5 Things To Do In Maniwaya Island, Marinduque (Sample Itinerary)

Maniwaya Island
Waiting for the sunset at Maniwaya Island, Marinduque

Region IV-B in the Philippines, also known as MIMAROPA (Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, Palawan), is known to have the best island and beach experience. The region is home to so many virgin and pristine beaches which are yet to be discovered by most of us. Traveling to the region is a little challenging though: yes, they have flights to all provinces, but going to the more beautiful outskirts requires you to ride a boat and brave the waves, as well as enduring several hours of land trip.

maniwaya island
Region IV-B (MIMAROPA), Philippines

When I had my first government job, I was assigned to monitor the implementation of a development project in MIMAROPA region, hence I had the chance to travel around this beautiful but not-so-touristy destinations, including the Romblon Islands, Occidental and Oriental Mindoro. I was only able to go to Coron, Palawan on my own years ago, and lately, in Marinduque.

I’ve been reading that Marinduque is a very chill province at the heart of the country, with zero crime rate, notable traditions (like the Moriones Festival), and Greece-like beaches. To finally complete my MIMAROPA bucket list, I took a chance to visit Marinduque this Holy Week.

Now the problem arises: I only have a limited time. Shall I go chill at the beach and do island hopping, or witness the cultural activity special to Marinduque, the Moriones Festival?

I hope you won’t get disappointed in me, but I chose to go to the beach. I could use trying to go back for Moriones next time.

So what did I do in Marinduque? Here are some tips:

1.Visit the Palad Sand Bar

Maniwaya Island
I don’t wanna get your hopes up, but this is Palad Sand Bar when we went there.

2. See the beauty of the Ungab Rock Formation

https://www.instagram.com/p/BwbtVDaHjsQ/
Again, the rock formation has to many people that I did not bother going to. I went to the other side of the island instead to snap this shot.

3. Snorkel at the Coral Garden to see the marine wonders of Marinduque

I dunno why, but I just stayed inside the boat when others went to snorkel. You have to pay Php50 if you want to try it.

4. Take a look at the Maniwaya Island Ruins

I went here only to find out that there are a lot of foreign tourists having a photo shoot at the ruins. I just can’t stand the heat and the time so I just watched them a little and walked back to my resort.

5. Swim, chill, and watch the sunset at Maniwaya Island

Maniwaya Island
Maniwaya Island Sunset. Simply breathtaking.
Maniwaya Island
With the Maniwaya Island sunset behind me

If you’re looking for a few days to chill, I think this is the place to be. (Just don’t go on a Holy Week, I think). Moreover, if you have more time, you could also use going to mainland Marinduque to go around the towns. After all, Marinduque is a small province composed of only 6 towns: Boac, Buenavista, Gasan. Mogpog, Santa Cruz, and Torrijos.

A quick guide on how to go to Maniwaya Island by commute:

  1. Ride a bus from Manila to Lucena, Quezon.
  2. From Lucena, ride a van/bus to General Luna, Quezon.
  3. From General Luna Port, ride a boat going to Maniwaya Island (travel time is approximately 1 hour).
  4. Maniwaya Island has several resorts that can accommodate you for your chill weekend.

Happy travels and have fun under the sun!

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Where's Sherlyn Travel and Food Blog Philippines

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:
32 LOCAL BRUNEIAN FOODS TO TRY AS A TRAVELER

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!

Picturesque Brunei Darussalam

To those who were following me on Instagram (instagram.com/wheressherlyn), I think you guys want to come into a conclusion that Brunei Darussalam is one of my favorite countries to travel to (so far) since I’ve been visiting so many Instagrammable spots in Brunei. Some of you might be asking why (because let’s face it, everybody thinks Brunei is a boring place to visit). True enough, you can explore the whole country if you will plan a one-week trip there (compared to my home country, Philippines, which is composed of 81 provinces of 7641 islands), but there will always be reasons to go back. In my case, it’s the food and the so many Instagrammable spots in Brunei!

Brunei Darussalam travel experience is a little different from other tourist destinations to travel to in Southeast Asia because it’s literally so quiet in there, there are almost no public transportation, and it is an alcohol-free country (and therefore no typical city nightlife). To someone like me who is used to city life (Hello, Manila!), an occasional travel to Brunei Darussalam is always a breath of fresh air, literally and figuratively, and it’s never gonna be boring.

I am not a Tourism Ambassador for Brunei or something, but I want to break the notion of most people that Brunei is a boring place to visit. In fact, it can be a very interesting place for all kinds of travelers: foodies, photographers, culture/heritage buffs, and even families. Tip though: I highly encourage you to rent a private car if you want to go around Brunei because public transportation is so limited. To give you a little glimpse about this beautiful country, let me share 23 Instagrammable spots in Brunei that you can visit:

ALSO READ:
FLYING AROUND SOUTHEAST ASIA: DIRECT FLIGHTS TO AND FROM BRUNEI DARUSSALAM

Taman Mahkota Jubli Emas (Golden Jubilee Crown Park)

Instagrammable Spots in Brunei: Taman Mahkota Jubli Emas (Golden Jubilee Crown Park) Brunei Darussalam
INSTAGRAMMABLE SPOTS IN BRUNEI: Taman Mahkota Jubli Emas (Golden Jubilee Crown Park) Brunei

This beautiful park was a part and a result of the Bandar Seri Begawan Development Master Plan. This is how urban planning should be, guys!

Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien Pedestrian Bridge

Instagrammable Spots in Brunei: Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien Pedestrian Bridge Brunei Darussalam
INSTAGRAMMABLE SPOTS IN BRUNEI: Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien Pedestrian Bridge

This bridge is beautiful enough, and the presence of this crescent moon makes it more magnificent. Oh, this moon? Looks spectacular at night!

Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque

Instagrammable Spots in Brunei: Omar Ali Saiffudien Mosque Brunei Darussalam
INSTAGRAMMABLE SPOTS IN BRUNEI: Omar Ali Saiffudien Mosque Brunei

One of the most beautiful mosques in the world. Its main dome? Made of pure gold!

Tamu Kianggeh (Kianggeh Open-air Market)

Instagrammable Spots in Brunei: Tamu Kianggeh (Kianggeh Open-air Market) Brunei Darussalam
INSTAGRAMMABLE SPOTS IN BRUNEI: Tamu Kianggeh (Kianggeh Open-air Market) Brunei

Locals say that the ‘marketness’ of this place was lost because it went a major rehabilitation as part of the government’s city plan for Bandar Seri Begawan. It is now roofed and more organized, compared to a scene with rainbow parasols and everyone busy shopping.

Teng Yun Temple

Instagrammable Spots in Brunei: Teng Yun Temple Brunei Darussalam
INSTAGRAMMABLE SPOTS IN BRUNEI: Teng Yun Temple Brunei

Teng Yun Temple is the first and oldest Chinese Temple in Brunei.

