Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

I feel sad that I lost some of the pictures from this trip. But I still have those memories that I will never forget. Hue, Vietnam is the best place and must see! Our trip didn’t end in Ha Long Bay. In fact, that is just the start of our adventure in Vietnam.

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Inside Tu Duc Tomb Palace.

Before we made our trip to Hue City, we had our second city tour around Ha Noi. We visited a few historical places which is indeed fascinating. The weather is not perfect at that time, but at least it’s not as bad as the hot weather back in our country. And it’s obviously rainy season all throughout South East Asia.

We rented this transportation called “tuktuk” which is mostly rented by tourist especially Westerners. You can rent the “tuktuk ” for 100,000 VND ($4.72) for a 1 hour ride. We started our trip to the Vietnam Military Museum displaying old and wrecked armory, and model jet planes, and tanks. It was established July 17, 1958 and they still preserve it up to this day.

We went straight to the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, that is only 6 minutes away from the Vietnam Military Museum. It’s considered the largest memorial place in Ha Noi. It is where the Chairman and Viet. Leader of the Communist party lies, and the place where the declaration of Independence was held. Just beside the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is the Presidential palace. Unfortunately, taking photos of the palace is prohibited.

After visiting the historical places, we went to the largest market place in Ha Noi, Dong Xuan Market. I can compare to our Divisoria in the Philippines, which they sell wholesale and retail items from household goods, accessories, clothing and shoes.

We walked 30 minutes and went back to our hostel to prepare for our next trip to Hue. We met a few friends in the hostel while waiting for the bus sharing their travel experiences all over Asia, from Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia and Laos. It’s a wonderful experience that I want to experience. I’m with 2 amazing trekkers who are always on the go. This trip will not be possible without them.

We jumped into what we call “the party bus” (sleeping bus) around 6PM. You can read my party bus experience in my separate blog. It’s a 14 hour travel from Ha Noi to Hue City. You will still feel comfortable because you can lay down with a blanket and a small pillow provided. And the beautiful scenery of the places along the way are promising.

We arrived at the city 9 or 10 AM. We’re accommodated by hostel owners to our room which is much cheaper compared to our hostel in Ha Noi. You can rent it for $10 per night for 3 persons with super fast wifi connection, comfortable beds and a clean bathroom.

Few meters away from the hostel is this famous restaurant called The Mandarin Cafe owned by Mr. Cu, a professional photographer. The restaurant itself is designed with beautiful captured shots on the wall. They served delectable meals which are over the top with free one time tea served. It is recommended by Tripadvisor because of excellent reviews.

After the perfect lunch, we decided to have our city tour, riding our bikes. I don’t know to drive unfortunately, but thanks to my lady driver who is very caring. She will treat you like her own daughter, seriously..

Our itinerary is long because there are several tourist spots in Hue that are amazing. First, we visited the Forbidden Purple City or what they called “the Citadel” or “the Imperial City” is 520 hectares. It’s enclosed with 2 kilometer brick walls and surrounded by moat to protect the imperial city. Some of the infrastructures are still being preserved. But the front gate is currently under restoration which they planned to end in 2015.

We’ve been caught by the rain along our way to the Incense Making Village. You can see the actual incense making made of Sandalwood and Cinnamon. You can buy each bundle for 100,000 VND.

Few kilometers from the Incense Making Village is the Tu Duc Tomb, where Emperor Tu Duc’s tomb lies. Even though it’s raining, you will still see tourist exploring around from the temple to the Emperor’s tomb. In the palace itself, you can rent emperor and empress costumes to take pictures at their customized stage as souvenirs.  It’s a little creepy because it hasn’t been renovated, so you can still see how they preserve the place.

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Gia Long Ancestral House

Another historical landmark is the Duc Duc Tomb which is considered as the smallest tombs and it hasn’t been restored. The Emperor Duc Duc’s tomb lies in this place who is under The Nguyen Dynasty.

