What it takes to have a 24 hours stop in a city where you’ve never been to?
There are no direct flights from Denpasar Airport to reach Lucknow India and the only option is to transit via Singapore. While waiting for boarding an airline ground staff announced the delay of estimated departure due to late turn around of the same aircraft to be used. It was honestly the worst thing ever he heard that day thinking the short time to spend in the city known for Tagline “Passion Made Possible” .After kicking one’s heels, he finally arrived at Changi Airport (2 hrs and 40 min flight duration) with mixed tickled pink and cold feet at the same time. The Immigration officer asked how many days he intends to stay as Visa allows a maximum period of 30 days with a validity of 2 years, 24 hours maybe sounds good to welcomed him with a smile. In the arrival area there’s a Helpdesk Center to provide details you might need like a map or tourist book and in his case watching some vlogs about this place gave him an idea where to go and that’s to explore “Little India”. He installed “Grab” app instead of taking a cab from the taxi stand surely cost more than bus or trains yet cheaper compare to Taxi’s roaming around. If staying longer then MRT could definitely the best choice of transport considering the fastest and efficient way to get you to most parts of Singapore. He booked Sandpiper Hotel (3 star property), location wise is convenient to markets or shopping centers, local Indian restaurants, Mrt stations, and walkable distance to Little India. Rooms are relatively small yet fair enough for 1 night lodge mostly if travelling alone and if not carrying too much luggage to fit in the space. Wifi is also available, front desk were nice and helpful, still recommendable if not so picky. Dinner was served in Bismillah Biryani Restaurant nearby the hotel. Around 7 pm when the driver came to bring him to Night Safari (he paid 15 SGD for the driver + 47 SGD for the entrance ticket). The timing was perfect as soon as he entered the zoo a live show was ongoing treating everyone with an amazing experience and great fun. The park lightings significantly catch the eye of the visitors to enjoy nocturnal behavior of different animals in the forest which is normally open till 12:30 midnight.
Morning of the next day he decided to have his breakfast in “little India Restaurant” just few steps away from the hotel and get prepared for the half day tour to take him to Marina Bay to see Cloud Forest and Flower Dome. Grab app made his life much easier in a click of his finger driver was there, that’s pretty comfortable, isn’t it? Entrance cost SGD 28 (for both Cloud Forest and Flower Dome). A magnificent and worthy to visit with its well-maintained nature of greeneries and impeccable architecture of the Cloud Forest and Flower Dome. This refreshing mist of waterfall in Cloud Forest that welcomes the tourist gives an instant impression to take you through levels of opportunity to see various tropical kind of plants. And yes, not all comes for free cause if wish to do skywalk or have access to glass domes there would have to pay an additional cost. You don’t need to be a huge flower sucker to deeply get impressed and appreciates the Flower Dome, just get your feet there lay your eyes enjoy the heavenly scent and let it judge on its own. It could’ve been better if not departing in 3 hours unfortunately the driver was already waiting outside to drop him to the Airport.
“It’s not always about how long you stayed in one place, but how it indulged your spirit and the feeling of being at home is more enough to fall in love with the city”
Beautifully creates a tinkling melodious sound out of silence sway by the wind that gives an enormous captivating effect to uplift the spirit and soul. Beyond the horizon where eyes and lines meet lies a vibe to be felt and engraved. Hidden in the Western Coast Peninsula of Calatagan is a resort called “ Stilts Beach” the dubbed Maldives inspired landscape in the province of Batangas (3 hours drive from the South of Manila). The stunning white sand paradise and iconic floating cottages above pristine water with fully furnished wooden lanai has perfect setting to crack the hustle and bustle city life and simply enjoy watching the sun falls down the skyline.
Taking a wheel to this small town doesn’t come cheap but surely gives you a whole whale of time. They have different room types depending on pocket preference if wish to stay overnight and day tour is an option as well . I could say I’m pretty lucky enough to be a local cause I’ve got plenty of reasons not to spend a dime for 1 night of forty winks since my house is utterly close by.
We buckled our seatbelts and drove to resort with my bestfriend last April 2018.
