Bangalore is the capital of the Indian state of Karnataka and is known for its scenic landscapes and nightlife. Referred to as the Silicon Valley of India, it is a top-tier destination for IT Professionals and houses over 212 software companies in its heart. When you come here, you will be greeted by the sun, pleasant weather, and charming hospitality of the people. Travelers describe Bangalore as a place where one can enjoy the nightlife with many numerous dining and pub-hopping options. Bangalore is every traveler’s dream as it brings the best of both worlds in one hub — nature and technology.
A paradise for nature lovers, Bangalore is studded with scenic parks and beautiful architecture throughout the city. The Cubbon Park and the Lalbagh Gardens are two famous sights, which are loved by locals and tourists alike. Cubbon Park is an oasis of green in the heart of the city that invites picnickers and health enthusiast all year, while Lalbagh puts its best foot forward at an annual flower show, which is guaranteed to mesmerize children and adults alike.
If you are traveling to Bangalore, you can book budget resorts in Bangalore which are scattered across the city. Most hotels in Bangalore are equipped with state of the art facilities and boast of infrastructure that is suited to IT and business professionals. Since Bangalore is the IT Capital of Karnataka, you will find most hotels offering free Wi-Fi services with high-speed bandwidths. Traveling is easy throughout the city as a fleet of public transport and private buses connect the various tourist destinations which make sightseeing and tourism a breeze.
There are plenty of resorts in Bangalore where tourists can stay to ease the tensions of their problems and enjoy relaxing vibes. The peaceful nature of this city glistened with the accent of a technological backdrop makes it the perfect place for vacationing and pub-hopping. Here are a few of the resorts near Bengaluru that are most loved:
Mount Palazzo is a paradise for nature lovers. It is located 26.3 km from the Kempegowda International Airport and can be reached through the NH 44 and SH 104 travel routes. From free Wi-Fi to bonfire facility, Mount Palazzo makes living seem like a luxury for tourists in Bangalore and features enchanting amenities. The candlelit dinners and romantic strolls through scenic gardens must not be missed.
Featuring panoramic views and eclectic amenities, the Holiday Village is a lover’s nest tucked away in a circle of greenery and natural abundance. The resort provides banquet rate cards and wedding services and is the perfect resort for couples and families. Swimming pools, delectable cuisines, and outdoor entertainment are some of the perks of this budget resort.
Gold Coins Club
This is one of the best Bengaluru Resorts near Airport and features sophisticated accommodation suites and heart-warming hospitality, the Gold Coins Club welcomes guests with complimentary WiFi services, banquet halls, and state-of-the-art infrastructure, making it the ideal vacationing spot for tourists and business professionals alike.
Fantasy Golf Resort
If you are seeking thrills and adventures, this mini golf resort will do your vacation justice. The Fantasy Golf Resorts welcomes guests with swaying palms, a gentle breeze, and pleasant sunshine that gleams on natural landscapes and several attractions. It is one of the premier budget Bangalore Resorts for tourists and golf-lovers.
Angsana Oasis Spa & Resort
Guests who enjoy relaxing massages, dips in the swimming pool, and playgrounds that bustle with the spirit of fun and entertainment will find this resort the ideal heaven. Mixed cuisines and reinvigorating hospitality are the highlights of this spa-cum-resort.
From travel to culture and theatrical performances available in the heart of the city, these resorts provide a gateway to escape to nature’s comfort and bask in the warmth and greenery of the city. Without compromising on modernity, these resorts provide an eclectic blend of nature, technology, and culinary feats. If you’ve always wanted to tour the city while enjoying comfort in Nature’s lap then these Budget Bangalore Resorts beckon for a holiday which will not burn a hole in your pocket.
Note: This is a guest sponsored post.
I sometimes climb mountains for reasons other than conquering them; to be tattooed by the legendary Apo Whang in Kalinga, to plant a tree in Bulacan, to be the unwilling model for a postcard in Romblon, to see the beautiful amphitheatre rice terraces in Batad. Adding to that list is a climb for coffee. That’s right folks, I climbed Mt. Manabu in Batangas for the promise of free, hot civet coffee, as recommended by a friend. I found the idea enticing enough to gather my friends and take the hike.
