Exquisine Global powers ahead with expansion in Vietnam, as Novaland partnership bears fruit

Bangkok, Thailand – Exquisine Global, the international ambassador of Thai cuisine and successful franchisor of Mango Tree, COCA Restaurants, and Yenly Yours around the world, is confidently moving forward with its expansion plans in Vietnam, as its landmark partnership with Novaland Group starts to realize immediate benefits.

These two leading Asian F&B companies announced their ground-breaking collaboration last year, to introduce more of Exquisine Global’s popular Thai culinary concepts to Vietnam. This powerful alliance has already led to the launch of two Mango Tree Bangkok Eatery outlets, bringing upbeat and authentic Thai dining to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam’s largest metropolis, and Ho Tram, the world-class resort destination overlooking the East Sea.

From September 2022, these two vibrant restaurants will be complemented by a third Mango Tree Bangkok Eatery in Phan Thiet, the popular seaside town which is easily accessible from Ho Chi Minh City. Exquisine Global and Novaland are now planning to bring their innovative, industry-leading brands to even more diners in Vietnam with a flagship Mango Tree full-service restaurant in Ho Chi Minh City and further openings in popular urban and resort locations across the country.

Vietnam is emerging as one of the most compelling Asian markets for visitors and investors alike, with a large, youthful population and rising affluence. Economic growth is forecast to reach 7.5% in 2022*, as the country rebounds strongly from the impact of the global pandemic. All over Vietnam, new travel, tourism, and leisure infrastructure are creating fresh opportunities for experience-seeking travelers. This attractive Southeast Asian nation is now fully open to international visitors, with no entry restrictions.

Mango Tree Bangkok Eatery.

Exquisine Global is no stranger to Vietnam, having operated  COCA restaurants in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi since 2007. The signing of its partnership with Novaland in 2021 marked a significant escalation of its nationwide expansion strategy, with a multi-brand approach that will target many established and newly-emerging destinations. Vietnamese diners appreciate exceptional dining and Exquisine Global’s diverse collection of concepts, from full-service restaurants to casual cafés, will satisfy this appetite for high-quality Thai cuisine.

“Vietnam is such a hot market right now, and we are delighted to have partnered with one of the nation’s leading players to accelerate our growth in this important country. Our new Mango Tree Bangkok Eatery in Ho Chi Minh City is full every day, which not only demonstrates the rising popularity of our brands but also the fact that consumer confidence has returned to Vietnam and that the F&B market is thriving once again,” said Trevor MacKenzie, Managing Director of Exquisine Global.

The Vietnam expansion strategy forms part of a wider success story for the company. Last year, despite the pandemic disrupting life and travel, Exquisine Global opened 10 new dining destinations in four countries: China, Japan, the Philippines, and Vietnam. This growth is being ramped up in 2022, with 25 new outlets set to open in 10 countries and territories, covering six of its industry-leading brands.

The company now operates more than 78 full-service restaurants and casual dining outlets around the globe and is striding confidently towards its target of 100 outlets worldwide.

 

#ExquisineGlobal #MangoTree #COCARestaurants #YenlyYours #rubyspreciousmoments #rubyasoyph

Landco Pacific Raises the Bar for Premium Resort and Leisure Living

An outlier that pioneered in offering premium leisure developments in the country long before it became a trend, Landco Pacific Corporation continues to evolve as it celebrates more than 30 years of operations.

Peninsula de Punta Fuego, a premier seaside private residential community situated on 88 hectares of the pristine coast of Nasugbu, Batangas was developed in 1990. Offering the finest in leisure and resort living, the sprawling development has become the inspiration for the company’s expansion.

Through the decades, Landco Pacific offered distinctive leisure communities and townships catering to the ever-changing needs and lifestyle of the upscale market. It understands the sense of prestige and a taste for the good life that savvy businessmen and women, heads of families, techpreneurs, and go-getters aspire for in their real estate investment.

Master-planned projects were built with design concepts centered on unique architecture and aesthetic values, resulting in 1,000 hectares of residential and mix use premium residential properties in its portfolio across the country.  These communities make residents, investors and visitors feel at home in artfully-designed spaces that complement and protect the natural environment with sustainable features.

