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Showing posts with label travel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label travel. Show all posts

Thursday, August 26, 2021

“Ember” and “Aquamar Kitchen” to Debut Aboard Vista, Oceania Cruises’ New Ship


Wazzup Pilipinas!?

Oceania Cruises, the world’s leading culinary- and destination-focused cruise line, revealed the restaurants and dining experiences aboard its newest ship, Vista, due to debut in early 2023.

“Vista will present a fresh perspective on the finest cuisine at sea with an astounding array of dining options that range from informal to the extravagant,” stated Bob Binder, President and CEO of Oceania Cruises.

Vista will offer a total of twelve culinary venues, which is unprecedented for a ship of its size. Of the twelve, four are brand new and exclusive to Vista.

“We have never been content to rest on our laurels, so even the expected has become the unexpected. A dramatic re-inspiration of every dining space from décor to table setting to menu offerings has resulted in a new pinnacle of diversity and creativity for our guests to enjoy,” added Binder.



Ember is the signature addition to Oceania Cruises’ family of restaurants. Open for lunch and dinner, Ember is the ideal place to warm your culinary soul. Featuring a menu of inventive American creations blended with time-honoured classics, this inviting dining spot will instantly charm you with its alluring ambiance and tantalising menu. Whether you are looking forward to a leisurely evening of dining or a quick dinner before catching the headline show, Ember is where you want to be. Braised Short Ribs on Polenta, Grilled Swordfish with Asparagus, Crab Cakes with Spicy Aioli, and a Cobb Salad with Smoked Chicken are just a few of the delights designed to tempt the palate.

Aquamar Kitchen presents a decidedly fresh perspective on dining and the pursuit of wellness. Whether you are a dedicated flexitarian or a die-hard foodie, Aquamar Kitchen offers an abundance of indulgence with none of the guilt. Breakfast selections include cold-pressed raw juices and superfood smoothies, hearty homemade granolas and avocado toasts, organic power bowls, and savoury breakfast wraps. For lunch, dozens of tempting, healthy dishes are offered such as Slow-Roasted Organic Salmon with Quinoa Tabouleh and Lemon Tahini, Yellowfin Tacos with White Cabbage Slaw, or even a Crunchy Chicken Sandwich on a freshly baked whole grain bun.

The Grand Dining Room is the luxurious grand dame of Oceania Cruises’ culinary world. Here, guests will savour a leisurely dining experience in a truly magnificent and inspired room whose ambiance soars to equally lofty heights as the cuisine. This signature dining experience has always offered a bevy of delicious continental dishes, and now a fresh and new array of options brings even more exciting possibilities. Every day presents a realm of choices from signature Jacques Pépin classics to an incredible spectrum of global flavours and an all-new Executive Chef’s Tasting Menu. Menus change daily with an expansive choice of at least 10 appetisers, soups and salads and ten main courses, along with healthy options such as Aquamar Vitality Cuisine.







Polo Grill delights diners with the ultimate classic steakhouse experience presented with timeless reverence. Richly layered décor and an abundance of custom millwork create an imaginative rendition of tradition set against crisp white linen tablecloths while a cadre of black jacketed servers set the tone for an evening of gracious dining. Each course stands as the very definition of time-honoured favorites, most notably the beef dishes, all of which are 28-day dry aged certified Black Angus USDA Prime, while succulent seafood dishes such as grilled swordfish and whole Maine lobster gratinée are also classics in their own right.

Toscana presents an evolution of Tuscan cuisine in a truly Italian setting of rich Chianina leather, hand-blown Venetian glass and Carrara marble. Evolved from generational family traditions, many of our recipes originated with the mothers and grandmothers of our own Italian culinary staff. Presented on elegant, custom-designed Versace china, masterfully prepared dishes exemplify the essence of Tuscany and celebrate Italy’s culinary passion. Perhaps the evening begins with the Octopus Carpaccio with Champagne Vinaigrette or the Artichoke and Parmesan Cheese Timbale with Black Truffle Sauce, followed by classic dishes such as the Hand-Rolled Gnocchi with Pesto, a rich Risotto with Lobster Medallions and Shallots, or a Pan-Seared Sea Bass Fillet finished with Sorrento Lemon, Chardonnay and Capers.


Red Ginger radiates harmony and tranquility while evoking the boldness and subtleties of the extraordinary Pan-Asian dishes our talented chefs have created. Much like the room itself, the Thai, Korean, Japanese and Malaysian rooted specialities are a mélange of spicy and soothing, savoury and sweet to please virtually every palate. Begin with a salad of Spicy Roast Duck and Watermelon with Cashews, Mint and Thai Basil. Savour a Malaysian Beef Penang with Coconut Rice and Paratha roti. Or try Thai vegetable curry with sweet potatoes, aubergine, mushrooms and basil in green curry Sauce. In Red Ginger, the gustatory pleasures are as striking as the visual ones.

Terrace Café is the ultimate informal dining experience any time of day, whether inside the plushily adorned dining room or alfresco at one of the shaded tables on the stylish terrace. At breakfast, Terrace Café features a seemingly never-ending selection of sumptuous savoury and sweet temptations including made-to-order eggs, omelettes, pancakes and waffles. Come lunch, an expansive menu of international-inspired dishes is complemented by flavourful roasted and rotisserie meats and the magic of the pizzeria’s oven. In the evening, you’ll enjoy dinner in decidedly relaxed comfort as our chefs serve up an astounding array of dishes. Revel in a bounty of selections from grilled-to-order lobster tails, fish, fillets and steaks to freshly made, hand-cut sushi and sashimi. A varied menu of hot and cold specialities changes daily along with our hallmark Chef’s Market Dinners featuring locally inspired specialities from the ports of call.

Waves Grill is a casual, colourful, and perhaps a bit playful setting for dining on all-American favourites. Located in a spacious, shaded area steps from the swimming pool and Terrace Café, Waves Grill offers an extensive and mouthwatering menu during lunch and late into the afternoon for that much-desired snack or meal after an adventurous day of touring ashore. Watch the chefs grill gourmet burgers, succulent seafood and sandwiches to order in the open galley, accompanying them with sides like fresh salads, coleslaw and crispy, hand-cut fries. There is always room for dessert and the selection here is too good to pass up. Try a homemade sorbet, a made-to-order hot fudge sundae or a thick, hand-dipped milkshake.

The Culinary Center ascends to a new level of gustatory immersion as our passionate Chef Instructors share their enlightening perspectives on culture and cuisine through the lens of food and wine. Here, guests may not only partake in lively hands-on instruction – they may also indulge the pleasures of the palate in the new ocean view Culinary Center Dining Room with private group dinners or one of our many exclusive and highly acclaimed food and wine pairing experiences.

Priveé is our marquee venue for bespoke, intimate culinary celebrations for a maximum of ten privileged guests. Dramatic backlit, debossed walls and a blooming flower petal ceiling from which a dramatic chandelier descends over the polished marble slab dining table set the stage for a memorable evening. Meanwhile a wall of floor-to-ceiling glass provides an exhilarating view to complement a most memorable private dinner party that can literally traverse continents.

Baristas offers the ultimate panoramas aboard Vista with its commanding 270-degree views over the sea while guests enjoy complimentary illy® espressos, cappuccinos and lattes prepared by our master baristas as well as the delicious pastries, finger sandwiches and homemade biscotti. Just steps away, the new Bakery, with its freshly baked French and Italian pastries, is certain to be an instant hit. As the delicate yet rich scents fill the air, you’ll be drawn from the adjacent coffee bar or Library for an indulgent chocolate-almond croissant or sinfully sweet bombolini while enjoying the lost art of people watching or simply gazing out at the azure blue sea.




Coming Soon

Owner’s Suite - Details on Vista’s Owner’s Suites will be revealed on 30th August, 2021

Inaugural Season Itineraries – Vista’s inaugural season itineraries will open for viewing on 9 September, 2021, and go on sale the following week, on 15 September, 2021.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises announces captivating new 2023-2024 voyage collection


Wazzup Pilipinas!?

