Man Of Wanders http://www.manofwanders.com My Feet is my Ticket. My Memory is my Suitcase. The World is my Destination. Fri, 12 Jan 2018 10:18:59 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.2 https://i0.wp.com/www.manofwanders.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/cropped-20160527_235723.jpg?fit=32%2C32 Man Of Wanders http://www.manofwanders.com 32 32 112045080 Cozy Staycation in Xenia Hotel Clark http://www.manofwanders.com/philippines/xenia-hotel-clark/ http://www.manofwanders.com/philippines/xenia-hotel-clark/#comments Sun, 31 Dec 2017 15:23:45 +0000 http://www.manofwanders.com/?p=4100 We have always wanted to go out of town since we have not done any road trip and traveled over 100 kilometers for a while. To spoil and satisfy our itchy feet, we hit the road once again to Clark, Angeles in the province of Pampanga. Clark is a sprawling cosmopolitan metropolis which is 100 kilometers north of Manila and offers many places of interests, elegant hotels and wide spectrum of activities. Since this trip is almost unplanned, I only booked our hotel on the same day via TravelBook and I was lucky to avail a great deal for Xenia Hotel. Book for Cheap Hotels In Pampanga and Clark Xenia Hotel is nestled inside the Clark Freeport Zone and just few kilometers away from Clark North exit of Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway. It is approximately 2 hours away from Manila passing through the tollways of NLEX AND SCTEX (toll fee of PHP 248/USD 5 one-way). The hotel is a great starting point to explore the rest of Angeles City as it is near to the city’s shopping and entertainment destinations. The hotel’s check-in time is 2:00pm and we arrived there a bit late at 4:00pm as this trip just happened spontaneously. Parking in […]

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We have always wanted to go out of town since we have not done any road trip and traveled over 100 kilometers for a while. To spoil and satisfy our itchy feet, we hit the road once again to Clark, Angeles in the province of Pampanga. Clark is a sprawling cosmopolitan metropolis which is 100 kilometers north of Manila and offers many places of interests, elegant hotels and wide spectrum of activities. Since this trip is almost unplanned, I only booked our hotel on the same day via TravelBook and I was lucky to avail a great deal for Xenia Hotel.

Book for Cheap Hotels In Pampanga and Clark

Xenia Hotel is nestled inside the Clark Freeport Zone and just few kilometers away from Clark North exit of Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway. It is approximately 2 hours away from Manila passing through the tollways of NLEX AND SCTEX (toll fee of PHP 248/USD 5 one-way). The hotel is a great starting point to explore the rest of Angeles City as it is near to the city’s shopping and entertainment destinations.

The hotel’s check-in time is 2:00pm and we arrived there a bit late at 4:00pm as this trip just happened spontaneously. Parking in the hotel is not a problem at all as they have a huge basement parking. During check-in, we were greeted genuinely polite by their front desk staff who blends intuitively to their elegant lobby. The check-in went really fast and our room key was handed over to us in no time.

xenia hotel clark

Xenia Hotel’s elegant lobby

xenia hotel lobby

Our One-Bedroom Suite

At the price of less than USD 60 per night, I was not expecting to have a very fancy room. As we entered the room, we were surprised to have such a cozy place with a spacious living room and a separate bedroom. This is almost similar to the 5-star hotel we booked in Alabang few months ago. There is a small kitchen, a mini bar, water heater and a fridge.

Xenia Hotel Clark

Xenia Hotel Clark

The living room has a satellite LED TV, sofa, center table and a writing desk. It also has a balcony overviewing the pool area and the scenic mountain range of the region.

Xenia Hotel Room

Xenia Hotel Room Balcony

I impatiently checked the bedroom. It is a decent size fitted with a comfy queen size bed, fluffy pillows, a huge cabinet and a window with the same astounding view as the balcony.

Xenia Hotel Clark Bedroom

Xenia Hotel Clark Bedroom

The bathroom is nice and clean. Though it has no bath tub, it offers a complete and high-grade set of toiletries and fresh towels with heated shower and hair dryer. The only thing missing in the bathroom is bidet which will be a nice addition in a fancy hotel like this.

Xenia Hotel Clark Bathroom

Overall, the room is very worth its price. It is very tidy, comfortable and boasts elegantly-designed interiors and modern amenities.

Our Breakfast

The room we booked includes complimentary buffet breakfast for two which can be enjoyed at the restaurant. Breakfast starts at 6:00pm until 10:00am. The breakfast includes choices of Kapampangan dishes (local dishes from Pampanga province), Filipino specialties and some Western selections which are all good. Not the best breakfast I had in a 4-star hotel but their special longanisa is really appetizing and I lined up in the buffet thrice to have more of it.

Xenia Hotel Clark Restaurant

Xenia Hotel Clark Restaurant

Xenia’s Special Longanisa

Xenia Hotel Clark Restaurant

The Swimming Pool

I can say that this is one of the highlights of this hotel. They have a large adult pool and kiddie pool that both have perfect water temperature. You can squelch under the sun while enjoying the view of the mountain around. We were lucky that no one was there when we went for swimming so our little one was able to enjoy the pool all by herself.

Xenia Hotel Clark Swimming Pool

Other Facilities and Amenities

The hotel has a modern gym which is quite spacious and has several machines to cater many guests. They also have a spa that offers body treatment and massage services but we were not able to try it during our visit. It has a Coffee Shop as well located near the lobby where you can grab a coffee and snack. If you wish to visit the nearby mall, the hotel has a to and fro free shuttle service to SM City Clark.

Xenia Hotel Clark Gym

Xenia Hotel’s Gym

Xenia Hotel to SM Clark Timetable

Shuttle Service Schedule from Xenia to SM Clark v.v.

Xenia Hotel

The Coffee Shop

Generally, we really had a pleasant experience in Xenia Hotel. Its location, the convenient parking, impressive front desk staff, efficient check-in and check-out, spacious room, clean and modern amenities, we surely got more than enough of what we spent for this staycation and we will surely consider to stay here again on our next trip to Clark and Angeles City.

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Xenia Hotel Clark

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Singapore Welcomes Genting Dream, The First Mega Luxury Cruise Ship To Homeport In The City http://www.manofwanders.com/cruise/singapore-welcomes-genting-dream/ http://www.manofwanders.com/cruise/singapore-welcomes-genting-dream/#comments Fri, 17 Nov 2017 05:18:51 +0000 http://www.manofwanders.com/?p=4076 Dream Cruises’ first homeport in Southeast Asia features new itineraries to take in the splendors of Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia Genting Cruise Lines celebrated the arrival of Genting Dream on 16 November 2017 at the Marina Bay Cruise Center Singapore in the presence of more than 800 guests including government dignitaries, business and trade partners and media. Asia’s luxury cruise line, Dream Cruises debuted Genting Dream to the high-end market in Asia last November to great acclaim receiving a Star Performer Top Ten rating in the Large Resort category highly-revered Berlitz Cruising and Cruise Guide 2018 along with ‘Best New Ship’ and ‘Best Cruise Line – Entertainment’ recognition at the Travel Weekly Asia Reader’s Choice Awards 2017. Notable attendees at the welcome event included Guest of Honor, Mr Lionel Yeo, Chief Executive, Singapore Tourism Board, as well as Mr Lim Ching Kiat, Managing Director, Airhub Development, Changi Airport Group, and Mr Lionel Wong, Chief Executive Officer, SATS-Creuers. Dream Cruises’ inaugural vessel, Genting Dream is a luxurious floating integrated resort designed specifically for the Asian market and will be Singapore’s newest landmark at Marina Bay Cruise Center. This also marks the first time Singapore has hosted a large-scale, 150,695-tonne cruise ship for […]

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Dream Cruises’ first homeport in Southeast Asia features new itineraries to take in the splendors of Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia

Genting Cruise Lines celebrated the arrival of Genting Dream on 16 November 2017 at the Marina Bay Cruise Center Singapore in the presence of more than 800 guests including government dignitaries, business and trade partners and media. Asia’s luxury cruise line, Dream Cruises debuted Genting Dream to the high-end market in Asia last November to great acclaim receiving a Star Performer Top Ten rating in the Large Resort category highly-revered Berlitz Cruising and Cruise Guide 2018 along with ‘Best New Ship’ and ‘Best Cruise Line – Entertainment’ recognition at the Travel Weekly Asia Reader’s Choice Awards 2017.

