Taiwan Tours


Traveling in Taiwan anytime soon?

Whenever my husband & I travel, we book tours to get to know the place better- culture. We understand that each place has its gem & story & tours give us a taste of that. Touristy, only because of the amount of time we’ll be spending on the place. We probably would’ve been more daring when it comes to booking tours but since we now have a baby, convenience is very important. These tours gave us a glimpse of Taiwan that left us wanting more. 5 days isn’t enough! We’ll definitely come back for more!

In this blog I’m passing on the tours we’ve booked. All the information about the places listed below are provided on the tour links. Hope this will give you a head start on your research & planning.




  • Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall
  • National Palace Museum
  • Presidential Office Building
  • Martyrs’ Shrine
  • Traditional Taiwanese Temple
  • Handicraft Center

Tour by KLOOK | Link: https://www.klook.com/activity/456-explore-taipei-city-taipei/




  • Yehliu Geopark
  • Jiufen Old Street
  • Shifen Falls
  • Shifen Old Street | Lantern Flying

Tour by Klook | Link: https://www.klook.com/activity/2953-yehliu-geopark-shuttle-bus-ximen-taipei/?gclid=Cj0KCQiApvbhBRDXARIsALnNoK3g8lqd24DpfQehWQQTYB0bYa3hXiC3fBSxKZMcDG5WLaa617PXfsMaAu71EALw_wcB




  • Zhongshe Flower Market
  • Carton King
  • Xinshe Castle
  • Rainbow Village

Tour by Yamventures | Link: https://www.yamventures.com/


Gondola Ticket by Klook | Link: https://www.klook.com/activity/16000-maokong-gondola-combo-ticket-taipei/

Maokong was supposedly the last place on our itinerary but we were very tired from having to carry our baby in all the tours listed above & the night markets plus the food trips. So we just had to sit this one out & mostly stayed at our hotel. Nonetheless, this was part of what we’ve booked. Next time then!

For other Taiwan blogs you may click links below.

Taiwan Eats | https://trulytara.com/2019/01/14/taiwan-eats-list/

What to Wear | Winter in Taiwan | https://trulytara.com/2019/01/03/what-to-wear-winter-in-taiwan/

Should you have any questions, I’ll gladly help! Drop a comment &/ or see you on my socials. And if you want something extra… up on my Youtube channel is our Taiwan trip in action!

Vlog link: https://youtu.be/IYYce9LRtnI






Taiwan Eats List


What did you do in Taiwan? We ate… a lot! Milk tea? Fuelled by them! Hah! Food tourism is definitely bustling there. Some, from what we originally planned, we weren’t able to try due to challenges with our baby but that didn’t stop us from our food trip. Anyhow, I’ll cut to the chase & share with you our eats list.


C H U N   S H U I   T A N G

ADDRESS | No. 9號, Songshou Road, Xinyi District, Taipei City, Taiwan 110

OPERATING HOURS | 11am- 10pm daily


  • Brown Sugar Mochi with dipping sauces of Coconut Cream and Black Sesame Powder
  • Original Bubble Tea
  • Pan fried Turnip Cakes

TIP | As much as possible, go to the restaurant on a weekday as Taiwan’s general day- off fall on weekends. Restaurants get really crowded & queues are long.

D I N  T A I   F U N G

ADDRESS | 10, Taiwan, Taipei City, Xinyi District, City Hall Rd, 45

OPERATING HOURS | 11am- 10pm daily


  • Pork Chop Fried Rice with Egg | Besides the Pork Xiaolongbao, this is our fave!
  • Pork Xiaolongbao
  • Truffle Xiaolongbao
  • Noodles with Spicy Sesame & Peanut Sauce
  • Steamed Taro Xiaolongbao

TIP | Go there early or way before your scheduled meal time to get a number for reservation. Queue is long all week long. Went there on a Saturday & waiting time was about 2 hours.

How to devour your Xiaolongbao |

R A O H E   N I G H T   M A R K E T

ADDRESS | Raohe Street, Songshan District, Taipei City, Taiwan 105

OPERATING HOURS | 4pm- 12am daily | Best to go there by 7pm as not all stalls open at 4pm.


  • Fuzhou Black Pepper Bun | Fave!
  • Chen Dong Ribs Stewed in Medicinal Herbs
  • Taiwan Sausages
  • Xiaolongbao
  • Muah Chee
  • Fried Dumplings
  • Breaded Hotdog & Cheese
  • Grilled Chicken Thigh Skewer
  • Torched Beef Cubes | This for me was quite overrated, meat was chewy.
  • Stinky Tofu

WARNING | Sticky Tofu tastes as it smells. I’m sorry!

TIP | Do your research & familiarise your list  & when you get to the place, just go through the stalls one by one. Looking for each one on your list will take up most of your time which may hinder you from having an enjoyable experience because you’re hooked to it.

J I U F E N   O L D   S T R E E T

ADDRESS | Jishan Street, Ruifang District, New Taipei City, Taiwan 224

OPERATING HOURS | 8am-10pm daily | Not all stalls operate on the same time.


  • A-Zhu Peanut Ice Cream Roll | Fave!
  • Curry Fish Balls
  • Grandma Lai’s Taro Balls
  • Deep Fried Battered Seafood
  • Taiwanese Sausages
  • Egg Tart
  • Original Bubble Milk Tea | We bought from this vendor that didn’t have too much signs. You could say it wasn’t commercialised. They’re just a few steps away from entering Jiufen & is on the right side of the street.


ADDRESS | Shi-men Ting Wanhua District, Taipei City, Taiwan 108

OPERATING HOURS | Open 24 Hours | Not all stalls operate on the same time.


  • Grilled Mochi | Fave!
  • Hot Star Fried Chicken | Fave!
  • Red Sakura Butter Crisp Cake | Fave!
  • Prince Cheese Potato
  • Cream Puff
  • Chiffon Cake
  • Ji Guang Fried Chicken
  • Ay Chung Flour Rice Noodle
  • Torched Beef Cubes | Again, overrated. Beef was chewy.
  • Stuffed Pancake | Taro, Custard & Red Bean.
  • Xing Fu Tang Brown Sugar Bubble Tea | Fave!
  • Coco Bubble Tea
  • Starbucks Iced Coffee with Matcha Green Tea
  • Tenren Original Bubble Tea | This was hubby’s fave! If you want to taste more of tea rather than milk from your milk tea, this one’s for you! You can opt for the green tea base for a refreshing milk tea fix!

TIP | Copy paste tip from Jiufen.

We mostly spent our time in Ximending since this was just across our hotel (Richardson, great place to stay by the way! It’s just across Ximen station). On our last night, we were quite weary from exploring the city, Ximending even, so we decided to just eat from the vendors in the building. Glad we were on that state because then we discovered two places that are definitely worth putting on the list- Ice Papa & a noodle place that had Chinese signs all over the restaurant. If you’re in Ximen, these are just at the Hotel Richardson building which are very easy to find.

Got this super pearl milk tea snowflake ice & it was the bomb! Also got the Taro balls flavour which was great but the other one was my fave, yet.

N A T I O N A L   P A L A C E   M U S E U M

Took a break from the tour  & had this drink. SOOOOOO GOOD.

ADDRESS | No. 221, Sec 2, Zhi Shan Rd, Shilin District, Taipei City, Taiwan 111

OPERATING HOURS | 8:30am-9pm daily


  • Nespresso Bubble Tea | FAVE!!! Milk Tea + Coffee in one drink? A dream come true!


Went on a tour in Taichung & dropped by these places for some food & drinks.

50 LAN

There are a lot of branches in Taichung for this.

WHAT WE GOT | 50 LAN Original Bubble Tea


ADDRESS | No. 2號, Lane 2, Section 2, Dongshan Road, Beitun District, Taichung City, Taiwan 406

OPERATING HOURS | 10am-9pm daily

WHAT WE GOT | Chicken & Noodles

There are still A LOT of FOOD & DRINKS to try in Taiwan! We haven’t even tried the ones in Michelin Star restos. Should you have any questions, would gladly help. Drop a comment &/or see you on my socials!


Cherry Dress for all Seasons


Seeing cherry print in different styles & cuts, all looking fab! I wouldn’t miss the cherry party! But I’m here to tell you that the cherry dress isn’t just your summer dress, it’s your dress for all seasons! Last month we went to Taiwan where I wore mine despite the winter weather. With the right pairings, you too could flaunt your cherry dress in any season!

Wore Uniqlo’s heattech leggings under, a coat & scarf over, for the win!


Coat | Primark

Dress | Superfinds

Heattech Leggings | Uniqlo

Sneakers | Nike

📍Yehliu Geopark | Taiwan

For more looks, see you on my socials!

What to Wear | Winter in Taiwan


Before we travel, we do a lot of research, right? One of the things I look into is what to wear. Not just because of fashion (but yes, that’s included Haha) but because I want to be comfortable, especially when I’m going to a place where the weather is different from where I come from. More importantly, I’m a mom, having a baby is a handful & I need all the comfort I can get in the other areas of traveling.

Went to Taiwan last month & it’s currently winter there which runs from December to February with temperatures moving around 10ºC- 25ºC. This is considerably mild based on North American or European standards. December is the driest month with average weather between 13ºC to 18ºC average. January, the coldest month between 13°C to 16°C average t& February, between 10°C to 25°C.

