Category Archives: Travel

Kowloon Shangri-la Hong Kong Invites Cebuanos

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In an exclusive four-course dinner at Shangri-la Mactan’s Ocean Pavilion, representatives from Kowloon Shangri-la Hong Kong headed by its General Manager, Mr. Ulf Bremer, introduced the award winning Kowloon Shangri-La Hotel to Cebu while inviting everyone to stay with them on their next travel to Hong Kong whether for business or leisure.

Kowloon Shangri-la Communications Team with GM Ulf Bremer

Kowlooon Shangri-la has been consistently on Condé Nast Traveler’s “World’s Top Hotels Gold List” and Travel and Leisure’s “Asia’s Top 25 Hotels List” since 1997. These along with other prestigious awards easily transformed into a very high repeat guest rate of around 50% (That’s really huge!), while more than 32% of staff have served the hotel for more than 10 years.

  • It must be very good and I think, by the looks of it, it does not take a rocket scientist to know why.

LOCATION

Kowloon Shangri-La, Hong Kong, the first Shangri-La property in Hong Kong, is located at the waterfront of Tsimshatsui East, a perfect location in the heart of the Kowloon peninsula’s commercial, entertainment and shopping district. Star Ferry to Central, the influential business district, the Mass Transit Railway (MTR) which provides an efficient way to get around Hong Kong and also to bordering cities with Mainland China as well as the Cross Harbour Tunnel leading to the Island are all only minutes away from the hotel. It offers floor-to-ceiling harbour-view rooms, diverse facilities, award-winning food and beverage concepts, including the Michelin two-starred Shang Palace Chinese Restaurant, and exceptional personalised service.

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Kowloon Harbour View at Night

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Premier Harbour View Suite


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Deluxe Harbour View Room

SHOPPING AND DINING OFFERS AND DISCOUNTS

In partnership with two mega retail conglomerates in the hotel’s proximity – T Galleria by DFS, Hong Kong, TSTE store on Mody Road and Harbour City on Canton Road – Kowloon Shangri-La, Hong Kong makes shopping more pleasurable for all its in-house guests. Upon presentation of Kowloon Shangri-La, Hong Kong’s hotel key card or an invitation letter from T-Galleria, guests will respectively receive over 150 shopping and dining offers at Harbour City or a HK$100 gift certificate from T-Galleria.

Kowloon Shangri-la is home to Shang Palace, a 2-star Michelin restaurant and one of only ten “Great Hotel Restaurants” worldwide by HOTELS magazine, USA in 2002. Shang Palace is known for its traditional and innovative cuisine. The menu includes Chinese delicacies such as bird’s nest, bamboo fungus and abalone dishes, an extensive selection of seafood as well as the delicious Cantonese family favourites. A range of lunch and dinner set menus is available, or alternatively menus can be tailor-made to the guests’ desire. Guests can relax with a variety of traditional premium Chinese teas from China. The tea master will give guests recommendations in tea pairing.

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Shang Palace Main Dining Hall

GUIDED WALKING TOUR ON THE OFF BEATEN PATH

Kowloon Shangri-La, Hong Kong presents carefully selected examples of Tsim Sha Tsui’s culture heritage and the community’s iconic people  who have lived in the district for 40 to 70 years. The hotel offers a three- to four-hour guided walking tour to see and feel the living cultural history.

Highlights of the featured heritage includes:

  1. Signal Hill
  2. Andrew’s Church
  3. Whitfield Barracks
  4. Fuk Tak Temple
  5. Rosary Church

 

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5 Reasons of My Pleasant Stay at Novotel During Blogapalooza

  1. Location, Location, Location.

    Located in the heart of Araneta Center, the hotel is in the center of sprawling stores and business establishments in Quezon City. A leisure walk could lead you to Gateway Mall for shopping, dining and movie experience. It is right beside Araneta Coliseum where most of the big concerts and sports events are held. Transportation is accessible: it is 5 minutes away from the nearest train station and taxis, uber and grabcar rides are just a few click away.

  1. New, Contemporary, Clean and Stylish.

    My first impression of my room at the 7th floor was not only that it induces intimacy with its glass-walled shower room but also it is designed with comfort in mind. The clean contemporary design provides a practical turn of modern interiors to save space for maximum mobility. The bright room creates an atmosphere conducive to creativity and innovation.

Novotel Lobby

  1. Wide ranging selection Breakfast Buffet.

    Breakfast is a must at Novotel. You should not skip it. Our breakfast is served at the Food Exchange located at the ground floor of the hotel. It was a wide ranging selection of different cuisines namely, Filipino, Italian, American, Korean and Chinese dishes are served. Their pressed coffee did not fail to perk me up to be ready for the day ahead of me.

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My Breakfast Plate at Novotel’s Food Exchange

  1. Pool and Activity Center.

    Just a floor below where I was staying, at the 6th floor, the gym, swimming pool and tent activity center is located. This was the venue of Blogapalooza. There is also a poolside bar at the swimming pool area. The garden offer a green distraction of the bustling metropolis.

Blogapalooza Venue

  1. Miss Universe sightings. Oh, one more thing. On our way down to the ground floor, guess who we met? No other than, Ms. Stella Márquez Zawadski-Araneta herself. Novotel is the home of the Miss Universe – Philippines. This is where most of the Binibining Pilipinas winners will stay when they are in the City. You’ll never know who you will ride next with inside the elevator. It wouldn’t be impossible to see Pia Wurtzbach here.