Landco’s portfolio includes Peninsula de Punta Fuego and Terrazas de Punta Fuego; Ponderosa Leisure Farms in Silang, Cavite; WoodGrove Park in San Fernando, Pampanga; Waterwood Park in Baliuag, Bulacan; Montelago Nature Estates in San Pablo, Laguna; The Courtyard at Lakewood Golf Estates in Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija; Woodridge Garden Village in Zamboanga City; and Hacienda Escudero in Tiaong, Quezon and Landco Canyon Woods in Lemery, Batangas.

Its BeachTowns include Playa Laiya and Club Laiya in Laiya, San Juan Batangas; Playa Calatagan and CaSoBe – Calatagan South Beach in Calatagan, Batangas and Playa Azalea and Costa Azalea in Samal island, Davao.

The BeachTowns are Landco Pacific’s latest developments located in scenic seaside tourist spots that are the highly coveted developments in Batangas and Samal.  A modern home that can double as a business in the BeachTowns, is steps away from the white sand beach and complemented by resort and leisure amenities under the Millennial Resorts Corp. brand.

Recognizing the demands for a healthier lifestyle and seaside living as the country and the global community recover from the Covid-19 pandemic, Landco Pacific ramped up its offerings of its BeachTowns with soon-to-be-launched premium condominium developments in upscale communities in Batangas.

CaSoBe

The 15-hectare CaSoBe is a master-planned development that offers mix-use residential and commercial lots, situated in the rising business hub and resort destination. The development features wide open spaces and beautiful promenades, with parks and retail landscapes.

Setting it apart from other beach properties, CaSoBe elevates the resort lifestyle with inviting details such as blue roads, street art, and creative lamp posts.

Hospitality amenities like Crusoe Cabins, Cocoons, Aquaria Water Park, and Captain Barbozza restaurant and bar are already fully operational and managed by Millennial Resorts. The first EDGE (Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies) Certification for a resort hospitality project in the country was awarded to Crusoe Cabins at CaSoBe. Recently, Millennial Resorts opened the 300-capacity event space called Canopy, serving the growing tourism market of Calatagan.

The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design)-registered CaSoBe is a sustainable development envisioned to contribute to the quality of leisure tourism and property development targeting environment, economic, and social sustainability.

Landco Pacific Corporation President and CEO Erickson Y. Manzano.

Club LaiyaThe 24-hectare Club Laiya is located in Laiya, San Juan Batangas. It is also a LEED-registered and master planned estate that features leisure living in a true supra resort community highlighting wide open spaces and beautiful promenades, with parks and retail landscapes.

The Seaside District at Club Laiya provides various offerings serving both the tourist market and the serious investor. For the leisure seeker, apart from having access to Laiya’s expansive white sand beaches, they can also avail of the resort amenities of Millennial Resorts such as the Cocoons, Captain Barbozza restaurant, and The Beach Club.

Designed as a contemporary resort destination, it is a place to see and be seen, property owners and tourists alike enjoy an active lifestyle with water sports and activities such as windsurfing, kayaking, and yachting.

The Spinnaker at Club Laiya and The Residences at Terrazas de Punta Fuego   

Continuing to evolve, Landco Pacific is in the planning stage of its latest developments – premium condominiums The Spinnaker at Club Laiya, San Juan, Batangas, and The Residences at Terrazas de Punta Fuego, Nasugbu, Batangas. These are going to be low-rise and low-density upscale resort condominiums. Current residents and investors will be given priority in availing of these resort condominium units.

An MPIC company

After more than 30 years of pioneering sustainable leisure landscapes, Landco Pacific unfolds a new chapter in its story.

Corporate tycoon Manuel V. Pangilinan, among the country’s biggest visionary business leaders, announced in April and May the full acquisition of Landco. He shared that the listed conglomerate he chairs Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) has raised its stake in Landco Pacific, making the upscale real estate developer now a 100-percent owned subsidiary of MPIC, from 38 percent previously.

MPIC was previously strong on real estate and property until it divested into infrastructure and tollways. But realizing the value that Filipinos have put on resort living, Pangilinan said MPIC is once again building up its presence in real estate development and tourism.