139 Sailings, 129 Overnight Stays, 15 Maiden Ports of Call and 4 Grand Voyages


Regent Seven Seas Cruises has unveiled its new 2023-2024 Voyage Collection, featuring exciting new ports of call and immersive cultural experiences in iconic destinations throughout the globe, with reservations opening on 19 August, 2021.

Crafted to create memories and stories that last a lifetime, The World’s Most Luxurious Fleet™ will sail an incredible 139 new voyages, with itineraries across Africa and Arabia, Alaska, Asia, Australia and New Zealand, the South Pacific, Canada and New England, the Caribbean and Panama Canal, the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, and South America, as well as transoceanic crossings, and four mesmerising Grand Voyages to explore. Enjoying exquisite comfort and care onboard, with every imaginable luxury included, guests sailing with Regent on one of its exclusive Voyage Collection journeys will enjoy a truly unrivalled experience.


Sailings range from 7 nights up to the recently announced 132-night 2024 World Cruise and feature more than 129 overnight calls in unforgettable destinations such as St. Petersburg, Russia; Kyoto, Japan; Singapore; Lisbon, Portugal; and Bordeaux, France. The 2023-2024 Voyage Collection also boasts 15 new ports of call, including Vanuatu’s Mystery Island, the majestic island of Syros in Greece, the captivating and untamed Lofoten Islands in Norway, and the charmingly colourful Puerto Banus in Spain.

Four inspiring Grand Voyages have been thoughtfully curated for the line’s most discerning guests: Grand Arctic Adventure, a 78-night sailing from New York to Barcelona; Grand European Sojourn, a 62-night journey from Stockholm, Sweden to Athens, Greece; Circle South America, a 67-night round trip commencing in Miami, Florida; and the Grand Asia-Pacific Journey, a breathtaking 59-night sailing from Sydney, Australia to Tokyo, Japan.

Discerning travellers can benefit from booking their preferred suite and itinerary early, with 50% Reduced Deposits available to guests sailing in Deluxe Window through Master Suites (Category MS-H), valid for bookings made by 30 September 2021. Regent Suite guests (Category RS), along with those sailing on a Grand Voyage or World Cruise, are not eligible for the 50% Reduced Deposit.

“We are delighted to release our very special Voyage Collection for 2023-2024, which has been meticulously crafted for our discerning guests, who we know have a passion for discovering the world in the ultimate luxury that Regent Seven Seas Cruises is renowned for. We hope that this new season of diverse and inspiring locales enables travellers to create memories and experiences that will last a lifetime,” said Jason Montague, President and Chief Executive Officer, Regent Seven Seas Cruises.

“We recently launched our 2024 World Cruise, which was an opening-day record-breaker for the third year in a row, selling out within three hours of launching. This phenomenal result reinforces just how strong the pent-up demand for luxury travel is among our guests, especially for longer voyages, and we are confident that our new Voyage Collection will be well received too,” continued Montague.

Together with spacious all-suite, all-balcony accommodations and FREE Unlimited Shore Excursions in every port of call, voyage fares also include gourmet cuisine in a range of specialty restaurants and al-fresco dining venues, fine wine and spirits, entertainment, unlimited internet access, free valet laundry, pre-paid gratuities, transfer between hotel and ship and a one-night, pre-cruise hotel package for guests staying in Concierge-level suites and higher.

In addition, more than 25 voyages aboard Seven Seas Explorer, Seven Seas Voyager and Seven Seas Navigator offer guests a FREE pre-or-post-cruise land programme, along with NEW 4-night land programmes on selected sailings.

A brochure and video showcasing Regent’s new 2023-2024 Voyage Collection have been created. For more information, please visit RSSC.com/new-season-launch, call Singapore 800-616-7097 / Hong Kong and Rest of Asia +852 2165 6020 or contact a professional travel advisor.

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

For Second Year Running, Regent Seven Seas Cruises Sets Record for Largest Booking Day in Company’s History


Wazzup Pilipinas!?


Luxury Cruise Line Enjoys Fourth Record-Breaking Launch Day Within a Year


Regent Seven Seas Cruises, the world’s leading luxury cruise line, achieved the largest booking day in the company’s 29-year history with the launch of its 2023-2024 Voyage Collection when sales opened at 8:30pm HKT on 18 August, 2021.

Reservations surpassed Regent’s previous largest booking day – which was set on 21 October, 2020 with the launch of its 2022-2023 Voyage Collection – by 15%. Travel trends identified from the booking day include a desire for longer, more exclusive experiences in bucket-list destinations, as illustrated by a significant rise in bookings of the US$11,000-a-night Regent Suite and more unfamiliar and exotic regions being reserved.

The latest record-breaking launch day is the line’s fourth in just under a year having broken their world cruise launch day twice, and now also their largest ever booking day twice. The phenomenal achievements began with the launch day for its 2023 World Cruise in September 2020, closely followed with the launch day for its 2022-2023 Voyage Collection in October 2020. Most recently, in July 2021, the cruise line celebrated selling out its 2024 World Cruise in under 3 hours.

“The outstanding result of our 2023-2024 Voyage Collection launch is the perfect spring-board as we welcome our first ship back to the ocean next month with the inaugural season of Seven Seas Splendor®,” said Jason Montague, president and chief executive officer, Regent Seven Seas Cruises. “I’m proud to say that this is our fourth record-breaking launch day within a year, reinforcing the fact that luxury travellers continue to have a burning passion to explore the world and that Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ unrivalled experiences are extremely important to them. It also shows how our loyal guests have throughout this challenging period continued to give us their unwavering support, and we are delighted to be able to offer them the luxury vacations they so richly deserve.”


Uncompromised Luxury Travel with Bookings of up to US$600,000

Demonstrating that luxury travellers are still unwilling to compromise when they vacation, the largest price tag on a single suite booking was close to US$600,000. The booking was for the palatial, 412 square metre Regent Suite which comes with an in-suite spa with unlimited spa treatments, original Picassos, a private car and chauffeur in every port, and dedicated butler service among a host of other amenities. Overall, demand for this one-of-a-kind luxury experience - only found on board Seven Seas Explorer®, Seven Seas Splendor® and the soon to be launched Seven Seas Grandeur® - grows higher still, with bookings for the Regent Suite up by 64% when compared to the 2022-2023 Voyage Collection launch day.

While all itineraries were popular, notable destinations were Africa and Asia, with 3 of the top 6 itineraries booked focusing on the regions. In addition, Northern Europe, particularly the Baltics attracted high levels of interest. The voyage which attracted the most bookings was a 21-night Istanbul, Turkey to Dubai, UAE sailing on board Seven Seas Navigator® which tours the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East. Starting at US$10,299 per guest and set to depart on 10 November, 2023 the cruise’s popularity illustrates not only that luxury travellers are keen to explore exotic lands once again, but that they also want to make up for lost time with longer adventures at sea. With overnights in both Israel and Egypt, as well as a transit of the Suez Canal, this port-intensive sailing epitomises the unparallelled destination immersion provided by the 2023-2024 Voyage Collection which, when combined with The World’s Most Luxurious Fleet™, takes the travel experience to new levels.


2023-2024 Voyage Collection

As part of the 2023-2024 Voyage Collection, Regent’s five ships will sail an incredible 139 new voyages of 7 up to 132 nights, with itineraries across Africa and Arabia, Alaska, Asia, Australia and New Zealand, the South Pacific, Canada and New England, the Caribbean and Panama Canal, the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, and South America, as well as transoceanic crossings, and four mesmerising Grand Voyages. Enjoying exquisite comfort and care onboard, with every imaginable luxury included, guests sailing with Regent on one of its exclusive Voyage Collection journeys will enjoy a truly unrivalled experience.

Unforgettable destinations such as St. Petersburg, Russia; Kyoto, Japan; Singapore; Lisbon, Portugal; and Bordeaux, France are featured, and the 2023-2024 Voyage Collection also boasts 15 new ports of call, including Vanuatu’s Mystery Island, the majestic island of Syros in Greece, the captivating and untamed Lofoten Islands in Norway, and the charmingly colourful Puerto Banus in Spain.

