Maldives: A Quick Travel Guide – Adaaran Prestige Vadooh Island Resort

One of the most exciting place we’ve been to in our Maldives Trip is this Adaaran Prestige Vadoo Island Resort. Adaaran is a small island resort that you can walk around for two minutes. But the place’s view is just breathtaking. What’s great too is that the fee ($100) includes everything (yes including the transport by speedboat) .

FREE FOOD – buffet lunch – at 1:00 PM
FREE Drinks – from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM – yes, that includes Wines and Beers!!!
FREE WIFI – the entire island is Wifi Zone.

If you want to have some relaxing experience you can also avail of their SPA services.

If you want to eat ahead of time they have a Japanese restaurant.

They have a volleyball court.

The entire island is just great for snorkelling.

They have a swimming pool.

They have a watersports centre.

They have beach tanning bed across the island.

They will also give you those huge umbrellas if you want for the beach.

I am sharing below some of the photos we’ve taken in this beautiful Island Resort.

Look for this sign and book your trips with them. Very reliable. On time. Reasonable price. 

One of the things I really want to see in Maldives. This!

A swimming pool just right infront of the beach. So either you take a dip here, or get soaked in the beach. Your choice. 

My kind of R&R!

Modeling 101.

During the day, we chanced upon their celebration of World Tourism Day, and we were invited to participate. Each year, they celebrate and they do this, PLANTING! Yep, we were able to plant flowers in the island.

And of course, it’s a tropical country, we planted Coconuts too!

Inside the island resort are stunning landscapes.

If you want to enjoy the island SPA. Just get here.

When in Adaaran, do not miss the fish feeding. This was one of the reasons we picked this one. Because we can’t afford to swim with the sharks, at least we get to see them fed in this island. And we saw not just sharks, some fish too.

Drank so much wine in the island, it’s BEACH + WINE! So  yeah, I got a little dizzy. To shrug off the dizziness I dipped in the pool, and yeah, she’s on it too!

BEACH-ing in the MALDIVES!

You can’t miss the sunset too! It’s just awesome to the extreme level.

What’s available on their FREE Drinks?

At some point, I needed to check something. Work follows the worker. LOL! 

This is a romantic spot. Nope, we did not eat at this table, but you can. Arrange your dinner with the resort management.

In connection to the World Tourism Day celebration, we were able to join their event at night. 

We just can’t get enough of the back ground.

This was the ceremonial cutting of the cake. Guests in this resort were from various countries, Koreans, Egyptians, and well Filipinos. I think I heard people speaking Spanish too. 

This was before we bid good bye to Adaaran, we took a picture with the “band”? 

Adaaran Prestige in Vadoo was my share of “living-the-time-of-my-life” moments. This was really what I envisioned to experience. Everything was just GREAT!

Thank you Adaaran! So long! See you again. One day. I know, I shall return.

#doroexplorero #doroadventures #dorolakwatsero #Maldives #AdaaranPrestige #VadoohIsland #Resort #budget #pool #beach 

Maldives: A Quick Travel Guide BIYADHOO ISLAND – for Pinoy and Foreigners

That’s the clock when we arrived in Biyadhoo Island Resort. Yes, Biyadhoo is one hour ahead of Maafushi and Maafushi is three hours behind Philippines.

At the entrance of this resort, you will be greeted by their staff, and you’ll be led to the reception area where you have to pay for the entrance.

Biyadhoo is an Island Resort. You cannot just pop up and enjoy the beach, you have to pay entrance fee of $48 per person which includes your buffet lunch.

After paying for our entrance fee, we were given a little orientation of the island, DO’s and DONT’s. Then we’re ushered towards the scenic view of the BEAAAACH!!!

We had to feel the BEACH first, relaxing under a shed. Just looking at the sea and the breeze just feels so fresh and relaxing. BUT we can’t help it, we just hit the beach!

We had the whole day to spend in this beautiful island. So we took some rest every once in a while. 🙂

Then I got covered. Literally covered by the sand!

 Then we decided to roam around the island.

 You will notice nature! Even the flowers? Ako pa talaga mahilig sa flowers oh!

 YOLO-ing in the beach! We’ve found a secret place in the area! LOL!

 

Where to EAT? at Biyadhoo’s Palm Restaurant. This was included in our fee, so we don’t have to pay for anything, we can just eat anything! Buffet lunch it is!

Funny about our experience is that we were the only Asian in the restaurant when we entered (except for the Maldivian crew), the rest are European or American. I don’t know what it was with us, because they were really looking intently at us? Haha

If you want to arrange a romantic dinner with your honey, you can refer to their packages and prices below:

They also have a spa, in case you want some relaxing spa sessions:

Outside the Palm Restaurant is also this gorgeous view!

Photo op session in a secluded area! Blagir!

Beach with emotions!

In this island we enjoyed snorkelling so much, because it’s really just within your reach. Just a few steps from the shore, fish and reefs are there. So do not forget to bring your snorkelling gears!

Take a lot of photos! Enjoy the entire area!

For summary of costs and how to get to Maldives, check this out.
Got questions regarding this Island? Drop them at the comments section below. Happy exploring!

