San Francisco California, a place of thousand faces.

The golden Gate Bridge

Summer of 2013, we went on vacation, and the destination is San Francisco California, There are so many reasons why this place is one of the best tourist destination in USA.

  1. The weather is cold (Perfect place to chill out from the summer heat)
  2. It can be reach by any kind of transportation – plane, car, truck, bus
  3. A lot to see in one place. – stores, restaurants, gift shops, tourist spots
  4. Array of tourist spots. – Golden Gate bridge, Piers, Museum of fine arts, Japanese tea garden, Chinatown, Japantown, Fort point, Colt Tower,  Lombard Street, Steep streets of SF, Alcatraz island, Haight Asburry St.
  5. Line of shopping places.  – Westfield, Union Square, Chestnut Street shopping, Embarcadero Center, Haight street shopping, North Beach etc.
  6. Around the world Gastronomic destinations in one place. – San Tung Chinese Restaurant, Farina Foccacia Italian Restaurant,  Ozuma Japanese Restaurant, Nopa American Restaurant, etc.
  7. Ride a cable car.

I love San Francisco except the traffic and parking spaces. So far, the least friendly place for drivers and big cars as per my experience. Take note, we are tourist and it took us one hour finding a parking spot, and its in a garage. We paid $35 after we checked out. I can’t imagine how it feels when you live there and you own a car. Because the roads are narrow, it is usual that you see cars parked on the side of the road with broken side mirrors, dented doors, loosed bumpers or even totally wrecked. As per my count, I saw four cars with situation mentioned above.

We will be back next time since we never got a chance to visit Alcatraz which is our main goal in San Francisco. We didn’t expect that we can’t do a walk-in tour. The  tour to the island is fully booked until 3 weeks from our visit. For those who are planning to visit San Francisco and your main destination is Alcatraz, check online the available tour dates of Alcatraz before booking your trip to San Francisco.  Here’s my list of tourist places to visit in San Francisco.

1. Japanese Tea Garden  -

The Japanese Tea Garden in San Francisco, California, is a popular feature of Golden Gate Park, originally built as part of a sprawling World’s Fair, the California Midwinter International Exposition of 1894. For more than 20 years San Francisco Parks Trusts’ Park Guides have given free tours to San Francisco Parks trust members,[1] providing context and history for this historic Japanese-style garden.

The oldest public Japanese garden in the United States, this complex of many paths, ponds and a teahouse features native Japanese and Chinese plants. The gardens 5 acres (2.0 ha) contain many sculptures and bridges.

Japanese Garden, SF

Japanese Garden, SF

Japanese Garden, SF

Japanese Garden, SF
Japanese Tea Garden, SF

Japanese Tea Garden, SF

Japanese Tea Garden, SF

Japanese Tea Garden, SF

Japanese Tea Garden, SF

Japanese Tea Garden, SF

Japanese Tea Garden, SF

Japanese Tea Garden, SF

Japanese Tea Garden, SF

Japanese Tea Garden, SF

Japanese Garden, SF

Japanese Garden, SF

Japanese Tea Garden, SF

Japanese Tea Garden, SF

Japanese Tea Garden, SF

Japanese Tea Garden, SF

Japanese Tea Garden, SF

Japanese Tea Garden, SF

Japanese Tea Garden

Japanese Tea Garden

Japanese Tea Garden

Japanese Tea Garden

buddha

Budha

2. Golden Gate Bridge –

The Golden Gate Bridge is a suspension bridge spanning the Golden Gate, the opening of the San Francisco Bay into the Pacific Ocean. The structure links the U.S. city of San Francisco, on the northern tip of the San Francisco Peninsula, to Marin County. It is one of the most internationally recognized symbols of San Francisco, California, and the United States. It has been declared one of the Wonders of the Modern World by the American Society of Civil Engineers.[7] The Frommers travel guide considers the Golden Gate Bridge “possibly the most beautiful, certainly the most photographed, bridge in the world”.[8]

The golden Gate Bridge

The golden Gate Bridge

The Golden Gate Bridge, SF

The Golden Gate Bridge, SF
golden Gate bridge, SF

golden Gate bridge, SF

3. Palace of Fine Arts -

The Palace of Fine Arts in the Marina District of San Francisco, California, is a monumental structure originally constructed for the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition in order to exhibit works of art presented there. One of only a few surviving structures from the Exposition, it is the only one still situated on its original site. It was rebuilt in 1965, and renovation of the lagoon, walkways, and a seismic retrofit were completed in early 2009.

