Tuesday, December 2, 2008

24 Hours in Malaysia

We only have limited time to explore Malaysia. We managed to get out of Singapore and steal a little time from our Singapore trip to see Malaysia. (Never regretted over it though) The time spent in Malaysia was worthwhile. For just one day we were able to enjoy our trip to Malaysia and even bought souvenirs to bring back home.

Haaaay... the gorgeous towering Petronas Twin Towers (I looked so small hehe)

What are you pointing at gurl? :)

Me and my sister above and the KLCC Shopping Center below.

We left for Malaysia at around 5 pm in Singapore. We just bought our ticket at the bus terminal somewhere in Bugis. (Fare was 35 SGD). I was so happy that I could reach Malaysia for just that cost. Their bus was very convenient and organized. There’s big room for each traveler as their seats are big and comfortable. We sat on the last row of seats and enjoyed it. It was a bit elevated from the rest of the seats and we enjoyed the scenery on the window. It was about a 1 hour ride to Johor Bahru, Malaysia’s border where we pass thru immigration then another 5-hour ride to Kuala Lumpur. We reached Kuala Lumpur at 11 pm. It was already dark when we reached there but I was sure once we’ve reached Kuala Lumpur because of it’s different sparkle. We do have passed several towns in our trip and have even stopped in one of them to have our dinner but Kuala Lumpur stands out. It is so beautiful at night with the shining Menara sparkling like jewel and the gorgeous Petronas Twin Towers. We alight from the bus at the terminal and called our friend to fetch us. We were instructed to ride a taxi to KL Sentral and meet her there. But we realized one problem… We don’t have ringgit. We only have US and Singapore dollars and of course Philippine peso which are totally worthless at that time. Thankfully, we were able to find a taxi willing to accept Singapore dollars but of course at a premium pay. We sped off to KL Sentral and meet our friend and we went straight to her apartment. And thankfully she fed us after being slaved by lack of ringgit power. We couldn’t find food with our credit cards or we just don’t know where? haaay…

Wanna come? :)

Walking along Jalan Petaling after exchanging our Peso with Malaysian Ringgit

We’re up very early, so eager to explore KL at once. We went first to Jalan Petaling to exchange our Philippine peso to ringgit and so relieved that we can buy anything now with our ringgit power. As a revenge for our last night’s plight, I bought enough fruits I met on Jalan Petaling. After that, we went to Kota Raya, the place where there are a lot of Filipinos according to our guide friend and went to the bus station to book our return ticket for only RM42. We explored KL on foot first then went to KLCC right before lunch. There we met the gorgeous petronas twin towers and looked inside KLCC. It’s a very nice shopping center perfect to quench your lust for beautiful things. We ate our lunch there then left to KL Sentral at 2:30 pm to catch our bus to Genting Highlands at 3pm. It was only about 1 – 1.5 hours travel to Genting from KL. We enjoyed our visit to Genting and ate Nasi Lemak there - a Malaysian food specialty. We left Genting at 730pm and went back to Jalan Petaling for our souvenirs. Souvenirs and shopping items are in abundance in this place at a cheaper price. We managed to buy things to bring back home and left to catch our bus going back to Singapore at 11 pm and arrived 5am. It was just a short trip to Malaysia but it was worth remembering. Our experience was very good and we truly love our trip with lots of memories and pictures taken.

The City of Kuala Lumpur at daylight.

The Beautiful Menara sparkling like jewel at night.

Overlooking Kuala Lumpur at night.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Dreaming of Going Back To Sentosa

I went to Sentosa last September and fell in love with it. It’s so perfect for a self-imposed retreat or a lover’s get away or friend’s fun and scorching night out. The water is inviting with facilities that truly answer you’re every requirement of comfort and leisure. It’s perfect for at least a day or two stay at the island. It will make you forget a bit of the world you left behind. You won’t even get bored coz there can be a lot of activities you can do in the island. And it’s all worth your time and money.