#doroexplorero #dorolakwatsero #doroadventures #laagAsia #suroyWorld #Maldives #Maldives2016 #BiyadhooIslandResort

Maldives: A Quick Travel Guide Summary for Pinoy and Foreigners

More than two years ago, I believe, a friend of mine, out of the blue, reconnected with me. He said he’s up to something, and he wants me to join the group. I was curious, but I do have my reservations. I went with him in a so called “meet-up” and was introduced to a bunch of crazy beautiful people. Meet-ups were followed by more incidences of get-together. Until so much have been shared and I was educated and learned a lot. There’s one thing in that group that has lead me, somehow, to realize this dream. I was affirmed that “I can”.
Yes, one of the important lessons I’ve learned is that if I would truly believe in something, ask of it, as if it’s already received, it shall become a reality. Sounds like a bible verse right? And yes, it’s true, whether you heard it from me first time, from the bible or from someone else, I am telling you it’s true. 
So, this is the story of our Maldives dream come true.
I have noticed Maldives as a great destination, I did try looking into the details of it, but seems very impossible at that time. Financially and geographically. I’ve never been that far, I told myself then. But because I wanted to go there, when my friend told me to write those things I wanted, I did include it. I didn’t have any idea how it’s going to happen, or whether it’s possible or not. I just wrote it.
Then I started noticing friends of mine going to Maldives, I saw their pictures, and I said, to myself, I will go there, one day. Still, didn’t have any idea how. But I did say, I will go there. Months passed, I asked around, and got the same answers, it’s almost impossible for me to get there. Then there was this trip to one of the great islands here in the Philippines called Sohoton. I met Sir Tony, he’s been to Maldives, and unlike the rest of the answers I’ve previously received, his was enthusiastically geared towards convincing me I can. So I asked more questions, and he eagerly answered as if with the presumption of possibility. I was taking mental notes, and soon as I get back home from Sohoton I secretly searched for Maldives again, flights, trips, resorts and hotels/inns/guesthouses. I almost every week check online cheaper flights going there, and yes, in one of those occasions I was able to book a flight going there. 
Now let’s get to how to get there:
Our route was from PH to Singapore then Singapore to Maldives. Return will be Maldives to Singapore then Singapore to PH. 
I recently wrote about our Singapore trip with my family, and yes, this was connected, when Mom and my youngest sis went home, we headed to Maldives.
1) I booked a ticket from Davao PH to Singapore via Cebu Pacific (one way). This was back in March.
2) I booked a ticket from Singapore to Maldives via Tiger Air (roundtrip). This was back in April.
3) I booked a ticket from Singapore to Davao PH via Cebu Pacific (one way). This was back in April. 
If you noticed, I have already booked months ahead. This is because I always take chances on booking for cheaper flights. Although there were some issues with my Tiger Air flight, which cost me I believe more than what it should be. But it’s alright. At least, I’ve already booked it. 
So it wasn’t that hard after all. Easy route. I did hear that some people from other countries and places are not going to SG for Maldives, some are going through Sri Lanka then Sri Lanka to Maldives. Since, I have not searched about Sri Lanka, and haven’t been there (although I want to be there, again, one day) I did not search Sri Lankan airfare, I only searched SG details.
Since I already have the tickets to go there, the next question is, how much? This is where Sir Tony’s knowledge were very helpful, yes, extremely helpful. I have retrieved those mental notes, and searched again over the internet some places to stay. I did use AirBnb for our Male’ stay. Then I booked in hotels of each island where we stayed. Before we get to the costs, let me just give you some preview.
1) Your landing in Maldives will be at the Airport, near Male’. I believe 10  minutes to 15 minutes ferry ride. If you’re traveling on a Friday, please check with your host/hotel if there is a ferry from the airport to the capital, i.e. Male’.   
This is the beach in Male, where you can see, locals and tourists are diving in. They just love the water! So refreshing. Take note, this is in Male’ City. The infrastructure you would see in this picture is the bridge that Maldivian government and China is collaborating on building, in it is a sign that says “China Maldives Everlasting Friendship”. (May FOREVER).
2) There’s a good surf beach in Male’, but as of the moment, it’s closed since they are building the “bridge” from Airport to Male. So, there’s not much to see in Male, but if you do want to roam around the following might be helpful. (Details given by Nazmee our host, credits to him).
  • Hukuru Miskiiy (Old Friday Mosque) – you can go inside the mosque and see the beauty, the ideal time to visit is morning 09:30 am to 11:15 am before the mid prayer. It was built in the 1400 centuries. Nearby there is a cemetery of Sultans. It is opposite of the President’s residence (Mulee Aage).
  • Male’ Fish Market – is a nice way to see how the locals live. This is even more so for an Island nation like the Maldives. But it is important to go early. Like most fish market, most catches are gone by eleven or so. There are also other markets nearby so you won’t waste your time. It is not just fish!
  • Grad Friday Mosque – a visit to Male’ can not be complete without a visit to grand mosque. Next to the sultan Park. Very huge and wonderful to see. Very clean and silent place.
  • National Museum – the museum covers how Maldivians live, the evolution of their writing system, weapons, coins and bank notes, and more.
  • Male’ Local Market – you can see the local life of Male’ in this market. It is located near the fish market and beach. You will find different vegetables from Male’ and other countries. Lots of people visit this place. Fresh vegetables can be seen. Dry fish market also attached to the Male’ Local Market.
  • Mulee Aage – this is one of the landmark sights in Male’. It is a well kept very nice square with a gigantic flagpole with the Maldivian Flag. It is in the centre of the city close to the Islamic centre, the fish market and the Main Jetty. 
  • Sultan Park – this was the King’s (Sultan) palace when Maldives was a sultanate. It is a nice park in a little area of the city where space is limited. The park was not so special but it is nice to visit, sit and relax.  Most of the tourist attractions are in the same area where souvenir shops are located. 
  • NOTE: Ask the driver to drop you to that area. Because all the places are in walking distance. Won’t take even five minutes to go from one place to another. It will be a waste of money if you hire a taxi to do all those above. 

