Category Archives: My OWN Itineraries

JAPAN VISA FOR FILIPINOS: SCHEDULE OF STAY

HELLO THERE WANDERERS!

This is a sample of my Schedule of Stay that I submitted to the Japan Embassy  last 2013 before they became lenient

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Manila, Philippines: Your Itinerary, Budget and Tips

A day trip is enough to see the marvelous wonders of this city… However, I have alternatives..  I always tell my foreign friends that the beauty of the Philippines is on its outskirts.  So what’s in Manila is only few of the good places you can visit in the Philippines…

To learn about the historic background of Manila, Click here. 

Click the links to see my posts about them

.so, anyway, here we go…

Click the links to see my blog posts/ review about that certain place. 🙂 Have fun reading!

1st day – A blast from the past—Manila’s Spanish Heritage

10:00 – 3:30 pm — Go to Intramuros—the “ancient city wall” of Manila, Philippines. It is where the Spanish had their central government and city located centuries ago.

In Intramuros, you won’t only see a wall but some houses preserved with their former Spanish grandeur. You can also see cobbled walkways, which dates for centuries.

You can also see 2 centuries old churches that are really a popular spot for weddings.

The San Agustin Church is one of the churches in Manila that remained intact even after the 2nd world war. Therefore, what you’ll see here is the same one established by the Spanish priests—cool isn’t it? The San Agustin Church has really a nice interior; although the exterior looks simple, the interior is really WOW! This also has its own museum which any antique lovers would want to visit…  Moreover, If you haven’t been to any European castle, the walkways inside the museum will remind you of one. (well, at least it will remind you of European ancient castles).

And also… in San Agustin Museum, whether you are a Harry Potter fan or not, you might see the staircase leading to the second floor of the museum spectacular. Well, for HP fans, it looked like the staircases that suddenly moves by themselves (well, that’s how I imagined it to be) :D. For others who aren’t HP fans, you will see a medieval ancient castle-like staircase. It’s amazing. You shouldn’t miss it.

The museum of San Agustin’s entrance fee is  P100..00  for adults and P50.00 for students and children.

Then head towards Casa Manila, it is right beside San Agustin Church. It is a museum that depicts the old life of rich people during the Spanish era. All furniture inside are the original furniture from a house in Binondo during the Spanish time, so it is antique! 😀 The house is a replica of a grand house in Binondo, but the furniture as well as the set up depicts the same house of a rich family during the Spanish times. I thought going here is a waste of time but when I went there just this November 22, 2012, I was actually amazed on how beautiful a house can be! 😀 There is an entrance fee of P75.00 for adults and P50.00 for students and senior citizens.

Another Church within Intramuros is the Manila Cathedral which is controversial enough or is rumored, wherein most, if not all, who held their marriage ceremonies in this church broke up after a few years of marriage 🙂 Anyway, this church has a great façade, much better than the San Agustin but the Interior of San Agustin is way way better. Just don’t miss to see the beautiful stained glasses.

The last place to visit is Fort Santiago, this is the Spanish fortress where armories during the Spanish period was stored. Actually this is the highlight of this trip. This is also where the famous national hero, Jose P. Rizal was put in prison before his execution.

You can also choose to eat in Intramuros… there are a lot of Filipino restaurants that offer mouthwatering food 🙂

Trivia in Fort Santiago: Curious about the iron plated footsteps that you see in Fort Santiago? It depicts the footsteps of the Philippine national hero when he was moved from his prison cell to his execution grounds in Luneta Park.

3:30 pm – 5:00 pm – Have some rest, drink coffee, relax in the posh Manila Hotel. FYI: Manila Hotel is not just your ordinary hotel, it is a heritage site. It is the former residence of the well-known man who said “I shall return” General MacArthur. If you’ve seen a lot of Spanish heritage in the Philippines, now it’s time to see the grandeur the Americans left Manila.

