Ethiopia through the lens of BellionTravels

EFood01

EFOOD02

Ethiopia29 (1)

Ethiopia30 (1)

Ethiopia31 (1)

Ethiopia32 (1)

Ethiopia33 (2)Ethiopia34 (1)Ethiopia8Ethiopia30Ethiopia29Ethiopia31Ethiopia25Ethiopia34Ethiopia33 (1)Ethiopia32Ethiopia24Ethiopia21Ethiopia23Ethiopia20Ethiopia19Ethiopia18Ethiopia17Ethiopia16Ethiopia15Ethiopia14Ethiopia12Ethiopia09Ethiopia11Ethiopia13Ethiopia06Ethiopia10Ethiopia04

Advertisements

Bellion Travels: 3 Days in Taipei, Taiwan

Tim and I have noticed that Taipei has an art district with lots of galleries and museums to visit but since our trip was short and we didn’t have enough time, we just walked around the district but couldn’t make a quick stop but here is what we’ve done in 3 Days.

Day 1:

We bought our transport ticket at the airport to be able to use the metro and the bus, it is very easy to navigate around the city, and you will not find any difficulty.

Our first stop was the National Palace Museum located in the Shilin District. The Museum has a collection of almost 700,000 pieces of ancient Chinese artifacts and artworks.

Taipei19

Taipei18

Taipei17

Taipei16

Taipei15

Tapei14

Taipei13

Tapei12

Afterwards, we decided to visit temples so we managed to see the Longshan Temple, which was built in 1738, and we saw the Confucius Temple.

Taipei85

Taipei43

Taipei87.jpg

We had a lot of time to kill before the Night Market so we took the train and visited Taipei 101 and went on the 88th and 89th floor. Unfortunately, we could not visit the 101th floor because we had to book in advance. As it got late, we went back to the Shilin District and explored the Night Market.

Taipei85 (1)

Taipei84 (1)

Taipei26

Taipei21.jpg

Day 2:

Tim booked a tour online to explore another part of Taiwan and we really enjoyed the tour.

The tour included Yehliu Geo Park, Jiufen Old Town, AMei Tea House, Pingxi Lantern and the Grand Hotel Taipei.

Yehliu Geo Park: North of Taiwan. Formations include the famous Queen’s Head. We did a quick stop at the famous Golden waterfall.

Taipei83

Taipei82

Taipei81

Jiufen Old Tower and AMei Tea House: It’s located on the seaside mountain area in New Taipei City. The place is filled with really old markets from the 14th Century and we visited the famous Amei Tea House for tea and cakes which was also shown in the famous Japanese cartoon called Spirited Away.

Taipei77

Taipei73

Taipei72

Taipei70

Taipei69

Taipei45

Taipei44

Pingxi: A very old town known for Lanterns. We bought a Lantern and wrote our wishes and we let it go up in the air. I ticked that off my bucket list so it was an experience 🙂

Taipei66

Taipei65

Taipei48

Taipei47

Taipei46

Taipei34

The Grand Hotel Taipei: Before dropping us to Ningxia, we did quick stop at the Grand Hotel to take pictures.

Taipei64

Taipei63

Ningxia Night Market was our last stop and the place known for the famous Taiwanese traditional street food.

Taipei62

Taipei60

Day 3:

We decided to dedicate our last day to shopping and massages. Therefore, we visited Shi-men Ting and the Underground Mall at the Taipei Main Metro Station. Afterwards, we walked around the area of the National Museum and went for a massage.

Taipei51.jpg

Food Adventure in Taiwan

As the Eid holiday was approaching and my family are abroad and busy packing their stuff to move to a new apartment. Tim suggested lets go to Taiwan, for the Eid holiday. I was a bit hesitant at first because of the Typhoon but we said let us just book the flights.

Luckily, the wind redirected to other areas and we had sunshine during our stay. Since it was a last minute trip, we did not have a plan nor an idea of what to discover but I was adamant to have a meal at Din Tai Fung and try Taiwanese cuisine. Click Here to read about Din Tai Fung restaurant in Dubai.

Taipei11 (1)

Taipei10

Taipei09

Taipei08

Taipei07

Taipei05

Taipei04 (1)

Taipei04

Din Tai Fung is the only Taiwanese restaurant we know of in UAE, as I mentioned in my Dubai blog, the waiting time to get a table is long and so is the waiting time in Taiwan. Although they do have several branches of the restaurant, it is always full. Nevertheless, it is worth the wait and so we did wait for 70 minutes. The restaurant has more options, is much cheaper than the one in Dubai, and has many pork dishes in the menu. Now, I do not eat pork so they customised my dishes and I loved it.

