24 Hours Series

24 Hours in Lisbon with the Sony RX100 V



I’ve always had this idea that every corner of Lisbon has a slight cinematic VSCO filter. And while visiting the capital of Portugal has always been a dream of mine, I did not really expect to do and see much because of how underrated the city is compared to other destinations in Europe.

I brought the RX100 V with me to document my journey as I wandered around the hilly cobblestoned alleyways of Lisbon and its neighboring towns. I have been using the RX100 III for two years now, so navigating the latest from Sony’s series of high-end point-and-shoot cameras is already second nature — from changing white balance to adjusting exposure.

Fairytale morning in Sintra

We started our day with a drive to Sintra, a 30-minute drive from Lisbon’s city center. I don’t know why I haven’t seen any photos of this place on my Instagram feed before, but I swear this town could give Disney theme parks a run for their money.

It was drizzling that morning, but the view from Palacio de Nacional de Sintra had me singing Disney songs. We learned a little bit of history, about the royals who once ruled and lived in the castle and the Moorish influence in the country.

After the tour, a little bit of sunshine greeted us along with this tourist train. Tell me, is this the real life or is this just fantasy?

No baker with his tray of bread and rolls was in sight, but Sintra had pastelarias at almost every corner, and I wasn’t gonna leave Portugal without trying its famed pastéis de nata — egg tarts! I’m not exactly a fan of pastries, and I don’t find the egg tarts sold in Manila and Macau drool-worthy either, but this one had a more gooey custard, not a creamy scrambled egg. Oh, and they dust it with cinnamon powder before serving!

Every sight looked like it came straight out of a Disney movie. I didn’t want to leave!

Lunch in Cascais

Aside from egg tarts, Portugese cuisine is also famed for its seafood dishes. For lunch, we drove to the coastal town of Cascais where we had Mar do Guincho’s arroz de marisco for our main course. It reminded me of seafood paella, except Portugal’s version is soupy.

Parks and recreation

After lunch, we headed back to the city of Lisbon. One of the things I love about traveling is all the open spaces and parks I can hang out in to soak up the unfamiliar.

If you’re lucky, you’ll meet locals who are as inspired by the view as you are.

There are many ways to get around Lisbon — including buses, taxi cabs, the metro — but the vintage yellow trams are tourist attractions themselves.

Walking is also a good option (with the help of Google Maps), as sometimes you end up going to places Google or Instagram wouldn’t normally suggest.

And you stumble upon unexpected miradouros (viewpoints) like this one. Thankfully, Globe offers unlimited data as part of its $12/day (PhP 599) flat rate roaming plan, so getting lost is out of the question.

Ice cream, in all forms at any time of the day, is my favorite kind of pick-me-up, so a scoop of gelato is a must wherever my feet might take me — in this case, in Docas de Santo Amaro.

Sometimes, you also get a good view of the sunset to go with your gelato.

To cap the night off, Lisbon has a bunch of speakeasies that you can visit to enjoy a good drink or two (and dinner, too!). A local recommended that we go to her favorite bar called Foxtrot.

Stunning Lisbon

My flight back to Manila was not until after lunch, so I squeezed in a quick early morning visit to Lisbon’s oldest district, Alfama.

In the area is another evidence of Moorish influence in Portugal: Castelo de São Jorge, a walled compound atop one of the hills of Lisbon that served as fortification and royal residence back in the day.

At present, it gives you best view of Lisbon’s red roofs and pastel-colored houses. Worth the entrance fee!

There’s never enough time to get to know a city, and Lisbon is no exception. There’s so much to learn about its history, architecture, and people, and I still wish I stayed a wee bit longer. But for now, obrigada, Lisboa.

SEE ALSO: 24 Hours in Singapore with the Samsung Galaxy J2 Prime

24 Hours Series

24 Hours in Amsterdam with the Samsung Galaxy S9

A Dutch dream!



From chilly Barcelona for Mobile World Congress, I hopped on a plane to an even colder Amsterdam. I had a day to explore the infamous city in Netherlands and I wasted no time in doing so. I carefully curated these spots to make sure I get to know the city as much as possible in the short amount of time I was staying.

Of course, everything in this series is recorded through the lens of the Samsung Galaxy S9.

What you get yourself into and how to go around

Amsterdam, at this time of year, is cold. Temperatures reached a record-breaking low in Europe last week, and Amsterdam was no exception. Be sure to pack layers and layers if you visit soon — this was me simultaneously freezing and trying to be cute for a selfie.

Other than the miserable cold (excuse the bitterness as I am a tropical island girl by heart), the days were bright and nice, and the sun shone brightly, which made for perfect cityscape photos.

Oh, and did I mention the birds? There were pigeons everywhere — perfect to test the S9’s slow-mo video feature. And yes, I ran after the bird to get this shot.

The first order of business is deciding what your mode of transportation is. Amsterdam is an incredibly walkable city that’s also known for its big bicycle culture. And though it may seem like a no-brainer to rent a bike and cycle through, this isn’t an advisable option for tourists who are unfamiliar with local bike etiquette.

