Freezing in Rovaniemi, Finland

Rovaniemi, Finnish Lapland, November 2021.

It was early in the morning, around 8AM, and all my female hostel roommates are still sound asleep at the female wing of Hostel Koti. I have been prepping and moving silently like a kitten so that I would not wake them up. We all slept so late because we tried to see the Aurora Borealis by some lake, but failed. But I want to see the sunrise this time.

After showering, dressing up, and preparing the green tea that I will bring outside, I decided to eat two of my energy bars for breakfast. At first I was thinking of going back to McDonald’s Rovaniemi, but it was a little far from my location.

Dammit, I don’t think I have concrete plans today.

I spontaneously looked at Google Maps and saw that there was this Angry Birds Activity Park by the river, so I decided to take a walk and go there. Damn, it was a cold morning.

It was very beautiful to see the golden rays of the sun shine at the white frozen river and snow-covered surroundings. It was very beautiful to see people taking a walk, having runs, walking their dogs, and appreciating nature. I have read a couple of books about Finnish culture and how they are very much into nature, and I find it amazing that they can casually go outside in the cold just exactly how I do it in the Philippines. It was -16 degrees Celsius that day and my whole body was freezing.

Rovaniemi, Finland
Rovaniemi, Finland

I reached the Angry Birds Activity Park and it looked like a life-sized Angry Birds game! I only found out recently that Angry Birds originated from Finland, and the Finnish people must be so proud of it becoming a worldwide hit when it first came out as a mobile application/game. I took silly selfies around the corner. Then I got an Instagram DM.

It was the guy from last night, one of my hostelmates who went to try to see the Aurora Borealis with us. He was asking about my plans for the day (I am planning to see the Arctic Museum), and he asked if he can join me.

I sent him the link to my location, the Angry Birds Activity Park, and we went to the museum together.

Rovaniemi is so beautiful, and I still can’t believe I made it to Finland.

“That’s where the tourists go”

Whenever visiting a new place, chances are, you will end up asking people for recommendations on spots to visit where they will name a couple of them followed by “That’s where the tourists go”. Absolutely nothing wrong with that.

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (2016)

After having lunch at the food court of Pavilion KL, my college classmates and I hailed a cab to Merdeka Square. We are staying in an Airbnb at the KLCC area, so it took us a while to get there, plus there was a traffic jam.

Our cab driver dropped us off in front of the Sultan Abdul Samad Building and said, “There, that’s where the tourists go” while pointing at the Merdeka Square and the museums surrounding it.

I remembered specifically requesting my classmates to visit museums because I need to get some information for a paper on Southeast Asian Art that I was then writing for grad school. I am pretty sure they don’t like it but said yes anyway.

We met another classmate for dinner at Jalan Alor in Bukit Bintang where a lot of street food stalls are located. He asked me, “Ano, Sher, okay ka na sa museums mo?” (“So, Sher, were you able to do your museum thing?) That’s how I confirmed it. Everybody wants something else that afternoon, but they went to the museums with me anyway.

What the actual fuck. I’m not traveling with other people again.

Jakarta, Indonesia (2019)

After attending an academic event at Surabaya in East Java, I decided to sleep on a friend’s couch because I wasn’t feeling well and I can’t die alone inside my hotel room just in case (sometimes I play the ‘worst case scenario’ game like how Randall and Beth do it on This Is Us).

Naturally, I asked her for recommendations on where to go, and she told me that I can take the train to Kota Tua, and Cafe Batavia is “where the tourists go”. She added that it’s a very touristy cafe, therefore the food is expensive.

Jakarta, Indonesia
Jakarta, Indonesia

This time I did not mind visiting the cafe. It has a colonial vibe, old, rustic interiors, and damn, the toilet is so selfie-friendly. The nasi goreng I had was one of the best. I also had the most expensive coconut juice, ever. It was a lovely day.

Mini S Hotel: Your Cute and Instagram-Worthy Accommodation in Vientiane, Laos

(This is a personal and self-initiated hotel review (not sponsored) in order to help or guide you while looking for your perfect accommodation in Vientiane, Laos.)

Our accommodations can make or break our travels, regardless of the purpose. Hence, I want to reach out to the travel community by sharing my honest experiences regarding the accommodations I stayed in. With that, you will have a prior information on whether or not to choose the hotels I reviewed. In fact, I wrote a very comprehensive mini-review of ALL the hotels I stayed in OUTSIDE THE PHILIPPINES, which you can view here:

SHERLYN’S QUICK AND HONEST ACCOMMODATION REVIEWS

For this particular hotel review, I am happy to share my experience during my stay at Mini S Hotel in Vientiane, Laos.

What on earth is Sherlyn doing in Vientiane, Laos?

My avid readers (if I have some haha!) would know that I travel very frequently both for business and pleasure. This year was a record-breaker for me in terms of travel. I’ve flown to Bandar Seri Begawan, Bali, Singapore, Macau, Bangkok, and Vientiane, and I still have cities in the pipeline! I kinda got used to staying in different types of accommodations, and therefore I know how to judge an accommodation very well.

I went to Bangkok for a conference, and since Vientiane is only an hour away from Bangkok and I had some time to spare after the conference, I decided to buy a ticket and fly to Vientiane. Also, traveling to Laos will complete my ASEAN travel bucket list! I got torn between choosing to fly in Vientiane and Luang Prabang, and I ended up choosing the former. I could always go back to see the rest of Laos, right?

Philippine Passport and Lao Airlines Ticket
My worn-out passport and ticket to Vientiane!
Lao Airlines Airplane
My first flight with Lao Airlines!

So after booking my flight ticket, I hurriedly went to check the hotels in Vientiane. The factors I always account for in choosing accommodations are (1) hotel’s age, (2) price, and (3) Instagrammable-ness. 😀 I am happy to say that Mini S Hotel satisfied these conditions.

Mini S Hotel: Fast Facts

Mini S Hotel is just 7 minutes away from the Wattay International Airport!

Mini S Hotel Map
Distance from Wattay International Airport to Hotel Mini S

Mini S Hotel has its own cafe named Blue Pin Cafe.

Blue Pin Cafe
Blue Pin Cafe at Hotel Mini S
mini s hotel

Mini S Hotel is a newly-built hotel, built only last 2018!

mini s hotel

Agoda.com indicates that this hotel was just built last year, and I was too eager to check it out. Upon doing more research, I saw Mini S Hotel website and they just had a soft opening less than a year ago!

Agoda Mini S Hotel
Mini S Hotel in Agoda.com
Mini S Hotel Soft Opening
Mini S Hotel Soft Opening Article

Mini S Hotel has a set of very friendly and accommodating staff.

I really appreciate how the staff has been very kind to me! They were not perfect in terms of service, but it was all a breeze. But hold on, let me explain that! 🙂

The hotel reception area is also the counter area of the Blue Pin Cafe, so I entered the cafe. I asked the attending receptionist that time if that was the hotel reception and he coldly answered “Yes.”. I was heartbroken. Kidding, I’m not sensitive! 🙂 I waited for my check-in to be processed and they gave me the key for the wrong room number and I opened a room currently occupied by someone, but thank God no one was inside. I did not get mad at all, instead we found that incident funny. Haha!

The other staff were patient enough to understand my accent and my English while trying to listen to my questions and concerns. I could see that they were trying to hide their frustrations and struggles of understanding my accent and I think that’s admirable. Also, when I asked one of them if they offer or know someone who offer a day tour and he happened to not know anyone, he went the extra mile trying to contact his friends who could show me around. I think that’s thoughtful! 🙂

One of the staff also helped me out to take photos of me around the lobby!

mini s hotel
Touchdown Vientiane!

I don’t really wanna leave after checkout because they were so kind and warm to me huhu! Too bad I wasn’t able to take a photo with them.

My Room at Mini S Hotel

mini s hotel
My kind of touchdown hotel photo haha!

I stayed in a Deluxe Room at the Ground Floor which was a beautiful and clean room! I had a wonderful me time there because it was spacious and very tidy. I always make sure to book the room closest to the reception area (this is my personal preference) so I was given Room 3. I actually made a mistake of booking a room for 2 people but I believe it doesn’t make any difference at all. I love how big the bed was! Aside from I can move a lot, I can throw away my stuff all over haha! It has a lock from the inside, a television, a hanging coffee table (love it!), a telephone, a dresser, and a small fridge.

mini s hotel
My cute tidy room at Mini S Hotel!
mini s hotel
At Mini S Hotel Room: Brexit and chill!

The comfort room was spacious and clean. Caveat though, it does not have a door and they don’t provide toiletries except for a hand soap.

mini s hotel
The very minimalist bathroom of Mini S Hotel

Going Around Mini S Hotel

Mini S Hotel is very near the Souphanouvong Avenue which is a major road and from there you can access almost everything you want on a walking distance: grocery stores, shops, restaurants and bars, and even the strip of al fresco bars and restaurants along the Mekong River. If you are a person who likes to walk a lot, you can also access the city proper from there.

mini s hotel
The cutest thing I saw as I walked through the Mekong Riverside!
mini s hotel
This beautiful bar created out of an abandoned building and other al fresco bars by the Mekong Riverside are just walking distance from Mini S Hotel!

