Travel Posts

Manila : A Dark Gem

Manila began as the first chartered city due to the Philippine Commission Act 183 enacted on July 31, 1901. It gained autonomy as a city after passing of the Revised Charter of the City of Manila on June 18, 1949. But it was founded on June 24, 1571. Located on the eastward shores of Manila Bay, the capital of the Philippines is labeled as one of the most densely populated cities in the world. Manila served as the throne of power for many of the country’s colonial rulers. With those colonial rulers came their way of life and so it now houses a variety of historical sites, dating back to the 17tn century. Manila is also witnessed to a lot of the Philippines first- from the first hotel and water system to the first flyover and science high school as well as a whole lot more. It is undeniable that it is one of the most populous areas in the world, but on the other hand, it is also one of the richest places in Southeast Asia.

Manila

If you want to visit this vibrant city of seeming contradictions, then the best way in is through the Ninoy Aquino International Airport which welcomes domestic and international flights. You can book Dubai to Manila flights,Dublin to Manila flights, London to Manila flights and more so due to the expansive catering of the airport.

Surely you would like to see some main attractions here and figure out what you can do. So we have a list for you:

Manila

  • Enjoy at Binondo:  Touted to the oldest Chinatown in the whole world, Binondo is certainly a haven for people looking to dig in and get the authentic Manila experience, which lies beyond the regular fast food stalls and restaurants. But be warned of crowded alleys and then head on over to Divisoria where you will be able to indulge in bargain shopping regarding a wide variety of low priced, wholesale goods.
  • Take a tour of Bonifacio Global City: This is the financial district of Manila, or specifically of Taguig City in Metro Manila. Not to bore you with financial matters, the place you should hit up is the Bonifacio High Street, which is filled with bars, restaurants, retail outlets, and pedestrian-friendly walkways. So if you are on the lookout to enjoy some of Manila’s nightlife, this is the area to scout.
  • Get awed at Intramuros: Famously called the walled city, Intramuros actually best represents Manila’s rich cultural history. The oldest Manila district is lined with Spanish era constructions and this is the place to go to if you want to learn about the historical importance of the place you are visiting. If you want to give it a visit, we would suggest taking the LRT 1 train to the Central terminal station first.
  • Enjoy at Poblacion, Makati: Certainly one of the important business districts in Manila, which caters to the history, culture, and entertainment of the place. You should look towards hitting up the streets like Makati Avenue, P. Burgos, and Polaris which are all major entertainment sites.

Manila is a beautiful city which offers a variety of entertainment for its travellers. It is definitely densely packed, but so is its historical importance in terms of the country.

Magnificent Moscow In Winter : Festivities For Trans-Siberian Passengers

First time passengers aboard a Trans-Siberian train heading to Beijing from Moscow are definitely in for the ride of their life – beginning their journey with a fabulous stay in the Russian capital. Indeed, although the temperatures from December to February in Moscow do drop to below zero, it is not too difficult keeping warm during a tour of the city as part of a Trans-Siberian express experience. Getting the chance to witness magnificent ice sculptures in the capital as well as visiting some of the many fantastic places of interest in the city is what Trans-Siberian train passengers have got in store for them.

Trans-Siberian Passengers

Image Source: Flickr

Indeed, train trippers spending their first ever day in Moscow are bound to be blown away by the many wonderful festivities to be found in the city during winter which are unique to the capital. What many people looking forward to a couple of days in Moscow will do is look on the net for websites providing insight into the more unusual things to do in the city. Some of the more interesting things to get up to whilst touring Moscow before a Trans-Siberian trip to Beijing are listed below:

  1. Have fun at one of the 45 ice rinks in the city
  2. Experience the Russian Winter Festival
  3. Witness the “Art on Snow” competition in Sokolniki Park
  4. Marvel at the display of Russia’s New Year’s trees
  5. Enjoy winter sports such as snowboarding or sledding in a Moscow park

Hearty Food

Trans-Siberian passengers who will be spending some time in Moscow before heading off on their journey to Beijing need not worry about being able to keep warm whilst in the capital. Indeed, it is very easy to find an array of restaurants providing hearty food and warm beverages designed to help Muscovites and tourists deal with the extremely low temperatures. People wondering whether there are a selection of Trans Siberian railway tours in 2019 that will give them the chance to visit the enchanting city of Moscow in the winter should look online for the many options to be discovered. However, rather than being in too much of a hurry to book one of these life-changing train trips, it is best to take our time in order to choose the tour that we will enjoy the most. Of course, couples or lone travellers who cannot wait to sample the delicious dishes to be found in the Russian capital will need to conduct some research. By doing so, food lovers will be able to discover some of the more appealing places to enjoy Beef Stroganoff, hot soups or Pelmeni.