Voyage of a Lovers Dream

Signature Show, Voyage of a Lovers Dream Show

singapore welcomes genting dream

Fireworks on the Highseas

Notable attendees at the welcome event included Guest of Honor, Mr Lionel Yeo, Chief Executive, Singapore Tourism Board, as well as Mr Lim Ching Kiat, Managing Director, Airhub Development, Changi Airport Group, and Mr Lionel Wong, Chief Executive Officer, SATS-Creuers.

Dream Cruises’ inaugural vessel, Genting Dream is a luxurious floating integrated resort designed specifically for the Asian market and will be Singapore’s newest landmark at Marina Bay Cruise Center. This also marks the first time Singapore has hosted a large-scale, 150,695-tonne cruise ship for an extended period and the first homeport for Dream Cruises in Southeast Asia.

“Genting Cruise Lines is unique to Singapore as this was where our Chairman turned his dream into reality over 24 years ago – and we have been a permanent Singaporean citizen ever since. This is one of our proudest achievements that has been unmatched by any other cruise company in Singapore,” said Mr Kent Zhu, President of Genting Cruise Lines. “During this time, we have been at the forefront to build Singapore’s presence as one of Asia’s premiere cruise centres and it has been a pleasure to evolve with the city over the years.”

With the new homeport deployment of Genting Dream in Singapore, Dream Cruises has forged an innovative three-year tripartite joint cooperation partnership with the Singapore Tourism Board and Changi Airport Group. This collaboration will see an investment of over SGD 28 million to promote Singapore as a key tourism destination as well as an Asian cruise hub and strategic gateway to access neighboring countries through fly/cruise itineraries.

“This tripartite partnership underscores Singapore’s drive to become Southeast Asia’s leading cruise hub and is an integral part of our continual efforts in promoting fly-cruise from Singapore. We are delighted to be selected as the first year-round homeport for Genting Dream in Southeast Asia. It marks another significant milestone in the longstanding and valuable relationship that we have with Genting Cruise Lines,” said Mr Lionel Yeo, Chief Executive, Singapore Tourism Board.

Changi Airport Group’s Chief Executive Officer Mr Lee Seow Hiang said, “Asia Pacific is currently the largest aviation market in the world, and will be the fastest growing region in the next 20 years. With Changi Airport’s strong air connectivity to more than 380 cities worldwide, Singapore is well-positioned to capitalize on this growth opportunity and bring more fly-cruise traffic here, serving as a cruise hub for the region. We are excited to enter into a tripartite partnership with Dream Cruises and Singapore Tourism Board, as this provides greater opportunities to grow the fly-cruise segment – part of our strategy to provide sustained growth for our partners and Changi Airport. The expanded offerings will also provide a greater array of travel options for travelers passing through Singapore. Jewel Changi Airport, which opens its doors in 2019, will have a multi-modal transport lounge; this will enhance the transfer experience of passengers traveling onwards on cruises.”

As a leading pacesetter in the cruise industry, Dream Cruises is constantly developing innovative and exciting itineraries to exotic new destinations. With her new homeport in Singapore, Genting Dream will transport guests on inspirational cruises to a number of extraordinary Southeast Asian ports-of-call including idyllic North Bali, Indonesia and pristine Macleod Island in Myanmar.

As part of a ground-breaking new venture in Macleod Island, Dream Cruises is bringing the private island concept of cruising, popular in the Caribbean – where cruise brands invest in developing their own secluded destinations – for the first time to Asia.

“On this special day, we are grateful for Singapore’s warm welcome of Genting Dream.  This historic occasion is a manifestation of Singapore’s branding “Passion Made Possible,” said Mr Thatcher Brown, President of Dream Cruises. “Dream Cruises is about inspirational luxury – as epitomized by our Dream Palace ‘ship-within-a-ship’ concept featuring 142 suites with highly personalized European style butler service.”

Palace Suite

Palace Suite

Mr Brown continued, “We are passionately committed to delivering great destination experiences, exemplary service and outstanding value from our new homeport in Singapore.

We remain Asian at heart and international in spirit.”

Genting Dream offers a dazzling array of over 35 restaurant and bar concepts, where guests can indulge in the very best of Chinese regional, Asian and international cuisine, lovingly crafted with quality and authenticity.

Dream Dining Room

Dream Dining Room

Unsurpassed entertainment options include the first ‘China’s Got Talent’ on the open ocean. Entitled “The Dream Experience”, this 45‑minute theatrical representation of the worldwide hit TV series will be held in the Zodiac Theater, a 999-seat state-of-the-art venue that will also showcase other spectacles including “Voyage of a Lover’s Dream”, inspired by the hull art of renowned pop artist Jackie Tsai.

Zodiac Theater

Zodiac Theater

An array of inspirational on-board experiences have also been designed to provide the most unforgettable journeys with stimulating enrichment programs, one of the world’s largest Asian reflexology spas at sea, over 1,100 square meter of retail space for duty free shopping, state of the art fitness facilities, and a range of activities for family fun for travelers of every age.

The Dream Boutique

The Dream Boutique

Rope Course

Rope Course

Main Pool Deck

Main Pool Deck

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Road Trip To Sipalay, The Unspoiled Jewel Of Negros http://www.manofwanders.com/philippines/road-trip-to-sipalay-the-jewel-of-negros/ http://www.manofwanders.com/philippines/road-trip-to-sipalay-the-jewel-of-negros/#comments Sat, 14 Oct 2017 17:52:27 +0000 http://www.manofwanders.com/?p=3981 Speeding up at 80 kilometers per hour with my right foot set on the gas pedal, I can already envisage the white powdery sand and dazzling emerald green water of the renowned paradise of Sipalay in the province of Negros Occidental. Sipalay City is a popular destination for both local and foreign tourists of the Sugar Island because of its natural beauty and quaint charm. It also boasts beautiful resorts and beaches making it a perfect place to be in for a relaxing retreat. How To Get There This jewel in the coast of Negros is about 177 kilometers away from Bacolod City and 161 kilometers from Dumaguete City which can be driven for almost 4 hours from any of these starting points. Since we are traveling with kids and infant, we prefer a journey with comfort so we rented a 7-seater MPV for PHP 1,500 (USD 30) per day with no mileage restriction but exclusive of the driver and gasoline. I don’t mind not having a driver since I prefer to drive the unfamiliar roads of Negros by myself and I only spent another PHP 1,500 (USD 30) for the fuel to cover our entire trip from Bacolod. If […]

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Speeding up at 80 kilometers per hour with my right foot set on the gas pedal, I can already envisage the white powdery sand and dazzling emerald green water of the renowned paradise of Sipalay in the province of Negros Occidental.

Sipalay City is a popular destination for both local and foreign tourists of the Sugar Island because of its natural beauty and quaint charm. It also boasts beautiful resorts and beaches making it a perfect place to be in for a relaxing retreat.

Road Trip To Sipalay, The Unspoiled Jewel Of Negros

How To Get There

This jewel in the coast of Negros is about 177 kilometers away from Bacolod City and 161 kilometers from Dumaguete City which can be driven for almost 4 hours from any of these starting points.

