Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Boracay Budget for 2

To put it out there, I hate planning for vacations! Especially the budgeting part cause you've never been to that place, so how the heck would you know how much you should bring right? Lol. It's such a hassle to ask around or Google for blogs (which might lead some of you here lol)  to get the budget right. 

Anyhoo, just in case I might go Boracay again or just helping anyone out there who needed some rough ideas on the budget, I've decided to pen down my spending right here. 

For a more accurate idea, my budget is gonna EXCLUDE flight and accommodation cause those are kinda like sunk cost right? You spend it before you even reach there so I'm not gonna include those two things. But I totally want to give a shout out to our hotel, though! We stayed in Levantin Boracay Resort and it's MARVELOUS!!

A resort hotel with music playing 24/7 but its not loud enough to hear from the rooms

And it comes with hammocks and this view!

The hotel staff are very friendly and are always ready to help with any requests/problems you may have. The resort is situated away from the main tourist attraction, i.e. Station 1, 2 and 3 so the nights are quiet and the mornings are not crowded. The food is also SO GOOD AND CHEAP that I don't find the need to leave the hotel for food. Best of all, since it is away from all the lights, you can actually see the night sky filled with stars! I highly recommend this hotel! 

We spent 5 nights here and it costs us about RM750! That averages out to RM150 so it's pretty affordable.

Ok, time for the budget. For the entire 6 days (excluding flight and accommodation), we spent a grand total of:
Well actually this was all the money we brought but *ahem* IT'S DEFINITELY MORE THAN ENOUGH! But I was actually quite shocked when I found out that Boracay's standard of living is almost the same as or maybe even higher than KL!

This RM2,500 included:
[1] FOOD
Our most expensive meal cost about RM250, which consisted of seafood, seafood and more seafood. The initial plan was to buy seafood from D'Talipapa market, bring back to our hotel to cook and eat, but one of the staff suggested that we buy from the local market instead as the seafood there is equally fresh but at half the price. If you want to go here, its better to get a local guide to to bargain for you, otherwise you will get charged the tourist price anyways.

Scenery around the local market, a little ways away from D'Talipapa

Drumroll please! Next up is our catch of the day! We let our chef decide how best to cook our seafood and this was what he came up with:




We also explored along the beach and found some good food places. I am quite satisfied with Philippine food lol. Suits my extremely Asian appetite! There are many food choices in Station 1, 2 and 3 but if all else fails, there must be some good food in D'Mall which is the largest open shopping mall in Boracay.

Lemon slice from Lemoni Cafe, D'Mall

Of course, the food covers alcohol! San Miguel Light from the hotel bar

The choices of drinks here are pretty limited. It's either beer, cocktail or shakes! The cocktails are very cheap by the way! Maybe like RM10? So yeah! DRINK ALL THE COCKTAILS!

When you're sick of rice, western food is readily available too. 
This set is about RM23. Also from Levantin.

In fact, you can find a lot of foreign cuisine in Boracay which are good options once you get sick of the local food which by the way involves rice for every meal lol.

Pork Sisig
This is RM 8.50. 

Sorry ah.. the cheap price tag is difficult to find. I only managed to find one place this cheap lol. It's along the beach from Levantin so it's far from the tourist areas, hence, the price tag.

Their typical local food which has rice, egg and some mysterious meat lol. They also grill their meat a lot so it's like having Satay actually.
[2] Water Sports
This is the killer of your budget but meh it's almost expected right? I MUST WARN EVERYONE, THOUGH! When I was in Boracay, I had several experiences whereby what you actually get is different from what they showed you.

For example, I was told that I will be visiting 3 island attraction spots during island hopping but in actual fact it's 1 island and a choice between the 2nd or 3rd island. And when we were on the sailing boat, we were promised a sunset sail but our given timing was at 4pm when the sun only sets about 7pm wtf! But we didn't wanna argue anything so we just let it slide. Just please be wary of the cheeky water sports vendors!

Anyway, we booked a package with the hotel (don't ask me if the hotel knows about the cheats since I didn't want confrontation). It's a fixed price so we didn't have to bargain and everything is arranged for you. You just have to.... show up at the time they told you to! 

Our package cost RM500 EACH. Here are some of the things we did:

Half Day Island Hopping

Which consisted of includes a few activities like snorkeling in the open sea, Crystal Cove Island / Magic Island (for cliff diving, which I didn't manage to go) and Puka Beach

Swimming at Puka Beach cause there's nothing to do there other than drinking overprice shakes and chill on beach beds. I think swimming is the better option well cause its free hehe

Someone being hero for this picture 

More swimming in Crystal Cove. Can you spot me?

In addition to island hopping, the RM500 package also included helmet diving, parasailing and sailing for 'sunset' watching.

