One Day Itinerary for Tbilisi, Georgia

I read on multiple blogs that Filipinos, who have a US visa, can enter Georgia without applying for the country’s visa. On top of that, Filipinos who have residency in any Gulf country can enter upon showing our residency cards. Luckily for me, I happened to have both the card and a US Visa.

So off I went to Tbilisi, Georgia’s capital city, for my four days off. It was wonderful. Basically, I did all the important things in just half a day and saw the extras on my second and third day. Here’s a sample of my first day’s itinerary for your perusal, should you have limited time to see Tbilisi in the future.

  • Arrive in Renaissance Hotel Tbilisi (a review to follow)

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  • 1 minute walk to St. Trinity Cathedral/Sameba Cathedral, the biggest catheral in Georgia and third tallest Eastern Orthodox cathedral in the world (lucky for me, this was literally just outside my hotel)

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  • 6 minute walk to the Presidential Palace. (people are only able to see the back of the palace, and the area is heavily gated. There’s no way of seeing the front as how one would see the White House. Tourists can only see this while driving on the road or when on the Narikala Fortress)
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The Presidential Palace beautifully lit for the night. Behind it, the Sameba Cathedral
  • 2.50 GEL metro ride (+4 GEL for the card) to Marjanishvili Square for lunch
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On our way to the restaurant, we see these quaint buildings.
  • Lunch at Barbarestan, paid 59 GEL (24 USD) for good food.

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Megelian Kuchmachi, a spicy mix of pork and veal that reminded me of home
  • 2.50 GEL metro ride to the city center
  • 2.50 GEL cable car ride to the Narikala Fortress for an awesome view of the city (the metro card can be used for the cable car as the latter seems to be part of their usual “public transportation,” even though everyone using it is a tourist)
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while waiting to get on the cable car

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Kartlis Deda, otherwise known as the Mother of Georgia
  • went down the pathway to get to the I LOVE TBILISI sign. Yes, this is just right below the Narikala Fortress

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  • walked our way to VinoGround for some 10 GEL wine tasting. (I believe we ended up drinking with the owner -he refused to admit that he was the owner- and he vehemently wanted to waive our payments as a gift to us. But we refused and insisted we still pay.)

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  • 3 GEL taxi back to the hotel and end the day (there is no Uber in Tbilisi, so I used the app Yandex.Taxi)

 

Kyiv, My Heart

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I love breakfasts by a view

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Independence Square, where the revolution that happened four years ago, started.

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Photo Diary: Play Time in Perth

Photo Diary: The Parisian Dream

Photo Diary: Moscow, Russia Checked Off

Thailand, Day Two: The Grand Palace, Emerald Buddha, and The Siam Niramit Show

July 2, 2017

My day started earlier than the rest of my family’s. I woke up at 4 a.m. for no particular reason, checked my phone, and couldn’t go back to sleep. There’s the one lesson that I can never learn: not checking any electronic device in between groggy stirs. Oh wells, the damage has been done.

I got out of bed at 5:30 to shower, and by 6:30 I was ready for our hotel’s buffet breakfast. Our tour guide wouldn’t be arriving until 7:30 to pick us up for our day’s trip around Bangkok, so I took my precious time in the restaurant.

There was no such thing as Filipino Time in Bangkok, as our tour guide was already waiting outside with our van, even before the scheduled pick up time. I say this because, regardless if I have been exposed to countless cultures, I still falsely believe that it is a South East Asian thing to be late for a couple of minutes. But I digress.

So all 11 of us – me, my family, plus the tour guide and the driver – hopped on the van and proceeded to interject into Thailand’s traffic. Our destination for the day was the Grand Palace, where the body of Thailand’s Late King is still housed, and where the Temple of the Emerald Budhha is conveniently adjacent to.

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The palace doesn’t open to guests until 8:30 a.m. Since we were early, we had to wait together with a big crowd.

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This is the entrance to see the Palace itself, but we needed to see the Emerald Buddha first so we turned left just right before the gate.

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Taking of pictures inside the Temple of the Emerald Buddha is not allowed. This is the only picture I have with regard to it. But look at the intricacy of those walls. 

