I stayed for one night and two days at the Shangri-La Boracay Resort and Spa in Philippines. On day one itself I had a spa appointment at Chi the Spa for an hour. And I needed it!
During the day I had been to an ATV track which I experienced as a pillion rider in a buggy. I am not a big fan of ATVs, I anyway drive them like bullock-carts! It was followed by parasailing on a windy day. Windy days are not the best to experience parasailing. The day before, we went island hopping which included cliff jumping. Before that I was in Manila and before that, at home I was unwell. I went to Philippines while I was still recovering from my illness. I would tire easily on that trip!
I am no strangers to spas thanks to my blogging assignments. But Chi the Spa is at another scale of luxury. Shangrila’s Boracay is a large, spread out property. The spa has a complex to itself with its own swimming pool.
The main reception is grand and tranquil. My spa appointment was at night and I went there straight from the parasailing. The light was too low for clicking good pictures with the cell phone. I was anyway too tired to click pictures I think.
I was happy to go for my massage which was a Philippine Hilot. Hilot is the traditional healing technique from Philippines. My massage used warm banana leafs with coconut oil. It was one hour of pure bliss. I didn’t even know I had so many aches and pains till I went in for the massage. As Hilot is part of the healing tradition in Philippines, it has a lot of history around it. My experience is really limited to one hour in the spa but I can say it is a truly relaxing massage. I didn’t wish it to end! I had a whole room with attached changing area and bath to myself at Chi.
A typhoon was making a landfall in another part of Philippines on my last day and it affected the weather in Boracay too! I made a dash to the Chi Spa to click a few pictures during the day so that I could share them on the blog. If you are looking for a super luxury spa you could check out Chi the Spa from Shangri-La.
I recently had the opportunity to use ZenFone 3 from ASUS on my visit to Philippines. It is time to share the pictures with you! ZenFone 3 has 16 MP rear camera and 8 MP front camera. Other highlights are World’s First 14nm Snapdragon processor with with 64-Bit Octa-Core CPU @2.0Ghz. For me the camera is the most important feature and that is what I am going to focus in this post. The phone is priced at 22K Indian Rupees.
I loved the Auto Mode
I lug a lot of gear on my trips. Still there are times when I wish to just take a quick picture in the auto mode with a cell phone. Below are some pictures clicked in the auto mode with ZenFone 3, I will leave the judgement to you!
I was in a hurry when I clicked this picture. I was getting late to go for the evening party at TBEX and here was a glorious view waiting to be clicked. That is when having a good cell phone which can click beautiful pictures in auto mode comes in handy.
The boats are known as Paraw and they are popular with tourists for sunset sails! I clickd this picture again in auto mode as our group was about to away from this spot in Boracay, Philippines.
I think I clicked this picture in auto mode because I was simply stunned with the beauty of the Puka Island in Boracay, Philippines. I didn’t think at all, I simply wanted to click!
I was in a hurry to take this picture so that I could get the two kites in the frame. Once again you know what happened, I used the auto mode! I was not thinking.
Boracay is so stunning that I was taking two pictures for every three steps I walked! No wonder I used the auto mode a lot!
Below is a more extensive selection of pictures clicked in Auto Mode on ZenFone 3.
Every hotel that was at the beach front would put out sand art every day! I was quite smitten by this one!
I stayed at Shangri-la Boracay for one night but they offered our group complimentary spa and their Filipino Hilot was divine!
I had a long layover at Changi while coming back to Delhi. I put it to good use by exploring all the terminals! The only editing I did on the ZenFone 3 pictures was increasing brightness or straightening the horizon. Most of the pictures in this post are straight from the camera.
The HDR Mode
My next most preferred mode was the HDR. As I love to click landscapes HDR is an obvious choice.
I feel the HDR pictures come out really well without looking completely unreal! I don’t like those HDR pictures much where everything looks completely overblown. The ZenFone 3 gives good HDR pictures at the click of a button.
Puka Island was a thing of beauty. I clicked this picture a little later on the island, so had the good sense to change the mode and try HDR!
On our last day at Boracay, Typhoon Haima was making a landfall. We were not in its path and yet the weather in Boracay also turned stormy. I used the HDR mode to capture the changing weather.
This was the same day as when the typhoon was making the landfall. Only a few of us were out that morning.
And even in that weather someone was out at the beach to do the art! I think they kept it simple because of the bad weather!
After the HDR it is time to showcase the pictures using the ‘effects’ mode.
The Effect Mode
The camera has an option of sitting to effect mode where we can choose from Hue, vintage, cartoon and many more modes.
This was the walkway at the Lind Hotel which led to the infinity pool! I used the ‘hue’ effect and I quite liked the result!
Once again it is the Lind Hotel, the view from my balcony with the ‘hue effect.’ I quite liked the end result in this case!
I was a fan of Shangri-La because they were not using plastic containers in the bathroom. Using reusable bottles is good for the environment. However, a normal picture looked quite boring. I liked my ‘vintage effect’ for the picture.
The Super Resolution
This is the result of using ‘super resolution’ mode on the ZenFone 3. As I as mostly shooting landscapes I did not get as much opportunity for using this mode. But I love the butterfly picture!
The Depth of Field Mode
Getting the bokeh effect with the depth of field is a lot of fun! That I can get the effect without taking out my DSLR makes it even more fun.
To sum up, I thoroughly enjoyed using the ZenFone 3 camera. I use the cell phone when I am in a hurry and I simply want to put the camera on and click. I loved it that ZenFone 3 takes beautiful pictures in the auto mode. But for someone who needs more features, ZenFone 3 gives you many options right from HDR to Depth of Field and much more in between.
PS. I was given the phone for review on a returnable basis. All the pictures clicked with the phone and the thoughts are mine!
I started my India travel blog, Travel Tales from India in 2005. In 2016 I realized Travel Tales from India and Abroad better reflected my writings. I love to walk and ride in metros around the world. I have not been everywhere, I am not even close, but it is on my list. I also quit my job as a professor in 2015, it was a happening year! I did a Ph.D. from IIT Kanpur ages ago!
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