Posts tagged ‘Asia’

May 28, 2021

Yogyakarta , Indonesia!!!

I have said having a great time updating older posts in my blog and for sure bringing back many nice memories of my travels in our wonderful world. I have, also, told you that I have been 8 times out of the last 10 years to Indonesia. Most of these trips were to the more popular cities but once I went to Yogyakarta! I have briefs in some posts but I feel it deserves a post of its own in my black and white series, no pictures.

I have pictures in my other posts on it but now let me give a brief on the history and things to see there if you were to visit , which you should. Hope you enjoy my introduction to Yogyakarta.

Yogyakarta is the capital of the special territory of the same name, in the center of the island of Java, Indonesia.  Its name, which means “the work of Ayodhya”, comes from that of a city in the kingdom of Koshala of which Rāma was the monarch in the epic of Ramayana. The Special Region of Yogyakarta, one of Indonesia’s two autonomous regions (the other being Aceh), owes its special status to the Sultanate of Hamengkubuwono, which has ruled the region since 1749 and led it through the difficult times of the occupation and the struggle for independence

The city is known as the center of classical Javanese art and traditional culture including wayang kulit shadow theater, batik, ballet, theater, music, poetry. Yogyakarta is also known for its silver craftsmen, gathered in the money district, Kota Gede.

The German painter and musician Walter Spies , who was one of the first Western artists to make Bali known to the world, was conductor of the European music troupe of the Sultan of Yogyakarta.

Some things to see here are: The Beringharjo market is a huge covered market in Yogyakarta where you can find everything: a huge choice of batik (clothes and printed fabrics), spices, fruits and vegetables, wicker baskets, trinkets… It is open in the morning only from 8h. The Sultan’s Palace! Yes a sultant still resides in Yogyakarta. He is the governor of Central Java and has a large palace in the city center, which is open for tours every morning. The Taman Sari Formerly, the Water castle of Yogyakarta was the place where the Sultan and his Court came to bathe.  The famous temples of Borobudur and Prambanan are located near Yogyakarta. Take advantage of your stay to visit them!

Oh yes I came here by air. The Yogyakarta Adisutjipto International Airport is the airport of the city of Yogyakarta. The new airport Yogyakarta International Airport or Kulon Progo International Airport, is in the district of Temon, kabupaten of Kulon Progo, which serves the special territory of Yogyakarta in Java, The airport was inaugurated on May 6, 2019. This one I have not try yet.

The Adisutjipto airport webpage is here in English :

The new Yogyakarta airport webpage in English here:

I have great memories of this restaurant and good friends still in touch. The Restaurant Taman Pringsewu Km. 9 Mulungan Jln. Magelang, Yogyakarta.   The restaurant is a pride of the family every time there is an event that definitely has to eat its food here. webpage:

Another nice spot on my world map, and plenty of good memories which I am sure will last forever. Thanks wordpress for allowing me to keep the memories alive, and thank you for reading me these years since November 26, 2010. Hope you enjoy Yogyakarta as I.

The city of Yogyakarta in Indonesian:

The Indonesia tourism webpage on Yogyakarta:

The yogyes webpage on Yogyakarta:

And there you go folks another dandy spot in my world map. As said hope you enjoy my trivia places of our wonderful world. And looking forward to seeing you again Indonesia.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

Tags: , ,
May 27, 2021

Museum Purna Bhakti Pertiwi of Jakarta!

And going back to an older post of my travels thru Indonesia. A far away land that have come to visit about 10 times in the last 9 years until 2018. I usually went around Jakarta and then spread out with domestic flights and couple times by car! However, on one of my earliest visit was in a hotel just across this wonderful museum Purna Bhakti Pertiwi and love it. Let me tell you a bit again on it, and hope you enjoy as I.

Ok so let me take you along my ways all the way east to the exotic wonderful Jakarta in Indonesia.  I have written several posts on Indonesia in my blog fyi.  However, have written about another important group of museums in TMII but left the very first one I went to without credit and it is a pity not to mention it, the area and museum are very nice indeed. Therefore, here is my credit to the Museum Purna Bhakti Pertiwi in Jakarta, Indonesia.

My historical cultural knowledge was by going briefly to this museum right outside my hotel Santika in Jakarta, Museum Purna Bhakti Pertiwi , the  museum specialized on the life of Suharto, former second president of Indonesia and a powerful political figure in modern Indonesia.  The museum houses and displays the large amount of Suharto’s collections; mostly valuable objects, artworks and souvenirs, received from various world leaders and Indonesian people, accumulated during the 32 years of his administration in Indonesia. The museum is a modern building with design took shape of tumpeng , a traditional Javanes cone-shaped rice, symbolized gratitude.  


The Purna Bhakti Pertiwi Museum was built on the initiative of Madame Tien Suharto, as an expression of gratitude to God Almighty and high appreciation in honor of Indonesian and international community for their attention and support for President Suharto. It was built by Purna Bhakti Pertiwi Foundation for 5 years between 1987—1992 on an area of 19.73 ha. On August 23, 1993 the museum was inaugurated by President Suharto.

