Saturday, November 16, 2013


Searching for cheap lodging in Macau is hard work. Ever since booking our flight to Macau, I've been asking around (forums) for good hostels/hotels near senado square but most recommendations aren't cheap and those that I do found are shabby at best. Luckily, I stumbled on this hotel by chance while looking around

Towns Well Hotel is located at No 6-6A Calcada das Verdades, Macau City, Macau
Tel: +853 2835 6868

We booked their triple room for around P4000/night. Room has ensuite bathroom, dresser, cabinets, kettle, cups, table chairs, slippers, hair dryer, shampoo and body wash. Strong water pressure and towels are available. Pillows are a bit soft and beds are quite hard but serviceable. Beds are big as it can fit 2 people per bed. Aircon is good though the remote is in chinese so you may have a bit of problem with this one. Wifi is available in the lobby. They didn't clean our room for the whole of our stay but we preferred it that way. If needed, maybe you could ask the hotel personnel for that. There are vending machines and  a restaurant at the 2nd flr. They offer free luggage service so you can leave your things here after check out.

hall ways at the 7th floor

our room

vending machine at the 7th floor

2 elevators service the building

triple room

triple room

As for the area, the hostel/hotel itself is very near Senado Square - St Dominics Church (just 2 - 3 blocks away). Its uphill the opticall 88 store and below the hotel is an Esprit Store. There are small eateries around the area which serves good food. Maxims is just around the corner while taxis/bus stops is a few blocks away in senado square.  

the hotel

The front desk staff don't speak english well but are nice enough. Prepare 300HKD for the security deposit, they'll return it during check out. No casino within the area but can walk 5 mins to Wynn/Lisboa for that. Theres a McDonalds nearby so we usually take our breakfast there (most shops/restos in senado open only around 11AM). Food range from 25HKD - 32 HKD for a full meal. 

Lunch/Dinner can be had at a small resto below Mannings - no english name so will try to post the chinese name here later. Opens between 11AM-12PM onwards and closes before 10PM. Take out / To go food can be requested. Servers hardly speak english but food served is delicious and in big servings. They have an english menu so ask for it. Coke/Colas are 9HKD, no outside food allowed. Lots of locals eat here so be prepared to fall in line.

Overall, out of 5 stars I'd give the hotel 4 stars. They were able to deliver what we needed which is a good nights stay during our vacation. Very near the tourist spots and just a few minutes walk to the free shuttle buses offered by the big hotels. Food is available near the area and environment is quite safe. This is a good alternative as long as you don't expect 5 star hotel ambience/service. Will stay here again when we go back to Macau.

Thursday, November 7, 2013


Surfing is probably the first thing that comes to mind when Baler is mentioned. Just 5-6 hours away from Manila, this place is becoming quite popular nowadays. So back in a long weekend in August, Me and my friends found ourselves in Baler Aurora, basking in the sun and enjoying the waves.

welcome to baler!
We stayed in AMCO beach resort which is a 5 minute walk from the beach. This is a nice place to go home to after a full days worth of touring and surfing. Don't expect 5 star hotel-like ambience though, they only offer basic A/C rooms for around 1000/night. 

We got the package via goodvibes tour for P2500/pax inclusive of tour and van transfers. Meet up was in monumento. You can reach them via their fb page HERE. Van used was ok, medyo masikip pero ok na rin since mabait naman yun guides. These are the place we went to:

- Mother Falls
- Baler market (for pasalubong)
- Diguisit Beach
- Yellow Sand
- Ermita Hill
- Quezon Museum
- Dona Aurora Museum
- Baler Church
- Centennial Tree
- Sabang Beach

For mother falls, before reachings the falls, you'd trek for 30-45mins muna and the path is quite hard. Definitely not for kids and senior citizens. Sobrang worth naman pag narating mo ang Falls, it was breathtaking.

trek to mother falls
Mother Falls

museo de baler

dona aurora quezon museum
 Surfing at the Sabang Beach
- you can hire an instructor for surfing here, 350/pax inclusive of board and instructor. If board lang 200/hour. Waves when we were here were not that big, so it suited us beginners.

diguisit beach

centennial tree

All in all, the trip was worth it. But next time though, we'll probably stay there for 3 days 2 nights so we can enjoy the sights more. Mala - amazing race kasi ang ginawa namin. ^__^

Thursday, July 11, 2013

TAJ Guesthouse Boracay (Annex Rooms)

Taj Guesthouse is a popular budget hotel in boracay. They offer a variety of rooms with prices ranging from 1T - 4T depending on the season and number of pax per room. As for us, we were able to get a quad room for P2000 and another twin room for P1500. This was all communicated through e-mail and confirmed/reserved by their staff. Reservation fee was paid on time through bank deposit, the rest to be paid directly to the hotel. A week before our stay, we re-confirmed with Taj Guesthouse and they acknowledged our reservation. Because of this, we thought that our stay would be hassle-free.

***For the record, we've heard some bad reviews about Taj before but since game naman kami, we still decided to stay here, hoping that we wouldn't experience any of those "incidences". 

Come june 22, we arrived at Taj main at 11AM, We gave our receipt to the reservations staff and waited for our room. However, upon seeing the look of the staff, I knew there was a problem. It turned out the occupants of our room(Quad room) refused to leave and is extending their stay for 1 more night!

