‘Goraiten itadakimashite makoto ni arigatou gozaimasu’ (thank you for coming to our store), when you keep hearing this announcement as you enter and exit any department store, you know that you are in one of the most exiting cities in the world, Tokyo.
If you have arrived at your hotel in downtown Tokyo from Narita or Haneda with out any mix-ups, that’s brilliant, you are on the right track. For most first time visitors to Tokyo it can be challenging and often daunting experience, especially if your time is limited, what to do and where to go if you haven’t pre-planned your trip.
If time permits during your stay in Tokyo, a good way to experience rural Japan is to head off to a nearby town for a day trip. One popular destination is a visit to Hakone, a mountainous town located west of Tokyo.
We have been to Japan a number of times, and during our last trip we endeavoured to visit this town, to experience its famous Onsen, hot spring bath. This is also a good vantage point to see Mount Fuji from Lake Ashi, weather permitting of course.
I’ve always wanted to experience a boodle feast or fight for a very long time. I’ve seen a lot of photos on social media and television food networks showing what a gastronomical experience this type of Filipino dining is, where food favourites are served on a wide-green banana-leaf platter and eaten with bare hands. So I contacted my friends whilst back in the Philippines, to see if they would like to have a get together and catch up over a boodle night, everyone liked the idea, so bring on the food war!
Finally we made it to this adventure park this year, a long time in the planning. Dubbed as Mindanao’s favourite extreme playground, this place has more to offer than meets the eye. Mindanao is the second largest and southernmost major island in the Philippines.
Our trip began from Davao City with few disagreements on how long the trip it will take. Google map says 5 hrs and 16 mins, 240.7 km, though from word of mouth it’s only 4 hours. Reluctant on which time frame of travel to rely on, we headed off after lunch. We hit the road on the Davao-Buda National Highway with traffic along the way that totally slowed us down. The roads were relatively stable and well-maintained so it’s easy for a four-wheel-drive vehicle, at times we can speed up to 100 km per hour but mostly we remained under 80 km per hour.
(A continuation of the Christchurch to Queenstown Winter road trip)
We arrived in Queenstown around 8 pm and immediately checked in at the Copthorne Hotel and Resort, our room was overlooking Lake Wakatipu and we couldn’t wait to see the views the following morning.
The long drive from Geraldine to Queenstown was exhausting but we were ecstatic enough that we arrived safe and sound at our final destination and it definitely called for a round of beers.
Admittedly, we have been here a few times now and we keep on coming back. I guess it’s because of the fab food? or the breathtaking views? oh well I think both!
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!
As the snow starts to melt in the Northern Hemisphere, us here in the Southern start to gear up for our winter season. Holiday packages are in high demand for those who love all those winter snow activities. If snow sports are not your forte, a good way to experience the impact this season has on the landscape , weather permitting, is to drive between Christchurch and Queenstown in the South Island, New Zealand, a 6 hour drive and some 483 km via State Highway 8.