Brunei River

Brunei River
INSTAGRAMMABLE SPOTS IN BRUNEI: Brunei River

This is the shortest river in Brunei and it is a must for everyone to try the water taxi.

Perpuspaan Main Gate 1968

https://www.flickr.com/photos/138670287@N04/46762673082/in/dateposted-public/

This is the monument that commemorates the coronation of the present Sultan of Brunei in 1968.

Mausoleum of Sultan Bolkiah

https://www.flickr.com/photos/138670287@N04/39849992083/in/dateposted-public/

There is so much cultural heritage vibe in this place. I really love how Bruneians pay so much respect to their former Sultans. This is the quietest part of Brunei that I have been to. So solemn.

Mercu Dirgahayu 60

https://www.flickr.com/photos/138670287@N04/32939518258/in/dateposted-public/

The Mercu Dirgahayu 60 is a birthday gift presented by the people of Brunei to His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah on his 60th birthday.

Yayasan Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Complex

https://www.flickr.com/photos/138670287@N04/46090268114/in/dateposted-public/

The biggest shopping complex in Bandar Seri Begawan.

The Clock Tower

https://www.flickr.com/photos/138670287@N04/39849950693/in/dateposted-public/

This clock marks the Zero Mile in Bandar Seri Begawan and is also a monument built to commemorate the visit of the first King of Malaysia in 1959 (and therefore symbolizes the friendship of Malaysia and Brunei).

Taman Haji Sir Muda Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien

https://www.flickr.com/photos/138670287@N04/46815195531/in/dateposted-public/

A beautiful place where the traditional Bandarku Ceria happens every Sunday. I love the Family Vibe there.

Royal Regalia Museum

Instagrammable Spots in Brunei: Royal Regalia Museum Brunei Darussalam
INSTAGRAMMABLE SPOTS IN BRUNEI: Royal Regalia Museum Brunei

You will learn so much about the Sultan and the royalty upon visiting this museum. I am a fan of Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej but after seeing this I got to appreciate the Sultan of Brunei as well. With the collection of gifts Brunei received from other countries, you can tell a lot about Brunei’s international relations. Ha!

Kota Batu Old Graveyard

https://www.flickr.com/photos/138670287@N04/45900317205/in/dateposted-public/

This is the largest archaeological remains found in Brunei and was also believed to be a burial site.

Empire Hotel and Country Club

Instagrammable Spots in Brunei: Empire Hotel and Country Club Brunei Darussalam
INSTAGRAMMABLE SPOTS IN BRUNEI: Empire Hotel and Country Club Brunei

This 7-star hotel? So majestic! And the sunset view is priceless.

Gadong Night Market

https://www.flickr.com/photos/138670287@N04/32939599628/in/dateposted-public/

Ahhh. Perfect for foodies! Need I say more?

ALSO READ:
TRAVELER’S COMPLETE GUIDE TO EATING IN BRUNEI DARUSSALAM: 23 RESTAURANT RECOMMENDATIONS

Jame’ Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque

Instagrammable Spots in Brunei: Jame' Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque Brunei Darussalam
INSTAGRAMMABLE SPOTS IN BRUNEI: Jame’ Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque Brunei

The largest mosque in Brunei and one of the two national mosques (Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque is the other one). It is also known as the Blue Mosque.

Kampong Ayer

Instagrammable Spots in Brunei: Kampong Ayer Brunei Darussalam
INSTAGRAMMABLE SPOTS IN BRUNEI: Kampong Ayer Brunei

Also known as the “Venice of the East”, Kampong Ayer literally means ‘water village’ and is the world’s largest settlement on stilts.

Tasek Lama Recreational Park

Instagrammable Spots in Brunei: Tasek Lama Recreational Park Brunei Darussalam
INSTAGRAMMABLE SPOTS IN BRUNEI: Tasek Lama Recreational Park Brunei

A nice spot for hiking and relaxing by the waterfalls.

Soto Babu Nini

https://www.flickr.com/photos/138670287@N04/46762763072/in/dateposted-public/

This is the place where you can get a typical Bruneian comfort food with a nice view and very colorful architecture.

Rimba Garden Central

https://www.flickr.com/photos/138670287@N04/46090346574/in/dateposted-public/

If you want to be one with nature, this is the place to be. It also has a nice outdoor garden which serves as a wedding venue.

Bukit Shahbandar Forest Recreational Park

Another popular hiking destination in Brunei. (And lookie! I got featured at the Brunei Tourism Board Instagram account!)

Tanjung Batu Beach

Instagrammable Spots in Brunei: Tanjung Batu Beach Brunei
INSTAGRAMMABLE SPOTS IN BRUNEI: Tanjung Batu Beach Brunei

This is the most tranquil beach I ever went to. As in.

Instagrammable Spots in Brunei: More recommendations are welcome!

So, does Brunei still look boring to you at this point? Hit me up for questions about this beautiful country at email address sherlynmaehernandez@gmail.com or at Instagram account instagram.com/wheressherlyn. Book your flights to Brunei now!

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ALSO READ:
THE BEAUTY OF LEARNING ABOUT SOUTHEAST ASIA

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.

For more travel articles about the Philippines, click on the banner below:

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LONELY PLANET TRAVEL GUIDES ABOUT THE PHILIPPINES

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

For more travel articles about Brunei Darussalam, click on the banner below:

Where's Sherlyn Travel and Food Blog Brunei Darussalam

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.

For more travel articles about Cambodia, click on the banner below:

Where's Sherlyn Travel and Food Blog Cambodia

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:
VILLA RECOMMENDATION IN BALI, INDONESIA: VILLA KORU

For more travel articles about Indonesia, click on the banner below:

Where's Sherlyn Travel and Food Blog Indonesia

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

For more travel articles about Laos, click on the banner below:

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:
4 MUSEUMS TO VISIT IN KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA

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

Where's Sherlyn Travel and Food Blog Malaysia

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

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:
A COMPLETE GUIDE TO 57 INSTAGRAM-WORTHY SPOTS IN MANILA, PHILIPPINES

For more travel articles about the Philippines, click on the banner below:

Where's Sherlyn Travel and Food Blog Philippines

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:
POSTCARDS FROM LITTLE INDIA, SINGAPORE

For more travel articles about Singapore, click on the banner below:

Where's Sherlyn Travel and Food Blog Singapore

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

For more travel articles about Thailand, click on the banner below:

Where's Sherlyn Travel and Food Blog Thailand

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:

Where's Sherlyn Travel and Food Blog Vietnam

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)

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

1533 M. H. Del Pilar Street, Ermita, Manila
(+632) 85233164; (+632) 85236568

KABAB & CURRY

20 Jupiter Street, Bel-Air, Makati City
(+632) 75015298
https://www.facebook.com/Kabab-Curry-402058433232179/
https://www.instagram.com/kababandcurryph/

KASHMIR

Festejo Building, 816 Arnaiz Avenue, San Lorenzo, Makati City
(+632) 82469069 ext. 615

