Ultimate St Patrick’s Festival in Dublin

June 10th, 2020

St Patrick DublinWhether you’ll have the entire family kitted out in green, white, and gold this St. Patrick’s Day or you’re just looking forward to the opportunity of a day off, March 17 is a big day for everybody in Ireland.

And it’s not even just St. Patrick’s Day any more – now the festival can last up to a week, with everything from drumming and dancing to comedy and cooking slotting into the colourful annual arts festival. If you are visiting Dublin this St. Patrick’s Day, you’ll discover a carnival atmosphere that will ignite your sense of Irish pride (even if you’re not Irish at all).

The Festival

Starting on March 14th, Dublin’s St. Patrick’s Festival is a four-day bonanza showcasing the spectacular festival parade on March 17th. Daily events include funfairs, a craft beer village, and walking tours following in the footsteps of St. Patrick.

In the evenings, Dublin businesses and iconic venues including Trinity College, the GPO, and Christchurch will be illuminated in green light, flying the Irish flag to indicate their national pride. Other events include treasure hunts, ceilis, concerts, talks, but the main event is the parade on March 17th.

The parade starts at noon on Parnell Square, winding up O’Connell Street, over O’Connell Bridge, and through Westmoreland Street, Dame Street, and Lord Edward Street, before passing Christchurch Cathedral and finishing just after St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

Irish Craft Beer & Food Market

You won’t find much green beer here: The emphasis is on quality Irish craft brews and whiskey, as well as delicious food produced by passionate artisans from the best Irish ingredients. This is a covered market (inside CHQ in the IFSC, Dublin 1), so the famously changeable Irish weather won’t dampen your enthusiasm as you browse the stalls, take in a master class, and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere and live music.

The market is open daily from 10am to 8pm Thursday March 13 to Monday March 17, and the beer & whiskey bar opens Thursday 13th at 5pm, and runs daily from 12.30pm – 10pm.

Funfairs

Located at three sites across the city, the funfairs have become a perennial festival favourite, offering young and old a range of stellar attractions from carousels to roller-coasters. You’ll find them at Merrion Square West, Wolfe Tone Park, and Custom House Quay, with each one open from Friday March 14 to Monday March 17.

Opening hours vary, with the Custom House fairground sparking up at 10am and the other two getting going at 11am.

Festival Ceili

You just can’t have a St. Patrick’s Festival without a proper ceili, and the Dublin St. Patrick’s Festival certainly delivers, with the biggest gathering of Irish dancing enthusiasts you are ever likely to witness.

Even if you have never danced a step in your life, come down to St. Stephen’s Green at 4.30pm on Friday March 14 and get ready to learn some steps and get moving to live, traditional music. The craic will be mighty.

There will be plenty more to keep you entertained and enthralled in Dublin this St. Patrick’s weekend, with street performers, boat races, a treasure hunt, and a road race, and if you’d like to get out of the city and see how the rest of Ireland celebrates its national feast day, hire a car in Dublin for the affordable, flexible transport option.

Visiting Chicago

December 7th, 2018

Chicago riverThe third most populous city in the United States with more than 2.7 million inhabitants, Chicago experienced a blistering development in the late nineteenth century.

After more difficult times later on in its history, with some mixed segregation, prohibition, gang war and economic crisis, the city have witnessed a new prosperity since the beginning of the 90s. While continuing to encourage the construction of skyscrapers and architectural innovation, the municipality has the concern to always offer more green spaces.

Chicago still suffers from its sulphurous criminal record and is still facing a significant homicide rate: in 2016, there were just over two murders a day. Nevertheless, this figure should be put into perspective. First remember the size of the population of the city. Second, note that these crimes are mostly related to settling scores and are confined to low-income residential neighborhoods. On the other hand the city center is perfectly safe.

Finally in recent years, the main city of the state of Illinois regularly reaches first place in various studies, highlighting both its economy and its tourist attractiveness.

Willis Tower

If you are visiting, take the height to discover Chicago from the Skydeck, the observation point located at the 103rd of 108 floors that are part of the Willis Tower. If you usually avoid paying for attractions, then unlike the CN tower in Toronto, the price is reasonable there: just $23. And frankly, you will not be disappointed by the experience and the view! Highly recommend.

Completed in 1973 with a height of 527 meters, the Willis Tower was the tallest building in the world for 25 years (1973 – 1998) and the United States for 40 years, before being exceeded in 2013 by One World Trade Center in New York.

