The Hot Springs Of Beitou

One of the best things that the Japanese colonizers has left in Taiwan is the Hot Springs or Onsen culture. Beitou, a district at the northern end of Taipei is where you’ll find the best onsens. Throughout the district you will find Onsens that range from a local hotspring just like the Lung Nai Tang to high end facilities. With so much choices, here are my favorite Hot Springs Of Beitou

XinBeitou Area

This area is the easier one to get to. Just take the Red MRT Line to Beitou station then change trains to the Branch line going to Xin Beitou. This area is the toursity part, but for a good reason. Here are some of the spots that you can check out while in XinBeitou.

Taipei Library

While the building exudes beauty by it self alone, it also sets an example as it is also a green building. you can come in and just wander around the facility

Address: No. 251,Guangming Rd,,Beitou District,,Taipei City,Taiwan (R.O.C.)
Operating Hours: Sun-Mon (09:00-17:00), Tues-Sat (8:30-21:00), Closed on Holidays and first thursday of the month
Fees: Free

Hot Springs Of Beitou

Beitou Hotsprings Museum

Know the history of how Taipei acquired the hot springs culture. The museum is house on a former bath house built during the Japanese era, when Taiwan was still its colony.

Address: No. 2, Zhongshan Road, Beitou District, Taipei City, Taiwan 112 (R.O.C.)
Operating Hours: Tues-Sun (09:00 – 17:00), Closed on Mondays and National Holidays
Fees: Free

Hot Springs Of Beitou

Long Nai Tang

The Long Nai Tang is the oldest still in operation public bath house in Taipei. The bath house traces its history back to the Japanese era when the colonizers introduced the Onsen culture to the Taiwanese people. Do not expect much with the facilities though. The public bath is as local as you can get. There are no lockers just some shelves where you can put your clothes in. The shower area is on one corner of thee bath house where you use a dipper to clean your self from the cold flowing spring water. There’s no separate wet and dry area where you can change, basically its just one space (about 25sqm) where you undress,clean and bathe. Though it lacks the glamorous facilities, its historic value as the oldest hot springs of  beitou sure makes up for it.

Address: No. 244 Guāngmíng Road, Běitóu District, Taipei City, Taiwan (R.O.C.)
Operating Hours: Daily 06:30 – 21:00
Fees: NT$90 (Adults), NT$50 (Children)

Hot Springs Of Beitou

Ketagalan Culture Center

Know more about Taiwan’s aborigines, Taiwan’s first inhabitants. Entrance is free for the museum but no photos are allowed to be taken. The museum hosts a large inventory of aborigine dresses, artifacts as well as historical and educational materials where you can learn about the peoples origins and culture.

Address:  No. 3-1, Zhongshan Road, Beitou District, Taipei City, Taiwan (R.O.C.)
Operating Hours: Daily 06:30 – 21:00
Fees: Free

Note: Photographs not allowed inside

Hot Springs Of Beitou

Beitou Thermal Valley (Hell Valley)

Like a scene reminding you about that hot place where souls are punished is how the Beitou Thermal Valley got its nickname Hell Valley.  The park showcases the process of how Beitou gets its therapeutic hot spring waters that feeds to the hot springs of beitou.

 

Hot Springs Of Beitou

Puji Temple

A Japanese era temple, Puji Temple has survived the years making it a rare example of Japanese Buddhism

Mankewu Ramen

A must try when in Beitou, Man Ke Wu Ramen (Lamian in Taiwanese) are prepared using hot spring water that makes it special. Price ranges around NT$ 110 -200.

Address: 110 Wenquan Rd, Beitou, Taipei, Taiwan (ROC)
Hours: 11am-2pm, 5-9pm Tuesdays to Sunday

Xinyi Road Area

Hot Spring Area

Most of the mid-range hot springs resorts are located in this area. The resorts are built around the sulfuric hot springs where the therapeutic waters are sourced from. Price range from this are varies from 200 – around 500 NT

Sakuraoka Hot Springs

Aside from Lung Nai Tang, The Sakuroka Hot Springs resort is the other hot spring resort that I have tried so far. Sorry I don’t have any personal photos of it because I forgot to take a photo when there was still light. Then, it was dark already when I got out because I really enjoyed soaking in their hot tubs.

Yes, you are required to be naked while taking a bath. I strongly suggest you try it, you’ll bathe together with families of fathers and sons for me and mothers and daughters for girls. You’ll feel relieved in the sense that you’ll realize that there’s nothing to be embarrassed about bathing together in public.

