Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Tokyo Night Views

Tokyo is one of my favorite cities in Japan. It's clean, safe and full of energy. Just like other big Japanese cities, it may seem dull during the day. But when the sun sets, the whole city transforms into a sea of lights filled with neons competing to get your attention. Here are some of the shots I had taken from different places in Tokyo at night.

Tokyo Tower and Rainbow Bridge from Odaiba (taken on February 10, 2008)

Fuji TV and Aqua City in Odaiba (taken on February 10, 2008)

Ebisu Garden Place (taken on July 5, 2008)

Roppongi Area from Tokyo Tower (taken on March 9, 2008)

Shibuya Crossing (taken on December 23, 2007)

Shinjuku (taken on December 23, 2007)

Odaiba Area from Tokyo Tower (taken on March 9, 2008)

Tokyo Dome (taken on March 1, 2008)

Tokyo Tower from Roppongi Hills (taken on June 28, 2008)

Tokyo Tower From Below (taken on March 9, 2008)

Some places to see Tokyo's night views:

1) Tokyo Tower
Entrance Fee: 820yen to main observatory; 600 yen from main to special observatory
Operating Hours: 9:00am - 10:00pm
Access: Please refer to link above

2) Roppongi Hills
Entrance Fee: 1500yen
Operating Hours: 9:00am - 1:00am (last entry is 12:00am)
Access: Please click here

3) Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building
Entrance Fee: FREE
Operating Hours: 9:30am - 11:00pm (last entry is 10:30pm)
Access: Shinjuku station (JR, Tokyo Metro, Toei Lines, etc.)

4) Odaiba Seaside Park
Entrance Fee: FREE
Operating Hours: ANYTIME
Access: Shinkotsu Yurikamome Line Odaiba Kaihin Koen Station or Daiba Station / Sea Bus Odaiba Kaihin Koen Stop

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Off To Albay

After a whole day in CWC, my friends and I spent the 2nd day of our Bicol weekend getaway in Albay. We left CWC early in the morning and since our friend's aunt lent us her van and driver, we just sat back and relaxed until we arrived in Albay around 2 hours later. Our first stop in Albay - the Cagsawa Ruins.

The Cagsawa Ruins is what remained of the church of Cagsawa after the Mayon Volcano erupted and engulfed the whole town in 1814. Now, this place is a primary tourist spot as it is one of the best places to view the star of Albay - the majestic Mayon Volcano. Unfortunately for us, we were not able to see the perfect cone shape of Mayon as it was a cloudy day. We were told that if we wanted to see the whole of Mayon, we should get there as early as 6 or 7am. Oh well, better luck next time.

Cagsawa Ruins (taken on November 17, 2007)

After Cagsawa Ruins, we proceeded to another famous place in Albay - the Hoyop Hoyopan caves. Hoyop is Bikolano for "ihip" or "blow". True enough, it was breezy inside the cave. This cave is famous for its stalactite formations and it is another good place to view the Mayon Volcano.

Hoyop Hoyopan Caves: "Skull" (taken on November 17, 2007)

Hoyop Hoyopan Caves: "Moses" (taken on November 17, 2007)

Hoyop Hoyopan Caves: "Elephant" (taken on November 17, 2007)

Hoyop Hoyopan Caves: "Skull" (taken on November 17, 2007)

Since we had time before heading back to Naga, we stopped by Busay Falls. Busay falls is not as popular as Mayon or the Hoyop Hoyopan cave, but it is a great place to relax and enjoy nature. It sure was a great way to end our Albay daytrip.

Busay Falls (taken on November 17, 2007)

Finally, we bid farewell to Albay and made our way to Naga to catch the 9pm bus of Penafrancia back to Manila. If you're riding Penafrancia, I recommend riding its Comfortec Bus. Just add 100 pesos on the regular fare and you can sleep comfortably throughout the 8-hour journey.

Access to Legazpi, Albay (from Manila):
a) By bus: Several bus companies such as Penafrancia, Victory Liner, Isarog Lines take the Manila-Legaspi Route daily.
b) By plane: Companies such as Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific and Zest Air have regular flights to Legaspi from Manila.

Access to Legazpi, Albay (from Naga):
Upon arrival in Naga, you may ask around for buses or vans taking the Naga-Legazpi route. Travel time is around 2 hours.

a) Entrance fee Hoyop Hoyopan cave: 20php
b) Entrance fee Cagsawa Ruins: 10php

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

CamSur Watersports Complex

Around this time 2 years ago, my friends and I decided to head to Bicol for a weekend getaway. Since this was my first time to go to the Bicol region, I was so excited. We decided to head first to Camarines Sur to try out wakeboarding and spend the next day going around Albay.

We departed from Manila on Friday night via Penafrancia Bus to Naga, the capital of Camarines Sur. After around 8 hours of travel, we finally arrived in Naga terminal where we were picked up by a shuttle which brought us to Camarines Sur Watersports Complex or CWC.

Upon arrival, we checked in and proceeded to the man-made lake for wakeboarding. Since we were all beginners, we started with kneeboarding. Unfortunately, towards the end, I was not able to graduate from kneeboarding. I could not even complete one round. Yeah I really need to practice hard! hahaha. Even if my arms hurt from all the wakeboarding, it was such a great experience and I would really recommend it.

Wakeboarding in CWC (taken by my friend on November 16, 2007)

Kneeboarding - beginners stage (taken by my friend on November 16, 2007)

After a whole day in CWC, we went to Naga City for dinner and some late night coffee bonding. After a while, we decided to head back to CWC and called it a day.

Access to Naga (from Manila):
a) By bus: Buses such as Penafrancia, Victory Liner, etc take the Manila-Naga route.
b) By plane: Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific Air, Zest Air have regular flights to Naga.

You can check out the updated rates at Camarines Sur Watersports Complex's website