Tinipak River Family Adventure

Tinipak River in Tanay, Rizal is a good trek for beginners and even kids 7 and up.  The trek is just 3 hours two-way and the trail is gorgeous with the forest on one side and clean running river with beautiful boulders on the other. There is also the  constant view of the mountains everywhere.  The final destination are limestone rock formations that are simply stunning.

It is the first trek of my 3 kids (youngest is 10 year old).  The 10 year old was able to manage quite well. Since it is their first, I wanted it to be really good. That said, the trail mix of Tinipak of walking on grass, soil, rocks, mud and boulders provided an interesting and fairly challenging experience. Not too easy and not too hard. Not too long trek either.  You would get a repeat request for trekking if you start with Tinipak. I did! [Read more...]

The Old Grove Farmstead: Day Trip to Holland in Batangas

A quick day trip is our family's way of chillaxing without the pressure of too much preparation.

The Old Grove Farmstead with its iconic red barn and Dutch windmill transported us to Holland in just 1.5 hours! Located just right near the exit of Lipa, Batangas, the farm offered the family a delightful experience.

The real treat for my kids is the feeding encounter with the sheep. They had so much fun hand feeding them as the sheep ate right out of their bare hands. The sheep are enclosed in a fence but they can stick their head out for the feeding encounter. Note: Sheep and duck feeds are sold at the windmill which serves as the entrance to the farm. We found that the ducks liked the sheep food as well so you can skip getting duck food.

[Read more...]

Taipei Zoo Family Guide

My kids and I fell in love with Taipei Zoo the first time we went there.   The place is huge!  165 hectares with 90 hectares open to the public, it is the biggest zoo in Asia.  The landscape is rich in foliage, so if you are not looking at the glorious animals you are looking at rich vegetation.

The animal enclosures don't seem like an enclosure at all because it is big and designed to re-create the animal's habitat.  That said the animals look healthy and well-taken cared.  They have everything!  From pandas, to African elephants, dessert camels, koalas, a gigantic aviary of birds, huge reptile collection, even penguins!  In the 6 times that I have been there, all weekdays, the place wasn't packed. [Read more...]

Guide to a Day Trip at Yilan with Kids (Part 2)

Just 1.5-2 hours away Taipei City,  Yilan has a lot to offer.  We were able to go to 7 places in one day but there are still a lot of places to discover.  For the meantime,  here are the places we were able to visit in a day and that includes travel time from Taipei already! Click here for part 1.

4.   Agrioz Museum Cafe

I accidentally deleted my other photos and was left with this.  Check out Agrioz Candied Fruit Museum and you will see photos from the web.  The cafe has very nice interior with fun additions like this giant table and chair.  If you are a group of 15,  you can schedule a candied fruit making experience.

5.   CP Cheese Factory

Not exactly a factory but they do have delightful interiors and their Japanese cheesecakes are very good.  A cheesecake ranges from [Read more...]

Guide to a Day Trip at Yilan with Kids (Part 1)

Just 1.5-2 hours away Taipei City,  Yilan has a lot to offer.  We were able to go to 7 places in one day but there are still a lot of places to discover.  For the meantime,  here are the places we were able to visit in a day and that includes travel time from Taipei already!

  1. Mr. Brown Castle Cafe

Not your ordinary coffee shop, Mr. Brown fashioned this cafe to an English castle.  I ordered a coffee latte and passion lime cake which was pretty good.  My kids had their fill of gelato.

Best place to sit [Read more...]

Top Trails for Families at Taroko National Park, Taiwan

Since my husband is currently based in Taipei,  my kids and I have gone to Taiwan several times in the past few years.  We always enjoyed our day trips and our food binges.  This time my husband took us East of Taiwan and I must say, as an outdoors person, Taroko National Park in Hualien,  is one of my favourites.If you will be in Taiwan for longer than 3 days or if you have previously gone around Taipei city already or if you prefer nature to city, Hualien, home of Taroko National Park, is worth the trip.  It is a 2-3 hour train ride from Taipei city thus an overnight stay is highly recommended.  Read about How to Get to and How to Go Around Taroko National Park here.

Top Spots at Taroko National Park for Families: [Read more...]

Coron: Where to Stay , What to Do and What to Skip

Coron with all its breathtaking pics all over social media has been on my travel list for quite awhile now.  And Coron Island is truly a beauty worth visiting with its jade colored waters set against towering limestone formations.   Coron Town, however, where most tourists stay is where expectations have to be managed. But more on that later.  For now let me rave about the beauty of Coron Island.   [Read more...]

7 Reasons to Visit Taiwan: Asian Traveller Edition

When one thinks of Taiwan they think of rows and rows of factories with little albeit no tourist areas to boast of. I had no intention of visiting the place but since my husband is currently Taipei based I had the pleasure of calling “Ilha Formosa,” the beautiful island, our second home.

Here are my top 7 reasons why you should visit Taipei: [Read more...]

Review of Awilihan Private Resort: A Charming, Provincial Home

My family often takes trips with family friends and of course our extended family.  It is nice to see the kids develop friendships with the children of my siblings, cousins and good friends.  It brings extra warmth and fun to the trip.  And what would be a better destination for such a big group but a whole resort to ourselves!

Last weekend,  we had our family reunion (4 families) at Awilihan Private Resort in Tanauan, Batangas. It is just an hour's drive away from Makati even on a December weekend!  I have attended an overnight birthday party of a friend here last year and fell in love with the place.  I wouldn't exactly call it a resort because resorts sound grand and commercial.  Awilihan is more like a provincial home, charming and modest.It enjoys the view of [Read more...]

