Where to stay in Taipei?

So here you are, “the planner of the group” looking for a place to stay for your upcoming trip to Taiwan with your friends.

You have your checklist with you, and you are searching for a place that is safe, affordable, near the attraction or the mrt station and of course a comfortable one. Luckily, all these points are describing 4Plus Hostel.

This hostel can easily be reached as it is near Zhongshan station and it’s one station away from Taipei main station. If you’re coming late you can ride a taxi from the main station. It’s also near the road so you won’t get lost finding it.

We booked an all female dorm room with 3 bunk beds inside. They have an elevator so you don’t have to worry about carrying your luggage.

I love their built-in bunk beds as they don’t shake when someone moves around. Each bed has a reading lamp, power outlet and a set of pillow and comforter. You will also be given a locker key so you can leave your valuables without worrying. Bathroom is shared, they have 3 shower rooms and 2 toilet rooms.

Kitchen area is wide and clean.

For free breakfast, you can choose from loaf bread or bagels with 3 different spreads and coffee. Not bad eh?

This hostel is budget-friendly and we only paid P666 each via Traveloka. Make sure that you download this app to get an amazing discount.

Another plus points for 4Plus Hostel are:

Friendly and accomodating staff. Thank you, Ting-wei! She also gave us a cute pouch for toiletries.

Meet new friends who were up for crazy poses. Hello roomies Lychee and Miyako 😙

So cozy and very instagrammable

How about you? What are the points you consider when choosing a place to stay? Share it with me in the comments box.

Happy Travels!

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6 Instagrammable Places in Singapore

Saw a lot of posts about  instagram worthy places in Singapore and I decided to create my own list too.  Here, I listed 6 places we found that you can insta-G plus some directions on how you can go there.

1. Marina Bay Sands

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Marina Bay Sands

Marina Bay Sands

Marina Bay Sands

How to get there?

By MRT:

Marina Bay Sands is linked directly to Bayfront MRT station (CE1, Exit B, C, D, E) along the Circle Line Extension.

By Bus:

The following bus routes serve Marina Bay Sands Hotel and Marina Bay Sands MICE:

Bus numbers: 97/97E, 106, 133, 502/502A, 518/518A, NR1 (Available on Fridays, Saturdays and eve of public holidays), and NR6 (Available on Fridays, Saturdays and eve of public holidays).

2.Garden’s by the Bay

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How to get there?

By MRT:

  • Via Circle Line or Downtown Line, alight at Bayfront MRT Station (CE1/DT16)
  • Take Exit B and follow the underground linkway
  • Exit and cross the Dragonfly Bridge or Meadow Bridge into Gardens by the Bay

By Bus:

  • Via East-West Line, alight at Tanjong Pagar MRT Station (EW15)
  • Take Exit C and head towards bus stop no. 03223 located at International Plaza, Anson Road
  • Hop onto bus no. 400 and alight at bus stop no. 03371 along Marina Gardens Drive

From Marina Bay Sand:

Walk across the overhead bridge (Lions Bridge) located at Marina Bay Sands Hotel (open daily from 8.00am to 11.00pm), or take the underground linkway via Bayfront MRT Station (Exit B).

3.Universal Studios Singapore

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How to get there?

By MRT:

  • Take North-East line or Circle line to HarbourFront station.
  • Take Exit E to VivoCity and proceed to level 3 to board the Sentosa Express. Alight 1 stop later at Waterfront station.
  • Walk straight till you see Chili’s Restaurant on your right. Turn right and head towards the Universal Studios Globe.
4,Ibis Style Hotel at Macpherson

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How to get there?

By MRT:

Head to Terminal 2 and take the train to Paya Lebar MRT interchange via the East West line Green towards Joo Koon MRT. Transfer to the Circle Line Yellow towards HarbourFront MRT, alight at Tai Seng or MacPherson MRT station and follow the signs to the hotel.

5.China Town

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How to get there?

By MRT:

Chinatown is a station on North East Line and Downtown Line, it depends where you’re coming from but you can take either of the two lines and alight at Chinatown station. Head to Exit B and walk towards Chinatown Complex, the temple is right outside the complex.

By Bus:

Bus numbers: 2, 12, 33, 54, 63, 124, 143, 147, 190, 851, 961, 961#, 970 and CT1 (Alight at bus stop B05039)

6.Haji Lane

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How to get there?

By MRT:

Get onto the East West Line and get off at Bugis Station. Or you can also take the Downtown Line and alight at Bugis Station. Head to Exit B, from there, you have to walk 5-10 minutes to reach Haji Lane.

