Land of the Rising Sun!

I don’t know what to write as  there are so many things to say in this beautiful country.  No wonder there are a lot of people who dream of coming here. Whew,I guess I will just start from the day of my arrival until the end.

In spite of all the budgeting I have done, its still expensive to travel here when you want to try everything the country has to offer.  I have traveled for 8 days and that means it cost a lot.hahaha. From the ticket, travel tax, terminal fee, accommodations,  JR pass, to the food and souvenirs. (*_*).  Seven days JR pass is worth it since  I am doing the Hiroshima, Kyoto, Nara, Osaka and Tokyo travel. I spend 3 nights in Kyoto, 2 nights in Osaka and 2 nights in Tokyo.

Upon arrival, I went straight to the JR pass counter for the exchange  voucher that I have. JR pass is easy to use and the staff who assisted me was so helpful. Since I have  planned my itinerary, I have booked the ticket in advance like the return trip to Tokyo. From The airport I  go straight to Kyoto. I landed in Narita Airport which is around 30-40 minutes by express train ride to Tokyo City. Then from there I need to connect using  bullet train to Kyoto which is 4 hours ride. It may be too long but when you book in advance you will have a seat number like the airplane ride and the seat is comfortable for travelers. As for the food. There are on board karts who sell affordable food or you can buy at the Kiosk nearby the boarding area of the train.  I arrived around 6pm on the first day and the good thing is the hostel I booked is just a 10 minutes walked from the station. Once I have settled in the hostel I went out and look for dinner . This is my first day ended.

On the second day I went for the earliest trip going to Hiroshima since I am planning to return on the same day. The travel takes 3 hours and as usual the bullet train is on time and comfortable.  The JR pass I am holding includes free buses like the hop on hop off that will pass by the area of the tourist spots in Hiroshima. There’s red, lemon and blue bus. I manage to ride these buses and have gone to the different tourist spot. After Hiroshima I went to Miyajima island where  the famous Itsukushima Shrine is located. Train from Hiroshima station to Mayijama station takes 30 minutes and additional 15 minutes by ferry to the island. All of these are covered by JR pass. I roam around the island before I went back to Hiroshima station for the 5pm departure back to Kyoto.

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Next day is is purely Kyoto. I am aiming to see all of Kyoto including Fushi Inari  in one day so I get up early and try my very best to see all of Kyoto. I went first to the Arashiyama (bamboo). This area is so wide that not only the bamboo is what you can  see. The bridge,the Kimono forest and also the love train. I tried the love train but since its  operated by a private company and one of the oldest trains in Japan this is not included in JR pass. It cost 190 yen.This is the funny part as I thought this will go back to its original station where the bamboo is located. In the middle of the ride I realize that it will not go back . So I google where I can go down and continue my Kyoto day tour as I am lost. :)..  I have found one of the station where I can ride a bus to go back to Kyoto main station. The good thing is that I buy the city bus pass for a day that cost 600 yen and you can ride all you want . The bus that I ride back to the station happens to pass buy Ginkaku-ji(silver pavilion) which I though the golden pavilion due to its similar pronunciation. hahaha. I got lost for the second time. It seems my itinerary is not doing well.  Still I went inside the silver pavilion and roam around and along the way I manage to eat in between just to go on with the itinerary. The good part when I study the bus stops and bus numbers is that from my location all the places I wanted to see is along the way. So I am still on my travel and  its accessible and faster than my first plan.  I manage to visit and saw that day the Kinkaku-ji(golden pavilion) I got it right this time. 🙂 ,Kiyomizu-dera temple, Chion Temple and  roam around Gion. I also manage to see a real Geisha before I went back to the hostel.

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Fourth day I check out early and leave my things in the hostel. I went to see Fushi Inari since I did not manage to insert it on the third day. After Fushi Inari, my new friend whom I meet in the hostel has this another nice temple that we can visit after Inari. And there is no entrance fee. Going to Nijo temple is so serene that  along the way you can see a lot of beautiful spot where you can’t take your camera off. The old bridge where you can only see in tv. hahaha. The temple itself is beautiful. After this we parted ways as I am going to Nara while she will explore some of Kyoto before heading back to Tokyo for her flight the next day. I went to Nara for the Deer park and nearby temple. By late afternoon I went back to Kyoto to pick up my things and go straight to Osaka. I choose the hostel in Dotonbori area and tell you this is a little bit far from all the JR station. Stations near this area is operated by private company. The walk takes 15 minutes to reach the hostel but the good thing about this location is the food. ITS EVERYWHERE . hahaha. Near the shopping area as well. I look for food and went strolling for a bit before went off to bed.

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The next day which is the fifth  is Universal Studio day. hahaha. During the planning, I am not considering to go here but on the last minute I change my mind and went inside of the Universal Studio. This one is easy to find and the line stop/station for this is covered by JR pass. Opening time is 0900am but I am there by 0930am as I went to visit first the Osaka castle. When I reach Universal Studio the line is so long that I am thinking it will take time for me to get inside. This is what I notice since I am travelling alone/single traveler as they always say, I have this privilege to be in shorter line like the VIP or fast lane ticket.(*_*). I have get through the line easily and in almost all the  rides as well even those rides that they say it will take two-three hours to line up.Since its summer time the butter beer in Harry Potter World they are serving is frozen and its so yummy. I have three cups of it the whole day. There are some shows that needs payment and not included in the entrance fee. But overall Universal Studio is Universal Studio. hahaha. I get wet on some of the rides and dried up again. I manage to finish the rides and show  early and got a spot for dinner overlooking the castle for the light show. Almost of the language  used is in Japanese but I enjoy Universal Studio like a kid. 🙂 Before  I went off to bed I manage to buy some stuff that can be bring home as souvenirs.