3) The Maldives is an archipelago, several islands across the country. And there are island resorts nearby Male’, the capital. In one of my searches, even on a facebook post, Gulhi is one good place, then Maafushi, then there’s Fulidhoo, there’s Fihalhohi and other islands. You can choose to stay in just one island for the entire duration of your stay, or you can go one island form the other for the entire duration of your Maldives trip. We did go to different islands.

Summary of our Maldives Trip is as follows:
1) Male’ – one day – we arrived late in the evening so we had to relax, and I have to do some work, since Friday is payday for one of my clients. So, I had to do some payroll. But yeah, we still manage to capture some beautiful spots, like the photo below. Then we went to the islands the following day.

2) Gulhi – one day.
Taken at the port/harbour of Gulhi Island. As soon as we set foot, we had this photo taken.

A snapshot of the bikini beach view in K. Gulhi.

3) Maafushi – 3 nights.
This was near the port, in front of the Sunset Cafe.

A little hut of at the front row of Maafushi.
4) Biyadhoo Island – one day.


5) Adaaran Prestige Resort – one day.

Some of you by now are maybe annoyed, you just want to check out the budget? How much does it cost to have this Maldives Trip? MAGKANO BA TALAGA SA MALDIVES? (Capslock para intense!)
Conversion Rates as of this trip:
1 MVR = 3.06 Php
1 USD = 15.42 MVR
1 USD = P47 or P48 or P46 (really depends on the days you’d be there) 
TRAVEL COST:
I have to tell you that you could get cheaper deals than this. But these are actual costs that we’ve incurred during this trip. 
  1. Flight from Davao PH to Singapore via Cebu Pacific- Php1,650.00 (2 pax)
  2. Flight from Singapore to Davao PH via Cebu Pacific – SGD 186.00 or approx Php 6,696.00
  3. Flight from Singapore to Male, Maldives and vice versa via Tiger Air  – SGD 872.91 or approx Php31,424.76
  4. Ibrahim Nassir International Airport to Male’ – $15/person – Php2,760.00 (2 pax)
  5. Male’ to Gulhi Island – MVR40.00 or Php122.40 or approx $2.00 (2 pax)
  6. Gulhi Island to Maafushi Island – $15/person – Php2,760.00 (2 pax)
  7. Maafushi Island to Biyadhoo Island and vice versa- $30/person – Php5,520.00 (2pax)
  8. Maafushi Island to Male’ – $3/person or MVR45 or Php275.00 (2 pax)
  9. Male’ to Airport – MVR15/person or Php91.08
  10. TOTAL Travel Cost: Php51,299.24 (2 pax) or Php25,649.62 per pax

Our flight from Davao PH to Singapore was a promo that’s why it’s way cheaper that’s good for two persons. Even the Singapore to Davao PH flight was also a promo. Keep checking every time Cebu Pacific announces promo. Note too that our flights are booked separately. I believe sometimes, promo are not available if you search for two passengers, but when you book individually, promo fares appears (I could be wrong, but this is my observation).