The complex of Purna Bhakti Pertiwi Museum consists of main building, supporting buildings, landscape, and house of painting. The main room stores various souvenirs given by the Soeharto’s state visitors, friends and acquaintances. The gifts collections also presented by Indonesian bureaucrats, political figures and businessman. The special hall stores the military decorations and medal of honors once granted to Suharto. The Asthabrata hall displays the philosophy of the leadership of Suharto. It is chronologically visualized in form of wayang. The hall also displays the story of Wahyu Makutha Rama, as well as literatures from different disciplines.

Jakarta museum of purna bhakti pertiwi entrance feb13

The cone-shaped form of the main building is derived from the shape of the tumpeng, a traditional Javanese cone-shaped rice particularly important during slametan or syukuran thanks-giving ceremony, symbolized gratitude to God. The conical shape also symbolized the kalpataru three of life, other symbolic patterns such as Jayakusuma flower, Cakra Manggilingan batik pattern, reflected in the museum design. What can I say different and translated from the museum site.

The official webpage of the Purna Bhakti Pertiwi Museum of Jakarta:

While finding this jewel in Jakarta was very easy. I was put in the Santika Taman Mini Hotel just walking across the street! Trying to be curious as always and walking the beat came upon it right away. The hotel is super and will put the webpage here for future reference and convenience to visitors. webpage:


Hope you enjoy the cultural tour of exotic Jakarta ,Indonesia and really should make time to see this museum of Purna Bhakti Pertiwi! 

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

Tags: ,
April 19, 2021

A long trip to the Philippines!!!

Ok so I went down to my vault of older posts and found this one. It brings lots of good memories so will update/revise links for you and me now. However, for memories sake will keep the old pictures with the post. Again, what a thrill to do these older posts and come to beautiful moments in my life. Thank you for following along with me and hope you enjoy as much as I. Let me tell you about a long trip to the Philippines!!!

Let me tell you about the airports on one of my many trips to the Philippines which was full of anecdotes on a trouble strike times in my belle France. I decided to do this trip in my blog by sections rather than the whole story. Bear with me trying to be creative lol!

My airport for the last few years have been the Nantes Atlantique normally call the Nantes airport even if it is in the city limits of Bouguenais in the department 44 of Loire Atlantique in the region of Pays de la Loire. Yes old Brittany and the closest major airport from me.

I needed to go earlier than usual due to the strike of the yellow jackets or gilets jaunes going on in France nowdays blocking the roads to ask the government to bring back the taxes on fuel/gasolines that are very high even by French standard ! The fight will be long and planning many days of demonstration road snail traffic and block of main roads. I left home by 4h to avoid the blocking which knew from social media was to begin at 6h, done deal easy in to my covered parking at Nantes!



The airport has a terminal consisting of three main parts called Hall 1, 2, 3. A fourth part, Hall 4, was added with a lighter architecture, initially dedicated to the regional subsidiary of Air France, before hosting more generally regional flights with small modules. A gradual optimization of airport facilities starting from 2020, with a three-stage phase of work up to 2035, including the extension of the tramway to the airport. As a consequence of the abandon of the airport project of Notre Dames des Landes. Due to the virus this has been slow down. This webpage will you and me an advance notice of the renovations which will last to 2025.

Is growing but still a wonderful small airport easy in and out and great parking facilities. From here most of the time fly out with Air France, sometimes HOP and less Vueling , Air Europa or Iberia. The official webpage for the Nantes Atlantique airport:

And as I got earlier than usual here, had time to enjoyed a wonderful lunch at the nice le Grand Comptoir restaurant at second level by security entrance and gates. I had the menu du jour filet mignon in mushroom sauce with a glass of Cheverny red wine, and coffee just nice for 22€. This has been closed due to the renovations do not know if reopen, here for the memories.


From Nantes, I flew all over even north to Amsterdam or south to Madrid for connections but most of the times to Paris CDG.  The landing here is always on Terminal 2 F from Nantes and going but this time needed to go to Terminal 2 A by bus, easy. As had used it before and plenty in my blog just you tell you is very easy but huge and can be overwhelming for new visitors or not used to big airports.  From Orly done flights out of the  Paris region. I have a post explaining it all.   And of course, had to have my Starbucks coffee in T2A before the passerelle to my gate A37 and HKG. (Hong Kong airport).




Then, have a previous post on those connecting airports of mine for the last few years.  This time went by Hong Kong again and very tight needed to ask assistance with Cathay Pacific airline which were wonderful to take me to the gate lol!  It is a nice airport mind you but as always in these tight budget travels the connection are very tight and no time to see much in them. The HKG airport webpage:



I ,then continue into Cebu Mactan International airport, Philippines. Here I have been a couple times already so it was easy in addition to always been waited for, the trip back to the hotels is always by car and pleasant company. The Cebu Mactan airport webpage:



Well, this is not over as was needed to see other parts of the Philippines; so went back to Manila Nino Aquino International airport of which have previosly visited and it is a rather big nice airport with all facilities as well. the official Manila airport webpage:


Again, traveling in the island nation of the Philippines, went this time to a new airport that of Cauayan in the province of Isabela north of Manila. They tell me by bus or car is about 12-14 hrs from Manila but by plane was only 2! Again flying internally on Cebu Pacific airline which as routine was always late! The airport is very small and limited facilities just a big runway to accommodate island travel and visit the caves which are famous here and attract some tourists from abroad. The airport was recently reopen (nov 2nd) after suffering heavy damage from storm Rosita.  A bit of info on the Cauayan airport (CYZ) on flightconnections webpage:


And the trip back was very loong and even more delays at Cauayan airport , the flight with Cebu Pacific was delayed 3 hours (the longest delay ever for me, there is always a first), been lucky in the past but….I needed to go thru Manila airport and from there Philippines airlines to Cebu airport ,where just stayed at the airport for the connection domestic to international and my flight back home!



