A Travellerspoint blog

Cebu, Phillipines

Way too quick of a trip!

sunny 85 °F

Arriving at the hotel at 3 am was when Amanda and I questioned if it was such a good idea to take a weekend trip to the Philippines.....but by the time we finished we decided this was a great place to travel, and coming another time would be a great idea....just longer.

We stayed at the Crimson Resort and Spa, about 20 minutes from the airport. Fabulous place. Right on a private beach and the greenery was fantastic.
http://www.crimsonhotel.com/mactan/
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The next morning I got up at 7 and let Amanda sleep until late while I had breakfast and walked on the beach. I caught a shuttle into town which took about an hour. It dropped me at a shopping mall where I took a taxi to the Cebu Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints. One of my goals is to attend every temple in every country that I travel to. It was fantastic to be back in the temple again. And what a beautiful temple it is.

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I waited for the hotel shuttle to come back and get me, but it didn't, so I did a little shopping at the mall and took a taxi back. The one hour drive only cost 8$ US. Things were so cheap here. I loved seeing the Jeepney transportation. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeepney
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We spent the rest of Saturday on the beach relaxing.
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Sunday before we went to the airport we were able to take advantage of the free snorkeling trip offered by the hotel. They had a boat that took us about 30 minutes across the ocean to a nice spot where the fish were plentiful and the water was so clear. IMG_0485.jpg90_IMG_0474.jpgIMG_0470.jpg
Amanda hadn't been before and was quite scared of trying it. The nice guide put her on a huge noodle with her life jacket and pulled her all around. He would even dive down and bring back star fish other sea creatures for her to hold. She didn't even get her hair wet!

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All in all, it was a great trip, and one that I want to repeat!

Posted by dianeski4 07:54 Archived in Philippines Comments (0)

Vietnam Cooking Class

From the market to the stomach! Can't get fresher than this!

sunny 88 °F

It's another quick weekend trip, this time to Vietnam. We left school a little bit early and took a shuttle into Singapore to catch a two hour flight to Da Nang, where we caught a shuttle to Hoi An, about 30 minutes away. We are staying at a place called the Library Hotel https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g298082-d1157801-r483997811-Vinh_Hung_Library_Hotel-Hoi_An_Quang_Nam_Province.html

When we got to the room it was totally full of mosquitos. Everywhere. We asked them to spray and then went off to get some. I think we got over sprayed and were coughing quite a bit. But it killed them!

Saturday morning we had a lovely breakfast with omelettes, bacon, breads and fresh fruit. I really appreciate bacon now after living in Malaysia with very little pork products.

Then it was off on a shuttle to a cooking class. There were 9 of us, from the US, Holand and Hong Kong. First they gave us shopping bags and we went to a huge outdoor market to buy the ingredients. Everything was so fresh looking. Even the meat didn't have any bad smells. So many beautiful fresh fruits and vegetables.
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We then boarded a boat for a ride down the river. It's hot here. Hotter than Malaysia. Then is was onto a smaller boat to a little compound next to a shrimp farm.

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Everyone had their own cooking station with a burner. The guide/driver/chef would show us how to cook something, and then we would go back and make it ourself. We started off with spring rolls. Then it was a Banh Xeo (rice crepe) , then Bun Bo Nam Bo (noodle salad), followed by Pho Bo Ha Noi (Soup) and topped off the fresh pineapple.
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Super fun and yummy!

The rest of the day includes a massage/pedi and shopping! Might not be hungry later!

Posted by dianeski4 00:41 Archived in Vietnam Comments (0)

Langkawi, Malaysia

Beach paradise

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Langkawi is on my list to visit again. This island is just 1.5 hours away by plane from Johor. Short 20 minute drive from home to the airport, and quick flight over to the Island.

You can rent a car for the weekend for about 50$. Just pick it up right there with little paperwork and hassle. Then you can drop it off right at the door of the airport. Just text them to meet you for the drop off. So easy. And it's a good idea to rent a car to get around the island. Super easy.

We came with the intent to run a 5K. It wasn't my idea....but I joined in for the experience. We had to go out to the https://www.berjayahotel.com/langkawi Berjaya Hotel to pick up our packets for the race. We ended up staying and swimming on their beach after. We met a mother and daughter from and ended up hanging out with them the rest of the trip. They were super nice.

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The race was really just a nature walk, after hiking in Alaska, this was nothing. But it was beautiful to see the scenery and end up on the beach where we swam and relaxed for the day.

We didn't stay at this beach resort, but I would recommend staying here. The private beach was amazing. We had their breakfast buffet and it was fantastic.

I stayed at the Aseania Hotel, and it was kind of old and run down. But since we were so busy and I really only slept there, it was fine. http://www.aseanialangkawiresort.com

On Sunday, (Since they didn't have the LDS church on the island) we went on the cable car. The steepest cable car ride on earth and takes visitors up 708m above sea level to Langkawi's second highest peak of Mt. Machinchang, where the view of the surrounding islands is simply breathtaking. http://www.panoramalangkawi.com It was still hot up there! LOL You can't get away from the heat.

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I traveled with a great groups of friends. So much fun to be with these kids. And people think they are my kids! I'll claim them.

