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Boracay PHP

Boracay Island – The Philippines

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On arrival by ferry from Caticlan you are greeted by crystal clear blue water.

Boracay is one of the top destination islands in the world. It’s all about the beach and the sea.

Boracay is visited by people from all over the world. It’s great place to meet people.

The island has accommodation, restaurants and activities to suit anyone’s budget.

White beach is where all the action is; it has three boat stations which help people find the different locations along the beach. The distance between boat stations is roughly about 2km. There are many shops, restaurants, dive shops and bars along the beach.

There are tons of outdoor activities, make sure you speak directly to the operators to negotiate a price as the sales people along the beach only promote services as middle men and hike the prices up for their own benefit.

Amongst the activities offered, are scuba diving, the prices are set at 1600 PHP (about $40) at present per dive with equipment. This is a fixed price at all the dive shops on the island so that the shops don’t start a price war.

You can sail around Boracay on a catamaran type boat for 2500 PHP ($60); this can include snorkeling and a stop at Puka Shell Beach. Puka Shell Beach is claimed to have put Boracay on the map for tourists.

Operators also offer kite surfing lessons and a parasailing experiences.

The night offers live music shows, buffets, fire dancing shows and nightclubs.

The live music shows are well worth watching and are free as long as you order a beverage.

The buffets can be found along the beach and start from as little as 440 PHP ($10-11).

The fire dancing can also be seen at night on the beach, it’s quite spectacular.

Another dinner option would be to go to Dalipapa which is just off the main road about 10 minutes walk from D’Mall. Here you can buy fresh seafood and have it cooked the way you want at the surrounding restaurants very cheaply. You can negotiate your way to a veritable seafood feast.

You can fly from Manila to Caticlan and catch a ferry from there. Alternatively you can get the 2Go Ferry from Batangas Pier to Caticlan Port. The ferry takes about 10 hours; the flight is about an hour. Make sure what the carry on weight limit is for your flight before you fly. The policy is strictly enforced as the planes are smaller. Batangas Pier is two hours by bus or car from Manila.

With amazing sunsets, beautiful scenery and plenty to do in the day and night it’s not surprising how many people keep coming back.

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Mitchells Brewery Knysna

Mitchell’s Brewery, Knysna, South Africa

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Mitchells Brewery KnysnaIf you ever have the chance to visit Knysna, I would recommend visiting Mitchell’s Brewery if you are a lover of good beer. Knysna is famous for its luxury properties, breath taking views and fresh ocean oysters amongst many other things.

They say good things are hard to find, and in the case of Mitchell’s Beers that’s true but hopefully not for too long.

The South African palette for beer is still maturing, tasteless mass produced commercial beers still dominate the market.

Mitchell’s is a naturally brewed beer that can be found in very select bars and restaurants all around South Africa.

Mitchell’s Breweries have created seven distinct brews and an apple cider.

My favourite Mitchell’s beers are Bosun’s Bitter and 90 Shilling Ale.

Give them a try, you’ll be glad you did.

Cheers!

 

 

 

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SAM_0417 Rics Best in Middle East

Ric’s Kountry Kitchen – Bahrain

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SAM_0423 Rics ResizeSAM_0417 Rics Best in Middle East

 

 

Ric’s Kountry Kitchen in Juffair, Bahrain is the only American owner operated restaurant in Bahrain. This fact might not be significant if you are in most parts of the world but in the Middle East it means a lot.

There are two things you are not going to find readily available in most Middle Eastern countries, pork and alcohol. I work in Saudi Arabia so there’s no chance of finding either and no matter how good the restaurants are or try and cater to expats, they will never satisfy our appetites for dishes that are made from pork or our thirst for ice cold beer. It’s impossible.

Enter Ric’s Kountry Kitchen, Southern style homemade cooking, virtually an oasis in the desert. You will find almost anything dish you can think of here. They specialize in American “comfort” foods making steaks, ribs, brisket, gammon steaks, pizzas, biscuits, pancakes, burgers and anything in between. Ric’s has an upstairs and downstairs bar. They also have an up market restaurant area upstairs and a diner style restaurant downstairs. On most days they offer a buffet of sorts. The buffets will come with pricing options; specified “all you can drink” drinks are optional at a higher price.

Another point I feel I must make is that Middle Eastern hotels try to satisfy the needs of both Arabs and expats. By trying to do this, I feel they fall hopelessly short of meeting either expectations. Dubai might be an exception with their “bacon stations”.  Don’t expect bacon in hotels in Bahrain.

This is another reason Ric’s Kountry Kitchen stands out, the breakfast is simply amazing and the servings are generous. I mean, why come all the way to Bahrain for chicken sausage and freaking fish balls with your eggs?

The staff are friendly and the service is great.

If you have a hankering for some good American style food, if you need some pork in your life, choose Ric’s Kountry Kitchen.

 

 

 

 

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Dubai – The Growing Pearl of the Middle East

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Burj Khalifa - Dubai

 

After traveling a few times through Dubai I decided to take a look and see what everyone was talking about. Emirates transports millions of people through Dubai International Airport every year, it’s only natural that the next progression would be to take advantage of this massive amount of traffic and attract people to actually see Dubai.

Oil was only discovered in Dubai in 1966. In the early 1990’s Dubai was just town with a few buildings on the edge of the desert. After the turn of the century Dubai was mostly known for its luxury shopping but now after the completion of some major projects in recent years it has transformed itself into a tourism “Mecca”.

The current attractions are numerous, the Burj al Arab (The World’s only 7 star hotel), the Burj Khalifa (World’s tallest building at 828m), Dubai Internet City, Dubai Media City, Palm Island, Wild Wadi Water Park, The World Islands, the Dubai Mall, the Mall of the Emirates, Ski Dubai and the Dubai Marina to name a few.

Dubai is fast becoming the “Hong Kong” of the Middle East.

Further developments will only elevate Dubai to a “must see destination”.

These projects include the Al Burj, a 1200m high building. It will be almost 400m taller that the Burj Khalifa.

Hydropolis will be an underwater hotel that will be built just off Jumeirah Beach, Dubai.           Its completion date is indefinite though due to many technical difficulties.

Another project that will no doubt break many records is Dubailand. It’s scheduled for completion in 2015. It will be twice the size of the Walt Disney World Resort! It will host sporting and racing events amongst a plethora of other activities.

The automated metro system will also be the World’s biggest when complete. It is also a good way to see Dubai as it’s above ground in many places. It can get crowded though.

Hotels serve alcohol in their restaurants, bars and nightclubs, you really can’t go to bottle stores as there are none in Dubai itself. There are tons of happy hour specials though.

Taxi drivers work on commission so know where you are going and how to get there. Check your maps.

There are more construction workers in Dubai then there are citizens, and 25% of the World’s cranes can be found in Dubai. That’s crazy!

 

What Dubai has achieved in such a short time is an astonishing feat, having an oil well in your backyard does help. They have used their oil wealth wisely to create a self sustaining economy that will grow and flourish long after their gas/ oil wells run out. They have attracted businesses to Dubai using incentives, making these businesses more profitable and globally central.

Dubai has captured the world’s imagination with their continuous strategy to be at the leading edge of tourism by innovating and showing us the future by defying failure at all costs.

There’s something in for everyone Dubai, and it’s only getting bigger and better.

Please click on this link to see more photo’s and articles on my FB page:

 

And please “Like” it if you like it.

 

Best Regards

Robin

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