Filipino Food Guide

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

 

Foodie Words worth knowing

Ginataan means cooked in coconut milk.

Kilawimn means raw or vinegared seafood.

Inihaw means grilled meat or fish.

Maanghang means spicy.

 

Types of food

 

Adobo - filipino food guide

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

 

Adobong Pusit - filipino food guide

Adobong Pusit – Squid or cuttlefish cooked adobo style.

 

Arróz caldo

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

 

puppy

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

 

Batchoy

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

 

duck egg

Balút – Boiled duck egg containing a partially formed embryo.

 

Bibingka

Bibingka – Sweet coconut cake.

 

Biko

Biko– Sweet sticky rice.

 

Chicharon

Calamares/Chicharon – Crispy fried squid.

 

Crispy Pata

Crispy Pata – Deep fried pork hock or knuckles.

 

Dessert Lumpia

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

Goto

Goto – Rice porridge made with pork or beef innards.

 

Halo Halo

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

 

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

 

KARE KARE

Kare-Kare – Oxtail Stew.

 

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Leche Flan – Caramel Custard.

 

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Lechón – Spit roast whole pig served with liver sauce.

 

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Lechón Kawali – Crispy fried pork.

 

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Longganisa – Filipino sausage.

 

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Lomi- Noodle dish.

 

Spring Rolls

Lumpia – Spring rolls filled with either meat or vegetables.

 

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Mami- Noodle soup

 

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

 

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Pansit Bihon – Thick or thin noodle soup

 

Pinakbét

Pinakbét – Mixed veg stew

 

Rellenong Bangus

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

 

Rellenong Bangus

Rellenong Bangus – Fried stuffed milkfish.

 

Pork Sisig

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

 

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

 

Tocino

Tocino – sweetened Cured pork 

 

Sinigang

Sinigang – Hot and sour soup.

 

Ukoy

Ukoy- Crispy shrimp fritters with tangy vinegar dipping sauce.

Fast Food

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

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Street Food 

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

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10 Things you didn’t know about the Philippines

1.It is Illegal to kill Turtles in the Philippines

Turtles in the Philippines - 10 things you didnt know about the Philippines!

Under Philippine and international law, it is illegal to capture and kill sea turtles and to trade in sea turtle by-products. Click here to find out where to see turtles for free!

2. The Philippines produces 153,532,000 Tonnes of coconuts a year, making it the worlds second largest producer of the fruit.

Palm Trees - 10 things you didnt know about the Philippines!

The Philippines is the world’s second largest producer of coconuts. It was previously the world’s largest producer before being overtaken by Indonesia. Luzon, Southern Mindanao, and the Eastern Visayas are a few of the country’s most prominent locations for coconut producing.

3.Manilla was one of the cities which suffered the most damage during WWII.

Manila 1940 - 10 things you didnt know about the Philippines!

Other cities included Warsaw, Hiroshima and Hamburg. The United States of America controlled the Philippines at the time and possessed important military bases there. It was bombed 9 hours after Pearl Harbour.  There are many walking tours of the city to learn about its history during the war. 

4. Inception of Lakes

Island of Luzon - 10 things you didnt know about the Philippines!

The Philippine island of Luzon has a lake. The Lake contains an island, this island contains a lake, and this lake contains another island!

5. There are currently 6 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the Philippines

  • Baroque Churches of the Philippines. Located in Manila, Santa Maria, Paoay and Miag-ao.)

Baroque Churches of the Philippines - 10 things you didnt know about the Philippines!

  • Historic Town of Vigan. Vigan is located at the river delta of Abra River, along the northwestern coastline of the main island of Luzon, in the Province of Ilocos Sur

Historic Town of Vigan - 10 Things you didn't know about the Philippines

  • Puerto-Princesa Subterranean River National Park. The river is 8km long however tourists are only able to travel 1km into the river. This was also named one of the new ‘ 7 wonders of Nature’ in 2011. This Site is commonly refered to as the ‘Underground River’. The Cave dome inside measures around 300m in length, which is filled with deep water holes and river channels.  Located on the island of Palawan, between Puerto Princesca and El Nido.

Puerto-Princesa Subterranean River National Park - 10 Things you didn't know about the Philippines

  • Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras. The Banaue Rice Terraces are terraces that were carved into the mountains of Ifugao in the Philippines by the ancestors of the indigenous people. The terraces are occasionally called the “Eighth Wonder of the World. Located  Nueva Vizcaya – Ifugao – Mountain Province Rd, Banaue, Ifugao.

Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras - 10 Things you didn't know about the Philippines

  • Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park. The Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park is a protected area of the Philippines located in the middle of the Sulu Sea

Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park - 10 Things you didn't know about the Philippines

  • Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary. Forming a mountain ridge running north-south along the Pujada Peninsula in the south-eastern part of the Eastern Mindanao Biodiversity Corridor, the Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary has an elevation range of 75–1,637 m above sea level and provides critical habitat for a range of plant and animal species. Location: Mindanao.

Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary.

6. The most beautiful country in the world

Beauty Pagent

The following is a list of Philippines’ official placements at the Big Four international beauty pageants, considered the most important in the world. Philippines has won in all four pageants with a total of fourteen victories:

  • Three — Miss Universe crowns (1969 • 1973 • 2015)
  • One — Miss World crown (2013)
  • Six — Miss International crowns (1964 • 1970 • 1979 • 2005 • 2013 • 2016)
  • Four — Miss Earth crowns (2008 • 2014 • 2015 • 2017)

7. Worlds Biggest Snake

10 things you didn't know about the Philippines

The Philippines is home to the world’s longest snake, the Reticulated Python (Python reticulatus), which also happens to be the world’s longest reptile. It can grow to 28.5 feet (8.7 m)

8. It Takes Gutz To Be A Gutierrez

It Takes Gutz To Be A Gutierrez

Move over Kim, the Philippines has their very own version of the Kardashians, The Gutierrez family. The reality show follows the dramatic lives of the Filipino showbiz family. There’s former beauty queen Ruffa and her twin brothers – one’s an actor and the other is a funny/fashionista type, and their parents – Eddie, a ‘matinee idol’ and Annabelle, the classic ‘momager’ slash aspiring politician.

9. Balut – A local delicacy

Balut - A local delicacy

Balut is street food eaten all across the Philippines. A balut is a fertilised bird egg (usually a duck) which is incubated for a period of 14 to 21 days depending on the local culture and then boiled or steamed. The contents are eaten directly from the shell. Balut that are incubated for longer periods have well-developed embryo and the features of the duckling are recognizable.

The eating of balut is controversial due to religious, animal welfare, and human health concerns.

10. The famous Leonardo DiCaprio film ‘The Beach’ was written about El Nido in the Philippines!

The Beach

Hundreds of backpackers flock to Maya Bay in Thailand to set foot on the sand which the film ‘The Beach’ was filmed. Little do they know, the book was based on the author, Alex Garland, experiences living in the Philippines. The Krabi  Province is much more developed than El Nido and much more accessable, which is why the film was shot there. Both places are very simular, both have lagoons, crystal clear waters and of course, hundreds of tourists. El Nido was only discovered by the outside world in the 90’s! 

