Taiwandering – Pre-flight!

A spur of the moment trip for me and my hubby – couple time!😍😍😍

We only have the weekend so first thing on my list is to get the best available flight, earliest flight in and latest flight out. Searching through the many flights available, I learned that Cebu Pacific only has morning flights on Sundays, same goes with Air Asia and Philippine Airlines, only Eva Airways has evening flights. This made me decide to get one way tickets to be able to maximize the 3 days of Taiwandering.

FLIGHT ✈✈✈

Booked a red eye flight through Cebu Pacific, 10:55pm flight on a Thursday, arrival will be 1:20am the following day. This way, we will have the whole Friday to roam around and also the whole of Saturday. As for Sunday, I booked the latest flight out through Eva Airways at 8:30pm so we still have at least a few more hours to wander.

The Cebu Pacific one way flight from Manila to Taipei cost us Php 5,398.20 for 2 persons. This includes a 15 kg baggage allowance for each passenger. I booked this through Traveloka which gave me a Php 600.00 savings. If you book this through the Cebu Pacific website, it will cost more.

Our flight going home, Taipei to Manila, is booked through Hutchgo.com. Eva Airways is the only carrier that is offering an 8:30pm flight, cost me $191.07 (converted at 53.50) or about Php 10,168.75 for 2 persons. This includes a 30 kg baggage allowance for each passenger.

If you add our plane tickets, it sets back each passenger around Php 7,783.48. And since we still have to pay the travel tax of Php 1,620.00. Total ticket per passenger is Php 9,403.48.

I think we still got a good deal considering we have 60 kgs of baggage allowance (more shopping space for us) on our flight home and more or less half a day to enjoy Taiwan before heading back.

VISA

There is still no need to apply for a Taiwan Visa. Filipino passport holders are free to travel to Taiwan and stay for a maximum of 14 days. You have until July 31, 2019 to enjoy this privilege!

Savings of about Php 2,644.00 for each passenger! Yes! Taiwan Visa is more expensive than Japan Visa!

HOTEL 🏢🏢🏢

I booked our hotel through Traveloka, but this time, I used my husband’s account. This is to be able to apply another discount.😀

Since we will be out most of the day, I just chose the simplest room available. The location also plays a big factor in our decision. This hotel is located in Ximending. One of the most popular street / night markets in Taiwan.

Tomorrow Hotel is a comfortable 3 star hotel located near a railway station. It comprises of the basics a tourist will be needing in a hotel.

Tomorrow Hotel Review

I got this Standard Double Room for only Php 4,961.48! For a 3 days & 2 nights stay and with breakfast, this is surely a steal, even without windows! 😋

WIFI

In this day and age, people are connected in every possible way. For me and my husband, this is important so that we could get in touch with our family anytime of the day even if we are out in another country.

Good thing we found rental of portable wifi on Kkday. For only Php 138.00 a day, both of us can connect on this portable wifi rented out by Unite Traveler. We could have access to unlimited 4G connection throughout our stay.

Portable WIFI Rental by Kkday

Best part is, the booth is 24 hours. Even if we arrive in the wee hours, we could still get our device and start connecting. It is also convenient to return the device, just go to their booth near departure and drop it off.

So far, so good. Ready to conquer and wander Taiwan!

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Petite France + Nami Island + Gangchon Railbike Ride Tour (Part 1)

Our last full day in South Korea was spent outside the city. Thankful that I booked this trip with FunKo! It went well from start to finish!

For KRW 70,000.00 per person (or roughly about Php 3,500.00), this tour is so worth it!

Waited for our ride at Myeongdong Station Exit 5, there in a bulletin board was my name and the group we would be in.

Lucky us because our group only consisted of 15 pax (us 12 / other group 3)! Due to us being a small group, we were assigned a cozy coaster instead of a big and uncomfortable bus!

The ride to our first stop Petite France from Myeongdong was only an hour. I love Little Prince so I am giddy on this tour.

Petite France is a French cultural village set in the Korean countryside. It is also home to Goseong Youth Training Center. There are a lot of things to experience here.

The Little Prince welcomes visitors of Petite France

Puppets and Dolls on display

The Proposal Room

Petite France during winter
Viewdeck to see North Korea from afar

Inside a French Woman’s house

Miniature Eiffel Tower

Aside from the very picturesque small town that is Petite France, we get to enjoy magnificent puppet shows.

