Page 8 of Budokan Travel Blog Posts

Asia » Singapore December 21st 2012

Friday, 21st December 2012 Compared to the many lavish weddings which I had attended in the past, S & K's unison was a simple, hush-hush affair involving only a few people that mattered most to them. "You don't look like you are getting married," I once lamented to her. She could be one of the most idle brides I had ever come across in my life-time. However, credit must be given to them for their pre-wedding shoots (which turned out great) and they would be flying off to the Land of Smiles for their simple honeymoon. I was their nominated photographer to cover the event. Not that I mind actually. On the contrary, I was glad that they had full confidence with my photography skills. Some 15 of us were present for their private event comprising ... read more
Sweet Endings

Asia » Malaysia » Johor » Johor Bahru December 15th 2012

Saturday, 15th December 2012 Our staycation at 11@Century Hotel in Johor Bahru marked the end of my travels for the year 2012. Like all my previous years, my vacation plans for December is normally geared towards short retreats given the inflated costs of travel during the festive season. There was a terrible jam of people at the Kranji bus station as we awaited for our turn to board our bus 170 to JB town. After clearing the customs, it was usual story at Johor Bahru City Square to have a quick Yong Tau Foo lunch at Ah Koong before heading to our hotel at Taman Century. As usual, our taxi fare would be the standard RM 8 for the 10 minutes ride. As I documented our less than pleasant stay in url= read more
Dinner haunts
@ Tesco Kulai

Asia » Philippines » Cebu » Lapu-Lapu City October 28th 2012

Sunday, 28th October 2012 Our Tiger Airways flight was scheduled at 1810hrs in the evening. So we basically had the whole day to rot ourselves away at our favourite Starbucks outlet. For lunch, we opted for pizza at Da Vinci's which strangely exuded among other things an American Old Town feel rather than Italian. To sum up my Philippines experience from a Singaporean perspective:- - The Philippines is not a shopping destination even though there are numerous modern malls within the metropolitan area of Manila. The average visitor should however go back with a couple of packs of dried mangoes which made great souvenirs given the nice prices. The best prices were found within Cebu island itself where the snack originated. Metro Supermarket @ Ayala Center seemed to offer the best prices after comparing prices from ... read more
Favourite Drink

Asia » Philippines » Cebu » Cebu City October 27th 2012

Saturday, 27th October 2012 The drive from our hotel to downtown Cebu City took about 40 minutes in heavy traffic this morning. We asked the taxi driver to drop us at Fort San Pedro - one of the chief sites in the city. These days, the fort no longer served its intended function. It is one of the last pockets of greenery left within busy Cebu. Fort San Pedro wasn't huge but it was nonetheless a peaceful spot amidst the downtown chaos of Cebu City. We took a walk through Osmena Boulevard which would lead us to Basilica Minore del Santo Niño, an impressive church that was built in the 16th Century. This is Philippines oldest church and certainly a site that all visitors - believers or non-believers should visit while in the city. The facade ... read more
Basilica Minore del Santo Niño
Magellan's Cross
Fort San Pedro main gates

Asia » Philippines » Cebu » Lapu-Lapu City October 26th 2012

Friday, 26th October 2012 After breakfast at the Bayleaf Hotel this morning, we took our last look at Intramuros before heading to the airport in the afternoon. This morning, we covered our final bit of itinerary at Fort Santiago, located along the western edge of the city. Our early afternoon flight meant that we didn't have much time to enter the grounds of the fort to take a good look of the place. All we could manage were a couple of shots and a quick stopover at one of the souvenirs shop along the street. We finally came to an end of our trip in Manila as we made our way to the airport. Personally over the past two days, I had developed a love-hate affair with this city. I loved the friendliness of the service ... read more
At the Centennial Terminal 2, Manila
I certainly will
Our motel style hotel

