Filipino Food Guide

Food in the Philippines is in our opinion, not great compared to other asian countries we have visited.. They say the reason for this is the Spanish colonisation of the Philippines which was then taken over by the Americans.  You would also think there would be great options for vegetarians and vegan but again there isn’t unless you want to spend more money and head to the western style restaurants. Having said that, there is tones of Spanish and American influence within their food.

 

Foodie Words worth knowing

Ginataan means cooked in coconut milk.

Kilawimn means raw or vinegared seafood.

Inihaw means grilled meat or fish.

Maanghang means spicy.

 

Types of food

 

Adobo - filipino food guide

Adobo – National dish which is either chicken or pork or sometimes both. It is marinated in vinegar and garlic and stewed till tender.

 

Adobong Pusit - filipino food guide

Adobong Pusit – Squid or cuttlefish cooked adobo style.

 

Arróz caldo

Arróz caldo – Spanish style thick rice soup with chicken, garlic, ginger and onions.

 

puppy

Aso – Dog….Normally eaten by the North Luzon hill tribes. I hope this photo makes you feel sad for all the stray puppies in the Philippines.

 

Batchoy

Batchoy – Broth containing onion, rice noodles, beef, pork and liver.

 

duck egg

Balút – Boiled duck egg containing a partially formed embryo.

 

Bibingka

Bibingka – Sweet coconut cake.

 

Biko

Biko– Sweet sticky rice.

 

Chicharon

Calamares/Chicharon – Crispy fried squid.

 

Crispy Pata

Crispy Pata – Deep fried pork hock or knuckles.

 

Dessert Lumpia

Dessert Lumpia- sweetened bananas baked in lumpia wrappers, then drizzled with caramel and chocolate.

Goto

Goto – Rice porridge made with pork or beef innards.

 

Halo Halo

Halo-Halo – Fruit Preserves served in shaved ice and milk.

 

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Kaldereta- Hearty meat stew with potatoes, peppers and liver sauce.

 

KARE KARE

Kare-Kare – Oxtail Stew.

 

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Leche Flan – Caramel Custard.

 

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Lechón – Spit roast whole pig served with liver sauce.

 

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Lechón Kawali – Crispy fried pork.

 

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Longganisa – Filipino sausage.

 

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Lomi- Noodle dish.

 

Spring Rolls

Lumpia – Spring rolls filled with either meat or vegetables.

 

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Mami- Noodle soup

 

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Menudo – Pork bits sautéed with garlic and onion and usually garnished with sliced hot dog.

 

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Pansit Bihon – Thick or thin noodle soup

 

Pinakbét

Pinakbét – Mixed veg stew

 

Rellenong Bangus

Pochero – Hotpot of beef. chicken, pork, Spanish sausage and vegetables, principally cabbage.

 

Rellenong Bangus

Rellenong Bangus – Fried stuffed milkfish.

 

Pork Sisig

Pork Sisig – Pork parts (often: head, liver, cheeks) mixed with onions, chiles, citrus, and egg.

 

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Tapsilog – A modern compound combining three words: Tapa (dried beef), Sinangag (Garlic fried rice), and itlog (Fried Egg) usually eaten for breakfast.

 

Tocino

Tocino – sweetened Cured pork 

 

Sinigang

Sinigang – Hot and sour soup.

 

Ukoy

Ukoy- Crispy shrimp fritters with tangy vinegar dipping sauce.

Fast Food

Filipinos love fast food and sometimes that is the only air-conditioned place around. Jollibee is their version of McDonald’s and the locals favourite. Many tourists opt for the traditional Mcdonalds/Subway or Greenwich Pizza.

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Street Food 

The cheapest option to eat in the Philippines is to try out street food. Many cities have BBQ stands down little streets with hundreds of meat on skewers for you to choose from. These can be as cheap as £0.040 a stick. We tried out many different types of chicken which were all delicious.

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Gifts for Female Travellers

I know its 2018 and we are meant to be gender fluid, but the beauty of two of us writing these blog posts is having both genders in mind. We will make a post dedicated to Male Travelers, so they don’t get upset. As Milly is writing this blog post, this ones just for us girls!

Someone you know about to jet off to a tropical place far away? Someone at work leaving and you have been put in charge of arranging the present? It can be difficult to know what someone will need when travelling, not to mention something that will be practical and fit in their bag. No drama, after having a few leaving do’s I have made a list of the best things you could buy someone who is about to be living out of a suitcase for a while.

Click on the links for the best price!

 

1.Travel Wallet from Kikki K 

Travel Wallet - 10 Gift ideas for someone going travelling!

I use this every single time I am on the move. It comes in so handy as I have a small rucksack I don’t have to keep taking on and off when I need to present my Passport or boarding pass at airports. It has enough storage to keep important documents, passport, boarding pass, currency and credit cards. You can also get Monogramming done on all of their products for a personal touch. 

Check prices 

2. Luggage Tag 

Luggage Tag - 10 Gift ideas for someone going travelling!

Who doesn’t love to match? Also from Kikki K you can purchase a leather Luggage Tag which can also be personalised with initials. There is nothing worse than going to Thailand and seeing 10 of the same bags come round on the conveyor belt at the airport and not being able to work out if its yours or not. 

Check prices 

 

3. Instax Mini Polaroid Camera

Instax Mini polaroid Camera - 10 Gift ideas for someone going travelling!

 

This camera has come in so handy for my travels! I don’t always want the typical selfie or standard photo on my phone. Having this Polaroid gives my pictures a unique edge to my photos. I like having a hard copy of my photo instantly not to mention it comes in my favourite colour..have you guessed what that is yet?

Check prices

You can also get the accessory kit which comes with a camera bag, a photo frame and a photo album perfect for storing all of your Polaroids. 

Instax Mini polaroid Camera Kit- 10 Gift ideas for someone going travelling!

This is the cheapest I have found film for on the high street or online –> here.

 

4. Chilly Bottle 

Chilly Bottle - 10 Gift ideas for someone going travelling!

There is nothing more annoying when you are out all day exploring a new place and you’re miles away from any shops and your water is warm. Chilly Bottles keep water cold for 24 hours and will keep hot drinks warm for 12 hours. They come in different sizes and colours so there is a style to suit everyone. Speaking as someone who lives off of Diet Coke, having this water bottle makes me drink so much more water than I normally would. It’s bad to admit but I used to never drink water, now I don’t go anywhere without my Chilly!

Check prices

5. Passport Cover

Passport Cover - 10 Gift ideas for someone going travelling!

This one may be cliché but if you can’t buy your friend something that screams ‘traveller’ when they are actually going travelling, then when can you?

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6. Bucket List Book

Bucket List Journal - 10 Gift ideas for someone going travelling!

This is one for the stationary lovers like my self. My best friend brought me this book and it is amazing. It has pages like the one shown above which you can write down things on your bucket list and gives you the option to tick them off and write down details about each one. It also has doodle pages, quotes and so on. It’s a great present which is so unique and personal to someone who might spend large amounts of time on their own, on planes or busses with lots of time to write things down without doing the whole ‘dear diary’.

Check prices

7.  Emergency Essentials Kit

Emergency Essentials Kit - 10 Gift ideas for someone going travelling!

This one is for the ladies! Think first aid kit.. but things you actually need on a day-to-day basis. This tiny bag holds a shower cap, deodorant wipes, make up remover, nail polish remover, cotton swabs, cotton pad, nail file, bandages, tweezers, toothbrush & toothpaste, hair band & hair clips, tampons and a sewing kit. This can be a life savour on long journeys.

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8. Card Holder

Card Holder - 10 Gift ideas for someone going travelling!

For people travelling to Australia, this one comes in handy! Most hostel keys are key cards and you can be fined for loosing one. Equally Australia has ‘pay wave’ or contact less, which means I never have cash on me, always cards. When I go out in the evenings its much easier to put my card holder in my tiny purse than my whole wallet.

Check prices

 

9. Storage Bags

Storage Bags- 10 Gift ideas for someone going travelling!

Often in Asia when you are doing laundry, you have to give over a bag of your washing to a local and collect it in a few days. Equally in Australia you have to do it your self and to avoid going from your room to the laundry room and dropping dirty underwear everywhere because you’re trying to carry it all, put it in one of these bags! You can either use one for laundry and one for underwear or socks.

Check prices

 

10. Micro Fibre Towels

Micro Fibre Towels - 10 Gift ideas for someone going travelling!

Quick drying, lightweight & compact. Perfect for Hostel life, the beach and the gym. 

Check prices

11.Giant Inflatable Pool Float

Giant Inflatable Pool Float - The best travel gifts for female travelers

 

Maybe you’re about to hit the beach for a while and just need something to float around the pool all day.  These are the perfect way to stay cool while topping up the tan. Not to mention they make for a great pic!

Check Prices for Pink Mermaid FloatGiant Inflatable Pool Float - The best travel gifts for female travelers

 

 

 

 

Check prices for Rainbow Float 

 

 

 

 

 

12. She-Wee!

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I know you’re laughing, but this baby boy can save a life! Female Ladies Urinal Wee Funnel Lets Women Pee While Outdoors, Walking or Travelling – No Need To Use Dirty Unsanitary Toilets Again With The Ladies Portable Urinal Toilet. In Cambodia I did not find a single clean ‘western’ toilet while on the road, this saved my life.

Check Prices here

13. Loop Scarf with Zipper Pocket

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Sometimes having a secret place to hide money or your phone can be just what you need if you are tired on public transport. Having a hidden pocket in this scarf if ideal!

