Friday, September 28, 2012

Amsterdam: Inside the Sex Museum

They say that  "a picture is worth a thousand words". I cannot really explain what I saw inside the infamous sex museum but it’s basically about the history of pornography. I feel that any guy regardless of its race would definitely  enjoy this place. So here you go: P

SexMuseum Amsterdam “ Venustempel”
Address: Damrak 18 (located in the city’s main street, walking distance from Amsterdam Central Train Station)
How to get there: Canal Bus, Museumboot,& Artis Express to Central Station, all busses and trams to Central  Station
Entrance Fee: 4 Euros
Contact Information: 622 8376

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Food Tripping in Belgium

‘”To eat ethnic food in the place that gave life, and to immerse oneself in the history and culture of that place, can transform an otherwise mundane meal into an extraordinary experience. “
( Benning  J, 2010)
Belgian Waffles
Belgian Fries
Belgian Chocolates
Shawarma ( Lebanese Cuisine)

Belgium is famous for its many types of cuisines. I really enjoyed my stay here in Belgium since we ate authentic Belgian Waffles, Belgian Fries and Belgian Chocolates.

Most of the Cuisines that I tried were from random restaurants, cafes and food stand ups. I did not anymore researched on what would be the best one since I think it is all the same, so I picked the restaurant/ cafe which will be convenient for my walking. Luckily all of the foods that I have tasted were really good.

While walking in the shopping district of Antwerp, Belgium, I decided to try the some authentic Belgian Waffle. The tasting of it was really mouth watering. I cannot describe the feeling since it tastes really good nothing compared to the ones served in the cafes here in the Philippines. There was a caramel filling inside the hot waffles and this was also covered with whipped cream and chocolate syrup.  That will only cost you 2 Euros each waffle.  After trying some authentic Belgian Waffles, I then decided to go to Bruges.
the streets of Bruges

Going around streets of Bruges can be quite confusing since most of the people around the area are tourists. There are few Belgians who live in Bruges. Most of them are the ones who work in the tourist centres, hotels, and restaurants.  While walking in the main street of Bruges, you will be mesmerized by the free taste of chocolates. You will be surprised by what kind of chocolate you will get. Every bite is a mystery, some tastes good, some tastes bad and some are just tastes like extra ordinary. I think that the phrase “life is like a box of chocolates” came from the Belgian Chocolate Industry. Since every box consists of 15 different chocolates with every bit of surprise. You don’t even need to buy chocolates because you will get full with the free tastes you get there.
Belgian Fries in Bruges

I also tried some authentic Belgian Fries which was covered with a special tartar sauce. The fries was nothing special but the sauce was really good. The only thing I hated about it was its big serving since I cannot finish the whole order. But the fries really tasted good and it will only cost you about 3 Euros.
a very satisfied customer

Come dinner time we left Bruges and had misfortunes in our trip since our train got delayed we stayed at the Antwerpen Centrale Station for 2 hours. We decided to eat dinner at the streets of Antwerpen.  My brother told me that the best shawarma that he has ever tasted was the one in Europe. So I decided to eat in a Lebanese Restaurant. The restaurant ambience was really nice and it was located in the heart of the shopping district of Antwerpen. They have big servings. The meal can be eaten by two people. I feel that it was the best Shawarma that I have ever tasted since they have so many condiments and it was also served with 5 different types of sauces. This will only cost you 5 Euros per meal. It was the cheapest and the best bargain I have ever eaten in my whole Euro Trip.