Really a sight to behold, these pictures are just a few of so many. A must visit in Gapyeong!

Our tour ended with some ice cream!

Next stop is the famous Nami Island. Took the coaster for a 30 minute ride to reach the ferry station. More on it here!

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What to do in Seoul: Daiso Shopping!

8 floors of Daiso! Can you just imagine???

Well, you will find this gem of a treasure hunt at Myeongdong in Seoul.

Running out of time, we decided to just spend half an hour in this massive building. Of course, there was a little bit of overtime! 😂

Just a go through though, here’s a floor by floor rundown of the 8 floors! And as a tip, you always start at the top floor. Take the elevator up then take the stairs going down. Makes sense?

And of course, since I was hurrying up to pay for my purchases, I forgot to take picture of the ground floor! Forgive me since I’m on overtime already!

So many cute stuff to buy! But my hands were tied as my luggage can’t handle it anymore! Blame it to Korean Air which only allows 23 kgs of check in baggage! 🙄

Daiso also offers Tax Refund but you have to do it at the airport. You have to ask for a receipt and your purchase must be KRW 30,000.00!

More of my Korean Trip soon!

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Namsanmai – Our Korea Airbnb Story

There are a lot of places for rent when you check Airbnb. It’s almost a matter of luck if you will get a good host and if the place you are booking will be just what the host says.

As for our Korea Trip this year, we had the best of both worlds as our host is very accommodating and helpful. He always answers my query. His place is just what he posted and everything worked out fine the whole time we were there.

Our group consisted of 12 people and the house fits us perfectly.

The house is located in Namsan and super close to Namsan Cable Car Station, more or less a 5 minute walk uphill.

On the other hand, to go to Myeongdong Shopping Area, you walk downhill for a few minutes and you will reach 2 of the exits of Myeongdong Station. When you go underground, there is an underground shopping area and when you cross it and go up the exit, you are already at Myeongdong Street. This is where the happening is at! More on Myeongdong in my next blog.

Back to the house, this is what I saw that caught my attention. This is the house’s floor plan.

So you see, there are 3 rooms. Room number 1 has 3 single beds that can sleep 3 people. Room number 2 has a double deck with pull out bed. So another 3 people could sleep. Room number 3 has 2 double queen beds which could sleep 4 people.

The house also has 3 toilet and baths. And heated water which definitely helped as the weather is so cold in the morning.

To give you a glimpse of the house, take a look.

The gate looked like it was taken straight from a Korean film.

Houses and condos in Korea have digital locks. You won’t be needing a key, the owner of the house (in this case our host) just gave us the password and that is what we used for the whole duration of the trip.

The kitchen / laundry area / dining area.

The living room has a comfortable couch. A big flat screen TV and WIFI!

Room number 1

Room number 2

Room number 3

The host also gave us supply of water and some chips. So nice right?

He also booked us our airport transfers to and fro the airport.

I loved our stay in his house and that I am recommending it to all my friends.

Oh, one important thing! The house is a tough walk uphill especially when you have shopped for a lot of things! So ready your legs! I do have a bright idea though, you could take the bus and alight at the bus station in Namsan Cable Car, which is on top. Then just walk downhill to your house.

Some more pictures of the house. ⬇⬇⬇

Pictures from Namsanmai’s Facebook Account

Also, the host was so nice to let us check in directly from the airport. We arrived in his house around 7am. Check in was supposedly 2pm.

The house has all the things you will need – from the toiletries to the towels to the glasses, cups and cooking pans – it is all there!

We were all really happy with our stay! 🙌👌👍👏

Go and check out Namsanmai at Airbnb!

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Tagaytay Mahogany Beef Market

An impromptu drive to Tagaytay for the purpose of buying Batangas beef turned out to be a food and shopping trip today!

Left Manila around 5am and passed through all the closed SMs and Robinsons Malls along Aguinaldo Highway, hence the fast and no traffic drive going up to Tagaytay. I took a nap and when I woke up, we were already at the Mahogany Market. Such a cold morning too!

Weather update was after our breakfast and it still was 22 degrees!

The Mahogany Market in Tagaytay is famous for its Batangas Beef. They also have a slaughterhouse so you can be sure that the beef is fresh!

