Tag Archives: Manila

A little bit of Bangkok luxury

18 Dec

Bathroom with a view - develish design

On my way out from the Philippines I stayed one night in Manila: impossible traffic & pollution, malls & chains of shops everywhere, continuous nagging by touts & salespersons. So it was like arriving in heaven when I checked into a 4-star airport hotel near Bangkok airport… (even though i once said I’d never go to 4 star hotels again…)

And when I hopped into town (before my flight to Phnom Penh the next day) to bring my computer to hospital the service was unequalled by anything I’d experienced before.

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A different kind of Airport

10 Jun
Welcome to El Nido Air-Pasture, euh Airport

Welcome to El Nido Air-Pasture, euh Airport

My days were counted – they had only given me 21 days visa at arrival in the Philippines, so I slowly but surely had to make my way back to Manila to take my return flight home… Sigh. Since the road between El Nido and Puerto Princesa was a bit challenging (as we could experience toppling over into the ditch), I decided not to backtrack and take a plane from El Nido, without knowing what to expect. But I certainly didn’t expect arriving in a scene of the ‘Flying Doctors’ TV series.

El Nido airport was sooooo small that I don’t know if I would call it an airport. Continue reading

Shaky SEAir private jet experience

5 Jun
My private SEAir jet - small enough?

My private SEAir jet - small enough?

The only viable way to get around the Philippines is by plane. No worries, I’ve been taking ‘some’ planes before – till I saw the SEAir plane that was going to bring me (hopefully) to Manilla. The mini-plane looked and felt more like a bus – judging both from the interior décor, as well as from the sensitivity to shaky bumpy roads. I was the only one on board besides a suicidal Korean couple… But I am still alive

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Someone is hiding Taal Volcano

30 May
Not easy getting there with Manila traffic...

Not easy getting there with Manila traffic...

Have you ever heard of Taal Volcano, one of the 16 dangerously active volcanoes in the world? Well, I went down to see how dangerous this volcano situated in the middle of Taal lake really was. But I can’t really tell, because we could hardly see the monster in the thick mist. I guess the rainy season in the Philippines has started ;-(

Nevertheless, the outing to Tagaytay was a nice escape from the cars, concrete and congestion of Manila. Once we got to Tagaytay we were driving through pineapple and banana fields and stopped for a bit of fruit shopping on the way – deliciously fresh and sweet. I’ll never be able to eat the exotic fruits in Belgium anymore after these delicacies… Continue reading

Not a CouchSurfing Virgin anymore

24 May
More than just a couch...

More than just a couch...

One is always nervous for the first time… I apprehended the moment… Delayed it on several occasions… but then decided – enough is enough – I didn’t want to be a couchsurfing virgin anymore!

So when preparing for the Philippines, from my fancy hotel room in Bangkok, I thought to abandon the 4star luxury lifestyle (as in Penang) and go local (and non-commercial). I contacted a few people via the CouchSurfing.org website, and a few hours later I had a choice of many couches to lay my head on – and much more than that…
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Manila – Same Same but Different

23 May
Traditional Guard - spanish style

Traditional Guard - spanish style

So I arrived in the Philippines (after some struggle with Thai Airways who made me pay my booking fee again, despite the fact I had already paid it). I can’t help but compare the Philippines (Manila) with the other countries I visited recently.

The phrase that comes to mind is ‘Same same, but different’. Indeed, there’s a similar Asian feel about the Philippines, but on the other hand you can clearly see the stamp that the Spanish & Americans left on the country.

Or as my guidebook put it: think of a Philippino as an Asian that spent 300 years in (Spanish, catholic) church and 50 years in Disneyland – very accurate!

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