My trip to Sri Lanka

I arrived in Sri Lanka early morning and got a taxi from the airport to my hostel which cost me 1300lkr. I stayed at the First Hostel which was 10 minutes away from the airport. I was so dead tired from the flight and slept the whole morning. Then later in the afternoon, I went to have a tour in Colombo City. The city didn’t have much to offer and was too crowded. I suggest that you escape the city and start your tour on the Northern part of the country. Here’s my 14 days itinerary while in Sri Lanka. This might not work for some of you but I’m willing to give you some recommendations. My Itinerary was a mess because I needed to meet a friend in between my trips.

I spent my first 4 days in Colombo, Negombo, and Marawila. The area were not that great, Negombo and Marawila Beach were kinda rough and people were not allowed to swim. Bear in mind that if you see a red flag on the beach, that means tourists and locals are not allowed to swim. Afterwhich, I proceeded to Kandy which was 4 hours away from Colombo. My friend offered me a ride all the way to Kandy and we had some stop overs in between. Kandy is known for the Temple of the Tooth and the Botanical Garden. You can stay for one night in Kandy. I headed straight to Nuwara Eliya by bus and stayed for a night and went  to Ella. I suggest spending 2-3 days in Ella. There’s a lot of things to do in Ella like trekking to Adams Peak, see the Nine Arch bridge or just enjoy the tea plantation scenery. I headed down to Sigiriya to see the Lion’s Rock and stayed for a night, then to Dambulla and to Mirissa. I had so much fun in Mirissa, aside from enjoying the beach I met a lot of cool people and gained a friend.

I stayed in a hostel my entire trip, standard rate is $10 per night and as for the food,  it will cost slr200-slr1500 depending on the area. I always opted to eat at the local eatery. You can travel the country by train or by bus which is really cheap and in case you’ll get lost, don’t be afraid to ask some help from the locals.Enjoy the country as much as I did.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Armenia Travel Guide

I just returned from a 5-day trip from Armenia and people were asking about my itinerary since they were in an awe with the photos that I posted on my instagram (pinklinger).Before giving you all the details of the trip, I want to give you some facts about the beautiful country of Armenia which few of us are aware of.

  • Armenia became the first nation in the world to adopt Christianity
  • The first church was built in Armenia
  • During the Ottoman Empire, millions were exterminated. This was called the Armenian Genocide

Travel planning is quite a work but is a must. You can’t just decide to visit a country without an itinerary. Here I am to help you with this which I hope will help you.On a side note the country only exchanges  major currencies like EUROS and  U.S dollars.We had to exchange our dirhams to U.S dollars here in the U.A.E. There is an exchange counter inside the airport who will change your U.S dollars/EUROS to AMD. It’s available before the immigration.

The below are the expenses:

Airfare – We flew via FlyDubai (https://www.flydubai.com/en/). FlyDubai only offers one flight to and from Armenia per day. From Dubai to Yerevan, the departure time was 2:30am. From Yerevan to Dubai, it was from 6:50am. It’s a fairly short flight of 3 hours and 20 minutes. The price per person was AED 1,112.
Visa  – Most countries are visa upon arrival.You can check the list of the countries who  are eligible for visa upon arrival at http://www.mfa.am/en/visa/ . You can also apply online if you hate long queues.The visa will cost you  AMD3000. Philippine passport holders can obtain visa upon arrival or thru online.

Hotel – The prices in Armenia are really cheap. We opted for a 4 star hotel instead of a budget-hostel. We stayed in Paris Hotel Yerevan (http://www.parishotel.am/)for 4 nights and 5 days with breakfast. The breakfast was really good. The room was also spotless and their furniture were all new. The staff were also commendable as they were very helpful and professional. The total price was AED 1,580.
Tour – We took our tour from Best Travel Tours (http://www.besttravel.am/en/). We took all their daily tours (a total of 4 days). I was travelling with a friend that was passionate about photography (which means she will take time in taking some photos) so we opted to take the private tours. Total cost was AED 1,300. The tour includes airport pick up and drop off. I was in contact with the agent, Anika who assured me that it will be worth it and I had the best driver/guide, George who was more like a father than a driver.

The tour covered most of the tourist attractions Armenia has to offer. The tour usually starts at 10-11am which is good since we stay up late and wake up late.