Tapei36.jpg

Before heading to Taiwan, a friend of ours suggested to try the famous stinky Tofu, which apparently smells worse than Durian. I agree; it smells DISGUSTING but guess what? We tried it. Once you have it, for some reason you become immune to the smell. Tim and I enjoyed some of the street food at the night market but I did not have the courage to try intestines, organs, and all that so I just tried the basics.

Taipei30

Taipei21

One thing that amused us about Taiwan was its history. The natives of the land are actually Filipino and during the Chairman Mao, many Chinese people fled to Taiwan and started a new life on that tiny island and afterwards Japanese people moved to Taiwan and settled there for 50 – 60 years so the Taiwanese cuisine is a blend of Japanese, Filipino and mainly Chinese. Tim and I went to two Taiwanese/Japanese restaurants that were artistically prepared and served. It was delicious and I would love to go back just to eat there again.

Taipei86Taipei75

Taipei74

I have a sweet tooth and if you love desserts, I highly recommend the sun cakes and the green tea cakes made of beans and matcha. I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE THEIR CAKES. I bought five boxes of cakes just for myself to have with my Chinese tea.

Taipei70

Taipei68

Taipei54

Taipei71

Anyway, I will blog separately about our Taiwan travel itinerary and places we visited but I must admit Taiwanese food needs a blog dedicated to their delicacies and delicious cuisine.

Taipei61.jpg

Taipei49.jpg

 

ABU DHABI – Lunch at Azkadenya

Since I got my first salary, I decided to invite Priyanka, Clint and the girls for lunch at Azkadenya. It is a Jordanian restaurant in Abu Dhabi located in Marina Mall. They also have other branches in Dubai.

The restaurants vibe is positive and colourful. They also have funny displays around and the artwork is extremely unique. The food was delicious and everything we ordered was really good.

So here is what we ordered….

Appetisers:

  • Spicy Hummus
  • Garlic Hummus (Beiruti)
  • Tabouleh Salad
  • Muhammara

Azkadenya05.jpg

Main:

  • Meatballs with tomato sauce and freekeh
  • Beef Shawarma
  • Chicken and Mushroom
  • Kibeh with Laban

Azadenya04

Azkadenya03

Desserts:

  • Watermelons
  • Moroccan Tea

Azkadenya02.jpg

We recommend you try the restaurant and order the Chicken and Mushroom and Kibeh hehe

Sahtein (Bon Appetite in Arabic)

 

July 2019 Recap

We spent every weekend in Dubai because we had friends visiting and friends leaving. So we were basically spending time with everyone and on weekdays, I’m just busy with work.

So here is a quick recap.

Destinations I’ve visited

UAE: Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah

Highlights of the month

  • Tori visited Dubai so we went for a Spa Day.
  • Sumaiya visited Dubai and we had breakfast together.
  • Spent a lot of our time with Christina and Reuven because on 29th July, they moved to Berlin.
  • I completed one month at my new job.

What I watched?

Netflix Specials and Series:

Stranger Things Season 3: Although it was different from the other seasons, I enjoyed it a lot. My favourite scene was Dustin and Suzie.

Jane the Virgin: Ok I admit, I love telenovelas but Tim doesn’t. Zeinab kept pushing me to watch it and after years of trying to convince me, I did and I’m addicted to it and Tim’s enjoying it with me. IT’S JUST HILARIOUS.

#TEAMMICHAEL

Netflix Movies

The Mummy (2017): The one with Tom Cruise. It was actually good. I know it is not a Netflix movie but watch it on my Netflix account.

Secret Obsession: I knew Brenda Song from Disney and this was another side to her acting but the movie was OKAY.

Shaft (2019): I LOVED IT LOVED IT LOVED IT LOVED IT AND FOUND IT EXTREMELY FUNNY.

Movies I watched at the Theatre:

Spider Man Far From Home: He is the best SPIDER MAN

What I read this month?

Nothing just reading travel blogs and thought catalog LOL.

What music did I listen to?

What have I blogged about?

 

Travelling As A Refugee and Coming From A Third World Country

When I was a child, I always wanted to travel and explore the world. Back then travelling was not that simple. You cannot just book a flight and go to places. Travelling was expensive like really expensive but things have changed now and everyone can easily travel around the world. The world has become smaller.

As I grew up, I started following travel bloggers, I started to read a lot of travel books that got me inspired, and then I met my British husband while travelling. He loves to travel so it was perfect. Until we got married and we visited many countries, which were easily accessible and affordable from our location. I started realising that travelling with me is actually difficult because I have to keep applying for visas. Therefore, it narrows down our travel list. I sometimes feel that we should not have gotten married, I feel like I am holding him back from his dream of travelling the world. Unlike me, I want to travel the world but I travel to countries that are easy to travel to, to avoid the hassle of applying for visas.