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Now here are some pictures of the palace itself

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If you didn’t already know, the entire country is still mourning for their King who died in October 2016. Thousands of Thai still line up amidst the heat, just to get into the palace and pay their respects to the Late King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

After seeing these glorious structures and that majestic green god, I was surprised to hear that there was one more place we needed to go to. We stopped by a jewelry manufacturing company to see how Thailand assembles their most prized gems into necklaces and rings.

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A Jeweler meticulously inspects the rubies

We were then herd into a room full of displays, in the company’s hopes that we would buy a few shiny things. No such purchases were made. Thankfully, we didn’t have to stay long in such a tempting place. We needed to hurry back to the hotel, for a few hours rest, before our next activity that was to happen at 7 that evening – of which events you will hopefully read in my next post.

Love,

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What’s in my Travel Backpack (for Siargao)

I’m going back to Siargao in a week!

Magpupungko Beach Siargao

More than 7,000 islands in this country, but I’ve only ever been to a handful. Siargao is in that measly count. It’s my second favoritestestest island, right after El Nido.

El Nido will always be my NO. 1, even though I haven’t seen her in 4 years. But that’s only because she’s too high maintenance. Siargao doesn’t demand. Well… her food’s fancy but that’s it. So I’m going behind El Nido’s back for a tête-à-tête with Siargao, for the second time in a row.

I’m ecstatic. In fact, my excitement has driven me to pack two weeks early! Which is why I’m writing this blog post. I wanted to share what I’ve prepared for Siargao.

Not that it’s important. I just really enjoy reading and watching “What’s in my Travel Backpack”/ “What’s in my Backpack” posts and youtube videos. This is my excuse to make one myself. 

My Bag of course!

My backpack is the 38 L Act Trail Pro from Deuter.

I know that 38 L is overkill for a 4 day trip – and to the beach too, where I won’t even need that many clothes at all! But this is the only backpack I have that can fit my stuff. I have a Jansport bag, but my 4 days wouldn’t fit in that either.

Summer clothes, which I’ve organized in these cute packing cubes!

Shoutout to the American boyfriend for getting me these. I’d been looking for inexpensive packing cubes in Cebu, for months, to no avail. The ones I found were always within the range of 500 PHP for one packing cube! So I asked Douglas if he could find me some in Tracy, and have them brought here by a family member who would visit.

Why does America have all the best things?

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I’m not going to show everything, otherwise this post would take up your entire day. But this Something Borrowed top from Zalora  just has to be shared to the world.

Zalora

BIKINIS!

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I bought these from Rue 21 in Seattle. This pair was so bright compared to the rest of the bikinis in that store. It stood out. I just had to have it.

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These ones were given to me by my aunt in Japan. I’m not sure if my cellulite-covered-bum will agree with my wearing this, but I’m bringing them anyway. Wish me luck!

Roxy Rash Guard
Sorry for the overexposure. lol.
Are rash guards considered as bikinis? This cropped one from Roxy might as well be!

This Microfiber Towel

Because micofiber towels should be the only kind of towel in a traveller’s bag.

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I got this large size for only 600 PHP at Me and U in SM Seaside. I found this cheaper than the ones in other stores, where they sell the medium size for about the same price.

SUNNIES!

The black ones are Justcavalli, while the ones with the red leopard print details are knock offs.

This Sunscreen

Relax, I’m not going to show you the essentials. Just this one!

I think it’s important to point out that we should buy sunscreen that’s reef friendly – 100% natural, no harmful chemicals.

Think, not only of yourself, but of our sea friends.

The Equipment

I say that like I have the fanciest cameras. Not. lol.

Travel-Equipment

Just the Hero 4 Silver, the stick, and a gorillapod for my Canon EOS M10 (represented by its cap), which I’m still contemplating on bringing.

So that’s basically it! I’m nowhere near done packing, but I shall continue in the next days. Hope to have satisfied the interest of the nosey people, such as myself! If you’d like to share what your travel essentials are, feel free to comment below. I’d love to know too!