Check Prices here 

The Top 20 Best Instagram Locations in the Philippines!

The Philippines is a beautiful place and anywhere you point your phone, you’re guaranteed to get a good photo. Some areas have those extra special spots which are an instagramers dream, below are some of my favourite places, along with where to find them!

Disclamer, not all photos are our own unless stated otherwise.

Manila

 

1.Venice Grand Canal 

 

Venice Grand Canal Mall - The Top 20 Best Instagram Locations in the Philippines!

Fancy a little bit of Italy? Head here day or night and confuse your followers where you actually are!

LocationUpper McKinley Rd | Cluster B, McKinley Hill Garden Villas, Taguig City, Luzon, Philippines

 

2.National Museum of Natural History 

 

National Museum of Natural History - The Top 20 Best Instagram Locations in the Philippines!

Become a culture vulture and get the perfect clean instagram photo. The interior of this place is beautiful at any angle!

Location: Teodoro F. Valencia Circle, Ermita, Manila, 1000 Metro Manila, Philippines

 

3.  The Penthouse 8747 Rooftop bar 

Penthouse 8747 Manila, Philippines - The Top 20 Best Instagram Locations in the Philippines!

1920’s vibes with a great view of the city! Cocktails and food is also served here to get the instagram boomerang you can’t help but take.

Location8747 Paseo de Roxas, Makati, Luzon 1223, Philippines.

 

4. Art BGC (Bonifacio Global City)

Art BGC (Bonifacio Global City) - The Top 20 Best Instagram Locations in the Philippines!

 

Art BGC (Bonifacio Global City) - The Top 20 Best Instagram Locations in the Philippines!

Graffiti wall more your thing? Check out this area for some cool street art.

Location: Taguig City, Luzon, Philippines.

 

Cebu

5. Kawasan Falls 

Kawasan Falls - The Top 20 Best Instagram Locations in the Philippines!

 

This is one of the most famous waterfalls in the Philippines and you can see why. If you get here early enough you can get a photo like the one above, there is a small rock which you can walk along and stick your camera on self timer and run back. They have recently stopped letting people ride on the bamboo floats into the waterfall so this is your best bet in front of the water fall.

 

Kawasan Falls - The Top 20 Best Instagram Locations in the Philippines!

 

Do it for the gram? If you have the guts, you can walk up a set of stairs to the left hand side of the waterfall and climb up to this spot. I do not know how sturdy this tree is but I have seen this shot a few times on instagram and it blows me away every time.

 

Kawasan Falls - The Top 20 Best Instagram Locations in the Philippines!

 

If you keep walking up the stairs to the left hand side of the main waterfall, you will come across this beaut location. As with everything in the Philippines, get here early so you don’t get anyone else in your photo.

 

Kawasan Falls - The Top 20 Best Instagram Locations in the Philippines!

Kawasan Falls - The Top 20 Best Instagram Locations in the Philippines!

Kawasan is the gift that keeps on giving, on the path to the waterfall you can find this beautiful walk way which is great with the right filter!

LocationMatutinao | Badian, Moalboal 6031, Philippines

6. Dao Waterfalls 

Dao Falls - The Top 20 Best Instagram Locations in the Philippines!

 

LocationCebu Island, Samboan 6027, Philippines

 

7.Tumalog Falls 

Tumalog Waterfalls- The Top 20 Best Instagram Locations in the Philippines!

Location: Tumalog, Oslob 6025, Philippines

8. Whale Watching – Oslob

Oslob Whale watcher - The Top 20 Best Instagram Locations in the Philippines!

 

Controvertial I know but they are incredible to witness.

 LocationTan-awan, Oslob 6025, Philippines

9. Issa’s Haven – Oslob

Issa's Haven - The Top 20 Best Instagram Locations in the Philippines!

The Super Mini Santorini themed hotel in Oslob

10. Sardine Run- Moalboal

Sardine Run - The Top 20 Best Instagram Locations in the Philippines!

 

Location: 10 Metres off shore on Panagsama Beach.

 

11. Bantayan Island

THE TOP 20 BEST INSTAGRAM LOCATIONS IN THE PHILIPPINES!

 

12. Magpungko Rock Pools – Siargao 

Magpungko Rock Pools - Siargao Top 20 best Instagram locations in the philippines

 

Location: Pilar, Mindanao 8419, Philippines

13. Cambugahay Falls – Siquijor 

Cambugahay Falls - Siquijor

From any angle this place is amazing. If you get here early enough, this it one of the most photogenic waterfalls. With little tree houses where you swing from, its the perfect instagram shot!

Location: Siquijor Circumferential Rd, Lazi, Siquijor, Philippines

 

14. Starfish Island – Port Barton

Port Barton - The Top 20 Best Instagram Locations in the Philippines!

Port Barton - The Top 20 Best Instagram Locations in the Philippines!

With a drone, this place is ideal! Even without a drone you can get some pretty cool photos. These starfish are OK to hold and pick up but not for long periods of time. If you find the perfect spot you can find white sand and surround your self with these beautiful little creatures.

 

Location: 10 minute boat ride from Port Bartons main beach. 

 

15. El Nido – Literally anywhere on Tour A&C

 

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Location: North on the island of Palawan.

 

16. Barracuda Lake- Coron

Barracuda Lake Coron - The Top 20 Best Instagram Locations in the Philippines!

 

Beautiful fresh water lake which requires life jackets. That being said, as soon as you jump in from the stairs, on the right hand side is this amazing rock formation which you can swim down and get a good insta shot! All you have to do is wait for others to move out the way as the ladder is directly behind this shot. Oh and make sure you don’t loose your life jacket on the surface.

17. Kayangan Lake – Coron

kayangan lake  - The Top 20 Best Instagram Locations in the Philippines!

 

After many, many, many stairs there is a look out which is beautiful BUT if you keep going down the stairs then you get to the wooden walk way pictured above. If you get here early enough then you can get a good picture, without people disturbing the water you are able to get perfect reflections if it is a good day! This lake is thought to be the clearest in Asia!

Location: 20 minutes off shore from Coron, accessible by day trip boats.

 

18. Twin Lagoon – Coron

Twin Lagoon - The Top 20 Best Instagram Locations in the Philippines!

 

Another early boat trip to this one, as is everything in Coron. This is the first stop on most  trips so best to beat the crowds. The water is crystal clear but as the boats can only drop you off at the entrance, there is a short swim (with life jackets) round to these stairs. I have no idea how there is no one in this picture above because it was a sea of life jackets when I was there at 9am.

19. Labasin Waterfalls Restaurant

The Top 20 Best Instagram Locations in the Philippines!

 

Who doesnt want water running past their feet while they eat? This is actually located within a Resort.

Location: Tiaong, Quezon, in the Villa Escudero Plantations and Resort.

20. Banaue Rice Terraces

Banaue Rice Terraces - THE TOP 20 BEST INSTAGRAM LOCATIONS IN THE PHILIPPINES!

 

To the North of Manila is where you find these amazing rice fields, thought to be made by ancestors of the indigenous people. These fields are also on the back of a 1000 pesso note, which is the Filipino currency. They are frequently called the ‘Eight Wonder of the World’.

Location: Nueva Vizcaya – Ifugao – Mountain Province Rd, Banaue, Ifugao, Philippines

6 Things to do in Bohol, other than the Chocolate Hills

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So everyone goes to Bohol and visits the Chocolate hills mainly because what they have seen on Instagram, a great picture of someone sitting on top of one, with no one else around. Unfortunately you can’t do this. There is one hill everyone walks up and it’s the look out point, not so great.

Equally the tarsiers sanctuary is very controversial as some people don’t agree with endangered animals being put on display for the paying publics eyes.

So here is a few things to do in Bohol which you might not know about.

Take a local bus to Guildulman which costs 85 peso per person and takes roughly an hour and a half.

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Accommodation

Guildulman Tourist Inn – I guarantee if you speak English you won’t find nicer hotel owners than Derick and Anne. They are by far the most welcoming, funny and helpful people we have come across. They helped us rent a moped, gave us maps and local information and generally amazing people. The food at the hotel is out of this world. From struggling to find decent food, we then were struggling with how much food we could consume. Anne is the chef and wow is she good! The rooms are beautiful and spacious and by far the cleanest we’ve come across in the Philippines. The WiFi is great and there is a tv with lots of English channels and the air con is an extra if need be. Extremely reasonably well priced for a couple. We had a deluxe room and we didn’t want to leave !

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This is where you get off the bus, look for the sign to the cemetry and the big white sign to Guindulman Bay Tourist Inn.

 

Things to do

1. Anda Beach – beautiful white beach with hardly anyone around

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Anda Beach

2. Lungsodaan fireflies and river boating

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Fireflies

3. Cabagnow cave pool

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Cabagnow Cave Pool

4.Canawa cold springs

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Canawa Cold springs

5. Eleuterio rice Terrace

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Eleuterio rice Terrace

6. Can – Umatad Falls 

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Can- Umatad Falls

For our travel tips on Port Barton, Click here!

Want to read what we got up in to Port Barton instead? Click here 

Bohol – The Travel Guide

Screen Shot 2018-04-28 at 00.08.14Getting to Bohol

To get to Bohol you can get the ferry from Cebu or Dumaguete. In Dumaguete we advise you to go around the corner to this place to buy your ocean jet ticket ( the left red started dot). No queue, no drama!

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It costs about 700-800 pesos per person but you are in a aircon seating areas with set seats and a movie. To us it’s worth it!

