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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Quick Stop @ Kinder Zoo

Last Sunday I got the chance to visit Kinder Zoo Adventure Jungle. I would have to thank Lynn and Totto, two of my CS friends, for inviting me for their daughter's baby shower! It was a unique place to gather for such a celebration, so even if I wasn't quite sure how I'd get there, I still made my way to visit them and to welcome their soon to be born baby!

It was a cute place. You can interact with some of the animals around Kinder Zoo!

What's nice is there is also a Kiddie Pool inside. So perfect for the little ones who loves to swim or take a refresher on a hot sunny day!

It was but a quick trip but hoping I'll be back as I haven't gone to the rest of the Zoo. Kinder Zoo is actually within Manila Zoo! And it's been a while since I've been there.

Visit Kinder Zoo Adventure Jungle and experience a different kind of animal interaction and fun, because I did! For a very affordable entrance fee you will get to enjoy a day of fun with the animals! :)

The Kiddie Pool...not only for kids but also for Kids at Heart!


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Scramble on a Scorching Summer Day!

Last Saturday was the 3rd edition of CouchSurfing Manila's Summer Scramble. It is my second time to join the race and I'm proud to say that from a running of 11th last year, our team placed 7th this time. It's not bad at all to think we are not really experts on Metro Manila directions and transportation options and routes. At least we finished and we survived!

Great time with great people, great places and great smiles!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Brunei Trip 2011 Day 3

As promised, our plan for our third day is to head to Labuan, Malaysia. This time we already set ourselves to get up early to avoid missing the ferry! We left the house quarter past 8 in the morning. For a while we waited for a bus, until we gave up and found another local offer us a ride to the ferry terminal for 20 BND, as we have no choice than be late again we agreed.

Malaysian Ringgits

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Brunei Trip Day 2

We are supposed to get up at 6am and leave the house with our host, so he can take us to the ferry terminal where we can catch the ferry to Labuan. Unfortunately, we overslept and woke up almost 7:30am and he is already bound for work. So we decided to just catch the last ferry before noon probably by 11:30am.

So we left the house and waited a while for a bus. It took a while for us to get one. A purple bus #38 then arrived and we asked if it can drop us off to the ferry terminal. Fortunately, the driver is Pinoy and gave us the directions. We actually have to take another bus from the terminus - #33. While waiting, we decided to get something to eat from the nearby shops. I had a quick bite on the crab stick. Sam and Nichole had banan pie and ice-cold Milo.

Getting our snacks

A few minutes passed by and the bus #33 has arrived. We boarded the bus and off to the ferry terminal. What an unlucky day, there wasn't any 11:30 ferry and the next ferry is already at 3pm. It turned out there is only a 7am, 8:30 am and 9 am ferry to Labuan. We thought of what or where else to do for that day. We then made a quick decision to head to Temburong.

Serasa Ferry Terminal

Friday, May 6, 2011

Brunei & Labuan, Malaysia Itinerary and Post - Accounting

I must say this is one of the cheapest overseas trip I've gone so far...Check it out!

The Itinerary

Brunei Trip Post - Accounting
Oh and some notable notes:
* On our second day, we actually planned it for Labuan but we were late for the ferry that day so we just headed to Temburong. Unfortunately there were also no more tours available for half a day so we just had our lunch there.

* The buses around Brunei costs 1 BND per way. However, you will have to wait for around 15 - 20 mins. And because we are not sure of the different routes, we usually just ask the driver, and woah! Most of them are Pinoys!

* The elastics for my camera - I had to buy because I dropped my cam at the Mall and may have loosened the latch on the battery compartment :( I'm not sure if it's a sign that I should buy a new one or not haha. But it's still working anyways so I'm fine with that, for now.

* Brunei Airport Tax - Yes, that's right be ready to shell out 12 BND before leaving.

* One last tip. When we are about to enter the immigration area, the airport security are quite strict with the one hand luggage per person. Not ever plastic bags are allowed if you are already carrying another hand carry! Also, before entering the boarding gates, hand carried luggage are again passed through an x-ray. They are strict with the any liquids in the luggage above 100ml are confiscated. Nichole had a sunscreen lotion confiscated because its 150ml...even if its actually half way used. So just be aware of these policies too.  In the Philippines, we were not bothered by these when we left. But different countries have different rules and to avoid any more hassle, I guess we just have to comply. 

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

On the Hunt for Brunei Souvenirs

To continue on with our first day in Brunei...

Okay, so after heading to the Royal Palace, we stopped over the adjacent river to get some refreshing views. Our driver mentioned that just recently a crocodile was spotted in this river and have killed someone. So sad. And scary so don't go near this river...haha

Anyhow, we still enjoyed a bit of rest and just ate some snacks I brought along with me.

Someone's fishing
Our next stop is the Jerudong Park.

Just had a quick look
Jerudong Park was the well-known theme park in Brunei. From my research it seems it was free entry then, but later on was closed and have just opened again recently. I have read some posts that it was not maintained as it was before. Since Nichole was already looking tired we already skipped the trip around Jerudong.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Brunei Trip 2011 Day 1

On our first day we've planned to go around the city and check out the usual attractions around Brunei.

Before leaving we had some photo op as well around the house. It was a nice and very relaxing home actually.

The bar counter

The living room

We started our day with a brunch at a nearby Italian resto, just some walking distance from where our host lives. The complex is named Aman Complex.

Aman Complex

Brunei & My First Overseas CouchSurfing Experience

Honestly, Brunei was really not in my list of places to go to hehe. However, last December a nice friend of mine from CouchSurfing told me that there's a promo fare to Brunei c/o Cebu Pacific. For a while I thought if I should go. Until I realised, why not. We both have been talking about planning an overseas trip together and finally get that real experience of CouchSurfing. So then I've made the booking in less than an hour.

Sam, Nichole and Myself - waiting for boarding

Just arrived in Brunei

Our flight to Brunei is on the night of 23rd April - Black Saturday. I for one, is worried I'd be late so I left the house at 6:45 pm. The streets barely had cars so I was able to reach the airport before 7:30pm. I was so early for our 11pm flight. I sufficed myself instead with a dinner at Hen Lin while waiting for Sam and Nichole.

The three of us waited with much anticipation. Once we reach Brunei we'll be hosted by Prosper from CS Brunei. He was actually referred by another Cs'r from Brunei - Yani. Unfortunately, we weren't able to meet up with Yani during our stay to personally thank her for the great help in suggesting us a host.

So arrived in Brunei at around 1am, got through immigration and changed some of our currencies to Brunei Dollars. Then meet up with our host who was there just right on time.

His house is just a few minutes drive from the airport. Since we are sleepy we went up to our bed to get some rest.

We woke up in the morning and decided our first day to tour around the city. Our host was still asleep so we didn't bother to wake him up and instead just left a note that we have been gone for the day. We've also left some souvenirs from the Philippines that Sam has taken cared of - a table runner and coffee from Sagada.

Catch my next post about our first day in Brunei :)