When we think about staycation, one of the places that pops into our mind is Tagaytay. Just like in Baguio, it also has a cool climate and picturesque view. That’s why it’s the best place… More
Traveling to another country is always a surreal experience to everyone. You can see new places and experience new things which you’ve never seen and done in your own country. Fortunately, Benji and I were finally able to experience that, too. Because last September, we traveled abroad for the first time and the first country we visited is Macau.
At first, we only planned to visit Hong Kong. However, we booked via Cebu Pacific’s promo and the cheapest fare we got is to fly to Macau. I know it’s very near to Hong Kong so I didn’t hesitate to book it. I’ll do a separate blog about Hong Kong so please wait for it. Please note that this blog isn’t fully a travel guide. It’s about our trip.
Macau is special administrative region of China and it’s a 2-hour ride from the Philippines by air. This region is famous for its huge casinos, luxury hotels, spectacular architectures and Western cultural heritage tourism. It’s a small country but you can definitely do a lot of things here. No doubt many people from all over the country love going to Macau.
Macau Masters Hotel
There are many hotels in Macau but most of them are luxurious. You can only find few budget hotels. The cheapest hotel we found during our trip is Macau Masters Hotel. We booked it via Traveloka for Php 2,600 per night. I like this hotel because it’s very near to Senado Square, Ruins of St. Paul, restaurants, and other tourist spots in Macau. The bus stop is just in front of the hotel, too. You can also leave your luggage at their front desk even after checking out.
Check in time is at 3:00 PM but you can also check in late. We arrived there at 12 midnight and we didn’t have a hard time checking in.
How to get there: From Macau International Airport, take MT4 bus or bus 26A and get off at Rua das Lorchas bus stop.
Fare: 6 MOP/person
A Walk From Senado Square to Mount Fortress
We only have 1 day to explore Macau because we had to go to Hong Kong at 4:00 PM so we only visited few places and one of them is Senado Square.
Senado Square (Largo do Senado) is a must-visit in Macau for every tourists. This is a public square and a part of UNESCO Historic Center of Macau World Heritage Site.
We were there at around 9:30 AM and there were still only few people when we got there. It’s also Mid-Autumn Festival at that time that’s why there were many decorations around the square. The square is simple but surrounded by beautiful buildings which are perfect example of Portuguese architecture. The wave-patterned mosaic ground makes this square more beautiful, too.
While walking in Senado Square, you’ll see lots of shopping centers, restaurants and food stalls. Some stores were still closed when we arrived there but after we went back from the Ruins of St. Paul’s, the street became crowded and all stores were already opened. We didn’t have breakfast in the hotel so we bought the Michelin-recommended pepper meatball and it’s really good. I still can remember the taste while writing this blog.
At the end of the paved road, you can see the yellow-painted St. Dominic’s Church (Sto. Domingo Church). Of course, we had to take some pictures in front of it. Unfortunately, we couldn’t go inside because it was closed.
After taking some few photos, we walked to north of the church and there we found the most famous landmark in Macau, Ruins of St. Paul’s (Ruínas de S. Paulo). This was once the biggest Catholic church in Asia but it was destroyed by fire in 1835 leaving only its wonderful facade.
There were already hundreds of people when we arrived there. The weather was sunny and hot but me, Benji and all other tourists didn’t mind the heat.
Our last stop was in Mount Fortress (Fortaleza do Monte). This is the historical military centre of Macau. The fort was built between 1617 and 1626 located directly east of the Ruins of St. Paul’s. If you want to see the stunning view of the city, this is one of the best place to visit because this fort was built on top of Mount Hill which is 52 meters above sea level.
We were so thirsty and hungry after we finished exploring these wonderful places. So we went back to Senado Square and bought fruit tea. We also decided to have lunch since it’s already 11:00 AM. After lunch, we went back to the hotel to check out.
After checking out, we finally headed to Macau Tower (Torre de Macau). We took the wrong bus at first but luckily there were Filipinos on the bus and they willingly helped us take the correct bus.
Do not forget to go to Macau Tower whenever you’re in Macau because this place is one of the most important landmark of the city. The 338-metre tall tower was opened in 2001. It has an observation deck which offers a panoramic view of Macau.
You can also try exciting activities here such as bungee jumping, skywalk, skyjump and tower climb. If you want to try these activities, you can buy discounted tickets via Klook. This is where we bought our tickets but we only used the observation lounge on level 58 because we had limited budget and I couldn’t do those activities either because of my heart condition. Still, just looking at the city’s skyline is fascinating. The panoramic view of Macau Peninsula and Taipa, Coloane Islands and even the outlying island of Hong Kong is breathtaking.
