A Taste of Davao

If you’re looking for the best experience for you and your family, Davao is the best fit!

I couldn’t squeeze everything in 4 days, there’s so much to see with so little time.

We tried to have a taste of both lands and waters in 4 days. Here’s a peek of our trip 🙂

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 Secdea Resort, Samal Island

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Davao Crocodile Park

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Bohol: 4 Day Adventure

Right after we celebrated our 3rd year anniversary in Leyte, JR surprised me with a ticket to Tagbilaran for my birthday. I’m so excited to take this trip because I’ve always wanted to see the Chocolate Hills. I heard several myths about it when I was in grade school and I remember believing them too 🙂 It’s good that I had 5 months to plot the whole itinerary and I’m so happy everything turned out as planned.

Let me walk you through our 4 day adventure.

Day 1

We stayed at Villa Formosa through Airbnb, it was the cherry on top of our trip. It’s a few minutes away from Dumaluan beach, away from the crowded Alona Beach. We did the right thing to stay on this side of the island because Dumaluan is divine! Since we arrived in the afternoon on our 1st day, we decided to just stay in Villa Formosa – the place is amazing! It’s serene – exactly what we’re looking for. If you opt to just relax, this is the best place! We had the pool and jacuzzi to ourselves during our whole stay, it’s well-kept and clean. They have a very accommodating staff that catered to our every need. They’re friendly which made our stay very comfortable.

Book Villa Formosa through Airbnb or you can visit their website directly.

We grabbed our early dinner at  DBR Grill in Dumaluan Beach Resort which is a few minutes away from our place. They charge P25 entrance fee though. We ordered calamari and prawns – the food is okay and the view is great!

 

Dumaluan Beach

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Did I mention that this beach has creamy fine white sand and crystal waters?!

Day 2

And so our land shenanigan begins! For me, it’s definitely the highlight of our trip! We crossed out another adventure on our list. We rented out a motorbike for P500 for 24hours, the receptionist from Villa Formosa booked it for us. We drove from Panglao to Chocolate Hills in Carmen to Loboc River and back to Panglao. It took us roughly 2 hours to get to our 1st destination because we had to stop twice due to the sudden rain.

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Chocolate Hill, Carmen

360 degrees view of the Chocolate Hills – from Hilltop view. There are at least 1000 of these scattered hills in Carmen, Bohol.

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We had to stop for photos at the Bilar man-made forest.

Loboc River Cruise and Buffet

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img_4313For P400 you get to eat a Filipino buffet on a boat cruising Loboc River. It’s a must try! The river is so nice and calm, there are also local performers serenading guests during the cruise.

Day 3

We opted to just stay at the resort to relax and take a dip at Dumaluan Beach.  It’s not crowded and it seems like we had the whole beach to ourselves.

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We had our early dinner at Alona beach which is only a tricycle away from Villa Formosa.

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Day 4

At 6AM, we embarked on Alona Beach to Balicasag and Virgin Islands. It’s not what I expected but it’s always good to plunge into an island for the 1st time.  We availed a tour package that includes island hopping and lunch set meals. When we got to Balicasag we transferred to a smaller boat for snorkeling.

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Virgin Island

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Bohol Bee Farm

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We got back at the resort in the afternoon and decided to have an early dinner at Bee Farm. It’s only 4km away from our resort. Everything they sell is organic, my favorite would be the Salted Caramel Icecream on Cassava cone. The interior is so lovely, every corner is Instagram worthy! The food is delish too! I ordered Seafood pasta and it’s so good 🙂

We went back to our resort at 6PM and packed our luggage. It’s always heartbreaking leaving a nice place but every after an adventure a new journey awaits! 🙂

That wraps our 4 day Bohol escapade. Don’t skip this on your list. It’s truly beautiful and full of culture. There’s so much to see and experience.

Hong Kong: Traveling Like Locals

You easily fall in love with the cities you visit. That’s why your heart is always full – full of new things, new friends, authentic taste and your eyes always glimmer with all the new beautiful sight. That’s what I feel towards Hong Kong – I have an enormous love for this city. And it’s impossible not to… 

I booked this trip 4 months prior to our flight. I surprised JR so we could celebrate my birthday to a foreign country and finally cross-out one thing on our couple must do list. I never thought I would love Hong Kong this much in just a few days of our exploration. It’s the best birthday gift I’ve given myself.

Here are the highlights of our trip. Enjoy scrolling down!

Garden Road, Central Station

 I made it a point not to miss this trip. I was really exhilarated to get to The Peak. This was the most ‘touristy’ thing on our list and not knowing that just by getting there is already an experience itself. We got off Central Station and walked uphill to Garden Road to take The Tram. This part of Central is not as crowded. It is where most of the historical buildings of the area abound alongside with many other modern architectures.

How to get there?

Take the MTR to Central Station and walk uphill to Garden Road. The lower terminus is located at the bottom of St. John’s building.

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Because taking each other’s photo is so cliche. 

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The Peak

Nothing encapsulates Hong Kong best than this view from The Peak. It overlooks the entire Hong Kong Island and Kowloon – It’s breathtaking.

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Chi Lin Nunnery and Nan Lian Garden

Chi Lin Nunnery is a large Buddhist Temple complex that includes exquisite wooden temple halls, tranquil lotus ponds and an entire serene Nan Lian Garden. Its beautifully designed and inspired from the Tang Dynasty’s architecture. It is situated in Diamond Hill of Kowloon with a stunning series of mountain range and high-rise buildings as its backdrop – truly majestic.

How to get there?

Take the MTR to Diamond Hill Station. Chi Lin Nunnery and Nan Lian Garden is just across.

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The Ceramic Ware Museum 

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The City 

For you to be able to really get into the heart of the city,  it requires A LOT of walking and sweating. My advise is enjoy every drop of sweat – it’s worth it.

Explore the city by taking the mini bus.

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 In the busy streets of Mong Kok

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Symphony of Lights across Tsim Sha Tsui11The Junk ‘Duk Ling’ (Our Junk experience will be up on my next blog, stay tuned!)

The Victoria Park 

Mid -Autumn thematic Lantern Display 2015: Blossom Beneath the Moon.

 We were lucky enough to witness and have a glimpse of a local holiday – The Mid-Autumn Festival or Moon Festival. It is widely celebrated across China that symbolizes fertility and harvest. We feast our eyes with these lantern displays and cap off the night with a sumptuous Moon Cake and Chinese Tea from our host (it goes well together).

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The Food

Our trip wouldn’t be complete without trying out every food we could! Just thinking about how good the dumplings and beef briskets were makes me want to book a flight to back to the city immediately!

Dessert platter from The Full House Desserts.

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Dumplings from The Dining Room, Hysan Place
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Authentic Chinese cuisine from local restaurants in Fuk Lo Tsun Road, Kowloon City. (Majority of restaurants doesn’t have an English name but there are several must-try along that street.)

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Tofu Dessert served cold at Kung Wo in 67 Fuk Lo Tsun Road

IMG_5111Mak’s Noodles: Spicy Pork Noodles and Beef Brisket, authentic and hand pulled.IMG_4818IMG_4819

I am definitely coming back for more, there are a few trips I missed that I included on my itinerary but it’s always good to look forward to something new on our next Hong Kong adventure.

I am raptously in love with you, Hong Kong. See you soon! Xièxiè 谢谢