Philippines tourism top 10 tourist destinations

Philippines tourism Top 10 Tourist Destinations

1. Banaue Rice Terraces is a masterpiece. It was previously listed as one of the 7 wonders of the world.

philippines tourism 2

image: wallpaper2020.com

2. Boracay Island is like a smaller Miami Beach of the Philippines. It has a very fine  powder like white  sand.

philippines tourism

image: coupons.com

3. Bohol

philippines tourism 4

Image: dailymail.co.uk

is where the smallest monkey Tarsiers live. It also has a small version of Boracay called Alona Beach. Chocolate Hills of Bohol is one of the Must see tourist attraction in the Philippines. It is very unique and very beautiful.

 

 

4. Palawan is where the underground river is located,Tubbataha Reef Marine Parkand El Nido white sand beaches.

philippines tourism 5

image: tubbataha.com

5. Cebu is rich in diving spots, beaches, islands (Malapascua , Bantayan) and  historical places.

ayala mall

ayala mall

6. Manila has many tourist attractions, US embassy , MOA – the biggest mall in Asia and opportunities for investments.

philippines tourism 7

The Fortress of Intramuros
image: commons.wikimedia.org

7. Davao is famous for its durian fruit.  It smells weird but it taste good. Davao has many tourist spots and is a very clean city with a strict ordinance. 

philippines tourism

image: travelasia.com

 

8. Vigan also known as ‘ The Old City’ with 150 stone houses built during the Spanish era.

philippines tourism

image: dealsdiba.com

9. Camarines Sur (Camsur) province is located in Bicol Region. It has lots of beautiful beaches and islands.

philippines tourism

image: flickr.com

10. Baguio City is one top destination of local tourists. Philippines has a very hot climate and only Baguio City has a cold temperature that filipinos want to experience.

philippines tourism image: http://www.holidayphilippinesblog.com/caption

VAT Refund during your travel to thailand

Some countries allow tourist to get some of the money they spent on taxes while visiting.  This adds some incentives for tourist to return.  This is known as a Value added tax (VAT) Refund.  If you travel to Thailand, you can get a VAT Refund.  But there are few things you need to do.

1. When Shopping

  • Show your passport when purchasing to get a VAT Refund for Tourist sticker or VAT receipt. (this was not listed of the flyer but I seen it on their website site.
  • Shop at stores that have VAT REFUND for tourists signs.
  • Minimum purchase  at the same store per person should be 2,000 baht.
  • Ask for P.P.10 Form and original tax invoices at the store on the day of purchase.
  • Take your goods out of Thailand within 60 days of purchase via international airport.

vat refund during your travel to thailand

2. Procedure at the Customs

  • Present your purchases (P.P 10 Form, original tax invoices and purchased goods) at the Customs office before taking your luggage  at the international airports of Thailand (Subarnabhumi, Don Mueang, Chiang Mai, Phuket, Hat Yai, U-Tapao, Krabi and Samui).

3. Refunding

  • Submit P.P.10 Form and all original tax invoices to claim your refund at VAT Refund for Tourist Offices after the passport control.
    travel to thailand VAT Refund

    Location of VAT Refund Office in Subarnabhumi is at the right side after ‘ Z’ check -in

  • Show your purchased Luxury goods like jewelry, ornaments, designer collection stuff pens etc with a value of 10,000 baht or more per item to the officer for reinspection at the VAT Refund for Tourist Office.
  • If the amount exceeds 30,000 baht, the refund payment  will be made by the form of draft or credit card account.

If you are in  a hurry after all inspections have been made, you can drop the P.P.10 Form and original tax invoices into the box in front of the VAT Refund for Tourist office or mail them to the address below:

VAT Refund for Tourist Office

The Revenue Department of Thailand

90 Phaholyothin 7, Phayathai,

Bangkok 10400, Thailand

*Location of VAT Refund Office in Subarnabhumi is at the right side after ‘ Z’ check -in counter.

Source: http://www.rd.go.th/vrt/index.html

For inquiries, email address of VAT Refund for Tourist is:  vrefund@rd.go.th

Note: For sim cards and internet browsing, You can buy a sim cards at 7 Eleven Stores and Family Mart. They also have those machines where you can purchase for internet.

visiting north korea

Dear Americans,

Why in the world are you Visiting North Korea?  Do you know that several other Americans between 1996 and 2014 have gone there with the same results: They are detained,  forced to read some bullshit propaganda and then released (sometimes) only after they are begged by a major US political figure.