Since we are traveling with kids and infant, we prefer a journey with comfort so we rented a 7-seater MPV for PHP 1,500 (USD 30) per day with no mileage restriction but exclusive of the driver and gasoline. I don’t mind not having a driver since I prefer to drive the unfamiliar roads of Negros by myself and I only spent another PHP 1,500 (USD 30) for the fuel to cover our entire trip from Bacolod.

If you are coming from Manila, you can either fly to Bacolod or Dumaguete. From Bacolod, you can take a Ceres Bus from their southbound terminal with options of boarding on an ordinary, air-conditioned or tourist bus. Bus fares range from PHP 180 to PHP 253 (USD 3.50 to USD 5) with travel time of 5 to 6 hours.

From Dumaguete, there is only 1 direct trip daily to Sipalay from Ceres Terminal which departs between 12pm to 1pm for PHP 280 (USD 5.50) with travel time of 4 to 5 hours. If ever you missed this bus, you can also hop on the bus to Hinobaan then transfer to a bus to Sipalay for PHP 222 (USD 4.50) all in all. Once you’ve arrived in Sipalay bus terminal, you can take a tricycle to your hotel for PHP 100 (USD 2) per passenger.

For travelers who are not tight in their budget, there is now a new and faster option to reach Sipalay City. Air Juan offers four flights weekly to Sipalay from Cebu every Wednesday and Sunday and from Iloilo every Monday and Thursday. Coming from Puerto Princesa, Air Juan flies to Sipalay as well with 2 stopovers via Cuyo Island and Iloilo every Monday and Thursday.

Where Did We Stay

Sipalay has a lot of fascinating resorts but what attracted me the most is Perth Paradise Island Resort which became popular because of its infinity pool with an awe-inspiring and picturesque view at the background perfect for Instagram photos.

Perth Paradise Resort

From the main road to the resort, you have to traverse almost a kilometer long of gravelly road which nearly made me think twice if this place is worth to stay. When we reached the entrance, I never expected that behind the resort’s gate is an astounding work of art of Mother Nature.

Perth Paradise Resort

Perth Paradise Resort

We opted to take the Family Room for a night and we were not disappointed with our chosen accommodation. It’s clean, fresh and comfortable to stay. It also has a dirty kitchen equipped with refrigerator and gas stove where you can cook and prepare your own food. The room has a cool air-conditioning unit and LED TV with a satellite dish to access local and cable channels.

The location of the rooms and the infinity pool is quite challenging to reach as you have to climb over 100 stair-steps. However, there are benches in between the steps to rest and catch your breath.

Perth Paradise Resort

Perth Paradise itself is not a huge resort but it offers one of the best views in Sipalay. The infinity pool is not as big as I expected but it is good enough to spend several hours of relaxation and take instagrammable photos to share. Though this resort has no beachfront, it has a lagoon with emerald green water where you can swim and definitely enjoy nature at its best.

Perth Paradise Resort Pool

Perth Paradise Resort Lagoon

Perth Paradise Room and Services Rates

Family Room (for 6-8 pax) – PHP 4,000 (USD 80)

  • 2 Matrimonial beds, 2 extra beds
  • Air-conditioned
  • PHP 200 (USD 4) for additional bed per pax

Standard Room (for 4-6 pax) – PHP 2,500 (USD 50)

  • 2 single beds or 1 Matrimonial bed
  • Air-conditioned
  • PHP 200 (USD 4) for additional bed per pax

Cabana Room (for 1-2 pax) – PHP 1,300 (USD 26)

  • With fan only

Entrance Fee for Walk-in – PHP 80 (USD 1.60)

Cottages for Walk-in – PHP 500 (USD 10)

  • With Electricity

Infinity Pool – PHP 100 (USD 2)

Kayak – PHP 250/pax (USD 5) (walk-in – 1 hour, check-in – unlimited)

Island Hopping – PHP 1,500 (USD 30) for 3 hours (max of 6 pax, additional PHP 150 per head)

Jetski – PHP 4,500/hr (USD 90) max of 2 pax

Snorkeling – PHP 250 (USD 5) for 1 hour

Floating Cottage – PHP 700 (USD 14)

After settling down in our room and resting for a while, we headed back on the road for a 10-minute drive to Punta Ballo Beach. Unfortunately, the beach was not swimmable on that afternoon due to low tide so we decided to go for island hopping instead. We were able to rent a boat for over 10 people at PHP 1,000 (USD 20) only. However, it is still best to do the island hopping in the morning as the sea is not so friendly in the afternoon.

Punta Ballo Beach

For only PHP50 (USD 1), we got our snorkeling gear from our helmsman and experienced some underwater fun in Turtle island and Campomanes. For experienced divers who are looking for a deeper adventure, there are plenty of diving resorts as well in Sipalay along Punta Ballo Beach that you can also check out.

Turtle Island Sipalay

After that exhausting yet fun afternoon, we returned to Perth Paradise Resort to enjoy the rest of the night. We cooked and grilled our own food for dinner and spent the evening in the pool. The resort has a restaurant and a bar that serve food and drinks. The bar is located just beside the pool so you can actually sip your favorite drink and splash into the water.

The following day, we woke up really early to capture the beautiful sunrise as the sun touches the sea. We maximized our morning soaking in the infinity pool and swimming with the fishes in the green lagoon before we check out.

Bridge to Floating Cottage Perth Paradise Resort

The bridge to the floating cottage and to the lagoon

Floating Cottage Perth Paradise Sipalay

The Floating Cottage

Perth Paradise Lagoon Swimming

Swimming the calm water of the lagoon

Perth Paradise Resort Sipalay

The entire gang enjoying the pool and the breathtaking view

Perth Paradise Resort Infinity Pool

Our priceless family photo

We planned to visit the nearby resort ‘Tinagong Dagat’ but decided not to proceed since it almost has a similar view to Perth Paradise Resort aside from their wooden and hanging bridge connecting to their island resort which is one of their highlights. So we ended up doing a side trip to Canlaon City in Negros Oriental to see the Century Tree before heading back to Bacolod.

sipalay

Sipalay has various natural attractions that one can see and experience. It is blessed with natural terrains and underwater dive sites to explore. This trip to Sipalay will definitely not be the last one and we want to come back here again during summer time when the beach is as beautiful as Eden and the water is vaporously exhaling its mist and gently drenching the fine white sand to satisfy our need for a perfect summer holiday experience.

Find your hotel in Sipalay here!

 

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Sipalay Negros

Road Trip To Sipalay, The Unspoiled Jewel Of Negros

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A Weekend Trip To Nagcarlan Laguna http://www.manofwanders.com/philippines/weekend-trip-to-nagcarlan-laguna/ http://www.manofwanders.com/philippines/weekend-trip-to-nagcarlan-laguna/#comments Wed, 30 Aug 2017 08:21:29 +0000 http://www.manofwanders.com/?p=3920 When we are looking for destinations to travel, we always pick first the popular towns and trending cities without doing so much research about other places that may offer similar attractions or might even exceed our expectations. Well we were actually lucky to discover the town of Nagcarlan in the province of Laguna that offers peerless attractions and activities to its vacationers. It has spurting waterfalls, untainted flowing rivers, green hills and mountains, historical sites and decent resorts with cold springs. Nagcarlan is a small municipality situated northeast of San Pablo City and just over 100 kilometers away from Manila. Though this town is not really that far from the metropolis, it is often overlooked by tourist due to lack of promotion. Getting to Nagcarlan is quite easy. You can take a bus from Cubao, Buendia or Alabang then alight in San Pablo City and take a jeepney to Nagcarlan. Since I love road trips, I chose to drive our own vehicle to this non-touristy town. From our place in Cavite, it took us less than three hours to reach Nagcarlan. We traversed the SLEX (South Luzon Expressway) from MCX (Muntinlupa Cavite Expressway) to Sto. Tomas exit and continued driving […]

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When we are looking for destinations to travel, we always pick first the popular towns and trending cities without doing so much research about other places that may offer similar attractions or might even exceed our expectations. Well we were actually lucky to discover the town of Nagcarlan in the province of Laguna that offers peerless attractions and activities to its vacationers. It has spurting waterfalls, untainted flowing rivers, green hills and mountains, historical sites and decent resorts with cold springs.

