New ways to experience Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, San Francisco
Filipino travel patterns reveal that the top four destinations we generally like to visit around the world are Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand and San Francisco, USA. That means, no matter what the season, we love to revisit these cities and countries over and over.
Even if they haven’t lost their appeal over time, however, it is always good to try out something new in an already familiar place. Doing so gives the traveler different perspective of a favorite destination; more reasons to love it, hopefully; and most importantly, allow for more great returns to happen.
If you are heading to Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, or San Francisco, here are some not-so-usual suggestions for things to do.
Bring out the wanderer in you and roam our wonderful globe.
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Unwind at Pulau Ubin in Singapore
Situated northeast of mainland Singapore is one the few remaining undeveloped sites of the country—a small village called Pulau Ubin. Anyone who loves nature, which is a pleasant change from the highly urbanized cities in the Philippines, would be quick to enjoy this getaway. Bike through the island, roam about the forests, and befriend the locals who hit this spot on the weekends.
From the Changi Point Ferry Terminal, take a small ferry or a “bumboat” for approximately $2 per person one way. No need to worry about the schedule because a bumboat leaves every 15 minutes, or when 12 people have filled it up—whichever comes first, from sunrise to sunset.
Once on the island, rent a bike for as low as $6.25. Enjoy the fresh air, while getting a workout!
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Trek up and down the Dragon’s Back in Hong Kong
Be in the bustling city one hour, and in the midst of Mother Nature the next.
Filipinos frequent Hong Kong, even just for the weekend, but what many don’t realize is that there is more to Hong Kong than just shopping and its vibrant nightlife.
A short travel from the city via the Hong Kong tram, MTR then bus, you can easily find your way up the Dragon’s Back. A hike dubbed as “the city’s finest and most surprising ramble” by Time Magazine (November 22, 2004, Asia Issue), this trail will leave you breathless with wonderful surprises.
From the cool weather, to the gorgeous panoramic view, the Dragon’s Back trail doesn’t fail to mesmerize. Drown in its serenity, without being too far away from what’s familiar.
Discover another side of Hong Kong that many miss out on. Join Walk Hong Kong for a four-hour guided tour of the Dragon’s Back trail, for about 500 HKD. Know more via www.walkhongkong.com.
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Hippie history at Haight-Ashbury, San Francisco
Take a trip to the capital of counterculture! Haight-Ashbury is a district in San Francisco named after the intersection of Haight and Ashbury Street, a place that put the hippie culture on the map, literally. The 1967 Summer of Love may be over but this San Francisco district still has a lot of interesting things to offer from funky, oddball boutique shops to hip dining places.
Hippie Hill in Golden Gate Park was once frequented by the likes of Janis Joplin and The Grateful Dead. It’s still alive today and if you’re into the hippie thing (or at the very least curious), drop by to catch a few drum circles and enjoy an afternoon of people watching. Some of the most colorful characters in city are right here.
If music is your thing, go to the Mecca of record stores, Amoeba Music, which boasts of a huge collection of albums.
Before you leave, make sure to see the Victorian houses that blend quite nicely with the hippie vibe of this eclectic place.
Travel tip: Snap countless photos and share your experiences on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram while you roam the world. Globe Telecom is currently offering a flat rate of P599 a day for unlimited roaming to go on these social networking sites, as well as to keep in touch via WhatsApp, Viber, Line, etc., and navigate new places using downloaded maps.
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Bring out your inner chef in Bangkok, Thailand
Bangkok is one of the bucket list destinations for foodies across the globe, so have your favorite Thai dish, anytime and anywhere by taking a local cooking class.
Experience the Market Tour, and immerse yourself in the rich and thriving culture.
Learn traditional Thai food preparation techniques and how to create integral flavors to some of the best dishes. These are also perfect ways to meet fellow wanders because there’s no better way to bring people together than through good, homemade food!
For as low as 1000 Baht, you can take a half-day cooking course at the Silom Thai Cooking School. Find out more details at www.bangkokthaicooking.com.