Happy Travels, Instagrammers! 🙂

“Once the travel bug bites there is no known antidote, and I know that I shall be happily infected until the end of my life”. – Michael Palin

Cebu-Bohol Adventure: A DIY travel guide

Thinking about travelling to the Queen City of the South? Why not include Bohol in your trip.

Last year, my friend and I booked a trip to Cebu for 4 days and 3 nights. Initially, we only planned to go to Cebu but being a spontaneous travel junkie we are, we decided to include Bohol even if it is just for a day.

Just a little trivia, did you know that recently Cebu made it to Conde Nast Traveler’s 20 Best Islands in the World list. Not only that because our very own Palawan is on the number one spot, followed by Boracay (top 15) and Cebu (top 19). I am so ecstatic that even before the list was published I was able to visit these three amazing places. So before I get giddy writing the intro, here is the complete DIY travel guide to our ultimate Cebu Bohol adventure.

Day 1 & 2: Manila to Cebu – Cebu to Bohol – Bohol to Cebu

From Manila, we took a flight going to Mactan, Cebu. Travel time is approximately one hour and 20 minutes. At exactly 7 AM we arrived at Mactan Airport. From there, we took a cab and went to Cebu pier 1 to catch the boat going to Tubigon, Bohol. There are a lot of ferries that travels to Bohol and we chose MV Starcraft Ferry since it is the cheapest among others. Estimated travel time is one hour. Check their website to see the ferry-boat schedule and their rates.

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My friend Kat and I inside the ferry boat
Boat fare is 210 pesos each and we paid 25 pesos for the terminal fee.

Things to do in Bohol

1) Go to Chocolate Hills

For our first stop, we visited the famous Chocolate Hills of Bohol. It consists of 1268 cone-like hills spread over 50 square kilometers. The hills are green until the end of the dry season and then become chocolate brown, hence the name Chocolate Hills.

From port no need to ride a trike or pedicab. We just walked at least 5 minutes from port to van terminal going to Carmen, terminal is near McDonald’s.

Estimated travel time:

  • 1 hour van ride from Tubigon to Carmen
  • 10 – 15 minutes trike to Chocolate Hills

Fare/Fees:

  • Van – 80 pesos
  • Trike – 100 pesos
  • Entrance Fee to Chocolate Hills – 50 pesos

We climbed up this 200+ steep stairs and burned some calories just to see the magnificent view of the Chocolate Hills.

2) Mini tour in Bohol Habitat

This place has a butterfly sanctuary and restaurant inside. The tour guides here are very hospitable and funny. They made our mini tour here engaging and full of laughter while having rich information about butterflies and moths. Plus, they are good photographers!

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Estimated travel time:

  • 30 to 45 minutes bus ride from Carmen to Bilar (ask the driver to drop you off at Bohol Habitat)

Fare/Fees:

  • Bus – 20 pesos
  • Entrance fee – 40 pesos

3) Go biking around Panglao

We drove 10 kilometers from our hostel to Alona beach. Good thing that the weather is all good for a bike ride and the road is smooth and safe. We rented our bikes from Bohol Coco Farm for 100 pesos each.


4) Swimming in Alona beach, Panglao

The famous Alona Beach is in Panglao Island, it has a long stretch of yellowish-coral-sandy beach where the resorts, dive centers, restaurants and souvenir shops are also located. Honestly, we didn’t enjoy the beach that much because there are a lot of boats around the shore. But I can say that it is still worth visiting, though locals say that we should have gone to Dimalaluan beach instead of Alona.

Outside Hennan beach resort
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5) Visit Tarsier Convention Area

Our Bohol adventure would not be complete without seeing the tantalizing eyes of the smallest species here in the Philippines – the TARSIERS! Too bad it started to rain and all the tarsiers are hiding and I didn’t have a chance to have a closer photo of them.

Tarsiers have extremely large eyes and ears, and long tail and hind legs. They are nocturnal animals and hardly ever show themselves up during the day. One of their unique feature is they can rotate their head for 180 degrees without moving the rest of the body. This helps them remain “silent” while waiting for the prey to appear.

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There are buses passing thru outside Tarsier Convention Area, we ride a bus going to Carmen then ride again a van going to Tubigon Port.