Gia Long Tomb is remarkably well-preserved. Gia Long is the first Emperor of the Nguyen Dynasty. The ancestral house is majestic

Khai Dinh Tomb is my favorite because of the detailed infrastructure. You’ll see the touch of Vietnamese style carvings which is purely made of concrete. The palace at the topmost part is really impressive. There is a film showing about Khai Dinh’s life and how he ruled the city. You can see the tomb of Khai Dinh in the middle and some pictures of his family around the palace.

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Khai Dinh’s Tomb

As we stepped into the Minh Mang Tomb, it was very peaceful, because only the three of us visited the place that time. The place is secluded and the trail is long. The tomb of Minh Mang it is far west, which surrounded by circular brick walls and remains locked. The caretaker told us that it is only open once a year for some reason.

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The Pagoda

Our last stop is the Thien Mu Pagoda which is just beside the Pagoda river. This place is where people gather to worship the Buddha. The Monks live in here not only to preserve the place, but to sing prayers for Buddha and serves as missionaries.

The total time of exploring the place is 5 hours. It is really a privilege to see these places. For me they are the real wonders of the world.

 

 

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After our first city tour around Ha Noi. We are excited for the Ha Long bay cruise. A tour guide named “Phy” accommodated us in the minibus, and picked up other tourists who booked the same package. Some of them booked for 3 days 2 nights and 2 days 1 night to give them time to cruise around the island, and see the beautiful islets. Price is ranging from $50 to $75 dollars, you just have to look for a better deal. You can look around in Ha Noi for travel agencies that offers cheap packages. You can check out The Sinh Tourist Day Tours or Ha Long Bay Tours.

The travel time from Ha Noi to Ha Long bay is 4 hours (estimated time) with one stop at this local souvenir shop with snack bar. Our tour guide gave us a brief background of Vietnam, which under the Communist government. Main transportation is motorcycles which has 38 thousand in Ha Noi alone.

 

Vietnam tourists from all over the world

 

We arrived at the harbor around 1:30 PM seeing other tourists waiting in the lobby for the next trip. Tour guides have their different tasks, and assignments depending on how many days they are going to stay. We met a tour guide name “Tu“, and took us to the our boat for lunch. Lunch is part of the package except for the beverages like water, beer and soda which cost 25,000 to 30,000 VND ($1.41). After our lunch, our first destination is the Hang Đầu Gỗ which is the largest grotto in the Ha Long Bay area.

 

Lunch that they served on the boat for 6 person

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Before we entered the cave, the tour guide gave us the history of Ha Long Bay. Take note that you still need to have a ticket before you enter, but don’t worry, you don’t need to pay anything since it is part of your package. The tour guide will provide a ticket for you.

You need to take a stairs before you reach the main cave. The temperature inside the cave is less than 20 degrees. Formation of stalagmites and stalactites with small and large chambers can be seen around the cave. These formations illuminate because of the colorful lights.

After 30 minutes of exploring the cave, we went back to our boat for our next destination which is the fishing village. The floating fishing village is 10-15 minutes away from the Hang dau go. We had the chance to take pictures of the beautiful panoramic view of the islets. The top deck is the perfect place to see the lake, and to relax because there are wooden benches around. Activities in the fishing village for tourists are kayaking and boating. You can go to other caves while kayaking which will cost another 30,000 VND ($1.41). We didn’t have a chance to do kayaking because of the time and safety, though you will have your life jacket, no one will assist you on the spot.

We took another boat to take us back to the harbor because we only availed 1 day tour. We reached the harbor at around 5:30 PM, and took a minibus back to Ha Noi. We got back to our hostel at 9:00 PM.

 

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You can view slideshow HERE

 

 

xoxo

We arrived in No Bai Airport at exactly 1:35 AM (Vietnam Local Time), that is an hour behind Manila time which is 2:35 AM. In flight, we experienced 3 turbulences due to rain and thunderstorms above the South China Sea. It was a rough landing, but I’m glad it’s successful.

I have $160 for this trip so it is a challenge to get everything for 8 days. To give you a summary of how much we paid before boarding, the total fee is 2190 pesos ($50.65).

