2017 | Lady & her Sweet Escapes

Dec 9, 2017

Cairo Travel Vlog #1: The Pyramids! Finally!


So, we finally made it happen!  

After several years of dreaming and planning, Ed and I decided that it's about time to fulfill our long time travel wish! We to traveled to Cairo during the recent 3-day holiday. And yes, I was able to tick off #15 in my 20 before 2020 list.

Cairo Travel Vlog 1

Nov 22, 2017

Santorini on a Budget: Is it Possible?


Santorini.

How do I even begin to describe Santorini? I still get lost for words whenever I think about this beautiful Greek island and the days we spent in it. 

I know my words won't give justice to this piece of paradise no matter how I try. So, this article will not focus on the reasons why Santorini is one of my dream destinations and why it should be yours too. But rather on how we managed to have a comfortable holiday on a low travel budget in this dreamy and luxurious Greek island!

Santorini budget travel guide

Nov 17, 2017

Beach Day in La Mer Dubai


I was one of the many people who got sad and shocked when Jumeirah Open Beach was closed to the public. Remember my 5 Reasons Why I Love Jumeirah Open Beach blog post five years ago? It was my favorite beach way back then.

Little did I know, my fave beach was not taken away from me and the rest of the beach-lovin population for good. It was closed for sometime to make way for a new beachfront property. 

Our beloved open beach was changed for the better, and it is now called La Mer!

La Mer Dubai

Nov 16, 2017

Turkish Breakfast in Gunaydin Dubai


It's no secret that of all the places we have been to, Turkey is our favorite. Although we only spent 12 days in the country, we felt so at home that we suffered from severe sepanx when it was time to leave. We love the vibrant Turkish culture, the hospitality, and most especially the food! And until now, there always comes a day when we miss waking up to a classic Turkish Kahvalti.

It's nice to know that, here in Dubai, we have Turkish restaurants to run to when the craving strikes. Recently, we learned that a renowned Turkish restaurant - Gunaydin - in Souk Al Bahar has a weekend breakfast promotion. Ed and I were so excited to try it. So, we went there with high hopes that it would somehow relieve our longing for the traditional Turkish breakfast.


Nov 14, 2017

Date Night in Al Dawaar Revolving Restaurant and Lounge


Over 10 years of "dating", Ed and I unconsciously created a Date Night Bucket list. We don't talk about it, but this list of dining venues seem to pop up whenever we decide where to celebrate a special occasion.

One very unique restaurant on our list is Al Dawaar - a revolving restaurant and lounge perched in the 25th floor of Hyatt Regency Dubai.

Date night in Dubai revolving restaurant

Nov 11, 2017

Bungy Jumping in Corinth Canal


This post was written by my husband, Ed. Are you a thrill-seeker like him? Read on to learn more about his extreme adventure in Greece! - Lady

As Lady mentioned in her previous blog post, our trip to Greece was mainly for rest and relaxation in the Greek islands. An extreme adventure was not in the plan. Not until I saw a challenge in Amazing Race wherein the participants must bungy jump in Corinth Canal! My adrenaline-seeking soul was stoked! It's been six years since I went bungy jumping in Macau. I long to do it again and I'm lucky to get my wife's full support on this. 

So, a couple of weeks before our trip, we contacted Zulu Bungy; the organizer of the bungy jump in Corinth. I wanted to know more about the jump, the schedule, and most of all, on how to get to the bungy jumping site by public transportation as Corinth is quite far from Athens. We received a prompt response from the staff and all my inquiries were answered in a short time.

bungy jump in corinth greece

Nov 6, 2017

Our Top 10 Recommendations for Athens


Not long ago, Ed and I flew to Greece for a big fat Greek holiday! It was an 8-day vacation which commenced in the country's capital - one of the oldest cities in the world - Athens!

To be honest, I was not excited for the city stopover. My thoughts were pretty much focused on spending lazy days under the blue sky and having an endless view of the Aegean sea over the horizon. My, my! Am I getting old or what? 

But since it was our first time in Greece, and no one knows if we'll have another chance to visit, it would be a shame to miss Athens. Hence, we spent two full days in the city before heading out to the Greek islands.

top 10 things to do in Athens

Oct 16, 2017

Filipino Food Fiesta Brunch at Jumeira Rotana


A fiesta in the Philippines is a colorful celebration of culture and food. There is dancing in the streets and family gathering in homes. A long table of dishes welcomes guests to the household. A series of chitchats or catching up typically follows! This is one of the unique traditions in the Philippines that Ed and I miss the most.

