Monthly Archives: February 2012

A Cheap and Cheerful Break in Edinburgh

Edinburgh is a big and exciting city with something for everyone to enjoy. Even if you only ever go there once, it is definitely a ‘must-visit’ kind of place and nobody could fail to find something to see or do.

We managed to enjoy a long weekend there on a very small budget. Of course, there were hundreds of Edinburgh hotels to choose from but we opted for the cheapest. As it turned out, we made the best choice in terms of prices, facilities and service, by staying at the Budget Backpackers hostel.

This is truly an amazing place to stay. It is right in the middle of the city (very near to Grassmarket), with views of Edinburgh Castle from the front of the building. It is a very friendly place with exceptional staff that genuinely enjoyed joining in activities such as the free pub crawl and guests-only quiz.

Everywhere in the building is really clean and bright and there was every facility available to make our stay comfortable and enjoyable. There are well-equipped guest kitchens and a communal dining area, where we had many a laugh with other guests. On the day we arrived we decided to spend a few hours relaxing in the very comfortable lounge (with plasma TV and pool table) and had a few beers at the VW Transporter bar.

Rooms are available to sleep from 4 to 30 people, with separate ladies-only areas if required. We opted to share one of the bigger rooms and only paid £7 each per night and that even included free bedding and showers during our stay.

Surprisingly, Edinburgh has so many fun and interesting things to do which are either cheap or completely free, so we went out and enjoyed some of them without breaking the bank. These were our favorites:

Climbing ‘Arthur’s Seat’

This is something unique: an extinct volcano, over 800 feet high, right in the middle of a city. It goes without saying that once you have climbed it (we took the easy route on the east side), you must have your photo taken at the top. We were lucky to have fairly decent weather during our stay, but I’d imagine that this wouldn’t be quite as fun to climb in the wind or rain! Definitely one for lovers of the great outdoors though – the view from the top was pretty impressive.

Edinburgh Arthur Seat

Edinburgh Arthur Seat (image from WikiPedia)

Museums

We managed to fit in visits to the National Museum of Scotland and the Museum of Childhood (suitable for big kids too). Both of which were free to enter and had free activities or tours as well.

The Royal Botanic Gardens

We stopped off here to take a quick look at the Queen Mother’s Memorial Garden mainly, but were so thrilled that we stayed and explored. Our favorite bits were the Palm House, the Rock Garden, the Fossil Garden and the Chinese Sector.

Festivals

There are tons of festivals held in Edinburgh throughout the year and on our final night we decided to try our luck with some free comedy that was on as part of the Fringe Festival. It was a mixed bag really – some hilarious comedians, some not so great, but a fun evening nonetheless. The Fringe runs throughout August but there are various different festivals right through the Summer and they’re definitely worth checking out.

There is nothing stopping anyone from enjoying a cheap break in this city. Forget the more expensive Edinburgh hotels and book into the Budget Backpackers hostel for a few nights, so you can go out and enjoy everything the city has to offer as we did.

Alex King is a Travel Writer and shares his travel stories from around the world.

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AirPhil Express 2012 Promo — Davao and Mindanao Destinations

Have you had your seats booked already for a Summer vacation in Davao and other Mindanao destinations? If not, then grab a seat of the latest AirPhil Express 2012 Promo — Davao and Mindanao Destinations now.

AirPhil Express 2012 Promo -- Davao and Mindanao Destinations

AirPhil Express 2012 Promo — Davao and Mindanao Destinations

Selling period is only until March 1, 2012. And the travel period will be between May 1 until July 31, 2012.

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Getting to Monastery of Mama Mary, Simala, Sibonga, Cebu

I’ve been visiting the Monastery of Mama Mary in Simala, Sibonga, Cebu for 3 years now but I haven’t shared how to get to there.

I’ll try my best to elaborate traveling and getting to Monastery of Mama Mary, Simala, Sibonga, Cebu.

Getting to Monastery of Mama Mary, Simala, Sibonga, Cebu

Getting to Monastery of Mama Mary, Simala, Sibonga, Cebu

Since the Monastery of Mama Mary opens and allows visitors and pilgrims at 8:00 AM, it would be better to estimate arrival to be just 10 minutes before 8:00 AM.

If you’re coming from Cebu City, catch the Ceres bus’ 5:30 AM departure, either a regular or the air-conditioned, at the South Bus Terminal. It would only take 2 hours to travel from Cebu City to Sibonga, Cebu Province. Prepare 5.oo pesos for each traveler as terminal fee in South Bus Terminal. Since the Monastery of Mama Mary is situated in the Barangay Simala in Sibonga, it is advisable to drop off at the terminal along the national highway where motorcycles that cater pilgrims and visitors to the monastery is located. From Cebu City to Simala, Sibonga, it would only cost each person 75.00 pesos. But for elderly and student passengers with valid Senior Citizen and school IDs, respectively, they can avail for the 20% discount.

Once at the Simala, Sibonga already, take a motorcycle ride going to the monastery itself. It is just 5 kilometers away from the national highway. Each motorcycle would cater 2 passengers and costs 20 pesos per passenger. Usually, the motorcycle driver will ask you if you want to take a ride with him again going back to the national highway after your visit inside the monastery. For me, as experienced, it’s better to take the driver’s offer for you to have sure seats and rides back.

When going back home, just wait for a Ceres bus along the national highway of Simala, Sibonga.

I have not tried any other means of transportation in visiting the Monastery of Mama Mary in Simala, Sibonga, Cebu, so this is just what I can offer and share.

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Tierra Alta Resorts and Residences — Overlooking Dumaguete City

Last February 05, 2012, I, M and her cousin, had a chance to visit the Tierra Alta Resorts and Resicendes that is overlooking Dumaguete City even though the weather was gloomy and had some few rain showers. But it didn’t stopped us to really step the place.

Tierra Alta Resorts and Residences — Overlooking Dumaguete City, indeed one can see the city of Dumaguete is located almost between borders of high terrains of Dumaguete City and Valencia, Negros, Oriental.

Tierra Alta Resorts and Residences -- Overlooking Dumaguete City

I and M at the Tierra Alta Resorts and Residences

I am not pretty sure how high above sea level Tierra Alta Resorts and Residences is, but sure thing to see the beauty of Dumaguete City. However, during our visit, since the weather didn’t dance with us, we have hard time and couldn’t even appreciate the real beauty of nature because of the cloudy sky and very slippery steep road. Tierra Alta Resorts and Residences is best visited during summer season or any days that has fine weather.

There were also other nature-adventures that is supposed to be exciting to do in the resorts, but as I’ve said, the weather was so bad that we could only do site-seeing and a few picture-taking.

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AirPhil Express 2012 Promo — 1 Peso Seat Sale Promo

There’s nothing more sweeter to celebrate the Valentine’s Day 2012 than to book, buy and sure to grab a seat from AirPhil Express 2012 Promo — 1 Peso Seat Sale Promo.

AirPhil Express 2012 Promo -- 1 Peso Seat Sale Promo

Indeed love is in the air with this AirPhil Express 2012 Promo!

Selling period is only from the Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2012 until February 16, 2012.

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