Can you tell the difference between Krabi and El Nido below?

Krabi - 11 Things you didn't know about the philippines
Krabi, Thailand
Krabi, Maya Bay - 11 Things you didn't know about the philippines
Krabi, Maya Bay, Thailand 
El Nido, Philippines - 11 Things you didn't know about the philippines
El Nido, Philippines
El Nido, Philippines - 11 Things you didn't know about the philippines
El Nido, Philippines

 

 

Gifts for Female Travellers

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

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

Click on the links for the best price!

 

1.Travel Wallet from Kikki K 

Travel Wallet - 10 Gift ideas for someone going travelling!

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

Check prices 

2. Luggage Tag 

Luggage Tag - 10 Gift ideas for someone going travelling!

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

Check prices 

 

3. Instax Mini Polaroid Camera

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

 

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

Check prices

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

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

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

 

4. Chilly Bottle 

Chilly Bottle - 10 Gift ideas for someone going travelling!

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

Check prices

5. Passport Cover

Passport Cover - 10 Gift ideas for someone going travelling!

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

Check prices

6. Bucket List Book

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

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

Check prices

7.  Emergency Essentials Kit

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

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

Check prices

8. Card Holder

Card Holder - 10 Gift ideas for someone going travelling!

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

Check prices

 

9. Storage Bags

Storage Bags- 10 Gift ideas for someone going travelling!

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

Check prices

 

10. Micro Fibre Towels

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

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

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11.Giant Inflatable Pool Float

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

 

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

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

 

 

 

 

Check prices for Rainbow Float 

 

 

 

 

 

12. She-Wee!

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

Check Prices here

13. Loop Scarf with Zipper Pocket

Screen Shot 2018-09-01 at 14.48.28

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

Check Prices here 

Road Trip Our Journey – Part 2

The next day we drove from Narooma onto the next town, Batemans Bay and found a YHA caravan site which we managed to book for a few days. A small anonymous donation to the ‘Help your child abroad’ foundation helped us out massively. What we were able to book was a tiny caravan in the YHA which was advertised as a ‘private room’. To be honest we were just happy to be inside again. We spent a few days there, blogging and showering in hot water and downloading more Netflix.

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While we were there Olly re-downloaded the Couch Surfer App and began to look for our next place to stay. We found a local guy called Brad who was willing to take us in for a few days. We wanted to stay with locals for a few reasons. One was to save money and the other was to get more information about the areas we were in. The towns we were stopping in along this road trip I have either never heard of, or knew nothing about so locals information was crucial to use exploring.

View from Brads House - Road Trip Our Journey - Part 2

We went to Brads house and immediately we were made to feel right at home. He introduced us to his 3 children and showed us to our room. A DOUBLE BED, INDOORS! Clearly we were appreciating the small things in life once again. We attempted to go and buy some food for dinner but Brad was having none of it, he insisted that he would cook us dinner and it was delicious. Brad also made his own rum which is my favourite drink of all time, was this heaven? Unlimited STRONG rum! We chilled in the living room, chatting to him and his kids, watching TV which was really nice. We looked at each other and realised how nice it was to just sit in front of the TV chatting to people. We haven’t done this in months and it just felt so nice and homely. We were instantly overwhelmed with Brad opening his home up to us and making us feel this comfortable after only a few hours.

Batemans Bay

The next day we headed out to a beach Brad had told us about called Pebbly Beach which had lots of friendly kangaroos. When we got there, there were none. Kangaroos are normally spotted at dawn and dusk so we decided to go for a walk as we had a few hours until they might appear. We checked our maps and saw a route along the coast line and headed straight for it.

 Road Trip Our Journey - Part 2

This is the last time I am letting Olly plan the whole day as he didn’t tell me the hike was about 3 hours long. Well, it was meant to take an hour and a half but we stopped to take photos, explored off the beaten track ect. As we were in the trees we couldn’t really see the weather but we either kept getting cold at the edge of the cliffs and then freezing closer to the beaches. We made it to Snake Beach which was lovely but the weather started to take a turn for the worst. It started to rain so we tried to run back to the entrance but the track wasn’t as perfect as we had liked and kept slipping over. We were so focused on getting back to the car and we were so tired we forgot all about the kangaroos and jumped back into the car to head back to Brads house.

Road Trip  Our Journey Part 2. Milly running through the bush!

That evening Brad cooked us dinner again which was beautiful, and we chatted all night long about growing up in Australia and just realising the differences between our childhood and his. After a few Rums we headed to bed as I was tipsy as hell. Not drinking anything for a while really does take its toll on your tolerance for alcohol.

Lake Tabourie- Road Trip Our Journey - Part 2

We said goodbye to Brad and headed onto Lake Tabourie caravan park. This accommodation seemed too good to be true. It started off at $22 a night for us to camp and then reduced everyday we stayed. In the end we were paying $7 a day to stay here. This place was huge! It had lots of camping kitchens and stoves, it had mini golf, tennis courts, swimming pool and backed onto the beach. This place seemed like heaven! We had some time to kill so we planned to stay here for a few days, making the most of our surrounding.

Date night!

The first day we sat in the outdoor kitchen, which had a TV, cooking our dinner over the stove and downloading Netflix. This was still pretty cold but they did have inside toilets and hot showers so we weren’t complaining. Most nights we spent in the car, in bed watching Netflix, trying to stay warm!

Lake Tabourie caravan park.

The next few days we worked out, running around the whole campsite, we explored the beach at sunset and managed to get some great photos, we also played some mini golf for our date night. It wasn’t until our 4th day here we realised we had been walking past a room we didn’t even take notice of. Olly had a look in and he found an indoor kitchen filled with an oven, kettles, tv, toasters, etc. We felt like the biggest idiots ever as we had been freezing our arses off for days! This made life a lot easier especially making dinner. After copious about of Tea and biscuits in the evenings we were a lot more comfortable getting into bed slightly warmer.

WhatsApp Image 2018-08-03 at 17.45.43

The day we were leaving Lake Tabourie the funniest thing happened to me and Olly so far of our travels. We somehow managed to adopt hundreds of children that didn’t understand boundaries,  the children being rainbow lorikeets. They landing on my head and arms thinking I had food due to dropping crumbs of bread on the floor. They then started to fight one another while they were on my arm! A photo says a 1000 words… this one definitely does!

WhatsApp Image 2018-08-03 at 17.45.41-2WhatsApp Image 2018-08-03 at 17.45.42WhatsApp Image 2018-08-03 at 17.45.41

Jervis Bay was our next location. Olly had once again struck gold and hooked us up with another Couch Surfer near Basin View in Jervis Bay. Tom was our host who was a 29 year old teacher who had once travelled him self in Europe. We arrived at his place and again were blown away with his hospitality. He invited us that night to the pub with his friends to watch the State Of Origins Game, which we knew nothing about. I am sure our 100 questions about the game didn’t help his evening but they were all very nice explaining the rules to us! Tom and his friends gave us some great places to check out over the next few days.