We don't celebrate fiestas here in Dubai, but there are restaurants that make us feel we are in one! Take for example, the new Friday Brunch concept called "Filipino Food Fiesta" in Olive Oil restaurant in Jumeira Rotana. 

Filipino Food Fiesta in Dubai

Sep 28, 2017

Legoland Dubai: Is it also for adults?


Is Legoland only for the little ones? Uhhm, I hope not! Well, the theme park is known as the ultimate year-round destination in the Middle East for families with kids from 2-12, but that doesn't mean it is not for adults without kids.

Ed and I visited Legoland Dubai and Legoland Water Park during our staycation in Lapita Hotel early this month. That day, we were the only adults without children in tow inside the water park... which was quite strange at first. But, when we started unleashing the kids in us, we actually had a blast!

A grown-up guide to Legoland Dubai

Sep 26, 2017

Brunch Nation at The Croft: A Foodie Journey across the Commonwealth


Ed and I have adapted the infamous Dubai Friday Brunch habit. Living in Dubai for almost a decade, yet started the weekend brunch tradition only two years ago, we are quite late-bloomers on this aspect. So, whenever we hear a new brunch, an interesting concept, or an excellent promotion, we are always too excited to check it out. 

Another brunch experience went down to our books last Friday. It was perfect! Well, Perfect was basically the word I used the most while trying out the all-new Brunch Nation at The Croft in Dubai Marriott Harbour Hotel and Suites. 

Brunch Nation at The Croft

Sep 19, 2017

Travel Video: Memories of Paris


Almost a year ago, Ed and I had the sweetest escape in the City of Love - PARIS! I have shared all the kwento in a blog series last year, but totally forgot about the video clips we took. So, today, I'm sharing our fondest memories of Paris in less than 3 minutes through a video diary!  

Memories of Paris video diary

Sep 17, 2017

Ella's Creamery: Instagram-worthy Sweet Treats in Dubai


While we were in Dubai Parks and Resorts last weekend, I made sure that we could drop by the ice cream shop I have been eyeing on my Insta feed. Does Ella's Creamery sounds familiar? If you're into fancy sugary confections and you've come across one of their IG posts, you have probably been lured into the uber charming ice cream parlor as well.

Instagrammable desserts in Dubai


Sep 14, 2017

2 Days in Kuala Lumpur: Travel Itinerary and Expenses


Kuala Lumpur was not our primary destination during our trip last April. It was simply a layover city because I couldn't find affordable flights from Dubai to Hanoi or Siem Reap that time. I haven't been to KL before, and Ed's visit a decade ago was a work trip. So I said... why not make the most out of our two layovers? 

We had nearly 24 hours to explore the city on our first stopover, and 30 hours on our second. For a slow traveler (who loves to stop and smell the flowers), this quick trip is definitely not enough. But for somebody who has no time to spare, aka no vacation leave left (That's me!), you just have to do what you can do! 

2 days in Kuala Lumpur Itinerary

Sep 12, 2017

Where to get the Best View of Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur


Booked a ticket to Kuala Lumpur? One way or another, you'd probably wonder where the best spots to view the city's famous twin skyscrapers. I mean, it's a travel cliche, but a visit to Malaysia's capital would be incomplete without seeing the majestic and world-famous Petronas Towers

When we had quick stop in KL during our Indochina trip, Ed and I wanted to view the towers both in a picture-postcard angle and in an unusual perspective. So, off we went searching for the perfect location.

Where to view Petronas Towers

Sep 5, 2017

A Day in IMG Worlds of Adventure Dubai


One year after its grand opening, Ed and I were finally able to visit IMG Worlds of Adventure Dubai! It is currently known as the world's largest indoor theme park; breaking the record of Ferrari World which is also located in the UAE. 

Ed, being a fan of roller coasters, and I, being a sucker for theme parks, we felt it was just right to devote an entire day for the 1.5 million square feet fun zone. We arrived past 11 am, only a few minutes after the opening time, and left at around 7 pm.

Here's how our 8-hour visit went... 
   

