Hotel Review: Aries Hotel

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Breakfast @ Aries Hotel
Breakfast @ Aries Hotel

Room Type: Standard (includes breakfast)
Nights: 1
Total / Room Charge: USD 24.38 (PHP 1,060.35)
Booked via Agoda

Room Type: Superior (includes breakfast)
Nights: 1
Total / Room Charge: USD 29.55 (PHP 1,278.61)
Booked via Agoda

Address:  7/9 Nguyen Trai District 1 – Ben Thanh Market/Ho Chi Minh City/Vietnam

PROS:
– both standard and superior rooms are well maintained; of course superior room is much bigger
– the morning shift attendants are friendlier and have initiative to offer maps, and discuss other things that we can do in the city
– you can book Mekong tours through the hotel
– a bit centrally located so it’s easy for us to go back to the hotel and rest for a while after touring the city or leave stuff after some shopping

CONS:
– hard to locate because it is not just along the street
– you have to go into an alley going to the hotel
– the night shift attendants are not so friendly
– the cooks/food servers hardly speak English so you really have to do your homework of learning a bit of the local language

If I ever go back to HCM, I’ll most likely try out a different hotel. 🙂

Hotel Review: Monsoon Hotel

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Monsoon Hotel Reception
Monsoon Hotel Reception
Monsoon Hotel Bar/Reception
Monsoon Hotel Bar/Reception
Monsoon Hotel - Deluxe Double
Monsoon Hotel – Deluxe Double
Monsoon Hotel - Deluxe Double - T&B
Monsoon Hotel – Deluxe Double – T&B

Room Type: Deluxe Double (includes breakfast)
Nights: 1
Total / Room Charge: USD 39.00 (PHP 1,594.76)
Booked via Agoda

TIP: I used Facebook (as usual) to communicate with Monsoon Hotel, and Leakhena (one of the owners) is very prompt and friendly in responding to every message I sent which, I really appreciate.

We came from a morning bus ride from SR, and hired a tuktuk from the bus terminal to the hotel. We were welcomed by 2 friendly staffs with all smiles and refreshing drinks.

PROS:
– Very courteous, attentive, and knows how to communicate well in English. (I hope I was able to meet Leakhena to thank her personally)
— They were the ones who contacted our shuttle service for the bus trip to HCM
– It’s not that cheap (1 night in Monsoon > 2 nights in Bou Savy) but, okay, considering it’s in the capital of Cambodia, I’ll say the price is a bit fair
– Room is neat and clean and I really like the ambiance. The hotel is well maintained.
— The Bed — it’s so comforting that I almost want to take a sleep
— Bathroom: Very clean, and everything looks new. I actually like the design.
– Free fast wi-fi internet connection.

CONS:
– They only serve breakfast 😦 Luckiy, there’s a lot of restaurants along the street.

I would like to stay longer, but because of the tight schedule, this will definitely be on top of my list if ever I go back to PP.

Hotel Review: Bou Savy Guest House

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Room Type: Double Air Conditioning (includes breakfast and unlimited bottled water)

Nights: 2 + 1 (we made two bookings because we had changes in our itinerary)
Total / Room Charge: USD 54.00
1st-2nd nights: USD 36.00 (PHP 1,521.43)
3rd night: USD 18.00 (PHP 780.91)
Booked via Agoda

TIP: I used Facebook to communicate with Bou Savy – I was able to confirm that they will fetch us from the airport via FB. That’s the only question out of a few I asked them that they responded to.

Right when we stepped out of the airport door, we saw 2 men holding Bou Savy signage. When I got closer, I finally saw my name and instantly one of the men approached me and assisted us to the parking area where the TukTuk is waiting. 🙂

PROS:
– Accessible from the airport and other tourist spots (e.g. Cambodian Cultural Center)
– Very courteous and attentive staffs!
– Very affordable – this is the cheapest out of the 3 hotels we had on this trip
– Room is neat and clean and very spacious just for 2
— Room Type: Double has 2 double sized beds
— Bathroom: Clean and spacious as well (had a hard time locking its door though)
– Free fast wi-fi internet connection. I believe each floor has its own router, so you’re connected everywhere you go in the guest house. 🙂
– Bike Rental (USD 2.00/day)

CONS:
– Dinner is served until 9pm (or 10pm?) only. – We arrived a bit late so we had to go to a nearby eatery

That’s the only not so positive that I can think of. After all. we got the accommodation that is just right for the price we paid.

SORRY! I was not able to take pictures of our room because I was too tired and hungry to take one (travelling straight from work isn’t the best idea). I’ll just point you to pictures from google that is similar to what we had, like I’ve said what you see in the pictures is what you’ll get:




Cambodia, Vietnam – you’re next!

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I know it’s premature but I’m already excited. I’m booked and I’m flying solo again next year!

There’s always something to look forward to.