As stated on my previous blog, reminding you again that “WINTER” weather varies. It varies in different countries, cities, date & even the time in a day. So before you go on your trip, make sure to check the weather forecast. Another factor I noticed is where you come from, I come from a tropical country so I’m not used to temperatures dropping to 20 & so on, so what I wear may differ from somebody who’s used to temperatures dropping to 0.

With this, I pass on a few photos & recommendations on what to wear during Winter in Taiwan.

2 layers are enough, sometimes even one when it’s sunny.

Bring a scarf just in case temperature drops & a beanie or knit band would be helpful in case it gets windy.

A hat or an umbrella might come handy should it rain or if the sun gets quite harsh.

I guess that’s really all you need to know! Unless you’re going to the mountains or some areas in Taiwan where it requires more layers. But basically, this is it. Should you have any questions about this, would gladly help out. Leave a comment here &/or see you on my socials!


10 Swimming Essentials for your Baby


A few weeks ago, we took our 5 month old baby to her first swimming experience. Of course we were very hesitant, had our reservations & questions… but after a lot of research & after asking a few moms about their experience, we decided to give it a go. Sharing a list on what we’ve packed that made it a wonderful first for our baby & the whole family too!

1. Swimwear- Of course! This goes without saying. Your baby will definitely need his trunks or her swimsuit for swimming.

2. Towel- Another basic thing to bring when swimming. Hooded towels are very convenient! You may also have a robe, it basically has the same function.

3. Floater- With so many floaters in the market, make sure you get the right floater for your baby depending on his/ her age.

4. Swim Diapers- Yes! There’s a different one for swimming. And take note, these are not substitute for your baby’s regular diapers. They are not absorbent, they do not contain urine or your baby’s poo. So why use them? It’s purpose is to contain solid waste only. You wouldn’t also want to use the regular ones that are absorbent because stored urine especially for a long time will definitely cause infection. There are disposable & washable swim diapers. Whichever works for you. We used Huggies Little Swimmers disposable diapers.

5. Sun Hat- Whether it’s sunny or raining, your baby will need protection from either. It’s best to have one! Getting sick is a no no!

6. Sunscreen- Just like you, your baby will need protection from the sun. Get the one that’s for ‘babies’, not for ‘kids’ because care different ones. We used Mustela Very High Sun Protection Lotion with SPF50.

7. Toys- Babies have a short attention span. Ready your energy, songs aaaaand some toys!

8. Food- Your baby might get hungry with all the playing, make sure their food (milk/ solid food) is ready! And bring a cover when you’re breastfeeding, I am so I did.

9. Baby Lotion/ Cream- As prescribed by the Paediatrician, use only baby lotion/ cream as needed. If you feel your baby’s skin needs to be moisturised after exposure to the sun or pool water, you will need lotion! There are ‘cooling’ ones that give baby a good feel especially that skin tends to be hot after long hours of exposure to the sun. Used Mustela Nourishing Cream with Cold Cream.

10. Small Bag- Because there’s a big bag where you put EVERYTHING, you should have a small bag where you place everything that’s on the list. This is the bag you carry around & where it’s easy to get what you need for your baby when swimming. Best if it’s water resistant.

These are just a few important things when going on a beach getaway, of course there’s a lot more in the Mommy Bag. That’s for sure! I mean, the diaper bag is as important. Should you have any questions about this or our experience please hit me up. Hope this helps & you have a blast on your trip!

Top 10 Places to Visit in Paris



Off to Paris to fulfil your Parisian dream? What if you’re only staying for a couple of days? But also, you’d want to savor every bit of it? Like any good thing, don’t rush! Just come back some other time & make more memories. Narrowing it down for you. Here are a few places you wouldn’t want to miss!

1. Tour Eiffel

The iconic Tour Eiffel or Eiffel Tower (cried when I saw it), the confirmation you’ve reached your dream destination, a known symbol of Paris. Even Hitler had his photo taken with it! Although a lot say that when you get there, “it’s just a tower”, there’s more to it than meets the eye once you get to know its story.

Let’s time travel for a while. (But if you don’t really care or you’re convinced even without knowing about its history, just skip this part. Ha!)

Once upon a time in 1889, Paris hosted a Worlds Fair to celebrate 100 years of the French Revolution. Among 100 aspiring artists who were competing to build a monument in central Paris, Champ de Mars, the project was granted to Eiffel et Compagnie owned by Architect Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel, thus its name “Tour Eiffel” or Eiffel Tower. He also had a secret apartment all to himself at the very top at that time. But, you’d be surprised to know that this wasn’t his idea. It was engineer Maurice Koechlin, one of his employees who had the brains for the famous tower. It was completed in March 31, 1889, the making in two years, two months, and five days. Some time that year, Le Figaro, the French newspaper had their printing press at the tower.

The Eiffel Tower became the tallest structure in the world in 1889, standing 1,000 feet high made up of wrought iron. Until New York City’s Chrysler Building was built in 1930, then it wasn’t anymore. Paris was competitive. In 1957, a 65feet antenna was added to the tower, making it taller than the Chrysler Building. But then again, that didn’t match the Empire State Buliding so Eiffel had to stop at some point.

Years later, if it wasn’t made into a radiotelegraph station, the tower would’ve been scrapped. Also, during World War I, the tower was used to interrupt enemy radio communications & messages would be sent out from the top to direct the French troops to the front line. Although most of the French hated it when it was built, through the years Eiffel Tower has contributed to a lot of historic events & scientific discoveries. One of the interesting things about the tower was that in the late 1920s, it was used as a billboard for Citroën automobiles. No other brand has ever used the Eiffel Tower as an advertising medium.

What is its color? The Eiffel Tower was painted in yellow then red then brown. It is painted every 7 years for its maintenance. It is lit every night from sunset to 1am, 2am in summer. It also glistens every 5 minutes in every hour from the time it is lit. You wouldn’t want to miss this! Be part of the 7 million who visit the most visited monument in the world.

Tip | A toast of champagne at the top for celebrating would be lovely! And oh! The best place to see the lights & where you have your photos taken is from Place du Trocadéro. Experiencing it on top is another wonderful experience.

2. Place du Trocadéro

Now, it’s impossible to miss the best place to get a photo with the Eiffel Tower as the background! You’ve got to get to Place du Trocadéro. As mentioned, even Hitler took his photo there on June 23,1940. This place was named in honor of the Battle of Trocadero when the French, headed by Duc d’ Angoulême, captured Isla del Trocadero in Spain. He is the son of the King of France, Charles X. Here you will find Palais de Chaillot which houses the Musée national de la Marine,  Musée de l’Homme, Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine, Musée National des Monuments Français & the Théâtre National de Chaillot.

Around the area are stalls selling crepes, coffee, sandwiches & more. Take your time at the area, eat al fresco & enjoy the view of the Eiffel Tower.

3. Champ de Mars

On the opposite end of Place du Trocadéro right across the Eiffel Tower is Champ de Mars. This is another beautiful place to take a photo with Tour Eiffel, stroll &/ or have a picnic. Champ de Mars means “Field of Mars”, named after Campus Martius in Rome. Giving tribute to the Roman god of war in Latin. A part of the James Bond film, A View to Kill, by Roger Moore was filmed here in 1985. Also, come 2024 Summer Olympics that will be held in Paris, Champ de Mars will be used to hold one of the sporting events.

4. La Siene

La Siene or Siene River is a famous river in Paris with a stretch of 777 Kilometers. With this, there are 37 bridges all over Paris and more outside the city. Some of the well- known bridges are Pont Alexandre III where you see four gilt-bronze statues of Fames & Nymphs of the Neva reliefin in the middle. Have you seen the film Me Before You starred by Emilia Clarke & Fin Claflin? Pont Alexandre III is where we see Louisa (Emilia Clarke) crossing towards the end of the film. Another famous bridge is Pont Neuf, the oldest standing bridge across river Siene in Paris which dates back to 1607. This is where the couples place their love locks. You may book a tour where you can ride a boat, cruising around La Siene.

5. Louvre

First of all, if you want to make it worth your time aaaand money, make sure you make time to visit the Louvre for one whole day. It is after all the world’s largest art museum! It has an area of 72,735 square meters exhibiting approximately 38,000 objects from prehistory to the 21st century.

The Louvre or Musée du Louvre is a historic monument in Paris which is divided into eight curatorial departments: Egyptian Antiquities, Near Eastern Antiquities, Greek, Etruscan and Roman Antiquities, Islamic Art, Sculpture, Decorative Arts, Paintings, Prints & Drawings. With a lot of things going on, make sure to choose top things to see like the Mona Lisa, before wandering.

In the late 12th century, the Louvre was originally built as a fortress under Philip II. In 1546 it was converted into the main residence of the French Kings by Francis I. However in 1682, King Louis XIV moved to live in the Palace of Versailles making Louvre as a place for the royal collection from 1692 & collections of ancient Greek and Roman sculpture. It was during the French Revolution, where the Louvre was decreed to be a museum which opened on August 10, 1793. Since then items increased under the reigns of Napoleon, Louis XVIII and Charles X, and during the second French Empire.

