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Friday, May 26, 2017

Las Casas De Azucar: Top 12 Things to Do (Bagac Bataan) (Part 2)

There's so many things to do in Las Casas De Azucar.  If you ask me, I think a day is not enough. So its best to just pick the activities you want to do with consideration to your time and budget. So here's my top 12 things to do for you. 

1. Take a Heritage Tour
  • Unless you rent a ride, the Heritage Tour is generally a walking tour.  
    Pros   Cons
    • Opportunity to take good photographs (see posts on tips here)  
    • Time-worthy with an approximate duration of 1 hour and half  
    • Affordable packages in contrast to renting a Private Casa
    • Be prepared to sweat if your tour is around sun time
2. Ride the Balsa 
  • Ride the Balsa (500 php/person) along the Umagol River from 8 am to 4pm. 
Pros   Cons
  • The slow ride without covers means total exposure under the sun.  (Try to minimize that as much as you can!)

3. Take a Ride
  • Free Ride
    • You can choose to ride the Tramvia or  Jeepney for free.  Pick up is usually in front of Casa Unisan and drops off in Casa Binan (Italian Restaurant) and Estero de Binondo (Beach front).  These are available from 6 am to 10 pm.  
  • Rent Your Ride
    • You can also rent a Golf Cart from 6 am to 5 pm (650 php or 850 php with tour guide), Bicycle is from 6 am to 5 pm (150 php/hour), Kalesa from 6 am to 5 pm (75 php/person)
Pros   Cons
  • Spare yourself from the heat and energy wastage
  • You can't control the pick u time for free rides and you have to spend if you want to rent

4. Take a Swim
 The beach front is just infront of Estero de Binondo.

There are no gates so you can just enter at any point.  There is a lifeguard on duty from 6 am to 6 pm so that's also the allowed period.  They have a line to the boundary.  I've heard smoking is allowed there but glass containers are prohibited.
  • Just beside Casa Cagayan, they have this beautiful Batis inspired pool.  After the beach closes at 6pm, you can spend your time at the pool until 9 pm.  
Pros   Cons
  • Great  way to cool down after an exhausting stroll
  • Consumes your time to do other activities
5. Go on n Island Hopping Boat Ride
The beach area is also where you can get an Island Hopping from 6 am to 2 pm.

Pros   Cons
  • Great adventure
  • You won't maximize your time at Las Casas and you spent more

6. Enjoy the Water Activities
  • Water activities are available from 7 am to 2pm include: 
    • Banana Boat
    • Flying Fish,
    • Wakeboarding (w/ Guide)
    • Jetpack
    • UFO Couch
    • Band Wagon
Pros   Cons
  • Fun activities
  • Added costs 

7.  Take a stroll on the beautiful gardens

Pros   Cons
  • Great relaxation
  • Free to do

8. Stay for the night at one of the Private Casas
Each Casa is unique. 

The capacity varies.

A typical bed room includes a Flat LCD television with cable channels, air conditioning, WiFi access and a safe.

Some bathrooms comes with a bath tub.

While some only have a shower.

Only a few have a swimming pool.

But, most houses have their own living and dining room.

Check out how much detail they put in with each private casa.

If you want to splurge, you can get their suite private casa.

So you can have an elegant bed room.

or this grand bathroom.

Hermes Toiletries
It even comes with Hermes Toiletries.

Pros   Cons
  • Lots of time to enjoy Las Casas
  • Unique staycation experience
  • Expensive 

9.  Visit the periodic museum
  • They showcase a different theme on a monthly basis at the Casa Candaba
Pros   Cons
  • Educational 
  • Free

10. Take the Special Tour to Hotel De Oriente
This place offers a great refuge away from the heat of the sun.

You can take your time to admire the great designs.

Pros   Cons
  • Cool temperature 
  • Lots of interesting photography spots 

11. Hang Out at the Game Room
  • At the game room in Casa Lubao, billiards, table tennis, darts, sungka and other board games are available free of charge.
Pros   Cons
  • Free
  • Great group bonding activities 
  • Not as exciting as other activities 

12. Have a Massage at the Napiya Spa
  • The Napiya Spa is open from 10 am to 9 pm.
Pros   Cons
  • Relieving and relaxing
  • Convenient 
  • Pricey 
Bonus: Chill by the La Parilla
  • The La Parilla is open from 10 am to 6pm.  I highly recommend the Taro and Ube Ice Cream (35 php/scoop and 100 php/3 scoops)  For drinks, the Buko Juice (90 php) and Sago't Gulaman (90 php) is great too.
Pros   Cons
  • Fun and relaxing 
  • Drinks may seem overpriced 