How to further enjoy your stay at Mini S Hotel: Amenities

I am happy to share that Mini S Hotel has a lot of amenities that can make your Vientiane trip a more enjoyable one:

Swimming Pool

mini s hotel
mini s hotel
My new book with the Mini S Hotel Swimming Pool at the background

Mini S Hotel has a small but beautiful outdoor pool just beside the Blue Pin Cafe. Even if you don’t want to swim, you can just chill by the Blue Pin Cafe or by the pool side to adore the beauty of the pool.

Free Wi-Fi

mini s hotel
Mini S Hotel Wi-Fi Details and Tip Box

Most hotels have free wi-fi, and I must say that Mini S Hotel’s wi-fi is very reliable and fast. Of course, tips are not required but highly appreciated.

Free Shuttle Service to the City Center

mini s hotel
Mini S Hotel Free Shuttle Service to the City Center

Mini S Hotel has regular shuttle services going to the city center. You just have to inform the front desk at least an hour before your desired schedule so that they can have enough lead time to contact and prepare the driver.

The Verdict

I might be overreacting, but my Vientiane trip was really made better by my experience at Mini S Hotel. Beautifully-deigned hotels are really my thing, not only for Instagram and content purposes, and to me it’s also an indicator that that the hotel is making sure that its clients will be happy. I also feel like I received more than I paid for because I could get a hotel with the same quality elsewhere but three times the price of Mini S Hotel. I also appreciate its good location and very helpful staff. I definitely recommend this and will stay here again when I have the chance to go back to Vientiane.

Mini S Hotel Contact Information

Mini S Hotel
Nakham Village (Nakham Church)
Dongnasok Road, Sikhottavong District
Vientiane Capital, Laos
+856-21-256345
rsvn@minishotel.com
www.minishotel.com
https://web.facebook.com/Mini-S-hotel-%E0%BB%82%E0%BA%AE%E0%BA%87%E0%BB%80%E0%BB%80%E0%BA%AE%E0%BA%A1-%E0%BA%A1%E0%BA%B4%E0%BA%99%E0%BA%B4-%E0%BB%80%E0%BA%AD%E0%BA%B1%E0%BA%AA-243461522956877/

For other travel articles on Laos, click on the banner below:

mini s hotel

My Brunei Food Diary

ALSO READ:
A COMPLETE GUIDE TO 23 INSTAGRAMMABLE SPOTS IN BRUNEI

Aside from cultural immersion, a travel to Brunei can also be a good gastronomic experience, given the presence of several good restaurants that serve good food and provide awesome dining experiences to both locals and travelers alike.

Brunei has a vast selection of restaurants, from local restaurants and eateries, food fairs, coffee shops, local and international fast food chains, name it! Below are some Brunei restaurants that I highly recommend and all travelers should try out.

Soto Babu Nini and Nasi Katok

For me, Kota Batu is the most peaceful area in Bandar Seri Begawan. This unique restaurant is built by the water and they serve the best soto and nasi katok ever! 🙂 They have an infinite board walk which is perfect for photoshoots. And oh, their restaurant is very colorful, too!

NO : 605B, Jalan Kota Batu Kg. Sungai Besar, Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei BD 2517
+673 278 6116
https://www.facebook.com/Soto-Babu-Nini-Nasi-Katok-281949925175090/
https://www.instagram.com/sotobabunini/

The Food Stalls at Bandarku Ceria

Where to Eat in Brunei: Bandarku Ceria Food Stalls
Where to Eat in Brunei: Bandarku Ceria Food Stalls

Bandarku Ceria is the weekly Sunday ‘family day’ fair in Bandar Seri Begawan where kids and families gather around the Taman Haji Sir Muda Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien to play around, have picnic, and eat at the food stalls and shop for items around. Sometimes activities like fun runs are also held. For me, Bandarku Ceria is a happy activity, but I came to know that most Bruneians don’t really go there. I was able to try cheap food and drinks at my Bandarku Ceria experience.

Taman Haji Sir Muda Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien, Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei
https://www.facebook.com/bandarkuceria
https://www.instagram.com/bandarkuceria

Tamu Kianggeh (Kianggeh Market)

Where to Eat in Brunei: Tamu Kianggeh Brunei Kolo Mee
Where to Eat in Brunei: Tamu Kianggeh Brunei Kolo Mee

Tamu Kianggeh was once a traditional market by the river, until the government decided to renovate it to become one of the cleanest and most organized market I’ve been too. Aside from dry and wet goods, they are also selling local food there, which is a good thing to try out.

Easy Way Tea and Cafe

Where to Eat in Brunei:  Easy Way Tea and Cafe Menu
Where to Eat in Brunei: Easy Way Tea and Cafe Menu

To someone like me who craves for milk tea and drinks from time to time, places like EasyWay provide me good drinks and good ambiance. After all, Brunei weather could get really hot most of the time!

Ground Floor Soon Lee Megamart Lambak Kanan,, RPN Lambak Kanan, Brunei

ALSO READ:
A COMPLETE GUIDE TO FLIGHTS TO AND FROM BRUNEI

Gadong Night Market

Where to Eat in Brunei: Excited about my Kuih Melaya (Pancake) which has chocolate and cheese at Gadong Night Market :D
Where to Eat in Brunei: Excited about my Kuih Melaya (Pancake) which has chocolate and cheese at Gadong Night Market 😀

For a cheap but perfect local dinner, head to Gadong Local Market. They sell everything, from appetizers, main meal, dessert, and drinks! I love their nasi katok which they only sell for 1 BND. Of course, I would not miss drinking teh tarik and Milo here, and I also got kebab meals and local pancakes.

Simpang 37, Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei

MyTown Eating House

Where to Eat in Brunei: My Town Eating House Soto Brunei
Where to Eat in Brunei: My Town Eating House Soto Brunei

If you’re traveling to Brunei but been craving some food from outside the country, you could head to MyTown. They have a very sophisticated interior and they also serve different food from different cuisines. I was surprised when I saw some Filipino food in the menu! But of course, I went for some soto which is a local food in Brunei.

My Town Brunei Menu

Brunei Restaurants: The Filipino food section at the My Town Brunei menu. Yum!
Brunei Restaurants: The Filipino food section at the My Town Brunei menu. Yum!

Ground Floor, The Crown Princess Complex, Km 2.5, Jalan Tutong,
Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei BA1712
+673 2241770 / 2241880
https://www.facebook.com/mytownbrunei/
https://www.instagram.com/mytownbrunei/
www.mytownbrunei.com

Jollibee Brunei

 Brunei Restaurants: Nasi Lemak Chickenjoy in Jollibee Brunei
Brunei Restaurants: Nasi Lemak Chickenjoy in Jollibee Brunei

Jollibee is a Filipino fastfood chain which has presence in countries where there are Filipinos, including Brunei. I love their version of Nasi Lemak Chickenjoy and Jolly Cheesy Fries! I also know for a fact that Bruneians love Jollibee!

Several branches around Brunei
https://www.facebook.com/JollibeeBrunei/
https://www.instagram.com/jollibeebrunei/
www.jollibee.com.bn

Aminah Arif Restaurant

 Brunei Restaurants: Ambuyat and more at Aminah Arif Restaurant! :)
Brunei Restaurants: Ambuyat and more at Aminah Arif Restaurant! 🙂

Ambuyat is a local Bruneian dish made of sago palm, which is cooked into a jelly-like food and dipped in a spicy sauce. It is also considered as the National Dish of Brunei and is also popular in the Malaysian territories in Borneo, like Sarawak, Sabah, and Labuan. I recommend Aminah Arif Restaurant to have a taste of Ambuyat.

Simpang 68, Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei
+673 233 0773
https://www.aminaharif.com.bn/

ALSO READ:
SOLO FEMALE TRAVEL IN BRUNEI: HERE’S MY STORY (PLUS 10 TIPS!)

McDonald’s Brunei

Brunei Restaurants: Nasi Lemak McD at McDonalds Brunei!
Brunei Restaurants: Nasi Lemak McD at McDonalds Brunei!

My first order of business upon arriving in an new country? Try out their McDonald’s, if they have one! 🙂 Brunei has 3 McDonald’s branches, and the newest branch at Lambak is my favorite. Their Nasi Lemak McD is yummy! They also have many menu items that can’t be found elsewhere. I wish I could try them all!

Jalan Utama Berakas Bandar Seri Begawan BB, 1714, Brunei
+673 234 4478
https://www.facebook.com/mcdonaldsbrunei
https://www.instagram.com/mcdonaldsbrunei/

SayChiizu Brunei

brunei restaurants
Brunei Restaurants: Everything with cheese for me is <3 at Say Chiizu Brunei
 Brunei Restaurants: Enjoying my first cheese toast sandwich in Brunei  at SayChiizu Brunei :)
Brunei Restaurants: Enjoying my first cheese toast sandwich in Brunei at SayChiizu Brunei 🙂

I’m a cheese lover, and I was happy to find out that Brunei has a SayChiizu branch! They have a vast selection of cheese sandwiches which can serve as a dessert!