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On the sixth day I headed early back to Tokyo as I am meeting my friend and neighbor from Mindanao. We did not see each other for almost 10 years. We met at Tokyo station and headed to the hostel where I will leave my luggage and after that we go somewhere  else. Since its almost noontime and I am staying in Akihibara, we tried the Maids cafe since she did not experience this as well. Tell you this is the only picture we have for the whole day we have been together. :).

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Only picture we have due to catching up.

After the lunch we went to  Shibuya area and from there we walk around and keep talking about stuff. Sometimes its good to stop being a tourist and just talk and share  with someone whom you didn’t see for a long time. Enjoying each other’s company. We went to the tv station but unfortunately its closed. hahaha. We walk further and went to Meji Shrine, Yoyogi Park, Harajuko.  We parted ways around 7pm as she has work the following day.

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On the next day which is my seventh day, I try to roam around Tokyo and last minute buying of souvenirs. I went first to Asakusa for the Senso-ji temple.Then to  Tsukiji Market to eat sushi(Omakase), then back to Shibuya then to Harajuku to the Takeshita Market and back to Akihibara.I planned to go to Hakone for the Mt Fuji sightseeing but when I reach the station Odawara station where to connect going to Hakone, it rained again. So I decided to go back to Tokyo and   prepare my things for the flight the following day since my JR pass will gonna expire soon. hahaha. After that I went out again and look for authentic Ramen house.

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On my last day its raining and my flight is not until 1pm. I did not go out for another round of exploration. By 10am when the rain stops I check out and proceed to the airport using the cheapest and easiest way.  I spent the last yen I have in food in the airport.  I am planning to go back here again as I have some other places that I wanted to visit. Eight days in Japan is not enough but for now I am happy and contented that I have the glimpse of it.

Hope you enjoy my travel as I have mine.

 

Signing off,

Labjoy

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The Land of Greeks!(*_*)

One of places I am privilege to visit last of August is Greece. As usual I plan ahead and try to come up for the cheapest budget.  August is one of the months that is peak season in Greece particularly in Santorini where most of the tourist go. Greece is like the Philippines that is compose of islands, can be reachable but need to spend more time and money as well. When I landed in Athens which is the capital city, I did not stay there first as in my itinerary Athens will be the last to be explored.

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Blue Star ferry to Santorini

I went to Santorini and experience the things most tourist go for. Which is more likely a nice once.  I arrive in the Island via Blue Star Ferry around 5 in the morning and proceed directly to the hostel where I will be staying. Travel time takes 7 hours.I change and leave my bag as I am not allowed to check in yet and proceed to the first activity that I have. The hike from Fira to Oia which as per the blogs I read takes around 3 hours.  The air in the surrounding is so nice and the scenery during my walk. If you are able and fit to, I  will recommend this activity.

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After that long walk. I finally arrive in Oia and do some walking and look for breakfast. Since I am not allowed to check in  until 2 in the afternoon, I decided to go to the beach in Kamari and kill some time before check in. Buses in Santorini always stops in Fira which is more like the hub of all the buses when you are going elsewhere in the island. Bus fare cost EUR1.80.

I went back to the hostel to check in. And by the way I am staying in Fira as it is accessible to all areas. I take a bath and decided to sleep but ended going to the bus station to go back in Oia. Hahahaha.  I roam around until sunset time. I thought sunset will be going around 6pm but it happened around 8pm. I also eat the famous gyros and take some photos in the area.

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The second day for my stay is for the Volcanic Island Hopping Tour. We went to the top of the Volcano, swam at the sulfuric spring( actually I never did as I am not a good swimmer and its 50 meters  swim going there). Hahaha.  And lastly we visit  Thirissa Island which is quite a nice and peaceful Island.

The tour finishes  around 4 in the afternoon as I did not go with the group for the sunset watching which I did the day before. I went back to the hostel and freshen up. I have talk to Ashley(girl who I meet through CS). We decided to try the open Cinema in Kamari and boom there we go. The movie is “Mama Mia 2” where I think a nice time to watch since the setting of the movie includes Greece.

The last day is my flight from Santorini to Athens. It take 55 minutes for the flight. Once I arrive in Athens , I proceed to the bus station to go Nafplio which is the old capital of Greece before it was given to Athens. I arrive there late in the afternoon.

The place is nice and near the Tiryns/Mcynaean Ruins. The next day ,I meet Panos which happens to be a curator in the Museum. He show me places of the ruins. This part of Greece is very rich in history as the ruins shows. Before he drops me in the bus station to travel back in Athens.

I arrive late night in Athens and check in the hostel. I sleep early as I will be witnessing the changing of guard in front of the  Presidential Mansion the following day.6962After the activity I meet fellow CS member Kostas who will accompany me to explore Northern part of Athens which is Iraklio where the Olympics and other wonderful scenic were hidden. Its an hour away from Athens.