WhatsApp Image 2018-08-03 at 18.38.42

The next day we woke up early and headed out, exploring every place they had told us about. We walked for a few hours when we arrived at Gosangs Tunnel. Tom had told us that we needed to go here as we could get some cool photos but had never been himself. We arrived and realised we had to crawl through a small tunnel which had naturally been carved out through the rock. If I could see what was on the other side I wouldn’t have done this, as when we got to the other side it was a sheer drop into the sea. Extremely dangerous but seriously worth it! The view was amazing and we even managed to get the drone up to capture this amazing place we had stumbled upon.

Gosangs Tunnel

The light was quickly fading so we headed back to the car which was still a fair walk. Tom had also recommended we checked out Hyams Beach due to it being the whitest sand in the world. We jumped back in the car and headed around to the other side of the bay which was a good 45 minute drive. We had also been told by Toms friend that the houses along the beach front are to die for too it being a very affluent area. We arrived just before sunset and grabbed a coffee from the small cafe on the beach front. Coffee in one hand and cameras in the other we took the short walk along the beach and we can confirm, It defiantly is the whitest sand we have ever seen!

Hyams Beach

We headed back to Toms place and made ourselves at home by making spaghetti carbonara whilst he was out at a boxing class. Tom returned home a few hours later and we spent the rest of the evening chatting and watching videos of him on his local radio station. We forgot to mention Tom is in a band and a great guitarist and singer. We said good night and had an early night due to getting up early the next day for our next adventure.

Wilsons beach

Couch Surfing is something we 100% would recommend. It is so warming to know there are nice people out there willing to help you out especially when your half a world a way from home. It’s an extremely nice feeling, especially to feel at home in someone else house after months of hostels. Not only was this experience welcoming, it gave us lots of things to do and places to explore which we would not have known about. Going to a strangers house can be scary and dangerous, but if there is more than 1 of you then please consider it! We had never done it before and wasn’t sure what to expect, but it was so much fun and interesting. If that isn’t what travelling is about, trying something new and pushing yourself out of your comfort zone then I don’t know what is!

Jervis Bay - Road Trip Our Journey - Part 2

Our next drive is onto Canberra to get the car sorted and back to the Snowy Mountains to start our jobs in a private members Chalet! It can’t get much colder than camping in the car, can it?

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

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

Philippine Visas

In the Philippines you have 30 days in the country without having to obtain a visa. If you want to extend this there are a few ways in which you can do this.

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Visa extensions add an extra 30 days onto your passport.

Immigration offices are located all over the country with the main ones being in Manila and Cebu. The only issue with these offices are that they are very busy and it takes a few days for your visa to be extended. We got our visa extended in 20 minutes in the Bohol office.

In Bohol immigration office we purchased the express visa extension, which cost us 3130 peso per person (£45). We had to wait 15 minutes and it was all processed and we continued on with our day.

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Here are some addresses of Immigration Offices

 

MAKATI IMMIGRATION EXTENSION OFFICE

Acting Chief: ATTY. MARICEL U. SALCEDO-SULIT
Direct Line(s): (632) 899-3831
Facsimile Numbers(s): (632) 899-3831
E-mail Addresses: attorneymus@yahoo.com
Office Address: 3/F, 805 Lasala Bldg. J.P. Rizal Avenue, Makati City

 

CEBU IMMIGRATION DISTRICT OFFICE

ACO: ALNAZIB A. DECAMPONG
Direct Line(s): (032) 345-6441
Facsimile Numbers(s): (032) 345- 6441
E-mail Addresses: bimandauecebu@yahoo.com
Office Address 2nd Level J Centre Mall, A.S. Fortuna Street
Bakilid, Mandaue City, Cebu 6014

TAGBILARAN (BOHOL) IMMIGRATION FIELD OFFICE

ACO: CASIMIRO P. MADARANG III
Office Hours: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm (Cut-off Time 4:45 pm)
Direct Line(s): (038) 235-6084
Facsimile Numbers(s): (038) 235-6084
E-mail Addresses: bi_bohol@yahoo.com
Office Address: 2nd Floor Sarabia Co Torralba Bldg.,
CPG Ave., Tagbilaran City 6300

The link to all the Immigration offices can be found here.

 

Medicare – Everything you need to know about Australian health care

Medicare is Australia’s version of the NHS in England. We as Brits are extremely lucky to be offered this service for free. Other backpackers have to pay hundreds of Dollars to even be seen in an A&E.

I can not emphasis this enough, if you are from the following countries then PLEASE SIGN UP TO MEDICARE!!

I had 3 surgeries and one dislocated knee and I did not pay a penny! I was seen the same day I was admitted into Hospital and 2 out of the 3 times I had surgery within a few hours. 

Australia’s health care is so good and it is free for the countries above so please please please register for it as it could save you hundreds of dollars if anything happens to you.

Before one of my operations a German guy had been admitted to A&E after getting a Pool Que in the eye and he tried to leave after a long wait and he was billed around $800 for just being admitted.

DO NOT BE THAT PERSON!

 To Apply for Medicare you will need to go to one of their offices and supply the below information. Once you have applied they will give you a temporary card with your medicare number on it, your official card will be sent to the Australian address you have supplied during the application process, this normally takes between 2-3 weeks. 

Take a photo of this number, text it to your family or simply do not lose the card. You will need this number every time you are seen by a doctor and its hard to access it once you have lost it.

Search on the following website for a Medicare centre near you  Click Here<<

To be eligible for Medicare you must:

  • Be a resident in any of the above countries immediately before arriving in Australia

Documents you need to enrol in Medicare:

  • A current passport – includes those issued in Isle of Man, Jersey or Guernsey
  • Visa documents
  • Australian address ( use a hostel’s address you will be for a long time)

How long your cover lasts:

It starts the day you arrive in Australia.

When it ends depends on the country you’re visiting from. You can only use it while you have a valid visa.

It ends on the day your visa expires if you’re from:

  • Finland
  • Norway
  • the Republic of Ireland
  • Sweden
  • the UK

It ends on the day your European Health Insurance Card expires, or the day your visa expires if earlier, if you’re from:

  • Belgium
  • the Netherlands
  • Slovenia

If you’re from Italy or Malta, it ends:

    • after 6 months
    • the day your European Health Insurance Card expires, or
    • the day your visa expires, if earlier

 Students:

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

If you’re a student from one of these countries

You’re not covered if you’re a student from:

  • Finland
  • Malta
  • Norway
  • the Republic of Ireland

Cover:

If you’re from any of the other agreement countries it covers:

  • medically necessary care out of hospital
  • medically necessary care as a public patient in a public hospital
  • prescription medicines at a lower price – this is the general rate for drugs in the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme

Seeing the doctor:

You can see a doctor in a private practice or a community health centre. It is up to the doctor how they charge you for the service.