Tiger air also have promos, a lot of promos actually, my ticket was booked months before the flight and it’s more expensive than that of my girlfriend’s ticket that was booked days before the flight. The SGD 872.91 is already the sum of the two tickets (roundtrip) to Maldives via Tiger air. I think this could even go down by SGD $100 if you book at the right time. Timing is key. Keep checking. If you really want it, you will find it!
If you think you can manage to meet your host at the Male’ ferry port, do not arrange for $15.00 
ENTRANCE FEES/EXCURSIONS:
  1. Biyadhoo Island – $48.00/pax or Php4,416.00 approx (2 pax)
  2. Adaaran Island – $100/pax or Php9,200 approx (2 pax)
  3. Sand Bar + Snorkelling – $70 for 2 pax or approx Php3,220
  4. TOTAL Entrance Fees: $148/pax or Php16,836.00 
ACCOMMODATION:
  1. Stayed 1 Night Male’ – again I use AirBnb with Nazmee and Athoa as our hosts – if you want to check out their listing it’s here. You can avail of around Php1,500 upto Php2,000 per night in the city. Or even lower, depending on the demand or season. Your host would usually pick you up at the ferry port/terminal either for free or for a fee. Just ask ahead of time. There’s a bit of advantage when Nazmee came to fetch us at the airport as I have already shared to him my blogsite and he is quite familiar with my face that he’s recognized me as soon as he’s seen me. So, in your case, you might want to arrange to just have a placard with your name on it, so you’d be able to meet easily at the airport and guide you through to your destination. 
  2. Stayed 1 Night in Gulhi – we arrived in Gulhi in the afternoon, we left the following day evening. Cost is Php2,886.00 (breakfast included) one bed room for two guests.
  3. Stayed 3 Nights in Maafushi – we arrived in the evening in Maafushi, and the cost per night is around Php2,100 for two persons a total of Php6,300.00
  4. TOTAL Accommodation Cost: Php11,186.00 for 2 pax.
FOOD:
This is a little bit tricky, yes, because it depends on your food taste, appetite and budget. 
  1. In Male’ there’s really a wide array of restaurants and you can roam around for food, but most beach front restaurant are pricey because they are for middle class working Maldivians and tourists. You can eat at around MVR90 to MVR110 per person per meal.
  2. In Gulhi food are cheaper MVR50 per person to MVR 60 per person per meal.
  3. In Maafushi food are also cheaper like Gulhi around MVR50 per person to MVR60 per person per meal.
  4. In Biyadooh Island food is included in the $48.00 (buffet lunch).
  5. In Adaaran Prestige food is included in $100 (buffet lunch).
  6. TOTAL Estimated Cost: Php4,000.00 approximately (2 pax).
NOTE: Food prices might exclude taxes, so ask your retaurant/cafe or look into the menu and check if it already include the taxes or excludes taxes. There are two taxes Local and National Taxes that would reach up to 30%.
TIPS:
  1. I find it more economical to just exchange money in Maldives or better yet, withdraw from your visa debit card the amount you think you would need. They accept both MVR or USD. 
  2. Note though that some establishments would charge 3.5% or 5% on top of the price for CARD Processing Fee. I still used card since withdrawing in Bank of Maldives would be higher at times, specially if the item or purchase is a small amount while bank would charge fixed $3/transaction regardless of withdrawn amount. 
  3. It’s always good to bring your card along, most stores accept card, and resorts like Biyadooh and Adaaran only accept USD or card payment (yes, no MVR).
  4. There’s no bank in Gulhi or ATM.
  5. Always ask if you don’t know something, Maldivians are happy to help.
  6. If you go to resorts, ask if they have free snorkelling gears or not, since most of your accommodation guesthouses or hotels provides free beach towels and snorkelling gears.
  7. Decide ahead of time what you want to see or do in Maldives.
  8. Bring your high-powered camera, but iPhones do great jobs in morning photos as well.
  9. Before leaving Maldives, exchange your MVR to USD as there might be no money changer who would accept your MVR in another country. In my case, I had to keep MVR570+ as souvenir as I did not realize this one.
  10. Always be on time, if the schedule for your trip. Speed boats or public ferries usually comes and leaves on time. Unless some fortuitous event happened, they are usually right on time.
  11. If you miss your booking, you might have to pay a fortune just to get to the destination.
  12. You can also ask favor from your guesthouses say requesting which type of breakfast you would want.  
  13. Be mindful of the fact that this is a Muslim area, so PDA is not so good when in public places, and use appropriate clothes, except in bikini beaches where yeah “bikinis” are obviously, allowed. As you go out of the “bikini beach” please wear back your appropriate clothes.
  14. Read and plan your itinerary, it would save you time and money.
  15. There are no public ferries on Fridays.
  16. Check the public ferry schedule before you book your trips, so you could save on transfers. Speedboats could cost you from $180 to $200 per pax if you would have a chartered one. You can check it at their MTCC website.
  17. Screenshot it and save it in your phone: 
  18. Some resorts do have free transport but you have to arrange ahead of time, that’s because if you book for an overnight stay in their resorts, it would really cost a fortune. 
  19. To cut costs, it’s way cheaper to book your overnight stays in either Maafushi or Gulhi or any other inhabited islands, where locals live, as there are inns and guesthouses where you can book almost like PH prices of hotels and inns. Then go to resorts on excursions/day tours.
  20. If you want to communicate with your host, without incurring so much cost you can buy an Ooreedoo Sim for MVR30.00 and top up for MVR100 you can use internet on your smartphone by registering to their unlimited promo + unlimited call and text. Lesser cost, than with Globe’s Php300/mb. 
  21. Our hosts don’t use much of Whatsapp (unlike in SG), but they use usually Viber. So you can use your internet on your smartphone in communicating or you can just call or text them using your Ooreedoo sim. 
Summary:

Airfare + Transfers + Travel Costs =  Php51,299.24
Entrance Fees = Php13,616.00
Accommodation Cost = Php11,186.00
Food Cost = Php4,500
Total Cost = Php83,821.24 for 2 pax or Php41,910.62 (ALL IN)