Aug 17, 2017

Staycation in Abu Dhabi: Capital Centre Arjaan by Rotana


Last weekend, I found myself once again inside a bus en route to Abu Dhabi. The capital has been our go-to-destination for short city breaks. This summer alone, we already visited twice! Although the almost 2-hour bus ride became a norm for us, Abu Dhabi never became a mundane destination. The huge emirate has a lot to offer!

Our staycation spot, this time, is in the center of the business district! Sounds ironic, isn't it? But in our home for the weekend - Capital Centre Arjaan by Rotana, business amazingly goes well with leisure.

Staycation in Capital Centre Arjaan by Rotana

Aug 11, 2017

5th Blogversary Giveaway: Win Friday Brunch at Dusit Thani Dubai


Our little pink blog is now 5 years old! :)

It's been half a decade of blogging in between my full time job, sweet escapes, foodie adventures and whatnots! Half a decade! Can you believe that? I never thought this blogging stint could even last for a year, so this milestone certainly calls for a celebration.

As a way of saying thank you for the support that you have given during the last 5 years, we are giving away a special feast for two courtesy of our friends at Dusit Thani Dubai. 

One lucky winner will win a Friday Brunch for two. 

blogversary giveaway

Aug 4, 2017

A Quick Guide to Siem Reap: Itinerary, Expenses and Travel Tips


Being the gateway to Angkor Archaeological Park, Siem Reap is a quaint little town in Cambodia that has become a major tourist destination. Travelers set their home base in Siem Reap when exploring the world-renowned Angkot Wat and other famous Khmer temples.

Ed and I spent three days in Siem Reap during our #SweetEscapesinIndochina trip last April 2017. I could say that a 3-day itinerary is perfect for first time visitors. We were able to see the popular temples in the Angkor complex, ventured out to an off-beat attraction, and experienced non-Angkor-related activities!

Here is a basic travel guide for Siem Reap: 

Siem Reap Budget Travel Guide

Jul 30, 2017

How to avoid Temple Fatigue in Siem Reap: Things To Do beyond Angkor Wat


While planning for our trip to Siem Reap, I noticed something... all the places I wrote down on our itinerary are all TEMPLES! Uh-oh! This is bad, I thought. Don't get me wrong. Ed and I are excited to see the famed temples of Cambodia. In fact, the temples, especially the Angkor Wat, are the very reason why Siem Reap is on our 20 before 2020 list. But, we all know that "too much of something is bad!" 

There is actually a minor, yet awful case of fatigue circulating among the tourists in Siem Reap. It's called Temple Fatigue. It's when you have seen too much temples that you no longer want to see any of its kind.

We wanted to avoid temple fatigue as much as we can! So, we made sure that our trip has a good blend of cultural (temples) and modern-day (city) experiences. And it worked!

Things to do in Siem Reap

Jul 26, 2017

Wakeboarding in Abu Dhabi Al Forsan Sports Resort


He has rode the fastest roller coaster, sky dived over The Palm, and bungy jumped at the world's highest commercial bungy! My husband obviously loves to feel the adrenaline rushing through his veins! 

Although I'm scared every time Ed decides to go on an extreme adventure, I love seeing him smiling from ear to ear with fulfillment. I'm not an thrill-seeker like him, not a KJ wife either; hence, the best thing I could do is to stay on the sideline and cheer. 

And it was deja vu a few weekends ago!

While we were staycationing at Marriott Hotel Al Forsan in Abu Dhabi, he told me that he wants to go wakeboarding

Jul 23, 2017

Things To Do in Manila NAIA Terminal 3 during a Long Layover


A long layover can be exciting, but it can also be dreadful. Ed and I have experienced being stuck for 16 hours inside an airport terminal because of my carelessness. We were just lucky that the "nightmare" happened in Singapore Changi Airport - the best airport in the world - which to me is a destination of its own.

But what if it happened in Manila? I could have not forgive myself for such stupidity! Okay, maybe I'm exaggerating a bit here. We still could have found ways not to get bored inside NAIA, although it is obviously not as great as Changi Airport. 

So, during my recent homecoming trip, I decided to do an experiment

In between my Domestic flight from Bacolod and International flight to Dubai was a 7-hour layover in NAIA Terminal 3. Instead of killing time at the nearest mall (We usually go to Mall of Asia.), I opted to stay inside and roam around the airport terminal!