The ferry from Bohol back to Cebu cost us 500 peso per person, 150 peso for a bag, 20 peso terminal fee.

The ticket office is just outside of the port and looks like this

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Accommodation

Tagbilaran is the area where most backpackers stay.

Backpacker – Henry’s Hostel For a basic double bed private room for 2 nights being £32 (2400 peso) that’s £8 each a night. Not too bad.

Henry's hostel, Bohol

Budget  Bohol Sunside resort– £27 a night for a studio. £14 per person

Bohol Sunside Resort, Bohol

Luxury– Henann Resort– this is £££ a night but if you walk round to the beach side, they let you drink in the bar and if they aren’t looking, jump in the pool!

Henaan Resort, Bohol

Places to Eat

Shaka – Best veggie food in the area!

Outback – the Nachos were to die for

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Always take cash on trips for extras/lunch/water

Day trips from Tagbilaran 700 peso – includes dolphin watching, snorkelling on Balicasag Island pictured below ( gear included ) turtle watching, sandbar called Virgin island.

Butterfly sanctuary

Firefly watching- on a boat or kayak

Loboc  river tour – lunch and tribe dancing

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Balicasag Island

 

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Chocolate Hills 
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Tarsier sanctuary
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Loboc River Tour 

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For Travel tips on things to do in Bohol, other than the Chocolate Hills..and everything else mentioned on this page click here!

Kabankalan- Our Journey

In Siquijor we stayed in a dorm where we met Ally who was from Canada. Previously in the day Ally had met a Filipino called Sarah who was with her whole family, who we later got introduced to at dinner. Processed with VSCO with m5 presetThey invited all of us to their home in Kabankalan which was one bus from Dumaguete, another island over. This didn’t sound too difficult, with three of us going and the family seeming so kind and caring what were we waiting for? These are the moments why we came travelling with no plan so we could do spontaneous things and at the moment we have nothing but time so I said to Olly yes let’s go! Filipino people are the nicest people I have ever met and we wanted to learn more about these amazing people and their country.

The next day we got the ferry from Siquijor to Dumaguete with no problems, even though the last time we were in Dumaguete we were glad to see the back of it after the ferry troubles getting to Siquijor. We found the bus and all jumped on it but it was already packed. These busses normally stop every 10 minutes so we assumed people would get off and we could sit down. An hour into the journey we are still standing in the isle and now there is a man walking up and down the isle selling dried fruit and other things in a huge bag of his head and we are looking at each other like..is this guy for real?!  Of course numpty Oliver wants something from him which leaves me bent over the poor lady sat next to me while he is getting the money out of the bags as the isle fits a Filipino standing up, not us!! Anyways we get to the stop and call Sarah to let her know we have arrived and we realise every single person is looking at us. People have stopped in their cars, people are crossing the road to see us and it dawns on us that in this small town they do not get westerners and evidently by everyone’s reaction they had never seen one in real life!

Sarah takes us to her lovely house and we see all the kids again and drop our things off and we all jump on the back of mopeds to their restaurant to meet her husband and have dinner. Sarah’s husband wasn’t in Siquijor so she came home from the trip with her sisters and children and told him “ we have three guests coming tomorrow” poor guy didn’t even have a chance!!Processed with VSCO with m5 preset

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We tried some lovely local foods and jumped back onto the bikes and headed to Mag Aso Falls but it was pretty dark so we headed back but not before stopping on the side of the road next to all the trucks and asking them to try some sugar canes straight from the fields. Kabankalan is the biggest sugar cane producer in the whole of the Philippines and it is everywhere being harvested!!

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After that we headed to a local restaurant and all sat around some tables and chairs outside on the street, picked our meats and they chucked it all on a bbq. Me and Olly went for fish but we were useless at picking the bones out so Sarah got her hands on it and within 10 seconds she had deboned the whole thing, handing me the edible fish. Me, Olly, Sarah and Mary chatted for hours about everything from marriage and kids to mental health in the Philippines. It was a fantastic experience to learn from locals what they actually think about certain topics and for them to share an insight into the Filipino lifestyle was incredible.

The next day we had accommodation booked in Sipalay, a town 2 hours away which had lots of hotels as we didn’t want to burden Sarah and her family anymore. Sarahs brother had driven us around the whole trip and they didn’t let us pay for anything! Before we headed off to Sipalay Sarah took us to a market where again they had never seen white or black people by the looks of things and we walked around the markets as I was after an avocado and Sarah needed things for the restaurant. We became celebrities, they all wanted photos with us. Even though they asked to use my phone to take the photo meaning they would never see the photo again !! It was an experience haha.

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Sarahs brother took us all onto Sipilay where we stopped on the way to see her friends and Olly had stupidly mentioned he wanted to climb a coconut tree so they brought us to one he could climb. Obviously he couldn’t do it and a local showed him right up haha! But I was left amused as PUPPIES ran out from the house straight to my feet. OMG THEY ARE ADORABLE!!!! I didn’t want to leave haha.

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After all of this we jumped back on the road and not long after we arrived at our accommodation in Sipalay. Bless Sarah and Andrea they didn’t want to leave us there. The main town was a 15 ride away and they even offered to leave their brother with us so we had the car to use and they would get the bus the whole way back!!!! Honestly the kindness of these people blew our minds. They were so lovely!!! After an eventful few days we were exhausted and had showers and fell straight to sleep. The next day we were headed to Bohol which meant we had to get 3 more public busses back to Dumagette which took roughly 4/5 hours but we made it. We arrived and knew instantly we did not want to get the ferry to Bohol then and there so we booked into the Flying Fish Hostel which was amazing (pictured below).  Apart from the stupid staff, the hostel its self were just what we needed to relax after our travel day. Next stop Bohol!

Siquijor- The Travel Guide

Siquijor is an island at the bottom of Cebu, the best way to get there is a ferry from Dumaguete port. We got a Ceres bus from Moalboal to the Liloan port which takes you to Sibulan port, get a tricycle for 100 peso to the other port. This picture makes it a lot easier to visualise

Once you are at Dumaguete the you will need to get a ferry over to Siquijor. The fastest and most popular ferry is the Ocean Jet. There is another ferry called Montenegro which takes 2 hours and takes you to a different port in Siquijor which is slightly further away from the main town but it’s not the end of the world, we got this ferry as Ocean Jet had all sold out. Aleson boats also run during the week but these are much smaller and I wouldn’t chance it. There is also a small terminal fee which is 15 peso.

  • Ocean Jet Ferry- quickest and most popular. Holds 300 people, arrives at Siquijor main port.
  • Montenegro Ferry170 peso, 2 hours, holds 300 people, arrives at Lorena Port and Siqujior, so check which one you have booked.
  • Aleson Ferry– only during the week, unsafe, holds around 20 people.

 

Get there as early as you can as when we arrived at 12 there was only 1 ferry left with limited tickets!!! This took us 4 hours to get a ticket, with an hour wait then. 2 hour ferry ride. Give your self enough time to travel. You may be able to buy tickets online but with the limited WiFi in the Philippines I wouldn’t have a clue.

Failing that, there is a Ocean Jet office around the corner which we did not realise until we spoke to someone else who had a lot less stress than we did.

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The left red dot is the hidden Ocean Jet Office 

Rent a moped from the port as it will be easy to return it once you leave the island as you will leave from the same port. Mopeds are around 350 peso for the day and if you are not confident then make sure you get an automatic bike. A full tank of petrol is around 150 peso, the petrol stations are small shacks with huge coke glasses filled with red or green liquid. This is the petrol, get the person there to check if you need red or green.

Accommodation

Tori’s paradise and Toris paradise backpackers are two separate places.

Toris Paradise, Siquior

I stayed at Tori’s paradise which has its own beach and pool and with dorms from £6 you can’t go wrong. With the island being very chilled and relaxed, what better place to chill by the spool or in the sea than here. The backpackers are more wooden shacks on the beach.

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If you are looking for a bit more luxury then Coco Grove Resort is the place for you! It can be argeued that this is the best hotel on the resort and its easy to see why in the picture below.

Coco Grove Resort, Siquior

 

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With all the waterfalls there will be a parking fee of anything between 10-50 peso. The ‘volunteers’ will also insist you have a guide but most places you don’t need one as they will ask for a tip at the end, just say you have been there before and they will leave you alone. At one of the waterfalls they were kids and it felt so fake and forced we didn’t feel comfortable being there. We don’t mind paying a volunteer tip if they are worth it..we are backpackers after all.

The famous Cambugahay Falls! Each rope swing is at different levels and cost 50 peso for each one with unlimited jumps as well as a bamboo raft you can pay to use. You can find a good spot and go for a swim but this place gets super super busy so make it one of the first places you go if you’re setting off early to get the Instagram shot. This places also has about 200 steps to get down to the waterfall so buy water for the hike back up.

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Cambugahay Falls 

 

Lugnason Falls – This was by far the best waterfall as it was completely empty when we got here early. This place has a huge free rope swing into the pool underneath.We didn’t have a guide but it does actually help to have on here as they show you where is safe to jump and help you climb up the waterfall to jump off the top. They also become your biggest fan if you’re scared about jumping and It’s also kinda cool to watch them all do the most incredible backflips here .

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Lugnason Falls

Lagaan Falls 50 peso to enter, 20peso parking there is a smaller swing here with places to slide off and climb up. Not as exciting as the others & most expensive to access.

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Lagaan Falls

 

Mt Malabahoc- it’s a beautiful drive of you’re confident on a moped. Just stick it in maps and drive up there. We did manage to find a look out up here too.

