Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Lake Pandin, San Pablo Laguna


Lake Pandin, San Pablo Laguna

Like any other posts, this too is a long overdue one. But nonetheless still worth posting.

There were some discussions as to where we will have our annual summer outing. It was supposed to be in Hong Kong, but of course the cost was high. Then moved to Boracay, then everyone says near Manila so they were trying to have Batangas in the picture. I have been researching some of the places you could visit for a day without incurring a lot of cost as well as being able to help the community that takes care of the place.

Lake Pandin, San Pablo Laguna



I chance upon Lake Pandin a couple of months back when I was trying to research for some place I could go either alone or with friends. Lake Pandin is one of the 7 lakes in San Pablo, Laguna where the water can go as deep as 180 feet.


Lake Pandin, San Pablo Laguna


It takes about 2 to 3 hours drive to this place and would only cost you about Php 380 per person, which includes a 2-3 hour lake tour/trip and lunch. This place was very peaceful. If you want to get out of the city for a short while and be one with nature, this is one of the places you could go.

Lake Pandin, San Pablo Laguna


Thing is, don't expect a lot about the restroom/bathrooms as people here still live the provincial life. No showers either but they say you can soap up on the lake itself. Just change in one of the provided restrooms in the area after.

If you want to take a trip to Lake Pandin, reach Aling Siony at +63 929-978-95-65 prices start at Php 180 if it is just a tour on the lake and swimming but if you want to have lunch there, prices can go from Php 350 to Php 380 depending on how many you are.


Liliw, Laguna

After enjoying the lake for 3 hours, you can drive up to Liliw and get a dose of cheap sandals, shoes and slippers; it takes about 45 minutes to an hour to reach Liliw. Visit the church there too. Quite a masterpiece. 





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What To Do In Kota Kinabalu

Mamutik Island, Kota Kinabalu

I know this has been a long overdue post, excuse me while I get away from concrete jungle and get back to the awesome carefree life. Anyway this has been a long post I know but just to refresh your memories, this is the last post of a 3 part travel post from Brunei – Labuan – Kota Kinabalu.

Tips in Traveling Brunie (and what to do in Brunei): http://wanderinganneskie.blogspot.com/2013/04/tips-in-traveling-brunei.html


So with those links, you know how to get to Kota Kinabalu by ferry. Click those links above if you want to visit Brunei and Labuan of if you are coming from Brunei and heading to Kota Kinabalu.

We got to Kota Kinabalu (KK) in the afternoon of March 29, 2013. We came from our overnight stay in Labuan from a previous travel in Brunei. It took us about 3 hours to reach Kota Kinabalu from Labuan. Here are the breakdown of what to do in Kota Kinabalu.

If you are traveling from Brunei again click here: http://wanderinganneskie.blogspot.com/2013/04/tips-in-traveling-brunei.html

If you are traveling from Brunei to Labuan to Kota Kinabalu click here: http://wanderinganneskie.blogspot.com/2013/04/overnight-stay-in-labuan-malaysia.html


Reaching Jesselton Point, we took a taxi to our hotel (RM 14), De Galleria Hotel located at No 14, Jalan Sentosa, Kampung Air, 88000 Bandaraya Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Tel. Nos. +6088-264166 Fax: +6088-259166 email: contact@degalleriahotel.com. 


Jesselton Point Kota Kinabalu


Albeit the room is quite small and has one queen size bed (for those rooms without windows), the hotel was pretty neat and within our budget. It was RM 88 per night per room which is about Php 1,320 (if my multiplier is Php 15). We stayed there for about 4 nights. This hotel is actually a right choice if ever you want to go around the city. It is not near any malls but then again, it’s a walking distance from the night and food markets.

We roam around on our first night to check where we could eat and decided to try a street diner. Food was quite cheap too, you have to realize that we came from Brunei which was x2 of our actual expenses here. Anyway, our biggest mistake on our first night was not to ask where the night and food market is first, we did it after we ate our dinner. Good thing tho, we were able to see where it was and decided to eat there the next night.


Eat at the Night Market

Night Market, Seafood (Shrimps)

The night market is about 5-10 minute walk from De Galleria Hotel and its right in front of the Le Meridien Hotel. 