5:00 pm – 6:00 pm – Head towards Baywalk, Manila Bay or to Ocean Park (go to the balconies) to enjoy the stunning sunset that Manila is proud of 🙂

6:00 – 8:00 pm – relax and enjoy while walking to the place where our National Hero Rizal was brutally executed by the Spaniards. They also have a newly built fountain that will totally amaze you 🙂

I guess you are really exhausted during this time, so allow yourself to rest

2nd Day—You want shopping but no budget? It’s okay, the bargains in your next destination is indeed a steal! 😀 Divisoria’s 168 mall! But be careful of your belongings there are a lot of thieves out this busy place!

Trivia: Divisoria is located in the China Town area of Manila. A lot of Chinese still lives there. And I selfishly proclaimed Divisoria as the little Bangkok of the Philippines. Why? Because of the crazy shopping!! 😀

Alternative:

2nd day—Corregidor Island—yeah, I know this shouldn’t be part of your Manila field trip since it is nowhere located in Manila, but this place is only 45 minutes by boat/ferry from Manila. and I highly recommend going here if you want to delve more on the history of the Philippines….

It is where a lot of ruins, guns, ghosts, and tunnels are located. It is a fortress so a lot of people died there regardless of nationality—Filipino, Spanish, Japanese, American— they all died by protecting their own countries’ interests.

Trivia: Well, the ruins looks like “well, somehow looks like” the ruins of Parthenon of Greece.

3rd day – Mall Hopping

9:00- 10:00 am — Visit the Cultural Center of the Philippines, take some pictures and enjoy the cool architecture created by one of the greatest artists in the Philippines, you can also visit the nearby Harbour Square– a gimmick place which has a nice view of Manila Bay.

The time frame can be changed/adjusted for your departure 🙂

10:00 – 3:00 pm: Go to the largest mall in the Philippines, the 6th largest mall in Asia—the Mall of Asia. Basically, it is a big mall where you can watch movies and party all night—this is the best place to go if you want to escape the frying weather in Manila

3:00 pm – whatever time you want – Head towards Makati and enjoy the little Singapore of the Philippines. Dine, Party and Mall-Hop. Whatever you want, you can do there! Head to Greenbelt 3,4,5 then the Ayala Triangle

TRANSPORTATION:

If you love adventure, you can ride the jeepneys, trains (LRT or MRT) or take the cab. The most convenient are the taxis/cabs since they are not that expensive in the Philippines.

Taxis in the Philippines starts at 40.00 pesos flag down rate and will add 2.70 afterwards.

Just a thought: the places in the 1st day itinerary is really Fare-friendly, they are close to each other, so if you want more adventure, you can just walk towards those places but it will  take you some 10-30 minutes of your travel time 🙂

I will add more places to visit here as soon as I can visit some places worthy of your time and money 🙂 By the way, I didn’t add photos because it will spoil your yearning for the places stated above… I will write about each and every single places in this itinerary, don’t forget to stay with me!

BUDGET:

1st day Itinerary: Intramuros, manila Hotel and Luneta

Transportation Costs: Maximum of P300.00 per person for the whole trip

Entrance Fees:  P250.00 for the whole day

  1. San Agustin Museum: P100.00 adults, P50.00 child, students and  senior citizens.
  2. Casa Manila: P75.00 adults, P50.00 child, students and senior citizens
  3. Fort Santiago: P75.00 adults, P50.00 child, students and senior citizens
  4. Manila Hotel and Luneta are free!
  5. Ocean Park: It’s free if you just wanna see the sunset 🙂 Just walk towards the mall not the aquarium

2nd DAY itinerary

1st option: 168 Mall –> P10.00 jeep from taft avenue towards Divisoria, so P10.00 per way (P20.00+2,000++ shopping money)

2nd option: P1500.00 for a day tour in Corregidor Island

3rd Day Itinerary

Mostly transportation costs: for taxi rides: P500.00 but you can opt to use the train P250.00 for transpo costs. 😀

TIPS while traveling in Manila:

  1. Wear comfortable, summer type of clothing. Philippines is hot all the time, so leave your thick jackets at home or else you’ll be sweating a lot.
  2. Bring umbrella especially if you are touring Intramuros, it is really hot so at least there’s something that will protect you from the sun
  3. Always make sure that taxi meter is on while riding a taxi, since taxi drivers in the Philippines love foreigners, because they usually ask more money from them 😀
  4. Always keep watch of your belongings, Manila is not as safe as other countries, you might be a victim of pickpockets and snatchers, so be careful, alert and be watchful

May 2011: Beijing and Xian: MY ITINERARY AND BUDGET!

