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60 entries categorized "Travel"

January 06, 2011

Nine Zero Hotel, Boston [my extraordinary stay]

Nine Zero Hotel, Boston

As someone who often stays at hotels in different parts of the world, it's very unusual for me to feel emotionally attached to a property. My stay at my temporary home in Boston, the Nine Zero hotel, has got to be one of my favourite and memorable hotel stays so far.

New Year's Kiss at Nine Zero Hotel Boston

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July 13, 2010

Au Pied de Cochon Paris, Five Years Later

Au Pied de Cochon Paris, Five Years Later

Finding a decent, late-night eatery in Paris (or in Europe in general) is a pain because most kitchens close between 11PM-1AM. Where to go for onion soup and steak at 2AM? Au Pied de Cochon! This brasserie has been around since 1946.

Au Pied de Cochon Paris

Bryanboy and Denni at Au Pied de Cochon, Paris

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June 11, 2010

Firenze Fever

Firenze Fever

How funny. Spent eight days in Stockholm, flew to Manila for less than 2 days and after 22 hours and two delayed flights not to mention baggage problems, I'm back in Europe again. This time I'm in Florence, Italy.

I'm staying at the spectacular Savoy Hotel...

Hotel Savoy Firenze

... here's the amazing view from my balcony.

Hotel Savoy Florence

And Piazza della Repubblica at night.

Piazza della Repubblica

Tomorrow's gonna be a busy day. Time to get some shuteye.

May 29, 2010

MamaLiga Restaurant, St Petersburg

MamaLiga Restaurant, St Petersburg

Are you an adventurous eater? I am. There's more to life than having a ceasar salad or a club sandwich. I'm not talking about devouring insects or exotic genitalia but hey, no judgment if you're into that. What I mean is that I'm someone who likes to try things I've never had before. Me and my siblings were raised by my parents to try things at least once. On a side note, read this NY Times article.

I have my limits, of course: you won't see me eat insects, domestic animals and yes, genitalia though I once had sheep testicles in Iceland many years ago. Depending on my mood, I'll try it. Ostrich meat? Had it in London. Rabbit? Had it in New York. Frogs, snails, duck fetus (balut)? Done, done and done.

Mamaliga Restaurant, St. Petersburg Russia

Instead of saying "no" when Alexey asked if I've tried Caucasian food before, I played devil's advocate and channeled the Debbie Dumber in me. "Caucasian food? What's that? White people food?" was my reply.

So after a disappointing and fruitless trip to a Russian flea market (I was hoping to see kitschy Soviet-era things and Russian antiques but I was greeted with Made-in-USA/Made-in-China second-hand cast-offs), we went to Mamaliga for lunch.

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May 25, 2010

Grand Hotel Europe St Petersburg

Grand Hotel Europe St Petersburg

If you have been to St. Petersburg, you'll know about the bridge situation. The city is interconnected with many, many bridges and they shut them down at certain times of the day (or should I say night) to pave way for incoming ships. What to do after a night out of clubbing while waiting for one of the bridges to open? Well, Alexey, Dima and I popped by the Grand Hotel Europe for tea at 4:30AM. I've stayed here many, many years ago and it's one of St. Petersburg's oldest and ultra luxurious hotels.

Bryanboy at Grand Hotel Europe

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May 21, 2010

The Hermitage, St. Petersburg

The Hermitage, St. Petersburg

After visiting the stunning  Balenciaga store here in St. Petersburg where the usual US$300-something sunglasses are being sold at US$1,200++ each, Alexey and I went to the Hermitage for a leisurely evening stroll.

Hermitage, St. Petersburg

I told him this place reminded me of Place Vendome in Paris where there's a big thing in the middle of the square with all these beautiful buildings and skateboarders etc then he told me something really, really funny. I wanted to capture that on camera but then he went all shy and wouldn't repeat.

Hysterical!!

The Sailorialist

The Sailorialist

There are several navy cadet academies here in St. Petersburg so all these budding sailors roam free around the city in their spare time. They're mostly from other parts of Russia and they all go here to study. Look at who I met yesterday.

Russian Navy Cadets

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May 19, 2010

White Nights in Saint Petersburg

White Nights in Saint Petersburg

Can you guess what time it is based on the photo below? Normally it would be pitch black in my neck of the woods, but no...

White Nights St Petersburg, Russia

10:43PM and the sun is still up!

White Nights Saint Petersburg, Russia

It's amazing to experience "summer" way up here in the north.

