Wednesday, May 17, 2023

May 17,2023 ~ I had finally reached the island last week for that much awaited beach holiday ! I had stayed on my own for a full week from May 7-14th !

 Boracay had been my favorite island destination for summer eversince. White sandy beaches, incredible sunsets , magnificent views 😍😍😍. 

Only downside now was too much crowds, too many resorts all over the island, too many vendors and shops wherever you turn. 

No matter where you are people will follow you to sell something ! good thing is, they were not very pushy if you politely say no and they would simply move on somewhere else to try their luck with some tourists.

Sometimes these people are young kids trying to earn a bit for their families or their school money too. Its a pitiful situation so I somehow try to support them . A few pesos away frommy pocket wouldn't hurt me much but would surely mean a lot of help for these poor families somehow. So for this trip, I bought some souvenirs to give to love ones back home. 

 I Got myself some simple shell necklaces ...

Key Chains ...

Ash Trays ...

Even A Fan to beat the heat ...😂 

I still remember the very 1st time I had ever visited and set my foot on the island way back in 1988. It was a virgin island full of forests and coconut trees. Very few bancas coming to the island to bring freshly caught fish in the morning. No electricity yet so no hot water , no lights but gas lamps which are off by 8pm every night. 
OK ,Let's play in the dark inside mosquito nets... 😂😂😂

I know , all these experiences had happened eons ago but the beauty of the island as a whole back then was 2nd to none...I am extremely happy now I could say that I had been here in Boracay before the island was ruined by modern times. I was super lucky to experience its natural beauty before. Now I just rely to the beautiful sunset and white sand beach to soothe my soul.

My vacation means wearing my beaded jewelries of course aside from some I had bought from the beach vendors as souvenirs. 

Aside from laying and sun bathing by the beach leisurely during the day, I also tried different restaurants to have a taste of different drinks, food and what else is going on at night in Boracay when the sun is out. Lots of walking , lots of cafe hopping and lots of selfies too. So I made sure I got good flip flops to walk around with ... Ha ha ha 😜😝😂

I found my favorite Beef Carpaccio at 
GIUSEPPE Pizzeria  & Sicilian Roast Boracay near my hotel .... Yummy !

Enjoying a refreshing Iced Lemon Tea at :

Refreshing Fruit Juices from  :

A Cool glass of Virgin Colada at Nigi Nigi Bar  after lunch ... why not ! 

Then my Nachos dinner at OM Boracay ...

OM is the place to be to party in Boracay. 
Live band and spaceous place to dance the night away !

Unfortunately, I forgot the name of this beautiful restaurant 
It's located on a second floor facing the beach  ... 
ah ok, I found it ! It's called : 

I really like this place for its cozy ambience and nice bamboo & rattan settings !
Nicely decorated with natural handcrafted materials. 
Big kudos to the interior decorator !!!


Oh well maybe I would need to go back there again next year to enjoy the place even more . 
But For now, I would need to save again for this holiday. 
Haaiizzztttt !



Sunday, November 20, 2022

Hong Kong ... November 2022

November 20, 2022 ~  My trip to Hongkong to visit the Megashow was indeed challenging . A bit problematic due to the on going Covid 19 health restrictions so not too many tourist were willing to visit the event.  I would say it wasn't a hassle coming into HK coz I got my antigen result handy for inspection at all times. My real problems came once I was already out of the airport.

As a foreigner, I have to do a daily swab in my hotel room with a confirmed negative result  and no fever at all for 4 straight days. results to be submited to the health authorities before going out of the hotel room.

 Even Getting a mandatory PCR test on the 2nd day  of arrival in their respective health centers even offered for free was such a hassle too. I walked from my hotel to the health center for about 45 mins per trip following google map rather than taking a taxi. Lucky there was a park  in Causeway Bay  { Victoria Park ) along the way so I just walked as if I was sight seeing in the said area. It was very tiring in the heat of the sun. So the trees  in the park was very helpful in cooling me down since I  was wearing a mask outside which was also mandatory. 

The park views did great for my pic taking as a tourist though. 👍👍👍

Being able to save money by not taking a taxi, I was able to have more funds for my shopping in Causeway Bay. Happy shopper on the loose ... LOL!

During all these days of tests with totally negative results, I was still banned from entering all kinds of restaurants , bars & public indoor events. Lucky the Megashow event at the exhibition center was an exception.  I was able to enter the venue at the Hongkong Convention & Exhibition  Center in Wanchai for 2 days without any restrictions at all. 

Thank God !

But I was saddened to see that not too many visitors came to participate in the event especially those from overseas. I guess I was just one of the very few from abroad who was eager to see the event then.  😕😒

Nevertheless, I enjoyed my 2 days of seeing what they had in the Megashow. At least it gave me an idea if I should go or not for next time. 