Ground Floor, San Antonio Plaza, McKinley Road, Dasmarinas Village, Makati City
(+632) 82469069 ext. 268

https://www.facebook.com/kashmir.ph/

KENNY ROGER’S ROASTERS

42 outlets in Metro Manila
https://www.facebook.com/KennyRogersPH/
https://www.instagram.com/kennyrogersph/

MANDY HOUSE

https://www.instagram.com/p/0piJc3txPX/

4892 Durban Street, Poblacion, Makati City
(+632) 88696074; +639054555533
https://www.facebook.com/Mandy-House-1175067475996259/

MARTABAK

https://www.instagram.com/p/BShc_kjlh1N/

Ground Floor, North Wing, SM Mall of Asia, Mall of Asia Complex (MOA), Pasay City
+639175300875; (+632) 84420387
https://www.facebook.com/martabakcafeindomalayrestaurant
https://www.instagram.com/martabakcafe/

THE CAFE MEDITERRANEAN

Level 1, Greenbelt 1, Ayala Center, Greenbelt, Makati City
(+632) 77208757

Lower Ground Floor, Power Plant Mall, Rockwell, Makati City
(+632) 88981301
(+632) 77565010

Second Floor, Alabang Town Center, Alabang, Muntinlupa City
(+632) 88501690

Fifth Floor, The Podium, ADB Avenue, Ortigas, Mandaluyong City
(+632) 86359264

Third Floor, One Bonifacio High Street, 28th Street Corner 5th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City
(+632) 77441831; +639178246294

Ground Floor, Entertainment Mall, SM Mall of Asia, Mall of Asia Complex (MOA), Pasay City
(+632) 85560650

https://www.facebook.com/TheCafeMediterranean/
https://www.instagram.com/thecafemed/

MISTER KABAB

11 outlets in Metro Manila
https://www.facebook.com/MisterKabab
https://www.instagram.com/misterkabab/

NEW BOMBAY

https://www.instagram.com/p/BvT8OHeBOb7/

Ground Floor, Glorietta 3, Ayala Center, Glorietta Complex, Makati City
(+632) 89868622

Ground Floor, The Columns, Ayala Corner Sen. Gil Puyat Avenue, Bel-Air, Makati City
(+632) 79013275

Second Floor, Crossroads Building, 32nd Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City
(+632) 84251867

Ground Floor, Sagittarius Building, H. V. Dela Costa Street, Salcedo Village, Makati City
(+632) 88192892; (+632) 88043788

Fourth Floor, Robinsons Place Manila, Ermita, Manila
+639366753435; (+632) 83536847

Food Choices, Third Floor, Glorietta 4, Ayala Center, Glorietta Complex, Makati City
(+632) 89868622

NEW BOMBAY ROYALE

Ground Floor, Venice Grand Canal Mall, McKinley Hill, Taguig City
(+632) 88101101
https://www.facebook.com/newbombayroyale/
https://www.instagram.com/newbombayroyaleph/

RAJPUT PAK HALAL CUISINE

8232 Paranaque – Sucat Road, San Isidro, Parañaque, Metro Manila
+639154763159

Ground Floor, Casa Blanca Apartments, Adriatico Street, Ermita, Manila
(+632) 88022203; +639174343081

https://www.facebook.com/rajputhalal/

PERSIA GRILL

Ground Floor, Blue Sapphire Building, 2nd Avenue Corner 30th Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City
(+632) 85199300

Ground Floor, Valero Carpark 2, Valero Street, Salcedo Village, Makati City
(+632) 88189090; (+632) 84034468

Unit G4, Prince Plaza II Condominium, Legazpi Corner Dela Rosa Street, Legaspi Village, Makati City
(+632) 84039999; +639155551115

Ground Floor, Paseo De Roses. Chino Roses Avenue, Legaspi Village Makati City

https://www.facebook.com/persiagrill/
https://www.instagram.com/persiagrill/

QUEENS AT BOLLYWOOD

Level 3, Greenbelt 3, Ayala Center, Greenbelt, Makati City
(+632) 7573536; (+632) 9030710

Second Floor, Met Live Mall, EDSA Corner Macapagal Boulevard, Mall of Asia Complex (MOA), Pasay City
+639296108622

https://www.facebook.com/queensatbollywoodph/
https://www.instagram.com/queensatbollywoodph/

ROYAL INDIAN CURRY HOUSE

5345 General Luna Street, Poblacion, Makati City
(+632) 82469069 ext. 565

Building G, SM by the Bay, SM Mall of Asia, Mall of Asia Complex (MOA), Pasay City
(+632) 82469069 ext. 527

Eastwood Citywalk 1, Libis, Quezon City
(+632) 82469069 ext. 836

https://www.facebook.com/Royal.Indian.Curry.House.15/
https://www.instagram.com/royalindiancurryhouse/

SHAWARMA SNACK CENTER

484 Ground Floror, White Palace Condotel,R. Salas Street, Ermita, Manila
(+632) 85212121; (+632) 82544409

President’s Avenue, BF Homes, Parañaque City
(+632) 88279036; (+632) 84034191

El Grande Arcade, 316 El Grande Avenue, BF Homes, Parañaque City
(+632) 84784667

https://www.facebook.com/Shawarma-Snack-Center-155502121152620/

SWAGAT INDIAN CUISINE

The Columns at Legazpi Village, Amorsolo Street Corner Arnaiz Avenue, Legazpi Village, Makati City 1223
(+632) 79897199; +639176348899
https://www.facebook.com/swagatmakati/

WARUNG INDO

https://www.instagram.com/p/5ZlFo2px6u/

Ground Floor, LPL Manor, San Agustin Street, Salcedo Village, Makati City
+639267055507; (+632) 75015341
https://www.facebook.com/warung.indo.1/

ZIGGURAT

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

Ground Floor, Sunette Tower, Durban Street Corner Makati Avenue, Poblacion, Makati City
(+632) 88975179
https://www.facebook.com/Ziggurat-Cuisine-Restaurant-125013094177654/
https://www.instagram.com/zigguratcuisine/

SAMURAI HALAL EXPRESS

Food Hall, Level 4, Terminal 3, Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Ninoy Aquino Airport Area, Pasay City
(+632) 87821650

1214 Arquiza Trade Center, M. H. Del Pilar Street, Ermita, Manila
+639558936365

https://www.facebook.com/Samurai-Halal-Express-NAIA-T3-120092051872529/
https://www.instagram.com/samuraihalalexpress/

HALAL RESTAURANTS IN MANILA: ANY MORE SUGGESTIONS?

Guys, I wanna know if you want to add more halal restaurants in Manila on the list. Also, please shoot me a message at email address sherlynmaehernandez@gmail.com for possible corrections. Thank you and happy travels to my home city! 🙂

Sherlyn’s Practical and Honest Overseas Hotel Reviews: To Stay Again or Not to Stay Again?