It is the world’s most visited art museum having about 8.1 million visitors annually so make sure to buy tickets ahead & be early for a head start!

Tip | Make sure to visit Angelina for lunch or a quick bite while you’re there!

6. Arc de Triomphe

The Arc de Triomphe Paris is a triumphal arch honoring those who fought for France particularly wars led by Napoleon Bonaparte. Here you will see engraved names of the generals who fought for the said wars. This famous arch was built between 1806 to 1836. Here lies the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from World War I where the Memorial Flame burns. This have made the Arc de Triomphe Paris a celebrated patriotic site. Since November 1923 when the flame was ignited for the first time, it has been done daily at 6:30pm.

This majestic arch stands 49.5 m (162 ft) tall, 45 m (150 ft) wide and 22 m (72 ft) deep which is hard to miss when you’re at Champs-Élysées.


Shopping, strolling or simply having an espresso by the streets. Champs Elysees has got to be part of your itinerary in Paris. This avenue stretches 2 Kilometers from Place de la Concorde till Arc de Triomphe & is one of the famous streets in the world. Here you will see restaurants, cafes & top brands like Hermes & Cartier. If you’re a tourist & would want to make most of your time, Champs could be last on your list since shops close late & are open on Sundays which isn’t common in France. And if you’re into sports, particularly a cyclist, no doubt this will be on your list since this is where the famous Tour de France race start.

Tip | Make sure to visit Ladurée & have a heavenly bite of their famous macarons while strolling around Champs-Élysées.

7. Palais Garnier

The Phantom of the Opera is hhhhhheeeeere! Among other things, Palais Garnier is famous for the setting of the movie, The Phantom of the Opera starred by Gerard Buttler, Emmy Rossum & Patrick Wilson. This opera house has the capacity of 1,979, built from 1861 to 1875 which is the most renowned opera house in the world. Its name comes from its  architect, Charles Garnier. This place is every ballerina’s dream. The Opera House is now mainly used for ballet.

8. Notre- Dame Cathedral

Notre- Dame Cathedral or Notre-Dame de Paris is a medieval catholic cathedral which has a magnificent French Gothic Architecture. One of its distinguishing designs is having gargoyles, not just a few but about 102 of them. Why? They look so scary & they’re in a church! Well, it has been believed that they scare off evil & practically divert rainwater. Other interesting things about Notre-Dame, here you’ll find some important relics, including the claimed crown of thorns, a piece of the true cross, and one of the holy nails. Also, this got more popular because of the animated movie by Disney, Hunchback of Notre Dame.

9. Montmarte

Montmarte, aaaaah, the life of old Paris. Here lies at its peak the famed Sacré- Cœur Basilica. It is also known for its artistic history as many artists lived or worked here like Pablo Picasso & Vincent Van Gogh. Several films have been shot here as well like Moulin Rouge & Beauty & the Beast.

10. Palace of Versailles

In the Île-de-France region of France, 20 kilometers from the French capital, lies the Palace of Versailles, Château de Versailles, or simply Versailles. Its history dates back in the 11th century when it started out as a small village, today, however, it is a wealthy suburb of Paris & a very famous tourist attraction.

In 1682 during the reign of King Louis XIV, Versailles was the seat of political power in the Kingdom of France until the royal family returned to the capital in 1789. This happened within three months after the French Revolution begun.

The Hall of Mirrors in the Palace of Versallies having 357 mirrors is a tribute to the political, economic and artistic success of France where paintings depict the successes of King Louis XIV during his reign.

I wonder how long the palace was built when every part & corner is a work of art.

I stop here. There are a LOT more places to wander in Paris which also depends on your priorities or preference. Hope this helps & may you make your Parisian dreams come true.

Au revoir!

Sightsee Sydney


G’day Mate! Whenever my husband & I travel to a place, we make sure we cover what the place we are going to is about- history, culture, food & etc. Although it is quite impossible to cover everything in just a couple of days, we try. We try to have fun & learn at the same time. Last July, we went to ‘Straya’ (that’s how locals say it), Sydney to attend the Hillsong Conference but we extended to a few days to “Sightsee Sydney”. If you plan to visit Sydney, this might help you with your itinerary.


Sydney, is not the capital city of Australia neither is Melbourne, Canberra is. Going back to Sydney, it is however the state capital of New South Wales & Australia’s first city. With 658 suburbs, 40 local government areas & 15 connecting regions, it is the most populated city in Australia.

Australia has been known to be a British Colony where convicts were sent to in the early days. In 1788, Captain Arthur Phillip led the first fleet of convicts to Sydney. He called the city “Sydney” in the name of the 1st Viscount Sydney, Thomas Townshed. Transfer of convicts then ended in the 19th century & since then, Australia has been transformed from a colonial settlement into a main economic & global center. After World War 2, Sydney became a multicultural city with the mass migration. Developments in Sydney took place making it one of the most livable cities in the world & has been in the top ranking for economic opportunity with advanced market economy- a fortes in finance, manufacturing & tourism. Expect Sydney to be a hub of multinational corporations & banks. Since the hosting of the 2000 Summer Olympics, Sydney has been one of the top destinations to visit.


Before getting on with your sightseeing, here are a few Aussie (Australian) words & phrases that might help you communicate around.

  • Barbie- Barbeque
  • Brekky- Breakfast
  • Esky- Insulated container you take on a picnic or to the beach
  • Sanger / Sambo- Sandwich
  • Snag- Sausage
  • Spag bol- Spaghetti Bolognese
  • Takeaway- Take out food
  • Tucker- Food
  • Bikkie- Biscuit
  • Lolly- Candy/ Sweets
  • Servo- Service station, gas station
  • Arvo- afternoon
  • Macca’s- McDonald’s
  • Bloody- Very
  • Exy- Expensive
  • Reckon- For sure
  • Stoked- Very pleased
  • Thongs- Flip flops or sandals
  • Woop woop- in the middle of nowhere/ remote location
  • Buckley’s chance- No chance
  • Chockers- Full/ no more room
  • Deadset – Without a doubt/ 100% sure of it
  • Heaps- Lots/ many/ very
  • Spewin’- Upset or disappointed about something
  • Mozzie- Mosquito
  • Mates rates- A discounted price given to a friend
  • She’ll be right- “it will be okay”
  • Youse- Plural of you. “you guys’’/ ‘’you all’’
  • Chemist- Pharmacy or drugstore
  • Come good- Turn out okay
  • Dunny – Toilet
  • G’day – Hello
  • Iffy – Questionable
  • Let’s go to the pictures – “Let’s go see a movie at the cinema”
  • Loo – Toilet
  • Mate – General term used for someone you are familiar with
  • No worries – No problem, that’s ok
  • Ripper – Good
  • Rooted- Tired
  • Shonky- Dubious/ unreliable
  • Smoko- Tea break
  • Sunbake- Sunbathe
  • Ta- Thank you
  • True Blue- Genuine


Sydney Opera House


You’ll know one is in Sydney when a photo of the Sydney Opera House is posted. Named a UNESCO World Site, the Sydney Opera House was designed by Danish architect Jørn Utzon which opened on October 1973 to be a multi venue performing arts centre. Since its opening, it became one of the symbols of architecture in the 20th century. And it’s undeniably an eye catcher when visiting Sydney. Because of this, it receives about 8 million visits annually.

Tip I You may dine inside the Opera House or enjoy its view outside while having your fish & chips. Very touristy!

Address: Bennelong Point, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia


  • Monday- Saturday 9am- 8:30pm
  • Sunday 10am- 6pm

Fees: Check the Sydney Opera House website (https://www.sydneyoperahouse.com/visit-us/tours-and-experiences.html)

The Harbour Bridge


Just across the Sydney Opera House at Circular Quay is the Harbour Bridge or locally known as the Coathanger. It is the world’s largest steel arch bridge which stands 134 meters above the harbor. It’s interesting how this bridge was built by 1,400 men in 8 years. Today, it carries rail, vehicular, bicycle, and pedestrian traffic between the Sydney central business district and the North Shore. For tourists who are adrenaline junkies, you may do the ‘Bridge Climb’, where you are able to climb the monument & enjoy the breathtaking 360 view at the top of the pylon.

Address: Sydney Harbour Bridge, Sydney NSW, Australia

Sydney Tower

If the bridge climb at the Harbour Bridge is too much for you, this may be another option to have a breathtaking view of Sydney. However, if being able to see the whole of Sydney in a birdseye view isn’t a priority, you may just check out the tower from a distance. The Sydney Tower or Sydney Tower Eye stands 309 meters or 1,014 feet above the Central Business District (CBD) making it the tallest structure in Sydney.

Address: 100 Market St, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia

Schedule: Open daily 9am-10pm (Schedule may vary, check the website on your scheduled visit)

Fees: Check the Sydney Tower Eye website


St. Andrews Cathedral

St. Andrews Cathedral is the oldest cathedral in Australia which opened in 1868. It was designed by Edmund Blacket with a Gothic Revival architecture.