Nagcarlan is a small municipality situated northeast of San Pablo City and just over 100 kilometers away from Manila. Though this town is not really that far from the metropolis, it is often overlooked by tourist due to lack of promotion.

Getting to Nagcarlan is quite easy. You can take a bus from Cubao, Buendia or Alabang then alight in San Pablo City and take a jeepney to Nagcarlan. Since I love road trips, I chose to drive our own vehicle to this non-touristy town.

From our place in Cavite, it took us less than three hours to reach Nagcarlan. We traversed the SLEX (South Luzon Expressway) from MCX (Muntinlupa Cavite Expressway) to Sto. Tomas exit and continued driving for another 40 kilometers via Pan-Philippine Highway (AH26).

Cold Spring Resort

Along Nagcarlan-Rizal Road, there are sundry resorts that offer great accommodation and splashing fun in the water. This time, we decided to stay in Villa Gregoria Resort located in Barangay Buboy which is nearby the town proper as suggested by a local friend.

Villa Gregoria Nagcarlan

Our abode for a night

We checked-in for a day and night instead of just relishing the splendor of a place just for several hours. We booked for a room for 6 persons for only Php2,600 (USD50). The accommodation rates range from Php1,500 (USD30) for 2 persons up to Php10,000 (USD200) for 10 persons.

Villa Gregoria Nagcarlan Room

Room for 6

Villa Gregoria Nagcarlan

Clean T&B

Villa Gregoria Resort is not only a renowned resort in Nagcarlan but also in the entire province of Laguna winning the best and cleanest resort for several years. I am actually impressed that this resort has maintained its spotlessness even being in the business for 15 years. It offers cool, tranquil and invigorating ambiance for everyone who wants to elude the hurly-burly of the metropolis.

This paradise built at the base of Mount Banahaw has a mini Olympic pool, a kiddie pool, a regular-size swimming pool and an exclusive waterpark-like area with waterslides and Jacuzzi. They also have lifeguards and staff scattered around the pool areas which made us feel safe.

villa gregoria olympic pool

Mini Olympic Pool

villa gregoria kiddie pool

Kiddie Pool

vill gregoria adult pool

Adults’ Pool

villa gregoria private pool

Pay Additional 60 pesos to enjoy this area

The structural design of the resort is noticeably sophisticated that stands out from its surrounding that is bursting with scenic greens. Another awesome attraction available here is its running water that flows naturally from the mountain. Several pool-like structures were made to keep enough amount of cold spring water for the visitors to soak and dip. There is also a mini waterfalls adjacent to the running water where you can take a quick bathe and for photo ops.

villa gregoria cold sprin falls

She loves cold water

Weekend Trip To Nagcarlan Laguna

Pool-like Cold Spring

villa gregoria mini falls

Their Mini Waterfalls

Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery

During our weekend stay in Nagcarlan, we also visited the Underground Cemetery. You cannot say that you have been to Nagcarlan if you have never been to this historical landmark. Known as the only underground cemetery in the Philippines, this public burial site houses 276 niches including 36 niches underground.

underground cemetery nagcarlan laguna

Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery

Underground niches

The Underground Cemetery was built on 1845 and served as resting place for the locals while the crypts directly underneath the chapel are exclusive for the Spanish friars, prominent and elite local citizens. The underground cemetery also functioned as a hideout for the revolutionary Filipinos during the World War II.

Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery

Will you stay here overnight?

Another feature of the Underground Cemetery is its unique architectural design. It has an enclosed stone and brick walls with decorative patterns and wrought iron grills. An enormous hemispherical gate and brick pathway lead to the chapel that has crescentic side wings forming the apartment-style niches.

Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery

Beautiful landscape around the cemetery

Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery

Here is the opposite view

Gastronomic Dinner

After burning some calories from swimming in Villa Gregoria Resort, our local hosts brought us for dinner in Ralphjoy’s Restaurant and Bar to replenish the lost fats. It is located along the National Road amidst the resort where we stayed and Underground Cemetery. The restaurant offers good quality Filipino food and one of their bestsellers is their Special Pancit which is absolutely delectable.

Side Trip In Liliw Laguna

Around 15-minute drive away from Nagcarlan, you will find yourself in a town labeled as the Tsinelas or Footwear Capital of the Philippines. We did a short stop in Liliw before we headed home to buy some slippers and sandals as they are known to have good quality and sold in bargain price. They all come in different colors, designs and sizes that will surprise you to the point that you cannot even decide what to buy. Well we ended up buying few pairs of slippers and sandals in a very good deal.

Liliw Laguna

Liliw Laguna

3 for 100???

In this trip, we actually missed to visit the Bunga Falls or Twin Falls with two identical waterfalls descending alongside. So if you have a long weekend, then make sure to put it in your itinerary as well.

This is an extraordinary experience for us once again, disconnecting to our routine schedule and trips to find something enjoyable in a place we always assumed is not good enough. The town of Nagcarlan deserves to have more visitors and we will be back here again to adore its mellowness.

nagcarlan laguna

She found her own place to relax over the weekend

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A Weekend Trip To Nagcarlan

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To Limo Or Not To Limo http://www.manofwanders.com/travel-hacks/to-limo-or-not-to-limo/ http://www.manofwanders.com/travel-hacks/to-limo-or-not-to-limo/#respond Mon, 07 Aug 2017 10:42:10 +0000 http://www.manofwanders.com/?p=3872 When you travel around the globe, comfort should be an important aspect to consider. Why? Because, as a traveler, you will already be out of your comfort zone, you will be into an unknown territory and you will spend a lot of energy trying to adapt. Which is why is important to offer yourself the comfort that you need while you face the element of surprise and you will face such elements many times during your trips! A limousine service might have you covered when it comes to most aspects of your trip. If you want to forget about maps, worrying about finding the best locations or figuring out the public transportation system which is specific to each destination so you can’t count on a certain rule that you can apply, a limousine service can save you hours of searches and hundreds of unpleasant surprises that can have a major impact on your itinerary and even change the course of your trip completely. However, if you never tried to use a limousine service during your travels, you might find yourself with a hundred questions in your head. One of those questions might be How affordable is it to use a […]

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When you travel around the globe, comfort should be an important aspect to consider. Why? Because, as a traveler, you will already be out of your comfort zone, you will be into an unknown territory and you will spend a lot of energy trying to adapt. Which is why is important to offer yourself the comfort that you need while you face the element of surprise and you will face such elements many times during your trips!

A limousine service might have you covered when it comes to most aspects of your trip. If you want to forget about maps, worrying about finding the best locations or figuring out the public transportation system which is specific to each destination so you can’t count on a certain rule that you can apply, a limousine service can save you hours of searches and hundreds of unpleasant surprises that can have a major impact on your itinerary and even change the course of your trip completely. However, if you never tried to use a limousine service during your travels, you might find yourself with a hundred questions in your head.

One of those questions might be

How affordable is it to use a limousine service?

The answer is more affordable than you can imagine. Compared to the stress of searching the best transportation system when you are in a new town, the expenses that you will be faced with once you find some and the amount of time that you will waste trying to find the best option, a limousine service is stress free, easy to use and the amount of money that you will spend will be established beforehand on the bill that you will agree on with the company that provides the limousine service.  For instance, if you are flying to Chicago, and it is the first time you take such a trip, it might be hard to figure out the system of the city, especially the transportation system. And if you don’t have any friends or acquaintances to help you with your getting around plans, imagine what will be to try and find the best subway, the best bus or the best taxi company to help you accomplish your plans and reach your destinations!