Belgian Waffles
Price: 2 Euros per piece
Address: Can be found all over Belgium’s Shopping Districts
Tel: +32 (0)

Shawarma ( Lebanese Cuisine)
Price: 5 to 10 Euros per meal
Address: Appelmansstraat 18- 2018 Antwerpen
Tel: 03 23 1 21 33

Belgian Chocolates
Price: 5 Euros for every 250 Grams
Tel: 050/34.97.47
Address: Katelijnestraat 22, Bruges

Monday, September 10, 2012

French Riviera Day Trip


Cannes Beach
Billionaire's Quay
Monte Carlo Casino
I Just won 1.78 Euros at the Monte Carlo Casino #happykid
Saint Paul de Vence

The French Riviera also known as Cote D’Azur is one of the most romantic destinations in Europe. It is also one of the richest places in the world. The French Riviera is also known for its royalty, casino, beaches, luxury cars, yacht’s and billionaire’s houses.  The coastal scenery was really awe-inspiring and the blue water was so revitalizing.
The Badass Cars of Monaco

If you think that the French Riviera is only for the Rich and Famous, well think again. You can tour the whole of French Riviera on a budget. I and my family hired a tour van which brought us to the five major towns of the French Riviera for only 89 Euros per person. It’s really a good deal since they picked us up in the Airport and toured us for the whole day and brought us back to the hotel.  The good thing about the tour is that it was private and the tour guide was very good at speaking in English. We learned so much about the history of the France.

                My family first went to the town of Cannes, which is famous for International Festival of Cinema. Out of all the towns I went in the French Riviera, Cannes has the best beach. Since its sands is white and there are few rocks and also it is public.  After enjoying our breakfast in Cannes we then went to my favourite town in the South of France, Antibes.  Antibes is my favourite town in the south of France because this is where I experienced being like French since we shopped in an Authentic French Flea Market. I really had fun in seeing different kinds of cheese, crepe stores, cold cuts, meat products, truffles, fruits, vegetables and French macaroons. It was a good learning experience for since I’m the type person who likes to go shopping in Flea Market. I enjoyed it because the stalls had presented it in a good manner. After shopping in the French Flea Market, we then went to the Picasso Museum then walked to Promenade Amiral de Grasse, and then saw the Billionare’s Quay, where you will see so many parked yachts which are owned by famous people. You can also rent these yachts for a week or so. After enjoying Antibes we then went to Saint Paul De Vence. St. Paul de Vence is the fourth most Visited Place in France since it is the haven of the arts. After roaming around and getting lost in the small town of Saint Paul de Vance. We then went to the3rd smallest country in the world Monaco. Monaco is famous for its Casino and the yearly Monaco Grand Prix.  After playing in the Monte Carlo Casino, we then went to the town of the Grasse Region. While on our way we saw the small town of Villefranche Sur Mer. This is where I saw the 400 Million Euro House and Lot. We then went to Fragonard Factory. Here we learned how they make the perfume and bought stuff there. After going to the Grasse Region we then went to Nice. Nice, France which is the Capital of the French Riviera, here you will find a very long beach coast. The sand is very rocky and grey unlike the ones in Cannes. After roaming around Nice, France, we went back to our hotel and rested.
400 Million Euro House  at Villefranche- Sur Mer

Estimated  Budget  for your French Riviera Overnight Stay  per Head
Airline Easy Jet Airways  Roundtrip  via GVA-NCE ( Seat Sale)
Budget Hotel Near the Cote D’Azur Airport ( rates per room per night) 75 / 3
Private Sightseeing Tour for 1 Day
Food and Drinks
Airport Bus

NizzaTravel                                                                                                                                                               Private Transfers & Sightseeing Tours                                                                                  
Email :                                                                                           
Tel     : +33 (0) 9 54 07 35 87                                                                                                  
Fax    :+33 (0) 9 59 07 35 87                                                                                            
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Easy Jet Airways
Europe’s Number 1 Budget Airline

Etap Hotel Nice
Perfect Hotel for Backpacker’s
Address: 455, Promenade des Anglais,Nice, 06200, France

Related Blog Posts: Antibes: My Favorite Town in the South of France
French Sunday Market

Friday, September 7, 2012

Anawangin - Capones Day Trip



Boat Ride

Bus Rides

The island of Anawangin and Capones is a must see destination here in the Philippines. It is perfect for adventurous and nature loving people, since there is no electricity and commercial businesses there. You need to bring or rent a tent if you want to sleep there.  But if you’re not the adventurous- nature loving person, I suggest that taking a Day Trip to Anawangin and Capones would be the perfect idea. It’s better to sleep in your own bed rather than a tent after a very long and tiring hike.
Andok's & Sr. Pedro FTW

