DeeWanderlust: Paoay Church and Culili Point Adventure

I’m so happy that I’m finally doing another travel post after such a long time! This one is about Paoay, Ilocos Norte, Philippines. When I went on holiday, I had to visit the Northern part of the country as I hear so many good things about it but I just never had the chance to really visit. It was quite far away from the area where we usually stay and yes that equals to long drives but all I can say was it was worth it. We went to so many amazing places in the North that I had to break my blog post in few parts but for now here is my Deewanderlust adventure in Paoay, Ilocos Norte:

3589744E-7D58-4A76-A511-D50D66925B19

As you can see in the photo, Paoay Church also known as San Agustine Church is absolutely beautiful. It’s overall design of Gothic and baroque emphasises its beauty and history. I am not surprised why it is considered as one of the oldest and most beautiful churches in the entire Philippines. It is under a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) World Heritage Site under the group of Baroque Churches of the Philippines.

36BFC65F-7810-49C1-9D24-22717F894D41

How I wish I got to show the interior of the church as it also looks amazing. It had coral stones, bricks and impressive architectural styles. The locals were explaining to us how the church stood the test of time. It had obviously survived countless typhoons and earthquakes. However, it was partially damaged during the strong earthquakes in 1865 and 1885. Nonetheless, I still think that it is stunning and the history behind it makes it even more beautiful. It almost reminds me of our local church in Morong Bataan (Our Lady of the Pillar Parish Church).

6215073B-89F5-4E70-B680-73567D240CA7

Culili Point Sand Dunes Adventure – 4×4 ride and sand boarding

I’ll start off by saying that this was the highlight of my visit in the North!!! I loved the 4×4 ride adventure. I was sceptical at first and a bit overwhelmed as it wasn’t really part of our itinerary but my uncle decided to take us to this place because he said it will be fun. He was right, it was super fun and extreme! We went in a big group but only few of us rode on the 4×4 but can you believe that even my dad’s older sister joined us.

2AE979EC-F629-49E1-89C2-B17C37774951

We had to stand at the back of the ride and I remember the adrenaline it gave when we knew that we were going steep and downhill, so fun!

32CAAF5C-F14B-4BC0-B9A2-29344B66507D

The view was absolutely stunning, the sand, sea, sun, dunes, desert everything!  Sometimes it’s nice to see an empty space as it makes you appreciate nature more. Lucky enough our driver stopped a few times for us to be able to take photos, I mean if he didn’t I would have asked him to anyway. 😊

AD86BBB4-2931-4055-9990-2C092E98E1F2

There was a sand boarding area at the end of our driving experience. However, I didn’t get to try this. Some of my family members had a go and they said it was fun and had an amazing experience. I mean how often can you surf in the sand? 😊  Unfortunately, we didn’t get to stay in this area for too long as we had other places to go to. As you can see I was wearing a dress that day, I decided not to try it as I think I was not dressed appropriately for it and honestly, I was not in the mood to surf in the sand but I enjoyed watching and cheering other people surf.

8A7A3874-22A3-49E2-969A-3E847BE7429A

Overall, I loved my 4×4 adventure and would recommend it if you have the chance to visit the place. Not only that Culili Point will give you an amazing experience and the adrenaline rush but there are also loads of other beautiful places to visit within the area.

D4017CD9-7655-48DD-9A78-68BE819A8B11

 What is the best adventure you have done so far or planning to experience? Give me ideas, I need to add some on my bucket list!

Lots of love from,

dsb

Advertisements

DeeWanderlust: Prague, Czech Republic

Prague, Czech Republic is such a wonderful place. It will definitely be a city that I would want to go back to. It offers breathtaking views, historic gardens, gothic cathedrals and many more. I am so in love with Prague and I appreciate the city’s diversity of architecture as they have both historical and modern ones. There are some places that are less known attraction but ended up being the highlight of my trip. The food were amazing and relatively affordable in relation to prices of food here in London. The people were so friendly and helpful especially when I have to ask for directions, they seemed to not be annoyed with tourist asking them questions. They also have few shopping malls such asNový Smíchov, Palladium, Chodov and many more. I love how they have Sephora, I literally went inside Sephora every single day that I was there. I had to take advantage as for some strange reason we don’t have any Sephora stores in London, therefore Sephora line of products are quite hard to get hold of. Overall, I enjoyed my holiday as the city has full of character and life. I absolutely loved every bit of it. Also, when I was there the sun was shining throughout the whole week which made my stay even more amazing!