This further strengthens Landco Pacific which already has a strong track record in creating leisure and luxury home communities in the Philippines for more than 30 years. The evolution continues for Landco Pacific, backed by MPIC, one of the country’s biggest conglomerates.

Landco Pacific Corp. is a subsidiary of Metro Pacific Investments Corporation and known for pioneering premium landscapes for more than 30 years. For more information about Landco and its BeachTowns Club Laiya and CaSoBe, its hospitality provider Millennial Resorts, and upcoming developments, view the video on this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ll4Qe-6gWeI&feature=youtu.be  or visit their website or Facebook page.

 

 #LandcoBeachTowns #LandcoPacificCorporation #rubyspreciousmoments #rubyasoyph

 

Earn, eat and enjoy in Bangkok Marriott Hotel The Surawongse

Book your flight to Bangkok and get ready to immerse yourself in the warm and welcoming surroundings of the charming city and good food!

To celebrate the twin pleasures of travel and gastronomy in Bangkok, Bangkok Marriott Hotel The Surawongse offers “Earn, Eat, Enjoy”, a rewarding new promotion that gives international travelers the chance to take a vacation in Bangkok, Thailand with every stay including daily breakfast and hotel credit!

Earn, Eat, Enjoy package is inclusive of

  • 1 Night accommodation
  • Daily breakfast for two people
  • Up to THB 1,000 of hotel daily credit for dining, drinks, spa, upgrade, and more!
  • Up to 3,000 Marriott Bonvoy Bonus points

Situated in one of Bangkok’s heritage areas, Bangkok Marriott Hotel The Surawongse provides you plenty of opportunities to explore local’s cultural attractions, as well as shopping experiences and boat trips along the Chao Praya River – all only a few minutes away from the hotel.

Bangkok Marriott Hotel The Surawongse.

The hotel offers flexible accommodations by combining spacious guestrooms catering to both business and leisure travelers, as well as residential suites suited for longer stays which come complete with kitchenettes and up to three bedrooms for larger groups and families. Leisure facilities include the hotel’s outdoor infinity pool overlooking the city skyline and Marriott’s signature spa, Quan Spa.

Guest can top up the day with authentic Thai cuisine at Praya Kitchen or savor Cantonese cuisine at Yào Restaurant with a stunning view of Bangkok and end the day with cocktails while watching the sunset from Yào Rooftop Bar, the city’s first Chinese influenced Rooftop Bar. With the glittering high-rise skyline on one side and the historic Old Town landscape on the other, this is creating the perfect evening!

“Earn, Eat, Enjoy” is valid for bookings made from now until 30 September 2022, and for stays taken before 31 December 2022. To learn more and book your gastronomic getaway in Thailand with Marriott Bonvoy, please visit https://bit.ly/3j5B21H.

For more information about Bangkok Marriott Hotel The Surawongse, please visit www.bangkokmarriottsurawongse.com

 

#BangkokMarriottHotelTheSurawongse #rubyspreciousmoments #rubyasoyph

With the arrival of world-class Iguana Commuter, this private island has expanded its escape experience

 A hidden gem surrounded by the crystalline Sulu Sea, mesmerizing marine life, and radiant coral reefs, Banwa Private Island enthralls travelers seeking exclusive and unique adventures in a private sanctuary.

With the arrival of world-class Iguana Commuter, Banwa Private Island has expanded the island escape experience. The Commuter model, being the most exclusive in the range of yachts from Iguana, is the first of its kind in Asia. Adding a new dimension to immersive local activities, the sustainable, amphibious boat opens up access to new idyllic spots of North-eastern Palawan’s coastline to discover while enjoying the sheer thrill of the ride, seamlessly transferring between land and water.

Head to nearby sandbanks or unspoiled islands to access the Barbacan River’s mangrove forest and venture to the untouched reef of Araceli Island, a known site for swimming with manta rays. Make that luxurious and memorable journey to the UNESCO World Heritage Site Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park on this limousine tender.