Montague continued, “With a rich and varied selection of luxury cruises on offer, combined with personalised service from a warm and friendly crew, plus the peace of mind of our multi-layered SailSAFE™ health and safety program, it’s little wonder that guests continue to return to Regent time and again.”

A brochure and video showcasing Regent’s new 2023-2024 Voyage Collection have been created. For more information, please visit RSSC.com/new-season-launch, call Singapore 800-616-7097 / Hong Kong and Rest of Asia +852 2165 6020 or contact a professional travel advisor.

Radisson Resort & Spa Lonavala, a blend of nature and heritage opens its doors to guests


Wazzup Pilipinas!?

Radisson Hotel Group announced its first hotel in the scenic hills of Lonavala today with the opening of Radisson Resort & Spa Lonavala. A drivable getaway with convenient air, rail and road connectivity from Mumbai and Pune, the destination is a travelers’ paradise offering many tourist attractions such as Rajmachi Point, Lonavala Lake, Duke's Nose, Karla Caves etc. The resort is spread over 14,100 sqm, offering sweeping views of the majestic Sahyadri range and one of the largest venues for hosting off-site meetings and large weddings. The resort’s commitment to sustainable design practices and extraordinary local character makes it a perfect getaway for modern travelers seeking a purpose-driven travel experience.

Zubin Saxena, Managing Director and Vice President, Operations, South Asia, Radisson Hotel Group, said, “Radisson Resort & Spa Lonavala is a key opening for us in 2021. The resort’s perfect location and MICE facilities make it an attractive venue for guests looking to host destination weddings, large corporate or social functions. The opening provides further momentum to our strategic expansion plans in West India where we are already present in cities like Mumbai, Pune, Alibaug, Karjat, Nagpur and will add Nashik to the list by the end of the year.”

Located at just 15 minutes’ drive from both Lonavala and Khandala railway stations, Radisson Resort & Spa Lonavala is easily accessible for guests traveling from Mumbai, Pune and Khandala. The resort offers easy accessibility to tourist attractions such as Bushi Dam, Narayani Dham Temple, Lonavala Lake and the celebrity wax museum.

Designed by well-known Indian architect, Kamal S Malik, the resort has been envisioned as the perfect amalgamation of sustainable design and local art and culture. The resort has seamlessly adapted eco-friendly design practices and incorporated reused natural elements such as stones from the site for stone-cladding of the entire building. It features areas such an open atrium, that has been designed to reduce the need for air-conditioning. The resort’s atypical entrance lobby has a grand cylindrical space which recreates the effect of the echoes of Shivaji’s forts, giving the sense of a conservatory surrounded by hills. Radisson Resort & Spa Lonavala is home to the country’s largest Gabion wall which is approximately 21 m in length and is a visual spectacle for guests.

The resort features 103 uniquely designed modern rooms across four categories - Superior room with balcony view, Deluxe room featuring a lush green view, Suite which offers generous space, and Presidential Suite which comes with a five-seater open deck whirlpool.

“Radisson Resort & Spa Lonavala is perfect for vacationers who want to enjoy hospitality in the lap of nature. The resort’s modern yet earthy architecture, unrivalled views, and easy accessibility to key tourist destinations, makes it a preferred choice for guests. We are proud to partner with Radisson Hotel Group and are confident that this hotel will set a new benchmark for purpose-driven hospitality,” said Mr Parth Bihani, Partner, Monarch Hospitality.

With over 4,500 sqm of indoor and outdoor event space, the resort offers seven venues: Raj Sabha Wedding Lawn, Raj Bhawan Grand Ballroom, Royal Bastion, Surya Bhawan Indoor Banquet, Torna Banquet Terrace, Pool Deck and Board Room, that can host up to 1,500 pax. All meeting and event spaces come equipped with modern audio-visual technology making them ideal for hosting destination weddings, social and corporate getaways. Raj Sabha Wedding Lawns and Torna Banquet Terrace, offer a spectacular view of the hills surrounding the resort, making every event memorable.

The resort houses three exquisite dining options; Hirkani, an eclectic cuisine restaurant with emphasis on Oriental, Coastal, Indian and local cuisine; Malhari, a niche and trendy lifestyle bar serving contemporary grills, signature cocktails with a special emphasis on local flavors and produce from chef’s garden; Torna, a roof-top lounge with breathtaking views of the hills, offering a wide range of options such as classic Indian dishes, seafood, barbecue and Italian pastas. Guests who want to taste delectable biryanis and kebabs can opt for an authentic experience in the resort’s Pop-up restaurant, with innovative menu that changes every season.

A key attraction of the resort, The Spa at Radisson, a full-service wellness center, is perfect for guests looking forward to an immersive and rejuvenating experience amidst the calmness of Lonavala. Personalizing each session, the spa has a distinctive approach towards wellness by optimally integrating the use of local products and vital aspects of local culture. Built on a unique philosophy, the spa is centered around mental and physical wellbeing where guests are encouraged to interact with one another and feel part of a community.

The resort is well equipped with modern amenities like a 24-hour fitness center and houses an interactive kids’ play area. A distinctive feature of the resort is its outdoor swimming pool – Kund, designed in the shape and color of an actual Kund (traditional water reservoir), overlooking lush greenery surrounding the resort.

Alok Kaul, General Manager, Radisson Resort & Spa Lonavala said, “The resort is uniquely positioned in terms of its location, sustainable design and modern comforts. We are confident that our unmatched offerings paired with Yes I Can! hospitality will prove to be a compelling option for guests looking for an enhanced experience.”

With the health and safety of guests and team members as its top priority, Radisson Resort & Spa Lonavala is implementing the Radisson Hotels Safety Protocol program. The in-depth cleanliness and disinfection protocols were developed in partnership with SGS, the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company, and are designed to ensure guest safety and peace of mind from check-in to check-out.

Photo caption: Façade and entrance of Radisson Resort & Spa Lonavala

Friday, August 6, 2021

5 Most Romantic Places to Visit in the Philip



Wazzup Pilipinas!?


In the Philippines, there is no shortage of romantic destinations. Lovers and honeymooners can find almost anything they're looking for in a romantic getaway. Surrounded by nearly 7000 islands, a honeymoon in the Philippines is the ideal dreamy start to your married life. The Philippines is an archipelago in the eastern region of Asia, surrounded by turquoise waters and uninterrupted surroundings. This picture-perfect Southeast Asian destination is a blessing for all the lovely couples planning a special secluded romantic retreat.

German citizens can currently enter the Philippines for up to 30 days without a visa. And, the Philippine government has announced that the new Philippines visa requirements for German citizens will be issued soon. Germans will be required then to apply for an eTA to the Philippines before departure.

Palawan

Palawan Island, popularly known as the "Last Frontier," is a sugar-coated delight hidden in the mountains. Palawan's islands and islets have incredibly gorgeous beaches, turquoise oceans, and an astonishing underwater environment. This is regarded as the paradise in the Philippines for couples who love island life. El Nido, situated on the northern tip of Palawan, is an excellent location for viewing lagoons and coral reefs. You and your beloved can rent a kayak to explore the magnificent lagoons or go snorkeling and scuba diving to see an ethereal coral reef garden. Coron, a short ferry ride from El Nido, is a once-in-a-lifetime destination, especially if you're a couple who prefers adventure over luxury. You can swim in clear blue waters, snorkel down to shipwrecks, or simply relax on the bow of the boat while your captain prepares a seafood lunch for you and your partner. Due to the many beautiful places to visit in Palawan, it has been named the best island in the world several times by international magazines.

Boracay Islands

Boracay, one of the best islands in the world, is a popular honeymoon destination due to its crystal clear waters, pristine beaches, sparkling sunlight, and romantic setting. The Philippine Sea surrounds it to the east, South China Sea to the west, and the Celebes Sea to the south. The island's main attraction is the 4-kilometer White Beach, which has dazzling white sand and calm, crystal-clear waters and is where you can see one of the most beautiful sunsets in the world. If you and your darling are feeling daring, you can participate in some of Boracay's challenging and enjoyable activities like scuba diving, cliff diving, and kiteboarding. Boracay is also one of the ideal places in the Philippines to propose, whether on the beach, on a sunset yacht cruise, or a helicopter ride around the island. Luxury resorts such as Shangri-la Boracay and Discovery Shores are among popular wedding reception locations.