I did saw a post saying they were able to manage to stay in the Maldives for 9 days at around less than Php25,000 excluding airfare, when I looked into the details there were some tricky details you need to consider, why the cost I listed above are seeming way too high than that of theirs. BUT please be informed, I used the info they posted, it was really helpful. Here are the details you might have missed in their breakdown:

  1. There was a 3-night stay that was free of charge because of their friend.  
  2. And that their airfare was around P19,000 from SG to Maldives.
  3. Since we came from Phil, I still have to include the cost of Davao PH to SG airfare.
  4. The breakdown I wrote here is for 5 days stay in The Maldives, no-free accommodation and including airfare. Again, you might want to check other airlines, they may have some promo too. 
Check out airfares at:

But the best thing to do, is set aside a budget. Book the ticket, and compel yourselves to set-aside from your monthly income the money you need for this trip! I’ve written exhaustively the cost breakdown, and if I was able to make it, I really believe you can too! You already have the information, it’s up to you how to use it! 
NOTE: We’ve only gone to Male, Gulhi, Maafushi, Biyadhoo and Adaaran Prestige Vadoo Island. Cost would be more if you go to more places. 

  1. What’s in Gulhi? click here.
  2. What’s in Maafushi? click here.
  3. What’s in Biyadhoo? click here.
  4. What’s in Adaaran? click here.
Do you still have questions in mind? Please feel free to drop your comments below and I’d be happy to answer or help. 

Adventures in Cu Chi Tunnel: What’s In There? What To See and Experience in Cu Chi?

After our city tour and I’ve posted pictures on my instagram and facebook pages, my friend popped me a message on messenger and told me to visit Cuchi Tunnel. And I have no idea I could go there. Wasn’t sure that it’s a few hours away from Saigon. I asked him the details and he gave me the idea that it’s possible to visit. I said, we’d go there, and that we’d set a schedule. And we did.

While I didn’t have the slightest idea what’s in there, I am thankful I did decide to visit Cuchi Tunnel. If you’re in Ho Chi Minh, please, do visit Cuchi Tunnel. It’s really one worthy journey. So let me share some of the things we’ve seen there, and why I think you should visit it too.

On the way to the Cu Chi Tunnel, we dropped by a handicraft store. It showcases various crafts for interior designs. If I only have the means, I’d love to bring back home a lot of them. They’re really great designs.

Then we were given our tickets to enter the area. Yep! We arrived safely at the Cu Chi tunnel.

First spot was one of the traps that the Vietnamese used against the Americans during the war times. It’s camouflaged like grass but one could go directly into their way to hell once they stepped on to it. Those pointed objects could surely pierce through your body.

Everyone’s checking it out. Yep, we’re with different tourists/travelers from across the world, you’d notice in the pic below.

The Americans usually drop bombs almost every where. And yes, the evidence of those are these “bomb craters”, they still exist up to this date.

There are also funnels that the Vietnamese created so they could breath. It would look like beehives.

And we tried entering the tunnels. It’s an enlarged versions so our brothers from other countries (not Asian, and relatively bigger built, would be able to experience it. Here’s a photo of it below.

And yeah, I did try. Haha just so I could experience it. Nothing beats experience right? I did fit in.

That satisfied smile of mine. 

Entrances to the tunnels were also shown.

And there are life-size statues of Vietnamese soldiers that we could take fun photos of.

This is a real war tanker! I couldn’t even lift that i-dunno-what-they-call-it. It’s really heavy!

What really amazes me is the ingenuity of their strategies and traps. Apart from being able to get arms coming from Americans, they set up traps that could really help them survive. Below are the different traps that they set-up in different locations.

Sticking trap, once you stepped in, you’ll get inside a man-hole and you’ll be pierced by those pointed objects all over your body. I doubt if you could survive. It’s not like it’s acupuncture. It’s way larger and deadly.

As obvious as it’s name, here’s the “Clipping Armpit Trap”.

Almost like the Clipping Armpit but a bit more deadly.

Windows aren’t safe either.

You couldn’t sit either. Careful not to sit in a folding chair trap.

Three pointed objects to kill you is this “Swinging Up Trap”

We were then taken to a bunker where the Vietnamese innovate, repair and redesign weapons and tools theygot from the fights they’ve had with the Americans.

Then we were lead to the “shooting range” where you can get the feels of firing gun, reminiscing the war time. But it’s not included in the package, so you’d have to pay extra.

While waiting for those who tried the “firing”or “shooting”, we also enjoyed looking at some souvenir items in the shop.

On our way back, we were led to the tunnel which would lead us back to the entrance. We were informed that there are exits every couple of meters should we not survive the heat or should we be suddenly attacked by claustrophobia.

Again, our tour and my experience wouldn’t be complete without actually going in there. So, yes! We tried getting in there.

And that ends our Cu Chi Tunnel experience. It was such an informative and exciting experience. I am not a fan of Vietnamese, until I get to experience Cu Chi Tunnel. So yes, this is a must try. This is a must visit place for one who visits Vietnam.

What about you? Have you been to Cu Chi Tunnel? What was your experience like?

