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Friday, March 15, 2019

Three Days Exploring the Mackinac Island and the Mackinaw City

   


Traveling to the Upper Michigan where Mackinaw island and Mackinaw City are nestled is a perfect holiday get away to have unlimited fun and discoveries. From riding a ferry, biking, hiking and sight-seeing, the activities varied which made the trip truly unforgettable.


Three Days Exploring the Mackinac Island and the Mackinaw City-Traveling to the Upper Michigan where Mackinaw island and Mackinaw City are nestled is a perfect holiday get away that offers unlimited fun and discoveries. From riding a ferry, biking, hiking and sight-seeing, the activities varied which made the trip truly unforgettable.
Mackinac Island sits in Lake Huron, between Michigan’s Upper and Lower peninsulas. Mackinac Island State Park, with trails, woods and the limestone Arch Rock formation, covers most of the island. Founded in 1780, Fort Mackinac is a walled cluster of military buildings on a coastal bluff. The Richard and Jane Manoogian Mackinac Art Museum has local works, including Native American art, maps and 19th-century photos.


We opted to stay in the hotel in St. Ignace where the port going to the island is situated because it offered cheaper prices. It also allowed us to explore different places in Upper Peninsula other than the island.

Mackinac island is nestled in Lake Huron, between Michigan’s Upper and Lower Peninsulas. The ride in the ferry itself was an amazing experience which allowed us to gaze at the amazing vista the Mackinaw Bridge and the island offers.

The island is an impeccable location for many romantic movies. It is like being blasted in the past because of the horse and buggy which is the main transportation, mixture of old and new houses, Native American arts, 19th century photos, and structures preserved through the passage of time. Trails, woods and the limestone Arch Rock formation, covers most of the island.


After devouring an entire piece of their famous burger,  my husband and I decided to explore the island through biking. That was my first time biking for almost ten miles! It was worth it because riding the bike is the perfect way to enjoy the Victorian image of the island which was preserved by a small population of permanent residents. They lived in cottages which were maintained in their original state.


Now, if you want to indulge yourself in the tranquillity of an island visit, do not stay at the centre of the business and commerce where flock of tourists and the sound of ferry are blasting. A little walk or bike would bring you at some scenic places and you could totally immerse yourself in the peace and quiet of an island getaway.




We visited during the summer for my birthday celebration and it was the perfect time to do all the biking and sight-seeing. My favourite part was simply seating at the historic parks where we enjoyed just resting and looking at beautiful sceneries. Flowers were still in full bloom which made our visit more magical.

Biking around the island gave us a glimpse how much of the island was preserved extensively. This explains why the entire island is listed as a National Historic Landmark and is considered the jewel of the Great Lakes.


THE PICTURED ROCKS
The second day was scheduled for hiking at the famous Pictured Rocks. Since our hotel was at St. Ignace, it is a little drive going to Munising where it is located.


It is honestly one of the most beautiful place that I have ever seen in my whole life. Rock formations were preserved and the view from above is incomparable. It is known for an array of multi-coloured Pictured Rocks cliffs. There are also unusual sandstone formations like Miners Castle and Chapel Rock. The hike would bring you to different water falls. During our hike, it was a bit raining and a little muddy which makes the trail difficult to traverse. Remnants of shipwrecks dot the shoreline around Au Sable Point’s 19th Century lighthouse.








CASTLE ROCKS, THE DEER RANCH, MACKINAW CITY
We planned the third day to be spent visiting tourist places on the way home. There’s this castle rock which allows you to have a bird’s view of the whole city. It allowed me to conquer my fear of heights! The climb is a little bit steep but we survived it.



We also had a chance to pet and feed young deer. My husband loved the experience! Then our last destination was the Mackinaw City. As always, finding where to park was a struggle. It is a small village which would be a perfect respite from your island and nature fever. There are many souvenir shops and activities for kids. Now, our trip was concluded with a lunch in a famous Asian restaurant in the city.





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Monday, March 04, 2019

Sojourn with Friends at Bandung, Indonesia



Being an expat comes with a lot of gains. Aside from the perks with financial and professional compensations, you also get to travel different places that you have never seen before.

My friends and I who all came from the same school in Batangas, Philippines teach in different schools in Jakarta, Indonesia. However, Teacher Marina is assigned in an international school in Bandung, Indonesia. It is about three hours from the city of Jakarta.
Bandung is the capital of Indonesia’s West Java province and the country’s third largest city. Set amid volcanoes and tea plantations, Bandung is known for its historical values because of colonial and detailed architecture. It is also the perfect getaway from Jakarta since the weather is relatively cool.  

best_place_in_Bandung
From scenic places and picturesque mountains, Bandung offers wide array of activities such as shopping, mountain hiking, rappelling, rafting, horse back riding, rough riding, and treating yourselves with its famous cuisines!
It was the end of the school year break when all our schedules finally agreed and we were able to book our visit. Travel is by land in a van and there are many terminals in Jakarta where you can make reservation. The expat teachers of her school are accommodated in a beautiful house located just within the city and since they are all in vacation, we are allowed to use their rooms during our visit. If you don’t have a place to stay, there are many high-quality hotels to choose from that offer affordable cost.

best_place_in_Bandung

Bandung is not only defined by its cool weather and scenic array of mountains, there are also many factory outlets where you can buy famous brands at a cheaper price. A little drive and you will be able to go on a hike, visit water falls, experience rappelling and water rafting.