As can be seen by perusing online photos, downtown Chicago has an impressive number of towers: there are more than 80 buildings over 165 meters high, plus a dozen or so others, currently under construction. And the styles are very varied: from Art Deco to international style, neo-gothic and modernism, there is something for everyone!

Among the city’s most iconic skyscrapers, we will mention the Willis Tower of course, but also the magnificent Trump International Hotel and Tower, the dark John Hancock Center, the Marina City binoculars, the remarkable Aqua and the amazing Lake Point Tower.

Chicago also has older buildings, such as the imposing Merchandise Mart, the red Reid Murdoch Building, the Tribune Tower, the Wrigley Building, the Jewelers’ Building, and so on. In short, there is so much to do in this eclectic city!

The architecture of Chicago is also represented indoors, for who knows how to push the right doors. Two places that are particularly worth mentioning are the Chicago Cultural Center and the Rookery Building.

Many of these buildings are located along the Chicago River. This is one of the main attractions of the city. It gives it an undeniable charm and the recent development of a beautiful walk which runs partially along its bank, makes it even more attractive. Also note that no less than 38 mobile bridges line the river!

As stated above, the municipality has made significant efforts to bring some green to its residents. One of the best proofs is undoubtedly the Millennium Park, a large public park inaugurated in 2004, wedged between skyscrapers and Lake Michigan. It is also here that we find the famous Cloud Gate, affectionately nicknamed The Bean. This sculpture is one of the other symbols of Chicago. The park also includes a scene hosting various shows, a small amusement park, and various works, more or less contemporary, like the fun Crown Fountain.

One of the best ways to discover Chicago and its outdoor architecture while having the chance to take a step back from the city, is definitely to take part in one of the many cruises on the Chicago River. These are often a little expensive but honestly, if the weather is collaborating, it’s really worth it!

Among the many offers to get on a ship, Wendella Boats and its Wendella’s Signature Lake & River Tour provide a great experience. This lively 90-minute cruise covers the vast majority of the city’s main buildings, and finally ventures into Lake Michigan, offering a magnificent view of the city.

To discover the city, a cheaper alternative to the cruise is to take the “L”, the iconic Chicago metro. Largely airy, it winds through the heart of the city center and provides a very unique point of view.

If you really love the city, why not investing in some of its real estate, as prices are stil very low compared to the national average. Check with a top broker like Kale Realty to see what’s currently on sale as you may find a good bargain. This type of investment will give you a good reason to come back and revisit the city once in a while.

The Hidden Side Of New York Every Tourist Should See

August 17th, 2017

New York City is one of the busiest cities in the world. While this city, as they say “never sleep”, visiting tourists may not rest as well as there are many different sites and sceneries to see.

Times Square, The Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty are just some of the most popular places to check out. However, as popular as these tourist attractions may be, this massive city holds many hidden attractions that you should visit.

If you wish to go around the city and find unfamiliar gems, here is a list of hidden attractions you can go to without spending all your vacation money.

Flushing’s Chinatown

If you would like to visit another side of New York, consider going to Flushing’s. There are many Chinatowns throughout this bustling city but Flushing’s in particular stands out due to its diverse and inexpensive ethnic food. This place found within Queens will surely keep your taste buds excited and your stomachs satisfied.

The Invincible Battery Park

When 9/11 struck, NYC lost its world renowned Twin Towers. However, a metallic spherical structure situated at the middle where the towers once lie somehow remained standing.

Fritz Koenig was the German sculptor who designed this masterpiece in 1971. Though the sphere has not been properly manned for many years, the city decided to keep it erect to symbolize hope and strength. Have a look around Battery Park and you cannot miss it.

The Blockhouse

If you are traveling with a historian or someone who just loves history, you should head to the northern section of Central Park where you can find Blockhouse No.1. This place remains to be the second oldest structure in the park.

It was built in 1812 as a defense fort against the British which held 2,000 New York militiamen. Since the British never attacked New York, the blockhouse was abandoned and is currently locked up.

Old Boat Graveyard

There is a place in Staten Island where hundreds of old boats lie. These rusty ships date back even before World War I began. Arthur Kill Ship Graveyard is actually a popular destination for historians and photographers alike. Though it cannot be viewed on land, you can hire boat tours or rent kayaks to get a clearer picture.