How to get there: Take bus numbers 5, 9A, 18B, 18, 23, 26, 32, 73, or N2
Fare: 6 MOP
There’s also free shuttle bus between Studio City, Macau Ferry Terminal, Altira, Macau city centre, Taipa city centre and MGM Cotai
The Grand Canal Shoppes at the Venetian Macau
Who wouldn’t miss going to the Venetian Macau especially the Grand Canal Shoppe? This is an upscale shopping mall inside The Venetian Hotel & Casino. It has indoor canals, where you can ride and relax on a traditional gondola boat. It may not be Italy, but you can try out this very Italian experience within the Venetian Hotel.
We went here on the 3rd day as our last destination for our trip before we fly back to the Philippines. This place is insane! It’s inside the hotel but you can enter for free. The moment we entered this hotel, we couldn’t help but drop our jaw because the interior of the hotel is so elegant. We felt like we’re inside a castle.
When we reached the Grand Canal on the 3rd floor, we were surprised with the artificial blue sky ceiling. It was 9:30 PM at that time but because of the ceiling, we thought we’re walking outdoors in daylight. The canal looks fascinating, too. I love how they make the whole environment like Venice, Italy.
If you still have a lot of budget, then you might want to go shopping here, too. Just remember that you won’t find cheap products here because most of the stores sell luxury brands.
Since we’re already on our way home, of course we had to buy egg tart for pasalubong. Lord Stow’s Bakery & Café is home to the original egg tart and luckily they have a branch here in the Venetian. They are baked fresh daily on site and are considered, by many, to be the original and the best. For only 60 MOP, you can already buy 6pcs of egg tarts.
We only had a day tour here and we regret not spending even one night. All of the major hotels here are really magnificent and I hope we’re able to go hotel-hopping. We will come back here and we’ll definitely try to explore Macau more.
How was your trip to Macau? Share your thoughts below!
Beach, unicorn, rainbow & pink!
These are just few of my favorite things and who would have thought that Benji and I would be able to see all of these in one place! All we need to do is visit INFLATABLE ISLAND: the biggest floating playground in ASIA!
Inflatable Island is located in Subic Bay Waters, Olongapo City, Zambales and it is currently considered as the biggest inflatable playground in Asia. Its size is over 4, 100 sqm! It’s like 8 basketball courts put together side by side. Here you can try fun and exciting obstacles such as human launchers, swings, slides, bouncy trampolines and so much more! To make it more exciting, a new playground has been added early this year which is the Giant Unicorn Island!
The Giant Unicorn Island
This Unicorn Island is so cute and colorful. It’s like candy to my eyes. You can’t help but take pictures the moment you see it.
This new playground features a rainbow walk, a climbing wall, huge and cute slides (because they’re all pink!) and a lot more!
There are also floaters like the pink flamingo and unicorn that you can ride anytime.
Time is really fast here! You can’t help but try all of the activities because every single activities are very challenging but super fun. You will fall in the water most of the time but you don’t have to worry because there are lifeguards who will guide and help you. And if you’re not a good swimmer or can’t swim at all, that won’t be a problem, too. Because you’re required to wear life vest before you enter the inflatable playground. Don’t forget to wear proper swimming attire. If you’re tired and want to rest for a bit, you can go and rest in their Pink Bali Lounge.
The Pink Bali Lounge
I really love this place! Everything is so pink and pastel and Benji loved it, too! This Bali-inspired lounge is so captivating and I almost fell asleep because it’s very relaxing. You can just sit and stay under the pink umbrella while looking at the beach and drinking your favorite iced tea or fruit shake. Of course, we had to take some pictures because this lounge is Instagram-worthy. Just don’t forget to put sunscreen because it’s scorching hot especially in the afternoon. Please note that the Bali lounge is first-come-first-serve basis because the space is limited. If you can’t stand the heat anymore they have this kind of food court just behind the Bali lounge. You can just sit there while waiting for the sun to set or eat when you feel like you’re already starving.
The food is okay. They sell different kind of food such as grilled, rice meals, snacks, drinks, etc. It’s just a bit pricey so make sure to bring extra pocket money. Their service was a bit slow, too. The food was served to us after more than 15 minutes that’s why we couldn’t enjoy the food since we were already hangry. I was disappointed because their signature iced tea wasn’t available, too. Overall, it was still good.