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Mt Malabahoc

Cantabon Cave

Salagdoong beach which I think you have to pay a small fee to jump from the cliff edge

Paliton beach BEWARE OF JELLYFISH

Kagusuan Beach

Firefly sanctuary- in Hambilica resort ( search it on maps.me) you can pay a small fee and go check them out.

Places to Eat

Monkey Business – $$ I loved this place, it has such a cool vibe and a beautiful interior and In the middle of the main town which is surrounded with local tin shacks is this place that stands out. It gets crazy busy for dinner as there isn’t much in the way of nightlife on Siquijor and shuts at 11:30pm but it has live music and great fruit shakes. Try the spicy spring roll challenge for free beer.

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Monkey Business
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Monkey Business 

Legends $$- craving English coffee or food? Take the short drive here. The English owner is so friendly and has some amazing stories and photos of famous people he has met. Well worth it for the chat

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Legends

 

El Monte $- in Lazi this place is super cheap and had the best WiFi I have come across on the whole island

Twenty 4 Burger $– also in Lazi, it’s trip advisors number 2 place to eat in the whole of Siquijor.

Bahar Bar $– by far the best place to have dinner, sit downstairs and eat by candle light with a beautiful singer. Upstairs has a drinking game where every time you order they put a tick by what nationality you are so you can do your country proud by destroying your liver.

For travel tips on Bohol click here!

Want to read our Journey In Bohol instead? Click here 

Siquijor – Our Journey

Getting to Siquijor

The journey to Siquijor can be a nightmare, well for us it was. We arrived at the port in Dumaguete around midday, after getting a tricycle from Sibilant port where the last ferry dropped us off, and we faced a queue of locals waiting for tickets. So we got in line and after some investigation work I discovered that there were only three ferry’s at the weekend and one in the morning and one of which was cancelled so the next one was at 6pm.. Not too bad only a 6 hour wait. Fast forward 3 hours later and we are still queueing as the Ocean Jet ferry has sold out and everyone is in a rush to get the other ferry even though the other ferry goes to a different port. Not to mention everyone that had tickets for the cancelled ferry were also trying to get their tickets reissued. So now we are standing in the queue with some people that we have been chatting too as we have been in their personal space for the best part of the day and they inform us that there are only 11 tickets left..ha..ha..ha did I mention this was the only way of getting to Siquijor and the current temperature was the same as the surface of the sun? I’m going crazy people are pushing, Olly is keeping calm but both of us are aware how incredibly English we are at how annoyed we get with queue jumpers. Anyhow we get the tickets, we get on the ferry which takes 2 hours and we eventually arrive at our accommodation. It’s now dark so we can’t see much but when we arrive we are convinced the tricycle driver has made a mistake.. this place was amazing and the receptionist walked us to our room and we walked along the beach.

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Turns out we have a beach view room with air con and a private bathroom not to mention a private balcony on the beach. This has to be wrong..we paid £11 each for this room. Instantly knowing we wanted to stay longer than 3 days we went online to check if we could extend and we saw the room prices had gone up to £245 a night. Completely baffled at how we had managed this we got chatting to another backpacker, the only other person in the resort, and he informed us there is a backpackers with the same name even though this resort had dorms, it was further down the road. The dorms were only £6 a night so we extended at Toris Paradise but swapped into the dorms as this accommodation offered free breakfast, had its own private beach and pool and was a very descent place to chill out for a while. It sounds crazy but we have been so busy and on the move so much we just wanted time to sleep in and chill around doing nothing, which is exactly what we did here.

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After meeting Johnny and Aled at our hotel we all went to the waterfalls one day which were amazing as we were the only ones there which is unheard of. The boys spent most of the morning swinging off a 25ft rope swing or jumping off the top of the waterfall.

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There’s something about having so many accidents the first time travelling and having my sisters voice in the back of my head which puts fear into my mind when it comes to these kinda things now. The fact I didn’t do something because of fear kills me as I wouldn’t of even given this a second thought before, this is something I 100% want to overcome on this trip. That and my baby biceps wouldn’t of been able to handle the rope swing and I would have fallen in fabulous fashion and gone viral for the wrong reasons.

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So me and Olly carried on exploring for the day and took it easy. We found some great places to eat and making use of Olly’s eating talents he took on a spicy spring roll challenge in order to get a free beer, it really doesn’t take much to amuse us, of course he ate them in 0.25 seconds and got his beer 😂Processed with VSCO with m5 preset

We mainly chilled on this island and walked up and down beaches and found hundreds of blue crabs, a dogs skull, jellyfish and millions of sandflies 🙂. Oh and on Paliton beach I couldn’t swim due to jellyfish and I couldn’t sit on the beach because of the sandflies so I sat on the water edge thinking I was safe.. I open my legs and a bloody shrimp bit my bum!!! That was it back to the pool for me. 🏃🏼‍♀️💨

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We met a Canadian girl in our dorm called Ally and some amazing locals at our accommodation who invited us back to their home on a different island..so the next day we backed our bags and off we went. After my Siquijor guide I will post about what happened when we went to see Sarah and her Family In Kabankalan!

Oslob and Moalboal – The Travel Guide

 

Screen Shot 2018-04-16 at 19.47.04The island of Cebu is south of Manila and is in the country’s Central Visayas region. It is home to many top tourist attractions such as Kasawan falls and the famous Whale Sharks.

Getting out of the airport

Using the app Rome2Rio we were able to see that from Cebu airport we needed to get to the bus station (south bus terminal ) and there was a Ceres bus for only £2 which is 140 pesos for a 4 hour journey. As soon as we got out of the aiport there were lots of taxi drivers who are trying to take you the whole way to Oslob for 3000 pessos but if you manage to get to the taxi rank (white taxi’s are cheaper and always ask for meter) then you can head to the bus station. On the way to the bus station our driver agreeded to take us to Oslob for 1800 Pesos as we wern’t aware we had arrived on a Holy Day and the traffic was horrendous, the bus would have taken 6 hours.

 

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Accommodation

We stayed at New Village Lodge here which we found on Agoda. The location was great, very close to everything we needed. The rooms are very clean and the wifi is great in the reception area. They can help you plan all your trips you want to do from Oslob and arrange pick ups which is super helpful!

New Village Lodge, Oslob, Cebu

Another great acoomdation is Noordzee Hostel which is located on a beautiful beach and the hostel itself is close to the ports with boats taking you to Bohol or Siquior. 

Noordzee Hostel, Cebu

 

 

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Whale Sharks

Oslob is home to the famous Whale Shark experience. This trip has become extremely popular so I advise to go as early as you can to beat the crowds. We left our hotel at 5:30am and was in the water with the Sharks by 6:15. The whole trip takes roughly an hour depending on crowds but you get 30 minutes in the water. There is also nowhere to leave bags or valuables so if you are doing this without a driver to look after your things, only take your camera and a towel. The fee to swim with them is 1000 pesos per person and our travel to and from the Sharks cost us 300 pesos. Bring your GoPro as it is a huge one ticked off both of our bucket lists! 

This is a hugely controversial subject as many people do not agree with the fishermen feeding them for tourists and think it is changing the feeding habits of these Sharks. Others believe it is keeping this once endangered species alive. Make of is what you will but I would suggest going with an open mind. Both times I have swam with these giants I arrived in Oslob not convinced if I would take part. This time swimming with the whale sharks the locals have a much better structured interaction and seem to be handling the influx of tourists well. I did no witness any sharks being touched or bashing into the boats which I did witness in 2017. 

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Waterfalls

Tumalog Falls and Aguinid Falls, with the furthest of the two being a 40 minute drive away. They both have a 40-60 peso per person fee to enter and the whole journey cost us 500 Peso each. Both waterfalls can get very busy so I advise to go early again to beat the crowds. Tumalog is a pretty and you are able to swim where as Aguinid falls you trek up the waterfall with a guide. I wore wet shoes which saved my life as flipflops slide off the vertical walls you will walk up and I took my wet bag with me too. The guide is free but they expect a tip.

Tumalog Falls
Tumalog Falls
Aguinid Falls
Aguinid Falls

 

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Oslob Heritage Park

 

Getting from Oslob to Moalboal

From the main road in Oslob we caught the Ceres Bus which is 40 peso per person to Bato where you get another bus from Bato to Moalboal which costs 90 peso per person. There are two buses, one with aircon and one without and I would wait for the aircon bus as it takes around 3 hours for this journey. 

 

Moalboal

Pronounced Mo-ahl-bo-ahl

Things to knowThe main town of Moalboal is 90km from Cebu city, on the west side of the island. The part everyone goes to and talks about is actually called Panagsana Beach. In resent years Panagsana Beach has become internationally reowned for the incredible Sardine run just meters offshore. This tiny town is the most touristy part of the island we have come across. There are lots of bars and restaurants and is a great place to meet people. On Panagsana beach (which is tiny) you can hire a snorkel and flippers from a nearby shop and swim out to see millions of sardines.

In Moalboal its self there is an ATM but in Panagsana Beach there is only 1 ATM which doesn’t always work.

Accommodation

We stayed at a lovely lodge called Divers Lodge which was 1500 peso a night for a luxury room..by luxury we mean a working shower and fan but the owner did hook us up with a great moped to rent for the whole time we were there.