  • Travel tax: 1640 PHP ($37.94)
  • Terminal Fee: 550 PHP ($12.72)

Exchange rate as of July 24, 2014:

  • $1 = 43.22 PHP (Philippine peso)
  • $1 = 21,205 VND (Vietnamese dong)

No Bai airport at 2 AM (Vietnam Time)

When we arrived at the airport, all shops are closed, No service bus available to take us to the city. A cab driver offered us a ride to Hanoi for $5 each, but we refused. We decided to stay at the airport for 5 hours to wait for the next bus trip. However, we still ride a cab because another cab driver offered us $7 good for 3 persons.

It took us 45 to 50 mins to get into the hotel, and we need to walk for a few meters from the main road. We finally checked into Tony’s hostel at around 7:30 AM. We got 3 dorm beds for $5 each (106,382 VND). It looks comfortable with free breakfast, hot and cold shower, towels, air conditioning and a very reliable wifi connection. The hosts are very friendly and accommodating. There are nearby hotels and travel agencies for Ha Long bay tour packages. We managed to look for a money changer, and exchanged $50 to 1,060,223 VND.

pho ga

We’ve had our delicious “pho ga brunch which cost 25,000 VND ($1.17). Pho is their local street food that you can see anywhere along the sidewalks. It is made of rice noodle soup which you can choose between thick or thin noodles, fresh herbs and chicken (pho ga) or beef (pho bo). Other street foods available are some healthy detox juice like the lemon juice and the Nước mía (sugar cane juice).

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Our first city tour destination is the Hoan Kiem Lake, located 15 mins away from our hotel. You will see the Turtle tower, Bridge of the Rising Sun, and the beautiful view over the lake. You’ll appreciate the beauty of this park at night time. Near Hoan Kiem Lake is the Ly Thai To statue (the Emperor of Vietnam) and the Water Puppets theater that cost 60,000 to 100,000 VND ($3 -$5).

Bridge of the Rising Sun

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Aside from these landmarks, we saw a variety of shops from bags, souvenirs, and traveling kits, coffee shops, food chains and galleries. You can buy a souvenir bag for 80,000 VND ($3.77), a slipper for 100,000 VND ($4.71). There are some convenience stores around that are already considered as grocery stores. You can’t find big malls, but signature boutiques are everywhere. If you get thirsty, you can buy 1.5 liters of water for 20,000 VND (0.94 cents), and for the toiletries that i bought such as shampoo, conditioner and face wash the total cost is 150,000 VND ($7).

I saw how artistic and talented they are with their work of art through their paintings from acrylic to oil. The genres are from contemporary to nature scenes.

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Streets of Ha noi are very busy during the night because of the night market from Hang Dao to Oong Xuan plus the bars and restaurants.

Tour agencies are available everywhere. They offer great prices and deals from Ha Long Bay to Nha Trang trip. Ha Long Bay trip ranges from $16 to $75 depending on the agency. A $20 1 day Ha Long Bay trip includes:

  • Transportation by A/C bus from Ha noi to Ha long, Ha long to Ha noi
  • 4-5 boat trip to Ha Long Bay
  • 45 mins of Kayaking
  • Sightseeing with entrance fees
  • Lunch and beverages

We booked our Ha Long Bay trip with those inclusions which happens in a few hours from now.

 

The world is such a huge paradise. But you will be amazed with one of a kind picturesque of Fiji islands which is 2000 km northeast of New Zealand and an island country Melanesia in the southern part of the Pacific Ocean. It is surrounded by some other islands like American Samoa, New Celedonia and Vanuatu. Fiji island may be small but it has beautiful different spots that you can enjoy. You’ll enjoy the finest beach resorts, and tropical weather on your holidays and vacations.

The Warwick Resort

This has been established since 1980 known for the finest hotels throughout the world.  You’ll enjoy its well-renowned Coral Coast and aquatic life, natural sceneries,  and their white sand beach. Some of their amenities are water activities like kayaking, snorkeling, wind surfing and diving. They also have basic recreations like archery, bicycle tours, billiards, village tours, etc. At the same time, you can relax in their garden and ocean view rooms or their Warwick deluxe and spacious suites.