Estimated Travel time:

  • 15 minutes van ride from our hostel to Tagbilaran
  • 30 minutes bus ride from Tagbilaran to Tarsier Covention Area in Loboc

Fare/Fees:

  • Van – 75 pesos
  • Bus – 30 pesos
  • Entrance Fee – 60 pesos

And that’s how we end our 1 and a half day tour in Bohol! Too bad, we weren’t able to go to Danao Adventure Park because it was closed due to the damage that was left by the earth quake last April 2013. I really wanted to try their Bunjee Jumping but I guess it’s a sign to go back here again.

Accommodation: Bohol Coco Farm

It’s a budget hostel in Panglao, rate is 350 per head or 700 pesos per kubo (nipa hut) which can accommodate up to 2 person. They also have rooms for bigger groups. Visit this link to know more about the place.

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Day 3: Moalboal and Kawasan Falls

Next stop, CEBU! From Pier, we took a cab and go to South Bus Terminal. Then we ride a bus going to Moalboal via Santander-Barili road. Travel time is almost 3 hours including the pick up and take off of the passengers per town. Bus fare (non aircon) is 115 pesos.

It was late midnight when we arrived at Moalboal, good thing that there are still tricycle drivers waiting. You just have to negotiate with them regarding the price cause if not they will ask you for a higher price.

We stayed for one night in Moalboal Backpacker Lodge, we rented a private studio with own T&B for 700 pesos. We chose to stay in Moalboal because it is closer to Badian where the Kawasan Falls is located.

One thing I learned from travelling is that finding the best accommodation is really an important part of the trip. Top three things that I always consider are the 1) location – its proximity to tourist spots and easy access from the road, 2) reviews – I love reading comments and recommendations from other travelers. It helps me to work out on my expectations regarding the place I wanted to visit or a hotel I wanted to stay.  And of course 3) the price – it should be budget friendly!

Kawasan Falls

Kawasan has three waterfalls. The first one is the largest, and is usually the most crowded. We didn’t have much time to explore the other waterfalls that’s why we spend most of our time in the first waterfall.

I love the scenery as we go walking to the falls. Its turquoise water is compelling. Really nature at its best! The waterfall is spectacular and sparkling. And the water itself is so fresh and cold.

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From Moalboal, we took a bus going to Badian. We ask the bus conductor to drop us at Matutinao Badian Church. From there, we walked for at least 10 to 15 minutes. We didn’t hire a tour guide and when we were asked if we know the place we immediately say yes. Because I read from other blogs that some people there will not stop bothering you if they know that you’re a first time traveler in Kawasan. Also, there are cottages and life vests available for rent.

Estimated travel time:

  • 15 to 20 minutes bus ride from Moalboal to Badian
  • 5 to 10 minutes trekking to the waterfalls

Fare/Fees:

  • Bus – 20 pesos
  • Entrance fee – 2o pesos
  • Cottage (round table) – 300 pesos
  • Life vest – 50 pesos

Moalboal beach – 2 minutes walk from our hostel
After that, we went back to our hostel and packed our things and travel to our next destination. From Moalboal, we ride a bus going to the town of Oslob. Bus fare is 70 pesos and estimated travel time is 1 hour and 30 minutes.

We took off at Oslob bus terminal and ride again a bus going to our resort. We stayed at Seafari Resort and enjoy our remaining time in there. Visit this link to check my full review on Where to stay in Cebu?

Day 4: Swimming with the whale sharks

For me this is the highlight of our Cebuhol adventure. I really had fun with my close encounter experience with the whale sharks and that left me a feeling of going back to this place, hoping to go back here next year.

Sharing with you my 5 Reasons why swimming with the Butanding is the best thing to do in Cebu.

Estimated travel time

  • 10 to 15 minutes boat ride from our Resort to Whale shark watching area

Fare/Fees:

  • Boat ride is free when you stay at Seafari Resort
  • 30 minutes swimming with the whale shark – 500 pesos

Heading back to Cebu City from Oslob took us 3 to 4 hours travel time and the bus fare is 140 pesos. Since our flight to Manila is scheduled late at night we decided to squeeze our time and roam around the city. We were able to visit 3 places: Ayala Center Cebu, Taoist Temple and Magellan’s Cross.

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I only spent 7100 pesos for our Cebu-Bohol trip; it includes accommodations, fares (except airfare), foods and pasalubong. See, it is possible to visit this two amazing places and experience riveting adventures for a budget amount. Happy travels fellow travelers! 🙂

Disclaimer: Fare price and entrace fees indicated  above may change as this blogpost was written on the year 2015.

“Travelling is like flirting with life. It’s like saying, I would stay and love you, but I have to go; this is my station.” – Lisa St. Aubin de Teran