Why limos beat the other transportation options

All that can be avoided by simply renting a limo from a professional transportation company, that will pick you up from the airport and accommodate you with all the services you need. Such a company will provide more than a driver who takes you around the city. It will provide you with professional systems of transportation, impeccable service, and optimized conditions. Most limousine cars will be a full option and you will have all the comfort you need while you enjoy your new experience and it will help you make it unforgettable! You will enjoy the service of professional chauffeurs who will not just make your trip enjoyable but also, they will take care of your safety and your belongings, amazing cars such as SUVs and luxury vehicles. Any public transportation system can’t compete with that, and you will never find this kind of professional service anywhere else. In such a big city like Chicago, is important to have with you a team that knows exactly how to get around the traffic jams and how to take you to your destinations the fastest and safest way possible and this is a job for the best drivers with the best limousine style cars. The chauffeurs can also give you some suggestions when it comes to where to spend your free time, where to have the best dinner in town and what touristic areas are worth visiting while you enjoy your stay.

So, spoil yourself and forget about the unnecessary worries that can affect your trip! Seeing new places is so exciting and most of the times it is a unique experience to encounter new people and learn new things during your travels. There is no time to waste switching a subway with a bus and looking for the best taxi cab while you are downtown and in a big hurry to get to a certain meeting. A limousine will completely change your trip for the best!

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Things To See And Do On The Isle Of Wight http://www.manofwanders.com/united-kingdom/things-to-see-and-do-on-the-isle-of-wight/ http://www.manofwanders.com/united-kingdom/things-to-see-and-do-on-the-isle-of-wight/#comments Tue, 01 Aug 2017 08:35:36 +0000 http://www.manofwanders.com/?p=3850 Situated just off the south coast of England and less than 2 hours away from London, the Isle of Wight is a great destination to visit any time of the year. With a range of attractions and landmarks to explore including some of the best beaches in the UK there is something for the whole family. Holiday cottage specialists Blue Chip Holidays show us some of the top things to see and do on this spectacular island. Shanklin seafront Shanklin is one of the Isle of Wight’s more traditional seaside resorts, retaining much of its original charm along with some more modern amenities. Shanklin’s sandy beach makes it perfect for a spot of swimming and there are a range of beach huts and deckchairs to hire for those who want to take their time with the spectacular views. Shanklin promenade is bustling with amusements filled with traditional seaside games, arcade games and bowling, while several cafés and kiosks serve everything from fish and chips to ice cream. New to the Shanklin seafront is the Pirates Cove, a mini theme park that will keep the whole family entertained for hours. Adventure Activities Isle of Wight With sites all across the island, Adventure Activities […]

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Situated just off the south coast of England and less than 2 hours away from London, the Isle of Wight is a great destination to visit any time of the year. With a range of attractions and landmarks to explore including some of the best beaches in the UK there is something for the whole family.

Holiday cottage specialists Blue Chip Holidays show us some of the top things to see and do on this spectacular island.Things To See And Do On The Isle Of Wight

Shanklin seafront

Shanklin is one of the Isle of Wight’s more traditional seaside resorts, retaining much of its original charm along with some more modern amenities. Shanklin’s sandy beach makes it perfect for a spot of swimming and there are a range of beach huts and deckchairs to hire for those who want to take their time with the spectacular views.

Blue Chip Holidays

Shanklin promenade is bustling with amusements filled with traditional seaside games, arcade games and bowling, while several cafés and kiosks serve everything from fish and chips to ice cream. New to the Shanklin seafront is the Pirates Cove, a mini theme park that will keep the whole family entertained for hours.

Things To See And Do On The Isle Of Wight

Adventure Activities Isle of Wight

With sites all across the island, Adventure Activities Isle of Wight offers something for everyone. Whether you want to experience the open sea in a kayak, surf the waves at Compton Bay or try your skills at archery or climbing Adventure Activities has it all.

Things To See And Do On The Isle Of Wight

Based at Afton Park in Freshwater, the Adventure Activities Booking Centre and Activity base is open 7 days a week where intrepid adventurers can choose from nearly 30 outdoor activities across the whole island.

The company organises and runs activities for any size of group from families to school groups and even stag and hen parties, and is committed to showing its customers what the Isle of Wight has to offer.

Blackgang Chine

Blackgang Chine is the UK’s oldest amusement park, with lots to see and do featuring life-sized Pirate Ships, Fairy Villages, Dinosaur Valleys, and a Cowboy Town. Filled with an array of attractions, themed worlds and exciting rides, there is something for the whole family.

Whether you want to be a pirate on-board your own ship, be a sheriff of your own cowboy town or come face to face with life sized moving dinosaurs this theme park has it all. When you need to take the weight off you can also sample one of the many restaurants and cafes situated onsite, offering a range of snacks from burgers and hotdogs to ice cream and doughnuts.

 Isle of Wight Steam Railway

A visit to the Isle of Wight Steam Railway will allure, stimulate and fascinate you and will leave memories to last a lifetime.

Step back to a bygone era when steam was the order of the day.  See an extensive collection of powerful majestic steam engines and rejoice in the charm of quiet rural stations with traditionally uniformed staff. Tourists and visitors can enjoy the Railway offers of a unique and exciting day out in one of Britain’s Heritage Railways.

Things To See And Do On The Isle Of Wight

With such a wide variety of things to do on the Isle of Wight during your holiday, you won’t be able to fit everything into a single visit. Surely you’ll want to come back again and again to enjoy everything that the island has to offer.

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Things To See And Do On The Isle Of Wight

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What Are The Best Ways To Carry Money While Traveling Abroad http://www.manofwanders.com/travel-hacks/best-ways-to-carry-money-while-traveling-abroad/ http://www.manofwanders.com/travel-hacks/best-ways-to-carry-money-while-traveling-abroad/#comments Thu, 29 Jun 2017 14:28:35 +0000 http://www.manofwanders.com/?p=3834 Carrying money abroad can prove to be quite the learning curve if it is your first time traveling in a particular country. Before you set foot on a plane or ocean liner or cross a border in a car, it is important to do your homework on how to carry money abroad in the country you will be visiting. To start you off, here are a few general money tips to consider while planning your trip abroad. Carry Chip-and-PIN Credit Cards Carry your credit card on you at all times. If you are traveling to Asia, Europe, or South America, you will want to think about getting a chip-and-PIN credit card if you do not already have one. Stores in these regions made the switch to the chip-and-PIN system prior to the US. Designed to keep your information more secure, chip-an-PIN cards from the US generally work in machines in these countries. Cards with magnetic swipes also work, although you will have to get an attendant to swipe the card for you in some stores. Bring Enough Cash for the First Day You will likely not want to carry too much cash on you throughout the course of your trip, but you […]

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Carrying money abroad can prove to be quite the learning curve if it is your first time traveling in a particular country. Before you set foot on a plane or ocean liner or cross a border in a car, it is important to do your homework on how to carry money abroad in the country you will be visiting. To start you off, here are a few general money tips to consider while planning your trip abroad.

Carry Chip-and-PIN Credit Cards

Carry your credit card on you at all times. If you are traveling to Asia, Europe, or South America, you will want to think about getting a chip-and-PIN credit card if you do not already have one. Stores in these regions made the switch to the chip-and-PIN system prior to the US. Designed to keep your information more secure, chip-an-PIN cards from the US generally work in machines in these countries. Cards with magnetic swipes also work, although you will have to get an attendant to swipe the card for you in some stores.