The Mall Gadong, Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei
+673 882 8858
https://www.facebook.com/saychiizu.brunei/
https://www.instagram.com/saychiizu.brunei/

Old Time Kopitiam

Brunei Restaurants: The yummy noodles we ordered from the vast selection of menu items at Old Time Kopitiam
Brunei Restaurants: The yummy noodles we ordered from the vast selection of menu items at Old Time Kopitiam

This was highly-recommended to me by locals, and ther menu is composed of some local food, Malaysian food, and Chinese food. They have huge servings and they have friendly staff, most of them are Filipinos.

G2, Ground Floor, Bangunan Hj Ibrahim, Spg 24, Kg Menglait,, Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei
+6732448282
https://www.facebook.com/pages/OLD-TIME-Kopitiam-Manglait/188485961194628
https://www.instagram.com/oldtimekopitiam/

Ayamku Restaurant

 Brunei Restaurants: Big Fried Chicken at Ayamku Brunei
Brunei Restaurants: Big Fried Chicken at Ayamku Brunei

Have you tried the Hot Star Chicken in Taipei and other cities? Ayam Ku Chicken is Brunei’s version of it! But here, it’s served with rice and yummy achar, and this was one of my best meals ever in Brunei! I wish they will have a branch in Manila or something!

3, Soon Lee Megamart, Jalan Batu Bersurat, Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei
+673 245 0539

ALSO READ:
6 TOP HOSTELS IN BRUNEI, COMPARED (REVIEW)

Roasted Sip Coffee Roasters

Brunei Restaurants: Latte and cold brew at Roasted Sip Brunei
Brunei Restaurants: Latte and cold brew at Roasted Sip Brunei

Aside from they have friendly Filipino staff, Roasted Sip has a very relaxing interior where you can just chill and read a good book. I also like their selection of coffee and pastries!

Unit 3, Ground Floor Blk. D Spg. 508, Jerudong Complex, Jalan Jerudong, BSB BG3122, Brunei
+673 261 0850
https://www.facebook.com/roastedsip/
https://www.instagram.com/roastedsip
www.roastedsip.com

Little Audrey’s

 Brunei Restaurants: The very big serving at Little Audrey's!
Brunei Restaurants: The very big serving at Little Audrey’s!

I AM A FAN OF AUDREY HEPBURN, AND THIS IS A HEAVENLY PLACE! The place is as classy as Audrey Hepburn, and I love their interior design so much! They also have friendly and accommodating Filipino staff. Plus, their servings are huge and yummy at the same time! It is a perfect place for dates because of its ambiance.

Kampong Kiulap Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei
+673 891 0711
https://www.facebook.com/littleaudreyscafe/
https://www.instagram.com/little.audreys/

Yellow Cab Pizza Brunei

Brunei Restaurants: We don't have this kind of menu items in Manila! Only in Yellos Cab Pizza Brunei!
Brunei Restaurants: We don’t have this kind of menu items in Manila! Only in Yellos Cab Pizza Brunei!

Since I regularly eat Yellow Cab Pizza in Manila, I was able to compare it with the Yellow Cab Pizza here in Brunei. I appreciated how better-tasting halal food is, which made me prefer it more than any other kind of food most of the time. They have rice meals which do not exist in Manila, and a Milo for a drink as well. Yum!

B6 Ground floor Shakirin complex Kiulap, Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei BE1518
+673 333 9999
https://www.facebook.com/YellowCabPizzaBN
https://www.instagram.com/yellowcabpizzabn/
www.yellowcabpizzabn.com

Alter Ego Fusion

Brunei Restaurants: Our yummy dinner at Alter Ego Fusion, my favorite restaurant in Brunei

Brunei Restaurants: Our yummy dinner at Alter Ego Fusion, my favorite restaurant in Brunei

Alter Ego is my favorite restaurant in Brunei. I love restaurants like this with good interior, and they get orders from an app in their iPads. I must say that their menu was a little intimidating, but just order anything you feel like you’re gonna like, and you’re gonna like it for sure. 🙂

Unit No. 2 & 3, Block E, Ground Floor, Lot 5788, Kg. Kiulap, Negara Brunei Darussalam, Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei B81518
+673 223 0388
https://www.facebook.com/alteregofoods

ALSO READ:
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Yugo Dessert Cafe

 Brunei Restaurants: Enjoying my snow dessert at Yugo!
Brunei Restaurants: Enjoying my snow dessert at Yugo!

After a full dinner in any of the restaurants you dined in at the Setia Kenangan Complex, you can head to Yugo Dessert Cafe for a snow dessert! 🙂 They offer a vast selection of flavors, and chocolate will always be my favorite.

Unit E5 Setia Kenangan Complex 2, BE1318, Brunei
+673 223 3358
https://www.facebook.com/yugodessert/
https://www.instagram.com/yugodessert/

Patisserie Cakeshop

Brunei Restaurants: Tried some maki at Patisserie Cakeshop :)
Brunei Restaurants: Tried some maki at Patisserie Cakeshop 🙂
 Brunei Restaurants: My happy face after tasting my first bandung drink in Brunei here at Patisserie Cakeshop :)
Brunei Restaurants: My happy face after tasting my first bandung drink in Brunei here at Patisserie Cakeshop 🙂

Patisserie Cakeshop has a very big menu! I ordered some makis and pesto and this is where I was able to taste my first bandung drink, a rose syrup with condensed milk, a must-try drink in this part of the world.

Unit 10, Blk D, Lot 11620, Jln Gadong, Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei BE1718
+673 242 5618
https://www.facebook.com/Patisserie-Cake-Shop-111802225575451/
www.patiscakeshop.com

Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf Brunei

 Brunei Restaurants: I ordered "today's brew", and I got an Kenya AAA coffee at Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf Brunei :)
Brunei Restaurants: I ordered “today’s brew”, and I got an Kenya AAA coffee at Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf Brunei 🙂

I love both Starbucks and Coffee Bean, and Coffee Bean cafes in Brunei look like restaurants than cafes, because they serve other menu items that can’t be found elsewhere, like pizzas! 🙂

Several branches around Brunei
+673 242 0276
https://www.facebook.com/thecoffeebeanbrunei
https://www.instagram.com/coffeebean_brunei/

Games & Lattes

https://www.instagram.com/p/BE6Bf2Kq14p/

I was not able to snap photos during our stay here, but I love the ambiance of this place. They have a lot of games to choose from, which are perfect for couples, groups of friends, or family. Their drinks are yummy also, and I love how other diners/players can keep their noise down so that everyone can enjoy their experiences.

Ground Floor, Unit E9, Block E, Kenangan II, Simpang 150-5-13-18, Kampong Kiulap, Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei BE1318
+673 223 5200
https://www.facebook.com/Games-Lattes-886503024799100
https://www.instagram.com/games.lattes/

SEE ALSO:
FREE BRUNEI TRAVEL BUCKET LIST INSTAGRAM STORY TEMPLATE

Where to Eat in Brunei: Recommendation Requests!

If you were able to try out any of these restaurants in Brunei, do share your experiences at the comments section or maybe at email address sherlynmaehernandez@gmail.com. Happy eating and enjoy Brunei!

Flying Solo in Boracay Island

(Are you ready to see the Instagrammable spots in Boracay? But first, read this!)

Boracay Island was hailed as one of the world’s most beautiful islands, and I could attest that every corner of the island is indeed Instagram-worthy. In fact, the Philippine government closed down the island for around 6 months to be rehabilitated, and it was indeed a good decision since the island turned out to be so much better. Boracay Island could give you the serenity that you need with its beautiful beach areas.

Boracay used to be a popular beach party destination (read: #Laboracay), but when it was reopened to tourists, activities like beach parties were already banned in the entire island. Some locals would say it’s now less lively and they’re a little frustrated with the change, but hey, who knows it might be for the better.

I had the opportunity to spend a couple of days in the island for my birthday (in my case, I always plan excursions like these on my birthday week). While during the time I went there Boracay literally just opened up again, I am assuming there are already more spots to see by now. Despite that, I still enjoyed my stay in the island. With that, please allow me to share a couple of Instagrammable spots in Boracay Island that I was able to visit:

Lanterna Hotel

INSTAGRAMMABLE SPOTS IN BORACAY: Lanterna Hotel Mural Boracay
INSTAGRAMMABLE SPOTS IN BORACAY: The Boracay Mural at Lanterna Hotel

ALSO READ:
LANTERNA HOTEL BORACAY (REVIEW)

Roy’s Rendezvous

INSTAGRAMMABLE SPOTS IN BORACAY: Hammocks at Roy's Rendezvous Boracay
INSTAGRAMMABLE SPOTS IN BORACAY: The comfortable Hammocks at Roy’s Rendezvous Boracay

ALSO READ:
ROY’S RENDEZVOUS BORACAY (REVIEW)

Jejsellends Garden Cottages

INSTAGRAMMABLE SPOTS IN BORACAY: Room at Jejsellends Garden Cottages Boracay
My colorful room at Jejsellends Garden Cottages Boracay

ALSO READ:
JEJSELLENDS GARDEN COTTAGES BORACAY (REVIEW)

Agos Boracay Rooms and Beds

INSTAGRAMMABLE SPOTS IN BORACAY: Welcome Kit at Agos Boracay Rooms and Beds
INSTAGRAMMABLE SPOTS IN BORACAY: The Welcome Kit at Agos Boracay Rooms and Beds Lobby

Bolabog Beach

INSTAGRAMMABLE SPOTS IN BORACAY: Shot at Bolabog Beach Boracay Philippines
INSTAGRAMMABLE SPOTS IN BORACAY: Bolabog Beach is still as blue as ever even immediately after the rain.