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We arrive late in Athens and pass by an area where there’s a concert going on. :). What I notice is that most of the old people are in there instead of young ones. Its more like the singers are singing country music. :). I thank Kostas for the wonderful day I have and have learned a lot from him as well.

My last day in Greece finally arrive and well spent in Athens. I went out early in order to avoid lines in the tourist spot I want to visit. I went first to Acropolis and find out there’s a queue going already for tickets. The technique is go to the other tourist spot that sells the combo ticket before going back to Acropolis. Como ticket cost EUR30. My first stop where I bought the ticket is in Roman Ruins and Synagogue in Agora. Below are some pictures I have for Athens.

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My flight is not until 11 in the evening. So one day going around Athens tourist spot is enough.

I have eat as well local food but I am not quite sure if I do have all the pictures :).

During this travel I have learned that Greeks are particular in Name day than their birthday. That is why you can see a lot of churches within the vicinity. They celebrate more in their name day by going to church together with their fellow celebrants. They don’t have particular time to eat as well. For example , breakfast is between 7-9 in the morning. They will just eat if they are hungry. They are also fond of hanging in the beach. Its their usual routine after work go to the beach or during weekend whole day in the beach. Bring your mats, umbrellas and coolers. They stay there until 7-8 in the evening too. 🙂  I love to go back there someday and explore other islands and areas where I missed to visit.

 

Signing off,

Labjoy

 

 

 

 

 

Hitting Summer in Malaysia

 

I have the privilege to go home last April in the Philippines. My friend and I decided to meet up somewhere before  Philippines. We came up with Malaysia. For a short period of 4 days  we went to Langkawi and  Kuala Lumpur.

Choche was in Singapore that time and she travels from there to Kualu Lumpur and proceed to Langkawi. For me from Dubai to Kuala Lumpur then Langkawi. She arrive earlier than me.  First day of ours was catching up. Next day is the real start of our adventure. 🙂

We wake up early and meet Guy one of the CS member who happened to be in Langkawi as well.  We agreed to rent a motorbike/small car for the trip going to the Sky bridge  as planned. Choche and I have no driving license so the option is for Guy to drive as the whole day. 🙂 We bargain the car for MYR 70 for 24 hours and we are on the road to Skybridge.  We have a map and phones for GPS unfortunately the GPS is not working but still manage to arrive in the lcoation.  We get the bottom glass cable car going up to the skybridge.

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The bridge is not that long but it’s nice  up there. We stayed for around one to two hours. After ,we look for falls nearby  the area that we found in the map.  We manage to visit two  I think but we get lost along the way and keeps asking around since we GPS is not working. :). Though we get lost we manage to find a quiet beach where we get to have as “our own private beach” :)))). We stay there for around two more hours enjoying each other company before we we head back to the city.

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WE went to Pantai Cenang beach  and extend half an hour in the shore.

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After this we went back to the accommodation and take a bath and change. We separate ways with Guy when it comes to dinner as he is looking for something that his palate can take and for us we have the budol fight type of dinner. :). Then after dinner we stroll for a bit and proceed to Duty Free our meeting point.

We look for cheaper drinks that we can bring to the shore back and watch fire dancing and people come and go. Just to relax. Not more than 5 minutes that we sit in the sand the rain decides to drop. hahahaha. We run where we can have a little roof for our head while Guy gets the car. Still we are wet but okay. Since the rain is getting heavier we decided to go to our accommodation and have a truth or dare game to get to know more . We have so much fun that night and  finish around 2 in the morning and we have our flight by 10 in the morning. Guy is so kind to fetch us in the accommodation and drop us in the airport.

Next part is our Kuala Lumpur trip. Grab is famous and cheaper in Malaysia than actual taxi and train. So almost of our trip here is by grab. We check in at our hotel first to freshen up, re charge our phones and cameras before we grab our lunch. After lunch, we walk to KLCC where Petronas Tower is located. We have a schedule by 3pm to go up.

 

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another pose
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trying the features of the cam
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extension from one tower to another

After Twin Tower Visit, the rain decided to pour again. We stayed inside the mall  until we decided to get a grab as we may be coming late to our next agenda which is dinner in the sky.

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way to the Mall

 

 

Our driver is very kind and patience looking for the exact location of the point where the dinner in the sky will be held. After sometime we came there while the rain is pouring. The organizer is still waiting for others as well. We keep on praying and hoping that the rain will stop in order for us to enjoy and experience the dinner in the sky as the next option is to eat dinner outside which will defeat the purpose why we avail for this. But thank God the rain stop and we manage to enjoy our meal up in the sky.:)

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It was a wonderful experience and we manage to get a personalize passport holder as well. Since  We wanted to see Twin Tower in the night we decided to go back and take some photos on it again :).

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After that we proceed to China town and have some souvenir. I bought an Ice tea and not expecting it to be like the picture below. After this we head back to the hotel.