Bring Enough Cash for the First Day

You will likely not want to carry too much cash on you throughout the course of your trip, but you will want to have enough of it on hand for the first 24 hours of your stay in a different country. This will help you get to your location if you need to pay for cab fare or get something to eat. Plan out what you will need to spend for the first day or two, and withdraw that much in foreign currency from your bank. Of course, you should do a little research first so you are aware of the currency exchange rate. For example, if you plan on traveling to the UK from the US in June of 2017, you should know that $1 equals 79 pence in the UK.

Do Not Bring Traveler’s Checks

Traveler’s checks were once popular ways to carry money while traveling abroad. Now, they are virtually obsolete. Traveler’s checks are now expensive, and barely anyone accepts them. Credit cards and debit cards are much more popularly used now, and some credit cards do not charge for international fees. Now that traveler’s checks are not often used, acquiring one and using it can be complicated.

Never Leave Money and Other Valuables Unsecured

A common sense rule-of-thumb to follow while traveling abroad is to never leave your things unattended or unsecured. Whether you’re carrying cash, a credit or debit card, or any other types of valuables, these items should always be either securely carried upon your person or stored in a safe location, such as a locked hotel room. You should take cash or cards, as well as your passport, anywhere you go since you never know what might happen (and a lost passport can make for quite the hassle). Lock all other valuable items securely away.

Before you leave on your trip, make sure your bank or credit union knows you will be traveling through a certain country at a certain time. Otherwise, your bank or credit union might mark foreign transactions as suspicious charges and cease activity on your account. Remember, while you’re abroad, any number of unexpected mishaps or hazards can arise, so safely carrying cash and/or a card on you at all times is crucial.

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Best Ways to Carry Money While Traveling Abroad

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Luxurious Staycation in Vivere Hotel and Resorts Alabang http://www.manofwanders.com/philippines/staycation-in-vivere-hotel-alabang/ http://www.manofwanders.com/philippines/staycation-in-vivere-hotel-alabang/#comments Sat, 06 May 2017 10:04:38 +0000 http://www.manofwanders.com/?p=3698 How do you like to spend your long weekends? We usually do long road trips and travel hundreds of kilometers.  But since it is very inconvenient to do it now with our 1-month old baby, our next option is to do a staycation in one of the premier hotels in southern Metro Manila, Philippines. For those who are living in the south cities and provinces like us, driving to Alabang in Muntinlupa only takes less than an hour. This has easily solved our concern of having a baby crying at the backseat of the car. Alabang is home to several luxurious accommodations. One of the most reputable hotels is Vivere Hotel and Resorts. This very first 5-star hotel in Alabang offers the picturesque view of Laguna de Bay and the Metropolis. The hotel is also situated in the commercial and business district providing easy access to shopping malls, restaurants and recreational venues. We booked our hotel online thru Agoda a week before our stay and we really had a great deal securing a Deluxe Suite Room with breakfast included. The hotel’s check-in time is at 2:00pm and we arrived there on time. The staff in their forest themed lobby courteously greeted […]

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How do you like to spend your long weekends? We usually do long road trips and travel hundreds of kilometers.  But since it is very inconvenient to do it now with our 1-month old baby, our next option is to do a staycation in one of the premier hotels in southern Metro Manila, Philippines. For those who are living in the south cities and provinces like us, driving to Alabang in Muntinlupa only takes less than an hour. This has easily solved our concern of having a baby crying at the backseat of the car.

Alabang is home to several luxurious accommodations. One of the most reputable hotels is Vivere Hotel and Resorts. This very first 5-star hotel in Alabang offers the picturesque view of Laguna de Bay and the Metropolis. The hotel is also situated in the commercial and business district providing easy access to shopping malls, restaurants and recreational venues.

We booked our hotel online thru Agoda a week before our stay and we really had a great deal securing a Deluxe Suite Room with breakfast included.

The hotel’s check-in time is at 2:00pm and we arrived there on time. The staff in their forest themed lobby courteously greeted us with their very sincere smiles. Since we booked our room during the peak season of summer holiday and coincides with a long weekend, the check-in took a bit longer than usual as our room was not ready yet when we arrived.

Vivere Hotel Lobby

Vivere Hotel Lobby

Good thing they have sofas to make us feel comfortable and a mini pond with plenty of fishes to keep my 2-year old girl entertained. The waiting game lasted for at least 45 minutes. However, it did not end that bad as we were offered a late check-out at 4:00pm the following day instead of the usual 12:00nn to compensate the long wait.

Vivere Hotel Lobby

Vivere Hotel Lobby

Vivere Koi Pond

Our Suite Room

We were escorted by the Guest Services and Concierge to our room on the 18th floor. We were hosted in a Deluxe Suite room which has 1 bedroom, a toilet & bath, a living room and a kitchen. The room concept of Vivere Hotel is more of condotel rooms rather than typical modern hotels which makes their guests feel home away from home. I did not expect that our room will be this spacious since I only saw a bed and a sofa in the photo when I booked the room.

As we entered the room, there is a kitchen that has a small sink, several cabinets to store your snacks, a water heater to make a coffee, tea or even cook your favorite cup noodles, a microwave machine and a small fridge to keep your beverages cold.

Vivere Hotel Kitchen

Deluxe Suite Kitchen

Then I found the living room that has an LCD TV, a center and side tables, a sofa and a writing desk that has a window through the dining area.

Vivere Hotel Living Room

The cozy living room

Vivere Hotel

Writing Desk with a window through the dining area

I excitedly checked the bedroom. Though it has a limited size, it is enough to fit a queen size bed which is superbly soft and comfortable. It has an LCD TV as well, in-room safe, a closet and a huge window overlooking the city.

Vivere Hotel Bedroom

Our bedroom for a night

The luxurious marble bathroom has a decent size and complete with high-quality amenities. It has a bath tub where we can enjoy a lazy time 18-storey above the bustling city.

Vivere Hotel Bathroom

Marbled bathroom with complete amenities

Overall, the room is very clean, fresh, well-organized and homey.  It is a sophisticated suite with interiors that resonates the exquisiteness of the local culture.

The Nest Dining In The Sky

Positioned on the 31st floor roof top of Vivere Hotel and Resorts, The Nest offers an exciting new experience in dining with its astounding scenic view, relaxing ambiance, delectable food and music that will surely indulge all your senses.

The Nest in Vivere Hotel

The Nest in Vivere Hotel

With the awesome view of the city at the background

The Nest in Vivere Hotel

The Little Madam

The Nest in Vivere Hotel

The room we booked includes complimentary welcome drink and buffet breakfast for two which can be all enjoyed in The Nest. Breakfast starts as early as 5:30am until 10:00am. The complimentary breakfast is pretty good with choices of typical Filipino breakfast dishes, Western selections and some Japanese food though I tasted a more appetizing breakfast menu in the nearby hotel previously.

The Nest in Vivere Hotel

The Nest in Vivere Hotel

Lama Pool

On the 4th floor of Vivere Hotel and Resorts, you can wallow under the sun and moon and splash in their lap pool. The pool size is 16sqm x 5.15sqm with depth of 4-feet. It is open from 6:00am till 9:30pm. We definitely enjoyed the pool especially the kids who stayed soak in the pool’s perfect water temperature.

Vivere's Lama Pool

Vivere’s Lama Pool

Vivere's Lama Pool

My 2 year-old girl having a great time

Kids Club

The hotel is certainly child-friendly as it has a small play place for the kids to enjoy. Of course, we spent few hours inside the playroom to keep the little ones busy and satisfied. There is no staff assigned in the area so a guardian must stay with the kid to ensure safe playing time.

Vivere hotel kids area

Vivere Hotel Kids Area

Other Facilities and Amenities

Though the hotel offers complimentary use of their gym and spa & sauna, they were not available during our visit as they were under renovation. It has a Business Center as well for groups who wish to have meetings and pleasure at the same time. The entire hotel including public areas and rooms are powered by high-speed WI-FI connection absolutely for free. It also offers a free car service from the hotel to Alabang Town Center, Festival Mall and Madrigal Business Park.

