Tag Archives: travel

Dubai and Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Choosing a honeymoon destination isn’t easy. The world is filled with amazing places that a lifetime with your partner will never be enough to check out all the marvels God created.

As much as possible, we want our entire married life to be our honeymoon. It may be challenging but based on stories of happy couples, we’re confident that it’s feasible. So yes, we booked four different trips this year.

To start off, we picked Dubai.

We picked Dubai not just because we found cheap airline tickets for it but because we wanted our first honeymoon destination to be different from what we have been to. It was the first time we were going to a different country by ourselves, and of course, we wanted it to be special. We were looking for a mix of modern and traditional, laid-back and busy, somewhere with sun, sand, water, skyscrapers, and of course, adventure. Surely, Dubai gave us all that and more.

Dubai is one of the seven that make up the United Arab Emirates. It is home to Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, and Burj Al Arab, the only 7-star hotel.

Dubai is a very expensive city. Since some people are asking about our itinerary and budget, we intend to present it to you in our blog, along with affordable travel packages that you might want to check out (if you would remember, we run a travel agency, and we’re DTI-registered, yay!) and how to get a tourist visa. Surprisingly, a trip to Dubai could be affordable.

Highlights of this trip include:

  1. Dubai City Tour – Jumeirah Mosque, Jumeirah Beach, Burj Al Arab, Burj Khalifa
  2. Desert Safari – Camel riding, ATV desert ride, Dune bashing, Arabic cultural show
  3. DIY Trips – Dubai Garden Glow at the Zabeel Park, Dubai Mall, Dubai Miracle Garden, Dubai Creek, Gold Souk

3 DAYS AND 3 NIGHTS IN DUBAI AND ABU DHABI FOR P25,518 ALL-IN

February 15 to 18, 2017

We chose Dubai and Abu Dhabi as our honeymoon destination not just because we found cheap airline tickets for it but because we wanted something different from what we have been to. It was the first time we were going to a different country by ourselves, and of course, we wanted it to be special. We were looking for a mix of modern and traditional, laid-back and busy, somewhere with sun, sand, water, skyscrapers, and of course, adventure. Surely, the United Arab Emirates gave us all that and more.

Dubai is one of the seven that make up the United Arab Emirates. It is home to Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, and Burj Al Arab, the only 7-star hotel. It is an expensive city but surprisingly, a trip to Dubai could be affordable.

Meanwhile, Abu Dhabi is the capital of the U.A.E. and is home of its President. It also houses the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, which is the largest mosque in the country.

Here’s an ideal itinerary with expenses for a 3-day and 3-night trip to Dubai and Abu Dhabi (5 days including the 9-hour per way flight):

Day 1

Flight from Manila, PH to Dubai International Airport (DXB), United Arab Emirates

  • Departure from Manila: 3:20 pm
  • Arrival in Dubai: 9:40 pm

(Flying time is around 9 hours)

Check-in at the hotel.

Day 2

9:00 a.m to 2:00 p.m.

  • Dubai City Tour (Gold Souq and Spice Souq, Photo Stop at Dubai Creek, Drive through Jumeira Road, Jumeirah Mosque, Photo Stop at Burj Al Arab, Tour of Palm Jumeria and Atlantis Photo Stop, Sheikh Zayeh Road)

3:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

  • Desert Safari (4×4 Dune Bashing, Camel Rides, Sand Boards, Henna Painting, Local Costume Photography, Live Tanura Show, Live Belly Dance, Live Fire Show, Arabic Tea coffee, Dates, Barbecue, Dinner Buffet and Unlimited Water and Soft drinks)

Day 3

9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

  • Abu Dhabi City Tour (Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi Corniche, Emirates Palace, Drive Through Presidential Palace, Heritage Village, Abu Dhabi Marina Mall, Islamic Art Museum, Dates Market, Drive To Saadiyat. Yas Island and Ferrari World Photo Stop

Day 4

Check-out from the hotel

Free Day until departure from DXB

Day 5

11:00 a.m.

  • Arrival in Manila, PH (Flying time: 9 hours)

Expenses:

Flights – P9,800 (Cebu Pacific’s seat sale)

Philippine Travel Tax – P1,620

Hotel/Accommodation – P8,500 (twin sharing at the Al Farej Hotel, a 3-star hotel) including Round-trip airport transfers and breakfast

Dubai City Tour – P1,600

Desert Safari with Dinner Buffet – P1,999

Abu Dhabi City Tour – P1,999

 

Total: P25,518.