 

The next day is our flight to the Philippines. Choche is heading to Cebu , while me is heading to Davao. I have an hour earlier flight than her. This is the first time that I run for boarding. Air Asia has different weighing scale for baggage than Emirates :). Check baggage for Air Asia was really a hassle for me. There are staff at the Kiosk around to help you check in and get bag tag for baggage to be check in BUT you will be the one to weigh you baggage and put the tags and scan it  as well without the help of the staff. May baggage which was sealed in plastic weigh 20 kilos on Emirates but for them it weighs 23 for them. Both of my luggage is more than 30 kilos for them. I check in the first bag which is 23 kilos and remove some items to the 2nd luggage. Once it 8 kilos already we put it bag and scanned the tag and it went to not accepting it as check in baggage is closed already.  Only one counter is open to entertain those who experience the closing of baggage check in. The queue was too long and passengers where complaining that they might end up missed there flight. Luck for me I got it solve and they check in my other luggage but I have 20 minutes left before the actual departure time. The boarding is starting while I still outside just finish checking in. The Gate in on the 24th. Imagine how far it is and I have to take another scanning area once more. I am the last passenger to board that plane -sweating, catching  for air and hungry. Hahaha. Choche and I did not manage to say goodbye properly.  We just texted each other. I end up ordering food in the plane and sleep after for 2 hours before the plane lands to Davao.

The travel was great even there are minor incident happen. I am still happy and thankful that I have the opportunity after all. 🙂

 

Signing off

Labjoy

 

Simply India

For a change, my flat mate and I decided to spend Christmas in another country  outside UAE. We wanted to have a white Christmas at the same time a unique cultural experience.  We came up with India. Most of the people doesn’t know that there has snow there :); and second we wanted to see the famous Taj Mahal-one of the 7 wonders of the world.

We have a flight from Dubai to Delhi and connect within the same day to Srinigar. We spend 3 days/ 2 nights in this city and another 3 days/2 nights in Delhi. The place is nice and quiet. You can see a lot of soldiers roaming around as the place is the boarder between Pakistan and India. I think we are the only guest in the hotel. Hahaha.   We have 2 guys who attend to our needs and the other one looks like Kobe Paras.. :). What I have notice in this place is that they will keep looking at you whatever you are doing even when you are eating they were still observing you. hahahaha.

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Hotel Host. Kobe look alike  and Bangus look alike. 🙂

After check in , we proceed to different area but most of those were flower garden with no flower as of the moment since its winter. 🙂 Temperature here was negative 02 degrees Celsius. We have a good driver who is always early to pick us and also have a very welcoming aura. He also speak little English but we do like him.

 Because of the weather , we always feel hungry and  looking for food. I am not a fan of Indian food but during our dinner on the first day, the food was great. At first Tarek was shy to eat with us and use spoon and fork, but when he saw us eating with our hands, he did the same.  We all know that Indian food is spicy but most of the food I ate in Kashmir is not that hot and spicy but tolerable and its delicious.  We don’t have air-con in  the room obviously and had heater instead. There was also brown out or power saving in the city. It has timings. So you better charge your gadgets when the light was still on.  We are given also chargeable lamps when the said event happen. 🙂

Our second day was spent in  Gulmarg. Which was around 1 and a 1/2 hour away from Srinigar. There we ride the Gondola up until the second phase. Most of the people here went for Ski and Gondola ride. They have also human sleigh. hahaha. We walk in the snow going to the ride. Since Gulmarg is in higher position than Srinigar plus we went up the mountain, Gulmarg temperature  drops to -10-12 degrees Celsius.  The view here is breathtaking and kuya cannot breath well due to the that we are in higher level.

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On our ride home mostly we slept in the car. :))). We arrive around 3 in the afternoon in the hotel. Rest for awhile and went out for a walk. We look for noodles and other items that can be eaten but most of the noodles were in Masala flavor. Even its still early , it gets dark easily and people are inside their houses once dark. We sleep early during pur stay in Srinigar.

On the third day, we take our daily breakfast and check out. But before we headed to the airport, we pass by Dal Lake and had shikara ride.

After the ride we headed to the airport an undergo the strict security check up. :).

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waiting area. doves are flying in and out 🙂

We arrive around 6 in the evening in Delhi from Srinigar and check in. We rest and talked to each of our family since its almost Christmas. After that we went out to look for food and have a Noche buena dinner in a Thai restaurant. Hahahaha. We spend there almost 3 hours and headed back to the hotel to prepare for tomorrow tour.

On the fifth day, we have a train schedule for Agra where we will be having a one day tour in Agra particularly in Taj Mahal. The train leaves by 0810 in the morning and will leave the same day at 0510 in the evening. This train is the fastest train going to Agra and has one schedule per day.  It takes only one hour and forty minutes.We wanted to experience their train system and its a little bit confusing. You have to ask and not to assume  since platform was not indicated in the ticket :). While on board we have been serve a breakfast and  snacks. Delhi is crowded and dirty. You may not want to look outside while the train is is running as you can see a lot of garbage.

One we arrive in the in Agra, we are meet by a driver of our contact and proceed to pick up the guide who will lead us to Taj Mahal. There is too much people during our visit since its Christmas holiday and they do have Christmas also. Overall Taj Mahal tour is okay except for the guide that I find him  greedy for money. One flaw having a guide like him is that he keeps on insisting what he wants and not according to what the guest wants. For me I am just happy for this Agra trip in spite of everything as I have seen Taj Mahal.

