Monday, June 30, 2008

My Favorite Places #3- Genting Highlands, Malaysia

Genting Highlands of Malaysia is known to be the " City of Entertainment". It has a big outdoor and indoor theme park, hotels, casinos , shopping centers, a wide variety of restaurants and a lot more.

This is one of my favorite places. Not actually a great place to rest since you'll be so busy trying out all the rides and going around to see the whole place. BUt, it's truly a great place to be entertained and the kids will surely love the place.

Since it's high on the mountain top, the weather is cool and nice.

One of the reason why I place this in one of my favorite places is because it's very affordable .. We've been here 3 times already and the last two, we were supposed to go somewhere else but because we were on a tight budget, we still ended up here. Imagine, they have a 2 nights/3days package for only 108 RM. That was last year's rate. The 108 RM included 2 nights stay in the hotel, buffet breakfast for two ( for two days) and 2 tickets for an international magic/acrobat show. Though the hotel ( First World Hotel) we stayed in was really cramped, It was really a great bargain since the show's ticket itself already cost 50RM each if you buy it without the package. I've just checked the rates now and it has gone a bit high but I would still say it's worth it. The show is just excellent and the breakfast is HUGE! We always ended up eating BRUNCH since the buffet is just overflowing. Well, that would be great savings right? No need to spend for lunch. :)

The highlights we had for this place would be their outdoor and indoor parks. The rides are just exciting and gives you that adrenalin rush. Below is the SUper Shot, that made me heart stopped a beat when we were going down at such a speed!! Whew!

We also enjoyed the going hotel hopping..since all the hotels are interconnected to each other. So you get to see all the hotels and shops in between. They also have a cable car , if you don't have transport going on top.

For all the faint hearted and don't want to have any adrenalin rush ( or you might end up in the hospital) for theme rides or cable car rides then I suggest you stay in the hotels down below where there are nice places to retreat and relax.

Friday, June 27, 2008

New Template

I've just changed my template because I wanted a 3 column template with a navigation bar. There was this template that i really love, it's called 'aspire'. It's beautiful and I think it would have fit well with my over all concept of the travel blog. BUt sadly, when I tried to download the html code. It didn't work. I tried and tried until I've decided to choose another one and that's why I settled with this.

THis will just be temporary and when I have time I'll have to search for the 'aspire' template with html codes that work.

Travel the Continents Tag

This tag is from Lalaine's WOrld and Day to Day Miracles.

Begin Copy

Rules :

1. Start Copy from "Begin Copy" until "End Copy".
2. Put your blog's name and url write in which continent you live, add the country you live in. Example : My Imaginary Travels (Netherlands)
3. Leave your url post in here and you'll be added in the Master List.
4. Please help spread this tag by tagging your friends as much as you can.
5. Don't play unfair! If you have more than 1 blog, you can participate all your blogs for this tag. BUT you will have to post this tag to all your blogs as well. So, please. Don't cheat!
6. Please come back again to copy the update of the master list, often. This process will help new participants to get the same gains as the first participants.
7. Don't forget to use the banner at your post, you can save as or you can just copy the code in here.

Master List :

A. Asia : 1. Moms... Check Nyo (Philippines) 2. Hailey's Beats and Bits (Philippines) 3. allinkorea (Korea) 4. kimchiland (Korea) 5. korean food (Korea) 6. idealpinkrose (Korea) 7. Manna from Heaven (Philippines) 8. and Life Goes On for... (Philippines) 9. Proud Mommy (Philippines) 10. Lalaine's World ( Thailand) 11. Day to Day Miracles 12. Budget Traveler 13. Trying to be Fit 14.Your next

B. Australia : 1. your turn

C. Afrika : 1. your turn

D. North Amerika : 1. your turn

E. South Amerika : 1. your turn

F. Europe : 1. My Imaginary Travels (Netherlands) 2. Juliana's Site (Netherlands) 3. Picturing of Life (Netherlands) 4. Portia (UK) 5. your turn

G.Antarctica : 1. your turn

~ End Copy ~

Now, I would like to tag Prily of Capturing the Moments, Charmed Blossoms, Raptured Dreams and Blessings In Life

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Things To Do in Hatyai, Thailand

Image from

Where is Hatyai?? That must be the first question in your mind when you read the title of this post. For starters, Hatyai is located at the South of Thailand. It's one of the gateway to Malaysia and other provinces with the famous beaches.

Hatyai is the common 'holiday' destination of Malaysians since it's the nearest country to them (Singapore is nearer though but expensive) and has cheaper bargains. But this also the hub or the stopover of backpackers traveling from Malaysia before going to the beautiful Islands nearby.

So, here is my list of things to do and places to go in Hatyai, Thailand.

1) Go Shopping!!