White Beach

INSTAGRAMMABLE SPOTS IN BORACAY: White Beach Boracay Philippines
INSTAGRAMMABLE SPOTS IN BORACAY: Mornings are a perfect time to snap that vibrant photo at White Beach in Boracay, Philippines
INSTAGRAMMABLE SPOTS IN BORACAY: White Beach Boracay Philippines
INSTAGRAMMABLE SPOTS IN BORACAY: On the other hand, sunset times are also a relatively good timing to snap that beautiful photo at the White Beach in Boracay, Philippines!

Puka Shell Beach

INSTAGRAMMABLE SPOTS IN BORACAY: Puka Shell Beach Boracay Philippines
INSTAGRAMMABLE SPOTS IN BORACAY: Afternoon relaxing at Puka Shell Beach Boracay
INSTAGRAMMABLE SPOTS IN BORACAY: Puka Shell Beach Boracay Sunset
INSTAGRAMMABLE SPOTS IN BORACAY: Breathtaking sunset at Puka Shell Beach, Boracay, Philippines

ALSO READ:
A COMPLETE GUIDE TO 11 HALAL RESTAURANTS IN BORACAY ISLAND, PHILIPPINES

Real Coffee & Tea Cafe Boracay

INSTAGRAMMABLE SPOTS IN BORACAY: Real Coffee and Tea Cafe Boracay Philippines
Had some afternoon coffee at Real Coffee and Tea Cafe Boracay and the cafe’s tropical interior makes an aesthetic backdrop

Check out Real Coffee and Tea Cafe’s Facebook page here.

Cafe Maruja Boracay

INSTAGRAMMABLE SPOTS IN BORACAY: Cafe Maruja Boracay
Cafe Maruja Boracay is the best place for Nutella lovers and the place is just so minnimalist!

Check out Cafe Maruja’s Facebook page here.

Station X Boracay

INSTAGRAMMABLE SPOTS IN BORACAY: Station X Boracay
INSTAGRAMMABLE SPOTS IN BORACAY: The colorful dining area of Station X Boracay

Motag Living Museum

INSTAGRAMMABLE SPOTS IN BORACAY: Motag Living Museum Aklan
Tried out planting rice at Motag Living Museum Aklan

Nabaoy River

INSTAGRAMMABLE SPOTS IN BORACAY: Nabaoy River Aklan
The peaceful and beautiful riverside of Nabaoy River in Aklan

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LONELY PLANET TRAVEL GUIDES ABOUT THE PHILIPPINES

instagrammable spots in boracay
LONELY PLANET PHILIPPINES
instagrammable spots in boracay
instagrammable spots in boracay
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Snapshots: Asia Photo Essay #8: GOOD MORNING, SOI NANA!

Soi Nana Bangkok Thailand

Thailand!!! Finally we meet again! It’s been a while since I visited Bangkok. It is undoubtedly one of the most popular place to visit in Southeast Asia (and loved by my friends from Western countries!). Not gonna lie, but Bangkok has a certain kind of charm sans the crazy traffic jam. How locals would greet you “Sawadee ka” is so calming and you will definitely feel their respect for you. Anyhoo, I was able to visit Thailand again, this time for an academic paper presentation at Srinakarinwirot University. I had a short but sweet 24 hours to explore the city before the big day, and taking another red eye flight did not stop me from doing so. I took a GrabBike to beat the notorious Bangkok traffic, and passing by Soi Nana on a GrabBike is such a beautiful experience because a lot of mixes of Thai and Chinese cultural heritage can be seen. Yes, I took all of these photos with my Samsung Galaxy S8 phone while on a GrabBike en route to a temple. Enjoy!

Soi Nana Bangkok Thailand
GRAND CHINA HOTEL FACADE. Everywhere you look, you will see an evidence of the grand heritage of the Chinese culture in Bangkok. Grand China’s hotel facade is so elegant but I hope these electrical lines will be fixed sometime in the future to pave the way for a better view of the hotel’s facade.
Soi Nana Bangkok Thailand
A COLORFUL TUKTUK. Tuktuks are a common local public transportation in Thailand, and if you’re a tourist in Thailand, experiencing to ride a tuktuk is a must. It really defines the local culture of Thailand. Plus, who doesn’t love an open air strolling experience around the streets of Bangkok?
Soi Nana Bangkok Thailand
SHADES OF YELLOW. This photo could have been taken in a better composition, but since I am on a GrabBike, I can only do so much for this photo’s composition. I love how the shade of yellow of the building met with the taxi’s different shade of yellow.
Soi Nana Bangkok Thailand
SAWADEE KA, SOI NANA! Look at this!!! This was my favorite photo of Soi Nana because it looks so vintage-y! These LED signs resembles the ones in Hong Kong, and I would love to see this light up at night time next time!
Soi Nana Bangkok Thailand
AN ‘OCCUPIED’ PEDESTRIAN LANE. At some point in our (driving) lives, we have accidentally occupied a pedestrian lane on a red light. I don’t know about you, but photos like this just depict the real life and energy there is in a place.
Soi Nana Bangkok Thailand
BANGKOK STREET FOOD. I love love the Bangkok street food scene! And I don’t mean those touristy stalls along Khao San Road or something, but a random street food stall on any neighborhood or street would do! For one, the price is not touristy, and second, I believe it’s a more authentic experience to eat in a street food stall not built for tourists but for locals. Anthony Bourdain once mentioned that if you want to have an authentic foodie experience in a place, ask the locals about their favorite place to eat, not “Where should I eat?”.
Soi Nana Bangkok Thailand
THE THING ABOUT MOTORCYCLES IN BANGKOK. LIke in traffic-congested areas like Manila and Jakarta, you can win over the traffic jam in Bangkok by taking a motorcycle. When I say the traffic in Bangkok is crazy, believe me.
Soi Nana Bangkok Thailand
MEGA PLAZA MALL. Mega Plaza is one of the department stores in Chinatown area, and is located in a very vibrant neighborhood. I just love the post-processing I did for this photo because of the vintage-y colors.

SNAPSHOTS: ASIA Trailer

SNAPSHOTS: ASIA PHOTO ESSAY #9: GOOD MORNING, SOI NANA! (PIN IT! 📌)

Soi Nana Bangkok Thailand

OTHER SNAPSHOTS: ASIA PHOTO ESSAYS

soi nana
soi nana
soi nana
soi nana

6 Instagram-Worthy Hostels in Manila, Philippines

(Please note that this is a sponsored article, so therefore ALL Instagram-worthy hostels in Manila listed here are included as a result of a collab.)

The Philippines has become one of the most popular backpacking destinations in Asia, primarily because of its natural wonders such as beaches, mountains, and waterfalls. Major cities in the Philippines like Manila and Makati are also getting international attention because of its fun nightlife. Most tourists and backpackers going to the Philippines enter through Manila, its capital city, and take flights going to other provinces. While in transit to other destinations in the Philippines, backpackers would choose to stay in hostels. Hence, the rise of Instagram-worthy hostels in Manila, Philippines.

Meanwhile, here are other accommodation in Metro Manila that I was able to write a review on (you may click them to view):

Instagram-Worthy Hostels in Manila, Philippines

Hostels are popular budget accommodation for backpackers especially if one is only traveling on a transit in a city or if they don’t mind sharing spaces in dorm rooms with other travelers. I have been living in Manila, but whenever I miss traveling, I would sometimes stay in hostels to meet other travelers and just to put myself in a social space (I’m an introvert but I sometimes force myself to go out of my comfort zone). Given this, I have compiled this list of 6 Manila hostels I personally recommend staying in:

RedDoorz @ Vicente Street Espana Manila (Manila)

I had the chance to stay at RedDoorz @ Vicente Street Espana Manila and all I can say is the staff are so nice and well-trained. The place is so tidy and neat and very near establishment such as convenience stores and fast food restaurants. The nautical theme makes it cuter, however you won’t see the same from the outside. As they say, don’t judge the book by its cover. 🙂

instagram-worthy hostels in manila

CLICK HERE FOR MY REVIEW ARTICLE OF REDDOORZ @ VICENTE STREET ESPANA MANILA

Pink Manila Hostel (Manila)

Pink Manila Hostel is one of the very first hostels in Manila. It is located in a yellow building, but once you go up the elevator going to this place, there is going to be pink everywhere. And oh, this hostel has a swimming pool!

instagram-worthy hostels in manila

CLICK HERE FOR MY REVIEW ARTICLE OF PINK MANILA HOSTEL

Z Hostel (Makati)