I promise to make a proper review of the place when I get back to Taipei. This is a good one though.

Hot springs of beitou

Other Spas that I recommend

Emperor Hot Springs – Better than Sakuraoka Hot Springs as per reviews.

There are gay spas so please ask the reception if they are one. I mistakenly got into one, there are no signs like the LGBT flag on their doors and reception. I just kept an open mind. They were all behave…. it was way too early for the rush hour people to come in anyway… hahaha!

Suggested Itinerary

You can go around the Beitou tourist area first and visit the museums and eat ramen for lunch then later in the after noon you can go to the hotsprings and enjoy the therapeutic waters of Beitou.

How To Get To Beitou

To get to Xin Beitou, just take the Red Line MRT the change platforms to the branch line going to Xin Beitou. If you want to go straight to the Onsens, just take the red line and get off at Shipai Station. Get on a 509 Bus and get off at Xing Yi Lu San bus stop and walk down the street. Fare from Shipai Station is NT$15

 

 

Free Things To Do In Hong Kong

Just recently Hong Kong has been listed as the world’s most expensive city. Despite this label for Asia’s World City, Hong Kong still proves to be one of the favorite destinations for Filipinos. Aside from its visa free entry policy for Filipinos Hong Kong is just 2 Hours from the Philippines capital city of Manila.

When visiting Hong Kong, visitors will surely have no shortage of places to visit and activities to do. However, stretching your dollar can be a challenge if you want to squeeze more into your day and experience more of Hong Kong. Fret no more though, we’ve come up with the top free tourist

Avenue Of Stars

Walk across a concrete board walk above the waters of Victoria Harbor and see Hong Kong’s tributes to its past and present brightest stars. The promenade was built in the 1980’s, by 2004 the same promenade around the New World Centre was developed into what we now know as the Avenue of Stars.

Hong Kong

 

Hong Kong

Chi Lin Nunnery

Built in 1934 and renovated in 1990, the Chi Lin Nunnery is wooden temple complex that features a series of temple hall and deity statues. The Buddhist temple complex is found at Diamond Hill in Kowloon

Hong Kong

Nan Lian Garden

Just right across the Chi Lin Nunnery is the Nan Lian Garden. A well kept public park one can find himself relaxing in this lush garden filled with amazing flora and sculpture. The garden was built in Tang Dynasty style hence the ancient feel of the entire place.

Hong Kong

 

Lady Market

walk through this expansive market place that comes alive specially at night. The Lady’s Market got its name from the women merchandise that are mostly sold ranging from cosmetics accessories and trinkets. There are also good food finds around that market where you can experience authentic Hong Kong style cuisines.

Hong Kong

Noon Day Gun

Every noon time this huge gun is fired facing the Causeway Bay. The gun is actually privately  owned by the multinational giant Jardine Matheson hence, a Jardine employee has the honor. This ritual traces its origin way back in the 1860’s ironically as a penalty. During those times everytime Jardine’s  tai-pan arrives the company would fire the gun as a salute. However, a new comer British naval officer got annoyed of it and penalized the Jardine Matheson company by ordering it of firing the gun for all eternity! Jardine however up to this day has kept its side of the deal.

Hong Kong

Central Plaza Sky Deck

One of the best views of Hong Kong is actually offered for free. Find your selves at the Central Plaza sky deck where you can get an unobstructed view of Hong Kong for free. Best part of it is that not a lot of people know about this !

Hong Kong

Central Mid Level Escalator

Declared as the world’s longest escalator, The Central Mid Level escalator connects the lower part of Central to the upper part through the steep hill side via a series of 20 escalator and inclined walkalator. Total travel time from the lower part to the top of the escalators is about 20 minutes.

Hong Kong

Man Mo Temple

The Man Mo Temple is a tribute to the God of Literature and God of War. It is said that many have flocked to this temple since the 1800’s to pray for their studies. People offer coiled up incense and hang them up in front of the altar for their prayers.

hong kong

Hong Kong Museum Of History

The museum offers some free galleries showcasing 400 million years of history that includes artifacts, ethnography and other natural histories about Hong Kong and South China.

hong kong

Symphony Of Lights

Back at the Avenue of Stars, a free nightly show comes to life as soon as the clock strikes 7. The entire Hong Kong island becomes a big stage as its famous skyline dances with lights to the beat of a common music.

 

 

Hong Kong Park

Take a break from the chaotic city scene of Hong Kong without going to the country side. The Hong Kong park offers respite for those who need to breath a little. The park is located just right off of the Hong Kong Zoo

 

If you need more information about Hong Kong you can check out this Free Travel Guide and Itinerary to help you plan your trip.