To be honest, I have been planning on writing hotel reviews of all the hotels and hostels I I have checked in during my overseas travels (meaning outside the Philippines, because I’m based in Manila). However, I never had the time to actually take photos to help my readers appreciate my reviews. Most of the time, right after checking in, I would jump in the bed and throw away my stuff all over. I am either very tired, had no sleep, or just not in the mood to do the effort of taking photos.

But don’t worry! Here I am, and I will try to make use of the limited photos that I took from the hotels I stayed in, together with a very quick review. I will also tell you if, based on my standards (which are not really so high, believe me), I will consider checking in again in these places. Also, feel free to click on the hotel names for more info and booking. Enjoy!

Where's Sherlyn Travel and Food Blog Brunei Darussalam

STAR LODGE, BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

Star Lodge Hotel Brunei
Image from agoda.com

Will stay here again? YES!

The hotel is a little far from the airport, but don’t worry too much about road distances in Brunei. You can get there in no time. The hotel is located in Jerudong area, a very quiet and peaceful part of Bandar Seri Begawan, and you will definitely enjoy your time there. The rooms are beautiful and elegant. When I stayed there during the Christmas holidays, I saw that they were preparing a backdrop for the New Year’s Eve, so I guess they were planning an event then. I wish I was able to witness it. There was just one morning when I woke up to the sound of the mass at the mosque, but it was really calming and I did not really mind.

TIMES HOTEL, BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

Times Square Hotel Brunei
Image from agoda.com

Will stay here again? Why not?

This is a hotel within a mall. On the Ground Floor, you will find restaurants and shops, and there are a lot of restaurants to choose from! Above the hotel are more shops and the cinema. You don’t need to go out of the building and it has got everything you need. It’s also very close to the airport. I stayed in a room with a window but no view, and if you got assigned to a room close to the elevator, you will hear the noise of the people. I did appreciate their complimentary newspaper, though. Breakfast buffet was a little meh.

Where's Sherlyn Travel and Food Blog Cambodia

KOLAB SOR PHNOM PENH HOTEL, PHNOM PENH

(CLICK HERE FOR A DETAILED REVIEW OF KOLAB SOR PHOM PENH HOTEL)

Kolab Sor Phnom Penh Hotel Cambodia
Image from agoda.com

Will stay here again? YESSS!

I love Kolab Sor! The design was very minimalistic and the lobby was super big and beautiful! They have desktops that can be used by guests at the Ground Floor. The rooms were so minimalist and cozy. The shower was very spacious, and I remember clearly that they have a good set of toiletries. It is also near establishments like restaurants.

NEW ANGKORLAND HOTEL, SIEM REAP

hotel reviews

Will stay here again? Haha! Please, no.

To be fair, this hotel is near Pub Street, but I had a lot of issues. The hotel is old and I feel like dusts are everywhere. The oldness of the hotel is like more of ‘woods and red carpets’ type. Elevators and hallways are a little creepy, but the rooms were surprisingly okay. They have a big pool but the water is dirty and mossy. Breakfast was served outdoor by the pool, but it doesn’t even look good, I did not trust its cleanliness, and they lack so many utensils and necessities.

They have a mini-outdoor gym but the equipment are just dumped in one side and accumulating rust. Oh, there was a power interruption exclusively in that hotel only for two nights and it scared the heck out of us! I feel like the place used to be very elegant (like Manila Hotel-type) but it just lost its former glory. Our shower’s ceiling also has a huge hole and we had to cover it in a plastic just to make sure nothing bad will happen.

Don’t trust the photos of this hotel you see in Agoda.

Where's Sherlyn Travel and Food Blog Hong Kong

AH SHAN HOSTEL, HONG KONG

hotel reviews
Image from agoda.com

Will stay here again? Sure.

This place is located right at the heart of Mong Kok area and very close to the Mong Kok MTR station. There are so many establishments and big malls around and it is a busy area. The rooms resemble a typical Hong Kong tiny apartment, but it was clean and the view outside was great. They provide hot and cold water in a dispenser outside the room. The price is good for a private room in a hostel.

Where's Sherlyn Travel and Food Blog Indonesia

DTEGALE HOMESTAY, BALI

Dtegale Homestay Bali Indonesia

Will stay here again? YES.

This is located in Central Bali (therefore far from the airport). It is situated in an area where a lot of farms are located, and it was really quiet there. I was told by the cab driver that the area is a favorite retreat spot of Westerners, so no wonder the vibe is like that. I rented a very nice rustic room for a very affordable price, and a healthy breakfast was served. The staff went the extra mile to help me with my broken luggage lock and even assisted me with my luggage upon check-in and check-out because the homestay was a few walks from the main road.

VILLA KORU, BALI

(CLICK HERE FOR A DETAILED REVIEW OF VILLA KORU)

Vills Koru Bali Indonesia

Will stay here again? DEFINITELY, YES!!!

If you have been dreaming of a #thisvillalife Bali vacation, this place is perfect for you! Situated at the heart of Seminyak area, Villa Koru is a luxury 3-bedroom villa with a big and beautiful pool that can accommodate solo, couple, and family travelers! The staff were very helpful and efficient, and the owner was one of the kindest host I have met so far in all of my travels abroad! He will make sure you are provided with everything you might need: from floaters, to day tours, to airport transfers, and many more!

SIGURAS LIVING GUEST HOUSE, BALI

Siguras Living GuestHouse Bali Indonesia

Will stay here again? Uhm, okay.

To be fair, the hotel has a relaxing vibe at the outside. There were trees, and the corridors are white. However,the room I stayed in was a little small, the AC unit was broken, there were no toiletries provided, and the water pressure was meh. The rooms have sliding doors and will not completely close, therefore you’ll hear all the sounds from the outside. I did not like my stay there hence I took back my payment for the next succeeding days I checked-in and went to another hotel. But, they have a big potential to improve.

HARRIS HOTEL RESIDENCES, SUNSET ROAD, BALI

Harris Hotel and Residences Sunset Road Bali Indonesia
Image from agoda.com

Will stay here again? Yes.

You can literally walk from this hotel to the airport! It was a big hotel with many rooms, and I liked its swimming pool. It has a nice vibe with great music. The rooms are very clean, great, and comfy as well. The staff are very friendly and will give you tips on where to go around the area. Oh, they have free transfers to and from the airport, since it’s literally a couple of meters away.

hotel reviews

MINI S HOTEL, VIENTIANE

Mini S Hotel Vientiane Laos

Will stay here again? OMG YES!

Laos in general surprised me! And this hotel is part of all the surprises I had. The room I had is very, very cheap! The same quality in another country could cost 3 or 4 times I paid for Mini S Hotel. The staff, even though finding it hard to understand my accent, were very patient enough, and they were kind enough to help me out in terms of places to see. The small outdoor pool is also beautiful and every corner is clean and Instagrammable. I had the perfect chill vacation because of Mini S Hotel. they provided a porridge breakfast which was good and the hotel is near convenience stores, restaurants, and that al fresco restaurants by the Mekong River. They also provide shuttle services to the city center.

hotel reviews

MACAU HOTEL S

Macau Hotel S

Will stay here again? OMG YES!