Address: Cnr of George and Bathurst Streets, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia

Schedule: Open daily

Laneways & Art

wp-1513413293742.jpgThe Laneway art project’s goal was to revitalize Sydney’s laneways to create a livelier city while exploring its past. One of the artworks is the Forgotten Songs. It is made up of 120 suspended bird cages in the laneway located above the Angel Place accompanied by the sound recordings of extinct bird species of central Sydney. Its intention was the celebration of birds living in Sydney “before they were gradually forced out of the city by European settlement”, returning the bird sounds to the city.

“The installation explores how Sydney’s fauna has evolved and adapted to co-exist with increased urbanisation – inviting contemplation of the city’s past, its underlying landscape, and the sustainability issues associated with increased urban development.”Michael Thomas Hill

Queen Victoria Building

The Queen Victoria Building (or QVB), is a Romanesque Revival building in the late nineteenth-century designed by the architect George McRae in 1893 which was designed as a marketplace. With 30 meters wide by 190 metres long, it fills a city block by George, Market, York and Druitt Streets. It is known as an iconic heritage building of Sydney and Australia. Dating from 1898, the Queen Victoria Building has continued to operate as a market facility for over 190 years. Until today, people are able to go there to shop & dine. Outside QVB, you’ll find the “Talking Dog”.

Address: 455 George St, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia


Lower Ground & Ground

  • Sunday 11am- 5pm
  • Monday- Saturday (except Thursday) 9am- 6pm
  • Thursday 10am- 9pm

Level 1 & 2

  • Sunday 11am- 5pm
  • Monday- Saturday (except Thursday) 10am- 6pm
  • Thursday 10am- 9pm

Macquarie Street

The Macquarie Street which is named after Governor Lachlan Macquarie is known to have the major landmarks & government institutions of New South Wales, Sydney. It extends from Hyde Park to the Sydney Opera House. Landmarks & government institutions located in this stretch include Hyde Park Barracks, St. James Cathedral, Hyde Park, St. Mary’s Cathedral, The Mint, Government House, II Porcellino, Queen Victoria Statue, Customs House, Mcquaries Wall, Busby’s Bore Fountain, Foundation Stoner, Dorbell Memorial Sculpture, Drinking Fountain, Martin Place, John Dunmore Lang Statue, Bridge Stairs, T2 Building, Secret Restoration, Admiralty House & National Trust of Australia. That’s a lot!

Hyde Park Barracks

If you are into History, the Hyde Park Barracks will interest you. It is listed in the New South Wales State Heritage Register and the Commonwealth Heritage List, as well as being celebrated on the UNESCO World Heritage List as one of 11 pre-eminent Australian Convict Sites as amongst “the best surviving examples of large-scale convict transportation and the colonial expansion of European powers through the presence and labour of convicts”. This was designed by architect Francis Greenway between 1818 and 1819 to provide lodging for convicts working for the government till 1848. Then it became an immigration depot for women who were seeking for employment to reunite with family & a female asylum till 1886. Then it became a law court & government office to 1979. Until it became a museum in the 1990s.

Address: Queens Square, Macquarie Street, Sydney, NSW 2000



  • Open daily 10am- 5pm
  • Closed Good Friday & Christmas Day


  • Open daily 10am–4pm
  • Closed Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day


Adult $12 I Concession $8 I Family $30 I Members Free of charge I Children under 5 years Free of charge

Parliament House

Although its architectural appearance isn’t grand, the Parliament House is said to have an exceptional historical and social value since it has played a vital role of Australia’s history of the colonial government. It is the oldest public building in Sydney. Since 1811, the Parliament House and the Mint Museum are the two surviving wings of the triple wing General Hospital.

Address: 6 Macquarie St, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia

Schedule: Open daily 9am- 5pm

Fees: Check the Parliament House of Australia website for more details (https://www.aph.gov.au/Visit_Parliament/Plan_your_Visit)


Glebe is one of Sydney’s suburbs famous for its intellectual feel & atmospheric heritage buildings besides some vintage finds at the Glebe Markets which open every Saturday. The place is surrounded by cafes, bookshops, galleries & ethnic eateries. Some of its landmarks are Johnstons Creek, Coroner’s Court, Lyndhurst, St. Scholastica’s College, Bellevue, Sze Yup Temple & the Rozelle Tram Depot.


(Click to see photos as you go through the blog)

Luna Park

If you’re with kids, just around the city you can visit the Luna Park. It is an amusement park with rides, shows & attractions & it has NO entrance fee!

Address: 1 Olympic Dr, Milsons Point NSW 2061, Australia

Schedule: Its operating hours vary. You may check the Luna Park website on your scheduled visit (http://m.lunaparksydney.com/opening-hours)

The Rocks

 Very rich in history, The Rocks is one of the top tourist spots in Sydney. It is hard to miss specially that it is located by the southern shore of Sydney Harbour, just beside the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The Rocks has gone a long way from having a reputation as a slum where convicts arrived & where sailors visited prostitutes to a tourist historic area. Today it is surrounded by shops, restaurants, hotels, bars, museums & galleries.

Must Try I Here you can find the famous Pancakes on the Rocks which is known for their pancakes, of course! Another reason why it’s famous because it’s open 24/7.

Heads Up I Take note that shops, restaurants & malls generally close early in Sydney so this might be on your list especially if you get hungry after a long day of touring the city.

Address: 4 Hickson Rd, The Rocks NSW 2000, Australia

Sydney Fish Market

Seafood you say? One of the things you do as a tourist in Sydney is visiting the Sydney Fish Market & indulging yourself, not just to see food, but to eat a lot of seafood! It is the biggest fish market in the Southern Hemisphere & the 3rd biggest in the world, in terms of variety. 13,500 tons are traded nationally & internationally every year. Make sure you visit for your seafood fix.

Address: Bank St & Pyrmont Bridge Road, Sydney NSW 2009, Australia


  • Open daily 7am- 4pm except Christmas day
  • Fisherman’s Wharf Restaurant dinner service is open until 11pm

Taronga Zoo

Just a ferry away from the Circular Quay, visiting the Taronga Zoo with about 4,000 animals is one of the refreshing things to do in Sydney, especially with kids! There are many ways in going to Taronga, but riding a ferry is probably the best way as it allows you to well, ride a ferry along the harbor getting a different view or angle of the Sydney Opera House & Darling Harbour Bridge. You simply ride the ferry at the Circular Quay Wharf 4 then in less than an hour, you get to Taronga!

Address: Bradleys Head Rd, Mosman NSW 2088, Australia

Schedule: Open daily including Christmas day from 9:30am- 5pm (Best to check the closing time on your scheduled visit as it may vary)


  • Adults- Gate Price $46 / Online Price $41.40
  • Children (4- 15 Years) Gate Price $26/ Online Price $23.40
  • Infant (Under 4 Years) Free
  • For more details check the Taronga Zoo website (https://taronga.org.au/taronga-zoo#whats-on)

Must See I QBE Free- flight Bird Show or the Seal Show.

Tip I Get a map & check the animals you want to see first before you start wandering around especially if you want to have animal encounters. Make sure you go early to the scheduled time of the shows to get good seats.

Bondi Beach


Approximately 45 minutes from Central Sydney, you may enjoy the iconic Bondi Beach. Bondi is an Aboriginal word which means water breaking over rocks which is why its known for surfing. But if you’re not into surfing, you may simply enjoy the view during sunrise & sunset, through a stroll/ coastal walk from Bondi to Coogee or picnic, having coffee, fish & chips or like in our case, have churros by the beach.

Getting There / Getting Back:

  • By Bus I Go to Alfred Street in Circular Quay & ride the bus numbered 380/ 333 (destination of the bus should show NORTH BONDI, DOVER HEIGHTS, WAITRONS BAY or BONDI BEACH). You may ride the same bus in going back to the city (destination of the bus should show CIRCULAR QUAY).
  • By Train I You may ride in stations Central, Town Hall, Martin Place, Kings Cross, Edgecliff to Bondi Junction. Then switch into a 380, 381, 382 or 333 bus for a 15-minute ride to the beach. You may ride the same bus to Bondi Junction then from there, switch to a train going back to Central.

Must Try I We didn’t have much time to explore around Bondi but we tried  San Churro which were recommended by our friends who lives in Sydney. Churros with assorted dips, coffee plus the view. Ah!

The Grounds of Alexandria

The Grounds of Alexandria is one of the places tourists love to visit for some food trip cozy experience. It’s a rustic-like courtyard with a café serving freshly roasted seasonal blend and single origin coffees & artisan pastries, a potting shed serving drinks & a garden where pizza, burgers & other charcoal grill offerings are served. There are also shops, food stalls & a play area for kids.

Must Try I Chargrilled Lamb topped with Garlic & Chili Sauce paired with Rose Lemonade.Coffee & Pastries, for sure!

Heads Up I The place gets crowded. A little patience will go a long way to get your seats.

Tip I Should you have time for shopping, there are a lot of outlet shops in Alexandria. Check your maps for all of them!

