Story of the Week: Travel to Hong Kong & Macau with May

 

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Here’s another Story from a friend. Prior to her trip, she conditioned her mind and made sure that it will be a great 2017 for her. (Good job May! I love your spirit! )And so, on January 11-14, 2017, she flew to Hong Kong and Macau with her friends.

And it got even better because her friends also had the same plan. Unlike most of my posts here, May and her friends prefer packages. Each of them had a budget of 21,000 Philippine pesos for the whole trip. And it’s great! They enjoyed their tour and their accommodation.

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May had so much fun. A package was able to give them enough time to go to places without having to think about where to go next. It was organized and saved them a lot of time.

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Upon arriving at the Hong Kong International Airport,  she was amazed at the creative design. After a few moments of picture-taking, they went straight to their hotel accommodation. ( Oohh, even I would look forward to that! How exciting!) Afterwards, they went to The Peak.

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It is such a beautiful place to see the city! It’s overlooking the busy streets and tall buildings of Hong Kong. There’s nothing like it in the Philippines. There’s a also a train/tram that they can use to enjoy the view.  Madam Tussauds was somewhat a part of the tour. May even took a photo with Bruce Lee. 🙂

What’s your favorite part of your trip?

I really love Disneyland. It was great. We went there a little later in the morning. I felt like I am back to being a kid. It made me so happy. It’s funny though. My friends and I road this boat before going to Disneyland. Thinking it was part of the package, we hopped in and enjoyed the ride. Little did we know that it will cost us $60 (HK).

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What did you feel upon entering Disneyland?

I felt so overwhelmed. This is it.  I was very excited because it was my very first trip. And compared to my friends, they had been to other countries already.  Not that it matters, but first times are good moments to remember. It was my advance birthday gift for myself. At the same time, I considered it as a reward for the years I spent working and studying.

And this excitement wasn’t just in Disneyland. I can’t even sleep the night before the flight. I was very excited.

 

 

Next up: Exploring Hong Kong and Macau Part II

Credits to Ms. May for all the photos. 

 

Story of the Week: Cai’s Trip to Taiwan

Hello One Step Adventure readers! Thank you for your continuous support. I really appreciate you guys for dropping by and checking out some of the interviews here. 🙂 I started this because I really enjoy stories and I want to share all the pros and cons that each of these travelers have experienced along the way.

Okay, that’s it for now. This post is not about me but it’s about Cai’s wonderful experience in Taiwan. So first of all, I met Cai in Manila. I decided to go on an adventure out on a whim simply because I was inspired by other couchsurfers. It was so much fun and so I thought, “hmmm, why not?” (I’ll talk more about my couchsurfing experiences in another post)

Here it goes:

What are the countries you have been to?

    Hongkong, Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore and China.

Among these beautiful countries, which one do you like best?

For Cai, this is a tough question since each country has its own beauty and the             experiences were different from one another. However, she said that Taiwan is the best. There’s good food, and it is cheap. People are also very kind. And perhaps, Taiwan is the best for her since she also enjoys shopping. Cai said, “There are lots of items that you can buy like cheap electronic gadgets and clothes.” She was also able to experience riding a cable car in Maokong, Taipei. “It is the highest ferris wheel you can try. Window China is also a good choice since it is a re-creation of different tourist spots around the world.”

Not only that, Cai was also able to enjoy an eat-all-you-can area. This was back in June 2010. Imagine how exciting it is now. Cai also liked Taipei 101. They have everything in there: flower garden, mall with a good view and even a museum! She bought a post card to send it back but she forgot to do it since Taiwan is so beautiful. And we understand that. 

What else do you like about Taiwan?

“They have a good transport. It is punctual too. I also liked their movie house. The movie house isn’t like what we have in the Philippines. The whole building is literally a movie place. And if I remember it correctly, I probably watched Prince of Persia on the 3rd floor. I cannot remember how much it costs to watch a movie but I guess it was reasonable.