The water rafting is the best activity that we have done! We all thought that we would not get wet and even insisted to bring our purse, camera and cellphones. We ended up living them in the locker and after the experience, we could have lost or ruined everything since it was a very rough experience. We were not only wet but totally soaked. Nobody brought extra clothes so we were all so cold when we went home! 
The water rafting is the best activity that we have done! We all thought that we would not get wet and even insisted to bring our purse, camera and cellphones. We ended up living them in the locker and after the experience, we could have lost or ruined everything since it was a very rough experience. We were not only wet but totally soaked. Nobody brought extra clothes so we were all so cold when we went home! 
The water rafting is the best activity that we have done! We all thought that we would not get wet and even insisted to bring our purse, camera and cellphones. We ended up living them in the locker and after the experience, we could have lost or ruined everything since it was a very rough experience. We were not only wet but totally soaked. Nobody brought extra clothes so we were all so cold when we went home! 
The water rafting is the best activity that we have done! We all thought that we would not get wet and even insisted to bring our purse, camera and cellphones. We ended up living them in the locker and after the experience, we could have lost or ruined everything since it was a very rough experience. We were not only wet but totally soaked. Nobody brought extra clothes so we were all so cold when we went home! 
The water rafting is the best activity that we have done! We all thought that we would not get wet and even insisted to bring our purse, camera and cellphones. We ended up living them in the locker and after the experience, we could have lost or ruined everything since it was a very rough experience. We were not only wet but totally soaked. Nobody brought extra clothes so we were all so cold when we went home! 
One of the beautiful falls in Bandung that you must visit! 

Some of my friends stayed for almost one week but since I had shorter vacation, I was only there for three days. The short time I spent was more than enough to enjoy and take a break from the usual hustle and bustle of the city.








Floating market offers variety of stores such as this one where you can buy souvenirs. 

Experience the unique culture of Indonesia by riding this beautifully decorated car on the way to the floating market.

One of the factory outlets where you can buy branded clothes and shoes at a cheaper price.

Needless to say, it is one of the most memorable and unforgettable time that I have spent with my friends in Indonesia.

Here’s some information about the must-visit places:

Trans Studio Bandung
Jl. Gatot Subroto No.289, Cibangkong, Batununggal, Kota Bandung, Jawa Barat 40273, Indonesia
Family-focused indoor theme park with thrill rides, a theatre and play areas for younger children.
Keraton cliff
Popular place known for its picturesque forest views, particularly at sunrise & sunset.
Lembang, Ciburial, Cimenyan, Kabupaten Bandung Barat, Jawa Barat 40198, Indonesia

Maribaya Waterfall
Serene, tree-lined waterfalls with pools for swimming, plus hot springs & a restaurant.
Kampung Cikondang Lamajang Pangalengan, Cibodas, Lembang, Kabupaten Bandung Barat, Jawa Barat 40391, Indonesia

Farmhouse Susu Lembang
Theme park with European-style buildings, Dutch costumes for rent, a mini zoo & a hip restaurant.
Jl. Raya Lembang No.108, Gudangkahuripan, Lembang, Kabupaten Bandung Barat, Jawa Barat 40391, Indonesia

Djuanda Forest Park
Taman Hutan Raya Ir. H. Juanda is a conservation area and botanical garden in Bandung, Indonesia. It covers 590 hectares, stretching from Dago Pakar to Maribaya. The park takes its name after Djuanda Kartawidjaja, the last Prime Minister of Indonesia.
Kompleks Tahura, Jl. Ir. H.Djuanda No.99, Ciburial, Cimenyan, Kota Bandung, Jawa Barat 40198, Indonesia

De' Ranch
Family-friendly ranch offering pony & horseback rides, plus kids' games, farm animals & dining.
Jl. Raya Maribaya No.17, Kayuambon, Lembang, Kabupaten Bandung Barat, Jawa Barat 40391, Indonesia

Floating Market Lembang
Floating market where local foods, snacks & items like clothing are carried by sellers on boats.
Jalan Grand Hotel No.33E, Lembang, Kabupaten Bandung Barat, Jawa Barat 40391, Indonesia

Kawah Putih
Kawah Putih is a striking crater lake and tourist spot in a volcanic crater about 50 km south of Bandung in West Java in Indonesia. Kawah Putih lake is one of the two craters which make up Mount Patuha, an andesitic stratovolcano. Mount Patuha is one of numerous volcanoes in Java. 

Miniature Railways Floating Market Lembang
Jl. Grand Hotel No.33E, Jalur Kampung Leuit No.A1, Lembang, Kabupaten Bandung Barat, Jawa Barat 40391, Indonesia


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