The island has an entrance fee inclusive of all kinds of transportation inside the island may it be the monorail, the bus or the tram. It’s already inclusive in the fare you pay in whatever ride you prefer in going there that is, thru the bus or the monorail or the cable car. When we went there, we chose the cable car transfer to and from Sentosa. It was a charming and enchanting ride having to gracefully glide above the sea going to Sentosa. The view is breathtaking. I wish it’s a little bit higher and longer like that of the jewel box going to mount faber. But anyway, the cable car ride was good enough. At the end of the cable line is Imbiah. It’s the part of the island where most of the fun activities are located. There’s the sky tower, the theater, the sky ride and the luge, the merlion walk, etc. We went picture taking and ride the tram going to Siloso beach. The beach is wonderful with good accommodation and restaurants in it. There are also rides going to palawan beach and the other one I forgot the name. But I’m sure there are only 3 beach resorts in Sentosa. But we only stayed at Siloso Beach. It was so nice that I fell in love with it instantly. Too bad we weren’t able to witness the Songs of the Sea. They say it’s a must see but we weren’t able to watch it because they only show it at evening and that evening itself we’re going back to the Philippines so we don’t have much time to stay longer in Sentosa. So reluctantly, we went back to Singapore and went strolling in it’s largest mall Vivo City. Tried one of the Chinese food chain there and enjoyed the noodles, the dumplings and the chopsticks. After that we went straight to Bugis Junction and went shopping to bring something back home. Too bad I wasn’t able to truly stay longer on that wonderful island. That’s may be why I’m dreaming of going back. The next time I go to Singapore, Id’ truly spend a night or two at my beloved Sentosa.

Siloso Beach

The Merlion Walk

My favorite Sentosa pic :D Thanks for this sistah! Mwah!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Uniquely Singapore

I love the lion city! It’s quiet, organized, yet so metropolitan. It’s clean yet fast-paced. It’s a small country but obviously prosperous and I was never got stuck in a traffic! It has a very good transportation system that you don’t have to worry about traffic. It’s very visitor-friendly too. Everything is labeled and if you have a map, you can never go wrong. We never find it difficult to explore the city. Aside from the fact that it is a small country, it is so organized and well labeled and crime rate is low that made it simple for visitors to relax and have fun.

There is so much to visit in Singapore. There’s the famous Sentosa Island, the largest observation wheel in the world, that is, the Singapore flyer, night safari, the hot air balloon in Bugis, the famous Merlion Park, gardens, museums, library, historical sites, Chinatown, Malay villages, little India, Clarke Quay, different kinds of food, shopping centers, night fun, etc. and I relly enjoyed my trip there.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Travel Thrill

I remember when I was there in NAIA airport waiting patiently for the nearing Sing-Malaysia escapade. I can't help to get excited over my flight to Singapore 4 hours from that moment. I was far from getting bored, I was anticipating instead :) It's because this is my first ever international travel hehe As they say, nothing beats the first time. I even documented the start of our travel from the Davao International Airport until reaching NAIA. I've always wondered what it feels like to finally step down from the plane on a foreign land, seeing different people and things, and speaking a foreign language. And these "wonderings" (I think I made up this word hehe) will be answered a few hours from that moment.

To entertain myself, I brought food and books. Read a little and eat o lot hahaha I texted family and honey updating them of our nearing flight. I wish honey was there but he can't go with us. But anyway, I was too excited to even entertain that thought hehe At that time, I was so happy I get myself a vacation :D

Thursday, October 2, 2008

I Love Genting Highlands

Asian travel is definitely a different kind of experience. I’m from an Asian country myself from Philippines but still, neighboring countries fascinate me. One of these Asian countries I love is Malaysia. Have been to Kuala Lumpur and loved it. But there is one place I really love in Malaysia and would really want to go back to – The Genting Highlands! It’s a city of entertainment at the top of a mountain. It’s a very nice place for any ages. Perfect for families and any other leisure trips.

The place is full of fun-filled activities. You can even stay on it for days because they have hotels to accommodate
you. Our trip to Genting was only for a day but we truly enjoy the experience. Not just that, it was so convenient to go there. We booked our trip at KL Sentral and waited for our Genting bus there. They already have several packages to enjoy Genting according to your budget and your purpose of going there. All of their packages include entrance, bus transfer to and from Genting Highlands and the oh-so-i-love-it cable car transfer. It was a 15-minute cable car ride over vast mountain scenery. It’s the only sky ride over the mountains I have ever done except from the airplane of course.

I know what to expect in Genting as I know what they have through browsing the net. But the moment I stepped out of the cable car, I was filled with excitement. The weather and temperature is great. Being from a tropical country, I really like the Genting breeze. It was sunny but cold. When we finally entered the place, I was surprised of how many people go there. It’s like an independent city with lots of people buzzing around. There are hotels, casino, theme parks inside and outside, restaurants, etc. Other things like bazaars and snow world are also available inside. Kids would really love the place including the kids at heart. There’s a lot of fun and excitement in Genting for a not so high budget. It’s definitely a good value for your money. If I do have the chance to go back to Malaysia, I’d like to visit Genting Highlands once again.

