Mad Monkey Hostel Bangkok - A Gem in the Busy City

During the lockout season because of COVID-19, I can't help but miss traveling. I really miss the time when I went to Thailand last year. The country is great and I can't wait to go back. We went to Bangkok and we chose to stay at Mad Monkey Hostel Bangkok.

The hostel is in a great location pretty close to Khao San Road. The street is known as a backpacker district and it comes alive at night. There are also a bunch of street vendors selling authentic Thai street food. You haven't been to Thailand until you got to try those food choices and there were so many to choose from. The Pad Thai there is incredibly cheap.

We had a private room and it was pretty clean. It is a personal preference but I loved the fact that the comfort room had a strong bidet. They also had a bar and it is open to the public similar to what I experienced in other Mad Monkey hostels. There is also a 711 just right across so you can buy what you need.

When we were there, there was a beer pong tournament that we ended up losing. That does not matter as it was just for everyone to have a lot of fun and we surely had a great time.

Just like other Mad Monkey hostels I have been to, they also have a specialty hard drink and if you drink it, you get one point for your country. It is actually a great concept.

The view from our room was amazing. There were a lot of backpackers just chilling by the pool.

We met a lot of backpackers throughout our stay here in Mad Monkey Hostels Bangkok. I actually could not wait to book a stay in another Mad Monkey hostel. Everything is just amazing and I can't really find any fault in it. You really have to take advantage of your young years.

Before we left the hostel, I decided to take a quick dip in the pool. I actually had it all to myself and I loved the fact that it had a lot of floating toys.

Tummy-Filling Lunch Before the Beach at Hobbit Tavern

We decided to have lunch in the D'Mall area and we came across this wonderful restaurant that has short people as the servers. It is a great concept that I really support. We were looking to get something to eat before going to the beach. We did not want to eat that much because you know, you don't want to look fat in your swimming attire.

We had the Chicken Schnitzel and I really like the way they cooked this dish. It is never a good practice to leave leftovers and this dish definitely deserve that. It is that good and I would not want to leave leftovers just for the sake of having a nice beach body.

We also had the Prawns in a Blanket. I have to give props to the chef for a magnificent dish here. Shrimp wrapped in bacon is always great.

All the people from Hobbit Tavern were very friendly. I even asked some of them travel advice about Boracay and they were more than happy to oblige.

All Photos Taken from Hobbit Tavern Facebook
Guest Post from Cohen Lopez


Is Panda Express Worth The Wait?

When Panda Express finally opened, I wanted to try it. It got me curious enough. I wanted to know if it is just one of those overhyped restaurants or if it is really good. I found out that there is a reason for those long lines. People are not just curious. They know the food is good. I decided to line up myself to see what the fuzz is about. Since I lined up last month, the wait was not that long anymore.

They have a great concept of choosing a meal. I picked the plate (2 entrees & 1 side) while my friend took the bowl (1 entree and 1 side). They even gave us a number that corresponded to the seat number. Thus, I must say they are well-organized when it comes to containing the huge crowd that comes there each day. They make a great effort in making everyone happy and I applaud them for that.

We both got the Chow Mein as the side and it is pretty tasty with the right amount of flavor. Also, I have to say their serving is pretty huge. The prices are not that bad for the serving size. For the entrees, I got the Savory Shrimp and the Mushroom Chicken. I have to say both were really delicious and I would not mind ordering them again in the future. Yes, this is one of those restaurants that I would come back to and I would not mind falling in line.

Panda Express
SM Megamall

Late Afternoon Drinks at Hobbit Tavern

When you're at Boracay, you know you got to have some drinks in the evening. Besides, the island is known all over the world as a party beach. Me and my friends were looking for a place to have some drinks and we stumbled upon Hobbit Tavern. I'm glad we did because the place was packed and the music was entertaining.

They have some promos that we took advantage of. I'm sure they have a lot more Happy Hour promos so check out their Facebook page for that. Their service is great too as you each member of their staff is super friendly.

We wanted some food to go along with the beer we had so we ordered BBQ Chicken and Pulled Pork pan pizza. I tell you the food here is great and I can't wait to go back and try the other stuff on their menu. It was a shame how we had dinner prior to going here. There will be other days for it though as we are staying at a hostel near it.

Guest Post by Obie Mercado
D'Mall, Boracay Island
All Pictures from Hobbit Tavern Facebook

Indulge - The Only Vegan Pizza Place in the Philippines

Did you know that cheese is made by separating baby calves from their mothers? When I found that out, I wanted to avoid cheese as much as possible. I love pizza though so it is a good thing I found out about Indulge, the only vegan pizza place in the Philippines. How I wish there would be more places like them that promote the vegan lifestyle.