Things to do in Manila NAIA Terminal 3

Jul 19, 2017

Summer Stay at Marriott Hotel Al Forsan


Every summer, I vow to endure the hellish heat and make the most out of the sunny days! The soaring temperature can be punishing sometimes. Well, yeah, cross that out. It is punishing most of the time. But I couldn't just stay in our room all summer long, especially when there's so much going on outside! 

So, to kick off summer this year, Ed and I headed to Khalifa City in Abu Dhabi! Our main agenda is to stay in Marriott's newest baby - Marriott Hotel Al Forsan, and to check out the latest adrenaline rushing activity in the UAE - Wakeboarding!


Marriott Hotel Al Forsan staycation

Jul 8, 2017

How to Survive a Long-Haul Flight on a Budget Airline

Last week, I flew to the Philippines (and back) via a budget airline for the 3rd time. Some of my friends couldn't help but ask why. Well, I say, why not? I don't really mind traveling on low-cost carriers, especially when I have to stretch our travel fund a little bit farther! But human as I am, I also have the tendency to compare.

Having experienced flying with some of the bests in the aviation industry, I know I'm missing a lot of things when I'm in a cheap flight. Yet I don't have the heart to loathe low-cost carriers because when I get to see the whole picture, what they offer is exactly what I paid for!

Instead of being disappointed, I learned how to make flying on a budget less excruciating. Here are some ways...

How to Survive Budget Flights

Jun 21, 2017

A Stylish and Affordable Staycation at Centro Barsha


Dubai can sometimes be overwhelming for budget-savvy travelers. With world-famous attractions and lavish hotels scattered all over the city, one can easily label Dubai as an expensive place to visit. But living here for nearly a decade, I have learned that this melting pot is not just for those who have money to burn.

Beyond the fancy lifestyle, Dubai has a string of affordable hotels fit for the new generation of travelers - basically, for those who want to see more, spend less and stay comfortable. Ed and I, being budget-conscious travelers ourselves, can pretty much relate to this!    

Here in the UAE, one of the hotel brands that we adore is Centro. It is an affordable lifestyle hotel brand of Rotana - a trusted name in the hospitality industry. We have stayed in two Centro hotels in Abu Dhabi and one in Sharjah a long time ago, and last weekend, we were in Centro Barsha in Dubai.  

Centro Barsha Hotel Review

Jun 14, 2017

How to Explore the Wonders of Siem Reap with a 3-day Angkor Pass


When you hear the word Cambodia, what do you think of? If I'm not mistaken, your mind will instantly drift to the country's most iconic temple - The Angkor Wat! The impressive world heritage site is the symbol of Cambodia; it is even depicted in the national flag!

I get flashes of the beautiful Angkor Wat whenever somebody mentions Cambodia too! It has been in my travel wishlist for so long, and I was stoked to finally able to tick it off during our recent trip to Indochina


A guide to Angkor Wat 3 day pass

Jun 11, 2017

Meet Mikel: The Greek Coffee Company


There is this new cafe in town that is giving me some serious wanderlust. Have you heard about Mikel? Their menu tells me to "enjoy your coffee romantically as in Paris, enjoy your coffee cosmopolitan as in New York, and enjoy your coffee traditionally as in Greece!" 

Oh well, Mikel has hit me the travel bug in me spot on!

Mikel Coffee Company Dubai

Jun 4, 2017

Hanoi: Itinerary, Expenses and Things to Know Before You Go


Whether you love to travel on a budget, go into a culinary journey, or discover dynamic cities, I highly recommend visiting Hanoi! The bustling capital of Vietnam is guaranteed to impress you. 

Spending three to four days in Hanoi will allow you to visit the top attractions, go on a food hunt, and take a short trip to Halong Bay. But mind you, this quick visit will leave you wanting for more! It is actually one of the few cities I wouldn't mind getting lost at for a week or two!

Here are some travel tips, sample itinerary and budget guide to help you plan for your trip! 


May 30, 2017

7 Foodie Spots to Love in Hanoi


If you can still remember my 20 before 2020 list, you'll know that food is the very reason why I wanted to travel to Hanoi. Yes, FOOD, particularly the savory Vietnamese noodle dish called Pho! I have eaten pho many times in Manila, in Bacolod and in Dubai, and I always thought: if this tastes good, then how much more in its birthplace - Hanoi!

So, during our short trip to the capital of Vietnam, I devoured five bowls of pho. That's almost two bowls per day. Hahah! Ed and I also got to sample other delectable Vietnamese dishes, and concluded that if you are into gastronomic journeys, Hanoi is the perfect place to go as it is a foodie wonderland!


