December 10th, 2013
Do you want to attend an extraordinary fiesta in the Philippines? Well, the Coffee Festival held every December 11 to 16 at Lipa City is just right for you. It is a suburban uptown, tourist destination, just 2 hours travel, 11o kilometers and south from Manila by land. Being the coffee granary of the Philippines, their brand of coffee is labeled as the “Kapeng Barako.” Pure and non-instant, this type of drink tastes like heaven to Filipinos and Foreigners alike. It also carries a robust flavor and pungent aroma that is why natives call it as “matapang” or tough.
During the 19th century, the Philippines was named as the 4th largest coffee manufacturer across countries. The festivity is a usual one (1) week thanksgiving rites to coffee, which is the main product of Batangas, a province having thirty-one (31) municipalities and three (3) cities within vicinity. The main dialect spoken there are: Filipino, Batangueño and English. Filipinos are known for being hospital and foreigners are very much welcome to join them in their festivals. Read more »
November 6th, 2013
I wrote a several and sometimes lengthy comments to my friend when I saw her status on Facebook that she’s about to board an airplane going to Phoenix, Arizona. So I thought to share my comments to her here in our World Travel and Vacation site so other readers looking for the same direction can benefit from it.
What caught my attention was when she’d asked on her FB status on what is the best Phoenix airport transportation option going to and from the Sky Harbor International Airport. I know it’s her first time to set foot in Phoenix so I simply replied to take the METRO light rail since it’s the most economical way to travel between the airport and downtown Phoenix. However, she replied that she’s with her colleagues, 13 of them and they will attend a business conference in Phoenix Convention Center a day after their arrival. My assumption at first that she’s travelling all by herself.
To make it more challenging, among her 13 colleagues, the 4 of them are coming from different directions which mean they will arrive in other terminal.
Instead of taking the METRO light rail I suggested to my friend to rent a van that can accommodate all of them and just tell the driver to pick up her colleagues who are arriving in different terminals. I’m a bit familiar with the different transportation options in the area because our big family had a tour some years ago and we rented an SUV (passenger van) that brought us to see the magnificent rock formations in Sedona. There are other transportation options such as taxicabs and even private limousines that can be hired directly from the airport if you really don’t want to take the METRO light rail.
Anyway, after I’ve posted my suggestion on my friend’s FB status page, I didn’t receive any reply from her right away which was unusual because we were like chatting at that time. I was just hoping that she had read my latest comment which was to rent a van for their group.
She later told me the reason she was not able to reply was because it was already time for her and her colleagues to board the airplane. She commended my suggestion was a brilliant idea because their experience has been positive. The driver of the SUV they rented acted as their tourist guide while on their way to the hotel. Plus, the driver even recommended them to visit Sedona which they actually did right after their business conference. The group even requested for the same driver when they had their tour. As a matter of fact, not only they enjoyed their first visit in Phoenix but they also had a blast in touring Sedona because their driver was so knowledgeable.
I guess they had so much fun with their driver because they requested the same driver on their way back to the airport for their departure flight.
November 3rd, 2013
On the southeast bank of the Chao Phraya River, the famous river cutting through Bangkok, Thailand, there is a gem of a night market for shopping, dining, and entertainment known as Asiatique. Asiatique Bangkok has a pier-style theme that reminds one of other famous venues like it such as San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf. There are so many shops that you will want to return several times to see it all.
Getting to Asiatique
The most exciting way (and probably the easiest way) to get to Asiatique is by taking Bangkok’s Sky Train System (BTS) to Saphan Taksin Station. If you are coming from the central part of Bangkok, you need to get on the Silom line of the BTS and it takes you to Saphan Taksin.
After getting off at Saphan Taksin, take BTS exit 2 (Asiatique, The Riverfont). Walk down the stairs and you will see the pier where you get on a riverboat to go to Read more »
October 31st, 2013
Those visiting Thailand nowadays are awestruck by the modern wonders that can be found in its largest city, Bangkok. The Thai capital can be ranked among other major Asian population centers such as Shanghai, Seoul, Tokyo, and Kuala Lumpur. While the modern wonders have their appeal, nothing compares to the nostalgic attractions such as the Plearn Wan market in the beach town of Hua Hin. Here’s some information about it so that you can make it a stop during your Thailand holidays.
Thai Nostalgia in a Market Setting
Before the rise of Thailand’s modern concrete and glass cities, Thai structures were mostly built from wood. Plearn Wan is built from the same. It has other nostalgic features for you to admire such as:
- A restaurant sporting the theme of a 50s diner
- Old-style apothecary selling herbal and pharmaceutical remedies
- Many shops with a nostalgic theme to them
- Ice cream, noodle, and food stalls where you can sit outside and eat (very popular pastime for Thais)
- A bar styled from the past playing retro music
- A candy and sweets store themed from a bygone era
- Nightly entertainment such as jazz bands
The walkways along the shops remind one of the old-style outdoor fairs where many would spend their days back then. Adding to the fair effect is a small Ferris wheel at the end of the market.
Getting to the Market Read more »
July 19th, 2013
Koh Samui Thailand is the second most-visited island after Phuket. It boasts of clear water, a tropical rainforest, white sand beaches, and waterfalls. It is reached by air from the capital City of Bangkok and the short flight takes about 1.5 hours. Whether you like an active beach town experience or a peaceful getaway, Koh Samui has both. Here are some of the things to see and do here that should make the island part of your agenda on your next trip to Thailand.
Big Buddha Temple
The most famous icon of the Big Buddha Temple is a statue of a giant golden sitting Buddha that rises to 12 meters in height. The temple is actually located on a small island off the northeastern coast of Koh Samui known as Koh Faan. It can be reached via a causeway that connects the main island of Koh Samui with the smaller Koh Faan. When you arrive by air, the giant Buddha statue will probably be the most obvious landmark that you see.
On the ground level, below the Big Buddha, are other large figures depicting Thai cultural characters along with other Buddha statues. You will also find vendors selling their goods such as souvenirs, clothing, and other trinkets unique to Thailand. If you want to enjoy some local food, you can get some at one of the food vendor stalls. It is the perfect setting for a pleasant afternoon.
Although not an uncrowded beach, its liveliness makes it a popular place for those who like such an atmosphere. There are several restaurants on this beach where you enjoy nighttime candlelight dinners plus see the fire shows Read more »