The moment I was looking for an accommodation in Macau for my very quick trip, Macau Hotel S caught my attention when I saw that it participated in a street art activity and its vicinity has a lot of beautiful street art (street art enthusiast here!). Macau Hotel S was not the cheapest deal, but it was the best deal.

The room I booked was so big and nice and I love their toiletries! I also love the complimentary jasmine tea they provide, and from my room window I have a nice view of the Macau Tower. It is also a few walks away from the bus stop which you can wait for a bus which could drop you exactly at the airport. It is a walking distance from tourist spots such as Senado Square. Lastly, I can’t stress enough that the hotel restaurant has a very creative interior and good food! I will definitely stay here again.

Where's Sherlyn Travel and Food Blog Malaysia

VIPOD RESIDENCES, KUALA LUMPUR

ViPod Residences Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
Processed with VSCO

Will stay here again? Yes yes yes!

ViPod residences is a walking distance from Pavilion Mall and the KLCC train station, and it also has a club/bar just across, which also explains the presence of street food vendors around the area. Entering the building feels like you’re entering an Embassy or something. The security is a little tight, and there are several doors leading to the lobby. The room we stayed is very tidy and spacious and the price was really affordable. There is a convenience store at the ground floor (where I bought some Maggi Kari) and wait until you go to the rooftop pool and gym! The view of Petronas Towers is perfect!

Where's Sherlyn Travel and Food Blog Myanmar

OWAY GRAND HOTEL, MANDALAY

Oway Grand Hotel Mandalay Myanmar
Image from agoda.com

Will stay here again? Yes.

This hotel is right in front of the Mandalay Railway Station which is very, very convenient! I love the whole ambiance of the hotel, from the reception area to the rooms. They serve a good breakfast, and the place is near many establishments, including a mall and the Ocean Supermarket. Staff are very friendly as well.

GOLDEN CROWN MOTEL, BAGAN

(CLICK HERE FOR A DETAILED REVIEW OF GOLDEN CROWN MOTEL)

Golden Crown Motel Bagan Myanmar

Will stay here again? Yes!

This hotel is just like a typical provincial home. The price is very cheap but you will be provided with a quality stay. It is located at the Old Bagan area which is near the market and the temple complex. They have bike and e-bike rental services. The staff are very kind and friendly. When we left our keys inside the room, one of the staff was kind and patient enough to climb the window just to get access to our room. We also saw squirrels through our windows and they are amusing.

EAST HOTEL, YANGON

East Hotel Yangon Myanmar
Image from agoda.com

Will stay here again? Okay.

What I love about this hotel is its interior design. They have a lot of artworks hanging around the entire place. Moreover, this hotel is right at the center of Yangon and everything is really accessible from there, from market to cinema, to the zoo, and the Sule Temple in particular. Their breakfast area and the way going to the rooms were a little tight, though. But if you are catching a flight at Yangon International Airport, I think this place is a strategic and practical one to choose.

Where's Sherlyn Travel and Food Blog Singapore

CLAREMONT HOTEL

Claremont Hotel Singapore
Image from agoda.com

Will stay here again? Uhm I don’t think so.

To be fair, this hotel is located at the main road (Serangoon Road) right at the heart of Little India, which is a good starting point if you want to go around the district. Their breakfast is also great (I have a bias towards Indian food because it’s delicious and healthy at the same time). The staff are accommodating and friendly as well. However, I think the entire building is a little old and therefore needs improvement. When we entered the room, we were greeted by cockroaches and the room was dimly lit. The shower also looks untidy. Good thing we only stayed there for a layover.

CUBE BOUTIQUE CAPSULE HOTEL @ KAMPONG GLAM

Cube Capsule Hotel Kampong Glam Singapore

Will stay here again? YES, DEFINITELY.

There are several Cube Hotels around Singapore, but I think location-wise, this one at Kampong Glam is the best. It is located right at the heart of the Kampong Glam tourist area, very near the Masjid Sultan. The hotel is quite new and it was my first time staying in a capsule. At first I thought it’s going to make me claustrophobic, but I had the most comfortable stay. The idea of capsules give you the privacy that you need. The bathroom and shower is clean and well-maintained, and their toiletries are good! They also have a washing machine and dryer where detergent and fabric conditioner are provided. Breakfast is also awesome!

THE GREAT MADRAS

hotel reviews

Will stay here again? Yes.

I heard that this hotel was newly-renovated and I think they did a great job doing it. The Great Madras has a very friendly staff and the location is near establishments, including the Indian Heritage Centre. The have millennial-friendly Instagrammable interiors. They have nice bathrooms with good set of toiletries. The swimming pool area is a nice place to chill and the poolside is good for doing some yoga. I love their breakfast (also given my bias with Indian food).

Where's Sherlyn Travel and Food Blog Taiwan

XIMEN HEDO HOTEL KAIFENG, TAIPEI

hotel reviews

Will stay here again? YESSS!

In a nutshell, this hotel is very affordable and yet you will be provided a good quality of stay! It is located right at the heart of Taipei (walking distance from the Taipei Main Station), and very near establishments and tourist spots. The reception area is so nice, it’s literally a pink beetle with a lot of cute plushies. The rooms were clean and nice, and the room we stayed has a bathtub. The breakfast is so good and the brewed coffee is the best thing there!

Where's Sherlyn Travel and Food Blog Thailand

THE JOURNEY HOTEL, LAKSI, BANGKOK

(CLICK HERE FOR A DETAILED REVIEW OF THE JOURNEY HOTEL)

The Journey Hotel Laksi

Will stay here again? Yes!

This hotel has a very clean and minimalist look. It is located near the Don Mueang International Airport but a little far from the city center. Do not worry because the area where the hotel is located is very secure, quiet, and elegant. We were able to find several good coffee shops, convenience stores, and restaurants around, as well as yummy street food! The rooms are very spacious, and the toiletries there are the best ones I had so far!

SALIL HOTEL SUKHUMVIT SOI THONGLOR 1, BANGKOK

Salil Hotel Bangkok Thailand

Will stay here again? Can I instead stay here for good? 🙂

I love, love, love this hotel! The staff were really friendly, and they embody the Thai hospitality. I was assisted very well from check-in to check-out. They also gave me a room closest to the reception desk, which was favorable and convenient for me. I could walk from here to so many establishments, like restaurants, pharmacies, groceries, fastfood chains, coffee shops, etc. I can’t stress enough how colorful and Instagram-worthy the place was! The pool was beautiful! The breakfast area was very relaxing and the food selection was very heavenly! My room has a bathtub also! I wish I could live here!