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We arrive late in Delhi. We just ate dinner and go to sleep for the next day activity.

Our last day is composed of city tour in the morning and drive through the airport for the afternoon flight. We didn’t manage to buy souvenir as the driver doesn’t know what it was:) But he was nice. |He was patient in showing the places and understand if we don’t want to visit a particular place in the itinerary. There is one park that is not included in the itinerary that we visit.

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Overall our trip to India is okay. There are a lot of places that needs to visit as it was a huge country. We manage to meet some CS members and chatted with them. Share some beliefs and lifestyle as well. What I have notice they prefer riding a cab than to take public transportation. Another thing I have notice is the even its foggy and cold during that time Delhi was dirty and polluted.  Hope they can minimize the garbage because its really nice for cultural experience.

 

 

Signing off

 

Labjoy

BIG BEN :)

One of my dreams is to travel in this country someday and that someday has come true when my visa was granted last August.  I became excited and planned for the trip.

I had made a reservation for my airline ticket and also for the hostels where I will be staying. I scout for cheapest airfare, accommodation, tours and activities to be done that is necessary for this visit of mine. During my budgeting days where I am all set to purchase everything and tada….Blessings came. I receive a free ticket, accommodation and  HOHO tour. What a blessing. I spend 6 days/5 nights in London to make my trip worth it.

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When I arrive in the accommodation , I just freshen up and go out to visit our main office  to meet the people in flesh ,  I am talking through mails and calls. OUr office is  a good place to see the Tower bridge.  And I am one of those people who think that Tower bridge is the London bridge. They different.

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Tower Bridge

The next day , early morning  I am out to have the Hop on Hop Off Buss(HOHO) Tour. Together with the other tourist I  explore London using this service. I suggest this  when you want to explore London as its really connects from desstination ot the other. You can stay in one attraction longer than the other. For me I did stay long for the London eye ride and also the Shrek adventure which is located in one area. I made sure that I will be back in the meeting area where the free walking tour will start. During the walking tour I manage to witness the changing of guards aside from the knowledge you will get from the guide. I also ride the Thame River Cruise. London itself has so much to see.

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In the evening I meet ate Pam’s Brother Nico and his wife Angie. We have dinner together and also to celebrate Angie’s birthday.Nico and Angie

My activity everyday starts early to make my trip worth it.  The next day I joined the trip going to Windsor Castle,  Bath and the famous Stonehenge. The trip was 2 hours away from London and its more like a province type. Our guide is an old man named Graham and is really nice guy. During this trip I meet new friends from USA and Singapore, they are Filipinos but based on the said countries. This is one of the best things when you travel. Meeting people and making new friends.

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The next day is my free day, I visited the places I miss during HOHO which are:

Madame Tussaud Museum-

Sherlock Holmes-

 

Kings Cross Station-

Market near Piccadilly Circle-   

Harrods-

And meet some of my neighbors from the Philippines after a decade.

My fourth day was intended for my friends and myself  who loves Harry Potter. I take my time this day as the tour will start in the afternoon and it is also raining that day in the morning. I leave the house after lunch and proceed to the station where I can buy the separate tickets since the studio is far from city proper. Around 1 hour travel by train including the stops . Instructions from the website is correct.The bus was noticeable once you arrive in the area.

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The trip to the studio was fantastic. From how the movie was created. If you are a fan then this is in your bucket list once you visit London. Some of the pictures will be seen in my FB account.

My  travel back to Dubai will be until the evening. So, I have my whole day for the last time to explore London and I have a schedule to meet Mr Dick, Lorie and Charlie which is having a vacation also. I check out early and leave my things in the apartment office.  I just walk around the area.

I have lunch with Mr Dick, Lorie and Charlie and I go with them for their Christmas shopping 🙂 . This is the time  also to catch up with Mr Dick and getting to know Lorie. I have time to play with little Charlie and he is now huge :).  By the afternoon I bid goodbye to the family and head out to airport.

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with Charlie 🙂

The trip to London is a pure Blessing. I really enjoy it. meeting old and new friends and the privilege to explore the place.

 

 

Signing off,

 

labjoy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Singapore-Salad that is well fitted

It can be sweet salad such as fruit salad or it can be a healthy salad like green salad, this is what SINGAPORE is.Small country but all you are looking for can be found here.  Mix of people, with different culture but maintain good relationship with each other. Tourist attractions and a hub to other countries  as well.

I have 4 days/3 nights stopover on my way back to Dubai last May. I meet  2 CS members and we explore Singapore together. Aside from these 2, I also got the chance to talk and get acquainted with people in the hostel where I stay. Morning conversations with them over breakfast is one of the best thing I love on this trip.

No wonder their airport was on the top of  the best. They have a mini orchid inside and I find it relaxing in  the eyes  and also  massage chairs were found everywhere.  Cleanliness -check.  Tourist friendly when it comes to signage and terminal locations. Accessibility also check. As a person travelling to this country it is one of the must.

Upon arrival
Upon arrival

I arrive in Singapore past 6pm and look for the train station going to the hostel where I will be staying. For a budget traveler like me, you can stay at hostels. All basic needs you have will be catered by hostels. Information map in the reception area, breakfast, bed to sleep in, comfort room and showers to freshen up. I roam around Kallang area where I stayed  to look for food as you can see that I don’t have dinner yet.  Well I am always hungry.:)))))

The next day,  after breakfast, I met Alan one of the CS member in the train station and we decided to explore Singapore together. Srivangi the other CS member met us in Esplanade area.