Before we purchased our beef, we made our way to the 2nd floor of the building to have our breakfast! There’s a long stretch of bulalohans and seems like they offer the same menu.

We chose Len’s.

Crispy Hipon – half order – Php100.00

Crispy Tawilis – half order – Php100.00

Bulalo – Php 350.00

Double the love for the Calamansi and Sili for the sauce!

Unlimited Senorita Banana – free

Unlimited Kapeng Barako (Batangas Coffee) – free

The Bulalo soup is so tasty! But the serving of the meat is too small compared to other Tagaytay Restaurants that also serve Bulalo. The Crispy Hipon is crunchy! But my favorite is the Crispy Tawilis. The size is just right. CRUNCHY and TASTY!

I loved it so much I bought a pack for Php 70.00.

Oh remember to bring a cooler with you so that you don’t have to buy anymore. We came prepared with 2 coolers! Haha!

After our stint in the Beef Section, we went straight to the Dry Goods part of the market where they sell Fruits and Vegetables!

Beware and be aware that some of their prices are pegged at Tourist Prices! Some are just about the same in Manila. And because of this, we didn’t buy any!

You could buy plants here too!

It really was a great morning having spent it with my loves. Another experience to add to the memories!

Wait, there’s more! We went malling at the Ayala Serin but since it’s about 9am only, some of the shops are still closed. We decided to proceed to Nuvali on our way down to Manila.

We walked around the shops. Checked the outlets and scored some deals! Then it was time to have lunch already!

It was only 11 am but Silantro (yes, the always full and have to wait a long time Tex Mex resto) was buzzing already!

Good thing we were seated immediately. We ordered so much!

Beef Nachos – it’s good and it’s one of their bestsellers!

Seafood Paella – I love that it’s not as salsa-ish as before.

Ribs (better at Gringo) It’s tender but the taste is so-so.

The Salpicado is too spicy for me.

So, after this very heavy lunch, we walked around again and shopped for shoes before we drove back to Manila.

At 3pm, we are safely back home.

Time to sleep!

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Staycation at Luxent Hotel

For hubby’s birthday, I decided to give him a relaxing staycation in a nearby hotel. I searched and searched until I found a hotel in Traveloka.

Luxent Hotel is located in the heart of Quezon City, in the midst of restaurants, bars and cafes.

Christmas came early at the hotel.

Reindeers welcome you!

Garden Cafe

Offers Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Buffet at a reasonable price.

The Luxent Hotel Lobby

Lush Bar and Lounge

Share A Shoe Box

I love this #ShareTheLove drive of Luxent. Too bad we weren’t able to prepare when we went there. But I hope I could still bring some boxes before they give them out.

Our Room

2 Queen Beds

Spacious Bathroom

Shower Area

Saturday Night Traffic!

Pool Area

See Through Side of the Pool

After a long day of playing and night swimming, our princesses are finally knocked out.

I strongly recommend staying at Luxent Hotel. Not only because it is very near food establishments, but also because the service of the hotel staff is very commendable. They are friendly, accommodating and very reachable.

The room is very clean and so spacious. I got the room at Php4,000.00 and it is so worth the price. My kids were able to swim twice, during nightime and daytime. They also enjoyed the see through part of the pool.

We are definitely going back!

We are also eyeing Luxent as a venue for future events.

They have ballrooms and function rooms to cater to these intimate celebrations.

Luxent Hotel’s website is https://www.luxenthotel.com

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Another Baguio Adventure!

3rd time to go to Baguio this year and it still was an amazing adventure. Follow on and enjoy!

Day 1.

Our first stop was lunch at Canto Restaurant. Good thing we had a friend who reserved tables for us.

Food was great as always. I loved the pizza! Mashed potato tasted good as well. Ribs that day was kinda dry so I didn’t like it that much.

Canto is now located at a bigger venue. Right after you enter the city of Baguio. Our sumptuous lunch cost us about Php4,500.00.

After lunch, we checked in our hotel, Newtown Plaza Hotel. We booked this through Traveloka. Such an amazing view from our balcony.

We have also tried this hotel before. Check my review here.

After resting for a while, we finally had the chance to go out and enjoy the breeze.

Since we have a lot of kids with us, we decided to go straight to Burnham Park. Oh my! So many people that day! We rented bikes for the kids and they went around and around.

