Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Marinduque Wildlife Sanctuary: The Batanes of the South

Courtesy of DianneMagbanua's IG Account
 


Marinduque Wild Life Sanctuary is a newly discovered tourist spot in Marinduque. It’s a place where you can hike, camp, swim and also bird watch. Going here from the town centre is quite hard. It will take you almost 1.5 to 2 hours from Torrijos.   I recommend that you rent a van when you go here since the roads are not yet complete and you will go through a dirt road. Riding a tricycle or a jeep will just be very hard.
               
 The sanctuary has a very nice view especially when you love to hike.  You can see sceneries as same as Batanes but you will have to hike for 2 hours. If you don’t want to hike for 2 hours you can also view this scenery at a nearby place called Sibuyao. This will just be a 10 minute hike, with also a nice view, perfect for Senior Citizens.
                 
 You must visit this place when you go to Marinduque. This is perfect for nature lovers, bird watchers and adventure seekers. If you want to escape the crowded places and busy tourist spots, then this will be the perfect place for you.


How to go to Marinduque Wild Life Sanctuary.
1.       Rent a van going to Torrijos, Marinduque.
2.       From Torrijos, Marinduque, follow the Waze app and type Marinduque Wild Life Sanctuary.
3.       It will take you about 1.5 hour to 2 hours from Torrijos.
4.       There are few signage's going to this place. You must ask the locals where this place is.


Marinduque Wildlife Sanctuary
Address: Tumagabok, Marinduque
Website: https://www.facebook.com/MarinduqueWS/
Entrance Fee: 100Php
Tour Guide:  09106640300


Rates from Marinduque Wildlife FB Page

Sunday, April 29, 2018

DIY GUIDE: 8D/7N Queenstown, New Zealand for less than 75,000 PHp / 2000NZD


Milford Sound Cruise

 
Luge, Queenstown Sky Gondola



Glenorchy Animal Experience
 
Hobbiton
Piha Beach

Queenstown is the adventure capital of New Zealand. There are so many things to do and to and to see here but it’s quite expensive if you want to do everything. You can do a lot of things here like hiking, sky diving, bungee jumping, biking, paragliding and also skiing. If you’re not the adventurous type like me you can also do wine tasting in Gibston Valley and animal feeding in Glenorchy.  If you just want to relax you can also try the Onsen Hot Pools.

Transportation
The cheapest way to travel New Zealand is by renting a car. If you get it on sale, you can get as low as 26NZD per day plus car insurance so that would be 48NZD per day. Diesel can cost you up to 2NZD per liter. If you are travelling by groups of 4 then you can split up the cost. The risky part of it is that if you will drive on the opposite side of the road, and if you’re driving skills are used to Manila driving, then I would not recommend it for you. Since the traffic rules here are very strict and if you violate, you can get a ticket for as big as 400NZD per violation. You can just get a group tour or rent a private taxi for 60NZD per hour.

Most of the car accidents that happen in New Zealand are from tourists because they are not informed of the traffic rules and they usually drive on the opposite side of the road that they are used to in their home country.

Queenstown is a very small city so most of the nearby attractions are walking distance. There are no public transporation which you can get if you want to travel to other nearby cities. The best option is to rent a car. Unfortunately Uber is not yet available in Queenstown, but is available in other parts of New Zealand like Auckland and Christchurch.

Food
The food in New Zealand was just okay or maybe I’m not used to eating bread and cheese all day. I stayed there for almost 10 days and the Asian side of me was always looking for savory dishes which have salty or spicy taste. I even ate Chinese food for 3 consecutive nights because I’m not used to eating sandwiches and burgers every day.

The average price of food in New Zealand ranges from 10 to 30 NZD. It’s quite cheaper compared to other first world countries that I’ve been to, since tips are not required to be given and also the exchange rate is lower (1NZD= 38.50PHP). If you want to save more money you can buy groceries and cook at your Airbnb. You can also order Domino’s pizza anywhere in New Zealand if you don’t want to cook.

The ice cream in New Zealand is so good. You must try the Hokey Pokey Flavor which is made in New Zealand. If you’re in Auckland, you must try Giappo Icecream which serves the best artisanal ice cream in New Zealand.

Weather

Anytime is a good time to visit Queenstown. For me Autumn is the best since the weather is perfect. Not that cold, neither that hot it is just right. Seeing also the changing of color of leaves is just picture perfect.  Winter is also a nice time to go here since you get to do skiing and snowboarding.

Shopping
Apparel here is expensive, even Roxy and Billabong is also expensive. You don’t have to go shopping here since most of the stores here are also available in Manila. You can just spend your money on better things such as travel experiences. If you want to buy pasalubong, you can buy steak, butter and chocolates (Withaker) at the grocery.