How to Book a Ticket
You may book a ticket via online. Just go to https://www.theinflatableisland.com or you can just go there and buy on-the-spot. But it’s better if you will book online since you can get a 10% discount.
The packages are as seen below:
We chose the “soaked pass” since we really wanted to enjoy our stay there. But “spray pass” is in my opinion a better choice since doing all of the activities can be tiring. I swear our muscles were very sore the day after and we had a hard time moving our bodies for a few days.
Make sure to arrive 30 minutes early for the sign-in process and for the orientation.
Did We Have A Great Time?
Absolutely! Even though our muscles got really sore, we will not hesitate to go back here again. It even rained heavily in the afternoon and we felt like we went back to childhood because we were having fun playing in the rain. It was extremely fun and the experience we had was truly unique. This place isn’t only an eye candy but magical.
So what are you waiting for? Make this your next travel goal with your fam or friends this summer 2019!
How to Get to Inflatable Island
- Take a bus for OLONGAPO CITY from Victory Liner Terminal (Pasay/Cubao/Caloocan). After exiting from the Victory Liner Terminal of Olongapo, look for the BLUE JEEP TERMINAL located near Chowking Restaurant, around the Ulo ng Apo. Ride the Jeep and tell driver to drop you in Halfmoon Beach and you’ll be able to see signs for Inflatable Island PH. Bus rates range from: Php 194 – 245 per person.
Via Private Cars
- From Manila, take NLEX-SCTEX until you see the exit to Subic. Once you do, take the Subic exit. Once you get inside Subic Bay Freeport Zone, take a right to RIZAL HIGHWAY. Go straight until you see the second stoplight (STAY TO THE LEFT). You will be turning left in BURGOS STREET (beside REMY FIELD). Then go RIGHT TO CANAL ROAD. Keep following the road until you reach DEWEY AVENUE, and then exit to the KALAKLAN GATE (way to Zambales).
- Afterwards, turn LEFT TO Olongapo-Bunggalon Road/RH National Highway and keep straight until you see SAMBA BLUEWATER RESORT where you’ll find the entrance to INFLATABLE ISLAND PH.
- Please note that we can be found in Waze or Google Maps by searching “Inflatable Island”. However, entry is in Samba Bluewater Resort.
0917 150 1103 / 0917 835 2665
Have you been here? Or would you like to go here? Share your thoughts and opinions below!!
It’s my first time to go to Zambales and I’m glad that we chose Nagsasa Cove as our destination. We went here last January 13 and for the first time, Benji and I traveled together with our friends.
Nagsasa Cove is located in San Antonio, Zambales. People say that the place used to be rocky but when Mt. Pinatubo had erupted, the volcanic ashes fell on Nagsasa Cove and its neighboring islands which made the place a magnificent ash-gray beach.
We searched for a package on facebook and we chose McTrail Travel & Tours. I don’t regret choosing them because they made our tour smooth and relaxing. For just Php 1,499/pax you can enjoy 2 days and 1 night tour to Nagsasa Cove.
San Antonio Public Market
Before going to Pundaquit Port, we stopped here first to have our last minute shopping. If you want to cook your own meal during your stay in Nagsasa Cove, it’s better to buy all you need here. There are sari-sari stores on the island but the prices are quite expensive so it’s advisable to buy everything here because they are cheaper. We arrived at around 5AM and almost all tourists buy their food in this market.
We arrived in the port during sunrise and many people were already waiting for their boats. It was quite scary to ride on the boat because the waves were so big and strong. But the boatmen as well as the staff of McTrail made sure that it’s safe and there’s nothing to worry about.
Part of our tour was island hopping to Capones Island and Anawangin Cove. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to hop on Capones Island because as I mentioned above, the waves were huge and strong so it was hard for the boatman to anchor the boat. That’s why we just decided to go straight to Anawangin Cove.
Anawangin Cove is similar to Nagsasa Cove. The only difference is that there were more people in Anawangin than in Nagsasa. They said it’s because the said cove is easier to visit and it’s nearer to the port. Anawangin is just 20 minutes boat ride from the port while Nagsasa takes 1 hour boat ride. But still, Anawangin Cove has it’s own beauty. I loved its rainforest. I felt like I entered a magical place when I saw it.
