Road Trip Our Journey – Part 1

Couple goals, Tartha NSW Australia, Road trip - our journey

We started our road trip leaving Jindabyne and heading towards the coast for a NSW mini road trip, our first stop was Bega! We originally were calling it Beggar but we soon learnt it is pronounced Bee-ga. We drove from the Snowy Mountains and straight through the flattest land we have ever seen. We came to a mountain we had to drive through and stopped off at this beautiful look-out at the top, the views were amazing. This lookout was a memorial to a bus driver who drove this route for 26 years who passed away while shovelling snow off his front garden.

Olly, Fred Piper Memorial NSW Australia, Road trip - our journey

As we now had 3 weeks until we can head back to the mountains to start work, we have to be very careful with money. We were hoping to find some cash in hand work along the road trip but as its winter, not many places were looking to hire people. This meant saving as much as we could but still enjoying our time on the road.

We researched places to stay and found the cheapest place, which was in a caravan park in the town of Bega. This little town had a lot to offer us in things to see and do. We drove around to Tathra and explored the beaches there. The best thing about travelling with Olly is we both love photography, so a day exploring taking photos and drinking coffee is enough for us. Not to mention it only costs us $8 for the whole day. We walked around exploring all the lookouts we could find, driving through the national parks and walking through amazing forests.

NSW Australia, Road trip - our journey

 

 NSW Australia, Road trip - our journey

We spent a few days in Bega and found a local McDonalds to plan the next part of our road trip. Taking into consideration us not earning anything while being on the road, we tried to cut costs as much as possible. The biggest outgoing for us was accommodation so we decided to head to Kmart to buy a blow up mattress. Sleeping in our beaten up wagon was always in the back of our minds, we were just expecting it to be a lot later in the year, when it wasn’t winter. We bought all kinds of camping gear and Olly was very excited, me on the other hand, not to much!

 NSW Australia, Road trip - our journey

 

We left Bega and headed to Biamanga national park close by which we could camp in for free. Camping laws are very complex and annoying at times but we found a spot with no one around, looking out over the sea. We got to our camping spot only to find out its illegal to burn wood from the park with the threat of a $3000 fine if caught. We had literally just unpacked and blown up the bed in the back of the car, so I offered to stay put while Olly drove half an hour away to buy some wood. While Olly was doing this I sat on the beach, in the freezing cold, watching Netflix and a baby wallaby came to join me. He followed me from the beach back to the camp and pretty much spent the whole time with us.

NSW Australia, Road trip - our journey

This spot was beautiful but as it was right on the beach it was extremely windy! Olly returned and we got a fire going and attempted to cook dinner on an open fire. This was the first test, to see if we could do this for the next few weeks. This night was by far the coldest I have ever experienced in my life. It was so cold I nearly cried at how much I was hating it. This first night camping taught us a lot. We knew for the next night it would be better to have everything ready such as thermals, cooking equipment and portable chargers. The next morning when we woke up we herd someone on the beach shout ‘whales’. We opened the boot and jumped out taking the drone with us. The whales were so far out but we sent the drone out anyway and it was worth it. The pictures and videos we got of this family of whales made the whole night worth it.

Family of Whales in Australia - Road trip Our journey

Our next night camping proved to be 100000% better. We drove to Mystery bay and this camp site was huge. We drove right to the top of the camp site which was like a peninsula with huge cliffs at the end. The site was guarded from the wind due to the amount of trees. We found a huge log to sit on which was already so much more comfortable than sitting on the damp ground the night before. We set up our camp, making a stove and organising our bed and belongings before it got dark. We also spent an hour gathering wood to keep the fire going. As I have never camped before I had no idea how much upkeep a fire needs! It really takes all your energy to keep warm! This night was so much better and we bought marshmallows and chocolate to have round the fire and then we wrapped up warm in our sleeping bags and got into bed and watched a film on my IPad, perfect!

 

Day three of our road trip we headed north along the coast to the beautiful town of Narooma. Although this site was quite exposed as it was basically on the beach, it was a small sacrifice for everything else that came with it. Not only was it the cheapest campsite we could find, but it came with fire pits, changing rooms, toilets inside and warm showers! This small aspect of your life you take for granted, such as being able to pee indoors, or actually have a fresh water shower. It really makes you appreciate everything a lot more. We explored Narooma taking photos along the way. We even managed to spot some Seals along the harbour wall.