Name Detained Released Reason for detention
Evan Hunziker 26 August 1996 27 November 1996 Charged with espionage
Euna Lee 18 March 2009 4 August 2009 Crossed into North Korea from China without a visa.
Laura Ling
Aijalon Gomes 25 January 2010 26 August 2010 Illegally entered North Korea
Kenneth Bae 3 November 2012 Currently detained Planned a religious coup d’état, along with other reasons.
Merrill Newman 26 October 2013 7 December 2013 War crimes during the Korean War.
Miller Matthew Todd 10 April 2014 Currently detained Wanted political asylum from North Korea.[1]
Jeffrey Edward Fowle 29 April 2014 Currently detained Acted “contrary to the purpose of tourism.”[1]

Here are a few fun facts about North Korea:

visiting north korea

visiting north korea

Political prison camps with 40% malnutrition.  One of the reasons that the citizens seems so happy about Kim Jung {x} is that political dissent can earn you and your entire family an indefinite stay in one of several luxurious concentration camps.  Fun for the WHOLE family (for generations).  (see Torture, Starvation in North Korean Political Prisons)

Reeducation Camps. It is not ANYTHING like anger management classes.  Its a place where people by the hundreds go to die for things like illegal border crossing, illegal trading, or being accused of disagreeing with Kim Jung {x}.

People are shot or imprisoned for attempting to LEAVE.  Movement in or out of North Korea is strictly controlled.  Not only can North Koreans NOT leave the country easily they are not allowed to move WITHIN the country easily.  Anyone who tries to immigrate to another country is considered a defector.

 

image: huffingtonpost.com

image: huffingtonpost.com

North Korea is a place that has death camps the whole family can enjoy.

 

Thailand Travelling Basic Etiquette

Before arriving at your destination, it is important to know a bit of the country’s customs and courtesies when visiting.  It will help you interact better with the locals and leave a good impression on the citizens. DO not be an asshole!

When found that Thailand was no exception to this simple rule.  Although its more open than many other countries, you should still abide by basic etiquette.

thailand travelling basic etiquette

1. Dress Appropriately -  Women, be very aware of what you are wearing. Most areas of thailand are very conservative with dress and appearance. For example, in Bangkok wearing short shorts is very unusual and will earn you unwelcome looks.  You can get away with this in Pattaya or other high tourist areas where a lot is forgiven.  But if you are visiting temples ALWAYS wear long sleeves and pants.

2.  Traditional Greeting ‘Wai” a slight bow and prayer like gesture is how thai people greet each other. They also use this in saying thank you and goodbye.

3. Know basic words as you are traveling. Knowing a few Thai words make a great impression on people.  You will see smiles just from saying “Arun-sawat” (good morning).  They see that you are putting some effort when you say, “Khob Khun Kaa” (feminine Thank You) or “Khob khun krab” (masculine thank you).

4. If they offer a service refuse politely. No need to be rude, they are just trying to pay the bills.  You will find that most Thai people are not super aggressive when selling or marketing to tourist.

5. Pointing is very rude for thai people especially for religious monuments. Maybe in your country its ok, but in Thailand its not.

6. Touching somebody in the head is very offensive. It is considered the most sacred part of the body. Touching is also a sign of trust.

7. Kissing a local on their cheek may offend them. Unlike other culture kissing a friend on the cheek is normal as a part of greeting, but in Thailand its too much.

8. Leave your shoes outside upon visiting a house.

9. Smile – Thai people will sometimes give a polite smile.  Its like saying hello.  Its ok to smile back.

10. Be polite. I noticed that thai people are well mannered and never yell in public places at all.

disney sea tokyo

Disney Sea Tokyo (東京ディズニーシー) is worth seeing if you have the time and money.  If you have been to the Disneyland or Disney’s California in LA, then you may be a little disappointed by the small size of the Disney Sea.  Its technically larger (176 acres compared to 160 acres) but there is a huge man made lake (Mediterranean Harbor) in the middle of the park that makes the actual walking area smaller.

image : weezalgurl.deviantart.com

image : weezalgurl.deviantart.com

Disney Sea Tokyo is definitely not a waste of time especially if you have kids.  They will really enjoy it.

disney sea tokyo

Just like the Disneyland in LA, you can expect Disney Sea Tokyo to be ridiculously packed and expensive.  If you travel on a dime, then you may want to bring your own food into the park.  Also, bring sunblock and a sunhat.

