El Nido – The Travel Guide

Things to knowThere is 1 main ATM in El Nido but we did manage to find 2 smaller ones but these ones don’t always work.

Everything is more expensive in El Nido. After travelling this country for 6 weeks, El Nido is by far the most expensive.

El Nido has blown up in the past few years so make sure to book accommodation as far in advance as possible. Everything has been sold out for a few weeks and we had to change hotels twice due to double booking or no availability.

Wifi is limited but you can find it in lots of restaurants.

Screen Shot 2018-08-03 at 19.20.31There is an airport in El Nido now which is the easiest way of getting here.

You can get a van from Puerto Princesa airport which takes roughly 6 hours. The last van leaving is around 1am so if you land at an awkward time, I suggest staying a night in Puerto Princesa. 

The drive is rough, take travel sickness tablets if you can and prepare for the worst.

Standard van 14-16 people –700 peso

Private Van –6000 peso*highly recommended*

Accommodation

 

BackpackerThe Outpost Hostel

The Outpost Hostel, El Nido, Palawan

 

Budget– Den’Gi Inn

Den'Gi Inn, El Nido, Palawan

 

Slightly more luxury– Sea Cocoon Hotel 

Sea Cocoon Hotel, El Nido, Palawan

 

Places to Eat

Breakfast and Coffee

Botanica– Great Coffee

Glow Juice Box( near Peak Gym) – if Smoothie bowls are your thing, then you will love this place!

Lunch/Dinner

Happiness– When I first went here it had just opened and was a small cute bar with some swings. Fast forward a year and a half and it has expanded and become the number 1 restaurant in El Nido!

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Happiness 2018

 

Big Bad Thai– Beautiful Pai Thai!

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Art Cafe– Great food and wifi, they will also help you book trips, ferry to Coron and flights.

Art cafe

 

Outpost– This has some great western food with a great atmosphere. 

Lucky Alofa– BEST BURGER IN TOWN! 

Altrove– The best Italian in town but there is always a queue it is that good! Worth it though

Drinks

Sava Bar– Right on the beach of El Nido

Outpost Hostel– Down near Las Cabanas beach but not visible from the road. This is a party hostel which is very new and cool.

 

Beaches

Las Cabanas Beach– 10 minute tricycle ride from town, shouldn’t be more than 50-100 peso. Lovely beach to relax on, zipline from one island to another, grab some lunch and drinks and watch the sunset. 

Las Cabanas Beach

Nacpan Beach– 40 minute tricyle ride but its worth it. An extremely long stretch of beach you will be able to find a quite spot to take the perfect instagram photos and relax. Accomadation near Nacpan Beach is Mad Monkey Hostel is one of the best hostels around the beach with great reviews.

Places to visit

Island Hopping

If you are short of time I would recommend combining tour A & C as they are the best tours El Nido offers.

Tour A (the most popular)-Small Lagoon, Big Lagoon, Secret Lagoon, Shimizu island and 7 commando beach. Roughly 1200 peso per person. 

Tour B– Snake Island, Pinagbuyutan Island, Entalula Beach and Cudugnon Cave. 1300 peso per person.

Tour C-Helicopter Island, Matinloc Shrine. Secret Beach, Star Beach and Hidden Beach. 1400 peso per person. 

Tour D-Ipil Beach, Cadlao Lagoon, Paradise Beach, Pasandigan Beach, Natnat Beach and Bukal Beach. 1200 Peso per person.

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Port Barton – The Travel Guide

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Things to know

There is NO ATM in Port Barton, get all your cash out at Puerto Princesa airport.

Port Barton only has electricity from 5:30-midnight. Plans to have 24/7 electricity are scheduled for end of 2018.

Getting to Port Barton

Port Barton is a small fishing village located on the west side of the island of Palawan. It is a small cove at the bottom of hills and the only way to get to Port Barton is by van. The roads are bad and if it is bad weather they can be very dangerous.

You can get a van from the airport (Puerto Princesa) and it takes roughly around 3-4 hours. I would highly recommend getting a private van if you get travel sick or have had a rough flight. It is worth the money as originally we were squished Into a small van with 12 other people and it was horrendous.

Shared Van – 1000 peso per person

Private Car – 4000 peso for 4 people

 

Accommodation

Backpacker  – Bettys Place, Deep Moon Resort – they have dorm beds and standard rooms.

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Betty’s Place

 

Slightly more luxuryAusan Beach Front Cottages, Sunset Colours – this is a private resort a 10 minute boat ride from Port Barton.