Wrap Up Warm

With the sub-zero temperatures to deal with when visiting Moscow in the winter, there is no wonder that bringing the most suitable clothing and footwear for a trip to the capital will be on the minds of people planning such an experience. However, apart from talking to friends or colleagues that have spent time in Moscow during the winter months, it would be a good idea to carry out a bit of online research in order to be properly prepared for a magical visit to the city of Moscow. There are fortunately some fantastic websites with information about Moscow available online.

Indeed, by putting in a bit of effort when planning a trip to Moscow in the winter, there is no reason why we should not have a magical time. Of course, if we are also looking forward to heading down to Beijing as part of our Trans-Siberian express trip, then life simply could not get any better.

Field Trip Around the Home Garden in Sri Lanka

Usually kids go field trips to new places such as museums,botanical gardens and any other kid friendly attraction such as zoo.Even my kid visited Singapore zoo as his preschool field trip for last year.But,recently we had another experience of field trip around the home garden Sri Lanka.Here is our exciting story of the field trip! 🙂

Field Trip around the Home Garden

We happily started our field trip around the Home Garden in Sri Lanka

This is another experience we had during our recent holiday in Sri Lanka. Spending school holiday in Sri Lanka is a really enjoyable experience for the kid. He gets more opportunities to live with nature as each our homes are with a private garden area. As my husband’s parents live in a home with a spacious land area, kid gets more experiences other than playing freely in the garden.

Field Trip around the Home Garden

After spending few days in husband’s place, I thought of taking the child to visit around the land. It was kind of a field trip for him.

Field Trip around the Home Garden

It’s a dragonfly!

During our walk he watched Grasshoppers, dragonflies, butterflies and even monkeys! Though it was few minutes’ walk around the home and land, it was an awesome field trip experience for a curious preschooler like him!

Field Trip around the Home Garden

We saw a monkey too! 🙂

Though this was just a walk around home garden, kid was relaxed and excited with his new experiences. He experienced climbing on tree trunks and walking on the land with lot of wild plants around.

Field Trip around the Home Garden

Balance walking along the tree trunk!

End of our land, it was a view of paddy field. (Rice fields). To view the rice fields we need to cross a small water stream.

Field Trip around the Home Garden

But for the day, we ended our field trip at this point and returned home.

Field Trip around the Home Garden

It was a great idea to spend with my kid. And a field trip around the home garden is a great idea to expose kids to nature. They will sure enjoy such time!

 

Back to School Shopping in Johor Bahru , Malaysia

Living in Singapore, Johor Bahru is our favorite place for short getaways and shopping trips whenever there is a holiday. We don’t need a reason to visit Johor Bahru. ( or JB as most call this city of Malaysia)After our recent long holiday in Sri Lanka, year-end weekend was the perfect time to visit JB again. Reason? No perfect reason at all! We wanted to spend family time, entertain the kid, and most importantly we wanted to buy school stuff for the kid.

Back to School Shopping at Johor Bahru Malaysia

I still remember the back to school days during my school time, the best part of the new school term is that we get new shoes, new bags and books if need. So, following the same, it is time to buy new items for the kid. He will be in Kindergarten this year (K1).After around 2 months holiday in Sri Lanka, we wanted to give him some excitement which can make him eager to go to school on the first day of the new school term.

Back to School Shopping at Johor Bahru Malaysia

Which kid doesn’t love such school supplies themed with Sesame Street Characters!

Johor Bahru is with large city malls namely City Square, Komtar JBCC and many other. As it was the holiday season, both malls were decorated nicely to give us a festive mood.

Back to School Shopping at Johor Bahru Malaysia

With Sesame Street Characters at the City Square Mall, Johor Bahru

At City Square mall, there were lots of photo opportunities with popular Sesame Street Characters. Other than that, Sesame street themed school supplies were on sale. Our kid was so happy to have his new water bottle, file case, snack box and some other items with his favourite Sesame Street characters!

Back to School Shopping at Johor Bahru Malaysia

Kid had great time playing these games at KOMTAR JBCC

In Komtar JBCC, kid enjoyed playing on kiddy rides and games.

Back to School Shopping at Johor Bahru Malaysia

It was a fun day at Komtar,JBCC

After spending a day at Johor Bahru among activities including shopping,playing and dining,kid wanted to come back to Singapore soon to play with his latest name labels.Those name labels were perfect on his new school supplies.

It was awesome to spend the year end at Johor Bahru. How about you? How do you prepare your kids for the new school term?