When I started this blog and followed many bloggers, I then realised that the majority of the travel bloggers I follow have passports that allows them to enter more than 130 countries visa free. Then I followed a Filipina travel blogger and she wrote a blog post about how it is possible to travel with a third world country passport. I then watched a video made by Americans about how sad it is that Filipinos can only travel to more or less 65 countries visa free and need to constantly apply for visas. There was one vlogger who had one of those “strong” passports, and complained about visa processing to enter to only one country and it really annoyed me because there are nationalities that have to always apply for visas. However, the vlogger did mention that the world should be visa free but come on, let us be realistic this might never happen. As a Filipina, I’m so proud to come from a third world country and the fact that I keep applying for visas makes me appreciate travel more than anyone who travels all the time.

Now, I will be talking on behalf of the Palestinian refugees who apply for visas to travel anywhere in the world. Refugees (literally have no country) are ranked in the top 3 worst passports in the world so trust me entering 65 countries visa free sounds amazing to refugees. Palestinian refugees are the ones who fled the war in 1948 and have no right to return to which is now the State of Israel.

So how can a refugee have a passport?

It is not a passport; it is called a travel document issued by countries who allow the stateless people to seek refuge. This allows refugees to be able to travel the world but it means applying for visas everywhere they go and there are countries that do not acknowledge them. Visa application requires bank statements, letters, passport pictures, passport copies, approvals from sponsors to travel, plane ticket, hotel bookings, etc and even if you submitted all those documents, you may not even get the visa and of course, it costs a lot.

I have been lucky and blessed to travel around the world with a third world country passport. It makes me appreciate the moment I get the visa, it makes me appreciate my trip and makes me realise that I am fortunate. I was rejected and I did get humiliated but I never gave up and reapplied 🙂

So please when you ask me to visit a country or plan a trip with me, consider the fact that I have to plan ahead, I have to apply for visas and I need to look at my budget. I ask you to be considerate, understand other peoples struggle when they travel. Just a final note, if someone complains about applying for a visa or how annoying it is and goes on and on and on and on and never stops complaining, I will just walk away from the conversation.

I ask you nicely, please appreciate what you have and please never complain. If you have one of those passports that allows you to enter more than 100 countries, take advantage of that and travel and explore the world 🙂

Happy Travels Everyone and all the best to the ones applying for visas. 🙂

 

 

Ramadan and Eid in Jakarta, Indonesia

When the UAE announced the days off for the Eid Holiday, Tim suggested we should travel since he is on probation and won’t be able to travel for 6 months.

Jakarta02

Jakarta03

Jakarta04

So we decided to travel to an affordable destination and pay the cheapest tickets lol. So Jakarta it was, little did we know that EVERYTHING IS CLOSED during Eid holidays. LOL. Yes we know Indonesia is a Muslim country but we traveled to Beirut during those holidays and we live in UAE which is a Muslim country but everything is open for the public.

Jakarta05

Jakarta06

Jakarta09

Jakarta11

Jakarta12

Jakarta13

Unfortunately, we did not manage to do much since everything closed early and the touristic attractions were closed. However, we did manage to visit few places such as Ancol, Grand Indonesia Mall, Istiqlal Mosque, Jakarta Cathedral, National Monument at Merdeka Squae, Sepa Island, Mal Taman Ang Grek, Central Park Jakarta.

We really enjoyed Indonesian food and ate a lot. The food is extremely affordable and filling.

Jakarta10

Jakarta11

Jakarta14

Jakarta16

Jakarta17

Jakarta18

Jakarta21

We highly recommend a short visit to the lovely city of Jakarta. 🙂

ABU DHABI – A Trip to Emirates Park Zoo

We’ve realised that we actually visit a Zoo once a year and it must be somewhere around the world. Since we are living in Abu Dhabi, we decided to check out Emirates Park Zoo which is different than other places we visited because it is a petting and feeding zoo.

 

ZOO02.jpg

They have shows and cute coffee shops and they release a few animals to walk around and it is also a clinic for injured animals.

ZOO03

ZOO04

Emirates Zoo also has a resort where you can stay for the night. The place is wonderful for families and especially children because they will learn a lot. One thing I like about the Zoo was there were people walking around wearing a t-shirt that said ‘Educators’. So if you have a question to ask they are right there to assist you.

ZOO05

ZOO06

ZOO07

BELLION TRAVELS – London

We’ve been to London a few times but this time my brothers were the tourist and we were pretending to be Londoners showing them around the city.

We didn’t visit any of the touristic attractions but we did walk a lot and met up with Tim’s friends but overall we just explored the city by foot.

So here are the pictures we took of London in our 2018 UK trip 🙂