Dinosaur Island Clark Pampanga: Unexpected Fun

Unexpected F-U-N! That was what we had when we visited Dinosaur Island in Clark. My elder kids yawned when I mentioned it to them. We will drive all the way to see dinosaur statues? Really, mom?  Plus, I read mixed reviews with some people finding the place boring or too short an entertainment compared to the long drive.

Well, the whole family was in for quite a surprise. The life sized, Dinosaur animatronics amidst the forest surroundings provided for a lot of excitement and fun for everybody including the eye rolling teeners.

Our adventure began with the humongous, boulder like entrance to the park that is reminiscent of Jurassic Park's entry way.

Dinosaur-Island-Clark---Entrance-SoloInside is an array of over 30 species of moving, life sized dinosaurs.   The dinosaurs featured are [Read more...]

6 Family Travel Mistakes to Avoid

Lake-Tahoe“Not another picture!” My kids and husband groan as I ask them to pose for yet another picture against the statue of Mickey Mouse. I get a little bit irritated and go through my litany of “this is what you will look at when you go back home!” And the bickering goes on, ruining what would have been a relaxing, fun trip.

Let’s admit it. We all start out good (unless you left the passports!) and towards the middle of the trip, 5 people differently wired but one family would get into each other’s nerves.

Sharing with you my top 5 mistakes when traveling with the fam bam. [Read more...]

Experience the Magic as Hongkong Disneyland Turns 10

Hongkong-Disneyland-FireworksImagine the most wonderful time of the year, in the happiest place on Earth with all the festivities of a 10th year anniversary! It’s hitting the jackpot thrice!

It seems like yesterday when the nearest Disneyland closest to home opened it’s door to Asia.   And just as you would expect from Disneyland, such a celebration will come with much fanfare and joy.

Listed below are the new attractions people are raving about in Hongkong Disneyland’s 10th Year Anniversary celebration:

MICKEY AND THE WONDROUS BOOK, a brand new live musical featuring Disney’s most loved characters and stories from Mickey Mouse to Olaf and Tangled to Frozen.

Mickey-and-the-Wondrous-BookKids will be delighted to see all the characters they love in one musical show! I can already see the glow in the eyes of the kids!

DISNEY IN THE STARS, is the stunning Fireworks show of Disneyland only more dazzling!

Fireworks-at-DisneylandCutting-edge technology, spectacular lighting effects and state-of-the-art video projection on the Sleeping Beauty Castle will leave everyone in awe. I don’t know if I’m the only one but Disney’s Finale Fireworks always makes me teary-eyed with joy. It’s like my heart is swelling with hope and joy, I have to cry it out! Maternal hormones!

FAIRY TALE FOREST.  Visualize walking through the whimsical landscape of “Tangled,” the familiar town of Beauty and the Beast to the underwater world of “Little Mermaid.” Wouldn’t it be enchanting!?!

To add to the 10th anniversary flair, Disneyland is also offering a play and dine promo that entitles visitors to a free combo meal in the restaurants inside Disneyland . The combo meal comes with main course and a drink.

For more information on Hongkong Disneyland’s 10th Anniversary attractions and promos, hop on over here.

For an extra touch of whimsy, Hongkong Disneyland has made a game where you can create a personal note using different Disney themes, like the one I made.Hongkong Disneyland Facebook GameTry making you own at Hongkong Disneyland’s FB Page and let your husband or kids be amused.

Let the magic of Hongkong Disneyland fill the entire family!

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Domicillo Design Hotel: Stylish, Romantic Getaway in Tagaytay

Domicillo TagaytayIt is our 15th wedding anniversary and I thought that since we only had the weekend I have to find the most romantic getaway that won't be too far away.   My frenetic search on the net led me to DOMICILLO, a design, boutique haven offering one of the best and widest view of Taal Lake.

Because of work, errands and the horrendous traffic (4.5 hours instead of 2 hours to Tagaytay) to get out of Manila, we arrived at Domicillo at 7:30pm. I was almost in tears. Hehe because we paid a premium plus our anniversary is too hurried. Uwaaah it's not a happy anniversary anymore.

But truly, when we stepped into Domicillo, the warmth and charm of the place reminded us what we were here for - a relaxing, intimate getaway to celebrate 15 years!

Domicillo TagaytayThe place was just as the pictures promised it to be. Understated elegance.

We got the best room in the 8-room boutique hotel, the [Read more...]

DreamWorks DreamPlay Manila: Complete Guide (Part 1)

DreamPlay ManilaDreamPlay Manila for our family is the coolest indoor playground in Manila.   Quite sporty and competitive, our hearts were pumping wild when we first had a glimpse of what DreamPlay is. It's a DreamWorks inspired playground filled with challenging obstacle courses with varying degrees of difficulty. To top it all, considering the Manila heat, it's great to have it indoors and air-conditioned!

Plus what can be cooler than training to be the next Dragon Warrior! Hi-ya!

Sharing with you what to expect in each of the 15 attractions, FAQ and tips on how to get the best experience at DreamPlay Manila. [Read more...]

DreamWorks DreamPlay Manila: Complete Guide (Part 2)

Outside DreamPlay ManilaThis is the second and final part of TheGoMom's DreamPlay Review. To read part 1 where the first 12 attractions are detailed, click DreamWorks DreamPlay, Manila (Part 1) . In part 2 are the three other attractions especially geared for younger kids, parent's FAQ plus tips on how to get the best experience at DreamPlay Manila. [Read more...]