Page 3 of gabanie Travel Blog Posts

Asia » Philippines » Palawan » Port Barton February 22nd 2010

We left Sabang bright and early for Port Barton. Our boat supposedly could hold 12 people but only 8 booked, so we were light in the water. On the way we passed another fully loaded boat that was headed to El Nido. The ride to Port Barton was actually really nice. Only 3 hours long, with great views of the Palawan coast along the way. We saw a lot of flying fish that were scared by the boat and soared for probably 300 feet or more, just barely above the water. We also saw two sea turtles, just hanging out on the surface. One of them was probably 3 feet wide and 4 feet long. He stuck his head up and looked at us as we passed. Port Barton is a quiet and secluded beach town. ... read more

Asia » Philippines » Palawan » Sabang February 20th 2010

We left Puerto Princesa early in the morning on a minibus bound for Sabang. Sabang is famous for it's underground river, which at 8 km long is supposedly the longest in the world. As popular as the underground river is, the town of Sabang is still pretty undeveloped. Most people do a day trip from Puerto Princesa and don't stay the night. There are still no power lines or phone lines, so every place with power has its own generator. For some reason my dad picked a guest house that was in the jungle even though Sabang has plenty of beautiful beach side spots. That was the last time we let him pick the place. That afternoon we went on a tour of the underground river. The tour starts by getting on a pump boat that ... read more

Asia » Philippines » Palawan » Puerto Princesa February 19th 2010

We flew from Cebu to Puerto Princesa on feb 18th, a few hours ahead of my parents, who flew in from Manila. My parents had been planning on taking a 2 week vacation to meet steph and I wherever we might be in our trip, and they followed through! It was pretty cool to be able to meet up on the other side of the world like that. They even brought us rice crispy treats (steph ate them all in 2 days), and a bunch of Trader Joe's beef jerky (it's the best). Puerto princesa is by far the biggest city on Palawan Island, which is a long, skinny, undeveloped island in the western Philippines. Puerto princesa itself was not a big attraction to us, but the nearby Honda Bay made it worth staying one full ... read more

Asia » Philippines » Cebu » Cebu City February 17th 2010

I'm now 2 weeks behind on blogs, thanks to limited internet access on Palawan, but I'm not giving up! Many more to come. There isn't that much to say about Cebu City... it really isn't much of a tourist destination, more of a layover city. We decided to stay two nights anyway, and made the most of it, but two nights was definitely enough. When we got off the boat from Bohol it was already late afternoon, so we made a bee-line to our hotel. Our taxi driver said his meter was broken, and tried to charge us 200 pesos, but when I threatened to report him he turned on the meter and it only cost 50 pesos to get there. Our hotel (Allson's Inn) was actually pretty nice but it is in a kind of ... read more

Asia » Philippines » Bohol » Panglao February 16th 2010

Our original plan was to go to Bohol for a few days, and hit up at least one more spot before catching our flight to Palawan on the 18th. But somehow we ended up staying for 8 days, and we ran out of time to go anywhere else. Some places are just hard to leave. After flying to Cebu city from Davao, we took a taxi to the ports and booked a ferry to Tagbilaran, the port city of Bohol. The ferry ride started out going pretty fast, but then the sound changed and we slowed down a LOT. It was soon announced that we were operating on only 1 engine. The ride was supposed to take 2 hours, but at this rate it probably would take 2 or 3 times as long. But luckily it ... read more

Asia » Philippines » Mindanao » Davao February 8th 2010

Davao isn't normally a tourist destination for foreigners (Lonely Planet barely even acknowledges it) but I wasn't going to let that stop us from visiting my good friend Pearl. It ended up being super fun and a perfect intro to the philippines. Our flights to Davao were at ridiculous hours, but at least we made all of them. The first one left bangkok at 12:30 am on febuary 3rd, and was supposed to get in to manila at 4:50 am (1 hour time difference = 3 hrs 20 min flight). I barely slept on the flight because they kept turning on all the lights for some reason. It got in to manila 30 minutes early. Hooray! 30 more minutes to sleep on the benches at the airport. Our connecting flight left manila at 8 am, and ... read more

Asia » Thailand » Central Thailand » Bangkok February 2nd 2010

Good ol' Khaosan Road. Or KSR, as we affectionately call it. KSR is like an oasis (or a cesspool, depending who you ask) in the middle of Bangkok. If you walk 10 minutes away in any direction, you would be in the heart of Bangkok with not a tourist / backpacker in sight. There's really nowhere else like it that we have been. It is just so over the top - millions of souveniers, all the supplies you need, tons of used book stores, loud clubs that stay open all night, cheap street food, sweaty old men that have been in Thailand way too long, inexperienced travelers about to start their first adventure, live music, neon lights, getting accausted by vendors selling suits, massages, tattoos.... Love it or hate it, it is almost inevitably on the ... read more

Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Chiang Mai January 31st 2010

Our first time in chiang mai was brief - we stayed one night before heading to Pai. Our only real activity was going to see Avatar 3D at the mall near the city center. It was pretty friggin sweet. We also explored the city a bit to get an idea of what kind of stuff there is to do. Chiang mai is pretty big, although most tourists just stay near the city center, which is a much more manageable sized square (probably 1 mile each side) surrounded by a moat. There are tons of things to do around chiang mai too, like mountain biking, rock climbing, 4x4 trips, treks, elephant rides, etc. Most of the trips are pretty expensive though. We noted a few must-see's and headed to Pai. Our second time in chiang mai we ... read more

Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Pai January 25th 2010

Pai is a laid back town in northern Thailand, surrounded by beautiful waterfalls, rice paddies, caves, hot springs and canyons. I was there in 2007 and it seemed like it was a bit more touristy and expensive this time around, but the motorbikes are still only 80 baht (about $2.50) for a 24 hour rental. We spent our first few days just driving around on a motorbike to some of the local sights. The roads are nicely paved and the scenery is amazing. One day we went piranha fishing. Yeah, you heard me. A friendly english guy (I think his name was Dave) came up with the genius idea of throwing a bunch of piranhas in a pond, and charging people to fish there. There are actually now 17 kinds of fish in there, but we ... read more

Asia » Laos » West » Luang Prabang January 17th 2010

The seven hour bus ride from Vang Vieng to Luang Prabang was kind of a mixed bag. Some of the bag held beautiful scenery, but the rest was vomit. The locals just couldn't handle the curvy road and we had to do a lot of puke stops. Luckily steph and I had ipods (well mine is a Zune) so we didn't have to listen to too much of it. Needless to say we were glad to get off the bus. Luang Prabang is cursed with some of the same priceyness that plagued Vientiane, probably for the same reason (old, rich tourists). Even so, it managed to win us over for a few days. The town has a really cool location, surrounded on 3 sides by rivers. There are TONS of wats (temples) which means lots of ... read more

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