Diver Lodge, Moalboal, Cebu

 

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From Panagsana Beach we swam for an hour in the other direction, to the left of the beach, and we saw 4/5 turtles just swimming along. I wouldn’t pay for a trip from the shops if you are looking to save money to see turtles or sardines as they are just off of the beach in this area. There is a small island called Pescador Island you can do a trip to which does have incredible snorkeling but other than that just grab a mask and jump in!

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If you are after a better beach, White Beach is about a 15 minute moped ride away which is mostly locals but it is a nice beach and not busy during the week. There are two goverment tolls on the way which I think were 5 pesos each. 

White Beach

 

Kawasan Falls 

Kawasan Falls

 

Kawasan Falls – I have done the canyoneering before and it is really fun and exciting but it is hard! It takes a moderate level of fitness and swimming and it does take 3 hours to finish. One tip is to save your GoPro battery for the end of the canyoneering as it is the most beautiful part. 

If you don’t want to do the trekking, you can head straight to the bottom where it is 50 peso to park your moped and 75 peso to enter and you can swim around the bottom famously pictured waterfall. It does get very busy so go early as possible and head up to the left of the waterfall just above it to get some different shots to everyone else. Find more info on the perfect Instagram shots at this waterfall here.

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Places to Eat

Pleasure Principles – Slightly more pricey than other places but 100% worth your money. We reccomend the prawns!

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Cockonuts- Great wifi and very cheap food. You can sit right on the water edge and enjoy sunset with a cocktail and spring rolls!

Coconuts

 

The French Coffee Shop – Perfect place for your morning ice coffee!

French

 

Stay tuned for our travel tips for the island of Siqujior! 

Or do you want to read what we got up to in Siquijor? Check out our journey below!

Our Siquijor Journey 

Oslob and Moalboal – Our Journey

We arrived at Cebu airport after a very quick flight from Manila. I judge flights by how many episodes of Designated Survivor we can watch and this flight was barely 1 episode. We managed to fend off a few taxi drivers as they were offering us a ride the whole way to Oslob which is where we were going but for extortionate prices. We found a cab and made him take us to the bus terminal because as a couple travelling on public transport or transport in general you have never taken before for god knows how long is a lot less intimidating. I think that is one of the things I was so excited to come back with Olly, was the fact I wasn’t going have fear in me in a foreign country because I feel safest when I am with him. Cringe I know. Anyways back to the story, so this taxi driver told us it would take 5/6 hours for us to get to Oslob via bus and agreed to take us the whole way for a quarter of the price he originally quoted. Us being lazy we said yes, he had air con and in this climate that is a deal breaker in big decisions. That and we didnt realise we had arrived on a holy day so the traffic was horrendous.

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We arrived at our accommodation in Oslob and it was a lovely room with private bathroom, very clean and had good aircon. The owners grand-daughter was the only person who could speak English so she helped us with all our questions and trips we wanted to do. She organised for us to be picked up the next day at 5:30 and was in the water with the famous Whale Sharks by 6:15!  This is a hugely controversial subject as many people do not agree with the fishermen feeding them for tourists and think it is changing the feeding habits of these Sharks. Others believe it is keeping this once endangered species alive. Make of is what you will but I would suggest going with an open mind. Both times I have swam with these giants I arrived in Oslob not convinced if I would take part. This time swimming with the whale sharks the locals have a much better structured interaction and seem to be handling the influx of tourists well. I did no witness any sharks being touched or bashing into the boats which I did witness in 2017.

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After this amazing experience we were really pooped from getting up so early so we took it easy and explored the town some more. There is literally 4 roads and that is it, so we took the drone out and took some cool pictures of a heritage site we found.

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We ate pretty much all local stuff as people don’t really stay in Oslob, they pass through to do the whale sharks but don’t stick around. We weren’t complaining as we were able to chill and try local food and had a very cheap few days. We also managed to go to lots of local waterfalls which weren’t too busy as again this isn’t an area people stay in.

Couple at waterfalls in the Philippines - Our Journey

We managed to figure out we could get a local bus from Oslo to Moalboal for about £2 each so we waited at the side of the road and got talking to a local about the influx of tourism. He told us he thinks the whale sharks are a good thing bringing money into the area but they are worried that there will be another water shortage due to the amount of hotels going up in the surrounding areas. The water shortage happened 2 years prior and they had to shut one of the top tourist attractions, Tumalog falls, as the government needed to put the locals first and re-directed the water to the town. They have only just re opened this waterfall to the public.

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Pronounced Mo-ahl-bo-ahl

Once we arrived in Moalboal we got to our accommodation called Divers Lodge which was amazing. This small town is a lot more touristy than any other we had been too. It had a lot more western restaurants and pumping music, which isn’t great but its beautiful place. This place is a great place to meet other backpackers as its always busy. We managed to buy some wet shoes which are saving my life one day at a time. I hate anything touching my feet in the sea so these shoes I wear when we are climbing waterfalls or just going for a swim. We chilled on Panagsana Beach and rented some snorkels and spent all day snorkelling. We saw so many turtles which was insane. We saw the famous sardine run, which Olly managed to swim into as he is really good at diving down deep and holding his breath. This place is beautiful!!

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We rented a moped and explored as much as we could. This was the first time I had ridden on the back of a bike that Olly was driving and I was very nervous but safe at the same time haha. I know he was driving slower to make sure I was OK but this was actually the most fun I have ever had. Being able to have some freedom again in us having our own transport felt great, being able to see everything and not having to concentrate on driving felt better haha. We took the moped to Kawasan falls and managed to beat the crowds and get there and take some good photos. We always managed to take the bike to White beach which we sat on for hours just drinking and taking photos. Clearly our love for photography and drinking comes hand in hand when travelling with one another.

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Milly At Kawasan

On white beach we were about to go back to the car park and leave when a group of locals stopped us and made Olly drink something. Me being an over protective girlfriend said to him ‘Make them drink it first’ because it was the colour of piss. They downed it and poored him another one.. turns out it was beer and they invited us to sit with them and drink. We sat with a huge group of guys who were celebrating their friends 21st birthday and had literally 100 family members and friends down renting huts on the beach. They were so funny and they were so excited to practise their English with us. It is really true what they say, Filipino people are the nicest in the world. They wanted us to meet their wives/girlfriends and babies, they wanted us to stay for dinner. We added them all on facebook to make sure we keep in contact with this crazy group of lads!

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Moalboal has been our favourite place so far, just because we havent paid for any big trips and we have done everything this area has to offer on our own, using our own transport or knowledge to save money but still managing to see the amazing wildlife and beaches this place is home to.

Stay tuned for our next adventure to Siquijor!!

Lolz behind the Holz

Travelling to those who are stuck in their 9-5 jobs seems like heaven on Earth and don’t get me wrong, it is, but.. its not always the perfect Instagram picture its made out to be..

This page is to show you the truth behind the glitz and the glam of travelling 

Speaking of  getting the perfect Instagram shot, some picture perfect moments are often more crowded than expected. I find it extremely awkward taking photos in front of other people anyway ( shocking I know when I have as many Selfies as I do) but I do get funny around stranger and taking selfies which makes these situations horrendous. 

Behind the scenes..

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The walk to this swing was 20 minutes of hell walking on extremely sharp shells and then waiting my turn and fending off the profession photographer who wanted to sell you a picture of your self. Nah mate

The end shot 

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Or when strangers think this is acceptable..

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Or sometimes trip adviser lies to you and you actually end up visiting a building site..

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Or when you try and get someone else to take a cute candid photo of you and these are the results.

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Or when you’re too scared to carry on hiking over a waterfall with your new friends so you let them go on ahead and then suddenly you realize you are all alone and if you fall and crack your head open, that’s it.

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But it isn’t all bad. You get to meet the locals too..

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HE BROKE MY BAG!!!

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Don’t forget to do as the locals do..

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Thailand’s Hulk Hogan

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The hat kills me every time I see it..

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She popped up everyday in Phuket with the same Hat 

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Travel in style, always.

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Yes this is a train, a train I slept on 

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Don’t put plaster on and then be in the Sun, just dont

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And always bag up lotions and potions 

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Apply sun cream every 4 hours in Australia.. this is no joke

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If the animals wont get you, then the bad weather will

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Travel insurance comes in handy when you are a backpacker

Australian Hostel Bible↓ You will be amazed how many stupid people are allowed out of their houses.

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Thailand Travelling Guide

Welcome to Thailand the home of tacky galore and beautiful beaches! I did visit this amazing country twice but I have been home along time so forgive me if my memory is a bit rusty. So first thing you need to know is Thailand’s currency is called Bahh, it is highly worth having a currency app to hand which you do not need WiFi for as they will try and rip you off every single time. Personally I know bartering can be the most cringe worthy thing a human can do because I’m the type of person that will happily pay the 5 year old Thai child £5 for a Diet Coke. You will quickly learn to barter for your 20p toasties.


I used this currency app EX currency which was brill. I am also going to take an educated guess and say you don’t speak or understand Thai so please download this maps app called MAPS.ME. When you have WiFi download the country/town you are in and when you’re outside of WiFi you can use it, star locations and route your journeys. I used this everyday getting around and even found some fun things to do on it. Also don’t ever give the cab man/Tut Tut driver your phone to look at directions.


Getting around -This may sound hella racist but you are western person entering a third world country, they will charge you more for being western or white. Me and my boyfriend wasn’t allowed on a public bus to take us to the airport and they made us take Taxi which was three times the price. Another thing to note, do not get in the yellow taxis as they are more expensive than a London black cab and always ask for meter. Uber is super cheap out there and they have an a equivalent for where Uber doesn’t run called krab I think.