Prague’s International Airport

Prague’s tram: The tram can actually access places like downtown Prague. These are the locations where the buses do not get to enter. They also have night trams, which runs from midnight to 4:30am but I would reccommend to first check the schedule if you are thinking of using it at night.

Walk around the city: Walking is very much enjoyable in Prague. The good thing about it is that if you are close to a landmark, it is pretty much certain than you are surrounded with other good spots within walking distance. For instance, if you are in Old Town Square, the surrounding places around it are interesting (such as Charles Bridge and Wencelas Square) which are all within 30 minutes walk. 

Visit churches: There are full of historical architectures around the city and Prague’s churches are a must-visit. The photo below is St. Salvator Church in Cahrles Bridge, which is said to be one of the largest and most complex building in the Old Town. The baroque architectures, sandstone sculptures and a dome painted with fresco are some of the reasons why I find the St. Salvator Church so majestic. Enjoy the view: I found that one of the best views I got was when I went up the Prague Castle. It was so clear to me Prague is such a picturesque city. I definitely got to admire the ancient side of things and it was definitely something very memorable for me.

Look up at the Astronomical Clock: this medieval clock was installed in the year 1410, which makes it the third-oldest astronomical clock in the world. I would recommend to wait to a round hour so that you will be able to watch the famous moving figures of the clock. This is located in the famous Old Town Square of Prague.

Visit the Old Town Square: This has got to be one of my personal favourite spot in Prague. It is such a historic square, which is located between Charles Bridge and Wenceslas Square. I remember being here and admiring how magical the place looked. It has various architectural styles including the Gothic Church of our Lady before Týn, the astronomical clock and the Baroque St. Nicholas Church. It also features statues and memorials within the Town Square. What I love the most about this place is the vibe. It has such a fun and happy vibe. The place had street performers who were playing satisfying music from classical, pop to rock and other genre. Some were dance performers and magicians. The Old Town Square is a must visit when in Prague. img_5547img_5559

Try the Czech traditional cuisines: There are loads of great restaurants and cafés all over the city. One of the most popular traditional side dish is knedliky (dumplings), which includes either pork or beef meat with sauce. Tasteful Czech cuisines usually includes chicken, fish, duck, turkey, lamb and rabbit. I found that they also serve Guláš everywhere, which I love because it reminded me of my trip to Budapest. However, goulash actually belongs to the traditional Hungarian cuisine. The dishes mentioned are recommended to combine with beer and Prague offers loads of beer options aswell as their own brand of Pilsner Urquell.img_5642img_5805

The photo below shows Czech’s traditional cake and sweet pastry, which is called trdelník. It is made from rolled dough that is wrapped around a stick, which they then grill and top with sugar and walnut mix and sometimes even coat with nutella. 

I totally enjoyed this potato chip spiral. This particular one from the photo below was located at the Old Town Square. It was perfect for snacks while I waited for the hour to watch the famous moving figures of the astronomical clock. 

Cross the Charles Bridge: This is one of the first tourist spot that I got to visit as I crossed the bridge on my first day of getting to the city. I absolutely love the Baroque statues, I have never seen anything like it before. It felt very medieval, it was like I was living in a different era. Even though the place was popular with tourists; it was somehow still very peaceful for me. I was admiring the unique structures of the building and I was definitely loving the vibe. I also got to dine in one of the restaurants by the bridge and it was such an amazing experience. It was very romantic as live classical music was playing while having delicious dinner and of course being surrounded by the beautiful scenery was so memorable. 

These are some of the paintings that they sell by the bridge. As you can see, they all look so lovely and the artists are clearly very talented. 

Out of all the photo that I took in Prague, the photo below has got to be one of my favorite. It looks so magical and it felt so wonderful being able to witness that kind of view. The river, trees, building and the sky are absolutely captured perfectly in a photo. I loved how the sun was peeking, which is also surrounded with blue skies. It felt like it was shining upon someone or something. I stayed in this spot for quite a while until the sun went down, which was so beautiful to witness.

