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Destination: Ras Al Khaimah (RAK)

One of the 7 Emirates of UAE.  Here’s the LINK for you to know more about this rugged beauty.

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different soil and colour from other emirates

Hubby finally had a short break from work and our last escapades before the start of school (last week) so yes this is a late post indeed.

The Accomodation

With a nice view of the Golf course when you open your window or veranda

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Serenity at your doorstep

The Surroundings 

Some tourists from Europe mostly from Germany.

The sister hotel (5 star) as we only got the 4 star.  You can access the beach by coming to this place and enjoy the beauty of this luxurious hotel.  You might get confuse if you see the Al Hamra Palace Beach Resort side by side with  the Waldorf Astoria hotel which is among the luxurious hotel nearby. Here’s the photos.

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Al Hamra Palace Beach Resort

May I add that RAK is more conservative than Abu Dhabi and Dubai, so please mind what you are wearing.  I have seen the locals giving a negative look at the woman with a boyfriend in tow holding her shopping bags, who was oblivious of her “dress code” in short shorts!  Remember ladies, you are in a different culture than yours so please mind your manners and clothing.  If you respect their cultures they will respect YOU too.  Just a friendly reminder.  It reminds me too when I first arrived in Dubai and on Ramadan season I have seen a very daring clothing from some Women who doesn’t bother to read the signs from the doors of every establishments and even on hotels leaflet see this LINK to my old post please check it out if interested and want to learn more about the life here in UAE.

Anyway this saying goes….

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Thanks for your time reading this.  🙂

 

 

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Daily Post Challenge: Contrast

This is in response to The Daily Post – Contrast.

” Contrast is what makes photography interesting.”  By Conrad Hall

A few collection of photos from my previous travels.  No filter just using a simple camera.

 

Simple Beauty

Paris, France

 

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Sydney, Australia

 

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King’s Park, Perth Australia

 

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Marina Bay, Dubai UAE

 

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Qatar, somewhere in the City Center

 

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Kumue Farm Show, Auckland NZ

 

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Yas Viceroy, Abu Dhabi

 

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Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

 

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Mt. Santis, Switzerland

All photos are mine.  A great travel experience while taking these simple photos, I hope you LIKE them.  Thanks till next time!  Cheers 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Abu Dhabi: Activities Galore!

If feeling blue and need some actions then head outside and look for some activities that are currently on offer in Abu Dhabi, UAE.  To be honest my son and I needed this to be sane especially in this school holiday season!  I have compiled some events that we went to and still on-going.  So hang on in there. 🙂

PUT IN ON THE RITZ... “If you’re blue and you don’t know where to go to, why don’t you go to fashion sits? puttin on the Ritz”.  Have you heard about this song? well we didn’t dressed fashionably for the occassion, besides there is no dress code for this Venetian Festival.  Of course as what the song inspired for … The Ritz Carlton AD Grand Canal website is HERE for you to peruse as my photos and other details may not justify the beauty of it.  I only use my dutiful Samsung mobile cam.

Anyway, check out the photos and you decide for yourself.  There are many restaurants lined up inside the Venetian Village and the view is the opposite of my earlier post that links HERE please check it if you haven’t seen it yet. The festival is now finished but you can visit anytime and may I suggest this is another “romantic avenue” you can go to.

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One of the many restaurants lined up inside the Village

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Now to the next one… MON “Mother of the Nation” website is HERE for more details and yes you can still GO as the last day is tomorrow from 4pm-Midnight.  For other readers people here are nocturnal so we have to learn and adapt this way or you will miss the FUN!