They can charge you by:

  • giving you a bill to pay – most doctors in private practice do this
  • sending the bill straight to Medicare – This is called bulk billing (you must be enrolled in Medicare)

Bulk Billing is a must!! This allows the doctor the send the whole bill straight to medicare ensuring that you will not have a thing. Show your reciprocal health care card and sign a Medicare form after you see the doctor, you won’t need to pay.

If you are at a private doctor the chances are you will have to pay the whole consultation cost which is usually around $70, or you will be able to claim a percentage back from medicare which is around 32%.

If you do get caught out and have to pay on the day:

You can,

Medicare can only pay the money into an Australian bank account.

Going to hospital:

You will need your passport or reciprocal health care card. Tell them you want care as a public patient.

As a public patient in a public hospital you won’t have to pay for your stay or treatment there.

You’ll need to pay the full fees if you choose care:

  • as a private patient in a public hospital
  • in a private hospital

You can’t claim these fees back from Medicare.

Everything Medicare related can be found Here.

Jindabyne – Our Journey

Road to Jindabyne The reason we came back to Australia this time round was to try to get a job at one of the ski resorts. We had been unsuccessful with our online applications earlier in the year due to visa issues, so we thought the next best thing would be to turn up and find work the old fashion way, face to face. In order to do this we needed to get to a town called Jindabyne, which is at the bottom of the Snowy Mountains and the closest town to the three Ski resorts, Thredbo, Perisher and Charlottes Pass. Once we had bought our car in Sydney it was late in the day so we decided to only drive to Canberra as this is only two hours away. We also realised it was the weekend and heading to the ski resorts to hand out CV’s might not be the best idea, so we hung out in Canberra for a few days. We explored the area, which included the shopping centres as it was only getting colder and our clothes we had been wearing in the Philippines weren’t going to cut it. Whilst exploring we went to the parliament building which is located on a huge roundabout and witnessed an aboriginal protest.

Cambera Parliment House

The next day we headed to Jindabyne not knowing what to expect. There is only one hostel in Jindabyne so when we checked in and found out we were pretty much the only guests.. we were a little surprised. We started printing Cv’s off, walking around this tiny town to get more of a feel for the area. As I (Milly) have never skied before I have no idea how anything works or where you stay when you ski, this is all a learning experience for me! It became quickly apparent that the two weeks before the ski season starts the whole town seems to go on holiday, a kind of calm before the snowy storm. This wasn’t helpful as our face to face approach for job hunting went straight out the window.

Lake Jindabyne

We drove to Thredbo which is one of the most popular ski resort and started to ask around about jobs. As it is located in a national park we have to pay $17 a day to enter to hand out CV’s or talk to people, which started to add up as most of the locals were also on holiday before the season kicks off, so we were told to come back in a few days. Not only were most of the shops closed, but the locals who had already started work were complaining to us how hard it is for them to find accommodation on the resort. They explained they were living in Jindabyne which is a half an hour drive in good conditions. Not ideal for a daily commute through the snow. We were only trying to buy coffee and we got a ‘you should have applied earlier’ from a barista…thanks HUN but I wasn’t about to bother you with our visa sob story…We suddenly realised that if they couldn’t find accommodation on the resort then neither could we and the hour drive to and from work in snow looked like it might be our only option. We also learnt that most of the work was housekeeping which didn’t offer accommodation so we started to let go of the dream of working and living at Thredbo. Some lovely locals told us about a Facebook page which most of the town of Jindabyne use to find staff for the winter season, so we went back to the hostel to check it out. This page proved extremely useful as we emailed every single person advertising work on there with lots of responses. We actually got offered 6 jobs, unfortunately none came with accommodation. 

Spencers Creek

We had spent a few days in the hostel in Jindabyne, mainly because I had the flu, sending emails etc and finally we received an email for a joint Skype interview with a couple from a lodge in Charlottes Pass. The WiFi wasn’t great but we managed to have our first joint interview for the roles of live-in help at a private members lodge. Having an interview with my boyfriend is probably one of the weirdest interviews I’ve ever had. We have never had to sell ourselves as a couple before and I felt like it was an intense version of meet the parents. This particular job advertised for a couple, so we were pretty lucky to have seen this kind of job. It came with living quarters for me and Olly and it was helping out around the lodge with the couple that are running it this year. It seemed perfect! We knew there were others interviewing for this role but we fell in love with the idea of it. We were offered a chance to go and have a look around as Charlottes Pass is the most remote of the ski resorts, once it snows and shuts the roads you are stuck there…or you have to pay $$$$ to use the snow overground to the next ski resort. Over the next few days we went to see the lodge and meet Jules and Stephan. As soon as we left we both looked at each other knowing we both really loved it and really hope we were successful with the job. Being in the area helped us massively as the next day we received the call we had got the jobs!!!! We were so bloody excited we went out for a celebratory pizza..which is a luxury as eating out is so expensive here. 

 

We traveled back to Canberra to get some bits for the car and stock up on toiletries for the next few months and then headed back to Jindabyne. We stuck around for the ski sale which a few locals told us about and managed to get all our ski and snowboard gear for extremely cheap prices. The only thing we bought brand new were our boots as apparently that is the most important part. Safe to say my new boots are so much more comfortable than the rentals I’m used to! We stayed in a different location in Jindabyne which was essentially a cabin within a caravan park. It was amazing, there was a sauna and jacuzzi which was absolute luxury, we indulged!! 

Jindabyne Caravan Park

We took all of our heavy boots and toiletries back up to Charlotte’s Pass before it snows and they shut the roads. Once it snows we would have had to have bought chains for the car wheels and struggled to get there in our 2 wheel drive. We unloaded everything and waved goodbye to Jules and Stephan as we had 3 weeks until we officially started work.

Trader Joe's Garage

We made a plan to do a mini road trip which involves camping to try to save money as we have to make our savings stretch another month. We have done road trips before but in huge camper vans which had a bed and somewhere to sit and cooking facilities so we knew we could do it again. Olly was a scout so he loves camping and the outdoors, me on the other hand, I have never camped or willingly slept in a car. I asked my Dad why we had never camped as a family and he said because we wouldn’t have anywhere for my Mum to plug her hairdryer in. That moment right there, I could finally see myself in both parents, likes the outdoors but prefers nice hair. 

Wish us luck for our next journey on the road!

Perisher

 

All the gear, yet no idea!

 

A question we always get asked on Instagram or our blog is,

“How did you get that shot” or “ What drone or camera are you using and where can I buy it from at the best price”

So this post will be a comprehensive guide on all the kit we use, from our main camera all the way down to the filters and spare batteries.

But first a quick introduction to my (Olly) knowledge of cameras and how to take pictures and videos. 

About 6 months ago my knowledge of cameras finished at my iPhone. I had no idea about how light dramatically effects your camera, shutter speeds or exposure. But thanks to a handy website called YouTube and a lot of hours binge watching some of the best photographers and videographers, I slowly started to gain a basic knowledge of how a camera works. 

