Kickoff to Japan travel (Day 1)

by ozchinita
(Nov 26, 2013)

Besides travelling to Europe, Japan was another country on my must travel list after getting an AU passport (no visa required anymore).

So when I found out that some uni friends from the Philippines were planning to go as well in Nov, we ended up organizing a group travel to see Japan during autumn! I was super excited not only because I love Japan, but also because I get to travel with friends that I haven’t seen for at least 10 yrs.

We didn’t join a tour group and just planned the itinerary ourselves.  Me and 2 other friends (one of who is currently living in Japan) did the planning and research for the sights and accommodations.  The itinerary was for a 2 week trip, with some people from our group arriving or leaving earlier throughout the trip.  But before we began, everyone first met up in Tokyo for dinner in a themed restaurant 😀

First thing we did upon arrival at the airport was get a wifi rental.  Each group booked from different rental websites, but for our case I got our wifi rental from here. You can reserve it ahead of time and just pick it up from the airport upon arrival.  We did a lot of travelling to different prefectures in Japan, so this was one of the providers where the wifi worked for all of the locations we visited.

Next we had to figure out how to ride the train to get to our accommodations.  At this point it was just me and 2 other girl friends, so we were on our own trying to figure out how to get to our hotel.  You can ask the info booth in the airport (they can speak in English) what train to take to your accommodations.  In our case, our hotel was in Toyocho station so we took the Keisei main line to Ueno, then we had to then transfer to another train to get to Toyocho station.

in the airport train station

The tricky part is figuring out how to buy tickets for the 2nd part of our train ride.  There were ticket machines you can buy from and they were in English, but it doesn’t say in the screen what amount to choose! So we were scratching our heads trying to figure out what button to press.

I only figured this out later on, that though they don’t specify the location in the machine, when you check via hyperdia it tells you the amount value for a specific route.  I didn’t know this at that time, so to play it safe I picked the cheapest price here.  Then when that wasn’t enough to exit out of our station, we went to the staff near the exit, showed our ticket and paid the difference between what we have paid and the actual price.

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My Italy 10 day itinerary

by ozchinita

Italy was the longest leg of my Europe trip, and for those that plan to go and want to get some ideas.. here’s the summary of the itinerary we planned out.

2 Days in Venice (from Lucerne)
Around Venice
Watching the Opera
St. Mark’s Square
Walking in Venice

2 Days in Florence
Day 1
Day 2

Daytrip to Cinque Terre from Florence

1 Day in Siena

2 Days in Rome
Day 1
Day 2

Daytrip to Amalfi Coast

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PHL | Dumaguete: Transportation

by blueclouds

The basic transportation in Dumaguete is the tricycle with a fare of PHP9.00 per head on short distance.  Dumaguete is just a small city and we were able to walk around from the plaza to our Hotel.  However, to go to the tourist spots which are from the city, either you hire a van if you’re a big group but for our case we are only 3.

We first rode a tricycle from our hotel and driver agreed to bring us to our destination – Casaroro Falls and Twin Lakes of Balinsasayao – for a cost of PHP1,000.  Quite a good deal versus the PHP4,000 van rental (could have been a good choice if we were a group of 4 or 5).  Upon reaching Valencia Plaza, we were told by the driver that we will transfer to habal-habal (motorcycle).  Each motorcycle costs PHP200 roundtrip.  Apparently the tricycle ride was a deception which we learned after our Casaroro Falls hike during a conversation with our motorcycle driver/guide.  So we went back to Valencia Plaza and talked to the tricycle driver and paid PHP250 and told him to go back to Dumaguete City and no need to wait for us.  In our desire to save up, it was such sad experience to be fooled, how bad people could be just to earn money.  Apparently there is a jeepney from Dumaguete City to Valencia which costs only PHP15 and travel time is about 30 minutes. Continue reading

Europe 2013 Planning mode: The Transportation

by Oz Chinita

Okay itinerary done.  Next question is how to get from one place to another.  There’s so much information in the internet of what website to go to and what route, that for the first few months I was just lost randomly checking websites but not plotting anything concrete.

What helped was finding this website seat61 where you can select what country you will be starting from and where your destination is to show what website to look at.

For those following a similar itinerary to mine, these are the 3 websites I looked at for timetables and fares, one for each country.

Paris/France – http://en.voyages-sncf.com/en/
Switzerland – http://sbb.ch
Italy – http://trenitalia.com

For the inter country travel, (i.e. Paris to Switzerland, and Switzerland to Italy), you can choose either the home country or the target country websites to do the booking. I would do a check of both websites to see if I can get cheaper in one or the other.

With the websites on hand, next thing I need to think about is the route. Especially for Italy, I first determined the sequence of countries based on the location of each of the cities in the map.

So based on that, I tried to look for the times and fares from Paris -> Murren -> Lucerne -> Venice -> Florence -> Cinque Terre (daytrip from Florence) -> Siena (either as a daytrip or overnight) -> Rome.

Once I know the route, if there’s a lot of transfers in between, I then check the cost of the 1st leg as sometimes the cost ends up being cheaper (especially for the inter country transfers).  And if you’re able to book the inter country transfers 3 months in advance, there are some really good discounts available for booking ahead!

Here’s a table summarizing the costs and routes for my trip:

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PHL | Siquijor: Transportation

In provinces, usually there are public transportations for you to go from one place to another – tricycle, motorcycle, jeepney, or bus. However, in Siquijor, I was surprised there was none. We usually see people just walking or having their own motorcycle / car.

For tourists, depending on your number, you can either rent a tricycle or a multi-cab. We rented a multi-cab even though we are only 3 people; with the minimal difference in cost at least we had the comfort during our ride. A tricycle costs PHP1,000 to PHP1,200 while a multi-cab costs PHP1,500 to PHP1,800 per day. For multi-cab service in Siquijor, contact Kuya Benehildo at (+63) 916-4528674

Multi-Cab

Multi-Cab