Rooftop Bars to Explore

Rooftop bars are the best place to feel recharged and alive. It is where the cuisines are one thing and the view another. Rooftop bars provide a distinct ambiance and spectacular view of the cityscape—helping one to take a breather from life’s pressures every once in a while.

We’ve listed down some of the world’s best rooftop bars offering the hottest party destinations and the coolest laid-back drinking spots.

  1. Moon Bar at Banyan Tree, Bangkok, Thailand

Moon Bar is a gravity-defying restaurant and bar combo located on the 61st floor of the Banyan Tree Hotel. It claims to be among the highest alfresco bars in the world. It offers a 360-degree view of Bangkok’s dazzling cityscape. The experience inside can be heightened by multiple rounds of Thai Sabai, a potent mix of Mekhong (a national sugar cane and rice-based spirit), lime juice, basil leaves, and a splash of soda water.

  1. Ozone, Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong

Ozone, the world’s highest rooftop bar can be found at the 118th and ultimate floor of the Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong. Here, you’ll bask in extreme views of Hong Kong Island while sipping an HK Skyline, a blend of Zacapa Centenario Rum, absinthe, Imperial Oolong syrup, pink grapefruit juice, lime juice, and Dom Pérignon foam.

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  1. L’Oiseau Blanc at the Peninsula Paris, France

 L’Oiseau Blanc, a vintage aviation-themed lounge will let you be amazed by the romance and beauty of the City of Light, marveling at panoramas of the Eiffel Tower and Paris’s famed rooftops. The interiors which include an actual plane and the cocktails (like the Aviation and the Take Off) pay homage to French pilots Charles Nungesser and François Coli, who attempted the first transatlantic flight between Paris and New York on the plane L’Oiseau Blanc.

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  1. Rock Bar in Bali, Indonesia

Rock Bar is located on natural rocks 14 meters above the Indian Ocean. It is widely respected as one of the globe’s most popular sunset, cocktail and entertainment venues. Listen to premier international DJs as they heighten your experience from a custom DJ booth carved directly into the cliff face while enjoying a glamorous sunset vibe and a seductive after-dark ambiance.

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  1. Bar 54 in New York City, USA

Bar 54 on the 54th floor or the Hyatt Centric Times Square is unique among the typical bars in New York. It is calm and unpretentious and is considered one of the best bars in New York. It serves up trendy handcrafted cocktails offering breathtaking river-to-river views of the Chrysler Building and lower Manhattan.

Have you been to a rooftop bar? What are the features that you love the most?

Best Beach Bars

Beach bars are simply magical.  With a cocktail in hand and toes in the sand, you’ll forget all your worries behind for a temporary laidback and carefree life. A beach bar is perfect for listening to crashing waves, taking in stunning sunsets, and sipping on that sherbet-colored cocktail, complete with the requisite mini-umbrella.

Here are some of the world’s best bars that will make you come back over and over again.

Baba Nest

This bar in Phuket, Thailand is essentially a flat-deck platform in an infinity pool with unbeatable views of the Andaman Sea and outlying islands. It is regarded as the world’s most stylish and exclusive rooftop bar serving delicious cocktails, alongside the sexiest sunset sessions. An exclusive selection of high-end cocktails, fine wines & champagne will get your evening started.

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Doyles on the Beach

This beach bar in Watsons Bay Sydney, Australia is allegedly the world’s oldest beach bar. Doyles on the Beach opened in 1885 and travelers have been flocking to this beachfront paradise ever since. Any traveler will catch terrific views of Sydney Harbour, and chill with locals and tourists in the bar. Also, don’t forget the fish n’ chips.

Moonshadows 

Moonshadows in Malibu opened its doors some 40 years ago. It continues to score because no one else has quite such a dramatic outdoor bar perched right over the rocks and crashing surf along this stretch of Pacific Coast Highway. It was once a steakhouse renowned for its awesome salad bar. Now it pushes seafood, though carnivores will find Kobe burgers on the menu.

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Uxua Praia

Uxua Praia in Bahia, Brazil is a big wooden fisherman’s boat cleverly converted into a bar. The reclaimed fishing boats that were used to build the bar features vast, cushioned sofas and flat-roofed pergolas. The bar attracts a laid back, music-loving, athletic crowd keen to sample one of the world’s most beautiful beaches.

Dune Preserve Beach Bar 

The Dune Preserve Beach Bar in Anguilla is the place to revel in your addiction to reggae tracks and dripping ribs, and to argue politics, philosophy and the ingredients for the perfect rum punch with Bankie. The bar, pieced together from driftwood, wrecked racing boats and seashells  is the kind of place you dream of discovering on your first trip to the Caribbean. It’s a daytime place open 11 a.m. till sunset, that will teach you not just how to build a boat, but how to build a lifestyle few would turn down.