DAY 1: Yerevan city tour (Mother of Armenia, Genocide Museum,Cascade,Republic Square)

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Genocide Museum-I had goosebumps inside the museum.I can’t stand the feeling of knowing that a lot people including children had been tortured and murdered

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Republic Square

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Yerevan Cascade

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Mother of Armenia- The current statue replaced a monumental statue of General Secretary Joseph Stalin that was created as a victory memorial for World War II.

DAY 2: Lake Sevan, Sevanavank,Tsaghkadzor,Kecharis

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Sevanavank Monastery overlooking the frozen lake Sevan (photo credit: https://www.instagram.com/the.lightstalker/ )

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Tsaghkadzor

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Kecharis Monastery Complex

DAY 3: Garni,Geghard Monastery,Vernissage (flee market)

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Temple of Garni. The best known structure of pre-Christian Armenia

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Geghard Monastery  (photo credit: instagram acct. the.lightstalker)

DAY 4: Khor Virab,Noravank,Areni winery (wine tasting), Tatev

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Noravank Monastery which is my favorite, I cried seeing the monastery (photo credit:https://www.instagram.com/the.lightstalker/ )

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Khor Virab Monastery

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Tatev Monastery

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Areni Winery-They offer different types of fruit wine. You get to taste each wine for free and if you opt to buy a bottle, it will cost  around aed10.00

DAY 5: Transfer to Airport

Meals – Average meal per person is around AED 30. By average meal, I am referring to rice, grilled pork/chicken and drinks.

I wish we stayed longer. Armenia surprised me in a way that it offered much more that the attractions that I was able to find in google. The people were very kind and don’t discriminate nor take advantage of you just because you are a tourist. I have encountered a couple of people who went beyond their service. You should see Armenia for yourself for you to experience on what the place has to offer.

the last frontier

Here are some photos of my trip from El Nido and Puerto Princesa, Palawan.

airport ground

the backyard of the hostel im staying in

my first island tour in El Nido

the sugary fine sand

Crocodile farm in Puerto Princesa

Hong Kong

Travel. Travel is defined as a journey especially to a distant or unfamiliar place (Merriam-Webster). I have asked a couple of people about what their dreams/ambitions are and without fail, ‘to travel’ is always mentioned. Maybe there is really something about travelling that entices people. The need for us to see a new world, meet different types of people or maybe just to be able to get away from it all, well at least for the meantime. As for me, I like shiny and new things. So much that I tend to forget what I already have just to get that shiny thing. I get awed by new things that are occurring in my life. The effects of this has it’s pros and cons and I am now trying to use this trait to a more pleasing effect. This is why I chose to travel. Venturing into an world gets me anxious but in a good way. So here I am, writing about my first travel outside of the country. My NCLEX applicant, now a very good friend of booked a ticket for me to accompany her in Hong Kong to take the NCLEX exam. It was the time when Chinese nationalities were being held hostage inside the bus in Manila and a lot of them were killed.There was an outrage between both countries and my friend was so scared to travel alone.She was living in Singapore that time and i was in Cebu. We just agreed to meet in the airport. Our first itinerary was to find the testing area so that it will be easy for us to find it the next day which her schedule.We spent nearly an hour looking for the building.Most of the Chinese people don’t speak english and we only relied to the map that we had.We found the place and after exploring the area had dinner nearby.You can find a lot of shops and restaurants and if you’re not that adventurous to try something new then you can always find some fast food chains everywhere.Our second day was more on waiting because she took her exam and the exam is 6 hours will depend on how you answer the questions.We spent our third day in Disneyland. It was fun and a very tiring day for us.I love rides so i tried everything what they have even if it’s for kids.Oh well, im skinny and petite so i think my weight is only of a 13 year old kid.On the fourth day was our shopping and souvenirs finding for our friends and family. We found a great place to shop where it’s cheap and you can really find a good deal.So i spent around ₱5000 just for shopping.We need to check out on our fourth day but we still had enough time to stroll the area since we had an evening flight.So we strolled near the Avenues mostly the main area.Hong Kong is really a great area to shop and at the same time feeling being a kid again.

our  hotel room

looking for the testing area

everyone is hungry after an hour of looking for the testing area

our second day

Dr. Sun Yat Sen Park

a quick breakfast in 7/11 before heading to Disneyland

look at those cute windows behind us

a ticket to my happiness

squeezing myself in

yes, we are in the happiest place on earth

in wonderland

goofy

the avenues