Luckily I have an amazing girlfriend who happened to study photography at university. So putting my new basically knowledge together with what she knows we ended up with the unexploredfootsteps Instagram page. 

Fast forward those 6 months and we are getting all our kits ready for our next travel adventure. Below is all the gear we use and a link to where to find it at the best price.

 

Screen Shot 2018-08-03 at 18.52.46

So let’s start with the BAG we are carrying all this equipment around in.

Manfrotto Bumblebee 220L light camera backpack

(click on the photo for the best price)

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This bag comes with some of the best protection for your camera gear that’s on the market. With 3D shock absorbing foam and a structural reinforced board you can be sure you equipment won’t be getting damaged anytime soon. We have literally climbed up a waterfall and bashed it around doing so and nothing was damaged or wet.

There are a number of compartments on this bag, one designed for your laptop and charger. The main front compartment for your camera, lenses and drone. Then a number of outer pockets for documents headphones and a water bottle. All this is then neatly wrapped up in a lightweight rain cover allowing you to continue shooting whatever the weather.

We easily manage to fit ALL our camera equipment including our drone within this bag and still have a little room for extras. Additionally it is small enough to take on the plane for your hand luggage. 

Cameras

Main camera – Panasonic G80 with kit lens 12-60mm

(click on the photo for the best price)

g80_mkit_slant_k_lcdThis camera with the kit lens is great for a beginner who is looking to practise and develop their camera skills. With a flip out screen which allows you to see what you’re shooting at any angle and a water-resistant body, which allows you to shoot some of the best waterfalls in the world. If video is more your thing then this camera can shoot up to 60fps at 1080p for that smooth slow motion or 30fps at 4K. This camera as a package with the kit lens is a total steal. If you were to buy them separate you are looking at a few extra hundred pounds, together it is a great bargain, even if you sold the lens on its own after.

Second Lens – Panasonic 25mm/1.7 ASPH

(click on the photo for the best price)

51c0I7FkryL._SL500_AC_SS350_

If you are on a budget then this lens is another great purchase. At a lower aperture than the kit lens it allows your camera to shoot better in low light and also get those beautiful portrait shots with the blurred back ground. 

GoPro- Hero 6

(click on the photo for the best price)

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GoPro’s are a must if you want to get those underwater shots. Not only that they are so versatile that you can throw them around to an extent and they won’t break, which is great for travelling. They are super small and can shoot in all different formats. You can also buy a number of accessory kits so you can strap your GoPro to basically anywhere you like. We would recommend this GoPro due to the incredible colours and stability this camera offers. The comparison of quality, colours and stability to the models that came before it are amazing. Check out YouTube videos comparing the 5 to the 6.

Spare batteries

(click on the photo for the best price)

51tcbFTMcAL._SX355_The last thing you want is to be out in the middle of nowhere getting some amazing shots and BOOM your batteries dead. We always travel with another two spare batteries for all our equipment so we never miss a shot. Now you can get the Panasonic branded ones which are expensive. Or just get the aftermarket ones which do the exact same job just as well at a fraction of the price.  GoPro Hero 6

SD cards

(click on the photo for the best price)

f70fc355-4971-4183-a23b-3c3b1a510408_1.30bcc702b96cff8ed18ac7d389d9b42eJust like the batteries you don’t want to be running out of space once you get a little carried away taking so many shots. I would highly recommend spending a little extra money and buying cards with a quicker write speed especially  if you are going to be shooting videos in 4K or taking lots of images in quick succession. Again like our batteries we always have lots of spare cards and they are easy to lose and corrupt.

ND Filters

(click on the photo for the best price)

Hoya_A77VDY_77mm_Variable_Density_Filter_857429This is a must if you are going to be out taking pictures in the middle of the day or in bright light. Essentially the filter is a pair of sunglasses for your camera. Even though it is a small piece of kit it will dramatically improve your images. There are two ways to buy filters, you can either buy a filter for every size lens you own which will quickly start costing you a small fortune ,or the more cost-effective way is work out the size of your biggest lens and buy the filter in this size then purchase some step up rings which are very cheap and will allow the filter to fit all your lens sizes. I would recommend a variable filter this allows you to change the strength of the filter depending on the light conditions.

Tripod/ Gorilla Pod

(click on the photo for the best price)GPod_Hybrid_ExplodedView_SQAlthough we don’t currently use a large tripod we are finding ourselves in more situations where having one would make our lives so much easier. It would allow us to place the camera in some crazy locations and positions and being able to capture the unique shots. The only downside is they are a lot bigger to carry around, therefore we only use the gorilla pod which is still great as it allows your to attach the camera to pretty much anywhere, although it isn’t as stable.

Now let’s talk about DRONES!

This is probably the number one question we get asked.

DJI Mavic Pro

(click on the photo for the best price)0012457_dji-mavic-pro-official-by-dji-msiaThis drone is incredible. If you are someone looking to buy their first drone, or starting to get into photography and are planning on travelling this is the drone for you. Although DJI have made the SPARK and the AIR the Mavic still has some big advantages over the other two smaller models. Being slightly bigger than the other two means the battery is bigger, which means a longer flight time. Not only that it means you can fly the Mavic higher and further. The other advantage of having a slightly bigger drone is that it will handle better in the high winds. This gives you a better chance of getting those perfect focused shots. Your final choice will predominatly come down to how much room you have in your bag and how much weight you want to carry. All three drones are great but for someone looking for a slightly high spec of drone the Mavic is the one.

If you really want to up your photography game then you can always upgrade from the Mavic and get your hands on the DJI PHANTOM 4 Pro. This come will a longer flight time and a huge upgrade on the camera quality. 

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Again just like our cameras we always have spare Batteries and Micro SD Cards. The drones take micro SD cards so unfortunately you can’t switch them from your camera. For the best prices on drone battery’s and micro SD card check the link below.

DJI_Mavic_Filters_PolarPro_Cinema_Shutter_ND_Filter_1024x1024(click on the photo for the best price)

ND filtersfor your drone is also a huge MUST. High up in the sky it is bright and I mean very bright. Luckily the lens on the drone is all one size so you can easily buy a pack of filters in a number of strength and are easily interchangeable depending on the weather and location.

Editing

Apple 15” MacBook Pro

(click on the photo for the best price)

macbook-pro-2017-13-in-refurbished_00This is really down to personal preference as to which sort of laptop you use to edit your images and videos. We both love Apple Macs and believe they are by far the easiest devices to use when it comes to picture and video editing. It helps we both have iPhones so everything nicely syncs together. The only thing you really need to be aware of is the amount of RAM your device has. The more RAM your laptop has the quicker it will perform the tasks. This is especially important when editing videos as low RAM will lead to major lagging.

Iphone 8 Plus

Mobile phones have come along way since your first Nokia playing snake. This also includes the cameras and the software built inside allowing you to take all sorts of videos and photo’s. Our phones are one of our go to cameras when we haven’t got our big camera bag on us or we need something quick on hand to capture the moment. Getting a device with a large storage is also a must, even with the iCloud you will still fill this bad boy up quickly.