Banwa Private Island chose the Iguana Commuter boat for its diversity, go-anywhere capabilities, and low ecological impact. The environmental footprint of the adventure watercraft is lower than a typical boat, with minimal logistics, materials, and infrastructure requisites.  Iguana Commuters are highly respectful to the coast, the sea, and the beach by being versatile and stealthy, limiting water, air, noise, and visual pollution. With its durable hi-tech build, the amphibious Iguana offers a safe, exhilarating ride experience for guests of Banwa Private Island.

Accelerate your Island getaway and experience the Iguana Commuter for exceptional local discoveries.  For more information and inquiries, please contact the Reservations team through mobile/WhatsApp: +639178882864, send an email to reservations@banwaprivateisland.com or visit www.banwaprivateisland.com.

 

#BanwaPrivateIsland #Palawan #Philippines #rubyspreciousmoments #rubyasoyph

Taiwan Tour: Exploring island and geology parks, and other scenic spots

Traveling broadens our horizons and gives us more opportunities to enjoy and learn about the places we visit.

On our fifth day in Taiwan, we had a jampacked itinerary and explored several interesting tourist attractions, such as (1) Yehliu Geopark Wanli District, New Taipei City, Taiwan; (2) Heping Island Park Zhongzheng District, Keelung City, Taiwan;  (3) Zhengbin Fishing Port Nostalgia Pier Zhongzheng District, Keelung City, Taiwan;  (4) Agenna Aboriginal Culture Restaurant Zhongzheng District, Keelung City, Taiwan; and (5) Jiufen, Ruifang District, New Taipei City, Taiwan.

Sightseeing at Yehliu Geopark

Yehliu Geopark is a park of natural wonders. Located in New Taipei City, Taiwan, it has full of sea water-eroded holes as well as numerous rocks that look so real in many shapes and forms!

Mushroom Rock / Personal photo
Fairy’s Shoe / Personal photo

Among other statues are named Fairy’s Shoe, Tofu Rock, Ice Cream Rock, Mushroom Rock, Candle Rock, and Ginger Rock. But the most famous one is the Queen’s Head. All these make this 1,700-meter-long cape a geology park with rich ecological resources and a prosperous fishing village.

The Queen’s Head is the most famous rock formation. Courtesy: Taiwan Tourism

At Heping Island Park, tourists can appreciate ocean views and world-class geo-scape. The Cliff at the island park is the vantage point where you can see and feel the sound of the waves. The sight brings total relaxation to the mind, body, and soul. You can take time exploring the scenic spot and feel its everyday charm. The island park is located right within the North Coast and Guanyinshan National Scenic Area.

The Cliff in Heping Island / Personal photo

Zhengbin Fishing Port, also known as “Nostalgia Pier,” gives a more laidback feel. It is located in the south of Heping Island. The Port is built by the Japanese in 1934, and it was the biggest fishing port in Taiwan during the Japanese era. Although it gradually diminished as years went by, its down-to-earth appearance endures. The city is actively seeking to preserve it as a place for relaxation and nostalgia. There has been a boat named “Folk Art” at the Port, considered the first art museum on the sea. Sports activities such as dragon boat races are also quite popular in the area.

The Nostalgia Pier / Personal photo

The group had a sumptuous lunch at Agenna Aboriginal Culture Restaurant located in Zhongzheng District, Keelung City, Taiwan. The dishes served to us were a fusion of local and international cuisines. Indeed, it was a hearty and satisfying meal!

Fun shot with former colleague Sara at Agenna / Personal photo

The last destination for the day was Jiufen, a well-known tourist spot in Taiwan. It’s a narrow street where you can shop for a lot of things from food to souvenirs. If you’re tight on a budget, it’s still alright to come here because there are a lot of stores offering some free food for tasting.

The writer striking a pose in Jiufen / Personal photo

Jiufen is located on a hillside that faces the ocean and is surrounded on three sides by mountains, with its people still maintaining their original simple lifestyle. With the changing seasons, the scenery also varies greatly, presenting different aspects of Jiufen. In the past, the place was the dreamland of gold diggers; now it has become a sanctuary for many artists and tourists.

Being able to see and appreciate the beauty and history of these scenic spots makes every trip a learning experience.