Las Casas Filipinas De Acuzar
Address Brgy. Ibaba, Bagac, Bataan, 2107, Philippines
Budget Per Person for Heritage Tour 1,500-3,000 php Las Casas Filipinas De Acuzar Map
Payment Options Cash

Operating Hours Monday to Sunday:
(even holidays)
8:30 am-4:30 pm
Reservation Required No (Encouraged)
Contact  (632) 332-5286 / 877-4501 / 332-5338 / 355-3032 | (63917) 872-9361

Thursday, May 18, 2017

The Tale of Our Siam Reap Tuk Tuk Driver Brothers

So we Travel Tripsters spontaneously booked our flights to Siam Reap

siam reap international airport
Every guide online said we can easily find a Tuk Tuk everywhere. 

siam reap international airport
Even the place we booked at AirBNB suggested we take a Tuk Tuk and call him for directions.  He didn't want to give us the exact address saying, they don't have street numbers and fixed address there.

siam reap international airport
While we were lining up, we had a conversation with fellow Filipinos who gave us a few tips about the temple tour.

siam reap international airport
As soon as we got out of the airport, there were a lot of men offering Tuk Tuk and pointed us on where to buy the ticket.

radi lem tuk tuk driver
We were assigned to Radi.  We explained that we didn't know where our stay is and gave him the number.  Apparently, Tuk Tuk/Remork drivers in Siam Reap are not hesitant in making calls.  He immediately called and got instructions to our place.  But before we left the airport, Radi asked us our plans and he insisted that we change our itinerary.  We decided to acquire his services for 3 days.

radi lem tuk tuk driver

Radi is not only a Tuk Tuk Driver, he also has a car which we hired for 55 USD (haggled from 60 USD).  We had Radi for 1 day where he took us early to Angkor Wat for the sunrise.  And then, he took us to the waterfalls and back.

Our ride was quite enjoyable and comfortable.  Radi speaks good English.  He shared that he is the 5th offspring from a big family of 7 children.   Being in a big family, he was forced to work his way through college.  He learned English from the Buddhist Temple.  And, now he hires a tutor to learn Chinese.  We can't help but admire at how ambitious he is.  He has been a tour guide for almost 10 years.

In Siam Reap, he says there is no agriculture or other means of income except for tourism.  The influx of tourism there right now is getting bigger and bigger and most of them are Chinese and Europeans.  But, there are also many Tuk Tuk Drivers.  In fact, they only have their turn at the airport every 3 days so they have to find clients for the rest of the days otherwise, they spend their days home studying or doing nothing.  Thus, Tuk Tuk Drivers there extend as much service as they can such as offering free bottled waters, offering to pick you up on call, dropping you off to the place you stay or where you want to eat.  Our place was around a 4 USD Tuk Tuk ride from the main city district so we really appreciated them picking us up from our place to stay and dropping us off to our choice of diner at night.

sam tuk tuk driver
Sam the tuktuk driver and lead dancer
During our first day, Radi introduced us to his younger brother Sam.  Sam was our tuktuk driver for our small circuit tour (25 USD including our first and failed attempt for the Angkor Wat sunrise).   Sam just began as Radi's trainee last year.  We loved Sam very much.  He is very sincere in giving the best service.

During our first day, Sam asked us what our plans are and we told him we wanted to watch the Apsara Dance so he volunteered to bring us to Angkor Mondial to buy our tickets.  Since the show for that day is fully booked, we decided to go to Pub Street and asked Sam to draw our address.  He was worried that we might get lost and gave his number instead.

We then learned that after Sam's whole day of being a tuktuk driver, he is also the lead dancer at Angkor Mondial.  The next day when we watched his show, he greeted us and was so glad we enjoyed his show. 

palm tree fruit
On our second day, we had Sam for our big circuit tour (25 USD).  We passed by many sellers on the street selling palm fruit.  I didn't what it was at the time so I asked Sam.  He told us that it was palm fruit.  He then dropped us off to one of the temples.  When we got back, he surprised us with a bag of cold palm fruit from his cooler.  How sweet!

sam tuk tuk driver siam reap

That day we tried catching the sunset at Phnom Bakheng temple and got down a bit late.  We knew Sam was late for his dance show.  But instead being worried for being late, he was sincerely more concern on where we would eat and what we would do the following day.  Fellow Travel Tripster Eric was really touched by Sam's kindness.  We just had to take a photo with him and give him a handsome tip. =)  Perhaps, we didn't get the best rates for our Tuk Tuk ride but it was a priceless fun and heart-warming ride for us.