One more thing I notice about Singapore is that they are helping one another when it comes to tourism. If you go online for prices of the attractions its more higher and same with walking in directly to the attraction. While if you go to travel agencies they are giving less prices which means that the attractions and the travel agencies both benefited in this set up. We ended buying tickets in one of the travel agencies in China town. In the afternoon we went to  gardens by the bay for the flower dome and the cloud forest. Here are some of our pictures.

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We  ride the Singapore flyer in the evening  where I got to chance to have discount since I flown through Singapore Airlines and have a membership with them. 🙂

We left the area almost 10pm and plan to meet the following day for our next itinerary which is the Sentosa Island and the Universal Studio.

The following day, we met around 9am in one of the station and proceed to Sentosa Island. It’s a little bit hot but since we are excited for the Universal Studio we manage to fall in the line for the opening of the Theme Park. Just like any other Theme Park, Universal Studio is full of memories specially the rides and the live show which is Water world. I get wet on the Jurassic Park ride and went home with my semi-wet clothes. 🙂

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We left US around 5pm and try to get on the other 2 station of Sentosa where the Male Merlion is situated. W need to go back to the city for the Avatar lights and song as we did not manage to get up in the Avatar in the evening previous day since we wanted to ride the flyer. We decided to to the Avatar after Sentosa.

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Sentosa

After climbing the Avatar where you see some of our pictures in this blog, we decided to watch the Avatar lights and listen to song while lying to our back in the ground. We manage to get a nice spot.

After this we went to Clarke Quay and also Bugis area for last minute strolling before we go on our separate ways. We exchange pictures and agreed to maintain our communication. I arrive hostel late at night but the day is worth it. 🙂

My last day went smooth even it rains before I left Singapore. In the morning I went out and have a quick tour around China town, Orchard and other train station and also for last minute “pasalubong” before I go to the airport.I manage to look for Laksa one of the famous dish in Singapore. I ate this one in one of the stores in China town.

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Laksa.- one of famous food in Singapore

By 1230 noon time I went back to the hostel  to get my things and went straight to the airport. My flight is at 3pm in the afternoon.

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Airport. As usual food lover, so looking for food street

The entire stay is Singapore is really nice. I happen to meet different people with different nationalities and one of the best experience in travelling is that you get to have the privilege to meet new people and share stories and cultures with each others.

There’s my story in travelling  to Singapore. 🙂

 

Signing off,

Labjoy

 

Beauty of Cebu-Surigao and Davao

I have my annual vacation for 15 days in the Philippines and I have manage to insert some activities that I love to do in that limited days given.

I will introduce you to my adventures on the following places I’ve been.

Cebu-

I stayed for 4 days and 3 nights in this place.I was fetch by a family friend in the airport and we headed to where I will be staying- one of my friends who I used to called “Ate ” or big sister.  I just freshen up and after that we started our adventure. First we went to a place called Lantaw and its neighboring  attraction which is the 10000 roses. We just roam around and get some pictures and waited until evening for the led flowers to bloom. :). I ate balot in the street and after that , we look for a place where we can eat “litson baboy-CNT”. After dinner we decided to watch movie. How I miss this things when I was in the Philippines. We went out of the cinema past 11 in the evening and it’s raining hard. :)))). We have little adventure- we ride a jeepney that we thought will proceed directly to my friend’s house , but it turn around and pass by downtown area where the water is half the level of the jeepney where you can almost touch the water. :). We reach home almost 1 in the morning. 🙂

My day two in Cebu is almost meeting church friends and we celebrate one of my dear friends’ birthday. They brought me to the new SM which is called SM Seaside.Its a bigger mall. We ate lunch in Chika-an a Filipino restaurant which  I found “the   favorite ” eating place  of my friends in different circle since they keep on bringing me there  until my last days in the Philippines. :)))  not only in Cebu. By the way, the food is good.

 

 

Day three- I went out with Choche, one of my dearest friend who happens to be my  previous Madame:). Just kidding. We have a whole day trip to South of Cebu, particularly Osmeña Peak and did the canyoneering in Kawasan falls. This is one of the best part of my vacation. My photos will say it for you.

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On our way home we slept in the car to regain strength and we pass by Carcar city to buy litson baboy, to be brought home for dinner.  I stayed in choche’s house together with her niece and sister in law for catching up. After this, I went back to where I stay and pack my things for my early flight the following day. Surigao here I come, is the next place to visit.

 

Surigao-

I and Choche went to the airport together around 6 in the morning since our trip is around 8 in the morning. We waited for our two companion for boarding.

boarding time
Smile before boarding

Around quarter to 10, we landed Butuan airport since this is the closest  airport to our destinations. We contacted a van beforehand for the day trip. We drop by a carenderia to eat since its about lunch time, then after that we travel for around 2 hours going to our first stop which is Tinuy-an Falls.  We automatically change for swimming attire even though we didn’t swim and its impossible to swim due to the current of the water of the falls. We rented the bamboo raft to take us near the water falls and we are contented with the water splashing above us. After rafting  activity we climb more step to see a magnificent  view at the top of the falls. After Tinuy-an we proceed to Enchanted River.