Asia » Philippines » Manila October 25th 2012

Thursday, 25th October 2012 As luck would have it, our day trip to Corrigedor Island was cancelled due to the looming storm, Ofel this morning. According to the news reports, Ofel had already claimed some casualities in southern Philippines. In Manila, the weather was relatively stable even though the skies were raining non-stop since the previous evening. With the whole day to burn in Manila, we decided to walk, in fact a long walk from where we were at Sun Cruise Terminal. The long walk passed through some notable sites within the CCP grounds - the Coconut Palace, the Manila Film Center as well as the Cultural Center of the Philipppines. The buildings were sitted on prime land facing Manila Bay. We turned left and followed our steps along Roxas Boulevard - the road that we ... read more
Makati District
The Manila Hotel
The interior

Asia » Philippines » Manila October 25th 2012

Thursday, 25th October 2012 Like I shared in my previous posts, Manila is currently served by 2 LRT Lines and 1 MRT Line which is clearly inadequate to cope with the huge crowds using the transit system during rush hours. More lines are currently planned including one that could lead all the way to the airport in future. We finally got a chance to ride on the trains on day 2 of our stay in the city. Boarding the service from United Nations Avenue (even the name sounds so international), we quickly made our way south to EDSA-Pasay Interchange Station where we transfered to the MRT System to Ayala Centre Station. This is the station closest to the Makati business district (think Orchard Road in Singapore). On our return trip from Makati in the afternoon, we ... read more
A typical train carriage
At the Ayala Station (Makati)
At the platform of Ayala Station

Asia » Philippines » Manila October 24th 2012

Wednesday, 24th October 2012 For the Singapore-Manila (SIN-MNL) leg, we chose Jetstar as it was offering the lowest fares for the timing we desired. However, due to a plane fault, our journey was delayed at Changi Airport for 2 hours before given the greenlight to take off. Eventually at 1240hrs, we finally landed safely at Terminal 1 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport - an aging structure that had seen better days. Mabuhay - Welcome to the Philippines as I collected my "19th visited countries chop" from the friendly customs. My friendly encounter with the customs officer was certainly a perfect start for our 5 days vacation in the Philippines. The roads were gridlocked with heavy traffic as we made our way from the airport to the Bayleaf Hotel in Intramuros, Manila's Spanish Quarter. This was ... read more
Casa Manila, Intramuros
General Luna Street, Intramuros
Our first meal in the Philippines - Yummy Roast Pork Rice

Asia » Singapore September 29th 2012

Saturday, 29th September 2012 As part of our weekend staycation at Grand Mercure Roxy, we decided to head to Coriander for our dinner. This was a newly-opened western casual eatery located about 10 minutes walk from where we stayed along the busy East Coast thoroughfare. Barely 3 weeks old, we thought it was a nice time to patronise this restaurant to render our support to YP's younger brother at his first attempt of entrepreneurism. Arrival at the eatery at around 8pm, the cosy restaurant was almost half-filled with friends as well as curious foodies looking for new dining options around Katong Village. I liked the fact that iced water was served immediately as soon as three of us settle down. For dinner, we had a Vermicelli Salad, half a dozen of baked Escargots and the Meat ... read more
Must Try: Vermicelli Salad
The Meat Platter Trio
Oreo Cheesecake

Asia » Indonesia » Riau Archipelago » Batam August 25th 2012

Saturday, 25th August 2012 Before I knew it, four of us were on our way to the industrial island of Batam for our weekend getaway. url= Batam Centre was chosen as it was recommended by a close friend. They had just returned from their company retreat together with some nice reviews of the place. Our bookings were done through, an online portal that I had been dealing with for my Batam trips all these years. For me, I remained skeptical of those "coupon" websites given all the fine prints, surcharges and the liquidity of the kucing kurap agents as a whole. Prices quoted remained competitive for our 2 Day Getaway Programme complete with return ferries, 1 night accomodation and 2 meals. We too... read more
And the beautiful swimming pool

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