So the return home was from Cebu airport passing again by Hong Kong airport this time with a bit more time no assistance needed but not enough time to look around yikes! and from HKG to Paris CDG T2A all using Cathay Pacific again, rather nice service and on time. At Paris CDG took again my Air France from T2F to Nantes arriving on time.

However, the gilets jaunes were still on strike. The leaving the airport was easy but just at the junction with the N165 roundabout the barriers were beginning to be put up for a block, just barely past them. Arriving by Vannes, the snail traffic blocks were going on by the city center exit ,however, took the direction Rennes N166 to go around my job and cut back into the smaller departamental roads and towns to avoid all blocks. The blocks were there in Vannes all over and on the N165! Got home safe and sound and quick, you just need to know your alternative routes always!

Hope you enjoy my latest round of airports and my latest on the Philippines.  Always memorable trips looking forward to repeat when possible.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

March 1, 2021

Let us go to Jakarta!

Indeed updating on one of my last trips to Jakarta with new links and text on this old post from 2018. Jakarta is a go!  As written plenty with pictures this will be minimal on them. 

I had another find ,this one in Asia, far from home. Originally, never thought would reach here as too far from me. However, business had its way that I found myself going to Jakarta, Indonesia. It has been  a wonderful experience and many new friends! I have visited the country and in and out of Jakarta eight times in the last nine years to date, and each experience have been gratifying indeed. The friendly people and the ambiance of a big city of the East are tops. Already looking forward to one day return again when possible.

Let me tell you this time about the history I like.

Jakarta is the capital of Indonesia. It constitutes a 1st level subdivision of the same rank as the provinces under the special territory of the capital Jakarta, in Indonesian Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta. Anglophones colloquially dubbed her “the Big Durian”.

A bit of history as it goes , Jakarta is located at the northwestern end of the island of Java, it is crossed by the Ciliwung River which flows into the Bay of Jakarta. An important Center of the Hindu-Buddhist kingdoms of Sunda and then of Pajajaran under the name of Kalapa, it became Jayakarta in 1527 after its conquest by the Sultanate of Banten. The Dutch renamed it Batavia in 1619 and made it the de facto capital of the Dutch East Indies. On August 17, 1945, Soekarno and Mohammad Hatta proclaim the independence of Indonesia, the city then resumes the name Jakarta-which in colonial times had remained as indicated by the name of a road, Jacatraweg, and became the Capital at the end of the War of Independence in 1949. The oldest written vestige found in Jakarta is the so-called “de Tugu” inscription found in the neighborhood of the same name in North Jakarta. This inscription, written in Sanskrit and in writing of Pallava, mentions a kingdom named Tarumanagara and his King Purnawarman who, in this place, had a canal of 10 km to the sea built. It’s the 5C ,this was once the location of an active port named Kalapa (“Coconut” in Malay and Sundanese). Kalapa was the main maritime outlet for the Hindu kingdom of Pajajaran, whose capital, Kuan, was upstream of the Ciliwung river on the site of the current city of Bogor (visited!!) , 60 km south of Jakarta. In 1513, a Portuguese embassy came to Kalapa. A treaty was signed in 1522 with Pajajaran, which allowed the Portuguese to build a warehouse and a fort at the mouth of the Ciliwung river. In 1596, a Dutch flotilla commissioned made a stopover at Jayakarta. Prince Jayawikarta, a vassal of Banten, allowed them to build a fort and two warehouses. He does the same with the English, which leads to clashes between the two communities. Banten, who disapproves of the action of his vassal, was dismissed.  In 1619, Jan Pieterszoon Coen, Governor General of the VOC (Vereenigde Oostindische Company or Dutch East India Company), installed since 1605 in Ambon in the Moluccas, in turn conquered Jayakarta. On his ruins he founded Batavia. In 1799, the VOC was declared bankrupt. The Dutch government confiscated its assets and Batavia became the capital of the Dutch Indies. Independent Indonesia gives the city its original name from Jakarta.

Jakarta has a bus network and especially minibuses, such as the Kopaja, MetroMini or Angkot (group taxis). There is a high-level service bus network, the TransJakarta.  There are many taxis, the prices are low and the vehicles in general in good condition. Jakarta also has a Regional express network, the KRL Jabotabek with major railway stations  Gambir and Kota. Jakarta has two peripheral toll belt roads: An interior, the Lingkar Dalam Kota (“Inner Circular”), an exterior, the Jalan Lingkar Luar Jakarta (“Jakarta Outer Circular Road”) or in English Jakarta outer Ring Road . The city is the heart of a network of highways in the three directions: westward and the Port of Merak, south and Bogor, towards the east and Bandung.  I have taken the car here only and with a driver but oh my God , it is really a challenge and I have done some major city driving myself; the city is inundated with scooters and bikes that surround you as you are standing on a red light; and one time we walk faster to our hotel than waiting in a car line of traffic lol!! The nice and easy airport always taken is the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport.