Photo credit: http://news.ai/ref/rendezvousbay.html
Photo credit: http://news.ai/ref/rendezvousbay.html

Know Your Cocktails While Traveling

A cocktail is a mixed drink made with a distilled beverage such as gin, brandy, vodka, whiskey, tequila, or rum; that is mixed with other ingredients. If beer is one of the ingredients, the drink is called a beer cocktail. Cocktails, which began to be popular in 1930’s contain one or more types of liqueur, juice, fruit, sauce, honey, milk or cream, spices, or other flavorings and it may vary in ingredients from bartender to bartender, and from region to region.

Cocktails are one of the best ways for relaxation after a hard day’s work or while traveling but do you know how strong your favorite cocktail drink is and where or how they were discovered or created? Here is a list of some of the best and most popular so that you may know your cocktails while traveling.

The Caesar

The Caesar was invented in 1969 by restaurant manager Walter Chell of the Calgary Inn in Alberta, Canada. It typically contains vodka, a Caesar mix (a blend of tomato juice and clam broth), hot sauce, and Worcestershire sauce. It is typically served with ice in a large, celery salt-rimmed glass, garnished with a stalk of celery and wedge of lime. A Caesar made from an 80-proof vodka only contains around 8% alcohol by volume.

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Mojito

Mojito’s history dates back to the, 16th century. This traditional Cuban highball is a cocktail that consists of five ingredients: white rum, sugar (traditionally sugar cane juice), lime juice, soda water, and mint. The original Cuban recipe uses spearmint or yerba buena, a mint variety very popular on the island. This popular summer drink has relatively low alcohol content, about 10% alcohol by volume.

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Piña Colada

The Piña Colada has been Puerto Rico’s national drink since 1978. Literally “strained pineapple” it is a sweet cocktail made with rum, coconut cream or coconut milk, and pineapple juice, usually served either blended or shaken with ice. It may be garnished with a pineapple wedge, maraschino cherry, or both. It usually has around 13% alcohol by volume.

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Bellini

Bellini is a popular Italian wine cocktail which was invented sometime between 1934 and 1948 by Giuseppe Cipriani, founder of Harry’s Bar in Venice. It is a mixture of Prosecco sparkling wine and peach purée or nectar.  It contains around 6% alcohol by volume.

Photo credit: Geoff Peters (Flickr)
Photo credit: Geoff Peters (Flickr)

Caipirinha

Origin of Caipirinha was said to have begun in 1918. It is Brazil’s national cocktail, made with cachaça (sugarcane hard liquor), sugar and lime. Cachaça, also known as pinga, caninha, or any one of a multitude of traditional names, is Brazil’s most common distilled alcoholic beverage. Caipirinha is 4.7% alcohol by volume.

Photo credit: barnimages.com (Flickr)
Photo credit: barnimages.com (Flickr)

So there you have it, knowledge on cocktails while traveling or for your next drinking sesh!

Popular Korean Food

21st century is undeniably the period of “Korean Wave.” Through the use of internet and the social media, the Korean culture has developed into a global phenomenon.  The South Korean culture has really increased global popularity over the past 10 years  – from the k-dramas, to k-pop and Korean fashion and now, Korean food. Most of us love the popular Korean food so much that even though we find it always hard to pronounce the names, we keep coming back because of the unique blends of spices and flavors of the Korean food.

We compiled here 10 of the most popular Korean dishes you must try:

Kimchi

Kimchi, one of the oldest Korean dishes and probably the most essential dish in Korean cuisine, can be considered as the most popular among Korean dishes, around the world. It is a traditional spicy and sour side dish made from salted and fermented vegetables, most commonly napa cabbage and Korean radish.

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Bibimbap

Bibimbap literally mean mixed rice. Usually it is a bowl of mixed ingredients including rice, namul (seasoned and sautéed vegetables), mushrooms, beef, soy sauce, gochujang (chili pepper paste), added with a fried or raw egg and sliced meat usually beef.

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Bulgogi

Bulgogi, literally “fire meat,” is a juicy, savory dish of grilled marinated pork or beef. To add flavor to the meat, it is often grilled with garlic and sliced onions. The meat is usually wrapped in lettuce and it is also traditionally eaten with a thick, red spicy paste, called ssamjang.

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Galbi

Galbi is a Korean word which means “rib.”  It is a dish of thick slabs of meat marinated in a mixture of soy sauce, chopped garlic, and sugar and cooked over a tabletop grill. Galbi is usually made with beef shortribs but pork spareribs and other meats can also be used.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

Gimbap

Gimbap is a Korean dish made from cooked rice and other ingredients such as sauteed vegetables, ground beef, and sweet pickled radish that are rolled in gim, an edible seaweed; served in bite size slices .