Backpacking literraly 
Anawangin Shore
Dinner at Meat Plus

   I and my friends took a spontaneous trip to Anawangin.  We left our house at around 5am and went to the Victory Liner Bus Station in Cubao. It took us four hours from Manila to Iba, Zambales. I think it will be a faster ride if you will take the SCTEX Iba Bus. We arrived in Iba, Zambales at around 10am  and bought our food and groceries at the town center. We bought our lunch at Andok’s , fresh fruits at the market, and chips & drinks at the grocery store near the bus station. After buying all our stuff that we     need for our trip we hired a van which brought us directly to Pundaquit. The van ride from Iba to Pundaquit will take you about 30 to 45 minutes. When we arrived to Pundaquit we hired a boat which costs about 1,500 for the 5 of us. The boat man brought us to Anawangin. We ate our lunch at Anawangin and swam at Capones. Since the driver told us it’s better to swim in Capones since the sand is cleaner and there are lesser crowd there. The island of Capones is a very nice place to chill around and drink we stayed there for about 4 hours and had a picnic there. After that we left Capones and went back to Pundaquit. We took a bath at the hotels near the beach since it is much cleaner than the bathrooms in Anawangin.  After that, we ate dinner at Meat Plus in Subic rode a taxi back to the bus station and went home.
 Estimated Anawangin-Capones Budget per Head
One way Bus ride from Manila to Iba, Zambales via Victory Liner
Van ride to Pundaquit
 Roundtrip Boat ride to Anawangin – Capones
Food/ Drinks (Andok’s Chicken + Grocery Goods + Rice + Dinner in Subic + Softdrinks + Alcoholic Beverages)
Tricycle ride to the town Center
Bus ride from the Town Center to Iba, Zambales
Bus Ride from Iba, Zambales to Manila

Suggested Anawangin Capones Day Trip Itinerary:
5:00 Go to the Victory Liner Station at Edsa Cubao
9:00 Arrive Iba, Zambales
9:10 Buy food at the Fast Food Chains (Andoks, Chooks to Go, Jollibee, Chowking, Mang Inasal, & Sr. Pedro)   near the bus Station. You can also buy your drinks  and other travel essentials at the grocery store near the bus station.
10:00 Hire a Van which can Go directly to Pundaquit. It is better to share  a van. Which will cost you 800 per one way van ride for the whole group.
10:45 Arrive Pundaquit.  Hire a boat ride to Anawangin
11:30 You can eat your lunch at Anawangin.
14:30 Go Swimming in Capones Island.
17:30 Leave Capones and go back to Pundaquit
17:45 take a bath in the nearby hotels in Pundaquit (P50 per head)
18:45 Take a Tricycle to the Town Center
19:00 take a bus ride to Subic
19:45 Dinner in Subic
21:30 Go back to the Victory Line Bus Station
21:45 Leave Iba, Zamabales
23:30 Arrive Manila
-          Travel light
-          Bring at least P1,500 or $35
-          Bring your own toiletries
-          Buy food at the town center.
-          Don’t be afraid to ask questions for directions
-          Have fun and make friends
-          Swim at Capones since it’s much cleaner less crowded.
-          Don’t swim in Anawangin because the sand is grey, the water is too deep and there are so many people.
-          Eat lunch in Anawangin
      Buy ice in Anawangin

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Paris 2012: One for the books

Sacre Coeur

On our way to our apartment

Our Apartment in Paris
eating Italian food in Paris

Eiffel Tower by Day

I have been dreaming of this place for quite along time and I finally went to Paris. I have bought and read so many tourist books and researched so many blogs about Paris in preparation for this trip. I am so happy, thankful and very lucky that my Aunt and Cousin treated my whole family to  Paris. I was so happy to spend my first trip in Paris with my close cousins. 
Arc de Triomphe
Avenue des Champs Elysees
The Handsome men of Abercrombie & Fitch
Dinner in Montmatre