Some of the interesting cultural, historical and customs things to see here are:

Monas (National Monument) enthroned in the center of Merdeka Square, the largest public square of the world with 1 square kilometer. The museum Taman Mini Indonesia Indah (very nice indeed on the customs of the islands); National Museum of Indonesia , and the  Ragunan Zoo. see posts.

Also, with time see  Setu Bakan (South Jakarta): The government encouraged the local people to renovate their home or decorate it with traditional elements like the roof sculptures Gigi Lang ( “Teeth Or the Langkan, i.e. the front porch. Traditional cultural shows take place on weekends. Tugu (Jakarta North): In the 17C, a population from Malacca settled in the countryside east of what was then called Batavia. Malacca had been conquered by the Portuguese in 1511 and this population spoke Portuguese. The Dutch East India Company had brought them as slaves to Batavia and then had them freed. Their descendants inhabit the village of Tugu. Tugu strives to preserve his tradition of keroncong, a musical genre with melancholic accents. Every June 22nd, date decreed as the anniversary of Jakarta, which besides the Keroncong, offers culinary specialties Betawi.

Kampung Batik (South Jakarta): Kampung Batik (“The Batik Village”) is home to batik artisans. The Sanggar Batik Cantingku is a workshop where children are taken on weekends. Jakarta has the largest mosque in Southeast Asia, the Istiqlal mosque. The city is the seat of the Archdiocese of Jakarta whose cathedral is the Cathedral of St. Mary of Jakarta.

Now you got it, a bit of history and some tourist sights to see as well those in my posts ;hope it helps. Some additional webpages to help you plan your trip here are:

The Jakarta tourist office:

The Indonesia tourist board on Jakarta:

A good un official tourist information on Jakarta:

A very nice city, just get help in transports moving about and the rest is easy. Let’s go to Jakarta indeed!!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

Tags: ,
January 17, 2021

Exotic vibrant Indonesia!

And here continue with my saga of updating and revising old posts, best thing to do now and it has brought many nice memories back and some finds! Let me tell you a bit about a country visited like 8-9 times in the last 9 years and was a pleasant surprise, Indonesia!

It was another trip to Asia in my book and this time again Indonesia. Its becoming routine and love it. The only thing the flight is very long and tiring on economy class….. I visited Ngoro, Surabaya and then flew to Jakarta. More and pictures in my blog, these are not yet in so here they go! Hope you enjoy the tour!!

I went on my usual often repeated long journey from Nantes Atlantique airport to Roissy CDG T2F on Air France, and then took the CDGVal train to terminal 1 to catch the fly with Singapore Airlines; reaching Chiangi airport in Singapore  after about 13 hrs!!  From the Jakarta airport continue on SQ to Surabaya in Indonesia. The return was the same but coming out from Jakarta to Singapore on SQ and continue to Roissy CDG T1 where the unusual was not to take the cdgval train but two buses one from T1 to T2 and another from T2 to T2CD; weird. Here to catch the AF flight to Nantes Atlantique airport. Long journey indeed!


The Roissy CDG (Paris airport) shuttle buses and CDGVal connections in English:

I had a driver to pick me up which improves tremendously the logistics, and take me to my hotel and office and eatings etc; the traffic on both areas is bad, and in Jakarta the worse ranking amongst the most congested cities in the world. Upon arriving in Surabaya Juanda airport I was taken to the office and then in the evening to my usual hotel the Somerset (see post now Verwood).

Driving by car took me to see a gas station (glamorous::)) petrafirma and the old stores like K Circle and A&W, and eat at Ngoro at the Me Joyo restaurant of local cuisine (one of the advantages of keeping with the locals you know the country well). Very hard to find webpages on it and will just take my word for it, it is good.

This was a short visit here and I move on to bigger Jakarta, where driver was waiting again, thanks God!!! I love to drive but this is too much, can really undertand how they can sustain driving like this every day.  What it says is a 45 minute car drive from hotel to airport is really 1h30 unless you go at midnight ::)

Here, again I stayed at my now usual Grand Kemang hotel right in the entertainment ceter of Jakarta. You really don’t need a car staying here as all shopping, restos, bars to boot are walking distances. It has a great Sperta restaurant. Webpage:

Stepping out  into Serpong, Tangerang , had a great lunch at the Lembur Kuring restaurant .Very good restaurant of local regional cuisine.  webpage:

Another day  I was taken for lunch at Sambara another west Sumatran regional cuisine resto that was exotic and authentic . Here you pick the food and then they cook it for you, superb ! Unfortunately I heard the resto has closed yet have a picture for the memories!


Lastly, for lunch again on the road was taken to another authentic restaurant Sederhana, a typical padang region cuisine, here they stack the dishes according to how many people to eat and you choose which ones to eat if you try them all they will charge you for all;so be picky but all good stuff ::) They have several branches in the city too. webpage:

In all the trip back was easy with a driver, and the connection at Chiangi Singapore just barely but since on the same airline, they took me by people mover cars to the gate and I was waited for by Singapore Airlines. At Roissy CDG had to take twice buses to reach my terminal T2F for the first time ever, but you always learn something new traveling lol!