Passing the green lane of ravishing trees we reached the main entrance, two security guards asked if we have a reservation and told them we’re just gonna have dinner. They handed the pass and directed the way to infinity parking lot which wasn’t jammed that day. As getting nearer to the reception area we’re hearing the clapper kept playing in the cool breeze from the sea, the catchy tag lines posted in every corner surely won’t make you back out your feet. In the lobby is where the restaurant located more woody tables outside the pavilion to be occupied with a dense view of cottages and beach, chimes hung on the trees being swayed by the wind and cozy lanterns glow adding a unique sentiment of the moment. As luck would have it the waiter came to our table and offered a complimentary welcome drink (it’s from a friend who’s working there yet I don’t say either to have a big cheese on plate to get the attention) I guess that’s just one of the perks being in hometown where someone knows someone. We ordered “bulalo’’ the famous dish in Batangas, scrummy “lumpiang hubad” ,their chocolate pastry with drops of Bacardi rum which was quite strong to be honest. Shortly after having our sumptuous dinner we decided to take a walk in the stretch of the beach under the bright stars and get mesmerized how charming the night was like a tourist trapped in a beautiful island somewhere and doesn’t want to go back yet. Sitting in a gazebo on the beach adorned with candle lights and white flowers, the tiny woooosshhh sound of the wave , who wouldn’t wish to get a diamond ring right on the spot? None of us anyway! but cup of Joe did saved us😊 “Kuya” who’s in charge in the venue was cool enough to pitch in and capture good shots in between. I mean 3-4 hours break into this place wrapped up our night and call it a day. Might be a bit pricey for some, but the snap happiness and smiles it brings gives a fair shake yet even greater memorable experience.
” Happy hearts always win and smiles that can’t be taken back is something worth than a million. At the end of the day we look for our kind of serenity and always, always it finds us back home”
Biyu which means banana and Kukung is a snake fruit. We arrived at the hotel passed 5 pm and from the reception area I could see the refreshing scenery of green rice fields, the sound of water stream from the infinite pools and the high pitch chirping sound of the cricket. The place was just simply fascinating and so are the staffs. She handed the room key and we walked ahead to room 101. Dangled of white curtains draped on the front glass door with a mini balcony and garden facing paddy and bamboo villas on the other side was just stunning to stare at and feels so homey. There’s a complimentary fruit bowl of banana and snake fruit on the wooden table where the property was named after Biyukukung Suites. The location is very accessible that makes it easy to roam by walk whether it’ll be restaurants, souvenir shops, spa and yoga center or even tourist spots like Monkey Forest which is 2.1 km away from the hotel. The roads were not congested though scooters are everywhere being used by locals and tourists. From Kuta we have arranged our full day car hire costing 500,000 IDR per day through the recommendation of our friend (I can share the contact if you need). While on our way we’ve seen Balinese people placing offerings in front of small shrines in their houses, a thin stick of burning incense surrounded by brightly colorful flowers and petals that brings balance and peace. It’s enthralling to see how devoted they are when it comes to their spiritual practices that’s not always witnessed mostly in my country. We dined in “Bebek Bengil” restaurant near Monkey Forest and enjoyed their local signature of Nasi Goreng and the crispy duck for the first time and hate me not but I think what we’ve paid deserves more for our taste buds cause it’s a bit pricey or maybe we’re not just a fan of duck but seriously worth of a try if coming to Ubud.
We continued walking after our dinner and checked out some souvenir shops and convenient stores nearby incase we’ll be in need of something. In Bali everything is “Hati” means heart and there’s what they call “Hati-Hati” or take care of your heart. A glimpse of sun rays in the window seeing the view of rice paddy from my bed and hearing the birds twittering in the balcony was such a captivating morning to wake up and have coffee watching the sunrise.
While having our breakfast we had a bit chit chat with the waiter of the hotel. He is 59 yrs old, very nice and generous enough to share the native culture of Bali, famous places to visit, restaurants for the best local dish, meditation centers, spiritual healers and who would forget this Guru guy from Eat Pray and Love movie “Ketut” which he said passed away few years ago .I love the simplicity of their lives, dreams that aren’t complicated and contentment of what they have is something that we don’t get across everyday and having the chance to experience the free worry kind of world around is certainly special.
We booked our flights and hotel and the rest were just happened on the road. Backpacks, white sneakers and sometimes flip flops or bikes is all you need in Ubud. No need for clay fancy stuffs. Respect that won’t cost an arm and leg, the basic and simplest rule to follow mostly when going to Holy Temples. Girls should wear sarong or kain kambeng and scarfs known as selendang for men.