I also liked the Flower Farm. It has an entrance fee but it’s really nice. They also have night markets. And there’s this Shabu Buffet where you can eat all you can.”

How about the things you dislike in Taiwan?

Taxi. It is not cheap to ride a taxi, but if you are going home during the odd hours or even at night, wala ng train (There are no trains). And when you ride the train, you can choose from these 3: Major Station, All Station and Bullet Train. There are trains that has stop overs. Pero meron din na wala, diretso lang. (But there are some without stop overs, just straight to the destination)

Couchsurfing Special: Jessie’s 1-day visit in Lipa

It’s been a while since I last accepted a Couchsurfer. I have been quite busy and I honestly did not think that I would have time soon.

A few days ago, I received a request from this guy, Jessie. I can say that I really enjoyed his company. At first, I didn’t want to accept him since I am doing a lot of stuff but I said, why not? Gladly, there’s a scheduled loss of electricity for my area that day. That means I have nothing to do.

Jessie arrived earlier than expected. I put on some decent clothes and went straight to the mall. I honestly did not know what to do or where to bring up and there I was, feeling lost. Haha! I somehow regret agreeing to meet up with him because there was nothing I could offer.

Being a Filipino himself, he already tried Filipino foods and that’s a challenge. We sat on a cafe but realized we preferred to eat somewhere else. Not knowing what to do, I randomly selected another place that offers something unique. I chose Jin Zai, which is a Japanese place that offers Takoyaki.

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We had a nice conversation about his experiences in the North–which was amazing by the way! Although Jessie does not have a specific plan for his trip, he managed to embrace his new-found freedom. I loved how exciting his adventures were. I admire his persistent quest to find himself an exciting experience.

We went home and took a bit of rest. We walked our way to San Sebastian Cathedral just to take a peek and explore this historical house of Segunda Katigbak.

There’s nothing much to see but I am glad that we had a chance to hang out.

I love how enthusiastic he is in making things work for him. His journey, I would say, has a big challenge. And I have come to realize that there are moments that made me start to lose hope.

Meeting Jessie is very memorable for me. He is just focused on one thing–to travel. And despite the difficulty, people have become instruments to help him find his purpose. Of course, not all opportunities will suit his goals, but there are people whom he had learn many things from.

I am proud to say that my love for sharing and writing was fueled even more. I think, it’s destiny to meet such a nice young man, Jessie.

Jessie,

I, and my family are excited for you and your journey. There may be things that you are not even interested to pursue right now, but if you find those things helpful to your journey, take a step. Try little things that will help you become a better version of yourself.

I am scared about some things in life too but I look forward to grow continuously as a person just like others. And I can see, that with your talent and your dreams, you’ll be where you want to be.

Whenever you feel that you are losing yourself in the process, remember that you are not alone. There are many of us–dreamers who have failed several times. But we are here. We are still here, chasing that dream.

See you again and let’s work together! 🙂

 

Story of the Week: Toshiki-san’s Trip to Argentina

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Hello! We’re back with a story from our friend, Toshiki! I am thankful that he agreed to share his experience in Argentina. 🙂

 

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Here goes the interview:

1. When did you go to Argentina? 

From May 20 to May 26.
2. Where in Argentina did you go?

I went to Buenos Aires.
3. What accommodations did you choose and what were the factors you considered before booking that hotel and plane?

Sheraton hotel because the place is not cheap and not expensive. I used Emirates Airline because this takes shorter time than other ways.

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4. What are the things you brought to your trip? And which was most useful?
Milk jam and some snacks. If you want to buy souvenir, it is very good. ( In this part, I believe Toshiki-san is referring to the milk jam he found in Argentina. It’s famous. At first, he thought it was a weird but when he tasted it, he really liked it.)
5. What’s the best thing about going to a country in South America?
You can go to natural place like Iguazu falls. It’s much bigger than Niagara Falls in Canada and it was amazing.