Address: 7a/2 Huntley St, Alexandria NSW 2015, Australia



  • Monday- Friday 7am- 4pm (kitchen closes at 3pm)
  • Saturday- Sunday 7:30am- 4pm (kitchen closes at 3:30pm)

Potting Shed

  • Monday- Thursday: 11:30am (kitchen closes at 9pm)
  • Friday 11:30am (kitchen closes at 10pm)
  • Saturday 11am (kitchen closes at 10pm)
  • Sunday 11am (kitchen closes at 9:00pm)

The Garden Bar

  • Monday- Friday 8am- 2pm
  • Saturday- Sunday 8am- 3:30pm

Wood Fried Pizzas

  • Monday- Wednesday Closed
  • Thursday- Friday 11.30am- 2pm
  • Saturday- Sunday 8am- 3pm


  • Monday, Thursday, Friday 9am- 3pm
  • Tuesday- Wednesday 11:30am – 3pm
  • Saturday- Sunday 8am – 3:30pm

Blue Mountains

If you’re into some nature tripping, Blue Mountains is a place for you. Although we weren’t able to visit this place during our trip due to time constraints, this should be part of the places to see when in Sydney. It is called Blue Mountains because they look ‘blue’ from Sydney. This is the result of the eucalyptus oil’s mist (products of eucalypts or gum trees that make up the Blue Mountains) refracting light, making the haze look color blue from a distance.  It is famous for the three sisters sandstone rock formation. The place is filled with forests, waterfalls, gardens & a magnificent view that will surely take your breath away! If you don’t have a vehicle going there, you may book a tour or ride a bus going to Katoomba, from there you may ride a bus to get to the Blue Mountains. This will take approximately 3 & a half hours so expect the whole journey to at least 1 whole day should you go back to the city.

Hunter Valley

This is one of the places we missed, that should be on the list, during our last visit to Sydney. This is a place for the wine lovers! It is Australia’s oldest wine region. Here you may explore vineyards with fresh & exceptional wine paired with gourmet food. You may also enjoy its scenery through riding a hot-air balloon or skydiving. Ah! Both on our bucket list! If you don’t have a vehicle going there, you may book a tour or ride a bus or train to Maitland, the main transit point of the Hunter Valley. Which will take approximately 3 & a half hours so expect a whole day trip should you go back to the city. Another option is by plane from Sydney to Cessnock or to Newcastle which is the nearest main town to the Hunter Valley. It is best to have a vehicle or to book a tour for a hassle free experience.

Hillsong Conference


Well, this should definitely be part of the list since this is the reason why we came to Sydney. It has always been a dream to visit Sydney because of this. Hillsong Conference is not a place, by the way! It is usually held at the Qudos Bank Arena. It is an annual 4- day conference hosted by the Hillsong Church, held every July & is attended by about 20,000 delegates across the world as well as renowned speakers like Rick Warren, Christian bands & worship leaders- Hillsong United, Taya Smith, Brooke Fraser, Lauren Daigle, Kari Jobe & so much more! For more details, check the Hillsong website (https://hillsong.com/conference/sydney/)

A dream come true. God knows how grateful we are & how much our hearts are full.


wp-1513480200634.jpgIf you want to attend Hillsong Church Services, you may check the schedules in the different campuses at their website (https://hillsong.com/sydney/). Best to have reserved seats as services across the campuses get full especially during the conference season. Visit their website & click “Plan a visit”, go to “Concierge”, fill out the details then you’re good to go! All the details are at their website. Despite the reservation, be early still. Main service is at the Hills campus. They provide a free transportation from the Parramatta Station & Blacktown to the Hills & back, right after the service. Just check details under “Courtesy Bus”.


  • Get an Opal Card for free with a minimum load of $10 & download the Opal App to get around Sydney. This can be used for trains, ferries, buses & light rails.
  • Download the tripview app for transport timetables.
  • Schedule far destinations, which cost more in transportation on Sundays, as maximum spend for that day is only $2.50.
  • Sydney provides a FREE BUS that operates every day around Central Sydney called/ numbered 555. It runs every 10 minutes from the Central station to Circular Quay & back through Elizabeth & George street. Check photo for the direction of the whole loop. Schedule: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday 9:30am- 3:30pm, Thursday 9:30am- 9pm, Saturday- Sunday 9:30am- 6pm.
  • 555map
  • The whole loop takes about 30- 40 minutes to cover. Photo from http://www.broketourist.net/shuttle-bus-555/
  • Get a sim card for communication, data usage & getting around Sydney. You may purchase it upon arrival at the airport. Make sure your phone has an open line.
  • Take note that most of the shops, malls, stores & restaurants close early or by 5pm in Sydney.
  • Join a free walking tour to explore the city. (Check http://www.imfree.com.au/sydney for details)
  • Check online deals ahead of time to score discounted tickets.
  • For shopping, visit Pitt Street, QVB, Strand Arcade, DFO Homebush (Chemist for perfumes & Priceline for makeups), Birkenhead, Surplus Shops- K- Mart & Target & for Souvenirs- Paddington Markets.
  • Check link for Sydney Trains Operating Hours (http://www.sydneytrains.info/stations/pdf/Hours-of-Business.pdf)
  • If you are in hurry to get to a place, Uber is very convenient in Sydney.
  • Don’t forget your TimTams! Another sweet treat to try is Coles Ultimate Chocolate Chip & Cinnamon Donuts.
  • VERY AUSIE FOODVegemite – A famous Australia spread to go on toast, perfect with butterLamington- Typical Australian sponge cake covered in chocolate and coconutMeat Pie- A popular Australian snackPavlova (pav)- Popular Australian desert, meringue and cream topped with fruitSausage roll – Favourite Australian snack consisting of seasoned minced meat encased in pastry, perfect with tomato sauce on top
  • Go- to food: Nando’s, Thai Food.
  • YOU CAN COUNT ON COFFEE. (Aussies are big on coffee so expect coffee goodness all the way)COFFEE TERMS (AUSTRALIAN/ US)Short Black- ExpressoLong Black- AmericanoFlat White- Latte No FoamLatte- Latte
  • Mocha- Mocha
  • Cappuccino- Cappuccino
  • If you’re attending the conference, you should try the NACHOS sold at one of the stalls there. Yum!
  • Check the CBD STORAGE WORLD SQUARE for luggage storage. See website for details (http://www.cbdstorage.com.au)
  • List of Museums (without fees) you might want to visit:

White Rabbit Gallery (Open Wed- Sun from 10am-5pm)

The Rocks Discovery Museum (Open daily from 10am-5pm)

Royal Botanic Gardens (Open daily from 7am- sunset)

Sydney Observatory (Open from 10am- 5pm)

Manly Art Gallery (Open Tues- Sun from 10am- 5pm)

Reserve Bank of Australia (Open Mon- Fri from 10am- 4pm)

Museum of Contemporary Art (Open daily from 10-5pm, 9pm on Wed)

Art Gallery of NSW (Open daily from 10am- 5pm, 10pm on Wed)

Government House (Open Friday- Sunday from 10:30am- 3pm)

Anzac Memorial (Open daily from 9am- 5pm)

Asian Art Gallery (Open Tuesday- Fri from 11am-5pm & Sat- Sun from 11am-4pm)

  • List of Museums (with fees) you might want to visit:

Australian Museum (Open daily from 9:30am- 5pm/ $15 Adults, Child FREE)

Powerhouse Museum (Open daily from 10am- 5pm/ $15 Adults, Child FREE)

Museum of Sydney (Open daily from 10am- 5pm/ $12 Adults, Child $8)

Susannah Place Museum (Open Sat- Sun from 10am- 5pm/ Adults $12, Child $8)

Justice Police Museum (Open Sat- Sun from 10am- 5pm/ Adults $12, Child $8)

Sea- Life Aquarium/ Wild- life Sydney (Open daily however schedule may vary, check website for details (https://www.sydneyaquarium.com.au/plan/opening-hours/) Adults $40, Child $28)

This definitely won’t be our first & last. We’ll be back to attend another conference & see more of Straya. See you later, Mate!


Swiss Alps Sweet Escape


We just came from a Euro trip & many have been asking how it was, which was our favorite destination & etc. We were able to experience France, Switzerland, Italy & Spain, well, some of its cities. Hope to explore more places of the said countries & even all the other parts of Europe in this lifetime. Going back to the places we’ve visited, each has its strengths & each truly a wonderful place to experience. But if I have to choose one or the best of the best from where we’ve gone to… oh Switzerland captured my heart!


One happy kid. God is good!



Switzerland Flags along the narrow streets of Zurich

If you see a white cross over a red surface, it doesn’t necessarily relate to medicine, it could be the Swiss flag! To the Swiss, the cross represents Jesus’ crucifixion. Switzerland, also known as “Confoederatio Helvetica” (CH) derives from Latin words “Confederation” & “Helvetier”, Helvetier was the name of the people who inhabited the area. Its capital city is Bern which was founded in 1191 by Duke Berchtold. It was said that this new city that was founded would be named after the first animal that they saw. They saw a “bear”, thus the name Bern. Bern is also the capital of its canton/ state.




Bern’s Bear Pit. Yes, they still have bears there today!

Fun fact: Albert Einstein, one of the revolutionary inventors lived in Bern. You’ll see in one of the photos here.