A Cemetery In Brooklyn

Green-Wood Cemetery was actually one of the first rural cemeteries in America and is one of the cleanest and best kept cemeteries as found in Brooklyn New York. This 478 acre land is now a historic landmark where baseball legends and Civil War Generals lie to rest.

This place has beautiful sculptures, spectacular scenery and is rich in historical stories. The tour only costs $15.

Smallpox Hospital And Cat Sanctuary

In between the boroughs of Queens and Manhattan lies the East River where you will find the Roosevelt Island. This place is popular for its spooky history which dates back to more than a century ago.

Formerly known as Blackwell’s Island, this places served as a hospital back in 1856 where patients with smallpox were quarantined. The hospital treated around 7000 patients a year and later on became a nurse’s dormitory. After it was abandoned on the 70’s, this place became a sanctuary for feline strays.

In an architectural standpoint, people agree that this place looks quite majestic. It was designed by James Renwick Jr., the same person who created St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Madison Avenue between 1856 and 1857.

The Wall In 520 Madison Avenue

If you love history, you most definitely need to visit 520 Madison Avenue. Here lies a part of the famed Berlin Wall.

After the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, the pieces were divided and sold to many rich buyers and collectors. Somehow, one of these pieces made its way to New York.

New York City has many famous landmarks. But for those who want to see the city at a different spectrum, visiting unknown and hidden places will definitely be worthwhile.

Beautiful Peru

June 26th, 2017

Machu Pichu in Peru
The Inca Empire is one of the important part of Peru’s old history. The most important Inca sites are Winay Wayna, Pikimachay and last but not least Machu Picchu. These sites are not only of major archeological importance, but also most popular with tourists.

From the 13th to the 16th century, the Western side of Peru was part of the Inca Empire. The Incas were a highly civilized people, with a complex religion, sophisticated building techniques, and a rigidly structured society.

The arrival of the Spanish in South America in the 1530’s wiped out the Inca civilization: many of the Incas were massacred by the Spaniards, who wanted to steal the vast amounts of gold and silver jewelry that the Incas treasured, and those who survived died of diseases brought by the invaders.

However, many fascinating relics of the powerful Inca Empire still survive in Peru today. Huge numbers of tourists come to Peru every year to explore these enchanting sites and learn about the history of South America.

Machu Picchu

Clinging to a mountain ridge high in the Peruvian Andes, the ancient Inca site of Machu Picchu draws in adventurous tourists from around the world. Having originally been built in the 15th century for an unknown purpose, Machu Picchu was abandoned in 1572 as its inhabitants fled from the conquering Spaniards or died of the diseases they carried.

Machu Picchu is sometimes referred to as the “Lost City of the Incas” because it is extremely well-preserved but completely deserted by its original inhabitants. Since Machu Picchu’s discovery by the American historian Hiram Bingham in 1911, archeologists have struggled to understand how the Incas could have brought stones to this site, which is almost 8,000 feet above sea level, and raised them to construct the various buildings that are still standing today.

Despite its remote location, thousands of visitors flock to Machu Picchu every year. If you do it on foot, be prepared for a strenuous march. If you are not fit, lose some calories before coming, or you may not reach the top.

Some of the buildings have been reconstructed, but there are also many originals that have survived through the centuries. The Temple of the Sun is one of the main attractions of the site due to its amazingly intricate stonework. A sundial is carved into a stone close to the temple; its design is primitive but still effective even today.

Still not seen enough?

Then visit the Amazon Jungle. Peru has the second largest portion of the Amazon rainforest of all the countries it covers, the Brazilian Amazon being the largest part. The Amazon constitutes 60% of Peru and is an area of huge biodiversity, making it a fascinating place to visit.

Despite covering such a vast area of Peru, only 5% of the total population inhabits this region, meaning that it is largely untouched by mankind. It is here that you will see wildlife that can be found in no other area of the world.

The more adventurous may wish to participate in some of the more energetic activities that the natural features of the Amazon rainforest provide, such as canoeing, while thrill seekers may wish to face the dangers posed by piranha fishing.

These are many things to do and see in Peru for a trip of a lifetime.

Top 5 London Sights

March 26th, 2017

When travelling to famous cities with a limited time to take in as much as you possibly can, almost every tourist will ask the locals or resort to guides. In asking what the top London sights are, people will get a variety of different answers, all with their own preferences and it’s important for the traveller to consider all the options in accordance with what their personal travelling tastes are when travelling.