Tip in eating at the night market: Make sure you choose the fresh seafood, do not order the pre-cooked fish or squid or shrimps or any other. Make sure you get those that are still fresh. There are a lot of Filipinos there, you can speak to them in Tagalog if you want, they are usually very accommodating. Prices range from RM 10 to RM 30 for food.



Buy Treats and Gifts at the Night Market

Kota Kinabalu, Gift Market

If you are planning on getting people some stuff, you can get it at the shops near the night market, still in front of the Le Meridien Hotel. You can get Sarongs, Keychains, and the likes from there. Prices range from RM 10 to RM 50, depending on which you will get.


Go Island Hopping, or Swimming

Mamutik Island, Kota Kinabalu


On our second day, we were still deciding which island to visit, it was a toss between the famous Manukan Island or Mamutik Island, the locals there told us that Mamutik Island is better than Manukan. Besides, there were less people in Mamutik compared to Manukan Island. We stayed there until 4pm. 

Mamutik Island, Kota Kinabalu


Tip in going to the Islands, there are groups of companies who offer a boat to and fro transfers to either Manukan, Mamutik or provide island hopping, diving and snorkeling services. You can choose from any of them at Jesselton Point.

Manukan Island, Kota Kinabalu


The cost for the boat transfer for 1 island is RM 23 (Php 345) + Terminal fee RM 7.20 (Php 108) and Conservation Fee - paid on the island RM 10 for non-malaysian (Php 150) totaling to: RM 40.20 or Php 603 per person. 


Mamutik Island, Kota Kinabalu


If you are to go for 2 islands, they can give you discount instead of RM 30, they can give it to you for RM 30 plus the other fees such as terminal fee and conservation fee mentioned above.

Beware of the stingers in the island tho, as much as it is great to swim, there are a lot of jellyfish in these islands which made it difficult for us to enjoy what the ocean can offer.


Go for Canopy Walk and Enjoy Poring Hot Spring

Canopy Walk, Poring Hotspring Nature Park Kota Kinabalu

On our third day, we didn’t have any plans yet. We have not decided what to do or where to go on our supposed second full day in the island. We asked the staff of De Galleria Hotel (they were so nice to us and very accommodating that is why I recommend you guys to stay here), if they could give us someone who could provide a cheap package to Kinabalu Park and Poring Hot Spring for the Canopy Walk.

It takes about 2 hours land travel from our hotel to Kinabalu Park and Poring Hot Spring. The hotel staff told us to reach Qandra at Tel. No 014-3597814 (just add the area and country code) for the tour. She gave us a package worth RM 150 or Php 2,250 which includes land transfer, entrance fees and lunch. This was already a great deal as most of the packages ranges from RM 180 to RM 200 if you are in a small group.

You may email Qandra at gayagemilangs@gmail.com and check her website at http://www.intrasabah.com to book a tour.


Canopy Walk, Poring Hotspring Nature Park Kota Kinabalu


It was very refreshing to be with nature once again, the hike to the Canopy Walk is about 500meters then you have to get down from there, the walkway is 157.8 meters long and 41 meters high. If you have heart condition or afraid of heights, I suggest you stick to the Hot Springs. You can rent a room for 4 people for about I think RM 20 per room.

If you have RM 25 to spare per person to see the worlds largest flower (if its blooming), Rafflesia you can do so, just tell your guide that you want to see it so that he can drive you to another area where they have a garden. We did not do this even though Rafflesia was in bloom due to the price.


Watch a Movie in Suriah Sabah

Although this is not a touristy thing to do, we watched a movie and went malling in Kota Kinabalu, one of the biggest malls is Suriah Sabah which had cinemas. We didn’t have anything to do the next day as our flight got moved to the wee hours, so we decided to just chill and relax. Amazingly, the weather was quite gloomy that day. Good for us since we didn’t have to endure it.

Watching a movie here is cheaper than in Manila by about Php 50 haha. Just walk to the mall and don't take a taxi, taxi is quite expensive versus taking a bus or walking.