Australia Rock, Narooma Australia - Road trip Our journey
Australia Rock, Narooma Australia
Bar Rock Lookout, Narooma Australia - Road trip Our journey
Bar Rock Lookout, Narooma Australia
Bar Rock Lookout, Narooma Australia - Road trip Our journey
Bar Rock Lookout, Narooma

We were saving money and having fun which was what we wanted to do on this road trip. Sleeping in our car which did I forget to mention didn’t have a roof lining due to the previous owners ripping it, again something you take for granted. Due to this lack of linking the orange foam insulation is exposed. This mean every time you climb in or out of the car and sit up to much you are greeted with a hair full of itchy foam. Additionally being freezing every night and having to buy food that we could easily cook over a fire was taking its toll. We treated our selves to fish and chips which we ate in front of our fire. It was so worth it and so nice not to have to spend hours making dinner.

Camping in Australia - Road trip Our journey

Stay tunned for Part 2 !

 

Camping in Australia - Road trip Our journey

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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

Sydney – Our Journey

Leaving the Philippines 😦

 We were in Coron and managed to catch a hell-ish ferry back to Manila which took a very long and hot 15 hours. Once we arrived in Manila we realised it was 7am and we couldn’t check in until  2pm. I had a brilliant idea of going back to the hostel we stayed in on our very first night in the Philippines, Lub D! They served good coffee and from memory, they had a Netflix room. As you can imagine we got a great nights sleep on an open air, 200 person bunk bed sleep over…not. We were exhausted, I was still slightly ill and didn’t fancy walking around Manila for the next 6 hours so we got a taxi straight to Lub D. Olly had some breakfast and we snuck into the Netflix room and I passed out straight away, it was one of the best naps I had ever had! I woke up and it was time to check into our hotel. We simply got up and walked out and no one said anything, it was brilliant! Our hotel was thankfully just around the corner and we checked in to our new digs. I say hotel, it was actually a residence apartment which meant we had access to the gym and swimming pool. We just chilled here, going to the shopping centre and watching a film in the cinema and just relaxing before we have to catch our flight to Sydney!
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WE HAVE ARRIVED IN SYDNEY!!!! Finally back in the land of OZ where we met! During the flight Olly passed out, shock! And I stayed up watching movies and starving as the food was probably the worst food I have ever had… I cant even remember what it was as I am typing this because I have tried to forget everything about it and push it into the depts of my mind. We landed super early and again had the issue of not being able to check in for a while. We took advantage of this and stopped for breakfast at the airport. POACHED EGGS AND SMOKED SALMON, My god it feels good to be back in a place that appreciates brunch as much as we do. I had been craving poached eggs since I left England.

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Olly being the travel savvy guy he is, had been to Sydney airport before and directed us to the train station. We both got a Opal card, which is basically an oyster card, and took the right train to our hostel. I haven’t actually used much public transport in Australia as last time I was used to either walking or jumping on the Greyhound. Being back here just feels right! I think its because I’m with Olly and he knows what he’s doing, and just being able to figure out how to use public transport in a foreign country makes you feel like your home. It might sound silly but when you are travelling the feeling of being ‘at home’ in the weirdest of situations is such a nice feeling. 

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We walk from the train to our hostel and it dawns on us how bloody cold it is! I know it wasn’t going to be philippine weather but still, it was freezing! We arrived at our hostel and checked into our rooms. Being back in australian hostel life for real was an eye opener!! The room stank of gross boys, we were put in a filthy room and there was 1 shower and toilet. There were some more downstairs but you would have to walk through a haze of smoke and drunk people to get to them and in your PJ’s.. its not the most comfortable of situations. We dumped our bags and headed out, freezing we decided to go shopping to try and buy a jumper or anything that could to keep us warm. Finding H&M and Benefit damaged my bank account, but I was able to be slightly warmer for us to face exploring Sydney. 

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The night we landed was our 2nd year anniversary to when we met, so we got slightly dressed up and headed to the Opera house for dinner and some drinks. It was so nice to actually take in Sydney as last time I was here I didn’t experience very much. This was due to the fact I had no money what so ever, I didn’t enjoy Sydney and I really wanted to. This time round felt so different, we took a stroll around the harbour area and walked home, we wanted to head out early and explore more. 

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We spent one day over at Manly beach which was a ferry ride away. This place was beautiful and so much more relaxed than the city. We got there quite late as when Olly has his camera out it takes us hours to get any where. Getting there later meant we had to rush to get the drone up before the sun went down but the golden hour proved to be worth all the rushing!