Clothes, shoes, bags, fruits and other goods are cheap here. The best places to shop are : The Weekend Night Market ( Talat Paet Thai) which only opens from Thursday - Sunday from 6-10 pm, The NIght Market at the CIty center near Lee Gardens , they are open every night, Plaza ( Naa Ho ) where is open everyday from 8am-5pm. If you're really into shopping, you can shop till you drop. But you have to bargain to get the best price. Start from starting half of their original price. If you're an entrepreneur andwant to buy wholesale, their are wholesale shops around PLaza. You just have to walk around a lot of streets to see this. There are wholesale shops for accessories, shirts, bags, shoes and etc. And they are really cheap!!!

2) GO for a nice, relaxing massage

There are a lot of massage parlors near the city area. But the thing is they are quite pricey ( I guess still cheap for the Singaporeans and Malaysians). In the city center, a 1 hour foot or body massage costs 250 baht . But I recommend you go to Big C, since you can get that same price for a 2 hour body massage. Their masseurs are good and very polite.

3) Eat till you drop!

Oh, when it comes to dining options ...there are a LOT of restaurant to choose from. From pricey shops to the hawker shops..but believe me, everywhere you go, their food is yummy!! Here is a list of our favorite restaurants. Though there are still a number of restaurants we haven't tried yet. Sky Buffet at Lee Gardens for only 129-159 baht per person, it offers a wide variety of Thai food, salads, deserts. I just love the unlimited ice cream and coffee/tea. This restaurant is on the 33rd floor of Lee Gardens Hotel so you get to see the beautiful view of Hatyai city. Sugar Rock along Thamanonvitee Rd. , food and ambience is great and the price is very reasonable. This is our personal favorite restaurant since they have a playroom and we can eat while our daughter plays. Log Terrace, near Ket Pet Rd. I love the concept of this restuarant. It's along the river and they designed it in such a way, that it's like you're in a cave. There is a man made water falls inside and a real crocodile too. The food is good but a bit pricey. Rin Rua ( Moo Kata), this is another eat all you can restaurant for only 89 baht. They have a wide variety of meats, veggietables, soups and desserts. You get to grill and steam your own food. It's an outdoor restaurant with a big screen TV for football fans. Samila Restuarant, this is a new resturant along Rayjindee road. The restaurant design is beautiful specially at night. Ban Phuk Khaw , this is a restaurant on a hill. This restaurant will offer you a beautiful view of Hatyai. I can't write all the restaurants here..there are just LOT!! Of course, if you're bored of THai food and would want more familiar taste, don't worry there are Mcdonald's, KFC, Pizza Hut, Sizzlers, Fuji, MK restaurant.

4) Go to Songkhla Beach

Image from

This is the nearest beach in the city. (I'll write another post on Songkhla) It's only a 30 mins drive from Hatyai. You'll get a 'taste' of the famous white sand beach of Thailand. It's a great place to relax and eat sea food too. THough you have to be careful since the restaurants along the beach are known to over price tourist. We had a terrible experience. So, if you're in a budget and don't want to be a victim of 'tourist overprice' then I suggest you ask the prices first before ordering. Then beware that the bucket of ice cubes they 'give' you is worth 20 baht whether you finish it or not.

5) GO for a swim in Ton Nga Chaang Waterfalls

Image from

This waterfalls has 7 levels. It's beautiful even if we were only able to go until the 2nd level. It's quite a hike but I'm sure it'll be worth it. By the way, if you're a foreigner, they charge 200 Baht as a fee to enter the park where the you'll see the waterfalls but if you're a Thai, you only get to pay 20 Baht. Hmmm...

I think these are only the top 5 things you can do in Hatyai. But even if there are only 5 it's already enough to keep you occupied.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

My Favorite Places #2 - White Island

The White Island of Camiguin ranks the 2nd of my favorite places. The White Island or Medan Island as known to a few is a very small, isolated island. Its shape can be changed depending on the tide. It's just a white sand bar without trees, huts or anything. It's a plain island surrounded by the sea with the view of Mt Hibok-hibok and the mainland nearby. That's what makes the place simply beautiful.

If you go to during the off-peak season ( like we did), then most probably there'll just a handful of people on the island. Everything will be so quiet and still except the rushing of the waves and the beat of your heart amidst the turquoise sea and the greenness of the mainland you could see from afar. The experience is just awesome!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Travel Tip # 5

When you're in a different place- observe..observe..observe..and do.

Observe how people hail the public transport, observe how people eat, observe how people do things, how the local people dress and etc.

Though you may not really be able to learn the local people's 'culture' through a few days stay in the place, but through observation and following them, you won't be able to offend them. You as a foreigner will be a welcome sight and not an eye sore.