IPad Mini

With both of us tapping away trying to edit and writing blog posts having two devices is very handy. The iPad is perfect for people who are planning to travel and don’t want to spend the money on a laptop or worry about taking such an expensive item away with them. We mainly use ours for watching movies but I have actually written this whole post on our iPad mini. 

Headphones

(click on the photo for the best price)

Sony-MDR-XB950N1B-Wireless-Noise-Cancelling-Extrabass-Headphones

Now you can stick to your standard apple headphone/earpods which get pretty uncomfortable after length of time. This is why you need a nice comfy pair preferably wireless with noise cancelling to drone out the screaming babies on the plane or just send you to sleep at night. There are so many different types and brands so i cant give a detailed review. But these are the ones i use and they are extremely comfortable and are not stupidly expensive.

A handy top tip to save money on music whilst you are travelling is to take advantage of the big company’s offers such as Amazon. They regularly promote free trials for a month or two of their music streaming and downloading service. Sign up and then feel free to cancel your free trial at any point and listen to a months worth of free music. You can just change your email address and sign up again or just find a new offer.

Below is a link to an amazing offer Amazon are giving away. Use the link to sign up free now

         Portable Battery Charger

(click on the photo for the best price)

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There are lots of types of portable chargers. I would recommend getting a larger bank which gives you multiple charges throughout the day.

Hard Drive

(click on the photo for the best price)resizeThis is how you will be storing all of you work and it is very important to have more than one!! You hear horror stories of people who backup all their hard work to one hard drive, and then a moment later it slips out of your hand or some how becomes corrupt and you have lost everything. This is another plus with using a Mac, all our work is saved to the iCloud along with two hard drives. Again its better to get a larger storage size rather than run out of space.

Adobe Suite

The software we use to edit all our images and videos is the Adobe suite package, this included Lightroom and Premier Pro. We both have used YouTube again in order to learn how to use this software and then add our own style.

Bondi – The Travel Guide

We loved Bondi so much that we felt it needed its own blog post! The famous Bondi beach is one of those places you’ve either heard of or seen on TV, mainly for Bondi Rescue! It is a beautiful beach not too far from Sydney with lots to see and do! If we can tell you to visit anywhere in Sydney its Bondi! The whole area is very relaxed and Bondi & Brunch go hand in hand.

Bondi The Guide

Accomodation - Bondi the Travel Guide

Bondi Backpackers The best ocean views at Sydney’s most iconic beach – Bondi Backpackers is the perfect place to live the Australian beach lifestyle. Experience the culture of Bondi and its surrounds at its waterfront location, mere seconds from the sand. This is one of the best hostels we have stayed at in Australia! It is by far one of the cleanest hostels and every single person cleans up after them selves which is unheard of in hostel life. The people here are really nice and super chill. The hostel offers free morning yoga, free personal training and free surfboard hire.

Bondi Backpackers - Bondi The Guide

Bondi Backpackers - Bondi The Guide

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Bondi Beach…Durr

Bondi Beach- Bondi The Guide

Bondi to Coogee walk – Highly recommended!! Whale season is between June – November and along this walk you are able to see Whales if you are very lucky! The areas along the walk are Tamarama, Bronte, Clovelly and Coogee. Many of these areas have salt water baths/swimming pools which you can swim in as well as many cafes and toilets. The distance is 6km which roughly takes around 2 hours, this walk can take as long as you want if you stop as much as we did to take photos..it took us 6. We highly recommend stopping at Bare Naked Bowls along the way for a healthy smoothie or snack in Bronte! 

Bondi Beach- Bondi The Guide

Bondi Beach- Bondi The Guide

Bronte Beach- Bondi The Guide

All below pictures are from each locations website., unless stated otherwise.

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Depot 

Menu <<

Location: 286 Campbell Parade, North Bondi

Depot - Bondi The Guide


Speedos 

Menu<<

Location: 126 Ramsgate Ave, North BondiSpeedos - Bondi The Guide

Lox Stock And Barrel

Menu<<

Location: 140 Glenayr Ave. Bondi Beach.

Lox Stock And Barrel - Bondi The Guide

 Porch and parlour

Menu<<

Location: 17-18/110 Ramsgate Ave, North Bondi.

 Porch and parlour - Bondi The Guide

The Nine

Menu<<

Location: 163 Glenayr Avenue, Bondi Beach  

The Nine - Bondi The Guide

Bare Naked Bowls 

The menu is a dream! Check it out here <<

Location: 145 Macpherson St, Bronte NSW 2024

Bare Naked Bowls - Bondi The Guide

Bare Naked Bowls - Bondi The Guide

Raw

Menu<<

Sushi! Location: 1/136 Warners Ave, BondiRaw - Bondi The Guide

 

Marceleria 

Menu<<

Steak! Location: G09/180 Campbell Parade, Bondi Beach

Marceleria  - Bondi The Guide

China Diner

Menu<<

Location: 75 – 79 HALL STREET, BONDI

China Diner  - Bondi The Guide

Brown Sugar

Menu <<

Location: 106 Curlewis Street, Bondi Beach

Brown Sugar  - Bondi The Guide

Bavarian Bier

Menu <<

Location: 108 Campbell Parade, Bondi Beach

Bavarian Bier - Bondi The Guide

The above photo is our own.

Gelato Messina 

Ice Cream!

Location: G6/61 Hall Street, Bondi NSWGelato Messina - Bondi The Guide

 

 

Coogee Pavilion 

Great pizza! Menu <<

Location: 169 Dolphin Street, Coogee

Coogee Pavilion - Bondi The Guide

Icebergs 

Looking out over the whole beach!

Location: 1 Notts Ave, Bondi Beach NSW 2026

Bondi Beach- Bondi The Guide

Bondi Fish

Location: 120 Ramsgate Avenue North Bondi 2026

Bondi Fish - Bondi The Guide

Bucketlist

Location: Bondi Pavilion, Shop 1, Queen Elizabeth Drive

Bucketlist - Bondi The Guide

Coogee Pavilion

Location: 169 Dolphin Street, Coogee

Coogee Pavilion - Bondi The Guide

This blog post would not have been possible without Becky’s help & recommendations! 

 

Sydney – The Travel Guide

 

Sit down, this may shock you…Sydney is not the capital of Australia, Canberra is.

Things to know

Sydney is an amazing city with lots of things to do. There are different parts to Sydney which are all worth checking out. All the tourist spots are located near Circular Quay which is also where you will find the area called ‘The Rocks’ which has great bars and restaurants. The nightlife centre is an area called Kings Cross..enter at your own risk! If you want more of a chilled out day then head over to Surrey Hills. You also can find Bondi beach, Coogee and Manly beach (which is a short ferry away) all within this city. 

 

Lock out laws apply in Sydney which is basically an objective to reduce alcohol-fuelled violence. This law requires 1.30am lockouts and 3am last drinks at bars, pubs and clubs in the Sydney CBD.

