Adventure Time: North & South Cebu to Bohol

Cebu is considered to be one of the top tourists destinations here in the Philippines… so when I saw that the airline tickets are on sale, I told my friend about it and we booked it in a heartbeat. LOL

Then my friend suggested that we do Cebu – Bohol, since it’s just a ferry away.. but given the time that we have, we are now torn between North of Cebu or South of Cebu. If we still want to go to Bohol, we need to choose one… The problem is, we don’t want to choose. 😂

We only have 4 days in our hands, and we wanted to go to all 3 places!

South Cebu, North Cebu, and Bohol. In 4 Days? Was it possible?

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Manila – Cebu

We left Manila around 6 PM and arrived at Mactan Airport around 8 PM. We went directly to The Stopover Hostel, where we’ll be spending the night. They don’t really have tricycles on main roads, usually taxis, so it would be handy to have a Grab or an Uber app on your phone.

The Stopover Hostel was a good place for, as their name says, a stopover. They have a chill lounge place at the top floor that you could hangout at. This is a nice catch for backpackers.

We looked for a place to eat, and decided on Chika-an Restaurant. Sadly, they don’t have Lechon, so after that.. we looked for a store that sells lechon, and bought 1/4 kilo, because you cannot go to Cebu, and not eat Lechon.

top_lechon_in_the_Philippines_2016_CNT_lechon.jpgLook at that. That’s Lechon. Roasted pork at it’s finest.
Are you really going to pass on that? Because I wouldn’t and DIDN’T. 😄

DAY 1: South Cebu, Oslob

Our travel begins. We left early in the morning to catch an early bus ride going to Oslob. Our hostel is an hour drive away from the terminal. We took the Ceres bus going to Bato via Oslob. Travel time usually takes around 3-4 hours. Ceres Bus Schedule

We were able to arrive at our hostel, Germaroze, almost around lunch time. Germaroze is located along the road, so you could just ask the driver to drop you off there.

Germaroze is a very beautiful place, it has a homey feel that I really love. Their photos in Agoda doesn’t really show how beautiful the place is. It’s huge, and the staffs are very kind and accommodating. I highly suggest this place for travelers. They offer different tours as well.

Speaking of tours, we didn’t go for the whale shark diving. After all the things that we’ve heard about it, we didn’t really like the idea of supporting it. It’s actually harmful for the whales, so it’s a NO for us. Read on: Why we do not swim with whale sharks in Oslob

So we decided to just go to Sumilon Island, and just chill. It was a beautiful place. You could scuba dive on your way to this island.

We went home around 4pm? or 3pm? then at night time, we hangout with some tourists that we’ve met at Germaroze. We were on tour with them. :) We ate dinner at this street market (forgot the name). The vendors sells fresh grilled sea foods, chicken and pork. It’s near the area, just one tricycle ride away.

DAY 2: North  Cebu, Bantayan Island

OSLOB –(bus 4 hours)– SOUTH BUS TERMINAL –(taxi 30 minutes)– NORTH BUS TERMINAL –(bus 4 hours)– HAGNAYA PORT –(ferry 1 hour)– SANTA FE PORT, BANTAYAN ISLAND 🎉

So from Oslob, we need to go back to South Bus Terminal in Cebu City, then from there, go to North Bus Terminal, catch a bus going to Hagnaya Port, then a ferry to Bantayan Island. Yeah, all of those.

We left around 6AM and waited along the street, just outside our hostel, for a bus to pass by that is bound for Cebu City. We hopped on the first bus that passed by, it was a non air-conditioned bus. If you have more patience and time than us, then wait for an air-conditioned bus, they have lesser stops and you will arrive faster.

Once at the South Bus Terminal, find a taxi, go to North Bus Terminal. This takes around 30 minutes. Then from there, find a Ceres Bus bound for Hagnaya Port. Travel time is around 4 hours.

At Hagnaya Port, board the Island Shipping or Super Shuttle ferry bound  for Santa Fe Port. We took the Super Shuttle. Travel time to Bantayan Island is 1 hour. Their last trip is 5:30 PM.

At Santa Fe Port, take a tricycle to your resort. If you have pre-arranged shuttle service with your resort, they will be picking you up there.

So that’s about it. We reached Bantayan Island past 4PM LOL no biggy, just 10 freaking hours! 🤣 but it was worth it. The island feels like heaven, it was so peaceful and clean. Love it here. 💙

We stayed at Yooneek Inn. They have 2 hostels. One is at the beach front, the other is just a very short walk from the beach. We were on the later. It was nice. the room was big, the thing is, we’re not sure, but we kept hearing voices from the other room, but there’s nobody there.. We left our things and my friend was changing into her swimwear, and she told me she heard someone crying, I told her I did not. then in the morning before we left, I heard a child playing. but when we got out, the other room seems unoccupied.. well heck, who cares? we’re leaving anyway. XD

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DAY 3: Bantayan Island to Bohol

SANTA FE PORT –(ferry 1 hour)– HAGNAYA PORT –(bus 4 hours)– NORTH BUS TERMINAL –(taxi 15 minutes)– PIER 1 –(ferry 1 hour 15 minutes)– TUBIGON PORT, BOHOL –(van 1 hour) — TAGBILARAN CITY, BOHOL 🎉

We left early and went straight to the ferries going back to Hagnaya Port, then board a bus going back to North Bus Terminal, from the terminal ride a taxi going to Pier 1.