Vigan

Vigan is defined by its heritage houses, cobblestone streets, kalesa, historical attractions, and delectable cuisine. Nothing beats the romantic scent of nostalgia of the city. As one of the best-preserved Spanish colonial towns globally, Vigan has a distinct charm that would appeal to anyone. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is widely regarded as Asia's most beautiful colonial city. In fact, you won't find much of its classic architecture and cobblestone streets anywhere else in the Philippines. Take your time strolling the cobblestone streets, or spend some time window shopping at the many antique stores along Calle Crisologo. Your partner will undoubtedly love Vigan, as it is one of the best romantic getaway destinations in the Philippines.

Bantayan Island

Bantayan Island is a tropical paradise in the Visayas Sea, just off the northern tip of Cebu. Something is enticing about a sleepy coastal town with long stretches of white sand beaches. This island makes you feel as if you're in your own little world, in your own little space. Allow this small island to tempt you with its laid-back ambiance, beautiful beaches, and native-style accommodations for an amazing quality time with your loved one. Visit famous locations like Ogtong Cave and the neighboring The Ruins for romantic photoshoots. Get on a scooter and ride around town before heading to Kota Park for a sunset session. If you and your partner enjoy seafood, Bantayan Island is perfect for you as you can indulge in a seafood buffet for as little as P250 per person.

Batanes

You'll fall in love with Batanes as soon as you see its rolling hills, scenic landscapes, and breathtaking cliffs. Batanes, nestled in the northernmost part of the Philippines, is one of the most popular places to visit for the anniversary. The traditional stone houses, vast greenery with an otherworldly view of the sunset and sunrise, a boulder beach, and friendly locals are some of the usual sights on this small island. Unlike other tourist destinations in the Philippines, Batanes is never overcrowded, making it ideal for a romantic getaway. Batanes' unimaginably beautiful features make it the best romantic retreat for couples.

Monday, November 30, 2020

Koh Samui's Private Villa Beachfront Chai Talay Estate Unveils New Look and Enhanced Health and Wellness Experiences


Wazzup Pilipinas!

Chai Talay’s beach front private villas and 4,000 sq. ft. fitness centre now at the forefront of luxury on this idyllic tropical island

Koh Samui’s exceptional private villa estate ‘Chai Talay’, located on the island’s peaceful and stunningly picturesque Lipa Noi on the west coast, is ready to welcome back visitors following an extensive upgrade across all aspects of its luxury private villa experiences.

Baan Kilee is the larger (8 BR) of the two expansive villas which make up this exclusive 5-acre beachfront estate which, along with adjacent smaller villa Baan Ora Chon (5BR), has undergone extensive renovation of bedrooms and living areas giving them both a lighter and more natural contemporary look, using up-cycling and sustainable materials throughout.

One of Samui’s larger private villa resorts, Chai Talay is highly sought after for extended families and group of friends, corporate getaways, wellness retreats, and for glamorous beachfront weddings and events. 






Villas are fully staffed with a staff to guest ratio of 1:3 with resident chefs and private butlers on request, and offer a combined 12 deluxe bedrooms and suites which can sleep up to 30 people, and accommodate events of up to 150+ people. Villas can also be booked separately for smaller groups of 4+ with other 5 star villas nearby for weddings and events.

Chai Talay has also enhanced its position as Samui’s best private villa health and wellness venue, with extensive training grounds, a world class indoor – outdoor gym, new spa menus and bespoke fitness packages which are tailored to clients’ specific requirements, whether it’s a family holiday with a wellness orientation, a corporate group or specialized fitness retreat.

What sets Chai Talay Estate apart in Samui, is its world-class, fully-equipped indoor-outdoor 4,000 sq. ft. training gym which is set amid 3-acres of manicured yoga lawns, and organic gardens. Here, top wellbeing professionals conduct fitness groups, team training, yoga, Pilates and other activities.

A decade of hosting their own 2-3 annual fitness retreats has also enabled Chai Talay to perfect its popular programmes for up to 40 people - the only time the rooms are rented on an individual basis.

Chai Talay also enjoys a close relationship with nearby “Anahata Welless and Orion Retreat Centre” wherein guests can join yoga or mediation classes, juicing or healing retreats, or visit their specialist practitioners such as acupuncturists, or else book them to train In the privacy of their villa at Chai Talay.

The estate’s extensive lawns and gardens filled with tropical plants and fruit trees, lily ponds, and manicured lawns sloping gently down to the white sand beach, provide an exquisite backdrop to this exceptional health and wellness experience, and make a great playground for kids of all ages.

Two beachfront swimming pools, a 22m lapping pool, feature submerged sun loungers, kids pools, swim-up bars and an abundance of inviting spots to relax and enjoy the mesmerizing views of Five Islands or watch one of Samui’s spectacular sunsets, before enjoying a movie under the stars.

Health and well-being extends well beyond the gym at Chai Talay: its own abundant organic gardens now enable resident chefs to deliver delicious healthy, farm-to-table menus with more than 20 varieties of home-grown fruit and vegetables and to offer In-Villa cooking experiences for all ages.

As travellers turn their focus to health and safety, the villas of Chai Talay Estate promise a supremely peaceful, private and safe environment in which to embrace a healthy, outdoor lifestyle. The expansive private villa estate with its 50-metre absolute beachfront is self-contained, offering everything that a guest could want on site with little need to venture from the villa unless perhaps for a beach walk, bike ride or boating trip.

Both Chai Talay Villas have won SHA accreditation - and guests can determine the level of service they prefer. Upon arrival, staff ensure social distancing protocols and will sit with you to agree on the level of service with which you feel comfortable. Maids are dedicated to individual rooms and each villa has its own van and driver.

A strong commitment to sustainability is at the heart of everything that happens at Chai Talay Estate. From the outset, owners have sought to lead by example in ensuring a sustainable environment in Koh Samui. Efforts to reduce its negative footprint from early on, introduced a zero tolerance ‘single-use plastic’ free policy and guests are encouraged to bring their own reusable water bottles and be conscious of their environmental impact during their stay. Chai Talay Estate is a committed member of the local Samui community, working with many local charities involved in feeding the people of Samui during these difficult times, as well as supporting a number of ethical elephant sanctuaries suffering through the lack of tourists since Covid.



For images of Chai Talay Estate:

Baan Kilee Dropbox

Baan Ora Chon Dropbox

Chai Talay Estate Dropbox



Booking Information | Rates | Offers | Contact Details:

Sample Rates 2021( with Max discounts applied)

Baan Kilee – USD1600 ( 4 BR – low season) up to USD 5,400 (8BR- high season) for 2 nights

Baan Ora Chon – USD800 ( 2 BR- low season) and USD2,400 for ( 5 BR-high season) for 2 nights

Chai Talay Estate – USD 2,400 ( 6 BR – low season) to USD7,800 ( 13 BR – high season) for 2 nights. Long stay deals apply.



Booking Chai Talay Estate

https://www.chaitalay.com/2021rates

Email: bookings@chaitalay.com



Chai Talay website

https://www.chaitalay.com

https://www.facebook.com/chaitalayestate



Weddings & Events

Weddings, private gatherings, events, and retreats start at USD 1,200 (subject to 7% tax) for up to 80 guests and USD 1,500 (subject to 7% tax) for up to 150 guests.

For more information, contact Chai Talay Estate.



Special Offers (Please enquire. Conditions apply)

First Right of Refusal – we don’t take your money until we know you can travel

30% off on all rates, for all bookings until 01 July 2021( conditions apply)

45% off for all last minute local bookings (within a month of travel)

Return Guests – we have free nights programmes for all return guests during this period.

Refer a Friend – Stay with us anytime until July 1, Refer a Friend, earn free nights.