Yes lots of activities for young and old. The problem is the looooong QUEUE!!! for the duration that we were there (4:30-10:30pm) unfortunately we have only been to 2 activities to my son dismay.  Perhaps we went on the wrong day or it is what it is because it’s school holidays and though this events has been going on for about 2 weeks now there is no decline of people going but the location is huge so you don’t have to worry about bumping with each other.  There are some live shows to watch and we have enjoyed it at least we were sitting down nicely.  Do not worry of getting hungry either, lots of stalls and they even have a restaurant set up on the scene for people who don’t want to eat with the crowd with a beach set up table and chairs.  I find our food delicious (chicken paratha) for ten dirhams!  Up to you if you are good in scouring the long stretch of the beach to find a good deal.  I am used to doing so when I travel to South East Asia.  Here are the photos.

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LAST but not the least… International Motor Show Abu Dhabi 2016 link is HERE for more details.  Last day is tomorrow April 2nd and the venue is in ADNEC where you can always find some activities to go to every month.  Another form is from the informative ABU DHABI WEEK magazine free for all every Thursday in AD.    My son loves motorsport so it’s no brainer that we have to go and visit this and make my son happy.  He is only 7.

There are some more to see and do in Abu Dhabi but I guess I have to stop and only showing the ones we went and will go to.  For all adrenalin junkie out there, there is YAS WATERWORLD and of course, FERRARI WORLD and not to mention the coming theme park WARNER BROS. construction is now on-going in Yas Island and expected to be finished by 2018.  Still long to go but hey, at least, something to look forward on to, yey! Yap this is in response to Dubai new theme park which is also under constructions and will open in October hopefully!  LEGOLAND AND BOLLYWOOD PARK.   Gosh so many! how about the small to medium entertainment?  I cannot count anymore, sorry.  I am excited like a KID.

I leave you now with some smile on your faces, I hope!  and knowledge is POWER!

Thanks for reading until next time.  Cheers!

 

 

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Sadiyaat Island & it’s Turquoise Sea

Yes, our next family adventure goes to this currently developing island near Abu Dhabi City.  Though we are not too far from this place (approx. 20 mins. away) we still don’t find the time to get here so finally last weekend I managed to persuade the hubby to drive to here without any plans just to have a look around and what it can offer.

Saadiyat Island means “Happiness Island” in Arabic according to my fave Wikipedia. 🙂  To know more about this beautiful Island please click the LINK here and I am looking forward to coming back again when we have more time to explore the Island and its international standard beautiful beach where the endangered Hawksbill Turtles return annually to lay their eggs and the only unique Grey species of mangroves that can only be found in the UAE.

Our little troll peanut, accompanying us to our destination.

We managed to stop and admire inside the very posh St.Regis Saadiyat Island Resort.  It is surrounded not only the pristine Turquoise sea of the island but also a golf beach club and gosh! everything is so luxuriously simple for people who can afford to do so.

While admiring the view… why not have a cup of coffee or tea on one of their many lounges, each has a different theme.  Up to you which one you prefer.

Have a great relaxing school holiday for those parents like us and wander away!

 

 

Philippines: Manila Activities

 

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Photo credit: Wikipedia click this link for more info

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manila_Bay

To get some words from Lonely Planet, Manila sums up   As well as outstanding sightseeing, visitors who put in the effort will discover its creative soul – from edgy galleries to a lively indie music scene. Combine this with a penchant for speakeasy bars, artisan markets, and single-origin coffees, it’s clear to see Manila’s not only one of Asia‘s most underrated cities but one of its coolest.”

Read more: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/philippines/manila#ixzz3ydNqf8BX

So many things to see & do just in Manila what more if you get out of town?  Manila has a lot of options for all types of traveler.  For me, I have to think about my 7yr old son so you cannot find here anything about nightlife etc. those are for singles. The only nightlife I can do is eating out, malling and yes festivals & theme parks. Here are some of the photos I can share with you but please do not copy them without crediting me and this post.  Thank you!

FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS @MOA (Mall of Asia) – Lots of free entertainment from all the malls and one of the famous are to be found in SM MOA, Bay City near Manila Bay.

