Tag Archives: Tourist

One of the most exciting place we've been to in our Maldives Trip is this Adaaran Prestige Vadoo Island Resort. Adaaran is a small island resort that you can walk around for two minutes. But the place's view is just breathtaking. What's great too is that the fee ($100) includes everything (yes including the transport by speedboat) .FREE FOOD - buffet lunch - at 1:00 PM
FREE Drinks - from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM - yes, that includes Wines and Beers!!!
FREE WIFI - the entire island is Wifi Zone. ...continue reading

After our city tour and I've posted pictures on my instagram and facebook pages, my friend popped me a message on messenger and told me to visit Cuchi Tunnel. And I have no idea I could go there. Wasn't sure that it's a few hours away from Saigon. I asked him the details and he gave me the idea that it's possible to visit. I said, we'd go there, and that we'd set a schedule. And we did.While I didn't have the slightest idea what's in there, I am thankful I did decide to visit Cuchi Tunnel. If you're in Ho Chi Minh, please, do visit Cuchi Tunnel. It's really one worthy journey. So let me share some of the things we've seen there, and why I think you should visit it too. ...continue reading

Hello guys! I am writing again! C'mon! It's March, and yes, this is my first in the 3rd month of the year. Been a while. Been caught up with a lot of tasks and jobs. I haven't been traveling for quite some time now, but my mind traveled a lot. I mean, while I am in one place, my mind is wandering and wondering. Yes. I have a wanderlust. I am a wanderlust. Yep!So, as I was also revisiting photos on my gadgets, I missed traveling. I missed being in a place I have never been to before. I miss boarding on a plane, I missed the stairways, the railways, the traffic, the nature and everything that I encounter in traveling. To somehow mitigate the feeling of missing, I have decided to do this blog. ...continue reading

In our El Nido trip, we had spent two days, and two nights. We availed two tour packages one is for Tour A which I wrote about hereΒ and we had Tour C. This is what I am writing about here now. πŸ™‚

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A lot of people availed of tour packages, one because they want convenience (same reason I do), and two, sometimes they're cheaper. That's because you get to share the cost. Also, tour package could be a good way to explore the place when you are not yet so acquainted with the area, less risky. Furthermore, tour packages gets you to places in a short period of time. But let's face it, there's more to the place than that included in the tour. Β That is why, if you have more time, and if your energy allows it, Do-It-Yourself is still best.

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I attended the PICPA Annual National Convention in Puerto Princesa Palawan. After the convention, we decided to go on a tour in El Nido. It has always been my dream to set foot in this well known place (at least to me and couple of wanderlust friends).
I managed to convince my friends to join me in the tour. So let me tell you what the Tour A of El Nido Package as standardized by their Tourism Authority.
The Tour A package is priced at P1,200 per person, and this package includes visiting the following:

1. Small lagoon - what's in small lagoon? It's also a good destination, where you can see great rock formations and of course, the view inside the small lagoon is just breathtaking. But, I should warn you, that you either spend or swim your way to get there. 
As we reached the Small Lagoon, we were informed that we needed to swim. It means we need to have our own dry bag and/or underwater camera. We had nothing. Our camera are not waterproof, we only had our cellphones as cameras. Plus, we don't have dry bag. Thank God, one of the boat crew, lent his dry bag to us, with a strong caveat that he is not responsible should the sea water manage to get inside the dry bag. 
Then we were given the chance to witness the majestic view of the lagoon. I feel like words are not enough to describe its beauty.

2. Shimizu Island - what's in here? Another group of rock formations, white sand beach where you can relax and explore the place. This is where we had our lunch. And we did enjoy this one. Thanks to the boat crew who prepared our sumptuous lunch. I should note, and highlight that their culinary abilities are commendable (or was it just because we were hungry? LOL) yet, I need to tell you, they do have made us full. 
The plating was also impressive, see photos below. If this isn't a tour, then it's fiesta! 

 

3. Secret Lagoon - well, this is something (sorry to say this) a little bit not-so-astonishing, it's a good place perhaps, but I did feel, it wasn't worth it. We needed to swim again going to the shore, and from the shore, you have to walk towards the entrance where you also have to stand and fall in line, while you be on queue to get yourself inside the "Secret Lagoon" as we entered, it's as normal as the other shores, only that you have to go through a small cave-like passage to get there. Apart from that passage, this is going to be just any other beach in El Nido. We did go there because I am a curious man, and so are my friends. But seriously, if you are not as curious as I am. Then it may not be worth the swimming and the struggles to get to the shore and be on queue for a couple of minutes.

4. Big Lagoon - this was another amazing lagoon. The view makes me wanna stay and take a lot of selfies as we can. Although, you would be warn as you disembark (is that the correct term?) from the boat, that the sea urchins are just around, so be careful and watch your steps. Thankfully, none of us had an encounter with the urchins, just saw an electric eel (?).