It take one hour from our first stop to the second. We didn’t go for swimming just take some photos of the amazing river and headed to our accommodation, which 2 and a half hour away. We reach San Agustin Resort past 7 in the evening and we waited for our friend who lives nearby for a sumptuous dinner. Seafoods- Yummmmmmmmmy! We chatted and catch up while eating.

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We wake up the following day to the last activity before we leave Surigao and bound for Davao. We will be having our Island Hopping particularly in Britania group of Islands. It was so amazing the the islets are nearby to each other. See the next slide for the pictures.

We checkout to proceed to our next destination which is Davao. We just commute riding a bus from San Agustin to Davao City for about 7 hours travel. During one of the stops we ate our lunch in a carenderia. We arrive Davao almost 6 in the evening and we ride a taxi going home. On our way we just bought litson manok for dinner. We have sleep early due to the tiring activity we have that day.

Davao-

On the next day we have a Davao City Tour which we rented a van to tour us around the city.  We went to the different places such us Philippine Eagle Farm, Home of the current President, Bone Collection Museum, Japanese Tunnel and Chinese Temple. We drop by also at the souvenir  shops in Davinco and eat in Abreeza Mall, one of popular mall in Davao. For Dinner as usual Chika-an. :))). Here are some of the pictures we have.

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Although its a short period of vacation but its worth it. Hoping next year will be another fruitful vacation.

See you next time.

 

Signing Off

 

Labjoy

 

Armenia It Is :)

This is not a new travel but definitely this is one of my favorites.

The budget of every travel we have, with my travel buddy Kuya Steve started with this one.  Two years back , approaching EID Holidays, we planned to travel outside UAE and come up with a budget of AED2500.00.  First choice we have is Bucharest, Romania and started to research about the place. But since there’s visa needed and we find it hassle to get one , we look for alternative  :). Next is Tblisi ,Georgia since that’s the place most of the Filipinos are after. But at that time we find the fare too expensive, until we we meet Armenia.  Then it was fit to our budget. We plan our travel for the said holiday-3days and 2 nights. 🙂

Day 1- Since we travel via Air Arabia and our flight is early morning we stayed in the airport of Sharjah previous night.

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Sharjah Airport

Once we boarded on plane, we are so excited and did not manage to get some sleep. It’s our first time going out of Dubai after loads of work. After 3 hours of travel, we landed safe and sound in Yerevan Airport and people in the plane claps their hands. I have learned that Armenian do that once the plane reach the ground. 🙂

We observe others changing their money into local currency which is drams since the visa area where you have to pay for it do not accept US Dollars. There’s money changer and a machine that looks like atm where you can change your US Dollar to drams. After that we fall in line for visa payment. I have notice that  3 days stay is more expensive than 4 days stay. Even we only stay for 3 days we settled to tell the officer that we are staying for 4 days. 🙂 After that we proceed to the exit area where  Ms Anika of Best Travel is waiting.

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with our beautiful travel contact

We were brought to there office for payment and after that we request to have a quick lunch and headed to our hotel since its almost past 1 in the afternoon.

After lunch we headed to the hostel where we will be staying for 2 nights. We check-in and freshen up. After an hour we were picked-up by our driver and we headed to the first destination the Geghard and Garni.

After an hour of visiting those places we headed back to the hostel to get some rest before we hit dinner. 🙂

The plan is supposed to have a nap but shayne continue her nap into sleeping. hahaha. She wake up the following day. She did not manage to eat dinner. Me and kuya Steve went out and look for food. While walking, people are staring at us. The climate during that time is unpredictable, it will rain then stops, a little bit cold but tolerable. We see a sharwama station and we found out shawarma is cheaper in Armenia than in Dubai.

See: )

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Shawarmaaaaaaa…..

After buying our dinner we drop by a grocery store to buy water and beer for Kuya :). On our way back to the hostel we took a quick shot on the cascade.

Day 2- We wake up early morning and took our turns in using the bathroom for preparing for the day itinerary. We told our driver to pick us at the Cascade since shayne has not been there yet. Its a walking distance from the hostel by the way.

Around 8 in the morning we were pick up by Robert de Niro 🙂 and we are heading on our first destination Noravank Monastery. On our way we pass by some store to get snacks during our long drive. Shayne is sitting at the front. Kuya and me at the back. We are riding a Mercedes Benz with an open top window. I don’t know what you call it. :).

When we arrive at 1st stop, we took picture and explore the area and this is where some of the locals ask picture of us. 🙂

After Noravank , we headed to Khor Virap. This is another monastery and you can see the boundary of Turkey and Armenia. Aside from that is a scenic view of the famous Mt. Ararat(where Noah’s ask is believe to have landed).

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Our destination is far from each other. It take one to two hours drive.  Last stop for the day is Tatev Monastery where we will ride the cable car from one mountain to the other : )……So excited. The travel is so relaxing that we experience weather change and also the scenic view is breathtaking.