Did I say friends? Scratch that. Only one friend managed to stay true to his word. That’s right, the other friends bailed on me a day before this trip. As if that’s not bad enough, I wouldn’t even know that they weren’t going had I not asked. Really, how difficult is it to take the initiative to inform the organizer that they are not coming? I’m sorry, I don’t want to begin this article on a bad note, but I want them to know it’s not okay. I wish they could have given me a little courtesy.
How to get to Mt. Manabu?
Anyhoo, let’s go back to the trip itself. It became a family activity of some sort with the attendance of my two cousins, my sister, and my niece. A friend, whom I call the ultimate survivor for being the only one who didn’t back out, completed our group.
We met at the official meetup place for hikers, McDonalds Buendia at around 6 in the morning. I ordered a cup of brewed coffee and cheesy eggdesal for breakfast. We took a 2-hour bus ride to Lipa City in Batangas and from there, we had to take a jeep to Fiesta Mall Junction. From Fiesta Mall, we split our group into 2 and hailed two tricycles that drove us to Sulok.
The tricycles stopped by the registration area so we could settle the registration fee and write down our names on the logbook. I noticed that we were the only climbers around; looks like we came in the off-season. At the jump-off point, we met our guide, Mang Ellis.
It rained the day before and that morning hence the muddy trail. I still remember the challenge of trekking the muddy path to Hulugan Falls. I took a deep sigh thinking of the challenge ahead. My companions were all wearing closed shoes. I stared at my trekking sandals with dismay, “Oh lord, I’m going to get my feet dirty.”
Where is Mt. Manabu?
Mt. Manabu can be found in Barangay Sta. Cruz, Sto. Tomas, Batangas. It is considered to be a minor climb with a difficulty of 2/9. It is what some climbers describe as a “pabebe climb”, meaning the hike is so easy it is perfect for beginners. The climb can be finished in more or less 2 hours depending on your pace. The total trail length is 4,738.2 meters. Let me be honest though, it wasn’t that easy given the muddy condition of the trail.
Mt. Manabu Stations
Mt. Manabu is especially crowded during the Lenten Season because of its 8 stations that are being used for the stations of the cross. This explains the large cross in the summit and the little crosses that you will find along the way. If you look at the map you will notice that the trail is shaped like a rosary. The summit is in Station 6. On your way down, you have the option to take the same path from whence you came or take the other path that leads to Stations 7 and 8.
The dogs of Mang Ellis
We managed to pass through Stations 1 and 2 with ease. There were a few creeks and rivers that we had to cross, which made me realize wearing trekking sandals was not a bad idea after all. From the jump-off point, we were being tailed by some dogs. We soon realized that they are taking part in our trek, or rather they were keeping their master, Mang Ellis company.
One of the dogs stayed close behind Mang Ellis. Because of its color, I started calling it Brownie. What I didn’t expect is that the dog is indeed named, Brownie. And he wasn’t the only brownie in the bunch, the other 2 dogs that also sport brown fur were also named Brownie. Mang Ellis just added a number to tell them apart, so there goes Brownie 1, Brownie 2, and Brownie 3. Isn’t it hilarious? . Why did he name them so, it’s less stressful that way, he said.
“How could you tell one from another?” I asked.
“They have different faces,” he replied.
I didn’t believe him at first, but when we took one of our rests and got the chance to see the dogs closely, I realized that he was right. Each brown dog has different facial features from another. There is another dog that is of white color and I guess I don’t have to tell you its name; that’s right it’s Whitey .
My very active niece
There are 3 first timers in our group; my sister, Luz, my cousin, Jennifer, and my niece, Amber. Nobody seems to enjoy this hike more than Amber. Picture a thin and tiny little girl with pale skin, going off on her own. She climbed with so much ease and with such speed that if this was a race she would have easily won. While the rest of us were questioning ourselves why we were doing this, Amber was telling me to take her to our next climb. Mind you, we haven’t even reached the summit yet, and the girl was already planning her next hike.
The entire time, I could hear her mom, Jackie and her aunt, Jennifer chiding her for being too fast. Many times she would try to go to my fore, and I lost track of the times I told her to stay behind me.