A fish got my nose during helmet diving!

My 1st try on parasailing and it's quite fun during take off and landing. The middle part is just dangling in mid air with nothing to do haha

Not sunset yet sailing

So if you ask me, the RM500 package is actually quite worth it la! So many things included! Good enough to keep us occupied for two days!

Of course, being itchy butts, we went for paddle surfing on our own! On the first time, we were charged RM50 an hour but on the second time, we were charged RM40 only! So please negotiate haha

It's actually rather easy but please wear life jackets! Cause I paddle quite far in and suddenly remembered I don't have any on and if I do fall... I might die lol
[3] Souvenirs 
There's seriously nothing much to buy haha! I only managed to buy some key chains, one magnet, 2 tee shirts and some mini wallets lol. Nothing out of the ordinary. The most expensive souvenir I bought is one hand painted tee shirt which cost about RM60! 

But there's really nothing much I can buy back! Even food.. there's nothing that is interesting as well lol!

The most interesting thing there is this.... Real toad wallet. Gave me goosebumps so... NO WAY I'LL BUY THIS! hahaha
[4] Massages
I was initially quite sad when I walk pass massage parlors and saw prices like RM80 - RM90 which is very much like KL price. But then! When I was walking around Station 2, I saw many beach beds lying around with woman yelling "Massage~ Massage".  Did a double take and woah woah! Massage by the beach is only RM35 an hour! SOLD! Of course, since there's the two of us, we negotiated for a cheaper price of RM30 an hour. 

Check out the view when you're getting the massage!

It's not some half-assed massage but a rather enjoyable one. We went twice and still think we didn't have enough! Lol. One of the cheaper activities to do in Boracay!
[5] Transport
This is another big item cause travelling to Boracay is A NIGHTMARE!
4 hours flight + 2 hours taxi/bus + 15 mins ferry + 15-20 mins tuk tuk!
Really can die! The travelling itself to and from Kalibo is super murderous and we got so tired after all the travelling!

The transport, which includes taxi, ferry and tuk-tuk, is approximately RM140 per person for both ways. The fee also includes the environmental fee by the way so you like it or not you have to pay it before you board the ferry.

Word of advice, don't carry some ultra huge luggage cause you'll have a BAAAAD time trying to board the ferry lol. And also, please arrange it with your hotel cause I did that for my return trip and it's so different from arranging it yourself which can be quite tedious and annoying when 50 people are trying to stuff their best taxi deals at your face. You're on a vacation! Pay a little more for the peace of mind lol
[6] Airport terminal fee
This is a tourist trap too! If you spent all your money and forgot to budget for this, you're gonna have a rough time lol. Before you depart, you have to pay about RM70 per person at the airport or else you can bid your flight goodbye! 

We nearly forgotten about it but luckily we have some money left in our pockets or else.. we might have to pay the steep credit card exchange rate haha

Well.. I guess there's where we spent our money on. RM2,500 for 6 days isn't too bad I guess. We had a really good time there and if you really feel like relaxing, Boracay is a solid choice. 

Ok signing off now! So hungry from blogging about food!

If you have any questions for me, feel free to drop a comment here!


Sunday, July 31, 2016

Recap on My MIA Month


I am sorry for neglecting you my dear blog! As usual, I am very busy with work lately. Unfortunately, I’ve been tapping away on my laptop even on weekends. If I have any spare time I’d rather catch a shut eye than blog hahahha. Priorities right?

But seriously, after Boracay, a chain of events happened and I am drown with work as well. So for a quick recap of my MIA month…
[1] My relatives came back from HK!
Grandma, aunt and cousins came back and I’ve been babysitting A LOT! Bring them to places they’ve never been and just basically have fun ala Malaysian style! I always treasure times when they come back KL simply because they hardly do.

A reminder of how I am not young anymore! Hanging out with a teen and a kid is enough to kill me wtf!
[2] Work
Aha… So unfortunate how I wanna make a list but item 2 itself is almost the WHOLE of my list. 
Basically, I am still learning about work and try to do my very best. Of course, I tripped, fell and drown along the way  but that’s life right? *things I tell myself to make myself feel better*

My routine last week has been waking up early and going home around 12 or 1… Totally justifies
why I didn’t manage to blog right? Haha. Even my dates involves bringing out my laptop!
[3] I signed up for professional exams!
On top of all that, I’ve decided to take some I-am- likely-gonna- fail kinda professional paper. Well I’ve always wanted to study but I doubt I can cope with Masters unless I quit my job. So, for now, I’ve decided to take up a professional paper first and let’s see where life will take me next. I honestly have been so lazy that I’ve been leaving things to chance and fate haha. Not to say lazy but I am too occupied to think so far ahead on the “what ifs”.
[4] I got community acquired pneumonia
I KNOW RIGHT!! What are the chances of that happening and yet it happened to me! I have no clue where I got it from or how bad it might get if I didn’t detect it earlier. But thank goodness that I recovered with the antibiotics cause the shortness of breath is NOT FUN! It’s as if I am having breathing difficulties and it hurts when I breathe. I also had quite high of a fever but I am still so stubborn and refused to rest. Of course, I was forced to rest and thankfully I recovered or wtf I might be blogging from the hospital *choi*