Night Out in Clarke Quay

It was our second night in Singapore just in time with the World’s 1st Formula One Night Race. The streets were full and every corner in Suntec City was filled with people from different parts of the world. You can see people of different races trying to take part in the world’s first ever night race. As curious as they are, we went straight to gate 3 to know what’s going on only to find out that the entrance fee is 300USD. We only brought enough money for the trip and the F1 race wasn’t included in the budget too bad. We really don’t know that our trip was in time with the famous race at least not to us hehehe That’s maybe why we’re having difficulty in booking for our hotel. And so we took our pic at the event banner, did some peeking by standing at a higher level building around the venue then went to find Clarke Quay. It took us several minutes to reach the place. Though we have the map, we weren’t able to reach there easily I guess we’re a bit dull with directions hehehe We chose to locate it through walking so at the same time we can stroll the city. It was a very nice walking journey to Clarke Quay seeing Singapore closely as we walk. One Singaporean we asked said it’s just a 20-minute walk giving us directions instructing us that when we find an unusually beautiful lighted place, it’s definitely Clarke Quay. So we went on walking for almost an hour when we finally found what we’re looking for – the beautiful and chic Clarke Quay.

At far, Clarke Quay looks so lively and young. The lights are beautifully nestled in Singapore River. One thing that catches my eyes was the way Clarke Quay was styled. It’s so nice beside the river. It was arranged handsomely with lots of bars, restaurants and chic hang outs. During that night, there was a festival. There’s a program at the center atrium with lots of visitors squatting on the floor. It was so full of people and lively sound that we went joining them. We waited for the program to start and about 30 minutes later it started. We witness a unique mask presentation with the dancers playing drum-like wooden instruments at the same time. I don’t remember what they’re celebrating at that time but all I know is that, I like it. As you look around, you can see a lot of beautiful looking Caucasians. In fact most of the visitors there are white and black people. I seldom see Asians like us except of course the Chinese and some Koreans. It was as if I visited a different world and that I was so far away from Asia.

After the program we went out to see the boats to cruise along the Singapore River. But went to GMAX instead coz the ride will bring us to Esplanade and we haven’t get over Clarke Quay yet. While here in the Philippines, I was determined to ride the extreme GMAX but when I saw it, I couldn’t get the courage to try it especially when no one in my group would like to go with me. Maybe I could do it if I can have a support with friends by joining me go up the sky. Courage somehow went somewhere else. It was so frightful but definitely an adventure a very good way to experience fear and exhilaration. Aside from the GMAX, there’s also the extreme swing but a little less frightful from GMAX itself. I hope when I do come back, I will have the courage to try it and bring someone who would also like to try it. Too bad I wasn’t too courageous.

All in all, the visit to Clarke Quay was a very nice experience. I love the place, the people I see and the activities in it. When we finally decided to go back to our hotel we met fellow Filipinos speaking the same dialect we do and so we were able to easily locate them and we realized, we’re still in Asia.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Trans-siberian Chase

Experience much of Asia as close as it can be. Chasing the trans-siberian railway will give you this kind of experience. I have been really wanting to do this. It's the kind of adventure I'd like to do - crossing borders, seeing the scenery in as close and as real as it can be having to see it by the train windows. I wonder what it would do to my increasing wanderlust. Yes, it can quench it for a while but I think it will still long for another journey. Have been dreaming of flying from Australia to London then start my trans-siberian journey from there to Moscow then across the vast of Russia, crossing thru the deserts of Mongolia, experience different levels of temperature and activities. Then cross the border of China to Beijing maybe take a journey to South Korea then return to Beijing to go to Shanghai then take the boat to escape to Japan. The adventure doesn't end in the trans-siberian. I can definitely go farther to other Asian countries. After exploring Japan go back to Shanghai then catch the train to Hong Kong. Follow the railway again to Hanoi, Vietnam to http://www.blogger.com/post-edit.g?blogID=3309274570126743578&postID=8482231233251152117
Blogger: Planet One - Edit Post "Trans-siberian Chase"Saigon then catch the bus to Bangkok then make my way to Malaysia and to Singapore then fly to my home country Philippines. It's definitely an exhilirating kind of adventure. While collecting different kinds of memories along the way, meet different kinds of people, mingle with fellow travellers, learn and see things I have never seen. And maybe try authentic and unique activities in such countries and experience life in its fullest. It's maybe my grandest dream for now and can definitely happen given the right resources at the right time and maybe a dash of luck? I'm still here in the Philippines but my mind is reaching far and beyond and someday I could match my mind with my body and it will reach where it want to be. Someday.. who knows?