However in the United Kingdom capital, there are a few London sights and attractions that should not be missed by anyone travelling to the bustling metropolis from the stunning views of a London River Cruise, through to the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace.

Here are my top 5 London sights for anyone looking to absorb the mass of culture that the city has to offer. Of course, don’t forget there is plenty to see outside of London, don’t be afraid to try a Stonehenge tour company to see sights outside of London too! Anyway, here are those top 5 London sights:

London Eye

A visit and trip on the London Eye will allow you to take in the entire city and the sights while sipping on a glass of champagne, if that is your indulgence. Excellent views of the River and some of the other visual gems that London has to offer can all be seen in a short period of time from the revolving carousel of glass.

Buckingham Palace

It is a unique London sightseeing experience to see the changing of the guards at the gates of Buckingham Palace.

Get your picture taken with the Beefeaters and watch the procession in front of the Queens state home.

Costs you absolutely nothing to see this famous sight at midday. You can also visit for a small fee.

Thames River Cruise

It’s a great way to get a view of the city simply by having a leisurely boat cruise down London’s famous river. You can get some amazing deals during the day, many of which include a lunch, or try the alternative of joining a night boat trip with live entertainment with a reputable cruise operator.

Tate Galleries

If you like a little culture with your London sights and perhaps some fine art, the Tate Galleries, Modern and Britain, will give you a taste of culture from past and present. Soap on a Rope sculptures and some of the famous Raphael paintings to be seen only in London will have you wandering the halls for hours in bliss.

Catch a West End show

Catch a West End Show – How could you think of leaving the capital without catching a musical or three. London has one of the richest theatre cultures in the world and without catching a performance of Oliver, Wicked or West Side Story your trip will not be the same.

London sights are plentiful, and there are a multitude of recommendations from the locals, but missing out on these 5 would be a travesty to your holiday experience. So get your ticket, pack your bags, and enjoy the whirlwind adventure that is my top 5 London sights.

Visiting Madagascar

March 2nd, 2017

For a truly exotic and unforgettable vacation, Madagascar is the perfect place.

Unlike any other place on earth, the island boasts some of the most exotic wildlife in the world and is a great destination spot for the adventurous traveler.

These are some of the must see spots.

Visit Parc National de Ranomafana.

This park is famed for the hot springs and the lemur-inhabited rainforest. Be sure to set out at dawn and take a guided trek in order to enjoy these reclusive creatures.

Then set off across the gushing river in the village to enjoy the hot tubs at the La Palmerie hotel. After pampering, enjoy the home-made banana crepes and be sure to meet Dadalira, a 106-year-old man who is a living history and loves to tell stories.

When the French colonized Madagascar, they left a lasting impression that still exists today. The Malagasy cuisine is excellent and tourists can enjoy stacks of fried dough balls, deep-fried bananas, and rice cakes from the outside food stands.

For a more gourmet experience, visit La Varangue, one of the top rated restaurants in Madagascar, located in the capital Antananarivo. The master chocolatier was recently voted as one of the world’s top five chefs and his menus are full of flavor and interesting tastes.

Camp Bandro at Lac Alaotra

Camp Bandro at Lac Alaotra is another great spot to visit. Visitors can enjoy traveling across the lake in a dugout canoe. The guide will take the canoe into the thick reeds to see the lemurs and bandros.

This destination can take a while to reach, but is well worth the journey. The camp has basic bungalows and large gardens of roses. Visitors can stay here for a reasonable price and enjoy three meals a day and traveling on the lake every morning.

There are four national parks in the rainforest, and visiting one of these locations is the best way to enjoy the exotic creatures that live in Madagascar.

Take a walk through the rainforest and enjoy the green chameleons and the giraffe-necked weevils. At night, travel through the Mirsinjo forest to listen to the frog chorus or spot the mouse lemurs. Vakona Lodge is a lemur island and houses rescured lemurs that previously lived in captivity.

Note that we talk a lot about lemurs. The lemur is an animal only found in Madagascar and nearby islands. It is somehow similar but predates monkeys but lemurs became extinguished as monkeys are a dominant species. So lemurs survived in Madagascar as there are no monkeys on the island. These are beautiful creatures to observe in the wild.
Finally, spend some time with the local people, learning about their lives and enjoying their culture.

