Sunday, March 30, 2014

Hop on Hop Off: Macau Day Trip Part 2

NOTE: This is part 2 of the Hop on Hop Off Macau Day Trip. You may check out the first part of the blog in this link.

My story continues to our 7th Stop, City Of Dreams

As you may have noticed, every hotel in Macau has some kind of attraction at the reception area. In City of Dreams however, it's attraction is simple but unique. It is the home of the swimming mermaid housed in a gigantic 6 by 20 foot imaginary waterscape in LED. Check my video here. It really looks realistic! As if you're in an Oceanarium :)

8th (FINAL) Stop: Venetian Hotel

The sixth largest building in the world by floor area, the largest casino in the world, and the largest single structure hotel building in Asia! It is a 40-story building with over 3,000 suites...WOW! Venetian is the grandest hotel in Macau and that's the reason why we made this the finale of our day trip. 
 So happy to see these "fake" snow all over the hotel

Upon entering the public lobby of the hotel, everything "G" will greet you instantly--GRAND, GOLD, and super GANDA! (beautiful) hahaha :) We can't help but take so many pictures of the ceiling, the walls, the floor--everywhere you look, is just picture perfect.

Hop on Hop Off: Macau Day Trip Part 1

In my previous blog, I wrote how to get from Hong Kong to Macau via Ferry. Going to Macau is easy and I don't recommend for you to get a paid tour guide to get around the City of Macau because the Casino's bus services offer rides for FREE to draw customers/gamblers to their hotel which essentially can take you around the City through these bus services. 

But nonetheless, we were able to enjoy the trip with a tour guide through our friend who works in Macau. Ghelsen's my brother's best friend and he's very close to our family. We were overwhelmed throughout the trip on how caring and accommodating he was. He prepared our itinerary for one whole day and even brought snacks and drinks good for 5 people and stuffed all of these in his very heavy backpack. He's like a walking pantry haha!
1st stop: Wynn Hotel

Saturday, March 29, 2014

How to Get From Hong Kong to Macau via Ferry

This post is loooooonnng overdue! I completely forgot to blog about my trip to Macau because of too many backlogs. I know, I know...bad habit as a blogger haha so sorry for that but anyway, it's always better late than never ;)

Last December 2012, I travelled with my Mom, Sister, and Sister in Law and we went to our default out of the country destination, Hong Kong. We've been visiting Hong Kong for more than 3 times already (those that I can only remember) and we've always been doing and even eating the same thing every time we go there like visiting Ngong Pin 360, Avenue of Stars, and eating at Delicious Kitchen.This time, we've upgraded our Hong Kong trip and went to Macau for the first time. 

Macau is one of two Special Administrative Regions of China (the other is Hong Kong). Its economy is heavily dependent on gambling and tourism as they are known as the City of Dreams. It is approximately 1 hour travel by sea from Hong Kong. 

How to commute from Hong Kong to Macau via Ferry?

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Taiwan Expenses for 4 Days and 3 Nights

The cost of living in Taiwan is at par to cost of living in the Philippines but interestingly Taiwan is far more developed and advanced than the Philippines. Anyway, we stayed in Taiwan for 4 days and 3 nights and we spent a total of 16,521 Php only which already includes airfare, travel taxes, accommodation, and our daily expenses. The main driver for the expenses is in food given that bulk of our itinerary was centered on what to eat.

Here are some tips on how you can save and spend less in your travel to Taiwan: 

1. Avoid riding Taxis if you’re travelling alone or with a partner. They have very good public transportation system which is much cheaper. 

2. Accommodation is expensive! So look for cheap 2 star hotels or dormitory type accommodation. 

3. Eat a lot of street foods which can be served as substitute for meals at restaurant. 

4. You can skip Taipei 101 Observatory and National Palace if you’re not fan of historical museums or regular observatory towers as you will not miss out on a lot. 

5. Skip the themed restaurants as it is very expensive and food tastes really bad. But you may still visit if you want to take pictures of it.

Hope this post provided you an overview of what to expect and how much to prepare for your up coming Taiwan trip! As always, you can travel around the world one country at a time on a budget! You just need to save, research, wisely spend your money and enjoy every adventure :)


An Impromptu Cup of Tea at Maokong Gondola, Taiwan

As mentioned in my previous post about Yehliu Geopark, Taiwan is a small country and therefore you can visit a lot of places in just 3 days or less. This is the reason why Taiwan is ideal for a "weekender" type of trip--a quick escapade from your busy life in school or in my case work :O. Our itinerary is already packed but we have extra room to explore the Maokong Gondola in Taiwan and this is one of the impromptu places we visited there.

Maokong Gondola is located in Taipei's Wenshan District and it is famous for its 360 degrees view of the city, its refreshing teas, and the Taipei zoo. It is a perfect fusion of traditional and modern Taiwan as there are breath-taking views of temples perfectly integrated into the Taipei Metro system so it's just a train away from the bustling city. A refreshing take on your usual weekend for the locals and an interesting immersion for the tourist.
How to get there?

Saturday, March 8, 2014

5 Places to Visit in Taipei

Here are additional 5 places to visit around the city of Taipei which you can travel in 1 day. These places are good to visit since it entails minimal cost and it provides a glimpse of Taiwan's culture and history.

1. National Concert Hall and Theater - Taiwan's National Concert Hall and Theater are two of the first major modern performing arts facilities established in Asia. It is one of the symbolic landmarks in Liberty square together with the gate of integrity and the Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall. The infrastructure is very grand and modern and it is a fusion of the old and the new. It's nice to stroll around the hall and then go directly to Chiang Kai Shek across it. 
2. Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial - The Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall was built during the 80s for Taiwan's former president, Generalissimo Chiang Kai-Shek who is the longest-serving statesman in the world having been served as president for 47 years. The white marble with blue glass roof titles are really enormous. There is a large public square at the middle of the area that leads up to the memorial building which has 89 steps. People happily stroll around the area while taking pictures and admiring the grand view of Chiang Kai-Shek Hall. There are beautiful red flowers scattered in the garden which symbolizes Taiwan's national flag along with the blue roof and white structure of the hall. In addition, every hour, visitors can witness the changing of the guards which is a 15 minute ceremony just like the ceremony in our very own Jose Rizal in Luneta Park, Manila. 
How to get there?

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Food Trip at Shilin Market, Taiwan

Shilin Night Market is the Mecca of Food Trip in Taiwan! I know I'm going to gain a few pounds after the visit but who cares because tasting Taiwan's culture was our primary game plan before going there and Shilin Market was the top chosen destination.

Getting there is so easy! All you need to do is to get off at Jiantan station red line (NOT Shilin station as this is far from the entrance of the market) walk diagonally to your left. I'm sure you'll know you're there once you see bright lights or just trust your senses...your nose! ;)

Address: No. 101, Jīhé Rd, Shilin District, Taipei City, Taiwan 111
This is the whole map of Shilin Market. They call it the "Gourmet Map" and note that despite gaining weight because of the irresistible food being sold, if you walk the entire perimeter of Shilin, you can loose about 5.6 Kcal (see Line A in dark blue). If you chose the shorter route (Line B and C in light blue and pink respectively) then you can loose about 0.5 Kcal each. Not so sure if this is accurate but it's cool :)
Shilin Night Market is a very popular destination at night in Taipei. There are over 500 stalls and it opens from 4 to 5 pm until around 2 am. You can go shopping (like Greenhills tiangge), play games (like in a carnival minus the rides), buy fresh seafoods "dampa style" and EAT!

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