Showing posts with label Family Travels. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Family Travels. Show all posts

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Khorfakkan, UAE's Hidden Gem

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Khorfakkan has grown popular in the last couple of years. Thanks to the Sharjah government's initiative to revive and redevelop this unique part of the city, we have new places to explore.

Khorfakkan means “Creek of Two Jaws”, is an enclave of Sharjah, tucked into the emirate of Fujairah. It centers on Khorfakkan Bay, home to the curved Khorfakkan Beach and a deep-sea port.

If you want to get the most of Khorfakkan, I suggest dedicating a full day or two to it.

Your Khorfakkan itinerary sightseeing must include Shees Park, Wadi Sheesh, Rafisa Dam, Al Miqsar Village, Al Rabi Tower (Al Rabi Hiking is optional, or do it the next/another day), Khorfakkan Park & Open Beach, Boat Trip to Shark Island, Khorfakkan Waterfall, Khorfakkan Amphitheater and Khorfakkan Fish Market. There is so much to see and do in this not so sleepy town. You wouldn't regret seeing Khorfakkan. The best time to go is from November to March when the weather is good.
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Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Bataan: Turtle Releasing Program at Pawikan Conservation Centre in Morong

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Pawikan Conservation Centre in Morong Bataan

From Pilar to Orani to Morong, we went on a scenic drive to reach to the other side of Bataan to visit the Pawikan Conservation Center, a humble but important sanctuary.

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Sunday, March 08, 2020

Bataan: Vista Tala Resort & Recreational Park

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Continuing from my last blog post, I'll share here about our experience at


Vista Tala Resort and Recreational Park

After our sumptuous dinner at Ima Floras Pamangan, we drove up to Orani and checked in at Vista Tala Resort & Recreation Park at Barangay Tala. This mountain resort is perched at the top of the mountain with an incredible vista of what seems to me is part of Manila Bay if I am not mistaken and Mt. Natib with luscious vegetation.

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Thursday, February 27, 2020

Bataan: Mt. Samat l Dunsulan Falls l Ima Floras Pamangan

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There's some sort of a running joke now in the family, we call it the B series.

Mt. Samat National Shrine Pilar Bataan

Our first family road trip was in the Bicol region (located at the southernmost part of Luzon). I previously shared our story here and here if you'd like to read them. For our annual vacation in December last 2018, we visited Bataan, also known as the home of the brave 

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Sunday, October 13, 2019

Eat, Explore, Play, & Shop at Singapore's Changi Airport

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Eat, Explore, Play, & Shop at Singapore's Changi Airport

I was never excited about airport layovers. From my previous experience, it meant boredom and long waiting hours. But that's not true anymore in our most recent travel, not with Singapore's Changi Airport.

The four hours we spent at Changi Aiport last January (2019) was the most entertaining airport stopover we've done so far.

*If you are traveling and transiting in Singapore from now onward, continue reading until the end to know a secret.
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Wednesday, August 21, 2019

12-Hour Layover in Singapore l Sightseeing with Kids

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12-Hour Layover in Singapore l Sightseeing with Kids

Our Singapore trip in December last year was only a 12-hour layover. A connecting flight to Manila. Although short, it was exciting as well as memorable because it was the first country outside of the Philippines and UAE we visited together as a family. The kids were excited to get home but they also looked forward to the fun we had in the Lion City.

We usually fly straight to the Philippines but since Singapore is on the same route to our country, we took advantage of the long layover to see a new place. What's great about it is that Filipinos are given visas on arrival in Singapore so we didn't have to bother applying for visas before the trip.

Our ETA was supposed to be at 7:15 am but we reached at 8:43 am. Our connecting flight to Manila was at 7:10 pm on the same day so instead of 12 hours, we were left with 10. It was good that we slept during the flight, we had enough energy for the itinerary I prepared for us. What we were not really prepared to tackle were the heat and humidity. We didn't expect it to be so humid in December. Except for the weather, Singapore was the perfect choice for a layover. It was a small country yet so many things to see and places to visit.

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Friday, June 30, 2017

Palawan: Island Hopping at Honda Bay

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Our last minute activity in Puerto Princesa Palawan was a do-it-yourself island hopping tour at Honda Bay before we fly out in the evening. Three islands in two hours, is it possible? With only three hours to spare, we weren't sure island hopping is a good idea. Ferald and I were like, it's now or never, discussing the pros and cons over lunch at KaLui. We actually packed our beach essentials in the morning when we're leaving the hotel for the half day city tour just in case we decided to do it. In the end, we did it anyway because we'll never know when next time could be. #yolo

After our scrumptious lunch at KaLui, we headed to Honda Bay alight a tricycle with the same manong driver we hired when we went for firefly watching the day before. Color coded tricycles are the most common form of transportation you can hire in the city if you're not on a package tour.

More than half an hour later, we reached the wharf. It was around 2:00 pm.