By reading blogs over the internet, I’ve found out that the cheapest way to get to Bohol from Cebu is to take the ferries from Pier 1 to Tubigon Port, Bohol.  Travel time is approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes. We took the Star Craft Ferry.

Once at Tubigon, look for the vans that are headed to Tagbilaran City. They will drop you off at a terminal, then from there, ride a tricycle going to your hotel.

We stayed at Casa Rey Pension House and good thing we only stayed there for a day. For budget travelers like us, it will do if you’re not picky, and I mean NOT AT ALL picky. but if you are, even a bit, take your money somewhere else. 😬

DAY 4: Bohol

We spent our last day exploring Bohol. Our flight leaves at 8PM so we need to get back to Cebu around 3PM, because we would still travel back to Mactan Airport, and that would take more or less 3-4 hours. 

Anyway, we were only able to go to the Chocolate Hills, Tarsier Sanctuary, Bohol Python and Wildlife Park, and the Man-made Mahogany Forest.

How to get to these places? We’re coming from Tagbilaran, so what we did is we took a van near Island City Mall going to the Chocolate Hills. It takes about 1-2 hours. We asked the driver to drop us off at Chocolate Hills. There’s a billboard on the road, you won’t miss it. 

From the drop off point, we hired a motorcycle to give us a tour of the other spots that we’d like to visit. You could try public transport, but we don’t really have that much time to wander so we opted for the bike tour. It’s convenient and easy. 

After our tour we went back to Cebu City, and did a little side trip to Magellan’s Cross before heading to Mactan Airport.

BUDGET FOR 1 PERSON (group of 2, 4D5N)

AIRFARE:
AirAsia Round trip (MNL-CEBU & CEBU-MNL) = PHP 1425 

HOSTELS: (overnight)
The Stopover Hostel PHP 739/2 = PHP 369.50
Germaroze – PHP 1049/2 = PHP 524.50
Yooneek Inn – PHP595/2 = PHP 297.50
*original price was 1103 for 2, but we had a gift card from Agoda, so we had a discount.
Casa Rey Pension House = PHP672/2 = PHP 336

TRANSPORT:
CEBU to OSLOB
Ceres Bus Air-conditioned – PHP 190

OSLOB to BANTAYAN ISLAND
Oslob to South Bus Terminal, Cebu – Non Air-conditioned Bus = PHP 130
South Bus Terminal to North Bus Terminal = *taxi, depends on rates

North Bus Terminal to Hagnaya Port – Air-conditioned Bus = PHP 150
Hagnaya Port to Sta Fe Port, Bantayan Island – Super Shuttle RORO = PHP 170

BANTAYAN ISLAND TO BOHOL
Santa Fe Port to Hagnaya Port – Super Shuttle RORO = PHP 170

Hagnaya Port to North Bus Terminal – Air-conditioned Bus = PHP 150
North Bus Terminal to Pier 1 = *taxi, depends on rates
Pier 1 to Tubigon Port, Bohol – Star Craft Ferry = PHP 200
Tubigon Port, Bohol to Tagbilaran City – Van = PHP 70

BOHOL TO CEBU
Tagbilaran City to Tubigon Port – Van = PHP 70
Tubigon Port to Pier 1, Cebu City – Star Craft Ferry = PHP 200

TOURS
Oslob Tour – PHP 3500 (we shared with 3 other tourists)/5 = PHP 700
Bohol Motorbike Tour – PHP 1500/2 = PHP 750

TOTAL: PHP 5902.50

*Excluding food and other minor transport fares

So there, I probably spent more or less around PHP 10,000 for this trip, if I were to include the food, pasalubong and minor transport fares such as the ones for taxis.

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EXPLORING Siem Reap – Bangkok

Okay, so last July we did our Siem Reap, Cambodia to Bangkok, Thailand trip.

I’ll try to remember all the details on how we were able to do it.. It’s been a while, I’ve been caught up at work. :) Anyway, Here’s our itinerary;

We did 6 days + 5 nights for this one.

Day 1: Manila – Siem Reap

From Manila we traveled to Siem Reap, Cambodia via Cebu Pacific. Travel time takes around 2 hours. We arrived at Siem Reap late at night, almost 10 PM, and their airport was clean and very silent…. O_O

If you don’t have anyone who will pick you up, there will be tuktuk drivers waiting outside the airport.