Leaving here Mr. Lem Radi's Contact if you need a Tuk Tuk Driver in Siam Reap.
Tel: (855) 10 53 45 96
We Chat: Radi.Lem

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Las Casas Filipinas De Acuzar of Bagac Bataan: Heritage Tour and Photo Tips (Part 1)

Whether you're interested in architecture, history, Spanish era gossips or taking Instagrammable photos, Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar is a must visit.

las casas filipinas de acuzar
We availed of their Heritage Tour.  They offer different packages depending on your preference. 

Package and Inclusions Price
  • Welcome drink
  • 30 minutes to 1 hour guided Heritage walking tour
  • Entrance fee and use of beach area
  • Vicinity map
  • Cold towel
  • All taxes and service charges
1,500 php
  • Walking tour
  • River cruise
  • Kalesa ride
  • Access to Hotel De Oriente
  • Family lunch
2,000 php
  • County shuttle (Pickup: 8am and Departure: 4pm)
  • Walking tour
  • River cruise
  • Kalesa ride
  • Access to Hotel De Oriente
  • Family lunch
3,000 php

las casas filipinas de acuzar
 We availed of the package for 1,500 php. 

las casas filipinas de acuzar
There are lots of sights and sceneries there so we got to view a lot before we even reached the Casa New Manila Quezon City for registration.

las casas filipinas de acuzar
You can recognize Casa New Manila Quezon City with these statues on the outside.

las casas filipinas de acuzar
 While our booking was being verified.  We took the chance to gaze on the balcony for this view.

las casas filipinas de acuzar

Morning Tour
las casas filipinas de acuzarlas casas filipinas de acuzar
We picked up our tour guide at Accessoria 2 along La Puesta Del Sol.

las casas filipinas de acuzar
La Puesta Del Sol is what Binondo should have been if it was not destroyed by World War II.

las casas filipinas de acuzar
There's a tram way in the middle of the street.

las casas filipinas de acuzar
At the back is the La Ronda De Estero De Binondo where you can watch the Balsas pass by.

las casas filipinas de acuzar

las casas filipinas de acuzar

There's a pathway leading to Casa Irosin, Casa Balanga and Casa Gapan.

las casas filipinas de acuzar

plaza marcelino
Another path way leads to Plaza Marcelino.

las casas filipinas de acuzar
Along the way, you can see that some parts are still being constructed.  While we were there, some lamp posts are broken and the pool area is unfinished.

las casas filipinas de acuzar
I imagine the place being stunning at night with the lamps but it will also require more photography gears to capture.

las casas filipinas de acuzar
We were also able to view some of their amenities and private casas.  See Part 2.

las casas filipinas de acuzar
So if you want to have Instagrammable photos, here are my photography tips.
1. Wear proper clothes. 
  • If you want to include yourself in the photo.  It is better if you could match your attire with the atmosphere.  If you're visiting on a summer day morning like we did where the sun is scorching hot, bring a hat or umbrella, shades and comfortable clothes and foot wear.
2. Take your time.
  •  Take your time to observe.  Look at the environment on a big picture aspect.  Best to take photos in landscape and panoramic mode.  If you can't take good pictures while on a tour, allocate some free time to take photos after.
3. Bring the proper gear.
  • If you're going during day time, you can be assured of good lighting as long as it's sunny.  If you're spending the night, best to bring a tripod or a good camera for night shots.
 4. Observe the source of light.
  • If you're visiting during the day time, the strong light source will also produce evident shadows so pay attention.
5. Have fun and be creative.
  •  Have fun and be creative with your shots.  There are tons of opportunity to be creative and create your unique shot that sets yours apart from the many visitors. 
There you have it!  We Travel Tripsters hope you enjoy your visit at Las Casas Filipinas De Acuzar too.

See Out Top 10 Things to Do in Las Casas Filipinas De Acuzar (Part 2) there.
Las Casas Filipinas De Acuzar
Address Brgy. Ibaba, Bagac, Bataan, 2107, Philippines
Budget Per Person for Heritage Tour 1,500-3,000 php Las Casas Filipinas De Acuzar Map
Payment Options Cash

Operating Hours Monday to Sunday:
(even holidays)
8:30 am-4:30 pm
Reservation Required No (Encouraged)
Contact  (632) 332-5286 / 877-4501 / 332-5338 / 355-3032 | (63917) 872-9361

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