MAKATI CITY TOURIST ATTRACTIONS – Aside from being the business district and has 3 huge interconnecting malls, with lots of bars and restaurants nearby, they also have the Ayala Museum for the whole family, a Park and lots of X’mas decor you can take a photo ops. We don’t have a lot of time so we only have these to show.  Being there for 3days is not enough but for my budget’s sake, it will do.  I find these two items below interesting. Most of the Filipiniana dress is made of Pineapple fiber and this makes it more expensive but beautiful isn’t it? And the nice wall frame I would love to buy but I don’t have enough space in my bag, pity they are very affordable compared to overseas.

 

CITY OF DREAMS MANILA / DREAMPLAY – This is for the whole family especially for kids who love to interact while playing.  You can buy a minimum of 2hrs pass and yes no foods allowed inside which is standard in any theme park though this one is inside this magnificent building which also housed three resort-style 5star hotels (Novu, Crown & Hyatt), a “boulevard” of branded products for the moms and of course, a Casino for dads. Please see this link on Youtube.

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City of Dreams.vinneve photo

 

Museo Pambata – This means Museum for the Kids.  Unfortunately, it was closed when we arrived.  We can only take a few photo outside.  This will be a must for next time as my son and I love museums wherever in the World we may be.

Art In An Island – They have a mini booth inside the Megamall and we gladly take some free shots though it is not as good as the real one in their location in Cubao please check this link from AmusingPlanet.com so you may see what I mean.

 

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Manila Bay view from my hotel

At the end of the day, we go back to our hotel to where we are staying at that time as these activities are located in 3 different locations so I have booked 3 hotels as I have mentioned in my previous post.  Please click this link to read my reviews.  Just in case, you will visit the Country and it’s your first time then, at least, you have an idea where and what to book.  

UPDATE:  I recommend this blog for people who are curious about PHILIPPINES.  She is an expat from the USA and now living in Manila and I find her travel journeys wonderful especially for a mom like me as she is too.  Nevertheless, you will find out some fascinating places in the Philippines so please check her blog thru this LINK.

In my next post, it will be about “The Countryside”.

Also, please check out my page under category RED PLANET (hotel ) for a good budget hotel for all types of travelers especially going to some Asian Countries.  You may find it helpful and I do recommend it as I have experienced them myself (even before they have contacted me to do a page for them).  🙂

Thanks for your time reading this, much appreciated.  🙂

 

Destination: Philippines, old sweet home

This is true.

But I do love coming back to my old home, my birth country to see all my loved ones, relatives and friends who stay true to me all these years!

Christmas time and New Year makes it more special, more fun and more exciting in the Philippines.  Reliving the culture that I was grown up to, respect, love and happiness.  I love seeing the familiar faces so happy to see me not because of my gifts (that I am sure of) asking us about our old life, new life and new culture here in the UAE.  Over feeding us with so many dishes you can see on their long table until your stomach hurts. I miss those foods as it is uncomparable to where we are now.  I miss the laughter I hear from my friends and family.  The “Family” that can extend up to the 2nd degree of consanguinity!  I miss being a child as I visit every house of my aunt and uncles so many of them I cannot count on my fingers, playing with my cousins and for my child now playing with his 2nd cousins really bring some sparks in his eyes and sadness too when it is time to say goodbye until we meet again.  

Festival of Lights @MOA

Oh, how can I forget the love and sadness of their faces until we meet again?  I do love coming back to my old home.  Going back there reliving good memories of the past, I am blessed to have a good childhood and I thanked my parents for that.  Now I want to do the same for my son.  Though we don’t have family in NZ and now UAE, if we can help it we go overseas to see them and being in the moment and storing it in his memory bank that will last a lifetime.  Being an expat this is the only thing we can do to include families in this special events and into our life and creating good memories growing up.

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“He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree”                 by Roy L. Smith 

Family Matters

 

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It is really like that isn’t it? whether you admit it or not.  But whatever the case may be families and relatives brings some flavour to your life.

I always wanted my son to have good memories of his childhood so I am banking some while we can especially now that we have moved from the roots he was accustomed to a new culture and environment that are pretty much different from where he was born and have left some of his best buddies.