For example in Malaysia, it's predominantly a Muslim nation. Generally, people's dressing are more conservative compared to other nations. How would the local people feel if suddenly foreigner comes wearing skimpy , see through clothes?

Travel Tip # 4

Get the city map of your destination.

We cannot really underestimate the importance of a MAP. But somehow, even if we see the importance of it there are time that out of sheer laziness(?) we forget to procure one. :) So, result? Getting lost in a big city. ..hours and hours of going around the same place...a waste of gasoline or money..bored passengers which equals to cranky passengers.

So, before you hop on your car or the next plane, make sure to get the latest updated map of your destination. Von Voyage!

Traveling with Kids

It's quite a challenge traveling with children also have special needs and sometimes we couldn't predict their moods. So, when traveling always keep in my the necessities of the children from the very important needs like milk, diapers and etc. to the seemingly not-so-important but it'll become a life-saver for us to have peace and this can be their favorite toys or books.

We had a very bad experience during the first time we traveled with our 3-month old daughter. As first time parents we really made one of the biggest mistake any parent could do, when traveling out of the country. I'll tell the details of the story later. ;)

Banaue Rice Terraces

The Banaue Rice Terraces, found in Apayao, Benguet, Mountain Province and Ifugao, is considered by Filipinos to be the 8th Wonder of the World, this beautiful rice terraces made by human hands is a sight to behold.

It's too bad that I haven't seen this with my own eyes. This place has been tagged as one of the most beautiful places.

I'm proud that this is found in my beloved country, Philippines and I surely hope to go to this place.

Travel Tip # 2

Travel Tip # 2 : Do a Lot of Research on the Place Where You're Going.

The amount of research you've done to the place you're going is equivalent to the amount of time and money you'll be able to save on the actual trip. Researching about the place, accommodations, fares , food and etc. are just at the click of our fingertips. For sure there will be a lot of websites available on the information we want. Joining travel forums will also be very helpful as you will be able to chat with actual people who've been to the place and therefore get real feedbacks. I'll be posting some helpful sites and forums next time.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

SouthEast Asia Budget Travel

Several years ago, when one travels outside their own country, it really costs a lot. Now, thanks to all these Budget Airlines because they made traveling internationally cheaper.

Just like six years ago, a round trip ticket from Cebu/Manila to Kuala Lumpur would cost around 24,000 Pesos or approx $ 500. Now, a round trip ticket of the same destination will be around 10,000 Pesos (approx US$227) on a promotional price. And once my Mom bought her ticket for only P 2,800 (US$63) since it was a Zero fare rate.

Here are the Budget Airlines that I know that travel around Southeast Asia and beyond :). It's really cheap and as one of the airline's motto says, " Now everyone can fly!"

1) Airasia - They are the very first brave airline in SouthEast Asia to think of schemes to cut their operational costs and therefore lower their fare. At the start, their planes were small and looked like flying buses from the interior but as they moved on, they improved a lot and now they have airbus 300. They're currently flying around some parts of Asia and Australia and even planning to fly to Europe.

If you're seriously planning to travel around,to get their zero or cheapest rate, you have to visit thier site frequently or subscribe to their updates.

2) Cebu Pacific Air - Thier international destinations are quite limited compared to Airasia but personally I like their planes better. I've only tried the 'bus-like' planes of Airasia (haven't tried the airbus 300 yet), so please forgive me if I make this comparison in my limited experience.

3) Tiger Airways- They've got good planes too. Their planes are based in Singapore and their destinations include India, China and Australia at good rates.

4) Jetstar- I haven't been in any of their planes yet. But some of my friends have tried it and they also gave good feedbacks. What's interesting with this airline is that the price of your ticket depends on the amount of baggage you have. Like for example if when you only have a carry-on bag, then you get the cheapest rate, while if you check -in a luggage that's more than 30 kilos then you get a more expensive rate. So, for backpackers or light travelers who are just interested to see Australia or other countries, then for sure you'll get a reasonable price.

5) COMING SOON! - Malaysian Airlines - Presently, this airline offers a zero rate only in their domestic destinations but, SOON they will be offering zero rates for their international destinations. I'm surely looking forward for this since they are the premier airline of Malaysia and therefore they have a lot more international destinations compared to the others.

So, here is my list. I can't tell you for sure which has the cheapest rates since it all depends on their yearly promotions. Most of these airlines offer ZERO so, you just have to always check their sites or better yet, subscribe to their newsletters.