Address: Lipa Noi, Ko Samui District, Surat Thani 84140, Thailand

Tel: +85290992016 | +85290992016




Contact: Tina Atkinson

tinajatkinson@gmail.com

Tel: +852 9099 2016 [Whatsapp]

Thursday, January 23, 2020

7 Tips to Manage Your Finances While Traveling



Wazzup Pilipinas!

Whether you are traveling solo, going for honeymoon vacation, or going for a family holiday, any kind of overseas vacation involves heavy planning especially when it comes to your finances. It is essential to have a plan for managing your money, as it ensures safety while traveling and saves you a huge amount of trouble. We’ve put together 7 tips that will ensure better management of your finances while traveling overseas.

Set a Spending Budget

Once you have decided on the destination you want to visit, the next important step is preparing a spending budget. When you prepare a financial spending budget, you can observe where your money is going. This helps in avoiding overspending which can lead to you running out of finances halfway and returning with heavy financial burdens such as heavy travel credit cards bill.

Your budget should take into consideration the expenses of accommodation, meals, activities, souvenirs, transportation, gratuities, etc. You should ensure that your budget has a certain flexibility in case of occasional splurges so that you enjoy your journey to the fullest.

Use a Bank Account with Low International Charges

One of the easiest way to access funds while abroad is through withdrawing money from ATM machines using your travel cards. ATMs are present almost everywhere and are an easy way to access funds as you do not have to carry large amounts of cash.

The common problem that occurs while withdrawing cash is that banks charge a high cash withdrawal fee for international transactions. It is best to always find out the fee charged by your bank beforehand. If the fee charged is high, it is advisable to change to a different bank account as it could lead to a great amount of savings.

Inform Your Bank or Credit Card Company

When you plan to head for your vacation, it is important to inform your bank or the credit card company about the travel including the duration and reason for the travel. This is important as it helps to prevent your travel credit cards from being blocked when they detect unusual foreign activities. You should also keep in handy the assistance helpline number for any service required when you are traveling.

Some credit card companies do not allow overseas transactions unless the cardholder puts in a request. It is advisable to check with your company for the procedure.

Use Travel Credit Cards for Your Purchases

You should always keep some cash in hand while you are traveling. However, it is advisable to use your travel credit cards for the majority of your spending. This is because you don’t have to go through the hassle of converting your currency. It also helps in getting you an economical exchange fee charges. It helps avoid dealing with the risks of carrying a huge pile of cash, in case of theft of your card you can simply report your card without losing any money.

Set Up Online Banking

While you’re overseas, it is essential to keep track of the financial transactions on your card for better management of your expenses. It is important to have access to internet banking with your travel cards. Online banking helps in keeping a track of the transactions occurring on your travel credit cards and managing other financial tasks.

However, you should avoid accessing your internet banking on public computers at the hotel or internet café. In case there is no option, you should ensure that you sign out of the secure sites and close the browser. Public WiFi should only be used if a safe connection is ensured.

Carry Multiple Travel Credit Cards and Debit Cards

It is always recommended to carry more than one travel credit cards and debit cards. It is possible that your travel cards are stolen or blocked by the bank, or they simply may not be acceptable at some ATMs or merchants. In such cases, you do not want to be stuck with no funds to carry out your payments and therefore, it is essential to have backup travel cards.

Don’t Keep All Your Valuables in One Place

It is not the best idea to keep all your valuables such as cash, travel credit cards, passport, and other important documents gathered in one place. This is because, in case of theft, you end up losing everything at once. It is best to spread out your valuables across your pouch, bags, hotel safes, pockets, etc.

The Bottom Line

If you are planning your dream vacation, make sure to add these tips to your financial to-do list. It is important to keep into account the financial spending and plan for it well in advance. This not only ensures a hassle-free trip but also allows you to step into your daily life comfortably without any financial burdens. Nobody likes to kill the post-vacation buzz with heavy bills to pay off.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Solo Travel Tips For Egypt


Wazzup Pilipinas!

Egypt is one of those countries that most people wish to visit at least once. It's a classic 'bucket list' vacation choice. There aren't many places left on the planet where you can see one of the seven wonders of the ancient world with your own eyes, but the Great Pyramid of Giza is still standing tall and attracts millions of visitors every year. The land of Egypt has played a vital role in the history of our whole civilization, and you owe it to yourself to find out what it has to offer.

Some solo travelers are put off the idea of visiting Egypt because of the misconception that it isn’t safe. This isn’t particularly fair. As with many countries in the region it occupies, Egypt has seen some trouble and strife in recent years, but it’s currently considered to be safe to visit. Not only that, but it relies on tourism as a major contributor to the well-being of its economy. Egypt doesn’t just want tourists - it needs them.

With flights to Egypt available once again, and a tourism industry waiting to welcome you with open arms, it's time to think about planning your trip. Egypt is a beautiful country, and one with a character and history so significant that it's seeped into every area of our mainstream culture. It was the lore of Egyptian mythology that persuaded movie-goers to head out to see 'The Mummy' in their thousands. It's the lore of Egypt today that has people flocking to play Egyptian-themed games on mobile slots websites like Late Casino. From the traditionalism of 'Ancient Egypt' to the more modern style of 'Cleo's Wish,' the iconography of Egypt has proven to be a great draw for mobile slots designers. Why let mobile slots players have all the fun, though? Why not go and see what all the fuss is about for yourself?

We appreciate that if you're a solo traveler, you'll still have a few concerns about safety and practicality even if your tour operator reassures you that everything is safe, so here's a few basic tips that we've been able to compile based on experience.

Always Use Uber

Uber might sometimes get bad press in other parts of the world, but in Egypt, they're a lifesaver. Without wanting to be disrespectful, the standards of driving in Egypt can be a little erratic, and that goes for the local taxi operators as much as the everyday civilians. Uber has been expanding its operations within the country to try and make things a little easier for travelers. There are several benefits to using Uber while you're there - not least that you'll get an estimate of your fare before you set off, which means less haggling while you're on the road. It also means it's less likely you'll be taken 'the long way round' in order to maximize your fare. On top of that, from a security point of view, both you and Uber know who your driver is, and where you're supposed to be headed. That can be particularly comforting for single female travelers.

Wear Sunglasses Outdoors

This isn’t just because of the weather, and nor is it because we want you to look like a celebrity while you’re there. If you’re headed to a tourist-heavy part of Egypt, you’ll encounter dozens of traders, market-stall owners, and other people trying to part you from your money. They keep a particularly keen eye out for people on their own, because they make for an easier target. Making eye contact with you is the first stage of trying to lure you into a conversation. If you’re wearing a pair of reflective sunglasses, they can’t make eye contact with you. It won’t be one hundred percent effective, but it will reduce the amount of hassle you’ll encounter.

Book Tours Through Your Hotel

For reasons we've never been able to explain adequately, it's more expensive to book tours before you arrive in Egypt than it is once you've reached your hotel. You'll save money by doing it all once you're in the country. Don't believe your package operator when they tell you everything will sell out - it never does! If you're staying with a reputable hotel, part of their service to you will include arranging tours to popular locations - and they'll undertake vetting of the people and companies they work with. That means you'll get a better quality of tour and guide, and you'll have the security of knowing you can take it up with the hotel if something isn't to your liking.

Research Each Area Before You Visit It

Some parts of Egypt are deeply conservative. Other areas are accustomed to seeing high numbers of western tourists, and are therefore more relaxed about what they expect from you. That means in some places you'll be free to drink alcohol, and in others, it will be strictly off-limits. Expectations of dress code will vary from location to location, too. You don't want to offend your hosts by doing the wrong thing in the wrong place. If you're in doubt, ask your hotel or your tour operator. In general, consider dressing more conservatively than you do at home. Your hosts will appreciate your politeness and consideration.

Learn A Few Basic Words

Unless you already have a good grasp of it, learning Arabic before your trip isn't going to be possible! Here's a handy phrase which will help you immeasurably:- "Shoukran." It's pronounced "shock-ran," and it means "thank you." Whenever you receive a service of any kind from any person, make sure to thank them. On the other hand, if you're being hassled or pestered about something you're not interested in, say "la shoukran." As you've probably guessed, that means "no thank you," and it will have the desired effect. "Salam-Alaikum" is also a helpful phrase to have in your vocabulary; it means "peace be with you," and is a standard greeting within the country.