This is what tuktuk looks like:

Our tuktuk driver, Suka, was very kind and is a big fan of Manny Pacquiao. Actually, most of the locals we’ve interacted here is a fan of Pacquiao.

They will ask us.. “Where you come from? Manny Pacqiuao?” The locals here are very friendly and helpful :)

Suka has become our personal driver in Siem Reap and also helped us booked for our travel to BKK. He offered us a tour of the Angkor temples for 20 USD, and I think that’s a fair price, considering he will have to be up early in the morning and spend his entire day with us, so we accepted his offer.

Anyway we stayed at this hotel: Popular Boutique Hotel

 

The place was quiet and dark at times… but i’ts good, They have a pool, a restaurant if you’re feeling lazy to go out to eat, Their staff was very helpful, the price is a good catch. also, it’s very close to the temples and Pub Street.

Anyway, after we’ve settled, we went out to Pub Street to eat dinner, then go back to hotel to sleep.

DAY 2: Exploring Siem Reap (Temples & Pubstreet)

Our tuktuk driver suggested that we go early in the morning so we could witness the sunrise (we weren’t able to tho.. but it’s all good)

We left the hotel around 4 AM and went directly to Angkor Ticket Center.

You will have to pay for your ticket pass here, rates depend on it’s validity:

RATES:
1 Day – $37
3 Days – $62
7 Days – $72

Before anything else, Angkor Wat is not the name for the entire place. (I had always called it Angkor Wat lol) Angkor Wat is a single temple, out of all the many temples in Siem Reap. There are other temples like Ta Phrom, Ba Yon, Preah Khan, Banteay Srei, Ta Keo, etc.

Here’s a map:

This place is history. It was built in the early 12th century – imagine that!

These are sacred places and they have imposed a dress code for people who will visit.

Visitors will be required to wear pants or skirts below the knees and a shirt that covers the shoulders. 

Ladies, if you want to go sleeveless, you can still do. Just bring a scarf or shawl or something to cover you up, you can also buy from the locals, there are many that sells on that area.

Anyway we bought the 1 day pass, and we weren’t able to finish them all. We thought we could, but it was impossible.

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If you’re planning to visit every single one of these temples, do not go for 1 day.

I guess 3 days would do, or if you really want to explore the temples then go for 7 days. It’s a very, very, very large place. And a looot of walking is required.

That 1 day pass killed us. By noon time, we’re templed out and we’re dying to go home.

We wanted to explore more, but we were just too tired. (and thirsty PS. BRING WATER)

Comes night time, we went to Pubstreet to check out the food and the place.

 

And look what I found!

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😱

A post shared by Meg Lacanlale (@megatronmegg) on

I tried the scorpion and nope, I won’t do it again. Haha

If you want to party at night, this is the place. This place is loud. Like really. Music is busting out at each and every restaurant here.

We went home after a couple of beers. Haha. 

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DAY 3 – Crossing Boarders: Siem Reap to Bangkok, Thailand

Our tuktuk driver brought us to this travel agency which offers a direct bus travel to Bangkok.

It costs us (as far as I remember) $25.

It’s a double decker bus, and the trip was roughly around 10-11 hours. Pretty much your entire day.

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Leave early. Because there are a lot of people at the boarder. And the boarder is open only until 8PM.

Siem Reap → Poipet → Aranyaprathet → Bangkok

Now, taking a direct bus, doesn’t necessarily mean everything will be taken cared of.

You will have to cross.. and I mean walk across the border from Poipet to Aranyaprathet (I don’t even know how to pronounce that)

You will be dropped off near the Cambodia immigration, look for it, get in line and get stamped out of Cambodia.

Then you will have to go to the Thai immigration and get your visa.

This can be scary and confusing as there will be a lot of people (specially around noon time), do not get scammed, or talk to people offering you stuff.

Just focus on these 2 things:

1. Get stamped out of Cambodia
2. Get Thai Visa

After all that, you’re done. Go back to your bus, relax and you’ll be in Bangkok soon.

Read this blog, it’s more detailed: Siem Reap to Bangkok via the Poipet border

We arrived at Bangkok around 6PM and went directly to our hotel.
We stayed at BB Boutique Mansion

 

This is a very very nice hotel, it’s a gem within the city. Place was quiet and clean. The location was very good, near the BTS (train) station.

We went to Terminal 21 for our dinner and went back to our hotel after a few hours and slept.

DAY 4 – Wat Arun + Market + Club

This day is the day that we get scammed. My friend and I were looking for a way on how to get to Wat Arun, Wat Pho and The Grand Palace.

