Friday, August 31, 2012

Versailles is Love

Garden at Versailles

Sleeping In Europe
Hall of Mirrors

Queen's Room


King's Room

so many tourists....

If you have an extra day in Paris, one of the best excursions would be going to the palace and garden of Versailles.This will just take you a 45 minute train ride from Paris City Centre.  A ticket will just cost you about 6 Euros roundtrip. The entrance fee to Versailles is about 13 Euros. Versailles is really different from Paris since it is very clean and there are few gypsies roaming around the area. This place is a must see since you will get to learn so much from the History of France.  You will learn how their leader’s used the money of the people to beautify their kingdom even though they are just 5 people living in the palace.  In the end the people will also thank their leader, because now it is a tourist attraction.  It would take you more than a day to really see the whole of palace and garden of Versailles the best advice would be to go there early and not wait for the long lines ahead. 

This spectacular chateau, built in King Louis XIV's reign in 1664, who transformed Versailles from a modest hunting lodge into one of the largest royal palace in Europe.  It was the royal residence of King Louis XIV and Queen Marie Antoinette for more than a century.  It is not one of the oldest chateaus but it exemplifies the essence of a royal palace more than any other palace.

One of the must- see places inside Versailles is the Statement Apartment which is decorated with gold and marble. Another one is the Queen’s room; this is the most extravagant room I’ve ever seen which a woman has ever lived in. You must also go to the Hall of Mirrors, which you can learn the history of the French Revolution. The last but definitely not the least is the Gardens which is the best part of Versailles which is perfectly constructed. 

Travel Tips:
-Come Early
-Beware of Pickpockets
-Don’t bother getting an audio guide since there are already small explanations for every part of the palace.
-Take lots of pictures
-Read about the history of France.

Chateau de Versailles
20 Kilometres southwest of Paris
Telephone Number: 0130837800
Operating Hours:
 April to October 09:00-18:30 Tuesday to Sunday
November to March 09:00-17:30 Tuesday to Sunday;
Gardens 08:00-20:30 daily
*Closed on Public Holidays
Entrance Fee:  13 Euros and Free for Young Adults (EU Citizens) ages 26 and Below
By Train: Line C to Versailles- Rive Gauche
By Car: A13 to exit 14 then follow the signs

Sweden: Scandinavian SPA & Resort

Travelling all over Europe can be very tiring, stressful and fun at the same time. The pressures in your trip can be very stressful, what you can do is try to squeeze in going to a Spa Resort in Europe. This will help you relax and relieve your stress. The point of travelling is that you can get to escape from your reality and just relax and enjoy your money. There are lots of amenities in a Spa Resort that can help you relax which includes a heated pool, Jacuzzi, sauna, fish spa and a free massage. All of these amenities are already free and included with your room package. The good thing about these is that you can use unlimited time, it’s free, relaxing and worth your money.

Quality Spa & Resort in Stromstad , Sweden is located near the border line of Oslo, Norway.   It is also located near the business centres and outlets stores.  The hotel has complete amenities and is quite perfect for your family and friends. They have game rooms for kids, massage areas, heated pool, outdoor pool , sunbathing area, a bar & sauna for adults and teenagers.  You can also park your boat or yacht beside this resort. A free breakfast for 2 is also included in your room package. The resort also provides a warm & welcoming service of international standard. 

Address: Kebalvägen 229  452 20 Strömstad, Sweden
Contact Numbers: 0526-303 00
Reservation: › Sweden › Västra Götaland › Strömstad
Price Range:  12,000 PHP/ 300 USD/ 237 EUROS/ 1985 SEK/ 1736 NOK
Transportation: Rent a car and drive your self to Stromstad Quality Spa & Resort or hire a taxi. 

French Sunday Market

French Flea Market

Fruits and Vegetables 
Meat Products 


Authentic French Macaroons 
 On my way to a French Sunday Market

 I believe that going to a French Flea Market on a Sunday morning, is a must try for travelers, especially food enthusiasts. This experience is where you can really feel that you are French. You can find so many awesome, cheap and good deals in a Flea Market.  The good thing here is that you can bargain the price of your desired item. I really enjoy going to markets/ bazaars in the Philippines. But this experience is a must try since the French Market is really different because they sell different types cheese, cold cuts, fruits, vegetables, truffle  and other French Commodities.  It’s also a good thing if you get to buy fresh ingredients and cook it at your apartment or hotel so that it will be cheaper for you and you will get to eat more food.

French Sunday Market Tips
1.       Look for the best bargain you can get.
2.       Bring small change and a big bag.
3.       Look for things which you haven’t tried yet and buy them
4.       Take your time to enjoy the morning in these Markets
5.       Be early so that you can get the best buy.
Flea Markets can usually be found  in City Centres all over France and even Europe every Sunday.
Operating Hours:
Flea Markets usually operates from 7am to 1pm. 