Now I need a white knight during these cray cray white nights. The $64 million question is.... where to find one?

Welcome to St. Petersburg, Russia!

Welcome to St. Petersburg, Russia!

After almost two days of traveling, I'm back in my adopted motherland, Russia. 

St Petersburg Airport

To those of you who are new to my site, I started my blog in 2004 because I went to Russia for a vacation.

I know I went to Moscow November last year for the Cycles and Seasons event but this time, I'm in beautiful St. Petersburg for Aurora Fashion Week. It's my second time herein SPB... can you believe it's been what, six years since I last went here?

Plane Spotting

Plane Spotting

Some of you knew I got ripped off by a unscrupulous merchant in Singapore earlier this month but you know what, I've decided I love my new camera. I *LOVE* the zoom feature.

How many times have you spotted another airplane on the horizon while you're midair? In my case, not that often... but on this trip, I've spotted two planes. Here's one of them. Is it a bird? Is it superman?

Plane Spotting

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Yotel Hotel Amsterdam Schiphol Airport

Yotel Hotel Amsterdam Schiphol Airport

Now I've stayed at many airport hotels but nothing beats Yotel in Amsterdam Schiphol. I had a very long layover and because I didn't have a Schengen visa, I couldn't get out of the airport. So for 76 euros, I got myself a room to bunk in after the fourteen hour flight from Manila instead of wandering around Schiphol for the next sixteen hours.

Yotel Hotel Amsterdam Schiphol Airport

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May 18, 2010

Karmic Retribution by KLM Airlines

Karmic Retribution

At long last, I've arrived at my final destination. Houston, we have a, no, Amsterdam, we have a problem.

They say bad luck comes in threes.

- Fourteen hour flight
- Sixteen hour layover

- Amsterdam Schiphol airport closed
- Connecting flight delayed by three hours

and now...

KLM Lost Luggag

KLM LOST MY LUGGAGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What did I do in my previous (I said previous, not present, ok? Haters gonna hate...) life to deserve this shit? Was a I murderer? Did I kill people?

All my clothes, my shoes, my handbags, my accessories, my printed Topman underwear - briefs with printed lips, my precious Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs are now gone. GONE. GONE. GONE WITH THE WIND GONE.

The day I used my Prada nylon suitcase (and not the Vuitton trunk) to scrimp on weight because of the bitch ass baggage allowance is also the day the airlines decided to do my head in.

Any chance of the powers that be at KLM Royal Dutch Airlines to help me out?

I promise I'll play nice from now on. No more dirty tricks.

No more "I'll bring a magazine with me on it and pretend I'm reading the page with my photo on it" to get the check-in counter girl's attention to give me an upgrade.

What's the point of "priority baggage handling" as a benefit of Delta Skymiles Platinum Medallion member/SkyTeam Elite Plus when KLM lost my luggage?

HELP!!!!! PLEASE HELP!!! 

May 17, 2010

Amsterdam Schiphol Airport CLOSED Due to Ash Cloud

Amsterdam Schiphol Airport CLOSED Due to Ash Cloud

My worst nightmare came true.

Amsterdam Schiphol Airport is closed today, Monday, from 6AM until 2PM.

Amsterdam Schiphol Airport Closed due to Ash Cloud

I have a flight that should leave later today. My flight hasn't been canceled, yet, as of the time I posted this entry.

I have my fingers, legs and my nutsack crossed. I need to go to my next destination!

Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam

Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam

After sitting behind two geriatrics AND beside a mother and evil spawn satan child who simply could not contain himself thirty four thousand feet up in the air for the duration of our hellish fourteen hour flight, I'm glad to say I finally made it in Amsterdam.

Amsterdam Schiphol Airport

(Airport is empty because I took this photo at 3-something AM!)

For a stopover. I have another flight in.... nine hours!

PS. I didn't get all the hoolabahoola about Avatar last year but omg I cried... as in FULL-ON WATERWORKS!!

May 04, 2010

St. Regis Hotel, Singapore [pictures and photos overload]

St. Regis Hotel, Singapore

It doesn't matter whether I'm staying for a night or a week but I love hotels. I often find them inspiring. I'm usually a big fan of boutique hotels because each property has its own unique style and character unlike massive, multinational hotel chains where they have a cookie-cutter approach. However, it's also nice to stay at ultra luxxe traditional hotels, like the amazing St. Regis in Singapore for instance. All my whims and desires were catered for during my stay. The level of service and their standards are very high.

St. Regis Hotel Singapore

St. Regis Hotel Singapore

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