Thursday, August 27, 2015

Amazing View at the North Gigantes Lighthouse

Our group was up early the following day to catch the sunrise at the North Gigantes Lighthouse, a 20-minute habal-habal ride and hike from Dela Vega Beach Resort. Established by the Spaniards in 1895, the original lighthouse was destroyed by Typhoon Frank in 2008 and was already replaced by a medium-sized and solar-powered lighthouse donated by the Japanese government. It pays to come early if you wish to take great photos of the station and enjoy the fascinating view in peace as the North Gigantes Lighthouse is also a popular tourist spot in the island.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Dela Vega Beach Resort at Islas de Gigantes, Iloilo

It took an hour of turbulent plane ride, 3 hours on the road and another 2 traversing the rough seas before we finally reached our ultimate stop -- Islas de Gigantes. Located off the coast of Carles and Estancia towns, this once offbeat town is becoming a popular destination for beach lovers and adventure seekers evading mainstream beach havens in the nearby provinces of Aklan and Cebu.

As soon as we step foot on the island, I understood why people kept on calling Islas de Gigantes as the Scallops Capital of the Philippines.. the beach was literally covered with scallop shells!

Traveling to Islas de Gigantes is like coming home to your family in the province. Since the town is still underdeveloped, don't expect a hotel-like accommodation with full amenities. Roaming around the town on board a habal-habal, I noticed that most resorts were houses converted to homestays with several rooms offered to tourists at very affordable prices. Of the three most popular resorts in town, only Dela Vega Beach Resort had an available air-conditioned room on our trip.

Our group availed of the resort's 3days/2nights package at Php3,585 per person that includes the accommodation, full board meals, island hopping tour and boat transfers from and to Estancia. Good thing I was on a seafood diet because our meals were overflowing with scallops and crabs throughout our stay! In the 3 days that we were in the island, I was able to try scallops cooked in every possible way you can imagine like adobo, sizzling, steamed, fried, bicol express, boiled etc.

The people in Islas de Gigantes are very welcoming that we never felt the need to hike up to what the locals call as "call center" being the only place in town with a signal! In fact, it was refreshing to go on a day without checking my mobile phone every so often just like the old times.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Sunday Treats No. 50

Yukke Sashi (Seasoned Raw Beef) - Php280.00


Gyumon Yakiniku Restaurant
Pan Pacific Manila, Adriatico Square
M. Adriatico St. cor. Malvar St.
Malate, Manila, Philippines
Tel.: (632) 536-0351 to 54

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Super Super Congee & Noodles, HK

Created by the Cafe de Coral group, Super Super Congee & Noodles is becoming one of Hongkong's well-loved food chain offering a wide variety of dishes ranging from refined Chinese and Western cuisine to signature dishes like congee and noodles. With over 30 outlets across Hongkong, Super Super surely caters to varied customer tastes and preferences anytime of the day.

The warm interiors and light wooden materials exude a homey and welcoming ambiance. Hongkongers are used to sharing their tables with strangers so feel free to ask if you see any vacant seat, some even offer their seats if they see you looking for one.

What we ordered

Grilled Pork Chop Rice

Tossed Noodles with Shrimp Roe & Shrimp Wanton

Chee Cheong Fun (Rice Noodle Roll)

Prices were affordable but I still prefer Cafe de Coral's menu over Super Super Congee & Noodles because like a typical Pinoy, I'd still choose rice over noodles anytime. In fact, CdC's Baked Pork Chop Rice is my ultimate favorite whenever I go to Hongkong.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Dorsett Mongkok: Hongkong's Budget Friendly Hotel

Tsim Sha Tsui area is usually our first choice of location when booking a hotel in Hongkong. For our recent trip though, all our preferences (Hotel Benito, The Imperial Hotel, Nathan Hotel or BP International) were way out of budget so we decided to check out other areas in Kowloon. One research after another led us to Dorsett Mongkok Hotel, formerly known as Cosmo Hotel Mongkok. Surrounded by various shops, restaurants, money exchange and supermarkets, Dorsett Mongkok's convenient location is a major draw for tourists traveling to Hongkong.

Check-in was a breeze but we had to wait for the room to be available since my flight arrived early.

Instead of waiting in the hotel lobby like most guests, we crossed the road and found a branch of Wellcome Supermarket with a crazy sale of fresh cherries and strawberries! After and hour and with a bag full of groceries, we went back to Dorsett where the key card was handed to us even before the 2pm standard check in time. Months before our arrival, I already sent an email to the hotel with a request of a room on the higher floors as recommended by people who already stayed in Dorsett because of its proximity to the main road, which they granted as promised.

Our Room Comfort (cheapest room they offer) is an 18-sqm thoughtfully designed space with a comfortable queen bed, free in-room wifi, iPod-docking station, wall-mounted LED television, a mini bar with coffee and tea making facility, an in-room safe and complimentary use of a smart phone with free 3G internet and local and IDD calls Australia, Canada, China, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, UK and US, that you can also take outside. The smart phone was very useful in checking out the best routes to our destination and keeping in touch with the family back home.

Our clean and well-kept room

Complimentary smart phone with 3G internet and local and IDD calls

Mosaic bathroom with massage shower and rain shower head

View from our room

The Olympic Station is the nearest MTR from the hotel (4-minute walk) but Dorsett offers a very convenient and complimentary shuttle service to its guests to three major points within the city that leaves every hour. The first stop at Langham Place is where we get off to start our adventure and where we head to after a long day of walking, shopping and eating out. 

Bus stop in Langham Place


Dorsett Mongkok
88 Tai Kok Tsui Road
Kowloon, Hong Kong
Tel.: (852) 3987-2288
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