JOSH HOTEL, BANGKOK

Josh Hotel Bangkok Thailand
Image from agoda.com

Will stay here again? I want to, but I really don’t know.

I’ve been seeing nice photos of the hotel on Instagram and other online sources, and it’s a little popular among young travelers, given its location which is very near a lot of bars and restaurants. The room photos in the booking sites were also good. However, upon arriving at the place, the door men will not even provide you a little assistance with your luggage and will not even open the doors for you. The reception area was great, the staff were friendly, and upon the looks of it, the hotel is really a beautiful hipster place. However, I was given a room at the topmost floor and at the other end of the elevator which was a loooooong corridor walk and you will be greeted by creepy life-size mural of people as you walk.

They have no telephones at the room, so when my keycard did not work, I had to go back to the reception area myself. The room was a little dim and the vibe was a little heavy. I want to give the hotel another chance by seeing how good their breakfast is, only to find out that the breakfast is only available at 0730, which was a little late. Since I had to leave before 7AM for my flight, I was only provided bread and coffee (which was okay), but did not really get what I paid for.

Where's Sherlyn Travel and Food Blog Vietnam

DRAGON PALACE II HOTEL, HO CHI MINH CITY

hotel reviews
Image from agoda.com

Will stay here again? I think I’m gonna pass.

I had a short but good stay in this hotel. The rooms are spacious and homey, and there are some furniture items made of bamboo. The hotel is just right across YOLO Bar (which is a good bar!) and near a lot of convenience stores and restaurants. The breakfast was awesome (you can make your own banh mi sandwich!), but the lady at the breakfast area was a little rude and yelled at me.

The Beauty of Learning About Southeast Asia

My love for Southeast Asia started in high school when I had the privilege to compete and win an ASEAN Quiz Show hosted by a private college in my hometown, and along with the trophy are brochures, maps, and information materials about ASEAN and Southeast Asia. I became passionate with learning more about Southeast Asia and fell in love with the region, real hard. Since then, I vowed to visit all ASEAN countries. Nine years after casting that dream in stone, I already visited all of ASEAN. Life is sweet!

Southeast Asian region refers to the eleven countries Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor Leste, and Vietnam. However, if you are referring to ‘ASEAN countries’, we have to eliminate Timor Leste because the organization is still working out on its membership. Southeast Asian region may have been united by geography, but the countries are totally different politically, economically, and socio-culturally. Having the privilege to travel around the entire region not only expanded the knowledge I had from high school about Southeast Asia, but it also made me appreciate the beauty of my own country and how unique it is compared to the beauty of each Southeast Asian countries.

Because of my love for Southeast Asia, I took Political Science for my Bachelor’s Degree so that I will have the chance to learn more about the region, most especially its government and politics, and how they compare to that of the Philippines. I went on to pursue my Master’s Degree in International Studies wherein I took cognate classes on Southeast Asian Studies to learn more about the region. Currently, I am teaching courses on Southeast Asian/ASEAN Studies in college and graduate school levels and put up a social media microblog where I post my photos and travel stories about Southeast Asia. Since then, people have been interested about my travel stories and learnings about the Southeast Asian region.

I have a long share of my stories from my travels around Southeast Asia, but here are some of them: Brunei is a small and peaceful country and has a lot of cosmopolitan people with high respect for their religion at the same time. Cambodia may be considered by the United Nations as one of the poorest countries in the world, but it is very rich in culture and kind-hearted people. The Indonesian island of Bali is where I witnessed the best sunset of my life, with people trying their best to preserve the island’s beauty despite the continuous influx of tourists. Laos, the most underrated country in Southeast Asia, has a lot of beautiful stories to tell from its classy French bakeries and local food. Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur may look like any other major concrete jungle in the region, but wait until you explore Malaysia as far as Penang, Langkawi, or even Kuching. Another one in the Least Developed Country list, Myanmar, made me cry with the beauty of the hot air balloons flying over the stupas in the Old Bagan complex during sunrise, and because serve a huge amount of rice in restaurants as well. Singapore is more than a concrete jungle to me. It is a melting pot of so many cultures – Chinese, Indian, and Malay, and everything is so utopian and feels like a small island and a megacity at the same time. I’m not going to say that I love the traffic jam in Bangkok, but I love pad thai and tom yum, and how Thais are very faithful to their cultural practices. The coffee lover in me felt instantly at home in Vietnam, let alone its healthy set of cuisines. Ladies and gentlemen, this is what is waiting for you just a few hours away from the Philippines.

Had the Bachelor’s Degree in Arts in Southeast Asian Studies been offered by the university I attended for college during the time I studied there, I would definitely enroll in the program. It’s not too late, though. I still have a PhD to pursue, and it can be in Southeast Asian Studies. In the meantime, I will focus on teaching and doing research about the region and occasionally write microblogs about my actual experiences as I visit and revisit more places in Southeast Asia.

It is a dream of mine to let the world know how seeing and learning about this beautiful region may develop their cosmopolitanism and sense of global citizenship. Also, realizing that there is so much beauty in diversity will definitely change the way how they look at the world and what’s happening around. It would be nice to study International Relations or Southeast Asian Studies to learn more about the region, but nothing beats with actually trying out the food, conversing with people, visiting heritage sites, and observing the daily scenes in these places. This is the beauty of learning about Southeast Asia – it can be beyond the books and formal schooling. It is the actual experience which will not only widen your horizons, but will change you as a person and a citizen of your country and the world.

(This was my attempt to write an article which I submitted to Inquirer Young Blood. I know this will never get published there, so I’m posting it here instead.)

Taipei, Taiwan Itinerary: Historic Route Walking Tour

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TAIPEI, TAIWAN ITINERARY: GOLDEN AGE ROUTE WALKING TOUR

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TAIPEI, TAIWAN ITINERARY: MODERN ROUTE WALKING TOUR

https://www.instagram.com/p/BvGysWjnr1W/

Whenever I travel on practically every place (inside or outside the Philippines and Southeast Asia), I always make sure to get to know the place by reading about its history. Aside from the fact that I teach history in the university as a profession, I think the best way to make sense of all my observations and experiences in places I’m going to is to get to know about the places’ past. I realized, there is no other way to do it than to create an itinerary on Taipei historic route walking tour.

As I was researching for my Taiwan trip itinerary, I came across Like It Formosa, an organization that conducts free (but tip-based) walking tours around Taipei. Apparently, they offer three free walking tours around Taipei: Historic Route, Golden Age Route, and Modern Route. Of course, I cannot miss all of these and I joined all of them.

What I liked about the tours offered by Like It Formosa is that it’s led by young and very intelligent guides. For this specific route, we were guided by a young film director whom I discovered was an Erasmus Scholarship recipient! The way they share information about Taiwan is very passionate and really coming from locals.

Apparently, Taipei has a very intriguing history and was shaped by several other cultures, as evidenced by different architectural wonders. Here is the itinerary of the Historic Route tour. Obviously, all of these are walking distance away from one another.