There are a lot of people who buy tour packages for Beijing in a very expensive price ($1000 USD) When in truth and in fact you can go here and tour the city for less than Php 10,000 or ($232 USD) airfare included.

Click links to see my review/posts about that place. 🙂

For our Beijing and Xian trip, we spent PhP 31,000. This includes everything, from airfare, land accommodations to visas. But the reason which made this a bit expensive is that we opted to choose to travel to Xian and sleep on Soft-berth (4-bed) sleepers on the train (Beijing-Xian) and that our air ticket was more on the expensive side.

We didn’t avail the sale, since during that time I still don’t know the mechanisms of “seat sales”.

However, I always knew that If you will book to travel operators in the Philippines, they always give you the price of ($1000 USD or higher), so somehow I still made some savings.

Also take note that I arranged my tours directly to travel operators in China. All I did was booked my trip with them using the Internet!! And Chada! I saved at least 300USD! It is just like communicating with your travel agent here in the Philippines!

Anyway here is my itinerary for my Beijing and Xian Trip last May.

May 12, 2011—Manila

–       Flightgoing to Beijing (we had a red eye flight)

May 13, 2011 Beijing-  Overall Costs (Php 2520.00 or $58.60 USD including transfers, day and night tours)

PLACES WE VISITED: Ming Tombs, Great Wall (Mutianyu), Birds Nest, Watercube, Wangfujing Street, Drive to the Central Business district.

  • arrive Beijing by 3 am and transfer and check in hotel (I arranged a transfer from airport to hotel which costs 250CNY or P1750.00 or $41USD, I arranged this because it is so early in the morning and we are scared to hire a taxi due to the bad comments of hiring taxis in Beijing. The costs is not per person, it is for the four of us. So, to know the costs per person, I divided the costs into 4, so each person will pay, P437.50 or $11 USD each. We used www.gowithzz.com, they are the cheapest that I found in the net.
  • tour MING TOMBS (underground tomb), GREAT WALL (Mutianyu) –> for this tour we used Sinohotelguide and paid (P1,208.00) or ($28USD) per person for a group tour. Don’t worry the tour group is just small, there will only be about 10 persons per group. We used http://www.sinohotelguide.com for this particular trip. The tour includes a lunch meal, which is really yummy!
  • For Night tour, we visited the Bird Nest, Water Cube, Tiananmen Square, Wanfujing (Yum!) and the Central Business District in Beijing, we booked a private tour, with Shane which costs 500CNY or P3500 or $81 USD for a 5 hour tour. The price is per group not per person. Since we are only four persons traveling, I divided the cost to 4, so each person costs P875.00 each or $20USD. If you will book to a group night tour, it will cost 50USD each, which is really expensive. So if you wanna tour the city by night, I suggest you email Shane. His website is http://www.yangshane.weebly.com or use Vivie (Unfortunately, I did not use her since I already booked my tour with Shane. Her rate is much cheaper, only 350CNY or P2450 or $57USD, you can contact her by email: vivietour@yahoo.com.cn

We opted Mutianyu because it is less crowded than the more famous Badaling. If you choose the Badaling side of the wall, the tour only costs ($18 USD) or P774.00

May 14, 2011 BEIJING  (total costs- P3908.00 or $90 USD)

  • tour TEMPLE OF HEAVEN, SUMMER PALACE, FORBIDDEN CITY, TIANAMEN SQUARE. We also used http://www.sinohotelguide.com. After the tour, the tour guide dropped us off the train station. Tour Costs $28 USD each or P1208.00
  • Evening- train going to Xian. We chose the soft sleeper. It is a cabin for 4 persons. The cost is 430CNY or P2700.00 (62 USD) for the higher bunk beds. I forgot the price for the lower bunk beds because the lower beds are more expensive than the higher bunk beds.