Pia Wurtzbach playing with Novotel’s security dog. Photo by Novotel

 

 

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Autumn in South Korea

The fiery red, yellow, orange and brown leaves dazzle in autumn as if it is nature’s last beauty spectacle­ —a grand finale before it shall fall off to slumber, a seduction that even the most perfervid beach and sun lovers from the tropical Philippines could not resist.

We booked our tickets to South Korea a year earlier  to avail the promo fares offered by local airlines flying direct from Cebu to Incheon, South Korea. Our curiosity to witness the picturesque natural phenomenon of autumn foliage is never averted by the long wait. The little consolation, perhaps, was that we got our round trip tickets for P6, 000.00 only per person. A year of waiting would only mean an extra time to prepare and shop f0r perfect clothes for the crisp autumn season in Seoul.

Coincidentally, on March 17, 2015, the Republic of Korea announced the opening of its consular office in Cebu at the 12th floor of the Chinabank Building at the Cebu Business Park. The office can process tourist visa applications for Filipinos visiting to South Korea. This is a welcomed news to our scheduled trip. We don’t have to fly to Manila or hire a travel agency to process our tourist visa but the best news was that the Korean Visa is for free.

After an almost six hour flight via AirAsia we arrived in the chilly Incheon Airport at around 9:30PM. Immigration was swift and the baggage claim was fast.

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Arrival at Incheon Airport. Traveling on colder seasons requires bigger luggage 

From Incheon Airport there are several different ways to travel to downtown Seoul. The most popular ways include taking the Airport Railroad Express, Seoul Metropolitan Subway, airport limousine buses, and taxis. We took the cheapest and fastest way to get to Seoul by the Express Train on the AREX Line. We hurried to catch the last 43-minute train ride.

We arrived in Seoul Station at 11:00 PM. The station was already winding down for the day, calm and 10˚C. Perfect for selfies!

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Seoul Station. A few minutes before it will close for the day. 

Travelling today has not only been democratized because of the promo fares but also been customizable according to budget: from hotels to Airbnb condo units and homes, buffet breakfast to on-the-go food from convenient stores, rent-a-car to train rides.

This trip is a well-researched-budget-friendly-sojourn, a product of weeks of research for the best deals and price, the shortest route and the best time to go. Our main objective is to ensure that we will be able to cover at least almost everything.

We availed not only the colors of autumn but also the Korea Grand Sale which gave us 50% discount on major tourist spot destinations like the famous Everland Resort theme park.

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Seoul City at Night

Our Airbnb home is just a few steps from Seoul Station. It was in the center of the City. Our host gave us specific instructions on how to pass the two-tier digital security system to be able to access our room and beds. (Too bad, we were not able to meet them in person.)

It was a long day and we can’t wait to sleep with  5˚C outside temperature. I think we intentionally did not turn on our room heater just to enjoy the temperature at least tonight. Temperature forecast for the succeeding days is 0˚C and -4˚C on midnights.

Day 1: Seoul City Tour

Seoul City is quiet and very progressive. It has maintained to keep its traditions and heritage perfectly well that it is seamlessly integrated to the whole concept of the city. To see Seoul, one may take a City Tour Package, ride a bus or taxi and do sightseeing. But then again, this is a budget trip, so we DIY by taking the subway and doing some research on the best spots and their location to ensure we have the maximum number of places to visit and sights to see.

Stopovers:

  1. Sungnyemun Gate
  2. Gyeongbukgong Palace
  3. National Folk Museum
  4. Bukchon Village
  5. Tosokchun Sansam Baeanggeun Black Chicken Korean Ginseng Soup
  6. Myeong dong
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A few steps from our Airbnb Condo Unit is the main road of Seoul. We enjoyed the 15-minute leisure walk on the highway to Sungnyemun Gate.

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Our first encounter with the autumn foliage.

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How about some me-time to post some photos at FB?

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Day 2: Nami Island and Hongdae

Nami Island (Namiseom in Korean ) is imperative in any South Korea autumn experience. This moon shaped  island  is the location of the romantic Winter Sonata Korean TV series. It is here where we got the best shots of our trip.


And here are some of the best photos i have taken in Nami Island:


Day 3:  Inwangsan Mountain and Namsan Tower

In every trip, although we plan it to be a budget one, we made sure that we have at least a day to indulge to the fancies. On this day, we planned to get a fancy dinner on some flashy autumn clothes. While waiting for our dinner reservation, we took a train to Ingwasan Mountain to have a little exercise while seeing the city from afar.

A perfect city view from atop the Ingwasan Mountain where most of the Shamanist rituals are performed to please the gods and spirits. 

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A quick stopover to try a traditional Korean lunch. It was so good!

It is revolving and we are dinning there.

Day 4: Everland

Everland is the largest and most recommended amusement park in Seoul. It is the most animal friendly theme park I have been into. The animals are healthy and well taken cared.

Day 5:

  1. Sisters of Mary Seoul Korea
  2. City Hall
  3. Gangnam

I am a graduate of the Sisters of Mary School in Cebu. It was a privilege to visit the first Sisters of Mary School established in Asia.  The Sisters of Mary School is founded by Fr. Aloysius Schwartz who is now a candidate for sainthood. 

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At the fair, outside the City Hall.

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Day 6: Goodbye, South Korea
After a year, this trip remains to be a memorable one.

The mystifying  colors of the leaves glistening brightly under the sun while blown by the cold crisp winds induce inner peace like a tight hug of a friend that mends all your broken pieces. A reminder that sometimes even if you gave your best you might need to shed some of your colorful leaves to make way for new beginnings.

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