Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Melbourne: Bad Boys Gourmet Burger Bar

I love eating hamburger. I usually go for the fast food type since it's more convenient to get. I also make tasty Japanese hamburger every so often at home. My favorite restaurant burger though is Dayrit's since I've been eating there since I was four years old.

Last May I had the opportunity to visit Melbourne together with my boys. We were so hungry on our first morning since we were not able to eat a proper dinner. After a quick check of nearby restaurants on Google Maps we ended up at Bad Boys Gourmet Burger Bar.

The place is a bit hard to find since it's location is not on the street side. It's located in the middle of two streets behind a couple of shops. If you think about it the location makes it a bit more special. It's a hidden burger gem!

I ordered a cheeseburger with onion rings and a drink. I was a bit overwhelmed with the size, but I finished it! The burger was cooked perfectly. Moist, a bit juicy with some crunch. I love how the flavors mixed and as much as I thought it was too big for me. I finished the burger.

Hope to visit Melbourne again and go back to Bad Boys Gourmet Burger Bar!

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

The Guimaras Mango Festival and Mango Pizza

A few years ago I finally managed to visit Guimaras Island. After arriving in Iloilo we checked in and immediately left for the port to take a short ferry ride to Guimaras Island. I didn't know that the island was so close to Iloilo it just took us about 20 minutes to get there via a boat ride. We were met by a friend at the port and he whisked us away to his university.

At the university I was amazed by the hospitality of their president and staff. It was supposed to be a short visit, but he insisted on serving lunch at his office. The food was great and they served different varieties of mango. He explained that their campus had trees of at least 12 varieties of mango. The Guimaras mangoes are indeed the sweetest in the whole world and when you try it you will never want anything else.

After lunch we had the opportunity to go to the Mango Festival. At the festival you can have eat-all-you-can mango for just 70 pesos. You can also buy mangoes from a wide variety of stalls. I never saw so much mango in my entire life! Other items available were honey (with live beehives!), cashews and other fruits, locally made items were also being sold. It was such a treat to be there at the festival.

After going around the festival we went to Pitstop to try out their famous mango pizza. I was hesitant at first since I found it weird that they would put mango on pizza. All my anxiety went away after I took the first bite. To this day I wish I could go back to Guimaras to have some mango pizza again. 

This year's Guimaras Mango Festival is celebrating their 25th anniversary. It will be from May 11 to 22. 

Thursday, November 2, 2017

South Korea in 6 Days

It's been awhile since I've visited a country for the first time. My friends convinced me to go visit Seoul with them and it was an awesome experience. The aptly coined our trip as #SeoulMuchMore.

We arrived late night in Seoul and made our way quickly to the AREX (train) to the city. Got off Seoul Station and promptly lined up for a taxi. It took awhile to get a taxi to the hanuk and on hindsight should have just taken a taxi from the airport. It would have spared us the hardship of dragging our luggage up several escalator flights.


The Hanuk Guesthouse 201 was a quaint place. They had 5 rooms and their floors were heated. Two bathrooms and toilets were shared among all guests. You may also use the kitchen to have coffee/tea/noodles. It was good to experience how Koreans lived in the past.

Changdeokgung Palace

Our first tourist stop was a Changdeokgung Palace. This is where the emperor/king lived. The place is gigantic so make sure to wear comfortable walking shoes. I would've loved to go to the Secret Garden, but we were running late for the change of guards at Gyeongbokgong.

Gyeongbokgong Palace

The palace is mainly the workplace of the emperor/king. The Korean Empire was abolished by the Japanese in 1910. The last Korean emperor, Sunjong, died in 1926 and became the catalyst to overthrow Japanese rule.

I noticed during our visit to the palaces that a lot of Koreans wore beautiful hanbok, their traditional national dress.

Gyeongbokgong Palace Change of Guards

We witnessed the change of guards at the palace. The full traditional routine is showcased at the palace grounds twice a day. The guards wore very colorful uniforms and marched to traditional drum beats.

Lotte Sky Tower

I have a bucket list to visit all the tall buidings in the world. I'm happy that I finally got to check this off my list. Standing on the glass floor was an exhilirating experience since the glass didn't seem to be too thick. After reaching the sky we went around Lotte Department Store and Lotte Mart. My friends said that it was Korea's version of SM.

Shopping in Myeongdong

We were set to visit Namsan after Sky Tower, but a protest foiled our plans since we couldn't get a taxi. We switched our plans and decided to go to the Myeongdong night market. I ended up buying a lot of socks and my friends bought different skin care products.

N Seoul Tower/Namsan

We took the cable to the N Seoul Tower. We went really early and managed to get on the second cable car up the mountain. It was there that we got a first glimpse of the beautiful autumn colors set against the towering city buildings. A gazillion padlocks lined up the place - a promise of forever.

The Hanbok Experience 

I think the best experience I had in Seoul was trying out the hanbok. I chose to dress up as a queen since it's not everyday you can be like royalty. We had a lot of fun taking photos and doing scenarios.

Nami Island

On our last full day in South Korea, we headed early towards Gapyeong. We were at Yongsan Station by 6:15am to catch our 7am train to Gapyeong. By 8am we were on the first ferry ride to Nami Island. It was freezing at 1'C, so I'm glad I bundled up for warmth (wear Uniqlo heattech to survive the cold!). We rented two double bikes to get around the island and had the time of our lives.

Petite France

The last tourist place we visited was Petite France. We took a taxi from the Nami Island ferry terminal. I liked that they highlighted the Little Prince and things that represent France. I will hopefully one day visit France.

Some costs related to the places we visited:

AREX to City - KRW4,750
Flat Rate Taxi from Airport to City - KRW65,000
Palace entrance fees - KRW3,000 (KRW8,000 including Secret Garden)
Cable car to N Seoul Tower - KRW6,000
Hanbok rental - KRW26,000 to 58,000; hairdo - KRW5,000-10,000
Train to Gapyeong - KRW5,200 (this is one way)
Ferry to Nami Island - trying to remember...
Double bike - KRW15,000 for 30 minutes
Taxi from Nami Island Ferry Terminal to Petit France - about KRW26,000
Petite France Entrance Fee - KRW8,000