May 15, 2011 XIAN (P6235 OR 145 USD)

For our trip to Xian, we hired a private tour guide. They are the cheapest among the tour guides in Xian. The total costs for a 2 day 1 night tour package was $145 USD or P6235.00 each). This include 2 lunch and 1 dinner.

I recommend Xian Travel Service since they gave me the cheapest quotation for a private tour. If you will research in the net, the costs is almost the same if you choose a group tour.

Click here to see my experience in buying train tickets and my overnight train ride in China (Beijing to Xian) 

  • Transfer from Train Station to Hotel
  • tour XIAN CITY (Big Wild Goose Pagoda, City Wall, Shaanxi Provincial Museum, Great Mosque)
  • Evening: TANG DYNASTY AND DINNER SHOW (Dumpling banquet).. After this night, I don’t wanna eat dumplings for another year or two!

May 16, 2011 XIAN (P2700.00 or 62USD)

  • TERRA COTTA WARRIORS (8th wonder of the world), EMPEROR QIN’s TOMB (1emperor of Qin Dynasty), HUAQING’S POOL,  HANYANG TOMB, BANPO MUSEUM
  • Evening- train going to Beijing (with cabin/ beds) same price as before: 430CNY or P2700.00 (62 USD).

 May 17, 2011 BEIJIING tour and Departure (P1208.00)

  • 8:00- Hutong and Shopping Tour, I opted again Sinohotelguide for this tour it costs $28USD each or  (P1,208.00)
  • 6:30 pm- transfer going to airport, we used the taxi
  • 10:30- take flight going to Manila

May 18, 2011- HOME SWEET HOME

  • Arrive Manila
HOTEL ACCOMMODATION (P2237 each or $52 USD_)

TOTAL COSTS:

  • Airfare –>                                      PHP 11,000.00             $255.81
  • Land Tours  and train tickets–> PHP 16,571.00             $385.38
  • Hotel Accommodation     —->    PHP   2237.00             $   52.02
  • Food (dinner etc.              —->     PHP   1000.00             $   23.25
  • Chinese Visa                      —->     PHP   1400.00             $  32.56
  •                                         TOTAL    PHP 32 208.00         $ 749 USD
IF NO XIAN: ONLY BEIJING –> LAND ACCOMMODATION WITH A  LOT OF TOURS –> 7,000.00PHP and if you chanced upon an airfare –> which is only 3000PhP then you only need to pay P10,000 for your beijing trip! this quotation is for a 4 days 3 nights stay in beijing.

Hong Kong: 3 days 2 nights Itinerary which gives you almost EVERYTHING HK has to offer!

HONG KONG ITINERARY (3 days 2 nights)

Best Itinerary for you if you want to visit MOST of the TOURIST AREAS in HK. These are arranged in a way that attractions are near each other, so that you can save in transportation costs.

Click the links to see my blog posts/reviews about it. 🙂 

1st Day — Arrival in Hong Kong 7:05 am (Cebu Pacific Air)

  • 7:05- 8:30 —->   transport going to your hotel
  • 8:30- 9:30—–>  drop things off your hotel and take a little rest.
  • 9:30 – 10:00 —> Go to Ocean Park using 629 bus from Admiralty Station
  • 10:00- 5:00pm –> Stay and enjoy Ocean Park! Closing time is 4 or 3.
  •  5:00pm- 6:00pm –> Go to Victoria Peak by taxi (only 20 minutes with leeway costs $10USD or use the tram)
  • 6:00pm – 8:00pm –>Visit Madamme Tussauds Museum (Level 3, Victoria Peak Mall)
  • 8:00pm – 9:00pm ––> Sky Terrace (uppermost level of Victoria Peak) or do some   shopping in the mall
  • 10:00 pm —> go back to the hotel (I know you will be very tired by then!) or you can visit a bar in Sheung Wan, HK.

*All the attractions here are in HK Island and very near each other.