Hostel world and trip Adviser a must for booking accommodation. I also used the cheap eats section on trip adviser a lot when it came to saving money.


Dress code – Yep in the humidity best believe you are hiding those knees and shoulders in all temples or holy grounds. Not even ripped jeans will get you in so make sure you pack long sleeve and buy some elephant pants for the exploring days . A scarf around your shoulders will also not be allowed, you will need a t-shirt.


Some good things to be aware of

The old king (he died last year) is basically what Kim k is to the modern world, do not talk badly about him in front of any Thai person.


7/11 will be your best friend for air con and cheese and ham toasties. Trust me..

Most places down south you can get coaches too, the over night ones being cheaper just make sure you have a jumper and some food!


If you click on the title of each place it will take you to my individuals blog post about these places.


Oh yeah don’t be a dick and ride an elephant or go to a tiger kingdom. You might as well be a trump supporter who kills turtles for a living.


Bangkok

Bangkok is a huge city but not the most beautiful city in the world. Spend the smallest amount of time here if you can but if you are here a few days there is lots to explore!

 

Hostels

  • Lub d Bangkok Silom – met a lot of people, great hostel but lots of stairs
  • In a box – right next to the train station
  • Coop hostel – right next to a train station so easy access to the airport with a cute hang out area.
  • Hotel royal Bangkok in China town – if you’re feeling fancy with a rooftop pool looking over the whole of Bangkok.

 

Things to do

  • Khao SAN Road- just go there get a bucket and know you will have a great night.
  • Sky bar – the one in the hangover film but it has a dress code so no flip flops!
  • Temple of reclining Buddha- cover shoulders and knees
  • Temple of dawn (Wat Arun)
  • Blue spice restaurant
  • Bangkok arts and culture centre- check out online what’s on.
  • Jim Thompson’s house- who knew it wasn’t just a pub in stoneleigh, very interesting to learn about.
  • The grand temple- dress code and 500 bahh to enter so worth jumping on a tour for someone to tell you facts while walking around.
  • Hor Phra grand Hararat
  • The temple of the emerald Buddha
  • Floating market – early start as it is outside the city
  • Airplane graveyard

Chaing Mai

The most peaceful city without a beach. Elephant riding is banned and you can only play with them. I got an over night coach from Bangkok to Chaing Mai and back again.

 

Hostels

  • Hug hostel
  • A good place- the owner is such a lad, sorted out all of our tips, bus tickets, coaches back to Bangkok, our trip to PAI, he knows so many people he will get a good price for everything and even let us use the hostel to shower at when we weren’t staying there.

 

Things to do

  • Elephant jungle sanctuary
  • Ploen ruedee night market- cute little hipster market and bars
  • Anusarn market
  • Chiang mai Cabernet show- best lady boy show I’ve seen
  • Wat Rong Khun
  • Night bazaar place
  • THC rooftop grippy ass bar
  • Mu’s Katsu
  • Tikky cafe- trip adviser top rated cheap eat, the yellow curry was to die for.
  • Wat Inthakhin Sadie Mueang temple
  • Wat Phra That Doi Kham the temple of the golden mountain.
  • Chiang Mai Canyon- hire a ped and take swimming stuff and go have fun on the massive blow up obstacle course
  • Lantern festival – Around November time

Chiang Rai

We did a day trip here which leaves at 7am as it is 3 hours away but worth it as there are no tourists other than the Chinese.

 

Things to do

  • Wat Rong Khun
  • White temple
  • Blue temple
  • More not springs

PAI

The home of vegan food and the stereotypical traveler!

PAI is in my opinion the safest place to hire peds. The roads are huge and empty and you need one or get around . It was one of my favourite days in Thailand as we plotted out on maps.me all the things we wanted to do and set off. I booked a bus from my hostel in chaing Mai which is horrendous, see my PAI blog post for details.

 

Hostels

  • Common grounds Pai

 

Things to do

  • Bigs little cafe
  • The three little pigs soul kitchen
  • Spirit bar
  • Street food is unreal
  • Coffee in love
  • Sai Ngam Hot springs
  • The lands split- the owner is super nice and will give you food and bevs for free so leave a donation as this poor sod has had his land turned into an attraction due to earthquakes
  • Pam Bok Waterfull
  • PAI canyon – for sunset is unreal. Grab a beer and get there early as it gets busy.

WEST SIDE ISLANDS

Krabi

I flew from Bangkok to Krabi.

 

Hostels

  • K-Bunk hostel, its a chilled hostel but the sister hostel a few doors down is the party hostel called slumber party.

 

Things to do

  • So nang beach – all the way to the left of the beach if you are looking out at the sea is monkey trail leads to a better more private beach called PAI Plong Beach.
  • Krabitrek day tours
  • Koh Mor and Tub Sandbanks
  • Chicken head island
  • Koh poda island aka Jame bond island
  • Phra nang cave/ princess cave aka THE PENIS CAVE.

Phi Phi

The party island of the west side. I got on a boat from Krabi to Phi Phi which you can also get from Phuket.

 

Hostel

  • Hangover hostel- it’s far enough you won’t hear the bumping music from the beach but close enough to everything you need. Hostels on phi phi are either expensive or 48 bed dorms so it’s the best of a bad bunch. The owner is now on trip adviser thanks to me but he will look after you! He got me drunk, put me on boat trips I didn’t pay for and will make sure you are having a great time, Mr SiNG is a legend.

 

Things to do

  • Grand PP arcade – beaut restaurant
  • Monkey beach
  • Night swimming with with plankton
  • Boat trip to the lagoon
  • Maya bay – note 400 bahh to step foot on this beach as the film ‘the beach’ was filmed here so try to go later in the day when it isn’t so busy.
  • View Point – bring water, lots of it. I died on this hike ! Leg day is here and it hurts.
  • Banana bar – rooftop films every evening at 7pm if you want a break from drinking.
  • Long beach – literally as it sounds it’s long to walk to but it’s worth it !

Phuket

I got a boat from Phi Phi to Phuket.

 

Hostels

  • DFeel hostel- the private rooms where cheaper than dorms sometimes and it’s about half hour walk into town but it’s a nice walk.
  • Hao hostel – in the old town

 

Things to do

  • Patong beach is Russia mania
  • Bangla walking street- every 18-30’s holidays/lady boy/Brit abroad dream. It’s an experience but you have to go there to see it and experience a ping pong show, or in my case 4 flung into my hands. I cross the line at frogs btw..
  • Red duck restaurant- Kata beach
  • Horn Frill Steak House – Kata Beach
  • The biggest Buddha in the world..

EAST SIDE

I got a train to the east side islands which I booked at Bangkok Central Station.

Koh Sok National Park – I got the train from Bangkok to Surat Thani.

Koh Samui

I flew from Bangkok to Koh Samui and thenaboat to Koh Phangan for the full moon party. Note I booked a hotel on Koh Samui to leave my big rucksack and valuables in the safe while I took a smaller over night bag to Koh Phangan. Everyone knows you will be at the full moon party so it’s very common for hostels to get robbed.

Book your hostel on Koh Phangan as soon as you can as it gets sold out very quickly and can be expensive.

Koh Tao

Things to do

  • Hin Wong bay
  • Mango bay
  • Nang yuan Island
  • Shark bay
  • Janson bay
  • Sairee beach with the famous low palm tree

 

There is lots more to do in Thailand but these are all the places I visited in my short time there. Above Is a list of all the places I visited and the hostel’s I stayed at. Please feel free to message me if you have any questions 🙂

Australia Help Guide

 

If you are looking to work in Aus the first thing you will need to arrange is your working Holiday Visa which is about £230 from memory. I did mine in STA Travel shop as they fill out everything for you and you will receive an email confirmation when it has been processed, this can take up to 6 weeks but I got mine in 2 days. A working holiday visa starts from the second you step foot in the country and you have a year in the country. The only way to extend your first year is by doing 88 days regional work or to get sponsored. I will go into more detail below about farm work later on but Click here for more info on Working Holiday Visa’s.  If you are only going for a few weeks then visit on a tourist visa which is 3 months. I would also not recommend going to Australia in December or January as that is when flights are most expensive, if you complete your first year and want to come home, it will cost you a lot more to come home near Christmas!

 

What to Pack

This is where I struggled as I came from Asia where everyone and everything was dirty but in Australia everyone is beautiful!

  • I had a comfortable rucksack but I also had a small carry on roll on suitcase.. You don’t really need a rucksack in Australia
  • Of course pack things like Trainers and comy clothes but there are so many shops out there I brought new clothes to feel normal again after Asia. All you need are clothes to travel in on coaches, which can be very cold so pack a hoodie!
  • As many Bikinis and cover ups as you can, its so bloody hot you wont want to wear many clothes in the day but be warned in cities such as Sydney it is more pretentious than Slug and Lettuce on a Friday night so glam up!
  • Flip Flops, they will break, you will go through at least 4 pairs I promise you
  • If I was to go back I would take my iPad as some nights you stay in and you want to watch a movie in bed, an iPad would of been ideal
  • Camera, with a hard drive and lots of memory cards, I backed up everything and also had an online storage which I used every time I had an afternoon with WiFi.
  • Ipod/ Music – It is worth having a Netflix account to download movies for long journeys.
  • Portable charger
  • Tiger Balm saves lives
  • So does Bug Spray
  • Printed Colour copy of your passport and Visa
  • Copy of your travel insurance
  • Blow up pillow for long journeys and easy to fold away/ eye mask/ear plugs
  • Roll on Deodorant lasts longer and some hostels ban you from spraying them in rooms because they can set the fire alarms off
  • I always had a note book and pen on me with a few important numbers written inside in case I got my phone stolen
  • Lipstick can turn any day outfit into an evening outfit so always have some to hand!