So we were walking along the streets of Bangkok, asking the locals on how to get there, when we finally met this big man, he looks friendly and told us that his guy friend that drives a tuktuk could get us to where the boats are. For 150 baht, we agreed. So we got to the boat station and here comes the surprise. When we got there, they’re offering us 1800 Baht for the boat tour.. that seems a bit too much. My friend and I are confused.. is it too much? Or is it just right? Probably the places are far from each other that’s why? if we back out, where should we go instead? In the end we took it (stupid) because we really just want to get on with our day.

We got the boat all to ourselves (now that’s why it was pricey) and we went there.

22406497_137710546865580_7290523911250321981_nlook at us, so happy, not knowing we’re being scamed. lelz

First up, Wat Arun. They have entrance fee of 50 Baht. Again ladies, no sleeveless tops here. You could wear one but bring a shawl. Anyway, the boat driver told us to come back 30 minutes after. But we got back like after an hour, and guess what? He wasn’t there. There was a lady that collects fees from the boats, and we asked her where is our boat, and she said “no, no more” and we ask if she could call them, and she said “no” I mean, WTH?? We paid 1800 Baht, the least they could do is wait for us? We f*cking rented that boat to ourselves.

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And this is what’s more frustrating, we found a boat that would take us to Wat Pho and it only costs 3 effin baht. 3! THREE!!! and they made us pay 1800 BAHT and didn’t fucking wait for us?! Unbelievable.

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Anyway, lesson of the story. Do not go for tours as there are public boats available within the area. RESEARCH!!!

PS. we weren’t looking for private boats when we got there, but we stupid and we already paid for that damn private boat scam. So yeah.

We ended our tour around lunch time and went directly to Pratunam Market. You could find clothes, shoes, bags and any kind of fashion accessories here.

 

This a place where you could buy fashion stuff at a cheap and affordable price. To my fellow Filipinos, if you’re fond of buying at divisoria, prices here are MUCH lower. The clothes that you see online, most of them you could find here. So ano pa? haha

We went back at our hotel around 6pm and went for dinner and some drinks later that night. We were planning to go to a rooftop bar, but we were just so exhausted.

DAY 5 – Bangkok – Pattaya

Another day, another adventure. Today we decided to go to Pattaya. At Jomtien Beach to be exact. You can reach Pattaya from Bangkok either via plane, bus, train, taxi or a van (minibus). We opted for the van. Bangkok to Pattaya is more or less a 2 hour drive. Vans will be located at Ekkamai Bus Terminal and would cost around 130 Baht.

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We were dropped off in the middle of Pattaya. (don’t know really where it was, but I guess that was the drop off point since everyone got out as well) We crossed an overpass bridge and from there we hired a motorcycle to bring us to Jomtien beach, it cost 70 Baht.

The beach seems dirty at that time, it was a bit greenish brown in color… or is that the color? Lol It was fine, we weren’t planning to swim anyway. We just sat by the beach and relaxed. After lunch we decided to go back to Bangkok.

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How to go back to Bangkok? We have no clue to be honest. Lol we were waiting for a motorcycle to pass by but there aren’t any, luckily this lady who we thought was a police woman offered to take us to the bus terminal “Air Conditioned Bus Terminal Pattaya-Bangkok”.

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Later we found out she wasn’t a police woman since she asked us to pay for her services LOL

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This is how her car looks like, plus she was wearing a blue polo shirt haha well whatever, still thankful we got to the terminal :)

Anyway, bus ticket cost around 130 Baht as well.

DAY 6 – Bangkok – Manila

We left Bangkok early in the morning, took a cab that costs us around 450 Baht. Airport was a bit far from our place. Anyway all in all it was a great experience. We’re more relax now compared to our past travels. You can actually do Vietnam – Cambodia – Thailand. We didn’t have much time, so probably sometime soon. :)

BUDGET BREAKDOWN: For 1 person group of 2

Travel Expenses:

AIRFARE (Cebu Pacific): Manila – Siem Reap = PHP 2,099.00

Direct Bus to Bangkok: $25 = PHP 1,285

Boat Tour: THB 900 = PHP 1,394 ***do not take this please, there are cheaper ways to do this***

Van from Bangkok to Pattaya: THB 130 = PHP 201

Bus from Pattaya to Bangkok: THB 130 = PHP 201

AIRFARE (Cebu Pacific): Bangkok to Manila = PHP 2,954

HOTELS:


Siem Reap:
Popular Boutique Hotel 3 Days 2 Nights
For 2: PHP 1,572.28 – my share: PHP 786

Bangkok:
BB Boutique Mansion 4 Days 3 Nights
For 2: PHP 4,007.40 – my share: PHP 2,003.7

Temples:


Siem Reap:
Angkor Wat Entrance: $37 = PHP 1900

Bangkok:
Wat Arun: THB 50 = PHP 77
Wat Pho: THB 100 = PHP 155
Grand Palace: THB 500 = PHP 775 

What we booked ahead was the airfare and hotels, so total of that is: PHP 7,843.00 and I’ve allotted PHP 20,000 for my pocket money this includes my entrance fees to the temples, my food for our entire stay, my travel expenses for the bus, vans, trains, etc, so more or less the total of my expenses (everything included) is PHP 25,000 since I still had extra money from the trip when I got home. :)

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See, you don’t have to spend a lot of money when traveling, plan ahead and learn to adjust your needs based on your budget and everything will workout. 