2nd day —> Disneyland Day

  •  7:00————->wake up
  •  7:00 – 9:00 —-> getting ready (breakfast, taking a bath.. etc.)
  •  9:00 – 10:00 –> transporting time going to Disneyland. Ride the subway going to Disneyland
  •  10:00 – 10:00pm –>Enjoy Disneyland and the Fireworks

3rd day –>NGONGPIN 360 and shopping Check out Hotel (bring your bags with you) Best if your travel going back to Manila or your destination is by 7pm

  • 8:00 am –>Check out Hotel
  • 8:00 – 9:00 –-> travel time going to Ngongpin (use subway and get off Tung Chung Station
  • 9:00- 9:30 –> there is a baggage deposit counters or lockers (for rent) in the parking area of the mall right after you went out the Tung Chung Line) Ask the customer service to know where the lockers are exactly located
  • 10:00- 11:00--> eat your lunch in this mall
  • 11:00 – 2:00 pm –> go to Ngongpin 360 and visit the Giant Buddha Just walk towards the escalators leading to Ngongpin 360 cable car. The mall is just adjacent to it.
  •  2:00 -4:00 —> Shop till you drop. I forgot to say that the Mall is a factory outlet of your favorite brands, so it is cheaper to buy there! (to name a few: Mango, Coach, Guess, Esprit, and some high ends one)
  • 4:00 – 5:00 –> Go to the airport using the S1 bus which has a stop near the mall, just ask the guards where it is (travel time approx 15 minutes) and then check-in the airline counters and ready to depart
  • 7:00 —> Go to your own destination! Hope you enjoyed HK! Bye bye!

If you have any questions, feel free to comment below and I will answer it as best and as fast as I could 🙂

To see tips on how to save money in HK–> click here.

———————————————————————————————————- Continue reading Hong Kong: 3 days 2 nights Itinerary which gives you almost EVERYTHING HK has to offer!

MAY 2011: Seoul, South Korea: MY ITINERARY

Hi Guys! This is part of my May 2011: Seoul series, this is the itinerary I made for our trip last May 3-7, 2011. This was not really followed because of some unexpected event that happened. Anyway, this is the short version of our itinerary.

All of with * is a must see place:

ITINERARY

May 3, 2011- Arrive Seoul, Check-in Hotel

  •  Daeksugung Palace *
  • Mt. Namsan * (There’s a lot of things to see here, this include the ff:)
  •              Namsangol Hanok Village (this is also located in Mt.Namsan
  •              N Seoul Tower (teddy bear museum) and Namsam Park 
  •              Cheonggyecheon Stream 
  •              Hongdae etc (drink!! Haha!experience nightlife in seoul)

May 4, 2011- 2nd day in Seoul

  • Everland or Lotte World (Lotte World is in Seoul while Everland is in the outskirt)

May 5, 2011 — 3rd day in Seoul

  • Palaces Tour: At least 2 of them (You will spend 10,000KRW for the entrance of all of these)
  • Gyeongbokgung*-
  • Changdaekgung*–
  • Gwanghwamun Square (Just near the Gyeongbokgung and Changdeokgung –within walking distance)
  • Jongmyo Shrine* (also near Changdeokgung)

In the evening: Hello Kitty Café and 1st Shop of Coffee Prince café

May 6, 2011 – 4th day in Seoul

  • Shopping day
  • Choose Myeongdong, Nandaemun or Dongdaemun (These are great places to shop!)
  • The following places are in 1 area in Seoul, so it is easily accessible:
  •         Hangang Shimin Gong-won (Han River Citizens’ Park)
  •         63 building (wax museum and observation deck)
  •         Banpo Bridge*

May 7, 2011 –5th day in Seoul

  • Bukchon Hanok Village*
  • Visit a sauna (relax!!)
  • Go to the airport

To see a more detailed itinerary or ATTRACTIONS IN SEOUL (I also made this) with addresses, directions, office hours and admission ticket prices, please click here:

I’m open for your suggestions and questions… Just leave it in the comment box below… 🙂

CLICK HERE TO SEE MY OTHER POSTS FOR SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA

HAPPY WANDERING! 🙂