The tourist office of Indonesia

The tourist office of Surabaya

The tourist office of Jakarta

Now very tired resting on a Sunday nice weather at home, and ready for another trip abroad! Hope you enjoy the post and tell me about your travel connections! Exotic Indonesia once again did the trick.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

December 4, 2020

Indonesia: Malang and Ngoro!!

So again going over old posts and wonderful memories of my travels in the last few years from my belle France. I take you back again to exotic Indonesia and new towns visited. Let me tell you a bit again on Surabaya and the new towns of Malang and Ngoro.

My month long trip continue as from the Philippines flew to Jakarta and transfer to Surabaya Juanda airport for the next week. I have written before on Surabaya but the other two towns are new footprints of me ::)

From Manila took a Philippine Airline flight to Jakarta at Terminal 2, changing to Garuda Airline flight to Surabaya Juanda airport.

Once out had shuttle to my home base hotel , the always every time I have come here Somerset Hotel and Résidences, great place where by now many in front desk know me. This is an all inclusive property with hotel rooms and apartments, tennis basketball courts nice outdoor swimming pool, covered secured parking, and big rooms and baths all with AC of course;temp went up to 38C !!! Right Inside the old Somerset you have the Pyramide bar (still kept by the new owners! )a great place to hang out Watch TV and drink bintang beers!  As in previous updates you know they have change ownership and name and now are call the Verwood Hotel and Serviced Residences. Webpage:


From the hotel was an easy ride to Ngoro, passing by the great Volcano on the horizon, nice view but its active so nice to have it dormant every time I visit !!! Nice business trip to Ngoro Industrial Park in nearby Mojokerto.  If interested for what is there, here is their webpage:

For sightseeing in this area two places that were recommended to me if indeed more time were the  Jedong Temple  a sort of gate temple, in the shape of Paduraksan, a type of gate which its roof merged.  More on a East Java webpage here:

And the beforementioned volcano. They are located halfway between the city of Surabaya and Kawah Ijen, Mount Bromo  whose name probably comes from a deformation of the name of the Hindu god Brahma  is one of the most known and most frequented in this region of Southeast Asia. Mount Bromo is located in the Tengger Caldera and shares the landscape with Mount Batok and the towering Mount Semeru, the region’s highest point at 3676 meters above sea level. These three volcanoes are part of the Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park, which is also home to lakes and rivers, as well as extraordinary endemic flora and fauna. More here from Indonesia tourist board:

While back in Surabaya I had more time to enjoy some shopping and eating at famliar faces. I enjoyed the Ciputra World Surabaya Mall, a wonderful place full of shops, restos and great promenade on the top floor with asiatic decoration along a lineup of restaurants including my old favorite Pizza Hut. Webpage




While in town near the above hotel had a wonderful local crab place , this is as local as you can get here finger liking and all. cook right on the spot wonderful crabs. The place address is Jalan Raya Kupang Indah No. 45 C-D, Surabaya and the name is Kepiting Cak Gundul . More on this local webpage


The Surabaya tourist office:

Again, set out to visit a new town, Malang! While visiting Malang , I stop by for lunch at the Warung Bu Kris restaurant again very local traditional cuisine. this is at Jl. Ciliwung No.31, Kota Malang, where I had some local fried rice, fried fish, and the shredded beef ,wonderful! again local webpage here:

A pleasant town, Malang was the preferred resting place for European planters during colonial times. The old inhabitants of the region nickname it the “Paris of East Java”. The city is the seat of the diocese of Malang with the Cathedral of Our Lady of Mount Carmel . From colonial times, Malang kept many religious buildings: Jami Mosque, Church of the Sacred Heart (Gereja Hati Kudus Yesus), Cathedral of Saint Teresa (Gereja Ijen or Katedral Santa Theresia), and Chinese Temple (Eng An Kiong).

All passing by colorful places like Miami Chicken, and Persada Hospital ,and the market at Singapori. Again deep into Java island Indonesian places; vivid pictures and people I won’t forget easy. A great séjour stay in colorful exotic  Indonesia.

The Indonesia travel board on Malang

Now I feel better to have all this info in my blog for the memories and future travel headups. Hope you enjoy this part of our world, Indonesia! there still a lot more to cover, and looking forward to better times for travel.

In the meantime, remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

November 22, 2020

Another dandy in the East,Manila!!!

And need to revise this older post on the nice city of Manila, capital of the Philippines. It was my first trip ever to the Philippines and Manila! Thereafter, many more trips and really enjoyed it. Looking forward to be back when possible.

Another surprise visit to a far away land, business many times provides unexpected visits to some exotic far away lands, and I am lucky to be part of the business travel loop. I came here and repeat several times and the experiences have been gratifying indeed. I am talking now of the capital, Manila ,in the Philippines.