DEFINITELY MY FAVORITE HOSTEL! This is where I go to hangout with my friends even though we don’t check-in because its roofdeck bar is famous when talking about the Makati City nightlife! I love how I can just talk to my friends while listening to chill house music. When I had the chance to check-in here, their rooms are very clean and minimalist. Bathrooms are squeaky clean also. Their cafe serves good meals as well. The hostel’s location? Perfect!

instagram-worthy hostels in manila

CLICK HERE FOR MY REVIEW ARTICLE OF Z HOSTEL PHILIPPINES

Junction Hostels (Makati)

Junction Hostels does not only offer short-term stays for backpackers but they also offer budget-friendly long-term rates for students and digital nomads. This hostel has a nice vibe and I felt very productive while working at the common area which is also, btw, very Instagram-worthy.

instagram-worthy hostels in manila

CLICK HERE FOR MY REVIEW ARTICLE OF JUNCTION HOSTELS MAKATI

BGC Hostel (Makati)

One thing I liked about this hostel is its location. It’s right by EDSA, Metro Manila’s major highway. There is also a grocery/pharmacy nearby. Aside from it’s colorful and creative interiors and common areas, the dorm rooms of this hostel have privacy curtains every bed.

instagram-worthy hostels in manila

CLICK HERE FOR MY REVIEW ARTICLE OF BGC HOSTEL MAKATI

BGC Hostel and Dorm – QC

Aside from its Victorian-designed common area, this hostel is located in a quiet residential area and surrounded by a bunch of nice restaurants! This hostel is also very clean and comfortable and I was able to have a peaceful stay here.

instagram-worthy hostels in manila

CLICK HERE FOR MY REVIEW ARTICLE OF BGC HOSTEL AND DORM – QC

Manila Hostels Review Takeaway

So there you have it! If I will have another chance to stay in any Manila hostels anytime soon, I will surely add to this list. You are also free to recommend some Instagram-worthy hostels in Manila that you have stayed so that I could also try staying there and write reviews for the benefit of everyone. So, whether or not you’re planning to stay in Manila for a long time, I think hostels like these are perfect accommodation options.

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Visa-Free Southeast Asian Countries for Filipinos (Philippine Passport Holders)

A lot of Filipino travelers I know have expressed some frustrations on how less ‘powerful’ the Philippine passport is compared to other countries because we are only eligible to enter a few countries without the need for a visa. To someone who is aiming to visit all nation-states in the world, yes, it would be a struggle, but it won’t hurt if you start traveling to visa-free countries first, right? That’s also what I am currently working on.

But hey, it is not the end of the world, guys! In fact, setting up a good and clean travel record to visa-free countries is a brownie point should you apply for a visa in the First World, like Europe and the US. After all, there is so much to explore in these visa-free countries which deserve to be visited first by us, Filipino travelers.

With “start traveling to visa-free countries first”, I meant the Southeast Asian region. In fact, Southeast Asian region is one of the most popular regions visited by travelers from all parts of the world and from all walks of life. There is so much to see in this region: cultural and historical heritage sites, natural wonders, cities, beaches, mountains, name it! Did you know that your Philippine passport entitles you to travel around Southeast Asia, visa-free? 🙂

ALSO READ:
THE BEAUTY OF LEARNING ABOUT SOUTHEAST ASIA

Why can Southeast Asian citizens travel around the region visa-free?

The members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) signed an ASEAN Framework Agreement on Visa Exemption in order to achieve a lasting friendship and cooperation among ASEAN countries, hence as ASEAN Citizens, we Filipinos can travel around ASEAN region without a visa. How cool is that? You can have your own Southeast Asia visa free travel bucket list before exploring the rest of the world!

SEE ALSO:
FREE INSTAGRAM STORY TEMPLATE: SOUTHEAST ASIA TRAVEL BUCKET LIST

Without further ado, here is the list of visa-free Southeast Asian countries for Philippine passport holders:

BRUNEI DARUSSALAM (visa-free for 14 days)

Omar Ali Saiffudien Mosque Brunei
Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei

Anyone up with seeing some beautiful mosques and feeling a legitimate sense of peace away from your home countries? Brunei is definitely the place to be.

ALSO READ:
A COMPLETE GUIDE TO 23 INSTAGRAM-WORTHY SPOTS IN BRUNEI DARUSSALAM

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CAMBODIA (visa-free for 21 days)

southeast asia visa
Royal Palace, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
southeast asia visa
Pub Street, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Temple run, anyone? You are entitled to roam around Angkor complex in Siem Reap and explore magnificent historical structures around Phnom Penh without a visa!

Oh, btw. Some sad news: Cebu Pacific suspends Siem Reap route

ALSO READ:
WHERE TO STAY IN PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA: KOLAB SOR HOTEL

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INDONESIA (visa-free for 30 days)

southeast asia visa
Bali Museum, Denpasar, Indonesia
southeast asia visa
Mount Bromo, Probolinggo, East Java, Indonesia
southeast asia visa
Hotel Majapahit Surabaya, Indonesia
southeast asia visa
Bank Museum, Jakarta, Indonesia

Whether you’re exploring historical sights in big cities like Jakarta and Surabaya, exploring the countryside and natural wonders in Probolinggo, or having the vacation of your life in Bali, you can do all of these without the need to apply for a visa. How’s that?

ALSO READ:
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LAOS (visa-free for 30 days)

southeast asia visa
Haw Phra Kaew, Vientiane, Laos

Laos is the most underrated Southeast Asian country!!! Please please consider exploring this beautiful country! There’s so much history and culture in here, and oh, it’s the most heavily-bombed country in the world (well, Vietnam War-speaking, because I know Syria feels the same way, too). Unfortunately we don’t have direct flights from Philippines to Laos, but hey it doesn’t hurt to include this in your itinerary, let’s say, when you go visit Thailand.

ALSO READ:
WHERE TO STAY IN VIENTIANE, LAOS: MINI S HOTEL

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southeast asia visa

MALAYSIA (visa-free for 30 days)

southeast asia visa
Kuala Lumpur City Gallery, Malaysia
southeast asia visa
Sunway Lagoon, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia

Malaysia is a melting pot of different cultures, and as a result, there’s just a variety of good food here! You can explore Malaysia if you want to go shopping (everything here is, for some reason, cheaper than Manila), have some food trip, or have some cultural immersion, Kuala Lumpur can provide them for you. If you want to have some amusement park-ish type of fun with friends, Petaling Jaya is the place to be.

ALSO READ:
4 MUSEUMS TO VISIT IN KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA

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MYANMAR (visa-free for 14 days)

southeast asia visa
Shwenandaw Monastery, Mandalay, Myanmar
southeast asia visa
Old Bagan Ruins, Myanmar
southeast asia visa
Yangon Zoological Garden, Myanmar

Myanmar is also one of the least popular Southeast Asian destination to Filipinos because there are no direct flights to here from Manila. But, I could attest that you will not regret going this far because Myanmar is so authentically uninfluenced by any external culture (I’m talking about Westernization hehe). It’s indeed the “Golden Land”, literally, because of the golden stupas all over.

ALSO READ:
15 (OF THE SO MANY) AWESOME PLACE TO VISIT IN MYANMAR

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Where's Sherlyn Travel and Food Blog Myanmar

SINGAPORE (visa-free for 30 days)

southeast asia visa
Central Perk Cafe Singapore

Deemed as one of the best countries in the world, this small island nation never failed to impress everyone who goes here. From the vast number of museums, to hawker centres, to the very efficient transport system, and the very progressive economy, I could say that Singapore is really very utopian for me.

ALSO READ:
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THAILAND (visa-free for 30 days)

southeast asia visa
Wat Pho, Bangkok, Thailand

From beautiful temples to happy people to nice beaches, Thailand is a perfect destination for almost all types of travelers. Drinking some Thai tea overlooking Chao Phraya River? Priceless.

ALSO READ:
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VIETNAM (visa-free for 21 days)

southeast asia visa
In front of Ben Thanh Market with a view of Bitexco Tower, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Vietnam, being the second largest producer of coffee in the world, is not only home to the best coffee out there, but also to the healthiest set of green leafy cuisine! A legit banh mi sold by the street sides is a must-try!

ALSO READ:
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There you have it! To Philippine passport holders, Southeast Asia is literally visa-free! It can ease everyone’s travel hassle and more energy and money can be dedicated to this beautiful region. I just hope Southeast Asia visa requirements for all Southeast Asians will be lifted indefinitely because it can indeed contribute to the region’s economy as well as the awareness of ASEAN citizens about the region and the countries surrounding them.

So, I’ll just wait for your travel stories, then? Safe travels and prepare your passports to be stamped now! 🙂

ALSO READ:
A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO TRAVEL PLUG ADAPTERS IN SOUTHEAST ASIA

Travel Plug Adapters in Southeast Asia: A Practical Guide

(Keep on reading to be informed about what Southeast Asia travel adapter suits your travel needs.)