There were 2 smaller kids so us mommies needed to follow them around. Got hit again and again. Ouch! What mommies do for their children!

Bike Rentals – Php 50.00 / 30 minutes

After biking for what seemed like eternity, the kids got hungry!

Manong Taho was just around the corner. Strawberry Taho for everyone please!

We went back to the hotel to freshen up a bit then drove to Camp John Hay. We had reservations at Le Chef, a buffet restaurant inside The Manor.

Wasn’t able to take pictures of the food. Aside from the salads and the very fresh selection of other veggies, the food was just so so in my opinion. There wasn’t that much variety to choose from.

Anyway, it was about Php1000.00 / head, and I honestly think I paid for an entrance fee with a meal because the place was so beautifully decorated. The massive ground became a play area for our kids to run around freely.

Sorry but my photos actually don’t do justice to the sights.

We stayed until about midnight.

Day 2.

Breakfast was courtesy of the hotel.

It was a sunny day so we proceeded to Strawberry Farm in La Trinidad. 30 minute trip from Baguio City proper to the place. Again, so many tourists flocked the area, only to find out that strawberries are not in season and there were no more strawberries to be picked.

We just enjoyed the view. Had our photos taken. Shopped for some shirts. Bought some fruits.

Oh! We ate Strawberry Ice Cream to beat the scorching heat.

We hit the streets and returned to the City proper.

We found ourselves in The Forest House. It’s a cozy log cabin type of house converted into a fully functional restaurant.

Greeted by this very welcoming seating area with a chimney.

The resto was already clad in Christmas decor, making the place more warm.

What stood out again was the Salad. The bagnet was a kid favorite! Need to try the Lasagna Chips as well.

We went along to what the kids wanted – Horseback Riding! We chose to stay inside Camp John Hay. The volume of people was not as much as outside.

The 30 min ride set us back Php 150.00 per horse. Not that expensive, for the kids’ experiences and happiness were priceless.

Supposed to go to a forest hike but decided against it. We have a lot of kids with us and they might not be able to take the 1 hour hiking.

If you are an adventurous group though, you might want to try Paintball Republic. They also have Zipline. Located near Le Monet Hotel.

We mommies could just take pictures!

Our next stop – Choco – late de Batirol!

Of these 3, we ordered about a total of 10 orders or more! The kids were all hungry!

I loved the Turon so much!

A nice place to hang especially at night.

Already a long day but it didn’t stop there!

Kids continued playing at the playground of the hotel.

Freshened up and off we went to Session Road!

*Best advice ever? – Take the cab! Not only do the drivers know the shortest route, it only costs about Php 50.00!

Of course, what’s the best thing to eat in Session Road? Vizco’s Strawberry Shortcake!

Don’t leave Baguio without tasting this!

Their Strawberry Vinaigrette Salad was also 1 for the books! So yummy we ordered 2!

Beef Stroganoff’s good also!

Hyper kids went on to play back at the hotel and had their own pajama party!

Day 3.

Parents snucked out for a trip to the Baguio Public Market!

Happy Parents!

A foggy day for shopping at the Good Shepherd Convent!

Some of my loot not given away yet.

Almost done with our Baguio Trip V3.0! Late lunch at Sizzling Plate Baguio!

Such a good way to end our trip, with delicious and affordable steaks, add to that a great cup of coffee and yummy Sans Rival!

Hungry? Until our next adventure!

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The Bayleaf Intramuros

An impromptu overnight courtesy of my brother led us to The Bayleaf Intramuros!

This is their Standard Room. It’s a quaint room but it has totally everything you will need.

The bed is spacious enough for 2 persons. I like the nice design in the headboard.

On one side of the bed is the working table complete with a lampshade. There’s also an outlet for your charging needs.

In the opposite wall, the TV and the mini bar with fridge are located.

In that same wall, you can find the mirrored cabinet.

Inside the cabinet, there is ample space to hang your clothes and 2 drawers for more storage. You also have a medium sized safe to keep your valuables.

The bathroom is rectangular shaped but it doesn’t make you feel claustrophobic.

And the most important feature of the room, the VIEW!

Morning View

Night View

happy kids = happy mommy!

I love the modern feel of the room. The lighting is just perfect, it gives you this very relaxing mood. I could just stay inside the room and sleep all day!

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