 

We can arrange this travel package for you at the same price. We offer land arrangements (hotel/accommodations and transfers) at Dubai for only P8500 per person and optional tours at the above-mentioned rates Please send us an email at couplemeetsworld@gmail.com for further inquiries and other options.

The itinerary above pretty much covers most of Dubai and Abu Dhabi. However, since we wanted to make the most out our limited time in Dubai, we added some DIY tours of our own, which of course, cost us more. Here is our actual itinerary:

Day 1

Flight from Manila, PH to Dubai International Airport (DXB), United Arab Emirates

  • Departure from Manila: 3:20 pm
  • Arrival in Dubai: 9:40 pm

(Flying time is around 9 hours)

Check-in at the hotel. (We stayed at the Somewhere Hotel Tecom, which is a lovely, clean hotel)

Day 2

9:00 a.m to 2:00 p.m.

  • Dubai City Tour (Gold Souq and Spice Souq, Photo Stop at Dubai Creek, Drive through Jumeira Road, Jumeirah Mosque, Photo Stop at Burj Al Arab, Tour of Palm Jumeria and Atlantis Photo Stop, Sheikh Zayeh Road)

3:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

  • Desert Safari (4×4 Dune Bashing, Camel Rides, Sand Boards, Henna Painting, Local Costume Photography, Live Tanura Show, Live Belly Dance, Live Fire Show, Arabic Tea coffee, Dates, Barbecue, Dinner Buffet and Unlimited Water and Soft drinks)

9:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.

  • Dubai Garden Glow at the Zabeel Park (60 AED per person + taxi fare)

Day 3

9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

  • Abu Dhabi City Tour (Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi Corniche, Emirates Palace, Drive Through Presidential Palace, Heritage Village, Abu Dhabi Marina Mall, Islamic Art Museum, Dates Market, Drive To Saadiyat. Yas Island and Ferrari World Photo Stop

7:00 p.m. to 12:00 M.N.

  • Dubai Mall for the dancing fountain show

Day 4

  • Dubai Miracle Garden (50 AED per person + taxi fare)
  • Souk Madinat Jumeirah (no entrance fee since it is a mall; taxi fare)
  • Gold Souk (no entrance fee since it’s a market; taxi fare)

Departure from DXB

Day 5

11:00 a.m.

  • Arrival in Manila, PH (Flying time: 9 hours)

Please note that for Filipino passport holders, a VISA is required to enter Dubai. We will write about getting one for our next entry. Note that we also offer visa assistance.

Watch our video below, which was featured by Dubai FB page:

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Miyajima (Itsukushima Island), Hiroshima, Japan

June 21, 2016

Still part of anniversary was our trip to Miyajima Island in the Hiroshima Prefecture. It is known for the floating Torii gate, which fronts the Itsukushima Shrine and is believed to be the boundary between the spirit and human worlds. The Torii gate is also part of the Three Scenic Views of Japan (just like Amanohashidate). We particularly chose to visit it at low tide, so we could walk around the gate and fly the drone (LOL).

Some scenes of the Wolverine movie were shot in this island, which also has cute deers roving.

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Amanohashidate, Kyoto, Japan

June 20, 2016

While looking for places to visit in the Kansai region, we stumbled upon articles on this quiet, little place called Amanohashidate, which is one of the Three Scenic Views of Japan, according to Edo period literary artist and scholar Hayashi Gaho. It is located in Miyazu Bay, northern Kyoto.

From Amanohashidate Station, we had to take a ferry and a monorail to the Kasamatsu Park and do “Matanozoki“ to see the breath-taking view of the heaven’s bridge through an upside down bend. We were also able to bike the 3-km. stretch of the Amanohashidate sandbar. It was good we purchased the Amanohashidate Pass (for just 1400 yen per person!), which already covered the ferry ride, chair lift, bike, and train ride from JR Fukuchiyama station (the farthest covered by our rail pass) to Amanohashidate station.

We highly recommend visiting this place!