Stair Case to Sacre Couer

            We arrived in the evening in  Paris on our first day. It was very exhausting since we walked 4 blocks from the train station and we had to bring our entire luggage with us. I and my cousins stayed at a very large apartment in Paris.  Our apartment is located near Centres de Pompidou.   We are located in a very convenient area since there are bars, pubs and restaurants  outside our  apartment. It’s also 1 block away H&M store which is my favorite brand abroad. We ate at an Italian restaurant near our apartment, went to Centres de Pompidou, and then walked to Hotel de Ville. After that we walked to Notre-Dame then walked to the Louvre Museum so that we could see it at night. 
Cafe des 2 Moulins
Moulin Rouge
Eiffel Tower at Night
Picnic by the Eiffel Tour  @ Night
Our second day in Paris was really memorable and very tiring. I cannot believe myself because we  were able to walk the whole city of Paris in just a one day. We were lucky that the weather was good. In the morning, we just decided to go first to the Eiffel Tower. We rested there for on our hour and ate French street food near the Trocadero. We decided to walk to the Arc de Triomphe and then went straight the Avenue des Champs Elysees.  While walking along the way, we went to the main Louis Vuitton Headquarters and saw how much cheaper it really is. The Louis Vuitton Handbags and wallet is cheaper by 200 USD to 300 USD especially when you get your tax refund at the airport. I just  want to warn you of the long lines and the rude French sales people at the Louis Vuitton Headquarters. They are not very friendly especially when you don’t speak French. After checking out the bag prices, we then decided to go straight to Hotel les Invalides. But then we decided to stop over at Laduree and bought French macaroons. My friend told me that Laduree serves the best Macaroons in Paris. It’s also expensive since a macaroon costs about 1.78 Euros per piece.  One taste of this macaroon is enough; two would be too many and too sweet.  After going to Hotel les Invalides, we got lost and then decide to take a train ride to Montmatre.  We got lost in Montmatre in finding Sacre Coeur because some of the signs were very misleading. I was so exhausted going up the stairs of Sacre Coeur, but it was worth it up there.  I just wished that we used the funicular on our way there. Here you will get to see the whole city of Paris. After that we tried to find a good restaurant in Montmatre we ate outside the restaurant doing it the Parisian way. After eating in Montmatre we got lost trying to find my cousin’s crepe place. My cousin and sister fought because she was so exhausted. While we were looking for the crepe place we accidentally saw the restaurant Café des 2 Moulins, where the film Amelie was shot and ate dessert there.  We then decided to buy wine and chips at a near grocery store for our picnic. I and my cousins had a picnic while seeing the light show of the Eiffel tower. Drinking wine while seeing the light show of the Eiffel Tower is a must try for tourists. We stayed there for about 4 hours at the Eiffel Tower and went straight to our apartment and rested. 
On our way to Versailles

Rejano Cousins at the Louvre

 Very tired from all the walking at the Louvre
            Our last day in Paris, was quite exhausting. I and my cousins first went to a mall near our apartment to get no line tickets at the Louvre Museum. After that we went to Versailles. This was my favorite place since it was very clean, there were few gypsies and you will learn a lot from history of France.  We ended up staying there till 16:00. We decided to take the train ride back to Paris and we went to the Louvre Museum.  A night at the louvre museuem is a must since the lines are shorter and the ticket is cheaper. We didn’t get to see the whole of Louvre, but at least we saw the important works of art like Venus de Milo, Mona Lisa,  The Raft of Medusa, Rameses, Slaves and The Lacemaker. I didn't really get to enjoy the Louvre because there were so many beautiful things to see, so little time and my feet were very exhausted with all the walking but I must say if you will choose to see one museum in Europe the Louvre will be the best choice since it caters the biggest artifacts and also the best put into one place. The best advice would be exploring the Louvre Museum in one whole day.  After our tiring experience at the Louvre, we then ate at a restaurant near Champs Elysees with the whole family. We then went to our apartment, dressed up and partied the night away. We went bar hopping in Paris. It was a very nice experience to party in a foreign country. I even got a hangover and woke up late the next day. Good thing I didn’t missed my plane ride to Norway.
My Paris experience was definitely one for the books and I will treasure this trip forever.
The Yoga Pose
Who got drunk in Paris?