Tabaco City’s Tabak Festival

With a confused mind I was on a bus bound to Bicol to a city called Tabaco. I was one of the the bloggers that the city invited to witness the Tabak Festival. I was battling in my mind why would the city celebrate Tabak instead of Tabaco which is a type of plant used to make cigars. Anyways, I just slept on the bus on a 12 hour journey from Manila. Well, at least I tried to sleep.

As soon as the light came in, I was greeted by this majestic view. Something that I’ve only seen on books until that day, The Mayon volcano. I was truly blessed as Mayon showed it self clearly that day, as if he was welcoming me to Bicol. I’ve heard of friends who spent days even up to a week at a time and never got to see the glorious Mayon in its entirety. With that I am grateful. Not bad for a welcome for a Bicol virgin like me.

I hopped off the at Tabaco City bus stop and was fetched by Verna our ever caring tour coordinator. After checking in I was introduced to Dave of silverbackpacker.com  who’s also my room mate for the next few days. Celine of Celineism.com on the other hand arrived the day after.

The Festival Origin

The Tabak Festival celebrates the city’s renowned craft of making the Tabak, a type of sword used mostly by farmers to cut through shrubs and other plants to clear a field or just plainly cut open a fresh coconut. The city formulated the festival to celebrate annually the its cityhood in 2003 just a year after it was granted such status.

Festivities

The festival focuses on the Tabak’s culture and its people’s daily lives. It aims to celebrate the spirit of the city’s community caring for each other and living harmoniously. Fittingly, the city hashtagged #cityoflove during the festivities and yes, you can see love all around. You can feel that more than competing with each other contenders enjoy and show their best for the love of their city.

The Festivities

Focusing on its residents’ daily living the festivities include boat racing, pedicab race, coconut husking and beauty pageants. The week long festivities are then capped with the Tabak Festival grand parade.

 Boats waiting for the race to start

 

 Pedicab Race Finishers waiting for the rest of the pack

 

LGU night performers

 

 

 Mutya ng Tabakla Candidates

Related Article: Mutya ng Tabakla Queens

 

 Rock Tabak Concert

 

 Mayor Krisel enjoying the night with senior citizens during the seniors night

 

 Live band for the city’s senior citizens

 

 Mutya ng Tabak Candidates

During the LGU night w had a chance to chat with Mayor Krisel and asked about the city’s name. It was really difficult to focus on her story. looking at such beautiful and intelligent mayor (yeeeee kakakilig hahaha) telling a story??? Hahahaha! Anyways, She told the story of how the city came to be known at Tabaco City. Once upon a time…. Kidding! According to a fable (not kidding now) there’s this heroine who fought with a Tabak. She was caught off guard without her Tabak, she commanded her offspring “Anak ang Tabak Ko!” (son hand me my Tabak) hence Tabak Ko which later evolved to Tabaco. According to the good mayor, there’s not even a single Tabaco plantation n the city.

To be honest, the Tabak Festival isn’t as big as many of the famous festivals in the country. What’s special about this though is that it celebrates humanity. That we need each other, care for your neighbor. there are very few festivals that celebrates this side of us being humans. Many celebrate saints history but very few celebrate who we are and who we should be. I think it is a good thing to visit Tabaco City and experience the Tabak Festival and see for your selves how people take care of each other in Bicol’s City of Love.

Read more about the Tabak Festival from Celineism and Silverbackpacker

The Tale of Two Tabacos

Tabak Festival Fun Games

 

Cebu Pacific Piso Fare September 1 – March 15, 2018

The Philippines largest low cost carrier, CebuPacific Airlines just launched their latest PISO FARE offering!

For as low as 452.12 pesos customers can book flights to selected destinations with travel dates starting September 1, 2017 until March 2018.  Perfect for those early planners and backpackers who loves going on trips at a very low cost.

Where To Book

Check out their website to book your flights at CebuPacificAir.Com

Liwliwa Hostel: La Zerena Beach Resort

Searching for a private room in Liwliwa, San Felipe Zambales can be difficult on a weekend when everything is almost fully booked. Good thing we wandered a bit more and found La Zerena just across Circle Hostel.

We took one of their nipa huts that is good for two to three persons. The comfort rooms are communal located near the huts are reasonably clean and water is good.