 

Apps you will need

  •  Maps.ME – Which is an app which lets you download countries, cities and areas without WIFI and you have the ability to save where you have been. It helps out a lot when you are lost!
  • Wiki Cams for all your road trip needs! 

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A large majority of people start in Melbourne and work their way up the coast which I would highly recommend over starting in Cairns and going down. As most people go up, you make friends along the way and you tend to see them again as its all one route.
If you aren’t on a time schedule you can do what I did which was to plan it all when I reached Melbourne as we gave our selves a few days in between places if we liked where we were, we could stay or if we didn’t we could move on quicker. I stayed at BASE in St Kilda which is a great hostel! It’s cheap and there are things on every night at the hostel bar which is a great place to meet people. Mad travel is a travel agent within the hostel which can hook you up with everything you need. We brought a ‘Hop on Hop Off‘ greyhound ticket from Melbourne to Cairns which was around $400. This type of ticket meant we could get a coach the whole way up the coast with no time limit as we had a year to use it all up the coast. We also booked the 3 busiest places along the coast in advance as they sell out very fast. They sell out as they are very popular and often only have one hostel in the area. These places are Frazer island, magnetic island and the Whitsundays -Note there are other cheaper bus companies but Greyhound offer great air con, comfy seats, wifi and plugs to charge phones and cameras. If you are doing 16 hour coach journeys comfort and air con is a must!!
The most common stops along the East coast are; Melbourne, Sydney, Byron bay, Surfers Paradise/ Gold Coast, Brisbane, Noosa / Rainbow Beach (Fraser island tour starts from), Hervey Bay, Airlie Beach (Whitsundays), Magnetic Island, Townsville and Cairns.

Capture

Melbourne

Hostel’s 

BASE st Kilda, United Backpackers in central Melbourne

Things to do

Trams in the city are free so take advantage

Melbourne city centre has lots to see and do! The famous ABC aka Asian Beer Cafe has amazing food with really cheap happy hours so defo worth checking out as well as the centre it is in.

Revolver bar

Night Markets on a Thursday.

Cookie is a really nice rooftop bar with a cinema.

Madame Brussels is a Tea Party themed rooftop bar with a whole lotta sass!!!

Federation Square always has bits going on.

St Kilda has the beach with great bars and places to eat accompanied by every single backpacker. You can also see penguins on the pier at night around 7pm.

To see some of the city’s best street art, head to the following locations;

AC/DC lane and Duckboard place, Hosier and Rutledge lanes, Centre place, Flinders Court, Union Lane, Presgrave Place, Russell Place, Croft Alley, Stevenson and Tattersalls Lanes, Drewery and Sniders Lanes, Caledonian Lane, Corner 361 Little Bourke Street and Rankins Lane, Finlay Lane, behind Corner of Queen and Franklin Streets and Blender Lane. Click here for a map!

Other must see’s if you like something a bit different from the typical tourist traps can be found here ->Weird and wonderful shops in Melbourne

 Great Ocean Road 

The Great Ocean Road is one of the best road trips you can do! It was one of my favorite things to do. Download ‘Wiki Camps’ its an amazing app where you can filter different things you want from a camp site, for example we needed power and I wanted a shower, and it brings up all the campsites along your route, it is so worth having this app if you are doing lots of road trips. Top things to see on the GOR are:

Loch Ard Gorge

Apollo Bay

Twelve Apostles

London Bridge

Lorne Beach

Erskine Falls

The Frotto

Gibsons steps

Split Point Lighthouse

Sydney

So it is probably worth mentioning Australia has lock out laws, these laws are slightly different in each state but they all suck were ever you go. Lock out laws were put in place to stop drunken violence and to control the youth slightly better due to so many people actually dying from being punched once on the back of the head. Yep Australians are a rowdy bunch and after talking to my Australian friends, these laws do actually help keep people safer on nights out. The laws in Sydney are as follows;

The legislation requires 1.30am lockouts and 3am last drinks at bars, pubs and clubs in the Sydney CBD entertainment precinct. This means, no re-entry in a club after 1:30- not even to smoke. No shots/doubles after 12, you are not allowed to down your drink, it is illegal to be drunk in a club so they will remove you, or keep you hostage and force water down your throat and call you a cab, it is actually a law they make sure you are able to get home! All drinking games are banned- most clubs will play ‘water pong’ or give you ‘food tokens’ as prices but actually it is a shot.

These laws to prohibit you drinking but they are designed to keep you safe, if anything it just means you start drinking earlier! Great article to read about it all here –>Would the last person in Sydney please turn the lights out?

Hostels

Wake Up! Sydney Central

Avoid Big Hostel as much as you can! It is filled with Chinese families and mainly people that work in the city so they are not looking to make friends and this hostel has the most bizarre rules such as you are not allowed plastic bags in the room, you are not allowed the lights on past a certain time, they do not have wifi in the rooms as they do not want you skying family members if someone is asleep..its just rubbish, avoid!

Bondi Backpackers – Beautiful clean hostel right on the beach! Offers free activies and so many discounts for in town.

Things to do

‘The Rocks’ has really nice bars and restaurants with Pancakes on the rocks which is beaut.

Coogie beach, Bondi beach and Manly beach are worth going too. Manly you have to get a ferry over to but it’s a nice day out. The walk from Bondi to Coogie is very popular.

New Town doesn’t have lock out laws! It has cool bars and shops worth checking out.

Sydney’s Royal Botanic Garden

Gordon’s Bay

Taronga Zoo

Day trips to the Blue Mountains is one of the best things to do !

Byron Bay

Hostel

  • Arts Factory (the inbetweeners movie). You can stay in the hostel in the main building or you can stay in Tiky Huts which are so much better but this is where I learnt what a Huntsman Spider looked like very close up!- Note the staff here are vile but the atmosphere make up for it!

 

Things to do

Nimbin, the only place it is ok to buy weed, hash brownies and weed cookies. I honestly asked a 10 year old where to buy them and he led me to his Grandmother..

Everyone and their Nan sells weed here, it is a hippy town with one road and takes about 20 mins to see the whole thing. It is very , much a gimmick but equally very funny to see extreme hippies welcoming tourists with cookies.

Surf Camps

Dolphin Kayak trips

Light house walk, from the main beach to the light house there is a very beautiful walk which you are able to visit ‘the most easterly part of Australia’ so this means it is the earliest part of the day in that spot!

The Rainbow Temple is about an hours drive from Byron, so we rented a car and headed to Guy Feldmann’s extraordinary love offering to humanity. It is amazing and not a lot of people know about this place, it is one big hippie commune! He has built this huge tree house and the best bit is walking through the cave..I wont ruin the surprise what is down there

Crystal Temple

Brisbane

Hostels

Bunk is very good! Great bar underneath (pictured below)

Nomads private rooms are also rooftop penthouse style rooms with balconies.

Things to do

Lagoon- There isn’t a beach here as it is a city but they do have a man made lagoon which everyone heads to.

Shopping Helllaaa lot of shops and lots of pubs and bars but one place looked amazing which was Prohibition which is 1920’s theme.

Cinema is $6 I think

Day trip to Surfers Paradise, but there isn’t much to do here either! Do not do the bar crawl, rip off and horrendous!

Noosa

Hostels

Nomads. I genuinely think that is the only hostel that Noosa has..

Things to do

 Fraser Island

Surf Camps

You book a package with nomads to stay on Frazer Island for 2 days and to have a night in the hostel either side of the trip I think we booked with ‘Dingo’s’. I met everyone the night before, loaded a small bag into the trucks and set off for Frazer where we where put into 6 cars and drove around the island along a 75 mile beach seeing every thing it had to offer such as SS Maheno Shipwreck, Lake McKenzie, Champagne Pools, Lake Allom, ,Lake Wabby which has sand dunes so take a body board, Indian Head, Lake Birabeen and Eli Creek – Take a floatie!

Note you have to be over 21 to drive on Frazer and have to have been driving 3 years!

Hervey Bay

Hostels

Flash Packers Hervey Bay (pictured below)

Aussie Woolshed

Things to do

Whale watching!!! Between July and October whale season, it is the best thing I have done on the East Coast!

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Airlie Beach

Hostels

Nomads/Base, same reception but personally the rooms were nicer in Nomads.

Things to do

Whitsundays – I went on the Clipper which is a 3 days and 2 nights on board which is notorious for being the Party Boat but it really wasn’t that bad. I hate boat parties as I get sick very easily but they do not let you drink too much in the day as you are snorkeling and it would be dangerous for you to jump off the boat drunk. The evenings are filled with drinking games and fancy dress, which I would highly recommend if you want to meet people and get smashed. They have 2 slides, a hot tub and stop off at White Haven Beach which is amazing!  Other chilled boats can do a day trip or one night rather than the 2 nights on board with the Clipper.

You are not allowed to take zip bags on board due to bed bugs, only draw string bags. They say there is a limit on alcohol but there isn’t, you are not allowed bottles or red wine, so stock up on goon or as much as you can carry and you can put it in the fridge.

Hamilton Island – Which is a Millionaire island.

 

Magnetic Island

Hostel

BASE, the only one worth staying at. It has beautiful huts with Half moon and full moon parties.