Traveling to another country could be a pain if you forget to consider the electrical plugs that your country of destination uses, especially if it is different from the electrical plugs you use in your home country. Some hotels have universal electrical plugs, but what if you went somewhere with no such plugs? That is when you will need a travel adapter and I found learning about these things practical and useful since I’ve been traveling around Southeast Asia for a couple of years now. This is why I came up with this Southeast Asia travel adapter guide to also help other travelers out there.

When I went to Singapore this year, I forgot to bring my travel adapter, and the hotel I stayed did not have a universal electrical plug. I asked the receptionist if I could borrow one. However because of language barrier, he kept on insisting that there is an electrical plug available at my room and he’s not aware that my gadgets have a totally different type of electrical plug required despite showing him the actual cables. I ended up buying an adapter in a convenience store which cost me SGD8.

Another instance I had was when I went to Indonesia for a couple of days where I had to stay in different hotels as I move from one city/town to another. Some hotels I stayed only had the Type C electrical plug. As a result, I had to connect my phone to the USB outlet of the television and let it charge while I sleep.

These are some of the possible reasons why, my friends, you will definitely need this Southeast Asia travel adapter guide.

SOUTHEAST ASIA TRAVEL ADAPTER: A PRACTICAL GUIDE

I’m sure you don’t want to experience these inconveniences during your trips abroad. Since I am traveling around Southeast Asia the most frequent and most of my readers also do, I compiled this practical guide to Southeast Asia travel adapter guide:

TRAVEL ADAPTER BRUNEI DARUSSALAM

Southeast Asia Travel Adapter: Travel Plug Adapter Brunei
Travel Plug Adapter Brunei

You need to have a Type G Travel Plug Adapter when traveling to Brunei Darussalam.

ALSO READ:
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TRAVEL ADAPTER CAMBODIA

Southeast Asia Travel Adapter: Travel Plug Adapter Cambodia
Travel Adapter Cambodia

TRAVEL ADAPTER CAMBODIA. You need to have either Type A, C, or G Travel Plug Adapter when traveling to Cambodia.

ALSO READ:
WHERE TO STAY IN PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA: KOLAB SOR HOTEL

For more specific travel adapter Cambodia tips and my experiences, you can always send me an email! 🙂 Other sources of travel adapter Cambodia tips in this link.

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TRAVEL ADAPTER INDONESIA

Southeast Asia Travel Adapter: Travel Plug Adapter Indonesia
Travel Adapter Indonesia

TRAVEL ADAPTER INDONESIA. You need to have either Type C or F Travel Plug Adapter when traveling to Indonesia.

For more specific travel adapter Indonesia tips and my experiences, you can always send me an email! 🙂 Other sources of travel adapter Indonesia tips in this link.

ALSO READ:
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TRAVEL ADAPTER LAOS

Southeast Asia Travel Adapter: Travel Plug Adapter Laos
Travel Plug Adapter Laos

You need to have either Type A, B, C, E, or F Travel Plug Adapter when traveling to Laos.

ALSO READ:
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southeast asia travel adapter

TRAVEL ADAPTER MALAYSIA

Southeast Asia Travel Adapter: Travel Plug Adapter Malaysia
Travel Plug Adapter Malaysia

You need to have a Type G Travel Plug Adapter when traveling to Malaysia.

ALSO READ:
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For more travel articles about Malaysia, click on the banner below:

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TRAVEL ADAPTER MYANMAR

Southeast Asia Travel Adapter: Travel Plug Adapter Myanmar
Travel Adapter Myanmar

TRAVEL ADAPTER MYANMAR. Surprisingly, Myanmar uses a variety of electrical plugs: Types A, C, D, G, and I. You have to prepare these travel plug adapters when going to Myanmar.

For more specific travel adapter Myanmar tips and my experiences, you can always send me an email! 🙂 Other sources of travel adapter Myanmar tips in this link.

ALSO READ:
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For more travel articles about Myanmar, click on the banner below:

Where's Sherlyn Travel and Food Blog Myanmar

TRAVEL ADAPTER PHILIPPINES

Southeast Asia Travel Adapter: Travel Plug Adapter Philippines
Travel Plug Adapter Philippines

The Philippines uses Types A,B, and C electrical plugs, but Type A is the most commonly-used type. To be sure, you can consider bringing all 3 types.

ALSO READ:
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TRAVEL ADAPTER SINGAPORE

Southeast Asia Travel Adapter: Travel Plug Adapter Singapore
Travel Plug Adapter Singapore

Like Brunei and Malaysia, Singapore uses Type G electrical plugs, hence be prepared to bring the same travel plug adapter to avoid the hassle I just shared you earlier.

ALSO READ:
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TRAVEL ADAPTER THAILAND

Southeast Asia Travel Adapter: Travel Plug Adapter Thailand
Travel Plug Adapter Thailand

Like the Philippines, Thailand also uses Types A, B, and C electrical plugs. In addition to that, Thailand also uses a special Type O electrical plug:

Southeast Asia Travel Adapter: Thailand Type O Adapter
Type O Travel Plug Adapter used in Thailand

Be sure to prepare these types of travel plug adapters when traveling to Thailand.

ALSO READ:
BANGKOK, THAILAND TRAVEL: 11 AMAZING THINGS IN 24 HOURS

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TRAVEL ADAPTER VIETNAM

Southeast Asia Travel Adapter: Travel Plug Adapter Vietnam
Travel Plug Adapter Vietnam

Vietnam’s electrical plugs are similar to the Philippines and Thailand: Types A, B, and C.

ALSO READ:
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For more travel articles about Vietnam, click on the banner below:

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The Southeast Asia travel adapter variety can be intimidating, but it does not hurt to prepare all travel adapters for the types of electrical plugs in the Southeast Asian countries you will visit. After all, you want your travel to be hassle-free. Happy travels!

SOUTHEAST ASIA TRAVEL ADAPTER FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What plugs are used in Southeast Asia?

Southeast Asian countries use different plugs, so it is best to either learn what specific plugs each country uses, or bring your own universal travel adapter when packing for your trip.

What plugs are used in Vietnam and Cambodia?

Vietnam used Types A, B, and C plugs while Cambodia uses Types A, C, and G plugs.

What travel adapter is needed for Thailand?

Thailand uses Types A, B, and C plugs (similar to the Philippines and Vietnam). In addition, some parts of Thailand also uses a special Type O plug.

What plug adapter do I need for Cambodia?

For Cambodia, you will need either Type A, C, or G plugs, depending on what the specific place/establishment uses.

(Most of the information from this blog are collected with the help of information from ASEAN website: www.asean.org)

Flying Around Southeast Asia: Direct Flights From Brunei Darussalam

Direct flights to Southeast Asia may have been limited before, but more routes have been opening to so many destinations connecting the East and the West every now and then. Flights to Brunei Darussalam, for instance, are increasing, hence Bruneians and other travelers have more options on where to go next. Brunei has direct flights to six (6) Southeast Asian countries. As part of my passion project to help travelers have a seamless navigation experience around Southeast Asia, I am writing a series of flight guides to help you have the best travel experience in this beautiful region of the world. The first of this series is this comprehensive article guide about direct flights from Brunei Darussalam.

DIRECT FLIGHTS TO SOUTHEAST ASIA: FLIGHTS TO BRUNEI DARUSSALAM

Where's Sherlyn Travel and Food Blog Brunei Darussalam

Are you currently in Brunei and planning your next Southeast Asian destination? But wait, I do hope you were able to visit this beautiful places during your stay in Brunei:

Places to visit in Brunei Darussalam:

Omar Ali Saiffudin Mosque

https://www.instagram.com/p/B3yo6QEH9df/

Jame ‘Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque

https://www.instagram.com/p/BqNJbyvHUUv/

Kampong Ayer

https://www.instagram.com/p/BvrEqYqHZvM/

ALSO READ: A COMPLETE GUIDE TO 23 INSTAGRAM-WORTHY SPOTS IN BRUNEI DARUSSALAM

Where to stay in Brunei Darussalam:

So thank you, next! Where to? Did you know that you can actually directly fly to six (6) Southeast Asian countries from Brunei?

