Thursday, November 24, 2016

Macau (On the spot itinerary)

Yes you read that right. This is probably my most unprepared trip which also happen to be out-of-the-country that I ever did in my life. Normally I am already done with my itinerary days/weeks before the scheduled travel date but this is a first. Maybe because I have a back-to-back-to-back travels before this trip & then my working schedule was so loaded that I totally lost track of time. Well I already read a lot of blogs to give me an idea which places to go to & Macau is just small, you can finished touring the city for one whole day so no need to worry lol! If this is your first trip abroad, don't ever come unprepared just like what I did because it pays to have a detailed itinerary and it certainly will save you more time & money. Another challenge was that I cannot seem to find in the internet or blogs where they take Macau as their first stop then cross border to Hong Kong. Its always Hong Kong-Macau or just a day trip to Macau then back again to Hong Kong. So I guess I always make an unusual route & hopefully I could help you with this itinerary if you ever found yourself in the same situationšŸ˜Š

This trip will be divided into 2 part post because as you all know, Macau & Hong Kong goes hand in hand together since they are just an hour away from each other. The moment we landed in Macau International Airport was already a disaster because (1) our plane was delayed for 2 hours (2) we were supposed to take the free shuttle (all the five star hotel in Macau offered this kind of arrangement to attract more guest/tourist even if you're not their own guest. In short it is open for everyone so try to avail this) that will take us near our hotel but it was already past midnight when we arrived & the free shuttle are only available before midnight so we were advised to take the bus instead which is the cheapest way to go. (3) We met 2 OFW while waiting for the bus in the airport that offered to help us get to our hotel because they claimed that it was also in the 'same way' to where they are staying. It turns out it wasn't. We ended up walking for almost an hour along with our noisy & heavy luggage in the middle of the night, striding along the uphill & downhill slope that Macau street was known for. I.cant.even.. Makaiyak just remembering haha It was more of Ate gurrl's route mind you because she was like "I'm already here, don't cross the street & go right" Ok, so we were left on our own. I don't even have the energy to argue because I was thirsty & hungry & tired & we should have just taken the taxi from the beginning. So how did we survive the night? Well, the best solution was to ask around. It took us 3 to 5 tries to ask the local because only a few can understand English. There's still hope for human kind after all or perhaps we looked so exhausted that the locals took pity of us haha

Finally made it to our hotel! Our room feels like heaven after all the challenges that we experienced. I was quite surprised with how big our room was. It looks like a family room that can fit for 10 persons when I just booked a standard room good for 2. I think the Reception guy just chose whatever key was available or he must have been very sleepy since its already past 1:00AM but we are not complaining though & we were only staying for less than 8 hours so ibigay nyo na toh haha Whether we got upgraded or not, I highly recommend their hotel because it's just walking distance to St. Paul Ruins & Senado Square. I booked through Agoda or click the link here for more details about Town Well Hotel https://www.agoda.com/towns-well-hotel/hotel/macau-mo.html  Take note that prices of hotel in Macau is more expensive compared to Hong Kong. I think the cheapest that I've seen in the net is from Php 2,000+ per night so if you are on a tight budget, you can visit Macau for day tour.









Pak! Mukha akong matangkad dito haha


Below's my itinerary for a day tour in Macau. For the cost, I think we spend around Php 3,000.00+ (the hotel & ferry ticket going to Hong Kong takes most of the budget) all-in which I think was reasonable enough since we save a lot in the transporation cost (thanks to all the free shuttle!)

July 21, 2016
Evening
Arrival on Macau International Airport

**Check-in at Towns Well Hotel (Php 2,651.81/night) **
July 22, 2016
9:00-11:00
Breakfast on the nearby Mcdo

Senado Square

St. Paul Ruins

Macau Museum

12:00-4:00
Lunch

Macau Tower

Fisherman's Wharf

Sands Resort Macau

4:00-8:00
Casino Hopping (Venetian Hotel, Studio City, City of Dreams, Parisian Hotel)

Back to Hotel to get our luggage then rode a bus to Macau Ferry Terminal 




Sunday, November 13, 2016

Malapascua, Kalanggaman & Bantayan Island


At first I didn't really know that this 3 island are possible in only 3 days. It was a choice between Kalanggaman or Bantayan island but after googling (not to mention salivating) them separately, I stumble upon some blogs that both of this paradise are on the northern part of cebu & yes they are accessible by land with only a few hours apart. Of course being the wanderlust, I decided to go to this two islands no matter what..since I cant choose between them anyway, why not both?haha 

So what am I doing in Malapascua? This island will serve as a starting point since we are taking the route of Malapascua-Kalanggaman-Malapascua-Bantayan island. I think most blogs did the Bantayan-Malapascua-Kalanggaman-Malapascua, I just did it the other way around because we want Bantayan to be our last stop. 