Tour Prague castle (breathtaking view): The other name for Prague Castle is Pražský Hrad, which is one of the most popular tourist attraction. The castle is located above Malá Strana (the Lesser Town). The good thing is that it is free to enter and wander around the courtyards of Prague Castle. The view in the castle was truly breathtaking as you will be able to see the whole city from a different perspective. 

St. Vitus Cathedral: This cathedral is one of the most recognisable landmark in Prague. It is also the most important church in the country as it contains many Bohemian kings and Holy Roman Emperors’ tombs. I love the detail of the cathedral and its gothic architectural style. I admire the cathedral because of its rose window, the mosaic of the last judgement and its intricate stained glass design.

Check out some souvenirs: I would recommend to go to Havelske Trziste Market in Havelska Street for souvenirs as it is cheaper than buying it in the shops or malls. It is a permanent market that offers souvenirs, arts and crafts, chocolates, sweets, wooden toys, leather goods, ceramics, fruits, vegetables and many more. It is located off Melantrichova, a pedestrian route which links Wencelas Square with the Old Town Square. 

I enjoyed taking the public transport and the picture below shows how cool their stations are. From my experience, the transport was very much straight forward, reliable and convenient. The stations’ design varies from a modern style to an artistic graffiti walls.img_5661

Have you been to Prague, Czech Republic? If so, how was your adventure and if  you haven’t where was you last holiday and how was it? 

Lots of love from,

dsb

DeeWanderlust: Budapest, Hungary

Budapest is such a beautiful place and it will always be special to me. The sceneries are breathtaking, the food was nice and most of all the people were lovely. The people I came across were all so friendly and helpful. I didn’t feel any language barrier as most of them knew how to speak English very well. The place was also not crowded at all or maybe I just got used to living life in the very busy London town. Below are some of the random pictures I have while I was in Budapest:

This is called the Budapest Castle Hill Funicular (Budavári Sikló) and it has two stations. The upper station is the Castle Hill and the lower station is located at the Buda end of the Chain Bridge. Initially, the plan was to take the short ride up to get to Castle Hill. However, when I noticed that there was a walkway to go up the hill, I decided to climb the stairs instead. It was tiring because the hill was quiet steep but it was all worth it as I got to see such an amazing panoramic views.

IMG_6539

These are the shots that I took when I got up the hill. It was almost like it doesn’t matter which angle you take it from because the place is truly beautiful. In the pictures below, you can see the Chain Bridge. This was the first bridge to connect Buda and Pest. It was definitely worth it go up the hill to see the beautiful view. It was the perfect time to reflect on life as it was so peaceful where I was standing while overlooking the busy Budapest.

IMG_6504IMG_6508

This was when I was actually standing on the Chain Bridge. Looking over Danube river and enjoying the view was so peaceful. It reminds me a little bit of our River Thames here in London.

IMG_6509

While walking on the Chain Bridge towards the Parliament, I found a perfect place to chill. As you can see, it has sand and beach benches. It seems like it was a couples’ spot because I remember looking around and seeing couples everywhere. People were drinking beer by the river and watching the sunset.

IMG_6512

The architecture in Budapest is amazing the most obvious one in my photo below is the Hungarian Parliament Building. It looks stunning both in day and night.

IMG_6510

My favourite place in Budapest has got to be the Fisherman’s Bastion (Halászbástya). The place was located on the Buda side of the Danube, on the Castle Hill. I remember seeing it and being so speechless because it literally felt so magical. It felt like I was in one of the real Disney palaces. The real palaces with rich in history and not a colourful with glitters girly version.

IMG_6518IMG_6538

It got even more amazing when I went up the tower’s terraces. I felt like a real princess inside the castle and being able to look at the overview of Budapest. The Danube, Margaret Island, Pest and the Gellért Hill existed. I will never ever forget the excitement that I had while being there as I loved every second of it! I still can’t believe that it did not even cost me any forint to enter the Fisherman’s Bastion.

IMG_6502

I was so glad that I stayed right near Keleti Pályaudvar station as it was very much accessible to mostly all the places that I wanted to visit.

IMG_6536

Of course my DeeWanderlust series in Budapest, Hungary will not be complete if I did not try the best food in the city.IMG_6516IMG_3455

 

Overall, I totally enjoyed my holiday and would love to go back there again. Have you been to Budapest? If so, how was your experience? If not, where was your recent holiday and how was it? 

IMG_6547

 

 Lots of love from,

dsb