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The next day we got up early, got out of our disgusting room as quickly as we could and got the train back into the city. We spent hours walking around taking photos, having amazing food and taking in the sights. That night we were pooped, we had walked so much and just wanted to relax but we came back to hell. Two of our room mates had a fight in our room, so our room was a tip and had blood all over the walls, my bed was soaking from god knows what and Olly’s bag had been moved. I didn’t feel safe, others wanted to keep the lights on for when the boys came back from their night out so they wouldn’t fight again. It just put me in a bad mood as I didn’t remember travelling being this repulsive.. maybe thats just boys? Olly is so different to these cave men and I cant even put that down to him being older as they were the same age! It was just bizarre. We are all up for having a good night out and drinking but this hostel was just too much. We booked a different hostel and headed to Bondi to live out the rest of our Sydney days.

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Bondi was a different ball game altogether! The hostel was amazing, the people where nice and we had a private room which helped! It just blew our minds that everyone was cleaning up, making food and wanted to just chill and have a chat. This is what I remember travelling to be like! We noticed everyone was super healthy which prompted us to try and be healthier than we had been. The only happy hour we saw here was $5 off salads.

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Bondi beach is one of the most famous beaches there is in Australia and we could see why. Even in the freezing wind we went and relaxed in the sun on the beautiful beach and watched the surfers for hours. We got up early most days and explored to the max! We managed to do the Bondi to Coogee walk which was breath taking and we even had a healthy stop on the way thanks to my sisters friends recommendations!

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We even managed to spot some whales in the distance and was able to fly the drone out to capture it. Not only was this the furthest we had every flown the drone but it was so refreshing that we weren’t on a boat chasing the whales. It actually gives me hope for the future that technology like drones can get people closer to natural wonders, without the danger of getting too close and disturbing the whales.

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One of our main aims while we were in Sydney was to buy a car. A car that would be reliable, get us to the snowy mountains with the potential to sleep in her too if need be. We present to you…BASIC BETTY…! If you have ever seen Riverdale you will know how basic that Betty is, so she is named after her!

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We waved goodbye to Sydney and planned our route to Canberra for a night! We have booked one of only two hostels in the whole of Canberra. Until next time..

 

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Coron – The Travel Guide

Things to knowCoron is located in the North of Palawan, just above El Nido on the map.

Coron, simular to El Nido, can get very busy very quickly. Book your accommodation as far in advance as possible. We had to change hotels three times just to be able to stay here for a week. My cousin also had issues with accommodation and had to move around a lot. 

There isn’t much to do on land, everything involves boat trips. There isn’t a sun bathing worthy beach on land either.

There are 2 ATMs 🙂

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Getting to Coron

The fast ferry from El Nido is the best way to get to Coron if you are travelling north from Puerto Princesa. The Phimal Ferry takes 5 hours and costs around 1700 peso each. You can buy tickets from the Art Cafe in El Nido town. This boat isn’t huge so I would recommend booking a few days before you intend on leaving. The first boat is at 8am, so make sure you get to the port with enough time to sign in, pay terminal fee 15 peso and get your bags on the boat.

Coron also has an airport which you can fly into. I am not sure how frequent these are as I did not fly in or out of Coron.

 

Accomodation - Bondi the Travel Guide

Backpacker- Hop hostel –  A really nice place to stay, imagine Santorini colours!

Hop Hostel, Coron, Palalwan

 

BudgetDivine Castle Travellers Inn It was a nice hotel with breakfast included. They will also help you with trips and pick ups.

Divine Castle Travellers Inn, Coron Palawan

 

Luxury-  Asia Grand View hotel. This hotel was incredible! The rooms were huge, clean and very peaceful. With a pool and restaurant there isn’t too much of a reason to leave the grounds. 1000 Peso to use the pool if you are not a guest.

Asia Grand View hotel, Coron, Palawan

 

 

Places to Eat

Unfortunately I caught food poisoning here so I didn’t actually eat many places, Olly on the other hand did.

Breakfast and Coffee

Coffee Kong 

Buzz Express – Great coffee and western food. This place takes card!!

Dinner & Drinks

Altrove This place is insanely good! Italian restaurant which is the same owner as Altrove in El Nido. It has the best pizzas and pastas in town! We would recommend the pizza though, the dough was extremely fresh!

La Sirenetta – This place is right over the water, beautiful setting but slightly hard to find. Just look up for this photo (Mermaid photo below) and you will find it at the bottom of the alley way off the Main Street.

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Hangover Bar seems to be the bar open till the latest in the whole town.

Places to visit

Boat trips 

We did one trip as a group with 20 other people which cost 1500. 

Super Ultimate tour is the most popular one to do as you see the most amount places. This normally costs 1500 peso per person, this was the cheapest we found at a shop called Timothy Travel and Tours. All you need is your self, a camera and maybe some cash to buy some beer when you stop for lunch.