Aside from all of the above, just relax and have fun. The Egyptian people are broadly friendly, and happy to see you. If they can speak a little English, they'll probably try to engage you in polite conversation. If they do, don't be nervous of them - they probably just want to thank you for visiting their country!

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Park Inn by Radisson North EDSA Soon to Operate


Wazzup Pilipinas!

On the night of July 31, we attended the launch of the newest hotel in the North operated by Radisson hotels and to soon add to the many luxury accommodations available in the Philippines.

The night was led by Nils Rorhbarth, General Manager of the hotel, giving the welcome remarks, with an opening remarks by Peggy Angeles, EVP of SM Hotels and Convention Center. Also in attendance were Elizabeth Sy, President of SM Hotels and Conventions Corporation, and Hon. Joy Belmonte, Mayor of Quezon City, who came in later after the launching ceremonies so she was initially represented by her local tourism officer.





Awesome entertainment numbers were provided by Michael Barry Que & DanceRs and Talahib People's Music, The Nightingales, and Gian Magdangal.

Hopefully, we would be able to visit the hotel again when it is finally operational be so we could show you the rooms and amenities.

If the buffet spread is an indication of the dushes available at their restaurants, then we are positive about the sumptuous food soon to be served at the hotel.

Congratulations!

Cebu Pacific Launches Three New Flights from Clark



Wazzup Pilipinas!

Cebu Pacific (CEB) new flights from Clark are now operational. August 9 was the inaugural flights going 4 times weekly to and from Narita (Tokyo, Japan), and daily to Iloilo and Bacolod, all direct from Clark. By October 16, it will also add Clark to Puerto Princesa, and back, among its new routes.

CEB is the first Philippine carrier to mount direct flights between Clark and Tokyo, largest in terms of capacity by end 2019, capturing 28% of total number of seats offered by all carriers operating in Clark.

Cebu Pacific President Lance Gokongwei led the media launch together with DOTr Secretary Art Tugade and other executives from different government and private organizations, including Alexander Lao, VP for Corporate Planning of Cebu Pacific.



The aim is to fly 200 million passengers vy 2020, and 300 million by 2022, enabling more Juans to travel conveniently and affordably through year-round low fares. The airline also expects to receive over 60 more aircrafts in the next eight years.

DOTr Secretary Art Tugade has praised the airline for its support to the transport industry, specifically to his agency, and also mentioned additional good news in terms of transportation developments within the country.

There were also statements of increased tourism activities for both Philippines and Japan residents.

The airline also announced the opening of its cadet pilot program with "study now, pay later, zero interest" especially for residents of Clark and nearby areas. Application will run from August 9 to 18.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

The Best Destinations to Travel with Your Friends in the US


Wazzup Pilipinas!

Traveling with a group of friends, even your closest ones, can be daunting.

Most often, picking a destination can be extra challenging, because let's admit it, we all have one friend or a group of friends that makes the entire planning stage a bit of a hassle.

Despite the challenge that comes with different personalities, at the end of the day, you still want to travel to a place that everyone in the group will enjoy.

So, we've scoured the globe (well, the internet ‒ that is) to search for the perfect places in the US that everyone, even the hard to please bunch, will enjoy.


For the Foodie Friend: Houston

If eating delectable tasting dishes is a priority for everyone in your group, then Houston perfectly fits the bill. From food trucks to fusion cuisine, Houston gives foodies a lot of opportunities to indulge their taste buds. While you're at it, take your group for a Tex-Mex tour, and indulge yourselves at Midtown or the heights afterward.

On the other hand, if food isn't everyone's top priority, but you still need an unforgettable food experience then check out UB Preserve. What's great about this restaurant is that it offers dishes that were inspired by the city's most popular eateries in the area. If you want to have a taste of Houston's culinary and cultural diversity, then it's definitely worth checking out.


For Your Friends Who Won't Drive: New York

Not everyone from your group of friends will love a good ol' road trip. For others, it's their worst nightmare to be all cramped up in a car just to get to their next destination. To avoid being in this kind of scenario, book yourselves on a trip to New York.

New York has one of the most extensive transportation systems in the entire country, so you can spend an entire trip there, without having to be behind the wheel. All of the city's airports can be accessible via public transport, so as soon as you land, you can easily catch a bus or a train to go to wherever you need to go.

The great thing about the city is that all its main attractions are conveniently reachable, thanks to its substantial public transit system. You can easily take the subway going to Central Park, Yankee Stadium, Empire State Building, and so on.

If the weather's excellent, you can even ride the Staten Island Ferry to get breathtaking views of the Statue of Liberty as well the skyline. After a long day of exploring the city, take the subway back to your accommodation even in the wee hours of the morning.

When the trip ends, not only will you realize that you've saved up a lot of cash to car rentals and parking fees, but it also saves you from the headache of being stuck in traffic, and whining friends asking you impatiently, "are we there yet?"


For Your Friends Who are on a Budget: St. Loius

If some of your friends have a limited budget to spend on their vacation, go to a place that has plenty of things to see, but with a lower price tag. St. Loius is the perfect destination to go to.

Filled with free attractions and appetizing restaurants that are just within your price range, St. Louis is excellent if you want to plan a budget-friendly getaway.

Culture seekers will love the History Museum, Art Museum and Science Center. The best part is that all of these facilities are free of admission. Nature lovers will appreciate the 1,300 acre Forest Park, which is also where the Saint Louis Zoo is located.

Drop by St. Louis Walk of Fame as you browse some shops in the area before eating at the iconic Blueberry Hill or the local favorite Salt + Smoke. Before you leave, get an up close and personal at the Gateway Arch for free.


For Your Friends Who Want to Unwind: Miami

Miami is excellent for your friends who want to escape from work commitments, have gone through a recent breakup, or just anyone who wants to have plenty of good vibes on your upcoming trip. Check-in and book a spa treatment at the Standard, Miami Beach. While you're there, you can also participate in the stand-up paddleboarding.

Embark on a walking tour, and go sight-seeing at the Ocean Drive, and grab something in the area's most notable restaurants. After you're done with your daytime activities, take the time to recharge on the city's vibrant nightlife. Most clubs and bars open until 5 am.


For Your Friend Who Doesn't Have a Passport: Hawaii

If one of your friends doesn't have a passport, yet still want to enjoy a far-away getaway, then we recommend Hawaii. There's no other state like it, thanks to Hawaii's unparalleled climate, and unique, one-of-a-kind culture that has been passed down for generations.

Going here is a five or six-hour flight from the nearest state. Get your adrenaline rush as you go see an active volcano on the Big Island and hike a waterfall in the beautiful rainforests of Kauai. Swim with the sea turtles of Maui, or enjoy the vibrant nightlife of Oahu.


For Your Friends That Are Itching for a Road Trip

If going for long road trips isn't on everyone's vocabulary, don't compromise your vacation by being in a car for too long. The Southwestern United States has wide stretches of desserts with a number of cities and national parks.

Visit the bustling city of Phoenix, and drop by the Grand Canyon. Take a sunrise tour at Monument Valley, before venturing to Antelope Canyon. Then, work your way to Zion National Parks before you head to your final stop ‒ Vegas.

When it comes to making the most of your United States vacation and spending your precious day-offs with your closest friends, picking the ideal location is essential. Also, spending some days, weeks, or months time traveling will give you a deep sense of appreciation of what the country has to offer.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

4 Reasons Why the Philippines Is the Most Underrated Travel Destination in Southeast Asia


Wazzup Pilipinas!

Asia is a big hit with tourists. Every kind of traveler can find something they’d love in this huge continent. Southeast Asia, in particular, has a plethora of beautiful beaches, delicious food, and rich ecosystems filled with unique flora and fauna. It’s certainly an appealing travel destination, with hidden gems just waiting to be explored.

