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Sunday, May 12, 2013

Brisbane Trip Day 3

It was my last day before I fly back to Sydney.

The plan for the day is to go up Mt. Gravatt and check out the view of the city. We also did some bush walking.

Some info and map on Mt.Gravatt

Overlooking view of the city

Quick trip to childhood. Haha

Playtime with Sharlyn

What a tall tree. I look soooo small

Wishy wish flower/plant.

What am i doing...haha
After the bush walking, we head to a mall to take lunch. A few rests and then we went back to the house to pick up my things. It was so fun hanging out in Brisbane. Hoping next time, I'll have more time to explore other sites.

I wish I could also go far as the Great Barrier Reef.

Brisbane Trip Day 2 - Surfers Paradise

On my second day in Brisbane, we headed to Gold Coast and Surfers Paradise.

We had a quick stop at Dreamworld and Sea World. Took only pictures at the entrance. We decided to not take too long here since we wanted to stay longer at Surfers Paradise. I promised I'll be back so I can try the rides in Dreamworld and Sea World which are known attractions in Gold Coast.

Entrance of Dreamworld Theme Park

Panoramic View

Looks scary to me.

Solo photo. Yeah!

The much awaited jump shot.
We went to Surfers Paradise and then had a picnic lunch by the beach. We enjoyed walking along the beach. The sea breeze was cool. We didn't dare swim because the water is cold and I didn't bring any change of clothes. Perhaps next time will try swimming there too.

Just arrived in Surfers Paradise

Great weather. Love it!

Crazy. Happy. Jump shot for two.

Swim between the flags.
The next day is my last day in Brisbane. I have to fly back to Sydney in the evening. Huhu!

Brisbane Trip Day 1

Brisbane is the capital city of Queensland. A few minutes flight from Sydney, this state is known to be the Sunshine state. I suppose this is because, it is much warmer in this side of Australia. Hehe!

So after a week in Sydney, which was mostly spent for work, I went to take a quick trip outside New South Wales.

I arrived in Brisbane around 8 am, on a Saturday and I was picked up by my Ninang (Godmother), her daughter and my uncle (her husband).

We stopped by to have breakfast at McDonald's. And after some rest at their house, we plan to go to South Bank and then explore the city.

Here's a panoramic view of the river.
There's a lot to see in South Bank. We first took lunch at one of the food shops there. And afterwards head to the man made "beach" and took a refreshing dip.

The weather then was a bit cold so imagine swimming in the pool in a very cold weather. It was really cold for me. But I enjoyed it anyway.

There's a number of food stalls to choose from

This is me and my kinakapatid Sharlyn.
After a refreshing dip, we head to the city via ferry.

We took a ferry from South Bank to the city

View of the skyscrapers on our way to the city
We walked around the city and took a lot of pictures.

Where to go next? I love street signs.

Inside the Cathedral of St. Stephen

Facade of the cathedral

This is a very attractive building. Swarovski's on display

Walkway but there seems to be some construction on this area


Another church where we stopped by
We went to have dinner at a Thai place. The food was good except that the meals took a while to be served.

Photo op at a Thai statue

The Thai Orchid Restaurant
After dinner, we went home and took a rest. The next day we'll be heading to the beach in Surfers Paradise.

Taiwan Holiday 2012

I can't believe I have a couple more backlogs. I noticed this Taiwan trip lying around my list of drafts so I'm now trying my best to recover the memory and provide you details of that trip.

This is another international trip that I have planned together with my closest Couchsurfing friends. We all decided to couchsurf again as it would really save us some more money and at the same time get more acquainted with international couchsurfing community which we all enjoy doing.

So why did we actually choose Taiwan. Basically, the love of telenovela, F4 would have been one reason. And one is because the promo fare then was so attractive we can't avoid it any longer. There is also some suggestions from other friends in CS that Taiwan is good and is not too expensive.

Taken at the Taroko National Park Entrance
After booking our flights, it was long before we decided to prepare what we wanted to do. Of course, I was usually busy researching and looking the perfect host. Until finally there was one who happily hosted the 4 of us.

The itinerary was also mostly prepared by myself. I decided to choose to head to Taroko to see the gorge. It was a few hours train trip and the scenery on the way was very nice. We got through mountains which is amazing.

I will try to re-write the post accounting and our itinerary and hopefully I can still remember all of them. Haha!

Five Day Batanes Trip Post Accounting

Many have inquired about how much my trip costed. So here you go:

1 The meals are not included on the package. You can avail of the set meals in Shanedel's. It will be specially prepared for you by Ms. Dely or her daughter. :) Shanedel's offers set meals for as low as 150 up t 350. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. You need to advice ahead of time because they need to still buy from the market.

Day 4 and 5 meals where a bit pricey since I decided to splurge a bit at Fundacion Pacita.

2 Tricycle in Basco can be arranged for 100 pesos per trip. I only needed to take the tricycle when I had to go to Fundacion Pacita.

3 There is a pasalubong shop near Shanedel's that sells keychains 3 for 100 or 35 pesos each. There is also a pasalubong shop next to the Basco Airport if you fancy last minute 

Some links to help you:

Skyjet - (Starting May, Airphils is also flying to Basco)
Shanedel's Cafe and Inn - Ms. Delly Millan, 
Fundacion Pacita -

Our very helpful tour guide: Kuya Rom - 0908 9272358

Tricycle Contact: 0929 7038404

Finally, Batanes

Everybody is really awaiting for this moment. So, finally, it's here.

Fundacion Pacita, up the top of the hill

After more than a month of being busy with other stuff, I can now clear my head and start writing about my trip to Batanes.

To many, Batanes is an impossible dream destination. It is quite untouched and used to be accessible only by limited flights from Manila. Although there are also other options like taking boat, the most convenient is by flying. However, the cost is somewhat steep for a normal traveler like me.

Given this, I thought, one day I'll try and see this place with my own eyes when I got the moolah and of course, the courage to make it to one of the most picturesque islands in the North of the Philippines.

It was early this year that I thought of taking a trip on a holy week. I initially planned to travel to India as I wanted to see the Taj Mahal. But then, I realised I wasn't ready yet and there are more priority stuff I have to take care of and I cannot take a longer leave. So I thought of Batanes, I have been seeing a lot of fellow travel bloggers doing the Batanes trip early this year, and I got so interested to do the same.

I was so excited that I actually didn't realise how much it would cost me. Sometimes, I take this impulsive decision that whatever I want to do I'll just do it. And so I did.

The basic things have been booked. The flights, the accommodations and the tours.

I have been contemplating if I should do it on a diy, but thought I would have a more relaxed time if I just avail the packaged tour. Besides, I want to take it all in, relax and just enjoy the sights that Batanes would offer me.

In my Batanes series, I'll give a run down of the cost of my trips, itinerary and some food I have tried during the tour that we did.

So I hope, to those who are about to and planning to go to Batanes, my posts will be able to help you.