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Kalanggaman Island

I never knew about this island until I saw a photo of it on Instagram, one of the many travel accounts posted it.  I read the description, and it says Philippines…….

 I GOTTA TELL MY FRIENDS!! 

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WANT TO SEE THE ISLAND?  Watch this video ♥: Kalanggaman Island is LOVE

and sooo…… we went there. lol we spent 2Days & 2 Nights. Actually it should have been 3Days & 2 Nights but our flights got delayed so whatever.

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anyway, let’s get to it. :)

HOW TO GET THERE:

The island is located at Palompon, Leyte. There are two ways to get there, via Air or Land travel. We chose to travel by air since travel time would be shorter.

This is our route: MANILA TACLOBAN – PALOMPON – KALANGGAMAN ISLAND

1. MANILA -(air)- TACLOBAN

There are available flights from Manila to Tacloban at AirAsia, Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific. Travel time is approximately 1 hour.

We arrived at Tacloban around 10pm-ish..or is it 11-ish? …it was late, is what I remember. ’cause our flight got delayed due to heavy rain.

Anyway, upon arrival at Tacloban Airport, ride a jeepney (terminal is just outside the airport) tell them to drop you off at Downtown McDonalds. then ride a tricycle going to the van terminal; just tell the driver to drop you off at Palompon Van Terminal.

If you’ll be arriving late (like us) you could stay at hotels in Tacloban. We stayed at Hotel Consuelo. There are a lot of hotels/hostels/lodges that you could stay at. just google ’em :D

2. TACLOBAN -(van)- PALOMPON

Once you’re at the terminal, look for the vans going to Palompon. Travel time would take 2-3 hours. Drop off would be at Palompon Eco Tourism.

REMEMBER:
Last trip going to Palompon is 5 PM.
Last trip going back to Tacloban is 11:30 AM.

3. PALOMPON -(boat)- KALANGGAMAN ISLAND

Going to Kalanggaman Island from Palompon town is more or less 1-hour boat ride. Tourists are advised to call the Palompon Eco Tourism beforehand so they could assist you with boat reservations. You could book the entire boat, or share with other tourists.

THINGS you  MUST BRING:

  1. TENT – you could bring your own, or you could rent. There’s a shop just beside Palompon Eco Tourism. You could also rent solar lamps if you need.
  2. FOOD – yes, there’s a store at the island that sells food and drinks, however it’s very limited, so it’s advisable that you bring your own food specially if you’re planning to stay overnight.
  3. WATER – just like the food, water is scarce. (I brought one 1500 ml and one 4000ml just for myself)

By the way, before going back to Manila, we decided to eat at this famous seafood restaurant in Tacloban, Ocho Seafood & Grill. They serve fresh delicious local seafoods. and MY GAAAAD! ANG SARAP! Haha

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#seafoodloverhere Captures

However, If you’re not into seafood, they also have a variety of meat you could choose from. Or you could try this other restaurant Calle Z 

anyway since we had A LOT of extra time before going back to Manila (due to our, AGAIN, delayed flight) we decided to visit Sto. Nino Shrine and Heritage Museum. They’re open daily from 8am to 4 pm. A guided tour takes 30 minutes.

It was one of the rest houses of the late President Ferdinand Marcos. It was built for his wife, Imelda Marcos, who was born in Tacloban.

The place was beautiful. I don’t know how many times I’ve said “WOW!” “ANG GANDA!” “GRABE!” It was like being in a victorian dollhouse-ish place.  The interior designs of each and every room, the details of the furniture, the walls! the chandeliers! LOL

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just look how big that chandelier is compared to me.
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(I was planning to stand right under it, but decided not to as it might kill me #finaldestination haha)

So if you’re ever in Tacloban City, I highly recommend that you visit this place. Everything is just WOW.