Switzerland consists of 23 cantons, namely, Zürich (ZH), Bern / Berne (BE), Luzern (LU), Uri (UR), Schwyz (SZ), Unterwalden (UW), Obwalden(OW) / Nidwalden (NW), Glarus (GL), Zug (ZG), Freiburg / Fribourg (FR), Solothurn (SO), Basel (Basel Stadt (BS)/ Basel Land (BL), Schaffhausen (SH), Appenzell (Appenzell Ausserrhoden (AR) / Appenzell Innerrhoden (AI)), Sankt Gallen (SG), Graubünden (GR), Aargau (AG), Thurgau (TG), Ticino (TI), Vaud (VD), Valais / Wallis (VS), Neuchâtel (NE), Genève (GE) & Jura (JU).

Among these, we stayed in Aargau & was able to visit Bern, Zurich, Luzern/ Lucerne, Schaffhausen & Geneva.



Our view from Aunt Nida & Uncle Carl’s Home in Aargau. BIG thanks to them for our stay in Switzerland!





Luzern’s Chapel Bridge is one of  Europe’s oldest bridges which was built during 1333.



Painted houses surround the streets of the old town in Schaffhausen.


Strolled this colourful town with Uncle Paul & Aunt Sally. Grateful!



Shooting high to 140 meters is Geneva’s Jet d’Eau, which literally means’water jet’. It is one of the tallest fountains in the world since 1886.

Switzerland has four different official languages German, French, Italian & Romansh. Its currency is called “Schweizerfranken” (Swiss Francs) or “Franken”. Visiting anytime of the year is all good, depending on what you want to do. Take note of its seasons!

Winter (January- February)

Spring (March- May)

Summer (June- August)

Autumn (September- November)

However, temperature change in Switzerland is normal. So be ready for some scarf, waterproof coat, good walking shoes, sunscreen, sunglasses, lip balm & more!

Other than these facts, Switzerland is famed for heavenly cheese, chocolates (anything dairy actually), sausages, sauerkraut, banking havens, watch manufacture, knives, guards for hire & our sweet escape, the magnificent Swiss Alps!


The earth is not filled with mirrors that it should reflect us, it is filled with the wonder of His creation that all of these things would reflect HIS GLORY.

In the middle of our trip my sister asked “How’s Switzerland?” with astonishment, I replied, “It looks unreal”. Is it even possible that a place soooooooooooo beautiful exist? Every place that we went to, even the views of our train ride, were like postcards. Pinch me!



Some of our train ride views.wp-1498547913840.jpg




And here’s us during one of our train rides. Smooth ride & on the dot. Experienced running fast from switching trains. Nope, they don’t wait for the passengers, even if you’re a senior citizen. 


Hello from #TheBontols

Lush green meadows with flowers blooming & bright, clear & vast lakes reflecting towering trees, clean & systematic roads, houses & old towns well- preserved (felt like I was in the set of Beauty & the Beast, really), delectable creamy cheese goodness, delightful chocolate treats, I could go on but this is what really got me, the majestic Swiss Alps, as far as your eyes can see… aaaaaahhhhhh. This was really IT.

The magnificence of God’s creation in the Alps got me speechless. This to me was “the magical feeling”, but it wasn’t magic… it was real & it wasn’t just a feeling… it was a grand experience to have set foot on such beauty!


Where the Mountains meet the Skies

We stayed in Switzerland for about 7 days, besides bonding with family & friends & strolling old towns, we visited 3 spots to see the Alps.

Before sharing further here are some vocabulary to understand this piece better. I too needed to refresh myself to avoid confusion on these words. looked them up to make sure content is on point.

Source: dictionary.com

Alps- (plural noun) a mountain range in S Europe, extending from France through Switzerland and Italy into Austria, Slovenia, and Croatia. Highest peak, Mont Blanc, 15,781 feet (4810 meters).

Alp- a high mountain.

Mountain- (noun) a natural elevation of the earth’s surface rising more or less abruptly to a summit, and attaining an altitude greater than that of a hill, usually greater than 2000 feet (610 meters).

Alpine- (adjective) of, pertaining to, on, or part of any lofty mountain, very high, elevated, pertaining to, on, or part of the Alps.

Summit- (nonu) the highest point or part, as of a hill, a line of travel, or any object; top; apex or the highest point of attainment or aspiration.

Peak- (noun) the pointed top of a mountain or ridge, a mountain with a pointed summit, the pointed top of anything or the highest or most important point or level.

The Swiss Alps


Approximately 60% of Switzerland is covered by Alps & about 100 peaks reach to 4000 meters or 13125 feet above sea level. Getting to some of them are made accessible through trains, cog railways, cable cars and other means of transportation. And besides simply watching the grandeur of the Swiss Alps, there are many activities you can do there if you feel a little or crazy adventurous! You can do climbing, skiing, snowboarding, biking, hiking, paragliding & more!

Here are some of the most famous mountains/ alps in Switzerland & their elevation:

Monte Rosa (4634 m), Dom (Mischabel) (4545 m), Weisshorn (4506 m), Matterhorn (4478m), Dent-Blanche (4357 m), Grand-Combin (4314 m), Finsteraarhorn (4274 m), Breithorn (Zermatt) (4164 m), Jungfrau (4158 m), Mönch (4107 m), Schreckhorn (4078 m), Piz Bernina (4049 m), Eiger (3970 m), Glarner Tödi (3574 m), Piz Corvatsch (3451 m), Titlis (3238 m), Gornergrat (3135 m), Chasseral (1607 m), Lägern (866 m).

These are just some. And again, can you imagine 60% of Switzerland is occupied by these?

Among some of these Alps, we visited the Materhorn through Gornergrat, Titlis & our favorite…so far, Schilthorn.


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Read below & you’ll know why I only have this photo of the Matterhorn. It was shy when we visited that day!

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Now, THIS is how the Matterhorn should look like!

The Majestic Materhorn, stands 4,478 meters (14,692 feet) above sea level. It is one of Switzerland’s striking symbols & is the most photographed mountain in the world.This is also one of a mountaineers’ aspirations as climbing the Matterhorn is very dangerous or challenging due to its ascent. Geez! I’m all good just looking at it.



The shape of Toblerone? They got it from this mountain!  The Matterhorn stands in between Switzerland & Italy. With this, Matterhorn is the German name which means “meadow & “peak” while Cervino is its Italian name or Cervin in French which means “deer”. Geographically, the Matterhorn stands in the town of Zermatt. wp-1498543782976.jpgGetting to Zermatt which is only achievable by train, is your ticket to seeing the Matterhorn. From Zermatt, you can see the Matterhorn through 3 options. Let me start with the farthest to the nearest view, thereafter. First is going to Gornergrat where you ride a cogwheel train for about 33 minutes to get to the top. Second is going to Sunnegga- Rothern, a 10- minute walk from Zermatt railway station will get you to the Sunnegga- Rothern valley station. From there, you’ll be riding a funicular for only 3 minutes to get to Sunnegga then you ride a gondola to Blauherd, then a large cable car sends you to Unterrothorns summit, where you see the Matterhorn. Third is going to the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise which has the highest cable car in Europe (3,883 m). From the Valley station, it’ll be a 45- minute gondola ride to the top. Any one of these ways are a sure win!


Some would want the third option where the view stretches to Mont Blanc in France, the highest mountain in the Alps as well as Monte Bianco di Courmayeur, Italy’s highest peak. This is also the peak of the international ski area & Europe’s largest summer ski area. Some the second one because they say this reveals the Matterhorn’s perfect form. While some say the third one because it’s just the right distance to see the Matterhorn & is the most comfortable one. You decide!




Our call was to go to Gornergrat. Weather wasn’t a hundred percent as the clouds covered part of the Matterhorn. But that didn’t stop us from enjoying what we had at the moment. Apparently that weather allowed us to experience our first snowfall!

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Of course, it has to be something & documented when it’s a first!


Coffee never felt extra super-duper GOOD on a bbbbbbbrrrrrrr-freezing cold weather!





Among the three we’ve visited, the experience going up Titlis was my favorite. They’ve got new cable cars going to the initial station which they call the “Gondola Titlis Xpress”. Then from there you get to ride the world’s first revolving aerial cableway called “Titlis Rotair”. But before you get excited going up, your journey would start via train or car to Engelberg. Not complicated, right?



Captured the Philippine Flag on our way to the top of Titlis. Woot woot!



From Engelberg, you ride a gondola to Trübsee, you can either go out to explore the area or go straight up to Stand where you can stop too. Or you switch to the Titlis Rotair which will take you to Titlis. I would always suggest for you to go up first before exploring intermediate stops as you’ll never know what will happen to the weather.

Titlis has an altitude of 3062 m above sea level where its winter all year round. It also features the only glacier that can be accessed. Other than that, some attractions are walking the suspension bridge fearlessly, riding the glacier chairlift, strolling around snow park Trübsee, rowing boats on Lake Trübsee, trottibike scooters from Alp Gerschni, four-lakes hike to Alp Engstlen and to Melchsee Frutt.

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Glacier Cave

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Let’s play pretend. Pretend you’re not afraid at this very moment. I lost, was shaking the whole time esp. while taking this photo.

