Wednesday, April 27, 2016

HK: Shopping

It is no surprise that HK is a shopping mecca. High end boutiques that sell luxurious brands, big malls that offer everything that money can buy, the outlet stores that sell at discounted prices and the small stand alone shops that peddles all wares.

All of them are way beyond my budget and I am not an impulsive buyer. I always consider whether what I am buying is a 'need' or a 'want'. Naturally you all know the distinction between those two words. 

Bazaars or night markets are also a plenty in HK and the ones that are much frequented are the Temple Street Market and the Ladies Market, both located in the Kowloon area. 

All kinds of trinkets, leather goods, bags, wallets, clothes, hair accessories, gadget accessories are available here. You can also haggle for a better price but just be prepared to be harassed once you start bargaining as the attendants would not easily let you go until they make a sale. They only accept cash and the no return policy is strictly enforced. FYI, most of the bags are imitation of luxurious brands so don't expect 'good quality'. Although if like me you are not brand conscious, these bags are still functional and serve their purpose.

It was one of the coldest days of February when we strolled there and so I was all bundled up with my jacket, my bonnet, a warm scarf and my thermal underwear so I could survive the biting cold 11 degrees Celsius temperature!

Speaking of the weather, Metro Manila is sizzling hot with temperatures reaching 37 - 38 degrees Celsius and the heat index goes high up to 41!  Phew. 

In this regard, I am taking a blogging hiatus as I will be staying at my previous residence probably for the entire month of May. Night sweats (symptoms of you know what!) are keeping me awake and making me cranky and the stifling heat doesn't help one single bit. The road repairs here on our street is still ongoing and everything in our house is filled with dust, even though our windows are closed. So it is unbearable and not comfortable at all. 

Be back soon, promise! =)

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

HK: Discovery Bay

This week, the summer heat is scorching and sizzling HOT! The weather bureau says it will be even hotter, next month. Drinking plenty of water + taking several showers during the day and in the evening helps but goodness it is really brutal!

I'm definitely staying indoors and it gives me time to sort out pictures I took during our month long vacay. It seems like such a long time ago even though it has just been a month since we returned and I am really missing the cold climate there.

One of the places I wanted to explore in HK was Discovery Bay. It can be reached through a 20 minute ferry ride and by land too via their very efficient bus system. Discovery Bay is an area mostly populated by affluent local citizens as well as the privileged expats. It is a self contained community where everything is available. 

The short ferry ride was bumpy since it was raining and the waves were strong. I'm not a water person so anything that involves a boat/ferry makes me nervous. But once we got to Discovery Bay, I was calmer as the climate was cooler than on Hong Kong island and the scenery was picturesque.



Monday, April 11, 2016

Sea, sand and sun(burn)

Last week, the hubby had a faculty development planning session at some inn in Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro for 3D2N. 

Summer is in full blast and judging from the pictures, it was scorching hot there in the province too. Plus his lobster red sunburned skin (even when he put on tons of sunblock) is enough proof for me to stay indoors with ice cream and iced tea at my disposal. Me in a beach setting would literally be a hot mess! 

Friday, April 08, 2016

Taal Vista Hotel, Tagaytay

So here's what happened ... we checked out of Punta Fuego around 11:30 am or so and were on our way to Tagaytay. One portion of the road out of the exclusive resort was being paved so you cannot overtake since it was only two lanes. As it happens, we got stuck behind a slow moving pedicab (a bicycle with a side car) which was carrying  piles of wood. It was a good 10 minutes ergo our almost 20 year old sedan car could not handle the slow climb up as we had heavy load of luggage in our trunk so the engine started overheating!

As soon as we reached the portion where it was possible to overtake the pedicab, we pulled over and had to open the hood to let the car cool down. We were in the middle of nowhere in some rustic provincial road and even though there were other cars passing by, I got paranoid. I believe it took about 30 to 40 minutes before it totally cooled down. By then, the afternoon sun was on full blast but we could not switch on the aircon, so beads of sweat were pouring down my back and my forehead. Not pleasant at all. But it was what it was and it happened so it is an incident I will always connect with our road trip.

By the time we reached Tagaytay (incident free thankfully) it was already past lunch time, so we ate at Leslie's Restaurant at their outdoors area so we could see Taal Volcano from our seats.
Lunch at Leslie's - Bulalo Special, Crispy Tawilis,
Pancit Canton, Crispy Kangkong leaves and Buko Juice
Our accommodation in Tagaytay was the posh Taal Vista Hotel which in the 1980s was known as Taal Vista Lodge but taipan Henry Sy (owner of SM) refurbished it and is now a 5 star hotel.

Frankly it is way above my budget but the girls were kind enough to secure a room for us so we obliged and I am thankful for the opportunity to stay at this lovely hotel which has a spectacular view of Taal Volcano. We were booked for 2 nights and truly enjoyed it ... especially the grand spread of its buffet breakfast.

I loved the cool November climate in Tagaytay!

Hello there ... Taal Volcano! :D