So you think traveling internationally is only for the rich and famous? No,no,no....With all these budget airlines , now everyone can travel abroad. SAKAY NA!! ;)

Monday, June 09, 2008

My Favorite Places #1 - Tinago Falls

One of the most beautiful waterfalls that I've ever seen is found in Iligan City, Philippines. It's no other than the Tinago Falls, which means Hidden Falls. Yes, it is truly hidden in a deep ravine and one has to descend about 500 steps called the winding staircase to reach the foot of the waterfalls. But, once you get there, you won't regret it even if you're already panting and out of breath from exhaustion. The water cascading the the mountains is just beauty to behold and the deep blue color of the water is just refreshing. Indeed, an ideal place for rest and reflection.

I've been to Tinago Falls 3 times ( if I remember right) and everytime I descend down and hear the sound of the waterfalls, my heart just beats fast anticipating the beauty that will be seen in a few moments time..and then everytime I get the first glimpse of the falls, I never fail to just stop, be amazed and appreciate God's majestic creation. I'm not exaggerating, it's really VERY beautiful!..If only I'm good with words then I'll be able to give justice to the beauty of the falls with my description . But I'm not, so all I could do is describe it in my own way and convince you to go and see for yourself.

When we go back home, I'll surely show this beauty to my HUbby who hasn't been there before.

Tagboard / Shoutbox Campaign

I got this form A Piece of Idea... read on and you might want to join this tag.

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Tagboard / Shoutbox Campaign


To gather all bloggers who use tagboards like cbox or shoutmix. (at the same time, increase technorati ranking)

1. Copy from "Start here" to "End here"
2. Add you blog(s) on the list below.
3. Let me know your name and url by leaving a comment here. I will add you in the master list and contact you through your tagboard whenever there is an update to this tag

1. A Piece of Idea 2. WriteShy 3. Lalaine's World 4.Budget Traveler. Your Next...

- - - - - End Here - - - - -

Friday, June 06, 2008

Off for a Short Break

No I'm not going anywhere (yet). But I'll be off for a short break from bloghops and maybe blogging...It won't be for long. I think I just need to sort out some things and organize my time a bit. As much as I want to update this blog and do bloghopping everyday but I realized that I can't do everything yet at this time.

I'll be back...I'll visit you all, drop my card, change links and comment on your blogs..I just need some time.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Travel Tip # 1

Travel Tip #1 : Save , save save!!

That's right before going out and even seriously planning for a trip, make sure to save money. Even if you want to travel on a budget but nevertheless, you still need money.

As we've talked to a lot of backpackers here in Thailand, we realized that they save up years before their actual trip. Once, they've saved up their money, then they budget this in such a way that they could travel in as many countries and see as many places as they can.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Culture Shock- Philippines

For those who don't know. I'm a Filipina, married to a Malaysian. Even if we're an Asian couple but there are still a lot of cultural differences between me and my dear husband. So, when my DH stayed in the Philippines for 4 months for a training, he together with our Norwegian classmate experienced some culture shocks. Here are bits and pieces of those 'shocks' they had. Not major culture shocks though, but some are quite amusing. All these are based on their observation, it may be true to all or not. So, no objections from fellow Pinoys please..hhehehe!

1) Filipinos point things or directions using the lips. Ask a Filipino, ( especially those whose hands are full) where the toilet is, and instead of pointing with their point finger, they point with their (puckered) lips matched with a head movement, " The CR ( our term for toilet , a short cut for Comfort Room) is there!" The first time our Norwegian friend saw this, he couldn't believe what he saw and thought the girl, wanted a kiss..hahahah!!

2) Filipinos say YES with our eyebrows. Try this! Move both your eyebrows , up and down, two times. Yes, that it..that's how we say Yes at times. When you ask someone, 'Have you eaten your breakfast yet?'..and then you won't hear a "yes" reply but when you look at the person asked, for sure his/her eyebrows have moved up and down with a little nod on the head. For some non-Filipinos, they would think that we are being flirty with them..

3) Inside the lift, bus or jeepney, Filipinos talk openly, laugh and share jokes in the presence of everyone. There are even times that when a joke is shared between friends inside the jeepney, the other passengers also laugh when the punchline has been said :) In other countries, once they're in the lift or public transport people seldom talk and when they do they whisper and not talk openly as do. So, the lifts/elevators are mostly dead silent even with a lot of people inside.

4) Filipinos cook and eat their fish with its head and tail intact. This was one major shock for our Norwegian friend and the more he got shock when everyone was fighting over who gets to eat the fish head. He said, only cats eat the fish head/tail in their country. But at the end, he also liked eating the fish head.

5) Psssstttttt.........Psssssssssssttttttt... That's how we call each other , our friends and family. In my Hubby's country it's impolite to call anyone like this. So it was a shock for him to hear everyone calling each other with a Psssst!!

That's all that I could think of now..I'll ask more from my Hubby and be updating this later..:)

What about you? Do you have any "culture shock' items that you want to add? Feel free to comment and I'll it up here too. Thanks!