 Broccoli Bites (P95)

I really love the flavor in this fried Broccoli. It could even be good enough as the meat in your rice meal. Yes, I am a big fan of frying vegetables using cholesterol-free oil of course. The best part about the Broccoli Bites is its flavor.

 Trinity & Supreme Indulgence (P450)

I did the half & half for their pizza so I can try two flavors. I got Trinity which is their three cheese pizza containing cashew mozz, chickpea parmesan, and tofu ricotta. It did not take long before Trinity became my favorite flavor. You got to try it. 

A normal pizza place would normally have a signature pizza with a lot of toppings. Indulge has their own version with Surpreme Indulgence and it has guilt-free toppings in chili flakes, bell peppers, mushrooms, onions, and pineapples. I normally don't go for pizzas with tons of toppings but this one is the ultimate exception.

Chickun Rice Meal (P95)

I took a look at their nice selection of rice meals and I was curious at to how their Chickun would compare to the real one. I was surprised that it was actually close and it is just as good too. It is actually soy chicken and the rice meal is perfect for vegans since the egg is made of squash, coconut milk, and rice flour. You won't notice the difference with the actual egg with the looks and the taste.

Indulge Vegan Pizzeria
Map Going There
33 Malingap Street, Teacher's Village, Quezon City

Aozora Japanese Restaurant Open for Delivery and Take-Out

While you are at home figuring out what to cook during this quarantine, Aozora is open for delivery and take-out. Since they have a lot of branches all over Tagaytay, it won't be long before they deliver the food to your place. Of course, you would just need to give them time due to the high volume of orders they receive during this tough time.

When you think of Tagaytay, you think of their Bulalo. At Aozora, they have a specialty called Bulalo Ramen and I'm sure you will love it.The ingredients are fresh and it is just too delicious.

I've come across a tone of Okonomiyaki themed restaurants. However, their okonomiyaki pales in comparison to the okonomiyaki of Aozora. I have to bow down to the chef for this masterpiece.

We did a little panic ordering since we wanted enough food for the next few days during the lockdown. Unfortunately, Aozora's food tastes so good that we might run out of food sooner than expected especially the Dragon Maki and the Chicken Teriyaki. It is a good thing that the servings are huge.

Guest Post by Christine Manansala
All Photos from Aozora Facebook

Aozora Opens 4th Branch

It does not get any authentic than the Japanese food at Aozora Restaurant in Tagaytay. They are certainly the best Jap restaurant there. In fact, they just opened a fourth restaurant which has its own farm. Those who need directions can get it here

There is nothing like going to Tagaytay during the summer time. You are going to breathe fresh air which is a good break after all that pollution in the city.

The best part about this branch is that they are going to serve fresh vegetables. Because of that, I highly recommend ordering their salads and other veggie dishes. You will realize right away that you came to the right place.

You will be delighted to know that you are going to enjoy all your Aozora favorites in such a nice location. Yes, that includes the shrimp tempura and the bulalo ramen. Of course, good food is best enjoyed with nice company.

Guest Post by Louie Gugol 
All Pictures from Aozora Facebook

Try the Supreme Lunch Bowls at Alegria Cozinha Moderna Sangria Bar

When you are working in the BGC area, you can always have a lunch out during your lunch break. One good option is Alegria Cozinha Moderna Sangria Bar which is just located at the top of Uniqlo so it is not hard to find. They offer fantastic lunch meals at affordable prices.

Mexican Chorizo (P330)

I am digging their twist into this classic Mexican dish. It is like a dream come true for me. The moment I tried it, I quickly looked at the chef and gave him a thumbs up. That is how good I thought it was.

Passila Fish (P330)

I am a huge fan of seafood and this fish is cooked just right. I could have easily ordered a couple of this if I was extra hungry. It is not only photogenic as it also tastes great.

All the lunch meals were pretty impressive and Alegria has a setting that is ideal for groups. Thus, it would be better to tag your workmates or friends along. The music is also fine so you won't notice how fast time flies. It is certainly a great place to chill and they have happy hour promos every night too.

Guest post by Louie Gugol
All pictures from Alegria Facebook

Cosmic - A Healthy and Affordable Vegan Place

I decided to go pescatarian because I am against animal cruelty. Thus, I mostly eat at vegetarian and vegan places nowadays. It is good to be part of a movement that will hopefully put a stop to unfair treatment to animals. Besides, doing this will also be good to your health. Unfortunately, the normal perception of vegan food is that it is expensive. Therefore, I was surprised to come across Cosmic as their prices are pretty affordable.