The city of Manila is one of the 16 cities of the metropolitan area of Manila, one of the most populous in the world. The latter, located on the west coast of Luzon Island, is the National Capital Region (NCR or Metro Manila), and is not part of any province in the country. It is located on the east bank of Manila Bay.  The city is divided into six legislative districts and sixteen geographic districts: Binondo , Ermita, Intramuros, Malate , Paco, Pandacan , Manila Port, Quiapo , Sampaloc , San Andres, San Miguel, San Nicolas , Santa Ana, Santa Cruz , Santa Mesa , and Mowo.

Some of the key dates in history I like are

1571, founding of the city by Miguel López de Legazpi. The Spaniards settled there, and occupied the premises until 1898. 1762-1764: British occupation of Manila and Cavite during the war of seven years. In 1898, during the Spanish-American War, American troops destroyed Spain’s fleet (Battle of Manila Bay), and took over the Philippines.

On December 26, 1941, following the bombardment of Pearl Harbor and the entry of the United States into  WWII, the Americans abandoned the city and withdrew all their military facilities. The Japanese Air force bombarded Manila, before the Imperial Army entered the city on January 2, 1942. In February 1945, the Imperial Japanese Navy refused to evacuate the perimeter, the Allies continue the advance to the city, at the cost of intense fighting that destroyed the town and resulted in the death of many civilians. Manila was one of the most devastated cities during  WWII. In 1948, Quezon City became the new capital of the Republic of the Philippines. Manila becomes the capital of the country on May 29th, 1976.

Some of the interesting areas to visit are on the south bank of the Pasig River where the ancient colonial district of Intramuros, founded in 1571 by the Spaniards, which in a peaceful atmosphere has preserved surprising examples of 17C architecture, and Rizal Park, Manila’s Central Park . Further south, the districts of Ermita and Malate, around its Baroque church, host many bars and restaurants. This is also where you can watch the sunset over Manila Bay.  On the North of the Pasig River, the district of Quiapo is famous for its steel church, the Basilica of San Sebastian, its market and its Basilica of the Black Nazarene, where the procession of the Black Nazarene is held every 9th January and brings together millions of devotees. A little further away the Binondo district is home to the city’s very authentic Chinatown. A fascinating Chinese cemetery is located in the north of the city.

Other popular sites include the Spanish colonial buildings in Intramuros, the World Heritage Site of San Agustin Church, and a few Art Deco and Revival style buildings like Manila Metropolitan Theater and the National Museum of Fine Arts. There are also modern attractions such as the Manila Ocean Park, the integrated resort complex of resorts World Manila, and the City of Dreams Manila and Okada Manila in Entertainment City.

Tourist attractions located inside the Intramuros old town include Fort Santiago, a Spanish citadel located at the mouth of the Pasig River, Manila Cathedral, a 19C ecclesiastical Cathedral which is the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Manila, San Agustin Church. At the Rizal park the Rizal Monument, located in the center of the park, is the memorial to the Philippine national hero, José Rizal. Museums within Manila include the National Museum of Fine Arts, formerly the National Art Gallery, the National Museum of Anthropology, an anthropology and archaeology museum, and the Metropolitan Museum of Manila, a premier museum of modern and contemporary visual arts.

The Manila Ocean Park is an oceanarium with a marine-themed mall and hotel, it is located behind Quirino Grandstand, which fronts Rizal Park. Malate, the tourism center of Manila, is famous for the Baywalk and the Remedios nightlife district. Manila Zoo, the oldest zoo and botanical garden in the Philippines, is also located in that district. Binondo, an old district of Manila that is home to Manila’s Chinatown, is established since 1521. Its main attractions are Binondo Church, Filipino-Chinese Friendship Arch, Seng Guan Buddhist temple and Chinese restaurants. Quiapo is the location of Plaza Miranda and Quiapo Church, which is home to the Black Nazarene. The San Sebastian Church, which is also located in Quiapo, is the only all-steel Gothic basilica in Asia.

I was briefly on a ride of the above places but was base in the business district of Makati CBD, one of Southeast Asia’s biggest financial hubs, and noted for its cosmopolitan cultural and entertainment ambiance around the huge complex of the Ayala Center, and  the Ayala Triangle Gardens.


Moving about I was with a local driver because the streets of Manila suffers from a lot of chronic traffic jams. The jeepneys are the main public transport. These are old American army jeeps, left behind after WWII, which were turned into very colorful but also very polluting mini buses, and was told can be dangerous for visitors. Manila has an aerial light rail network, the LRT, which often follows the main axes of the city. It is one of the first urban railway collective transport systems in Southeast Asia. About 29 km Long it has 29 stations, on two lines: the LRT-1 (Yellow Line), and the LRT-2 (Violet line). The city also has a predominantly aerial metro line, the MRT-3 (Blue Line), and a ferry service on the Pasig River, which has 17 stations. The city comprises 10 bridges over the Pasig river of whirch, 2 railway bridges and 8 road bridges (The bridges of Roxas, Jones, McArthur, Quezon, Ayala, Mabini, Padre Zamora and Lambingan).  I always arrived by the Ninoy Aquino International Airport located 8 km southeast of the city center. Official Manila airport authority on the airport:


Manila airport gates check in nov18

The Philippines tourist board on Manila

A private webpage Yatra good info on Manila

The guide to the Philippines private webpage on Makati district:

Hope it helps your planning for a nice visit to Manila and you can enjoy the exotic East and the islands of Philippines. Thereafter, my travels there took me to other islands and less of Manila. It will remain always a memorable visit. Hope you enjoy this brief introduction to the city

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

Tags: ,
November 21, 2020

Roundtrip Vannes to Cebu, Philippines!!!