Jennifer and Luz weren’t as eager as Amber, in fact, they swore never to climb again. Alchris said that he joined another hike recently and he remembers telling his mom never to do it again, yet there he was, doing yet another climb that he was also regretting .
I was feeling lightheaded for the most part of the climb, a fact I attribute to only eating eggdesal instead of a big meal.
The free coffee at Station 5
Coffee awaits those who would climb Mt. Manabu. An old man with dark hair welcomed us in this little hut adorned with tarpaulins. Mang Ellis picked the thermos and poured coffee on some ceramic blue cups and handed them to us. On the table were jars of civet coffee grounds that he is selling to climbers for only ₱100.
As we sipped our coffee, I took the chance to interview the old man a little. He is Tatay Tino and he mans the Station 5 hut to offer free coffee to hikers. The tradition started in the early 90s by his brother, Mang Perying who likes to talk with climbers. There is a good population of civet cat or what we call locally as alamid in the area, hence they are able to make civet coffee. This coffee is expensive due to its unique processing, a fact that Mang Tino and his family weren’t aware of until they heard it from some climbers.
I’ve had this kind of coffee in Vietnam, and to this day it remained to be the best tasting coffee I have ever had. Because of this, I had great expectations on Mang Tino’s coffee, but I find that it lacked that robust flavor present in the Vietnamese version. Nevertheless, it wasn’t bad and definitely worth a try.
The other interesting thing you will find at Station 5 is the life-size sculpture of a penis, which for some reason they are calling anito. Mang Tino said that maidens who have climbed Mt. Manabu and touched the anito have found love.
I told the old man that if I don’t find love after this then I have him to blame, to which he answered, “It still depends on what you believe in and how open you are in finding love.” Whether I find love or not, I still have to take a picture with it as a souvenir .
Station 6: the Summit
From Station 5, the assault begins. My headache has improved a little bit, thanks to the coffee. I haven’t been working out that often lately so my body was not in the best condition. Still, I persevered but as all the other climbs, I could only keep my head down to see where I am stepping on and didn’t have time to fully enjoy the view.
A few kilometers before the summit, we reached a flat area where we spotted some campers. Some of them spent the night over. It rained the night before, I’m sure camping there in that weather was anything but fun.
After 2 hours of labor, we reached the summit. Looking at the view made everything oh so worth it. I felt proud of my sister, cousin, and niece for finishing the climb. For first-timers, I think they did well. The dogs who have followed us all the way to the top found their spots to nap while the humans went about the whole business of picture taking.
The Descent to Stations 7 and 8
We had a bit of a debate whether we should go back the way we came or take another trail for our descent. We ended up following Mang Ellis’s suggestion to take the other route.
We all agreed that the trek down is much more difficult than the climb. Because of the mud, the trail was quite slippery that I had to use all of my lower leg strength to prevent myself from slipping. I am such a restless person, always burdened with thoughts, but in that moment my mind blocked all things saved for the task at hand. I kept my eyes on the ground and was very careful where to put my feet. There were a few times that I found myself on the ground despite my best efforts.
I heard Amber said that her legs were feeling wobbly. I noticed that my legs were the same whenever I stopped for some quick rest. The dogs would stop along the way as if they were waiting for us. We gave way whenever they wanted to walk ahead.
The grottos can be found at Station 8. We stopped here to wash our muddy shoes in the creek.
At 2;42 p.m., the trek has officially ended. Getting there and doing the hike on your own is possible, but I still recommend getting a guide especially if you’re climbing with kids. Here’s an itinerary that I made for your reference.
I was grateful for the cool wind, the beautiful view, and the good company. I am glad that despite the “bailing situation” the trip continued and turned out well.
How many people can say they’ve gone to another country three times in a matter of days? Well, it happened to me, and the country in question is Malaysia. First I went to Penang, then when I was in Singapore, my friend and I, with her husband, crossed borders to Malaysia, and lastly, I went back to Kuala Lumpur for the transit to Manila.