5. 7th Commando Beach - this is heaven! A good finale of the Tour A package I should say. The sunset just blew your mind and you would feel like relaxing for the rest of the hours and just stay there for the night. 

 

The first day Tour A is worth the 6-7 hour ride from Puerto Princesa to El Nido. It was all worth it when we set foot in each of the white sand beach islands of El Nido.
#doroexplorero #dorolakwatsero #doroadventures #suroyWorld #laagPinas #laagAsia #ElNidoPH #PalawanPH #SeaSandAndSun #TravelPinas2k15 

To travel is to make memories in different places. Fortunately, for ASEAN member nation like Philippines, to travel to neighboring Asian country is easier, no need to secure a VISA because of the VISA exemption.

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Thailand will always be so memorable to me, it was the first country I've visited for my FIRST INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL. Yes, literally, the first foreign country I went to. 
What was my experience in Thailand like? I'd share below, some of the things I could remember we (JC D and I) did in Thailand.
First to spend a different legal tender!
   
Conversion at that time was P1.60 = 1THB
First view of a foreign land!
I am always thankful that my first international travel granted me a window seat. Thanks Cebu Pacific!

First, stamp on my passport!
My first time to fill up that immigration form and have this first passport, have my first stamp!

First, foreign country airport!
I was so thrilled to have landed in a foreign country's airport!

And yep, shameless photo op everywhere! 

First time to be on a "Foreigner Lane"
Foreigner be like!

We stayed at D&D Inn, at Khao San Road. 
View of D&D at night!

Perfect location of D&D Inn at Khaosan!

Yep, with other foreigners! 

It's a busy street at day and night time, but yes, it's really busier and lively at night.
What to do in Thailand?
1. We rode a tuktuk to take us Temple-hopping, the tuktuk (tricycle) driver knows the popular temples in town. So day 1 in Thailand was literally, temples, temples, temples! 
Travel tip #1: Negotiate the price, don't believe everyone you meet's suggestion. Some of them are schemes to lure you to take the tour they are subtly endorsing. We were told the grand palace was close, this spot is not open at this time, and some more things, but later on realized, it wasn't true. Still, we were able to visit places. In some of the temples we've visited, we took pictures almost all around.







JC Asked if we could hold the gun. The guard didn't answer, neither did he smile nor move.









2.  Khao San Road Exploration! Street food! Night Cafe! Night Market! And all other fun things at Khao San!
Travel tip #2: Trust your taste and instinct. There are some more exotic food (street food) offered but I didn't try them, because it's hard to have an upset stomach while in a foreign country. So just choose from what you think your tummy would be comfortable digesting.
Had to try local street food!

Are these pizza? We just have to have a bite!

Yep, tried their beer too!
Well, well, hello there Donald! The barbeque isn't from Mc Donalds though. πŸ™‚

Yep, there's a train! Mini-train! haha


3. We went on an Elephant Ride! Yus, I did ride an elephant, for the first time of my life, in Thailand!
Travel tip #3: We booked for the elephant ride. Already paid. But as we rode on the elephant's back, we were told that for the elephant to really enjoy the ride, we've got to buy the bananas to feed them with. I forgot how much was that for. But yep. Get ready with some extra money.

You can ask the other tourists/travelers who rode the elephant to exchange the favor of taking pictures. πŸ™‚

Up close with a young elephant!

4.  Floating Market! Yep, a must-do in Thailand. Visit the floating market. It's floating market because the vendors are on the river water, on their boat/banca (is it what it's really called?) to sell their items or merchandise. At Damnoen Saduak, Thailand!
Travel tip #4: Make the most out of it. Usually, your tour guide would give you certain number of hours/minutes to stay and explore. So, as you explore the floating market area, go to the highway and check out some stores. Check out the highway and take pictures with the road signs! Haha
Travel tip #5: Bring extra cash when on a river tour, so you could also buy some souvenir items. There are cheap items here. Just know how to haggle with the price. 
Asians be like. Including me. Haha
Some fresh fruits on the floating market eh?
She was selling something, but she smiled or posed when I clicked the camera phone. πŸ™‚
Captured this random picture! The busy intersection of the floating market!
So you know what you have to do here? Gossip Cafe! haha

How about this for a great photo?

Yep, fruits anyone? 

Yep, it's in a river! Floating! Hello vendors!

After the floating market exploration, we needed to sit down. And yes! Another opportunity to try their local food. 

As we visited the floating market area of Thailand, JC D has this ritual of sending a postcard to himself. From the country he traveled to his Philippine residence address. I followed his lead, but didn't send the postcard to myself, sent it to my mom instead. My way of saying, 

"hey Mom! Thanks for being so great that I was able to travel the world now. I remember you, wherever I am right now. I love you!"