Ok so this is one of those posts I like to update and revise the text just for my memories and hopefully others gone thru these airport changes. It was a souvenir of my travels alright, later on I begin to be more picky on the connections so if job require many I would refuse, gladly had that opportunity. Hope you enjoy the post. And Thanks for reading me! Merci beaucoup!!

I just came back from my third trip to the Philippines and been a rush business trip of only four days gave me no time to see much.  The other two times, I did some out traveling but could not be possible this time. So will tell you mostly of my travel ordeals on a long voyage.

I started from home on Saturday January 13 2018 going to the train station in Vannes with free parking behind it, and getting a train to Redon, changing train to Nantes train station. There took the express airport bus to the Nantes Atlantique Airport. From arrival headed to my one night hotel the Escale Oceania Hotel across from the airport. This is the usual hotel I stayed when coming and going thru my closest decent flights airport. Hotel webpage:


Once out to the airport the next morning Sunday January 14, took my regular flight with Air France to Roissy CDG airport arriving in Terminal F and changing for my connection to Terminal A.

Once at my departure gate in Terminal A I flew with Cathay Pacific for the first time; and it was a nice ride indeed. This is the airline of Hong Kong , and I was going to the airport there for connection to final destination.

The Hong Kong airport was my first time too, but as connections were made tight, really had no time to see much of it.

The flight arrive late into the day and still needed a connection on the same Cathay Pacific airlines from Hong Kong to Cebu in the Philippines. I finally arrived in Cebu by 19h or 7 pm Monday January 15, and taking the hotel shuttle headed straight to my usual hotel the Best Western Plus Lex, Cebu. This was the rest I needed to begin work the next day.


The hotel is very nice and central to all. I spent four nights here at BW Plus Lex Cebu a repeat visit to the hotel. webpage:

On my way back left on Friday January 19 2018 by 20h or 8 pm on Cathay Pacific same routing back after been deposited at the airport by a company driver. From Cebu airport going back to Hong Kong, needing a bit of running to catch the flight until to find out it was been delayed 20 minutes! This is a smallist nice airport full of shops and restos nice to come early and enjoy the shopping.

Again at Hong Kong taking Cathay Pacific again by 23h35 local time or 11:35 pm to reach Roissy CDG Terminal A Paris.  Finally on Saturday January 20 from CDG T2A transfer to TF2 using the same blue bus line again. Here I departed by 10h10 on Air France back to Nantes Atlantique airport. Again taking the Airport Express bus to the Nantes train station.


Here I had my lunch on my popular Café des Plantes just out of the Nantes Nord train station section and next to the jardin des plantes. Great friendly service always, and fast. The menu of the day is always good and great quality/price value. I had  my veal pipettes with fries in a mustard sauce, leffe Belgian beers, and expresso coffee all for 15€. It became my rest spot and eating out place in and out of the of the train station. The webpage is not working but with this virus thing who knows if it has closed, it was/is an institution in Nantes! They have a Facebook page here:

From the Nantes train station took a TER train to Rennes train station, and here change to another TER to Vannes. Finally picking up my car to drive home arriving on Saturday by 19h! And I told you I do take public transports lol!!!

There you go another exhausting trip not to brag about it, just another opportunity to see by now friends and a nice welcome by the locals as usual.  It will stay as one of my memorable moments in Cebu Philippines! Hope you enjoy the ride or see the constraints of public transport.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

Tags: , ,
November 21, 2020

Cebu, Philippines again!

Well I did said that my updates would be over but but really some of these old posts deserves more viewing. I guess they were done when had not many followers and I feel these were wonderful travel memories. So therefore, a lot more picky but will showcase some of these older travels again in my blog. Hope you enjoy them as I do!

This time will tell you about Cebu city and surrounding Lapu Lapu, and Mandaue towns. The trip was very busy with work so little time to see anything, anyway ,it was a great opportunity to revisit Cebu, especially.

The Central Visayas region VII, consisting of a main island and 167 surrounding islands and islets. The Capital city is Cebu City, the oldest city and first capital of the Philippines. Cebu city forms part of the metropolitan area with Danao city, Lapu-Lapu, Mandaue and Talisay cities. Mactan Cebu international airport is in Mactan island the second busiest in the Philippines!

And as usual on these trips to Asia , it was another long flight. I left home by car at 4h or 4 am on my way to Nantes airport to catch AF to Paris CDG, there took the Emirates airline to Dubai International airport,and then hop again on Emirates to Cebu airport!!! And of course the return was even slower as leaving Cebu the plane waited an hour at Clark Manila before taken off again for Dubai. I do not think will do this again, this route and airlines  Emirates read they were good but boy did they screw up not knowing the allow luggage weight the slowness of it all and the poor meals on the plane. I thing try them once more and that is it, Air France is mine!