If you have been to Disneyland LA, then I would recommend seeing Disney Sea.  It has a different feel than the typical Disneyland and if its hot its nice to go there and get a little wet on the rides and attractions.

image: geocities.jp

image: geocities.jp

Not all the rides are water rides by the way. I was expecting a sort of “splash mountain water park” feel.  But its not really like that.  They did a great job of mixing wet and dry.  Even though Disney sea is not owned by the Disney company, it still FEELS like Disneyland.

image: flickr.com

image: flickr.com

What is most memorable to me about Disney Sea Tokyo and what stands out in my mind (besides the insane HEAT and LINES) was the show in Mediterranean Harbor.  It was one of the most unique shows I have ever seen i the water.

People in costume in jetskis with giant water guns.

 

country code philippines

Country code Philippines

If you are traveling around the Philippines you may eventually need to call out or have someone call in.  Whatever the case, you may want to take a look at the country codes of the Philippines and maybe zip codes.

The country code of the Philippines is 63.  Here are other additional information of zip codes and phone area code in some cities . http://efilipinowomen.com/country-code-philippines/

country code philippines

 

 

travel warning thailand

Travel Warning Thailand

May 20,2014 the Military took over to the country of Thailand due to its unsolved issue of future governance.  We were in the airport when this happened.  Luckily, no flights were canceled.  Well.. OUR flight was not canceled.

travel warning thailand

The U.S. Department of State recommends that U.S. citizens reconsider any non-essential travel to Thailand, particularly Bangkok, due to ongoing political and social unrest and restrictions on internal movements, including an indefinite nighttime curfew throughout Thailand. The Department of State has advised official U.S. government travelers to defer all non-essential travel to Thailand until further notice.  This Travel Alert supersedes the Travel Alert issued on May 23, 2014, and will expire on August 21, 2014. – US Consulate 

This has lead to curfews in certain places around Thailand which was lifted on 15 June 2014.

http://edition.cnn.com/2014/05/21/travel/thailand-tourism-martial-law/

http://edition.cnn.com/2014/05/21/travel/thailand-tourism-martial-law/

ginza japan

ginza japan

ginza japan

Take this blog post as an official “Travel Warning”.  Giza will perform acts of terrorism on your WALLET!  Its too expensive and not at all recommended for DimeTravelers.  you have been warned.

I went to Ginza, Japan in 2009.  I was not there very long.  Once I saw the RIDICULOUS prices, I left.

Ginza 銀座 is considered the “shopping” district of Chuo, Tokyo.  It is very “upscale” and high class with lots of boutiques, restaurants and stores.

Its the kind of place that Paris Hilton or Kim Kardasians might shop for a weekend trip in Japnan.  Its not for normal people with an average income.

Giza is easily accessible from MTR Light Rail. 

http://www.mtr.com.hk/images/LR_routemap.pdf

Travel Warning Djibouti (June 2014)

Travel Warning Djibouti June 2014

Reference:  This warning comes directly from US State Department –> http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/alertswarnings/djibouti-travel-warning.html

A travel warning in Djibouti for US citizens has been updated due to recent terrorist attacks.

US citizens and other Westerners that are currently in Djibouti are advice to cogitate for their personal security.

The U.S. Government are continuously receiving potential terrorist threats targeting Westerners and Djiboutian interests in Djibouti  Terrorist acts can include suicide operations, bombings (to include car bombings), kidnappings, attacks on civil aviation, and attacks on maritime vessels in or near Djiboutian ports.  Attacks may target official government facilities, including Embassies and military installations, as well as soft targets such as restaurants, clubs, and commercial entities.

travel warning djibouti 1

courtesy of africaguide.com

Last May 24,2014, a restaurant packed with Westerners were attacked by two suicide bombers in Djibouti’s city center. One victim died and others were severely injured. Al Shabaab claimed responsible for this attack and renewed the stated intent to conduct similar attacks in Djibouti against both Djiboutian and Western targets. These threats have been going since 2011, following Djibouti’s commitment to contribute forces to the African Union Mission in Somali (AMISOM).