Before I posted the card! Mom received it actually after a month. πŸ™‚

On top of the floating market, we had to check out, and yes, take a selfie!

Some more photos of the floating market area!

5. River Tour! After the floating market escapade, we are off to another booked tour. The river tour starts at the floating market area. There's a designated area where you're going to ride a banca/boat for the river tour. You'll go through the areas in Thailand. 

Travel tip #6: Get ready with your camera. You can expect that your camera is safe in the river tour. No need to worry for splash. It's a river not a sea. So, no high waves to worry about. And yes, you can't miss the beautiful views you'd be seeing. Or at least structures and designs you want to capture. πŸ™‚
This is where the river tour starts!

Yep, didn't want to miss the chance to take a photo! haha

On board!
As the river tour goes on, you'll see different structures and designs, can't help but click.
This design is not really common in our country, so I clicked!

As we finished the river tour, I took the chance to have this photo below taken at Baan Sukchoke Country Resort. 
Can't take a solo pic. Photobombers all around. haha
6. Visit one of Starbucks Cafe! Some friends back in the Philippines are asking for a "pasalubong" or at least, buy some items for them to reimburse the cost. Either a mug, tumbler, or whatever. So, why not try Bangkok's Starbucks? 

Like a model? Bwahahah

7. Visit a McDonald's? Yep, they have some unique Thai-based menu. 
Only in Mc Donalds Thailand!

8. Find some Monks, and take a picture with them? I didn't know if it's a rude thing to ask, they don't speak much to us. But, we approached, they said okay, and yes, I posed with them. Thanks to your generosity Mr. Monks! T'was my first time to have a picture with monks. Also first in Thailand!
They didn't look at the camera, but they did say, it's alright. They seem to be busy discussing something. πŸ™‚ Despite that, thank you for allowing my rudeness, and responding with kindness my brothers. πŸ™‚

9. Relax and enjoy the pool area of your hotel! D&D has a pool area at the rooftop! Take time to enjoy the "time of your life!" Live in the present. Enjoy! It's not every day that you'll be in some hotel, in one of the greatest city in Asia, the busiest night life and where fun happens!
Like a boss! πŸ™‚


I am ever grateful for my friend JC D aka Caloy for tagging me along with his travels. It was initially a trip for five but the other friends of ours weren't able to secure their passport on time. So, we were left with no choice but go on a duo travel! 
This first time to travel abroad was worth all the experience. 
Travel tip #7: If it's your first time to travel (or even if not depending on the immigration officer at the airport), get ready with all possible documents to be asked for presentation.
  1. Return ticket.
  2. Hotel Booking.
  3. Itinerary.
  4. Credit card.
  5. Government Issued ID (like PRC, SSS, etc.)
  6. Approved leave form (for government employees usually).
You'd also be typically asked for the reason of your travel, who you're with, if you have a job, where do you plan to stay, etc. Keep calm, don't panic, these are normal questions. They are not suspecting you. Don't tremble. πŸ™‚
My experience was, when Caloy presented his passport and ticket (his was stamped almost full! Naaaaks!) took the immigration officer to stamp his passport not more than two minutes. Mine was different, the immigration officer saw that it has never had a stamp. First timer blues. She went on to ask searching questions? πŸ™‚ But, I guess I managed to pass 'em. Thanks to Caloy for preparing all those documents.
How about you? Where was your first international travel? How was it? Feel free to share below. πŸ™‚
Got questions? Ask 'em on the comment section below. 


I have recently shared and blogged about our fantastic experience in Sohoton. This time, I am going to share about the resort where we stayed for the the night we've spent there. I felt like I have to share this one. 
I always say, that I have to experience things before I could comment on something. I've heard stories, but I want first-hand experience. Thus this trip (booked) at Club Tara for accommodation.