School Holidays and Time Spent in Sri Lanka

As a mom who works from home, now I enjoy the luxury of spending long holidays. Before the kid’s arrival, we always had 2-3 weeks holidays in Sri Lanka as we both were working full time. We had to utilize our annual leaves in the best way whenever we visited Sri Lanka to see parents. However, now it is almost 5 years after I resigned from my full time job which I loved so much. Though I miss the working environment, I enjoy other privileges as a self-employed mom. As my clients are from around the world and due to I hire virtual staff online I can easily work from anywhere when I have the access to internet. That is one the secret for my long holidays!

We were planning to visit Sri Lanka when the November-December holidays started. However, as my father was not well and had to undergo a surgery, we had to change the dates. We visited Sri Lanka earlier than we planned. It was an enjoyable time among the family and friends. My kid enjoyed his time running around the lands. Finally we are back to Singapore and adjusting to the life here. As usual it takes some time to adjust to Singapore life as we spent nearly 2 months in Sri Lanka.

Anyway below are some moments that we experienced in Sri Lanka. This holiday is just after our recent June holiday in Sri Lanka. Although we didn’t visit many places during this time, kid experienced new things including his time exploring the nature.But,we also cant forget the first few days of the holiday which our kid caught with fever.

A visit around the home was enjoyable for my kid. For him it was like another day trip or another field trip. As my husband’s home land is bit larger, he could spend few hours walking around the land.

As always,this time too we arranged a pilgrimage to Anuradhapura which is a sacred city for Buddhists.My kid spent time with his grand parents learning how to worship Buddha.

Sanu,my kid had great time with his friend D at my friend’s home.Sanu always like to visit my friend’s home because of the playing time he enjoy with the friend’s kid who is of similar age same as my kid.

Finally,we are back in Singapore.There are many experiences to share including our recent birthday celebration of the kid. 🙂 And still we are missing our time spent in Sri Lanka with family and friends.

 

Traveling with children for the end of the year holidays. Next stop Peru.

Almost everyone is focusing on the end of the year holidays; most people are starting to purchase presents for their family and friends. The classical euphoria of the Christmas holidays surrounds everything around us and takes over our minds, but what if people like me do not want to participate in any of that? What if I want my children to not part take of this consumerist madness?

Fortunately for us, The best present we can get to our children is a holiday spent in a different country, however choosing the right place to travel with them is always a challenge and a hard choice to make.

Peru Traveling with children

To do that, one has to consider many factors to make a wise decision. for instance, not only the attractions have to be entertaining for the kids, but the place itself has to have the necessary accommodations and infrastructure for people who travel with children.

After careful analysis and research, my recommendation for such destination for 2017 and 2018 is Peru, the land of the Inca.

Peru is a place that is located in the southern hemisphere, which means that while we are entering the cold winter, they will be entering a warm summer. Some of the best places to go with children in Peru are the Paracas National Park, and it’s Ballestas islands where one can see the large and unique wildlife of the Pacific Ocean in South America. Sea otters, Humboldt penguins, and other exotic animals can be seen from the boats touring this attraction.

Not far from there, in the Coastal desert of Peru south of Lima, it is located the Huacachina lake, which is a natural oasis of that holds beautiful and surreal sunset views. In that same area, one can take the kids on a boogie ride to the nearby dunes and practice some sand boarding which will keep the kids entertained and happy.

Traveling with children Peru

And if that is not enough, Peru is the home of the beautiful lost city of the Inca; Machu Picchu. In this place, one can perform a bunch of activities and tours ranging from visiting zoos to see the fantastic wildlife of the Andean mountains, handicraft markets and even do some camping along the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, which is one of the most famous hiking routes of the world. The best part of that is that Machu Picchu is a great place for kids, they can learn many things there.

It is important to know that to do this hike one needs to make reservations ahead of time with a trusted tour operator. They usually provide you with all the essential gear that is necessary for this type of activities which means that one does not even need to but or take these things from home.

To sum up, this whole end of the year frenzy, traveling to Peru and enjoy the beauty of its magnificent culture will be my present and the present I will give to my children.

Having a Mom Moment? Take a Break in the Beautiful Mountains of Arkansas

They don’t call Arkansas “The Natural State” without good reason. There’s a wealth of things to do in the unspoilt outdoors to renew your spirit and boost your mood. If you’re a busy mom looking for a break, the mountains of Arkansas may be just what you need for rejuvenation.

Arkansas has two separate mountain ranges – the Ouachitas and the Ozarks which are located mainly in the west of the state. Regardless of which range you choose, there are a several activities to take part in including wildlife watching, hiking, biking, camping, fishing and boating. Check yourself into a hotel like Courtyard Little Rock North and explore all the region has to offer.