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Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort

Feel at home in this guest friendly paradise which is one of the most well-known tourist destinations is the South Pacific. They can give the best comfort when it comes to accommodation and experience the tranquility of the spacious rooms from garden view and ocean front to honeymoon point reef.

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Namale Resort and Spa

You can enjoy this unique paradise which they considered as a boutique resort of the pacific because of its golf course. Perfect for honeymoon for couples, they can feel the atmosphere of romance and adventure as they explore the island.  Since they have a private golf course, golf lovers can play privately with full equipment in fair rates. Aside from golf, there are more amenities and activities included such as water skiing, water trampoline, horseback riding, waterfall tours and coconut show.

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Takoriki  Island Resort

If you’re looking for a private island retreat, this is the perfect resort for you. It is a great moment to unwind and feel relax away from work and pampering yourself with their Senikai spa for their therapeutic massage. Their exquisite architecture of their resort makes you stay longer in their accommodation packages and seeing the sunset from your room and dine beside the pool.

 

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Wananavu Beach Resort

If a true Fiji experience is what you are looking this is the place to go. Located 2 and a half hours from the international airport away from all the tourist spots. You can relax and enjoy the luxury accommodation catering to honeymooners to family’s. You can also enjoy the wide range of actives from tennis to spa treatments. What is unique to this resort is Great Diving on the Bligh Strait and the Narara Waterslide tour. The Wananavu Beach resort will give you the  true Fijian experience that you are looking for.

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Crusoe’s retreat

Crusoe’s retreat is located on the famous Coral coast snuggled with lush tropical gardens and beautiful sandy beach. Crusoe’s is a very intimate resort that features only 28 Fijian Bures. Crusoe’s truly is all that wonderful about Fiji. Crusoe’s take pride in its world famous hospitality and its very relaxing atmosphere. Crusoe’s offer a lot of great activities for you to enjoy like, PADI scuba diving, sunset weddings, romantic honeymoons. 

crusoe sea view bure

Outrigger on the Lagoon

The Outrigger is a 5 star resort located in the heart of the coral coast. The resort is set on a white sandy beach among 40 acres of the beauty that Fiji has to offer. It has a beautiful lagoon style pool with 8 unique restaurants, bars and cafes. If you stay at the Outriggers you will have access to the spectacular Bebe Spa Sanctuary. This Spa is located on a mountainside overlooking the resort and ocean views that will breath taking.

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Shangri La’s Fijian Resort & Spa

Shangri La’s are a gem located on the private beach Yanuca Island, it offers guests and families  a perfect South Pacific escape. Guests with families will be able to enjoy the children’s play area. The resort also has a wide range of dining and recreation options. The Chi spa is the largest and most luxurious private spa in Fiji. The Resort is surrounded by beautiful beaches and Palm tree’s and the turquoise lagoons the is truly a tropical heaven paradise.

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Lalatia Resort & spa

The mysterious Beqa island and lagoon is captured at Latatia Resort. This is a romantic all inclusive getaway. The Latatia Resort is a getaway for honeymooners, Fiji style beach weddings, or just a imitate dive vacation Latatia is where you want to go. Latatia is an affordable resort with friendly staff that is waiting to cater to your needs and shower you with their heart filled deluxe service.

Lalati Resort & Spa

 

Fiji Orchid Resort

Fiji Orchid is just 15 minutes north of the Nadi intentional airport. This resort provides a very discrete experience for those who want to feel the relaxation of Fiji. The Orchid is set in a beautiful and stunning tropical environment in the foothills of the volcanic nausori highlands and close to Saweni beach. In addition to the tropical experiment, it is highlighted by 5 acres of the most beautiful garden landscape and magnificent orchids.

