Snapshots: AJ Hackett Bungy Jump, Macau Tower

It’s been exactly a year since I grabbed life by the balls and freaking jumped off Macau Tower! Thank you AJ Hackett, your business is life-changing. I may work for a multinational medical and consumer company that helps improve and even saves lives, but your adrenaline-inducing services are just as necessary to life. I can’t wait to do business with you again (I really want to bungee jump in New Zealand! Somebody, anybody, please sponsor me! Haha).

I’ll write about my Macau Tower bungee experience this week, do watch out for it!

A Guide to San Juan, Laiya, Batangas, Part 3: Cafeño

My last few posts have been about some memorable cafes I've been to, so I thought I'd close out this series with an entry about a lovely cafe from my home province of Batangas.

Cafeño can be found at the heart of San Juan, Laiya's poblacion or town proper, right beside the gas station. It's a portion of a big ancestral house, and the cafe stays true to this with an old-world kind of feel, which I love:

That's my Mom and Dad! :)

My family always stops by here after a day at the beach, and our usual orders are the Adobo Flakes, Eggs Benedict Longganisa(done Filipino-style - on pandesal!) and the Kapeng Barako Ice Cream Sundae:

Apparently their specialty is Churros served with Spanish Cocoa, which sounds really delicious - I ought to try that the next time I visit.

On our beach trips, we usually leave San Juan at around sunset to head home, and on the particular trip when I took these pictures, the light was particularly warm and orange, and it was just perfect for pictures. So I'm throwing this in as the last photo, because I think it's rather pretty, and I'm calling it "Table for One" ('cause I'm cheesy like that :P):

No. 9 Cor General Luna and Rizal St.
San Juan, Batangas, Philippines
Phone (043) 575-5161
Open Monday-Sunday, 8:00 am to 8:00 pm

Cafeño Facebook Page

Snapshots: La Boulangerie Francaise, Hue, Vietnam

I love the random little places one finds when traveling. Our brief stay in Hue, Vietnam last year wasn't particularly special, and perhaps the least eventful of our Vietnam-Cambodia trip. But Tiff, Jen and I finding this random little bakeshop in one of our strolls along the streets of Hue was at least memorable.

The food wasn't particularly spectacular, to be honest - a few different kinds of affordable pastries and decent coffee - but we were drawn to the place somehow, and found ourselves coming back more than twice in the few days we were in Hue. I guess the fact that it just seemed out of place where we found it made it alluring, and gave it a unique charm.

Hoi An Cargo Club & Patisserie, Vietnam

In the serendipitous few days I spent in Hoi An last year I fell in love with the place, fell in love with its laid-back vibe and narrow streets and the little trinkets and souvenirs we took home to remind us of the place. One of my best memories in the short time I was there were the times I spent with Tiff and Jen at Cargo Club.

We dropped by Cargo Club on our second afternoon in Hoi An, after a day of shopping and going to the usual tourist spots around the area. We got a table on the balcony overlooking the river, and we spent the afternoon enjoying our pastries and drinks and in deep conversation about life back home.

(Photos below by Tiffany Orbien :D)

That night we put on our best dresses (at least the best ones we had stuffed in our backpacks), went back to Cargo Club and had our last dinner in Hoi An there. I remember getting the risotto, which was pretty delicious. The place was lovely at night, with the balcony lit by lamps and the river lined with lights.

We had dinner under the moon and stars and there was a vase of sunflowers on our table - it would've been pretty romantic, except we were all girls. We had a lovely night though, laughing and taking pictures, just enjoying the moment.

Self-portrait! :D

Hoi An Cargo Club & Patisserie
107-109 Nguyen Thai Hoc, Hoi An
Phone 0510/910-489

Snapshots: Cafe Noriter, Dumaguete, Philippines

For nearly a year now I've been into all things Korean thanks to KPop (this from the girl who loves The Virgins, MGMT and Florence the Machine - yeah, I'm a music schizo like that :D). And as fate would have it, a friend is getting assigned to Seoul for three months, so I'm going in November to pay him a visit! So I've been dreaming of Seoul of late, and trolling other travel blogs about where to go and what to do (besides fangirl to death, naturally. You're seeing a totally different side of me aren't you? :P)

Anyway, I keep hearing about this area called Hongdae which apparently is an artsy area in Seoul near a popular campus. Apparently the place is lined with cool clubs and cafes, and on weekends they have flea markets and such. As I was looking at some awesome pictures from Sleepwalking in Tokyo (here and here) I got reminded of this cafe I chanced upon on a random trip to Dumaguete in 2008.

So where Cafe Noriter gets is name from is the Korean word for "playground". The interior of the place was quirky-cute, with pictures and polaroids lining the walls along with books and random trinkets and things - the place had a very Asian pop culture vibe, which to me personally translates as cutesy, light and happy. It was a very feel-good place, and no doubt a favorite hangout of students from the nearby campus.

Apparently Cafe Noriter also has a branch in Manila now, somewhere in Taft Ave. I must definitely check that one out.

And while I'm on the subject, some new KPop videos! For kids who grew up in the 90's like me, these videos will probably remind you of the bubblegum pop era of The Spice Girls and the 1,001 boybands of our youth - except with a 21st century twist, I guess?

Note to Self: On my next post, I must write about (or at least mention) some totally non-commercial, non-mainstream bands so I don't completely lose all my coolness points. But whatever, KPop's fun, and I choose fun over cool (or musically original) sometimes. Haha! :P

Cafe Noriter website:

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