Most first-time travelers in Southeast Asia would choose countries like Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, or Vietnam, but it’s also worth considering the Philippines. This archipelago, composed of more than 7,600 islands, is located in the West Pacific Ocean. Surrounded by water, the country has the world’s fifth longest coastline of 36,289 kilometers (22,549 miles). As such, the Philippines has plenty of gorgeous beaches and island destination, including Boracay, Cebu, and Palawan.

However, the Philippines is more than just about beaches and island hopping. In fact, when you look beyond the sparkling waters, you’ll realize that the country is one of Southeast Asia’s more underrated destinations. If you need some more convincing, here are a few reasons to visit the Philippines.

Cheap but Accessible Hotels

If you’re the kind of traveler who doesn’t need five-star accommodations but needs to be in the center of the action, you’re in luck. There are a lot of clean, comfortable, and affordable hotels in and around Metro Manila, and even in the farther provinces. In fact, if you’re planning to stay in Metro Manila and explore the city, you can find plenty of hotels near NAIA Terminal 2, which is where many international flights land. Filipinos are also arguably the most hospitable people in the world, so no matter how small the hotel, you can expect a warm welcome and good service.

Historical and Natural Wonders

The Philippines has a rich history, being a country of mix of native Philippine, Asian, Spanish, and American heritages. In almost every province, you’ll find historical sites and landmarks that have borne witness to the various events that shaped the Philippines’ current cultural landscape. The Philippines is also home to hundreds of indigenous peoples who have been living in the islands even before the Spanish set foot in 1521. Many of them occupy their original ancestral lands, which, in themselves, have become tourist destinations. Just remember to be respectful of the various traditions and local laws when you visit these places.

The Philippines is also a gem if you’re a nature lover. While its location in the Pacific Ring of Fire makes it prone to typhoons and earthquakes, it’s also the reason why the country has a rich biodiversity and varied and abundant natural resources. Lush forests, marine sanctuaries, mountains and rivers, rock formations and cave networks, you can find almost everything in the Philippines. If you want a slice of paradise, visit Batanes in the northernmost part of the country. Filled with sprawling fields of green, stunning beaches, and awe-inspiring views from the hilltops, Batanes is also home to traditional villages and age-old cultures. It’s quite tricky to get to, but once you’re there, you’ll realize that the effort is truly worth it.

Food, Food, Food
Filipino cuisine is as diverse as the nation’s hundreds of ethnic groups, further flavored by the influences of both Western and Asian spheres. Dish complexity range from very simple (fried salted fish) to the intricate (kare-kare and variations of adobo). Regional specialties are common, as are unique delicacies that might make some weaker stomachs turn (balut, anyone?). Many Filipino foods are also cooked with soups like sinigang and bulalo, or with sauces like menudo or pochero.

Going to the Philippines means experiencing this wide variety of dishes. Go beyond adobo, the unofficial national dish. Take a bite of dinuguan, dinakdakan, pinakbet, laing, various pancits (noodles), chicharron, chicken inasal, lechon, estofado, sambal, and many, many, many more. You also have a wide selection of kakanins (desserts and pastries made from sticky rice) and unique desserts like halo-halo, leche flan, buko salad, and “dirty” ice cream or sorbetes. What’s great is that whenever you visit the Philippines, you’re sure to find yet another version of these dishes and desserts for a whole new experience.

English is Common

If you’re an English-speaker, you don’t have to worry about language barriers. A huge majority of Filipinos speak and understand the language. This might not be a deal-breaker for most, but it can certainly make your life easier. From asking for directions to ordering in restaurants, knowing that you’ll be understood can help take a load off your shoulders and help you enjoy your vacation even more.

Of course, reading all about the destination is a lot different than actually going there. So the next time you get some time off, book a flight to Southeast Asia and visit the Philippines. Once you’ve been there, you’ll probably ask yourself why you haven’t gone before or visited more often.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

10 Amazing US Cities for Nature Lovers



Wazzup Pilipinas!

Everyone loves the excitement and electric energy of America’s big cities. From world-class art galleries to offbeat bars, US cities offer a smorgasbord of fun-filled and mind-blowing experiences. Amazingly, there are also plenty of cities in the USA that will satisfy your nature-loving soul. Whether you’re into hiking or beaching, America has a host of nature-friendly cities to appease your wanderlust.

Planning on exploring a nature-friendly city in the US, but don’t know where to go? Guess what? We’ve rounded some of America’s best and most fascinating urban destinations for nature lovers.

San Francisco, California

They don’t call San Francisco as one of the top places to visit in the US for nothing. For
decades, this SoCal city has been luring travelers worldwide with its iconic man-made wonders, such as the world-renowned Golden Gate Bridge. But, the city also has a plethora of delights and surprises to offer to nature lovers. With over 200 parks in close proximity, San Francisco is
truly an urban destination hardwired for nature lovers. And, did we mention that it is home to an array of fabulous beaches, like Baker Beach, China Beach and Clipper Cove Beach?

Portland, Oregon

Portland is, hands down, one of the most diverse US urban destinations for nature lovers. After all, it offers skiing in winter as well as hiking, surfing and camping throughout the year. What’s more, it’s pretty close to the Columbia River George, the Oregon coast and snowy Cascades.
On a clear day, you can savor stunning views from Mount Saint Helens. As an added bonus, Portland is also deemed as one of the world’s top bike-friendly cities. Not bad, right?

Jacksonville, Florida

Home to more than 400 urban parks, Jacksonville is one of America’s greenest big cities. A must-visit spot here is the Big Talbot Island State Park – a nature preserve that’s great for bird-watching and wildlife photography. And, don’t forget to check out Little Talbot Island where you’llfind untouched beaches perfect for surfing and beachcombing. Make sure to drop by Timucan Ecological and Historic Preserve when visiting the city since it’s a rare chance to see one of the few remaining unspoiled and pristine coastal wetlands along the Atlantic Ocean.

Phoenix, Arizona

There’s no shortage of majestic and jaw-dropping sunsets in Phoenix, making it a perfect destination for nature lovers. And, that’s not all! The city also has a bunch of new community gardens and modern green spaces. To make things even better, the city has nature-friendly initiatives to make it a booming green mecca in the heart of the magnificent Sonoran Desert. A
great way to kick start an outdoor escape in this city is to visit the Phoenix Sonoran Preserve, which is a sprawling ecosystem of breathtaking desert animals as well as flora that you won’t find elsewhere.

Then, head to the country’s largest municipal park – South Mountain Park – to enjoy incredible views of Phoenix as well as the state’s famed sunsets.

San Jose, California

Like most of the cities mentioned on this list, San Jose boasts a wealth of natural parks. Furthermore, the city appeals to travelers of all ages. Kids, for instance, will have a blast running around as well as visiting Happy Hollow Park and Zoo’s petting farms. In addition, those who
are looking for cultural attractions will find their bliss at the Japanese Friendship Garden. On top of it all, the garden turns into a pink wonderland during spring, thanks to the budding Japanese
Cherry blossoms.

Seattle, Washington

No list of the best nature-friendly cities in the US is complete without the inclusion of Seattle, Washington. Sure, it rains in Seattle sometimes, but still it offers plenty of outdoor activities, regardless of the season. In summer, the city offers a whirlwind of experiences, including the Olympic National Park’s rainforest, hiking Mount Rainier and kayaking in the San Juan Islands.

When winter sets in, you can go on a couple of runs on Crystal Mountain’s slopes or gaze at the thousands of snow geese gliding into the Skagit Valley.

Jacksonville, Florida

Fond of national parks? Trust us, you won’t regret paying a visit to the “River City by the Sea”. Green and incredibly clean, Jacksonville has over 80,000 acres of park, including a national preserve, 10 national and state parks, an arboretum as well as a handful of city gardens and
parks.

Sedona, Arizona

Sedona is, without a doubt, every nature lover’s dream destination. With its awe-inspiring red-rock scenery, Sedona, AZ will give you the urge to snap countless of photographs. Trust us, there’s a beautiful sight at every turn at this desert town. Of course, the city offers a plethora of
exciting and magnificent trail, making it the ultimate destination for hikers in the United States.