Akany Avoka houses 120 homeless children and is one of the charities in the area. The home funds their education and teaches them valuable skills like gardening, cooking, career shops, and trains them in sustainable energy.

The English director Steve Wilkinson enjoys having visitors and is happy to show them around and meet the children. Have lunch in the cafe and learn about the work that they are doing. This is a great way to learn about the hospitality of the place and the people that live in Madagascar.

These are some of the must-see spots in Madagascar. Whether staying for a week or just a day or two, try to see at least one of these top spots. They are a great way to get off the beaten trail and enjoy the real Madagascar.

Don’t Miss Beautiful Hong Kong Zoo

January 21st, 2017


The Hong Kong Zoo is a very favorite destination where you can entertain your kids. It is the best place where every child wants to pay a visit to have a glimpse of their favorite animals they enjoy every day on their favorite television channels.

Not only a place for entertainment, but a zoo also serves as an educational platform where you can inform your child about the varied living creatures existing in this world and even show their special characteristics in practical.

In case you are visiting Hong Kong, do not ever forget to visit the botanical zoo of the region. You will certainly have the best experience of a lifetime by observing the varied wild life and botanic collection.

Short background of Hong Kong Zoo

The Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens is certainly an exotic place situated on the northern slope of Victoria Peak. The zoological and botanical zoo is spread across 5.6 hectares of land. The spectacular creation started to operate as an exotic Botanic Garden in 1871, under the Superintendent-ship of Mr. Charles Ford.

However, preparations were initiated to come up with such an exotic garden in 1860. The initial stage was opened for the public domain in 1864. Later on in 1875, the region was renamed Botanical and Zoological Garden in order to focus on the extraordinary zoological exhibits.

There are ample facilities in the garden for entertainment, rest and light refreshment; and visitors can enjoy an experience of a lifetime. They would surely return home with ample memories of unseen animals and plantation varieties.

Children are highly energized to see a wide variety of living animals in front of their eyes. In such case, the Hong Kong Zoo would definitely be a paradise for them. The origin of the exhibition of wild animals at this zoo started around 1876. However, in those initial stages, only a handful of mammals and birds were kept in a primitive caging system purely for human entertainment.

A major transformation of the entire zoo took place during the mid 1970s, when the authorities decided to initiate the process of a major expansion. Special emphasis was laid on areas of conservation breeding program and special actions were taken for enhancing captive breeding.

Presently, the Zoological and Botanical Garden maintains an effective mission for developing an appreciation for the interdependence on nature for protecting and enhancing natural life; and to foster effective understanding and appreciation for the entire living world through fruitful conservation, exhibition, education and research initiatives.

Exhibition of varied animals

Presently, the garden is a natural home of a vast and varied list of species of wild animals. According to the official records the zoo now exhibits over 400 varieties of birds, 50 categories of reptiles and about 70 mammals in about 40 enclosures.

Noteworthy mammals in the zoo

1. Lion-tailed Macaque
2. Siamang
3. Golden Agouti
4. Short-beaked Echidna
5. White-faced Saki
6. Pygmy Marmoset
7. Emperor Tamarin
8. Bornean Orang-utan

Interesting birds in the garden

1. Red-crowned Crane
2. Bali Mynah
3. Hawaiian Goose
4. American Flamingo

Certain reptiles in natural captivity

1. Greek Tortoise
2. Spurred Tortoise
3. Radiated Tortoise
4. Flowery Backed Terrapin
5. Keeled Box Turtle
6. Malayan Turtle

Botanical or plant collection of the Hong Kong Zoo

Since the initial thrust of opening the garden was laid on exhibiting an exclusive variety of Botanic marvels, you can certainly figure out the wide range of trees throughout the zoo. Officially, there are over 1000 species of trees planted across the wonderland. A majority of plantations is indigenous with sub-tropical and tropical variety.

The collection of botanic variety throughout the garden includes fig, conifer, gum trees, camellia, magnolia, azalea, philodendron, palm etc.

A rare collection of local ailanthus, dawn red-wood, yellow camellia, Grantham’s camellia etc., offer diversity to the vegetation across the exotic garden.

Apart from all these, visitors are also able to enjoy the exotic fragrance of mock lime, rose, kwai-fah, white jade orchid, orange jasmine etc. All the trees are labeled for easy identification. Apart from exotic and varied nature and species of trees, there is also an ‘herb garden’ at the southern corner of the zoo. Innumerable colorful blooms are displayed in the section almost throughout the year. The eastern boundary of the botanical garden also consists of a Greenhouse that includes exotic species of ferns, orchids, climbers, house plants, bromeliads etc.