When we arrive at Tatev its almost two in the afternoon and we are hungry. Restaurant on that area where we are supposed to eat was closed due to the wedding. They are not allowing us to enter. Our schedule is supposed to be at late in the afternoon and we decided to turn back and look for a place to eat and come back on our scheduled time.  Mr Robert de Niro 🙂 is such a blessing that he manage to get us an earlier schedule which we decided to do it and do the  lunch later.   We are excited especially when the cable car is getting higher. See pictures for our Tatev visit.

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After Tatev we set back to Yerevan City. A long the way we look for a place to eat since we are starving as we didn’t have our lunch yet and is a long way drive again. Here our some photos on our way back. We reach Yerevan at around six thirty in the evening.

After we are drop by in the hostel. We are so tired and need some rest. But it did not stop us to roam around the city. This time shayne is with us and its time to buy some souvenirs. We went out after 30 minutes  of rest. Weather is nice. We look for stores where we can buy shirts, keychains and etc. Normal stuff for “pasalubong”. We also watch the dancing fountain in Republic Square, roam around the area. We decided to take out for the dinner and buy some wine since they are famous for wines. We let kuya choose it the one with less alcohol.  Then we went back to the hostel and have dinner and small talk before we call it a day.

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The next day we wake up early since we will do the paragliding  before we will head to the airport for our flight. We check out and proceed to Lake Sevan where the activity will be held. It was my first time to do paragliding and its a nice experience for me especially up there in the sky and in the open.

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After paragliding we  headed to the airport and just have some quick lunch. The quick lunch was full of food treat by the couple who arrange our tour- Best Travel manage by Ms Anika Yazichyan.  Our trip is memorable and super enjoyed.

The 3 days and 2 nights Armenia Tour was worth it and we got all we wanted. The experience especially on paragliding cannot be measured. We even save money from our budget.

Hope you enjoy our travel.

 

Signing off

 

Labjoy

 

Into the wild

This is my first blog and  I chose this country to represent my first blog since it’s my first time to this continent and seeing wild animals is an adventure like experimenting in making your first blog. :).

I have spend 4 days and 3 nights in Kenya with my friends and their friends. We experience the city and went on a safari in Masai Mara which is a 4 hour drive from the city.

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Addis Ababa connecting flight

On our first day, we arrive almost in the afternoon, so went straight to our hotel and freshen up. After that, roam around the nearby surroundings. Our hotel is located in the busy and crowded place . We are near the bus/van/ station, market, ticket booth , and   people selling street foods. We pass by their tallest building the KICC but did not manage to climb up since it late. On our way back there’s a performer in the street. We stayed for  awhile  and after that we headed back to the hotel.

On the second day, we wake up early since Masai Mara is a long way drive. On the way we stop with the “Great Rift Valley” and had some picture taking. We also have coffee in the area since its too cold.

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Great Rift Valley

We arrive in the camp at around 1pm. After we settled in our corresponding tents, we ate lunch and waited for the group for our afternoon “game drive”  . We went on an open mountain plains in a safari vehicle and try to spot the Big 5 composed of Lion, Elephant, Buffalo, Leopard and Rhinoceros. We manage to see 3 out of it- Lion, Elephant and  Buffalo. Aside from that we saw also different animals like cheetah, dear, wild boar, antelope and etc.By 7pm we headed back to the camp for dinner. After dinner there’s a camp fire where everyone in the camp is free to join. There are Masai men roaming around the place in case there are  wild animals that are astray. 🙂

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On the third day,my roommate I and wake up early to witness the sunrise. We are the 2 models on the picture -sunrise,2 girls and 2 trees :).

After that we headed back to the camp and have our breakfast and prepare for the Masai Mara Village Tour. We have learned a lot how they live as a village and show us their houses. They were happy when tourist come because they knew they will have money for  buying food. We buy some souvenir that they made in order to help them.

By 10am, we travel back to the city. We stop in this one area where have our lunch and proceed to the city.  Since, we arrive at Sunday, they have this place where all the things for souvenir is seen.

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Pasalubong! 🙂

We drop by  for an hour and headed back to the hotel. We have another hour to rest before we will have our dinner “CARNIVORE”- a famous restaurant where they serve grilled meat from the game drive.  It’s unlimited and they will keep on putting it into your plate until you turn the flag upside down.:)))). It is very interesting since we have tried rabbit , ostrich testicle/balls, turkey, chicken, pork, oh I forgot the other weird taste meat.hahahah. :).. This is how our  third day end.

On our last day, we went to KICC (Kenya International Convention Center), and the guard informed us that we are the first Filipinos in  their list of visitors who went up. We spent around 10 minutes at the top and went down.We keep on roaming around and was amaze by storks flying around the city. You can hear their wings when flying back to their nest on the trees around us. :))) People were looking at us too :).  There’s an event during that day and we saw mothers carrying their children with paint in the faces and some wear costumes. We stop in one area to rest and there were teenagers both boys and girls who approach  us and ask  to have some picture with us. :))) We became celebrity at that moment-left and right for picture. )))). One guy wants us to take note Instagram  account since our pictures is clearer in our cameras. hahahaha. 🙂

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In the afternoon it’s time to go to the airport for departure back to Dubai. Oh and by the way the person in the check in counter show us a newspaper where our President was featured and I’m sorry I forgot to take a photo of the newspaper.

What a great place to visit.

See you on the next blog.

 

Signing off,

Labjoy

 

 

 

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