BUDGET: (for 1 person, group of 3)

1. AirAsia (roundtrip) – PHP 1,533

2. Vans (roundtrip) – PHP 300

3. Boat (roundtrip) – PHP 500

    ** in our case, there are 6 of us. (we shared with 3 other tourists)

BOAT RATES: (roundtrip)
– Php 3,000.00 for 15 capacity & below
– Php 3,500.00 for 25 capacity & below
– Php 4,000.00 for 30 capacity & below

4. Overnight Fee to Kalanggaman Island – PHP 225

REGULAR RATE (day tour)
– Foreign Tourists : Php 500.00
– Local Tourists : Php 150.00

OVERNIGHT RATE
– Foreign Tourists : Php 750.00
– Local Tourists : Php 225.00

5. Tent + Solar Lamps – PHP 200

  ** Php600 (1 good for 4 tent + 2 solar lamps)

TENT + SOLAR LAMP RATES:
– Php 300 / night (4-Person Tent)
– Php 250 / night (2-person Tent)
– Php 150 / Solar Lamp

6. Hotel Consuelo (overnight) – PHP 600

 ** Php 1800 good for 3 persons

7. FOOD: (island & ocho seafood) – PHP 1,000 (approximately)

8. Sto Nino Shrine Museum – Php 77

** Php 230 good for 3 persons (we only used 1 camera)

TOUR RATE:
– Entrance (5 persons) – Php 200
*exceeding 5 persons- additional Php 20
– Per Camera – Php 30
– Per Video Camera – Php 200

TOTAL: PHP 4,435

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CONTACTS: (as of August 2016)

Palompon Eco Tourism:
09173037267
09173037269

Hinablayan Outdoor Shop (Tent rentals)
09227228218
09989994276

Hotel Consuelo
09176283588

Getting Lost: Hong Kong – Macau

Lats month, we finally went on with our Hong Kong – Macau trip.

Actually we were only planning to go to Hong Kong, but we found out that you can actually travel to Macau via ferry, and it only takes an hour, so..why not? :D

We got our money changed into Hong Kong Dollars before we left, if there’s no HKD available, I suggest you change it into US Dollars, as it’s accepted at any money changer in the world.

Here’s our itinerary (4 Days, 3 Nights)

DAY 1:

We left Manila around 2:50 PM  and arrived at Hong Kong at roughly around 5:30 PM

Upon arriving at Hong Kong International Airport, I highly suggest (specially if you’re planning to travel around the city) to buy an octopus card. 

Where can you buy this? It’s at the center of the airport. (sort of… LOL it’s there on arrival area, you won’t miss it.)

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This will cost HKD 150. It already has a stored value of 50. You can add more load on your card at 7-11 stores. Also, one octopus card = one person. You and your friends cannot share in one octopus card.

You can watch this for more info: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AY8-Q2c2Bpk

Taxis are expensive, but if you’re willing to spend money on that, then forget the card.

Anyway, after we got our cards, we went around searching for… where the buses are… We finally found it. Yey! This is our bus! :D

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Unfortunately, the place we’ll be staying at is a bit far from the center, it’s located at Lam Tei, but the place was cozy, so it’s all good.

We booked this room at Airbnb, and our host was very helpful and accommodating.

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When we got there, it was almost 8 PM-ish. we left our bags, freshen up a little, then went  out again. This was the first night we got lost. LOL

We were supposed to go to the Ladies Market, but when we looked at the bus routes on the screen of the bus — it was not the same as the ones we have on our notes.  Man. We’re lost. Haha!

so we drop off at wherever that was, and from there just walk around, look for a place to eat because we’re starving (and lost) until we felt really hopeless (because we couldn’t find where the E33 bus stop was) and went home.

Most of them don’t speak english, so if you don’t speak chinese, better have a photo or a Chinese translation of where you want to go, so they’ll understand you better.

We got back around 12 past midnight, and then we just slept. lol

DAY 2:

We got up early at 8am. Then went our way at 9am.

Our first stop was the The Ngong Ping Village + Tian Tan Buddha + Po Lin Monastery

I forgot which bus to take though lol but you’ll have to go to the Ngong Ping Cable Car Terminal, from there you can take the cable car going to the village, or in our case, since the cable car was under maintenance that time (booo)  we rode a bus. The bus ride took almost an hour.

aaaand…Here we are!

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4268 STEPS!

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Stopping for a selfie LOL

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Once we’re done here, we’re off to Disneyland!!! :D

From here, go back to the Ngong Ping Cable Car Terminal, across that  is the Tung Chung Station. Take the train going to Disneyland Resort, go down at Sunny Bay Station.

This train will get you to Disneyland! ♥♥♥

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Do not miss Disney Paint the Night and Disney in The Stars! It was amazing. :)

DAY 3:

Woke up early again, then went directly to Hong Kong – Macau Ferry Terminal. We got lost (again) lol but we eventually found our way.

We took the Cotai Water Jet Ferry going to Macau, there’s also Turbojet Ferry, but Cotai is cheaper. :)

Transfer from Hong Kong to Macau took almost an hour. Upon arrival at Macau, if your hotel offers free shuttle service, look for the bus. if not, take the cab.

By the way, before going to Macau, change your HKD or whatever money you have into MOP / Pataca. They don’t accept other type of currency most of the time. 

We stayed here at Inn Hotel Macau.weqw

The room was spacious, and clean and at a very affordable price.

