Sunday, December 30, 2012

Jumping Places: My 2012 Travels

@ Sunway Lagoon, KL, Malaysia
I think 2012 was the year when I visited most places. It was a fun, exciting and an awesome travel year!

For me, places are like people. They live, breathe in their own ways. I meet them, get to know them, I fall in love with them, sometimes despise them, or pity them.  But always I learn something from them.  They give me different perspectives, making mine wider than it ever has been.  I miss them, and then rejoice in the sight of them again.  They also make me miss and love more my own place, where I grew up, where my loved ones live, whenever I am away.  I love places.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Keeping Up with Saigon's Energy

After the APT Asian Series Cambodia which was held in one of the casinos in the Cambodia-Vietnam border, we went back to Ho Chi Minh (formerly Saigon), Vietnam to get to know this popular tourist destination and bustling city.

When crossing the border...
On our way from Vietnam to Cambodia, we rode a hotel service car so the only time we had to get off the car was in the Cambodia Immigration to give our passports and pay USD 20 each.  This was not an official payment, but part of the twisted system, if you know what I mean...

Now crossing back from Cambodia to Vietnam, we had to walk quite a distance as the hotel car was prohibited to cross the border.  There were locals in motorcycles who will offer to carry your luggage across.  It was raining and it was really a hassle, so we agreed to have our luggage carried.  When we got to the bus which will take us to Ho Chi Minh City, the men in motorcycles were ripping us off with USD 10 for carrying our luggage, I refused to pay that. Good thing the guy from the hotel who went with us to assist us in immigration told us to only give USD 3.

It is very important to stay alert at all times. If you can carry your own luggage across the border, do so.

Cambodia-Vietnam Border

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Italian Dining Pleasure Al Fresco at Buon Giorno Tagaytay

Looking for a perfect spot in Tagaytay to hold intimate Christmas gatherings with friends and family?  Here's one for the holidays!

Yan and I celebrated our anniversary in this relaxing Italian restaurant overlooking the Taal Lake - Buon Giorno Caffe and Bistro in Cliff House Tagaytay.  We arrived at 11 AM, before everyone else, for lunch so we got the benefit of picking the most sought for seat in the house, the Opium Bed.  There are two of this seat in the resto, the one which we chose was located at the far end of the outside dining area with the magnificent view of the lake, while the other one is just beside the entrance of the restaurant.

The opium bed at Buon Giorno - best seat in the house!

We had Baby Back Ribs, Spaghettini Aglio Olio and New York Pizza.  The Baby Back Ribs option prevailed over Rib Eye, next time we'll try the latter.  The Aglio Olio was a no-brainer, it's always my default pasta choice. ;) I looove pasta in oil. Both were very good. The pizza was so-so, not as wonderful as the other two.  Servings were in small portions and is good for only one person, maybe two if you are sharing more than two dishes. I like the bread as well, which was complimentary and which basket was kept refilled throughout.   There were balsamic vinegar and olive oil for dip.

Baby Back Ribs (PHP 598)

Spaghettini Aglio Olio (PHP 272)

New York Pizza (PHP 295)

The stunning view from the opium bed.

Buon Giorno Caffe and Bistro at lunch time

Outside dining, this fills up first before the inside of the restaurant.  Well, that's why you're in Tagaytay right?

Inside the restaurant where diners go when the outside area is already full.

The complete menu for your picking!

For the dessert, we opt to buy some ice cream at the ice cream station just beside the restaurant (near the bathroom) which we still enjoyed at the opium bed. :)   Buon Giorno Caffe and Bistro is located inside Cliff House Tagaytay in General Emilio Aguinaldo Highway, Tagaytay City. Phone number is (046) 413 210.  It's open from Monday to Sunday, 7:30 AM to 10:30 PM.

We enjoyed Buon Giorno's meals, its ambiance and the service, and we'll definitely come back for more!  ♥

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