All posts by Diyosa

Hong Kong Getaway

Walking around Tsim Tsa Tsui, Hong Kong by Madie Boie Sahid
Walking around Tsim Tsa Tsui, Hong Kong by Madie Boie Sahid

Do you remember the first time you traveled abroad? I do. I vividly remember many parts of my first Hong Kong Trip with my relatives, way back in 1995. We did a lot of walking, a lot of shopping, a trip to an amusement park. And yes, tons of eating Chinese food.

Fast forward to 2014 on Christmas Day, my friends and I were on our way to Hong Kong for a quick getaway. And we did practically what my relatives and I did back in 1995. Only this time, we did much less shopping. And drunk a bit of booze.

Upon our arrival in Hong Kong, early evening of December 25, we took the bus to our apartment which we rented via AirBnB. And we quickly headed out to the shopping district of Tsim Tsa Tsui to look for food. We were hungrrrrry. I was, in fact, HANGRY.

On our way out of our apartment, I took a photo of our apartment complex and several establishments around it just to make sure I’d be able to go home safely, in case I get separated from the group, or we all forget or get lost. We walked from the apartment to Tsim Tsa Tsui. We chose that apartment from the AirBnB options we saw precisely because it was conveniently just a walking distance from most places we wanted to go to.

That first night was a actually a blur for me. After dinner, I think two of my friends (GUESS WHO) went out to party. It was, after all, the eve of Madie‘s birthday.

The next day, we Googled where the nearest Toastbox is and headed out for brunch.

Brunch at Toastbox Hong Kong
Brunch at Toastbox Hong Kong

Of course, we had to have Milk Tea the soonest time possible. Hehe!

Then, it was time to take the train to the farthest station.

Commuting in Hong Kong
Commuting in Hong Kong

We were on our way to Hong Kong Disneyland.

Winston, Andrew, Ria, and Madie at Disneyland HK by Madie Boie Sahid
The Gang at Disneyland HK by Madie Boie Sahid
Ria outside the Its a Small World Ride outside of Disneyland HK
Ria outside the Its a Small World Ride outside of Disneyland HK

It was my first time in any Disneyland so I was quite giddy. Being the scaredy cat that I am, I only rode the It’s a Small World ride. After even more walking around, watching The Lion King show, and a bit of souvenir hunting, we ended our Disneyland visit and decided to go straight to the Avenue of Stars.
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Starbucks Holiday Mini-Card with Swarovski Crystals

Starbucks Holiday Mini-Card with Swarovski Crystals
Starbucks Holiday Mini-Card with Swarovski Crystals

Gorgeous, right? The 2015 Starbucks Holiday Mini-Card with Swarovski Crystals is a luxurious collaboration between Starbucks and Swarovski. Studded with 29 Swarovski crystals, it is the most decadent Starbucks card yet. It is definitely a must-have for any Starbucks Card Collector.

It is available starting November 2, 2015 in selected Starbucks Philippines branches and you can get it with an initial load of PhP2,500. The 2,500 is fully consumable so you’re actually not paying anything for the card itself. Plus you can consume the load while collecting stickers for the Starbucks 2015 Moleskine Planners.

To know more about the Starbucks Holiday Mini-Card and other Holiday promos and products, visit the Starbucks site at http://www.starbucks.ph/. For updates, follow them on social media: on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/StarbucksPhilippines, on Twitter @StarbucksPH, and on Instagram @StarbucksPH.

Kota Kinabalu Adventure

Here’s a confession… A friend booked me on a flight to Kota Kinabalu and about a month before our trip I didn’t even know if Kota Kinabalu is in Indonesia or Malaysia. Much to the chagrin of my friends. Hehehe!

So why book a flight to Kota Kinabalu in the first place? Because of this bunch of crazies!

Positive Peeps on the way to Kota Kinabalu
Positive Peeps on the way to Kota Kinabalu

Yup, I gave in to peer pressure and the temptation of a seat sale. Kezia booked our flight for us on January 1, 2015 and we were scheduled to leave sometime September. Along the way, we were able to convince bully a few more friends to go with us. Including this guy, Fra…

Fra on the way to Kota Kinabalu
Fra on the way to Kota Kinabalu

Renz (the guy in glasses) who had already been to Kota Kinabalu (KK) promised us we would enjoy our trip and that we don’t even have to spend a lot to have an awesome KK experience. He made us an itinerary that consisted mostly of eating, island hopping, eating, walking around, and even more eating. And we did exactly all that for for three days. Without spending over PhP5,000.

FYI a Ringgit (RM) is equivalent about PhP11 – PhP12.

Cebu Pacific Air flies from Manila to Kota Kinabalu daily at past 11 pm. To prepare for the trip, I opted to stay at home and rest for at least 24 hours before the flight. We had planned to do our Island Hopping the day we arrived in KK so I had to have energy. The flight takes around two hours. Luckily, our flight was on time. When we arrived at the airport, we got a large cab that would fit the five of us and our luggage. Our Kota Kinabalu Adventure was about to begin!

To facilitate paying for our cab and other common expenses, we decided to pool RM100 per traveler and we would use this pooled money for cab rides, some meals, taxes, and other expenses which we all had to pay for. I was the trip’s designated Group Leader so I kept and managed the pooled money. I got this smart travel tip from Kuya Andrew during our Hong Kong trip in December 2014.

From the airport we went straight to Sensi Backpackers Hostel. The entire cab ride, me and Kezia (the girl in glasses) were on the lookout for food places that were still open. And we were more than ecstatic to find out that there was one Azlina Sulawesi Kafe and Katering was right beside Sensi and it is open 24 hours a day, everyday. HURRAH! They serve Halal Food. Our favorite is the Roti Kosong.

Roti Kosong by Azlina Sulawesi at Jalan Gaya, Kota Kinabalu
Roti Kosong by Azlina Sulawesi at Jalan Gaya, Kota Kinabalu

We ate this with some hot noodle soup, enough to keep us full. After eating we went back to the hostel, discussed our itinerary and went to sleep. We agreed on waking up by 7 am so we could eat breakfast and start our island hopping early. So wake up early we did and we went just across the street to Fong Ip Cafe for coffee, milk tea, soft boiled eggs, and toast.

The hostel managers helped us secure a cheap package for island hopping and parasailing. After we got our temporary receipt from them, we walked along Jalan Haji Saman towards the Kota Kinabalu Ferry Terminal. We looked up the tour agency that our hostel referred us to, paid the remaining fees and taxes, and off we went.

A view of Kota Kinabalu while Island Hopping
A view of Kota Kinabalu while Island Hopping

We chose to do only two stops, one at Pulau Mamutik and another at Pulau Manukan. Basically, we did this at Pulau Mamutik.

Camwhoring at Pulau Mamutik, Kota Kinabalu
Camwhoring at Pulau Mamutik, Kota Kinabalu

And this…

Buko Juice at Pulau Mamutik, Kota Kinabalu
Buko Juice at Pulau Mamutik, Kota Kinabalu

We reserved eating lunch and swimming for our next stop. But first…

Parasailing at Pulau Manukan, Kota Kinabalu
Parasailing at Pulau Manukan, Kota Kinabalu

My four companions tried Parasailing en route to Pulau Manukan. And they enjoyed it. A lot. Parasailing is just one of the many advenuture and aqua sports activities you can do around Kota Kinabalu.
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