This whole trip started in Penang where I explored the George Town street art on foot, visited one of the Chinese water villages, the Chew Jetty, chased after cats inside the Purrfect Cat Museum, checked out vintage cameras at the Camera Museum, then ended the trip on a sweet note with a chance meeting with a Catalan painter.
Crossing border from Singapore
Then I flew to Singapore and spent the next 3 days exploring the Lion City. In one of those days, my friend told me that we’d be going to Malaysia for a Thai massage. I kid you not, we went to another country just to get a massage and it happened to be the eve of my birthday.
My friend’s husband took the wheel, we drove for god knows how many hours (I napped), I saw how modern the Singapore border is, had my passport stamped, then next thing I knew we were in Malaysia. My friend said that it is much cheaper to get a massage in this area than in Singapore and her husband doesn’t mind the long drive. The food here is also budget-friendly, in fact, after our relaxing massage, we went stopped by a rundown noodle place that serves amazing food.
Sleeping in a hostel in Salak Tinggi
From Singapore, I had to return to Malaysia for my flight back to Manila. I only had half a day to spare as my flight was scheduled at night on the same day. With this in mind, I picked a hostel close to the airport. I found one in Salak Tinggi, only 2 stations away from KLIA2. The hostel is called Moon Eleven. From Salak Tinggi station I had to walk for 900 meters (11 minutes) to get to the hostel—again, not exactly a walk in the park when you’re pulling a suitcase.
The hostel is pretty basic, more like an apartment that has been turned into a hostel. I liked it because it’s cheap, has free breakfast, fast WiFi connection, and the owner is quite responsive on email and just as helpful in person.
She assigned me to a room with 4 beds. Apart from me, there is only one guest in this room. I saw her sleeping, I was very careful not to make any noise. She did wake up despite my efforts so I muttered my apologies. She dismissed it and said that it’s okay as she is leaving anyway.
We chatted a bit, I found out that she’s leaving Malaysia on that day and that she’d been traveling around the country for almost a month now. She’s a white girl from Europe, my guestimate is that she’s in her early 20s. She’s nice and very charming.
The mandatory picture taking with the Petronas Tower
Given the little time I had and the fact that I didn’t really get enough sleep when I left Singapore, I dropped all plans to explore and just went to the city center to see the Petronas Tower. It takes an hour to reach the city center from Salak Tinggi by train. I used that time to catch some zzz’s inside the train. By the time I opened my eyes, it was already 2 stations away to KLCC.
The Petronas twin towers are the most famous skyscrapers in Malaysia. It used to be the world’s tallest building from 1998 to 2004. From the KL Sentral station, I walked inside a mall, thought to grab something to eat; changed my mind, then headed outside to look for the towers.
I saw a group of police officers taking a rest under a shade. I approached them to ask for the direction. One of them volunteered to take me to the towers and he even offered to take my picture; boy it was a challenge. The tower is so tall, it was hard to take a picture with it as a background. As you can see in my photo above, the man wasn’t able to fully capture the Petronas.
Forest in the city
As I walked around I spotted this small park with tall trees, arranged in perfect alignment. Isn’t it beautiful?
When a friend told me that Malaysia is much more advanced than the Philippines, I didn’t believe him. Not that he is unreliable, just that I’ve always had this notion that the Philippines are just like Malaysia or Thailand. Turns out I needed to update my version of the truth; the Philippines is economically behind from its neighboring nations. Just like the progressive nations that I visited, Japan, Singapore, and Taiwan, Malaysia has a very efficient and advanced train system. It is linked to the airport and it has seamless connections to all of their residential, commercial, and industrial areas.
The Kuala Lumpur International Airport and the Penang Airport are equally impressive. Everything is in order, both are well-maintained, and airport procedures are fast and efficient. [Read: 5 Flights, 3 Airports: the horrors and wonders of flying]
Rice is an add-on not part of the meal at KFC, they like curry food a lot, Penang looks just like a province in the Philippines, they have prayer rooms in their airports, they have a rainforest in the city, these are only some of the things that I observed during my short visit in Malaysia. I certainly didn’t expect I’d be visiting it thrice in just a matter of days, but I must say it made this trip all the more interesting.
What about you, have you been to Malaysia? What do you love about this country? Share in the comments below.