Just follow the sign and walk straight to Deshengmen Arrow Tower for about 10 mins.
3. You will be able to see this huge gate or the Arrow Tower to your left. You then need to walk across and go to its left side to get to the bus station. 

[RE-POST] Korea Announces New Visa Requirements for Tourists

MANILA – Filipinos planning to visit South Korea now have to comply with the new visa requirements for tourists.

The embassy of the Republic of Korea in the Philippines made the announcement on its website last February 17. The new requirements for Korean tourist visa will take effect on March 1, 2015.

Those who will be traveling after March 1, 2015 would need to provide additional information from the required Certificate of Employment, Bank Certificate and copy of Income Tax Return. The embassy also requires applicants to submit their Bank Statements.

For the Certificate of Employment, it must include the applicant's position, date hired, compensation, address, office landline number (cellphone number is not allowed), and e-mail address.

The applicant's Bank Certificate meanwhile needs to include the account type, current balance, account opening date, and 6 months average balance (ADB).

Another additional requirement is the Bank Statement for the last three months. The Bank Statements/passbook must be in its original or certified true copy form.

The Income Tax Return copy must also include the applicant's personal number.

"All documents must be issued within 3 months on the date of application," the embassy said.

The Korea Tourism Organization said 434,951 of Filipino tourists visited South Korea in 2014.

Source: 
02/25/2015 1:09 PM
ABS-CBNnews.com
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Friday, February 6, 2015

Chinese Tourist Visa Application Process for First Time Filipino Applicants

 
Good news to all Filipino applicants applying for a Chinese Tourist visa! Few years ago, I was told by a friend that it's hard to get an approved visa because they have a very strict list of requirements for example:

1. You need to secure an updated NBI clearance for travel and
2. You need a minimum of Php 100k monthly average in your bank account  

#1 is quite easy but a hassle thing to do but let's face it, item #2 is a major concern by many right? BUT the good thing is, the Chinese embassy simplified their requirements  which makes it easier to apply for a tourist visa. Yeeey!!! 

Here's how we got our visa:

1. Check if you need a visa- Filipino citizens and passport holder needs a visa but if you're a citizen of Singapore, Brunei, and Japan, you may enter China without a visa as long as the purpose of your visit is for tourism, family visit, and business for not more than 15 days.

If you're from the following countries, congrats! you're exempted from applying a visa but only for less than 72 hours (ex. in transit) haha.  

Austria, Belgium, Czech, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Lativa, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Russia, Britain, Ireland, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, America, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Australia, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, Japan, Singapore, Brunei, the Uinted Arab Emirates, Qatar

For the complete list of countries and exemptions, please click here.

2. Prepare your basic requirements

a) Passport
-Bring your original passport valid for at least 6 months with at least 1 blank visa page.
-One (1) photocopy of your passport's info and photo page AND emergency contact page.

b) Visa Application Form
-Complete and signed visa application form. DO NOT LEAVE ANY FIELD BLANK. In case the information being asked is not applicable to you, write N/A or NA.

-Handwritten is okay as long as your writing is legible but it is best to computerize the form. Well, I used type writer in my application form since I encountered problems with my PDF software :) 

-NOTE: in filling up the visa category part, write the letter "L" if your purpose is just for leisure or travel visa. Check the table below in case you will apply for a different purpose.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Shibuya Night Life and Fantasy

Shibuya is probably one of the most recognizable location in Tokyo. You can see the Shibuya crossing in a lot of blockbuster Hollywood movies that showcase Japan (Fast and the Future Tokyo Drift ring a bell?). But Shibuya crossing is actually not the most famous sight there, it is actually a dog named Hachiko -who is a famous public figure in Japan because of its famous tale on his remarkable loyalty to his owner even after many years since his death.
We were able to meet our "local" friend JC along with his girlfriend who is my best friend, Clerbear-san (haha!!) and was able to experience night life in Japan. 
COSPLAYS
As you can see, Cosplay (Costume Play) is huge business in Japan! We were able to visit during Halloween Weekend, and the sight was simply incredible. Almost everywhere you look, you see groups of people in costumes and a lot of people taking pictures with them. You also see people doing free make-up and a lot of costume shops as well in the street. We took advantage of this unique opportunity and took a lot of pictures with them which is something we won't normally do in Manila.haha If you are a fan of Cosplay, this will be heaven for you!
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