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Ausan Beach Front Cottages

 

Most accommodation is reasonably priced. But due to the town only having an electricity supply between the hours of 5pm-midnight a lot of rooms can get hot during the night. For most people paying a little extra for a location that has a generator throughout the night allowing the fans in your room to stay on is a plus.

Places to Eat

Breakfast

Mabuti – Great for breakfast! Very hipster chilled out vibes- pictured below

Lunch/ Dinner

Dam Dam $ This place is super cheap if you’re watching the pennies

Moon Bar– Grab a book, beanbag and watch the sunset.

Gorgonzolas Pizza – The legendary pizza joint in Port Barton. Pizza measuring 180cm its great to share with a group. This is also meat free!

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Gorgonzolas

 

Yoske Garden of Eden – Israeli cuisine at its finest! 

Villa Marguerite – On the beach with cheap drinks and good lunch options.

 

Things to do

Boat trips are the main thing to do here, at half the price of those in El Nido, you’d be silly not to do one.

Boat trips cost roughly around 700 peso for the whole day

We rented a private boat for 4 of us which was 4500 in total. It included lunch and snorkel equipment and it meant we could stop at spots for longer/shorter and go where the tourists wasn’t!

Must see’s – German island, Exotic Island, Paradise Island and star fish island/ Sandbar.

White beach is a short tricycle ride away – 300 peso for tricycle to take you and bring you back. 50 peso entrance fee.

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German Island 

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For our travel tips on El Nido, Click here!

Want to read what we got up to in El Nido instead? Click here 

Port Barton – Our Journey

We have landed in Puerto Princesa!! This is our third week in the Philippines and this was only our second flight, which I am very impressed by. Last year I did 9 flights within 2 weeks in the Philippines to get around as there are so many islands to visit. We arrived at the airport and boy has it changed since I have last been here, I didn’t recognise anything! We found a tour company who would take us to Port Barton in a van with a few other people. We got to the van and there were already 12 people squished inside, plus bags. I get the seat near the front and push Olly into the back where the bags go, not enough room for a human. I was already in a bad mood as I wanted to sit next to Olly for this 3 hour drive and the journey is not pleasant. I knew this drive was bad but I clearly had chosen to forget how bad it was. About half an hour in Olly shouts for me and I turn around and he’s saying he needs to get out, I turn back around as I was thinking he’s joking but then he shouts to me again ‘Milly I need to get out’. As soon as I saw his face I knew he wasn’t joking. I signalled to the driver to pull over and call us a private car. Olly gets travel sickness anyway but being cramped in the back with no way of seeing where we are going, no air con, 13 other people and bad roads- It was a recipe for disaster. As soon as we pull over another couple get out and ask if we can split the private car with them as they didn’t feel well either. It’s situations like this I don’t care how much money things are, as long as Olly felt OK that was my main concern. We all jumped in another car, just the four of us and we all fell asleep within half an hour. 

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I had herd Port Barton was a beautiful fishing village which broke up the journey to El Nido. I also herd there wasn’t much here but I didn’t really think too much in to it. If I have learnt anything from being in the Philippines, it is to not expect anything. We arrived at our accommodation which were 3 rooms in the middle of nowhere. We are told that there is only electricity from 5:30 till midnight and that goes for the whole town, so if we want to sleep, make sure we fall asleep before midnight so we don’t notice the fan going off. HAHA..THIS..IS..GREAT. This is also the first time I haven’t even looked at what Olly is booking and he’s booked us here for 4 nights. Our first evening we took a stroll into the main street and got something to eat but we were pretty tired so we headed back to make the most of the fan. I have said to Olly on this trip, I need to get back into the backpacker head space and I need to not be such a princess but this place has me waking up sitting straight up and screaming. I am either screaming because there is a millipede on me or a mango from the tree outside and has fallen and hit our tin roof which makes it sound like someone has fallen through the ceiling in the bathroom. Yes I did make Olly check if there was someone in the bathroom on the first night and no I do not feel stupid.

Our second day in Port Barton was much better. We had arranged with the couple we have travelled here with, Sasha and Simon, that we would rent a private boat and do an island hopping tour. We all met on the beach and jumped on our boat and headed to the first snorkel spot. The water was so clear!! Oh my goodness it was incredible! As I am the biggest wimp known to man I still make Olly hold my hand, just incase I see a shark and he pointed out all the clown fish! I have always wanted to see a bright orange clown fish and I finally saw an adult one!! It was amazing!