The resort is about two to three minutes walk to the beach.

la zerena resort

 la zerena resort

 

 la zerena resort

 

 la zerena resort

Priced at 1,200 La Zerena nipa huts are quite affordable specially if there’s going to be three of you splitting the cost. I also like the resort’s location since it is just right beside Fely’s Canteen and store where we bought most of our necessities.

Airconditioned rooms though are priced at 3,000 pesos good for two.

PisoFare: CebuPacific Travel From June 10 -December 10, 2017

After a loooooooooooooong while, Cebu Pacific Air is back with their piso fare!

Cebu Pacific or CebPac as it is more popularly know came to popularize pisofares which sparked the domestic travel surge in the country. However CebPac has yet to pull another pisofare promo since last year until today!

So what are you waiting for head on to www.cebupacificair.com to book your flight!

 

PISO SALE

How to choose accommodations online

One of the most critical decision making for backpackers is choosing the right accommodation for their trip. It has to be a perfect balance between a good price, sanitation, service and security.

We’ve come up with some pointers to help you on how to decide for your accommodation.

> Set a price range
Determine how much you are willing to spend. Create a good range so that you can still be flexible with the choices that would come up on your search. Allowing you to bargain or maybe compromise on some luxury if any since you have a budget that you are working on, making it a good deciding tool in choosing your accommodation.

how to search for a cheap hotel Photo by Moyan Brenn

> Determine the best location
Where do you want to stay, find the best location that is proximate to convenience stores, markets and transportation that will enable you to move around quickly and get things such as food easily. It may be a bit off the attractions that you are going to see as prices to these kind of accommodation are off the hook most of the time but a good access to transportation modes such as the bus and train will be most helpful.

how to search for a cheap hotelPhoto by  StreetFly JZ

> Security
this is practically part of determining the area of your accommodation, but I wanted to point this out seperately as this is one big factor in your decision making. One could get a great location, easy access to stuff but is just right off near a neighborhood with a bad reputation. Prioritize safety.

how to search for a  cheap hotelPhoto by TimLee90

> Sanitation
As much as you want to save money for your accommodation it is also important to have a good clean room. Most common mistake about selecting accommodation is the notion that you’ll just be sleeping in it since you will be out touring and exploring. We must also keep in mind that after all the tiring activity you’d be needing a good night sleep and rest and musky old room infested with bugs wouldn’t help in getting one for you at all.

how to search a cheap hotel Photo by Magalie L’Abbé

Choosing the right accommodation can be a daunting task but with the right tools like hotel search engines and online booking companies like Agoda that helps you get the best prices available will lighten up the burden. Just keep stick with what you want and how much you are willing to bargain for and everything should be alright.

Got more tips? Leave it at the comments below, we’d love to hear it from you!

5 Places To Visit In Manila On Rainy Days

Satisfying your wanderlust can be a bit frustrating when it rains, when you can’t really climb mountains or enjoy a good day at the beach. Here are a few things/places that you can do or visit when Mr. Sunshine decides not to come out.

1. National Museum of the Filipino People (National Museum)
Location: Taft Ave, Ermita, Manila, 1000 Metro Manila
Prices: Free on Sundays, Php 120 (Adult) Closed on Mondays
Website: www.nationalmuseum.gov.ph

Photosource: Wikipedia

Sometimes overlooked by locals, The National Museum – formally known as The National Museum of the Filipino People- has massively improved over the last decade. Not only does it houses national treasures of gold and priceless artifacts, it is also now expanding to the Filipino’s Natural History and the acquisition of new buildings.

2. Trampoline Park
Location: Greenfields District, Shaw Blvd., Mandaluyong City
Prices: Starts at 320
Website: www.trampolinepark.ph

Photosource: www.trampolinepark.ph

Go back to your childhood with all the jumping that you did. Well you can’t jump on your bed anymore or else you’d break it, but your can jump all you want at the first and only trampoline park in the Philippines.

3. Malling
Location: Everywhere
Prices: Free to shopping spree

Photosource: Wikipedia

Probably something mundane for the a Metro Manila local, but if you are a tourist the Mall is a tourist spot that you should check out on your visit in city. Manila hosts some of the biggest malls in the world, yep you read that right, boasting thousands of square meters of mixed retail, entertainment, sports, cultural and even spritual centers all in one roof. Being a tropical country, the mall has become the Philippine’s sort of town center where people converge and commune for most cities as it provides comfort with its climate controlled environment. Top Malls to visit are

Mega Mall

SM North EDSA

Robinsons Galleria

SM Mall of Asia

TriNoMa

Sharila Plaza Mall

4. DreamPlay
Location: City Of Dreams Aseana Business Park, Paranaque City
Prices: Starts at Php 380 for kids and Php 210 for adults
Website: www.cityofdreams.com.ph

Probably the closest that you can get to that Disneyland and Universal Studios feel here in the Philippines. Dreamscape’s Dreamland showcases attraction from Dreamscape’s movie franchises such as Shrek and Kung Fu Panda.