The Hong Kong Zoo is not only a place for children’s attraction, but also of elders as well. The exotic and variety collection of life – both plantation and animal, is worth exploring. Nevertheless, it houses a major portion of flora-fauna and animals of this world under a single nest, which makes it a real paradise on earth.

Follow the Latest Trends Seen on Parisian Streets

December 12th, 2016

paris-fashionParis is the foremost capital of fashion thanks to its long tradition of setting the trends long before they even start.

The city is the birthplace of haute couture, and it is home to some of the biggest luxury fashion houses in the world.

Thus, it is no surprise that thousands of people flock every year to Paris Fashion Week held every season.

Street style photographers, models, editors, designers, bloggers, and wannabes all converge upon the central fashion week locations such as the Tuilleries of the Grand Palais. The crowds go crazy as people compete to get their picture taken for some of the biggest publications and online portals in the industry. However, only the best will make it onto the street style section if they lucky. That said, you can always expect Parisian women to be well dressed no matter what the occasion.

How to Dress Like a Parisian This Season

Spring fashions are always full of bright colors and pretty florals. This year is no different, and most pieces are full of long layers and flowing fabrics. One of the hottest trends this season is the pleated skirt. These were seen all over the runway in pastel and neutral colors.

Today’s pleated skirt is long and hits below the knee, and they are also made from chiffon or light cotton. The goal of the skirts is to move easily in the wind. They are best paired with funky tee shirts, blazers or crop tops. You want to look lady like without being too conservative. Most Parisians will stick to muted colors with structured accessories when rocking a look like this.

If you are in the mood for some great footwear, then you are in luck because Parisians love their shoes. Chunky sandals are very popular at the moment. Ugly shoes like embellished Birkenstock style sandals are also on trend. However, Paris can be too cold or wet in the spring to wear open toed shoes. In that case, channel your inner Parisian and pull on some tan leather ankle boots.

Due to the ever changing weather in Paris, women wear their ankle boots all year long. If you want to be ready for spring in the most fashionable city in the world, then invest in ankle boots with embellished sides and pointy heels. These styles will carry you through the summer and into the fall.

Invest in the Basics

As you can see, Parisian women love to follow trends. However, they also take pride in their basics. Most French women would prefer to spend a substantial sum of money on the bones of their closet then ten Euro on items that will last only one season. Therefore, you should invest in expensive pieces that will last you for years to come.

Look for quality fabrics in cuts that will flatter your body type. Luxury brands are a great place to shop for quality jeans and tops. However, if you are on a budget, then do not worry because there are still plenty of mid-range brands that offer great basics. You can even shop online auction sites or thrift stores for pieces you love without the hefty price tag attached.

Basics include pieces that will be worn at least once a week like jeans, business dresses, sweaters, and outerwear. However, they also include lingerie. Every Parisian women owns a drawer full of great bras and undies. Lingerie gives you a shape underneath your clothes. It provides the structure on which your pieces lie; therefore, they need to fit well.

Every woman needs a fabulous bra that makes that lifts and smoothes where it is needed. The same can be said for underwear because anything too tight will show under your clothes. Thus, you need to invest in smooth pieces that will perfect your shape. French lingerie is famous for a reason: Parisian women know that is essential to their wardrobe.

As you can see, it is easy to dress like a Parisian once you know and understand the basics of the style. Feel free to follow the trends to an extent; however, you will need to look well put together with nice looking basics if you want to look the part.

Keep your hair and makeup natural to finish off the look as most Parisians never wear more than tinted moisturizer and mascara. If you do want to look more glamorous, then apply some red lipstick. Keep this tips in mind, and you will look Parisian in no time!

Food from the Philippines

September 24th, 2016

Philippines is not just an archipelago that boasts its wonderful sceneries and beaches. The Philippines also has the most delicious street foods ever! As the country was colonized by the Spain and America, you can certainly find some fusions of those cultures in their dishes – that includes the food sold in mini trucks and stalls. Aside from it being delicious, some of it might not be as appealing to everybody as it ought to be. You just simply choose the food what you prefer. Below are some of the famous foods found on the streets of the Philippines.

