Weekend Getaway at Anawangin, Nagsasa and Capones Island

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Nagsasa Cove

Summer’s here and my first stop is Zambales, particularly Anawangin, Nagsasa and Capones. I celebrated my birthday weekend in Zambales which is very timely because my travel blogger friend (Nina) was itching to go to the beach. Another good timing is I have Polish colleagues who want to explore the Philippines while they’re working here so I asked them to come with me and 2 friends/colleagues who want to tag along.

I’ve seen a lot of photos about Anawangin, Nagsasa and Capones so my expectations are quite high. I already knew that going to these places mean that the the comforts of being inside a hotel room and dining in a restaurant are out of the question.

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Travelling Around Beijing in 4 Ways

Beijing Olympic Park 2

Travelling in China can be really challenging if you can’t understand Chinese (whether written or verbal) because not everyone can speak English. It was difficult but Karla and I had were able to survive 🙂 Our little adventure was back in September 2012.

Beijing has changed a lot since I was there back in 2000. It became more populated, more traffic jams and lesser people riding bicycles. As you know, bicycles are a common means of transportation for the locals there. According to our tour guide, many Chinese have gone rich and therefore had more money to buy cars. Ever since the Olympics held in Beijing back in 2008, there were efforts done by the Chinese government to make Beijing a bit tourist friendly.

Beijing roads are very wide. The main roads can have 5 – 6 lanes of cars and buses. Beijing main highway roads divided into 8 rings (loops). The entire place was built according to Feng Shui standards so that everything will be in harmony. Our hotel is located at the 6th loop (near Happy Valley Beijing) while downtown area are within 1st to 3rd loop.

We only stayed for 5 days but we experienced travelling in 4 ways. I’ll share you some of our experiences below. By the way, conversion rate when we were there was RMB 1 = PHP 6.50+.

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Forbidden City: A must visit in Beijing, China

If you enjoy visiting cultural treasures and appreciating beautiful architecture, the Forbidden City in China is a must visit. You can go there via subway by going down at the Tian’anmen East station (along Line 1).

It took us two hours to go around (including Tiananmen Square). We did not go beyond the Hall of Supreme Harmony (Tai He Dian) because it’s the biggest ans the succeeding palaces are smaller. However, we were still able to go at the back of Tai He Dian which is the Hall of Central Harmony.

National Geographic: Islands Insider

Batad Mumbaki Ritual

Just a month ago, we were able to view the premiere of National Geographic’s Islands Insider which features different places in the Philippines. This isn’t just a typical travel show which you see in other networks but each documentary tells a story or an advocacy in terms of cultural and environmental preservation. Islands Insider is a joint project with the Department of Tourism.

The places they featured are Batad Rice Terraces in Mountain Province, Coron in Palawan, Taal and Anilao in Batangas, Siquijor and Mt. Pulag in Benguet. We were able to watch 2 documentaries which were Batad Rice Terraces and Coron. I personally liked Coron because it featured the areas where tourists cannot access unless accompanied by a tour guide accepted by the Tagbanua tribe.

The documentaries that we were able to watch has a well-written script and has an astonishing cinematography. Listening to the words was already enough to make you feel that you are there.

Coron

Islands Insider premieres on June 23, 2012, 8:30pm at the National Geographic Channel. It is hosted by Ginggay Hontiveros and is directed by Gabriel Malvar. It is written by Gabriel Malvar and Froi Medina.

Harry Potter Exhibition in Singapore

Harry Potter Exhibition at the ArtScience Museum, Singapore
Harry Potter Exhibition in Singapore started last June 2, 2012 and will end on September 30, 2012

After hearing about the Harry Potter Exhibition in Australia where some of my friends went to and bought Harry Potter souvenirs, going there was all a dream to me. When I learned that the Harry Potter Exhibition is in Singapore, I became excited and planned to visit the ArtScience Museum last June 12.