After checking-in, we went our way to the Ruins of St. Paul.19

Near the Ruins of St. Paul is the Monte Fort as well as the Macau Museum.

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We were planning to stay the night in (because we got lost, AGAIN) but one of our high school friend (that works at Macau) contacted my friend and asked that we go out for dinner.

We went to The Venetian Macau (Food Court Area) and then at Fisherman’s Wharf.

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This is our friend Brian, beside him is his girlfriend Carla. Thank you guys! :D
(They taught us how to read the bus routes lol )

DAY 4:

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Since our flight leaves at 8:00 PM, we decided to go to the Macau Wine Museum, and The Grand Prix Museum. Both are on the same building.

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Before we went there, we found out about this App that functions even without data. It tells you where to go, where the bus stop is located and what bus to take.

THIS @#$%^@!!  APP! —> Macau Bus Guide & Offline Map

I KNOW. WHY haven’t we thought about that earlier. come to think of it, Hong Kong might have an app like that as well -_-

Anyway the Macau App was very helpful and accurate. WE DID NOT GET LOST. #proud lol

At around 8:00 PM we’re already on our way back to Manila.

BUDGET: (for 1 person)

Airfare (Airasia) – Manila to Hong Kong    – PHP 2419
Travel Tax (Manila to Hong Kong                 – PHP 1620

* Hotel Prices are as follows: Airbnb: PHP 3868, Inn Hotel: PHP 2812
but since there’s two of us, we split the bill)

Airbnb Room (2 nights)                                   – PHP 1934
Inn Hotel Macau (1 night)                               – PHP 1406

Airfare (Airasia) – Hong Kong to Macau    – PHP 2425

For the pocket money, I’ve allotted PHP 10,000 for this 4 day trip.
***this includes the bus/train/taxi fares, food, ferry fare, disneyland entrance fee, etc

TOTAL: PHP 19,798  you might want to add a little extra on that, just in case. :)

We also found out from our friend Brian, that you can actually do
Hong Kong – Macau – China.200_s.gifYou should definitely try that out. :)

Boracay

 

Last November, my ultimate travel buddy and I (yes, ultimate. she’s the only one who’s always up to go with me, wherever that is. Just name the place and she’s ready to go lol) we went to Boracay, The most popular beach here in the Philippines.

It’s actually an island, a small one. I actually didn’t want to go, because of all the fuss people are making about it for the last many years.

“Boracay is so overrated” is what I would usually say, until the day I step foot on that Island, and have seen that it is really beautiful.

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I love it most during the early morning to noon. The color of the water is just WOW. Anyway, enough of the chit-chat, let me present to you our SUPER AMAZINGLY CHEAP itinerary.

HOW TO GET THERE:

MANILA -(air)- KALIBO -(van)- CATICLAN JETTY -(boat) CAGBAN JETTY -(tricycle)- BORACAY

1. Look for a flight going to Kalibo or Caticlan, usually it would cost (one way) at most PHP 3,000, but we only got ours for PHP 600! Yup. There are promo fares on AirAsia and CebuPacific. Our trip is from Manila – Kalibo took about 45minutes – 1 hour.

2. Upon arriving at Kalibo Airport, there will be stalls and vans going to Caticlan Jetty. We shared a van with a bunch of people, fare costs PHP 250 per person. this includes a boat transfer. (yes, I don’t recommend booking an early van transfer as you could get a cheaper price once you’re there) This land transfer to Catical Jetty would take around 2 hours.

3. Upon arriving at Caticlan Jetty, you have to pay for the Terminal Fee (PHP 100) and Environmental Fee (PHP 75). Boat transfer to Cagban Jetty would take around 15-20 minutes. (I don’t remember exactly, but it’s a short ride)

4. Upon arriving at Cagban Jetty, there are tricycles that could take you to your hotel. We paid PHP 100, but found out when we’re leaving that fare costs only PHP 15 per person!

REMEBER: Opeartion of boats are 5am-10pm.

WHERE TO STAY:

There are alot of resorts and transient you could stay in at Boracay, just google ’em and they would show up. We stayed at Wendy’s Apartelle. It costs us PHP 1,800 for 3days 2 nights for 2 pax. so… PHP 900 per person.

We stayed in a room, with one queen size bed, airconditioning is okay, there’s TV, bathroom’s okay. BUT we don’t have signal in our room. That’s the only downside. but that’s okay since we were only in our room, when it’s time for us to sleep.
It’s a 5-10 minutes walk away from the beach btw.

WHERE TO EAT:

Where to eat is not a problem, as there a loooot of restaurants in the Island to choose from. Some cheap, some expensive.

WHAT TO DO:

There are many activities in the Island. Island Hopping, Sailing, Helmet Diving, Scuba Diving, and other water activities you could choose from.

You could also try Kite Surfing, Flyboarding, Parasailing, and other activities.