Camote Cue/ Banana Cue

food2

There are many kinds of bananas and sweet potatoes grown in the Philippines. Some of these are perfect for frying. Bananas and sweet potatoes are covered with caramelized brown sugar and skewered using bamboo sticks. Toron is a version of fried banana with nangka that is wrapped in a spring roll wrapper, then fried.

Fish balls, Squid Balls, Tempura and Chicken Balls

These are the most common street foods. They are found in many push carts and are mostly seen near offices or schools. Pulverized cuttlefish is the main ingredient for fish balls. They are then flatten for frying. The most important part is the sauce that the vendors offer. Some of them create their special sauce. But they are mostly sweet and sour sauce, vinegar sauce or hot and spicy sauce.

Kwek-Kwek and Tokneneng

Just like the food above, kwek-kwek and tokneneng are usually sold in push carts situated near schools and offices. Kwek-kwek is boiled quail eggs that are dipped in an orange batter, then deep fried. Tokneneng is similar to that but utilizes chicken or duck eggs.

Taho

Generally enjoyed by many early in the morning, taho is sold by a door-to-door man that usually goes around early in the morning. Taho is bean curd made out of soft, silken tofu. A sweet syrup is used as topping – usually caramelized brown raw sugar and tapioca.

Halo-Halo

food1

This is a cold treat. It is a bowl of shaved ice topped with as many fruits as you want. Sweetened milk, pearls, jelly, sweet beans and corn flakes are added after you choose your own variety of fruits. This is a preferred dessert by many during the summer seasons. Ube or yam is also used to add some sweetness to it.

Green Mangoes with Bagoong

Sliced green mangoes are served with shrimp paste that are usually spicy.

Isaw

Isaw is actually chicken intestines that have been thoroughly cleaned using vinegar. The chicken intestines are then grilled under some flaming charcoal and dipped in special barbecue sauce.

Sisig

Sisig is a famous dish paired with beer. It is a dish made up of roasted pigs head, chicken liver, variety of spices, egg and calamansi. Sisig is usually served on a hot sizzling plate.

Balut

This is the most famous street food in the Philippines. Many foreigners consider it as utterly disgusting. But if you look pass its ugly appearance, it actually has a very flavorful broth (amniotic fluid) inside the egg. Baluts are hard boiled 3 weeks old duck eggs. It is packed in protein and considered as an aphrodisiac. You can eat it plain or with salt and some spiced vinegar.

Boracay: paradise

October 29th, 2015
Boracay White Beach

Boracay White Beach

If you are used to the beaches at Hawaii, Cancun or at the French Riviera, overcrowded and overdeveloped, then Boracay is really different. If you like 5 stars hotel, please avoid Boracay.

Boracay has been voted as one of the most beautiful beaches in the World, and here we are talking about a true beach, a beach where there is no visible concrete in the vicinity. As the few roads on Boracay Island are inland, the path along the beach is made of sand and earth, not of concrete and you can walk barefoot. This is not Miami beach, this is a Philippines beach still preserved from aggressive high rise building.

Yes Boracay Island is touristic. Its main activity is to cater for the foreigners visiting it. But it does not feel like the usual tourist trap, far from it. Initially this was a backpackers’ paradise in the 70s, and backpackers are still welcome. Accommodations cover the full spectrum, from the cheapest low-budget bungalows up to a few upscale resorts. And there is a highly ranked golf course.

So it does not matter your budget, you will find anything you like, except the ultra top resorts, which exist in more secluded upscale environments.

The atmosphere is a cool relaxed one, with excellent restaurants by the dozens and plenty of bars to meet your fellow beachcombers. Many of them are run by Westerners, so you will receive excellent quality and great food. The seafood in particular is abundant. Other activities include scuba diving, wind surfing, boating, fishing and trekking in the middle of the island.

The way to reach Boracay Island is by boat as it is only a short distance from the bigger island of Panay. So you will take either a small ferry or a lighter pirogue to arrive. To reach Panay you can fly from Manilla, as flying is the main form of transportation for tourists in the Philippines, as this is a large country made of 7,107 islands. The nearby Caticlan airport is the nearest, but only lands smaller planes. Another airport is further away and requires an extra bus ride.

The weather is fantastic in this south-east Asian destination, but avoid the rainy season from June to November, but even then you’ll have a good time with less tourists and less heat. The Filipino people are extremely friendly and you will make new friends easily.

Warning. If you visit Boracay Island, you might get addicted to it. Some people do not leave.