Longshan Temple

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

No wonder this is the most iconic and popular temple in Taiwan. The architecture is so beautiful and a little different than the other Chinese temples I’ve been to. Our tour guide was able to teach us some stuff, including how to pray for a love life, because why not? Haha! It was built during the 1700s by settlers from Fujian, China as a gathering place for Chinese settlers. It was heavily destroyed during World War II but was restored to its current beauty.

Bopiliao Historical Block

Taipei Historic Route Walking Tour

This structure was opened to the public in 2009. It was an area preserved by the government which used to be a busy commercial district during the Japanese occupation of Taipei. It connects the Longshan Temple to the Shi-Da Night Market area which became an important historical and cultural landmark. I really admire the red brick walls!!! There was even a prenup photoshoot when we visited there (Oh edi kayo na. Charot. Haha.)

Ximen Red House

Taipei Historic Route Walking Tour

Also known as the Red House Theater, it is a historic theater that was built in 1908 by Japanese architect Kondo Juro. Apparently it used to be a market building before being converted into a theater. It has a café at the ground floor (which I wish I was able to try). What I admire about this architectural wonder is its octagonal shape (and of course, the red brick wall). And oh, there is a beautiful boutique at the back of this building.

Presidential Office

This beautiful building houses the President of Taiwan ROC and was designed by another Japanese architect Uheiji Nagano during the Japanese occupation of Taiwan during 1800s-1900s. The tour guide actually warned us about taking photos around the area because apparently it was prohibited. He also shared us a lot of firsthand information about Taiwanese Politics which I found interesting and intriguing.

228 Peace Memorial Park

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bl5CKbknrEv/

This park was built to commemorate the victims of the February 28 incident of 1947 (hence the name 228) and this is also where the Taiwan National Museum was located. It was the first European-themed park in Taiwan (which I really found interesting because it’s complete with a lot of amenities, including the stone foot massage thing). The February 28 incident was a long story (and I am yet to read more about it), but it was an anti-government uprising which killed thousands of civilians. I think the Philippines has to learn from this. #NeverForget

Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bmfct0tn8lj/

This iconic structure was built in commemoration of Chiang Kai-Shek, the former President of Taiwan ROC. This is a very beautiful place and it’s very obvious that the people of Taiwan really valued the legacy of Chiang-Kai Shek. It started to rain so hard when we went there, but admiring the architecture of this place was so worth it. Taking the steps going to the monument of Chiang Kai-Shek was a little tiring, and it looks like the huge Abraham Lincoln statue in the US.

There is so much history to be learned from Taiwan, especially having undergone a lot of wars and colonizations, like the Philippines. I really admire how Taiwan preserved and valued their historical heritage which made them into what they are now. No wonder Taiwanese people are so resilient and nationalistic. In my next visit to Taiwan, I make sure to explore more first-hand historical trivia from the locals. The history buff in me is so happy once again! My brain was fed very properly.

For other blog posts on Taiwan, please click on the photo below:

Where's Sherlyn Travel and Food Blog Taiwan

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10 Rules for Withdrawing Money at ATMs in Bali, Indonesia

CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL ARTICLE:
10 RULES FOR WITHDRAWING MONEY AT ATMS IN BALI, INDONESIA

Whenever I travel, I have this standard personal rule that I will only try my best to spend USD200 at most for a 4-day international trip (USD100 for a 4-day local trip). Since I kinda proceeded to my 7-day trip to Bali unprepared, I was only able to exchange USD200 and forgot that I will be staying there for a week. Given that, I had to withdraw some money from an ATM there, and withdrawing money from ATMs in Bali is something I did for the first time outside the Philippines. To be honest, I have always been scared of using any plastic money I have outside the Philippines. One reason is because if some problems arise, I will not be able to resolve them immediately since I’m too far from home.

Of course, the first thing I will do is to search for tips on how to safely withdraw money from ATM machines in Bali, and I was lucky enough to have come across this useful article:

CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL ARTICLE:
10 RULES FOR WITHDRAWING MONEY AT ATMS IN BALI, INDONESIA

withdrawing money at atms in bali: BCA Kerobokan
I was able to safely and successfully withdraw my money here at BCA Kerobokan
withdrawing money at atms in bali: BCA Kerobokan
I was able to safely and successfully withdraw my money here at BCA Kerobokan

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A Complete Guide to 12 Halal Restaurants in Boracay Island, Philippines

CHECK OUT OTHER HALAL RESTAURANTS IN THE PHILIPPINES:
MANILA
CEBU CITY
BAGUIO CITY

Are you looking for halal restaurants in Boracay Island? Scroll dowwn below! 🙂

Halal Restaurants in Boracay
Are there halal restaurants in Boracay?

Boracay Island? Definitely the most beautiful island in the world that travelers from all parts of the world desire to go to. However, I know for a fact that the Philippines, despite having a significant number of Muslim citizens, lacks a comprehensive information on halal restaurants (whether in Manila, Boracay, Cebu, among others). I have many Muslim friends inside and outside the Philippines, and for their benefit (and for every Muslim traveler’s benefit), I did a research and compiled this list of 11 halal restaurants in Boracay Island*. I wish I was able to eat on these restaurants and review them during my stay there. But I can always go back to do it, right?

*This list is solely based on online research. So if you want to add something to this list and perhaps suggest corrections, feel free to shoot me a message at my Instagram (instagram.com/wheressherlyn) or at email address sherlynmaehernandez@gmail.com.

Baharat Kabsa Steakhouse

https://www.instagram.com/p/BDzgU39qxu3/

This is one of the most accessible halal restaurants in Boracay because it is located right a the heart of D’Mall.

D’Mall, Station 2 (beside Thai Basil Restaurant), Boracay
+639189512291; +639166860160
facebook.com/pages/Baharat-KABSA-Steakhouse/738859079577806

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Kasbah Boracay

https://www.instagram.com/p/BsCLlgFF14g/

One of the halal restaurants in Boracay is famous for its Moroccan specialties like Hummus Harissa and Lamb Tagine.

White Beach, Station 1, Boracay
kasbahboracay@gmail.com
+63362884790
facebook.com/kasbah.boracay
instagram.com/kasbahboracay
kasbahrestaurantboracay.com

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True Food Indian Cuisine

It is a two-storey halal restaurant in Boracay along the White Beach which offers a wide variety of Indian food.

Station 2, Boracay
truefood_boracay@yahoo.com
+63362883142
facebook.com/TruefoodBoracay

Bismillah Halal Turkish Kebab BBQ House

And oh, they also deliver halal food 24 hours! The only one among all halal restaurants in Boracay that offers such service 🙂

Barangay Ambulong, Station 3, Boracay (behind Red Cross office)
facebook.com/semseymamikail
instagram.com/bismillahhalalturkishkebab

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Boracay Jannah Halal Food

They serve Middle Eastern, Malaysian and Indonesian cuisine. Oh wait, they also have Western food in their menu!