The moment I stepped on this beach, I already fell in love with it. The sand is so smooth, there aren’t any corals and rocks, there aren’t any seaweeds, too. All I could see is a clear bluish-green ocean. There were many people but it wasn’t overcrowded that’s why I could still feel its serenity.
Our camp site’s name is Kamp Wagi and I loved it. This camp site is for people who made an early reservation only. The cottages are limited that’s why they don’t allow walk-ins. I think there are only 5 cottages and the space for building tents is wide. And since it’s very spacious, we felt like we’re the only people on that site.
There are shower rooms and toilets on each camp sites so you don’t need to worry where you’re going to change clothes or when nature is calling you 😀
Everybody loves swimming and we definitely love it, too. After having our lunch and taking a nap, we decided to swim at the cove’s clear and calm waters.
One of the activities that you can do here is trekking. We planned to go trekking to Nagsasa Falls at 5AM the next day but we woke up so late. I think we woke up at 6AM. Lol! They said it’s 1 hour trekking so we didn’t have much time to do that. Fortunately, there’s still a place where we could go trekking. It’s near the beach and it will only take 10-15 minutes to go to the top.
Going there is very easy. I think it’s perfect for first timer like us. Just prepare 10php for the entrance fee and 50php for your guide.
While trekking, we could already see the wonderful shoreline of Nagsasa. If you want to see the stunning view of the cove, this is the best activity that you can do.
The best thing I love to do whenever I’m on the beach is to wait for the sunset. The sunset here in Nagsasa is spectacular. We just couldn’t help but appreciate its beauty. But of course, we didn’t forget to take pictures, too.
Night time was definitely one of my favourites when I was there. We set up a bonfire near the ocean. It was so windy and chilly that’s why setting up a bonfire was perfect. There were many stars in the sky, too. We toasted marshmallow, drank soju and we were just talking, dancing and laughing. The experience was surreal! That was the happiest night for me. I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything.
Things to bring to Nagsasa Cove
- Portable lamp/flashlight: There’s no electricity here so make sure to bring one because you will need this especially at night.
- Power bank: You may need to charge your mobile phones, or any other gadgets. Just remember that there’s no mobile signal at the area, too.
- Tent: This is the common accommodation but bringing tent is optional only. If you availed a package, they definitely have a tent for you. But if you’re just a walk in, make sure that you have this with you.
- Blanket/pillow: A light one will be okay. Don’t bring something big or heavy so that you won’t have a hard time putting it in your bag or carrying it.
- Spoon/fork/plates/cups: It’s better if you will buy paper plates and paper cups instead of plastic ones. It’s the best for our environment.
- Food/snacks/water: Don’t bring too much food and make sure the food won’t spoil easily.
- Portable gas range: There is a cooking/grilling area but I’m not sure if walk ins can use it. Bring this just in case they won’t allow you to use the area.
- Charcoal (optional): You might want to grill something.
- Clothes: Bring enough clothes only. You may also want to bring a jacket or sweater to protect you from the cold especially at night.
- Trash bag: Don’t litter.
- Board/card games: There will be a time that you would get bored so it’s better to bring these to make your stay much more fun.
- Mosquito repellent
- Pocket money: For other expenses
3:00 AM: Departure from Dau Terminal
5:00 AM: Last minute shopping at San Antonio Public Market
6:30 AM: ETA to Pundaquit Port
7:00 AM: ETD for Island Hopping (Capones Island & Anawangin Cove)
10:00 AM: ETA to Nagsasa Cove
12:00 PM: Lunch
1:00 PM: Free Time (Nap time, exploring the cove, photoshoots, swimming)
5:30 PM: Watching the sunset
7:00 PM: Dinner
8:00 PM: Free time (Bonfire, Stargazing, Party)
6:30 AM: Breakfast
7:30 AM: Trekking to Nagsasa hilltop
8:30 AM: Swimming again
9:00 AM: Pack up & Get ready for departure
10:00 AM: ETD to Pundaquit Port
11:00 AM: ETA Port; Shower and change clothes
12:00 PM: ETD from the port
1:00 PM: Lunch; Side trip to Duty Free-Subic
3:00 PM: ETD to Dau Terminal
4:00 PM ETA Dau Terminal
Our stay at Nagsasa Cove was fabulous! It’s more than we could’ve ever expected. Every moment of our stay was meaningful, superb and memorable. Would 100% recommend this place to everyone and I also highly recommend McTrail Travel & Tours. Their package is affordable and their staffs are accommodating.