#Yehliu Geopark # HepingIslandPark   #ZhengbinFishingPort   #AgennaAboriginalCultureRestaurant  #Jiufen #Taiwan #tour #throwbacktravel #rubyspreciousmoments #rubyasoyph

(Part 5 of a 6-part feature article)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Taiwan Tour: Cultural immersion experience

The Atayal culture was quite interesting. We were introduced to its unique qualities of aboriginal performances, recreational activities, local food and aboriginal cuisine, cultural skills such as bamboo dance, assassination ball experience, and clothing try-on.

 

(Note: Bringing back Day 4 of our unforgettable tour to Taiwan when the world was still COVID-19-free. )

On our fourth day in Taiwan, we traveled to the Atayal Resort in Guoxing Township, Nantou County; the high-speed rail in Taichung station; visited the national historic monument, Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, Taipei 101 Observatory, and mall, and had a wonderful stay at Amba Taipei Songshan.

Atayal Resort during the day. Courtesy: pinoyformosa.com

To fully embraced the Atayal experience, we stayed at Atayal Palace Spring Hotel with a Baroque architectural style. Located amidst the fresh greeneries and natural forest, we were secluded from the hustle and bustle of the outside world. The resort features the culture of the Atayal tribe, a minority aboriginal tribe in Taiwan.

Atayal Palace at night / personal photo

The Atayal culture was quite interesting. We were introduced to its unique qualities of the aboriginal performances, recreational activities, local food and aboriginal cuisine, aboriginal cultural skills such as bamboo dance, assassination ball experience, and aboriginal clothing try-on.

Bamboo dance experience / personal photo
Wearing the aboriginal costumes / personal photo
Enjoying the native game / personal photo
The writer in the company of Atayal aboriginals @ Atayal Palace Hotel / personal photo

A unique attraction at the resort was a popular skywalk that hangs out of the mountain located 500 meters above sea level, offering a stunning view of the mountainous landscape. The shape of the skywalk was in concise design with a geometrical pattern and tempered glass construction at the bottom.

Standing on the glass platform, 500 meters high above the mountain foot, you can admire the beautiful mountain landscape and spectacular natural scenery that leave you with many wonderful memories.

Beautiful Architecture

Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall located in the heart of Taipei City / personal photo

From the resort, we took the high-speed rail to Taichung station to be able to reach Taipei City in 40 minutes. If by regular transportation, travel time would be two hours. Our next stop was at Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall located in the heart of Taipei City.

It has become the landmark of the city and is most visited by foreign tourists. Its architecture is inspired by Tiantan in Beijing and is a prime example of the beauty of architecture.

At Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall / personal photo

Two stairs leading to the top, you will find the bronze statue of the historical great leader. It’s being manned by equally attentive guards. The stairs have 89 steps which represent the age of death of Chiang Kai-shek.

View from the top

@ Taipei 101 Observatory / personal photo

For first-time visitors like me, it was a must to visit the Taipei 101 Observatory. There was a fast lift up to the top and the view from the top was impressive!

I couldn’t get over how fast the elevator ride was. It was located inside Taipei 101 mall, considered Taiwan’s premier international shopping destination – featuring luxury goods, fashion, and fine dining. Here, you can enjoy your shopping in comfort and total relaxation.

Urban vibe

After a long day of the tour, we were billeted at the Amba Taipei Songshan, which was five minutes walk to Raohe Night Market. The hotel is admirable for its urban vibe, spacious contemporary rooms, dramatic views of Taipei 101 as you arrived at the chic lobby, and multi-purpose communal areas, best of all, it has one of the best lineups of buffet menus.

Amba communal space with the view of Taipei 101 / personal photo
Amba’s welcome note for this writer / personal photo
Comfortable bed @ Amba / personal photo

It is designed for the savvy urban traveler who appreciates creativity, connectivity, and conservation. Created by Ambassador Hotels, the amba brand was launched in 2012 to coincide with the group’s celebration of 50 years of luxury hospitality.

A sumptuous dinner in the company of Ms. Jeanie Mak, alignment officer of Amba (in yellow-orange scarf)

We had a nice time at Amba, especially with the gracious and very welcoming accommodation of the hotel’s chief alignment officer, Ms. Jeanie Mak (in a yellow-orange scarf). She joined us during dinner and introduced us to the many amenities of the hotel.