Ticket Prices

Ticket Booth at the ArtScience Museum
Ticket booth inside the ArtScience Museum

Adults
Harry Potter Exhibition Only – 24 SGD (20 SGD for Singapore residents)
Harry Potter Exhibition + Andy Warhol 15 Minutes Eternal – 28 SGD (24 SGD for Singapore residents)

Senior Citizen (65 years old and above)
Harry Potter Exhibition Only – 21 SGD (18 SGD for Singapore residents)
Harry Potter Exhibition + Andy Warhol 15 Minutes Eternal – 27 SGD (23 SGD for Singapore residents)

Children (2-12 years old)
Harry Potter Exhibition Only – 14 SGD (13 SGD for Singapore residents)
Harry Potter Exhibition + Andy Warhol 15 Minutes Eternal – 16 SGD (14 SGD for Singapore residents)

If you are an Andy Warhol fan, I suggest for you to include this rather than going to the Andy Warhol 15 Minutes Eternal on a separate day.

Please note that All-Access Pass and Singapore resident tickets are available in the Marina Bay Sands Box offices. We bought our tickets at the ArtScience Museum and the queue is very short since it’s a weekday.

You may also purchase your tickets online at the Marina Bay Sands Ticketing Portal

Picture Taking

Flying Ford Anglia at Harry Potter Exhibition - 1
Flying Ford Anglia

Picture taking is not allowed inside the exhibition area but you can still bring your camera with you. Thus, make the most of your visit by having your pictures taken with it. All Harry Potter Exhibition visitors will be asked to have their photos taken by the staff of the ArtScience Museum staff. You will be given a Gryffindor Scarf and a wand for the picture taking. You will be given a claim stub. If ever you like your photo, of course, you need to pay for it. 😀

Inside the Exhibition Area

Harry Potter movie posters at Harry Potter Exhibition - 2
Harry Potter movie posters

One thing that you would love to probably experience inside is to get sorted. Two kids who got sorted chose Gryffindor which I think is what would most kids prefer hehe. If you’re first in the line to get in, you should volunteer yourself. 😀

The tour is not guided. You will explore on your own. I haven’t tried the optional audio guide that they provide for a fee (12 SGD). But if you have the money to spend, try it. 😀 You will be provided with a gadget where you will be able to listen to the narrations. You have to return it at the end of the exhibition.

I guess it will take you around one hour to explore. This will depend on how long do you explore sections of the exhibition.

Souvenir Shopping

Souvenirs from the Harry Potter Exhibition
Various souvenirs

There are a lot of things to buy in the Harry Potter Exhibition. There are shirts, hoodies, scarves, mugs, etc. I think it’s worth it to purchase a wand (the authentic replica and not the toy wand). Each wand costs 75 SGD. I got the Albus Dumbledore wand. It comes in a box with a little document inside verifying its authenticity. 😉

I also got a Chocolate Frog. The Chocolate Frog contains one piece of chocolate with krispies and a hologram card. Another goodie that you should purchase is the Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans. It has weird flavors such as Vomit, Soap, Dirt, Booger, etc. 😀

ArtScience Museum

Marina Bay Sands and Helix Bridge - 3

The ArtScience museum is just easy to spot. It’s just outside The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands. The lotus-shaped structure on the right is the ArtScience Museum. Isn’t it a beauty? 🙂 The ArtScience Museum is open daily, from 10am to 10pm (including public holidays).

Address:
10 Bayfront Avenue
Singapore 018956
(65) 6688 8868

The Bell Church in Baguio City

Group of tourists flock inside the Bell Church in BaguioA group of tourists walk in the narrow alleys towards the compound of the Bell Church

I’ve been to Baguio City a lot of times already. However, this is the first time that I got the chance to visit The Bell Church. After having breakfast at Pizza Volante along Session Road, we walked towards the terminal near the Baguio City Hall. We took the jeepney bearing the La Trinidad sign. Fare going to The Bell Church is PhP 8.50 per person.

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Simple Beach Life at Isla Reta

Isla Reta, Talicud, Samal Island 3


Because I won free round trip tickets from Airphil Express during the Davao Adventure Trip previously sponsored by them last May, I decided to revisit Davao last September 2011. I didn’t really have much time to explore Davao when I first came there last May because we have a fixed itinerary. I know Davao is really a big place, so the focus of my trip to Davao last September was to have a chance to go to Talicud and beach bum. I am coming back to Davao on May 2012 anyway for the Davao Food Appreciation Tour :).

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