Private Boats 

The next day we hired a private boat for 2700 for 4 of us, plus the entrance fees to each location and we went to a market and picked all of our own lunch. 

Kayangan Lake – This is the most popular spot so get here around 8am to beat the crowds. There is a a moderate amount of steps up to the look out and then a walk down to the other side to access the lake. As it is fresh water, you have to wear a life jacket and there is a marshal on guard who will not let you pass without one. The water is crystal clear and worth the hike. Swim around the sides to see the hidden caves!

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Kayangan Lake

Coral Garden & Siete Pecados – Grab a snorkel and go enjoy this incredible reef.

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Coral Garden 

 

Twin Lagoon – Life jackets must be warn here too. Short swim around as the boats do not enter, to some stairs which shows you the other side. You can also swim under the stairs but it is crowded.

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Twin Lagoon

 

Skeleton Wreck  – WW2 Japanese ships are in an abundance in Coron. Most of the wrecks here are only visible from scuba diving, but there is one which you can see from the surface.

Barracuda Lake – Another Life jacket destination. Fresh water lake is the clearest water I have ever seen. You can see straight down to the bottom as it is 70% fresh water, 30% salt. If you are lucky you will spot the famous instagram rock which is very popular for photos!

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Barracuda Lake

Beach/Reef & Wreck tour – If you want to check out a few beaches and snorkel some ship wrecks then this trip is the one for you. 

 

On Land 

Mt Tapyas – Hike to the Coron Sign! Imagine the ‘Hollywood’ sign..but a Filipino version. Lots of stairs for a beautiful look out over the whole island.

 

Leaving Coron

 Go2Travel Ferry to Manila – 2500 Peso Each (Non Aircon)

This is the only company which has a ferry to Manila, this also sells out very quickly. There is 2 boats a week, Thursdays and Sundays and I suggest booking this as early as possible. Air con accommodation sells out and we had to book the open air accommodation which was hell, it was boiling! There is about 200 of you on one floor (see photo below) You do get linen with your ticket which is worth collecting from the first class section. Bring snacks and water as there isn’t much on board. This ferry leaves at 4pm and gets to Manila around 7am.

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Flights were sold out for 2 weeks in advance leaving Coron to Manila. If you are planning ahead, make sure there is an affordable flight if you would rather fly out of here.

Click below for the Manila Guide!

Manila Guide

Coron – Our Journey

After what felt like just a nap for me we had arrived in Coron! While I was in a mini coma Olly had been chatting to some people around us who turned out to be a Videographer for Five Guys. He was interested in Olly’s drone photos which he was editing at the time and I woke up and interrupted their bromance as we had arrived. We headed to our hotel and checked in to Divine Castle Inn, surprisingly there were huge photos of Disney Land castle everywhere..it was very odd! We headed to a restaurant to grab a snack and the staff were so rude we left. I hate how British we are when it comes to manners. If someone doesn’t have basic manners then I need to let them know that they are on the same level as a cave man. I can’t help it..a bad review on trip advisor is coming their way! 

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Anyway.. we headed into the tiny town of Coron to explore and grab a coffee at a highly rated cafe on Trip advisor. It was the first time in so long we had proper coffee! It tasted so strong just because we are used to coffee flavoured water which the Filipino people call coffee. We walked up and down the street and booked a tour for the next day as we wanted to jump into exploring and taking photos. We bumped into Ali, Mo and Patricia ( drone wars from El Nido) and we all decided to go and grab some dinner. Mo and Ali warned us the food was rubbish but me and Olly ordered differently to them so we assumed we would be fine. I tried a chicken dish I had never tried before because I am Queen Fussy eater and I stick to what I know, but Olly is always trying to push me to try different things. We are so similar that normally we order the same thing or I get jealous of what he’s got so I trusted his judgement and ordered this chicken dish. 

The next day we were waiting at our hotel for the trip to pick us up but after an hour we assumed they had forgotten. Our hotel receptionist had called the company and sure enough they had forgotten us, not only that but they walked in and picked up 4 other people and didn’t acknowledge us sitting there. When we eventually got to the boat, Ali, Mo and Patricia were nowhere to be seen and we had to run through two different boats to get to ours. We had made everyone late and It was awkward as hell! We sat down, confused and trying not to make eye contact with the rest of the boat. Once we got enough courage to look around, Olly noticed his mate from the ferry, the Five Guys..guy?