This time I have to give my bf some credit though, he accompanied me to the clinic… Actually, accompany me is an understatement since it’s more like he forced me lol. Then he followed me home by tailing my car, worrying that I might faint while driving. It’s such a sweet gesture and I really felt so warm and loved *heart in eyes*

Ah shit… My life is clearly a bore. Anyway, the post is meant to be a short update to tell myself (or anyone who cares) that hello! I’m alive! Lol. My Boracay post is still happily sitting in my draft (guilt) and I guess when everything is settled down, I will pick up blogging again!

Never give up on your hobbies easily right? 

I swear I will finish up my Boracay post... soon. Before that, here's my stupid face!

Bye bye!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Premiere Screening of Independence Day: Resurgence


Haven't been to a movie premiere in the longest time but when I heard Independence Day is coming up with a sequel, I know that I HAVE TO WATCH IT AT ALL COST! 

I cannot stress how many times have I watched the 1996 Independence Day movie. Heck, I think I even learn the word 'independence' from this movie. It really is one of my many favorite movie. Undeniably, I had quite a high expectation for the movie and I was really excited, anticipating the movies a few days before the movie premiere.

Special shout out to Nuffnang for the movie tickets!

Now for the actual review:
I give the movie some plus points for linking the 1st and 2nd movie together
Honestly, I was so in awe to see some characters from the 1st movie being in the 2nd movie. Well actually I'm more like shocked wtf! Some characters which I thought is dead surprisingly aren't dead. Like the mad scientist who was attacked by an alien in the 1st movie was in comma for 20 years! Crazy!

The kids in the 1st movie like Patricia, the president's daughter; Dylan, Will Smith's son; and Jake, the son of the suicide hero was in there as well (played by Liam Hemsworth! Bless the beautiful genes of Mr. and Mrs. Hemsworth! lol).

Picture credit: Rollingstone.com

Unfortunately, some characters didn't link well.. I mean Will Smith's wife was an exotic dancer but 20 years later she became a doctor????? This is so odd. Perhaps when humans are almost wiped out they lack manpower so they trained her to be a doctor???

Nevertheless, I am happy to see President Thomas J. Whitmore is BACK! 

Source: ok.com
OMG AIN'T HE CUTE (20 years ago)

My mom and I had the craziest crush on him from the 1st movie and seeing him in action again made me go o~la~la~ But he became some crazy old man so meh! 

His crazy old man look now wtf

Quite disappointing... Anyway, he did has his charms still which unfortunately did not have a chance to shine because...
The movie is trying to cramp too many things in a short movie
A good movie, like the 1st Independence Day movie is very focused and it's just following through the main point i.e. the aliens attacking.

The 2nd movie is ALL OVER THE PLACE! There's defense on the moon, the hiding president, the wave of unplanned attacks by the military, and there's SO MANY MAIN CHARACTERS!

Like the lime light was on everyone so you only get a glimpse of everyone without going into details. Unlike the 1st movie which only focused on 3 characters and there are interactions between all 3. The 2nd movie did not hit that mark and I feel like it's really all over the place. Also, because they wanted to squeeze so many stories in a 2 hours movie, everything was rushed through. There is not building up of the storyline so everyone is like irrational and doing lots of stupid things without thinking through.
The alien attack is anti-climatic
So sorry to say this, unlike the 1st movie which has a destructive ray that fire across town... The damage from the 2nd movie was purely from it LANDING ON EARTH ZZZ. So meh~~~ Try harder please aliens!! Shoot us! We'll die in like 5 minutes! 

Credit: Nuffnang blog
Damage from landing....
Gonna give credit to the CG effects though
Well... It's been 20 years and the aliens looked as cool as ever! The realism of the space shuttles on the moon and the alien-ish effects are very awesome. 

Credit: Nuffnang blog

Overall, I think the movie is a let down from the first movie. But if you didn't wanna compare, I was on the edge of my seat, nervously waiting if they are able to defeat the aliens! The fact that I was so anxious and had an adrenaline crush after, it shows that the movie is not bad right? At least it intrigued me so much.

I will still rate it a 7/10  and it's still a good watch. Might not be a memorable movie but still a good watch.

Well.. that's the end of my review and before the next post... toodles!