Station 1, Boracay
facebook.com/pg/Boracay-Jannah-Halal-Food-1426546967658266

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Tilapia and Chips

Tilapia is the most cultured freshwater fish in the Philippines and this restaurant is obviously absolutely non-pork serving.

Kamayan Building, Balabag, Boracay
bmcgrath1234@yahoo.ca
facebook.com/tilapianchips
instagram.com/tilapianchips

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Vintana Restaurant (Shangri-La Boracay)

Previous Muslim guests have reviewed Shangri-La Boracay as one of the most Muslim-friendly places in the island. Bonus: their rooms have prayer direction markers.

Brgy. Yapak, Boracay
slbo@shangri-la.com
http://www.shangri-la.com/boracay
facebook.com/ShangrilaBoracay
instagram.com/shangrilaboracay

halal restaurants in boracay

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Khalil Muslim Food Stall

You can buy seafood at the D’Talipapa (talipapa means wet market), and they will have it cooked for you.

Behind Kim-Nor Souvenir Shop, D’Talipapa, Station 2, Boracay

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The Kingdom of Boracay Arabic and Indian Restaurant and Coffee Shop

https://www.instagram.com/p/BgRPOvfHE_J/
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.430506607125373&type=1&l=22e6748242

Look, guys! A huuuuuge menu!

Station 2, Boracay (near The Amazing Show)
*From White Beach, follow the alley between Red Coconut and La Reserve
*From the Main Road, follow the alley beside the Lying-in Clinic
kingdomofboracay@rocketmail.com
+639156426368
facebook.com/The-Kingdom-of-Boracay-Arabic-and-Indian-Restaurant-Coffee-Shop-149593645216672/
instagram.com/kingdom_of_boracay

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Sunset View Resto Bar

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

This is the first and so far the only restaurant in Boracay Island with a Halal-certified kitchen.

Paradise Garden Resort Hotel, Station 3, Boracay
+63362883411
facebook.com/paradisegardenresortboracay
instagram.com/paradisegardenresortboracay
paradisegarden-boracay.com

halal restaurants in boracay

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Spibo Boracay

Not a restaurant but a travel agency which provides Boracay Halal Tours with a Halal Buffet! How cool is that?

travel@gojavalava.com
+639062042672
facebook.com/SpiboBoracay

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Alliyah’s Halal Food Restaurant

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.687865744678091&type=1&l=1b502e326e

They say it’s a very simple restaurant but has an excellent service and good food. orth trying, I think?

Stall 18, EMall, Old Talipapa, Manoc-Manoc, Boracay
+639279729959
https://www.facebook.com/Alliyahs-halal-food-restaurant-687862234678442/

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There you have it! I hope you were able to decide where to eat from this list of halal restaurants in Boracay. Happy eating!

Halal Restaurants in Boracay: More recommendations are welcome!

Guys, I wanna know if you want to add something on the list. Also, please shoot me a message at my Instagram (instagram.com/wheressherlyn) or at email address sherlynmaehernandez@gmail.com for possible corrections. Thank you and happy travels to the most beautiful island in the world! 🙂

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Where to Stay in Boracay?

Travel Guides about Boracay

For more travel articles about the Philippines, click on the banner below:

Where's Sherlyn Travel and Food Blog Philippines

5 Reasons To Check In at The Journey Hotel Laksi in Bangkok, Thailand

So, we stumbled upon this very nice hotel in Bangkok during our stay there: The Journey Hotel Laksi. With its strategic location, affordable rates, good interiors, and nice staff, your stay will be so worth it! Here are 5 photos which will make you want to book a room in this lovely hotel:

But before that, please check this other post I have about Bangkok:

Also, please check out the simple vlog I made about Bangkok:

And without any other further ado, the list!

1. Journey Hotel Laksi’s Facade

Hotels in Bangkok: The Journey Hotel
Hotels in Bangkok: The Journey Hotel

2. The World Map mural in its lobby

Hotels in Bangkok: The Journey Hotel
Hotels in Bangkok: The Journey Hotel

3. Its beautiful common area interior

Hotels in Bangkok: The Journey Hotel
Hotels in Bangkok: The Journey Hotel

4. Its cozy rooms

Hotels in Bangkok: The Journey Hotel
Hotels in Bangkok: The Journey Hotel

5. Every part of the place is just Instagrammable!

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bm2WrdRHyQy/

I was able to have another chance to travel to Bangkok this 2019, and I am excited about sharing my brand new set of experiences this time!

The Journey Hotel Laksi Contact Information

THE JOURNEY HOTEL LAKSI – โรงแรม เดอะ เจอร์นีย์ โฮเทล หลักสี่
345 65 Ngam Wong Wan 47 Alley, Khwaeng Thung Song Hong, Khet Lak Si, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10210, Thailand
+66 2 954 9226
facebook.com/thejourneyhotel
instagram.com/thejourneyhotelbangkok
Email: thejourneyhotel@gmail.com

the journey hotel laksi
the journey hotel laksi

For other travel tips on Thailand, click on the photo below:

Where's Sherlyn Travel and Food Blog Thailand

LONELY PLANET TRAVEL GUIDES ABOUT THAILAND

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15 (of the so many) Awesome Spots to Visit in Myanmar

Spots to Visit in Myanmar

Since opening up its borders to the world, especially for tourists, Myanmar has always been one of the most recommended places to visit worldwide. In fact, it was number 9 in the Top 10 countries of the Best in Travel 2016 book by Lonely Planet. My 2016 travel to Myanmar has been the best thus far. I am hereby recommending these 15 Myanmar Travel Spots to include in your itineraries as you visit this golden spectacular country:

But before that, you might wanna check out this other Myanmar Guide article I wrote based on Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown episode on Myanmar:

If you haven’t seen the said episode yet, you may check the trailer below:

SPOTS TO VISIT IN MYANMAR: MANDALAY

1. Mandalay Palace

https://www.instagram.com/p/B3e_jwcn0Hp/

The Mandalay Palace is the last royal palace of the last Burmese monarchy and was said to be built around mid-1800s. However, the current structure existing is only a replica of the original. The top of the spiral watchtower will give you a spectacular view (such as shown in the photo above). I recommend you to devote 1-2hours to go around the complex because it is really huge. Entrance fee is MKY10,000.

2. Kuthodaw Pagoda

https://www.instagram.com/p/B6ch85-HUea/

Maha Lawkamarazein or Kuthodaw Inscription Shrines (which literally means Royal Merit) contains the world’s largest book and was inscribed on the Register by UNESCO in 2013. This stupa is located at the foot of the Mandalay Hill and is patterned after Shwegizon Pagoda. It contains 729 marble slabs with Buddhust scriptures displayed in them.

3. Sutaungpyei Pagoda at Mandalay Hill

Spots to Visit in Myanmar: Sutaungpei Pagoda