Upon arrival in Malapascua, a lot of local/guide will offer Kalanggaman day tour package (Php 800.00/head) with lunch included so no need to make a reservation. We arrive around 8 in the morning & went straight to Little Mermaid Dive Resort (good thing they allowed us to check-in early, well a little reluctantly) to take a quick bath since the tour will start at 9:00 am.

Kalanggaman Island

Travel time from Malapascua to Kalanggaman was around 2 hours but trust me it was worth it once you see the island.


Ang ganda ng Pilipinas!!!



I have to say the water here is so much better compared to Bantayan or maybe because this island was remotely accessible to the crowd & not yet fully developed. I do hope they can maintain the cleanliness of this island & not become so commercialized. If you want to stay here overnight, make sure to bring your own tent because there are no accommodation available in the island. Better yet inform the guide so they will know what time they will pick you up by the morning.

Malapascua Island

We stayed in Little Mermaid Dive Resort but I'm not sure if they have their own website. I just booked under Booking.com or you can also try Agoda for various hotels located in Malapascua. We never get the chance to explore Malapascua though because of time constraints but I heard the place is a good diving spot & almost all the hotels offer diving lesson. So if you have free time, do explore this place because it certainly have a lot to offer.



Little Mermaid Dive Resort-the hotel where we stayed

Bantayan Island

Prior to this trip, I had a hard time choosing on our accommodation since there are a lot of nice hotels/beach front scattered in the island. Normally I don't mind roughing it up but since we are only staying overnight, might as well made the most of it & decided to stay in Kota Beach Resort. You can check & book directly in their website. Click the link here for more info http://www.kotabeachresort.com/abeautifulsetting-1/ My only complaints in their resort was that they have a slow service to all their guest, check-in time was supposed to be 2:00PM but we were allowed inside our room at around 3:00PM since they are short-staffed. They did upgrade our room though to compensate us for the inconvenience so it was all good.
Trivia:  If you watch the movie Camp Sawi, this is where the cast stayed & filmed most of the scenes. Well it does look like I just stepped out of the movie.

Gusto ko bilhin yung buong isla choz!
No I'm not broken...just brokešŸ˜…




Here's my itinerary for 4Days/3Nights last Oct. 31-Nov. 1, 2016. Take note that this is still without airfare, food & souvenir/pasalubong. 


Oct. 29
Night


Dawn
Flight from Manila to Cebu
(Taxi from airport to North Cebu Bus Terminal)

Go to North Cebu Bus Terminal & Ride a Ceres
Bus/Van (Est. travel time 4-5hrs going to Maya Port)

Php 180.00

                Php 200.00  
Oct. 30
7:00AM






8:00AM


9:00AM


11:00AM


3:00PM

5:00PM
Maya Port to Malapascua
(Est. travel time 30-40 min.)

Boat (small) ride transfer to Big Boat

Big Boat to Malapascua

ETA in Malapascua
(Early check-in Little Mermaid Dive Resort-Php1,400.00/night)

ETD Malapascua going to Kalanggaman
(Day Tour Package w/ lunch)

ETA Kalanggaman Island
(Entrance Fee)

ETD from Kalanggaman to Malapascua

Arrival in Mapascua

***Free Time***



Php 20.00

Php 100.00

Php 700.00


Php 800.00


Php 150.00
Oct. 31
7:30AM






8:30AM



10:30AM


11:00AM



12:30PM





2:00PM
ETD from Malapascua to Maya Port
(Est. travel time 30-40 min.)

Big Boat to Maya Port

Boat (small) ride transfer

ETA in Maya Port-Ride bus/jeep going to Bogo Public Market/Don Pedro
(Est. travel time 1.5hrs)

Ride a tricycle from Bogo Public Market to Hagnaya Port (Est. travel time 20 min.)

ETA in Hagnaya Port-Boat going to Bantayan Island/Sta. Fe Port
(Est. travel time 1hr)

ETA in Bantayan Island
(Free Shuttle from Sta. Fe Port)

***Check-in at Kota Beach Resort***
(Php 1,540.00/night)

Explore Bantayan Island
(Snorkeling, Biking, Tricycle tour)



Php 100.00

Php 20.00

Php 80.00



Php 20.00


Php 180.00






Php 770.00


Php 350.00
Nov. 1
8:00AM

1:30PM



3:00PM


8:00PM
Island Hopping (Php 800.00 for the whole boat)

Check-out (Free Shuttle to Sta. Fe Port)

Boat from Sta. Fe Port to Hagnaya Port

ETA in Hagnaya Port-Ride bus going back to Cebu City (Est. travel time 4hrs)

ETA in Cebu City (Taxi from Terminal to Cebu airport)

TOTAL
Php 400.00



Php 180.00

Php 200.00


Php 180.00


Php 4,630.00