Beautiful Mountains of Arkansas

The Ozark Mountains are a series of plateaus which run south to north and reach into Missouri. They offer a number of geologic features including caves, springs and sinkholes. You can also choose from many rivers and streams.  In contrast to the rugged and remote Ozarks, the Ouachita range is well-known for its diamond lakes – Ouachita, Hamilton Catherine, Greeson and DeGray. There are several state parks from which to choose and they offer lots of options.

Camping and climbing

Tough it out in the open or take advantage of the many public and private campgrounds in the Ouachita National Forest. You can choose to erect a tent or enjoy the amenities an RV. Many campgrounds offer restrooms, showers and other comforts. You also have the option of roughing it in the Ozarks or opting for some luxury.

Camping and climbing is a great way to spend time on outdoors.Therefore don’t forget to pack the camping essentials including tents and sleeping bags. You should also pack a pair of binoculars to watch birds and animals.This will be a great experience for your kids to enjoy the wonders of nature.Check the best binoculars under 200 before you choose any Binocular,because recommendations and reviews are always helpful for making decisions.

Beautiful Mountains of Arkansas

Meanwhile, the sandstone in the Ozarks is great for climbing. Check out Sam’s Throne, Horseshoe Canyon Ranch or Red Rock Point for sport climbing and bouldering.

Hiking and biking

The Ozark Highlands Trail is 218 miles long but that is just one of the many hiking trails you will find. Get a workout and take in the amazing view from Pedestal Rocks Loop, the Lost Valley Trail or Hemmed in Hollow.

Bikers will be in their element in either range. The Ouachita mountains are home to three IMBA Epic trails and miles of forest road. The Ozarks have the IMBA Epic Upper Buffalo Headwaters Trail and Syllamo Trails well as Mount Kessler, Lake Leatherwood and Slaughter Pen. You will need to return if you want to explore them all.

Fishing and boating

The lakes are crystal clear and you can catch a variety of species. The Ouachita and Little Missouri Rivers are perfect for finding trout and walleye while you’ll take home striper and bass from Lake Ouachita and Lake Hamilton.

Do you love boating and water sports more? Choose from Lake Hamilton, Lake Ouachita, Lake Catherine or Lake Greeson. If paddling in a canoe or kayak is more your thing, then the Caddo, Cossatot, Little Missouri and Ouachita Rivers are ideal for you.You can easily find the best fishing kayak under 1000 and enjoy fishing while spending the day among the beautiful river views.

Shopping and dining

If you want to be surrounding by nature but you don’t want too much physical activity, take in the charming city of Hot Springs, the main commercial hub in Ouachita. Pop into the shops along Central Avenue, check out the art in the galleries and grab some lunch in one of the many restaurants. Hot Springs National Park is also nearby.

Get started on planning that itinerary and remember, if you can’t do it all, there’s always next time!

Singapore Lantern Festival and Dazzling Paper Lanterns

Mid-Autumn festival is one of the festivals that I came across in Singapore. However other than mooncakes, I didn’t know much about festive celebrations until the recent participation for the lantern festival. With my preschooler, now I get all sorts of opportunities to learn bit about the culture in this country because his school allows us so many opportunities to participate with such events. While these are great opportunities for the kid to learn about other culture, I also find it as a way to join with the community.

Working full time and most of the time stay late at the office to complete my work load, earlier I didn’t have such opportunities to look around. But now as a self-employed person, I find it is relaxing and it is easy to plan my schedules while spending more time with the kid. This lantern festival was held in a park near our place, so we could enjoy our time walking there at the night.

Here are some highlights from the lantern festival!

We found our Zebra paper lantern at the first set of lanterns! Kid was so happy to see his lantern among others..

Do you remember the Zebra lantern which we decorated at home for the preschool? That paper lantern decoration was for the Mid-Autumn Festival (Lantern Festival) in our neighbourhood.

Singapore Lantern Festival

Other paper lanterns decorated by preschool kids.

The lantern festival was glowing with the beautiful paper lanterns decorated by preschool kids around the neighbourhood. It was a colourful night that dazzled by lanterns.

Singapore Lantern Festival

It was a good collection of paper lanterns which proved the crafting talents of these little kids.Some were decorated with stickers.Some were decorated with paintings.All were equally beautiful and colourful.

Singapore Lantern Festival

Red lanterns

Other than the paper lanterns decorated by the kids,there were also other red lanterns to make the festival colourful and cheerful.Though I don’t have photos to share,the event was full of  other games that allowed both kids and adults to participate.