Hong Kong Travel Guide (Not Your Usual Places To Visit In Hong Kong But Worth All Your Time)

Hello guys! I am writing again! C’mon! It’s March, and yes, this is my first in the 3rd month of the year. Been a while. Been caught up with a lot of tasks and jobs. I haven’t been traveling for quite some time now, but my mind traveled a lot. I mean, while I am in one place, my mind is wandering and wondering. Yes. I have a wanderlust. I am a wanderlust. Yep!

So, as I was also revisiting photos on my gadgets, I missed traveling. I missed being in a place I have never been to before. I miss boarding on a plane, I missed the stairways, the railways, the traffic, the nature and everything that I encounter in traveling. To somehow mitigate the feeling of missing, I have decided to do this blog.

What am I gonna share? Well, I wanted to share some other things in Hong Kong that may not be part of your Hong Kong City Tour and your Macau City Tour or Disney and Ocean Park. There are other places you can visit in Hong Kong if you have time.

In our case (me and mom) we had a free day before we leave for home. I have contacted a good friend of mine Rhea to be our tour guide on the said date. She too loves wandering. So, she decided to pick us up at the hotel as we don’t know the directions going to the places she mentioned we’d go to. True enough, we were not brought to the typical places of Hong Kong that we usually see in the picture.

Our first stop was in Diamond Hill. Just a few steps from the train station and we’re in the Nan Lian Garden. It’s quite a place to stop. There are structures of Chinese Architecture and a mini Museum, a Garden and well Temples!!! My mom is really happiest when she’s in a temple. She’s a lover of Buddha, of everything that is taught by Chinese people for prosperity and luck. She’s a fan!

The Nan Lian Garden in Diamond Hill is really a great place to visit! Plus, it’s FREE!!! Yep, you’ve read it right, we didn’t pay a dime to get in. And it’s one great destination for travellers like us. 🙂

I will be sharing the photos below, so you would have an idea.

Mom was really happy to see all those green leaves (natural) plants around. She can’t help but ask a photo of us. 

And she’s a fan of the writing in a different way, like this? Yep, was it chinese or something? But it doesn’t matter, she wants a picture with it too!

And look at those trees! Aren’t they great for our eyes? 

Mom couldn’t have it pass without her in the picture! 🙂 Smile mom and Rhea! Even if it’s under the heat of the sun! 🙂

At the entrance of their Museum! One kind foreigner (white) stranger looked at us happily taking pictures, then she volunteered “do you want me to take a picture of you three?” She needed no request, she felt the need and she responded. Haha thanks to you Ma’am! 🙂

Mom, nailed the choreograph! Don’t you think? 🙂

And she does pose like this? Seriously? Haha that’s my mom! 🙂

Another great view on the other side of the 

She said she was tired, so we sat, but what else do we do when we rest? Of course, you guessed it right! Selfie! Pictures once again! 🙂

Like a Chinese smile! 🙂 

Our next stop was the Ten Thousand Buddhas! Yes, that’s a lot of Buddhas! So off we go to the train station!

At the entrance of course, you’d start seeing the Buddhas of different poses, style or posture. 

As this is not a usual Hong Kong City Tour destination, you can expect that this is not soooo crowded unlike the other places. 

We can take pictures like it’s just us in the place. 🙂

Along the way up, are Buddhas every step of the way! Yes! EVERY STEP literally. 

This is a photo at the entrance at the top!

Look, how happy mom is! 

This is when your mom is cool for fun shots!

Hey mom! Smile again! 🙂

Did I say wacky pose?

Of skies, geenery, and temples! 🙂

Back to the mall, where we had our quick lunch!
Then our next stop is the 1881 Heritage! This place is a bit crowded, but you can still take pictures around. It’s a great place of like English theme I believe. It’s a huge structure where everywhere is pose-worthy. Such a good place to visit as well. You can take profile-able pictures. Haha

Mom’s the coolest with fun shots. She knows what she’s doing eh? 🙂

And look at her, made me carry her hand bag so she could pose properly. LOL

Like a magazine photo cover model! 
A few steps away from the Heritage is the port, where you can actually get on board on a ferry to get to the other side. Instead of taking the train, we opted to ride the ferry boat. It’s a 15 minutes ride and we’re back near the hotel. 🙂 I forgot the port’s name, but it should be very well known to locals if you’d ask. Even known to foreigners as well. 

I had to take a picture of this cruise ship. One of my dreams is to actually be on a cruise ship one day. So this is a good sign! 🙂

End of the Day Hong Kong Tour was the dinner at a restaurant of my friend’s choice. Had to fill our tummies after a long day of wandering! Hai! Itadakimasu! 🙂

I am sharing below the photos I had with mom. Some of the great photos we’ve taken during the day! 