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We stopped off at the first location which was the Twin Lagoon which was a lot of swimming. The guides were adamant on wearing life jackets which was confusing as this was the first sign of health and safety we had experienced the whole time in the Philippines. This lake was beautiful but after some awkward swimming and pushing, me and Olly decided swimming with life jackets was not only ridiculous but we looked pathetic. Do you know how hard it is to get from point A to B when your back is perfectly straight and floating? No, nor did we so we took them off and pushed them in front of us. This was also our first time flying the drone off of a boat which sent my anxiety levels through the roof. I am a great at helping Olly now, he has taught me how to get the controller set up and phone so I can actually help, other than shouting at people to move because did I mention that nobody seems to have manner here? If the drone is landing, chances are its going to hit you if you stand in the way taking a selfie. I can say from experience when the drone hits you, it bloody hurts!

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Five Guys guy had given us his email to send him all the drone photos of course and we learnt that the reason they are so strict with the life jackets is because two tourists died last year, drunk, freediving or something. They hit their head and drown or so the rumour goes.

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We stopped at some more incredible snorkelling spots and some lakes. The first lake was hell, naturally it had 500 steps up and down to reach which I didn’t moan about once. I did managed to refuse to go any further and made Olly walk on without me but after 2 minutes of sitting there on my own with lots of Chinese tourists staring at me, I picked my pride up and ran down to find him. This was a fresh water lake so we had to wear life jackets again which made it hard to find him as it was a sea of Orange. The water was the clearest I have ever seen and because it is fresh water, you do tend to sink which was fun. 

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Barracuda Lake

We also stopped at Barracuda Lake which was out of this world. This lake was perfectly still, perfectly clear and perfectly refreshing. Olly was blown away at how deep this lake was and you could see the whole way to the bottom. It was mad how you can’t see this deep in the sea but yet here you can see everything, catfish and all! After a hell of alot of swimming, climbing and moaning we headed back and were exhausted! We managed to find the energy to meet up with Mo, Ali and Patricia for some amazing dinner at the sea front. We had some drinks and headed home.

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Lake Kayangan from above

That night turned into hell. If you have read all of this page you will know that Olly made me try a new dish a day before this evening. This turned into a bad idea as I have now got food poisoning. I have never had food poisoning before as I am a fussy eater and the one pro of being fussy is that you don’t get ill from food! The next two days I was trapped in bed with nowhere to go, nothing to do other than moan and watch Netflix. Poor Olly was going out getting me all kinds of medicine and when I thought I was hungry he went to get me food which turned into another bad idea. 

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We booked a fancy hotel for our last few days in Coron as there wasn’t actually much to do on land here, other than do boat trips so we booked into Grand Asia Hotel. This was the perfect place to be ill as it had a pool and HUGE room and was so peaceful.

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My not so baby cousin

The next day my bébé cousin had arrived and wanted to do a boat trip with us. Olly pumped me full of pills and we headed out to find a boat. We managed to get a private boat and choose all of our lunch which was really nice. This was the first time I have ever hung out with my cousin, how crazy is that. We have never been in a room together without our dads being there either. It was nice to gossip about our Dads finally. We had a really nice day chilling and swimming and taking lots of photos and I had started to feel better, still not eating but not in pain. 

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The next day we invited my cousin and her friend, also called Olivia, to our hotel and we chilled by the pool all day and caught up some more. I had started to feel worse again and relaxing done me some good.

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Asia Grand View Hotel

A few days later we took a ferry to Manila, a 15 hour journey in what looks like hell. I can only describe it as the prison Bridget Jones goes to in Thailand. Air con sleeping quarters had sold out so we were in the very local, very open air accommodation. It was boiling and it was awful. Olly pumped me full of pills again so I wouldn’t feel too bad on the ferry but there was no happiness on this ship of doom. We did meet some lovely Americans on this ferry who heard I wasn’t well and came and found me to give me some crackers which was so nice of them. I hadn’t eaten for 5 days at this point and it was just what I needed to survive the night.

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Coron from above!

Next stop Manila for the last leg of our journey in the Philippines. We have booked an apartment in a residence building as they have a pool and gym we can use and being in Manila isn’t particularly fun. Theres not much to do here and we just want to relax incase I am still ill.

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Lake Kayangan 

Olly once again has proved to be the best boyfriend in the world. Putting up with me in general is a hard gig but he’s put up with me at my worst and hasn’t battered an eyelid. I am the unluckiest person in the world, that’s a fact. But the fact I have him makes me extremely lucky. I don’t know many people who would do as much as he does for me and I will be forever grateful to have him in my life. He even let me watch 6 hours of Greys Anatomy while I was ill.

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snorkle face

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!!!

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.