As we were welcomed by the view above, the jaw-dropping view made us all expectant of an astonishing experience. And we did except for the part that I have to share here.
I am not a hospitality management expert, I am neither a tourism degree graduate or something and perhaps my opinion won't matter, but I promised myself, this experience deserves a space on my blog. 
So, what's in Club Tara?
No "Hello Sir/Maam! Welcome to Club Tara!" upon arrival.
The amazing view of the villa, which one of my readers said "like Maldives" is really something that would invite more tourists. And the pictures are true, they're not edited. As I've posted above and on my Sohoton Experience blog.
Also included as free in Club Tara would be the "Kayak" and the "Long Board" (did I get the spelling right?)  but yeah, for water sports adventure. I tried the "Kayak" and it's an amazing experience. There's also a pool for free and a billiard hall (naks!) where you can also play for free.
Now, it's not just those things I've experienced. More specially, I've experience some unfortunate events.
As we entered the premises. I noticed that the entrance wasn't so clean. When we arrived (I suppose they were expecting us), but it seems like they're not at all prepared. We were housed in the dorm type room, which is way too okay for me. I am used with backpacking so, it wouldn't be an issue. Some of the beds were already prepared, but not everything is ready. 
Even if we're on a dorm type room, there's only one bathroom and one rest room for all 13 of us. Is that what dorm-type rooms should be? I don't know either. Was just asking. There's gonna be traffic during bath time, and wash time. But yes, I could bear that one.
Next experience is, the water is a little bit salty. As mentioned, (we are warned) that the tap water would be coming from a deep-well, and since it's an island, surrounded by sea water, we'd expect it to be salty. So it's fine. 
Travel tip #1: Just bring your lotion to moisturize or minimize the different texture of your skin after the bath. 
Call of nature came, and I have to use the comfort room. It was okay, I entered and it was clean. Seems like it's prepared for me haha but when I hit the finish button, it didn't wipe out what I've just deposited. Tsk tsk tsk. It was a huge situation for me. And I didn't expect that from a resort like Club Tara! Wow! I needed to call my friends, to get me the pump. So it would flush. Tsk tsk tsk.
I went down to also ask for assistance after the situation. I wanted to take a bath. I want to take a bath using the water which is not salty, yes, but they were not that accommodating. Seems like they prefer watching the show on TV. haha again, not the response I'd expect from a Club Tara.
We were so tired for the day's adventure, that we needed to sleep. But despite our need for sleep, we also need to eat. So, after an hour or two of power sleep, we woke up to find food. Thank you to our friends, we were able to eat. However, I also wanted to try out their food. 
I expected it to be "pricey" since it's a resort and in an isolated island, the cost of bringing the food, preparing it, and handling inventories, all taken into consideration, would make it reasonable to have a little bit expensive menu. It's fine. Apart from the very limited choices, I was advised that they don't have some of the items in the menu, plus, fruits included in the set menu is not also available. Again, it's okay, but when the food is served P400+ (US $10.00) I am shocked, how it's incredibly and poorly served. Aggggh!!! For more than US $10.00???
It's really not a resort type serving! πŸ™ Grilled fish with vegetables? Seriously? And the orange juice? Are you kidding me?
Travel tip #2: They are not going to charge you for corkage if you bring food. Bring as much food as you can. Don't rely on their menu or food. 
It was the worst food service I've ever encountered in a resort! Tsk tsk tsk!
I let it all pass, I know I needed to be thankful for the great day experience. I don't want to ruin it. So we ate what we could from the food they served. 
We enjoyed chilling out with friends, thanks for the Jose Cuervo my friends! haha
Next day, I tried the Kayaking, it's a must-try experience, go farther from the shore, and you'd see how great the view really is. 

As we're done with the Kayak adventure, we went to try swimming in the pool. But when we stepped into the pool, agggh!!! The water is as slimy as okra's extract. And it's not guaranteed that it's clean. I felt our body will be itching the entire day, if we ever try our luck swimming there. So, I went straight to go for a bath using the fresh water (not the salty one) at a poorly located water tank.
Travel tip #3: Maybe, you can request that the pool water be replaced the night before so you could enjoy their small swimming pool, should you wish to try it too.
I seldom write negative comments, I don't want to. I don't want to magnify. But, as a traveler, I also want to warn future traveler about Club Tara's overrated service, and not-so-good accommodation. 
Make no mistake though, they have the grandest view and design. Feels like an out-of-the-country view is worth trying. Just don't expect much from them.
No "Thank you for coming Sir/Maam!" as you bid goodbye to the place!
Travel tip #4: Since their crews are not in uniform (not all of them), then you might have to ask if they know something about what you need. Just ask. They won't charge though. πŸ™‚
If I am going to rate Club Tara:
Sanitation: 1/5 that being that the room is reasonably clean, but seriously? Clogged CR? What's that? Tsk tsk tsk! I hope the management would do something about that. If not, because it's really how it is in an island, then atleast warn the guests.
Service: 2/5 it's the worst of all the resorts/inns I've visited. Really not commendable. πŸ™
Price: 2/5 unreasonable! Not worth my pennies.
Place/Resort: 2/5 I can barely give that rating. The place and the resources (natural) in the area are promising, but you needed to improve a lot. It's great that the Kayak, Billiards, Long Board, Pool, are for free, but it's not enough. People have to be satisfied with service, sanitation, etc. 
This is just an honest observation. And yes, if you would ask me, will I ever visit Sohoton again? Definitely yes. Would it be with Club Tara again? I'd have to ask a lot of questions first, think a lot of times, and perhaps say "no!" 
I am not recommending it for accommodation. I have yet to explore another resort/inn or any accommodation apart from Club Tara. 
#doroexplorero #dorolakwatsero #doroadventures #laagPinas #laagAsia  #suroyWorld #SohotonPH #ClubTara #SurigaoPH