Friday, August 17, 2012

Sagada: It's like you're in heaven

Spelunking at Sumaging Cave

Kiltepan Peak
Echo Valley
Calvary Mountain

Sumaging Cave

Hanging Coffins

 Tourist Map of Sagada

Out of the 35 provinces I have been to here in the Philippines, Sagada is my top 1 pick. It is truly a majestic place where you feel like you’re in heaven. The scenery is very nice and very peaceful. It is an untouched paradise. 

If you are an adventurous person this will be the perfect place for you since most of the tourist spots here in Sagada requires you to do trekking. Even though it took us 14 hours from Manila to Sagada, it is truly worth it. There are so many things to do in Sagada like Trekking, Mountain Biking, Spelunking, Kayaking, Mountain Climbing, Camping, and River Rafting. There are so many places to see like Kiltepan Peak, Sumaging Cave, Echo Valley and Hanging Coffins. The people here in Sagada are very nice. 

The thing that you got to love about Sagada is that it is not commercialized. The only people who can do business here are the native so there are no hotels to stay here but there are many inns and hostels. The inns here in Sagadaarelook like a normal house which will provide you simple room with water heater and free breakfast. Rooms in Sagada cost from P200 to P500 per room per night.

I recommend that the perfect itinerary for your Sagada Trip would be Banaue- Bontoc – Sagada- Mt. Data – Baguio- Manila. The trip from Manila to Sagada will take you up to 12 to 14 hours. 

I also recommend that you rent a van rather than commuting because it is very tiring. Van rental from Manila to Sagada will cost you about P 23,000 which includes toll fees, driver, and gas. But if you’re up for the adventure of commuting in the Philippines then do it but I must warn you that it's quite dangerous to commute especially if you ride up in the Jeep you might fall down.

Sigrid's Bed and Breakfast 

Log Cabin Sagada

Commuting in Sagada

SAGADA Accommodations with Contact Number 
Alapo’s 0921 3279055 
Ganduyan 0918 5883535
Sagada Homestay 091 97028380 w/ wifi
Sagada Guesthouse 0921 9694043
Saint Joseph 0918 5595934
Sigrid’s Bed & Breakfast 0921 7628710; 0928 3327817
A-7 House 0921 2876093 
Billy’s House 0921 6032745
Churya 0906 4300853
Mapiyaw Pension 0905 2164055
Rocky Valley Inn 0918 4036018
Rock Inn 0920 4119976
Yabami Lodge 0920 4119976
Traveller’s Inn 09207992960 
George Guesthouse 0918 5480406 w/ wifi 
Igorot Inn 09087578357
Kanipaw Pines View 09282897507
Olahbinan 09284067647 w/wifi
Residential Lodge 0919 6728744 
Canaway 09107092631 
*Hotel Rates ranges from P200 –P500 per person per night 
*I recommend that you stay at Sigrid’s Bed and Breakfast because out of all the hostel’s in Sagada it’s the most tourist friendly.
*There are no hotels in Sagada only hostels.

Tour Guide

A tour guide would cost about P200 per place you visit.

Navales Bakeshop Sagada – Must try their freshly baked cinnamon bread
Log Cabin- Serves an Eat-All-You Can Buffet every Saturday Night which costs about P400 per person 
(French Cuisine) * Make sure to have a reservation because they tend to be fully booked on Holidays.Yoghurt House- Try their strawberry banana yoghurt                                                                                                           
St. Jo Café- try their fried chicken 
Salt and Pepper Restaurant- try their Steak 
Café Bodega- try their freshly squeezed orange juice                                                                                
( Don't expect to eat extravagant food because Sagada is a very simple place )

Trekking; Mountain Biking, River Rafting, Kayaking; Spelunking 

Just Contact 
Mountain Province Adventures 
Call or Text 09087216200; 09196988361 
Email them at 
Or Check their Website 

Tourist Spots in Sagada: 
Northern Sagada:Eco-Cultural Tour; Bomod-ok/ Big Falls; Fidelesan Rice Terraces;Northern Sagada 
Western Sagada : Danum Lake; Ampacao Mountain Trek 
Eastern Sagada: Kiltepan View Peak; Marlboro Country                                                        
Southern Sagada: Sugong Hanging Coffins; Lumiang Burial Cave; Sumaging Cave                
Central Sagada: Echo Valley; Underground River Entrance; Bokong Small Falls

Transportation to Sagada  
Van Rental Contact From Manila to Sagada would cost you P17,000 to P23000 for 10 persons 
You may Contact: Joey 09472933463 
Commuting from Manila to Sagada would cost you P1200 roundtrip
Total Travel time: 12 to 14 hours

Sagada + Banaue 4 Days/ 3 Nights Budget

4 Days / 3 Nights Sagada + Banaue Budget per person

Roundtrip Aircon Van Transportation ( Gas+ Toll + Expert Driver with Tour Gude) ( 23,000/10)
Hotel Accommodation 200 per person per night
Grocery (Snacks + Drinks)
Entrance Fee and Guide on Tourist Spots
Total Cost
* Prices are in Philippine Peso