• Asia,  Philippines,  Transportation,  Travel

    Three-Week Vacation in the Philippines

    Igal and I just finished our almost 3-week trip around the Philippines. We’ve been planning it since December last year. Number 1 on Igal’s things-to-do list was diving. I let him decide on where he wanted to do the dive and he chose Coron. I then started working on other places we could visit from Coron. We have finalized our target destinations by January and and we’ve decided on exploring the following places: Masungi Georeserve Coron (Busuanga) Palawan El Nido Palawan Puerto Princesa Palawan Siargao Island     Here’s how we went around: From To Transport Duration Makati Masungi Georeserve Car 2 hours Manila Coron (Busuanga) Airplane 70 mins Coron (Busuanga) El…

  • Asia,  Taiwan,  Travel

    Seven-day Vacation in Taiwan: 2 Nights in Taichung

    After spending time in Taroko National Park and Taipei, our next destination was Taichung. We took the high-speed train to Taichung coming from Taipei.   Taiwan High Speed Rail THSR offers early bird rate with discount of up to 35% for bookings made 5 to 28 days ahead. Discounted rate offered is of limited quantity and is subject to seat availability and time slot. The earlier you book, the higher the chance to get a discount. Bookings are done in their website.   We booked 27 days ahead and got the tickets at 20% discount (NT$ 560 instead of NT$ 700). I noticed during booking that trains scheduled to leave…

  • Croatia,  Europe,  Travel

    Croatia on a Motorbike: Day 1 – A Taste of Zagreb

    Croatia is the second country in our Europe trip. We had an early flight from Berlin to Zagreb on the 10th of September. Our flight landed on Zračna Luka Franjo Tuđman Airport at around 08:00. We took the public bus in order to get to the city. The bus can be found on the right side upon exiting the airport building. It will take you to Zagreb’s main bus station (Autobusni Kolodvor Zagreb), where you can then hop on a tram to your booked accommodation. We paid 30 kunas each for the bus ride to the driver.   The local currency is Croatian Kuna. The money we had with us were Euros. We…

  • Asia,  Taiwan,  Transportation,  Travel

    Seven-Day Vacation in Taiwan: Taroko National Park Day Trip

    Our third day in Taiwan was dedicated to Taroko National Park. This is a huge park with numerous trails, some of which requires permit from authorities for access. We didn’t have much time in Taiwan to explore this place to the fullest so we decided to do just a day trip, which was also good enough of an experience.   Getting from Taipei to Taroko NP Using public transportation, our option was to reach Hualien first. Based on my research, there are two ways to get from Taipei to Hualien: 1. Direct Train: Taipei to Hualien Our group was focused on getting there via a direct train. We were based in…

  • Asia,  Taiwan,  Transportation,  Travel

    Taipei to Hualien Using a Combo Ticket (Bus and Local Train)

    Booking the express train from Taipei to Hualien isn’t always a walk in the park. Worst case scenario that tickets are sold-out, the other option is the combo – bus + train. The combo ticket is not available online. Reservation or advance booking is not possible. It has to be bought in person at the bus ticketing counter on the day of travel. The bus company will provide you with tickets for the two legs of the trip: Bus from Taipei to Luodong Local train from Luodong to Hualien   Based on my research, there are two bus companies that offer the combo ticket. Your choice will most likely depend on where…

  • Asia,  Taiwan,  Transportation,  Travel

    Seven-Day Vacation in Taiwan: 2 Days in Taipei

    As I’ve mentioned in my introductory post about my seven-day vacation with friends in Taiwan, two days were allotted for Taipei. Since I’ve already explored parts of Taipei before, I had to come up with something else to do.   Getting to Taipei City from Taoyuan Airport Our flight’s ETD from Manila was 23:40 of January 31 with ETA of 2:05 February 1 at Taoyuan Airport Terminal 1. With this arrival time, our options to reach Taipei City is to take either a taxi or a public bus. We opted to take the Kuo Kuang Bus 1819. This bus has a stop at both terminals 1 and 2 of Taoyuan…

  • Asia,  Taiwan,  Travel

    Seven Day Vacation in Taiwan

    In 2017, my friends and I were playing with the idea of vacationing in Taiwan for the first quarter of 2018 to explore its countryside. We agreed that if cheap fares become available, then we’ll push through with it. In November 2017, two of us – Melvin and I – were able to book a flight with Cebu Pacific Air for PHP 4,500 (USD 86.95) each pax, no check-in bag included. Days before the flight, we added 15kg of check-in bag for PHP 690 (USD 13.33) each passenger per way. Another friend, Carol, decided to join part of the trip and booked her flight in January 2018.   Another thing…

  • Asia,  Taiwan,  Transportation,  Travel

    My Experience with Booking a Train between Taipei and Hualien

    If you’re planning a visit to the Taroko National Park, your adventure will probably start with booking a train ticket between Taipei and Hualien. The ideal ride to take is either the Puyuma Express or Taroko Express which goes for, more or less, two hours of travel time. Booking opens 14 days in advance. But, if the opening of ticket sales for your travel date falls on a Saturday or Sunday, it will already be up for grabs by Friday. I learned that the hard way.   My friends and I scheduled a day trip in Taroko for February 3. With the 14-day rule in mind, I was expecting ticket…

  • Europe,  Germany,  Travel

    Central Europe Trip: 4 Nights in Germany

    Germany was the doorway to our central Europe trip. We never planned for it to begin with this country. It just so happened that the cheap fare from Asia which I was able to book goes to Berlin. Henceforth, our central Europe itinerary started taking shape from this country.   Below are details about and photos from our trip in Germany. Some of the photos are in tiled layout. Clicking on these may enlarge the photo and show the caption, if provided.   ACCOMMODATION We stayed in Germany for four nights. Our accommodation was at Titanic Comforte Mitte Hotel, which is conveniently located near the U2 line. Public transportation can be used going to…

  • Europe,  Israel,  Love,  Middle East,  Philippines,  Travel

    2017 Year-End Thoughts

    As the year comes near to its end, I look back to everything that happened in 2017 and the best memory is my trip to Central Europe and Israel. This reminded me of how it first came as an idea.   Two years ago, I started thinking of travelling to Europe. No concrete plans, no target dates. All I had in mind back then was “one day, I’m going to do it”. I started reading about schengen visa application, reading about train travel in Europe, checking-out hostels, reading blog posts, estimating the budget, and checking fares for flights going to Europe. I learned that there’s a chance to book a…