On top of it all, it has plenty of healing vortexes that are believed to be therapeutic. Not a bad city to explore, right?

New York, New York

Surprised? Well, don’t be. Just because it’s an urban jungle, it doesn’t mean there are no nature spots in the city that never sleeps. As a matter of fact, New York is home to one of America’s largest and most visited urban parks - Central Park. Even better, there are tons of other awesome nature spots in and near the Big Apple, including the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, Bronx Zoo, the Adirondacks and Lake George. Still think New York is just one big concrete jungle? Think again!

Los Angeles

Like New York, Los Angeles, California isn’t exactly the first place that comes into mind when you think of nature-friendly cities in the United States. For the most part, people associate Los Angeles with America’s worst traffic jams and the glitzy Hollywood. But, there are also tons of big and stunning beaches that are pleasant to visit year-round in Los Angeles. On top of that,
there are quite a few state parks nearby that offer a wondrous escape when you have enough sun. Sweet, right?

Jacksonville, Florida

Fond of national parks? Trust us, you won’t regret paying a visit to the “River City by the Sea”. Green and incredibly clean, Jacksonville has over 80,000 acres of park, including a national preserve, 10 national and state parks, an arboretum as well as a handful of city gardens and parks.

Sedona, Arizona

Sedona is, without a doubt, every nature lover’s dream destination. With its awe-inspiring red-rock scenery, Sedona, AZ will give you the urge to snap countless of photographs. Trust us, there’s a beautiful sight at every turn at this desert town. Of course, the city offers a plethora of
exciting and magnificent trail, making it the ultimate destination for hikers in the United States.

On top of it all, it has plenty of healing vortexes that are believed to be therapeutic. Not a bad city to explore, right?

Did we miss anything? Feel free to share your thoughts and opinions to us, using the comments section below.

Out of the Way Places to Visit in the Philippines



Wazzup Pilipinas!

The Philippine Islands are renowned as one of the top destinations for tourists, travelers, adventurers and water sports enthusiasts. But there are still many parts of these islands that remain off the beaten track, hidden gems that have yet to be discovered by mass tourism. It's always a good idea to research the current situation before you travel, just to make sure it's safe to go beyond the proscribed resort areas. But if you do get a chance to head out on your own initiative, here are some of the most rewarding locations that most visitors never get around to seeing. Depending on where you set off from, the journey may take you up to nine hours even from within the country, so make sure you have everything you’ll need – water, snacks, and a charged phone – and sort some entertainment too. (These Betfair promo codes NJ might help.)

Isla de Gigantes Sur

This is one of the most incredible islands in the whole of the Philippines, but at the time of writing it has yet to be colonized by hotels and resorts. This means it is still largely un-spoilt and is not overrun by tourists. If you want to stay over you'll probably need to make arrangements with a local family, but once you're on the island you should definitely head for Antonia Beach.

On one side this faces right onto the ocean, but on the other there are permanently calm waters for stress-free swimming and bathing. This is an ideal snorkeling location too, and lies just half an hour from the island's main port. You can get there by ferry from Estancia, or hire your own boat to come and go as you please.

Calayan Island

Calayan Island isn't the easiest of the Philippine Islands to get to, but it's definitely worth it. The island's relative inaccessibility, guarded as it is by high waves and a number of different ports you'll need to pass through, is what ensures that its beauty remains un-spoilt and mostly undiscovered. If you want peace and quiet in a remote, stunning landscape, Calayan Island is the place to go.

Once you arrive you'll be rewarded with amazing secluded beaches, friendly locals and striking rock formations. Be sure to check out the white sandy beaches of Cibang Cove and, if you're feeling fit, to climb the Nagudungan Hills, where the views from the top are simply breath-taking.

Dumog Sandbar

There is remote and then there is remote: and then there is this isolated sandbar in the middle of the ocean, only fully exposed at low tide. At one end it actually stays submerged just beneath the surface of the sea for several hundred meters. Walk out along it and you'll feel like you're walking on water!

Located between the islands of Bohol and Cebu, the sandbar has one permanent resident, a caretaker who guards it against the environmentally destructive practice of dynamite fishing. Otherwise it can only be visited for a few hours every day, so plan carefully.

Malawi Island

Although there is a tourist resort on Malawi Beach, the island is usually pretty quiet as it is located in the province of Basilan. While Malawi Island is considered to be completely safe, the province itself has a lingering reputation for crime and military violence that keeps many away. As always, check before you travel, but Malawi Island is just five minutes from Isabella City, the Basilan capital, and away from the resort you'll find a secluded island paradise.

Camiguin Island

Just off the northern coast of Mindanao in the Southern Philippines, "the island born of fire" is one of the archipelago's best-kept secrets. This volcanic island is scattered with unearthly mountain-peaks and spectacular free-flowing waterfalls. For absolute relaxation, just off the island's coast is the pure soft sandbar known as White Island, surrounded by perfect blue seas on all sides.

Abak Beach

Capul Island has several active resorts, but for those who want to go off the beaten track the abandoned resort at Abak Beach has a distinctly eerie charm. The white sands, perfect blue waters and coconut trees should satisfy anyone's beach requirements, but the desolate empty beach huts and derelict resort building add a certain extra frisson.

These are just a few of the amazing out of the way locations to be found in the Philippines. Sometimes it's best to follow your nose instead of following the crowds. With a bit of research and planning, creating your own itinerary can lead to the most memorable vacation you'll ever experience.

The Philippine Paradise: An Attractive Retirement Destination



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The number of foreign retirees in the Philippines is currently 53, 355, according to Bienvenido Chy, the general manager of Philippine Retirement Authority. Many foreign retirees are interested to retire in the Philippines because of low living costs, tropical climate, and friendly locals who speak English fluently. For most individuals, the decision to retire abroad is a difficult one, and it is more difficult to choose where to settle down. Here are some issues you need to think about if you are considering Philippines as a retirement location.

Low cost of living

The cost of living in the Philippines is significantly lower compared to the United States. Consider the fact that rental rates in the Philippines is 79.16% lower than in the US. International Living reported that expats can live a comfortable life in the Philippines spending only $800 to $1200 per month. With the low cost of living in the Philippines, you can also plan for an early retirement. You just need to be disciplined in terms of expenses. In a matter of a few years, you’ll be enjoying the retired life in a tropical paradise.

Lots of adventures

If you have a bucket list, you can be sure to tick things off of it while in the Philippines. You can go diving in the sky or in the sea or go on top of a mountain. The Philippines has a lot of beautiful beaches to offer like Boracay in Aklan or El Nido and Coron in Palawan. If you imagine your retirement life to having drinks and listening to the waves of the beach, then you will surely enjoy living in this country.

Friendly and English-speaking locals

One of the most popular traits of Filipinos is hospitality. They are warm and friendly to everyone who’s visiting their country. They are truly a welcoming bunch of people. You can also communicate easily with the locals because they speak English, as the language is the second official language of the country.

Lack of infrastructure

The Philippines is a developing country which is why the infrastructure like transportation and public utilities might not be as efficient or dependable in your home country. These are all available in the Philippines, except in the remote islands, but they do not function consistently. For example, the trains would sometimes break down due to glitches in the trains’ electrical components. However, there are alternative transportation methods such as cabs or Grab cars, which is similar to Uber and Lyft.

Poor internet connection

From checking our e-mails for work or chatting with family and friends on online messaging applications, it seems that the majority of people’s lives revolve around using the Internet. Surfing the web in the Philippines may be something that needs some getting used to as the global average internet speed is 7.2 Mpbs, while the average internet speed in the country is only 5.5 Mbps. This would mean slow internet speed for people using it, but you can still do your basic surfing activities. In recent months, the government and telecommunications company are working together to significantly improve the speed of internet connection in the country.

The Philippines is a country where you can retire if you want lower cost of living and experiencing new things. If you want a trial, you can opt for a short vacation so that you can determine whether you can spend the rest of your life in the country. It’s up to you to decide whether the pros outweigh the cons of retiring in the Philippines.
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