Singapore Lantern Festival

Lion Dance costumes

Not only the games,we also found cultural shows such as Lion Dance during the festival time.It was such a good night that we spent together around our neighbourhood!

Do you like such festivals that celebrates as a part of culture?

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Preschool Field Trip to the Singapore Zoo

Kids easily learn through activities and observation. This is why field trips and outdoor explorations are important specially for early learners. At home we always encourage our kid to experience active learning as we know the benefits of such.My kid was lucky to join with his Preschool Field trip to the Singapore Zoo and it was a fantastic opportunity for him as an early learner!

Preschool Field trip to the Singapore Zoo

My little explorer is learning to read the map!

Last week we had a fun day at the Singapore zoo. That was my kid’s first ever school field trip. His preschool teachers organized a field trip to the Singapore zoo. This is why we like the new preschool.Now our kid’s preschool days are full of different activities and experiences which also improves his social skills.

My kid has visited the Singapore zoo 3 times during the last year as family trips. However a preschool field trip is a great way to spend his day with teachers and friends.So we decided to join our kid to visit the zoo again. And of course, I visited the zoo again for the 5th or 6th time! 🙂

Preschool Field trip to the Singapore Zoo

Little explorers are walking to see the animals in the Singapore zoo!

However, Singapore zoo is always an exciting place to visit. It looks natural and attractive. With preschool kids, I really had a great time.

For my kid, it was an exciting day. He packed his bag with field trip essentials including snacks, hat and raincoat before he went to the bed. On the day of the field trip, he woke up early and was really excited. The bus ride with his preschool friends was an unforgettable experience for him. 🙂

Preschool Field trip to the Singapore Zoo

My kid is watching dinosaurs with his friend

Preschool Field trip to the Singapore Zoo

Exploring the dinosaur statue

Other than watching the animals around the zoo, teachers planned to watch some animal shows during the field trip. It was exciting for the kids. But after the first animal show, my kid showed signs of tiredness. Light snacks were always helpful for me to keep him active. 🙂

Preschool Field trip to the Singapore Zoo

These animal themed trams are fun to see!

A tram ride around the zoo was exciting. He could watch his most favourite animal, the Lion!He also loved to see elephants!

Preschool Field trip to the Singapore Zoo

We also watched the Elephant show at the Singapore Zoo!

Preschool Field trip to the Singapore Zoo

Preschool Field trip to the Singapore Zoo

Curious to see the exhibits!

Other than watching animals and their behavior, kids also learned to share and to spend the time together. At the end of the day, kids looked tired but still talkative and playful!

Do you like such field trips?

 

Our Relaxing Sri Lanka Holiday – June 2017

I am back after one month long holiday! It was a really relaxing holiday after our Sri Lanka holiday in 2016 October. however we were affected by the recent flood disaster in Sri Lanka too. We planned this holiday during the school holiday month, so we could enjoy a month long relaxing time among the friends and relatives. My kid was the happiest among all.

We reached Sri Lanka on May 27th, however due to heavy floods we couldn’t visit many places during the first two weeks until my husband’s leaves are over. 🙂  He returned Singapore in 2 weeks and we spent the rest of days visiting some places.

Relaxing Sri Lanka Holiday

Picking Rambutan direct from trees was an exciting experience for Sanu!

As always I use our time in Sri Lanka to give more different experiences for our son. It is time for him to play as he wishes. I also packed some of his favourite toys, colouring books and some busy bags too. Colouring books are always helpful to keep him busy in airports and in first few days till he adjusts to the new places.

It was the Rambutan (a tropical fruit) season in Sri Lanka.It was nice that we could enjoy delicious Rambutan and Sanu got the opportunity to pluck directly from the Rambutan trees.He also enjoyed his time running over paddy fields which I believe as treasurable moments for him.

Relaxing Sri Lanka Holiday

Sanu had opportunity to spend time running over paddy fields!

This time, I spent more time relaxing and without working online. I had to plan the future as I am in a struggle between taking decision on doing a full time job or working from home. Though I like working from home, it doesn’t allow me enough time to concentrate on my work. On the other way, a full time job will come with more stressful moments although it is with fixed monthly income for me. Finally, I decided to try another few months working from home on engineer related jobs in more organized way! That’s the best outcome of this relaxing holiday in Sri Lanka!

We spent time on Buddhist pilgrimages

Other than relaxing, I could plan few pilgrimages to Buddhist places with parents. We really enjoyed our days.

The blog will be updated with exciting products, giveaways and tips/advices posts. Stay in touch! How was your days?

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