Facebook: McTrail Travel & Tours
So what do you think about Nagsasa Cove? Share your thoughts below! 🙂
We love going to the beach and we always wanted to try beach camping. However, Benji and I don’t know how to build a tent 😦 So when we found out that there’s a place in Calatagan, Batangas where we can have a stress-free camping, we didn’t hesitate to try it; GLAMPING!
Glamping is definitely camping that is more luxurious and comfortable. You don’t need to build your tent and all of the things you need are already provided. You can eat, sleep and bath without any worries, too. Casa Antonio Glamping is one of these places and we had an amazing glamping experience a week ago.
Please don’t expect too much with the look of the resort because Casa Antonio isn’t as magnificent as the other resorts. However, if you want a place with peace, tranquility and relaxation, Casa Antonio is the right place for you. You can enjoy the place almost by yourselves.
CASA ANTONIO’S BEACH
The beach isn’t as clear and blue just like the other beaches but as I’ve mentioned above, we really love going to the beach that’s why seeing Casa Antonio’s beach still made our hearts happy. And if you’re a beach lover just like us, you would feel the same way, too.
The sand isn’t that white but I really love its color. You can see lots of corals and rocks however, it didn’t become a hindrance for us to enjoy its beauty. We didn’t hesitate to swim even though there are rocks everywhere.
HOW’S THE TENT?
Our tent is just enough for the two of us but if you’re going with your family or with your friends, there are tents that are bigger, too. When we first saw our tent, we thought that we wouldn’t fit in since Benji is quite tall and we brought a lot of things. But we’re wrong because the tent is so spacious!
You don’t need to worry when it’s hot because they’ve already put an electric fan and if you need to recharge your phone, camera, etc., no worries because you can do it inside your tent!
It’s so comfortable inside and we slept like a log! Hearing the sounds of the waves crashing down while sleeping was music to our ears.
Our view inside the tent.
The Resort Staff
The staff are all friendly and we were greeted with a warm smile. They are polite, accommodating and if you need something, they will do it happily for you.
I loved it! The food was so delicious and they served three kinds of food each meal. We almost couldn’t finish them all because the serving amount was plenty!
Breakfast: 3in1 coffee, rice, chorizo, egg, gourmet tuyo
Lunch: Daing na bangus, Pork Barbecue, lomi, rice
Dinner: Chicken inasal, Sweet & sour fish, Pork sinigang, rice
You can also bring your own food and bringing liqour is not a problem. Just make sure you drink responsibly and try not to make too much noise so you won’t bother the other guests. Remember that people go there to relax and enjoy the serenity of the place. The staff goes to the market at around 6PM so if you want to buy something, you can ask them to buy it for you.
ACTIVITIES TO DO INSIDE CASA ANTONIO
Of course walking by the ocean and sleeping is not the only thing that you can do. Here are the activities that you can also enjoy:
Photo not mine.
SUP/Stand Up Paddle Board
We didn’t try SUP because both of us don’t know how to use it. Lol! But yes! You can do all of these activities in Casa Antonio.
I can say that our stay in Casa Antonio was so good. We were able to relax cozily. It was just so quiet and it reconnected us with nature. Hearing the sound of crickets at night, the waves of the ocean crashing down, raindrops falling on our tent and the sound of birds chirping in the morning made our glamping experience complete and surreal.
HOW TO GET TO CASA ANTONIO?
Going to Casa Antonio isn’t that hard. We travelled from Pampanga and we didn’t have a hard time finding the resort. Here are the instructions that they sent to us after we booked our accommodation:
Via Public Transportation:
From Coastal Mall
• From Coastal Mall Grand Terminal, ride a bus bound to Calatagan
◦ Travel Time: 3-4 hrs
◦ Fare: 180 PHP
• Drop off Calatagan Market
• Hire a tricycle to take you to Sta. Ana, Calatagan
◦ Fare: 200 PHP
From MRT Taft Station
• Near Kabayan Hotel, ride a van bound to Calatagan
◦ Travel Time: 3-4 hrs
◦ Fare: 200 PHP
• Drop off Calatagan Market
• Hire a tricycle to take you to Sta. Ana, Calatagan
◦ Fare: 200 PHP
Via Private Transportation:
• Waze: Key in Playa Calatagan or Stilts Resort in Waze. The resort is a few blocks after these resorts
Casa Antonio has a lot of packages to choose from. If you’re a solo traveller, couple, family or barkada traveller, they can provide it all for you! They also have promos so always check their facebook page: Casa Antonio Glamping