For references passing places Dubai international airport:

And Clark International airport:

Once landed the rest was easy and friendly with the locals, some I knew already in addition to new found friends. The ride to my hotel was nice and not too much traffic as normally the case.  I did not needed any visas but did pay 750 PHP pesos leaving the airport as an airport tax. I believe this has been eliminated for stays shorter than 21 days. More info here:

My hotel for the entire stayed was the wonderful Best Western Lex Cebu right in town. Centrally located for shopping and eating in town. The KAI restaurant for breakfast lunch and dinner is nice, friendly and well done with glass walls to see the hustle of the city main artery before you. Lex Cebu webpage:

And a bit more on the KAI resto


I had fun crossing the bridges from the airport site to the main island and back, sometimes easy traffic but the worse was coming home going to the airport so not much determining factor. The rains were announced but only one day was a bit heavy at times the rest was easy nothing to bothered me, and the temps well from 24 to 30 C is just what the doctor ordered knowing that my family was telling me home was -7C lol!!!

Shopping galore on good prices compare to home and malls that reminds me of those in the USA big ,huge even,and plenty of choices for shopping and eating nice and safe.

One of them was the Ayala Terraces Mall with the great Huskad Philippines cuisine overlooking the great seaside port. webpage:

Another one was briefly in was the Parkmall, one of the newest ones there; right in town. webpage:

And even more was the J Centre ,also in town great malls too easy town shopping and eating. The newest mall there and tried by yours truly ::) webpage:

And one more at SM city mall just in Cebu city, great shopping and food here too; I had a great pizza pepperoni with San Miguel beer call Veneto Pizzeria Ristorante! nice!  Somehow problems with their webpage but have a Facebook page:

And the resto is showing in Zomato reviews site very good:

However, the best action in town and one I made my home central on many nights was the Howlings Dogs , superbe. One can stay there forever!! webapge:


The tourist office of the Philippines on Cebu:

The province of Cebu on tourism:

There you go a wonderful spot and I just touch the surface, there is a lot more along the coast. Something to think about and come back, one day time permitting and the travel lines open again. For now hope you enjoy the post on Cebu.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

Tags: ,
November 21, 2020

Tripping to Indonesia, and new places visited!!!

Again updating my international travels over the last few years ,and it has been a fun drive reviving nice memories. Rememberance of good friends and beautiful spots, this is the case of visiting Indonesia!

I did a long trip, first I rented a car to get to Nantes from Auray  on Avis, drop off was easy and quick. Got on the plane HOP to Amsterdam Schiphol airport to get the connection to Jakarta on Garuda airline of Indonesia.

The return two weeks later was on KLM from Jakarta making an in and out stop in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia,continue on to Amsterdam Schiphol , there changing to HOP low cost to Nantes. At the airport took the express bus for 8,50€ to the train station in Nantes where a TER regional train will take me to Auray where my father pick me up to get home. Long way but made it home !!!

Interesting first time there the airport of Kuala Lumpur:

The Jakarta airport many times there:

And the Amsterdam airport , many times by there:

Both in and out enjoy the lounge 52 at Schiphol Amsterdam airport,  nice food and facilities for frequent flyers members; more here:

While in Indonesia I needed to fly as usual visits there from Jakarta to Surabaya and back, so this is from Juanda airport on Garuda airlines. Surabaya Juanda airport many times there:

While in the country , I need to visit the town of Yogyakarta my first visit here and again the airport call Adisutjipto is here:

Well it seems last few years the airports have been my third home away from home and hopefully will continue in 2021 after the virus!

All very nice and some exotic foods along the way. While going to Yogyakarta , I had lunch at the restaurant Pringsewu in a magnificent setting with all exotic local foods some are even hard to remember or spell ! The grill fish is to kill for it thus. A wonderful coconut and orange drink as well. More here:


We did some walking in Yogyakarta around the airport as it is right in town; and we did drove to Sidoarjo where I went by  city center passing by.  The city has important temples to visit if time allowed, I did not have, the site can be translate here:

To Yogyakarta I flew on Wings airline going, part of the Lion Air Group. and came back on Sriwijaya airline. Both first time taken, nice ride.

Back in the big cities of Jakarta and Surabaya as well as the trip to Yogyakarta I use alocal driver. So fun driving as was driven but nice feeling to see the wonderful traffic jams lol!!

And I came back to Surabaya and Ngoro areas even going to Sidorarjo I had my first soaking wet trip under heavy rain that can get flooding very quickly here all very nice and quick and some exotic foods along the way.

Finally at Surabaya I stayed in my old reliable Somerset Hotel and Residences (now Verwood) . Very centrally located and restaurant lane just a few blocks on foot from it. It is well located off the main highway for in and out quick which helps in traffic flooded Indonesia. The other towns were in and out deal so no hotels needed. webpage:



Therefore, here is the end of this wild trip with several airports and changing quickly to meet business needs. Of course, would not do this run on a personal trip. I really enjoy seeing new places, even if mostly were airports and town roads I can always said , I was there!

The tourist board of Indonesia

Enjoy the post as I did reminicense of these memorable moments; anyway this is part of travel, memories forever and good friends still in touch thanks to the magic of technology! Hopefully, one day I will be back to Indonesia!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

Tags: , ,
%d bloggers like this: