Tuesday, July 15, 2014

It is more fun in Philippines, Pagsanjan Falls

I am back in Philippines for a little while and we have decided that we will have a little drive down to Mount Mayon, the famous volcano in Bicol.

As we are living close to Tagaytay, another volcano even so this one is not active anymore, we wanted to see some of the other great tourist attractions here in Philippines. Pagsanjan Falls was very high on our list.
The one things one never must forget is that driving here takes time, if Google tells you one hour's drive, take 2 hours as a guideline. The falls are a mere 60 km away from us but it took nearly 2 hours to get there. There is always a lot of traffic and at the moment it seems like all the roads are getting fixed at the same time.
But trust me, it is absolutely worth the drive to Cavinti and then taking a small boat to travel to the falls. The boats are very small, maximum 3 passengers can go on a boat and then there are 2 boats men. It might sound like a small amount, but there are 14 rapids and the 2 guys have to push the boat with you inside up the rapids.

The boat ride is absolutely amazing, first one is pulled by a small motor boat, but then as soon as one is in the park it is just quiet. The gorge is at least 150 to 200 meters high and everything is lush and green, an absolutely amazing ride.
The 2 guys had to work hard to get up up the rapids, we had a rest from time to time. About half way there is a little hut, they are selling food and drinks, so we treated the boats men for a lunch of crispy chicken leg and rice, it really did look yummy, the golden brown roasted, crispy legs, I still get hungry thinking of it..
The falls are 91 meters high, it is not rainy season yet but the falls are still stunning. One has the possibility to go on a bamboo raft and then go under the falls and even behind them to make a photo with the falls behind one.

Apparently there is a hiking trail to the falls, but one has to descend 500 steps and 2 vertical ladders.....this is not my thing, especially after I have seen the one ladder coming down close by the falls.
After a little while we went back through the rapids, that was a lot of fun and went a lot faster than going up. Yes the boats men still had to pull us over some of the rapids as there was not enough water. They said in August is the best time to come here, then the water is about  10 cm higher and still the falls are accessible. After that it might get difficult as the water level is just too high
There is just one thing that one has to be careful and that is at the end, the boatsmen will ask for tip and especially if one is a foreigner they will try their luck. The told us that the Koreans give 50$ tips.......then suddenly it was 50$ per person. That is more than double what the whole cruise costs and of course we did not entertain the thought of giving that much. It gave a little bit of a negative experience, but apart from that, it was an amazing 2 hours going through a beautiful gorge

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Magnum yourself

Manila has its own Magnum Ice Cream shop where you can make your own Magnum. This is soooo cool, an individual Magnum. There are shops as well in Hamburg, Paris and Istanbul, but to have one here in Manila is just absolutely amazing. The location is on the 5th floor in Aura Shopping Mall, one of the hip shopping malls in and around Manila. 

I always had a bit of a fetish for Magnum, I love the rich flavor of the ice cream and the lovely chocolate around, but to make your own flavor is just incredible. We had so much fun making our own flavor of Magnum, our own personalized Magnum.
You can choose from 2 ice cream flavors which is chocolate or vanilla, then from 18 toppings and 3 different dipping chocolates so you can make your own piece of art.
We took 2 extremes, one I call death by chocolate, it was with chocolate ice cream, milk chocolate dipping and then all sorts of chocolate toppings, the other one was the sweet delight, vanilla ice cream with a caramel chocolate dipping. The toppings were white crunchy chocolate pearls, mini marshmallows and freeze-dried raspberries which just looked so lovely and gave a bit of acidity to the extremely sweet concoction
There are some strange toppings available like broken chips and broken pretzels.....strange?? Yes but it actually goes well. The saltiness brings out the chocolate flavor even better so even so it sounds strange, it goes well with chocolate

Magnum Manila offers more than just Magnums, one can actually eat there with savory and sweet plated desserts available. The savory menu includes about everything from sexy crostini to pasta and salads all the way to the roasted Rib eye 
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