Back to my major problem , I had a hard time looking for a place to sit down & eat a decent meal during my stay in HK ~ anywhere around Wanchai where my hotel was located.
Even my hotel won't take me in their restaurants. I could only ask for room service food but I prefer not to eat in my room coz I don't want to make the room stink from leftovers or dirty dishes sitting in there , Oh no no no !  

So I ended up roaming the streets of Hongkong instead. 

 Bravely taking the MTR ( Mass Transit Railway ) crossing back n forth  from Tsim Shat Tsui to  Kowloon & vice versa on my own . It was my very first time to use the subway on my own after so many years of my travels to Hongkong. I realized It was fun ... but the long walks underground is not for the weaklings. Lucky I got rubber shoes on . There was a lot of walking and going up and down escalators ! Although great for those looking to shed some pounds . That's me LOL !

I had been walking around,  day & night just to find places offering take away food during my stay in Hong Kong.  

Lucky I didn't need to walk too far on my 1st  night of arrival coz I  found some bakeries selling good bread with fillings enough for my hunger  just a block away from my hotel. Very cheap but good stuffs ... and coffee / tea were available in my room. I just needed to pass any 7 Eleven  to buy some cold drinks to put in my little room fridge. 👏👏👏


  I even managed to find fruit stalls , take away dimsum and warm food in unexpected areas while I was wandering in Kowloon after taking the MTR the next day . 😁😂

While navigating other places everyday, I enjoyed some night time sceneries of  Hong Kong as well. The lighted  buildings, streets and  sea were a sight to behold . So so beautiful !

Night time was ok to walk around in well lighted places on my own as long as in earlier times. I don't walk around when it was very late. I prefer to keep safe by being back to the hotel by 9pm and walking home where most people walk as well.

 But one day, I even ended up in a scary neighborhood somewhere past Kowloon  during the day time.  I noticed police officers in uniforms watching me walk in the narrow, unfamiliar streets too. I have no idea I was already gettimg into unwanted places & for an obvious solo female tourist like me  , these places were considered " Don't Go there " kind of areas.  Thanks to these 2 police guys for watching over me as I stroll around not really knowing the dangers I could be in until I noticed their presence and asked myself why they had been following me for quite sometime. Then I got the hint when I saw  local street guys smoking along the streets staring at me from head to toe. Uh oh .... time to head back to the train station then. no need to walk even further forward!
Note : lucky it was broad daylight when I was wandering out there too and found out I had gone too far that there were no more shops around but residential areas. Very spooky places with suspicious looking people indeed !

Now I had experienced seeing the outskirts of Hongkong!
But still, I walked a lot and got my wandering self into the subway trains to navigate more places everyday. Luckily I found some beads / craft shops in Sham Shui Po. I found all sorts of things out there. Beads, threads, wires, metal findings, textiles, laces, silks, etc. I just bought some metal findings I can't find in Singapore and few items where the price is cheaper compared to what I buy in Singapore beadshops. 

Aside from these beadshops in Sham Shui Po, I even managed to visit their Jade Market located in Jordan, Hongkong which is also just a few train stations away. I just took the MTR to transfer to the area. Riding the train was so fun and economical rather than taking a taxi in Hongkong. I had saved a lot on travel fares .... hurrraaayyyy ! I got more shopping money then ... ha ha ha 😂😂😂

I was so happy to find souvenir items for myself on this trip. I got hold of some Pixiu to add to my personal Crystal  Pixiu collection while I was in the Jade market. The Fuchsia colored agate pair of Pixiu caught my eye immediately due to its unique and eye catching color. I had never seen anything like this pair in Singapore or anywhere else. not even in Philippines too. They were so unique .... but pricey of course !

Still, despite of the over price, since I like the Pixiu, I bought them !
Crazy me ! 😀😍😆

I also found some other nice souvenir items in the Jade market but I didn't buy anymore coz so many of the sellers were so unfriendly  and not willing to bargain for a reasonable price. Prices had rocketed after knowing I'm a tourist so I just left and I guess it would be my 1st & last to visit the place.  Sorry but true ... I know most of the prices and value of most of their items coz I am exposed to jewelry exhibitions. So no way Jose I would buy more items for such prices which I know I can easily find cheaper in Instagram live selling platforms. the Pixiu items were more than enough for the shopping that day. 

The Cinnabars and bangles below were also beautiful but never mind ... I don't need them anyways. I was happy and contented with my Pixius in my bag 😍😍😍

I also found oyIer 

Anyway, it was a shopping experience I could share to all of you in case you are planning to go and visit the Jade Market in Hongkong. Always be aware of the items they sell. Scout around first before buying anything. Although there are still other vendors you can trust like the old lady I bought my Pixiu from , She had been very accommodating, super patient with me , was very helpful and nice .

Always remember , Walk away immediately if they are way too unfriendly and pushy. 

Rule of Thumb :
If unfriendly, walk away fast !