We headed off to German Island which was just out of this world, we saw the biggest turtle which literally turned and posed for me and I reckon it was bigger than Olly is tall. As we were on a private tour we asked our driver to take us to the spots where the tourists weren’t. WOW did he pull through! He took us to his friends island who let us visit and there was no one there. The crew started to cook our lunch which was fish and veg whilst we took photos. Naturally Olly’s drone caught the attention of the locals and some kids ran over to come and play with us.

An afternoon of more snorkelling and swimming was just what we needed and we dropped Sasha and Simon back off at their accommodation. On the way back to our place we stopped at the sandbar to take some drone shots while there was no one around. At this point me and Olly had drank some beers and were tired. Olly starts to land the drone and shouts ‘ catch it’ to which I panicked. ‘What do you mean catch it! No I DONT want to’. He ignore this and keeps telling me to catch it so I put my hand up. Right as I am about to grab it he shouts ‘ turn it over’….WHAT! Its so strong I cant turn it over, its naturally trying to take off again and me being an idiot start to bring my other hand up to help bring it down. This was a bad idea and my fingers met the drone blades while they were full power, I didn’t even feel a thing. I brought my hand down and was so worried I broke the drone I didn’t even look at my hand, I handed the drone to Olly and turned around. At this point my driver has run over shouting and 4 of his friends are also running over. I looked down and see my whole hand covered in blood dripping on the sand. I couldn’t even see what had happened and I was still trying to see if the drone was OK. The Filipino’s brought a first aid kit over and kept trying to get me to sit down but I was insisting I was fine. At that point I got extremely dizzy and had to squat down as I didn’t want to sit in the sand. I turn to look at my hand and I still cant feel any thing but I can see a lot of blood. They wrap me all up and we get back on the boat. It isn’t until we are right about to dock I burst into tears as suddenly the adrenaline wares off and all I can feel is so much pain in my fingers. I am crying my eyes out and all I can do is hold my hand up to stop the bleeding. Olly tries to do anything he can to calm me down which involved chips and a milkshake and him telling me to breathe. The pain was unbearable and all I could think was, what an idiot I was. Why did I bring my other hand up!! I hurt two fingers but as I haven’t had an injury in years I just freaked out and I wouldn’t even let Olly clean them as it hurt so much. 

Worth this shot though !

The next day called for some much needed rest and a lazy day on the beach, which is exactly what I have been after. I just had to slice my fingers open to get it! We topped up our tans, drank on the beach and chilled. We managed to explore more of Port Barton by just walking around. We didn’t want to get a moped as this was the time we set to relax and not do much!

Not having wifi for a few days was really nice and refreshing. I know how lucky I am anyway to have Olly in my life but these few days put it all into perspective for me. He lets me watch Drag Race, he calms me down when theres a bug on me, he investigates the mango intruder and he mends me when I am ill. I am so lucky to have him in my life. Not only are we 99% of the time on the same page, but he is all I need to make me happy or cheer me up in what ever situation and its times like this which make you really appreciate this and makes me want to hold on to him even tighter than I do.

 

Next stop El Nido

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!

Bohol – Our Journey

We have arrived in Bohol!!!! So excited to be back as I have only been here for a day trip with my sister. So me and Olly have heard very very mixed reviews about Bohol since we started travelling around the Philippines. Most people say the chocolate Hills are overrated and Bohol has turned into a little Boracay ( little Ibiza) and isn’t a nice place. We took all of these opinions with a pinch of salt and headed there anyways. We booked accommodation in Tagbilaran which is where most of the backpackers are and most of the trips start from. As soon as we got off the ferry we realised this wasn’t like anywhere we had been before. We are not sure if it’s because Boracay is shutting this week or the simple fact that this is more touristy.. but the people are horrible here! Taxi drivers charging ridiculous prices and ignoring us if we won’t pay. They are just out to rip you off and it feels like Thailand. Anyway we get to our hostel and the owner is a really nice German guy who tells us all we need to know about trips and starts to get us drunk Lol , so we head into town to sort out a tour for the next day and grab some dinner.