We tried Parasailing and Island Hopping.

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(At this point, I don’t wanna go home anymore haha)

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Sunset was amaziiiiing!

we we’re supposed to go sailing but my friend got dizzy so we just sat by the beach. haha

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(My ultimate travel buddy haha ——>)

I would also suggest not to avail any package for these activities as it’s a lot cheaper when you’re there, Oh yes.

BUDGET BREAKDOWN (For 1 person, group of 2)

Airfare (AirAisa) – PHP 1,200 (return)
Van & Boat – PHP 500 (return)
Tricycle – PHP 75
Terminal Fee – PHP 100
Environmental Fee – PHP 75
Airport Terminal Fee – PHP 200
Lodge (Wendy’s Apartelle)- (PHP 1,800 for 2 nights) – PHP 900

FOOD:
3 Days (BFast, Lunch, Dinner, Snacks) – Aprrox PHP 1,500

ACTIVITIES:
Parasailing – PHP 1,000
Island Hopping – PHP 400

TOTAL: PHP 5,950 — yes! :D

* I would suggest you bring extra cash, in case you want to do, buy or eat more.

3 days wasn’t enough, should’ve gone with 5 days, but whatever I could always go back. :)

Villa Escudero

Last May, my friends and I decided to go to Villa Escudero.

We were actually choosing between Camaya or Escudero. We chose Escudero, since none of us had been there yet.

HOW TO GET TO VILLA ESCUDERO:

Ride a JAC Liner bus going to Lucena, tell the driver to drop you off at Villa Escudero. It took us almost 3 hours to get there from Cubao, due to heavy traffic. We left around 7am.

The driver will drop you off just after the arch of Quezon, once you’re there, cross the street. There will be tricycles that could take you to Villa Escudero. It’s a long walk so I suggest you take the trike. :)

We arrived at Villa Escudero around past 10am.

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We were supposed to stay overnight, but all rooms are booked already. I suggest you call them ahead of time if you’re planning to stay overnight.

So, we took the day tour. It costs P1,450 for one person. This includes tour to the Museum and  lunch by the waterfalls, you’ll get to ride on carabao-drawn carts on your way to the city proper.

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Once your tour is over, they have swimming pools that you can use or you can go bamboo rafting and bird watching.

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TOTAL BUDGET: (for 1 person)
BUS (Cubao to Lucena / Lucena to Cubao) – P400
TRICYCLE – P20
DAY TOUR – P1450

TOTAL: P1870

You might want to bring extra cash in case you’d like to buy other foods and souvenirs.

This is surely a budget friendly and relaxing way to spend your weekend. :)

BALER, AURORA

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Last January, my friend and I wanted to go somewhere. We were choosing between Boracay and Baler.

We chose Baler, since it’s a lot cheaper. Haha

HOW TO GO TO BALER?

Ride a Genesis or Joy bus from Cubao to Baler. We got there via Joy bus since Genesis bus left too early, around 2 – 3am. We left around 5am. and got there around 2pm. Fare is P700 one way. Genesis has a cheaper fare around P400 (not sure) You may want to contact them if you want to inquire about their fares and schedules.

WHERE TO STAY?

We haven’t booked any hostel before our trip, so what we did is, upon arriving at the bus terminal in Baler, we asked the tricycle driver to bring us to the nearest affordable place to stay overnight. He brought us to ELAINE’S LODGE. It was a good place. It’s clean, spacious, ventilation is good. They have airconditioned rooms but we didn’t take it, since the weather is cold. Room costs P600 per person, also it’s close to the beach! win! Haha Airconditioned rooms cost P1000, if I remember it right. anyway you may want to contact them.

ELAINE’S LODGE: 09195379405

There are other places to stay, but as a backpacker, this is a good catch already.

WHERE TO EAT:

There are number of places where you can eat that’s located along the beach. We ate at Hungry Surfer.
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Food is good, but I suggest that you order 2 hours before, since it takes time for food to be cooked. Meal costs P150 or less.
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There’s another restaurant beside Hungry Surfer but I forgot the name already haha 😁

WHAT TO DO?
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Besides surfing? Well I recommend going on a tricycle tour of Baler. Our tricycle driver offered to tour us and we payed P600 for us 2. so P300 each. not bad. :)
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We weren’t able to go to every site, since we only have a day to spend.  Our tour took 2-3 hours. so it’ll be longer if you plan on visiting all of the sites listed.
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BUDGET BREAKDOWN (1person)
JOY BUS (Cubao-Baler roundtrip): P1400
ELAINE’S LODGE (overnight): P600
MEAL (dinner+breakfast): approx P300
SURFING LESSON (1hour): P250
TRICYLCE TOUR: P300

TOTAL: P2850

Awesome! Haha

If you haven’t been to Baler, you should. There’s more than just surfing here. 👌;)