5. Mystery Manila
Location: Unit 9A 2/F JW Plaza Bldg., E. Rodriguez Ave., Quezon City
Prices: Minimum of two players (Max of 5) at Php 400 – Php 500 per pax.

Remember those games that you play on your PC where you try to solve mysteries through a series of clues? Well this game just got real! Enter different rooms with mysteries to be solved just the same way as you would on your computer, if you are challenged by these type of games virtually we are pretty sure that you’d enjoy it even better in person.

See rainy days don’t have to be that boring. You just need to know what to do and where to go. Manila is full of life only that sometimes these pockets of fun are hidden within the nooks and cranny of the metro and we are more than happy to help you find them!

If you have suggestions on what else to do on a rainy day in Manila, leave them on the comment section or if you want to be featured on the site let us know through email we are here to help you send the word out!

Safe Surf: Learn Surfing With The Experts

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIf you are like me who have all these kinds of fears and are just obsessive compulsive when it comes to safety, but on the other hand wants to go on adventures like surfing you should definitely try out Tropical Swells.

 

Tropical Swells is a school founded by experts in surfing with years of experience with the aim of teaching surfing to everyone in a safe environment until you are ready for the open waters! Sounds just like for me… hahaha!

Tropical Swells invited us for a day of safe surfing in a controlled environment, where? At Whiterock Beach Resort! They will be walking you through from the basics till you learn how to ride the waves one step at the time at the pace that you’d feel comfortable with.

If you want to try out surfing and learn it from the experts you may check their information below and start riding those waves.

 

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If you are interested and got a few questions in your mind, you may head to www.tropicalswells.com or email them at surfsup@tropicalswells.com.

Tropical Swells Surf Camp: Supercharge Your Summer

Summer is just around the corner! And, what does that mean? Sun. Sand. And SURF! Why not?

All of us already know that surfing is an exhilarating extreme sport. Immersing yourself into a surfer’s culture brings benefits that make it one of the most unique and fulfilling experiences of your life.

Fitness. Build your more than usual dream “beach bod.” Surfing a physically demanding activity, but a fun one at that. You engage your entire body when you start to surf. The more you surf, the more motivated you become to becoming fit and healthy. When you’re healthy, you give instantly give yourself a confidence boost.

Now, imagine yourself in an amazingly ripped physique while you’re ripping those waves.

Travel. If you need to get away, you’ll find a perfectly good form of release through this activity. You’ll find solitude. You’ll make new friends. And, I’ve got to admit, being on those waves gives one a sense of oneness and respect for nature. There’s really always something therapeutic in whisking yourself for a while.

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Now, take a hold of life by getting on that board and enjoying every bit of surf time on the water. TropicalSwells has found a way to merge both benefits in a safe and fun way through their Surf School at White Rock Beach Hotel + Waterpark in Matain, Subic.

Wavepool. Beginners get the chance to perfect their stance and balance on the surfboard, learn and improve their paddling, and catch a few surfing tricks on their own. For those who aren’t really amateurs in surfing, it’s a good avenue to find a consistent rhythm of waves and a spot with the ability to practice “crowd control” at the lineup.

Age. Jim Moriarty of SurfRider Foundation says, “As soon as they express an interest.” Nan Waldman of Education + Parenting in Quoradinating adds, “Whenever the child herself or himself feels ready and WANTS to.” SurfSimply’s Harry Knight caps it well, “In my experance over the years, there is no correct age to teach someone, and I have taught children as young as 2, and adults in their 70’s.”

TropicalSwells is excited to teach anyone interested, starting from 4 years old and up. Equipped with life-saving skills, our instructors are ASI-certified.

IntroSurf. Want to surf? We guarantee you’ll learn the basics of surfing and surf waves on the wave pool in 2 hours.

SurfCamp. Serious about the sport? From level zero, you’ll be surfing ocean waves in only six 2-hour sessions.

Supercharge your summer with the coolest ‘swells’ coaches in our tropical country. Whether you’re looking just a day-trip, or you want to pack a couple days in, TropicalSwells offers a great package for you!

For inquires, please contact surfsup@tropicalswells.com.