 

Opera House- Sydney Australia, the Travel Guide

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Getting from the airport to the city is very quick and easy. Australia’s public transport is like no other, double-decker trains which are clean reliable, its shocking coming from using the London Underground my whole life.
From the airport you can find the train station located to the left, once you come out of the arrival gate. You will have to purchase a Opal Card, which is Sydney’s version of an Oyster Card. There is also an Opal card app which is super handy to have. You can top up on the go and also it will insure your money if you ever lose your card. Unlike Oyster cards, you have to tap off on buses with these cards. 
You can get the train straight to Central Station which will cost you roughly $16, this is the most expensive journey you can make so don’t panic, travel isn’t extortionate like in London. 
All travel on Sunday’s is $2.50 so I would make the most of it and explore as much as you can. You can go on a 30 minute ferry with your Opal and visit Manly which I would highly recommend. In order to get to Manly you will have to go to ‘Whalf 3’ right outside the train station.
The closest station to The Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Oprea House is Circular Quay.
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Accomodation - Bondi the Travel Guide

Backpacker only..I cant afford to try out anything else!

Wake up! – Huge hostel with a night club underneath. It’s really clean and I met loads of people here. Like everywhere in Sydney, lock out laws apply here and you are not allowed your own alcohol in this hostel. Dorms from $41, private rooms from $114

Mad Monkey Coogee Beach Dorms from $30, Private room from $99

The Village Surrey HillsDorms from $22, Private rooms from $84

The Village Kings Cross – Located in the night life part of town – Dorms from $21, Private rooms from $85.

Places to Eat

The Grounds of Alexandria 

 They roast their own beans, the ingredients on the menu are sourced from their own organic kitchen garden and the cafe is encased in a rustic, industrial and heritage-listed warehouse in Sydney’s west.

Location: 2 Huntley Street, Shop 7a Alexandria NSW 2015

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The Grounds of Alexandria 

Three Williams 

Just have a look at their instagram and tell me it doesn’t look amazing.

Location: 613a Elizabeth Street, Redfern.

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The Three Williams 

The Fine Food Store

Amazing coffee and brunch!!  Tucked away on Kendall lane in The Rocks, The FFS offers lip smacking coffee, breakfast, brunch, lunch + specially selected local wine & beer! (Picture stolen from their instagram as we ate all of ours before we could take a photo!)

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The Fine Food Store

More info on places to eat and drink in Sydney can be found here <<

Places to visit

Bondi Beach 

The famous Iceberg swimming pools can be found here! Such a chilled out place it is our favourite place in the whole of Sydney! 

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Bondi Icebergs

Coogee Beach 

Beautiful beach only 1 bus ride away from the centre of Sydney.

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Coogee Town

Manly Beach 

This has a whole other vibe here! Everyone skate boarding or sunbathing, very relaxed area.

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Manly Beach

Blue mountains 

A day trip here is 100% worth it. These beautiful mountains are just outside of Sydney and is the perfect place to explore and take photos. There is a YHA Hostel here if you wanted to spend more than one day exploring everything the Blue Mountains has to offer.

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The Blue mountains 

Luna Park 

Located the other side of the Sydney Harbour bridge, at night it is all lit up and worth checking out. The views from the other side are something you don’t often see either. 

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Luna Park

Sydney’s Royal Botanic Garden

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Botanical Gardens 

Want to know more about Bondi and Coogee? Click here ! 

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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Philippine Travel Itinerary

Planning your next trip to the Philippines but not sure where to go or in what order? We have you covered!
The Philippines is made up of over 7000 islands, this can make seeing everything challenging if you are on a time limit. Wether you prefer parties and beaches or rice fields and history, the Philippines will definitely have something to offer you.

I would recommend anything between 3-5 weeks in the Philippines. This will enable you to take a slow pace around the country and enjoy it to the fullest! 

Below I will outline roughly the top tourist attractions for each area I have visited. As well as both of my own personal itineraries. I would recommend factoring in a single day for travel to each new destination, some hotels will only let you check in around 2pm or public transport can be unreliable and you are in the Philippines after all. 

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For an in-depth guide on each area click on the titles below.

Manilla – The capital city, mainly used as a hub to fly to other islands or to get to the Banaur Rice Terraces in the north of the island. 

Cebu – This for us, is our adventure island. With lots of waterfalls and physical activity here it is a must see for active people! On the south of this  island you will find Oslob where lots of people swim with the whale sharks. To the West of the island you will find Moalboal which is famous for the sardine run, snorkelling and turtle swimming. Kawasan Falls and lots more waterfalls are in this area too. 

Bohol – Accessable from Cebu city by ferry. Bohol is famous for the chocolate hills and the tarsier monkeys. Tagbilaran is the most popular area for tourists and it is where you can plan most of your trips around the islandThere is a lot more to Bohol than just the chocolate hills, you can visit the other side of the island. Check out this guide for more info on that –>Click here.

Siquior – This island is very slow paced and relaxing with lots to explore and see. Instagram worthy waterfalls such as Lugnason Falls, Cambugahay Falls and Lagaan Falls can be found here, as well as Mt Malabahoc and Cantabon Cave.

Siargao– Want to try surfing? Siargao offers some of the best surfing around! Cloud 9 is world famous for surfers as well as the beautiful beaches.

Boracay – You want to party on one of the whitest beaches? This place is for you! You have 2 options, fly to Caticlan which is expensive, then get a 10 minute boat from Caticlan port over to Boracay or you can fly to Kalibo, which is cheaper, and take a 3 hour taxi & ferry to Boracay. The party island of the Philippines which is probably the most western island in the Philippines.

Palawan – Beaches and topping up the tan more your thing? Palawan is home to island hopping, limestone cliffs and crystal clear water. Flying to Puerto Princesa which is the main airport. This island is home to Port Barton, The Underground River and El Nido. There is also an airport in El Nido if you didn’t want to stop in at Port Barton. From El Nido you can catch a boat to Coron. Both El Nido and Coron offer island hopping tours, crystal clear waters and great snorkelling. El Nido has a few beaches on land where as Coron doesn’t and to access the beaches you will need ot take a boat trip. Coron is home to several Japanese ship wrecks from WW2, making this island very good for new or experienced divers.

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My first trip to the Philippines 

Manila – Boracay – Cebu – Oslob – Moalboal – Cebu – Puerto Princesa – El Nido – Manila

This was an intense 2 weeks with not a lot of time for resting. I got very ill after this trip as I squeezed too much into two weeks. We did manage to see all of our top bucket list items but I would recommend taking an extra week to do this trip.

Day 1 Manila – Boracay. Flight from Manila to Kalibo, then a Taxi (2 hours) to the port, then a boat (10 minutes) to Boracay.

Day 2-4 Boracay

Day 4 – Cebu – Travel dayLeave Boracay and get to Kalibo airport, to fly to Cebu.

Day 5 – CebuFerry from Cebu for a day trip to Bohol

Day 6 – Cebu, Oslob and Moalboal. Taxi to Oslob to swim with the Whale Sharks, then another taxi onto MoalBoal

Day 7 – Moalboal. Sardine swim, turtle spotting & Kawasan Falls canyoning. 