Internet
Renting a pocket WiFi is pretty expensive in New Zealand. It’s better to just buy a local sim card at Spark for only 29NZD good for one month with unlimited call and texts and also unlimited internet. You can easily buy it at the airport

Promo Fare Via Philippine Airlines
Tips
  1. Always bring a water bottle.  Drinking fountains available in most of the tourist’s places in New Zealand. You can easily refill your jug instead of buying bottled water all the time.
  2. Check your weather app before you leave your hotel.
  3. Book your tickets in advance
  4. Look for travel deals online
  5. Buy travel insurance before you leave Manila.
  6. Most of the shops in New Zealand close at 5pm. If you need to buy things, you have to shop earlier.
Helpful Websites

The best website to get travel deals locally would be
Bookme.co.nz (As recommended by my OFW friends in Auckland)
If you want to get discounts on for Gondola you can book via
            For Hobbiton
Viator.com (You can get roundtrip transfers from Auckland to Hobbiton including the entrance to Hobbiton for as low as 100USD)
            For group tours via coach
Thriftytours.com (If you are ravelling with a big group, then this will be one of the cheapest tour companies in New Zealand, you can have the option of choosing motels, hotels to 5 star hotels and honestly the motels in New Zealand are quite nice and decent compared to the one’s in Manila.)
For Affordable Car Rentals 
Snap Rentals

DIY Queenstown Itinerary with Cost


Monday, April 2, 2018

DIY Guide:4D/3N Batanes for less than P25,000




 






Out of the 40 Provinces in the Philippines that I have ever been to, Batanes is the most beautiful. I've waited for so many years to go and finally I have decided to book the regular airfare rate of 15,000Php.  This is actually one of the most expensive ticket’s that I’ve ever spent but it's truly worth every penny. 


 TOP 4 Places to Visit in Batanes
1.       South Batan
2.       North Batan
3.       Sabtang Island
4.    Itbayat Island

Food
The food in Batanes is not that good  it need more improvement and innovation. The Batanes beef is a must try.  The cows here are grass fed that's why their beef tapa and steak is really good.  The one restaurant that has caught my taste buds was Jino’s Pizzaria. They serve good thin cut pizza at an affordable price.

Accommodation

Batanes Midtown Inn
The resort is  located in the city center. They also have their own restaurant. Their WiFi is strong but they will charge you 1Php per MB.  
Rates:   875 per Person Per Night  includes Free Breakfast
Website: midtowninnbatanes.com

Ra'pitan Di Vasay B and B
This B&B has a very nice garden, perfect for families to stay in.
Website: rapitadivasay.com
Rates: 800 Per Person
  
 Batanes Seaside Annex
The hotel doesn't have WiFi but is location is fine.  You can book cheaper rates via agoda.com
Rates: 750 Per Person includes Free Breakfast and Airport Transfer

Fundacion Pacita
This place is just amazing a bit pricey but worth it. The hotel only has 12 rooms with each having its own veranda where you can have the best view of Batanes. This is the perfect place to relax and unwind from your busy schedule.   If you don’t have extra cash, then you can have breakfast here for just 520Php per person.
Rates: 20,000 Php per Room per Night


Internet 
The internet in Batanes is very weak. The Data of Globe and Smart doesn't work because the satellite was broken during the typhoon in 2016. If you’re desperate some hotels will charge you 1PHP per MB. If you want to disconnect for a few days from the world of Social Media, then Batanes will be the perfect place for you. 


Get in
There are 3 Airlines that go to Batanes from Manila which are Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific and Skyjet. The regular round trip airfare rate is P15,000. The average promo fare to Batanes is 7,500, but if you are really lucky you can book as low as P500 during Cebu Pacific’s Piso Fare which happens once a year. You can also get cheaper tickets to Batanes if you book from Clark Airport or Tuguegarao Airport.

If you have a lot of time and on a budget you can take a bus from Manila to Batangas and then take a Boat to Batanes from Batangas port but this will take you up to 5 days to be here.

Transportation In Batanes
Japanese Bike-  You can rent a bike for 25Php an hour.
Mountain Bike-You can rent a mountain bike for 50Php an hour. However I don’t advise you to bike the whole of Batanes since the roads are very narrow and most are just one way. You might get into an accident if you will bike alone. You have to have the correct gear. 
Tricycle – This is one the major transportation vehicles in Batanes. You can tour the whole of Batanes with a tricycle. It’s safe since the driver’s already know the roads and they can also assist you in touring and taking your pictures.
Van- You can rent a van in travel agencies to tour around Batanes.
 


 4 Days/ 3 Nights Detailed Itinerary and Costing  in Batanes
Detailed Itinerary to Batanes with Costing


For More Information:

Bisumi Tours
Contact Number: +639778509647;  +639988898078
Email: bisumitours@gmail.com 
Join Tour per Person 5,500  for 3 days
Includes 
North Batan Tour
South Batan Tour
Sabtang Island Tour
Airport Transfers,  Round trip Boat Transfers, Van Rentals, Set Souvenir Item, Taxes Lunch and a Tour Guide

Tricycle Tour 4,500 per Person For 3 Days
 
Jino's  East Pizzaria
Contact Number:  +63908 3704971; +63956 6699385
Try the Jino's Best. They also offer free delivery to your hotel 

Batanes Tour Guide
Roger Amboy 
Contact Number: +63917 8752430