Us embassy has travel restriction for their employees in places like Menelik Area and are advised to avoid large gatherings in restaurants and other public places. these restrictions do not apply to non government employees. However, US citizens are encouraged to take the same safety precaution.

US citizen that are in Djibouti are advised to be alert and be aware at all times in residential areas, lodging houses, during outdoor events and generally in all public places.

U.S. citizens who travel to or reside in Djibouti despite this Travel Warning are urged to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) in order to receive the most up-to-date security information.  By enrolling, U.S. citizens make it easier for the Embassy to contact them in case of emergency.  U.S. citizens without internet access may enroll directly with the U.S. Embassy in Djibouti.  U.S. citizens are also advised to monitor the U.S. Embassy in Djibouti website, Facebook page and Twitter feed, and local and international news outlets.

The U.S. Embassy in Djibouti is located at Lotissement Haramous Lot # 350B, tel. +(253) 21-45-30-00. You can contact the Consular Section of the Embassy via email at ConsularDjibouti@State.gov.  For after-hours emergencies, please call +(253) 77-87-72-29 or 21-45-30-00.

U.S. citizens should also consult the Department of State’s Country Specific Information for Djibouti, as well as the Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts, which are all available on the U.S. Department of State’s, Bureau of Consular Affairs website.  Travelers may obtain up-to-date information on security conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada, or on a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444 from other countries.  Follow us on Twitter and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook as well.

http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/alertswarnings/djibouti-travel-warning.html

 

ayala cebu

ayala cebu

Ayala Cebu is located in Cebu Business Park, Archbishop Reyes Avenue in Cebu City (google Maps Link to Ayala Cebu).

Ayala Center Cebu is a a big shopping mall that has about 85,000 people per day and over 100K on the weekends.

Ayala Cebu features a movie theater, timezone gaming for kids, restaurants, and special events. It has a big grocery store at the ground floor with a  variety of imported goods.

ayala cebu

Ayala Cebu list of  restaurants:

ayala cebu 2

  • Auntie Anne’s
  • Dakasi Milktea
  • Red Mango
  • Gelatissimo
  • McDonald’s
  • Sbarro
  • Cyma
  • Bonchon Chicken
  • Jollibee
  • Army Navy Burger + Burrito
  • KFC
  • Pancake House
  • T.G.I. Friday’s
  • Pizza Hut
  • Goldilocks Bakeshop
  • Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf
  • Seattle’s Best Coffee
  • Banana Leaf
  • Rai Rai Ken
  • Gerry’s Grill – serves delicious grilled seafood and has wide choices of tasty meals. It is always packed so customers must reserve a table and/or arrive early before lunch and dinner time.
  • Bo’s Coffee Club
  • Kenny Rogers Roasters
  • Max’s Restraunt
  • Sumo Sam
  • Mochiko
  • Tater’s
  • Casa Verde
  • Bigby’s Cafe and Restraunts
  • Laguna Garden Cafe
  • La Maison
  • Spaghetti Factory
  • CnT Lechon
  • Cafe Laguna
  • Dessert Factory
  • Kublai Khan Mongolian Restraunt
  • Bistro Ecila
  • Island Grill
  • Kaona Grill
  • Oh Georg!
  • Ratsky
  • The Gustavian
  • Tsim sha tsui
  • Hukad (golden cowrie) restaurant - this is my top choice for Filipino cuisine. They serve delicious authentic Filipino dishes.
ayala cebu

chicken pandan :hukad restaurant

Ayala Cebu also has events.  Here are a few examples:

Sto. Nino Exhibit
Rotunda 2

Balik Cebu Party
Featuring: Handumanan
The Terraces

Karylle & Raki Vega Live
The Terraces

ABS-CBN Kapamilya Party with
Angelica Panganiban, John Prats
South Surface Parking

Aquarela
The Terraces

ayala cebu

ayala terraces

Grand Fireworks Display
Across South Surface Parking

 

Ayala POC: +63 32 231 5342

 

 

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