Vivere Business Center

Vivere Business Center Entrance

Vivere Business Center

Vivere Business Center

Though we started the hotel experience with a minor hiccup during check-in, we eventually enjoyed the rest our stay in Vivere Hotel. The entire hotel is spick and span especially the rooms. All the staff from their maintenance crew to the front liners are commendably eximious. We surely got more than enough of what we have paid for this staycation.

Vivere Hotel and Resorts Alabang
Book Online – Check Rates and Hotel Information
Address : 5102 Bridgeway Avenue, Filinvest City, Alabang, Muntinlupa City 1781 Philippines.
Email: info@viverehotel.com.ph
Tel: +632 771-7777
Mobile: +63 917-6531777

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vivere hotel

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How to Start A Travel Blog in 7 Easy Steps http://www.manofwanders.com/travel-hacks/how-to-start-a-travel-blog/ http://www.manofwanders.com/travel-hacks/how-to-start-a-travel-blog/#comments Mon, 24 Apr 2017 10:44:00 +0000 http://www.manofwanders.com/?p=3579 How to start a travel blog? I started this blog almost a year ago. I thought it was hard at the beginning since I know very little to nothing about HTML, PHP and CSS codes to create a website. The good thing is that creating websites and blogs nowadays does not require all this technical skills anymore. Thanks to WordPress, blogging is now as easy as writing a post in your Facebook’s timeline. If you found this page, you are also that person who is looking for some guides and tips to kick off your own travel blog and share your stories to the world like I used to be. So let me give you the7 easy to follow steps on how to start a travel blog. 1. Choose A Name For Your Blog This may sound easy but it is actually one of the toughest steps in starting a blog. Branding yourself or your blog is even harder that writing a 2,000-word article. Create A Name That Can Last  If you choose a name similar to ‘Teen Wanderlust’, your blog will look very funny if you are posting your photos when you reach your 20s. Make sure that you […]

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How to start a travel blog?

I started this blog almost a year ago. I thought it was hard at the beginning since I know very little to nothing about HTML, PHP and CSS codes to create a website. The good thing is that creating websites and blogs nowadays does not require all this technical skills anymore. Thanks to WordPress, blogging is now as easy as writing a post in your Facebook’s timeline.

If you found this page, you are also that person who is looking for some guides and tips to kick off your own travel blog and share your stories to the world like I used to be. So let me give you the7 easy to follow steps on how to start a travel blog.

1. Choose A Name For Your Blog

This may sound easy but it is actually one of the toughest steps in starting a blog. Branding yourself or your blog is even harder that writing a 2,000-word article.

Create A Name That Can Last 

If you choose a name similar to ‘Teen Wanderlust’, your blog will look very funny if you are posting your photos when you reach your 20s. Make sure that you pick a name that is not focus to your age, marital status and location so you can keep your branding for a long period of time.

Go For Something Unique

If you could avoid the words nomads, adventure, wanderlust, backpacker, travel then please do so as they can be found even in the outer space. Get something that will really reflect your personality. Being a fan of Superman who is the Man Of Steel, I chose Man Of Wanders since I am also a man full of wander-ful stories and experiences.

Make It Short and Striking

Use maximum of 3 words for easy recall. You don’t need to write your entire biography in you blog title. The shorter the better.

2. Set-up The Hosting

Most of the bloggers use WordPress because it is user friendly. However, you need to get a reliable hosting to set-up a WordPress blog. I suffered for almost a year because I did a huge mistake choosing the wrong hosting company when I set-up/. I did my own research and finally found  Bluehost. This company builds and designs their servers to run WordPress superbly. That is why they are the most recommended hosting company by WordPress.org.

Aside to its proven performance, reliability and functionality, it also offers affordable hosting price starting at $3.95/month which includes a free domain as well.

To start, go to Bluehost’s website and follow the steps below:

#1 Click ‘Get Started Now’

How to Start A Travel Blog in 8 Easy Steps

#2 Choose a plan

As a beginner, it is always recommended to get the cheapest plan since you don’t know yet what is going to happen with your blog down the road. If your site requirement increases over the period of time due to overwhelming traffic, you can always upgrade to a higher plan anytime.how to start a travel blog

#3 Select your domain

Type your chosen blog name into the left box and click next to claim your free domain address.

How to Start A Travel Blog in 8 Easy Steps

#4 Key-in your account informationHow to Start A Travel Blog in 8 Easy Steps

#5 Finalize your package information

For the account plan, you can choose the term of the hosting plan foe 12, 24 or 36 months. By choosing the longest term, you can get the cheapest price at $3.95. However, if want to play safe since you are not sure on what could happen within a year or so; then you may opt to get the 12-month plan at $5.45 which is just $1.50 more per month. Anyway, you can just renew the plan before it expires.

You can also select for some add-ons before finalizing your order. Selecting the Domain Privacy Protection option is recommended to avoid other people to look up the owner of the domain and giving them the access of your personal details like address and phone number.

Once you have confirmed your account information, package details and billing information, you can just submit it then you are good to go.

How to Start A Travel Blog in 8 Easy Steps

3. Install WordPress

Setting-up WordPress with Bluehost is as easy as ABCs as they offer an easy one-click WordPress installation.   On the cPanel of Bluehost’s home screen, you’ll see the WordPress Icon under Website Builders.

How to Start A Travel Blog in 8 Easy Steps

Click the WordPress icon and hit the Start button to install WordPress.

How to Start A Travel Blog in 8 Easy Steps

Next, select your domain name and click “check domain”.

How to Start A Travel Blog in 8 Easy Steps

Here’s a sample on how to fill in your details on the next page.

How to Start A Travel Blog in 8 Easy Steps

You’ll see the following screen while WordPress is installing.

How to Start A Travel Blog in 8 Easy Steps

After the installation, you can already login to WordPress by simply typing http://yourdomainname.com/wp-admin and you’ll be directed to the login screen where you can just input your username and password and you’re in!

how to start a travel blog

Congratulations! You’re now the proud owner of a WordPress travel blog!

how to start a travel blog

4. Choose A Theme

WordPress offers some pretty good free themes but if you really want your blog to stand out among others, then I highly recommend you to use a premium theme. I got mine in Themeforest and I am very happy with my purchase. Premium theme can be fully customized and that allows you to have a very unique and professional design for your blog. Premium themes in Themeforest range from $25 to $100 depending on the styles and functions. Checkout their page to find the theme that suits your style.

5. Install Some Plugins

Now that you already have your own beautiful blog. It is time now to add some plugins to have additional functionality in your WordPress-powered site. There are over 40,000 different plugins available in WordPress but here are some essential plugins for travel blogs.

  • Akismet: It filters all the spammy comments and deletes them automatically. Though you need to check out your filtered spam comments once in a while as some nice comments are recognized spammy some unknown reasons.
  • Yoast SEO: This is one of the most essential plugin that every blogger MUST have. Yoast SEO helps you to improve your rankings in Google and other search engines.
  • AddToAny Share Buttons: There are many reliable sharing plugins in WordPress but this is my favorite. It allows you to add some simple yet awesome share buttons in your page.
  • Contact Form 7: This one allows you to install a simple contact form so people can email you through your site.
  • W3 Total Cache: This plugin has plenty of good functions like minify, page, browser, object and database caching that will surely improve the speed and user experience of your blog.
  • WP Smush: It reduces the image file sizes, improve performance and also boost your SEO.

6. Create Your Pages

Here are the basic pages that you should have when starting your blog:

About Page – This is where you write something interesting about yourself, your blog, your travel timeline, why are you blogging and how your blog can influence your readers.

Contact Page – People who visit your blog should have a way to contact you. This is where your Contact Form 7 plugin goes in.