Side story- Our very last alps visit for the trip was Titlis. The whole time, since day 1, God was just showing His sovereignty & faithfulness. The day before visiting Titlis, we kept on checking the weather forecast & it showed bad weather… all throughout the day. We were really convinced we could not visit Titlis. Despite our faith wearing thin, we travelled to Engelberg. We thought, if it would rain, we wouldn’t go up but we’ll take our chances & prayed. When we got to Engelberg, the weather was perfect & there weren’t a lot of people due to the weather forecast & when we got to the top, WOW! BREATHTAKING! Titlis, more of the swiss alps aaaaaaaand a breathtaking experience of God’s move on EVERY DETAIL of our trip. 

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The best travel buddy ever!


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If you’re deciding where to go first from all of these mountains, I suggest Schilthorn. From this point you’ll see a feast of the Swiss alps!

Otherwise known as the Bond World as this was where the James Bond Movie “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” was filmed during 1969 which is why they called it Schilthorn- Piz Gloria. From Muren, you’ll be on your way to the top through a cable car. On your way to the top, you can stop by Allmendhubel, (1907 m . 6257ft) then to Birg (2677 m .

wp-1498543780103.jpg8783 ft) then to the top- Schilthorn- Piz Gloria (2970 m . 9744 ft). This is where you can see the best view of Eiger, Monch & Jungfrau & a panoramic view of the majestic Swiss Apls! And as if just staring at the view isn’t already incredibly overwhelming, you can do a lot of things there. Although some might find it too commercialized, others find it rather entertaining or engaging. With this, you can dine at the revolving 360 degrees restaurant. Other attractions will take you back in time of the James Bond movie like the 007 Walk of Fame, Cinema, Igloo7, & some will challenge or scare you, like the “Thrill Walk”.


Eiger I Monch I Jungrau



To get to Schilthorn, you’ll be riding a cable car from the town of Mürren which will take about 30 minutes to get to the summit. To get to Mürren, you can follow route via Interlaken – Lauterbrunnen – Grütschalp, or via Interlaken – Lauterbrunnen – Stechelberg. It will take about an hour & a half to reach Murren from Interlaken. Take note that one can get to Interlaken and Lauterbrunnen via train and car while Stechelberg can be reached by bus & car. However, the other parts can only be reached via train or cable car.

On Jungfrau, although it isn’t the highest summit in Switzerland, why is it so famous? I wondered. NO, it is not Switzerland’s highest mountain. Just to clarify, it’s because here lies Europe’s highest- altitude railway station at 3454 meters above sea level. And this has been up & running for over a hundred years! Aaaaaand I have yet to experience this on my next visit.

Others are definitely on our bucket list & will surely recommend Switzerland as one of the places one has to experience in one’s lifetime. And of course, nothing sweeter than to have shared breathtaking experiences like these with the one who takes my breath away!


Experiences are best when they’re shared. All praises to God for all of this.

Becoming A Better Traveler



Getting lost in Venice is probably one of the most exciting things you’ll experience.

Experience is the best teacher.

With this, you can say that the more you travel, you become better at it. I have only been to a few places but enough to share a few tips on becoming a better traveller. A lot might know and consider things basic like “travel light” or sanitizers & tissues are your best friends. If you find the things listed here, basic… congratulations! You’re probably on the road to becoming the best traveller! But who’s the standard, really? Simply sharing what I’ve realized, so far. As the saying goes, learning never stops.



Interesting the city of Venice is! There are 177 canals & 1 grand canal dividing 118 islands. And oh, that gondoliere you see is part of the 395 gondolieres & did you know from that there is only 1 lady gondoliere in Venice?

You could say that we have different reasons for travelling, some for business & some for pleasure. Let’s just say you are in a particular place, not for business, meaning you’re not just there for a business meeting or to close a deal. YOU ARE THERE TO EXPERIENCE. Experience what the place is for what the place truly is- people, culture, food & so much more!

We will have the tendency to compare, that’s human nature but never should you reach to a point of comparison that you lose sight of the strengths or beauty of the place. Remember that EACH place has a story. May you look at every place with fresh eyes & an open heart. If you put this to heart, you’ll probably not need the other tips. In life, it starts & ends with what’s within & as traveling is part of life, the same principle applies.


You hear this a million times but a lot of people, A LOT, do not apply this. It’s heartbreaking. For some reason, I always come next to a dirty toilet & the person ahead of me, doesn’t seem to care, at all. The resources are there, toilet papers, soap & some even have seat covers. Even came next to somebody who left her seat cover! If you think about it, the energy I spend in cleaning before & after using the toilet would affect the number of people trying to go in the potty.


Switzerland. What a grand experience. This place is the cllllllleeeeeaaaannnnnest place i’ve ever been to.


Beauty all around Switzerland during Spring!

If everyone in the entire universe would just clean up their own mess, particularly in the toilet, because everything affects everything, more work gets done in a day. However, since a lot of people or tourist don’t get or apply this, just pass on your simple act of kindness & hope that they too will pass on what they’ve received.


I’m from Cebu & one of the things we’re known for is lechon or roasted pig. Nothing against the credibility of Anthony Bourdain nor this particular lechon brand but when he said that this particular lechon is the best tasting one… I believe I am not the only Cebuano who would disagree. Ask a Cebuano. Ask the locals.


Aaaaaaaaah. The tapas in Spain are love! However, there are a lot of gastronomic offerings you can explore in Spain. This one right here are called PINTXOS which comes from the world ‘pinchar’ meaning to pierce. For me, they’re simply chorizo & they’re reeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaallllyyyyyyy good!


Croqueta or Croquettes are another Spanish favourite! On your visit to Barcelona, check out La Boqueria Market to get a taste of the Spanish offerings!

Not just about food but in a lot of things. Be careful though, I’m sure you’d know if the person you’re asking is fooling you or not. Although reviews say this & that, asking a local can save your day by telling you where to eat!


Most of us want to be fashionable when we travel. (Side note: Just be fashionable, don’t wait to travel to dress well & don’t forget, with modesty) Part of the outfit is the bag. You want to be fashionable or you are but don’t forget comfort. When you travel, it s very safe to assume that you’ll be walking at least 5 Kilometers in a day. Bringing a hand bag will be tiresome at some point plus a hindrance in capturing good moments that flash before your eyes. A sling bag will make one of your shoulders sore from carrying the whole weight of one bag for a long time.

Meanwhile with a backpack, you carry the weight of one bag with both your shoulders. Both of your shoulders are working in your advantage. And because of this, you are able to do more. You can take more photos, hold the hands with your travel buddy & explore more because of the energy you still have. And just a reminder, in case having comfortable shoes isn’t part of your basic list, having comfortable shoes is crystal clear to every traveller.


Look at this man go! My awesome travel buddy with his Pacsafe backpack capturing snaps of Arc de Triomphe in Paris.


You will need menthol inhalers for what it’s really made for- relieves pain, soothes your muscles & etc. But you will need this, do not laugh but it’s true & very helpful, to counter bad odor. I don’t think your perfume will cover. When you go to the tourist spots, especially when it’s summer & say you’re lining up for a ride in Disney land, the different & unique aromas will dominate the atmosphere. Haha.

And if you want to keep the positive energy in travelling, you will definitely value this small yet powerful weapon. And oh! Make sure you’re not a contributing factor to the said “different & unique aromas”.


Deoesn’t show much in this photo but my happy hormones are jumping for joy because of Angelina’s delectable hot chocolate. The best! Make sure to taste them when in Paris. Talk about good vibes!



Doesn’t hurt to include some fruits in your food trip. This will give you a dose of vitamin C to get you going!

This may be basic but including this here to reiterate how important this is. When we travelled to Hong Kong, day one & chickenpox happened to me & we weren’t prepared at all. You have to consider, there are certain meds you have to take that needs a doctor’s prescription. And what if the place you’re going to have zero medical assistance? Being sick is already bad plus your vacation would be ruined because you’re sick. You don’t want to be in a very very very sad & bad situation would you? Bring the basic meds & other important medicines. Better yet, get insurance. 


Using a zip lock or travel kits has most likely become basic nowadays. Some even have colorful & patterned kits.  But I still think there are a lot of people who do not know or take advantage of this fact. Using this would enable you to save a lot of space, enabling you to save yourself from the hassle. On our recent travel, I transferred my stuff from their usual containers like makeup, accessories & toiletries to zip locks & they’re much lighter to handle.

I know one that places her clothes in a zip lock & vacuums the air inside, leaving the clothes really flat. Wow! Talk about becoming a better traveller! Probably the most experienced traveller I know!


Meanwhile, fitting the entire Colosseum, in fact all the structures BC, is a struggle to fit into one picture. But really, it’s such a wonderful experience to set foot where Gladiators fought, although they had bittersweet living conditions.

So, I end here… for now. Traveling has become a great deal, especially in this generation. More & more people are traveling nowadays & don’t get the most of it just because a very simple thing ruined their trip. But that’s not you! There are things that may be out of your control like the weather but you can definitely do something about it to be able to stroll, right? And because that’s not you, you’ll feel the urge to share what you know because really, when you are travelling…

“… it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.”

Ibn Battuta on travelling


The Swiss Alps, as faaaaaaar as your eyes can see… This place definitely left me speechless. Excited to share about this one!

Seize Siargao


Just when we were about to land, the plane turns then my husband goes…

“look out, you’ll never see that in other countries”.