Day 8 – Moalboal – Cebu – Travel Day. Taxi back to Cebu and explore the city.

Day 9 – Cebu – Manila – Puerto Princesa – Travel Day. Flight from Cebu to Manila, changing and catching a flight to Palawan. Staying over a night in Puerto Princesa.

Day 10 – Puerto Princesa – El Nido. 4 Hour drive to the Subterranean River, a few hours there and then another 3 hour drive to El Nido.

Day 11 – El Nido – Island Hopping

Day 12 – El Nido –  Las Cabanas Beach 

Day 13 – El Nido – Nacpan Beach 

Day 14 – El Nido – Manila -Travel Day – Manilla. 6 hour drive to Puerto Princesa, flight to Manila.

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Second trip in the Philippines 

Manila – Cebu – Oslob – Moalboal – Siquijor – Kanbankalan – Bohol – Cebu – Puerto Princesa – Port Barton – El Nido – Coron – Manila.

This time I had learnt from my mistakes of my first trip. I had given my self more time to explore, be spontaneous and chill out. This route is one I would highly recommend, it had us starting out exploring waterfalls and doing lots of activities and ending up on beaches to relax and soak up the sun. This way round, we kept doing new activities, seeing new sights and it felt like each day was getting better. Some parts were spontanious and unplanned which is why we stayed in some areas longer than you would need to. 

Day 1-2  – Manila

Day 3 – Manila – Cebu. Flight to Cebu and taxi to Oslob.

Day 4-6 – Oslob – Swimming with Whale Sharks, Tumalog Falls, Aguinid Falls 

Day 6 – Travel Day – Local bus to Moalboal

Day 7-9 – Moalboal – Swimming with Sardines, Turtles, Kawasan Falls, White beach.

Day 9 Travel Day – Local bus from Moalboal to Liloan, ferry to Sibulan, tricyle to Dumaguete, ferry to Siquijor.

Day 10-13 – Siquijor – Lugnason Falls, Cambugahay Falls, Lagaan Falls, Mt Malabahoc, Cantabon Cave. 

Day 14 – Travel Day -Siquijor to Kabankalan.

Day 15-16 – Kabankalan.

Day 17 – Travel Day – Kabankalan – Dumaguette – Bohol.

Day 18-20 – Bohol, Tagbilaran. Dolphine watching, snorkelling, Viring Island and Balicasag Island. 

Day 20-21 – Bohol, Guindulman. Can- Umatad Falls & Eleuterio rice Terrace

Day 21 – Travel Day – Local bus back to Tagbilaran, 2 hour ferry to Cebu, Taxi to hostel.

Day 22 – Travel Day – 1 hour flight from Cebu to Puerto Princesa, 3 hour taxi to Port Barton.

Day 23-26 – Port Barton – Island hopping, beaches, relaxing.

Day 26 – Travel day – Port Barton- El Nido. 3 Hour taxi to El Nido.

Day 27-31 – El Nido – Island hopping, Las Casbanas beach, relaxing. 

Day 31 – El Nido – Coron – Travel Day – 5 hour ferry to Coron

Day 32-37 – Coron – Island Hopping, boat trips, relaxing.

Day 37 – Coron – Manila – Travel Day – Over night 15 hour ferry back to Manila.

Stay tuned for my Getting around the Philippines blog post coming soon!

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

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!

Happiness 2017

Happiness 2018

 

Big Bad Thai– Beautiful Pai Thai!

big bad thai

 

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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El Nido – Our Journey

El Nido Text - Our Journey

My favourite place in the world is El Nido and I am finally back! As soon as we get closer to somewhere I recognised I instantly am in awe of how much El Nido has changed. I was thinking maybe my minds playing tricks on me and I don’t remember as much as I used to. We arrive at the hotel and I want to go and explore to see if I am right and again I am shocked how much everything has changed. There are so many more hotels, restaurants and generally more western looking shops. I was only here a year and a half ago, how could it of changed this much in that time?!

El Nido  - Our Journey

That evening we met up with Sasha and Simon and headed to the Outpost hostel for some food and drinks and to book our trip for the next day. This place is amazing, brand new, great food and cheap trips! I was beginning to think that change was a good thing for El Nido. Unfortunately the next day it rained all day and we postponed our island hopping trip but as we had a private boat we didn’t loose any money. We spent the day in bed, watching films and updating the blog and doing ‘Life admin’. 

 

Island hopping day!! First stop was to the Big Lagoon, which our boat literally drove in and drove out as it was very busy. We then went to Shimizu Island for some snorkelling but the current was so strong I thought I was going to drown!

El Nido  - Our Journey

Our highlight of the day was the secret  lagoon, we arrived here later than we expected and we were the only ones here. Me and Olly became the dream team and kayaked though the cave to reach it. We stopped paddling and just floated around, amazed at how clear the water was and how blue it was. It was amazing!!!

El Nido  - Our Journey

 

We kayaked over to a secluded beach and of course a photo shoot broke out. This boat trip was amazing and I was reminded why I loved this beautiful place so much. 

El Nido - Our Journey

The next day I demanded a beach day to top up the tan, we headed to Las Cabanas beach which was the closest one to El Nido and spent the day chilling and swimming and not really doing much. As the sun was setting we headed to Beach bar to grab a bean bag and a few drinks and this is where we met Ali, Mo and Patricia. These guys had a drone and drone wars took place which was cute to watch as Olly and Mo were teaching each other about their drones. I didn’t care too much as I found two puppies and instantly my day was made.

 

We figured out that we were all on the same ferry to Coron together and planned to see them there. The ferry was a 5 hour fast boat at 7:45 am which I wasn’t too happy about but once we got on board it actually wasn’t bad. I couldn’t even feel the fact I was on boat and passed out while Olly took photos of me 🙃

El Nido  - Our Journey

El Nido is so beautiful, but I can already see how it will slowly lose some of this beauty. The amount of tourists they put on boat trips, the amount of new hotels going up and the amount of money things are costing, not to mention they now have a functioning airport. It’s loosing it’s untouched feel already and it is 100% due to how much the Philippines has blown up on social media and bloggers promoting it. This place is still as popular as ever, the hotels are still booked up weeks in advance and it’s still people’s number one place to see here in the Philippines. Not all of it is bad, every restaurant is adamant on not using plastic straws and reducing their waste. This can only mean good things and hopefully the government won’t have to close it like they have Boracay.  

El Nido  - Our Journey

 

Coron is the last island we are visiting before we head back to Manila to catch our flight to Sydney. We tried to look for flights to Siargao as Olly really wanted to go surfing here, but Boracay has closed and everything has sky rocketed in price. Coron is also another island neither of us have visited. I enjoy going to new places much more as I don’t have any expectations or anything to compare it too. So far every place we have moved on too has seemed to top the last place. Hopefully Coron doesn’t disappoint and tops what El Nido has to offer. 

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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