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Nukubati Private Island

Nukubati is a private island resort, only catering to the limited amount of guest. It is an eco-chic resort perfect getaway for honeymoon, wedding or relaxing vacation. Nearby is Fiji’s best diving on the Great Sea Reef. This resort is the only resort that has access to Fiji’s underwater treasures. Once you step onto the white sandy beach you will feel the great Fiji adventure as to offer.

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Coconut Grove Beachfront Resort

Coconut grove is a very small private resort only having 3 bures. It is directly located on the ocean with a very secluded white sandy beach. If privacy is what you want Coconut Grove is the place for you also surrounded by coconut and mango trees. The Coconut Grove offers diving and snorkeling, nature walks and a great staff for all your needs.

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Taveuni Palms

Taveuni Palms provide their guests a private beach off of their villa’s, you can snorkel right off the private beach.  As a guest here you will be able to see turtles, sting rays, hundreds of different types of tropical fish. Taveuni provides luxury amenities along with award winning villa’s and fine dinning.

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Koro Sun Resort & Rainforest Spa

Koro Sun is the northern pint most unspoiled spot this location offer genuine warmth and friendliness of the people. It is surrounded by beautiful and lush landscaping, with the clear water. Spend your days exploring the reef with padi crew. You can also enjoy a 9 hole pitch and putt rainforest golf course. You can enjoy the rainforest spa after a long day of exploring and for the adventures you can explore the island caves tour botanical gardens or the beautiful waterfalls there is surely something for everyone here at the Koro Sun Resort.

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Royal Davui Island Resort

This resort is all exclusive adults only resort. It is located in Fiji’s spectacular Beqa Lagoon. With only having 16 suites with their own private plunge pool they can offer luxuries that the larger resort can’t offer. Surrounded by lush tropical landscaping, guest will enjoy the best of both worlds with the warmth and care of the staff as they will know you by name and the freedom of being secluded in your own tropical oasis.

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You can now decide which of these perfect resort suits your needs. Whether your purpose is for vacation, family getaway, business or romantic scene, Fiji Island is the perfect spot for you.

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More links will be posted here…

xoxo

Davie is one of the towns in Florida under Broward County. It was tagged as one of the most populated community in the United States with an estimated population of 95,489 as of the 2012 United States Census.

In terms of business, Davie Locksmith has been the number one locksmith service in Florida especially in Broward county. A friend of mine staying in Davie, FL referred me to this business as they are the best locksmith services in the area. This professional locksmith provider was established since 2004 with fully equipped service vehicles and trained technicians operating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Professional locksmith provides a wide- range of services:

  • High security locks
  • Master key system
  • Automobile lockout
  • Ignition
  • Change locks
  • Apartment lockouts
  • Others

Prices depending on the services offered starts at $19. You can visit their website if you want to know more about the services at http://www.us-locksmith.com/davie-locksmith.html

Talking about tourism and attractions, Davie has everything. Specifically, in terms of natural resources. Visitors will enjoy parks and nature scenes, safari, garden view and they can do sports and outdoor activities, museums and observatory. Below is the list of attractions in Davie, Florida that you will surely enjoy.

1. Flamingo Garden

This is the tropical paradise featuring collections of over 3000 botanical species of native plants to rare and exotic wildlife sanctuary, which includes collections of bobcats, eagles, alligators, peacocks and of course the beautiful flamingos. It has been voted as the number one theme attraction in the 2013 ABC Channel 10 Viewers Poll.

2. Buehler Planetarium & Observatory

It is located in the central campus or Broward College that have the most advanced digital audiovisual equipment and a planetarium in Southern Florida. They cater different presentations like laser shows. You can view the latest captured images of the planets like Jupiter, Saturn and Mars in their website.

3. Young At Art Children’s Museum

It was named as “museum without walls” created by two visionaries Esther and Mindy Shrago in 1986 to involve children in arts education. It became the “Best Children Art Museum in the Nation” by Child Magazine in 2002. Received Promising Practice Award for ArtREACH in 2005. Currently, they established the 55,000 sq./ft. Gold LEED certified museum permanent facility. Nurturing children from birth to adulthood to become patrons of art. You can visit their website and donate.