Thunderbird Resort, Poro Point, San Fernando, La Union

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The first stop in our northern Luzon trip was Thunderbird Resort in Poro Point, San Fernando La Union. It was probably a 5-hour trip from Cubao going to the resort. (4 hour bus ride via Partas Bus – deluxe to San Fernando, and then just a short tricycle ride going to the resort )

We got their Day Tour package only 🙂
Rate: Adults (13 years old and above) – 1,000 (PhP) per head – Inclusive of** Use of swimming pool facilities; PhP 750 consumable food and drinks. The food are a bit pricey though.

We stayed just until lunch time because of our ‘hectic’ schedule if you see our itinerary. But given the chance I’d love to stay there the whole day.

It wasn’t as great as I expected it to be (the way it was promoted in tv shows and movie), but fair enough everything is awesome except for the snack we ordered that was brought to us after about 40mins. (it was so late that we ended up taking shower first).

Going back to town proper/Partas bus terminal, we availed their shuttle service (Avanza) for P300.00

Thunderbird1

Thunderbird2

Thunderbird4Thunderbird3 Thunderbird5 Thunderbird6 Thunderbird7

La Union – Ilocos Norte – Ilocos Sur 3-Day Trip Itinerary

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Sharing our super tight itinerary for our northern Luzon adventure. 🙂

Day

Activity Time Amount
Day 1 Cubao (Partas Terminal – Deluxe Type Bus) to San Fernando, La Union 10:30pm – 2:30am 475.00/pax
  Stayed at Plaza Hotel just to sleep (2 single beds/room with fan; common toilet and bath (1 for male, 1 for female)) I won’t really recommend this hotel. 2:45am – 8:00am 500.00/room
  Tricycle from plaza to Thunderbird Resorts Driver made us decide how much we’ll pay. 8:00am – 8:20am 100.00/4pax
  Day Trip at Thunderbird Resorts, Poro Point (1000.00/pax ; 750.00 consumable; we availed buffet breakfast 680.00) 8:30am – 1:00pm 1000.00/pax
  Thunderbird Resorts to Partas Terminal (few blocks away from town plaza) via Thunderbird Resorts shuttle (Avanza) 1:00pm – 1:20pm 300.00/trip
  Bus (Partas) ride from San Fernando, La Union to Laoag town proper 2:45pm – 8:45pm 356.00/pax
  Bus (GMW) ride from Laoag to Gaoa 9:30pm – 11:30pm 132.00/pax
  Tricycle ride from Gaoa Hi-way to Kapuluan Vista Resort, Pagudpud (Called Kapuluan Vista Resort upon leaving Laoag to contact a tricycle driver to fetch us) 11:30pm – 11:45pm 100.00/trip
  Check-in at Kapuluan Vista Resort (Dorm-type room : 2 single beds + fan; common toilet and bath (1 for male, 1 for female); inclusive of breakfast)  11:45pm 1300.00/room
Day 2 Breakfast (included in the room rate) 7:45am – 8:30am —-
  Blue Lagoon (15 minute walk from Kapuluan Vista Resort) 9:00am-10:00am —-
  Pagudpud Tour 1(Avanza)

  • -Bantay Abot Cave
  • -Patapat Bridge
  • -Paraiso ni Anton
  • -Kabigan Falls (entrance fee: 20.00 + tour guide fee: 100.00)
  • -Saud Beach (we had lunch at Emohruo resort : 780.00)

We were supposed to go Pagudpud town proper, but we opted not to because it’s getting late

10:45am-3:30pm 2000.00/trip
  Check-out from Kapuluan Vista Resort: Availed Laoag Drop-off (Avanza) to Partas bus terminal with tour

  • -Bangui Windmill
  • -Cape Bojeador (Burgos) Lighthouse
4:30pm – 7:00pm 2500.00/trip
  Bus (Partas) ride from Laoag to Vigan 7:30pm – 9:35pm  
  Tricycle ride from Partas terminal to Grandpa’s Inn 9:30pm – 9:45pm 50.00/trip
  Check-in at Grandpa’s Inn (Calesa Room: 2 single and 1 double beds with private toilet and bath, air-con, ref, cabled LCD TV and inclusive of breakfast)  9:45pm 650.00/pax
  Dinner at Café Uno/Kusina Felecitas in Grandpa’s Inn 10:00pm – 11:00pm  
  Walked around Calle Crisologo 11:00pm – 12:00am —-
Day 3 Breakfast at Grandpa’s Inn (included in room rate) 7:30am – 8:30am —-
  Vigan KalesaTour: (150.00/hour)

  • -Padre Burgos House (National Museum)
  • -Syquia Mansion
  • -Crisologo Museum
  • -Bell Tower and San Agustine Church
  • -Hidden Garden
  • -Burnayan Factory
  • -Baluarte
8:40am – 11:40am 450.00
  Merienda + Pasalubong time 12:00pm – 1:40pm —-
  Check-out from Grandpa’s Inn (we had to pay an extra charge because of exceeding chek-out time) 2:00pm 150.00/hour
  Tricycle ride from Grandpa’s Inn to Partas Terminal 2:00pm – 2:15om 50.00/trip
  Bus (Partas – regular) ride from Vigan to Partas Pasay Terminal (yes! it’s 10 hours!) 2:30pm – 12:45am 661.00/pax
       

Isdaan, Gerona, Tarlac

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