Privacy Policy Page – This is a standard user agreement page letting your readers to know what the applicable laws on your site are, that you use cookies, ads, aggregated statistics etc. etc. There are websites that offer automated Privacy Policy Page based on the information that you will provide upon creation and you can just copy it and paste in your Privacy Policy page.

These 3 pages are also the essential pages that you must have if you are planning to apply in Adsense. Having these three will give you a higher chance of getting approve by Google Adsense.

7. Get Social!

Once you have done all of the above, you can start securing your social media handles. Try to use the same username, page name or URLs in different social media platforms. Since my blog title is ‘Man Of Wanders’, I am using manofwanders across Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Stumbleupon, Instagram, Google+ and Flipboard.  Social media platforms are very essential to boost the traffic of your blog. You just need to know each of their pros and cons and learn how maximize those to be successful in every platform.

So now what?

Now that you finally have a blog with a beautiful theme, awesome plugins, basic pages and social media handles, you can start posting your articles. I recommend to have at least 5 blog posts when starting a blog since you do not want your first readers to see an empty site.

Once you have posted your very first set of blog posts, you can start to share it and spread the words to the world. Share your blog post links in your social media handles, join and engage to different travel bloggers group pages in Facebook  to get started.

Nothing comes easy in blogging. It takes time, patience and hard work to become a successful travel blogger. And I am still working hard to keep my blog running and hopefully, be on the top list. Quality content, consistency in posting and connecting to other bloggers are some of the important keys to increase readership, gain valuable audience and create followers along the way. But once you have done that, the opportunities in travel blogging will come easy and without stint.

Note: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means that if you click on the link and purchase any products, I will receive an affiliate commission without extra cost to you. And you’ll help me to reduce the ongoing expenses running this blog. Anyway, I only recommend products or services that I have personally tested with great satisfaction.

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how to start a travel blog

 

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Flying Cathay Pacific’s Airbus A350 Business Class For The First Time http://www.manofwanders.com/air-travel/airbus-a350-business-class-for-the-first-time/ http://www.manofwanders.com/air-travel/airbus-a350-business-class-for-the-first-time/#comments Sun, 02 Apr 2017 09:15:08 +0000 http://www.manofwanders.com/?p=3229 What is it like flying business class for the first time on-board one of the world’s top airlines and in the newest aircraft released by Airbus? I came to the airport without any clue that I would be one of the lucky passengers to be upgraded to business class of Cathay Pacific’s A350-900 flight CX 906 from Manila to Hong Kong. I thought I was already lucky to have a Premium Economy ticket and avoided the 1 kilometer queue in Economy Class. But to my surprise, I was told by the ground staff during check-in that I was just upgraded to Business Class. She handed me over my ticket and checked it many times to be sure that I heard her right about the upgrade. I have flown to almost all types of jets except to Boeing’s 787 and Airbus’ A350 so I was really ecstatic to take this flight.  I consider myself a frustrated commercial pilot and addicted to airplanes so I enjoy every single moment of flying. And since I am in a Business Class and Airbus A350-900 this time, let me share to you my first-hand experience. When I set my feet in a very unfamiliar segment […]

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What is it like flying business class for the first time on-board one of the world’s top airlines and in the newest aircraft released by Airbus?

I came to the airport without any clue that I would be one of the lucky passengers to be upgraded to business class of Cathay Pacific’s A350-900 flight CX 906 from Manila to Hong Kong. I thought I was already lucky to have a Premium Economy ticket and avoided the 1 kilometer queue in Economy Class. But to my surprise, I was told by the ground staff during check-in that I was just upgraded to Business Class. She handed me over my ticket and checked it many times to be sure that I heard her right about the upgrade.

Airbus A350 Business Class For The First Time

I have flown to almost all types of jets except to Boeing’s 787 and Airbus’ A350 so I was really ecstatic to take this flight.  I consider myself a frustrated commercial pilot and addicted to airplanes so I enjoy every single moment of flying. And since I am in a Business Class and Airbus A350-900 this time, let me share to you my first-hand experience.

Flying Cathay Pacific's Airbus A350 Business Class

When I set my feet in a very unfamiliar segment of the airplane and settled my body on a fancy seat at 17K by the window in my own pod sipping my welcome drink, I honestly did not know what I was doing there exactly. It is the moment that every traveler dreams but I was not expecting that it would come that easy. As a frequent flyer and traveler, this is definitely a milestone moment.

Cathay Pacific’s A350 started operating on July 01, 2016. It has an extra-wide cabin and with windows affording panoramic views. Its business class consists of 38 reverse herringbone seats designed by Studio F.A. Porsche that can transform into a complete flat bed and offers the perfect privacy. It has an L-shaped ottoman and an excellent legroom for great comfort and has a side storage that can fit a huge laptop.

Flying Cathay Pacific's Airbus A350 Business Class

Flying Cathay Pacific's Airbus A350 Business Class

To the right of my seat is a panel with intuitive seat controls that is a total stranger to me which I easily figured out to operate. The panel also has an adjustable reading light and a touchscreen remote control.

Flying Cathay Pacific's Airbus A350 Business Class

The video handset shows the flight and seat numbers, temperature and remaining flight time

Flying Cathay Pacific's Airbus A350 Business Class

My own pod also has a table finished with faux butternut wood that has a compartment which features a mirror, mobile phone holder, headphones, power port and USB port. The headphone is a high quality one which is totally different from the ones I used before in economy class.

Flying Cathay Pacific's Airbus A350 Business Class

Flying Cathay Pacific's Airbus A350 Business Class

Another feature that amazed me is its 18.5 inch multimedia touchscreen TV and 4.3 inch video handset than can work as a remote control or a standalone entertainment device. You can watch a movie in your big screen and at the same time; monitor the map in your video handset. The TV screen can be pulled closer but cannot be tilted up and down. Anyway, I enjoyed browsing their entertainment system and they have loads of movies, TV series, music and games. The devices have a very responsive touchscreen capability as well which makes browsing pretty simple and easy.

Flying Cathay Pacific's Airbus A350 Business Class

18.5″ multimedia TV screen

Flying Cathay Pacific's Airbus A350 Business Class

4.3″ video handset

Flying Cathay Pacific's Airbus A350 Business Class

Upon reaching the transition altitude, the flight attendants handed out the menu for lunch. I ordered for a baked salmon, zucchini, capsicum, new potato and tomato concasse as my main course served with Gemtree Bloodstone Shiraz McLaren Vale 2014. If it was a long-haul flight, I would definitely try the liqueurs and whiskies which all come as complimentary in this flight. I can honestly say that the food is good but not exceptional. However, the Australian wine and chocolate hazelnut cake for my dessert made my meal complete.

Flying Cathay Pacific's Airbus A350 Business Class

Flying Cathay Pacific's Airbus A350 Business Class

Lunch Menu

Flying Cathay Pacific's Airbus A350 Business Class

Wine List

Flying Cathay Pacific's Airbus A350 Business Class

Drinks List

Even though my flight was just less than 2 hours, I did not miss the chance to try the full capacity of my seat with the bed extension after my meal. I set it as if as I was going to have a long snooze during the flight and felt the comfort of being in a business class.

Flying Cathay Pacific's Airbus A350 Business Class

I love flying with Cathay Pacific even in Economy Class but the service and coziness that I experienced in Business Class is definitely incomparable. No wonder why those people I know are willing to spend extra bucks to upgrade their seats to business class during long-haul flights.

Airbus A350 Business Class For The First Time

The opportunity to fly business class for the first time is a welcome experience for me. But is it worth to spend extra cost to upgrade to business class seat? Well the answer is entirely all up to you. They said that only rich people can fly in business class, but I think hardworking people can also afford to fly in style and luxury.

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Flying Cathay Pacific's Airbus A350 Business Class

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