Restaurants in Hanoi

May 24, 2017

10 Places You Can't Miss in Hanoi


Hanoi - the capital of Vietnam -  easily became one of my favorite cities. It has a fascinating balance of old world charm and breathtaking natural scenery. I wouldn't deny, the frenzy in the streets can be overwhelming to the senses, but ironically, it is an organized chaos that adds up to the city's distinct character.

Ed and I only spent three days in Hanoi. Until now, we wish we could have stayed longer! And sometimes, we talk about going back there in the future. That's how much this dynamic city captured our hearts!

These are the 10 places we have visited in Hanoi during our short trip - places we wouldn't mind revisiting and places we definitely think you shouldn't miss!  

Tourist attractions in Hanoi Vietnam


1. Hoan Kiem Lake
This natural lake is the focal point of Hanoi's historical district. Its name stands for "Lake of Returned Sword" based on a local legend that tells how Emperor Le Loi gave the mythical sword back to the Golden Turtle God after using it to fight off Chinese invaders.

Now, Hoan Kiem Lake provides serenity in the midst of all the madness. The green lake is surrounded by trees, flowers and benches. Locals and tourists alike go there to relax and to see the sights. The Turtle Pagoda was built in the middle of the lake as a reminder of the legend. Adjacent to it is The Huc; a red bridge which connects the shore to Ngoc Son Temple.    

The Turtle Pagoda in  Hoan Kiem Lake
  • The Turtle Pagoda in  Hoan Kiem Lake

Lady in Hoan Kiem Lake
  • Location: Hoan Kiem District, in between Old Quarter and French Quarter
  • Entrance Fee: Free, unless you visit Ngoc Son Temple for 20,000 VND/adult
  • How to get there: If you're staying at the Old Quarter or French Quarter, Hoan Kiem Lake is just a few minutes stroll away. Read: Where to stay in Hanoi?

2. St. Joseph Cathedral
Soaring in Nha Tao street is St. Joseph Cathedral; a Neo-Gothic church built in the late 19th century by the French colonists. With the majestic facade and twin bell towers, it is a strong reminiscent of Notre-Dame de Paris.

  • Location: Hoan Kiem District, Nha Tao Street
  • Entrance Fee: Free, but entrance is only permitted during mass
  • How to get there: By foot, it is about 15 minutes walk, from Hoan Kiem Lake.

3. The Streets of Old Quarter
Old Quarter is an attraction on its own. It is bustling, captivating and very interesting. It is actually a narrow maze I wouldn't mind getting lost at. I was welcomed with surprises in every turn; a cute little cafe, a shop selling trinkets, a hole in a wall restaurant! The congested streets are lined with old colonial tube houses; some are budget hostels, most are residences. 



There are more than 70 streets in the Old Quarter. We noted the important ones based on our do-it-yourself walking tour itinerary:
  • Dong Xuan street  - where Dong Xuan night market is located
  • Ly Quoc Su - where we had the best pho in town
  • Nguyen Huu Huan - where we found the hidden Giang Cafe

4. Thang Long Water Puppet Theater
Water puppetry, a tradition which has existed for more than 1000 years, is best witnessed in Thang Long Water Puppet Theater. It is the only theater in Asia that performs water puppetry 365 days a year. The nightly performance showcases Vietnamese artistry, with segments highlighting the daily life of Vietnamese people and their historical legends.

The 1-hour show is unique and fun to watch. Ed and I giggled like little kids along with the rest of the audience. Somewhere in between the laughter, we wondered how it all works. The puppeteers took the center stage at the end of the show, but how they controlled the puppets still remains a mystery to us!

Water Puppet Show in Hanoi
  • Location: Hoan Kiem District, Dinh Tien Hoang street, near Hoan Kiem Lake
  • Ticket Price: 100,000 VND/adult


5. Tran Quoc Pagoda
Located in a small island in the West Lake is Hanoi's oldest Buddist Temple - Tran Quoc Pagoda. This place of worship is famous to tourists because of its intricate ancient design which harmoniously blends with the tranquil backdrop. Visitors can go inside the courtyard, but it is best viewed along the main road as you can see the reflection of its precious stupa on the lake.