Succulent steak at amba / personal photo
Delicious salad @ Amba / personal photo
Bread and cheese / personal photo

With all these things that happened in just one day, we shared the joys and experiences like never before.

#Taiwantour #TaiwanTourismBureau #destination #Asia #tourism #rubyspreciousmoments #rubyasoyph #atayalresort #taipei101 #ambataipeisongshan #CKSMemorialHall

 (Part 4 of a 6-part feature article)

 

Taiwan Tour: Love for rails and amazing scenery

Sun Moon Lake provides visitors with different charms in all seasons. But my favorite is in early spring around February, and the place is embraced by cherry blossoms in full bloom. Sun Moon Lake – a stunning landscape and a romantic paradise rolled into one.

 

Discovering new places of interest adds excitement to any traveler who visits the destination for the first time. On our third day in Taiwan, we went to the Jiji Township, still in Nantou County, where the Jiji and Checheng Railway Stations, the Toushe Basin, and Sun Moon Lake National Scenic Area can be found.

  • Jiji and Checheng Railway Stations

Jiji is a lovely small town surrounded by beautiful mountains and streams. Even today, the town has retained its rustic style and precious ecological resources. Tourism has been actively developed here, revealing the town’s charm to visitors.

80-year-old Jiji Station in the Japanese style. Image: Personal photo

When you pay a visit to Jiji, make sure to take photos in front of Jiji Station. It is Taiwan’s most well-known Japanese-style terminal station and has been around for more than 80 years now. It was destroyed in the 1999 earthquake but later reconstructed and restored to its original look. Since then it became a must-visit tourism destination in Jiji.

Jiji Station / personal photo

Checheng is the final destination on the Jiji line and is often referred to as “The Last Train Station.” Full of beautiful and amazing scenery, the Jiji Line is like a gallery that provides both sightseeing and educational enlightenment.

The view of Toushe Basin. Courtesy:sunmoonlake.gov.tw
  • Toushe Basin

The next stop was at the Toushe Basin, where an old “Bed and Breakfast” (worth 25 million in Taiwan dollars) was located. But, because of the storm, the land became soft and wasn’t cultivated well. The structures turned crooked and appeared to be like a “leaning tower of Pisa.”

Sun Moon Lake: Beauty and tranquility. Photo courtesy of Sarion Films
  • Sun Moon Lake

The last location we toured for the day was Sun Moon Lake – the alpine lake with serene beauty and tranquility. It is located in the middle of Taiwan, with an elevation of 748 meters above sea level, the only natural big lake in Taiwan.

The southern part of Lalu Island is shaped like a new moon, and the northern part is shaped like a sun; for this reason, it was named Sun Moon Lake. Visitors are often captivated by the refreshingly beautiful and elegant landscapes in this location. It’s like a Manila Bay cruise if you compared it to Manila.

Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village Cherry Blossom Season. Photo courtesy of Sunmoonlake.gov

Here, you can also enjoy a fascinating ecological tour. Sun Moon Lake provides visitors with different charms in all seasons. But my favorite is in early spring around February, and the place is embraced by cherry blossoms in full bloom.

Biking at Sun Moon Lake. Photo courtesy of Sarion Films

Visitors can also appreciate the view of the lake by cycling around. It’s a must to experience the biking trails during your stay to better understand the different sides of Sun Moon Lake – a stunning landscape and a romantic paradise rolled into one.

#Taiwantour #TaiwanTourismBureau #destination #Asia #tourism #preciousmoments #rubyasoyph #throwbacktravel

(Part 3 of a 6-part feature article)

 

 

Exploring Taiwan in 6 days

In this installment, I will take you to Taichung, Taiwan, where you can enjoy the tourist attractions such as Rainbow Military Village, Chun Shui Tang Cultural Tea House, Miyahara, Fengjia Night Market, and Red Dot Hotel.