 

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Kyoto, Japan: Toei Kyoto Studio Park / Toei Uzumasu Eigamura

June 19, 2016

Our rainy second day in Japan was spent at the Toei Kyoto Studio Park, which is home to many anime blockbusters (Dragonball, Sailor Moon, and the original Power Rangers), and where around 200 Japanese films are produced every year. The movie theme park also functions as an Edo period film set. In fact, some scenes of Rurouni Kenshin (Samurai X) were shot there.

Kyoto was once known as the Hollywood of Japan. Instead of spending a day at the Universal Studios Osaka, we thought of checking this park out to learn more about Japanese film-making. We were lucky to have been there on a Sunday as there were many shows happening and mascots roaming around. Truly worth every yen ($2200/person) spent!

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Kyoto, Japan: Golden Pavilion / Kinkaku-ji

June 18, 2016

Our afternoon was spent at the picturesque Golden Pavilion or the Kinkaku-ji, a Zen Buddhist temple and another UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is about a 9-minute bus (Bus No. 204) ride away from the JR Emmachi Station, which in turn is just three stops away from the JR Saga-Arashiyama Station. Also, the hydrangeas found along the way were so pretty.

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Kyoto, Japan: Arashiyama Bamboo Grove and Tenryu-ji

June 18, 2016

We flew to Japan last week for a family vacation. We arrived early in the morning of June 18, claimed our West Kansai-Hiroshima JR pass (which we will be writing about when we summarize our trip), deposited our luggage in the coin lockers found at the train station, and explored Kyoto for our first day. Note that we had no fixed itinerary for the entire trip. We just had some sites in mind (thanks also to suggestions of friends, especially Janna’s boss) but we had to make up our itinerary as we went along because of changes in weather conditions.

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Sagano Bamboo Grove

Our first stop was the Bamboo Grove in Arashiyama, which is considered nationally as a “Place of Scenic Beauty” and also a “Historic Site”. Our photos here do not give justice to the magical feeling of being surrounded by tall bamboos.

Arashiyama Bamboo Grove

Just within the area is also a Buddhist temple built in the 1300’s, the Tenryu-ji, which has been designated as a UNESCO Cultural Heritage Site for being a Historical Monument of Ancient Kyoto.

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Oslob: Whaleshark Watching and Sumilon Island

May 27, 2016

We started our Cebu trip by going to the Cebu South Bus Terminal at around 4A.M. to take an Oslob-bound bus. Fare costs P160 per person.

We asked the conductor to drop us off at Brgy. Tan-awan. There, we were greeted by May-Ann, our contact in Oslob, who took care of tickets for our Whale shark Watching Activity, and our day trip to the Sumilon Island sandbar.

The whale shark is the largest living fish, and swimming with them was a different kind of experience for us. From what we saw, the whale sharks are well taken care of. The municipal officers are strict with rules, and they have marine biologists overseeing everything. However, we can only wish that every visitor interacting with the whale sharks would be as responsible.

After a 30-minute encounter with the whale sharks, we had lunch and prepared for our trip to the Sumilon Island sandbar, which was just a 15-minute boat ride away from Brgy. Tan-awan. We waited until late afternoon for the sandbar to emerge but we had to leave when it was already getting dark. We were able to enjoy the crystal clear waters of the Sumilon Island anyway.

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Osmeña Peak

We’re back from our 3-day Cebu adventure. We got to cover more than what we expected that’s why it’s going to be tough to share everything right away. Maybe, we’ll just do it in installments and then summarize everything in one post later on.

This part is about Osmeña Peak, the highest point in the island of Cebu. Situated in Dalaguete, Cebu, the peak is at 1,072.6 meters above sea level. However, it was a very short hike because the jump-off point is already near the peak. Since we were pressed for time, we didn’t get the chance to hike all the way up, and instead cheated with the help of a motorcycle, or habal-habal to get to the hiker’s registration area. (Note: We chartered two motorcycles for two days to get to different parts of South Cebu to cover as much as possible, and we’ll write about this in the coming days).  From there, it took us around 15 minutes to get to the peak.

The entrance fee is just at P20 per person, while there are no fixed fees set for tour guides.

At the summit, you will see some extraordinary “hilly” formations, the shore of Moalboal, and the islands of Badian, Siquijor, Bohol, and Negros. Definitely a must-do when visiting Cebu!

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