Undeniably one of my favorite Temple in Ubud is Pura Tirta Empul. It’s a crowded place during mid day yet with a peaceful awe inspiring for devotees. Don’t leave without having a purification bath in the holy water springs believing to bring good health and success in life. It has 13 channeled sprouts to perform your prayers and skip the 11th and 12th (they say it’s ritual for the dead).
Entrance Fee : IDR 15,000 per person
The lovely Tegalalang Rice Terraces that serves as the highlight of the photo op after long steps sweating and extra pounds burning we’re all worth it after hours of trekking and resting under the trees. There’s nothing to stash from the pocket here unless maybe you would hire a guide.
Bali Luwak Coffee Plantation
Tasting Luwak coffee was my favorite part being a “coffeaholic” if the term make sense. It’s one of the most expensive coffee that comes from the poop of Palm Civet. We’ve paid IDR300,000 for the entrance fee including the great treat of different brews of coffees/teas with a twist of spices made by their self hand.
Mt Batur was one of the top spot during the tour. The climate in the surrounded area was a bit colder, street vendors selling souvenirs at bargained prices and this pretty needlelike spikes that everyone claims for the foul odor was on our curiosity list for taste test crest. Yes I’m talking about Durian fruit that everyone hates. Strange piece with a unique and striking taste that smells stinky socks yet I couldn’t say it’s disgusting. We liked it to be honest but maybe just “maybe” in a form of candies would be better.
Every journey woudn’t be complete without souvenirs to take home. I’m a huge sucker of lucky charms and luckily we found one near the hotel. I bought a rudraksha beads bracelet that says a tear from Shiva’s eye grew into this tree and wearing it will have her protection so I’m using it everyday and guess it’s working 😊
We had this trip in April 2018 ,spent 2 nights in Kuta and 3 nights in Ubud too short for such a beautiful place like Bali. We’re planning to go back soon and hoping for a little longer stay.
Perhaps not in your TOP Bucket list to wander caused by society’s connotation be related to one of the Arab Countries. The truth is Qatar is not a soulless place. In fact, it’s a great spot for sunshine at least before the temperature strikes 41°C and not as cold as snow during winter season. Structures of the buildings brings a unique modern profile to the skyline of the city in the middle of the desert.
Still in the development stage where constructions are everywhere and possibly the drawback for some areas.Plenty of huge shopping centers with less people than the usual malls we have back home except weekend of Thursday and Fridays. Local women in traditional dress (abaya) worn with pride on a daily basis showing their fashionable heeled stilettos or stacked heels while men with the usual thawbs ,beards and moustache that emphasizes their strong willed personalities. The population consists higher percentage of expatriates than locals working in different fields with equally reasonable wage based on level of position. Cost of living is way better than Dubai, but if you’re a real clubber and can’t live without the juicy strips of bacon then you have to stash extra bucks to gratify your fancy. Instagramable coffee shops sites, the aroma of roasted beans lingers in your head ,scrummy taste of pastries or muffins even a bite of chocolate cookie and a sip of hot Turkish coffee are definitely worth of a try.
Middle East is not all about desert and camels, wide roads or sand storms
but attractive beaches not to mention of wearing bikinis is a big NO! Banana Island Resort a setting closed to perfection of scenic view with defined Architectonic design that’s just 5 min away ferry ride from Shoekh Port.
Famed marketplace of Souq Waqif flooded of stalls and bustling people studded with local restaurants, souvenir shops, the scent of homeland in all corners will make you feel the essence of Arabian country.
Tourist should not need to worry about the no go areas as place is safe yet being cautious around you isn’t such a bad idea at all, crimes are very low compared to other neighboring countries even by walking alone in the street or alleys just amazed me as an Asian exposed to lawbreaking activities. Living here for 3 years I could say Qatar is a glam and gem, beautifully flicker on its own that earns a spot on your list as well.
“Unjustified judgement of minds before seeing what it truly deserves molds the character of an individual that leaves mark in the society.”.