DIRECT FLIGHTS FROM BRUNEI DARUSSALAM: A COMPLETE GUIDE

Where's Sherlyn Travel and Food Blog Indonesia

DENPASAR (DPS)

Non-Stop Flight Time (BWN-DPS): 2 hours and 20 minutes

Airline that has direct flight from Brunei to Denpasar:
Royal Brunei Airlines Logo

Places To Visit in Denpasar:

Garuda Wisnu Kencana (GWK) Park

https://www.instagram.com/p/B4XHMXLnykR/

Bali Museum

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bv7-639Hk5X/

Goa Gajah Temple

https://www.instagram.com/p/By7hrZVntxG/

Where to stay in Denpasar:

JAKARTA (CGK)

Non-Stop Flight Time (BWN-JKT): 2 hours and 20 minutes

Airline that has direct flights from Brunei to Jakarta:
direct flights from brunei

Places to visit in Jakarta:

National Gallery of Indonesia

https://www.instagram.com/p/BJkTUoPDmcn/

Wayang Museum

Museum Bank Indonesia

Where to stay in Jakarta:

SURABAYA (SUB)

Non-Stop Flight Time (BWN-SUB): 2 hours and 10 minutes

Airline that has direct flights from Brunei to Surabaya:
direct flights from brunei

Places to visit in Surabaya:

Hotel Majapahit

https://www.instagram.com/p/B5oxtBknmeB/

Heroes Monument

House of Sampoerna

Where to stay in Surabaya:

Where's Sherlyn Travel and Food Blog Malaysia

BINTULU (BTU)

Non-Stop Flight Time (BWN-BTU): 55 minutes

Airline that has direct flights from Brunei to Bintulu:
direct flights from brunei

Places to visit in Bintulu:

Similajau National Park

Niah National Park

Taman Tumbina

Where to stay in Bintulu:

KOTA KINABALU (BKI)

Non-Stop Flight Time (BWN-BKI): 40-45 minutes

Airline that flies directly from Brunei to Kota Kinabalu:
direct flights from brunei

Places to visit in Kota Kinabalu:

Mount Kinabalu

Desa Cattle Dairy Farm

Manukan Island

Where to stay in Kota Kinabalu:

KUCHING (KCH)

Non-Stop Flight Time (BWN-KCH): 1 hour and 50 minutes

Airline that flies directly from Brunei to Kuching:
direct flights from brunei

Places to visit in Kuching:

Kuching Cat Museum

Fort Margherita

Bako National Park

Where to stay in Kuching:

KUALA LUMPUR (KUL)

Non-Stop Flight Time (BWN-KUL): 2 hours and 20-25 minutes

Kuala Lumpur is known to have a lot of direct flights to Southeast Asia destinations, including flights to Brunei Darussalam, because of the presence of low-cost carrier AirAsia.

Airlines that fly directly from Brunei to Kuala Lumpur:
direct flights from brunei direct flights from brunei

Places To Visit in Kuala Lumpur:

Petronas Twin Towers

https://www.instagram.com/p/B2qY3ionRBw/

Kuala Lumpur City Gallery

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bt8cP5UHtjC/

Sultan Abdul Samad Building

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bled5AVnNLR/

ALSO READ: 4 MUSEUMS TO VISIT IN KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA

Where to stay in Kuala Lumpur:

SANDAKAN (SDK)

Non-Stop Flight Time (BWN-SDK): 1 hour and 5 minutes

Airline that flies directly from Brunei to Sandakan:
direct flights from brunei

Places to visit in Sandakan:

Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Park

Turtle Islands National Park

Puu Jih Shii Temple

Where to stay in Sandakan:

SIBU (SBW)

Non-Stop Flight Time (BWN-SBW): 1 hour and 10 minutes

Airline that flies directly from Brunei to Sibu:
direct flights from brunei

Places to visit in Sibu:

Tua Pek Kong Temple

Sibu Central Market

Sibu Night Market

Where to stay in Sibu:

TAWAU (TWU)

Non-Stop Flight Time (BWN-TWU): 1 hour and 5 minutes

Airline that flies directly from Brunei to Tawau:
direct flights from brunei

Places to visit in Tawau:

Tawau Hills National Park

Teck Guan Cocoa Museum

Tawau Tanjung Market

Where to stay in Tawau:

Where's Sherlyn Travel and Food Blog Philippines

MANILA (MNL)

Non-Stop Flight Time (BWN-MNL): 2 hours and 35 minutes

Manila is known to have a lot of direct flights to Southeast Asia destinations, including flights to Brunei Darussalam, because of the presence of low-cost carrier Cebu Pacific.

Airlines that fly directly from Brunei to Manila:
direct flights from brunei direct flights from brunei

Places to visit in Manila:

National Museum of Natural History

https://www.instagram.com/p/By4xf0InBf_/

National Museum of Fine Arts

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bo_W05gnHH0/

Filling Station Bar Cafe

https://www.instagram.com/p/BuTkADZHiwO/

ALSO READ: A COMPLETE GUIDE TO 64 INSTAGRAM–WORTHY SPOTS IN MANILA, PHILIPPINES

Where to stay in Manila:

ALSO READ: TOP 10 PLACES TO STAY IN LUZON, PHILIPPINES

Where's Sherlyn Travel and Food Blog Singapore

SINGAPORE (SIN)

Non-Stop Flight Time (BWN-SIN): 2 hours and 5 minutes

Singapore is known to have a lot of direct flights to Southeast Asia destinations, including flights to Brunei Darussalam, because of the presence of many routes by its flag carrier Singapore Airlines.

Airlines that fly directly from Brunei to Singapore:
direct flights from brunei direct flights from brunei

Places to visit in Singapore:

ArtScience Museum

https://www.instagram.com/p/B3PhVfsnUIe/

Little India

https://www.instagram.com/p/BzqZs4RHQjz/

SEE ALSO: POSTCARDS FROM LITTLE INDIA, SINGAPORE

Kampong Glam

https://www.instagram.com/p/B3PleohHUCW/

Where to stay in Singapore:

Where's Sherlyn Travel and Food Blog Thailand

BANGKOK (BKK)

Non-Stop Flight Time (BWN-BKK): 2 hours and 45 minutes

Bangkok is known to have a lot of direct flights to Southeast Asia destinations, including flights to Brunei Darussalam. It is also a good transit point to many Southeast Asian destinations.

Airline that flies directly from Brunei to Bangkok:
direct flights from brunei

Places to Visit in Bangkok:

Grand Palace Bangkok

https://www.instagram.com/p/B4PJKFmHda1/

Wat Arun

https://www.instagram.com/p/B4ATGnlnWM9/

Soi Nana (Chinatown)

https://www.instagram.com/p/B5K4FMbH6pU/

ALSO READ: BANGKOK, THAILAND TRAVEL: 11 AMAZING THINGS IN 24 HOURS

Where to stay in Bangkok:

ALSO READ: 5 REASONS TO CHECK-IN AT THE JOURNEY HOTEL LAKSI BANGKOK

Where's Sherlyn Travel and Food Blog Vietnam

HO CHI MINH CITY (SGN)

Non-Stop Flight Time (BWN-SGN): 1 hour and 55 minutes

One of the nearest destinations to Brunei outside Borneo, Ho Chi Minh city also operates a lot of flights to Brunei Darussalam and other destinations to Southeast Asia

Airline that flies directly from Brunei to Ho Chi Minh City:
direct flights from brunei

Places to visit in Ho Chi Minh City:

Bitexco Financial Tower

https://www.instagram.com/p/BlzLffWnr7_/

Ben Thanh Market

Cu Chi Tunnels

Where to stay in Ho Chi Minh City:

See? I told you there is a lot of flights from Brunei Darussalam! There are so many direct flights to Southeast Asia and direct flights from Brunei is just one of the many destinations to choose from. Are you ready to draft your ultimate Southeast Asian itinerary covering these amazing destinations and hop on that plane to take one of the next direct flights from Brunei?

ALSO READ: THE BEAUTY OF LEARNING ABOUT SOUTHEAST ASIA

Late Lunch at Lola Cafe S Maison

(This is a non-sponsored honest review of Lola Cafe S Maison completely based on my paid dining in experience.)

ALSO READ:
A COMPLETE GUIDE TO 33 HALAL RESTAURANTS IN METRO MANILA, PHILIPPINES

Whenever I don’t travel, I am always on the hunt for restaurants that I can try in Manila. As someone who always wants to improve parts of herself and her personality, I take myself out on a date. I’ve been doing this inside and outside the Philippines for quite a while now. It eases my social anxiety, made me more confident and more ‘street smart’.

I’ve been wanting to explore the restaurants at S Maison. Upon checking online, several restaurants, including Lola Cafe, just opened. Honestly and ironically, I am not a fan of Filipino food and Filipino restaurants. However I wanna check if this is worth giving a try. I’m interested about the twist that they provide with the usual Filipino food.

Lola Cafe S Maison Location

Lola Cafe S Maison is located at the 2nd Floor (Level 2) of the mall. I did not have a hard time looking for Lola Cafe. Not only that S Maison is a small mall, Lola Cafe is just right on the spot where you can walk to going to the escalators and the bathroom.

ALSO READ:
NORITER CAFE MANILA: A KOREAN-STYLE COFFEE SHOP IN TAFT AVENUE (REVIEW)

The Staff and The Service

I scanned the menu at the entrance but there is no staff at the podium area attending to customers. I had no idea what to do so I decided to just go straight in.

The staff greeted me good afternoon and I noticed the restaurants was a bit packed. I am close to assuming that there is a private event going on or something. There were people coming back and forth (mostly senior citizens and families with noisy kids—I’m just not a fan of kids hehe). I asked if there are vacant seats for one. They pointed me to the outdoor seats by the corridor and the seat near the entrance. I just chose the very isolated seat by the entrance.

Lola Cafe S Maison
Lola Cafe S Maison

The seat I chose was isolated and awkward. They started getting my orders and since I already checked the menu online prior to going there, my order was a little quick. I ordered a Pork Belly Bagoong, Green Tea Lychee, and Kesong Puti Cheesecake. I think they have a good selection of coffee, but I am on a coffee break, so I’m gonna have to pass.