And on the same day he says “let’s book tickets every time there are promo fares”.


It is impossible not to love Siargao.

Some say this island has a magnet. I agree.

So what’s in this beautiful island? As much as I want people to discover for themselves, I just can’t zip it. This is how stoked this place is.


Maps from Google


Situated in the province of Surigao del Norte is the enchanting Siargao, a tear- drop shaped island in the Philippine Sea with approximately 437 square kilometers land area. Siargao is known for its waves & is dubbed as the Philippine’s surfing capital. It is composed of municipalities of Burgos, Dapa, Del Carmen, General Luna, San Benito, Pilar, San Isidro, Santa Monica and Socorro.




Although Siargao is famous for surfing, for me, you get hooked to Siargao not just because of surfing but because of the whole island life experience.



With a lot of surfing spots, it is known to be the surfing capital of the Philippines. One of or the most famous surfing spots is CLOUD 9 which has a reputation of reaching up to 9ft & thick  with hollow tubes making barrels in surfing.




That’s Reel, the husband, gracefully gliding his way through the waves while I stare in awe from afar. Do you see me?

Cloud 9 is where the provincial government of Surigao del Norte holds the Annual Siargao Cup during September where the waves get really big. Surfing conditions are divine from August to November.

Surf Spots Cloud 9, Caridad, Cemetery, Guyam Island, Jacking Horse, La Janoza, Mamon, Antokon, Anajauan Island, Pacifico, Pansukian Reef, Pilar, Rock Island, Stimpy’s, Tuason’s Point & many more.


You’ve got to get rid of the voice that’s screaming, you can’t & listen to that still small voice that’s saying LET GO. Let Go & Let God. 


Eyes here! Check out the Surfing & Diving Spots.



Naked Island

Offshore, there are 3 islands to go to- the Naked Island, Daku Island & Guyam Island. The naked island is as it is- naked with lush sand bar while Daku & Guyam Islands are covered with dozens of coconut palm trees. Three Islands have equally pristine sandy beaches surrounding them.


Serene waters captivating my soul


Daku Island


You can get fresh buko juice at Daku Guyam Island for P30


You don’t want to mess around a guy who’s having a vaction


Guyam Island featuring Lea Carla



Photo from Carla Pesquira

Although Siargao is famous for surfing, diving does not take a back seat & does not fall far from the known surfing spots in the Philippines. Dive sites near Daku & Naked Island are Casulian, Pilar Twin Rocks, Shark Point, Blue Cathedral, Puyo and Seeco Reef. You can also do free diving.



Indulged on Bren’s Chicken TV. For orders, you may contact him at 09324120431

You will never go hungry in this island, you will always have something awesome to eat. My husband & I couldn’t try all of them but here were some of the places we went to dine. If you’re on a budget, you can shop at the market & at the grocery store for ingredients & cook them at the place where you’re renting. Gladly we have a chef- friend who blessed us with his passion.

If you’re on a budget, buy food at the Market & cook ’em! Fresh catch & very affordable.


F&B at Kermit’s is SUPERB! And the ambiance is just perfect. My favorite from this trip.

Got their Fish Kebab, Gnocchi Pasta, Focaccia Pizza, Mojitos & Pina Colada EVERYTHING WAS GOOOOOOOOOD

Chill Place & Yoga Area at the back of Kermit


If you’re looking for something healthy & hearty, SHAKA is the place to be


Shaka’s BAKUNAWA BOWL, a mixture of quinoa, natural yogurt,island fruits, granola & honey


Morning Fix- COCONANA, a mixture of banana, honey, chia seeds & coconut milk



Who needs a manmade pool when you have this natural wonder in this place? About 39 minutes from General Luna, you’ll be able to experience the Magpupungko Rock Pool. Make sure you visit during low tide or else this beauty will be hidden by the bounty of water from the sea.






Sugba Lagoon is about 58 minutes from General Luna. There you can swim, paddle board, take photos & videos or simply chill. We weren’t able to go there at this time. Now that’s a reason to come back!


Photos by Bren Fuentes



Approximately 2-hour drive from General Luna to Socorro is another beauty- Sohoton Cave where you can swim with the stingless jellyfish!

Photos by Bren Fuentes


With the scenic views & a-ok roads, you with family & friends would surely enjoy going around the island on a leisurely bike or motor ride or exercise through cycling or running. You can bring your own bike/ motorbike or rent them. Daily rental for bikes are P150 per person & P500 for motorbikes.


Photo by Carla Pesquira


Massage areas are just around the vicinity & you can also let the masseuse go at your place where you’re more comfortable. We got ours for P400 each.

Other things you can do are Yoga/ Sup Yoga, Kayak/ Paddle board

siargao-50Yoga Centers are available here & there. You may ask the resort personnel where you can do your Yoga, I saw one at Kermit & at the Boardwalk in Cloud 9. As well as renting a kayak to go island hopping or paddle boarding around the beach just before reaching the area where the waves break for surfing.


Team Matanjak Represent at the Acoustic Night in Buddha

There are daily activities in the island, there’s an Acoustic Night at Buddha every Tuesday. Here are some of the events happening in the Island. For other information on the happenings in Siargao, you may check Siargao Classifieds & Siargao Events on facebook or check hashtags on Siargao online.


Love to take photos & videos? Whether your goal is to take fashion, sports or travel & having models as your subject or landscapes, Siargao is the place to be. You will see a lot of photographers & videographers around the plus photos online. Talk about FEED GOALS. Here are some of the photos that made me swoon.

Surfer Beauties- Aping & Ikit Agudo

Aping & Ikit in Action- Known for Dancing in Long Boards

Sister Goals

Sunrise & Sunset Shots of Bren Fuentes

Beach Bae- Lea Duhaylungsod

Awesome Shots by Gaps Sabuero

For more interesting shots, follow them on instagram.


Another attraction that’s soon to rise! Check Siargao Wake Park for updates.



My Surf Instructors, Bren & Papa P

This I believe makes a big difference to your Siargao experience. Well, you could say you can do all of these things to the other parts of the Philippines or in the world for that matter but all of the above plus the interaction that you get is the cherry on top.

The moment we got to Siargao till the end, we felt the warmth of every soul, local or tourist, we’ve encountered.


Good food & good company! 


Dinner & Hang Out at Matanjak


Team Matanjak



Saying our “see you’s”, not our goodbyes


Here are your options:

Fly directly to Siargao via Cebu. All direct flights are currently via Cebu through Cebu Pacific Airlines (www.cebupacificair.com) with approximately 50 mins. back & forth.

Fly to Surigao City then ride a ferry to Siargao.

Fly to Butuan then ride a bus to Surigao City then ride a ferry to Siargao.

Ride a ferry from Surigao City to Siargao.

There are many ferries or the Roll-on-Roll-off (RoRo) that travel from Surigao City to Siargao that connect to the Dapa Port in Siargao which cost approximately p210- p350 per person. Ferries accommodate cars & trucks. Travel usually takes 2 to 3 hours depending which vessel you’ll ride.

  • Montenegro
    Surigao to Siargao- leaves 12PM
    Siargao to Surigao- leaves at 6AM
  • MV Fortune Angel
    Surigao to Siargao- leaves 11:30AM
    Siargao to Surigao- leaves 5:30AM
  • MV Britphil
    Surigao to Siargao- leaves 6AM
    Siargao to Surigao- leaves 11AM
  • MV LQP
    Surigao to Siargao- leaves 6AM
    Siargao to Surigao- leaves10:30AM

Ride a ferry from Cebu or Manila to Siargao (via Surigao City)
From Cebu, you may ride Cokaliong Shipping Lines (www.cokaliongshipping.com) or Cebu Ferries Corporation (www.cebuferries.com) which is an overnight trip. When you arrive at Surigao City take the next ferry to Siargao.

Cokaliong Shipping Lines Schedule:
Mon- Sat
7PM- 6AM

From Manila, you may ride Manila Superferries (www.superferry.com.ph) which takes approximately 30 hours to get to Surigao. Then, when you arrive at Surigao City take the next ferry to Siargao.

Ride a bus from Davao & Cagayan de Oro via Butuan and Surigao City

24 hour Bus services are readily available in the places mentioned. Once you get to the bus terminal, check the daily schedule.

Airport/ Pier Pick- up Transfer Service

If you booked in a resort, most likely you’ll have transfer services already, you may check with them. If not, they will recommend transfer services or you may contact the numbers below. Fee is P300 per person but if you’re on a private trip/ transfer it’s usually 1,500.

  • Dodong Digman- 09215111009
  • Elmer Mantilla Nogera “Capitan”- 09287572585


siargao86Nowadays, this question is very easy to answer. You can just google them then boom, you’ll see the list of resorts in Siargao. If you want a luxurious experience you can stay at Dedon but if you’re on a budget, no worries! Siargao is relatively affordable. If you’re a beginner, it’s best to stay in General Luna because there are a lot surfing spots nearby but if you wanna get on the big waves, you may stay at Cloud 9.

We stayed in MATANJAK. We were blessed by our friend, Bren. This was his wedding gift to us. Horray! Blessed even more to encounter warm people there.

For inquiries you may check them on facebook- Matanjak Guest House.