 Scrambled Tofu Egg Platter + Cordon Bleu (P240)

Cosmic opens at 11am just in time for breakfast. The place tends to get pretty packed fast so better get there early. I love the way tofu eggs were made here plus the cordon bleu is just magnificent. There are times when I want to ask the chefs what ingredients they used for some of their mock meat. However, for me, it would be better if it is kept a secret.

 Kare Kare with Bagnet (P150)

Perhaps, this one is my favorite dish at Cosmic and I always crave about it. Even if I live far from Cosmic, I would not mind driving all the way there just for this. The bagnet is just wonderful and this has got to be the cheapest Kare-Kare I have ever seen. Also, the quantity is the same from what I have seen with other versions that are more expensive.

 Vegan Spinach Lasagna (P200)

I am used to lasagna having lots of ground meat. Unfortunately, that type of meat is made from female cows who were turned into milking machines by heartless farmers. It is one of the reasons why I swore to never eat cow meat again. I still love lasagna though and I would not mind a vegetable version since I love vegetables and I give a two thumbs up to Cosmic's Vegan Spinach Lasagna.

Scrambled Tofu Egg + Longganisa (P230)

I remember being such a huge fan of McDonalds' Longsilog back in the day. Nowadays, I have given up on fast food. I wanted to try vegan longsilog on my 2nd visit in Cosmic and it did not disappoint. I would also recommend having two cups of garlic rice to go along with this one. This is probably the only reason I wished I work in Makati.

Tofu Sisig with Bagnet (P170)

Everyone knows pork contains bad cholesterol and I am also against killing this poor animal. However, I grew up loving pork sisig so I was happy when they have this version that has tofu instead of pork. For me, the taste is actually better and you won't have to worry about having a high blood pressure. 

Poblacion, Makati City

Party and Meet New People at Mad Monkey Hostel Boracay

Ever since Mad Monkey Hostel opened in Boracay, I wanted to stay there for the longest time. It is a great place to make new friends with travelers from all over the world. There is also a different activity per day so there is no shortage of things to do. The rooms are pretty clean and air-conditioned too and they have all the things that you need including power sockets.

The bar is pretty lively every night as even non-guests can come in and have drinks. There is always a DJ but it usually stops a few minutes past midnight for those who would want to get some sleep. Needless to say, I lost count of the number of people I met at the bar. It was definitely a lot of fun.

Since it is just a 2-minute walk from Bulabog beach, the hostel usually hosts beach cleanups. It is a great opportunity for guests to clean up the trash at the beach. It was not too long ago when Boracay was closed because it got too dirty. This is a great way to contribute to the cleanliness of the island.

The Booze Cruise is the main highlight of Mad Monkey Hostel Boracay. It includes the best of island hopping along with unlimited booze. What more can you ask for? It was priced around P1,800 when I went there and it was worth every penny. The activities include snorkeling and cliff diving. Trust me, this is one experience you won't forget for a long time.

There are a couple of beer pong tables set up there for guests who would like to play. There are plenty of options here and the rooms vary according to the season. There are mixed dorms for solo travelers and private rooms for couples.

Overall, I will certainly stay again in Mad Monkey Hostel when I come back to Boracay. I made a lot of great memories here and I know I will make more in the future.

Guest Post by Obie Mercado
All Pictures Taken from Mad Monkey Boracay Facebook

One Healthy Vietnamese Buffet at Somot

I managed to chance upon a buffet worth P650 at SoMot Vietnamese Cuisine. It is right across Pioneer Center and parking is pretty easy. There was also live music there so there is no shortage of entertainment. To my surprise, there were no Filipino customers though. It's not like that is a bad thing though. I just loved the different feel of the place.

Being a pescatarian, I loved the abundance of healthy choices in the buffet. There are some buffets in the Metro where healthy conscious people were hardly able to eat anything but not this one. There were fried vegetables and I am assuming they used cholesterol-free oil to fry them. I love vegetables and they were enough to get me full.

The service needs a little improvement since some staff were Vietnamese and they had a hard time speaking in English. I think they need to hire more local people. It felt a bit strange as I thought I was in another country but that is alright. As for the drinks, they had iced tea but the glasses were a bit small. Also, the utensils were a bit lacking when I tried to find them. It must be because of the huge amount of customers there. Great job, So Mot!

There were a fair amount of choices in the buffet which would make it worth it for the P650 price tag. I saw Chicken Curry, Chicken Noodle Soup, Shrimp Kebab, and Vegetable Kebab. I think this place would be great for locals not just Vietnamese people since I saw mostly foreigners there. It was a rowdy good time too since the performers exerted a lot of effort. Definitely going back!