Yes! It’s my first time travelling solo at least before I landed to New Delhi runway. As a Filipino citizen it’s a requisite to have a pre-arranged Visa which nearly cost $45 together with 2 pcs of passport size picture, photocopy of my Id – front and back as well as my passport. Sunday morning when I asked my friend to drop me to India Embassy which took us half an hour to get there. To my surprise there was no crowd at all so I walked straight to the counter to give my documents. The officer in charged asked me to re print the form till the last page ( with the payment details ) , in short I have to go back and drive again 30 minutes cause the area is utterly secluded and not like any place where everything is available nearby. Can’t get hold of trying to finish before the clock ticks at 12 since I’ve got limited time to have it done. While waiting for a taxi a guy approached me and introduced himself then jump right to the question if I need help with the Visa. Hearing it was kind of relief like a fish bone stuck in my throat was pulled out. Playful thoughts lingering in my head that he’s a fixer who collects money and sort of leave me with empty pockets yet thinking the process and tight schedule lead me to rather take the risk and wish that maybe I was meant to see the mystical land of “Incredible India”. Throwing interrogating questions was probably the best thing I did with a little trust on him though seriously drives me nutty as fruitcake. He gave me his mobile no. and Residence Id in exchange of my passport and payment of $90. After 3 working days I received a call from a registered mobile number saying that my Visa was approved. A rang from the doorbell disturbed the silence and seeing him standing outside the gate holding my passport was the best feeling ever that moment , OMGGG!!! A little faith will really lead you to right places. So yes, all was set .My ticket and hotel (6 Nights /7 Days) bookings are done, just simply waiting for my departure and I’m good.
19 Sep (1st Day) . Jet Airways flight is now accepting passengers bound to DELHI ( distance : 1596 miles from DOH-DEL) Leaving early morning at 2 am a sudden feeling of excitement and nervy lying the fact that we’re only 4 girls onboard including the 2 crew members (all Indians) though it’s cool like I was an alien trying to invade their country. The guy sitting next to me handed his phone and started asking to take some pictures of him to show his family and so I did. When the flight took off I put my headset on and watched a movie while enjoying every munch of ferero. Without my knowledge 3 hours had passed maybe fell asleep in between. Sun rays started slipping through the lifted shades of the window, clouds were getting clearer, the aerial view was just so stupefying as it gets closer to the lush of greenery landscape of widely rice paddies and houses. Touch Down! Everyone was in a hurry to disembark the aircraft while me enjoying watching the people moving in a fast pace. Compare to other Arrival terminals this has less crowd the lanes weren’t long or maybe my timing was perfect cause I arrived in the morning. After I filled out the arrival card the Immigration officer didn’t asked anything and just stamped my passport and smiled. Welcome to New Delhi😎 My bf picked me up via UBER Transfer from Airport to Hotel ( FabHotel Connaught Mews,Delhi ). It’s a 3 star property fair enough for 1 night stay especially for backpackers and a pocket friendly traveler. The location was accessible to Metro and railway Station,Park and if you’re a food enthusiast restaurants were on every side depending on your taste buds. Rare to find fast food chains where you can have a typical combo burger meal with crispy fries and soda. As the sun completed it’s tour for the day, we decided to knock off our feet to close by Area and did shopping in the night market that won’t indeed break the bank .There were plenty of house scarves shops with reasonable prices good quality and designs if you’re a scarf lover. Later that night, we stood passing by the street lights, retail establishments, and finally found this restaurant to have our dinner. We came inside and sat on their wooden bench waited for our turn to be called. For a moment I was like a rubbernecker wrapping my notions in the neighboring tables watching each and every person tuck in their traditional sumptuous assorted viands. A guy wearing a run of mill uniform approached us and handed the menu. Same with other couples we’re like two peas in a pod except when he’s making me nuts for being too fussy on what to eat. He’s an Indian-Muslim and only eats HALAL meat which made me go bananas cause I was crazy hungry. We then go for fish with a sauce and the usual basmati rice! Ohhh! This mouthwatering dessert called “Rasmalai” which I’ve tasted back in Qatar unfortunately not available so I had quick bites of Rasgulla while waiting for the queue. A syrupy kind of delight made of ball shaped, looks plainly simple yet rich of sweetness for a sugar junky like me. After some time the waiter came and gave our order and went back to hotel riding in a rickshaw that took us 15 minutes or so.
20 Sep (2nd Day) .Morning when we checked out and headed to New Delhi Domestic Airport going to ‘Chandigarh”. First hitch kicked off with our bird’s-eye survey started rolling. 45 minutes duration before the arrival to our destination. The weather was perfect though month of September is Monsoon season.FLIGHT LANDED🛬
I could say the airport is pleasant well organized, spacious and signage were nicely set up. Probably the cons would be the limited options of taxi’s or cars to take you to your further trip. Book prior to arriving could help a lot though you’ve got options too since there are few waiting outside the arrival Area. Day went and took us roughly 7-9 hours drive to arrived in the Hotel (Citrus Manali Resorts) not to mention the zigzag road series of blind corners short straight stretches with villages all over that made me felt dying before we reached the hotel because of my motion sickness but definitely worth it to see this amazing place. Scary to test our luck on this highways to hell which made the trip even more beautiful and unforgettable experience. I highly recommend this property .Location wise, very neat rooms with river view and balcony, staffs were accommodating and well groomed. Upon arriving in the lobby area they served us a welcome drink with a warm smile on their faces. I just loved the spirit ,energy and all.