Lady at Tran Quoc Pagoda
  • At the courtyard of Tran Quoc Pagoda 
  • Dress: Forever 21
Tran Quoc Pagoda Hanoi
  • Location: West Lake
  • Entrance Fee: Free
  • How to get there: From Old Quarter, you can take a tuktuk, taxi or Uber. We took the latter because we felt it is safer and more convenient. (Uber Fare: 30,000 VND)

6. West Lake
Despite the hustle and bustle, Hanoi can also be a romantic destination. Ed and I ventured out to the West Lake in Tay Ho district one afternoon for a quiet downtime. The largest freshwater lake in the city provides a calm and refined breathing space as it is enclosed in an upscale suburb. We strolled along the lake shore and watched the sun dip below the horizon in Pan Pacific's Summit Lounge. 

  • At the Summit Lounge of Pan Pacific Hotel
West Lake view from Summit Lounge


  • Location: Tay Ho dictrict
  • Drinks and Snack Platter at Summit Lounge: 700,000+ VND
  • Uber fare to/from Old Quarter: 30,000 VND 


  • 7. Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum
    Situated in the center of Ba Dinh Square is a granite edifice housing the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. It stands as a memorial to the Vietnamese revolutionary leader and the country's independence. The embalmed body of Ho Chi Minh is persevered in the central hall of the building. Locals and tourists can visit the mausoleum for free, but strict regulations are implemented. 


    Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum Hanoi
    • Location: Ba Dinh district
    • Entrance Fee: Free
    • Opening Hours: 8 AM to 11 AM, except Monday and Friday 
    • Visiting tips: Dress modestly; no tank tops and short skirts allowed. Taking photos is prohibited inside the mausoleum.
    • Uber fare from French Quarter: 40,000 VND


    8. One Pillar Pagoda
    One of the two iconic temples of Vietnam is the One Pillar Pagoda. The wooden Buddhist temple was built on top of a single stone pillar in the center of a lotus pond. It represents a lotus blossom; a Buddhist symbol of purity.


    One Pillar Pagoda
    • Location: Ba Dinh district, behind Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum
    • Entrance Fee: Free
    • Opening Hours: 8 AM to 5 PM
    • Uber fare from French Quarter: 40,000 VND 

    9. The Streets of French Quarter
    Compared to the busy narrow streets of Old Quarter, the wide avenues of French Quarter is easier to navigate and more ideal for romantic strolls. The streets are lined with high-end shops and fancy hotels. The historic Trang Tien street is worth a visit; be it for luxury shopping, fine dining, or simply for a cheap treat of Kem Trang Tien ice cream!

    • Location: French Quarter, southeast of Hoan Kiem Lake
    • Kem Trang Tien ice cream price: 8,000 VND 

    10. Hanoi Opera House
    Hanoi Opera House is undoubtedly the centerpiece of Hanoi's French Quarter. It was built by the French colonists, resembling Opera Garnier de Paris, in 1901. The construction was completed in 1911. It is a grand remnant of the past which serves as a venue of world-class performances and art shows. 

    • Location: French Quarter, southeast of Hoan Kiem Lake
    • Entrance Fee: You need to book a seat for a performance to see the interior of the Opera.

    Have you been to Hanoi? Did I miss your favorite attraction? 
    Drop me a line in the comment section below.



    May 18, 2017

    Where to Stay in Hanoi: Old Quarter or French Quarter


    Do you agree that your hotel location can make or break your entire trip? I do! Hence, when we were planning for the trip to Hanoi, I contemplated long and hard before I made a decision. Vietnam's capital is compact, yet it is divided into areas which are quite far from being alike. 

    There are several districts in Hanoi, but I was particularly torn between staying in the Old Quarter or in the French Quarter. I always love to be where the action is, so Old Quarter was an initial choice. But then I hate crowded and chaotic areas! And that's why French Quarter came into the picture!

    It was a petty travel dilemma that lasted for a week and was only solved by booking a one night stay in both quarters! Crazy as it may sound, but it seemed doable to me. So the final decision was to spend the first night in Old Quarter, the second night in Halong Bay, and the third night in French Quarter. 

    With this, we got to experience the best (and the worst) of both worlds in Hanoi. And I am happy to share it here just in case you got caught in the same situation.

    Where to stay in Hanoi

    May 8, 2017

    Highlights of Halong Bay: What to Expect on an Overnight Cruise


    I'm into mystical and magical destinations! You know, those places that seem to come straight off the pages of fiction novels and fairytale books. So, when I saw photos of Halong Bay in Vietnam more than a decade ago, I had to jot it down in my seemingly unrealistic travel bucket list. 