Related Blog Posts:  Paris Itinerary in 1-2 Days

 Paris Travel Tips:
-When arriving in Paris by Train or Plane go first to the Tourist Information Centre where you can get a free city map.
-Debit Cards are usually accepted in all over Europe. You must first remember to call your bank and get your International Pin before you leave. 
-Buy a no line ticket at the Louvre in advance.  
-Rent an Apartment/ Hotel which is in the Champs Elysees; Tuileries; Passy;  Chatelet  and St. Germain Area. These are walking distance from most famous landmarks in Paris.
-Read and research all about the History of these Places you want to go to in advance, so that you wouldn’t have to pay for the entrance fee and guided tours anymore.
-For every tourist attraction you go to, Just walk pass by it and quickly get a photo infront of the monument. Don't stress yourself in entering the monument itself. Tourist lines are so slow and some of the entrance fees are very expensive.  
-Have a big breakfast so that you will have energy for your big day.
-Do some stretching before walking & wear comfortable shoes.
-Buy a 1 day unlimited train  pass
-Always bring a photocopy of your passport and Schengen visa in case of emergency.
-Be careful of your belongings since there are a lot of pickpockets  in the famous landmarks. 
- Beware of the Gypsies.
-Buy some snacks and wine at a nearby grocery store for your picnic
-If you’re tired of walking take the train or get a hop on hop off tour.
- Bring a small bottle of water 
- Always bring a city map and the address of your Hotel/ Apartment in Case you get lost.
-If you only have 2 days in Paris, you don’t have to go inside every tourist spot, because it is very time consuming
- If you want to go shopping, just buy it at the Airport to save time and not anymore line up for your tax refund.
-Some Museums & Churches have a dress code; you must wear proper attire.
-Just sit down at a corner, enjoy the view or you can also do some people watching. 
Paris Travel Information
Tourist Destination
Operating Hours and Admission Fee
Train Stops
Centre Georges- Pompidou
 11:00-21:00 Wed-Mon; € 8-12
Hotel De Ville
8:00-18:45 Daily;
 € 8 ; € 5(18-25yrs)
Arc De Triomphe
10:00-23:00 Daily ;€10
Concorde; Franklin D. Roosevelt;
Avenue des Champs Elysees

Charles de Gaulle Etoille

Grand Palais
Open Wed- Mon depending upon exhibition
Hotel des Invalides
€7; Free for under 18s
Varenne;  RER: Invalides

Sacre Coeur
6:00-23:00 Daily; €5
Anvers; Funiculaire de Montmatre
Moulin Rouge
21:00 & 23:00 Daily

Eiffel Tower
Elevator 9:30-23:45 Daily €4.50 (Stairs) € 12 (Elevator)
Ecole Militare; Bir-Hakeim- Champ De Mars Tour Eiffel
8:00- 20:30 Daily; €18
Line C to Versailles- Rive Gauche
Louvre Museum
9:00-18:00 Mon, Thu, Sat & Sun 9:00-22:00 Wed & Fri; €10 ; reduced price 18:00 onwards €6
Palais Royal- Musee du Louvre
( French Macaroons)
9:30- 22:30 Daily;
Address: 1 Rue Georges Clémenceau
Galeries Lafayette Haussmann
9:30- 20:00 Mon, Wed, Fri  &Sat
9:30- 21:00 Thu
Chaussée d'Antin -

Café des 2 Moulins                  ( Amelie Café)
 Address: 12 Rue Coustou  
Apartment Paris
70 Euros to 150 Euros per night

*Photos were taken by Jerrick Ramos