After a few minutes, a staff approached me and explained that instead of chicharong baboy, they will put kropek on my meal instead because they ran out of chicharon. Not everyone would accept this compromise, but I had no problems with it, so I said yes.

ALSO READ:
HOKKIE COFFEE: A TASTE OF INDONESIAN-STYLE COFFEE IN MAKATI (REVIEW)

The Food

The orders did not take a lot of time, considering that they are (I assume) catering to a private event. The rice bowl meal tasted good at first, but I have an issue with the pork. I am not sure if it’s just me, but the pork smelled a little odd, and you could smell it when slicing it. Because of that, I just finished my meal for the sake of finishing it. I can’t taste the bagoong part in the rice either.

Pork Belly Bagoong and Green Tea Lychee Lola Cafe S Maison
Pork Belly Bagoong and Green Tea Lychee Lola Cafe S Maison

The green tea lychee, on the other hand, was good! It was a little expensive though, but it tastes like a non-alcoholic mojito.

Kesong Puti Cheesecake Lola Cafe S Maison
Kesong Puti Cheesecake Lola Cafe S Maison

I asked the cheesecake to be served, and before serving, they gave me a small plate and small spoon. On my mind, I was like “It was just a slice, right? I don’t need to transfer it on another plate.” But when the cheesecake came, It was bigger than I’m expecting, which is worth the price, I believe. The cheesecake lover in me was happy, but this particular cheesecake was made of kesong puti, which makes the cheesecake a little saltier than usual.

No problem with me, I like it, actually! It has a bukayo on top, and at first I have no problems with it, but as I eat more of it, I’m starting to think it tasted weird. But I appreciate the effort of putting a Filipino twist to a cheesecake. Overall, I still like it.

Lola Cafe S Maison Take Out
Lola Cafe S Maison Take Out

Of course, I was only able to consume a part of the cheesecake. I asked for the bill and the remaining cheesecake to be taken away, and it was a smooth and fast transaction. They charge 5% for service fee which for me is reasonable enough.

ALSO READ:
Y CAFE: AN ANIME-THEMED CAFE IN MAKATI (REVIEW)

The Verdict

My overall food and service experience at La Lola S Maison was not perfect, but I want to give them a chance since they are still on their soft opening stage and they have a lot to improve. I haven’t dined in on the other two branches of La Lola (in Tomas Morato and Podium Mall) so I can’t really compare them. Next time perhaps I would try other items on their menu and their cocktails as well.

Lola Cafe Conrad Contact Information

Lola Cafe
Level 2, S Maison, Conrad Manila
Seaside Boulevard corner Coral Way, Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City
+63 9171083370; 02 88057649
https://www.facebook.com/lolacafe.ph
https://www.instagram.com/lolacafe

Accommodation Near Lola Cafe S Maison: Conrad Manila

lola cafe s maison

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Where's Sherlyn Travel and Food Blog Philippines

A Complete Guide to 33 Halal Restaurants in Metro Manila, Philippines

The Philippines has a significant number of Muslim population, however I know for a fact that my Filipino Muslim friends and colleagues are always finding it hard to find halal restaurants in Manila, Philippines. Moreover, I know several Muslim friends who are discouraged to visit Manila because halal restaurants are not so common here, and if so, they cost more than an average meal.

For the benefit of my Muslim friends and colleagues inside and outside the Philippines and the entire Muslim community as well, I have compiled this list of halal restaurants in Manila*. I promise to try these restaurants myself one by one in the future to have a first hand review.

*This list is solely based on online research and my own dining experience in some of the halal restaurants in Manila on this list. So if you want to add something to this list and perhaps suggest corrections, feel free to shoot me a message at email address sherlynmaehernandez@gmail.com.

For other halal restaurants in the Philippines, check this out: Cebu | Baguio | Boracay

ABABU PERSIAN KITCHEN

75 Xavierville Avenue, Loyola Heights, Quezon City
(+632) 34360000

Ground Floor, WWW Residences, Estrada Corner Leon Guinto Street, Malate, Manila
(+632) 83536240

1232 Gelinos Street, Sampaloc, Manila
(+632) 87112830; +639156818425

Amaia Steps Sucat, Dr. A. Santos Avenue, San Antonio, Parañaque City
+639666990083
https://www.instagram.com/ababupersiansucat/
https://www.facebook.com/ababupersiankitchen/
https://www.instagram.com/ababuph/

ABSHAR FAST FOOD

Food Court, Ground Floor, Greenhills Shopping Centre, Greenhills, San Juan City
(+632) 87233604; +639228444423
https://www.facebook.com/absharfastfood/
https://www.instagram.com/absharfastfood/
https://www.instagram.com/fastfood.abshar/

ARABIC KITCHEN

Second Floor Torre Sur, Alabang-Zapote Road, Pamplona, Las Piñas City
+639207777500

Jas Building, Villa Cristina Avenue, Pamplona, Las Piñas City
+639477628811; +639564469044

https://www.facebook.com/lefayettearabickitchenresturant
https://www.instagram.com/arabickitchenmanila/

ARGOS MINIBAR

Ground Floor, Citadel Inn, 5007 P Burgos Street, Poblacion, Makati City
(+632) 88693416
https://www.facebook.com/ArgosMinibar/

ARYA PERSIAN RESTAURANT

https://www.instagram.com/p/BuHG1e-lFaT/

Ground Floor, Promenade, Greenhills Shopping Centre, Greenhills, San Juan City
(+632) 85846266

Level 6, East Wing, Shangri-La Plaza, Ortigas, Mandaluyong City
(+632) 85424321

Second Floor, Robinsons Magnolia, New Manila, Quezon City
(+632) 84702414

Ground Floor, Alfresco, Midtown Wing, Robinsons Place Manila, Ermita, Manila
Second Floor, Midtown Wing, Robinsons Place Manila, Ermita, Manila
(+632) 85677200

https://www.facebook.com/Arya-Persian-Restaurants-213970242002201/?ref=br_rs
https://www.instagram.com/arya_persian_restaurant/
https://www.instagram.com/aryapersianrestaurant/

ASSAD CAFE

Second Floor, Midtown Executive Homes, United Nations Avenue, Paco, Manila
(+632) 85214996
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Assad-Cafe/983738418423133
https://www.facebook.com/assadminimart/
https://www.instagram.com/assadcafe/

BEHROUZ PERSIAN CUISINE

Scout Tobias Street, Laging Handa, Quezon City
+639289686922

Ground Floor, Metrowalk Commercial Complex, Meralco Avenue, Ugong, Pasig City
(+632) 86872759

226 Aguirre Avenue Corner J. Ramirez Street, BF Homes, Parañaque City
+639238652069

Wilson Street, Greenhills, San Juan City
+639424819550

Santana Grove, Dr. A. Santos Avenue, San Antonio, Parañaque City
+639334196444

https://www.facebook.com/BehrouzPersianCuisine/
https://www.instagram.com/behrouzpersiancuisine/
https://www.instagram.com/behrouzpersian/

BENI’S FALAFEL

5343 General Luna Street, Poblacion, Makati City
+639063491300
https://www.facebook.com/Benisfalafel/
https://www.instagram.com/benisfalafel/

BRICKS AND COPPER

Dumlao Sports Center, 304 Shaw Boulevard, Pleasant Hills, Mandaluyong City
+639432737812; (+632) 86543741
https://www.facebook.com/BricksAndCopperTurkishCuisine/
https://www.instagram.com/bricksandcopper/

FETA MEDITERRANEAN

Ground Floor, Intrawest Center, 101 Annapolis Street, Greenhills, San Juan City
(+632) 87057238
https://www.facebook.com/feta.mediterranean
https://www.instagram.com/feta.mediterranean/

GILAK BY HOSSEIN

https://www.instagram.com/p/BUVwxvXlkag/

Level 2, Greenbelt 3, Ayala Center, Greenbelt, Makati City
(+632) 77290266

HASSAN KABAB AND STEAKS

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bvpi2_Cg9-E/

197-C Katipunan Avenue, Barangay Milagrosa, Blue Ridge, Quezon City 1120
(+632) 87033827
https://www.facebook.com/hassankatipsQc

9 Visayas Avenue Extension, Culiat, Tandang Sora, Quezon City
(+632) 87810051
https://www.facebook.com/hassanvisayas

Aquilina Street, Fronting Marikina City Engineering Office, Santo Niño, Marikina City
+639226789423; +639232324390
https://www.facebook.com/hassanmarikina

https://www.instagram.com/hassankababandsteaks/

HOSSEIN’S PERSIAN KEBAB

Second Floor, Serendra, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City
(+632) 88560632; (+632) 88561278

Second Floor, LKV Building, 7857 Makati Avenue, Bel-Air, Makati City
(+632) 88906137; (+632) 88905928

https://www.facebook.com/hosseinspersiankebab/

HUMMUS ELIJAH

Second Floor, Commercial Building, 7850 Makati Avenue, Poblacion, Makati City
+639053134602; (+632) 88021885

Fifth Floor, SM Aura Premier, C5 Road Corner 26th Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City

https://www.facebook.com/humuselijah/
https://www.instagram.com/hummus_elijah/

JERUSALEM