We hurriedly register at the port counter, paid the fees, and rented a boat operated by two boatmen for 1300 pesos. Rates are fixed and all are the same even with different boat operators as it was set and approved by the municipal government.

We were told that we need to get back by 4:00 pm. Three island for two hours, is it possible? The answer is a big fat yes. Allow me show you how we did it.

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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Palawan: Art & Food at KaLui Puerto Princesa

Tired and hungry from our half-day Puerto Princesa city tour, we requested our driver and tour guide to drop us at KaLui where we have a lunch reservation.

I've been trying to book at this restaurant since we arrived in the city but I only got a confirmed booking on our third day. The same day we are flying back to Manila in the evening so no way we could come for dinner. When the reservation staff told me there's an available table for lunch, I immediately confirmed. I promised myself not to leave Puerto Princesa without dining in this restaurant which was highly recommended by our friends. People who have been to this restaurant will tell you that your trip to Puerto Princesa is never complete without dining at KaLui. And so we did and it was truly amazing.

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Palawan: Puerto Princesa City Tour

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When you are visiting Puerto Princesa Palawan, a city tour is highly recommended.

A half day city tour is usually included in tour packages offered by travel agencies and their hotel partners costing about 600 pesos per person although you can also do it yourself if you'd like. What's good in taking a package tour is that you will be sitting in an air-conditioned van, have a licensed driver and tour guide to take you around and entrance fees and permits are included. This is recommended especially if it is the first time you are visiting Palawan and/or your time is very limited.

Ours was included in the package and we went on a city tour on our 3rd and last day in Palawan. Pick up time was at 8:00 am from Hotel Casitas De Az Pension where we are staying. It was a shared tour with a couple from Germany but for some reason, they couldn't join the tour so by chance, it suddenly became an exclusive guided tour for me and my family, without any extra cost.

We went as planned and our driver and tour guide showed us the city and the places he is most proud of. It was a total four-hour sightseeing tour starting from the ones farthest from the city center.

Crocodile Farm (Palawan Wildlife Refuge and Conservation Center)
Mitra's Ranch
Baker's Hill
Plaza Cuartel
Puerto Princesa Cathedral
Puerto Princesa Bay Walk
MCA Market Mall Pasalubong Center

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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Palawan: Firefly Watching at Iwahig and Dinner at Kinabuchs Bar & Grill

photo credit
Fireflies are nature's indication of how good the ecosystem in a particular area is. It signifies a healthy natural environment. Although Puerto Princesa is a city, it remains to be about 75-80 percent forest hence the name "city in a forest"

While growing up in our province, I used to catch fireflies at night whenever I see one. My husband shares the same childhood experience.

The mention of fireflies in the Filipino romantic TV series Dolce Amore is how my kids came to know about this pretty little insects. Growing up here in the desert, our kids never had the same experience as we have. We wanted them to experience it too so when I was planning our trip to Palawan last year, I included firefly watching to our itinerary.

Once we've reach Puerto Princesa, I called Mangrove Eco Tourism & Wildlife Park to book our visit. Booking ahead of your visit is necessary especially during peak season as it gets quite full easily. We went in August so it was off-peak but I still called to make sure we can be accommodated.

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Thursday, May 04, 2017

Palawan: Family Visit to Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park

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My bucket list used to be a long list of things that I wanted to do. Things that I don't know when I can fulfill and whether I can fulfill so I decided to just delete it.

Of course, I change my mind and so I wrote another one. A shorter one this time with fewer things in it. It does not include the trip to Puerto Princesa Underground River anymore because I got to tick it off last year when we went to Palawan. It was the highlight of our last year's vacation. I guess it is on everybody's bucket list.

Our second day in Palawan was spent going on a paddleboat cruising down the river surrounded by a lush mangrove forest and a hike up the mountain before zipping across the sea on a zip line into an islet off the coast of Sabang. Although both were just a side trip, it was both enjoyable and a must do when you visit the island.

The main reason though for this family trip was to see the UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the 7 Wonders of Nature - the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park.

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Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Palawan: Family Adventure at Sabang X Zipline

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Another activity we enjoyed doing while in Puerto Princesa, Palawan was zip lining at Sabang X Zipline's 800 meters zip line.

It is one of the reasons Ferald and I were so looking forward to this trip. We've been seeing a lot of this fun and exciting activity everywhere in the Philippines and we knew it is something we wanted to try. Since we are in Puerto Princesa to see the world famous Underground River, the Sabang X Zipline was our perfect idea of a side trip. If you are a fan of Amazing Race, Sabang X Zipline was popularized by Amazing Race Philippines Season 2.

We were so excited to do this and we have two kids thirsty for adventure brave enough to do things with their thrill seeker parents. Before we could zip ourselves from the mountain, across the sea and onto an island off the coast of Sitio Sabang, we needed to pass through a beautiful untouched beachfront with silky soft powdery sand and hike up through a lush green forest.

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