Thursday, September 3, 2009

Things we did well (and would recommend to others)

Hong Kong is awesome. Disney is great for the kids even in wet weather. Next time we'll do Hong Kong for a lot longer and hit the markets, harbour and other tourist bits.

Next, taking a week at Batangas at one of the beach resorts there. We chose Punto Miguel which was great. Warning is to take in everything you want (eg food, mosquito repelant, water, etc.) as thats not provided. We had a great time. The resort organised the trip back to Manila, cost was 4,000 peso's.

Next, the stay in Manila at Fernandina 88 suites was good but wouldn't have stayed for a week in hindsite. Advice is to get across the street into the malls. The farmers market mall is very filipino and not expensive. The SM is an up-market department store with a supermarket in the basement. Shopwise is very good value for groceries and the like. Gateway is an award winning mall, I didn't get it, seemed to be all these up-market shops that were out of place. Top floor of Ali Mall is a good food court with a mix of filipino and american style fast food. Oh, and between the malls were lots of starbucks etc.

Best thing we did in Manila was spend some money and do a private tour with Rhea Mari ( Rhea is an ex-social worker and knows what small kids can take. We got to see some of the history of the Philippines as well as the Mall of Asia (enormous!)

Finally, leaving Manila and feeling very tense we were at the airport and approached by a hostess to use the facilities at Club Manila. Cost was 650peso per person but we negotiated 1,950 for the 5 of us considering the kids weren't a major burden. It was relaxed, food, drink and internet was complimentary, we had use of a clean toilet. It was less than 5 minutes to get to the departure gate. This was probably the best sanity break we did and I think made the flight home a lot better.

Thats it.


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