Anyway, should you be in Kota Kinabalu on your next trip. Be sure to get those in mind. Have a fun and safe travels.




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Monday, April 15, 2013

Lipton's The Traveling Teacup

 
Lipton's The Traveling Teacup

Endless PossibiliTEAS for you.


Do you love traveling? And do you love drinking tea? What if I tell you that you can experience both in a cup? And what if I tell you that you could experience say 5 different places with it?

Lipton’s The Traveling Teacup is a campaign of Lipton Philippines that allows you to enjoy the tastes of Boracay, Paris, China, New York and Spain in a teacup.  Here is how you could do that:


Lipton's The Traveling Teacup: Chili Chocolate Milk Tea


Enjoy the taste of Spain through a cup of Chili Chocolate Milk Tea

Preparation Time: 4 Minutes
No. of Servings: 1

Ingredients:
1 tea bag Lipton Yellow Label Tea
1 cup hot water
1 tbsp fresh milk
2 tsp chocolate powder
½ pc bird’s eye chili, deseeded
1 tbsp sugar

Procedure:
1.  Place the teabag and chili in hot water. Steep the chili for a minute and remove. Dunk and remove the teabag after 3 minutes.

2.   Add the rest of the ingredients. Blend well and serve hot.



Lipton's The Traveling Teacup: Melon Milk Tea


Enjoy the taste of Boracay through a cup of Melon Milk Tea

Preparation Time: 4 Minutes
No. of Servings: 1

Ingredients:
1 tea bag Lipton Yellow Label Tea
¼ cup hot water
¾ cup cold water 
1 tbsp fresh milk
1 tsp melon juice powder
1 tbsp sugar
3 pcs ice cube

Procedure:
1.  Place the teabag and chili in hot water. Let this stand for 3 minutes, dunk then remove and discard afterwards.

2.   Add the rest of the ingredients. Stir well and serve cold.


Lipton's The Traveling Teacup: Salted Chocolate Milk Tea


Enjoy the taste of New York through a cup of Salted Chocolate Milk Tea

Preparation Time: 4 Minutes
No. of Servings: 1

Ingredients:
1 tea bag Lipton Yellow Label Tea
¼ cup hot water
¾ cup cold water 
1 tbsp fresh milk
2 tsp chocolate powder
1 pinch rock salt
3 pcs ice cube

Procedure:
1.  Place the teabag and chili in hot water. Let this stand for 3 minutes, dunk then remove and discard afterwards.

2.   Add the rest of the ingredients. Stir well and serve cold.



Lipton's The Traveling Teacup: Ginger Milk Tea


Enjoy the taste of China through a cup of Ginger Milk Tea

Preparation Time: 4 Minutes
No. of Servings: 1

Ingredients:
1 tea bag Lipton Yellow Label Tea
1 cup hot water
1 tbsp fresh milk
2 tsp chocolate powder
¼ tsp ginger or salabat powder
1 tbsp sugar
 

Procedure:
1.  Place the teabag and chili in hot water. Let this stand for 3 minutes, dunk then remove and discard afterwards.

2.   Add the rest of the ingredients. Stir well and serve cold.


Lipton's The Traveling Teacup: Chocolate Almond Milk Tea


Enjoy the taste of Paris through a cup of Chocolate Almond Milk Tea

Preparation Time: 4 Minutes
No. of Servings: 1

Ingredients:
1 tea bag Lipton Yellow Label Tea
1 cup hot water
1 tbsp fresh milk
2 tsp chocolate powder
1 drop almond essence
1 tbsp sugar
 

Procedure:
1.  Place the teabag and chili in hot water. Let this stand for 3 minutes, dunk then remove and discard afterwards.

2.   Add the rest of the ingredients. Stir well and serve hot.





To join The Traveling Teacup movement here are the simple steps:

Step One: Purchase specially marked Lipton products to get a free Lipton teacup, available at any Robinsons Supermarket nationwide.

Step Two: Take a photo of your teacup featuring Lipton Yellow Label tea and the pretty background of your desTEAnation.

Step Three: Follow @LiptonPH on Instagram, upload your teacup photo, and tag @LiptonPH with the hashtags #ILoveWellness and #DrinkPositive.




 

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Sunday, April 7, 2013

Overnight Stay in Labuan, Malaysia

Sunset in Labuan, Malaysia


I was planning on having just a two-part travel post about my 6-day trip last March 26-April 1, 2013, one for Brunei and the other for Kota Kinabalu, but I have got to pay heed to Labuan, Malaysia. Now this may not be the usual stop over for most traveling to Kota Kinabalu from Brunei. But I have to give it space here in my blog. No, the beach was not comparable to Kota Kinabalu, to Boracay or to Palawan for that matter but we appreciated our overnight stay here. 

Low Tide: Labuan, Malaysia


We were so tired from our travels and our 1 day stay in Brunei that before we left the Philippines, we had to make sure we stay in Labuan for 1 day, just to rest and get some energy. This was our purpose, to relax and not rush into anything. So here is how we got to Labuan via Brunei and our relaxing stay in Papaya’s Beach Lodge.

Check these Tips in Traveling Brunei to have an idea of how our 1-day stay in Brunei went: http://wanderinganneskie.blogspot.com/2013/04/tips-in-traveling-brunei.html


Labuan's Locals



Please have in mind that we came from Jalan Gadong so we took the Bus 55 heading to Bandar with BND1 as fare. This took us about 30 minutes as Bus 55 stops at every bus stop. Basically, if you are coming from Gadong make sure that you leave your hotel early if you want to make it to the 9:15AM Ferry trip but if you were like us, we got the 1PM ferry trip to Labuan Malaysia.

How to go to Labuan, Malaysia from Brunei:

  • From Gadong take the Bus 55 to Bandar BND 1 fare that would take 30-35 minutes travel time.
  • We couldn’t find the bus that goes straight to Maura from Gadong, so we just took the bus in Bandar heading to Muara. The bus station for this is the last Bus stop for Bus 55. The trip cost us BND 1 too. This would take 1 hour or so as the Bus to Muara goes around most stops.
  • This bus does not take you directly to the Ferry Terminal but would stop at a place where most buses stop. Sorry I was not able to see the name of the place, stick to Maura as its name. They will transfer you to another bus that would take you to the Ferry Terminal. This will not cost you anything, as this is included in the fare you paid for from Bandar. Thing is, you have to wait for a little while for another bus to arrive to get passengers in as well.
  • The bus at the stop over, will take about 10 minutes to head to the Ferry Terminal. Waiting was longer than the ride itself. Enjoy the ride. 
  • Heading to Labuan would cost you BND 15 for the ferry fare and BND 2 for Terminal Fee/Tax totaling to BND 17.
  • Travel to Labuan from Maura Brunei would take you about an hour or so. We thought it was going to be longer. We got the 1PM trip. Be sure to check the terminal schedules before you leave your hotel or you plan out before heading to Labuan. This would help you with your travel time. 
  • We reached Labuan about 2PM or so there, we made sure that we checked the ferry schedules heading to Kota Kinabalu before we left for Papaya’s Beach Lodge. Get your tickets for Kota Kinabalu too while you can so that you would not have to line up the next day. Labuan is Duty Free so chocolates are somewhat cheaper. You can already buy your treats for the family here.
  • There is a taxi bay at the Ferry Terminal in Labuan, going to Papaya’s Beach Lodge would cost RM 22.50 and would be about 15 minutes ride.

Papaya's Beach Lodge

Labuan is peaceful and it was a great stop over for us. We may not have roamed around the center but the Papaya’s Beach Lodge offered us the best place.

If you want to stay in Labuan for the night you can reach Jeff or J-O haha.


Papaya's Beach Lodge


Papaya’s Beach Lodge: Nagalang Jalan Kerupang 1 Labuan F.T, East Malaysia. Telephone Nos.: +6 016 585 5801 and +6 091 850 1590 email: papayasbeachlodge@gmail.com . Trust me when I say, the people there were so chill and accommodating and the room was great.

Check this link on how we got to Kota Kinabalu from Labuan: http://wanderinganneskie.blogspot.com/2013/04/what-to-do-in-kota-kinabalu_30.html



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