August 17, 2013

We deliberately asked for a hotel near Wangfujing Street so we could explore it at night. 
Wangfujing, which means "Prince's Mansion well", is located in the Dongcheng District in Beijing
and is the city's most famous shopping district. It is home to over a hundred local and foreign brands
and also has a street devoted to Beijing snack food. I wasn't adventurous enough to try the food, though.

All images taken in Wangfujing Street, Beijing China
All images (c)

August 16, 2013

What I saw in Beijing was a lovely surprise. The city surpassed my every expectation.
The roads were wide, the buildings were a nice mix of modern and traditional, the tourist sites
were very well preserved, and there wasn't as much smog as I expected. The food was also
really good. Because we didn't know the language, my friend and I decided to join a tour group
to make sure we'd be able to cover the essential places in the city.

Beijing has wide, 7-lane roads with complicated roads and bridges to direct traffic.
We ran into some traffic when we were there but that's normal in any big city.

 Some buildings are still reminiscent of old Chinese designs. 
This one in particular is a shopping mall.
While others look completely modern.

In this photo you'll see cris-crossing bridges, one on top of another.

Beijing boasts of it's 7-star Dragon Hotel. The top part of the hotel is shaped like a dragon.

Some more photos of the city: 
Beijing City Congress
Bank of China in the distance

 The famous Bird's Nest and Water Cube, the site of the 2008 Summer Olympics

A last look at the city as we drove away. To this day, I still don't know what these characters mean. :)

All images taken in Beijing City, China.
All images (c)

May 18, 2013

Thanks to a teambuilding session scheduled earlier this year,
I got the chance to visit and stay in Shangrila Boracay for free! 

Shangrila Boracay is a 5-star luxury resort located right at the end of the Station 1 strip.
It's exclusive enough that one would need to take a shuttle or a tricycle just to get to the resort.
The resort also has it's own port and speedboat, making travel to and from quite convenient.

 Upon arrival, we were greeted with a breakfast buffet at the hotel view deck close to the lobby.

After checking in, we traversed a long walkway to get to our rooms.

And we were greeted with this view.
 My favorite part of the room was the balcony where we could sit with a view of the shore.

The hotel has a gorgeous pool area.

We took a shuttle to "Mainstream Boracay" as we now call it and had a chance to 
take in the wonderful sand and shore.
 Even caught a glimpse of the sunset.

The hotel in all it's splendor before boarding the speedboat that would take us back to reality.

All images taken in Shangrila Boracay and Boracay
All images (c)