In addition to hosting art exhibitions, it remains a popular attraction for tourists and locals, and is a favorite location for weddings and wedding party photographs for couples throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, and such an icon that a miniature replica of it was built in Disney’s California Adventure in Anaheim.[3]

Palace of fine Arts, SF

Palace of fine Arts, SF

Palace of FIne Arts

Palace of FIne Arts

Palace of fine arts, SF

Palace of fine arts, SF

4. Lombard street

- Lombard Street is an east–west street in San Francisco, California. It is famous for having a steep, one-block section that consists of eight tight hairpin turns. The street was named after Lombard Street in Philadelphia by San Francisco surveyor Jasper O’Farrell.[1]

Lombard Street, SF

Lombard Street, SF

Lombard Street, SF

Lombard Street, SF

Lombard Street, SF

Lombard Street, SF

5. Downtown San Francisco (including Japantown, Chinatown, Cable car tour, Haight Ashbury, Pier 39, Fisherman’s wharf)

Downtown San Francisco

Downtown San Francisco

Haight Asbury

Haight Asbury

Haight Ashbury, SF

Haight Ashbury, SF

Haight Ashbury, SF

Haight Ashbury, SF

Downtown San Francisco

Downtown San Francisco

Downtown San Francisco

Downtown San Francisco

Steep Road along Downtown SF

Steep Road along Downtown SF, overlooking Alcatraz Island

Ghirardelli Chocolate Factory

Ghirardelli Chocolate Factory

Riding a cable Car

Riding a cable Car

Riding a cable Car

Riding a cable Car

Riding a cable Car

Riding a cable Car

Ferry Building, SF

Ferry Building, SF

Riding a cable car

Riding a cable car

Downtown San Fancisco

Downtown San Fancisco

Downtown San Fancisco

Downtown San Fancisco

Downtown San Fancisco from the top of Golden Gate Bridge

Downtown San Fancisco from the top of Golden Gate Bridge

Alcatraz Island

Alcatraz Island

coit tower, SF

Coit tower, SF

Alcatraz Island

Alcatraz Island

chinatown, SF

chinatown, SF

japantown, SF

japantown, SF

chinatown, SF

chinatown, SF

chinatown, SF

chinatown, SF

chinatown, SF

chinatown, SF

fisherman's wharf

fisherman’s wharf

6. Fort Point -

Fort Point is a masonry seacoast fortification located at the southern side of the Golden Gate at the entrance to San Francisco Bay. This fort was completed just before the American Civil War by the United States Army, to defend San Francisco Bay against hostile warships. The fort is now protected as Fort Point National Historic Site, a United States National Historic Site administered by the National Park Service as a unit of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

Fort Point, SF

Fort Point, SF

Fort Point, SF

Fort Point, SF

Fort Point, SF

Fort Point, SF

Fort Point, SF

Fort Point, SF

That concludes my trip to San Francisco, Hope this blog post can help you decide which place to visit on your next trip. As for the food, I will be posting food in San Francisco in a different blog post. Thank you for reading and have a fun time Traveling.

References:

Lombard Street

Palace of Fine Arts

Golden Gate Bridge

Japanese Tea Garden

A Tour to Puerto Princesa City Palawan 2012

I love traveling so  as much as possible i am saving experiences and adventures by going on places. November 2011, me and my friends planned a visit to Puerto Princesa Subterranean River  Park (Puerto Princesa City Palawan Underground River). Currently the river park was declared as one of the seven wonders of Nature.

Underground river

Shows the facade of the underground river.

 

 inside the underground river.

Shows inside the underground river.

 

The Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park is located about 50 kilometres (30 mi) north of the city centre of Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Philippines. The river is also called Puerto Princesa Underground River. The national park is located in the Saint Paul Mountain Range on the northern coast of the island. It is bordered by St. Paul Bay to the north and the Babuyan River to the east. The City Government of Puerto Princesa has managed the National Park since 1992. The park is also known as St. Paul’s Subterranean River National Park, or St. Paul Underground River. The entrance to the Subterranean River is a short hike from the town of Sabang.

In 2010, a group of environmentalists and geologists discovered that the underground river has a second floor, which means that there are small waterfalls inside the cave. They also found a huge cave dome, measuring 300 meters above the underground river, incredible rock formations, large bats, a deep water hole in the river, more river channels, another deep cave, marine creatures, and more. Deeper areas of the underground river are almost impossible to explore due to oxygen deprivation.

On November 11, 2011, Puerto Princesa Underground River was provisionally chosen as one of the New7Wonders of Nature. This selection was officially confirmed on January 28, 2012.[1]

 

January  2012, I packed my suitcase and Flew 8500 Miles. The budget as per planned including the tour packages, Plane Transportation and Accommodation(exclusive of food, some transportation not included in the tour, and the souvenirs).