According to them, they tried to convince those guests to just change rooms (they have another room available albeit smaller - triple room) because the QUAD room is already reserved for us. TUMANGGI daw yun guests and insisted na kami ang lumipat. Because we already paid for the deposit, we didn't have much choice but kami ang mag-adjust. Kaya lang, sana the guesthouse staff stood their ground and told those guests na hindi puwede. Bayad na namin yun eh. Instead, kami pa yun na-abala. They (staff) were very sorry about it pero wala man lang pakunsuwelo kaming natanggap. Discount man lang wala. Sabi ko nga, bawasan niyo na lang yun charge sa amin since we'll be taking the smaller triple room (add extra matress since 4 kami) even if bayad na namin yun Quad. Parang wala lang narinig yun staff. Hay... kung di lang talaga kami on budget this time...

Anyway, the annex building is located 1 min away from the main site. May dadaanan ka lang na maliit na eskinita. Very accessible and quiet at night. Malapit sa dmall, and just a few steps away from the beach.

As for the room itself (2F room at the annex building), it was ok. Moderately clean. Masikip compared sa Quad room. The extra mattress was quite thin. Buti na lang maliit lang yun tao na natulog dun, sakto lang sa kanya. The CR has hot & cold shower, bidet, strong water pressure, modern toilet. The CR window is broken though, madali ka masisilipan. Buti na lang wall lang ang katapat mismo ng CR. Strong A/C, with mini ref, TV has cable but very bad signal. There was a phone but since palagi walang tao ang reception, wala rin kuwenta. We were supposed to have 4 towels pero we only got 2 on the 1st day. The other 2 towels, we received on the 2nd day after 5 follow ups. The blankets are thin but the bed has clean sheets. Wifi is available at the lobby albeit slow.

**as per my friend, the CR at their twin room (ANNEX 1-C room) has a bad smell. Ok naman daw the rest ng facilities, cr lang yun problem. I think some people has commented about these on tripadvisor, i hope Taj fixes this. Baka may problem yun drainage nila.**

Free hot/cold water is available (may dispenser sa reception). Wala nga lang cup so just buy at sheenas store (P5/ styro cup) or bring small plastic cups na lang. Sa 2nd floor, may small veranda where you can hang out with your barkada. Unahan nga lang ito since maliit lang ang lugar and maraming rooms sa 2nd floor. Suwerte ng mauuna. Ok dito magbonding. Usually dito kami nagbe-breakfast (may dala na kami biscuits/bread, instant noodles and 3in1 coffee, kukuha na lang kami ng hot water sa dispenser). Also, back when we went in June, ginagawa ang 3rd floor so it was quite noisy during daytime. Hindi naman siya big deal since gising naman kami lahat nun.

As said before, palaging walang tao sa reception, kaya pag may kailangan kayo and may nakita kayong staff, sabihin niyo na lahat ng need niyo sa kanya (extra pillows, towels, etc) dahil di niyo alam kung kailan niyo ulit siya makikita. As for security, may nakita ako na guards na nakabantay sa entrance ng alley. I think all the resorts there are sharing the expense for the guard kaya lahat ng resorts binabantayan nila. I don't know how reliable they are though, 1 or 2 guards lang ang nakita ko. Most of the guesthouses there pa naman, puwede ka maglabas-masok. Better be safe and just take care of your own things.

By the way, days before, we inquired sa late check out nila. It was P100/hr and we availed it and left the resort at 6pm on our last day. 10pm pa kasi flight namin sa kalibo and masyado maaga kung aalis kami ng tanghali. Upon check out, tiningnan lang kung kumpleto gamit sa room and we were free to go.

Overall, ok na sana nila. Rooms are adequate naman, sa service lang talaga pumalpak. Next time, they really need to reiterate to their guests kung what time ang check out nila and sundin nila yun dapat. Kasi they (Taj) will be the ones who will be put in bad light eh.

Would i go back? Maybe, maybe not. Along the alleyway kasi, madami na available na guesthouses offering same rates as Taj guesthouse. Some, even nearer sa beach than Taj. May mga bagong gawa pa nga eh. Will probably be checking them next time i go back to Boracay. Maganda rin kasi yun marami ka nata-try na hotels, at least may point of comparison ka na.

See below for pictures of the rooms...



- sliding door but lock showed signs of force opening. Not that safe since labas pasok ang mga tao.
- CR has bad smell, probably drainage problem

hall way at the ground floor


extra mattress on the ground for the 4th pax

see the small window there? kalahati lang ang ok diyan, the other half open na. walang takip. di lang halata sa pic coz madilim na yun labas.

our room

the other guesthouses along the eskinita

our breakfast place

the 3rd floor, yet to be finished

stairs to the 2nd flr

the reception. see? wala na namang tao...


Here are other guesthouses that we saw while walking around station 2. Can't vouch for them if they render good service, but their room looks ok at least.


- This is the resort across TAj Guesthouse, the one with the balcony (white building) . good rooms, same as Taj. 
Price: P2000 - 4000 (depending on the room and season)


- quite far from D'mall. This is along the alley going to D' Talipapa. cheaper than Taj/Jeromes. Rooms are ok though the CR isn't as modern as Taj. Big rooms.
Prince: P1500 for 4pax, 2 Double beds. Just a few steps away from the beach.

Boradise Beach House
- didn't see the rooms as they are fully booked. This is right across Real Coffee.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


Since we'll spent 1 night Puerto Princesa before our flight back to manila, we looked for a cheap hotel to stay in. Luckily, Go Hotels had a sale just in time. For only P588+, we got a twin room with all amenities we would need. Just a 10-15 min ride to the airport (free shuttle c/o go hotel), it was such a steal. Located besides Robinsons Mall, and a few minutes away from the Tiangge-an (Souvenir shops). It was accessible and very convenient.

I would recommend staying here. Sobrang sulit!!!

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