You can get a transport day pass for EUR 7.50 and this includes buses and trams (but not the trains) for 24 hours, which should suffice for your day tour.


We headed to Leidseplein (doesn’t this word remind you of Led Zeppelin?) which is an area that houses stores, cafes, and restaurants.

Walking around this area will give you a feel of the city.

These canals are part of the city’s identity. Built throughout the centuries to reclaim land, these UNESCO World Heritage sites are a definite must-see. Canal tours are also popular, though during my time there, the water was partly frozen because of the cold.

Feel free to stop at any of these restaurants or cafes for a quick snack or beer.


Our sightseeing on foot brought us to Bloemenmarkt, home to the local flower market. Amsterdam is known for its flower gardens — the perfect destination late March through May when they’re in bloom. We were too early for that spectacle, though we got a small dose of what that could look like here.

This street was lined with tulip blooms and bulbs ready for planting. It was a beautiful sight!

We spotted a Cheese Museum on this row and our curiosity brought us inside. The walls had lines of different cheeses, and the best part? We got to sample a number of their offerings.

We left with four different types of cheese and a tummy full from that taste test.


To get to Museumplein — home of Amsterdam’s most popular museums — ride the tram and get off the Rijksmuseum stop.

If you have time, you can walk inside a number of museums in the area, but not without taking some snaps along the way.

Another bird that just got into my frame 😱

In the vicinity, there’s Rijksmuseum which is a Dutch Art and History Museum. The Van Gogh Museum, which houses the largest Van Gogh collection in the world, is also within walking distance.

The Modern Contemporary (MOCO) Museum Amsterdam is in the area, as well. During our time, they had an exhibit on works of British graffiti artist Banksy.

Although I didn’t have time to go inside any of them, the area itself is beautiful — perfect for a leisurely stroll as you try to soak in the culture from the majestic museum buildings you didn’t really visit.

Also, more birds!

Red light district

Amsterdam at night is a different animal.

Of course, I didn’t want to leave without checking out the red light district. I hopped on the bus and went down Dam station. From here, you could walk through the historic part of town to the more adventurous side of Amsterdam.

Evening visits are more ideal so you could enjoy the neon signs and soak up the exciting atmosphere. Restaurants, cafes, and kinky shops are common sights here. And yes, there really are women in glass windows. No, I didn’t take photos. Be warned: This place is more colorful than this picture purports it to be.

Honestly, Amsterdam has so much more to offer: windmill villages, tulip fields, a sex museum… 👀

But, I had to hop on a plane before I could check out all these other attractions. My trip was short and sweet, but it didn’t make it any less interesting.

24 Hours is a series on GadgetMatch.com where we showcase our travels through a smartphone camera’s perspective. It’s also a documented guide on things to see and do in a city in case you happen to plan a trip there.

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24 Hours Series

24 Hours in Phnom Penh with the Vivo V7

A hope-filled city with a horrifying history



Phnom Penh is such an underrated city. If you ask any tourist which Southeast Asian destination he or she would love to visit, the Cambodian capital will probably not even be on the list.

The more popular Siem Reap with its glorious Angkor Wat complex is usually what comes to mind first when talking about Cambodia.

But there’s something so special about Phnom Penh. Perhaps the fact that there are fewer tourists here, despite the history and similarities it shares with its French Indochina neighbors is what makes me root for it more.

Feel Good breakfast

Breakfast burrito and pancakes with a twist

Mornings are made for great breakfast food and coffee. Cold brew is still not as common in Southeast Asia as I’d like, but most cafes in Phnom Penh like Feel Good Coffee make their cup of joe the way they also do in Vietnam: with a metal drip and a splash of sweetened condensed milk.

Walking around the neighborhood gives you a quick feel of what modern-day Phnom Penh is like. It’s reminiscent of the bustling cities Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh and even Bangkok — lining every street are parked scooters and vendors selling iced beverages including my favorite Thai iced tea!

Choeung Ek killing fields

Prepare for a long ride out of the city proper!

40 minutes from the city proper is the Choeung Ek memorial, a must if you’re visiting Phnom Penh. Tip: Hire a rickshaw or tuktuk to take you there and then back, although the newer rickshaws are cheaper, a lot more comfortable, and feel safer than the latter.

There are no words to describe how disturbing Cambodia’s history is — a very recent one at that. No more than 40 years ago, a quarter of the Khmer population — mostly people from Phnom Penh — were murdered by its own government for the promise of a utopian future.

Today, Cambodia tells the gruesome stories of the Khmer Rouge victims and survivors — some of them younger than my own parents — through memorials like the Choeung Ek Genocidal Center.

Around the memorial are benches where you can sit and listen to the audioguide in peace.

They are built to remind the new generation to not make the same mistakes and to embrace the freedom that they enjoy today.

Uy Kuyteav

Phnom Penh is home to a lot of good restaurants that serve local cuisine at a reasonable price.