Things to do

Barbie Cars! Literally why most girls go here

Hike up some massive hill to see wild Koala Bears

West Point to see the sunset, dont get caught taking a barbie car otherwise it is a $200 fine, lol

Drink

Geoffrey Bay to see wallabies!

Cairns

Hostels

  • Gilligan’s backpacker Hostel is a party hostel with great rooms. The hostel is huge and the rooms on the 3rd floor have TV’s and every room has a balcony which most people party on.
  • Nomads hostel is further out of town with a free bus every hour to and from town, I can’t not mention this hostel as I lived and worked there for 6 months and met some of the most amazing people there. It is no where near as convenient as other hostels in town but it’s a lot cheaper and more chilled out.

Things to do

  • Waterfalls!! -Crystal cascades is the closest with moderate hiking involved.

Uncle Brian’s tours- this is a day tour of all the local waterfalls such as Babinda Boulders, Milla Milla (herbal essences advert and where Peter Andre filled mysterious girl) Josephine Falls, Devils boulder, Lake Eachum . These waterfalls are all relatively close by so me and 20 friends rented cars brought some BBQ food and split it and it came To £3 each!

  • Great Barrier Reef!! This is a once in a life time opportunity so I say go big and do the most expensive tour. I did and it was amazing, 2 dives and 1 snorkel with a huge buffet breakfast and lunch!!

I wouldn’t recommend doing the helicopter tour here as I have herd it is better in Airlie beach as you get to see the heart shaped reef.

  • Cape Tribulation – there are many tours here which is much further north with lots of crocodiles. It’s much more jungle with beautiful beaches which I did in a day in our own car. Note the car was a 4×4 as there are many dangerous roads and animals up there.
  • Nandos! Also has a great Chinese food court which is super cheap.
  • Woolshed!! The only bar it is encouraged to get on top of the tables and dance until you fall off. I lived in this club and loved every night out there! Also does great food in the day!

 

Hiring Cars

There are lots of companies which you can hire cars from but we found one way which required very little money. Relocation cars are a popular way to get from city to city without huge costs. You type in what city you are wanting to start from and end up and they find cars/camper vans which need to be driven back to that city. For example we were in Brisbane and needed to get to Melbourne so we applied to this website –>Transfer Car and within a few days they responded with a camper van which needed returned to Melbourne. It has a time limit so we had 5 days to get there so we took a detour and did the Blue Mountains on the way down and had a great road trip! I would highly recommend this method. You do have to pay a $2000 insurance bond up front which they return into your account once you have returned the car.

Farm Work

In order to get your second year visa you will need to do 88 days regional work on a farm. This never actually takes 3 months, it takes much longer so I would highly recommend doing your farm work as soon as you get to Australia as it took me 4 months due to a bad season or weather problems. You do not need to pay an agent to find you farm work, this is a con. You will probably need a car in order to do farm work as you will have to get there and probably to work every day.

If you’re in Cairns AVOID EZZY LIKE THE PLAGUE. She owns a shop called Adventure Cairns and Beyond and she is a con artist/Witch who scams people for cash to place them, when the doesn’t have anywhere to place you and if you try and argue with her, she will tell the whole town you threatened her and tried to burn her shop down lol told you, witch!

Good farm work is hard to find, most places pay by the bucket, so you have to work hard to earn money or other places are working hostels which place you at different farms on different days. Being paid by the hour is extremely hard to find!! The problem with being paid by the bucket is work is not guaranteed, most days they will only ask for boys or will only have space for 3 people and it is who ever is ready first gets a days work. If you work on one farm continuously then it is 88 days ( most farms count 5 working days as 7) but if you are at a working hostel on different farms then it is 3 months pay slips you will need to provide for your second year visa. Only 1/4 people get asked for evidence when applying for a visa, I have friends that didn’t do farm work and still got a second year visa, where people on my farm where investigated and eventually given a visa. Every one is different, every country is different so don’t listen to all the rumors about more English people get investigated because we don’t.

Research your farm!!! It is worth checking out the Harvest Guide to see which fruits are in season in which areas in this link here –>Harvest Guide I did blueberries which are easy to pick but it is a known thing Banana’s are very hard and those farms tend to only hire boys as ‘Humping’ takes a lot of physical strengthen as well as spiders and rats that  are dropped onto your backs. I have friends that also joined many Facebook groups and wound up at a Puppy farm! She had to look after puppies for 3 months! Loads of people post jobs/info on Facebook pages such as ‘backpacker jobs in Australia’ or the most popular ‘Australian Backpacker’.

My farm was amazing, I was paid by the bucket but I had the best time ever! I worked at Mountain Blue Farms in Tabulam with the closest town being Lismore, which is close to Byron Bay, for more info on this farm click this link Mountain Blue Farm. There was 800 people on my farm and I lived at the closest hostel to the farm which was called Tabulam Backpackers.  There are different jobs on this farm, they are Packing shed (Hourly rate) boxing shed (Hourly rate) Supervisor (Hourly rate) Driver (Hourly rate) and Pickers (paid by the bucket). This was by far the best place to stay at! With 100 of us living there you have an option to either stay in cabins ($156 a week), camp with power or without($70-$110). I paid slightly more to stay in a cabin with 7 other girls but I had my own bed, fridge, wardrobe and mirror! It was so good! The hostel is clean and safe, always has clean water to drink and hot water in the showers, there are 2 kitchens with one sofa room with hundreds of DVDs and cooking space where everyone hangs out. They do have wifi but it is not that great, but its nice to be off the grid. There are other hostels around but none come close to how amazing Tabulam Backpackers is! The Hostel owners Brenton and Rose care for you as if you were their own children and always help out when they can, they put on free BBQ’s and games which include everyone. The nearest town was Casino which was an hour away where you can get food shopping and wifi! This farm is not accessible without a car. We had 2 cars between 6 of us which came in very handy when one broke down. There are so many thing to do here like go for a swim in the lake, jump off cliffs, chill in the hammocks and go to some amazing Bush Duff raves. House parties in Tabulam are the best!

Farming is hard, It can be horrendous, it is hot, it is exhausting and some times you can be working your arse off but there is always an Asian who is 5 rows in front of you. You start off broke and hear stories of people saving thousands of dollars and It can kill your spirit and when everyone has a bad day it is really felt within the hostel. People see you from the minute you wake up to the minute you fall asleep, they see you at your best and worst. You can be sweating your life away, dirty and pissed off and be surrounded in a group of 10 people who are all in the same boat. These people become your family, they become your life. You notice when someones having an off day and evenings are spent talking for hours because you cant sit there on your phone. You actually get to know people through and through. It can feel like you have known these people your whole life and you wonder how you coped before without them. Friendships become stronger, relationships are put to the test and come out stronger than ever and yet you will never forget the time you spent on a farm!

What you will need for farming

  • Probs a car or befriend someone that does! A lot of my friend rented a car called Spaceships which seemed reasonably priced.
  • You will need Trainers, hats, long sleeved tops, sun cream and clothes you don’t mind getting dirty and defiantly an iPod/spotify account you can access without internet as picking for 6 hours a day can be hell when you have no one to talk to or music to get through the day.
  • You will need to have an Australian Bank Account which you will be paid into. You will need to stay in once place for atleast a week as they send you your card and info via post
  • You need to make sure you have opened a ‘Superannuation’ with your bank account which is basically a pension your employer pays into. You are able to get your superannuation back once you leave the country for good and as for tax..the laws have changed so its pretty messed up.. I think you don’t get this back now.. but I could be wrong!
  • Tax File Number
  • Your Visa Number
  • First Aid Kit, I got bit by spiders, ants, mossies and cut my foot on a rock in the lake. Trust me you will need one!

 

Medicare

I can not emphasis this enough PLEASE SIGN UP TO MEDICARE!! I had 3 surgeries and one dislocated knee and I did not pay a penny! Their health care is so good and it is free for us Brits to use it so please please please register for it as it could save you hundreds of dollars if anything happens to you. Before one of my ops a German boy had been admitted to A&E after getting a Pool Que in the eye and he tried to leave after a long wait and he was billed around $800 for just being admitted. DO NOT BE THAT PERSON!

To be eligible for Medicare you must:

  • be ordinarily resident in any part of the territory of the United Kingdom immediately before arriving in Australia

Documents you need to enrol in Medicare

British citizens need to provide 1 of the following:

  • a current British passport – includes those issued in Isle of Man, Jersey or Guernsey
  • a Northern Ireland passport

If there is evidence you weren’t a UK resident before arriving in Australia, you must also provide 2 or more documents to confirm your residency in the UK.

Non-British citizens need to provide a current non-British passport and 1 of the following:

  • a valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) with the initials UK
  • a National Health Insurance Medical card if you’re from Great Britain or the Isle of Man
  • a Health Service Medical card – Northern Ireland
  • a certificate issued by Social Security Committee of the States of Jersey
  • Proof of Insurance issued by the Guernsey States Insurance Authority or other proof of residence in the Bailiwick of Guernsey,
  • 2 residency documents

Your entitlements

Eligible visitors from the United Kingdom, including Jersey, Guernsey, Isle of Man and Northern Ireland can access:

  • Medicare benefits for medically necessary out of hospital treatment
  • medically necessary treatment as a public patient in a public hospital
  • prescription medicine available under the PBS – at the general rate

Period of cover

You’re entitled to Medicare from the day you arrive in Australia to the day your visa expires.

Students

If you’re in Australia on a student visa, you’re eligible to enrol in Medicare.

 

Everything Medicare related can be found here.