Posted by dianeski4 06:37 Archived in Malaysia Comments (0)

Bangkok

Weekend Adventure

sunny 100 °F

It's easier to get to Bangkok than it is to get to Singapore! This is going to be our next easy get away for some western style fun. I don't know what I was expecting in Bangkok, but it's a modern city with lots to do and see. Clean, easy to get around, great food and a feeling of being home...almost.

Me on the river

Me on the river


We left Johor Bahru after work and headed to Senai Airport about 20 minutes away from the apartment. With a quick 2 hour flight we were in Bangkok. Getting through immigration was a snap. So quick. Then it was a taxi drive to our hotel. We stayed at the Chatrium Hotel Riverside. I'd highly recommend this hotel and will stay there the next time I come to Bangkok. http://www.chatrium.com/chatrium_hotel/default-en.html This hotel was fabulous! It was right on the river, and had a boat that would take you to the next dock to catch the train or other boats. And the breakfast buffet was outstanding. Everything you could want. Omelets, bacon and sausage (Pork) Waffles, french toast, fresh fruit of every kind, Asian breakfast like noodles, rice and meat, smoothies! Oh how I miss smoothies!
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After a night of rest we were off to visit some famous sights. First up a boat ride down the river to Wat Pho, a Buddhist Temple. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wat_Pho
We took a boat ride from the hotel down to the next dock, and then caught another boat farther down the river and a short walk to the Temple. I thought maybe we would be cooler here but it's as hot as Malaysia. LOL There was a festival going on in Thailand called Songkran, or called the Water Festival. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Songkran_(Thailand)
Everywhere we went there were huge water fights as people celebrated Spring and New Years. In the Temple there was plenty of water activities. A lot of water was poured over buddhas and the monk was blessing people with water. I watched for a while and noticed that as he used a wooden whisk type of thing he would get some people wetter than others. I went for a blessing and caught the eye of the monk on my way up....should have known something was up. I must have needed a bigger washing for my sins, cause he really got me. And the water was full of ice, so it was really cold...but refreshing. 90_IMG_9380.jpg90_IMG_9379.jpg90_IMG_9377.jpg90_IMG_9375.jpg

It was pretty awesome seeing the huge reclining Buddha and all the beautiful sights around the temple. So many unique statues and buildings.
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Sunday I made the trek to church. Caught an Uber. It was not easy to find the place and the driver wanted to just drop me off, but I told him I didn't want to be stranded so he stopped and asked someone for help and was able to get directions. And there it was! My wonderful church that I've been abel to find all over the world! The meeting was wonderful, being Easter that had some extra special music and talks. Loved the spirit I felt there. Before the meeting started I met a couple from California, and then I met a man from Eagle River, Alaska. I didn't know him, but I started naming people I knew from there and he knew everyone. He even pulled out photos of hunting with Jason Rampton. What a totally small world. IMG_9444.jpg

We spent some of our time visiting markets, including the largest market in the world. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chatuchak_Weekend_Market
The Chatuchak Market was incredible. One interesting thing I noticed was there was very little bargaining. The prices were fixed. And fairly cheap. I picked up some cute clothing items for about $6 each. And the coconut ice-cream is fabulous! We only had a few hours as we had a plane to catch. We are thinking another trip for Christmas presents will be coming up.
Want a job? They were advertising. 15$.....for the whole day! Tough life for people.
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I am grateful I'm able to travel and see new places. It opens my eyes to the very difficult lives that some people have. I don't know why I am so blessed, but I hope that I, in some small way, can give something back and help out where I can.

Posted by dianeski4 06:08 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

Kuala Lumpur

Memories of the capital of Malaysia

overcast 80 °F

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On the way back from Bali I was able to stay a couple of days in Kuala Lumpur, better known to locals as KL. Don't know why but they shorten some places. Johor Bahru is known as JB. Anyway....

One of the places I loved to visit was the KL Tower. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kuala_Lumpur_Tower
It was close enough from the hotel I could just walk there. Incredible views and lots of fun. And of course, wherever you go, there are things to buy......found some yummy chocolate covered almonds. LOL
Next to the tower was an upside house. Everything, including the house was upside down. For a couple of dollars it was a lot of fun.
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This city is a vibrant and busy place. The traffic is incredible. Glad that I could just use Uber and not have to deal with driving here. The airport is about an hour outside of the city. I didn't know that, and it makes for a more expensive place to visit when you have to travel that far.

There is a lot to do in this city. Most well known are the Twin Towers. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petronas_Towers
It's amazing and I suggest a tour. While there I observed window washers on the opposite tower of where I was washing windows. I can only imagine how long it would take to make it around the whole place. A never-ending job. But what a view you would have everyday!

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Batu Caves is another interesting place to visit. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Batu_Caves
There was a Hindu wedding going on and I loved seeing the beautiful and colorful clothing. Climbing the 272 steps was worth it. And watching the monkeys at the top was fun. I loved seeing all the different cultures in KL.
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The National Mosque and Islamic Museum was also interesting. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Mosque_of_Malaysia
In order to enter the mosque we had to wear head covering and robes.
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There were so many food options in KL. Street market shopping, Hop on Hop of busses and so many more things to see that I must plan another trip to this city.

Posted by dianeski4 01:35 Archived in Malaysia Comments (0)

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