We saw on another blog there was a really good vegan restaurant… Olly normally orders the veggie option anyway as he is fussy with meat, more fussy than I am with food in general. So me trying to be a good understanding girlfriend says “ sure let’s try it”.. but in the back of my mind I’m thinking it’s only half 7, there’s still time to get food after we are done here haha. But we had probably the most filling dinner we’ve had while being away. Olly had a Diwali festival inspired curried potato rosti filled with cauliflower, cashews, peas, tomato and sweet pickles slipped with kerelan papaya chutney and I had a sweet potato, garlic, mushroom, mango and spinach burger.  I was so hesitant for trying it but he said “ I’ll pay for it if you please try it”.. didn’t have to tell me twice haha. I really struggle with not letting him know how I feel, I can’t lie to him so he was watching my face to see my reaction and I have to say it wasn’t bad.

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Every time we go on a ferry I say to Olly “ I just want to see a dolphin” so when we were looking at what trips to do, he pointed to the dolphin watching trip!!!! Of course I was so bloody excited. We had an early start of course we got on the boat at 6:30am. We headed out to a remote island just off shore to do some snorkelling and on the way we saw a pod of dolphins!!! It was really cool but I was kinda disappointed that there were about 15 boats doing the same trip as us, chasing them. Didn’t feel too natural but we literally saw them and drove off, our boat driver didn’t chase them which was good.

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We got to Balicasag island and got into smaller boats where they took 4 of us out at a time. They took us over the protected reef ( very happy there is protected reefs still) and to the cliff edge where we saw the most amazing coral! We saw hundreds of fish, clown fish, purple fish and all amazing shapes and colours of coral. This is definitely the best I’ve ever seen! We got back on the boat and they took us 5 minutes around the corner to a stronger current where we saw lots and lots of turtles !!! This was becoming the best day yet with the amount of wildlife we had seen.

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We then went to the Virgin island which is a huge sandbar in the middle of the sea, pretty cool but as always, over crowded. We jumped back on the big boat and Olly being the amazing boyfriend he is, he let me fall asleep on the boat while he chatted away to the locals and I was extremely burnt when I woke up.

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To ease the pain we found the perfect spot on the beach and got very drunk watching the sunset. Meeting two English girls who we got talking to and went for dinner with was a really nice end to this amazing day!

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We then travelled to a different part of Bohol the next day, called Guindulman, next to Anda beach. We stayed in an amazing hotel called Guindulman Bay tourist Inn with an English owner and his Filipino wife and son. He was like an old English gangster with so many stories and she was probably the smartest person I have ever met and their son was a little Filipino geeza who loved the ladies. They made us feel so welcomed and the food!!! Oh my goodness the food was out of this world. Me and Olly had to get used to eating 3 huge meals again because we had to take this opportunity while it lasted! We spent hours talking to them and they were so helpful with everything around this area. We spent a day going to waterfalls that were empty, running around rice terraces getting spooked by Carabao’s ( like a water buffalo). It was amazing! We also took the moped and explored around and we got a flat tyre. With this area not being used to westerners , no one spoke English but we managed to figure out that the shop to fix it was 1km away.. with us not wanting to push this heavy bike in the heat, a local who looked about 15 pushed it for us 🤣 weak white people!

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Our next adventure takes us back to Cebu for a day, so we can catch our flight to Puerto Princesa and move onto Port Barton!!!

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!!

Travelling Take Two

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We flew into Manila which is the capital of the Philippines and only stayed one night as we had our flight booked to Cebu the next day but after a 14 hour direct flight from Heathrow we needed one night to recover.

There isn’t too much to do here, most people only use Manila as a stopping over place but we did book into Lub D Makati. The Lub D hostels are a chain throughout Thailand and some have been voted the best hostels in South East Asia so we thought this was perfect for our first night getting used to being a backpacker again. The rooms are huge, the beds are comfortable and the wi-fi is great. Not to mention the clean bathrooms with hairdryer and straightener on the side for everyone to use. This hostel was great and it is very safe here. The staff are also super friendly and helped us get a ‘Grab’ (Philippines equivalent to Uber).

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As I was only here for one night we went out for one drink in Penthouse, a fancy 1920’s bar that looks out over the most of Manila. The bar is on the 24th floor and the entrance on the ground floor looks residential, so just walked in and ask the guard for the bar. The first thing we see is the ‘no guns’ sign. 

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The first night here I did wake Olly up at 2am thinking we had slept in till the afternoon and started to panic but he told me to shut up and go back to sleep. We managed to sleep until 7am and we were wide awake which was so annoying. Somehow we managed to get back to sleep..and woke up at 1pm! Just in time for lunch! God how I have missed being able to sleep as much as I want. Olly doesn’t share this love and wants to get up and go and explore straight away. Lets see how long this lasts..

Our next post will be about the island of Cebu and everything this amazing place has to offer.