There you go, the top 3 spots you can visit which is not included in a typical Hong Kong City tour, but is visit-worthy. I had more fun having this tour with my friend Rhea. It’s great when you are in control of the time and places. You can go whichever place you want to go first, and then set the entire day’s itinerary to your preference. 
This not-so-ordinary Hong Kong Tour Day is one of the best days I’ve spent in HK, perhaps because, I’d rather have control of the travel rather than have a tour guide dictating what time to leave, and where to go next. 
Summary:
1. Drop off train station is Diamond Hill. Walk towards the Nan Lian Garden. Few steps away.
2. Explore Nan Lian Garden, it’s a wide structure with Museum, Garden, Park, Temples all around. We spent almost half of the day here.
3. Go to the Ten Thousand Buddhas. Walk towards the top! Yes! Thousand of Buddhas you can take selfies with. 
4. The 1881 Heritage. Take all the pictures you want. You can also shop nearby. This is within the city there are nearby malls and stores. There are boutiques nearby. 
It’s worth the day spent in these destinations. And yes, it’s part of Hong Kong! 
#doroexplorero #dorolakwatsero #laagAsia #suroyWorld #doroadventures #HKTour #HKTravel #Travel2015

El Nido: Tour C (Helicopter Island, Hidden Beach, Star Beach, Matinloc Shrine, Secret Beach)

In our El Nido trip, we had spent two days, and two nights. We availed two tour packages one is for Tour A which I wrote about here and we had Tour C. This is what I am writing about here now. 🙂 

I did wonder if we could have a cheaper trip if we don’t avail the package, but I believe (in humble opinion) we were better off with this package. Reason being, the tourism office of El Nido has imposed standardized rates. This is better, as each tour operators won’t overprice and rip off each tourist going on an island hopping. Tours have been standardized and tariffs were displayed prominently in each establishment. So yes, it was a great tour package we’ve availed. 

I know, not everyone is concerned about the price, but let me tell you the price it’s for P1,400 or around US $30.00 per person. Not bad for five islands to visit. 

First stop, Helicopter Island! When asked why it’s called helicopter island, the simple answer and reason is because it looks (shaped) like a helicopter. It does resemble the helicopter. It was a quick stop. We did some photo op. Group picture with the classmates! haha of course, I needed to plunge! Advantage of growing up jumping (yeah not diving) into sea water, almost every day, I can easily jump off the boat. haha plunge into the blue-green sea water! But I guess, I took a better shot of my friend’s jump. Look at her!




Next stop, we had the Hidden Beach! Yes, it’s hidden because you’ll be dropped off on a rock formation, then you’ll have to walk towards the inside of something like an open cave. When you get in, you’ll find that there is a beautiful place inside. Yes, it’s hidden and yes, it’s beautiful! We did some crazy photos here!








Third stop was Star Beach. This is where we had our delicious lunch. As usual. It’s a bit late, but yes, it’s worth the wait. The cook of our boat is actually doing a great job in the food. Thumbs up on the culinary abilities! It’s my personal humble opinion, that they (he) can cook well. If you’d ask what’s in the Star Beach, we didn’t have much to explore here. There’s just white sand where you can do some sun-bathing then, you can also take a lot of pictures with different greatly shaped rock formations. There are areas where you can shoot some photos that would look like you are on top of a rock in a high mountain or you’re on an edge of a cliff. Other than those, I don’t remember much but the food! haha 




The food has its place on this post! It has to be a highlight! 🙂 It’s FEAST day in each tour! 

And we can’t let the food pass without our class picture! hahaha Boat-mates! Ready, 1, 2, 3, click!


Next stop was Matinloc Shrine, as narrated by the guide, this place was owned by a foreigner (yes not Pinoy) with a Filipina (the wife) whose relationship got shaky and when they eventually split up, the shrine was left not properly maintained. But the beauty of the place, structures and foundations of different areas were still there, and you can still take photos that would really look great on pictures. Plus, you have to climb up a rock formation, this time, bring your selfie-pod, or monopod, or something, or better Go-pro! Yes, because at the top of the rock formation (I hope you’re not afraid of heights), you can take a breathtaking picture! Some (most) people did climb up (that includes me). Amazing view! Although, we were not able to take a stunning photo. We were all afraid of heights. haha


Last stop was Secret Beach! Okay, unlike the Secret Lagoon, this was a bliss! The place was where I really just lie down the sand, enjoy the breeze, the sun’s not-so-bright shine, the sight of rock formations, and nature. This is inside a cave like rock formations, and yes, you have to swim to get here. But was worth all the effort. I enjoyed this place. Here, you can just sit, talk with friends, enjoy the water, the sand, the sun, the air. And reconnect with the universe! Crazy shots are also made here.

Going back to the main island, we were already exhausted but we all enjoyed the tour. Island hopping it is! The boat ride back to the shore was an adventure. Larger waves were rocking our tiny boat. Some of our boat-mates were already afraid, while we keep enjoying every roller-coaster-like rocking of the boat.  So, to Palawan! To El Nido! Thank you! I totally enjoyed you! I’m definitely coming back for Coron, or even still, El Nido! 🙂 

To Jeff, to Cling, and the rest of the crew Kudos! Job well done! We enjoyed the tour because you guys are awesome guides!

How about you? What’s your latest naturescape? What’s your latest adventure? How do you like island hopping? How does food trip in the beach sounds like? 