So the only way to compensate it is to have a holiday to a place he knows where he will feel the love and excitement of the festivities of Christmas and New Year.

My little man is used to having so many “Tita’s” (aunties) in New Zealand but they were not the real relatives.  It is just a way of paying respect not to speak the first name of the people much older than him (mostly Asian culture). So by the time we arrive in the Philippines he knows he will meet so many Tita’s and Tito’s (uncles) both real and unreal (friends) plus the fact that he will once again see his Lolo (grandpa) after 2 years!

It makes me happy to see my son playing with his real cousins, talking to his real aunts and uncles (up to 2nd degrees) and yes so many of them you cannot count on your fingers and feet anymore! For some people, this is not a big deal but for him whose, both parents comes from 2 different continents and have met in another continent that he was born and grows up to (until we moved here in the Middle East) it is a BIG DEAL.

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For us, the caption above should say… in another Country.  It would be much easier if we have a family here just a few hours away from our City.  But for some of us expats here in M.E. dream on mate!  

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I was lucky to have a very good childhood and if necessary, for my son to travel on 2 continents (Asia & Europe) to be with one or two sides of our family or they come to us here, I will do it for the sake of him having good memories of his childhood that he can look back on to.  So it is appropriate of me to say the quote below as it is the truth.

 

 

The Festive Season to be jolly!

“Don’t get your TINSEL in a TANGLE” 

A collection of photos that I hope will bring back cheers in your day upon seeing it. 🙂

Please credit me in case you happen to like one of my photos. Thanks 🙂

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The Fast & The Curious

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“Today’s menu has two choices, TAKE IT or LEAVE IT”  

Walt Disney

To read this full story here is the LINK.

I have transferred it to my other site LIFE & Wonders. The story of our expat’s life while in Abu Dhabi, UAE. If you are curious enough and wanted to know how it was pre-covid times in the land of the desert from 2015-2019.

Adventure: Desert Safari

I have the luxury of choosing what I want for my birthday present and this is what I have chosen.  Since arriving in UAE I wanted to do this and this month is perfect to do it since the weather is cooler and Abu Dhabi is a windy City so it adds to feeling “Winter”.  It may be different to what you know about winter, but it is definitely cooler than summer here in this part of Middle East.  This season is a much preferred by expats as it is not too hot nor too cold unlike in the opposite side of the World where it’s snowing or raining!  Oh yeah, I prefer the weather here now.

Here are the photos and I hope this can inspire you to have the same adventure.  There are a lot of travel agencies who can help you with this and what theme you prefer as I have chosen the “Family” so it suits us, especially with a young child.

Don’t be fooled with these hilly sand dunes they are higher than you thought. Riding a 4×4, you will need a good driver.  Lots of bumping along the way and it feels like in a roller coaster when our driver goes up the hill and down.  A novice doing this sort of thing can easily make the car roll on their side or worst upside down, and I say if you are not an expert in sand dunes better not risk going up the hill to show off then ending up with the quad bike on top of you.  Some anyway are driving on a low hillside.

Riding a camel is a MUST no doubt about it.  Even a 7yr old child can ride so it is safe though the height is greater than riding a horse.

Sand boarding is also good to try.  Don’t worry there are some staffs who will help you to get started… pushing you down below the sand dunes!

Falcon show and Henna tattoo are also part of the program, Traditional clothes you can also wear and lots to choose from at your own leisure while waiting for your turn for the activities.  Arabian coffee & dates are included and eat as many times as you like plus the dinner buffet is the typical Arabian BBQ that makes you feel hungry by the smell of it.  You sit on their Arabian dinner table & comfy cushions surrounded by Palm trees and Arabian music then a complimentary show about UAE by the end of it.

Belly dancing and shisha can be offered by other agencies.  Your choice.

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Let me end this with a quote… I think this is very appropriate 🙂

“Of all the paths you take in LIFE, make sure a few of them are dirt.” by John Muir