While Khmer food staples lok lak and fish amok are easy to find, the noodle dish uy kuy teav isn’t exactly as popular. It’s not rare to see Vietnamese and Thai food in the menu as well.

Wat Phnom

If you must visit one temple in the city, it’s got to be the tallest one. Inside the Wat Phnom complex is also a huge park where you can relax and reflect.

Shopping at Central Market

On our way to the Central Market!

Cambodia isn’t exactly known for the unique shopping finds unlike Thailand’s Chatuchak Market, but a lot of your favorite clothing brands have products made in Phnom Penh. So you’ll find good deals on quality overruns from Levi’s, H&M, and Nike in the different markets around the city.

Central Market, also referred to as Psar Thmei, is the biggest one, with stalls selling not just clothes, but also jewelry, kitchen tools, and of course, food!

The market is one of the few landmarks that will remind you of Cambodia’s colonial history. It was one of, if not the biggest market in Asia when it was built in 1937 during the French colonial period.

Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum

If you still have time, visit the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum before sunset for more insight on the Khmer Rouge brutality.

The Tuol Svay Prey High School was converted into the largest detention center from 1975 to 1979 when Pol Pot’s army took over Phnom Penh and the rest of Cambodia; former classrooms became interrogation rooms, torture chambers, and prison cells.

Phnom Penh Riverside

It’s bound to get hot in Phnom Penh even in February so you might want to pack an extra top and change in the middle of the day

Phnom Penh sits at the intersection of Tonle Sap and Mekong Rivers. You can enjoy the view from the Riverside Park with a refreshing cup of iced Ceylon tea.

Across the park are restaurants and bars. Some of them have rooftops for a better view of the river.

Romantic dinner at Romdeng

End the day at Romdeng, a restaurant run by an NGO that trains locals in hospitality management and supports the marginalized.

Their version of Cambodia’s national dish fish amok is especially tasty!

Cambodia is on a long road to recovery from the horrors of its past, but its capital and people do not forget; they remember. And despite everything they have been through, they remain steadfast — filled with so much hope and kindness — and we could all learn a thing or two from them.

24 Hours is a series on GadgetMatch.com where we showcase our travels through a smartphone camera’s perspective. It’s also a documented guide on things to see and do in a city in case you happen to plan a trip there.

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24 Hours Series

24 Hours in Koh Rong with the Samsung Galaxy A8+ (2018)

How can something Koh Rong feel so right?



Koh Rong has been pretty much untouched and unknown to most tourists until very recently.

Getting to this beautiful island in Cambodia is no easy feat. There are very few flights that go to Sihanoukville, the jump-off point for the speed boats that will take you to the island itself.

The cheapest and fastest option that I found is to fly to Phnom Penh from Bangkok, and take the bus to Sihanoukville from there that lasts four to six hours depending on traffic. The return ticket for a speed boat to Koh Rong costs around US$ 25, depending on which beach you choose to stay at.

Koh Rong is a pretty big island so there’s something meant for all kinds of travelers — families, couples, friends, and backpackers. Our beach of choice is the quiet one, Coconut Beach, but whichever part of the island you choose, the beach looks pretty much the same.

You’ll get the same clear blue water…

And fine white sand…

That’s perfect for walking barefoot!

The Galaxy A8+ (2018) captures the fine white sand really well up close

Did I say the water is so clear? This is the stuff made for Instagram!

Whether you’re there for three days, one week, or even longer, there’s plenty to do at the island including snorkeling and kayaking.

You can also rent a scooter to go to other beaches although only the locals and very few tourists choose this option to get around. There are very few developments on the island for now — no paved roads, airports, or big buildings yet.

Accommodations consist mostly of nipa bungalows and tents owned by foreigners who moved to Cambodia.

Closest to Coconut Beach is Long Set Beach. It’s bigger and has fewer tourists when we visited but accommodations and food are also a little bit more expensive.

Pura Vita is one of the resorts at Long Set Beach that also has a restaurant at the beachfront.

Here’s a fullscreen selfie with Live Focus turned on

My favorite thing, whether I’m on vacation or just in the office working, is food. I have been to Cambodia before so I’m a little more familiar with Khmer cuisine now. Beef lok lak with rice and a glorious runny fried egg is my favorite.

Here it’s served with fries and the traditional Kampot pepper dip. Another thing to try is Cambodia’s national dish, fish amok.

As any beach destination, fresh fruits are a great afternoon snack to get a little refreshed and a dose of energy.

Khmer dishes are also highly influenced by Lao, Vietnamese, and Thai cuisines, so don’t be surprised if you find beef lab and spring rolls on the menu.

The Galaxy A8+ (2018) takes photos with great color reproduction

There are already plans of developing beaches of Koh Rong into luxury resorts, so traveling there will be much easier as the demand goes higher.

Sun-kissed in Koh Rong

So if you’re the type who likes a little adventure and just chilling at the beach without the luxuries of modern life, put Koh Rong on your list of places to visit in 2018 before the big corporations take over the island.

How can something Koh Rong feel so right all along?

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