Saturday, July 12, 2008


It is very important to know first hand knowledge about the place where you plan to go because it will spare you from troubles, money and time. If you are an informed traveler you will know what to do and be able to make the most out your time, effort and money. What then are the basic facts you should inquire about? First thing is to know what do you want to achieve in your travel. Objectives maybe for learning the culture of the country, adventure or mere sight seeing, it will all be up to you. Once you've identified the kind of things that you want to get in your travel, you will now be able to choose the particular spots that you want to visit. In choosing your spots, you have to consider the distance from one spot to another and the amount of time and money that you have. Identify first the time that you're going to spend and your budget for it. Based on your available time, choose the spots that are relevant to your purpose and know the facts on getting there and the time it will consume.

Another factor is the type of transportation available to get there. This could be by air, by water, by train, by bus, by taxi, by car or maybe can be done walking. The cheapest way is by walking and riding a bus and train. If the spots you have chosen can be reached by land, it is better to use this kind of transportation to save money but needs enough time. In using public vehicles you have to plan your itinerary by their schedule and make the best arrangement out of this because this is beyond our control. Sequence should be arranged based on the easiest way of transfer from one spot to another considering the availability of the place and the means of transportation. Most spots have designated time and day that it will be opened and some may have entrance fees. So it's better to research first the spots that you want to visit and there's a lot of information available in the internet. Once you have identified the spots, the time it will be available, the means of transportation, you will now be able to estimate the cost of your travel.

One effective way to make an itinerary is to make columns for the date and time, the activity, cost of the activity, food and accommodation, type of transportation and its cost. In this way, you will be able to know the amount of money that you're going to need or if the travel do not exceed your budget and if it does, you have to review it again and see what can be done to reduce costs and look for alternatives to make it cheaper. This may be through traveling at night while you sleep to save time so you can go to an extra spot and to save money on accommodation. On air travel, one way to save is to book your flight months earlier in a cheap airline. Most of these airlines have promos on early booking. Another is having a family or friend in your place of destination because they may accommodate you or drive you around if they have a car.

Once you have laid the particulars of your own travel, you can now consider what other things you need to know about the place you're going to and these are, the law, customs and traditions, moral beliefs and behaviors so you won't violate any of these and enjoy a lot of freedom in your travel. Most importantly is to get visa information and traveling requirements to enter the country of your choice for your nationality as there are citizens who enjoy ease in obtaining visas and there are nationalities that are strictly regulated.

These are just suggestions to be able to travel without much pain in your pocket but of course you can choose to make your travel as comfortable as you can by spending more money.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

I Fell In Love With Laoag

I never really thought that Ilocos is a beautiful place to be and it never came to my list of “must go” places here in the Philippines. But when my friend Aleks arranged a trip for me to Ilocos, I can’t help but give it a try. Well, I didn’t know what to expect but since he said it’s beautiful and I got no place in mind and I’m ready to go on a side trip, so I went. It was a very long travel from Manila, about 8-10 hours. We traveled on evening so we can save time and hotel hehe Everything is arranged. We already have booked our dorm at MSSU in Laoag and contacted the dean courtesy of my good friend Aleks. Our itinerary would be from Manila to Laoag, Ilocos Norte then back to Vigan, Ilocos Sur, then to Baguio City where we are supposed to be heading for the 62nd PICPA Annual National Convention. And so we went to Ilocos and I never thought it’s so beautiful, not only the place but also the people. They are so welcoming and hospitable. The dean asked one of the instructors there to tour us. They provided us with transportation, meals and accommodation and to think that request was not official. Aleks just asked them to help us in our trip but then everything was provided.

At the top of the old light house

Bangui Wind Mills

Fort Ilocandia

Paoay Lake

We went to Paoay first and looked at our then President Marcos and bought my big hat :) Then to San Agustin Church (one of UNESCO's heritage site) then ate empanada. After that, we headed to Paoay lake took pictures and headed to Fort Ilocandia. It's a wow resort. I never thought, a place as silent as Ilocos has that. It's so nice to stay there. We went to the MalacaƱang of the North but it was closed during that time too bad. But anyway, we went back to Laoag proper to have our lunch passing by the sand dunes as we go back (wow! there's a desert up there) After lunch, we headed up north to the old light house (sorry I can't remember it's name hehe) then to Bangui wind mills. The place was so windy and serene, I think I could stay there forever hehe just kidding. Might be scary at night :) We'd like to go straight to Pagudpud, a breathtaking world class beach resort but we were out of time.

San Agustin Church or Paoay Church

All in all, it was a great trip even if we weren't able to go to Pagudpud. After all, the place we've visited were already beautiful. Such trip was more than we can ask for and that was one of the travels I couldn’t forget.

Marcos Museum

Pictures below are not in Laoag, it's in Baluarte, Vigan, Ilocos Sur but I included it here because it's part of our Ilocos tour