 

Travel is a new experience that can transport you out of your everyday routine to create memories and discover new places of interest. For six days, we had the opportunity to explore the culture, beauty, historical landmarks, scenic tourist spots, and culinary offerings in Taiwan. Because this trip gave me a new way of looking at things and having new eyes – that no matter where you had been, whether the experience was good or bad – you take with you the memories and made you realize that life truly is a journey.

 

Colorful Rainbow Military Village in Taichung, Taiwan

On our first day, the schedules were already jam-packed. We went to the Taichung side of Taiwan and visited the Rainbow Military Village. Rainbow Village is a military housing facility. This was painted by a military soldier and was supposed to be demolished but then students petitioned for it to be retained. They decorated it by putting various beautiful works of art until it became a tourist attraction. Around 3,000 supporters are maintaining this housing project.

Sumptuous set meals @ Chun Shui Tang Cultural Tea House

Bubble Milk Tea

Then, we proceeded to Chun Shui Tang Cultural Tea House for our sumptuous dinner. The tea house is known for its bubble tea, hotpots, meal sets, traditional noodles, and delicious side orders like dim sums, bean curds, dry noodles, etc.

The writer @ Miyahara

The next stop was at Miyahara, a red-brick architecture built by Miyahara Takeo, a Japanese ophthalmology doctor in 1927. At present, Dawn Cake, a pastry company renowned for its pineapple cakes, acquired the building and preserved Miyahara’s original red-brick walls and archway. The interior decor was redesigned like Hogwarts in the movie Harry Potter. Visitors to Miyahara are not only recommended to appreciate the details of the historic architecture but also try Dawn Cake’s signature ice cream, bubble tea, and pastries wrapped in nostalgic packings. We loved this place!

Fengjia Night Market. Photo: roundtaiwanround

One of the most famous night markets in Taichung is Fengjia Night Market. Here, you can buy a lot of things like food, apparel, cosmetics, and other surprising pieces of stuff. It’s famous for its “cheap and yet massive quantity” of foods, luring people from all over the world. Recommended delicacies here are: Chinese sausage wrapped in glutinous rice, brown sugar tapioca milk, Chow mien (fried noodles) stuffed bread, octopus balls (takoyaki), humongous stinky tofu, and huangjinzei (aromatic rice stuffed in cuttlefish).

Courtesy: Me-Ann Clemente

We stayed at Red Dot Hotel for the night. The boutique hotel was attractive with its quirky fun and functional design. It has a big slide which you can use from the hotel’s second floor to the lobby – perfect to enjoy for the young and young-at-heart! Some of our group had tried the iconic hotel slide. I stayed in one of their spacious double rooms and quickly slumbered into dreamland. I woke up the next day energized and ready for the tour itinerary.

#Taiwantour #PanahonsaTaiwan #TaiwanTourismBureau #travel #destination #Asia #rubyspreciousmoments #rubyasoyph

(Part 1 of a 6-part feature article)

Boracay, Palawan and Cebu hailed World’s Best Islands

The Department of Tourism (DOT) applauded the naming of the country’s three island destinations among “The 25 Best Islands in the World” by the New York-based travel magazine Travel + Leisure (T+L).

Boracay Island featuring its postcard-perfect sunset ranked 9th in the T+L World’s Best Island list, followed by Palawan at 11th with a photo of an idyllic lagoon in El Nido, and Cebu at 16th with Taoist Temple, in Cebu City. According to T+L, readers were asked to “weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — to share their opinions on the top cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. Readers rated islands according to their activities and sights, natural attractions and beaches, food, friendliness, and overall value.”

“The Philippines is truly blessed with the unrivaled beauty of our natural resources coupled with the warmth and endless talent of the Filipinos manifested in this citation of Travel + Leisure that included our Cebu, Palawan, and Boracay in their prestigious list,” Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco said.

Boracay and Palawan also topped T+L’s 5 Best Islands in Asia alongside Phuket, Thailand, Bali, Indonesia, and The Maldives. “Travel + Leisure readers fondly recalled pre-COVID-era visits to the best islands in Asia. Now that the region is reopening, they’re surely eager to return to these five ports of call, including the islands of the Maldives, as well as those found in Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines,” stated T + L.