Whoops. Its expensive but we’ve manage to push through. So the day of the trip came. We are about 14 people going on the trip. Divided in 2(two) groups. Group one boarded via AirPhil. As Usual we are delayed and we need to ride a bus from NAIA Terminal 3 to get to the Plane. Well, Am kind of scared because the Plane looks crippling old. Group one came in first, The van from the tour company picked us from the airport and we headed to the hotel  Ysabelle Mansion. The tour starts.

Ysabelle Mansion Facade

Ysabelle Mansion Facade
http://ysabellemansion.com/

 

Day 1 of Tour: Island Hopping

We went island hopping from 11 am to 5 pm, We drove first to get to Honda Bay where the hopping starts. Listed our names and hop on the boat to start. Well unluckily, the waves were not that friendly during and after the Island Hopping and one boat flipped. The people on that boat eventually survived See some shots.

Honda Bay

Honda Bay

 

Our Boat for the Island Hopping.

Our Boat for the Island Hopping.

 

Pandan Island

Pandan Island

Pandan Island

Pandan Island

Pandan Island

Pandan Island

Snake Island

Snake Island

Snake Island

Snake Island

 

 Day 2: City Tour
The Second Batch came in from a delayed flight via Cebu Pacific. Just like before a van picked them up. Headed to Ysabelle mansion and started our City Tour.

Heritage Museum

Heritage Museum. We were been restricted to go inside because there’s an Educational Field Trip Happening. This kind of things won’t attract visitors. Imagine we traveled that far to see PP, Palawan at its best but been restricted because of some sort of Field trip.

Palawan Special Batalion WW2 Museum

Palawan Special Batalion WW2 Museum. This is a new museum. We went here to replace the failed visit to Heritage Museum.

Mitra Hill

Mitra Hill: Overlooking the Honda Bay

Crododile Farm

Crocodile Farm

Baker’s Hill, Palawan. A Majestic place that looks like a mini Disneyland minus the rides. Pretty Plant formation and Flower Arrangement and statues. Beautiful Decorations, stores, Animals.

Plaza Cuartel

Plaza Cuartel is the restored ruins of an old garrison where Japanese soldiers burned 143 American prisoners of war inside a tunnel and stands as a grim reminder of World War II atrocities. Only ten prisoners survived to tell the story about what happened inside that tunnel.

Day 3: Puerto Princesa Underground River

Facade of the Underground river

Facade of the Puerto Princesa Palawan Underground river

Shows the Underground river inside

Shows The forest conservation of the subterranean river Shows The forest conservation of the subterranean river

Sabang Beach

Sabang Beach

Sabang Beach

Sabang Beach

So basically that’s it. The trip all in all is concise, Tiring and enjoyable. We were just out of time to do all stuffs especially on our main purpose there. The visit to the underground river. The boatmen from the beach and the guide where rushing us from the time we rode to go to the underground river and when we get back to eat lunch. Well, i guess that’s the disadvantage of getting on a tour package, you don’t own your time. I wanted to ride the zipline, swim on Sabang beach, mountain trek. Definitely i will be back sometime to experience other adventures.

Before i forgot, We also tried the best restaurant in PP. Here are some.

 Bilao at palayok Restaurant

Bilao at palayok Restaurant
http://bilaoatpalayok.multiply.com/

Badjao Seafront

Eat Healthy and tranquil while overlooking the sea. Serene environment for people stressed from the city life.

Image

Experience Fine Dining while barefooted over black out.
http://www.kaluirestaurant.com/

Kinabuch Grill and restaurant

Wanna Try Exotic Dishes? Try to eat in Kinabuchs Restaurant. We tried the Crocodile Dish and Tamilok (Wood worm)

taraw

Taraw Vista Lodge and Restaurant (A Typical  Filipino Dish Buffet Restaurant that’s located just a few feet away from the Sabang Beach)

Fun and Duffs at Dallas Arboretum!

Unprecedented events comes at the least you expected. All in all our visit to Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden is fun, except for few flaws.
Lets enumerate the flaws.

1. Horrendous parking spots.Numerous number of people come and visit the place but the parking space are few with the addition of not so helpful traffic agents.

2. Not enough seats are provided for visitors who wanted to eat on cafe’s.

3. There’s only one entrance and exit spots. (as i mentioned above the parking is lame so we need to find a spot to park). We found one by the Trail near the lake at the very end. We need to walk back to go on the entrance).

Now for the beauty of the Place i insert some of the majestic photos taken during our visit November of 2012.

all in all i can say that it was an enjoyable experience and i learned a lesson. Better be ready on unexpected things to happen.