Photo credit: manda_wong (Flickr)
Photo credit: manda_wong (Flickr)

Japchae

Japchae is a traditional Korean dish made from sweet potato noodles stir fried with thinly shredded vegetables, beef, and a hint of soy sauce and sugar. Often served as a side dish during lunch or dinner, it is known for its sweet and flavorful taste and its soft yet slightly chewy texture.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

Samgyeopsal

Samgyeopsal consists of grilled thick, fatty slices of pork belly meat that are not marinated nor seasoned. It is commonly served with a dipping sauce called ssamjang and is wrapped in lettuce along with grilled slices of garlic, grilled slices of onion, shredded green onions, and kimchi.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

Soondubu jiggae

Soondubu jiggae is a Korean soft tofu stew. This dish which is thicker than a soup but thinner than a porridge, is made with freshly curdled soft tofu, vegetables, sometimes mushrooms, onion, optional seafood (such as oysters, mussels, clams and shrimp), optional meat (commonly beef or pork), and gochujang (chili paste) or gochu garu (chili powder).

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

Haemul-pajeon

Haemul-pajeon is a savory Korean pancake. It is made with green onions, egg batter, wheat flour, rice flour and seafood, commonly oysters, shrimp, squid and clams. It is crispy on the outside and soft on the inside and it is best paired with Korean beverages like the Soju or Rice-infused beers.

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Bingsu

Bingsu is a delectable Korean summer dessert. It is made of sweetened red beans (pat) and tteok served on a bed of shaved ice (bingsu). Condensed milk, misutgaru, syrup, ice cream, and corn flakes may also be added. There are the variations on the bingsu, where the pat is replaced by ice cream or fruit.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

How may of these have you already tried and what else would you love to try?

The Much Awaited Bangus Festival

Bangus Festival is an annual festivity held in Dagupan City Pangasinan to celebrate Bonuan bangus (milkfish) which is known for its unique taste. It kicks off every month of April and lasts for about 2 weeks to a month.

History of the Bangus Festival

Aiming to promote Dagupan City as the Bangus Capital of the World and to emphasize the local bangus industry, Former Mayor Benjamin S. Lim, initiated the celebration of the Bangus Festival in 2002. Initially, it was just a part of the thanksgiving festival Pista’y Dayat, but it further developed into a 2-week socio-economic program of activities to highlight the city’s top produce – bangus or milkfish.

Nowadays, Bangus Festival is one of the country’s most elaborate celebrations.

Activities and what to expect during the Bangus Festival

It is a tradition to commence the festival with the lighting of a thousand barbecue grills lined up to cook thousands of bangus. This activity also serves as a competition for hundreds of cooks, who compete for the tastiest and the most creative way of cooking and serving bangus. In 2003, the city won a recognition in the Guinness Book of World Records for the longest barbecue.

This year, the local government of Dagupan promises for a bigger and happier “fishfest,” which will commence on March 31, 2017 with the opening of the Bangusan Village. The village will consist of a carnival, baratilyo (street market) spots and food courts.

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The organizers will also revive the famous Beach Volleyball Republic in one of their beaches and will also launch Zumbangus and the first ever search for “Meztisang Bangus” Gay Beauty Pageant for a cause. They will also be bringing back the old traditional games with the “Galaw na Ogogaw,” for the kids to be aware of the local history and culture. Expect the Giloy-giloy ed Baley street dancing competition to be more colorful and grander this year. Watch out for the winners of the longest, the heaviest and the prettiest bangus in the Bangus Rodeo. Fun games are also in line for the festivity which include fastest bangus classifier, fastest bangus deboner and fastest bangus eater. Of course, the celebration will not be complete without the annual Bangusine, Bangus Regional Culinary Showcase more popularly known as the “101 Ways to Cook Bangus.” As a finale, 20,000 bangus will be grilled for the Kalutan ed Dalan Bangusan Street Party, which will surely be a crowd-drawer.

Philippine Delicacies from North to South

Philippines is a very diverse nation. Diversity can be found in its culture, heritage, tradition and of course, food. Filipinos love to cook and to eat. Their love for food is the reason why there are a lot of delicacies to enjoy from the north to the southernmost part of the country.

Delicacies from Luzon

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Tupig

Intemtem or more commonly known by tourists as Tupig is a popular native delicacy from Pangasinan.  It is made from ground glutinous rice and young coconut strips wrapped in banana leaves then cooked over charcoal. Before, this delicacy is only available during Christmas, New Year and All Saint’s Day, but nowadays, it is being sold almost anywhere, especially in the fresh market, specialty shops and bus stations around Pangasinan, Tarlac and nearby provinces. Some local folks made variations to the usual tupig, some now have flavors like jackfruit, pandan, strawberry and purple yam.

Bibingkoy

Bibingkoy, a rice cake,  is a famous delicacy from Cavite. It is made up of glutinous rice stuffed with boiled mongo, then baked in an oven. It is made even special by a sauce made of gata (coconut milk) with scented langka (jackfruit) and sago (tapioca), which is poured over the bibingkoy.

