Page 3 of Sophie and Dale Travel Blog Posts

Asia » Philippines » Palawan » El Nido December 22nd 2009

After the 7 hour incredibly scenic (but expensive 2,200PHP) boat ride from Coron Town to El Nido through a land that can only be described as Robinson Crusoe real estate, we all got off with our sea legs well and truly on.. it's amazing just how long it takes for the swaying sensation of being at sea to wear off! El Nido is really small and easy to walk around in a few minutes so along with David from Israel and Dominic from Germany we set off to find somewhere to sleep for our time here. It was quite a bit more expensive here than we'd hoped, we'd all thought we'd find rooms for around 500PHP but the cheapest we could find (with rooms available) were 800PHP. This room was a lovely spanking new room on ... read more
Bacuit Archipelago
Resort by El Nido
Bacuit Archipelago entrance to big lagoon

Asia » Philippines » Palawan » Coron December 16th 2009

To get to Coron we chose the ferry route which was surprisingly comfortable despite opting for the equivalent of 2nd class. We chose Superferry to sail with and it was a 15 hour crossing from Manila to Coron Town on Busuanga Island, part of the Calamianes group in Northern Palawan. We had reserved bunks and after a quick swap with another passenger so we could have adjacent top bunks, eating our disgusting included meal which was basically pork fat in salt with rice we settled down to a good nights sleep and woke up at 6.30am when we docked. We'd pre booked our accommodation here but as our room wasn't going to be ready until midday we decided we'd hire out a bike and explore the island so we didn't waste one of our few days ... read more
Sophie kayaking around Coron Island
Dale in his diving gear

Asia » Philippines » Tagaytay December 11th 2009

Tagatay was our next destination and an easy transition from Baguio - Manila and then Manila - Tagatay. It was the usual ordeal of not having any idea where we needed to get dropped off when asked by the bus conductor so we got dumped in the plaza and wandered around looking a bit lost until some kind local helped us find our way! For the first time ever we purchased a local country SIM card and were really glad we had on this occasion as the accommodation in Tagatay is spread out along the supervolcano wall in a long line covering about 8km. With our handy phone (the wonders of modern technology!) we were able to call the guesthouse we'd selected to see if they had any rooms before we jumped in a never-ending tricycle ... read more
Pretty cow
Volcano in lake
Jeepney town

Asia » Philippines » Cordillera December 7th 2009

We'd read about the tiny village of Kabayan in LP and were both intrigued with the mummies in caves so decided that a side trip there to do a trek would be well worth the journey. The rickety old bus ride there along roads that were quite honestly plain scary made us have some doubts but we made it there fine and we were just glad we wouldn't be going back the same way! Kabayan is a tiny little village with one guesthouse so finding a room wasn't a problem at all, our plan was to stay there one night then make the 6 hour trek up the mountain to the site of the mummies before circling back to the highway to catch a bus back to Baguio. Doing this was a piece of cake as ... read more
Sign to the caves!
Albert our guide unwrapping the mummy

Asia » Philippines » Cordillera » Sagada December 4th 2009

We got to Sagada on an hour long jeepney trip from Bontoc which snaked up and up into the mountains and cloud with it growing ever colder as we went. The last time we'd really needed our fleeces & hats was at Mt Bromo a few months ago back and could easily count on one hand the number of times we'd needed them in our year in Asia. This time we were very glad we'd kept hold of them as they were very needed up here after getting a little too used to the Asian climate! People rave about Sagada and some travellers stay for weeks and weeks but when we arrived we really couldn't see what all the fuss was about. It was really low cloud so we couldn't really see much past the small ... read more
Us on a rock formation
Philip, Chris & Us
Sophie and her birthday breakfast

Asia » Philippines » Banaue December 1st 2009

On our return to the Philippines we spent just one night and day in Manila before catching our night bus all the way up the Banaue in the Cordillera region, famed for it's rice terraces and beautiful mountain views. The bus was far from the best we've been on but like most transport in the Philippines it was stupidly cheap for a 9 hour journey at P450 (£5.92) so we didn't complain. We arrived in Banaue at around 7am and after only a few hours sleep on the bus we decided we'd have a relaxing day to catch up on sleep and take in the tiny town. In retrospect we could really have fitted in a trip to the famous viewing area overlooking the town but hindsight is a wonderful thing that lives only in the ... read more
Dale taking in the view
Tapia Waterfall
Children along the way

Asia » Brunei » Bandar Seri Begawan November 22nd 2009

We made the round trip back to Kota Kinabalu in Sabah from the Philippines because of the 21 day visa limit. Of course you can extend the visa but we'd planned to do this when we returned and flying in and out of the country was a cheaper alternative to extending it twice so it was a bit of tooing and froing but this is the way things worked best for us. Rather than just fly in and straight out again we decided to stay a week and make the short trip across to Brunei.. it just seemed rude not to go when it's only a few hours away! There are a few ways to get to Bandar Seri Begawan, the capital of Brunei, but we chose to get the bus from KK to Menumbok (RM15), ... read more
Omar Saifuddin Mosque in BSB
Omar Saifuddin Mosque in BSB
Shield & Sword in the Royal Regalia Museum

Asia » Philippines » Boracay November 18th 2009

After our first propellor plane flight from Cebu to Kalibo, getting to Boracay from Kalibo was very easy. A minibus from the airport to Caticlan, then a ferry to the island and finally a motorbike taxi to White Beach where we hunted for somewhere to stay. It didn't take very long before we'd found a nice big room with a hot shower and tv for just 800PHP (£10.25) for the 3 of us which we really couldn't grumble about. We dumped our bags and headed straight out to see what (another!) one of the best beaches in the world was like and can completely agree with it's placing amongst the top! White Beach which is the main beach on Boracay is stunning, probably the nicest beach that we've been to on our travels and it goes ... read more
Sunset & Sailing
Sophie & El snorkelling
beach on Boracay

Asia » Philippines » Bohol November 8th 2009

Our introduction to the Philippines came as quite a surprise, it started off pretty much as we were imagining with funky jeepneys (converted US army jeeps) running around and typical houses we've seen in most of SE Asia, but as we'd landed in Clark which is about 3 hours North of Manila we were really surprised as we made our approach to this huge capital city. For a country that has parts among the poorest in SE Asia, Manila seems to be bucking this trend with some of the hugest billboards we've seen in our lives lining most of the highways through the city advertising mostly expensive jeans & make up that even in England you would think twice about affording. Add to this the countless huge shopping malls and the massive skyscrapers that you can ... read more
Chicks dining out
Sophie on the beach at Anda

Asia » Malaysia » Sabah » Sepilok Orang Utan Sanctuary October 18th 2009

Sandakan is a busy town which is up there on the tourist map because of the nearby Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary which is just a few km's away. It's also quite close to the Sungai Kinabatangan which is where we made our way from by minibus. Generally we have found minibus travel in this state quite expensive so for anyone who is coming here do your best to steer clear of them wherever possible as they are around 5x more than regular buses. When we got to the city we scored highly on the accommodation front with a great room in Winho Lodge for just 50RM (£9) which was so nice we decided to stay a few more days to make the most of the great facilities! As well as the nearby attractions, Sandakan city has a ... read more
Orangutan at Sepilok
Slipper Orchid at the Rainforest Discovery Centre
Dale and the huge leaves

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