“We express our heartfelt gratitude and congratulations to all tourism stakeholders from the public and private sector, the national and local government units, the efforts of the previous administration included, and all the hardworking employees and officials of the Department across the country for forging forward amidst the challenges of the pandemic and contributing in their ways so our country may earn the title as one of the most beautiful in the world. The natural beauty of a country can truly shine through when we are united in heralding our best qualities,” Frasco added.

Philippines is among the 40 Most Beautiful Countries in the World

The Philippines concurrently was named among “The 40 Most Beautiful Countries in the World” by lifestyle travel magazine Condé Nast Traveler (CNT).

The country is accompanied in the list by other countries such as Brazil, France, Italy, Japan, and the United States of America, among others.

Manila is among the top cities in the World

Meanwhile, TimeOut.com also ranked Manila among the top cities in the world. The ranking comes as a result of a survey among city-dwellers worldwide. The choice is a result of several criteria that include aspects like walkability, good public transport, safety, and sustainability other than a thriving nightlife, amazing food and drink, and art and culture. It should be noted, nonetheless, that Manila is usually about Metro Manila or the Philippines’ National Capital Region.

“May this global recognition of the beauty of our natural resources inspire our efforts to raise the Philippines’ standing in the tourism industry by introducing tourism infrastructure development and improvements that would enhance connectivity and convenience in reaching our destinations,” enthused Secretary Frasco.

 

Source:  https://beta.tourism.gov.ph/news_and_updates

Featured photo: DOT

#Boracay #Palawan #Cebu #Philippines #rubyspreciousmoments #rubyasoyph

Taiwan Tour: Getting Closer To Nature

The atmosphere of quiet lushness from the mountain made our stay a whole new experience in getting closer to nature.

 

Monster Village during the day

Traveling through this side of Taiwan on our second day, makes you appreciate the beauty of the countryside.  In this installment, I will take you to Nantou County, where you can take a glimpse of magnificent views of the outdoors and cold weather at Monster Village and Sun-Link-Sea Forest and Nature Resort.

Photo-op of the group at Monster Village.

Monster Village is one of the most popular attractions in Nantou County. You will like it here because of its captivating scenery and cold weather, which is comparable to our very own Tagaytay City. The place is situated 1,100 meters above sea level – the reason for its cool climate – and you can almost see the mountains and the clouds covering the mountain top. There are all kinds of strange monster statues and the villagers are dressed in Japanese style.

It’s not just a tourist attraction, but a one-stop shop for the guests. Whenever you get hungry, you can choose from one of the restaurants here which served best-selling Taiwan and Chinese dishes.

Stinging Nettle or Biting Cat Bread @ Monster Village. Photo: Me-An Clemente

Interestingly, there’s a particular bread that caught our attention during our visit – the Stinging Nettle bread also known as “Biting Cat” in Chinese. The itchy part is the leaf and locals made it into bread but the inside is very savory and soft, it contains some cheese or some kind of meat as filling. But the highlight of the bread is the stinging nettle leaf on top of the bread.

Our group indulged in the set menu for lunch at Monster Village Theme restaurant. The food arrived in big servings. It was truly a mouthful of dishes served before our very eyes. We enjoyed the food, the company, and the ambiance.

You can also find some souvenir shops for your trip mementos. and a hotel within the village for long-staying guests.

The writer at the Flower Center

 

We also visited Sun-Link-Sea Forest and Nature Resort. The place has an annual average temperature of about 20 degrees Celcius and is 1600 meters above sea level. The climate is perfect like Baguio City. Here, you can enjoy a different side of Taiwan, far from the city.

You won’t feel perspired and get tired while walking; most of all, you get to enjoy being surrounded by nature. You will enjoy the atmosphere near the waterfalls, the environment surrounded by trees, and a Flower Center, which exhibited some 30 flower species, such as peony, color cabbage, hydrangea, tulip, and Taiwan cherry, fuchsia, etc.

Our accommodation at Sun-Link-Sea Hotel, an elegant building characterized by modern and neo-classical architecture, provided a total relaxation. The atmosphere of quiet lushness from the mountain made our stay a whole new experience in getting closer to nature.

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(Part 2 of a 6-part feature article)