 

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This photo is from: http://tedytravel.com/iguazu-falls/

6. Did you have a chance to try Argentina’s traditional food?
Empanada  (We also have Empanada here in the Philippines and that is sooooo good! You should try it.  Thanks for reminding me about this Toshiki-san! )
7. What did you like most about this experience?
Tango showcase. It is beautiful.

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8. What did you dislike most about this experience?
Sometimes dangerous
9. If you can recommend a restaurant in Argentina, which is it and why?
La Cabana, this restaurant is bit expensive, but you can eat great meet and Empanada.
10. What did you learn from this trip?
When you take 30 hour-long flight, you should use famous airline company because you need to have breakfast, lunch and dinner, and sleep on your seat. If the food quality isn’t good, it gets stressful. I recommend Emirates airline. Everything is good.

11. For those, who also wants to visit Argentina, what advice would you give them in terms of:
a. Transportation – Please be with someone else when you walk. Taxi is better.
b. Food – You should eat meat.
c. Communication with People – It’s difficult to communicate with local people using English. You should download translator app to Spanish.
12. If you had a chance to visit another country in South America, which country would it be and why?
I would like to visit Uruguay because you can go there just 1 – 2 hours using ship.

 

So that’s a little about Toshiki-san’s trip. 🙂 Thanks for dropping by.

 

Take off your…

Upon arrival, I took off my shoes. I had to wear it for a few hours and it was really uncomfortable when it’s all muddy and wet. Good thing, I wore my “plastic” socks. Haha.

Anyway, the room did not have a television, but it has a nice table where we put our things, a spacious cabinet and enough space for our shoes and laundry. The room we booked has 3 beds. 1 is a double deck  and the other one is a single bed.

We wanted to take some rest but we had to move. We went to the Municipal Tourist Center. It only cost us 35 Philippine pesos for the environmental fee. And all we had to do was bring the receipt at all sites. It is a must to get a tour guide when going to the tourist spots. At first, I did not like that, but I realized that it helps the tourism industry and the locals to be involved in it.

The good thing about Isabelo’s Inn is that it is at the center of everything. It literally just in front of the municipal center,  it is beside the fresh fruits being sold, we have access to ATM and the transportation service can just pick us up nearby.

We took a little bit of rest then we started exploring the area. We went to the hanging coffins. Initially, we did not want to be assisted by a tour guide. But it was a requirement.

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For 200 Philippines pesos, we were guided by a nice man who kindly toured as around the area. And I have to admit, it may be easy to get to the place on our own, but these guides grew up in this place and there’s no better way to go to different areas but with their kind help. We also get to know something about their way of life.

We then went to dinner called the Yogurt House. We chose a spot upstairs, where we gladly waited for a nice meal. 🙂

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We then ended the evening with a little chit chat and plans about the next day while enjoying a bottle of beer.

 

Check out Part III

Let’s go to Sagada! Part 1

Welcome back! I am excited to tell you more about our fun experience!

So after a nice trip in Batad, Ifugao, we finally reached our next destination–Sagada!! I can’t even describe my excitement. It feels like I am in a dream. Sagada has always been like a dream destination for us–at least for the people who are in my circle.

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This is Sagada Weaving Centre. We did not go in but it’s a pleasure to be on the same road. 

To tell you honestly, I never thought I would ever be in Sagada. Prior to Rast’o and Miso’s trip, I thought I cannot go with them because of my previously planned trip in a totally different country. But because there are better plans for me, I had to cancel my trip. It got me so fired up because it means that I can go with them.

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credits to: Travelbook.ph

It was a short trip from Ifugao to Sagada, Mt. Province. Upon arrival, we went straight to our accommodation. It was a very nice place. It’s well-maintained. And each room has its own assigned bathrooms. How cool is that? Despite the small space, it’s still great.

Check out Part II