    I thought seeing the mystic of Halong Bay before my very eyes will be nothing but a dream. But when our plan to spend 9 days in Indochina was slowly taking shape, I got clear signs that I could possibly make that dream happen!

    A lot of Halong Bay cruises offer 1-day, 2-day and 3-day trips with pick up in Hanoi - our pit stop in Vietnam. Hence, I thought, why not squeeze an overnight cruise while we are there!

    And so it happen!

    what to expect on an overnight Halong Bay cruise

    Apr 20, 2017

    Coming Up: A 9-day Sweet Escape in Indochina!


    Selamat Datang! Xin Chao! Jumreap Soa!

    I will be using those words frequently over the next few days! Ed and I will embark on a sweet escape tonight. We are traveling to 3 countries in Indochina (3 cities, actually) in 9 days. We will start and end the trip in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. We will spend 3 days in Hanoi, Vietnam and another 3 days in Siem Reap, Cambodia!

    Sweet Escapes in Indochina

    Apr 9, 2017

    Black Tap Dubai: Crazy Shakes and Craft Burgers


    You know me, I can never say never to insanely outlandish beverages! I even wrote a full blog post about the ones I have tried last year. So, when I heard that Black Tap is heading out from NYC to DXB, I was beyond thrilled!

    Black Tap is a popular joint for creative craft burgers, gravity-defying milkshakes and draft beers in New York. The brainchild of Michelin-starred chef Joe Isidori took the Big Apple by storm. And now, it is currently making waves in its first location outside the US; where else but Dubai!      

    Black Tap Dubai

    Apr 3, 2017

    Overnight Stay at Royal Continental Hotel Dubai


    Traveling to Dubai sometime soon? If you're searching for a good place to stay, I have a recommendation. Ed and I recently had an overnight stay at the newly-opened Royal Continental Hotel in Deira.

    My first impression was that it is perfect for stylish yet budget-savvy travelers. And that impression lasted throughout our stay.     

    Royal Continental Hotel Dubai


    Mar 29, 2017

    Dear Dubai Newbie: A Letter from a Filipina Expat who is celebrating her 9th Year in Dubai


    Dear Dubai Newbie,

    Marhaba!

    You might be surprised with this letter. You don't know me, and I am not in the position to welcome you in this mega-city. But today is special; hence, I'm writing this letter down whether you'll read it or not. I hope you'll read though. 

    Today, exactly 9 years ago, I was like you. I got off an Emirates airplane and step foot in Dubai for the first time. Finally having a taste of independence at 25, I was excited, but tremendously scared. 

    Looking back now, I want to give my younger self a pat on the back for taking that initial step. It was a bold move that prepared me to a lot of crazy beautiful changes, so please allow me to share some unsolicited advice today.

    Mar 28, 2017

    Enab Beirut Dubai: A Picture-Perfect Lebanese Restaurant in City Walk


    Have you ever fell madly in love with a restaurant? Like it knocked you off your feet the moment you stepped in. You found yourself swooning over every little detail. You gushed over how perfect the concept is time and again. And you were already looking forward to coming back while you're halfway through your starters.

    I did!

    It happened to me with Enab Beirut Dubai last weekend. 

    Enab Beirut Dubai Citywalk

    Mar 23, 2017

    Friday Brunch at Bamboo Lagoon


    Over the weekend, I was at JW Marriott Hotel Dubai for brunch. But it wasn't just the usual Friday brunch. It was an Instameet, a photography workshop, a feast and a gathering of some of the most brilliant minds in social media all rolled into one!

    The event was hosted by Illustrado (a lifestyle magazine dedicated to the thriving Filipino expat community in the Middle East) and Nikon Middle East and Africa. Ed and I are Nikon users ever since we took blogging seriously and I'm an avid Illustrado reader; hence I was so thrilled to be there!

    At the workshop, we were introduced to Nikon D3400; a new entry level DSLR equipped with Snapbridge. The latter is a handy feature that automatically transfers photos from camera to smartphone; perfect for Bloggers and Instagrammers who like to share photos in instant while on the go.

    And when brunch time came, we were ushered to JW Marriott Hotel Dubai's Bamboo Lagoon! 

    Friday Brunch in Bamboo Lagoon Dubai