Kalamay

Kalamay is a sticky Filipino rice cake, usually served during special occasions like holidays and town fiestas and is famous among the Tagalogs. This is made from glutinous rice flour, muscovado sugar, and coconut cream.  Kalamay is best enjoyed when sprinkled with Latik, a coconut residue.

Sinapot

Sinapot is a fried banana somewhat similar to turon.  This delicacy from Bicol is made from horizontally sliced Saba or Cardaba banana, mixed in a batter consisting of flour and eggs then deep fried.

Delicacies from Visayas

Simple Wikipedia
Simple Wikipedia

Binagol

Binagol is a sweet delicacy from Eastern Visayas, specifically Leyte. The name came from the word “bagol” the Visayan term for coconut shell. Binagol is a taro root mixture with glutinous rice and nuts. The taro mixture is contained in a polished coconut shell then a well is made at the center. A raw egg yolk is then dropped in the well then covered again with the mixture and steamed.

Inday  Inday

This repetitive-feminine named native delicacy from Iloilo which is made from rice, is actually a combination of two native delicacies – muasi (palitaw) and bukayo. It is similar to palitaw but is more firm and gummy which makes it more like a white kutsinta.

Salvaro

The Salvaro of Cebu are very thin and crispy biscuits. These oval coconut crackers are made from enriched wheat flour, sugar, sodium bicarbonate, shredded coconut, and shortening.

Caycay

Caycay is a famous comfort food in Cebu. This crunchy layered biscuits rolled in toasted peanuts

is made from flour, calamansi, sugar and peanuts. Local bakers in Cebu made some twists to the recipe, some biscuits are now topped of filled with peanuts.

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Delicacies from Mindanao

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Daral

Daral is a Tausug delicacy similar to lumpia or crepe. This delicacy which originally came from Jolo Sulu, is actually bukayo  (sweetened grated coconut) wrapped in a thin dough.

Pasung

Pasung is a cone-shaped steamed rice cake covered with a banana leaf. This sweet delicacy which is most common in Zamboanga, is usually prepared on Ramadhan Ifthar and is best eaten with hot coffee, tea or chocolate drinks.

Pali Kambing / Tibobol

Pali Kambing or Tibobol is an original Tawi-tawi delicacy. This sweet cylinder-shaped delicacy which is also common in Zamboanga is similar to Chinese buchi. It is made from banana rolled in flour then fried.

Panyalam

Panyalam is an exotic delicacy with crispy crust and edges from the Mansaka tribe of Compostela Valley. This famous Muslim dessert in Mindanao mainly in Zamboanga Region, is cooked deep fried using ingredients such as powdered rice, sugar, and coconut milk.

Experience the Beauty and Flavors of Greece

Greece, officially known as Hellenic Republic, is a country made up of a peninsula and a group of islands in southeastern Europe. Greece is often called the Cradle of Western Civilization because of its significant contributions to the world. The Greeks developed democracy, made significant science discoveries, created extensive works on philosophy and art, and wrote stories and plays that are still performed today. Greece is also known for its lovely beaches and hearty dishes.

Greek Food

Speaking of food, the Greek cuisine is a Mediterranean cuisine similar to the traditional cuisines of Italy and the Balkans. The common ingredients in contemporary Greek dishes are meat, fish, vegetables, grains, olive oil and wine. If you happen to visit Greece, make sure you sample some of the country’s toothsome dishes.

Spanakopita is Greek spinach pie with feta cheese, onions and herbs in a crispy and flaky filo dough.

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Photo credit: Lokesh Dhakar (Flickr)

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Dolmades refers to rolled young grape leaves stuffed with rice, vegetables and herbs.

Kolokythokeftedes is a Greek appetizer made of zucchini, feta, ouzo, egg, garlic, onion and herbs. The mixture of ingredients is formed into balls or patties and fried.

Souvlaki is a Greek specialty made of tender pieces of meat grilled on a skewer. It is served in different ways: with grilled bread, in a slightly grilled pita with garnishes and sauces, or on a dinner plate often paired with fried potatoes.

Photo credit: pointnshoot (Flickr)
Photo credit: pointnshoot (Flickr)

Moussaka is a popular Greek baked dish made of potato, eggplant, minced meat, tomato, onion, garlic, spices, cheese and béchamel sauce.

Photo credit: Kullez (Flickr)
Photo credit: Kullez (Flickr)

Pastitsio is a baked pasta dish with ground beef and béchamel sauce. This is similar to the Italian lasagna.

Photo credit: Katrin Gilger (Flickr)
Photo credit: Katrin Gilger (Flickr)

These are just some of the delicious dishes that you should try when you happen to be in Greece.