Share with me your adventures! Maybe I’ll join you too! 🙂

#doroexplorero #dorolakwatsero #doroadventures #laagAsia #suroyWorld #laagPinas #ElNido #TourCPackage #PalawanPH #PalawanPH2k15 #Travel2k15

9 Things You Need To Know Before You Avail A Tour Package (Hongkong-Macau Tour Packages)

A lot of people availed of tour packages, one because they want convenience (same reason I do), and two, sometimes they’re cheaper. That’s because you get to share the cost. Also, tour package could be a good way to explore the place when you are not yet so acquainted with the area, less risky. Furthermore, tour packages gets you to places in a short period of time. But let’s face it, there’s more to the place than that included in the tour.  That is why, if you have more time, and if your energy allows it, Do-It-Yourself is still best.

I want to share some tips regarding travels (I am basing it on my recent Hongkong-Macau tour). What is it and what it’s not. Some things I think people need to know before thinking of availing or not availing of the tour package. And of course, this is limited to the package that we availed.

1. In availing the tour package, know the inclusions. And do some research on what these inclusions mean. Sometimes, the inclusions sounds so nice and grand, but actually they’re just common sense dictated inclusions, or normally part of an ordinary package, but is marketed like it’s a special feature of the package. Check out different deals.

2. Breakfast meals, there are packages that says “outside breakfast”, ask if this breakfast means they’re going to serve the meals in a separate area or is it just meal vouchers. Unlike when we were in Thailand, and in select hotel with free breakfast packages, this “outside breakfast” is actually just a meal coupon. If you’d do the math (in our case) HKD20/per person per meal. But the restaurant where you should avail the coupon serves, on an average meal, around HKD 24 to HKD30. You might want to provide extra budget for meals if you want to eat decently. And do not be surprised that you will see bunch of people lining up with the same coupon that you have. Meaning, you must have availed the same package (most tour package) offered in our country have the same suppliers in Hongkong. So even if you have different travel agencies in your country, you might end up eating in the same restaurant and staying in the same Hotel. It’s good, you’ll make new friends. 



3. It’s better if you know where to go in each area, ask what’s in the “City Tour” or what’s in the “Day Tour” you might just avail a package with itinerary that is not so much of your liking. Try to ask, what places are included or will be visited in the “tour”, this might give you an idea, whether you should or you shouldn’t avail the package. If you were told of the places included or itinerary, just google the places, read some reviews. It will help you decide. Choose a package that includes an itinerary of most places that you want to go to or visit.

4. Check if there are provisions for “Mandatory Tipping”. Yes, almost every guide or driver will ask you for “Mandatory Tipping” and it’s part of the package. In our case, we paid HKD100/guide for two persons. In our case, for our guide in Hongkong and another payment for our guide in Macau, even though it’s just one tour package that we availed. Reason, it’s because we have one guide in Hongkong and one guide in Macau. And yes, they are literally, MANDATORY.

5. Tour Guide will have their way of selling you things or selling you out. Well, not actually selling you. But yes, they will sometime bring you to places that you would probably buy something (and who knows they get a cut either each person they bring or a percentage of what you bought). So be respectful to your guide, be nice, but yes, be skeptic at times. Sometimes, they would sell you items at way higher prices than their prices when you go to the real market place. If you have a lot of extra, buy ’em, you’re helping the guide. If you don’t have much extra, courteously decline. 

6. If part of the itinerary of the tour is a place you want to explore, check the duration in the itinerary. You might not be sooo happy if you’ll just be stopped suddenly because it’s time to go on board the bus again for another destination. 

7. “Free and easy” means you will be on your own. So, check ahead of time, if there are places you can go to, while it’s your “leisure” time. If you avail a package for say 4D3N check what activities are included in each day. Just so you know, “free and easy” means no activity. If you don’t have much budget, you might end up spending days in a hotel. So make the most out of it. Make sure each activity is well distributed/scattered in different days. Makes the tour more comfortable and worth every penny.

8. Know the details of the places in the itinerary. Some destinations in the itinerary, you would have to spend extra, because it’s part of the “exclusions”. Example, when we get to the fishing village, we had to pay HKD20/per person for the tour in the fishing village.

9. Tickets included. Check if ticket to-and-from the places are included in the package. And whether you would be taken back to your hotel or not. Fortunately for us, even if the package that we got did not include a transport service from the port or arrival from Macau, we were able to learn to commute from the port to the hotel. So, if you are not so good with directions, either avail a package that provides transport back-and-forth the hotel after the tour or at least check where the taxi stand is. NOTE: Not all taxi drivers understands English, so be prepared to speak to couple drivers before you can get a driver who would understand and agree to take you to your hotel.

These are some things that I think, you might want to know before taking or purchasing your next tour package. It’s important to note, that these packages, though seems so great, always remember, that it’s still business. Choose the deals that you know you wouldn’t think of being “robbed” afterwards.

What are the things you’ve discovered in availing tour packages or deals? 

Feel free to share your insights, discoveries and ideas below. Would love to know them too. 🙂

#doroexplorero #dorolakwatsero #doroadventures #laagAsia #HongkongTour #MacauTour #suroyWorld #TravelWithMom #TravelAsia