21 Sep (3rd Day) . We had a buffet breakfast (Indian style). Tea is the common hot drink in the morning but I had coffee available as per request and yes bread with butter and honey too. The rest of the menus has a touched of herbs and could really smell it in the dining area. Lunch time when our guide came for our full day Manali tour. We visited temples of Hidimba Devi in Cedar Forest (locals offer to take photos of us wearing traditional dress for $5 , Vashishtha and Jamula Temples. We watched live dance shows and magic tricks too from one of their Cultural Center and that’s for free. You’ve got nothing to worry about entrance fees we didn’t pay anything except for the full day car disposal. Almost 5 pm when we reached the hotel and get prepared for dinner. Their food is basically Indian style ,I enjoyed the roasted chicken cooked in Tandoor with the local signature of spices ,chapatti bread, basmati rice haven’t tried the soup but looks appetizing and fruits for dessert. Cakes or Pastries is not something you can always find in their fridge as what I’ve noticed.
22 Sep (4th Day) . Shimla! Yes, we’re heading to one of he eminent tourist spot in Himachal Pradesh state. Landscape is closed to Manali with both high altitude and temperature are relatively the same. Great scenic beauty of pine forest and lofty mountains, lights of the houses in the evening was just so perfect to stare at night and feel restored. We stayed in a 3* hotel (Silverine) located in the prime location but on a steep slope and old I guess from how it was maintained but staffs were great and friendly. Not too bad considering the budget and more over their set of menus.
23 Sep (5th Day) . Itinerary of the day was none. That’s my favorite part put my shoes on continue walking stumble in between and collect stones of memories. First break was Kufri in the outskirts of Shimla. Horse riding is available in the ridge and take you to Kufri Mountain approximately with 3-4 km distance and make a pit stop in Mahasu Peak the highest point in Kufri. The breathtaking view of Himalaya at the top of the hill was just so immensely magnificent. We paid some bucks when we arrived in what they call the “Telescope ViewPoint” to see mountain peaks and a bit of history .For those who are extremely adventurous and wants to burn some calories they offer trekking with a guide as well. After being refreshed our driver brought us to Amusement Them Park of Kufri Fun World. Entrance fee was $9-10 per person and you can enjoy bungee jumping, crossing Burma bridge, Zipline Valley, Go-Kart and free access to other attractions. The sun has already set when we came back to the hotel for dinner and prepared our stuffs going back to Delhi the following day.
24 Sep (6th Day) . Passed 8am when we woke up. Pick up time was at 1030am heading to Kalka Shimla Railway Station (32.7 km) and had our brunch along the driveway with the usual dish chicken and soup . The entire stay was absolutely wonderful because of our driver . This guy is so cool and professional well familiarized about the places and not even a little that I felt he’s greedy or a huge sucker of money. I would highly recommend him. Our train departed at 4pm
and reached New Delhi in the evening. We stayed in the same hotel (FabHotel Connaught Mews) for the last night wandering the street to find restaurants and shops to buy souvenirs.
We ended up with beers instead, a good toast isn’t bad at all.😁🍻
25 Sep (7th Day) . As the sun woke up I was already out of my bed for Departure.
“Every place has a black corner and colored ones on the sides”
The nights are truly made with beautiful lights creating an invigorous attraction to our minds and soul. A single gleam that brings radiance to the entire City and completely change it’s course from dullness to a flash of elegance artistry devise our eyes to something noteworthy.
Come and camp and experience the soulful beauty of the unexploited treasure situated at the coast of Zambales province. This is a perfect place for anyone who’s looking for a private yet affordable island.
Accommodation 5 nights 6 days
Tbilisi – Mtskheta Tour
Ananuri – Kazbegi Tour
Wine Region – Kakheti : Signaghi – Bodbe – Tsinandali Tour
English Speaking Guide Service
Driver Service During the Tours (Mercedes Vito)
■ Price is given per one person in 4-5 person Apartment